In 2008, teams and individuals from Shoreline won state titles and shared euphoric moments.
Of course, sometimes there was injury, disappointment and frustration, but in the end any time an athlete gets to take the court or field it’s a good day. Here are some of the most memorable stories of the past year as captured in the pages of the sports section of the Shoreline Enterprise.
Hester wins Shorewood’s first wrestling state title
The wait is over.
For the first time in school history, Shorewood has a state champion wrestler.
Senior Tim Hester became the first Thunderbird to win a state title claiming the 189-pound crown Feb. 16 at Mat Classic XX at the Tacoma Dome.
“It’s awesome,” Hester said.
Hester beat Graham-Kapowsin junior Zach Folden, who came into the tournament unranked, 9-4 in the final.
Hester scored a takedown on his trademark move in the first round and added a near fall to go up 4-0. Folden picked up an escape, but Hester notched an escape and take down to go up 7-1.
Folden managed three escapes in the final round but Hester closed out with a takedown.
After the match, Hester hugged his coaches Arnie Moreno, Derek Norton and Clark Norton, putting a cap on the most remarkable wrestling career Shorewood has ever seen.
Hester, the No. 1-ranked 4A wrestler at 189 pounds all season had a target on his back all year, in a class heavy with talent.
“Everyone at 189, they’re all contenders,” Hester said.
Hester’s win over Folden also clinched the 4A team title for Lake Stevens, which edged Graham-Kapowsin 145 to 139.5.
“That put a lot of energy into it,” Hester said. “It was loud, it was good.”
Shorecrest’s Hayden wins state 3A butterfly title
Four years ago, Shorecrest’s Tyler Hayden made the first of what became four trips to the state boys swimming and diving championships.
He vowed to himself that one day he would win a state title.
Four years later, the Shorecrest senior made good on that vow by finishing first in the 100-yard butterfly at the Class 3A meet Feb. 16 at the King County Aquatic Center.
“It took a lot of work to get where I am,” Hayden said. “I came in freshman year with the intention of winning state and it’s a great feeling to finally accomplish that.” Hayden led from start to finish and clocked in with a time of 50.86 seconds, more than two seconds below his preliminary time of 52.93. He finished well ahead of Bellevue’s Andrew Mooers, who was second in 52.01.
“It’s the best time, automatic All-American and it was a state title,” Hayden said. “It was great.”
No one was happier for the Shorecrest standout than Scots coach Bill Murray, who was impressed by the amount of hard work Hayden put in the last four years.
“Four years he was giving it everything,” Murray said. “It’s awesome to see.”
Michaels wins 4A 500 freestyle title, leads T-birds to fourth
Shorewood had plenty to celebrate at the Class 4A state boys swimming and diving championships. Junior Bryan Michaels brought home a state title in the 500-yard freestyle and also helped the Thunderbirds to a fourth-place finish in the team competition Feb. 16 at the King County Aquatic Center.
Michaels took the lead early in the 500 freestyle and built on it during every leg of the race. He finished with an automatic All-American time of 4 minutes, 35.20 seconds, well ahead of Gig Harbor’s Spencer Neff, who was second in 4:40.40.
“It feels good,” Michaels said of winning his first state title. “It went according to plan.”
Michael’s time was a little off from his career best, but it was his best time of the season. “I’m happy with that,” Michaels said.
The Shorewood junior was seeded first in the event and swam the fastest preliminary time (4:38.31).
“I don’t know if there was any doubt that he’d be getting that,” said Shorewood coach Scott Kelley. “That was pretty neat that he came in first, held it and did what he wanted to do. It was an All-American time too.”
Michaels went out fast and completed the first 200 yards in 1:46, Kelley added. “That’s a pretty good 200 free time. He held every 100 under 57 seconds. It’s pretty sweet.”
King’s boys take fifth in state hoops
After a disappointing start to the state Class 1A basketball tournament, the King’s boys finished strong.
