High School Football

Led by strong senior class, Sehome looks to return to state form

Sehome’s Taylor Rapp is one of the most athletic players in Northwest Conference this year.
Sehome’s Taylor Rapp is one of the most athletic players in Northwest Conference this year. The Bellingham Herald

Results can be deceiving.

On paper, a three-win, sub-.500 season doesn’t seem like much to brag about, but the Mariners’ wins and losses alone don’t tell the team’s 2014 season — a year immersed in almosts and what-could-have-beens.

But even after one heartbreaking early league loss and a gauntlet of powerhouses to end the year, Sehome found itself a final-week win away from earning a playoff berth.

“Our kids think, ‘Gosh, we slip up once and they think it’s over,’” Sehome coach Bob Norvell said. “That’s a big part. If we slip up here and there, that’s just going to happen, and they have to keep playing. And I think we might have lost sight of that.”

To move forward, the Mariners are looking at the past to reminded themselves to finish in 2015.

Sehome made a magical run two years ago, reaching the state playoffs for the first time in 14 years. After missing out last season, the sophomores on the state team, now seniors, are anxious to get back.

“This is a tough group,” Norvell said. “This senior class is hungry, and they like to get after it, and I think it might be the edge that it takes to overcome what didn’t happen last year.”

And just because the Mariners graduated 80 percent of their massive offensive line from last year, that doesn’t mean Sehome can’t reload. In fact, both the Mariners’ offensive and defense fronts may prove to be one of the team’s biggest strengths in 2015.

Senior Jeremy Johnson is the only returning starter, and the big man should be flanked by Scott McIvor-Garman, who could be poised for a breakout season, and Briley Funk. Defensive standout Zach Zimmerman, Nick Coats and Arman Yaralian should round out the offensive line unit.

“I think it’s going great,” Johnson said of the line’s development. “I think they are ready to compete.”

The group will be paving the way for two running backs who’ve waited their turn for lead roles, seniors Daton Nestlebush and Tanner Patrick.

Senior Gavin Kaepernick has control of the starting quarterback spot, and he’ll be counted on to deliver the ball to Marcus Montag, Warren Zinns, Nathan Carroll and Jace Rinker.

But it’s Norvell’s green and yellow Ferrari — University of Washington commit Taylor Rapp — who’s most electric.

“When you hand the ball to Taylor you think, ‘Wow, he is a great running back,’” Norvell said.

Rapp’s main duty, though, will be anchoring the Mariners’ secondary, and Sehome will need him to be at his best after the team yielded 28.9 points per game last season.

Key numbers

3

Offensive starters from 2014 returning for Sehome in 2015.

4

Defensive starters from 2014 returning for Sehome in 2015.

1,040

Pounds lost from four starting linemen Sehome graduated.

5

Most single-season wins for Sehome in the past 10 years.

Players to watch

TAYLOR RAPP

Sehome, Sr., WR/DB

Rapp will anchor the Mariners’ defense from his safety position and is electric with the ball in his hands.

JEREMY JOHNSON

Sehome, Sr., OL/DL

Johnson is the Mariners’ only returning starting offensive lineman from last season, and Sehome will rely on him to provide leadership.

GAVIN KAEPERNICK

Sehome, Sr., QB

Kaepernick never really got into a rhythm last year, but the Mariners are expecting big things from the senior this fall.

SCOTT MCIVOR-GARMAN

Sehome, Sr., OL/DL

McIvor-Garman has the size and strength to be a force in the Northwest Conference. He would have started on most lines last season.

Three keys to 2015

1. EMANATE CONFIDENCE

Too often last year, the Mariners got down when something didn’t go their way. Norvell and his coaching staff are making a concerted effort to instill confidence in the team. Playing with a winning attitude can only help.

2. MESH UP FRONT

Sehome graduated four of its five starting lineman, but the Mariners have the replacement parts to form another strong line. Sehome wants to establish the run game, and a line working in unison would certainly help the cause.

3. CAN’T RAPP HIM UP

Sehome has one of the most athletic weapons in the Northwest Conference in Taylor Rapp. His speed is second to none and can make defenders miss. His forte is playing safety, but the Mariners would be remiss not to put the ball in his hands ... a lot.

Projection

The NWC just gets tighter every year, and while Sehome doesn’t seem to be on the league heavyweights’ level, the Mariners have the potential to contend for a district berth.

2015 schedule

Date

Opponent

Time

Sept. 5

Cascade Christian#

10 a.m.

Sept. 11

Bellingham^

7 p.m.

Sept. 19

Anacortes*^

7 p.m.

Sept. 25

at Blaine*

7 p.m.

Oct. 2

Lynden*^

7 p.m.

Oct. 9

at Sedro-Woolley*

7 p.m.

Oct. 16

Squalicum*^

7 p.m.

