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The most interesting sports stories for 2013

  • Written by Derek Johnson, Sports Writer

Keagan B 3When I joined the Woodinville Weekly last April, I arrived as a newcomer to the Northshore’s sporting scene.

Now after 8 months, I can say that I love the vibe of the community, as well as the variety of events to cover.

As we’ve now reached the end of 2013, let’s take a moment to look back and reflect on some of the most interesting stories that occurred this year.

1. Madi Schreyer’s No-Hitter vs. Issaquah (softball)

May 13th was a day of wild weather in Woodinville. It started with thunderstorms and ended with evening sunshine, and Woodinville’s Madi Schreyer herself was a force of nature.

In a performance reminiscent of Randy Johnson in his prime, the senior pitching star threw a no-hitter as the Falcons dispatched Issaquah 6-0 in KingCo Tournament action.

The game was over from the outset.

Before each pitch, as Schreyer enacted her trademark move of spinning the ball on her right hip before unleashing a laser beam to the plate, the Issaquah hitters stood in looking ill at ease.

As Schreyer shredded through the lineup, fanning the first seven batters, and 10 of the first 11, it became clear Woodinville would easily win.

"I’m just really excited," Schreyer said. "We have an awesome team and I love all the girls. We work really well together and we’re excited to make another run at state this year."

Woodinville would go on to finish 3rd in State, with a 24-3 record. Schreyer is now a freshman at Stanford.

2. Woodinville’s stunning comeback against Redmond (football)

In theory I am supposed to be an impartial observer reporting on the events as they occur.

But I had a big grin on my face for several minutes after the Falcons pulled off a dramatic drive to beat Redmond with a last-second touchdown.

Woodinville quarterback Will Jack rolled out and threw a beautiful touchdown pass to Micah Hamilton in the game’s closing seconds to lead the Falcons to a 23-20 win over Redmond.

The victory, televised regionally by Root Sports, boosted the Falcons record to 5-2, while handing the Mustangs their second defeat of the season.

Wildly happy Woodinville players charged the field and celebrated around head coach Wayne Maxwell.

"We were enjoying the moment," Maxwell said. "You’d better! To win the game like that, such a great team effort. The guys up front, led by Andre Dillard, did a great job. But it wasn’t just one thing. It was somebody different stepping up on each play. That was the most exciting part of the game. I told them they deserved every ounce of what they got tonight."

3. Chandler Olson’s Dominating Victory in the 1600 meter run.

On the afternoon of May 15th, I drove up to Lake Stevens High School to witness Woodinville’s Chandler Olson perform in the Bi-District Championships for track and field.

From the moment the starter pistol popped, Olson exploded into the lead with a running motion that was graceful, powerful and commanding.

The separation from her competitors quickly widened into a startling chasm and remained so for all four laps.

Four minutes and fifty-seven seconds later, the diminutive senior cruised across the finish line, with Lynnwood’s Mikayla Pivec arriving nine seconds later, followed by the rest of the pack en masse.

To that point, she had won six district titles, 1 state championship, 1 state silver medal, 2 state bronze medals and 8 KingCo championships.

Moments after this race, she beamed with happiness but still labored to catch her breath.

"I just kind of wanted to get out fast and get a lead," she said. "I definitely slowed down after my first lap. I was fairly aware that I had a big lead, but I’m always afraid that someone’s going to surge or start catching back up."

Chandler is now a freshman at Yale University.

4. Falcons Finish Season on a High Note (Boys’ soccer)

On April 30th at Woodinville High School, Michael Aldridge stepped onto the field for the final time. The senior captain and his fellow teammates lined up and prepared to face off against Newport to close out the 2013 season.

It had been a season to forget. With a dreadful 2-11 record, the Falcons were an afterthought in terms of playoffs. But on this night, there was one last chance to play together.

Over the next couple hours, Newport blew several scoring chances, drawing oohs and ahhs each time from the crowd. The game remained a 0-0 squeaker until only 90 seconds remained in regulation.

