High School Football

All-Whatcom County Prep Football capsules

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

BRYCE STERK

School: Lynden

Year: Senior

Position: Offensive line/defensive line

What he did: A freakish athlete at 6-foot-5, 230 pounds who displayed a rare combination of size, strength and speed, showing an unmatched tenacity to get to the football. ... Protected quarterback Sterling Somers’ blindside on offense, helping the Lions throw for 3,607 yards and rush for 1,990. ... Terrorized offensive lines and quarterbacks with an impressive ability to both reach the quarterback and make tackles in the backfield. ... Finished with 83 solo tackles and 64 assists. ... Set school single-season records with most sacks (10), most QB harasses (24) and total defensive team points (370), breaking Jaremy Martin’s 355 from a year ago. ... Also claimed career record in sacks (13). ... Helped Lynden reach Class 2A state championship game. ... Selected All-NWC 2A/3A Most Valuable Player as unanimous first-team choice on offensive and defensive lines.

FIRST TEAM

TANNER ALIFF

School: Bellingham

Year: Senior

Position: Running back

What he did: Used speed and toughness to put together strong performance after strong performance running in Bellingham’s remade wing-T offense. ... Ran for a county best 1,757 yards and 18 touchdowns navigating the Red Raiders’ independent schedule. ... Ran for a mind-numbing 449 yards and seven touchdowns Week 4 against Charles Wright. ... Provided tremendous leadership, setting the bar high for future Bellingham teams.

TAYLOR BELLEFUILLE

School: Ferndale

Year: Junior

Position: Linebacker

What he did: Put together another strong season by using speed and strong football intelligence to always be around the football. ... One of the Golden Eagles’ leading tacklers who was a constant on Ferndale’s up-and-down defense that only gave up 4.0 yards per rush and 12 rushing scores. ... Should be one of the top defensive players in the Northwest Conference next fall. ... A first-team All-NWC 2A/3A linebacker selection.

TERREL BROWN

School: Lynden Christian

Year: Senior

Position: Offensive line

What he did: Put together a breakout year on both sides of the ball for a Lyncs team with arguably their most talented group in the past few seasons. ... On offensive displayed a strong ability to run block, contributing to running back Jordan Jansen’s strong season and the Lyncs’ 4.9 yards per rush. ... Also a fixture on the defensive line, helping limit opponents to 3.9 yards per rush. ... A first-team All-NWC 1A defensive and offensive line selection.

BLAKE BROWNING

School: Lynden Christian

Year: Senior

Position: Linebacker

What he did: Transferred from Lynden to Lynden Christian and became a force in the heart of an impressive Lyncs’ defense. ... Part of a defense that yielded an average 3.9 rush yards per game, gave up only eight passing scores and held opponents to 10 or less points five times. ... Showed a strong ability to track running backs and was a sound tackler. ... A first-team All-NWC 1A linebacker selection.

JORDAN CAMPBELL

School: Squalicum

Year: Senior

Position: Linebacker

What he did: Made the move from defensive line to linebacker and flourished as one of the Storm’s leading tacklers. ... A tough, physical player at 6-foot-1, 200 pounds who often set the tone for a Squalicum defense that improved dramatically as the season went on. ... Part of a defense that yielded 4.7 yards per rush and only gave up nine passing scores. ... Also contributed at running back, compiling 413 yards and six touchdowns on 79 carries. ... A first-team All-NWC 2A/3A linebacker selection.

QUINN CARPENTER

School: Squalicum

Year: Senior

Position: Kicker

What he did: Used his soccer-ball striking ability to provide Squalicum a strong, reliable leg all season long. ... Finished second in the Northwest Conference with 48 extra points and tied for the most field goals with six. ... Regularly forced touchbacks on kickoffs and also contributed as a wide receiver, catching five passes for 141 yards and a touchdown. ... A first-team All-NWC 2A/3A kicker selection.

BLAKE CARSON

School: Meridian

Year: Senior

Position: Offensive line

What he did: A big, tough and physical offensive lineman who was the leader along both the offensive and defensive fronts. ... A great run blocker who paved the way for Meridian’s running backs and helped provide quarterback Tanner Tutterrow enough time to find his targets. ... Also served as a strong run stuffer on the defensive side of the ball. ... A first-team All-NWC 1A offensive and defensive line selection.

