2008 Sports Year In Review

Coming off of a win at Lakewood’s Hole in the Wall Invite and a conference championship, Lakewood junior Taylor Guske, No. 3931, leads the pack at the district race at South Whidbey. He paced closely by teammate Nick Devier. The Lakewood boys won a conference championship and a state berth where they were joined by Lakewood senior Lacey Nation, the girl’s team qualifier. -
Coming off of a win at Lakewood’s Hole in the Wall Invite and a conference championship, Lakewood junior Taylor Guske, No. 3931, leads the pack at the district race at South Whidbey. He paced closely by teammate Nick Devier. The Lakewood boys won a conference championship and a state berth where they were joined by Lakewood senior Lacey Nation, the girl’s team qualifier.
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Arlington wins Battle of the Bull

A big lead from Arlington’s biggest wrestlers helped the Eagles top Stanwood in their Jan. 22 dual meet.

Arlington went on to win 44-14.

In the opener, Jordan Anderson won a critical 189 pound match-up over Denver Colin.

“I knew he was good,” Anderson said afterward. “He smashed my teeth in the first round and that got me all fired up.”

Anderson won a 7-4 decision that fired up the entire Arlington bench. No Arlington wrestler was pinned in the whole meet.

Arlington went on to send six wrestlers to the Mat Classic.


Lakewood girls secures district spot

A big game in a big venue gave the Lakewood girls basketball team a late-season boost.

Playing Sultan at Key Arena Feb. 2, the girls gained an extra game advantage over the Turks, Lakewood’s closest competition for the league’s second automatic district berth.

Lakewood won 59-50.

“Mathematically, we’re in the playoffs now,” said Lakewood coach Chris Walster.

Seniors Jennifer Lind and Aly Stewart led Lakewood’s scoring with 15 and 11 points respectively.

Caldwell, Ordonez represent Lakewood’s state wrestlers

Lakewood junior Christina Ordonez and sophomore Keely Caldwell stormed through the opening rounds of the girls wrestling regional at Arlington High School, pinning all opponents in their path.

Each fell in the regional title match, but not before securing berths to Washington’s first girls state wrestling tournament Feb. 15-16.

Though neither Lakewood wrestler placed at the Mat Classic, the girls returned for another try in 2008-09.

Arlington girls fall one game short of state

With the season on the line, Arlington guard Sheryl Scheppele did what she does best for the team.

“I shoot,” the Arlington junior said. “I like to be there to support my team.”

Scheppele had four three-pointers against Mount Vernon, the fourth giving Arlington its first lead of the game, 54-52. As Mount Vernon struggled to regain the lead, they were forced to foul for possessions. Arlington punished them at the line, with sophomore Quinn Kesselring 4-for-4 down the stretch.

With the win, Arlington met Shorecrest in a loser-out, winner-to-state game.

The girls fell 53-37 to the district’s eventual No. 2 seed.


Early loss imparts lesson to conference champion Lakewood baseball

After a flat performance cost Lakewood baseball its opener against Archbishop Murphy, the Cougars roared back to capture the series with 12- and 14-run performances.

Despite the foreboding start in the March 10 game there were bright spots.

Right fielder Josh Spears — who would go on to garner conference player of the year honors — had a first-inning double and a long pass to home plate for a dramatic second-inning out.

With a sweep of Granite Falls to close out the season and some help from South Whidbey, Lakewood earned their first conference title since 2005 when the Cougars made it all the way to the state championship game.

Lakewood met South Whidbey in the opening round of the district tournament in Anacortes where the team ultimately fell a game short of qualifying for state.

Rayner pitches no-hitter, leads team through districts

Arlington’s standout junior pitcher Christina Rayner pitched a no-hitter against Shorecrest and the Eagles went on to defeat the Wesco South challengers 7-0.

Rayner has earned all-conference honors since her freshman year and signed a letter of intent to play for North Dakota State in 2009-10. She takes the mound for her senior year in spring 2009.

The Arlington fastpitch team went on to the 3A district tournament in Sedro-Woolley, falling a game short of the 3A state fastpitch tournament.

The Eagles defeated the Sedro-Woolley team in the first round, but a rally came up short against Everett, handing Arlington their first loss in the double-elimination tournament. A win against Ferndale set up a rematch with Sedro-Woolley, who avenged their early loss and earned a state playoff slot.


New faces named to lead Arlington athletics

April showers may bring May flowers, but April also brought big changes to the Arlington sports world.

