Coach: Nick Lucey, 3rd season with Squalicum (20-4)
Home Field: Civic Stadium
Last Season: 11-1 (7-0 NWC)
Key Losses: WR Josiah Westbrook; OL Andrew Napier; OL/DL Jacob Burgoon; DL Caleb Starkovich.
Top Returnees: WR/DB Ben Peterson; WR/DB Damek Mitchell; TE/DE Jake Burns; QB Garrett Sorenson; LB Jack Wendling; WR/DB Noah Westerhoff; RB Triston Smith.
HISTORICAL COMPARISON: Triston Smith & Andy Kammenga
Smith exploded onto the Whatcom County football scene last year as just a sophomore, rushing for a team-high 507 yards and nine touchdowns. He figures to be an even bigger threat this season.
Kammenga was the first real superstar player in the Storm’s short school history. He possessed tremendous speed, and agility, which made him a dangerous weapon every time he touched the ball. He’s also one of the best kickoff returners in Whatcom County High School football history.
Squalicum 41, Bellingham 14
Squalicum forfeit win over Meridian
Squalicum 27, Lynden 0
Squalicum 42, Sedro Woolley 30
Squalicum 54, Burlington-Edison 31
Squalicum 12, Ferndale 7
Squalicum 27, Sehome 0
Squalicum 34, Blaine 13
Squalicum 56, Anacortes 14
Squalicum 54, Lakewood 12
Squalicum 31, WF West (Chehalis) 29
Tumwater 38, Squalicum 21
09/02 – at Gig Harbor – 7 PM
09/09 – Sehome – 7 PM
09/16 – Marysville-Pilchuck – 7 PM
09/23 -at Stanwood – 7 PM
09/30 – Oak Harbor – 7 PM
10/07 – at Emerald Ridge – 7 PM
10/14 – at Marysville-Getchell – 5 PM
10/22 – Ferndale – 7 PM
10/28 – at Arlington – 7 PM
During the first 16 years of Squalicum football, the Storm have won 38.6% of their games. In the last two seasons, they have won 83.3%. Why? Well, I don’t know for sure, but I’d bet it has a good deal to do with coach Nick Lucey. Now in his third season, he has the Squalicum football team as one of the finest programs in the state, and he’ll have to prove it as one of the smallest 3A schools.
“We’ve gone against some pretty darn good football teams these past few years (in the NWC 2A schedule” Lucey said. “The biggest difference now will be from week three to week nine, probably more physical play from week to week.”
Senior Garrett Sorenson returns at quarterback after a tremendous junior campaign. His 2270 yards passing was the second time since 1993 that a player that didn’t play at Meridian, or Lynden, led Whatcom County in passing yards. He also completed 58.1% of his passes, while tossing 23 touchdowns. He proved to be a dual threat as well, rushing for 500 yards and eight more scores.
Junior Triston Smith returns as the running back, and looks to build upon his big season from last fall. Junior Brian Pullman will also get some carries, and brings more of a downhill running style. The big play ability of senior Ben Peterson cannot be overstated. He averaged almost 25 yards a catch last season, and scored a touchdown on almost every third reception. He has a chance to finish his career as the most prolific receiver in Whatcom County history. He’s 44 catches and 719 yards away from being the county’s career leader in both categories. Opposing defenses will not be able to only key on Peterson, though. Damek Mitchell and Noah Westerhoff are both very good receivers that will put up a lot of yardage.
The Storm will look fairly new on the offensive line, but probably stronger and more athletic than in years past, according to Lucey. “Last year we had a lot of experience on the line,” Lucey said. “Doug Groves, our offensive line coach, does a good job of mixing in kids, and we should end up with eight pretty good players that we’ll need up there over the course of the season.”
Senior Jake Burns returns to the defensive line after being named 1st Team All-State last season. He will be joined up front by Kollin Johnson. Senior Jase Barrett is a little undersized (5-7 180) at defensive tackle, but is extremely quick, and 190-pound Chris Chatterley has a had a great camp competing on the defensive line.
Senior Jack Wendling will lead the linebacking corps again this season, and he will be joined in the middle of the field by Pullman and Jacob Corbett, who will be a hybrid outside linebacker/defensive end type of player. Smith and Westerhoff (Westy Island) will be the corners, with Peterson and Mitchell at safety.
Peterson returns as the kicker and the punter, but is being pushed by junior soccer player Alex Everett. Peterson will also handle the return duties, and is a major threat on every return, as evident of the two kickoff returns and two punt returns he has scored touchdowns on.
Squalicum has all the makings of a deep run this year. Playing in the 3A could hurt its chances, but it could also give them a little more of an edge that is needed.