Snoqualmie Valley Sports Journal Archive Edition

Bringing you the best coverage of Snoqualmie Valley sports

Archive for December 2008

>2009 college preview

>SnoValleySports has been there through the fall and early winter of 2008 keeping an eye on all the college action from four-year local athletes, and there have been some fine efforts, such as those by SPU women’s cross country runner Jane Larson (jr., Fall City) and by local rowers Amy and Karin Brevick (Karin a sr., Amy a jr. both Fall City) and the Eddings twins Tara and Chelsie (so’s., North Bend). Throughout 2009, there will be a lot to keep an eye on.

There are many teams and many athletes that we will follow throughout the year here, but there are a couple of things we will be paying attention to.

One is the future of UW football player Brandon Yakaboski (Duvall/Mount Si ’06). A redshirt freshman in 2008 (he red-shirted in 2007), he was used sparingly by former UW coach Tyrone Willingham, and with a completely new coaching staff coming in led by new head man Steve Sarkisian, the question is whether he decides to stay or request a transfer to a smaller school, say Central or Western. Whatever he decides to do we’ll be sure to let you know.

Another story has to do with how Idaho State softball
(Kandis Clesson, jr. P, North Bend) fares following a coaching change and the distractions resulting from why the change was made. We have seen the media reports out of Pocatello concerning this matter, and it’s safe to say here it’s not pretty. While those issues get dealt with internally and behind the scenes, the Bengals will be in a transition year, as they will be joining a conference come 2010, and as we have already noted here previously, this alignment guarantees a visit by Clesson to play in front of the home fans as a senior.

There are a number of other stories we will keep an eye on as well, and quite a few teams. There’s George Fox and PLU baseball, CWU and Charleston Southern softball, Western Washington men’s soccer, Fairfield and Northwest U women’s soccer, track up at Western, and the volleyball program at Washington State. Plus others.

So stay informed, and keep checking back, as once the softball and baseball seasons start we’ll probably be ramping it back up again to maybe daily stuff.

Written by Rhett Workman

December 26, 2008 at 4:09 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

>What’s coming up in 2009 on the local youth sports scene

>As promised, let’s take a look at what fans can expect in 2009.

2009 is expected to be another good year for local youth athletics, and the Valley Record and SnoValleySports will be there to cover as much of it as possible.

Mount Si fans can expect a lot as the new year starts as the boys basketball team gets right back to work on January 3. This team will likely have a loss or two coming out of San Diego, but the Wildcat boys do show a lot of promise, and this is a team that fans will want to watch as the league season gets back going when the kids return to class. The girls will also be looking to make some noise as well. Mount Si’s gymnastics and wrestling teams both are expected to have big seasons ahead, and if you see our gymnastics item in next week’s Valley Record, you will know this team is really making a case for its best season ever. Fans will have a lot to look forward to in January and February.

After the winter season gets done, spring sports roll around, and fans can look for both baseball and boys soccer to have potentially good teams. Aided by league realignment and some good players on both squads, these two programs could be in line for high placings in Kingco 3A this season. Track once again will prove to be a big force, while tennis will be retooling likely under a new coach since it doesn’t appear longtime coach Sue Gallacher will be back in 2009.

Softball though, it’s somewhat too early to tell. They will be young, and having to do some major re-tooling, as many positions will be up for grabs in early practices when they start up in February. The group will be fine in the league, yes, but it’s their non-league schedule which will say a lot about how good this team will be under veteran coach Larry White, who last season maybe had the best assistant coaching staff on paper on the whole Eastside in former UW player Traci Tawney and her brother, along with ex-Mariner Jay Buhner and local softball parent Kevin Sweepe. All are expected to be back this spring, so this team will have excellent coaching, it’s a matter of how well they play and how tough their non-league will be.

Moving to the summer sports, and with many local athletes playing in club ball, tournaments will be the big story in the summer, as many of these athletes travel around the country to face the best in the nation. The economy, though, will likely impact this scene greatly; in a lot of areas around the country it already has, so there may not be as many tournaments in 2009 for these athletes to attend. Big events, such as the softball, volleyball and basketball ones we covered this year, will continue; there, however, may not be as many teams in those events. Teams and their sanctioning organizations need to address these issues the best they can, and try to put together schedules closer to home so families can afford to attend these events.

Next fall, Mount Si football will be re-tooling, as will Mount Si girls’ soccer. Both teams, though, look to do fine in the league, as this past season saw these programs develop tremendous depth within their younger ranks that will be ready to play come August when practices get started. Volleyball will be in the same boat as well, and will need that younger depth to step up right away.

