2016 Meridian Trojans Preview

Coach: Bob Ames, 43rd season with Meridian (301-149)

Home Field: Meridian High School

Last Season: 6-5 (4-2 NWC)

Key Losses: RB/DB Nick Dritsas; QB/WR Marcus McGuinn; OL/DL Jackson Day; RB Dakota Jones; WR/DB/K Alan Eyoub; WR/DB Daniel Young.

Top Returnees: OL/DL Brenten Fox; TE/LB Andrew Logan; OL/LB Manny Sabalza; QB Simon Burkett; RB/DB Tony Schleimer.

HISTORICAL COMPARISON: Andrew Logan & Wade Koning

Andrew Logan
Wade Koning

Logan is back for his third year as a starter, and he will be looked upon as one of the leaders on this year’s Trojans squad. He’ll make his biggest impact at linebacker where he was named All-NWC 1st Team in 2015.

Koning was one of the most underrated players for Meridian in the 1990’s. He excelled at three different positions (linebacker, tight end and quarterback), and his teams never lost a league game during his junior and senior seasons.


Hoquiam 36, Meridian 21

Squalicum forfeit win over Meridian

Meridian 49, Chelan 14

Meridian 40, Lynden Christian 13

Mount Baker 33, Meridian 28

Meridian 49, Nooksack Valley 28

Meridian 41, Lynden Christian 18

Mount Baker 36, Meridian 15

Meridian 42, Nooksack Valley 6

Meridian 42, Cedar Park Christian 6

Hoquiam 25, Meridian 20


09/02 – Anacortes – 7 PM

09/09 – Blaine- 7 PM

09/17 – at Cascade Christian – 6 PM

09/23 -Lynden Christian – 7 PM

09/30 – at Nooksack Valley – 7 PM

10/07 – at Mount Baker – 7 PM

10/14 – at Lynden Christian – 7 PM

10/21 – Nooksack Valley – 7 PM

10/28 – Mount Baker – 7 PM

There are fewer things that you can count on more than the “Trohahn” tradition in downtown Laurel, Washington. That tradition includes Coach Bob Ames’ trademark backwards hat, black shorts and fu macnhu moustache. But, one of my favorite traditions is how Coach Ames describes his team’s chances.

Here are a few my favorites over the years:

“I think what the other coaches are trying to say about us is that we’re going to be throwing in the towel this year, not throwing a football.” -1992

“Everyone in the league is blowin’ smoke. Liars. Liars. Liars.” – 1998

“We just took the ‘Little Sisters of the Poor’ off of our schedule, so we won’t win any games this year.” – 1999

But, I don’t mind Coach Ames’ antics. He’s a staple of Whatcom County High School football. And, how does Coach Ames feel about his team this season?

“We’re going to be playing opossum this year,” Ames said. “We’ll play dead at home, and we’ll be road kill on the road.”

Even so, the 43-year coach will have some talented players back from last season that was able to finish second in the dreaded 1A Northwest Conference.

Simon Burkett
Simon Burkett

Simon Burkett, a junior, returns at quarterback and could very well be the best in the entire county. At 6-foot-3 and 175 pounds, he looks the part, and his stats prove that he’s a great one. The downside is that the receivers need to catch up to him now.

Tony Schleimer
Tony Schleimer

Junior Tony Schleimer (Jed’s nephew) will get the bulk of the carries for the Trojans. He got valuable playing time last season, gaining 356 yards and two touchdowns. Andrew Logan returns at tight end, and he caught 15 passes for 196 yards last year. Juniors Lucas Hemenway and T.J. Dykstra will fill out some of the other receiver spots, along with senior Dawson Phillips.

Brenten Fox
Brenten Fox

The offensive line will be led by senior Brenten Fox and junior Manny Sabalza. The rest of the line is being juggled by Coach Ames. The defensive line is similar with Logan and Luke Carson on the outside containing the edges. “Your best ‘bigger’ athletes should play defensive end,” said Ames. “They defend the edges, play the pass, and you can fill in the rest.”

Manny Sabalza
Manny Sabalza

Sabalza is back at linebacker along with Fox. “He’s our swiss army knife,” Ames said of Fox. “He understands the game, and he can play any one of the five positions on the offensive line. On defense he can play inside for us, he can play outside for us, he can play the nose.”

Schleimer will lead the secondary from his safety position, with the corner positions still up in the air. Senior newcomer Jordan Birnel will be the kicker for Meridian.

You can never count the Trojans out. No matter how small the players are in average weight, or just pure numbers, Coach Ames will get the very best out of them.

Prediction: 4-5

2016 Roster

NAME # Class POS
Dawson Logan 1 10 QB
Dante Castaneda 3 10 RB
Cole Roberts 5 10 RB
Dawson Phillips 6 12 WR
Jordan Birnel 7 12 WR
Bryce Vandenhaak 8 11 RB
Josh Plagerman 9 12 WR
Andrew Logan 10 12 TE
Matt Belanger 12 11 TE
Simon Burkett 13 11 QB
Harlon Stuit 14 10 WR
Josh Needer 20 10 WR
Lucas Hemenway 21 11 WR
Brayden Zender 30 10 RB
Baker Otter 31 11 TE
Tony Schleimer 32 11 RB
Dylan Hickok 33 10 RB
Noah Richardson 35 12 RB
Bryson Hickok 44 11 RB
Tanner Bouwman 45 10 RB
Oscar Madrigal 47 12 RB
Enrique Gomez 50 10 C
Luke Carson 51 11 T
Braedon Kyzar 59 12 G
Dustin Bell 60 10 G
Manuel Sabalza 61 11 C
Brenten Fox 62 12 T
Hunter Holt 66 12 G
Hesser Sotello 74 10 T
Adam Kruzich 77 10 T
Bo Roberts 78 12 G
T.J. Dykstra 81 11 WR
Trevor Pagnossin 82 10 TE
Luke Gookstedder 99 11 TE

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