Lake Stevens football player earns lobster dinner from coach


Herald Writer

Lake Stevens’ Justin Balunstat will soon be feasting on lobster, courtesy of his football coach, Ken Collins. When a Lake Stevens player scores a defensive touchdown, Collins has them over to his house for a lobster dinner.

“I might even throw a steak in for a little surf ‘n turf action,” said Collins. “After all they are football players.

“Justin had a heck of game. When Matt (Williams) got hurt he went in and ran the ball effectively.”

Balunstat also filled in ably at cornerback. His 61-yard interception return gave Lake Stevens its final touchdown in Friday’s 35-14 victory over Arlington, and erased any chance of a comeback by the Eagles.

“Guess I’ll have to fly to Maine,” Collins said.

  • Snohomish girls beat No. 1: The Snohomish girls cross country team bested No. 1-ranked Eisenhower at Saturday’s Sunfair Invitational in Yakima. Snohomish runners finished second (Michelle Christensen), second (Jennifer Moreno), third (Shelby Campbell), fourth (Aimee Spada), fifth (Amanda Mowers), third (Mary Malegesini) and 21st (Jessica Culnane) in the seven varsity flights for a team total of 40 points, nine better than runnerup Eisenhower, the defending Class 4A state champion.

  • Meritorious awards: The Northwest District of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association presented Dave DuVall Awards awards to five individuals at its Sept. 20 executive board luncheon in recognition of their contributions in time and effort to promote extracurricular activities in the district. Bill Hamilton, who recently retired after 30 years an elementary school teacher from the Edmonds School District, received one of the awards. Hamilton was recognized for his part in developing and promoting the outdoor education program still used by the district. Hamilton promoted running among his students and annually formed a running club at his school. He also serves as public address announcer at high school football and basketball games and other events. Other awards were presented to William Berry of radio station KLKI in Anacortes, Dolores Holleman, the athletic secretary at Blaine High School for 28 years; Mickey Irwin, a member of the football chain crew at Ferndale High School for 50 years, and Jim and Paula LaRose, who have worked the clock at Ferndale football games for 29 years.

  • Bruins unleash running game: The first half of Friday’s Oak Harbor at Cascade high school football game demonstrated how dominant the Bruins are capable of being. The team mounted a 28-7 lead and didn’t give up an offensive touchdown.

    Oak Harbor scored on Kevin McMickle’s 41-yard fumble recovery, but Cascade quickly bounced back. Joel Crawford and Jerrell Jenkins would trade off scoring on four touchdowns, with Crawford starting the touchdown runs. Crawford scored on runs of 26 and 80 yards. Jenkins scored on two 4-yard runs.

    Crawford said the coaches had been emphasizing the run in practice.

    “We were successful with the run (tonight),” Crawford said. “The line did a good job blocking.”

  • Scholarship winners: Arlyn Escallona of Cascade and Nicole Hetzer of Kamiak have been awarded $1,000 college scholarships from Mervyn’s California and the Women’s Sports Foundation. Escallona and Hetzer were recognized for their excellence in sports as well as their volunteerism. Escallona, who participates in volleyball, track and gymnastics, plans to attend Washington State next fall. Hetzer, who participated in volleyball, basketball and track, plans to attend Stanford.

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