Sports -- November 17, 2005

Published on Thu, Nov 17, 2005
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SPORTS
by Jack Kintner

Borderite boys drop last two games

Blaine finished the year with a 4-6 (2-6 league) record after dropping its last two games, against playoff-bound Meridian 36-7 and last week against eighth-ranked Mt. Baker 28-12.
Teams played in the soaking rain in the foothills town of Deming, and the lone Borderite touchdown came at the end of a 13-yard Joey Paciorek run. Kicker Pat “Mr. Automatic” Mulholland, a soccer veteran in his first season playing American football, kept his extra point string alive by splitting the uprights. He’s now made 19 in a row and has yet to miss as a varsity kicker.
Adam Dykstra led Blaine rushers with 66 yards on eight carries, and Nick Jordan led Blaine receivers with 55 yards on four catches.
The following week the Borderites played in the sticky Nooksack River clay that the Mt. Baker football field is made of. The heavy soaking rain ended just minutes before the game began, and within a few plays, everyone but the refs were the same color – a dull gray. The footing was as slippery as a cafeteria in a food fight.
The game went more like most of Blaine’s did this year, with the Borderites falling behind early and then catching up in the end. Paciorek passed for over 100 yards with a reception each for Tygr Cain, Rob Bleecker, Adam Dykstra, Blayne Brandenburger and Jordan Villars, whose fourth quarter 62-yard TD reception made him the leading receiver for the night.
Pat Mulholland broke his string of PAT’s after Villar’s score, and though he’d never say this, it definitely had something to do with Mt. Baker using rubber footballs, not leather. Combine that with a healthy coating of Nooksack River slime and you might as well be trying to kick a spare truck tire.
Blaine scored the second time with two minutes and change left on a plunge by Adam Dykstra. A two-point run for the PAT failed, and Blaine’s season ended with a well-executed on-side kick attempt that landed an ideal six yards in front of the charging B’s but then just stuck there in the mud like a big brown spitwad. The Mounties ran out the clock and Blaine’s season, a huge leap upward from last year, was over.

Do you want to learn to sail? We mean, really sail?

Geno DellaMattia wants you to come sailing. In fact, he’d like to take you out every other weekend or so beginning in January, although he may not have room on his C&C 41 called Focus.
But he would like to find you a spot, and more important than knowing how to sail is knowing how to learn to sail with a specific crew on a boat. And right now there are boats looking for crew, according to DellaMattia and Bob Bezubiak, commodore of the International Yacht Club based here in Blaine and in White Rock.
DellaMattia, as the club’s race chairman, is responsible for a program that continues 11 months of the year and includes the Semiahmoo Regatta in April, a benefit race that’s beginning to draw some serious contenders from as far south as Seattle and as far north as the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club. Races are normally run on alternating weekends.
Terry Willey, winner of the fall racing series with a perfect nine out of nine firsts in his CS 40 Hushwings that he keeps in Blaine, said that wintertime racing is good exercise and a lot of fun, “and we aren’t cold out there, believe me,” he said, “because you’re working, sometimes pretty hard.” Willey carries a crew of eight besides himself, and normally is at the helm although he sometimes turns that chore over to his wife.
“Steering in a race is a specific skill,” explained local chandlery owner Debbie Morley of West Marine in downtown Blaine, “involving the ability to concentrate, focus and stay alert.” The experienced racing sailor and skipper said she’d be happy to talk boat racing with people who might be interested. She emphasized that participating in a good racing program is the best way for a family or a group or even individuals to learn good boat handling techniques.
The International Yacht Club runs 30 individual races each year plus the Semiahmoo Cup racing weekend when, weather permitting, there is a long distance race on Saturday and two round-the-buoys races on Sunday. Last April, however, race officials consolidated two races into one on the second day due to a lack of wind.
To find out more, and for contact information, see the International Yacht Club website at www.internationalyachtclub.ca

Fraser pulls it out of the hat

For the second year in a row Blaine has had a cross-country runner survive district competition to go on to run with the best on the deceptively simple but demanding Pasco golf course that is the traditional site for the Washington State Cross Country Championship meet.
Blaine junior Stephen Fraser, who runs the metric mile (1,600) and the 800 in the spring for track coach Mike Grambo, outran a loose formation of competitors and finessed others who threatened to kicked by at the finish to nab 15th place at the district meet on Whidbey Island last month.
In doing so he got the last of the 15 state qualifying slots available, a bit like catching a train by the caboose. “He did what he had to do,” said Bacon, “because he knew he’d be up against some other boys who have a good finishing kick, so he came in at 13th and it turned out to be just right.”
Fraser beat the next man by a little under two seconds.
Last year’s state qualifier, ’05 grad Dominique Walter, joined the squad midway through the season as the only member of the girls’ XC team. Fresh from high caliber competition in the San Diego area, Walter’s first meet was at a cold and rain-soak Bertheusen Park. But, like Fraser this year, she pushed hard and ran well enough to finish 14th at the state meet.
Fraser finished 75th, a very respectable showing. As Bacon explained, there’s a lot less variability in running, unlike other sports. Barring sickness or injury, a runner who has learned to get around the 5 kilometer course as quickly as possible will nearly always run to the same standard. Factor in training, practice and just mentally showing up for the meet and an improvement measured in seconds can represent a major personal achievement, a “personal best.” Fraser jumped his performance significantly to nab the trip to state, used his head and left it all out on the course.
The district meet was a good one for the rest of Carey Bacon’s runners, a team whose numbers were up significantly again this year. Several runners got a personal best over the up-and-down course behind South Whidbey High School. It makes a long climb through the woods and an equally long descent out in the open, all except for the part that’s run on the track on well-maintained grass. Blaine finished fifth out of ten teams behind Meridian, Lakewood, Kings and Lynden Christian and ahead of Archbishop Murphy, Baker, Nooksack and Granite Falls.