Fast-start Falcons beat Emerald Ridge

  • Written by Derek Johnson

Drew “D-Lo” Lozano scores his second

touchdown of the night. Derek Johnson photo


PUYALLUP — After the game’s final seconds expired, Woodinville coach Wayne Maxwell stood on the field at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup. The last time he stood there was two years ago when Woodinville beat Sumner in an epic semifinal, played in monsoon conditions. 

The outcome this time around was just as happy, as the Falcons knocked off Emerald Ridge 45-21 in a State playoff game last Saturday night. 

“Good memories here, right?” asked Maxwell. “A lot drier tonight for sure! Proud of the way our guys came out and established themselves right away. Took control in all phases of the game. Couldn’t be happier with how the guys executed tonight.” 

Woodinville came out like gangbusters, building a 24-0 first-quarter lead. Joey Johnson ran wild for a touchdown. Quarterback Noah Stifle connected with Carter Smith for a scoring toss. But the backbreaker was when sophomore Nick Owens intercepted a pass and ran it back 35 yards for a touchdown.

“I was panicked because they did their hurry-up offense,” Woodinville defensive end Matthew Armstrong said. “The QB threw the ball over the top and I turned around and I saw Cage [Schenck] all over the guy as usual. He popped the ball and I saw Nick in a good spot, and he caught it and took off. I ran with him. …All that green space and he was going to score. That put us in the driver’s seat.” 

Woodinville led 31-0 at halftime and 45-7 early in the fourth quarter. Emerald Ridge added two touchdowns in garbage time. 

Woodinville improved its record to 9-1 on the season. Johnson rushed for 128 yards and two touchdowns. Drew Lozano added 55 yards and two more touchdowns. Nate Dixon had a quarterback sack and a tackle for loss. Josh Spencer had an interception to go along with Nick Owens’ pick 6.   

Inside the concrete-bunker locker room, Woodinville players shouted, laughed and sang along to a Nickleback song. Matt Harvey was Woodinville’s answer to Gardener Minshew. The senior center walked around wearing a bandana atop his wavy hair while donning his trademark aviator sunglasses. 

Matthew Armstrong was pulling miles of tape off his arms while speaking with a reporter. 

“It’s my senior year, and it’s kind of cliché when people say it goes by fast,” Armstrong said. “But it does go by fast. These are the moments you will remember. It’s not the practice that goes 30 minutes late and you want to leave and go home and go to bed. You work hard for a week and then have a night like this. You’re in the locker room singing Nickleback with your team. These are the things you’ll remember.” 

Woodinville’s all-everything Cage Schenck was asked about advancing in the postseason.

“Playoff time, round of 16,” Schenck said. “All these remaining teams are about equal in the state of Washington, so it’s open to everyone. We need to come out and have a good week of practice and get after it next Saturday.”

Falcons Slowpitch season ends with two State losses

  • Written by Derek Johnson


Falcons at the State Tourney. Courtesy photo


YAKIMA—The Woodinville slowpitch team saw great success in its inaugural season, running off a 19-game win streak to claim the KingCo Crown and earning a trip to the 4A State Tournament in Yakima Nov. 1.

But Falcons were a bit out of their element dropping back-to-back games and were eliminated from postseason play.

The girls fell to West Valley 10-7 in their opening morning game for Woodinville’s first loss of the season.

The afternoon match saw the Falcons lose to Chiawana 10-5. With that second defeat, the season came to a close.

“The girls played very hard—they fought until the last pitch,” Woodinville coach Kim Benedict said. “I couldn’t have asked for anything more from them. They played amazing. Unfortunately, some of the teams from Eastern Washington have been together longer than we have and so they’ve got a little bit more chemistry and more experience with slow pitch.”

There was some déjà vu in the West Valley game. Woodinville trailed 10-7 heading into the bottom of the 7th inning.

It was the Kingco Championship game on Oct 26, when Woodinville scored four runs in their last at-bat to beat Bothell 11-10. But that same magic wasn’t there this time.

“We told the girls, `Hey, we’ve been here before. It’s nothing different,’” Benedict said. “And sure enough, we get runners on and we’re moving them around, but unfortunately we just couldn’t score quite enough runs.

“It was really cool to see them fight until the very end. And even though they didn’t come out on top, they never hung their heads. They were always in good spirits, always picking each other up. It was just a really cool experience to see how well the team gelled and the confidence that they had in themselves and each other playing in those games.”

For the return trip home, the team boarded two vans.

“Obviously they were quite exhausted from having such a long day down at the field,” Benedict said. “But they were still chatting it up, having a great time, laughing, giggling, telling jokes, and nonstop talking.”

Benedict said she’d look back at the season as an ideal situation with a team that bonded well together.

“They became a very close family with each other. No issues, no drama, nothing. And a lot of them have created new friendships that they probably wouldn’t have had that opportunity to do otherwise if slowpitch wasn’t a thing this year for them. So yeah, it was a cool year.”

Falcons fare well at District Meet

  • Written by Derek Johnson




Woodinville senior Megan Shaull in action

at Mary Wayte Pool. Derek Johnson photo


MERCER ISLAND— When high school girls board a bus they’re usually chatting and laughing all the way to their destination. But as Woodinville and North Creek shared a bus ride last Friday to Mercer Island, the atmosphere was subdued. 

“The interesting thing was when we got on the bus just before 8 a.m., everyone was closing their eyes,” Woodinville coach George Sayah said. “It was a really quiet bus ride. Everyone was trying to get some rest. I would have expected a louder ride, but at this time of the year everyone is a little worn down and focusing on their races.” 

