High School Football

Their first year in 3A was successful; now they try to row the boat even further

Squalicum’s Triston Smith fights for extra yardage against Gig Harbor on Sept. 2.
Squalicum’s Triston Smith fights for extra yardage against Gig Harbor on Sept. 2. jbessex@gateline.com

If the first year of leading his team in Class 3A taught Squalicum football coach Nick Lucey anything, it’s that the margin for error – particularly in the playoffs – is much, much smaller.

After an undefeated roll to the 3A Wesco North Division title and into the 3A state playoffs, little mistakes ended up costing the Storm in a first-round loss to Bonney Lake.

“Bonney Lake played outstanding,” Lucey said, “but I don’t think we played our best. The 3A level is really, really good. It might come down to a few mistakes that you make that decide the outcome of games. In 2A, you’ll run into that, but it’s usually not in the first round – it’s a bit later.”

Working hard to eliminate miscues was on Lucey’s mind while he was trying to think of a mantra to motivate his team as it prepared for the 2017 season.

“I wanted something that embraces our core covenants of family, discipline and passion and tried to tie in getting everyone to pull in the same direction,” Lucey said.

What he came up with seems to be resonating with his players and has been a rallying cry through summer work.

0901 Squalicum FOOT graphic (2)

“‘Row the boat’ is our main phrase,” senior Brian Pullman said. “We’re all on the team. The team is the canoe. Our direction is our compass, and every single player owns an oar. We’ve all got to put our oar in the water to get where we want to go. As a team, we need to keep pushing through the water, go through every obstacle that faces us and get to that championship – get to the (Tacoma) Dome.”

Lucey has used the phrase as a hashtag (#rowtheboat) in many of his social media posts to the team this summer, and at the end of practice sessions oars are handed out to players that have demonstrated best how to row the boat.

“Rowing the boat is like something you want to accomplish,” senior Jose Hernandez said. “It’s knowing that you gave it your all during practice, and we want to be there, at that limit, to give it our all, rowing the boat at the end of the day.”

Despite the loss of an extremely talented group of strong senior leaders off last year’s team, this year’s seniors seems to have the boat pointed in the right direction, Lucey said.

“The seniors from last year taught us a lot,” senior Triston Smith said. “We’ve been a lot more energetic than we expected to be, especially coming from the upper class. We’ve got a lot of guys stepping up in big positions. I think we’re looking better than ever.”

The fact that Smith is back, certainly helps – all he did was rush for 1,352 yards and 18 touchdowns last year at nearly 11 yards per clip.

I see this group getting better throughout the year. From an ability standpoint, I think we’re pretty good, and we’re going to keep improving and see some of the guys step up, and we have the potential to be there at the end of the season.

Squalicum coach Nick Lucey

Nick Lucey
Nick Lucey

Garrett Sorenson is no longer there to hand him the ball. He’ll be replaced by Spencer Lloyd, a junior who filled in when Sorenson was hurt early last year.

“He’s put sweat in the bucket and has gotten better,” Lucey said. “He can run the ball, and he can throw it. He’s played linebacker for us, and he brings that mentality to the position.”

He’ll have to find some new targets, as Smith is the only top-five pass catcher returning from a very talented receiving corps. Hernandez is among those expected to step up, along Texas transfer Ja’Lique Martin.

The offensive line has the potential to be quite good, if a bit smaller, with the return of left tackle Josh Jacobson and all-league guard Kollin Johnson. Expected to step up are Dominick Mack, Trenton Creelman and Brandon Gimse, while Pullman will be a physical presence at tight end.

3 Straight years Squalicum has made the state playoffs, including last year in 3A – the only three years the program has made state.

On the defensive front, Johnson should be joined by Carsden Dvorachek and Dan Angel, while Pullman and Will Russell will lead the linebacking corps. The secondary will have to reload, but Lucey believes he’s got the pieces with Hernandez, Smith, Martin, Justin Hulbert, Zach Tucker and Devante Powell.

“I think we’re going to be a physical group,” Lucey said. “We’re going to hang our hat, first and foremost, on running the ball. I think we’ll be really good on both sides. I like our athletes on the outside, and if we can run the ball, it will allow us to do some good things. We’ve just got to keep rowing the boat.”

2017 schedule

Date

Opponent

Time

Sept. 1

Gig Harbor+

8 p.m.

Sept. 8

South Delta+

5 p.m.

Sept. 15

at Marysville-Pilchuck#*

7 p.m.

Sept. 23

Stanwood+*

7 p.m.

Sept. 29

at Oak Harbor*

7 p.m.

Oct. 7

Snohomish+

7 p.m.

Oct. 13

Marysville-Getchell+*

7 p.m.

Oct. 20

at Ferndale*

7 p.m.

Oct. 27

Arlington+*

8 p.m.

*3A Wesco North game; +at Civic Stadium; #at QuilCeda Stadium

2016 results

Date

Opponent

Time

Sept. 2

at Gig Harbor

W 40-28

Sept. 9

Sehome

W 49-0

Sept. 16

Marysville-Pilchuck

W 48-15

Sept. 23

at Stanwood*

W 47-14

Sept. 30

Oak Harbor*

W 47-20

Oct. 7

at Emerald Ridge

W 68-55

Oct. 14

at Marysville-Getchell*

W 46-0

Oct. 22

Ferndale*

W 47-42

Oct. 7

at Arlington*

W 55-27

CLASS 3A QUAD-DISTRICT PLAYOFFS

Nov. 4

Rainier Beach

W 35-7

CLASS 3A STATE PLAYOFFS

Nov. 11

Bonney Lake

L 24-7

*3A Wesco North Division game

2017 roster

No.

