Snohomish plans statue of legendary football coach

Many Snohomish locals already call Dick Armstrong a legend. Now plans are in motion to further immortalize the longtime high school football coach.

Snohomish High athletic director Mark Albertine and Snohomish alum Denny Schuler, who played for Armstrong, met twice last week to discuss fundraising ideas for a sculpture that will honor Armstrong, who coached the Panthers for 32 seasons and won 272 games. The monument, estimated to cost $20,000 to build and install, could be finished by the fall of 2007 and will likely be located at the southeast end of Snohomish High’s Veterans Memorial Stadium.

“It will be kind of a neat thing for people to come and look at,” Albertine said.

The Snohomish School Board declined Schuler’s initial request to name the school’s athletic surface Dick Armstrong Field but instead suggested a sculpture- a compromise that seems to work for everyone.

“Maybe in the long run it will be better,” said Albertine, who compared the project to one that landed a sculpture of Jim Owens outside Husky Stadium in Seattle. (Owens was the University of Washington’s head football coach from 1957-1974.)

Fundraising will continue after Armstrong statue costs are covered, Albertine said, and money will be used to create an ongoing scholarship fund for students at Snohomish High and the town’s new south-end high school, set to open in the fall of 2008.

Nichols picks Indiana State: Snohomish senior Whitney Nichols, The Herald’s 2005 All-Area Volleyball Player of the Year, verbally accepted a scholarship offer to play for Indiana State University, Snohomish’s Albertine said. Nichols, a versatile 5-foot-8 setter, helped Snohomish place fourth at the Class 4A state tournament in November. Nichols can sign a binding NCAA letter of intent on Wednesday.

Hooks snares Arcadia title: Cascade senior Whitney Hooks, a four-time Class 4A state champion thrower, won the shot put event last weekend at the 39th Arcadia Invitational track and field meet in California. Hooks, a Washington recruit, had a top heave of 47 feet, 1.75 inches – more than three feet farther than the No. 2 finisher. Hooks was 10th in the discus (137-10). Also, Lynnwood senior Caitlin Bonney took sixth in the 300-meter hurdles (46.52 seconds). Bonney, a Washington State-bound soccer standout, placed second in the event last year at the 3A state meet.

Kamiak catcher Sacramento-bound: Andrea Sherrill, a senior catcher/infielder on the Kamiak softball team, signed a letter of intent to play for California State University, Sacramento. Sherrill batted .427 with 26 runs batted in last season to earn All-Wesco South second-team recognition.

Mitalas to coach Shorewood girls soccer: Teddy Mitalas, who coached the Shorecrest boys soccer team for 17 seasons and the Shorecrest girls for 11 seasons, has accepted the head girls soccer job at Shorewood. Mitalas led the Shorecrest boys to a state 3A title last season before stepping down at the end of the season to spend more time with his family. He won state titles with the Shorecrest girls in 1992, 1993 and 1995.

Cedarcrest girls coach steps down: Robert Johnson, Cedarcrest’s head girls soccer coach, resigned after five seasons to pursue a degree in school administration. Johnson guided the Red Wolves to a 66-13-4 mark over the past four years.

King’s adds soccer: Starting with the 2006-2007 school year King’s of Shoreline will offer boys and girls soccer. The girls coach is Nicole Gabelein, a 1992 King’s graduate who played prep soccer at Cascade. Gabelein was a three-time NAIA All-American at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, Calif., and played professionally from 1994-1995. Benjamin Somoza will coach the King’s boys. Somoza, a 1998 Edmonds-Woodway grad, was The Herald’s ‘98 Player of the Year, played collegiately for Washington and competed professionally for the Portland Timbers and the Seattle Sounders.

Lead the way: Mariner sophomore Travis Rush said teammates Ryan Otto and Braden Degamo keep the Marauders baseball squad on task. “They’re the true leaders of the team,” Rush said of Otto, a senior pitcher, and Degamo, a junior catcher. “They run everything. … They never put their head down. They’re always trying to get everybody up.”

Enterprise writer Tony Dondero contributed to this report

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