Prep notebook

The Oak Harbor Wildcats will finally be able to enjoy a true home-field advantage.

Thanks to the passage of a $6.5 million, 15-year bond measure in the Nov. 8 election, Oak Harbor High School will have an on-site athletic stadium capable of hosting football, soccer and track events by the 2007-08 season.

The facility will be called Memorial Stadium – the same as that of Oak Harbor’s current, aging football facility whose name honors World War II veterans. The nearly 60-year-old structure is located more than a half-mile from the high school and has no permanent bleachers. Its rundown condition has made it unsuitable to host postseason events.

Oak Harbor football coach Dave Ward is thrilled with the bond passage. Over the past three seasons his team has been forced to play five so-called home playoff games at alternate sites, including Goddard Stadium in Everett and Mount Vernon High.

“It was a great accomplishment by real positive, forward-thinking people in this community and inside and outside this school district,” Ward said. “The community in general is going to be able to benefit from it.”

Construction on the new Memorial Stadium is set to begin this summer and should conclude in time for the start of the 2007 football season. The playing surface will be some sort of synthetic material, such as FieldTurf, Ward said.

M-P, Everett boys invade the Key: The boys basketball teams from Marysville-Pilchuck and Everett will meet for a non-conference clash Dec. 26 at Seattle’s KeyArena, home of the Seattle SuperSonics. The junior varsity game tips off at 12:15 p.m. and the varsity game starts at 2:15 p.m. Ticket information will be available tonight during Everett’s home game against Jackson, Everett athletic director Jo Levin said.

Lake Stevens pours it on: Seven Lake Stevens girls basketball players scored eight or more points Wednesday in the Vikings’ 90-20 victory over winless Mount Vernon. Teams generally pull back after building a solid lead in clear mismatches like this one but Lake Stevens (4-0 Wesco North, 6-1 overall) actually scored more points in the second half (50) than it did through the first two quarters (40).

Call it a comeback: Mariner senior Raymond Fry, who recently committed to play football for the University of Idaho, bounced back from a severe ankle injury to have a stellar senior season. He endured rigorous weight-training and conditioning programs that amplified his agility and lateral movement and improved his strength. “His senior year, he was a lot stronger and more durable,” Mariner coach John Ondriezek said of the 5-foot-8 running back/defensive back/kick returner. “He was an impact player for us, a team leader. He kept us in every ballgame because of his ability to score quickly.”

Weight off Kubec’s shoulders: Last season Lake Stevens wrestler Kelly Kubec constantly worried about staying light enough to compete at 112 pounds. He went on to win the 4A state title, but weight concerns distracted him from honing his craft. This season Kubec, a junior, jumped to 130 pounds and the change has been beneficial in several ways. “I feel like I’m a lot more explosive,” he said, “and my technique’s a lot more sound now that I don’t have to worry about my weight and I can focus on my wrestling completely.” Kubec hopes to fine-tune his skills to prepare for college wrestling: “I gotta crack down and focus on the little stuff, like position and attacking.”

Hard to guard: Caitlyn Rohrbach used to camp around the 3-point line and let her teammates grind it out under the hoop. But Rohrbach, a 6-foot senior on the Meadowdale girls basketball team, has become a legitimate inside presence. After playing guard on varsity her freshman year and missing her sophomore season with a knee injury, Rohrbach shifted to the unfamiliar post role last season as a junior. Now the versatile Mavericks senior has emerged as one of the Wesco South’s elite inside forces. “Every game, I think I’m improving at that spot,” said Rohrbach, who used solid mid- to long-range shooting, quickness and hustle to score a career-high 21 points last week in a victory over Jackson.

And they’re off: The Mariner wrestling team started fast and never trailed last week in its 54-12 Wesco South victory over Everett. Tyler Millerup (152) and Jason Wright (171) got early pins to help the Marauders shoot to a quick 15-3 lead. In the fourth bout of the meet, Wright executed a stunning pin against Everett’s Nick Salsbury just 12 seconds into the sudden-death overtime period. Salsbury’s reversal with 23 seconds remaining in the third period tied the score at 8-8, but Wright’s OT pin made for an abrupt conclusion to an otherwise even battle. Said Wright of the pin, “I was just trying to set him up and see what I could do.” Well done.

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