Darrington athletes eager to lend a hand in aftermath of mudslide

DARRINGTON — A little over a month ago, the Darrington High School gym was the site of a hotly contested battle between the Loggers girls basketball team and Auburn Adventist.

This week the gym has transformed into a disaster relief station for the Red Cross.

Many of the same basketball players who battled so hard in that victory over Auburn Adventist have volunteered at the gym this week and around the town in the aftermath of Saturday’s Oso mudslide. The girls aren’t alone. Darrington athletic director Cory Ross said he couldn’t think of a Darrington athlete who hasn’t helped volunteer in some way.

“These kids are going out of their way to help,” Ross said Wednesday as a number of athletes unpacked food boxes and counted items in the gym. “I’m not surprised; their parents instill that in them. That’s how this community works.”

Two of those volunteers won state wrestling championships in February. Wednesday, Mason McKenzie and Lane Monteith were at the Darrington High gym, helping wherever they could. It’s something they’ve been doing all week.

“Being a coach — and working with these guys daily — and then watching them come over here, you melt,” Ross said. “It makes you proud of how they want to step up and help and how they’re making themselves a part of all of this. It’s amazing to see. I’m really, really proud of these guys. It’s really neat to see.”

The athletes have packed food boxes destined for relief workers, made meals for nightly community dinners and helped coordinate distribution of items like diapers, clothes and other relief items. They’ve helped wash emergency vehicles at the Darrington Fire Department and sort food at the food bank.

All the athletes are incredibly eager to help.

“A food truck pulled up last night and the baseball team was there and they said, ‘We’ll help you,’” Darrington softball coach Sue Howard said. “So they took it down and they unloaded it one place and it needed to go to another so they loaded the whole truck back up and then they took it over to the other place. Just whatever needs to be done.”

Weather permitting, the Darrington baseball team is scheduled to play the first varsity game since the mudslide on Friday against La Conner at 4 p.m.

Some athletes, like Loggers baseball player Trent Green, have helped in the search and rescue effort. Green traveled to the slide area to help his good friend Quinton Kuntz, who lost his home in the mudslide, look for his dog and other family items.

“It blew me away. Everything is crushed,” Green said. “The house is not even close to where it was. You can’t recognize where you’re at. We found some picture albums and other important things.”

There was such an outpouring of help from the students at Darrington High School that there was an announcement this week during class that there were too many volunteers, and requested students stop coming over to the gym to help.

The Loggers promptly ignored that message.

“There’s too many. Everyone wants to help out. We’re all (crammed) so close together,” said junior Tayler Hoftell, who plays volleyball for the Loggers. “We all want to help out and do all we can. That’s why we’ve been able to gather this much food and get all this done.”

On Wednesday, Hoftell arrived and started helping at the gym at 11 a.m. She figured she would be leaving to go home around 9 p.m.

“We’re there for each other,” Hoftell said. “We were already close before but now with this happening it’s unified us even more and we all have each others’ back. I think we’ve done a good job getting through this together.”

Outside of Darrington, Ross said he’s received phone calls and encouragement from every school athletic director in the Loggers’ athletic league. He also mentioned that some schools like Concrete, which held a bake sale fundraiser, and Orcas Island are raising money to help the relief effort.

Next week the athletic teams are off for spring break. Ross hopes to take a quick two-day trip with his family to get away from it all, but plans to resume helping as soon as he returns.

“My family and I were going to go to Whidbey Island but I think we’re going to pretty much be here and be involved as much as we can be,” Ross said. “We might try to go do something for a night or two just to kind of clear our heads and take our minds off of things. But then we’ll be back.”

More in Sports

Lake Stevens girls show grit in 66-58 win over Glacier Peak

The Vikings rally from 13 down at half to take over sole possession of 1st place in Wesco 4A.

Friday’s prep basketball scores, recaps

Once again, a variety of local high school basketball players turned in… Continue reading

Bearcats pull away from Jackson in 79-67 win

Monroe’s Colby Kyle scores 24 points in his return from injury and Spencer Davidson tacks on 21.

Silvertips set to host pair of East Division powerhouses

Brandon and Swift Current make rare appearances in Everett this weekend.

‘Fear’ drives UWs Carter III back to the gym every single day

The freshman PG tries to get in 500 shots a day on his quest to be a success on the floor and in life.

LIST: 100-Season Club members and those in the vicinity

Here’s a list of local high school coaches who have coached 100 seasons, and those who are close.

Friday’s prep stars of the night

George Reidy, G, Cedar Park Christian Reidy, a senior, scored 38 of… Continue reading

Everett’s Stephan Erosa, left, competes against Arlington Brantly StupeyThursday night at Arlington High School in Arlington on January 18, 2018. The Eagles won 37-25.(Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)
Arlington wrestlers scrap to 37-25 win over Everett

Aggressive lineup moves pay off for the Eagles in a big Wesco 3A North win over the Seagulls.

Additions of Murray, Sharp give Silvertips depth

After a ‘crazy busy’ week upon being traded to Everett, the new duo is finally settling in.

Most Read