Off The Press

May 12, 2009

Friends had much to say about Kevin Tork

Greg Farrar

Greg Farrar

“Hey Kevin, I am so glad to have had the chance to have you in my life. You were such a blessing to me and all those around you. You’ve been there for me through so much.”

That is just one of the many notes on cards and letters delivered to Ken, Kathy and Kelly Tork last month after Kevin, 15, their son and brother, died playing a “game” that’s not really a game at all, but a treacherous and risky activity known on the internet as the choking game. Read more

Bookmark and Share

Pride and tradition more than words on side of building

May 12, 2009

Hall Monitor Brandon Bergfalk Issaquah High School

Hall Monitor Brandon Bergfalk Issaquah High School

It was a chilly evening — though most are in Issaquah — and I could see steamy clouds form in front of my face with every breath I took. My teammates fidgeted as they stood in line after having been announced and running to midfield before our supporters. 

We were the Issaquah Boys Varsity soccer team and we were minutes away from the start of one of our last home games of the season. 

The announcer’s voice boomed across the field, “Please turn and remove your hats for the singing of our national anthem.” Read more

Bookmark and Share

Liberty wraps season with 11-8 win

May 12, 2009

Troy Colyer, Liberty junior shortstop, puts out Mercer Island base runner Jordan Richartz and throws to first for a first-inning double play during their May 8 baseball game. By Greg Farrar

Troy Colyer, Liberty junior shortstop, puts out Mercer Island base runner Jordan Richartz and throws to first for a first-inning double play during their May 8 baseball game. By Greg Farrar

Liberty overcame an early five-run deficit to down Mercer Island 11-8 May 8 at home to conclude its regular season with five consecutive 3A/2A KingCo Conference wins. 

The Patriots scored five runs in the bottom of the third to tie the game. The Islanders scored a run in the top of the fourth to regain the lead 6-5. Liberty then exploded for six runs in the fourth and held off a Mercer Island rally late in the game.

Troy Colyer hit a sacrifice fly to score Liberty’s first run. Later in the inning, with a full count, two outs and two runners aboard, Liberty’s Eric Peterson belted a home run over the right field pole. Nick Hart followed with a double. Brian Kim brought Hart home with a run-scoring single.

In a key play in the home half of the fourth, Liberty’s Troy Askins squared around to bunt. Mercer Island’s first baseman ran toward home plate only to have Askins swing away and sent a groundball down the first baseline, scoring two runs. Liberty relief pitcher Dan Eck delivered a clutch bunt single and John McLeod capped the inning with a two-run single. Read more

Bookmark and Share

‘Adventurous’ artists make their debut

May 12, 2009

Above is one of 12 pieces about horses senior Sarah Goodman produced for her portfolio. Twenty-one students participated in the show. Photo by Chantelle LusebrinkAbove is one of 12 pieces about horses senior Sarah Goodman produced for her portfolio. Twenty-one students participated in the show. Photo by Chantelle Lusebrink


If art was an adventure, you could have certainly gotten your fill at the Liberty High School Art Show April 30.

The Issaquah School Board room was filled with unique acrylics, eye-popping photography and detailed sketch drawings, and a large crowd. The skilled portfolios left you scratching your head, asking whether students really produced the work. 

“These are the top of the top students,” said Annie Cooper, the art teacher at Liberty. “They worked their tails off and this is the best of what they have completed to this point for this year.”

Students who take the Art III and the Advanced Placement art class develop 12 series pieces and 12 breadth pieces each year. The series pieces ask them to pick an idea, topic or subject and create 12 pieces that tie into a concept; the 12 breadth pieces ask them to create works that show the breadth of their skill or knowledge outside their theme. 

“This is a really unique class. You don’t really hear much about it at other schools,” said Mackenzie Maynes, a senior who’d mostly done acrylic paintings. “It’s given me a chance to broaden my horizons with photography. I usually stick with yearbook, but this year, I’ve had a chance to get into more artistic photography.” Read more

Bookmark and Share

Eagles’ soccer team is one win from first state tourney

May 12, 2009

Some athletic teams are superstitious, but one common maxim most hold true is you never mess with a winning streak. Baseball players, for example, are known to wear the same pair of socks during a hitting streak. 

The Issaquah High School boys soccer team last week decided to change their apparel for a crucial road game. Instead of the usual road attire, the Eagles wore purple shirts, white shorts and purple socks. The net result, Issaquah defeated Redmond 3-0 May 5 to clinch a berth in the 4A KingCo Conference tournament.

So, Issaquah players reasoned, if it works once, wear it again. On May 9, Issaquah defeated host Ballard 4-2 in the league tournament. As a result, Issaquah qualified for a May 16 playoff game against one of the top two teams from the Greater St. Helens League. 

