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
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, 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.
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.
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.”
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.