Sturdy offensive and defensive line standout Dylan Kaemingk was far from a small freshman at Lynden Christian, but that didn’t stop him from working hard enough in the weight room to gain 60 pounds of muscle over four school years.
What he really loves, however, is encouraging his teammates in the weight room as well as on the field.
“It all started in the weight room when the guys decided to put in the work,” said LC coach Dan Kaemingk, Dylan’s father.
The coach said that explains why the Lyncs have improved from 3-6 last year to 7-2 this season heading into a Class 1A winner-to-state game Friday at King’s in Shoreline.
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LC’s 21-12 win over Meridian gave the Lyncs a share of their first league title since 2001, when Dylan was 1 year old.
That gives Dylan — who earned 1A All-Northwest Conference line honors last year and seems likely to again — an accurate perspective of how much hard work can mean.
“Dylan’s always in the weight room,” said junior quarterback Trajan Schouten. “He is really a hard worker. And he’s humble.”
Dylan Kaemigk returned the compliment: “Trajan has a lot of energy and we feed off that.”
Schouten said the 6-foot-1, 240-pound Dylan Kaemingk never makes excuses and is always willing to apologize when he misses a block at right tackle, which isn’t often.
“He does a great job of leading. Dylan knows his job and does his job. He also lightens the mood on our team and has a great sense of humor,” Schouten said.
So does Dan Kaemingk, but on the field his son says it’s all business.
“I call him Coach on the field,,”Dylan Kaemingk said. “It’s kind of weird to call him ‘Dad.’ He treats everyone the same. But it‘s really special to play for my dad.”
Dan Kaemingk says being a seventh-grade teacher in the Lynden Christian Schools enables him to get to know the kids well before they join his football team.
“I teach social studies and Bible class,” he said. “That really helps.”
Dan Kaemingk said that athletics director Brenda Terpstra and weight room coordinator Hannah Jacob play a huge role in making sure the weight room is as popular and useful — not to mention safe — as possible. In fact, the veteran coach, who played quarterback at LC, said you can’t explain the Lyncs’ success without mentioning those two.
Dylan Kaemingk says he really appreciates the regimens Jacob prepares.
“Her job is to create the workouts and the right technique for lifting, stretching and so on,” the senior said.
He said Terpstra, meanwhile, “makes sure everyone does everything right.”
Dylan Kaemingk exudes pride in the work ethic of his fellow linemen: “We have two other seniors, left tackle Jake Libolt and center Simon Anker, and two juniors, Kase Lautenbach and Davis Gatterman, our guards, plus (a tight end type) sophomore Zach Sipma. I’m really proud of how we jell together.”
Schouten, who missed 2½ games with a midseason injury, said he has seldom been sacked this season because of the teamwork of the linemen.
“Most of the sacks I have had have been my fault,” the quarterback said.
At 6-2 and 190 pounds, Schouten said he “definitely hopes to have the opportunity to play college football” and attends numerous football camps. Dylan Kaemingk says he plans to focus on career preparation in college.
Schouten, an affable type just like Dylan, recalled how he gained a special appreciation for linemen as a sophomore.
“I had to play tackle in one half of a junior varsity game,” he said. “Now I have a lot more appreciation for linemen. I really learned how hard it is to play on the line.”
Fortunately for LC, Dan Kaemingk’s program doesn’t lack prospects. For a Class 1A school, there are a noteworthy 44 sophomores, juniors and seniors on the roster (freshmen aren’t listed). Seventeen are listed as linemen, at least on offense.
WEEK 10 SCHEDULE
▪ Stanwood at Nooksack Valley, 7 p.m. Friday
CLASS 1A NORTHWEST DISTRICT PLAYOFFS
▪ South Whidbey at Meridian, 4 p.m. Friday (at Civic Stadium)
▪ Lynden Christian at King’s, 7 p.m. Friday
▪ Mount Baker at Bothell Cedar Park Christian, 2 p.m. Saturday (at Juanita)
CLASS 2A BI-DISTRICT PLAYOFFS
▪ Blaine at Lynden, 7 p.m. Friday (at Civic Stadium)
▪ Sehome at Archbishop Murphy, 7 p.m. Friday
CLASS 3A WEEK 10 PLAYOFFS
▪ Ferndale at Eastside Catholic, 7:30 p.m. Friday
▪ Central Kitsap at Squalicum, 7 p.m. Saturday (at Civic Stadium)