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Woodinville’s Clark Cyr reflects on prep cross country career

  • Written by Derek Johnson, Sports Writer

Back in July, on an overcast day, I went to Woodinville High School to check out the cross country team’s boot camp.

What I witnessed was a close-knit group of kids who clearly enjoyed being together.

But for the many successes of Woodinville track and field, I learned the cross country program had long sputtered in league play.

At one point, I talked to a tall and charismatic kid named Clark Cyr. I asked him his goals for 2013.

"My main goal is not to get last in the KingCo races this year," he said. "At the KingCo tournament all the big schools in KingCo come in. The last three years we’ve gotten last place which has been a disappointment. But this year there’s going to be a change."

Four months later, with his senior season now in the books, I checked back in with Clark. We talked about his thoughts toward cross country and his coach Sandy Laurence. 

"Sandy completely revolutionized my running," he said. "I used to be a heel strike runner. My heel used to be the first thing to hit the ground when I run. That’s what the majority of runners do. But she taught me how to run hitting my toes and mid-foot first. Which is a lot more efficient and makes you a lot faster runner. Without her I would have never been able to do it. I would be nowhere without Sandy. I wouldn’t even be running high school cross country without Sandy. Most of my success comes from her support and her teachings."

I asked Clark what it’s like running a race. 

"Sometimes it’s hard to find things to enjoy because you are enduring so much pain," he said. "But it’s the most rewarding thing you’ll ever do. Everyone around you is feeling the exact same pain, and everyone is pushing and fighting as hard as they can to keep up. It’s amazing with everyone trying to do their best. You’re basically killing yourself, but when you cross the finish line and you can stop, it’s the most amazing feeling ever."

When asked for his favorite memories, Clark took a moment to decide.   

"The pasta feeds are super fun," he said. "They happen the night before a race. We all get together and eat spaghetti and carbo load. We have a great time, usually at a teammate’s house. We play games and talk and hang out. It’s awesome. The best memories are from hanging out with cross country friends. It’s the closest thing you can get to a family without actually being a family."

When reminded of his summertime vow to stop the KingCo curse, Clark laughed.

"This year we had a group of awesome people," he said. "We really trained super hard. We almost made it to Districts as a team. We got 9th place in KingCo. We missed it by one point, which in cross country one point is nothing. It was the best Woodinville has done in awhile. We didn’t finish last! It was an awesome way to end my senior season."

Also of note, Clark later raced at the District tourney held at Lake Sammamish State Park. He ran well and finished 33rd with a time of 16:26, missing the cut by 8 spots, for the right to go to State.

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Comments or news tips? Derek Johnson can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Alan Dillman to replace longtime manager Terry Agnew

  • Written by Derek Johnson, Sports Writer

Varsity CoachesCourtesy Photo. Longtime Woodinville manager Terry Agnew (left) is handing over the reins of the ball club to assistant Alan Dillman (right). After managing the Woodinville Falcons for the past 15 seasons, Terry Agnew is retiring from the position. His replacement is longtime assistant coach Alan Dillman.

"Alan does a really nice job cultivating relationships with players," Agnew said, "I think he gets along well with them and they really respect him. He knows the game really well. He brings a lot of positive things to the program."

Dillman has been on Agnew’s Woodinville staff since 2000, and was part of the State Championship club back in 2002.

"Woodinville has always had good tradition and good players," Dillman said. "2002 was definitely not the most physically talented team we’ve ever had, but the leadership that year was remarkable."

Anyone following Woodinville baseball in recent years has seen the vocal and sometimes gruff style with which Agnew managed. Dillman spoke to the contrast.

"Terry and I had very different styles," he said. "The same goal, but how we get there is different. He’s a vocal guy who’s not afraid to get on guys. I would say that in our years coaching together, he was probably bad cop and I was good cop.

"The players felt they could come to me and talk to me. They always knew whatever they were saying would get to Terry, but maybe they thought it would soften the blow a little bit by going through me."

With spring practice beginning on March 3rd, Dillman was asked about the 2014 ball club.  

"We return a lot of guys, so that’s huge," he said. "We bring back a lot of experience and a lot of guys who have a taste of playing at State last year.