The second-ranked Knights fell 59-55 to third-ranked Connell in the first round of state Feb. 27, but bounced back to win three straight and take home a fifth-place trophy.
The Knights beat Cedar Park Christian 50-48 in overtime behind 26 points and 11 rebounds by senior co-captain Erich Fuhlendorf to claim fifth after coming home without any hardware last year.
“They showed a lot of character in being able to do that,” King’s coach Bill Liley said. “I’m proud of them.”
“Our seniors played great all week,” Liley said of co-captains Fuhlendorf, Dylan O’Neil and Bryan Ayers. “That first night was tough. They weren’t going to leave Yakima with anything less than fifth.”
Shoreline Christian girls finish fifth in 2B girls hoops
Call them the masters of the consolation bracket.
The Shoreline Christian girls basketball team made it two Class 2B fifth-place state finishes in a row with a 47-38 win over Tacoma Baptist March 1 at Spokane Arena.
The Crusaders fell to Mossyrock 51-41 in the first round Feb. 27, but they shook off the disappoinment of not winning a championship to win three straight games and equal the best finish in school history.
“Once that didn’t become a reality we took care of business one day at a time,” Shoreline Christian coach Stan De Yager said. “The view from a coaching standpoint and the older players was that we’ve done this before.”
One of three seniors on the team, four-year starter and co-captain Ann Barrick said she didn’t want to end her senior year without making it to Saturday. Barrick and her teammates, began their run through the consolation bracket with a 62-38 dismantling of Seattle Lutheran, Feb. 28. On Feb. 29, the victim was league rival LaConner. The Crusaders’ defense proved its toughness again in a 38-22 win.
Shoreline Christian took on Tacoma Baptist, former Tri-district rival, in the fifth-place game.
“We played strong and played tough, tougher than them,” De Yager said.
King’s Invite track records fall on snowy day in April
Despite a cold day with snow on the ground and temperatures in the low 40s, several athletes posted hot times at the 23rd annual King’s Invite.
After King’s track coach and meet organizer Daunte Gouge and more than 10 volunteers shoveled snow off the infield after sun-up, the stage was set.
“Across the board there were some phenomenal times,” Gouge said.
King’s junior Olivia Thomas broke the meet and school record in the 1,600 meters with a time of 5 minutes, 5.45 seconds. Joscelyn Minton of Northwest Christian, who finished second in 5:08.17, pushed Thomas the first three laps, which Thomas said helped her run a better race. Thomas also eclipsed the meet record in the 800 meters with a time of 2:19.26. Thomas also ran on King’s winning 800 relay (1:49.3) and winning 1,600 relay (4:13.48). The King’s boys won the Invite for the seventh consecutive year, easily outdistancing Nampa Christian of Idaho 138 to 74. Nampa Christian won the girls title, edging King’s 131 to 129 to break the Knights five-year streak of titles.
Shorecrest’s Bracht state 3A runner-up in boys golf once again
Shorecrest senior Jens Bracht figured he needed to shoot a 66 on the second day of the 3A boys state golf tournament at Bellingham Country Club to win.
Bracht made a run and shot a 70, but it was short of the 66 he did need to catch Matt Rawitzer of Squalicum who won by four strokes. Bracht finished with a two-day total of 143 to finish second for the second consecutive year.
Bracht beat Rawitzer, who was in a three-way playoff at state last year with Bracht and eventual winner Alex Moore of Hanford, in a playoff for the 3A District 1 title the week before. Bracht shot a 73 the first day but Rawitzer shot a 69 followed by a 70 for a two-day total of 139 on his home course.
Shorecrest boys soccer team’s ride ends in quarterfinals
Chris Morris and Mercer Island ended Shorecrest’s hopes of making the state semifinals for the first time since their title run in 2005.
Mercer Island unleashed a flurry of shots late in the second half, but the Shorecrest defense held to force overtime.
The Islanders kept the pressure up and finally broke through four minutes into the extra time. After a scramble in the penalty box, midfielder Chris Morris scored his second goal of the game off a flick from Nick Ward to give Mercer Island a 2-1 victory in a state 3A quarterfinal game Thursday night, May 15, at Shoreline Stadium.