Arlington math teacher Tom Roys was named the school district’s next athletic director, following Allen Jefferson, who announced his plans to retire at the end of the 2007-08 school year.

Additionally, Arlington announced the successor Arlington football head coach Tim Tramp, who left the program after two years. Another math teacher and Tramp assistant Greg Dailer was named the head coach of the Eagle football team. Dailer coached football for eight years in Ocoee, Fla., before moving to Arlington with his family.

“It was my goal to be a head coach again,” Dailer said after the announcement.

Dailer led Arlington a 6-4 regular season, falling just short of a playoff slot in the team’s first year back at 4A classification and in their first year operating the spread offense.


Lakewood boys soccer win district

After two regular season losses to Cedarcrest, the Cougar boys finally got a win of their own over their league nemesis.

With a 1-0 win, Lakewood defeated the Red Wolves, May 10, in the district championship game at Mount Vernon High School.

Lakewood midfielder Joseph Hawkins scored the game-winning goal in the 76th minute.

Lakewood hosted Mark Morris in the opening round of the state tournament May 13, ultimately falling 2-1.

Mack leads Arlington track to state

With a state-qualifying triple jump campaign as a junior, Arlington’s Bryan Mack seemed poised for a strong senior campaign.

The promise was delivered upon when Mack emerged from the two-day district meet at Shoreline a state-qualifier in four events, the maximum allowed by the WIAA.

Mack returned to Pasco to compete in the triple jump, adding the long jump, the 100-meter dash and the 4x100 relay.

He’s “hopefully a four-event placer,” said Arlington coach Judd Hunter.

Mack faced competition at state in two events from teammates as Brandon Gunter also qualified in the long jump while sprinter Marcus Dolan qualified in the 100 and 200.

Senior Kjirsten Jensen, a defending two-event state champion, once again qualified in the shot put and discus.

As a result, Arlington placed second at districts out of nine teams, behind defending state champ Everett.

Jensen was a repeat champion in the girls discus and took second place in the shot put at state. Mack placed fourth in the triple jump and seventh in the 100. Sophomore Virginia Wilson placed seventh in the girls high jump and the 4x100 relay of Mack, Gunter, Kellen Botten and Dolan placed seventh.

Crawford wins second golf championship

With a comfortable lead heading into the 18th hole, Highland Christian junior Craig Crawford wasn’t aiming for the hole as he chipped onto the green from 20 yards out.

The golf ball fell just where it needed to so that Crawford birdied on the last hole, winning his second individual state championship in three years with an even part performance at Lake Padden Golf Course, May 20-21.

In 2006, then a freshman, Crawford won his first 1B/2B state championship.

Crawford widened a three-stroke lead from the end of the first day, finishing two under par for the second day.

The golfer returns for his senior season in spring 2009.

Arlington exchange student brings tremendous tennis success

Arlington senior Ivana Krommelova capped off a spectacular season in her first season on the Eagles’ tennis team with a second-place finish in the 3A state tennis singles tournament.

The Slovakian exchange student made an impression on Arlington tennis coach Sean Cunningham right away, who predicted her ability to compete at state before the season began.

Along the way, Krommelova’s inspired play made an impression on her teammates, too, and the girls built a 6-9 record, just one game out of fourth place in a league dominated by Snohomish and Stanwood.

After an undefeated 24-0 record throughout the season, Krommelova won her way through the singles bracket into a championship match May 24 against fellow undefeated singles player Brittney Reed of Kamiakin, who was 28-0. It was there Krommelova finally met her match as Reed defeated Krommelova, 6-1, 6-3.

Krommelova defeated Reed’s teammate and eventual fourth-place finisher Caitlin Bampton in the opening round and Holy Names teammates Rachel Storz and Natalie Allen to advance to the May 24 championship game.


Stilly Valley places at Strawberry Tournament

It took extra innings, but the Stilly Valley Falcons defeated Marysville-area Walker’s Coffee Company to vie for the Strawberry Tournament championship at Cedar Field.

The June 10 playoff game was scoreless for four innings until Stilly Valley took advantage of a walk, scoring on Seigo Hall’s RBI to mid-right field. Hall’s was the first of three consecutive hits that gave the Falcons a 2-0 lead and a big momentum swing.

Walker’s came back, scoring one run. The defense held Stilly Valley to just three batters, coming up with the chance to tie or win.