Cross country and boys’ tennis will also continue to grow as they introduce new kids to their respective sports.

It should be a fun 2009 for local youth athletics. We’ll run a separate college preview soon.

Written by Rhett Workman

December 26, 2008 at 2:19 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

>2008, the year in review for Valley youth sports, part 2

>We continue our year in review by looking at Mount Si volleyball where it was a similar dramatic run which put them into state. It started out with a solid performance in the Kingco Tournament, as they finished second. However, that second seed drew them a trap opponent in the first round at districts November 13 in Seattle Prep, and once again, as had been the case twice in the past under Wildcat coach Bonnie Foote, the Panthers proved to be a difficult test for Mount Si. The Wildcats lost the first two sets, and were on the ropes. Mount Si, though, found a second wind, and rode that to wins in the next three games, and a second chance, which they made the most of, shocking a tough Bishop Blanchet team October 15 to help land a solid third seed to the state dance.

That state dance once again started out terribly, just as it did in 2007, as they fell in a five-set barnburner to Lakes October 21 in round one, but then Mount Si once again found another dose of magic, and rode that all the way to the semifinals that night, where Kennedy was waiting for them, and yet again, the Wildcats’ former Seamount rivals had the Valley’s number, knocking Mount Si from state one game short of a trophy. It was quite the run once again, and the memories will hopefully last a long time for these ladies as well.

Mount Si football had maybe the state’s toughest schedule in the first month, and it showed on the win-loss column.

But that preparation helped out much later in the season, as the Wildcats trounced opponents four straight weeks in October, giving many young players quality playing time late in those contests, and allowing one Mr. Sean Snead to develop into one of the region’s top running backs. Snead consistently had 150-200 yards a game as the season went one, and he became the one money threat on the ground other teams didn’t want any part of.

Mount Si used a school-record five-TD performance from their senior back to send Peninsula home on their home field November 6, then used him again to get into the lead very late in their state first-round game in Seattle against Eastside Catholic November 12. Things, though, changed in a New York minute, and the Crusaders were back on top just seconds after Snead scored for the Wildcats. What appeared to be the joy of victory instead became the agony of a very painful defeat, one that will not be forgotten by this program for many years to come. The Valley sports community who was there was shaken to the core by what they witnessed, and it was a moment many of them will not soon forget, either.

Alex Rudd was the story once again for Mount Si cross country as she had a good effort at state in 2008. Rudd will be a senior in 2009 and is likely to run in college, and on the local running scene during the summer months.

2008 winter and spring sports struggled some, although Wildcat softball made districts barely, and basketball-both boys and girls-made league. Track sent a solid contingent to state and had great success. Gymnastics and wrestling also had great seasons, and saw athletes have solid state efforts. Boys’ soccer and baseball, though, both struggled in rebuilding modes.

During the summer, local teams and athletes had great success, and some teams had amazing games. Case in point: the Fall City Little League All Star 9-10 year old girls softball team. In a district tournament game July 6 against the Bellevue Thunderbird Little League all-star team, FC was down 19-0 after just the top half of the first inning, but didn’t quit. They went to work right away, and started to climb back into the game. Down 25-17 after four, FC was running out of time to make a last comeback, so they went ahead in the fifth and made the comeback. It was quite the rally, indeed, as they scored 16 runs in the frame to take a 33-25 lead. BTLL re-took the lead in the top of the sixth, meaning FC had to comeback one more time, and these kids, despite all the adversity, had a little more left in them, and scored the necessary runs in the bottom of the inning to take the victory 36-35. This comeback rates among the greatest, if not the greatest, ever by a youth sports team in this community IMO. History should not forget this group of girls, and hopefully they and their peers learned many valuable lessons about the results of hard work and dedication and effort from this game.

As you see, 2008 was a great year for local youth teams and athletes, and coming up, a look at what 2009 could offer.

Written by Rhett Workman

December 26, 2008 at 1:55 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

>2008, the year in review for Valley youth sports-part 1

>2008 was a big year once again for Mount Si sports, but the year saw a lot of extremes, some high, some low.

Maybe the biggest stories of the year happened in the fall, as all three major Wildcat athletic teams made state. And all three of their runs to state were very special, indeed.

We start with the girls’ soccer team, who was somewhat rudderless in the first half of the schedule. It seemed after about three weeks that this team was going nowhere, largely because there was no offense. Well, something clicked in their heads, and they went on a tear, and I mean a tear. A 6-0-1 run to close out the regular season, along with a flair for the dramatic, lifted Mount Si to its first league title in 20 years since winning the Seamount championship in 1988.