That’s when Woodinville’s Ionatan Kuperwajs got into prime position and booted the ball into the net for the game’s only goal.

Time ran out and Falcon players and coaches exalted. Woodinville coach Nathan Davis hugged five players at once, shouting that he loved them and was proud of them.

After a team meeting at midfield, the players dispersed and Michael Aldridge was intercepted by this reporter.

"It’s nice to get the win," Aldridge said. "We came together as a team. We played simple. I feel like it’s one of the games where we worked for each other.

"Even though we didn’t make the playoffs, it’s a good note to go out on."

Aldridge was also asked to reflect on his senior season.

"This is definitely one of the highest moments," he said gesturing toward the field. "It’s just nice, winning this last game. I feel like this is the only year that we’ve had a team that is bonded."

5. Woodinville Captures KingCo Tourney Title (baseball)

Coming down the stretch of his senior season, Falcon pitcher Stephen White took his game to a whole new level. It all came together for him and his teammates on May 9th. That’s when White tossed a complete game 3-hitter as the Falcons knocked off Bothell 3-1, to win the 2013 KingCo 4A title.

In the game’s aftermath, White hoisted the KingCo championship trophy aloft along with his teammates and coaches as they celebrated on their home field.

Woodinville proved to be the big surprise of this year’s KingCo Tournament, having only posted an 8-6 conference record during the regular season.

"No one thought we could do it at the beginning of the year," White said. "We were probably written off because we weren’t as talented as last year’s team. But it’s the best team I’ve ever been on. I love these guys. We’re family here."

Woodinville went on to the District tourney and beat Emerald Ridge before losing to South Kitsap. The Falcons finished with a 16-8 record. White will play next spring at Tacoma Community College while shortstop Caleb Hamilton will play for Oregon State.

6. Woodinville Wins West Coast Showcase (lacrosse)

When the Woodinville 7/8s lacrosse team boarded a plane bound for California, there was little reason to expect success. After all, their opponents were all-star teams from various schools around the Bay Area. Woodinville was but a one school program. But after competing July 13-14 in the West Coast Showcase in Morgan Hill, Calif., Woodinville swept six games in the Under-15 Gold Division and won the championship.

"I don’t think anybody knew who we were," Woodinville coach Andy Farrington said. "Typically these types of tournaments are made up of all star teams, regionally. But you could tell from our name, ‘Woodinville,’ that we were from a town."

The way the Bay Area teams had it figured, this Woodinville squad venturing forth from the mossy backwaters of the Pacific Northwest should’ve been an easy mark.

Woodinville harbored similar doubts about themselves, traveling into the unknown.

"We went down there with low expectations," booster Gary Bamesberger said. "We were thinking, ‘man, this will be a tough tournament to win.’ I think people looked at us the same way."

7. Stunning comeback signals watershed moment for Woodinville basketball

At the Woodinville gymnasium on December 20th the game was getting out of hand. At one point in the second quarter, Bothell was destroying Woodinville 30-13.

But suddenly the Falcons strengthened their resolve and mounted a stirring comeback. And when Tony Miller hit a free throw with 0.4 seconds left in the game, Woodinville celebrated the 71-70 win. The victory lifted the Falcons to 3-3 overall and 1-2 in KingCo play.

"This game was a big turning point for us," Woodinville coach Mark Folsom said

Moments after the game was over, jubilant fans stormed the court and swarmed around Miller and the other Falcon players.

"This group of kids is extremely focused," Folsom said. "I know at times it hasn’t shown on the floor. But they have worked harder than any group I’ve seen or been a part of this off season ... My hope is that this game gives us the confidence that we need. This is a group of kids that can compete with anybody in the state."

