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Previewing the Top 50 high school football teams in Washington: No. 34 Lynden Lions

SBLive Washington is previewing the Top 50 high school football teams in the state ahead of the 2020-2021 season. Here's an inside look at the Lynden Lions of the 2A Northwest Conference - No. 34 in our countdown.

2019 IN REVIEW

5-5 (third place in 4A SPSL); lost to Eastlake in the 4A district round.

COACH'S RESUMÉ

  • Keith Ross, 19th season.
  • Overall record: 114-77.
  • Coordinators (base scheme): Offense - Zack Coop (spread). Defense - Chris Paulson (4-4).

NOTABLE DEPARTURES

DB/WR Lamar Campbell

OL Nico Skinner

DB Deontrea Stoudemire

LB Mitchel Wolfe

RETURNING STARTERS

Offense - 7. Defense - 5.

TOP PLAYERS

OL Ethan Barney, 6-4, 285, sr.

OL Caden Cross, 6-1, 265, sr.

WR/LB Tristan Dunn, 6-3, 190, jr.

OL Kyle Martin, 6-2, 275, so.

WR/DB Jay Mentik, 6-0, 190, so.

PK/P Wyatt Redding, 6-1, 190, jr.

DL Cole Roth, 5-10, 195, sr.

WR Zion Scott, 5-10, 170, sr.

DL Andrew Tillett, 6-2, 305, jr.

RB/LB Peyton Wing, 5-11, 195, jr.

THREE TO SEE

Ethan Barney, offensive guard

Sumner is a physical run-first offense, and if this interior mauler comes back healthy (ACL), watch out.

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Tristan Dunn, linebacker

Keeps growing, and so does his positional-flexibility profile - could man any position in defense's back seven.

Andrew Tillett, defensive tackle

Push-back strength not an issue, but Spartans want high-energy domination of every defensive snap.

2021 OUTLOOK

If its 2019 season had lasted one more week, Prosser would have sent TMZ-type shockwaves through the Class 2A state playoffs.

*Sumner: Cooper was with us as the OL coach, and when Spencer Crace got the OC job at PLU, Cooper went with him. … We will never leave the power run, but what Coop and Alec Simmons will do is they’ve gotten together and figured out how we incorporate power run schemes that are easier and more simple.

Did not purposely clean house. Cooper, PLU switched practices and we have him full autonomy. … He wanted to put in shotgun zone RPO game. We are still going to emphasize power run game with RB/MLB Peyton Wing (mini-version of Ben Wilson) who runs with good vision and patience.

That is why we brought in Coop, to get the ball out to people. We’ve been good at getting it to the guys right behind the QB. I have let a lot go this year, which has helped me. Let offense do its thing.

Tristan, a lot of colleges see him diffetnely - he is 6-5 and grown two inches, so he might outgrown himself as safety. He might be hybrid OLB/DE but he could be a MLB. Hardest hitter I’ve ever had.

He will bring Baldwin stuff from EWU.

Chris: We had coffee, and I wanted him too DC and he fell out of chair. I want to step back and be more of an encourager, and take on a differ role. We will run Sumner defense with Paulson’s take. My vision is I will coach LB and encourage people to get to the ball - and he will call the game.

Tillett: His effort level on every play has to be D1 level, not every 5-6 plays. Starting to understand it. He needs to dominate on every snap as DT/TE/FB. Been in best shape he’s been in. Been training with DL specialist.

QB: Great question. Tyson earned it, and he is competent. Beau Carlson is the junior, and 6-3, 185 and he is a horse of a guy. Both.

Tristan Dunn: Keith said he is one of the best athletes he’s ever coached. Freaky athletic. Next level, they have to figure out what they want him to do. Last season, he played OLB/S and he can play anywhere in that back 7. Offense, he was a RB/WR.

Offensively, how much PT. Zion Scott will be a part of that, and they will move him around. Big thing Copp wants to do, get ball in best guys’ hands. Jay will be mixed in.

OL: Four returning starters, and you could say six of guys who saw time. And they are big. Barney gets the most presser and he committed to Nevada. Kyle Martin, who is a sophomore this year and started as ninth grader, could be special. Martin was LG last year, but he could play both spots.

Tillett: Like Tristan, always been better than everybody. He is young, young for his class - gotten stronger. He wants to play college. He is a junkyard dog, and will do anything and not afraid to get in there. Moves well for a big guy, so he is not just a plug. Good lateral movement. He is a DT in four-man front but we will line him up over center.

What we ran up against post-Ben, Connor and Tre on defense, you lose guys like that, and they are hard to replace. 

All-time wins tie with 114 wins. If we beat Curtis, become all-time wins.

COVID-19 IMPACT

"The biggest impact COVID had on us was the sense of connectedness that our program has in the weight room. It was tough not being able to see each other and work together as a team. Thankfully we got to do a few things on zoom with our players and they did a great job of finding ways to stay motivated to keep lifting and get bigger and stronger on their own." - Keith Ross

2020-21 SCHEDULE

  • Feb. 19 vs. Curtis
  • Feb. 26 at Emerald Ridge
  • March 5 vs. Puyallup
  • March 12 at Bethel
  • March 18at Rogers of Puyallip
  • March 24 vs. Graham-Kapowsin