NICK DRITSAS

School: Meridian

Year: Senior

Position: Defensive back

What he did: A talented two-way athlete who put together a breakout senior season. ... Part of a defensive secondary that allowed 14 passing scores while recording eight interceptions. ... Became Meridian’s go-to answer at running back, compiling 666 yards and seven touchdowns on 130 carries and also had seven receptions for 85 yards and a score. ... A first-team All-NWC 1A running back and defensive back selection.

JON FAKKEMA

School: Blaine

Year: Senior

Position: Offensive line

What he did: A bulldozer in the run game and a major reason sophomore back Riley Fritsch ran for more yards (1,407) than any other running back in the Northwest Conference’s regular season. ... Also a beast on the defensive side of the ball, helping limit opponents to 4.9 yards per rush. ... A strong, physical player at 6-foot-4, 240 pounds who possessed impressive athleticism. ... A first-team All-NWC 2A/3A offensive line selection and a second-team defensive line pick.

RILEY FRITSCH

School: Blaine

Year: Sophomore

Position: Running back

What he did: Small running back in stature at 5-foot-9, 160 pounds, but possessed quick feet and a special elusiveness. ... Quickly established himself as a premier runner at the varsity level, running behind a strong offensive line. ... Led the Northwest Conference through the regular season with 1,407 yards and 16 touchdowns on 243 rushes, eclipsing 100 yards in seven of nine games and ran for a season-best 252 yards Week 7 against Burlington-Edison. ... A first-team All-NWC 2A/3A running back selection.

TYLER HAGGEN

School: Sehome

Year: Senior

Position: Defensive line

What he did: Has been a force along both Sehome’s offensive and defensive lines for each of the past two seasons and had another strong year. ... Combined with Drew Norvell to form one of the better defensive lines in the league, playing on an up-and-down defense. ... A big body at 6-foot-4, 265 pounds that helped Sehome’s offense average 4.6 yards per carry. ... A second-team All-NWC 2A/3A defensive line selection.

LATHAN HALAAPIAPI

School: Nooksack Valley

Year: Senior

Position: Defensive line

What he did: Split time at defensive end and linebacker, but thrived at both positions. ... A sound tackler who possessed speed, strength and the ability to standout against offensive linemen in the trenches. ... Also proved to be one of the best offensive linemen in the 1A ranks. ... Moved to linebacker the final four games, helping Nooksack Valley beat both Lynden Christian and Meridian. ... A first-team All-NWC 1A offensive and defensive lineman selection.

SCOOTER HASTINGS

School: Lynden

Year: Senior

Position: Wide Receiver

What he did: At 6-foot-7, gave quarterback Sterling Somers a go-to target in the red zone. ... Wasn’t solely a jump-ball receiver, compiling yards with short routes and run-after-catch ability. ... Finished with 46 catches , 741 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns. ... Caught a team-high seven passes for 78 yards and threw for a touchdown during state title game. ... A second-team All-NWC 2A/3A selection as a punter. ... Helped Lynden reach state championship game.

CHRIS HERNANDEZ

School: Ferndale

Year: Junior

Position: Defensive line

What he did: Terrorized offensive lines with his 6-foot-5, 285-pound build, showing an ability to dictate opposing team’s running ability inside the tackles. ... Possessed a rare combination of strength and athleticism for his size and was one of the premier offensive lineman in the Northwest Conference. ... Part of a defense that limited opponents to 4.0 yards per carry and helped Ferndale average 6.2 yards per rush. ... A first-team All-NWC 2A/3A selection on both the offensive and defensive lines.

HANK HOSKINS

School: Lummi

Year: Junior

Position: All purpose

What he did: Moved from the offensive line to become a true do-it-all player for the Blackhawks, whose impact was felt most running the ball and playing linebacker. ... Also played quarterback, seamlessly picking up Lummi’s offense. ... One of the team’s hardest hitters and showed an ability to tackle well in open space. .... Helped guide the Blackhawks to the Class 1B state semifinals. ... A first-team all-NWFL 1B running back and linebacker selection.

TYLER HRUBY

School: Sehome

Year: Senior

Position: Linebacker

What he did: Paramount in Sehome’s rush and pass defense, using speed and instinct to chase down running backs and cover receivers. ... One of the Mariners’ leading tacklers and thrived at outside linebacker. ... Also an all-purpose player on offense, mostly playing tight end. ... Ran for 110 yards and two touchdowns and caught 22 passes for 219 yards and a score. ... A second-team All-NWC 2A/3A tight end and linebacker selection.

