Snoqualmie Valley Sports Journal Archive Edition

Bringing you the best coverage of Snoqualmie Valley sports

Archive for December 2009

>New Year’s Eve at the breakfast table

>First off, hope you enjoyed our two-part series on the top youth sports stories of the decade in the Valley.

One that we hope never ever makes that list is the death of a local youth athlete, as they are dealing with right now in Boston. As we mentioned yesterday, a boys’ hockey player from the Boston suburb of Merrimac collapsed at practice and later died. Today, there’s a story about this tragedy in the Boston Globe which also takes a look at how this tragedy has focused attention on the deficiencies of high school athlete physicals.

So our discussion topics are two fold today:

-Should athletes be required to undergo an EKG (electrocardiogram), and who should pay that cost, the athlete/family or school?

-Should all schools and off-campus facilities which schools use for practices or games be required to have a defibrilator and someone on staff trained to use it? There is no mention in this story or IWRC the story from yesterday if one was available in this situation; that likely is one of the questions that will be asked as the investigation into this young man’s death continues.

So have at it, let’s discuss.


Written by Rhett Workman

December 31, 2009 at 4:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

>The decade in review, youth sports style. Part two of two….

>Now we continue our series of the 12 biggest local youth sports stories in our opinion of the decade, as covered by the Valley Record.

7. Mount Si baseball reaches top of state poll, but fails to make playoffs. Mount Si’s baseball team in 2005 was considered to be among the best in Kingco coming in, and they didn’t disappoint. The Wildcats, a senior-laden bunch led by catcher Brandon Sales, who recently graduated after a stellar career in college, were for much of the season the #1 team in state 3A baseball as chosen by the Washington Baseball Poll, and their coordinator, Black Hills coach Lem Elway. But that success on the field did not translate into the playoffs, as they fell in the league tournament, and did not make state. Mount Si’s last state appearance was in 1997 in baseball, and they haven’t been back since. The 2005 disappointment set the program backward, and that ultimately cost coach Gary McGregor his job; he was replaced for the start of the 2008 season by Chaz Carr.

8. Mount Si girls’ soccer 2008 state playoff run, which was started by history. The Mount Si girls’ soccer team started out slow in 2008, as they struggled with inconsistent play in the first half of the season. But the Wildcats went on a tear in the second half, and it culminated with a game at Juanita in late October which if Mount Si won, would make history. The Wildcats and Rebels played a tight game, which went to overtime tied at 1-1. In the 87th minute, “The Goal” was scored. Senior forward Nikki Stanton, who had been the Wildcats’ best player for much of her four years, got a chance to make her mark on history, and she did, scoring what would turn out to be the championship-clinching goal, giving Mount Si their first league title in 20 years. The Wildcats got a 10-day layoff as a result, and opened with a home game against Bonney Lake. It looked bleak, as BL’s power player, Savannah Moorehouse, scored in the second half, but Brittany Conway, another Mount Si senior, rescued the Wildcats with two goals in the final 10 minutes of play to send Mount Si to Kennedy for a second-round game, which the Lancers won behind their phenom, Rebekah Kurle.

9. Mount Si boys golf wins state title in 2009. The first state title in boys golf for the Wildcats looked possible following the previous fall’s district and league tournaments, which Mount Si both won. The Wildcats won behind the efforts of four top golfers: Bradley Harrelson, Mike Rutledge, Jack Kelly and Matt Prewett. Mount Si smoked Camas to win the state crown in Kennewick, and look poised behind Harrelson and Kelly once again this year to contend for the 2010 state crown. Rutledge wasn’t done, either; he this summer won the Washington Junior Golf Association state title for boys 17-18; this fall won a tournament at the Ridge which earned him a spot in a top national tournament, and held his own against the national competiton at the event, which was held at the TPC Sawgrass course in Florida, home of men’s pro golf’s unofficial “fifth major” tournament, the Players’ Championship.

10. Clesson’s impact on Mount Si softball. The Wildcats, in addition to their run in 2004, also made the state tournament in 2003 and 2006. The 2003 berth was the result of a surprising district tournament title; the run in 2006 was the culmination of a great period of Wildcat softball, all thanks to a glorious group of players. The one who is focused on here is Kandis Clesson. Clesson won over 70 games for Mount Si, and is now maybe the first Wildcat grad to be the top pitcher for an NCAA Division I college, as she will return as a junior this season for Idaho State and is expected to be the main pitcher for the Bengals. Clesson last season set a number of Idaho State school records as the team had its best season since its return to play in 2007.

