Good morning, Trohahn fans.
As of this morning, there’s game preview up from the Herald.
Suffice it to say, Jed Schleimer may well skip the team bus and run all the way to Laurel. It’s not much farther than he ran last week against Nooksack. Game plans are essentially “hold Schleimer to under 400.”
Kickoff is 7:00 in lovely downtown Laurel.
We take time out from the hunt for Ol’ Crimson to take a brief look at tonight’s game at Lynden Christian.
LC has been on a 3-game tear to start 2015, scoring at least 35 points in each win and surrendering no more than 14. As should should be expected when the Lyncs are doing well, they are winning on the fleet paws of their running backs. They are running the ball 3-to-1 versus passing. David Bladies is averaging 17 carries and 111 yards per game.
And yet, LC can throw, and can very easy hit the big play ball. Lucas Roetcisoender is 80% passing on just 35 attempts, for 556 and 7 TDs. It’s simply that LC would rather run it down your throw instead of throw it.
Meridian (1-2) at Lynden Christian (3-0)
Time: 7 p.m.
Site: Lynden Christian Schools
Trojans update: Meridian went on the road last week and earned a decisive 49-14 non-league win over Chelan. Sophomore quarterback Simon Burkett had a big game, throwing for 256 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 94 yards and two touchdowns. Nick Dritsas ran for a team-high 99 yards and a score and also logged a team-high 76 receiving yards. Marcus McGuinn caught three passes for 71 yards and two touchdowns.
Lyncs update: Lynden Christian scored an unanswered 35 points against Bellingham last week, earning a 35-7 non-league road win. Running back David Bladies ran for a game-high 112 yards and three touchdowns, and Lucas Roetcisoender threw for 155 yards and a score. Zach Roetcisoender hauled in four passes for 108 yards and a TD.
Key to the game: With Burkett and Dritsas and Marcus McGuinn, the Trojans have one of the better passing attacks in the league. The Lyncs’ secondary will need to be at its best.
Player to watch: Look for Koby Smith to help Meridian’s defense slow down David Blaides and LC’s run game.
Prediction: Meridian 35-17
For we expats, ours is the featured game on the Whatcom County airwaves, with KPUG’s pregame show starting at 6:35. Find it on-air and online.
Good luck Trohahns.
After the last week and a half, just getting kids on the bus at noon today for the long trip to play Chelan would be a certain victory all its own.
However, Meridian is—I think—still in the football business and there is a football game to be played.
Chelan also comes into the game 0-2, although they did it the old fashioned way, losing to Brewster on the field 34-38 week 1 and to Okanogan 0-47 in week 2.
Offensively, The Goats shotgun spread team with a huge quarterback.
Really not much more to say at this point. This week, playing is winning, and with that, good luck Trojans.
Meridian (0-2) at Chelan (0-2)
Time: 7 p.m.
Site: Sargent Field in Chelan
Trojans update: Meridian gets back to football following a forfeit due to communication issues between players and coaches last week. Meridian suffered a 36-21 opening-season loss to Hoquiam.
Mountain Goats update: Chelan suffered a 47-0 loss to Okanogan last week. The Mountain Goats lost to Brewster 38-34 to open the season.
Key to the game: Just getting back to football will probably be the best thing for the Trojans. If Meridian can put its troubles behind it and just play hard, the Trojans should come away with a win.
Player to watch: Andrew Logan can make a lot of plays, and should be one to watch against Chelan.
Prediction: Meridian 31-7
In case anyone missed it, Bob Ames did speak briefly with KPUG Wednesday, the first public interview since the player strike.
Yesterday, Monday Sept. 14, Meridian held a normally scheduled practice and team meeting. Essentially the entire team was present, including those who walked out Thursday. The team plans to play at Chelan this Friday.
Last night, Meridian Superintendent Tom Churchill gave an interview to KPUG/KGMI, which is the most any Meridian official has said on the matter. Some quick bullet points:
- The players’ concerns included communication with coaches, and length of practices.
- Churchill denies that players wanted coaches fired.
- Regarding whether any changes are forthcoming: “It looks pretty normal to me. They’re out practicing and we’re heading to Chelan on Friday.”
- Churchill feels that communication broke down, but is back on track.
- Also says there will be no changes to the staff “at this time.”
Surprisingly, KOMO news picked up the story and ran a two minute segment during Monday night’s news.
Meridian’s superintendent has released two statements in the past couple days.
A Message from the Superintendent Regarding the Football Issue
While I understand the passion surrounding the football program, I am concerned about the potential damage this may cause in our community. Therefore, I am asking everyone to be respectful of each other, our coaches, our student athletes, our staff and our families.
The coaches held a meeting with the players on Friday afternoon. I am very pleased with our coaching staff and our student athletes for their commitment to communication.
Therefore, I am asking everyone to allow the coaches and the student athletes the opportunity to work things out on their own. This is a learning experience for everyone and we need to allow the coaches and student athletes time and space for this process.
Please be respectful.
