High School Football

Prep football Week 1 capsules

SQUALICUM AT BELLINGHAM

Time: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5

Site: Civic Stadium

Storm update: Squalicum enters the 2014 season under new coach Nick Lucey after posting a 4-6 record last season under Reed Richardson. Last year’s starting quarterback, Clark Hazlett, transferred to Lynden during the offseason, and senior Christian Jorgensen now takes over quarterbacking duties. Nick Manchester (607 rush yards, seven TDs) returns, as does leading receiver Ben Peterson (583 yards, three TDs). Chris Paz and Ryan Thurston are expected to anchor a Squalicum line Lucey really likes.

Red Raiders update: Last season was one to forget for Bellingham, and like Squalicum, the Red Raiders enter the 2014 season with a new coach. Ted Flint takes over looking to turn around a Red Raiders program that went winless a year ago. The new Red Raiders head man is placing an emphasis on his team doing things the right way. Kalien Hayes (304 rec yards, four TDs) is a great player the team can build around, and Flint has been high on his offensive line. Bellingham also will be relying on its deep senior class to provide leadership.

Player to watch: Squalicum wide receiver Josiah Westbrook starred for Blaine last fall, catching 38 passes for 787 yards and 12 touchdowns. It will be interesting to see how Lucey features Westbrook in his new offense.

Herald’s pick: Squalicum 40-14

MERIDIAN AT HOQUIAM

Time: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5

Site: Olympic Stadium

Trojans update: Meridian is coming of a 2013 Class 1A state playoff appearance, but unfortunately for the Trojans much of last year’s talent graduated. Coach Bob Ames does return veteran quarterback Tanner Tutterrow (1,639 pass yards, 11 TDs). One of the biggest questions is how will Meridian replace Letrez Jones’ production. Ames plans on using Cody Bachman, Nick Dritsas, Dakota Jones and Nick Miller. The Trojans also have to replace nearly their entire offensive line, with an exception to Blake Carson.

Grizzlies update: Hoquiam struggled last season, putting together a 2-7 overall record. Defense seemed to be a major problem, as the Grizzlies gave up an average of 27.1 points per game and surrendered 35 or more points five times.

Player to watch: Ames usually keeps secrets close to the vest, but he did point out how he’s looking forward to seeing Koby Smith at linebacker. He could be one to watch.

Herald’s pick: Meridian 31-10

KING’S AT LYNDEN

Time: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5

Site: Rollie DeKoster Field in Lynden

Lions update: Lynden begins the season ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press Washington State Prep Football Class 2A Poll after going 14-0 and winning its third consecutive 2A state championship last fall. The Lions return the majority of their team, including 2013 Class 2A All-State Player of the Year Trent Postma (1,379 rush yards, 14 TDs), quarterback Sterling Somers (1,382 pass yards, 17 TDs) and receiver Scooter Hastings (830 rec. yards, nine TDs). The Lions also return several defensive standouts, which include Bryce Sterk, Lucas Petersen, Jordan Wittenberg and Postma at linebacker.

Knights update: King’s enters the year ranked No. 8 in the AP Washington State Prep Football Class 1A Poll. The Knights went 9-3 last season and reached the Class 1A state quarterfinals, where they lost to Cascade Christian. Lynden’s last loss was against King’s to open the 2012 season.

Player to watch: Coach Curt Kramme has moved Lucas Petersen from quarterback to wide receiver, and the talented senior adds even more depth to an already talented group. Petersen is also known to make big plays on the defensive side, too.

Herald’s pick: Lynden 28-14

BURLINGTON-EDISON AT MOUNT VERNON

Time: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5

Site: Mount Vernon High School

Tigers update: Burlington-Edison is coming off a 5-5 season in which it missed the playoffs for the first time since 2004, and to get back to the postseason Tigers coach Herb Lehman is implementing a new defensive scheme he hopes will make more plays this fall.

Bulldogs update: Mount Vernon is coming off an up-and-down season in which it finished 7-3 but ended toward the bottom of the Class 4A Wesco standings with a 2-2 mark. The Bulldogs did, however, beat rival Burlington-Edison 27-7 during the third game of the year.

Player to watch: The Tigers made it clear they are looking to focus on improving their defense this fall, and Tarren Lautenbach is a standout player who can take the lead in generating turnovers.

