Falcons whip Mustangs to remain unbeaten on the gridiron

  • Written by Derek Johnson
Woodinville's Cage Schenck goes high to corral a 37-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Noah Stifle. Derek Johnson/The Woodinville Weekly.


BOTHELL — This game played out how everyone expected. The No. 2 ranked Woodinville Falcons built up a quick 21-0 lead and then cruised to a 49-7 win over the visiting Redmond Mustangs last Friday at Pop Keeney Stadium.

“We got it done out there tonight,” Woodinville wide receiver Jack Diskin said. “It’s a good team win.”

With the win, Woodinville improved its record to 1-0 in the Kingco Crown Division, and 5-0 overall. Redmond fell to 0-2, 1-4.

In the previous game against Mount Si, Woodinville waited until the final minute to score. Such was not the case this time as the Falcons struck on their first play from scrimmage when quarterback Noah Stifle wound up and fired a 71-yard bomb to Diskin.

“It was a deep route, Noah threw it up, and I knew I had to do my job,” Diskin said. “I got the ball, saw Cage [Schenck] coming up, and he did a hell of a job blocking for me. I’m not sure I would have gotten in had it not been for his block. I was excited, everyone was excited, I heard all the cheering.”

Woodinville outgained Redmond 364-133 on the night.

“Making plays in all three phases in the game,” Woodinville coach Wayne Maxwell said. “Explosive plays on offense, getting into the backfield and taking the ball away, and special teams with Blake [Glessner] kicking the ball, coverage teams, and of course The Green Hornet striking again.”

Cage Schenck, aka “The Green Hornet,” made his eminent presence felt as usual. In the second quarter, he leaped high in the end zone to snare a beautiful touchdown pass from Noah Stifle. In the third quarter, he administered the coup de grace, when he fielded a punt and ran serpentine through the Redmond defense for a 52-yard touchdown.

For his part, Stifle completed 8 passes for 204 yards and with touchdown passes to four different receivers. One of those was a 25-yard strike to Morgan Holliday, who also had an electrifying 38-yard punt return.

“That was great to see,” Maxwell said. “Morgan has had a nice year where he’s getting his confidence. Getting in there and doing some things, because as you can see he’s a pretty explosive player.”

Defensively, the Falcons tallied seven tackles for loss. Eric Kim and Jack Beresford each registered a quarterback sack.

Up next for Woodinville is the annual knock-down-drag-out battle with Bothell. The Cougars acquitted themselves well last week, in their 41-7 win over Skyline in a regionally televised game. Bothell enters this week with a 3-2 record.

“We’ll be looking forward to playing our rival,” Maxwell said. “It’s one of the best sporting events in our area, at the high school level. So it’s going to be a fun week of practice and lively night at The Pop next Friday.”

“Every year, I’ve always looked forward to playing in this game,” Diskin said. “In my high school career, we are 3-0 against them. I want to keep that going and give it everything I’ve got.”

Woodinville Volleyball enduring tough journey in loss to Inglemoor

  • Written by Derek Johnson
Falcons Sydney Muff prepares to serve. Derek Johnson/The Woodinville Weekly.


WOODINVILLE — The Woodinville Falcons are still searching for their first conference win. The girls in green struggled last Wednesday, getting swept by Inglemoor (25-20, 25-23, 25-19).

“We just seemed flat,” Woodinville coach Andrea “Hammer” Roelen said. “We seemed like we were going through the motions and not really playing the game. And that’s hard to watch. I know that these girls are better than what they showed out here... We’re still talking about playing hard, having heart and wanting to be on the floor.”

In the opening set, Woodinville suffered four service errors and surrendered points. In the second set, the Falcons fell behind 10-4, before going on a 14-2 run. But Inglemoor rose up to win the set 25-23.

The Lady Vikings closed out the evening by cruising to the third set victory.

With the loss, Woodinville fell to 1-5 on the year (0-3 in Kingco 4A). Inglemoor improved to 2-4, 1-2.