CHRISTIAN JORGENSEN

School: Squalicum

Year: Senior

Position: Quarterback

What he did: Finally received the chance to operate an offense and thrived within first-year coach Nick Lucey’s spread system. ... Possessed a strong arm, showed an ability to make all the throws and distributed the ball well to Squalicum’s many pass-catching targets. ... Completed 137 of 224 passes for 2,421 yards, 27 touchdowns and nine interceptions before state quarterfinals. ... Led Squalicum to state for the first time in program history. ... A first-team All-NWC 2A/3A quarterback selection.

WILLY KINGMA

School: Nooksack Valley

Year: Senior

Position: Wide Receiver

What he did: Evolved into a pivotal role within Nooksack Valley’s pass-heavy offense after not starting the year on offense. ... Led Northwest Conference 1A teams with 49 receptions for 633 yards and six touchdowns. ... Also became a tremendous linebacker, filling in for injured middle backer Curtis Handy. ... A first-team All-NWC 1A selection at wide receiver and linebacker.

CADEN LAIR

School: Lynden

Year: Senior

Position: Offensive line

What he did: Provided consistency and strong blocking as a center along Lynden’s offensive line. ... A captain for the 2A state runner-ups who was also a force on the defensive side of the ball, playing defensive end. ... Helped the Lions average 4.9 yards per rush but was excellent in pass protection, giving Lynden’s QBs enough time to throw for 3,607 yards. ... Finished with 31 solo tackles and 41 assists.

PAUL LEBEDEV

School: Mount Baker

Year: Junior

Position: Defensive line

What he did: Set the tone for Mount Baker’s defense with big play-making ability and a physical toughness. ... One of the Mountaineers’ tackling leaders and also switched to the offensive side of the ball, becoming one of the premier offensive lineman in the 1A Northwest Conference. ... Part of a defense that limited opponents to 3.9 yards per carry and 10 rushing touchdowns. ... Helped Baker reach state quarterfinals. ... A first-team All-NWC 1A selection on the offensive and defensive lines.

TANNER MYHRE

School: Nooksack Valley

Year: Senior

Position: Quarterback

What he did: Finished off an impressive career with another outstanding season on both sides of the ball. ... Was an enforcer on defense as one of Nooksack Valley’s leading tacklers, both coming down in run support and manning the Pioneers’ secondary. ... Was tremendous at quarterback, finishing with 2,395 passing yards, 22 touchdowns and 12 interceptions while completing 192 of 302 passes. ... Also ran for a team-best 742 yards and 11 TDs on 154 carries. ... Accounted for 8,648 total yards during high school career. ... A first-team All-NWC 1A selection at quarterback and defensive back.

MARCUS NIGHTINGALE

School: Ferndale

Year: Senior

Position: Running back

What he did: An absolutely bruising back at 5-foot-9, 225 pounds, who spearheaded the Golden Eagles’ potent rushing attack. ... Regularly ran through arm tackles, leaving defenders in his wake. ... Finished with 1,010 yards and 10 touchdowns on 179 carries, and surpassed 100 yards five times. ... Also a standout linebacker. ... A second-team All-NWC 2A/3A running back selection.

DREW NORVELL

School: Sehome

Year: Senior

Position: Offensive line

What he did: At 6-foot-4, 280 pounds was one part of a massive Mariners’ offensive line who used a combination of size, strength and smarts to become one of the top lineman in the Northwest Conference. ... A true road grader that helped make lanes for running backs and also was strong in pass protection. ... Part of an offense that averaged 4.6 yards per carry. ... A first-team All-NWC 2A/3A offensive line selection and a second-team defensive line pick.

CHRIS PAZ

School: Squalicum

Year: Senior

What he did: Was a disruptive force in the middle of Squalicum’s defensive line at 6-foot-6, 275 pounds. ... A true difference maker in the trenches that opposing offenses had to game plan for. ... Also a talent on the offensive line, helping the Storm average 5.6 yards per rush. ... Part of a defense that improved as the season went along and yielded 4.7 yards per rush. ... A first-team All-NWC 2A/3A defensive line selection and a second-team offensive line pick.