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5 Players to watch in 2014

1. Tony Miller (WHS Basketball)

2. Ryan Christensen (WHS Wrestling)

3. Keagan Bolibol (WHS Girls’ Soccer)

4.Dylan Axelson (WHS Football)

5. Yuri Machida (WHS Girls’ Golf)

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Photos

1) Photo by Chris Parker. Woodinville’s Keagan Bolibol is a player to watch in 2014.

2) Photo by Deb Stemmerman. Woodinville’s Drew Accimus (#24) runs toward teammate Micah Hamilton (unseen in the foreground) as the Falcons celebrate Hamilton’s touchdown catch in the closing seconds against Redmond on October 17th.

3) Photo by Derek Johnson. Woodinville prepares for its final game of the season vs. Newport on April 30th. The Falcons won 1-0.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Timbercrest runner finishes 11th in National Junior Olympics

  • Written by Derek Johnson, Sports Writer

Luke Houser, a 7th grade student at Timbercrest Jr. High, placed 11th out of 391 competitors in the 11-12 year old age group at the USATF cross country Jr. Olympics on December 14th in San Antonio, Texas. He achieved "All-American" status for the third time in his young career, placing in the top 25 of runners nationally.

Houser ran the 3k course with a personal record time of 10:25:27, with a one-mile split time of 5:13:11. His team, the Bellevue-based Cascade Striders, placed third in the nation.

The 12-year-old Woodinville resident knew going into the race that he needed to turn on the jets as soon as the starter’s pistol popped.

"There was like a huge starting line, so you had to get a good start in order to be out front," Houser said. "I got off to a pretty fast start ... The course wasn’t that interesting. It went out, had a little detour and then came back in. It was grassy and flat. (Texas) was not like here. It was drier, with more shrubs and stuff. It was a bit hotter at this time of year than compared to up here."

As the 391 boys worked their way through the course, Houser settled into position and prepared to make his move.

"I ran in around 20th place for most of the race," he said. "We were all running close to each other. And then I passed about six people in a sprint. I didn’t feel too tired, so I felt like I could go past a few more people."

Toward the end of the race, Houser felt cautiously optimistic.

"I wasn’t sure what place I was in, but since the course was so flat and straight I could see the golf cart that was leading the way, so I felt pretty good about it."

In the final tally, Houser finished 11th while the Striders captured third place.

"We went to SeaWorld for an awards ceremony," he said. "I was on the stage twice – for individual and for the team’s award. I felt pretty good."

Bellevue Striders

Gannon Forsberg

Ruben Luthra

Tom Seycheron

George Cretu

Joseph Anderson

Luke Houser

Stunning comeback signals watershed moment for Woodinville basketball

  • Written by Derek Johnson, Sports Writer

BasketballPhoto by Dale Garvey. Tony Miller prepares to shoot the winning free throw with 0.4 seconds left in Woodinville’s dramatic 71-70 win over Bothell on December 20th.

In the first half of Friday night’s game against Bothell, the inevitable outcome seemed as dreary as the murky skies outside the gymnasium at Woodinville High School. Bothell’s outstanding center Josh Martin was scoring at will and capped off a couple of drives with thunderous dunks that elicited oohs and ahhs from crowd. At one point, the Cougars led Woodinville 30-13.

But suddenly the Falcons strengthened their resolve. And when Tony Miller hit a free throw with 0.4 seconds left in the game, Woodinville celebrated the 71-70 win. The victory lifted the Falcons to 3-3 overall and 1-2 in KingCo play.

"This game was a big turning point for us," Woodinville coach Mark Folsom said.

After Woodinville pulled to within 37-34 at the half, the third and fourth quarters showcased much drama for the fans in attendance.

The Falcons got their first lead of the night in the third quarter, when budding star Tony Miller went sky bound to snare an offensive rebound and lay it in while getting fouled. His subsequent free throw staked Woodinville to a 51-49 advantage.

With 0:46 left in the game, Falcon point guard Tommy Wick drove hard to the paint and made a lay-up, pushing Woodinville ahead 70-68. But as Wick landed awkwardly on his right foot, he collapsed in a heap with multiple fractures to his right leg.