The lone bright spot for the Falcons was the play of Alice Dibbo. The 6’2” junior is developing a nice presence at the net.

“Alice was doing a much better job of reading what set is coming at her, and reacting to a tight ball, or if they were going to dump it over,” Roelen said. “She has been working on that a lot. She’s a big presence in the middle. So it’s exciting to see a few more blocks go down because of her.”

Woodinville’s roster struggles have been well-documented. The Falcons have been forced to raid the JV roster in order to have enough bodies to compete.

“We have a lot of different lineups, lots of different personnel,” Roelen said. “It’s a tough journey right now. We don’t have a lot of people on the bench. Varsity doesn’t have a lot of people, JV doesn’t have a lot of people. If I pull people from JV, then you get players playing double time and overuse. These girls are tired, they are in the heat of school with seven classes. They’re academically motivated and doing a great job as students. But where is the give, where is the sleep? Where is the balance? They’re trying to commit to that and volleyball too. We’re seeing the effects of that. And tonight, we were just off, just weren’t clicking.

“It just wasn’t our night.”


During last Friday’s Woodinville-Redmond football game, this reporter received a light-hearted text from WHS Volleyball coach Andrea Roelen. It concerned a sentence from that week’s Woodinville Weekly. The sentence read: “Coach Roelen was chomping on crackers as she talked with a reporter.”

Responded Roelen: “For the record, I was eating cookies that one of the player’s grandmother [Jackie Hopkins] baked for our team. I demand a correction in the next issue... Make it good! It makes me sound like I was shoving in a meal as I was talking to you. Not true... It made my whole family laugh out loud, so I guess that is good!”

The Woodinville Weekly regrets the error.

Woodinville tops Mount Si in a classic slugfest

  • Written by Derek Johnson
Falcon players celebrate after the game's final play. Pictured from left are Nate Dixon, Bailey Price, and Adam Duffy. Derek Johnson/The Woodinville Weekly.


BOTHELL — When the game was over, Pop Keeney Stadium pulsated with happy fans, players and cheerleaders. The Falcon Marching Band thundered the school’s fight song.

As players headed to the locker room, Carter Smith was stopped by a reporter.

“This is the reason I love football!” Smith said. “It’s the competition. When games are like this is when it’s the most fun. When you win a game like this, there’s no better feeling in the world!”

Such were the emotions of Woodinville’s 7-3 win over Mount Si last Saturday night.

In this era of pinball machine scoring, the 10 combined points make it sound like the game was played in the pouring rain. But it was a comfortably cool evening — and what a game it was.

Mount Si entered the night unbeaten and featured the cannon-armed quarterback, Clay Millen. But to everyone’s amazement, the first half was a 0-0 defensive stalemate. With 2:32 left in the third quarter, Colby Ramsey booted a 32-yard field goal, giving the visiting Wildcats a 3-0 lead.

Midway through the fourth quarter, Woodinville drove to the Mount Si 16-yard line. But quarterback Noah Stifle’s pass was intercepted in the end zone by Stuart DeMerit. Mount Si looked prime to put the game away, driving into Woodinville territory. But facing fourth down and seven yards to go, the Wildcats went for it, and the resulting pass was batted to the turf incomplete.

Woodinville took possession on their own 40-yard line with 2:32 left. On 3rd and 3, Stifle ran a quarterback draw for 13 yards to the Mount Si 40-yard line. Two plays later, Stifle found Schenck with a completion to the 11-yard line.

The tension in Pop Keeney Stadium was palpable. Woodinville lined up with double tight ends, setting the stage for the Joey Johnson Show. The diminutive tailback, who runs like Larry Csonka, plowed to the 4-yard line. On the next play, he dragged tacklers to the 1-yard line. With thirty seconds left on the clock, Johnson pushed the ball across the goal line for the touchdown.