“We played well enough to win. Finding the net has been a real challenge for us, lately for sure, but pretty much all season,” Shorecrest coach Drew Thompson said.
Shorewood succumbs in quarterfinals after lengthy shootout
One after one, the shooters made the lonely walk from midfield to the penalty kick mark.
For more than 30 minutes they made this march in a 4A quarterfinal state playoff game between Shorewood and Todd Beamer on a warm May 17 night at Shoreline Stadium.
Then on the 33rd shot of the shootout between Shorewood and Todd Beamer, Beamer goalkeeper Ben Draeger dove to his left to block a kick by the T-birds’ Ansel Koehler.
It was Shorewood’s third miss. Beamer had missed two. Beamer’s John Drayer, who missed his first attempt when it hit the crossbar and was skipped the next time, followed. He stroked a right-footed shot in the upper right corner of the goal off Shorewood goalkeeper Dorian Lair’s fingertips.
Drayer raced to meet his teammates, who mobbed him, shrieking in a victorious celebration.
Lair, who saved three shots in Shorewood’s shootout win over Thomas Jefferson in the first round of the state playoffs, lay face down on the Shoreline Stadium Field Turf for about a minute as his teammates came over console him.
“It came down to one blocked shot or one goal,” Lair said.
King’s boys win first state soccer title
It took a little tap from Sam Hauck and Brett Simons did the rest.
King’s won a rematch with Highland 2-1 to capture its first state championship in boys soccer in only the second year of the program, Saturday at Sunset Chev Stadium.
With a little more than minute left in the game, the Knights drew an obstruction foul in the penalty box, resulting in an indirect free kick.
Sophomore defender Sam Hauck, who saved a couple goals in the first half, came up to take the kick on the left side of the field, about 15 yards from the goal.
“I was there, and I told Brett to stand where I was because the keeper was setting up near post,” Hauck said.
“I played it ready, he nicked it off the (far) post. It was sweet.” Simons said he was aiming for the far post all the way.
“I just curled it around the wall that was there, the keeper went running on, so I just curled it around far post. Just got in there,” Simons said. “It was great. We lost to them last year, we beat them this year. Revenge.”
“Brett, oh man, he’s the man,” said forward/midfielder Michael Kenyon, who scored earlier for the Knights.
Highland, a school from Cowiche, which is an unincorporated town northwest of Yakima in the heart of apple country, came into the game with 11-game winning streak, as did King’s.
Highland, who beat King’s 1-0 last year in the final, came out with energy and outshot the Knights 9-3 in the first half.
“We didn’t really show up at all the first half,” King’s coach Ben Somoza said. “I didn’t think we played well at all. We started putting pressure on them in the second half, finding our forwards feet a lot more. Our forwards scored both our goals. I thought we were giving them too much space to play. I thought the second half was a lot better than the first half.”
King’s boys win back-to-back track titles
The King’s boys came out and did what they were expected to do.
For the second straight year, and third time in school history, the Knights’ boys track and field team won a state title.
The Knights, who lost only three athletes off last year’s team, finished with 96 points, 50 more than second-place Cashmere, which had 46 at the state 1A meet May 23-24 at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma.
The margin was even greater than the 40-point win the Knights posted last year. King’s also won a state title in 2005.
“Coming into the season we knew we were going to be good,” said junior Josh Fuller, who repeated as the 400-meter champion. “It’s nice to get back. Three-in-a-row would be pretty awesome.”
The King’s boys also won the academic state championship with a combined team grade point average of 3.532.
Fuller nursed a sore hamstring most of the year but he was ready for state. He didn’t match his take from last year’s meet when he won four first-place medals in the 100, 200, 400 and 1,600 relay, but three first places and a second was close
The ‘Rodfather’ dedicated to his runners
On his answering machine King’s cross country coach Rod Wilcox will tell you that if he’s not at home he’s probably at the Woolsey Stadium track on the King’s High School campus.
