By Ray Hamill — The Ferndale Wildcats and Eureka Loggers are well represented on this week’s Humboldt Sports Athletes and Teams of the Week.
In football, seniors Lane Branstetter and Hayden Bode were instrumental in leading their respective teams to season-opening wins in football, with each of them turning in top-class performances on both sides of the ball.
And that gets each of them the nod for our co-male athletes of the week.
In girls soccer, meanwhile, a freshman took center stage on opening day, with Ferndale’s Reaghan Langer turning in a debut performance she won’t forget any time soon, earning her our girls athlete of the week honor.
And finally, our team of the week goes to Bode and his teammates on the Eureka football team, after the Loggers won their opener in thrilling fashion.
ATHLETES OF THE WEEK
Ferndale Football, Senior
Branstetter was sensational for the Wildcats in a 12-0 win at St. Bernard’s on Friday, leading the way at running back and middle linebacker.
The entire Ferndale team played well, posting their first win over the Crusaders since 2013, but it was Branstetter who epitomized the hard-nosed team effort as much as anyone.
“We just didn’t have an answer for him,” St. Bernard’s head coach Matt Tomlin said of Branstetter.
For more on Branstetter’s big day, see Wildcats shut out the Crusaders in physical opener …
Eureka Football, Senior
Bode was just as impressive for the Loggers, making play after play on both sides of the ball in an overtime win against Arcata.
Crucially, the Eureka senior scored the game-winning two-point conversion.
For more on Bode’s big weekend, see Loggers, Tigers serve up classic overtime thriller …
Ferndale Soccer, Freshman
Langer announced herself at the high school level with a bang, scoring two late goals to lift the Wildcats to a come-from-behind win at St. Bernard’s last week.
Langer is one of several talented freshmen getting their first taste of prep soccer around the H-DNL this spring, painting a bright future for the league at large.
For more on her big performance, see Exciting day of action in H-DNL girls soccer …
TEAM OF THE WEEK
A young Loggers squad didn’t disappoint on opening weekend, winning in thrilling fashion when Bode ran in for a two-point conversion in overtime.
It was head coach Andrew Haraldson’s first win as a head coach and one he won’t forget anytime soon, after his players battled back twice late in the game to sneak a 36-34 victory.
There were several stars for the Loggers on the night — on the line, at the skill positions, and on both sides of the ball — in what was an epic team victory.
For more on Eureka’s big win, see Loggers, Tigers serve up classic overtime thriller …