Mount Si mounted one final desperation drive to the Woodinville 29. But Millen’s long pass into the end zone was knocked down by Cage Schenck and Josh Spencer. With one second left, Millen dropped back but was stripped of the football by Nate Dixon. A Wildcat lineman picked up the ball and attempted to run, but he was quickly smothered. A thrilling night at The Popster came to a close. 

“Our guys play with a lot of heart,” Woodinville coach Wayne Maxwell said. “We’ve had a couple of games this year where we’ve had to dig down deep. Go get it! Good old-fashioned football where you get tested. What do you have inside, right? Proud of our guys with the way they respond to those situations.” 

Maxwell was quick to praise Mount Si. “They have great athletes who were physical and quick to get to the ball. I tip my hat to them.” 

As the boys in green walked off the field, they were feeling ecstatic.

“That was a crazy win,” Cage Schenck said. “It was a really gritty win. You’ve got to expect a close game when you play Mount Si. They’re very well-coached. It was a really fun game.”

"This is probably the most exciting game I’ve ever been a part of,” Josh Spencer said. “Defense stayed strong, offense pulled it out in the end. So many emotions going through us right now, just an amazing feeling.” 

Spencer also had words about running back Joey Johnson.

“Joey is insane!” Spencer said. “I have so much respect for him. He’s a workhorse. He does his job, The O-line opened holes tonight. Joey got in and it was a sigh of relief.”

Woodinville improved its record to 4-0 with the win. There was a feeling in the air of another special season afoot.

“We’re starting to play some pretty good football,” Coach Maxwell said. “We’ve got some new faces in there who are just starting to figure it out and do good things. I’m excited, our best football is still to come.”

Falcons show grit in loss to Lake Washington

  • Written by Derek Johnson
Falcons celebrate after winning the fourth set. Pictured from left are Maia Riseland, Alana Castenada, Sydney Muff, and Maiya Roelen. Derek Johnson/The Woodinville Weekly.


KIRKLAND — It was Winston Churchill who once said, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

Had Sir Winston sat courtside last Thursday night, puffing on an after-dinner cigar, he would’ve lifted a glass of brandy in salute to the Lady Falcons.

Yes, Woodinville lost to Lake Washington. And yes, their record fell to 0-2 in Kingco 4A and 1-4 overall. And it’s true that one never wants to cheer for moral victories. As another great man, Arizona State football coach Herm Edwards, once said, “You play to win the game!”

But taking a close look at Woodinville revealed attrition on a grand scale. Senior captain Zoe Friedman was lost a couple of weeks ago to a torn ACL. Marissa Till was out due to a severe shoulder injury. Senior Olivia Ames was out with an illness, and two other kids played with the flu. A roster that was already thin had become decimated.

Woodinville took to the court with no seniors and three JV players called up to play significant minutes. Lake Washington, on the other hand, boasted a 5-1 record and a massive size advantage.

It was no surprise when Lake Washington promptly won the first two sets. The Lady Kangs looked primed to sweep the visitors from Woodinville right out of the gym.

But something happened on the Woodinville bench. Head coach Andrea “Hammer” Roelen gathered her team and unleashed a fiery speech that could be heard from the other side of the gym.

“She definitely is very intense,” Woodinville’s Ellie Nelson said. “She loves competition. Her intensity transfers to us. Her being amped up gets us amped up.”

The patchwork group of Falcons went back out onto the court and won the third set 25-20. Then they took the fourth set 25-22. Suddenly, the match was tied 2-2. Lake Washington players looked alarmed. Woodinville players looked joyous.

“Our team has been through a lot by losing so many of our players,” Nelson said. "We wanted to prove to ourselves that we could adapt and play hard.”

In the fifth and deciding set, Woodinville led 12-11. But Lake Washington won the final four points to triumph 15-12.

Afterward, Coach Roelen chomped on crackers as she talked with a reporter.