Tom Churchill, Superintendent
And regarding Monday’s practice:
Football practice at Meridian High School is closed to the public on Monday, September 14th. Only players and coaches will be allowed at practice.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Tom Churchill, Superintendent
It’s important to note that there is varsity practice scheduled for Monday, and no coaching staff changes have been made at this time.
Amid a report of a team walk-off, the Meridian football team has forfeited Saturday’s game versus Squalicum. Meridian Athletic Director Kurt Harvill told KPUG, “The varsity game has been canceled due to an internal team issue that we are working to resolve.”
KPUG received an anonymous phone call Friday morning saying the Meridian varsity team walked off the practice field this week because they want coach Bob Ames and a member of his staff fired.
When asked by KPUG about the call and the supposed walk-off, Harvill said he had “no more details at this time”. Harvill did say that he hoped to be able to comment on the issue when it was resolved, but no timeline was in place.
Ames, who led the Trojans to state championships in 1999, 2003 and 2006 was inducted into the Washington Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2012. Calls to Ames were not immediately returned to KPUG.
Squalicum Athletic Director Patrick Brown confirmed the forfeit. Brown said he found out about the possibility of a cancellation Thursday night and was informed about the forfeit by Harvill Friday morning. Brown told KPUG he tried to pick up a replacement game, but it was too late to schedule anything.
The Saturday scheduled varsity football game between Meridian and Squalicum has been canceled following a Meridian player strike.
This is a good time as any to restate the fact the MeridianFootball.com is not an official site of the Meridian School District or athletic department, and has been a completely independent project of myself, Christopher Ames, since it’s inception in 2003. Therefore, I have no other information on this situation other than this.
Edited to be clear that Meridian players walked out, not Squalicum.
Many thanks to Reneé Fox, Debbie Hughes, and Edvard Yelfimov for contributing photos from the Friday opener. Go here for the full album.
Well, hello there. Nice to see you again. Thanks for joining us.
In the redemptive end of the home-and-home non-leaguer, Meridian plays Hoquiam tomorrow night under the bright lights of downtown Laurel. Last year’s game in Hoqqy was a 14-7 win for the Trojans, charitably described as sloppy for both teams.
The Grizz went onto a solid 2014 season, finishing 7-4 and losing to Cascade Christian 56-14 in the first round of the playoffs. Other than that blowout, Hoquiam’s other 3 losses were by a grand total of 13 points, including a 20-19 loss to Monte.
With an abundance of speed and talented performers at the so-called skill positions, the Grizzlies are again expected to be contenders in the Evergreen 2A/1A League this season. But they are adopting a drastically different style from last year’s run-oriented offense.
Operating out of a spread formation, with as many as four wide receivers, Hoquiam passed on 17 of 20 scrimmage plays in last week’s Montesano jamboree. While Moore indicated that greater balance might be more forthcoming when his team begins playing for real, a pass-first attack might be a Grizzly staple throughout the campaign.
“I think you’ll see us be more of a throwing team,” the HHS coach observed. “We’ll run the ball too, everybody likes balance.”
The change in emphasis will put a greater burden on the passing skills of junior quarterback Gregory Dick. Entering his second season as a starter, Dick has grown a couple of inches, to 6-foot-5. He was mostly on-target in the jamboree — completing 12 of 17 passes for 169 yards and three touchdowns in the two mini-games.
Gregory Dick passed for 99 yards and two touchdowns against Elma. His TD throws came on consecutive plays — a 13-yard strike to tight end Tahj Malone and a 40-yard sideline bomb to Jerod Steen. An apparent third scoring pass, a 31-yarder to Parker Johnson, was nullified by a holding penalty.
Dick’s 31-yard pass to Malone produced the lone touchdown against Centralia. Naz Mazariegos was perfect on three conversion kicks.
Malone intercepted a pass in the Centralia contest, while Gary Aube had a couple of solo tackles against Elma.
Last year, Hoquiam proved its mettle as a road team with two long-distance wins away from Olympic Stadium.
On Friday, the Grizzlies will have to catch that feeling again with a long drive to Laurel to take on Meridian. For HHS head coach Rick Moore, it is a bit of a homecoming — the Western Washington University grad was a student teacher at Meridian and coached one season with current head coach Bob Ames in 1981-82.
“You never know what Bob will do,” Moore said. “(Traveling) is always an opportunity to play a quality opponent. Last year, we did a nice job of traveling. It is a good test of the kids, being road warriors. I think we’ll be ready for it.”
Hoquiam Grizzlies (0-0) at Meridian Trojans (0-0), 7 p.m. — Last year, these two teams started the season with a hard-fought contest that the Trojans walked away with, 14-7, at Olympic Stadium. This time, Meridian will see Hoquiam’s younger players with one more year of experience under their belts and a postseason run. The Grizzlies were 2-0 on long road trips last year — 19-6 win at Stevenson and 54-6 win over Forks — but this is their longest non-league trip in several seasons. Junior quarterback Gregory Dick will lead the Hoquiam offense, which is expected to light up the scoreboard this season.
The Mighty Trohahns are 2-0 all-time versus Hoquiam.
Kickoff is 7:00PM in Laurel.