Teams off to a good start, Homecoming this weekend
by Jack Kintner
Lakewood high school�s 1.8-mile course crosses their football field and goes through the woods. Last week it was the setting for the league North Cascade Conference Jamboree and at the end of next month it will be expanded to five kilometers and host the conference qualifying meet.
Blaine�s best runner, Dusty Soderbom, was taken out by a cold, but �the rest of our runners performed respectably for their first meet,� head coach Carey Bacon said.
Some of them included Beau Craig who finished 30 overall with a time of 10:30, Josh Ecklund who finished 51 in 11:20 and Kyle Fosberg who came in 55 with a time of 11:24.
Blaine finished third at the Sultan meet on September 16, on a day when weather threatened but turned out nice on the 2.4 mile course built on trails along the Skykomish River.
Dusty Soderblom, having shaken the bug that kept him out of the jamboree, was Blaine�s top finisher, placing 9th with a time of 14:12. Beau Craig was 12 seconds behind, good enough for 13th, and Josh Ecklund was another seven seconds back at 15th. �It was a nice sunny day for running, not too hot, and a nice course,� said coach Bacon. Lakewood dominated the meet with a final score of 18, followed by Nooksack at 56, Blaine at 80 and Sultan at 116. Other individual times included Kevin Teng 23rd 15:21, Kyle Fosberg 25th 15:32 and Kenneth Cunningham 28th 15:43
In a physical match Blaine prevailed in overtime on Lacey Taylor�s penalty kick. Blaine outshot Meridian 6-5 in the extra period.
The Borderites drew first blood at the 14th minute when senior midfielder Jana Makalai got a sharp crossing pass from junior mid Andrea Harmening and buried it behind the Meridian keeper. Meridian answered in the 29th minute.
Freshman forward Alyssa Hendrickson got a goal and an assist as Blaine shut out a determined Pioneer team 2-0 last Tuesday at the Pipe. Her goal came at the 32nd minute of the first half, assisted by MacKenzie Nix, and her assist came in the 16th minute of the second half on junior midfielder Andrea Harmening's goal. The physical, hard-fought game was won in the trenches.
Coach Dan Steelquist further confused the solid Pioneer attack by freely substituting and switching players. �We want to play an unpredictable game,� he said, �because soccer is a flowing kind of game, calling for constant adjustment. We work hard on that. It keeps things fresh.�
Hendrickson, who weighs 100 pounds only when carrying two or more dictionaries, played the much heavier Pioneer defenders with grace and deception, occasionally ending up on the turf but no more often than the ball ended up in Nooksack�s net.
The team�s away today at Sultan and at Lakewood on Saturday before returning home on the 23rd to face Lynden Christian at the Pipe.
Blaine lost to South Whidbey 44-7 last weekend. Southpaw quarterback Brian Galbraith connected with wide receiver Joey Paciorek for a 60-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter of Blaine�s season opener last week at South Whidbey. The rest of the first half was all South Whidbey; however, as they built up a commanding 37-7 lead by halftime on the way to a 44-7 victory. The bright spot was the Blaine defense that allowed just one second-half touchdown.
Offensively, Brain Galbraith completed four of 11 passes for 78 yards and one score. Back-up Nick Jordan went three for 10 and 39 yards. Paciorek made five catches for 107 yards and the lone Blaine touchdown. Offensive miscues and special team inexperience more than lack of ability hampered Blaine�s effort.
The young team is buoyed by a spirit generated by the Thursday evening team dinners organized by parents. �Last time we asked them to tell us what it means to be a Borderite,� said Anne Abrams, mother of sophomore running back Sam, �and they said some neat things, like �A Borderite is someone with heart who doesn't quit.� Of course, they didn't get dessert until they said something,� she grinned. The team views and analyzes opponent game films during the meal. Abrams added that after cooking vats of spaghetti and working for several hours browning meat and making sauce, �the food was gone in 20 minutes, pffft! Just like that.�
The Borderites play their homecoming game against Granite Falls on Friday at 7:30 p.m. The color of the day is orange, and if you don�t have any, the team parents will be happy to sell you a wearable piece of fleece at the game.
Blaine defeated Friday Harbor 3-0 last week. Blaine made short work of the enthusiastic but inexperienced Wolverines a week ago in their season opener, winning three straight matches 25-10, 25-22 and 25-14. Jessica Summers had nine kills and Jess Kramer had three. Kramer and Jessica Carrington also had three service aces apiece.
Last Saturday the team traveled to an invitational tournament at Everett�s Mariner high school, opening up in a round-robin pool where they lost two to Seattle�s Shorecrest high school and split with both Centralia and Garfield. In the afternoon�s silver division tournament they dropped opening games to both Bellingham and Nathan Hale before coming back to take two straight from both teams, and then surprised earlier rival Centralia 25-19 and 25-13 in the finals for first place in the silver division. The season has just started and already they�ve brought home some gold.
�The first time we played Centralia we saw what we needed to do, so the second time we were warmed up and went out and did it,� said 6�0� senior middle hitter Jesica Summers.
�We got a second wind, all right,� said head coach Muriel Ridnour, �and then went after them. They�re finding out how celebrating each point, even if it�s due to an opponent�s mistake, can be intimidating.�
C.J. Stauffer defeated Friday Harbor�s Jake Byron (6 - 2, 7 - 5) in the opening match of the Lynden Lion�s tennis season. Stauffer, a Blaine high school junior, is competing with the Lynden Lion�s in a cooperative tennis program as a result of the Blaine school district�s budget cuts.
Coach Trey Ballard of Lynden runs a successful program incorporating students from Lynden public, Lynden Christian, Nooksack high schools and Stauffer.
Workout practice and competition allows Stauffer to compete in non-league matches with Lynden that will qualify him for District 2-A competition. Lynden opened the season with a 5 - 2 victory over Friday Harbor.