“These kids just won’t quit!” she said. “They keep working. We’re making creative lineup changes to see what will work. Then they start believing in a momentum shift, things start clicking... We’re doing such a good job with such a young group that has been thrown together. Especially being down 2-0. You could just roll over and die and give it away. But they refused to go away. They kept battling. Nothing makes me prouder!”

Coach Roelen singled out Olivia Delach and Cora Lundquist for their performances.

“Olivia was swinging from the back row, major servicing sequences that got us back into some of those latter sets. I was really proud of her. Cora Lundquist, our setter, she is setting all the way around. She is playing every single ball of every single set of the entire match. The passing wasn’t that great in the beginning, and she worked really hard to get the hitter hittable balls. Bless her heart.”

Roelen also sang the praises of the JV enlistments.

“We also had Maiya Roelen, Maia Riseland and Molly Collins who came up from JV,” she said. “They are playing at a level that wasn’t expected. I asked them to do this and they said yes. And that takes guts and a lot of heart!

“I’m encouraged by this great performance,” she added. “I hope they really see that they can do great things. They can be a great team no matter who is on the court.”

Nomadic Falcons fall to Eastlake 5-2

  • Written by Derek Johnson
Woodinville's Carson Ward in action. Derek Johnson/The Woodinville Weekly.


SAMMAMISH — If the Woodinville Falcons were to adopt a theme song for 2019, “On The Road Again” would be fitting.

Due to renovations of their home court, the Falcons have played every match on the road so far this season. They will continue to do at least until Oct. 1, when work is scheduled to be completed.

“It’s going to look awesome,” Woodinville coach Betty Hummer said. “Really nice, with no cracks in the surface. I go there and check every 2-4 days and I talk to the manager. And I went to a couple of meetings with the AD [Cathy Boyce] and all that. Hopefully, they will complete the work on time.”

Life on the road has been rough so far. Last Wednesday, Sept. 25 at Eastlake, the Falcons lost 5-2. This dropped their season record to 0-4 in Kingco 4A and 0-7 overall.

A couple of bright spots included the doubles tandem of Emerson Kirby and John Park. The boys defeated Eastlake’s Samaksh Baskar and Rohan Singh 6-3, 7-5.

“It was close until the end,” Emerson Kirby said. “Me and John played well together.”

The duo presents a contrast in that Kirby is a freshman while Park is a senior.

“The more you play together, the more you get used to which balls to go after and how the other guy serves,” Park said.

The other bright spot on the day came from the No.1 singles court. Woodinville’s Carson Ward battled Eastlake’s Ryan Fidelis in a grueling match that lasted two hours and twenty minutes. In the end, Ward prevailed 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(2). The Woodinville junior improved his season mark to 5-1.

“It was nerve-racking,” Ward said. “I dropped that second set but came back in the third. We were moving each other around the court a lot. That’s something we’ve been practicing.”

“I think I just played a bit more aggressive and caught him off-guard in the second set,” Fidelis said. “Carson fought really hard until the end. I started letting up on the gas, mentally. But he still fought and had the mental toughness to keep it in there.”

Ward also benefited from a small cheering section that quietly rooted him on.

“That was my mother, brother, aunt, and uncle,” Ward said. “I was really lucky to have them come. They live back in the Midwest.”


Results from Sept. 25 at Eastlake High School

1. Sammy Bharadwaj (E) def. Ethan Damham (W):6-2, 6-1
2. Pravar Dubey (E) def. Rocky Lindell (W): 6-4, 6-4
3. Carson Ward (W) def. Ryan Fidelis (E): 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(2)
4. Jared Patel (E) def. Camden Kirby (W): 6-4, 7-6(4)

1. Nambakam/Sugimoto (E) def. Demham/Cast (W): 6-2, 6-3
2. Kirby/Park (W) def. Baskar/Singh (E): 6-3, 7-5
3. Bakker/Kathuria (E) def. Pur/DeVilliers (W): 6-3, 7-5