Lynden Christian’s defense was drastically improved last season, as the Lyncs constructed their best season since 2007.
There were many reasons for LC’s improved play, and Kyle Tiemersma’s emergence at defensive end was certainly a contributing factor.
“Last year was a pretty decent year,” Tiemersma admitted. “I started all of the games and finished the season with no injuries or anything.”
Tiemersma’s coming-of-age moment came two years ago when he was a sophomore. The Lyncs the past two years have become known for their ability to generate turnovers, and Tiemersma came up with a huge one during arguably Lynden Christian’s biggest game in two years.
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The Lyncs were fighting for their playoff lives during a three-team mini playoff against Meridian and South Whidbey during the 2013 postseason.
South Whidbey’s quarterback dropped back to pass and was looking to check the ball to his running back in the flat when Tiemersma stepped in front, intercepted it and returned the ball 15 yards for the game’s only touchdown.
It’s plays such as those that Lynden Christian will hope to get more of this fall.
“Under the lights, I just play to the best of my ability and really go along with what the coach wants us to do,” Tiemersma said, “so I can make plays that I can and try not to do too much. Hopefully (the younger players) see that, and I can be a good example for them and help them see what it’s supposed to look like.”
Tiemersma has the size to set the edge and is also effective in the pass rush, but sometimes, he admitted, his anxiousness to make a play comes back to burn him.
“My biggest weakness is that I have a tendency to get too far into the backfield and let the play get past me,” Tiemersma said. “I’ve mostly been working on that to make sure I stay in position and don’t get too wrapped up in everything.”
Top defensive lineman to watch
1. Chris Hernandez, Ferndale
Hernandez has tremendous talent, is physical and is a true disruptor in the middle of Ferndale’s line. He’ll create havoc against the run game and can get after quarterbacks, too.
2. Scott McIvor-Garman, Sehome
McIvor-Garman started making a name for himself last season, and he now has the size and strength to be a major factor on the defensive line.
3. Caleb Starkovich, Squalicum
Squalicum could have one of the better defenses in the Northwest Conference, and Starkovich’s play could be a big reason why.