Northwest NEWS

October 7, 2002

Front Page

Home at last

by Doug Sage
   Valley View Sports Reporter
   DUVALLŠThe cry was "Finally!" As in, finally, there is an athletic complex at Cedarcrest High School. Operative word here is AT Cedarcrest. For the first time since the 1940s, Lower Snoqualmie Valley high school football was not played at Tolt field in Carnation.
   CHS Principal Clarence Lavarias commented that, "It was a long time coming, and everybody's excited. I think everybody had a great time, and the kids are excited, not only the kids who play on the field, but the entire student body is happy that we have this facility."
   The students were overly excited as they lined up for the TV cameras in attendance and performed fight songs, cheers and dance routines and welcomed the team onto the field through the tunnel of a cheering throng. A crowd of almost 2,000 people went wild as the opening kickoff traveled off the foot of Kyle Eldred into the waiting arms of the Sammamish receiver and was returned to the 40-yard line.
   There was a football game this night and unfortunately, the outcome didn't match the enthusiasm as the home team fell to the visitors by a final score of 48-14. The score mattered, but what really made a difference was for the first time, this felt like a home field.
   Since the first bond issue to build a new school in the district was floated by Riverview School District #407 in the late 1980s, until this night, athletics at the local school had always been just a bit short of expectations.
   Well, no more. The complex, the venue is absolutely spectacular.
   A long line of patrons eagerly awaiting entry realized too late they should have arrived much earlier.
   Even as the last strains of the Star Spangled Banner were wafting away on the cool night air, the realization by all attending was that there was something special about this new "Wolf Den."
   This is our band. They sounded better than ever, led by Band Director Ryan Lewis. This is our Drill Team. They were sharper than ever. This is our Dance Team. They put on a marvelous halftime show. These are our Cheerleaders. They did a great job without much sideline room to work with due to the temporary bleachers installed for this game. This is our scoreboard. It needs to show more points for the home team. This is our home field. The crowd of students, parents and community members who were part of this night stood as one loud, proud, crowd as the Red Wolves took the field against the Totems of Sammamish.
   Cedarcrest played valiantly for the first half as the visitors struck first to take a 6-0 lead midway through the first quarter. On the ensuing drive, QB Manin DuBois (10-20, 150, 2TD, 1int) found Cody Petterson (6 catches, 134 yards, 2 TD) for the stadium's first home team score with 6:33 left in the first quarter. Petterson took an out route up the left side, made the catch over a falling defender and broke two tackles for the 47-yard TD to put the home team ahead 7-6.
   Sammamish then played ball control with their wing-T offense and using the adage that the best defense is a good offense, kept the Kingco 3A's most balanced offense off the field and consumed valuable clock time in scoring on their next two possessions.
   Cedarcrest was driving right before the half when disaster struck. DuBois was back to pass for a last second shot at the endzone as time was expiring in the first half. DuBois was sacked for one of the 9 sacks the Totems had on the night, as he couldn't get the ball tucked way. Sammamish caused the fumble and the Totems' lineman recovered it and rambled 11 yards with the pickup to make the score 28-7 as time expired in the first half.
   In the second half, the Red Wolves couldn't stop the inside running attack of the Totems as the visitors ran wild on the new turf. Amassing 317 rushing yards, Sammamish kept the ball for long stretches and on one occasion in the 3rd quarter it took a fumble recovery by Jake Ballingham to stop one of the Totem drives deep in Red Wolf territory. Alan Shults, Derek Foote and Jesse Petterson made the tough plays on defense, but the Totems looked more like the team that 3 years ago played for the 3A state title than the team that struggled with Mercer Island two weeks ago.
   Late in the game, some new faces on the Cedarcrest side of the ball got valuable game experience. Sean Ansell got off a nice punt to pin Sammamish deep in their own end. Brad Petty had a carry over the left side for a gain of about two yards, as announced by Les Collins over the loud speaker. Cody Hudson made a tackle on an inside run by Sammamish, and Elliot Howell was in the game working hard on the defensive line to stop the Sammamish rushing attack.
   The next home game is slated for October 18 at 7:30 p.m. against the Newport Knights. There will be an official opening ceremony before the game scheduled to start to 6:45 p.m. with dedication ceremonies and special announcements preceding the football contest. This is a fantastic venue. It will enhance the football, soccer, track and physical education programs at
   CHS, and the community in general. And I, for one, am delighted that this day finally arrived. Too bad Cedarcrest lost, but we'll get them next time.
   Go Red Wolves!!
   Attachment converted: Lisa:Press release 10-5-02.doc (WDBN/MSWD) (00002F60)