LUCAS PETERSEN

School: Lynden

Year: Senior

Position: Defensive back

What he did: Showed an unmatched unselfishness by playing a myriad of positions due to other’s injuries before sustaining his own season-ending injury Week 8 against Sedro-Woolley. ... Starred at safety and was a force defending passes and providing run support. ... Played running back and receiver on offense, finishing with 185 rush yards and two TDs on 34 carries and 268 receiving yards and four scores on 18 receptions. ... A second-team All-NWC 2A/3A defensive back selection.

BEN PETERSON

School: Squalicum

Year: Sophomore

Position: Wide receiver

What he did: Followed up a strong freshman season with an even more impressive sophomore campaign. ... Became quarterback Christian Jorgensen’s favorite target in the Storm’s spread offense and was arguably the fastest receiver in the Northwest Conference. ... Had 55 receptions, 851 yards and eight TDs before Squalicum’s state quarterfinal against Tumwater. ... Also Squalicum’s play-caller on defense from the safety position and was an exceptional tackler. ... A unanimous first-team All-NWC 2A/3A selection at wide receiver and a second-team pick at defensive back.

TRENT POSTMA

School: Lynden

Year: Senior

Position: Linebacker

What he did: Battled injuries throughout the season, but when healthy was one of the best linebackers in the Northwest Conference. ... Used his athleticism, speed, tackling and general nose for the football to lead the Lions with 91 solo tackles and 47 assists. ... Also a standout running back, amassing a team-high 853 yards and nine touchdowns on 124 carries. ... A first-team All-NWC 2A/3A running back selection and a second-team linebacker selection. ... Helped Lynden reach state title game.

TAYLOR RAPP

School: Sehome

Year: Junior

Position: Defensive back

What he did: Showed why he’s received several Division I offers, displaying a rare combination of speed, quickness, strength and tackling ability. ... Starred at safety, but could have been an equally good linebacker. ... A very tough player to throw against and also very good at coming down in run support. ... A major threat on offense, finishing with 682 rush yards and five TDs, 25 receptions for 349 yards and four scores and also threw for a score. ... A first-team All-NWC 2A/3A selection at defensive back and a second-team choice at wide receiver.

COLEMAN SCHWAB

School: Squalicum

Year: Senior

Position: Defensive back

What he did: A tall, athletic and rangy corner at 6-foot-2, 175 pounds. ... Didn’t get beat very often and provided tremendous senior leadership all season. ... Part of an ever-improving defense that gave up 10 passing touchdowns while recording 14 interceptions. ... Also a contributor at wide receiver, catching 22 passes for 435 yards and three touchdowns. ... A second-team All-NWC 2A/3A defensive back selection.

LIAM SHORT

School: Mount Baker

Year: Senior

Position: Running back

What he did: One of the toughest runners in the Northwest Conference and was a handful to bring down on any run play. ... Ran for 1,530 yards, ranking first in the NWC, on 217 carries and scored 17 touchdowns. ... Also a standout at linebacker. ... Helped lead Baker to the Class 1A state quarterfinals, running for 397 yards and four TDs during the first two state games. ... Selected All-NWC 1A Most Valuable Player.

STERLING SOMERS

School: Lynden

Year: Junior

Position: Quarterback

What he did: Again led the Lions to another memorable season, oftentimes carrying the team with his arm and deceptive running ability. ... A prototypical quarterback at 6-foot-5, 205 pounds who stood tall in the pocket and could also scramble when needed. ... Compiled a Northwest Conference-best 3,167 yards and 35 touchdowns, completing 197 of 310 passes with 17 interceptions. ... Also ran for 581 yards and 10 scores. ... A first-team All-NWC 2A/3A quarterback selection. ... Helped Lynden reach state title game.

RUVIM TIKHONOV

School: Mount Baker

Year: Senior

Position: Defensive back

What he did: Part of a completely remade defensive backfield that improved as the season went along. ... Displayed a strong ability to support the run from the safety position while also showing play-making skills defending the pass. ... Part of a defense that yielded 4.0 yards per carry while giving up 15 passing touchdowns and recording 11 interceptions. ... Made a memorable game-clinching pick-six Week 5 against Meridian. ... Helped Baker reach the state quarterfinals. ... A first-team All-NWC 1A defensive back selection.