Until Oct. 24, the Friday before the Cascade Conference Championshsips, Wilcox hadn’t missed a practice in 16 years. A root canal broke the streak.
The man King’s athletes call the Rodfather and sensei came to King’s program in the mid-1990s and built it up from small group of athletes into a state powerhouse.
Over the years Wilcox has trained hundreds of student-athletes. He doesn’t have kids at home but he considers the kids he coaches from middle school through high school like his own kids. He has encyclopedic knowledge about all the athletes on his team. He cared enough to build a series of trails on campus in his spare time that is designed to test them.
Wilcox’s boys teams have won four Class 1A state titles (1999-2002) and his girls teams have won five state titles (1A in 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2007 and 2A in 2006). The 2001 boys team was statistically the best boys team, according to Wilcox.
The 2007 girls team was his best team but this year’s team, which is expected to win its third straight title this Saturday at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco, could be better. As head coach he’s had four individual champions: Adam Roe in 2000, Brandon Thompson in 2002, Rachel Strand in 2002 and Olivia Thomas in 2007.
But for Wilcox, a three-time state cross country coaches’ association coach of the year, it’s about helping his athletes no matter how talented they are achieve their best.
“It’s not about winning championships,” he said. “It’s about watching the next batch of kids.”
King’s girls cross country stages three-peat
Two in a row is fun, but a three-peat is extra sweet.
The King’s High School girls cross country team continued its reign over Class 1A competition Saturday during the 2008 Washington State Cross Country Championships at Sun Willows Golf Course.
After winning state titles in 2006 and 2007, King’s made it three in a row. The Knights, coached by Rod Wilcox, scored 49 points and outlasted runner-up LaCenter (80 points).
King’s also won three consecutive championships earlier this decade (2001-2003 in A/B). What made the 2008 title run unique?
“We have seniors on this team that have been with the program for a long time,” Wilcox said, “so it’s really exciting to see them go out on a high note.”
One of the seniors is Olivia Thomas. She won the 1A individual title a year ago but placed second this time behind champ Maddie Meyers, a freshman from Seattle’s Northwest School. It wasn’t close as Meyers completed the 3.1-mile course in 18 minutes, 53 seconds and Thomas finished 41 seconds later. Meyers broke the 1A meet record.
“Obviously Olivia was a little disappointed,” said Wilcox, “but winning the team (title) takes the edge off of that disappointment.”
Thomas said she was sick the past few days and loaded up on cold medicine Saturday morning, hoping she’d feel better in time for the race. “It didn’t work the way I wanted, but I’m happy,” she said.
And why not? Thomas capped her cross country career with another top-10 individual finish. Starting with her freshman season, she placed eighth in 2A, second in 1A, first in 1A and second again in 1A.
“It’s been fabulous,” Thomas said. Cross country “became the favorite part of my day. My best friends are on the team. The social aspect of it is amazing.”
King’s captures first volleyball title
Primed for the moment all season, the No. 1-ranked King’s volleyball team did not disappoint.
The Shoreline school claimed its first state volleyball title, taking the Class 1A crown with a 25-21, 26-24, 19-25, 25-18 sweep of Castle Rock, Saturday night at the Yakima SunDome.
“It was hard, it was tough. Our whole team knew we were the best out there,” said senior outside hitter Laura Friar, who led the Knights with 23 kills. “We had to prove it.”
Coach Steve Bain celebrated the championship and his 56th birthday. For the last six years Bain and his players have built the program into one of the finest in the state. The last two years King’s lost in the semifinals to Colfax, which dropped down to 2B this year, and captured that classification’s title.
“We have been knocking on the door the last few years and we finally made a breakthrough,” Bain said. “We played really well today. I thought we played well through the tournament. I think the thing that kept us going through the whole tournament was our defense.”
King’s cruised in the first game, but trailed 23-17 in the second game before going on a 9-1 run to complete the comeback.