11. Mount Si football’s state title run ends in heartbreak in 2008. The Wildcats had reached the state playoffs after a tough 5-4 season, and went to Seattle to meet Eastside Catholic. The game became a defensive struggle, controlled most of the way by EC. However, a man who was money all year for Mount Si struck gold when it counted the most, as Sean Snead scored a touchdown with less than two minutes left in the game to give the Wildcats the lead. But the ensuing kickoff return was brought back for significant yardage by the Crusaders, and that set up a game-winning touchdown pass with seconds left to turn what was going to be a celebration for the Valley into maybe the most painful loss that many football fans can remember ever for the Wildcat program under Charlie Kinnune. The Wildcats rebounded and finished with a similar 5-4 record in 2009, but drew Bellevue in round one, and without their starting quarterback were blown out by the Wolverines.

12. SVLL Juniors make state. The SVLL was still enjoying the fruits of the success of the Majors all-stars from 2005 when their Juniors team, made up of 13 and 14 year olds, made state in 2006. They didn’t have nearly the success their Majors counterparts had at state the year prior, but them making state on top of the previous year’s success of that Majors team showed that the Little League program in the Valley was beginning to develop into a strong program. However today, the economy, competition from other sports, and competition from other local teams threatens to slow the Little League program’s growth in the community. The next few years will be interesting to watch to see if SVLL can regain the luster they built from this strong two-year period in their history.

There are many more stories that we wish we could put on here, but sadly, we can’t do them all. So if you see one you think should be there, post in our comments page or email us with your comments and picks at

The 2000’s saw as we noted yesterday tremendous growth in local youth sports, and in sports in general. The next decade promises to bring many more moments for our local teams and athletes, as they continue to grow and thrive in a changing sports landscape.

Written by Rhett Workman

December 31, 2009 at 3:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

>BREAKING NEWS: Earthquake near San Diego

>We mention this here, since as you know Mount Si’s boys basketball team is in the middle of the Surf N’Slam tournament down there. According to the San Diego Union Tribune, the quake was estimated to be a 5.8 magnitude, centered on the Mexican side of the U.S-Mexico border near Mexicali. The story also reports several aftershocks.

2:00 update: Latest from down there according to the Union Tribune story linked above is that San Diego did feel the quake, but much of the concern is in the desert valleys to the east of the city out in Imperial County. That said, no major damage or injuries have been reported. More likely than not, probably was a bit of a scare for the guys and their parents who are down there, but other than that they should be fine.

We’ll keep you posted if we hear anything about the Wildcat boys.

Written by Rhett Workman

December 30, 2009 at 7:55 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

>Wednesday notes…..

>Sad item from Boston today, where the Herald is reporting of the death of a local high school hockey player. The paper reports the young man collapsed during practice and later died despite attempts to save his life, which included on-scene CPR.

We have news from San Diego, check on the Valley Record website for more.

Written by Rhett Workman

December 30, 2009 at 4:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

>The decade in review, youth sports style. Part one of two.

>In lieu of a year in review this time around, we here at the Valley Record and SnoValley Sports are going to review what we feel at least are the 12 biggest sports stories for local youth in this first decade of the 21st century. This decade has seen a period of significant growth for Mount Si High School and local youth sports, and the success on the field that we have seen from many sports in our community reflects that. There are, we’re sure, many other big stories that we may have missed in this list, but these 12 events, many of which involve the Wildcats, stick out as among the biggest stories. So, in no particular order, we bring you the 12 biggest stories from youth sports in the Valley here in this decade.

1. 2005-06 Mount Si Wildcat boys basketball season. This was a dream season for a group of seniors that many local fans will not soon forget. The Wildcats finished 23-7 and won the Kingco Tournament, but the fun was only just beginning. The postseason was full of dramatic nail-biters, all of which attracted a large following from the Valley. They won the Kingco title in a thriller over Sammamish, then had to fight off Chief Sealth in the opening game of the SeaKing District Tournament to keep their hopes alive. They made state after beating the Totems in another nail-biter, then proceeded to win two heart-stoppers at state before falling in their final two games to take sixth. After the season ended, coach Garrick Phillips announced his resignation and returned to his hometown of Spokane to be near his family. Phillips is now in his fourth season coaching University High School in the Spokane Valley.

2. 2004 Mount Si Wildcat softball run to state title game. The Wildcats made state three times in this decade (this year, 2003 and 2006) all behind the arm of one Kandis Clesson, who is now doing much the same at Idaho State. This run looked like it wasn’t going to happen, though. Mount Si in 2004 was middling at best, hovering around .500 for much of it, and needed a win at Skyline near the end of the season to kick things into high gear. They got that win, and off to the races they went. There were several thrilling games in this stretch – most notably, the no-hitter by Clesson in the rain at the SeaKing District Tournament to clinch the berth, then the walk-off bunt by Sam Baldwin which was thrown away by Mount Rainier in extra innings to send Mount Si to the title game, where a Kayla Jayne error which scored a run was all it took for Yelm to beat the Wildcats.

