Washington’s Top 50 high school football teams: After early-season adjustments, watch No. 40 Lynden roar by season’s end

SBLive is previewing the Top 50 high school teams in Washington ahead of the fall 2021 season. Here’s an inside look at the Lynden Lions of the 1A/2A/3A Northwest Conference – the No. 40 team in our countdown.

SPRING 2021 IN REVIEW

3-2 in 1A/2A/3A Northwest Conference (eighth place).

COACH’S RESUMÉ

  • Blake VanDalen, fifth season.
  • Overall record: 29-12.
  • Coordinators (base scheme): Offense – Blake VanDalen (spread). Defense – Blake Witman (3-4).

NOTABLE DEPARTURES

QB Baylor Ayres

OL Christian Bethea

OL/DL Matthew Furdyk

DL Carter VanDiest

RB/DB Caleb Wheeler

RETURNING STARTERS

Offense – 4. Defense – 9.

TOP PLAYERS

WR/DB Collin Anker, 6-0,. 180, jr.

RB/LB Lane Heeringa, 5-11, 180, jr.

QB/DB Kaedan Hermanutz, 5-10, 165, jr.

WR/DB Kaleo Jandoc, 5-10, 175, sr.

QB/DB Max Moore, 6-1, 195, sr.

RB/DL Campbell Nolte, 5-11, 185, jr.

WR/DB/K Troy Petz, 6-2, 175, jr.

WR Isaiah Stanley, 6-0, 175, jr.

LB Taivin VanDalen, 6-2, 205, sr.

DL/TE Case Zweegman, 6-5, 240, sr.

THREE TO SEE

Kaleo Jandoc, athlete

Missed most of spring with shoulder injury, but will see time at both wide receiver and running back as big-play performer.

Max Moore, quarterback

Projected to play wide receiver at the outset of summer, but injuries opened door to move – and at least early-season platoon.

Taivin VanDalen, inside linebacker

Based on scheme and tenacity, coach’s son should be team’s leading tackler – and has physicality to play at all levels of defense.

FALL SEASON OUTLOOK

In a sense, Blake VanDalen will spend the first part of this season putting a puzzle together.

With a blend of experienced seniors and polished juniors – especially at the skill positions – the Lions’ coach thinks this fall could be the start of a multiple-year rise back to state-contending status.

“It should be the start of a two-year run,” VanDalen said.

What tempers expectations were all the injuries the team suffered during the spring season, creating uncertainty as key positions.

The biggest one was a quarterback, replacing dual threat Baylor Ayres. Junior Kaedan Hermanutz was the projected starter, but he had shoulder surgery. Then, Cade Slayton was under consideration, but the senior opted to concentrate on offseason baseball.

Enter Max Moore, the team’s returning starting free safety who was going to line up at wide receiver on offense. VanDalen approached him about a switch, which the teenager was agreeable to.

And at the Tumwater scrimmage in July, Moore impressed so much as a physical runner and raw passer, he was elevated into the starting role.

Heading into the season, VanDalen said he will play both Moore and Hermanutz in the first few games.

“If they both play well, we will keep going with it,” VanDalen said.

Getting Kaleo Jandoc fully recovered from a serious shoulder injury, suffered against Ferndale last spring, is a welcomed sight.

On defense, Kaleo will move back to cornerback. And on offense, he could do a little bit of everything – especially at wide receiver where he will team up with Isaiah Stanley, along with tight ends Case Zweegma and Slayton, to buoy the passing attack.

“One area we are very competitive with against the Tumwaters and Steilacooms is in our skill positions,” VanDalen said.

FALL 2021 SCHEDULE

  • Sept. 3 vs, Hockinson
  • Sept. 10 vs. Ferndale
  • Sept. 17 vs, Squalicum
  • Sept. 24 at Burlington-Edison
  • Oct. 1 at Cedarcrest
  • Oct. 8 vs. Lakewood
  • Oct. 15 at Sehome
  • Oct. 22 vs. Archbishop Murphy
  • Oct. 29 at Sedro-Woolley

(Featured photo courtesy of Lynden athletics)

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