Herald’s pick: Mount Vernon 24-14

NOOKSACK VALLEY AT ANACORTES

Time: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5

Site: Anacortes High School

Pioneers update: There’s plenty of reason for optimism in Everson this fall, and the main reason is the surplus of returning talent the Pioneers have, especially at the skill positions. Nooksack Valley finished 4-6 overall last season and failed to reach the postseason, and while the team should be improved in 2014, the Pioneers face a brutal schedule to start the season.

Seahawks update: Anacortes lost a ton of talent from its 6-4 team that reached the Kansas tiebreaker last fall. Only four starters return this season, and three of those are on the defensive side of the ball. The Seahawks are looking at either Camden McLaughlin or Austin Meyers to replace Jared Douglas at quarterback.

Player to watch: Nooksack Valley’s line will need to bond together this year to enjoy success, and the Pioneers will rely on senior Lathan Halaapiapi heavily to bring the group together. He also should give Anacortes fits along the defensive line.

Herald’s pick: Nooksack Valley 27-21

SEDRO-WOOLLEY AT MOUNT BAKER

Time: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5

Site: Mount Baker High School in Deming

Cubs update: Sedro-Woolley is building off last year’s momentum, when the Cubs went 8-3 and reached the first round of the Class 2A state playoffs before losing to Prosser. That development is evident, given the 92 players who came out for football this fall to play under coach Dave Ward, who has seemingly won everywhere he’s been.

Mountaineers update: Mount Baker, which is ranked No. 7 in the AP Washington State Preseason Football Class 1A Poll, is coming off an 11-2 season in which the Mountaineers lost in the 1A state championship game to Freeman. Baker is hoping to carry last season’s momentum, but it will be hard with only three returning starters. Liam Short, who will miss two games to start the season, is expected to start at both running back and linebacker. Chad Cohn and Paul Lebedev also return. The Mountaineers also turn to life after Andrew Zender, and Balyn Jacoby is expected to take over the quarterback spot.

Player to watch: No one outside Mount Baker’s huddle really knows what to expect out of Jacoby. He looks the part and has some athleticism, but it is yet to be determined how he will perform under the Friday night lights.

Herald’s pick: Sedro-Woolley 31-17

LYNDEN CHRISTIAN AT OMAK

Time: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5

Site: Omak High School

Lyncs update: Lynden Christian felt what it’s like to reach the postseason last fall after putting together a 6-6 record and reaching the Class 1A district playoffs, where the Lyncs lost to Meridian in a half-game after defeating South Whidbey. LC returns 13 seniors, and coach Galen Kaemingk has said he has high hopes for this class. Quarterback Lucas Roetcisoender returns, as does his favorite target last season, Alex Vander Velden. Running back Jordan Jansen, who led the Lyncs in rushing in 2013, also is back.

Pioneers update: To say Omak struggled a bit last season would be a drastic understatement. The Pioneers went winless with an 0-9 record and weren’t really in any games. They scored double-digits only three times and lost to the Lyncs 34-3 in Lynden to open the year.

Player to watch: Last year Lynden Christian’s Blake Browning had a game-opening, 40-yard fumble return for touchdown for Lynden in the Lions’ win over Tumwater. Now the senior is with LC, and he has the talent to give the Lyncs a big boost.

Herald’s pick: Lynden Christian 34-7

LUMMI AT ADRIAN

Time: 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5

Site: Adrian High School in Adrian, Ore.

Antelopes update: The Antelopes reached the quarterfinal round of the Oregon Class 1A playoffs last season, where they lost 52-28 to Camas Valley. Adrian finished with a 9-3 overall record and was a perfect 7-0 at home. The Antelopes had no problem scoring a season ago, averaging 54.3 points per game.

Blackhawks update: Lummi, the No. 1-ranked team in the Associated Press Prep Football Preseason Class 1B Poll, is coming off another strong postseason run. The Blackhawks’ season ended in the semifinals of the 1B state playoffs after losing to arch-rival Neah Bay, and Lummi finished 10-2 overall and 4-1 in league.

Player to watch: Austin Brockie gives the Blackhawks an extremely versatile weapon who can line up just about anywhere. He could play quarterback, wide receiver, running back, linebacker or offensive line.

Herald’s pick: Lummi 54-48

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