A solo home run by Walker’s slugger Alec Bargmeyer brought up the tie and extra innings.

In the eighth inning, Stilly Valley fourth and fifth batters Noah Jones and Tim Kolling had RBIs to give the Falcons a 4-2 lead. Walker’s would only be able to answer with one run of their own.


Stilly Valley majors named Team Washington

A two-out rally proved to be the decisive play behind the Stilly Valley majors’ state championship win over Sammamish July 18.

Sammamish had only gotten better in their run through the loser’s bracket and showed they weren’t intimidated by answering Stilly Valley’s first-inning run with two of their own.

That Sammamish lead held until into the third inning where, with two outs, catcher Amy Revelle got a hit and the Stilly Valley offense got going. Bases loaded, shortstop Syvannah Cram got the game-tying RBI.

The girls added to their tally in the fourth as pitcher Hayley Fields hit a double into a hole behind the Sammamish shortstop to kick off another two-out rally. Second baseman Savannah Diemer got on base right after and both girls scored on the pass ball to take the lead.

Playing as guest, Stilly Valley seemed under pressure to add to their 4-2 lead to wrap up the state title in one game instead of two.

The girls got that chance in the top of the sixth. Kaylyn Myers walked and Kayla Mashburn laid down a nice bunt to advance her teammate. A bunt by Kazen turned into a base hit and an RBI by Fields put the game essentially out reach by what would become the final tally, 5-2.

The girls advanced to the regional tournament in Vancouver, Wash., but luck was not on their side. The girls lost their first two pool games by a margin of a run each, virtually ending their chances to advance to the semifinals and Little League World Series. They finished 0-4 in pool play.

Local athlete has extraordinary leap

Arlington eighth-grader Max Bryson had a terrific season as a high jumper, but it’s not beginner’s luck.

Bryson, who attended Post Middle School, only got better as the track season went on. Not long after taking up the high jump, broke a school record older than he was. With a 5-8 jump, Bryson broke the previous middle school record of 5-4, set in 1985.

By the end of the season, Bryson was clearing heights taller than he was. At Mount Vernon, in a season-ending meet, he jumped 6-2 in preliminaries. In the finals, he cleared a height of 6-5 1/4. There appears to be no jumper of his age like Bryson in the country.

“It’s pretty amazing, said Post track coach Melinda Skyles. “When I saw him jumping at prelims, I looked down on the field and the judges were setting the bar above their heads.”

Despite struggling with a back injury, Bryson took his sport to USA Track & Field meets. He qualified out of the Pacific Northwest Association Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships meet in Seattle June 21-22 and the Region 13 Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships in Spokane July 10-13 to compete at the USA Track & Field Junior Olympic Championships in Omaha, Neb., July 22-27.

On July 24, competing in the youth boys division, Bryson jumped a best of 5-7 that day. It was good for fourth place. The winner cleared 5-8 3/4.


M-P produces another Olympian

While most middle- and long-distance runners set their career-best marks in their 30s, recent Marysville-Pilchuck graduate Haley Nemra will compete in the Beijing Olympics at 18 years old.

Nemra, a cross country and track standout in her career at M-P, competed in the women’s 800-meter run for the Marshall Islands, a small island nation located about midway between Australia and Hawaii. Her dual citizen status and success at the South Pacific Games in 2006 earned her an invitation to represent the Marshall Islands in their first-ever Olympic delegation.

She also represented the nation in opening ceremonies, donning traditional island garb.

In the Aug. 15 preliminaries, Nemra raced in the second of six heats, finishing the course in 2:18.83.

Nemra’s personal best in the event came three months earlier at the Washington state track meet in Pasco where she finished preliminaries in a time of 2:13.83.

While Nemra did not qualify for the Aug. 17 semifinals, nor did the three Americans in the race.

After her Olympic experience, Nemra flew back to San Francisco, where she began her freshman year at the University of San Francisco. She competes on the cross country and track teams there.

Nemra became M-P’s second Olympian in as many contests. In 2004, 1995 graduate Jarred Rome qualified to represented the United States in the discus at the Athens Olympics.


Big win over Jackson gives Arlington 3-0 start

In a contest for the year’s most exciting football game, don’t count out Arlington-Jackson.

In the Sept. 19 game, Arlington’s third of the season, junior quarterback Jake Parduhn helped lead the Eagles back from eight points down to stay perfect with a 28-22 overtime win.