The final full week of the regular season saw two of the biggest plays this program has witnessed in a long time. Late in a game October 21 against Bellevue, on Senior Night, with Mount Si ahead and the Wolverines desperate for a tie, Bellevue fired a shot towards the upper crossbar of the Wildcat goal, only to have it stopped by the paw of an outstretched Marika Loudenback much to the delight of all. Mount Si closed it out, and off to Juanita they went October 23.

Juanita took the early lead, but lost their goalkeeper in a collision with a Wildcat player in the first half. Mount Si took quick advantage thanks to the other Snead. You know about Sean, of course, more soon on him, but his younger sister is quite the player, too, and Lauren, well, she was in the right place at the right time very early in the second half, and scored to tie the game. It went to overtime, and these are the times where your big players have to step up, and the biggest of them all did. Nikki Stanton popped in what turned out to be the biggest goal in 20 years in the 87th minute, and Mount Si took the lead. They held on for the win, and brought home the league title. The dramatic flair was not done, yet.

Mount Si opened state play November 13 against a good Bonney Lake squad, and we mean good. Coming in, they were unbeaten, and had one of the state’s most explosive scorers in Savanna Moorehouse in their back pocket. And Moorehouse did what she did best, and that was score, and it was quite the goal indeed in the 57th minute, but Brittany Conway, well, she wasn’t going to let that end her year. She scored the tying goal on an absolute fluke in the 71st minute, then the ladies woke up. In traffic in stoppage time with seconds to spare, Conway was there to ram it home, and dash the hopes of the Panthers in almost sudden-death fashion.

The ‘Cats went down to Kennedy November 15 for an afternoon showdown with a Lancers team who eliminated Mount Si the last time they went to state in 2006. And if they thought Moorehouse was good, well, Kennedy’s Rebekah Kurle, she was better, and it came down to the best players putting their teams on their backs. Kurle scored first, then Stanton scored on a penalty kick to tie. Kurle had the last laugh in the 64th minute, and despite the hard work of this Wildcat team, the Lancers did it again, knocking out the Wildcats from state. Mount Si had a dream run come up short, but these ladies, hopefully the memories they got from that last a lifetime.

We’ll stop here, and provide Part 2 of our year in review coming up.

Written by Rhett Workman

December 26, 2008 at 1:51 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

>More AP all-state honors….

>The AP all-state lists for girls soccer and girls volleyball are out today:

Full lists from the Seattle Times:
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/highschoolsports/weballstatesoccer.html – Soccer
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/highschoolsports/weballstatevolley.html – Volleyball

Mount Si seniors Miranda Pratt (volleyball) and Nikki Stanton (soccer) made the first team lists for 3A in their respective sports. Pratt made the list as a hitter, and Stanton got on her list as a midfielder. On the volleyball list, Pratt is joined on it by two MI kids to round out the Kingco honorees, while Stanton is the lone Kingco 3A rep on the soccer list.

Pratt led the Wildcat volleyball team to within one win of its second straight trophy at state this season, while Stanton helped lead the Wildcat soccer team to its first league title of any kind in 20 years. Both will ply their respective athletic trades at D-I colleges next year – Pratt at Idaho, Stanton at Fairfield in Connecticut.

Sportswriters from 13 papers in WA (again, as noted previously, we’re not among those papers. It’s papers such as the Times, P-I, Tacoma News Tribune, Tri-City Herald, Spokane Spokesman-Review, the Olympian, the Columbian in Vancouver, and the Everett and Bellingham Heralds) voted on these honors.

These two join Mike Nelson as AP fall sports all-state honorees from Mount Si this fall sports season. Nice job all of you.

Written by Rhett Workman

December 22, 2008 at 2:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

>S. Oregon over Northwest women

>Tough night for North Bend’s Rachel Mitchell and the rest of her Northwest U women’s team last night. Despite a solid 22 point effort from Mitchell, a game-high, Northwest fell 70-62 to Southern Oregon.

Written by Rhett Workman

December 21, 2008 at 8:57 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

>Northwest U women brave snow to take out Oregon Tech

>Despite the snow and awful road conditions, Northwest U’s women’s basketball team got their game in last night against Oregon Tech, and the Eagles took home a tight 47-43 win. Rachel Mitchell (NWU/North Bend) had a solid game with 11 points.

They play again today, weather and power outages permitting, as it’s expected that high winds will hit the Kirkland area, less so than the Valley, which is likely to lose power later today with even higher winds forecast. It appears PSE and other utilities are ready for this storm, their first big test since that big 2006 storm, but even so, if power goes out, likely goes the Mount Si HS hoops games next week before Xmas.

Written by Rhett Workman

December 20, 2008 at 2:31 pm

Posted in Uncategorized