This time the only way local athletes will possibly have an impact is from the bleachers.
The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association announced Monday the lineup for the 2007 Emerald City Kickoff Classic. Unlike last year, no local team will compete in the five-game high school football showcase.
The matchups for the Kickoff Classic, set for Sept. 1 at Qwest Field in Seattle, are: Royal (Class 1A) vs. Eatonville (2A), 9:30 a.m.; Selah (2A) vs. Franklin Pierce (3A), noon; Lakes (3A) vs. Gig Harbor (4A), 3 p.m.; Kentridge (4A) vs. Inglemoor (4A), 5:30 p.m.; and Newport (3A) vs. Liberty (3A), 8 p.m.
In the 2006 Kickoff Classic, Archbishop Murphy defeated Orting 28-6.
The WIAA also announced who will participate in the 2007 Emerald City Volleyball Invitational, which also does not feature an area squad. It will take place Aug. 31 at Eastlake High in Sammamish. The participants are host Eastlake (4A), Eatonville (2A), Eisenhower (4A), Franklin Pierce (3A), Lakes (3A), Liberty (3A), Newport (3A) and Rainier Christian (2B).
Playing with poise
Big-game pressure can rattle an experienced senior, so imagine how tough it is for a freshman to handle. But Zach Johnson isn’t your average freshman. The 6-foot-1 wing averages nearly eight points and has been a key contributor for the 12-5 Stanwood boys basketball team, showing a knack for scoring inside against much taller players. “He is poised and he’s got a quiet confidence to him,” Stanwood coach Brian Hunter said. “He’s not rattled by the situation. I think it’s just part of his makeup.”
Johnson has scored 19 points in a game twice this season, most recently Jan. 19 in a loss against Marysville-Pilchuck. He came off the bench against M-P and was 11-for-11 on foul shots.
“He’s definitely one that will put the time in and get better, too,” Hunter said. “He’s not going to rest on where he is.”
Return to form
James Conti didn’t feel right. “I just wasn’t myself. I could still handle the ball but I wasn’t an offensive threat,” Conti, the Edmonds-Woodway boys basketball team’s junior point guard, said of how he felt after returning from a right shoulder separation (his shooting arm) that sidelined him for the first four contests of the season. But the last few weeks he’s returned to form. “I’ve got my shot back and on defense I’m more physical,” said Conti, who averages 9.1 points, 2.8 assists and 3.4 rebounds for first-place E-W.
Conti is an unselfish competitor and an excellent defender, E-W coach Gail Pintler said. “He makes everybody better when he’s on the floor,” Pintler said.
Two important factors in the Stanwood girls basketball team’s turnaround: role-playing and belief. The Spartans have already won four more games this season (11) than last season. “I think the key is everyone on the team knows they have a role they have to fulfill,” Stanwood senior Rachele Kloke said.
“We’re more confident in ourselves and saying we should go win,” Kloke added, “where in other years we wanted to win but we weren’t (confident).”
Kloke fills many roles on the court. The 5-11 University of Idaho recruit has played all five positions at some point. It’s fun but tiring, she said: “Sometimes it can be overwhelming. ‘Oh my gosh! I have to do all these things. I’m not sure how much energy I’m gonna have.’”
Mike Cane, Herald Writer