After four years of being the only Class 3A school in the Northwest Conference, the Golden Eagles will start facing schools closer in size when they join the Wesco 3A North Division for football only. The move should open opportunities for the team to reach the postseason and potentially avoid top-ranked opponents in the early rounds.
Last year, Ferndale went 7-4 but had to beat Marysville-Pilchuck in a play-in game just for the right to play Bellevue in the quad-district playoffs. Playing a full Wesco schedule will give Ferndale the same opportunity as any other 3A team in the league to earn a No. 1 seed.
“The focus isn’t any different for us this year,” Ferndale coach Jamie Plenkovich said. “We’re just worried about ourselves right now. We’re going to work on installing our offense, defense and special teams and figure out who our best 11 are.”
One area Plenkovich said Ferndale will focus on is reloading its offensive and defensive lines, which graduated several quality players.
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The Golden Eagles open the season Sept. 2, when they host Vancouver (B.C.) Academy at 7 p.m.