The Falcons arrived at Mary Wayte Pool feeling focused and ready. Given the morning start time, their preparation had to be altered.

“We’re used to racing in the afternoons, but now we’re racing in the mornings,” Sayah said. “So we had to talk about hydration and when do you want your first meal to be? We talk about those things that aren’t so much about the swim itself, but the preparation of it. I ask them to pay attention to that kind of stuff because it can really impact a race.” 

As the competition got underway, the Lady Falcons acquitted themselves well.  The 200 Medley relay team got into the final heat finishing in sixth place. Chloe Johnson achieved a best time in the 100 freestyle with a 1:00.52. Megan Shaull achieved best times in both the 50 free (:27.37) and 100 breaststroke (1:21.68). Her 50 freestyle earned her and 19th place overall finish. 

Meanwhile, Sarah Epley achieved her best time in the 100 freestyle at 1:01.74. Abbie Mosset scored her best time in the 100 freestyle at 59.69 as well as in the backstroke at 1:07.38. Taylor Fitch achieved a 16th overall finish in the 50 Freestyle with a time of 27:09. Of note, Fitch was also selected to the All-KingCo honorable mention team. 

“I was really proud of our team today,” Sayah said. “It was mostly best times, which was fun to watch. That’s how we designed the season to work. I’m really proud of how hard they fought. They’re really caring about each other and are really engaged.” 

One swimmer, in particular, Sayah said made giant strides during the season.   

“Chloe Johnson, who is a senior with us,” he said. “Her brother is in our program. He told me last year that his sister swims a little bit and she might come out for swim next year. I’m a [substitute teacher] in the district, and I was filling in for Wayne Maxwell’s sports med class. She happened to be in that class. I had a quick discussion with her, saying she should come out and join us. 

“She had played three years of volleyball and decided to join us for her senior year. She was so disciplined in her workouts. Everything we threw at her she responded to really well. She came in today in her 100 freestyle, she dropped about four seconds [off her previous best time]. That’s hard to do... I was tremendously proud of her.” 

An update on the Woodinville dive team will be in next week’s issue of the Woodinville Weekly. 

Woodinville X-Country shows well at State

  • Written by Bob Kirkpatrick


State qualifiers Jordan Kauffman, Gabe Kary,

Kya Villanueva, Elyn Lee and Nell O'Hara


PASCO­—Five Falcons wrapped up their season with respectable performances at the 4A State Cross-County Meet held at the Sun Willows course in Pasco Saturday. 

Coach Carolyn Houser said the conditions were ideal.

“It was cold, overcast and windless­—perfect running weather. Although the course is deceptively difficult with lots of rolling hills and a few big inclines, the surging adrenaline and amazing competition make for fast race times.

Both Lady Falcons ran strong, finishing with times that set their season records. 

“Sophomore Nell O’Hara was 25th in the field of 157 top female runners in the 4A division. She was hoping to break 19 minutes on the 5K course, and she did, finishing in 18:57,” Houser said. “Junior Elyn Lee started slow this season after recovering from a foot injury during the spring track season. She finished strong, though, and placed 43rd with a time of 19:18.”

Kya Villanueva was Woodinville’s top male runner. The sophomore finished 35th in the field of 165 boys, setting a personal record of 15:58.

Sophomore Gabe Kary finished in 51st place with a PR of 16:14.

Senior Jordan Kauffmann finished 99th with a solid time of 16:39.

Heartbreaking overtime losses end Falcons Season

  • Written by Derek Johnson
Woodinville's Cassie Johnson with the header. Derek Johnson photo.


BOTHELL — The Woodinville Falcons took Inglemoor and Jackson to overtime last week but lost both games and their season came to an end.

Woodinville finished the year with an overall record of 6-6-2. Wednesday, Oct. 31 was the teams final game of the regular season at PopKeeney Stadium.

The Falcons were playing Inglemoor, who had already claimed the conference championship. Woodinville came out with massive intensity. There were high-speed collisions and bodies flying to the cold turf. Ella Zamzow scored the first goal of the contest and the Falcons led the Vikings 1-0.

Woodinville fans were ecstatic. Inglemoor answered back in the second half to send the match to overtime.

It was there that the Vikings scored again to prevail 2-1.

“I think we fought really hard through the whole thing,” Woodinville’s Holland Pilukas said. “But Inglemooris very tough and they have a lot of spirit on their team.”

Falcons coach M’ily Reiterstared off into the middle distance as she spoke with a reporter.

“Sometimes it is hard to gather my thoughts after an emotional game when you lose in overtime,” Reiter said.“We battled with a tough team and took them to over-time. Our team shows a lot of character in that sense. We can shut down their best player — Hannah Jensen did an amazing job defending their best player [Ashly Burge], who is the league’s offensive MVP.

“When they scored we were like, `Man we laid everything out there and yet they just scored.’ We felt defeated and didn’t have the energy to fight back— Inglemoor did a great job of getting us out of our rhythm. Almost like they bully us into playing a different game plan than we want, and it works for them.”

Woodinville was slated to play Jackson Saturday, Nov. 2 in the first round of the West-King 4A Girls District Tournament. When asked about it, Reiter
nodded and smiled.

“We can beat anyone on any given day,” she said. “Jackson is ranked higher and we’re the underdog. But that gives us a little bit more fuel. I think we can beat anyone. I’m excited — it’s our first playoff game.”

Woodinville traveled to Everett Memorial Stadium and battled Jackson to a 0-0 score at the end of regulation play. The game went to overtime, but neither team could break the ice there either.

When it came down to nerve-racking penalty kicks, Jackson tallied a goal to win it 1-0.