2016 Blaine Borderites Preview

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Coach: Jay Dodd, 11th season with Blaine (54-49)

Home Field: Blaine High School

Last Season: 4-5 (2-4 NWC)

Key Losses: TE/LB Josh Fakkema, All-Conference 1st Team TE (14-234-4); LB Layton Hagee, All-Conference 2nd Team; TE/DE Marcus Potts; WR Jonathan Starcer (16-395-2); OL/DL Shaquille Woods 6-foot-6, 372-pound athletic lineman.

Top Returnees: RB/ILB Riley Fritsch; WR/S Anthony Ball; LT/OLB Jared Philips; QB/DB Jalen Kortlever; K/P Kyle Sentkowski; LG/ILB Tucker Jensen


HISTORICAL COMPARISON: Anthony Ball & Adrian Newell

Anthony Ball
Adrian Newell

Ball has consistently been the main target for Borderite quarterbacks since he was inserted into the starting lineup as a freshman. He’s also brought a lot to the table defensively and in the return game.

Newell also made an impact at the varsity level as a freshman when he intercepted a pass in the final minute against Lynden, essentially knocking the Lions out of the playoffs. After battling injuries he went on to become the first Borderite receiver to score double-digit touchdowns in a season.


2015 RESULTS

Blaine 55, New West (BC) 20

Blaine 48, Granite Falls 0

Ferndale 34, Blaine 20

Blaine 37, Sehome 7

Sedro Woolley 48, Blaine 8

Blaine 35, Anacortes 28

Burlington-Edison 45, Blaine 21

Squalicum 34, Blaine 13

Lynden 37, Blaine 14


2016 SCHEDULE

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09/02 – Nooksack Valley – 7 PM

09/09 – at Meridian – 7 PM

09/16 – Sedro Woolley – 7 PM

09/23 – Bellingham – 7 PM

09/30 – at Anacortes – 7 PM

10/07 – at Lynden – 7 PM

10/14 – Lakewood – 7 PM

10/21 – Sehome – 7 PM

10/28 – at Burlington-Edison – 7 PM


While watching the Borderites the past few years, I kept getting the feeling that everything was building for the 2016 season. This year’s seniors are a tight-knit group that closely resemble the 1996 Blaine graduating class, of which Head Coach Jay Dodd was a star lineman, when Blaine won the Whatcom County League Championship.

“Our objective is to get to the playoffs this year,” Dodd said. “We’re bigger and faster now, and we’ll be able to line up against all nine teams this year.”

Jalen Kortlever

Senior Jalen Kortlever is back at quarterback after putting up big numbers last year (1511 yards, 19 touchdowns), and is poised to have another great season with most of his weapons back. Junior lefty Cameron Ellis will back up Kortlever, and Coach Dodd has really enjoyed his improvement.

Riley Fritsch

Coach Dodd has also emphasized generating a strong run-game to protect the defense. That might work out well with one of the county’s best returning running backs in Riley Fritsch. He has been the workhorse over the past few seasons, racking up 461 rushing attempts. He should easily reach the 600-plateau, where only four other players in Whatcom County history have ever reached (Mario Gobbato, Dave Longoria, T.J. Busch and Chad Clark). Senior Garrett Adams is a more than capable back-up to Fritsch, and averaged 8.3 yards per carry last season.

Gunnar Arnason

The Borderite receiving corps will be undoubtedly led by senior Anthony Ball as he aims to become the 14th player in Whatcom County history to catch 100 passes in his career. Senior Gunnar Arnason will move to wide receiver this year from the tight end spot, and he will be joined by fellow seniors Haden Anthony and Alfonso Dermendziev  of whom each received valuable playing time last year. They will be pushed by a pair of sophomores, Chase Abshere (who starred as a freshman on last years’ varisty baseball team) and Colby Knutzen who is making the move from running back. 6-foot-3 215-pound junior Cruz Rodriguez will start at tight end, and he’ll be backed up by Arnason.

Jared Philips

Other teams will have to take notice when looking at Blaine’s offensive line; not only because of sheer size, but they have the ability to match it. Anchoring the line will be left tackle Jared Philips (6-4 240) and right tackle Austin Kelstrup (6-4 320). Phillips was an All-NWC 2nd Team selection last year, and Coach Dodd has enjoyed the improved athleticism of Kelstrup. John Kramme and River Markusen are both more than capable centers. Porter Schmidt is at right guard, while Tucker Jensen and Tristan Alanis are competing for the left guard position.

John Kramme

The defensive line will see a steady rotation of Markusen, Alanis, Kelstrup, Kramme and Schmidt. Coach Dodd has also enjoyed the quickness of junior Chase DuBois on the interior line. Rodriguez and Philips have tremendous size and will star at each of the outside linebacker spots. They will be backed up by the Soto twins, juniors Jakob and Joshua.