"So they know what it takes and the hard work it will take to get there. And it’s just a good group, too. I probably say that most years, because as long as I’ve been here we’ve had good groups. Obviously, losing Caleb (Hamilton) hurts because he was a special guy. The new leaders have yet to be sorted out, but I would say that (catcher) Lee Wunderlich and (outfielder) Tommy Wick are two guys that are respected by their teammates and could emerge as the leaders."

Depleted squad ends season with loss to Newport

  • Written by Derek Johnson, Sports Writer

FootballPhoto by Derek Johnson. Woodinville head coach Wayne Maxwell (blue shirt) consoles some of his players in the closing moments of their season-ending loss to Newport on November 1st at Pop Keeney Stadium. On this day, there would be no wild comeback win for Woodinville. For a football team missing as many as nine potential starters, no amount of triage or strategizing could slow down Newport’s juggernaut rushing attack.

The Knights, led by Conner Baumann’s 248 yards rushing and 6 touchdowns, overwhelmed the Falcons 49-24 to advance to the state playoffs to take on Lake Stevens next week. Woodinville, meanwhile, finished its season with a disappointing 5-4 record.

For a sportswriter who grew up during the heyday of the Big Eight Conference, the Woodinville-Newport game resembled one of the old Nebraska or Oklahoma teams taking on an undersized Missouri or Oklahoma State squad.

Play after play, Newport lined up with their big boys up front and wore down Woodinville with a powerful option attack.

"They’re a good, physical football team," Woodinville head coach Wayne Maxwell said. "They did what they do. They get after it and they’re physical and they pound. They give the football to the fullback. I thought our kids, having missing so many guys, they did a heck of a job going out and competing, and scrapping and giving everything they could tonight."

The game actually started out wonderfully for Woodinville. Falcons running back Brad Roland jolted the home crowd to life by taking the first handoff around left end and breaking free down the sideline for a 62-yard touchdown. Chad Zaback’s extra point put the Falcons up 7-0.

But Newport stayed composed and began pounding away with the ground game. By the early part of the second quarter, the Knights had established a 21-7 lead.

The Falcon offense temporarily came to life, when quarterback Matthew Wilson entered the game and sparked a comeback. The deficit was cut to 21-17 by halftime. Woodinville players were hitting hard and exerting full effort.

But the second half commenced as The Conner Baumann Show -- the imposing fullback crossed the goal line four more times. With 7:25 left in the game, he broke loose on a 57-yard scoring gallop, to put the capper on his evening’s scoring rampage.

"It’s the first time I’ve scored 6 touchdowns in a game," Baumann said. "It was great. The linemen produced holes for me and I just followed my blockers. I dedicate it to my team, we’re working hard everywhere."

As the final seconds of the game and season ticked off the clock for Woodinville, the somber mood along the sideline was palpable. Injured seniors Alek Kacmarcik and Wyatt Smith looked crestfallen and Smith had tears in his eyes. A season that started with such promise and a 4-1 record, was expiring before them in forlorn fashion.

"It’s a great group of kids," Maxwell said. "The whole team as a group is just a great group of guys. Our journey of progressing through the year, starting with our summer camp at Eastern (Washington University), where they won the Friday Night Lights tourney. And then our game in Alaska, where we had a great time, and the kids were well-behaved and got a lot of compliments. Then as the season progressed, we got a bit banged up but I thought our guys persevered. Coming back in the Eastlake game, coming back in the Redmond game. Giving everything they’ve got in the these last two games.

"They didn’t lose sight of what the program is about in terms of getting after it and competing."

Despite season-ending loss, Falcons worthy of respect

  • Written by Derek Johnson, Sports Writer

Soccer MollyPhoto by Derek Johnson. Woodinville goalie Molly Stinson (left) prepares to boot the ball deep down field during her team’s Kingco tournament loss to Inglemoor October 31st at Skyline High School.In the aftermath of a double overtime loss to Inglemoor, Woodinville coach Nathan Davis called his team together on the field. The grim-faced girls gathered around him, some openly sobbing, as the 1-0 loss they’d just suffered marked the sudden end to their season.

