By Mike Cane Herald Writer
This winter the long-running, nationwide Coaches vs. Cancer program is especially meaningful for Nick Brown and Mark Hein.
Brown, head coach of the Arlington High School boys basketball team, and Hein, head boys hoops coach at Lake Stevens High, both have loved ones who are battling cancer. Hein’s mother-in-law, Darlene Sigfridson of Spokane, has terminal brain and lung cancer, Hein said. Meanwhile, Brown’s wife, Caryn Brown, learned she had breast cancer in early December.
Long before the coaches’ loved ones were diagnosed, Hein and Nick Brown had planned to take part in a Coaches vs. Cancer fundraising and awareness event this season. It’s part of a league-wide effort this week by boys basketball teams in the Western Conference North Division.
With what happened recently to their respective families and others in their communities, the coaches value cancer-related research and awareness more than ever.
“It definitely creates more sense of urgency,” said Hein, whose Lake Stevens team will play host to Brown’s Arlington squad at 7:30 p.m. on Friday. The other Wesco North Coaches vs. Cancer events that night are Cascade at Marysville-Pilchuck, Everett at Stanwood, and Monroe at Snohomish. Oak Harbor’s event is on Thursday, when the Wildcats play host to Monroe.
The games all start at 7:30 p.m. Each contest will feature a variety of Coaches vs. Cancer activities. At the Arlington-Lake Stevens game, coaches will wear special shirts donated by H&L Sports of Everett; a booth outside the gym will have cancer-awareness pamphlets; and at halftime fans will be encouraged to donate to the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life campaign.
In addition, Arlington and Lake Stevens will both have two honorary coaches sit with them. For Lake Stevens, they will be Devin Wood, a community member who has throat cancer, Hein said, and Bob Sigfridson, Hein’s father-in-law, the husband of Darlene Sigfridson.
Arlington’s honorary coaches will be Sherri Jira — who is nearing the end of cancer treatment, Brown said, and is the mother of an Eagles basketball player — and an Arlington student whose name was not available as of Tuesday afternoon, said Brown.
Brown’s wife, Caryn Brown, hopes to attend Friday’s game. She recently had a mastectomy after being diagnosed with stage II breast cancer. Her chemotherapy treatment begins on Thursday.
For more information about Coaches vs. Cancer — a nationwide effort of the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches — go to www.cancer.org search “Coaches vs. Cancer.”
Cascade girls pull off upset
Going into its Wesco North game on Monday, the Cascade High girls basketball team appeared to be a gigantic underdog in its clash against first-place Monroe. Fresh off a win over division contender Marysville-Pilchuck, Monroe was 6-0 in league, 9-1 overall. Meanwhile, Cascade was 0-6, 1-9.
But the young Bruins, whose only senior is University of Oregon recruit Danielle Love, rallied late and edged Monroe 41-40 at Reg Scodeller gym. Love had a huge game (17 points, 10 rebounds, four blocks) capped by her defensive stop on Monroe’s last possession in the final seconds. Other heroes, according to Cascade coach Carlos Humphrey, were junior Devan Love, who defended speedy Monroe star point guard Suzanna Ohlsen; sophomore Kiana Hood (12 rebounds off the bench); and sophomore Haley Goff, whose short-range basket with 17 seconds to go put Cascade on top 41-40.
“Man, I was so proud of them because I think we were due for one (league win) and it just happened to come against Monroe,” Humphrey said. “I think we can still kind of make a run going into these next games.”
Cascade plays at Stanwood (2-5, 4-7) tonight.
Sultan’s Atkinson breaks career takedowns record
Meet Justin Atkinson, master of the takedown. Atkinson, a senior on the Sultan High wrestling team, broke the school record for career takedowns on Saturday during the Sky Valley Invitational. He now has 182, which eclipsed Sultan alum Abe Bray’s total of 179. A takedown is an offensive move worth two points in which a wrestler takes his or her opponent to the mat and gains control.
Atkinson, a team captain who competes in the 140-pound division, is 15-3 this season. He placed second at the Sky Valley tournament.
“He’s been working harder than any other kid I’ve seen come through here in a long time,” said first-year Sultan head coach Garth MacDicken, who was previously a Turks assistant for two years and has followed the program for decades.
Wrestlers honor teacher
Before its match against Arlington on Tuesday, the Everett High wrestling program honored Bruce Overstreet as its teacher of the year. Six Seagull grapplers nominated Overstreet, an English teacher, for the annual award, which recognizes an educator who made a particularly memorable positive impact. “They’re pretty excited to have the person that has really impacted their life come to the match and be recognized. It’s pretty powerful,” Everett coach Brien Elliott said.
Mike Cane: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out the prep sports blog Double Team at www.heraldnet.com/doubleteam.