Tucker Jensen

Fritsch has been moved from safety to inside linebacker, and he will be joined by Jensen, who led the Borderites in tackles last season. Seniors Braden Otto and Isaac Avena will also get into the mix in the middle. Dermendziev has tremendous speed, and returns at cornerback. He will be joined by another speedster, junior Isaiah Russ, as well as Anthony and Knutson. Arnason will move from outside linebacker to start at safety, where he will be joined by Ball. Adams will also see time at safety, along with Kortlever.

Kyle Sentkowski

Senior Kyle Sentkowski returns as not only one of the best kickers and punters in the conference, but in the entire state. Dare I say the nation? He’s attended numerous kicking camps across the country, and has shown the ability to make 50+ yard field goals, as well as boom kickoffs into, and sometimes through, the end zone. Fritsch, Adams and Knutson look to be the main return men in black and orange.

The Borderites are loaded with size and ability, it’s just a matter of putting it all together. The playoffs are in their grasp, and I believe it will come down to them and Lynden for the Conference Championship.

Prediction: 8-1


2016 Roster

No. First Name Last Name Grd. OFF DEF HT WT
1 JALEN KORTLEVER 12 QB DB 6’1″ 180
2 COLBY KNUTZEN 10 WR DB 5’8″ 140
3 HADEN ANTHONY 12 WR DB 5’10” 150
3 RILEY LEACH 10 WR DB 5’7″ 160
4 CHASE ABSHERE 10 WR DB 6’0″ 170
5 JULIAN GONZALEZ 11 RB LB 5’8″ 180
6 CAMERON ELLIS 11 QB DB 6’1″ 160
7 MAX MILLER 11 WR DB 5’11” 155
9 BEN ADAMS 10 QB DB 6’0″ 170
10 BRYCE STANOVICH 11 WR DB 6’2″ 160
11 GUNNAR ARNASON 12 WR DB 6’0″ 190
12 BRIAN DAVIS 10 WR DB 5’9″ 185
12 CARLOS GUTIERREZ 11 WR DB 5’10” 165
13 ALEX MERCADO 10 WR DB 5’7″ 125
13 DALTON MOUW 11 WR DB 6’0″ 155
14 ALFONSO DERMENDZIEV 12 WR DB 5’11” 160
15 GARRISON FOLK 11 WR DB 5’7″ 150
16 ISAIAH RUSS 11 WR DB 5’9″ 140
17 ERIC DAVIS 12 WR DB 6’1″ 160
20 TRENTON DENHARTOG 11 WR DB 6’0″ 150
21 RILEY FRITSCH 12 RB DB 5’9″ 180
22 STEPHEN DELLIGATTI 12 WR DB 5’10” 145
23 CALEB BULLARD 11 RB DL 5’4″ 140
25 BRADEN OTTO 12 RB LB 5’8″ 175
27 HUDSON REID 10 OL LB 5’11” 180
27 TRAVIS SIEBOL 12 TE LB 5’11” 165
29 GARRETT ADAMS 12 RB DB 5’5″ 145
30 DANYIL TKACHOV 10 RB LB 5’10” 160
31 JADEN SEITZ 11 TE LB 6’0″ 195
31 BLAKE RENSKERS 12 LB RB 5’8 160
33 YOSYF TKACHOV 11 WR LB 6’0″ 150
34 JACOB WESTFALL 10 RB LB 5’10” 175
35 KYLE SENTKOWSKI 12 K P 6’0″ 190
51 JOHN KRAMME 12 OL DL 5’10 215
52 CHASE DUBOIS 11 RB DL 5’10” 165
53 SAUL MAGALLON 11 OL DL 5’11” 210
54 PORTER SCHMIDT 11 OL DL 5’10” 230
55 CONNOR ELLIS 10 OL DL 6’0″ 230
56 ALLAN LOUIE 12 OL DL 5’9″ 195
57 JAKOB SOTO 11 OL LB 6’2″ 210
58 JOSHUA SOTO 11 OL LB 6’3″ 210
59 ISAAC AVENA 12 OL LB 5’9″ 180
60 RIVER MARKUSEN 11 OL DL 5’11” 195
63 ALEX BURKE 10 WR DB 5’11” 145
64 DEVYN DICKINSON 12 OL DL 6’1″ 200
65 TUCKER JENSEN 12 OL LB 6’1″ 210
69 TRISTAN ALANIS 11 OL DL 5’10” 190
70 JARED PHILIPS 12 OL LB 6’4″ 240
71 JOSHUA ROGERS 11 OL LB 6’0″ 175
75 AUSTIN KELSTRUP 12 OL DL 6’4″ 320
77 ISAIAH HEE 11 OL DL 5’5″ 180
81 DASHAWN NEAL 12 WR DB 5’11” 165
82 CRUZ RODRIGUEZ 11 TE LB 6’3″ 215
83 DREW SCHROEDER 10 WR LB 6’0″ 155
84 CONNER BOLICK 10 WR DB 5’11” 140
88 ANTHONY BALL 12 WR DB 6’0″ 195
ARJUN SINOTA 10 TE LB 5’9″ 160
ADAM VEGA 10 WR DB 6’2″ 185