High School Football

Blaine football looks to challenge with strong vets, talented youth

Blaine’s Armando Moser-Hernandez will help lead the Borderites this season.
Blaine’s Armando Moser-Hernandez will help lead the Borderites this season. The Bellingham Herald

Graduating a large crop of talent, more often than not, automatically puts the ensuing season into question, but Blaine coach Jay Dodd is convinced his young team is up to the challenge.

“We are really excited about our entire team,” Dodd said. “We think we will be able to put a really, really good team out there that will make our high school proud of us.”

That’s due to the wealth of talent replacing those no longer in the program combined with the return of some key veterans.

The Borderites made a ton of progress a season ago, evidenced by their near upset of state-runner up Lynden during the final week of the regular season, and Blaine will be looking to follow up on that momentum this fall.

A good place to start will be the defense, which was one of the NWC’s better units at stopping the run last season.

Although Blaine graduated standouts Adam McShane and Jon Fakkema, Dodd has high hopes for a collection of big bodies that includes senior leader Armando Moser-Hernandez, newcomer Shaq Woods, John Kramme and Porter Schmidt.

Woods is a particularly intriguing prospect. He stands 6-foot-6, weighs in the mid 300s and plays varsity basketball. His ability to plug up rushing lanes could be a game-changer.

Behind the line is a solid corps or linebackers headlined by three-year starter Josh Fakkema, who is moving from outside to inside. He’ll most likely be complimented by junior Layton Hagee and senior Marcus Potts.

“We feel really good about our linebackers,” Dodd said. “(Josh) was really good outside, but we gave him a look at inside during some (summer) scrimmages and he tore it up.”

Anthony Ball and Riley Fritsch are back manning the safety spots, and corners Jonathan Starcer and Alfonso Dermendziev add to what should be a very strong secondary.

Like many of the Northwest Conference teams, quarterback will be a question mark after Blaine graduated Nate Kramme, but Dodd has been pleased with new starter Jalen Kortlever’s development during the offseason.

“He has really grown as a passer,” Dodd said of Kortlever. “He is just a really smart kid, 4.0 GPA, and mechanically he can really deliver the football down the field.”

He’ll be throwing to a deep group that includes Ball, Starcer, Dermendziev, Hagee and Josh at TE, and one of the best backs in the NWC, Fritsch, returns to the Borderites’ backfield.

Key numbers

4

Offensive starters from 2014 returning

for Blaine in 2015.

6

Defensive starters from 2014 returning

for Blaine in 2015.

62.6

Percentage of offense Riley Fritsch and Anthony Ball accounted for in 2014.

6

Games the Borderites held opponents under 133

rushing yards in 2014.

Players to watch

ARMANDO MOSER-HERNANDEZ

Sr., OL/DL

Moser-Hernandez, Blaine’s only returning starter on the offensive line, offers strong leadership and will be paramount to the Borderites’ success.

RILEY FRITSCH

Jr., RB/DB

Fritsch is a premier back and might be the Northwest Conference’s most shifty runner. He finished third in the league in rushing during 2014.

JOSH FAKKEMA

Sr., TE/LB

Fakkema could factor into the pass game, but the three-year starting linebacker makes his biggest impact on the defensive side.

ANTHONY BALL

Jr., WR/DB

Ball has been a model of consistently since his freshman year. Finally an upperclassman, he should have another strong season.

Three keys to 2015

1. STAY UP

Coach Dodd knows the grind of the Northwest Conference schedule and the ups and downs that go with it, but many of his young varsity players don’t. Ensuring his team flushes bad plays and move on will be extra important this season.

2. MATURE QUICK

Dodd knows he has some holes to replace, but he is very excited about the Borderites’ youth movement. What will be key, though, is how fast they can acclimate to Friday night game speed.

3. QB-WR CHEMISTRY

Kortlever takes over as Blaine’s new quarterback, and he’ll be throwing to what Dodd believes is a deep, talented group of wideouts. The Borderites’ passing attack struggled at times in 2014, so early chemistry with Kortlever and his pass-catchers could be key.

Projection

There’s no reason to view Blaine as the 1A team playing the big boys. The Borderites are for real and have the potential to knock off some of the league’s best.

2015 schedule

Date

Opponent

Time

Sept. 4

New Westminster (B.C.)

7 p.m.

Sept. 11

at Granite Falls

7 p.m.

Sept. 18

at Ferndale*

7 p.m.

Sept. 25

Sehome*

7 p.m.

Oct. 2

at Sedro-Woolley*

7 p.m.

Oct. 9

Anacortes*

7 p.m.

Oct. 16

Burlington-Edison*

7 p.m.

Oct. 23

at Squalicum*^

7 p.m.

Oct. 30

Lynden*

7 p.m.

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

2015 roster

No.

Player

Yr.

Ht.

Wt.

