Baylor Ayres was selected as one of 25 finalists in the class of 2021 to compete in the final Northwest 9 tryout, which will be Labor Day weekend in Boise, Idaho. (File photo)

Main event to show skills is now Sept. 5-6 

LYNDEN ­— Having been to no camps this summer, Lynden senior quarterback Baylor Ayres wasn’t quite sure what to expect of himself at tryouts for the Northwest 9 in early August.

This tryout is one of the more prestigious quarterback competitions in the region, and as such it was filled with some of the best talent in the state.

“There were some studs there,” Ayres said. “They just ran us through some footwork drills and had us throw passes. It was a good tryout, but it was also a really good camp. I learned a lot.”

Ayres said he felt good about his performance after the tryout. The Northwest 9 staff obviously thought so as well, as Ayres was selected one of 25 finalists in the class of 2021 to go on to compete in the final tryout on Labor Day weekend in Boise, Idaho. 

The main event will be two days, Sept. 5-6, and consist of three workouts, says the Northwest 9 website. After the third workout, NW9 coaches will determine who the top nine quarterbacks are and invite them to stay for a final workout.

“It’s pretty special that people recognize my hard work and I get a chance to play and do this,” Ayres said. 

Competing against some of the best in the region from all classifications, Ayres said he doesn’t really think about the size of the school people play at. 

“In reality we’re all boys. We all have the same hands and body and we’re all the same person — I just live in a smaller town,” he said. “I kind of feel like people take that for granted like, ‘Oh, he lives in Lynden and Lynden’s not that good because it’s a farming town.’ We’re the same as everyone else, we just live in a smaller town.”

Similar to heading into the initial tryout, Ayres said he doesn’t really know if he has any expectations set for the final tryout. He said he’d obviously like to place and win the competition, but he’s also just happy to have the opportunity.

Under normal circumstances, Ayres and the rest of the Lynden football team would have had a spring season and would be gearing up for their first game against Hockinson this Friday, Sept. 4, but that’s all been put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The team has spent the time off preparing for whenever they’ll be able to hit the field next. Game action won’t be until spring. 

Ayres said it’s just become an extended offseason for the Lions and they’re preparing the same way they would if things had gone as planned this summer. 

“We’re in the weight room a lot and doing team workouts on our own,” he said. “I’m throwing with the receivers and the linemen are getting together working out. We’re all just doing our own thing and it’s working. Guys are getting stronger and I see that out of everyone. We’re all working together and trying to make this a special season.”