By Steve Guntli
Blaine High School’s football program closed out its season on November 13, when head coach Jay Dodd and his coaching staff honored the players with certificates and accolades at the annual football banquet.
“This is the first time we’ve ever played as a 2A team, so it felt like a whole different ballgame,” Dodd said. “We were playing against some of the best teams in the county, and I think we did pretty well.”
The Borderites played their last game of the season October 30 with a close loss against Lynden, finishing out the season 2–5 in the Northwest Conference and 4–5 overall.
Dodd and his coaches handed out certificates to every player on the team, and plaques to the recipients of four special awards for defensive MVP, offensive MVP, lineman of the year and most improved player.
Offensive tackle Tim Samoylovich was named the varsity team’s most improved player.
“Tim is a perfect example of what can be achieved through training in the off-season,” Dodd said. “He came back after last year bigger, faster and more flexible and he really anchored the team.”
Jon Fakkema was named varsity lineman of the year. Kaden Foster earned the defensive MVP award, while Riley Fritsch and Nathan Kramme earned dual honors as offensive MVPs. Dodd praised Kramme in particular, calling the senior quarterback the overall MVP of the season.
“He leads by example, not just with words,” he said. “He’s been our starting quarterback all four years and we’re going to miss him next year.”
Junior varsity coach Dave Fakkema handed out awards to defensive MVP Tucker Jensen, offensive MVP John Starcer, lineman John Kramme and most improved player Travis Siebol.
Dodd also used this year’s awards banquet as an opportunity to introduce 2015’s team captains.
Riley Fritsch, Gunnar Arnason, Armando Moser, Anthony Ball and Josh Fakkema will be taking over for outgoing seniors Nathan Kramme, Jon Fakkema and Adam McShane. Kramme spoke briefly to prepare the new captains for the challenges ahead.
“Being a captain isn’t a fun job,” he said. “You’re having a leadership position thrust upon you, and you have to rise to the challenge. It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s worth it in the end.”
McShane took a moment to surprise Dodd with the game ball from the coach’s 50th winning game. The milestone came during an October 10 game against Anacortes, when the Borderites overpowered the Seahawks 31–19.
“I’m standing here holding this right now, but it belongs to all of you,” Dodd said. “You put in the work and I’m very proud of you all.”
The team will continue training in the offseason and reconvene for summer games in early June.