A clumsily executed fake punt in the fourth quarter gave Jackson possession of the ball and allowed the Timberwolves to extend their lead from 15-14 to 22-14 on a 35-yard touchdown run by running back Taylor Cox.

With 10 minutes left, Arlington began to drive toward the Jackson end zone with a touchdown on their minds. Instead, Parduhn was picked off by Cox on a long pass intended for Dylan Lindberg.

“There was a point when I thought, ‘I hope I didn’t lose this for us with a bad call on the fake punt,’” said Arlington coach Greg Dailer.

The Arlington defense held on, holding Jackson to fourth and inches and forcing the Timberwolves to punt. The Eagles took over on their own 34-yard line with four and a half minutes to put eight points on the board.

A 30-yard pass to wide receiver Jon Shell gave Arlington a first down in Jackson territory. The Eagles struggled to gain yards on the ground and, on third and eight, Parduhn missed wide receiver Connor Varnell, who had scored two touchdowns earlier in the game.

So in classic football drama, the game came down to one play.

Shell got the call. Parduhn rolled out to the right and passed across the field to Shell who caught the pass for 26 yards and another Eagle first down. The touchdown came on a quarterback keeper with a minute and a half left in the game.

Parduhn went through the air to team co-captain and running back Sherman Pruitt, who delivered on the play, scoring the two-point conversion that would force overtime.

Jackson got the first possession in overtime, starting at the Arlington 25-yard line. The Eagle defense held Jackson to fourth and two at the 17-yard line, forcing Jackson to attempt a field goal for the win.

The kick went wide.

Taking over at the Jackson 25, Arlington gained a couple of yards on the ground. On third and eight, Parduhn connected with Lindberg for the game-winning touchdown.

Lakewood defeats King’s

Lakewood football suffered its share of misfortune this season.

But things looked especially grim when the Cougars entered the Sept. 26 game against conference leader King’s without starting quarterback and eventual all-league pick Justin Lane.

In an impressive come-from-behind victory in the fourth quarter, the Cougars rallied to beat King’s 25-22.

Behind senior quarterback Saul Velasco, Lakewood started strong, driving down the field for a touchdown and then picking off King’s and culminating the first half in a field goal.

The momentum did not remain with Lakewood.

King’s came out in the second half, scoring on a kickoff return and then completing a scoring drive after holding the Cougars three-and-out.

The Lakewood defense kept the boys in the game and ultimately Velasco found the end zone in the fourth quarter on a two-yard keeper. The Cougars had a three-point lead with 50 seconds on the clock.

The Lakewood senior would eventually end up with 26 carries for 155 yards, compete six of 13 passes for 102 yards and three rushing touchdowns.

After the game backup quarterback Saul Velasco said, “This was a team effort. We played like a family today.”


Guske wins Hole in the Wall, Cascade Conference

There’s no place like home to run one’s best.

It was at home at Lakewood’s annual Hole in the Wall Invitational on Oct. 11 that junior Taylor Guske gave his best performance of the season and won the varsity boys 5k.

With a time of 16:18, Guske set his third personal record of the season, beating Peninsula junior Chris Borg by two seconds for first place. Guske’s performance helped lead the Lakewood boys to a third-place finish overall behind Issaquah and Peninsula.

Senior Nick Devier also finished in the boys top 10, taking 10th place in a time of 16:41. Byron Gouette (32nd), Trent Tresch (38th) and Chad Skiles (47th) also scored points for Lakewood, all finishing within a minute of Devier.

Guske followed up the effort two weeks later by winning a conference title, once again on his home turf.

As Lakewood played host to standout teams from around the league including Cedarcrest and King’s, Guske’s championship effort helped Lakewood earn its 20th boys league championship in 25 years.

The Lakewood boys went on to compete at state as a team, placing seventh. They were joined by Lakewood senior Lacey Nation, who ran a big personal record in her last meet in a Cougar uniform.

Arlington scores big league victory against Snohomish

With postseason possibilities up for grabs, Arlington football put it all on the line and delivered a critical victory over Snohomish on their Senior Night.

The Panthers scored first but Arlington had several players with big performances and the Eagles rallied to win 37-29 in the Oct. 24 game, Arlington’s’ last in front of a home crowd for the regular season.

Junior quarterback Jake Parduhn — who would go on to earn all-league honors — scored the tying touchdown, connecting with junior tight end Jon Shell. Then, fellow junior Andy Smith stepped in at quarterback and scored four touchdowns in his biggest game of the season by far.