The winner of that contest advances to the state tournament. If Issaquah wins that game, it highlights quite a turnaround for the Eagles. The boys program, unlike the highly successful girls program, has never qualified for a state tournament, according to head coach Jason Lichtenberger.

Issaquah does have one game remaining in the KingCo tournament before playing the crucial May 16 contest. The Eagles met Bothell May 12, after The Press’ deadline, in a playoff for the league’s No. 3 and No. 4 berths to the May 16 round. The winner will host the Greater St. Helens No. 2 team while the loser plays at the Greater St. Helens League No. 1 team.

For Issaquah, this season has been an amazing turnaround.

A year ago, Issaquah got off to a rough start and managed just three victories while playing at the 3A KingCo Conference level. This season, the Eagles moved up to 4A KingCo, and to some people, it possibly seemed like three wins would be quite an accomplishment.

But this year’s Eagles are not last year’s Eagles. This team has played with plenty of incentive and intensity since the start of the season, and proved to be one of the league’s top squads. Issaquah ended the regular season in a tie for first place in the Crest Division with Eastlake and Garfield.

“We got off to a good start this season, then hit a little lull, but finished strong,” Lichtenberger said. “But it has been a fantastic turnaround.”

With nine returning starters, Issaquah had high hopes for this season.

“Last year, we thought we had a decent team, but we started off playing against the league’s three toughest teams. We knew we had to get the job done this year,” Lichtenberger said. “We did get some breaks early this season that we didn’t get last year and that definitely helped, but this team has played with a lot of intensity and enthusiasm.” 

Issaquah, 12-4-2 and one win from a school record, needed a critical victory in its final regular-season contest just to qualify for the league tournament. Junior midfielder Quinn Grisham helped make sure the Eagles accomplished that goal, scoring a hat trick.

“He showed why he is one of the top players in the state,” Lichtenberger said.

Lucas Morias, a junior forward, assisted on the first two goals. Andrew Schubert, a senior defender, helped on the final one. Stephen Jacobson, a senior goalkeeper, recorded the shutout.

For Ballard, a team that defeated Issaquah 2-1 earlier in the season, the Eagles made some key changes.

“Ballard is very attack-minded and capable of scoring six goals in a game,” Lichtenberger said.

One of the changes Issaquah made was shifting junior forward Kelby Lemons to defender. His job was to defend against one of the league’s top scorers.

“Kelby is one of our quickest players. He just did a fantastic job on defense for us,” Lichtenberger said.

Connor Holmes and Schubert also played well defensively.

Issaquah got off to a promising start when junior midfielder Michael Axelson, assisted by senior midfielder Larry Schneider, scored at the 19th minute. Ballard scored seven minutes later to leave the teams tied 1-1 at halftime. Grisham, assisted by junior midfielder Manuel Brugger, put Issaquah ahead for good at the 48th minute. Schneider, assisted by Schubert, wrapped up the game with a goal at the 63rd minute.

“I’m really proud of the team’s effort,” Lichtenberger said. “They just did an awesome job.”


Patriots reach tournament

Liberty claimed the 3A KingCo No. 3 berth May 8 when the Patriots defeated Bellevue 1-0 in the final regular-season game for both teams. 

The Patriots played Bellevue May 11 in the first-round of the KingCo tournament. A victory in that game would send Liberty to the second round where it would play Mount Si or Sammamish May 13 at 7:30 p.m. The winner of the May 13 game plays the Metro Conference No. 3 team May 16 at 1 p.m. at Interbay Stadium for a berth in the 3A state tournament.

Dakota McKay, assisted by Mark Loreen, scored the Patriots’ goal against Bellevue. The victory enabled Liberty to jump from sixth place in the league standings to third place.

Reach Sports Editor Bob Taylor at 392-6434, ext. 236, or Comment on this story at

Bookmark and Share

The lusty month of May has no room for weeds in the garden

May 12, 2009

My weeds are gorgeous. They almost break into song during the lusty month of May. As I laboriously pulled them last weekend, I was marveling at their lush green texture and the brilliant flowers of buttercups, dandelions, and Dirty Robert. Master gardeners shouldn’t have this stuff in their yards, so don’t tell anybody. Read more

Bookmark and Share

Sports calendar

May 12, 2009

Adult Sports 

Issaquah Alps Trails Club

May 15, 9:30 a.m., Echo Mountain, 5 miles, 600 gain. Call 432-7387 …. May 16, 9 a.m., Rattlesnake Mountain, 11 miles, 3,000 gain. Call 281-8465 … May 17, 9:30 a.m., Luther Burbank Park, 2 miles, 300 gain. Call 453-8997.

