For those who can recall the darker days of Blaine football with low turn outs, few wins and lopsided scores in the opponents favor there is always the concern that there might be a slip from the quality of play fans have seen in recent years, especially with the impending graduation of the Borderites’ three headed monster on offense; quarterback Jordon McCarty, receiver Trevor Chau and University of Montana-bound tailback Caleb Statham.
However, Blaine head football coach, Jay Dodd is optimistic about the Borderites’ chances next season, much of that centered around Sean Allen who Dodd has penciled in to start at quarterback next season. Allen, who saw limited action last season in a mop up role, has Dodd’s confidence.
“I’m really excited about Sean Allen,” gushed Dodd, “he’s a really tough kid and he works hard.” Allen has been working with his predessesor, McCarty, as spring football practices are fully underway, in preparation for the 2010 football season.
In 2009, McCarty led the Borderites to the state playoffs for the third consecutive season, losing to W. F. West in the opening round.
The stinging loss however didn’t dampen the accomplishments of the 2009 season, highlighted by Blaine’s stunning upset of perennial 3A power Ferndale at the Golden Eagles’ home stadium. 15 seniors return from that team along with 20 juniors.
The loss of high profile stars on offense like McCarty, Chau and Statham means changes for the Borderites on offense.
“We’re going to be a different kind of team next year,” Dodd explained, “we’re going to be showing some different looks on offense.”
One of the places where change is prevalent is the offensive line, but Dodd’s eyes sparkle when considering them in comparison to the physical team that helped Statham rush for over 1400 yards and 21 touchdowns last season.
“We’re going to be pretty big up front,” Dodd said, “Channing Cruz is 280. Eddie Avina is 240. Jesse Nuwendorf is 210 and may play center for us. We’re going to be pretty athletic too.”
Stepping into the void left by all-Northwest conference receiver Chau will be seniors Andrew Miller and Todd Bird.
Another compelling addition will be huge tight end Andrew Price, whose size and speed can create nightmarish matchup problems for opposing coaches. Dodd, however, wants Price and all his tight ends to concentrate on blocking as well as receiving.
One of the overlooked aspects of last season’s success was the play of the defense, led by the ferocious inside linebacker Joel Garza who graduates next week.
“Garza was special,” Dodd reflected, “he always had a nose for the football and knew to keep his pads low. We didn’t need to coach that into him.”
Dodd will be looking to replace the nastiness and the ferocity that Garza brought to the defense.
“Watch Todd Freeman next year,” noted Dodd, “he was our number three linebacker last season. Also, Caleb Johnson, a sophomore. He’s 205 pounds and he could be a three year starter for us at inside linebacker.”
Coach Dodd told his charges that he was excited and enthusiastic about the effort and attitude that this team has shown.
The fruit of that effort will be tested Saturday, June 12 as the Borderites host New Westminster in a scrimmage at 1 p.m. New Westminster defeated Blaine in the opener for both teams last season.
Blaine football will be hosting a youth football camp before hand from 10 a.m. to game time. Youth campers will be working out with the Blaine players on the field in preparation for the scrimmage.