During a 20-minute delay, medics and trainers tended to Wick as the gymnasium crowd settled into a fidgeting murmur. At one point, Wick looked up at the hovering Tony Miller and asked the team to win the game for him.

As Wick was carted off the court to a standing ovation, play resumed. Bothell got a basket to tie it up at 70-70, then gained possession again with seconds left.

As the Cougars advanced toward midcourt, Woodinville’s Ryan Gregor intercepted the ball near the sideline and threw a no-look pass in the direction of Tony Miller.

"I just went outside of (the Bothell player) and got in front of it," Gregor said. "I knew Tony was running back there and I just threw it and hoped he would be able to get it."

Miller did get it and promptly drove toward the basket, drawing a foul with 0.4 seconds left.

A moment later, Miller stepped to the foul line with every eye in the gym upon him. He missed the first attempt, but knocked down the second, sparking the crowd to erupt in joy.

Seconds later the game was over, and fans stormed the court and swarmed around Miller and the other Falcon players.

"This group of kids is extremely focused," Folsom said. "I know at times it hasn’t shown on the floor. But they have worked harder than any group I’ve seen or been a part of this off season ... My hope is that this game gives us the confidence that we need. This is a group of kids that can compete with anybody in the state."

When asked about Miller’s stellar performance, Folsom smiled.

"Tony is a special kid," he said. "He is very driven. He has spent more time working on his game this off season than anyone in the state. This kid has big goals and not just for himself. The special thing I like about Tony is that he is determined to change the face of this program. He is determined to let people know you don’t come to Woodinville and get easy Ws. This is a tough place to play. We’re going to be tough guys, and we’re not going to allow teams to walk all over us. And I thought tonight was a great example of showing a level toughness that I’m not sure this program has shown since I’ve been here."

Fractured leg ends season

  • Written by Derek Johnson, Sports Writer

Tommy WickPhoto by Dale Garvey. Injured Woodinville point guard Tommy Wick signals to the home crowd as they chant his name. His leg fractures have brought an end to his

Senior Tommy Wick was lost for the season when he was injured while driving for a go-ahead basket in Woodinville’s dramatic 71-70 win over Bothell last Friday night. Team trainers stated the initial diagnosis was fractures to the fibula and tibia bones in Wick’s right leg.

Falcon coach Mark Folsom went right to Wick’s side as his point guard lay in a sprawled heap upon the hardwood underneath the basket.

"He was just in excruciating pain," Folsom said. "They were trying to stabilize him. It sounded as if he knew he broke it right away. I think he came down on somebody’s foot. I don’t know for a fact, but that’s my guess because there were so many guys under the basket."

The cruel irony was that Wick was probably playing the best game of his prep career. His 21 points included five 3-pointers which helped pace the Falcons to a remarkable comeback victory. The showcase performance was probably no accident.

"It’s a bittersweet situation to some degree because yesterday Tommy and I had a lengthy conversation about being a team leader and exhibiting some of those leadership qualities that he has," Folsom said. "I thought for us being in the situation that we were in, down early (by 30-13 at one point), and this team and Tommy’s leadership showing such great resiliency to come through with the win. It was an amazing situation."

As trainers and medics tended to Wick for about 20 minutes, teammates gathered around to offer encouragement.

"Tommy told me to win it for him," sophomore forward Tony Miller said. "He looked sad and angry. But also happy because he knew we would win it for him."

Coach Folsom was asked to sum up Wick’s impact on the team.

"Tommy is a kid that has more experience than anybody in this program," he said. "He played at the varsity level the year before I got here and played a ton of minutes last year.

"We really felt like Tommy gave us more scoring from the point guard position. We wanted to get the ball into his hands more consistently throughout the game. He’s a proven player. Our kids look to him to be that leader on the floor.