The Knights battled back in the fourth game as well, trailing 13-10, before rallying behind the serving of Rosy Boggs and four kills by Dionna Kirton to take an 18-13 lead they would never relinquish.
Setter Anna Cesari finished with 50 assists in the final.
“That connects everything together,” Bain said. “She made our hitters look good.”
Defensive specialist Meagan Foote had 28 digs against Castle Rock.
“I thought Meagan Foote anchored that back row on defense,” Bain said.
Shorewood girls season ends in quarterfinals
Shorewood’s surprising run through the 4A state playoffs came to an abrupt end Saturday. Woodinville, meanwhile, now has a chance to surpass its finish from last year.
Woodinville senior Heather Thomas lobbed a free kick in from 30 yards out in the 10th minute to put the Falcons up early, Stine Schoening scored in the 35th minute off an assist from Taylor Bolibol, and Woodinville hung on to take a 2-1 4A quarterfinal victory Saturday, Nov. 11 at Shoreline Stadium.
“We won four elimination games in a row to get to this point,” Shorewood head coach Nathan Davis said after his team was eliminated. “These girls stepped up under pressure big time.”
Shorewood, the third seed from District 1, wasn’t expected to reach the quarterfinals, but stunned undefeated Kentwood in the opening round of state.
Crusaders boys soccer team finishes fourth at state
Shoreline Christian ended its season with fourth place in the 2B/1B boys soccer tournament Nov. 22.
Tacoma Baptist scored five unanswered goals to end Shoreline Christian’s title hopes, 5-1, Friday, Nov. 21 in the state semifinals at Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner.
“Tacoma Baptist was the team to beat. They knew they faced a challenge,” Shoreline Christian coach Peter Thomsen said of his team. “I think there’s a little bit of disappointment of not making it back to the championship but there was the realization they had come a long way from the start of the season.”
King’s girls soccer team finishes third at state
For the King’s girls soccer team it was déjà vu at the state 1A soccer semifinals.
Seattle Christian beat King’s 1-0 Friday, Nov. 21 at Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner delaying the Knights’ quest for a state title until next year.
King’s has made it to the semifinals all three years of the program. But the Knights are still in search of that elusive trip to a championship game. In 2006, King’s lost in a shootout in the semifinals to Seattle Christian and last year the Knights lost in the third-place game to the Warriors after losing to eventual state champion Meridian in the semis.
King’s bounced back and beat Highland 4-0, to claim third place on Saturday, Nov. 22.
“It’s kind of bittersweet in that we really did want first. We really wanted it,” junior defender Hillary Quinn said. “But God gives and God takes away.”
“We’re sick of coming here in the semis and not going on,” said Quinn, a junior. “Next year we’ll come back and go past semis.”
Shorecrest girls finish fourth at state
In the end, Shorecrest didn’t get the 3A girls soccer title it hoped for, but the Scots earned respect for their best finish in 12 years.
“I’d rather get first, second or third, but fourth’s not bad,” said senior co-captain and goalkeeper Caroline Towles. “We fought hard, we totally deserved to be here. We battled to the end.”
Kennedy (21-1-1) beat Shorecrest (15-7-2) for third place 2-0, on a pair of goals by Lancers’ forward Rebekah Kurle, Saturday, Nov. 22 at Harry Lang Stadium in Lakewood.
Seattle Prep beat Shorecrest 1-0 in the semifinals on a free kick after a handball call that the Scots thought was questionable.
Shorecrest’s fourth-place trophy was its first since it placed third in 1996 in Class 4A, a year after winning the title. Last year, Shorecrest lost at home in a first-round district game in shootout to Sedro-Woolley. This year, the team wanted to redeem itself from that disappointing early exit.
“We accomplished a lot coming from a very tough league (the Western Conference South Division) and coming from a team that hasn’t gotten out of first round or second round in a long time,” Shorecrest coach Mindy Dalziel said. “They might not be the best soccer players but they work really hard and they have tons of dedication.”