Sports -- August 24, 2006

Published on Thu, Aug 24, 2006
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by Jack Kintner

Slivers from the bench

Fall sports highlights
With reclassification and league re-alignments this year, Blaine’s fall athletic schedule looks a little daunting at first, especially in football where Blaine gets Anacortes, Lynden, Burlington and Mount Vernon in just two months.

The new Northwest Conference includes 14 teams that are a mix of classifications – 3A (over 921 students) schools include Ferndale, Mount Vernon and Squalicum. 2A schools (over 476 students) include Blaine, Anacortes, Lynden, Bellingham, Burlington, Mt. Baker and Sehome. The rest, with over 193 students, are single A, a list that includes Nooksack, Meridian and Lynden Christian.

“Ahhh, just play ’em!” said grizzled assistant soccer coach Gary Dunster. Head coach Dan Steelquist agreed, saying that when Blaine plays better teams, they get better too.

Football opens on Friday, September 1, Labor Day weekend; with a home game against the Lynden Lions at 7 p.m. Girl’s soccer begins the next morning on Saturday, September 2, with the annual jamboree at the Pipe.

The cross-country team’s only home match is on the following Wednesday, September 6.

Their two popular meets for spectators are the Mt. Baker Invitational at Silver Lake on September 30 and the Borderline Invitational at Bertheusen Park on Columbus Day, October 12.

The volleyball team has the first of its six home matches on September 12, but travels more than any other squad with 13 road games as far away as Anacortes.

Football fundraiser works
Head football coach Jay Dodd welcomed a bumper crop of players this year but found that he was short of equipment. After the fourth day of practice players blanketed town selling discount cards and earned enough to buy 25 helmets (at $125 each) plus 10 new balls, 20 sets of shoulder pads and 30 new girdles.

One part of the fundraising effort is still underway until Friday, August 25: “We’re putting up banners on the fence in the parking lot for businesses to advertise on for $200. Most of the fee, once we get them done up, goes to support the team,” Dodd said.

Dodd also got stencils for painting pro-style numbers on the practice field, “so when we tell a kid to run to the numbers he’s got a reference.” Dodd, 29 and a Blaine high school graduate, apprenticed under the legendary Tom Moore at Prosser after graduating from Central Washington University.