High School Football

After playing 3 games in 10 days in 2015, Ferndale’s new league brings new optimism

You didn’t hear any public complaints from the Ferndale football team, but inside the locker room, there had to be some grumbling and grousing.

As the only Class 3A team in the Northwest Conference the past four years, Ferndale was odd-man out when it came to seeding in the district playoffs with the Wesco’s 3A schools. It had no shot to earn anything better than a No. 2 seed – if it was lucky.

“It was a little frustrating,” Ferndale coach Jamie Plenkovich said, “but you also just deal with the position you’re in. If we were good enough to keep going forward, it really didn’t matter.”

In 2012, the Golden Eagles made it through the Week 10 quad-district playoffs, only to match up with Bellevue in the first round of state. A year later, Ferndale drew Bellevue in the quad-district playoffs.

Last year, the Golden Eagles had to beat Sedro-Woolley on Oct. 29 just to assure themselves the right to play Marysville-Pilchuck in a Nov. 3 quad-district play-in game. The winner received the honor of facing – you guessed it – Bellevue on Nov. 7 in the quad-district playoffs.

But those days are over.

Ferndale, along with newly minted 3A Squalicum, decided to leave the Northwest Conference for football only to play a full 3A Wesco North schedule the next four years.

“We won’t have to play those three games in (10) days again this year,” senior lineman Winterhawk Leighton said. “That was rough.”

It also means the Golden Eagles and Storm will have the same opportunity as any other 3A Wesco North team to earn a top seed into the quad-district playoffs.

Granted, they will be playing bigger schools every week, but Plenkovich said he feels playing in the toughest 2A league in the state has prepared his team for the challenges it will face in the Wesco.

“I’ve always said good teams are good teams, no matter how many A’s they have before their name,” Plenkovich said. “We’ve played some very good teams up here the past few years, and we’ll play some good teams in the Wesco. Maybe those teams will have a little more depth.”

The Golden Eagles feel they have a team ready to compete against those deeper teams with a wealth of returning skill position players and one of its speedier clubs in years.

Though Ferndale graduated its top rusher from last year, it returns three talented backs in Ben Broselle, Justice Powell and Cole Semu. It also brings back quarterback James Hinson and one of its top receivers in Jacob Kildall.

The offensive line might not be as big or have the experience it’s had in recent years, but Nate Slaton and Leighton should anchor what figures to be an athletic group. Newcomers include Mikhail Varetskiy and Alex Cleary.

Defensively, the Golden Eagles have a lot of returning talent in the secondary, and Jordan Cristelli and Cleary return at linebacker. Leighton will be a three-year starter on the defensive line.

“I think we’ll do pretty good in the Wesco,” Leighton said. “I’m not trying to be cocky, but I have a lot of faith in my boys.”

2016 schedule

Date

Opponent

Time

Sept. 2

Vancouver (B.C.) Academy

7 p.m.

Sept. 9

at Lynden

7 p.m.

Sept. 17

South Kitsap

4 p.m.

Sept. 23

at Arlington*

7 p.m.

Sept. 30

Marysville-Pilchuck

7 p.m.

Oct. 7

at Stanwood*

7 p.m.

Oct. 14

Oak Harbor*

7 p.m.

Oct. 22

at Squalicum (at Civic Stadium)*

7 p.m.

Oct. 28

Marysville-Getchell*

7 p.m.

*3A Wesco North game

2016 roster

No.

Player

Ht.

Wt.

Yr.

Pos.

2

Sky Freeman

6-0

190

Sr.

RB/DB

3

Orlando Alacron

5-10

155

Sr.

WR/DB

4

Patrick Hegarty

6-3

180

Sr.

K

5

Marcos Ortiz

5-8

145

Jr.

WR/DB

6

Jacob Kildall

6-1

180

Sr.

WR/DB

7

Watiko Leighton

6-0

165

So.

WR/DB

8

Nathan Howlett

5-8

155

So.

QB/K

9

Justice Powell

6-2

190

Sr.

RB/DB

11

Cole Nickerson

5-8

145

So.

WR/DB

12

Jared Emmert

6-0

160

Jr.

WR/DB

13

James Hinson

6-2

195

Jr.

QB/DB

17

Carson Moyes

5-8

140

So.

QB/DB

18

Conner Obergotsberger

5-8

170

So.

QB/DB

20

Ben Broselle

6-1

190

Sr.

RB/LB

21

Cole Semu

5-10

190

Jr.

RB/DB

22

Mikhail Balko

5-9

145

So.

