High School Football

Storm QB finally gets his chance

Christian Jorgensen’s path to becoming Squalicum High’s starting quarterback has encountered a few road blocks, but after years of persistence the Storm signal-caller seems to have found the perfect fit.

Jorgensen’s career has taken him from Squalicum to Archbishop Murphy back to Squalicum during his first three years of high school. Last year he backed up Clark Hazlett, who is now playing quarterback at Lynden.

Jorgensen still contributed to the Storm, playing cornerback last fall, but his chance to lead an offense never came until this year. And with new coach Nick Lucey taking over the program, the coach and quarterback seem to be an excellent match, and both are hoping to start something special.

“I’ve always put the team before me, and that’s just kind of the way it’s been, waiting for my chance, and it arrived,” Jorgensen said. “I was going into the season, obviously, wanting to fight for the quarterback position, and things just happen the way they are.”

Lucey said even after Jorgensen became the front runner for the starting quarterback role, the position was never given to him. He had to fight for it, and what Lucey has seen from his senior has been nothing short of impressive, the coach said.

“I had known Christian was here,” Lucey said. “People had spoke glowingly about him, said he’s been patiently waiting for his chance. I got hired, things change and Christian was there ready to go and (ready) to fight for everything he’s gotten. He’s just been a complete team leader and everything we could ask for.”

Lucey didn’t need much time to recognize Jorgensen’s innate quarterback qualities.

Lucey was impressed after meeting him, and the senior quarterback’s skill spoke for itself.

“Getting on the field in the spring, I said, ‘Whoa, OK, we got a player,’” Lucey said. “Watching him mechanically was really good — seeing his presence on the field, how he carried himself, how he interacts with teammates and talks with them. There is a lot of respect going both ways.”

On a team loaded with offensive weapons, Jorgensen’s fit into Lucey’s spread offense has been seamless. And his ability to grasp concepts has impressed his coach.

“The first thing that he has is he is a very polished passer,” Lucey said. “We do a lot of quick game, a lot of movement stuff passing. Mechanically, he is as good as it gets. But he gets the ball in and out quick. It’s also nice having an athletic guy back there who can extend the play and do some other things.”

Even though Jorgensen appeared to have the making of a strong high school quarterback, he hadn’t been tested full time on a Friday night before Squalicum’s season opener against Bellingham on Friday, Sept. 5, at Civic Stadium, other than the time he and Hazlett split when they were freshmen at Squalicum.

Lucey had no doubts, though, his QB would perform well.

“He’s got a quiet confidence,” Lucey said. “What do they say? The deep river runs real quiet. He got out there Friday night, and I thought he’d be above it. It was awesome seeing him shine and be a vocal leader, taking over and taking control of the flow of the game.”

Although the Storm built a large early lead against the Red Raiders and Squalicum didn’t throw as much as anticipated, Jorgensen still proved why Lucey has so much confidence in him.

The Squalicum quarterback completed 10 of 12 passes for 140 yards and had a 32-yard touchdown pass to Josiah Westbrook. The Storm ended up winning 55-13.

The game offered a moment Jorgensen won’t soon forget. Since he started playing football in third grade, Jorgensen’s always been a quarterback, and he finally he got his first chance to shine under center.

“First of all, the atmosphere was awesome,” Jorgensen said. “Our fans were amazing, the crowd was great, and just the team put together a solid game. It was great.”

Early in Jorgensen’s career seeing this season coming may have been difficult, but he’s learned hard work pays off, and all his effort to become the best teammate and player he can be is now paying dividends.

“I think it’s all built up,” said Jorgensen, referring to the opportunity his team has this year. “It’s not me at all, but it’s this whole team. Ever since we were freshman, we’ve just been working hard, and even though we didn’t see the results the past couple of years, we are seeing it pay off now. It’s just that persistence.”

Reach Andrew Lang at andrew.lang@bellinghamherald.com or call 360-756-2862. Follow @bhamsports on Twitter for Whatcom County sports updates.