Player

Pos.

Ht.

Wt.

Yr.

2

Justin Hulbert

WR/DB

5-11

185

Sr.

3

Zach Tucker

WR/DB

5-11

175

Jr.

4

Ashton Toctocan

QB/DB

5-8

160

Jr.

5

Devante Powell

WR/DB

6-0

180

So.

6

Fabian Rosembre-Nolasco

WR/DB

5-10

170

Jr.

7

Jose Hernandez

WR/DB

5-11

170

Sr.

8

Declan McGhee

WR/DB

5-9

165

Jr.

9

Tinea Chea

WR/DB

5-7

150

Jr.

10

Spencer Lloyd

QB/LB

5-11

185

Jr.

11

Elliott Aslan

RB/DB

5-8

160

So.

12

Alex Everett

K

6-2

160

Sr.

13

Schuyler Alton

TE/LB

6-2

185

So.

14

Dominic Gordon

QB/S

5-9

170

So.

15

Brandon Powers

LB/RB

5-8

180

So.

15

Arthur Yoshimoto

WR/DB

5-7

145

Jr.

16

Collin McEachran

RB/DB

5-11

185

So.

17

Luke Martin

WR/DB

5-9

150

Jr.

19

Liam Ringstad

WR/DB

6-3

180

Jr.

20

Ja'Lique Martin

WR/DB

5-11

165

So.

21

Mason Lloyd

WR/DB

5-8

150

So.

22

Brian Pullman

RB/LB

5-11

210

Sr.

23

Carsden Dvorachek

WR/DT

6-0

175

Sr.

24

Jaymz Knowlton

QB/DB

5-9

170

Jr.

25

Triston Smith

RB/DB

5-7

175

Sr.

29

Samuel Chavez

RB/LB

5-9

170

So.

31

Shane Holman

TE/LB

6-2

175

So.

32

Dedrick Mitchell

WR/CB

5-9

150

So.

35

Daniel Vallodolid

WR/DB

6-2

180

Sr.

36

Christian Mariona

WR/DB

6-0

185

Sr.

42

Yogesh Dutt

TE/LB

6-0

200

So.

44

Garrett Jabbora

OL/LB

5-9

170

So.

47

Constantine Kyrzias

LB/TE

6-0

185

Sr.

51

Isaac Castillo

OL/DL

5-11

210

So.

52

Josh Jacobson

OL/DL

6-2

300

Sr.

53

Cullen Pratt

OL/DL

5-9

190

Jr.

54

Jackson Campbell

OL/LB

6-2

215

Jr.

55

Keenan Rice

OL/LB

5-11

185

Jr.

58

Jimmy Mena

OL/DL

5-10

210

So.

59

Will Russell

OL/LB

5-11

190

Sr.

60

Dominic Guerra

OL/LB

6-0

175

Jr.

61

Alex Newton

OL/DL

5-11

215

Jr.

63

Adam Morris

OL/LB

5-8

170

So.

64

Peyton Manos

OL/DL

5-10

190

Sr.

65

Will Russell

OL/DE

5-11

190

Sr.

66

Alex Newton

OL/DL

5-11

215

Jr.

67

Gabe Smith

OL/DL

5-9

180

Jr.

68

Anthony Martinez

OL/DL

5-7

165

Sr.

70

Karanjot Mann

OL/DL

6-4

275

Jr.

71

Dan Angel

OL/DL

6-1

225

Sr.

72

Kollin Johnson

OL/DL

6-5

260

Sr.

73

Trenton Creelman

OL/DL

6-0

210

Sr.

74

Jasen Barber

OL/DL

6-3

205

Sr.

75

Adam McCluskey

OL/LB

6-3

180

So.

76

Dominick Mack

OL/DL

5-11

230

Jr.

77

Austin Larsen

OL/DL

5-9

180

So.

79

Brandon Gimse

OL/DL

6-4

285

So.

88

Drew Grimstead

TE/DE

6-2

180

Jr.

Head coach: Nick Lucey

Assistant coaches: Pat Murphy, Russ Robinson, Brian Young, Jeramie Burgoon, Daryl Toctocan, Doug Groves, Dustin Heaton, Josh Meese, Matthew Nixon, Paul VanderHoek

2016 statistical leaders

Rushing

Player

Att.

Yards

Avg.

TD

Triston Smith*

123

1,352

11.0

18

Ben Peterson

67

647

9.7

13

Garrett Sorenson

68

225

3.3

4

Kenji Maeda

7

65

9.3

1

Damek Mitchell

9

52

5.

Passing

Player

Cmp.

Att.

Yards

TD

Int.

Garrett Sorenson

90

146

1,313

16

6

Receiving

Player

Rec.

Yards

Avg.

TD

Damek Mitchell

48

870

18.1

8

Ben Peterson

23

413

18.0

6

Noah Westerhoff

14

168

12.0

4

Triston Smith*

10

103

10.3

1

LeAndrew Alarcon

4

75

18.8

1

*Returning player

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