3. 2006 Mount Si football makes state. This Wildcat squad made the state tournament with a solid 8-1 season, and opened with a blowout win over Kelso which according to the WIAA was the first state playoff win in school history. Mount Si the next weekend traveled to Camas and played a Saturday afternoon game where the focus was not simply on the field, but on the folks back home as they were cleaning up from devastating floods. The Wildcats gave the community much needed good news with a win against the Papermakers that sent Mount Si to the Tri-Cities to play Kamiakin. The Braves were expected to be tough, and they were, as the Wildcats lost RB Brandon Yakaboski to injury early in the game, and were eliminated with a 16-0 loss in the cold of Kennewick.

4. 2005 Mount Si girls’ soccer run to state. Mount Si’s girls soccer program had been building for some time under coach Darren Brown, who was brought in from Oregon to help rebuild a strong soccer program which existed under former coach Bruce Caldwell. Mount Si survived a couple of close games in the Kingco Tournament to make state for the first time since 1995, and they opened with a game at Shorecrest which was won by the Wildcats to set up what turned out to be a classic. Mount Si hosted Camas on Veteran’s Day night and with short notice were able to attract maybe the largest crowd ever to see a soccer game at Mount Si. And the fans were treated to a defensive battle, one which was won in sudden death by Camas, ending the Wildcats’ dream season. But the message of that night still resonates today in the growth and improvements of the program since then.

5. 2005 Snoqualmie Valley Little League Majors All-Stars. The goal of all 11 and 12-year old boys who play baseball in the spring and summer is to reach the Little League World Series and the diamonds of Pennsylvania. SVLL had, until 2005, hadn’t even seen a sniff of this in the nearly 50-year history of the league. But the boys from the Valley won their district tournament, and reached state, where they opened with a thrilling 2-1 win which was highlighted by two thrilling plays at the plate in which SVLL catcher Braden Wolgamott nailed opposing runners trying to score runs. SVLL’s dream fell short, however, as they ran into a great pitcher from Chehalis later in the tournament, and then were eliminated in a close one against Mill Creek. And what about some of the names from that tournament? Well, guys such as Rob Lane, Dustin Breshears, Tim Proudfoot and Matt Bankston are now all starring on the Wildcat baseball team as they return to prominence under coach Chaz Carr.

6. Mount Si volleyball success at state. Mount Si coach Bonnie Foote has slowly, but surely, built the Wildcat program into one of the top high school programs in the state. But until 2007, fans didn’t get to see the results of that hard work. That year, though, things changed. A big win against Skyline in the league tournament enabled the Wildcats to get a good enough district seeding to put them in a good spot going into that tournament, which was on Mount Si’s home floor. The Wildcats, after making short work of Ingraham, faced off against Eastside Catholic, and the two teams put on a five-set barnburner, won by Mount Si after a burst of energy to open the fifth and deciding frame. The Wildcats made state and proceeded to fall in the first match, but won the next two to grab a trophy, for eighth place. The state match against Mount Spokane was as much a heart-stopper as the EC win was.

Mount Si also made state in 2008 and this year. placing sixth this year after two wild wins to open the tournament.

We have more for you tomorrow so come on back for part two.

Written by Rhett Workman

December 30, 2009 at 3:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

>Tuesday chatter…..

>Here’s today’s news and notes:

-For those of you Wildcat boys hoops fans who want the other side’s perspective on yesterday’s overtime game at the Surf N’Slam in San Diego, here is the game report from the Canton Repository newspaper, complete with comments from Mount Si opponent Jackson (Massillon, OH)’s coach.

Mount Si is scheduled to play Lake Stevens today. For more on the game itself, see related post here on the blog. We may move that later to the Valley Record website, though, so be advised.

-And around the cooler, we have this Boston Globe story about new opportunities for high school athletes in Beantown thanks to donated equipment and money from private sources.

Written by Rhett Workman

December 29, 2009 at 12:38 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

>Valley teens fare well at first big ski race of season

>Two Valley teenage skiing stars who have been featured in past issues of the Valley Record fared well this past weekend at their first big race of the winter campaign.

Snoqualmie’s Anna Mounsey had a solid two days at the event, the Webb Moffett Cup up at Snoqualmie Pass, named for the man who once owned the ski resort years ago. Mounsey Saturday finished sixth in the women’s giant slalom race (1:40.43) then yesterday improved on that result with a fifth in a second round of giant slalom action (1:35.69). Saturday’s result was a little over two seconds behind race winner Yina Moe-Lange, while yesterday’s effort resulted in a finish just inside of two seconds behind Moe-Lange, who also won that race.

North Bend’s Linnea Baysinger had a little more mixed result, as she finished just ahead of Mounsey in fifth on Saturday (1:40.10) but ended up 13th yesterday, even though her time improved (1:38.65). So all in all, a good effort for Baysinger.

We have been following both of these ladies since the Valley Record ran a story on them making the Junior Olympic races a couple years ago.

We have contacted Anna’s mom and hope to get some photos and other stuff for you here so we will update this post accordingly.

Written by Rhett Workman

December 28, 2009 at 11:52 pm

Posted in Uncategorized