Snohomish came back from a two-touchdown deficit to tie the game up 23-23 and mustered an answer to yet another Arlington score. But team co-captain Jerod Baker — another all-leaguer — blocked their extra point. Those six points would be the Panthers’ last.

Baker’s co-captain Sherman Pruitt recovered the onside kick and Arlington ate time off the clock with runs by Pruitt and senior running back Kellen Botten. The icing on the cake was a six-yard touchdown pass by Smith, who once again connected with Shell.


Arlington soccer makes third districts in four years

The Arlington girls soccer team’s season ended in a Nov. 3 district game against Shorewood.

Despite a scoreless first half and plenty of back-and-forth by both offenses, it was only the Thunderbirds who found the goal in the game at Shoreline Stadium, defeating Arlington 2-0.

The scrappy Eagles team defied preseason prognostications. Picked to finish seventh in the league, the girls got off to a strong start thanks to players like midfielder Kristen Allen and goalkeeper Chelsea Boulton, both of whom were recognized as all-league players at the end of the season.

Though the Eagles were eliminated in the first round, it was Arlington’s third straight appearance at the district tournament and their first in 4A after competing in 3A the two previous seasons. Coach Nathan Davis credited those playoff runs to the team’s graduating seniors, Erin Taylor, Amanda Wreggelsworth, Katy Giebel and Allen.

“I’m proud of the seniors,” he said. “We’ve had three straight years in the playoffs and this is the first group to do so in a while.”

If the entire squad returns next year, Arlington will have seven experienced seniors to lead the Eagles to another district run.

Highland Christian volleyball narrowly misses state

The Highland Christian volleyball team got within a game of state, falling to North Sound Christian in a winner-to-state game.

The Lady Knights got there by cruising past Mt. Rainier Lutheran, winning the Nov. 8 district game 18-25, 25-7, 25-14, 25-9.

There were a handful of bright spots in the Knights’ first-game loss, but the girls gave up points on easily corrected errors.

“The biggest thing we talked about after game one was passing,” said Highland Christian coach Anthony Favors. “If we pass well, we’ll be fine.”

The girls found a rhythm they liked in game two and stuck with it. Behind senior setter Aly Hodges’ setting, the girls ran out to a 5-0 lead, with Hodges earning two aces in the process. As the game went on, senior hitter Chelsey Graber started getting a hot hand that had proved so devastating the Knights’ previous victims.

Arlington spikers make first district tournament in recent memory

Arlington volleyball has been through dark days.

There were seasons with one or two wins over smaller schools and there were seasons, like last year, with no wins at all.

But thanks to the persistence of a core group of seniors who have stuck with the program and the tutelage of second-year head coach Cari Britt, Arlington officially called itself a playoff team by defeating Shorewood Nov. 10 on the Thunderbirds’ court 15-25, 25-19, 24-26, 25-22, 15-11. Arlington earned a first-round district game against league powerhouse Monroe.

“It is amazing that our team has earned it,” said senior hitter Bree Covey after her Eagles won the play-in game. “We’ve done better this year than we have in the last five years combined.”

Before Arlington moved up to 4A this season, the team usually had an automatic berth into the 3A districts. This season they accumulated a 3-5 league record (6-8 overall), finishing ahead of Lake Stevens, Cascade and Oak Harbor for the right to advance to the tournament at Marysville-Pilchuck’s Jim Linden Fieldhouse.

In the double-elimination district tournament, Arlington fell in straight sets to Monroe and M-P, both of whom went on to state. But for this Eagle squad, there was much to celebrate in just making it this far.


Arlington girls finally sink Vikings

A big first-quarter lead made a big difference for the Arlington girls basketball team.

Coming off a loss against league favorites Snohomish, Arlington drew Lake Stevens in a Dec. 10 clash at home against a team that has owned the series in recent years.

A 16-5 lead after eight minutes proved useful as the Vikings — never out of the game — rallied with 17 points in the second quarter to close on the Eagles.

Four of the team’s five starters scored and three more added points off the bench. Seniors Kyra Prause led the team offensively with 23 points, 10 boards and six steals.

While many leading teams flail coming out of halftime, the Eagles had their strongest quarter with 19 points.

With seven girls scoring, including three in double figures, Arlington coach Nathan Davis holds up the Lake Stevens game as the kind he hopes to see more of from his team.

The key to another 18 points off the bench, he said, is passing the ball.

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