Oct. 23

at Ferndale*

7 p.m.

Oct. 30

at Burlington-Edison*

7 p.m.

*NWC 2A/3A game; ^At Civic Stadium;#At Husky Stadium

2015 Roster

No.

Player

Yr.

Ht.

Wt.

Pos.

1

JaKobe Woodfork

Jr.

6-3

150

WR/CB

3

Daton Nestlebush

Sr.

5-10

165

RB/LB

5

Gavin Kaepernick

Sr.

6-1

180

QB

7

Taylor Rapp

Sr.

6-1

205

S

8

Nic Roger

Jr.

5-10

180

QB/S

10

Jeffrey Werner

Sr.

5-7

155

WR/DB

11

Andrew Jeffries

Sr.

5-9

160

WR/DB

12

Ben Dauber

So.

6-2

180

QB/CB

16

Marcus Montag

Jr.

6-1

195

WR/CB

17

Cooper Rodgers-Rombold

Sr.

6-2

170

K/TE

18

Dylan Biesheuval

So.

5-8

115

WR/CB

20

Jace Rinker

Sr.

6-0

180

LB/SR

22

Anton Arena

Jr.

6-1

180

WR/S

24

Kevin Sun

Sr.

5-6

155

RB/CB

25

Orion Bautista-Hepker

So.

5-10

175

RB/DE

26

Nathan Carroll

Sr.

6-2

175

LB/WR

27

Tanner Patrick

Sr.

5-9

195

RB/LB

28

Braden Vosburgh

Jr.

5-5

135

WR/CB

30

Martin Bui

So.

5-7

160

WR/CB

32

Matt Fisher

So.

6-2

180

OL

33

Matt Singh

So.

5-10

175

RB/LB

34

Jarrod Black

Jr.

5-11

165

RB/LB

35

Max Diehl

Sr.

6-2

200

TE/LB

38

Justin Michelin

Jr.

6-2

170

WR/LB

41

Lucas Norris

So.

6-0

150

WR/CB

44

Sean Graham

Jr.

6-3

200

WR/LB

50

Kosmx Rankin

So.

6-2

210

T/OL

51

Briley Funk

Sr.

6-1

280

DT/OG

53

Isaiah Lemon

Jr.

5-11

225

DT

55

Brady Norvell

So.

5-10

200

OL/LB

56

Zach Zimmerman

Sr.

6-0

210

LB/OL

57

Connor McGovern

Jr.

5-11

160

DE/OL

62

Scott Kruzich

Jr.

5-8

180

DE/G

65

Nick Coats

Sr.

6-3

250

C

68

Arman Yaralian

Jr.

5-11

205

RG/NG

73

Anthony Natola

Jr.

6-0

230

OL/DL

74

Scott McIvor-Garman

Sr.

6-5

265

T/DT

75

Will Tousignant

Jr.

5-6

225

DL/OL

76

Jeremy Johnson

Sr.

6-3

240

DE/LT

77

Galen Childress

Jr.

5-8

170

LB

80

Jack Carbee

Jr.

6-2

180

WR/DB

81

Michael Evans

Sr.

6-3

195

WR/S

84

Kalvin Unde

So.

6-1

170

TE/CB

85

Warren Zinns

Sr.

6-0

160

WR/CB

87

Ryan McDonnell

So.

6-0

200

LB/TE

2014 Season recap

RESULTS

(3-7, 2-5 NWC 2A/3A)

Date

Opponent

Result

Sept. 6

Cascade Christian

L 35-13

Sept. 12

at Bellingham

W 38-14

Sept. 19

at Anacortes*

W 38-7

Sept. 26

Blaine*

L 20-19

Oct. 3

at Lynden*

L 35-7

Oct. 10

Sedro-Woolley*

L 49-9

Oct. 17

at Squalicum*

L 52-6

Oct. 24

Ferndale*

W 42-21

Oct. 30

Burlington-Edison*

L 21-13

Nov. 7

at Mercer Island*

L 35-21

*NWC 2A/3A game

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

Rushing

Att.

Yards

Avg.

TD

Taylor Rapp*

89

682

7.7

5

Daton Nestlebush*

37

192

5.2

1

Josh Slesk

62

188

3.0

2

Tyler Hruby

21

110

5.2

2

Kevin Sun*

20

106

5.3

0

Passing

Cmp.

Att.

Yds.

TD

Int.

Aaron Nichols

58

131

748

8

4

Gavin Kaepernick*

35

612

593

5

4

Receiving

Rec.

Yards

Avg.

TD

Gunnar Nelson

13

375

28.8

4

Taylor Rapp*

25

349

14.0

4

Marcus Montag*

12

235

196

3

Tyler Hruby

22

219

10.0

1

Gabriel Weight

16

171

10.7

2

*returning player

  Comments