JONATHAN WHETNALL

School: Lynden

Year: Senior

Position: Wide receiver

What he did: Decided to come out for football and made a massive impact in Lynden’s pass game. ... Used impressive athleticism and speed to rack up 49 receptions, 841 yards and nine touchdowns. ... Also became a starting cornerback, logging three interceptions Week 2 against Lakewood and was a force on special teams in the return game. ... A second-team All-NWC 2A/3A selection at wide receiver. ... Helped Lynden reach state title game.

JORDAN WITTENBERG

School: Lynden

Year: Junior

Position: Wide receiver

What he did: Displayed all the attributes a quarterback would want in a wide receiver: speed, hands, strong route running, run-after-catch ability. ... Set school records in receptions and yards with 87 catches for 1,476 yards and 14 touchdowns. ... Was extremely consistent, posting 100-yard games in nine of Lynden’s 14 contests. ... Also a tremendous cornerback and special teams returner. ... A unanimous first-team All-NWC 2A/3A selection at wide receiver and a first-team pick at defensive back. ... Helped Lions reach state title game.

KYLE YOUNG

School: Meridian

Year: Senior

Position: Tight end

What he did: Possessed a terrific combination of size and speed, giving the Trojans a strong blocker and a great target for quarterback Tanner Tutterrow in the pass game. ... A perfect red zone target at 6-foot-3 and also one of the best linebackers in 1A Northwest Conference play. ... Led Meridian with 27 receptions for 566 yards and seven touchdowns, including three Week 5 against Mount Baker. ... A first-team All-NWC 1A selection at tight end and linebacker.

KOLTEN ZENDER

School: Mount Baker

Year: Junior

Position: Linebacker

What he did: A two-way starter at linebacker and center that became one of the top linebackers in the 1A Northwest Conference. ... Spearheaded Mount Baker’ tough defense, as one of the Mountaineers’ leading tacklers. ... Anchored a defense that allowed only 3.9 yards per carry and gave up 10 or less points four times. ... Blocked for an offense that averaged 6.7 yards per carry. ... Helped Baker reach the state quarterfinals. ... A first-team All-NWC 1A linebacker selection.

COACH OF THE YEAR

NICK LUCEY

School: Squalicum

What he did: Took over a Squalicum program looking to take the next step and instantly infused a strong offensive system, and from coach Doug Trainor, an improved defense. ... Guided Squalicum to a record-setting season, leading the Storm to its most wins (nine), first state playoff berth and first state playoff win. ... Coached first-team All-NWC 2A/3A selections Chris Paz, Jordan Campbell, Ben Peterson, Christian Jorgensen and Quinn Carpenter.

HONORABLE MENTION

Anthony BallBlaine

Connor BeardNooksack Valley

Blair BennettBellingham

Kaden BrattLynden Christian

Jake BurnsSqualicum

Kevin CastroMeridian

Chad CohnMount Baker

Devin CooperLummi

Derron DunniganLynden

Josh GimmakaNooksack Valley

Kalien HayesBellingham

Austin HoneycuttFerndale

Jordan JansenLynden Christian

Jeremy JohnsonSehome

Daniel JonesFerndale

Willie JonesLummi

Noah KingLynden

Adam LawrenceLummi

Winterhawk LeightonFerndale

George LoeppkySehome

Nick ManchesterSqualicum

Johnny MataMount Baker

Jensen MayberryLynden

Marcus McGuinnMeridian

Adam McShaneBlaine

Blake MellemaLynden Christian

Nick MillerMeridian

Damek MitchellSqualicum

Sam MumfordLynden Christian

Kier MunzanrederBlaine

Adam MydlandNooksack Valley

Andrew NapierSqualicum

Gunnar NelsonSehome

Eli NinnemannBellingham

Dalton OhligschlagerLynden

Jacob RobertsLummi

Christian RodriguezFerndale

Austin RosasSehome

Nathan RusnakLynden Christian

Jed SchleimerMount Baker

Carson SchmidtMount Baker

Koby SmithMeridian

Caleb StarkovichSqualicum

Koy SterkLynden Christian

Jess SwansonSqualicum

Ryan ThurstonSqualicum

Jax ToctocanMount Baker

Alex Vander VeldenLynden Christian

Gabriel WeightSehome

Brody WeinheimerLynden

Jack WendlingSqualicum

Josiah WestbrookSqualicum

Dean WilliamsLummi

Per WolfisbergLynden

Brady WoodNooksack Valley

Daniel YoungMeridian

Zach YurchukMount Baker

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