Pos.

1

Jalen Kortlever

Jr.

6-1

160

QB/DB

2

Jonathan Starcer

Sr.

6-0

170

WR/DB

3

Haden Anthony

Jr.

5-10

145

WR/DB

4

Trevin Brady

Sr.

5-11

135

WR/DB

5

Cam Ellis

So.

6-1

160

QB/DB

8

Marcus Potts

Sr.

6-3

160

QB/LB

12

Gunnar Arnason

Jr.

6-1

185

TE/LB

14

Alfonso Dermendziev

Jr.

5-11

150

WR/DB

14

Trenton Denhartog

So.

6-0

145

WR/DB

15

Landon Martin

Sr.

5-11

168

RB/LB

16

Stephen Deligatti

Jr.

5-7

130

WR/DB

17

Eric Davis

Jr.

6-1

160

WR/DB

20

Jon Anderson

Sr.

5-7

155

RB/DB

21

Riley Fritsch

Jr.

5-9

170

RB/DB

23

Layton Hagee

Jr.

6-0

180

WR/DE

25

Braden Otto

Jr.

5-7

160

RB/LB

27

Travis Siebol

Jr.

5-11

155

TE/LB

28

Levi Stone

Jr.

5-11

175

TE/LB

29

Garrett Adams

Jr.

5-4

135

RB/DB

30

Chase Dubois

So.

5-9

155

RB/LB

31

Blake Renskers

Jr.

5-8

160

RB/LB

33

Andre Creasey-Pulphus

Sr.

5-6

185

RB/LB

34

Josh Fakkema

Sr.

6-5

200

TE/LB

35

Kyle Sentkowski

Jr.

6-0

165

K/P

54

A. Moser-Hernandez

Sr.

6-2

235

OL/DL

56

Allan Louie

Jr.

5-9

185

OL/DL

57

Jakob Soto

So.

6-1

175

OL/LB

58

Joshua Soto

So.

6-2

180

OL/LB

59

Isaac Avena

Jr.

5-9

175

OL/LB

60

River Markusen

So.

5-10

180

OL/DL

63

Kyler Castle

Jr.

5-10

250

OL/DL

64

Devyn Dickinson

Jr.

6-0

200

OL/DL

65

Tucker Jensen

Jr.

5-11

190

OL/LB

68

Sam Ramirez

Sr.

5-11

240

OL/DL

70

Jared Philips

Jr.

6-4

210

OL/LB

72

Porter Schmidt

So.

5-10

230

OL/DL

74

Shaquille Woods

Sr.

6-6

370

OL/DL

75

Austin Kelstrup

Jr.

6-4

255

OL/DL

79

John Kramme

Jr.

5-10

215

OL/DL

82

Preston Bellville

Sr.

5-10

145

WR/DB

83

Kendall Schroeder

Sr.

6-3

185

TE/LB

88

Anthony Ball

Jr.

5-11

180

WR/DB

N/A

Caleb Bullard

So.

5-4

140

RB/DL

N/A

Gabriel Haworth

So.

5-10

110

WR/DB

N/A

Dalton Mouw

So.

6-0

160

WR/DB

N/A

Kevin Nolasco

So.

5-7

205

RB/LB

N/A

Joshua Rogers

So.

5-11

160

OL/DL

N/A

Isaiah Russ

So.

5-7

125

WR/DB

N/A

Jaden Seitz

So.

5-11

170

RB/LB

2014 Season recap

RESULTS

(4-5, 2-5 NWC 2A/3A)

Date

Opponent

Result

Sept. 6

Kelowna (B.C.)

W 54-28

Sept. 12

Granite Falls

W 56-6

Sept. 19

Ferndale*

L 33-14

Sept. 26

at Sehome*

W 20-19

Oct. 3

Sedro-Woolley*

L 37-7

Oct. 10

at Anacortes*

W 31-19

Oct. 17

at Burlington-Edison*

L 41-22

Oct. 24

Squalicum*

L 62-14

Oct. 30

at Lynden*

L 28-21

*NWC 2A/3A game

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

Rushing

Att.

Yards

Avg.

TD

Riley Fritsch*

243

1,407

5.8

16

Kier Munzanreder

40

233

5.8

3

Nate Kramme

49

137

2.8

0

Matt Bowyer*

9

48

5.3

0

Jalen Kortlever*

2

27

13.5

0

Passing

Cmp.

Att.

Yds.

TD

Int.

Nate Kramme

69

130

836

11

8

Jalen Kortlever

9

32

140

1

1

Receiving

Rec.

Yards

Avg.

TD

Anthony Ball*

28

423

15.1

7

Cody Gobbato

16

130

8.1

1

Josh Fakkema*

10

112

11.2

3

Gunnar Arnason*

6

110

18.3

1

Marcus Potts*

3

53

17.7

0

*returning player

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