RECORD: 9-2 – COACH: Robb Myhre
LEAGUE: 6-0 (1st Place in the 1A NWC)
CLASSIFICATION: 1A – PLAYOFFS: State Quarterfinalist
Scoring Stats “Per Game”
Points: 25.9 – Allowed: 17.5 – Differential: +8.4
GAME BY GAME:
Week 1: Mount Baker 13, Nooksack Valley 6
Week 2: Nooksack Valley 14, Sedro Woolley 7
Week 3: Nooksack Valley 34, Concrete 20
Week 4: Nooksack Valley 28, Friday Harbor 14
Week 5: Nooksack Valley 26, Lynden Christian 0
Week 6: Nooksack Valley 48, Meridian 40
Week 7: Nooksack Valley 22, Friday Harbor 7
Week 8: Nooksack Valley 39, Lynden Christian 13
Week 9: Nooksack Valley 21, Nooksack Valley 14
State Playoffs – Round One: Nooksack Valley 39, Forks 13
State Quarterfinals: Montesano 51, Nooksack Valley 8
The 2008 Pioneers were a result of an offensive makeover, and they went from a 2-7 team the year before, to win their league and finish 9-2.
The biggest change in the offense was focused around senior quarterback, Wade Rediger. Because of his talents as a dual-threat quarterback, he had the option to take off and run on passing plays. Part of Coach Myhre’s inspiration for the offense was when he played in high school. As one of the best linebackers in the league in the mid-80’s, he said that playing defense against Mount Baker quarterback Jeff Curtis was nearly impossible. If you played up he could throw it deep, and if you played back he would run for a first down. Rediger had those same qualities. He completed 96 passes, and his 69.6% completion percentage still stands as the Whatcom County record for a single season. He passed for 939 yards and seven touchdowns, and he rushed for 1032 yards (6.6 average) and 19 touchdowns. For all of his efforts he was named the League’s Most Valuable Player.
He was joined in the backfield by junior Nick deGrasse. He carried the ball 124 times for 737 yards (5.9) and six touchdowns. He also caught 16 passes for 144 yards (9.0), and he was named All-League 1st Team. Senior Trever Arnason ran for 378 yards (5.9) and four touchdowns, as well as catching seven passes for 57 yards (8.1) and a score.
Rediger’s main target was super-athletic wide receiver, junior, Anthony Reese. He caught 39 passes for 498 yards (12.8) and five touchdowns, and he was an All-League 2nd Team selection. Kyle Handy was a tall, athletic sophomore that caught 22 passes for 224 yards (10.2) and two scores, and he landed a spot on the All-League 2nd Team. Sophomore Evan Roller fit the same mold as Handy, and caught nine passes for 116 yards (12.9) and one touchdown.
The offensive line was one of Nooksack Valley’s biggest strengths in 2008. Senior Dante Aure led the fearsome five-some up front, and there wasn’t much that the 280-pounder couldn’t do. He was named All-League 1st Team at offensive line for the third consecutive season. Only four other players in Whatcom County’s history has ever accomplished that feat (Travis Welch, John Raper, Nick Scholten and Spencer Blackburn). He was joined by fellow senior Drew Oliver, who was named All-League 1st Team for the second year in a row. A trio of juniors rounded out this amazing line. Jon Charroin, Jessie Salmonson and Josh Larson were all named All-League 2nd Team. They paved the way for 2350 rushing yards and 30 rushing touchdowns.
There have been many dominant defensive ends in Whatcom County’s history, but the season that Charroin may have been the best one. He finished with 105 tackles, 16 quarterback sacks, and was named All-League 1st Team, as well as All-State 1st Team. On the opposite side of the line Salmonson was almost as dominant. He was also named All-League 1st Team, totaling 7.5 sacks and three forced fumbles. Aure also had 7.5 sacks from his defensive line position, and he too was named All-League 1st Team. Junior Devin Dykes rounded out the defensive line, being named All-League 2nd Team with three forced fumbles. Arnason was as steady as they came at linebacker, and he was named All-League 2nd Team for the third year in a row. Junior Levi Stuit was a tackling machine, and was also named All-League 2nd Team. A pair of sophomores led the secondary. Tyler Perry intercepted four passes and was named All-League 1st Team, and Caleb Cragle broke up eight passes from his safety position.
Junior Travis Benner kicked 11 extra points, and senior Martin Zavala booted nine. deGrasse handled the punting, and he also returned two kickoffs for touchdowns.