"I don’t know at this point how we will fill his shoes and how we will fulfill his role. It’s going to be a tremendous loss for us. But hopefully we will find a way to grow closer as a team."

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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..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Coach Wayne Maxwell gives thoughts on his 1st Team All-KingCo Players

  • Written by Derek Johnson, Sports Writer

Biddle

Ian Biddle, cornerback (Sr.)

"Ian played like a #1 corner, a shutdown corner. He had a fantastic year. We always assigned him to the opponent’s best receiver. We knew we could count on him to do a great job to take the opponent’s #1 option out of the game.

He’s a real smart football player. In our defensive concepts, he does a great job of understanding zone concepts and being able to make his reads off what the offensive route combinations are. And that really allowed Ian to disrupt opponents’ pass games. A big highlight was him reading the receiver on the out route to win the Redmond game. He jumped that route and made a big play for us (dramatic interception). That was a great defining moment for him."

Lee Wunderlich, defensive end (Sr.)

"Lee was a three-year starter for us at that rush defensive end spot. The Seahawks call it the Leo spot, for us it’s the Rush. It’s an athletic defensive end almost like an outside linebacker type. Lee is a ferocious competitor and kind of the heartbeat of the d-line where he is going to play with energy and competiveness every play."

Andre Dillard, offensive tackle, (Sr.)

KINGCO OFFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE YEAR

"Andre is obviously a kid you can plug in and just know that he’s going to physically dominate the guy he is asked to block. There is a reason why he is going on to play football at Washington State (University). He played the middle portion of the season injured with that ankle and was still able to play at a high, high level. But then you could see by the Eastlake game and on, where he was back closer to 90 percent or 100 percent (health wise), and he was just taking over. Washington State is very excited to get him. He’s going to do some good things there. It’s just a matter of how fast he can put additional weight on (he currently weighs 240). Hopefully his body can hit that 20-year-old mark, and boom — that weight starts going for him. It’s going to be fun to watch him."

Camden Hess, offensive guard (Jr.)

"He’s a kid that as a freshman, you saw the size and the desire, and you knew he was going to be a player. Very, very football raw — didn’t know a thing about football! He’s a home- schooled kid who is one of the most pleasant kids around. Part of it with him was learning that it was okay to punish somebody and finish them into the ground. Originally he started playing football because he wanted to get into a military academy and thought this would look good on his resume. And we’re so glad that he chose to do so. He’s having a blast out there, he never misses a workout. He earned everything he did to get the starting position and get better to compete at an all KingCo level. That’s a fun thing to watch a kid go through."

Drew Accimus,

tight end (Sr.)

"He made a lot of big, key plays for us. I don’t know how many actually conversion catches he made on 3rd and 4th down. It seemed like every time he caught the ball it was one of those. He’s a kid with great composure as far as being able to make the big play. He was a hybrid, as a tight end and we’d split him out on our open sets. Very versatile football player, and he did a nice job of blocking on the perimeter and blocking as a tight end, as well as making the big plays as a receiver."

Dylan Axelson, linebacker (So.)

"A very exciting football player. He’s just scratching the surface as far as where he can be as a high school football player. Him coming in as a freshman, we could see right away he was going to be a special player. We knew he was a great athlete. Some kids show athleticism to play as sophomores, but they’re not mentally tough enough to play and start as a sophomore in the KingCo — especially as a linebacker. You can’t just be a physical guy, you’ve got to be able to read what’s going on. And we play a lot of quality offenses in our conferences. He had all those qualities to be able to do that as a sophomore. Very rare to do. So that shows you how special he is. Obviously he is going to be great at that position."

Woodinville Second Team All-KingCo

Wyatt Smith, running back

Colby Carson, defensive tackle

John Ross, defensive end

Tommy Wick, wide receiver

Honorable Mention

All-KingCo

Dana Bush, offensive tackle

Micah Hamilton, safety

Alek Kacmarcik, safety and running back

Chad Zaback, kicker

Brad Roland, linebacker