By Neil Macdonald
Year 2002 ended with a 16-story high likeness of Blaines favorite son, Luke Ridnour, adorning a 24-story high billboard at 46th and Broadway in New York, heralding Oregons basketball prowess. A Borderite was on Broadway! It was a big year for Blaine.
Basketball Both Dan Ruckers boys and Pat Greens girls finished the 01-02 season with a place in the Sun(Dome). The boys took fifth place; the Lady Bs, fourth, the best finish ever for a Blaine girls team at State. Boths team were Northwest District winners.
Ryan Pike, Anna Sticklin and Jessica Summers were media all-tourney second team selections. Pike and Summers were Associated Press All-State honorable mentions. Summers was the North Cascade Conferences Most Valuable Player and Sticklin, an All-NCC first team selection.
Wrestling Tyler Glahn placed third in the 125-pound class at State and Richie Tewes was out on a pin at 130 pounds. Glahn was second and Tewes, fifth at Regionals while Randy Newton (rib injuries) lost by forfeit at 145 pounds and 215-pound Anthony Terris, wrestling at 275 pounds, was sixth.
Blaine Barracuda Chris Nunez won the midget 120 title at the Washington State Freestyle Championships.
Baseball Coach Gary Clausens Borderites won 19 and lost 6, took District and tied for fifth at State. Shortstop Craig Anderson was the first Borderite chosen to play in the Washington-Oregon All-State game and was the NCCs MVP. Anderson won his teams hitting award; Ryan Pike, the coaches award; Grant Sanders, the Most Inspirational and Kyle Dhanani, the Most Improved. In summer action, Blaine Post 86 won their final four games to finish with an 8-8 record.
Fastpitch Blaine, sixth in the NCC, were eliminated at District. Krista Walter threw the Lady Bs first ever no-hitter (10-0 over Granite Falls). Holly Steckler and Jynessa Trennepohl were named All-NCC first team; Alisa Burk, All-NCC second team; Kristina Francis and Lacy Cheatwood, All-NCC honorable mention. Trennepohl shared the West teams all-star award at the East-West all-state doubleheader.
Team award winners: Steckler and Trennepohl (MVPs), Steckler (Leading Hitter), Burk (Clutch Player), Francis (Leadership), Walter (Coaches), Kaylyn Bird (Most Improved) and Cheatwood (Most Inspirational). Single season team records: Steckler (hits, 30), Burk (runs scored, 21) and Walter (strikeouts, 89).
Track Nik McGee won the boys shot at State, Becky Riddle was second in the girls shot and Kit Schumann was 14th in the boys pole vault. Riddle set a NCC championship record in the shot of 39-11.
McGee was the boys team MVP; Riddle, the girls team MVP; Dan Marchio, boys Most Inspirational and Most Improved; Grace Coulter, girls Most Inspirational; and Jessica Summers, girls Most Improved.
Football Jim Rasar resigned as head football coach. New head coach Dave Fakkemas roster-thin Borderites had a 0-9 season, coming closest to victory in a 36-30 OT loss to Granite Falls. RB Danny Le, 614 yards rushing, was All-NCC second team (offense) and DT Kyle Green was All-NCC second team (defense).
Le won the teams MVP and Most Inspirational awards. LB/TE Kevin Farmer and WR/DB Rhyan Lopez won the co-captains award.
Golf Semiahmoos Jeff Coston, the Pacific Northwest PGA Golfer of the Year for the seventh time in eight years, shot 69-70 139 to place second at the pro-am Century Guisti Memorial, and earn $6,000. In senior golf, Blaine amateur James Taggard shot 78-84 162, but missed the cut for the U.S. Senior Open. Blaine pro Chris Jorgensen won a Cascade Tour event at Port Ludlow Golf & Country Club with a 7-under 137.
Borderite Kevin Farmer was fourth and Doug Goldsby, ninth, at State. Farmer was second and Goldsby, sixth, at District. Jeni Armstrong qualified for state. Farmer was boys team MVP; Armstrong, girls MVP; and C. J. Stauffer, boys Most Improved.
Tennis Scott Bianchi was boys team MVP; Jack Hamburg, Most Inspirational; and Justin Farmer, Most Improved. Bianchi came fourth at Tri-District, missing State in May, 2002. Bianchi had a string of 14 straight autumn wins. He was second in singles at Tri-D to earn a spot to State in May, 2003. Doubles pair Peter Moskovitz and Grant Sanders were third in Novembers Tri-D and are alternates for State, 2003.
Kate Lawrenson was girls team MVP; Jessica Freeman, Most Inspirational; and Krista Jones, Most Improved. Lawrenson, fourth at Tri-D, just missed State. Doubles duo Freeman and Linsey Taylor were third at sub-D.
Cross country Dusty Soderbom, 18:34; Erik Kramer, 19:32; and Kenneth Cunningham, 20:33 ran personal bests in the 5K at District.
Soccer The boys had a 9-8 win-loss record, but were knocked out in the first round of NCC playoffs. Three midfielders won All-NCC honors Japanese exchange student Yasuto Morinako, first team; Brendan Mulholland, second team; and Chris Crane, honorable mention.
Coach Dan Steelquists Lady Bs had a 14-7 record, 11 games being decided by a single goal. Blaine was ousted in State quarterfinals, losing 1-0 to Meridian. Shela Robertson had 10 shutouts in 21 games and Andrea Harmening led the Lady Bs in goals with 12.
First team All-NCC honors went to Linsey Taylor (Defensive Player of the Year), Robertson (goalkeeper) and Kristina Francis (defender). Ainsley Nix (forward), Andrea Harmening (forward) and Kimberly Harmening (midfielder) were second team selections.
Volleyball Jessica Freeman shared the teams MVP award with Jessica Summers and the Most Inspirational award with Alisa Burk. Jessica Carrington won the Most Improved award.
Finale Pike (football, basketball, baseball) and Anna Sticklin (basketball, soccer) were Blaines 2001-2002 Athletes of the Year. Birch Bays Pam Champagne, an Arizona State U grad, was inducted into the Womens National Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame. Auld Lang Syne.