RB/DB

22

Sequoyah Julius

6-0

160

So.

WR/DB

23

Gabe Zwade

5-10

185

Jr.

RB/DL

24

Jacob Lamphier

5-7

120

So.

WR/DB

25

Andrew Ryan

5-11

170

Jr.

RB/LB

26

Sean Gomes

5-6

160

Jr.

RB/LB

29

Gadar Fox

6-0

200

So.

RB/DL

30

Philip Valdez

5-9

150

Sr.

WR/DB

31

Logan Otway

5-6

125

Sr.

RB/DB

32

Jaden Schwartz

5-8

150

So.

RB/LB

34

Carter Colon

6-3

190

Jr.

TE/LB

35

Alfonso Billy

5-7

145

Jr.

RB/DB

36

Jaden Brown

5-10

150

So.

RB/DB

38

Bryan Ebe

5-8

140

So.

RB/DB

40

Dillon Snook

5-9

145

So.

RB/LB

42

Jarid Poole

5-9

155

So.

WR/DB

43

Brett Westford

5-11

175

So.

RB/LB

45

Dalton Cristelli

5-9

160

Sr.

RB/LB

47

Jordan Cristelli

5-9

180

Sr.

TE/LB

50

Jeremy Ericson

5-9

180

So.

OL/DL

52

Winterhawk Leighton

6-3

255

Sr.

OL/DL

53

Uriah Guilory

5-10

200

So.

OL/DL

54

Jack Bartram

6-1

230

Sr.

OL/DL

55

Kahlao Young

5-8

205

Sr.

OL/DL

56

Alex Cleary

6-0

185

Jr.

OL/LB

57

Nate Slaton

6-0

230

Sr.

OL/DL

58

Jurshawn Pina-Wilson

5-8

170

So.

OL/DL

61

Spencer Crosswhite

5-11

210

Jr.

OL/DL

63

Patrick Willett

6-0

290

Jr.

OL/DL

64

Nick Slaughter

5-7

215

So.

OL/LB

66

Geiran Hatchett

6-4

235

Fr.

OL/DL

67

Morgan Mastorovich

5-11

250

Jr.

OL/DL

69

Kyle Ruiz

6-2

280

Sr.

OL/DL

70

Isaac Martin

5-4

163

So.

OL/DL

71

Logan Hildebrand

6-3

195

So.

OL/DL

72

Shawn Godinez

5-9

180

So.

OL/DL

73

Darius Washington

5-10

260

So.

OL/DL

75

Kody Gunderson

6-0

215

Sr.

OL/DL

76

Mikhail Varetskiy

6-2

205

Jr.

OL/DL

78

Anthony Barrera

6-1

260

So.

OL/DL

80

Austin Roughton

5-9

145

Jr.

WR/DB

81

Joey Thompson

5-10

145

Jr.

WR/DB

82

Taylor Lupo

5-4

110

So.

WR/DB

84

Caleb Long

5-7

145

So.

WR/DB

85

Darius Walker-Perkins

6-2

215

Jr.

TE/DL

87

Tyler Hoffmaster

5-10

175

So.

TE/LB

88

Micah Oostra

6-1

155

Jr.

WR/DB

2015 results

Date

Opponent

Score

Sept. 5

Kamiakin

W 35-34

Sept. 11

at Oak Harbor

L 31-28

Sept. 18

Blaine*

W 34-20

Sept. 25

at Burlington-Edison*

W 20-10

Oct. 2

Anacortes*

W 55-14

Oct. 10

at Squalicum*

L 12-7

Oct. 16

Lynden

L 34-7

Oct. 23

Sehome

W 49-7

Oct. 29

at Sedro-Woolley*

W 20-16

3A QUAD-DISTRICT PLAYOFFS

Nov. 3

at Marysville-Pilchick

W 49-20

Nov. 7

at Bellevue

L 41-7

*2A/3A Northwest Conference game

2015 statistical leaders

RUSHING

Player

Att.

Yards

Avg.

TD

Austin Honeycutt

189

1,233

6.5

14

Justice Powell

119

824

6.9

8

Cole Semu

64

421

6.5

5

Ben Broselle

8

150

18.8

1

PASSING

Player

Att.

Cmp.

Yards

TD

Int.

James Hinson

54

114

918

11

4

Kyler Schemstad

1

2

18

0

0

RECEIVING

Player

Rec.

Yards

Avg.

TD

Jackson King

14

289

20.6

3

Sky Freeman

15

227

15.1

3

Jacob Kildall

12

221

18.4

1

Justice Powell

4

83

20.8

1

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