Lynden’s tremendous season didn’t end the way the Lions would have liked, losing to Sedro-Woolley 42-13 in the state championship last weekend.
But Lynden wouldn’t have reached the state final if it weren’t for a large cast of talented players, and those individuals showed up throughout the Class 2A/3A All-Northwest Conference football team released earlier this week.
The Lions’ six first-team selections were the most of any Whatcom County school, and 6-foot-5, 230-pound senior offensive tackle and defensive end Bryce Sterk was selected the league’s Most Valuable Player.
Sterk was the only unanimous offensive and defensive first-teamer. He had logged 74 tackles before the state-title game, and terrorized offensive lines and quarterbacks all season with his pass rushing ability. On offense, he provided enough time for Sterling Somers to throw for more than 3,000 yards and led the way for the Lions’ rushing attack.
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Other Lynden first-team selections included Jordan Wittenberg, who was a unanimous choice at wide receiver and also earned a selection at defensive back, running back Trent Postma and kicker Per Wolfisberg.
Wittenberg’s 87 receptions and 1,476 yards were both school records, and he also caught 14 TD passes. Postma ran for 853 yards and nine touchdowns.
Squalicum, which put together a program-best year, reached the Class 2A State Playoff quarterfinals, and the Storm also were well represented on the All-NWC list.
First-year coach Nick Lucey was selected Coach of the Year, leading Squalicum to a 9-3 record. Wide receiver Ben Peterson was a unanimous first-team selection at wide receiver, quarterback Christian Jorgensen was a unanimous first-team choice, and kicker Quinn Carpenter, defensive lineman Chris Paz and linebacker Jordan Campbell were all first-team picks.
Jorgensen threw for 2,421 yards and 27 touchdowns before the Storm’s quarterfinal against Tumwater, and Peterson hauled in 55 receptions for 851 yards and eight touchdowns.
Ferndale’s three first-team selections included Chris Hernandez, who was both an offensive and defensive line selection, and linebacker Taylor Bellefuille.
Sehome and Blaine each had two first-team selections. Borderites sophomore running back Riley Fritsch and offensive lineman Jon Fakkema landed on the list. From Sehome, offensive lineman Drew Norvell and defensive back Taylor Rapp were first-team picks.
Fritsch finished second in the NWC in rushing with 1,407 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Lynden’s second-teamers included wide receiver Jonathan Whetnall, quarterback Sterling Somers, punter Scooter Hastings, Postma at linebacker and defensive back Lucas Petersen.
Squalicum’s second-team selections were offensive linemen Chris Paz and Andrew Napier and defensive backs Coleman Schwab and Peterson.
Sehome’s second-team selections were tight end Tyler Hruby, defensive lineman Tyler Haggen and Norvell and Rapp at wide receiver. Ferndale running back Marcus Nightingale and Blaine’s Fakkema on the defensive line were also second-team picks
Bellingham, which played an independent schedule, didn’t have any first- or second-team selections, but coach Ted Flint said Blair Bennett, Eli Ninneman, Eric Thompson, Kalien Hayes and Tanner Aliff were honorable mentions.
Class 2A/3A All-Northwest Conference Football Team
MVP: Bryce Sterk, Lynden
Coach of the Year: Nick Lucey, Squalicum
Assistant Coach of the Year: Chris Isaacson, Burlington-Edison
Offensive line: Jon Fakkema, Blaine; Chris Hernandez, Ferndale; Bryce Sterk*, Lynden; Erik Lukner, Sedro-Woolley; Drew Norvell, Sehome
Running back: Riley Fritsch, Blaine; Trent Postma, Lynden
Tight end: Quinten Roppel, Sedro-Woolley
Wide Receiver: Jordan Wittenberg,*, Lynden; Mason Elms*, Sedro-Woolley; Ben Peterson*, Squalicum
Quarterback: Christian Jorgensen*, Squalicum
Kicker: Per Wolfisberg, Lynden; Quinn Carpenter, Squalicum
Punter: Nathan Osborn, Burlington-Edison
Defensive line: Chris Hernandez, Ferndale; Bryce Sterk*, Lynden; Blake Beacham*, Sedro-Woolley; Chris Paz, Squalicum
Linebacker: Tarren Lautenbach, Burlington-Edison; Taylor Bellefuille, Ferndale; Chad Wilburg*, Sedro-Woolley; Jordan Campbell, Squalicum
Defensive back: Timmie Rush, Burlington-Edison; Jordan Wittenberg, Lynden; Anthony Cann, Sedro-Woolley; Taylor Rapp, Sehome
All-Star Game nominations: Bryce Sterk, Lynden; Drew Norvell, Sehome; Chad Wilburg, Sedro-Woolley; Chris Paz, Squalicum; Christian Jorgensen, Squalicum; Trent Postma, Lynden; Mason Elms, Sedro-Woolley; Lucas Petersen, Lynden
Offensive line: Taylor Foy, Anacortes; Jacob Hanson, Burlington-Edison; Blake Beacham, Sedro-Woolley; Chris Paz, Squalicum; Andrew Napier, Squalicum
Running back: Marcus Nightingale, Ferndale; Quinn Carpenter, Sedro-Woolley
Tight end: Tyler Hruby, Sehome
Wide receiver: Hunter Jacobson, Burlington-Edison; Jonathan Whetnall, Lynden; Taylor Rapp, Sehome
Quarterback: Sterling Somers, Lynden
Kicker: No choice
Punter: Scooter Hastings, Lynden
Defensive line: Koby Chavez, Burlington-Edison; Jon Fakkema, Blaine; Quinn Carpenter, Sedro-Woolley; Drew Norvell, Sehome; Tyler Haggen, Sehome
Linebacker: Drew Wesen, Burlington-Edison; Trent Postma, Lynden; Jay Burger, Sedro-Woolley; Tyler Hruby, Sehome
Defensive back: Lucas Petersen, Lynden; Mason Elms, Sedro-Woolley; Coleman Schwab, Squalicum; Ben Peterson