The Vikings’ Careena Alaoui had scored the winning goal during the final minute of the second overtime.

"We’re not going to move on, our season ends," Davis said. "But it was just nice to see us end on a game playing the game the way we should be playing. If you’re going to lose, I told the girls that you’ve got to leave it all on the field. Besides the first 15 minutes, it was a 50/50 game. We got some shots, they got some shots. I think it’s unfortunate that it came down like this. I think if it got to penalty kicks, then (Falcon goalie) Molly (Stinson) would have won it for us. I think that’s why she’s very upset now, she knew she would make some saves. She would have had a moment to shine... But it didn’t work out that way."

The game remained scoreless for the first 89 minutes of play, as the two teams battled with intensity and physicality throughout the cold evening. 

"We fought them hard, and we’ve always been a really good second half team," Falcon midfielder Kelly Wucherer said. "We had a lot of opportunities in the second half. They got a lucky break at the very end. We didn’t get the first clear out, and it fell to one of their players and she took a couple of our players on. We expected it to be cleared but it wasn’t cleared. Maybe we had some tired legs, and she got a shot off."

Woodinville’s Kelsie Neill, a first team Kingco selection as a midfielder, struggled to speak. "I’m just really upset," she said. "I don’t know, it’s a tough loss."

The Lady Falcons finished the season at 10-5-1 and surprised some observers who expected lesser things from the Woodinville squad. Despite this difficult defeat, coach Davis felt positive with the overall season.

"I told the girls at the beginning of the year that I was charging them with the task of changing the reputation of our program," he said. "To be a program that every time you step on the field other teams will fear you. And I think they did that. They worked day in and day out to become one of the best teams in Kingco, and they showed it tonight,. They’re one of the best teams out there, considering that Kingco is the best division in the state.

"These girls changed the face of Woodinville soccer. And I’m proud of what they did tonight."

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  Comments or news tips? Derek Johnson can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Falcons lose to Inglemoor, but advance to KingCo Title Game

  • Written by Derek Johnson, Sports Writer

SoccerPhoto by Derek Johnson. Against a backdrop of murky fog, dejected Woodinville players head toward midfield to congratulate victorious Inglemoor, while coach Nathan Davis attempts to sustain morale. The Lady Falcons won two nights later over Newport, to earn a spot in the Kingco Championship game. The Woodinville Falcons lost a hard-fought game to Inglemoor last Tuesday night by a 2-1 score, at Woodinville High School. But the Lady Falcons finished the week on a high note by beating Newport 3-1, to advance to the KingCo Championship game October 28th.

Against Inglemoor, Woodinville seemed to be constantly staving off Viking scoring threats. Inglemoor’s first goal came late in the first half, when Emma Spenser took a pass from Jordan Lemieux and booted the ball into the net. The two Lady Vikings teamed up again with another goal in the 73rd minute of play, to clinch the victory for Inglemoor.

From that point forward, Woodinville was unable to mount any serious threat in the game’s closing minutes.

"We played our hearts out, that’s for sure," senior forward Brianna Rekevics said following the Inglemoor game, in which she scored a goal. "We just couldn’t get enough in. We knew it was going to be a tough and aggressive game."

Woodinville’s junior defender Keagan Bolibol was rather prophetic in her post-game comments.

"It’s a bummer, but sometimes teams need losses like this because it builds character," Bolibol said. "Even though this game was very important to us, it will make us closer by getting past it and working through problems that we had tonight and then getting stronger so we can make it to the championship game, hopefully."

When asked to specify, Bolibol responded.

"We definitely need to work on set pieces," she said. "We just need to stay on our marks — the players we are marking. We need to stay with them so they don’t get the ball and get it into the net. I think that’s a serious problem we have — marking in general, all over the field. Not letting that player get away from you. Staying focused the entire time."

Two nights later on October 24th, Woodinville subsequently beat Newport by a score of 3-1. The win improved the Lady Flacons to 10-4-1 overall and 7-3 in conference play. They play for the KingCo Championship vs. Redmond on Monday night at 7:30 p.m. at Pop Keeney Stadium.