Cascade Bicycle Club

May 14, 6:30 p.m., Eastside Tours, 20-30 miles from Marymoor Tennis Courts. Call 392-1347 … May 15,10 a.m.,  Taking The High Road to Cougar Mountain, 35-45 miles, from Mercer Island West Lid. Call 206-439-9890 … May 16, 8 a.m., Issaquah to Snoqualmie Pass, 84 miles, from Tibbetts Valley Park. Call 206-226-8514.


Youth sports/activities 

 Football — Issaquah Youth Football is currently registering players for the 2009 season. Registration continues through June 30. Register at

Track — Issaquah Parks hosts all-comers meets for preschool through fifth-grade May 15 at Liberty High School and May 29 at Issaquah High School. A variety of age appropriate running, jumping and throwing events will be offered. Meets start at 6 p.m. Call 392-8230 or go to

Soccer — Issaquah Soccer Club Select Arsenal boys U-15 holds tryouts May 17 at 5:30 p.m. and May 20 at 7:30 p.m. at Issaquah High School.

Swim lessons at Julius Boehm Pool — Register online, at the pool or by phone at 837-3350 with a Visa or Mastercard, Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Saturday from noon – 5 p.m. Class levels may be combined or canceled due to low enrollment and/or instructor availability.    

Wrestling camp — June 29-July 3, 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Skyline Commuter Camp features Olympic Silver Medalist Sammie Henson at Beaver Lake Middle School for boys and girls grades 6-12. For application, go to or call 285-2314.


High school sports


4A KingCo Tournament at Woodinville May 11-14, 4 p.m.; May 14-16, 3A KingCo Tournament at Bannerwood Park; May 16, District II vs. District IV at Woodinville.


 May 14, 4:30 p.m., Liberty at 3A KingCo Tournament.

Girls tennis

May 13, Skyline, Issaquah at 4A KingCo Tournament at UW Nordquist Center; Liberty at 3A KingCo Tournament at Eastlake.

Girls golf

May 13, 8 a.m., Issaquah, Skyline at District II Tournament (Snohomish GC).

Boys soccer

4 May 13, Liberty in 3A KingCo Tournament; May 16, Issaquah in playoff vs. Greater St. Helens League team.

Track & field

May 13, 2:30 p.m., Issaquah, Skyline at 4A KingCo Championships at Eastlake; May 15, 2:30 p.m., Liberty at 3A KingCo Championships at Eastlake; May 15, 2:30 p.m., Issaquah, Skyline at 4A KingCo Championships at Eastlake.

Boys lacrosse

May 15, 8 p.m., Issaquah at Skyline.

Bookmark and Share

Teen boldly going where no 15-year-old has gone before

May 12, 2009

Janecek makes his way up the  crux of the North Ridge of Mount Baker. Photos Contributed

Janecek makes his way up the crux of the North Ridge of Mount Baker. Photos Contributed

Braydon Janecek aims to be youngest U.S. citizen to climb Everest

Returning from his 22,841-foot climb up Mount Aconcagua in February, 15-year-old Braydon Janecek has his sights set even higher in the next two years — climbing Mount Everest. 

“Climbing Everest has always been a goal of mine since I was little,” he said. “Why stop at the small mountains when you’re younger?”

Braydon said he’d like to climb Mount Everest in 2010 or 2011, so he can hopefully beat the current record for the youngest U.S. citizen to climb it. That record was set by Samantha Larson, of California. She was 18 when she climbed the mountain in 2007.

For a boy who has been scaling things all of his life, it’s just another peak to conquer, his family said. 

“Since he was about 4 or 5, he was good at climbing up everything we owned,” his father Greg Janecek said. 

“We had to take and hide all the chairs and keep them behind a locked door in the bedroom. Otherwise, he’d be on everything,” his mother, Theresa Janecek said. Read more

Bookmark and Share

Search and rescue volunteer is honored as Everyday Hero

May 12, 2009

Greg Varney, of Issaquah, and his search dog Trulee, on a search mission along the banks of the Green River last year. Contributed

Greg Varney, of Issaquah, and his search dog Trulee, on a search mission along the banks of the Green River last year. Contributed

Greg Varney is a humble hero.

As a search and rescue volunteer for King County Search Dogs, he estimates he logs about 30 search missions a year.

“I like the chance to help,” said Varney, an engineer who lives in Issaquah.

He’s trudged through the Cascade foothills, and along riverbanks and streams in search of missing hikers and lost children. For his role in rescuing an injured climber stranded on Mount Adams for five days last October, Varney was recognized at this year’s annual Red Cross Heroes Breakfast “Everyday People, Everyday Heroes.” Read more

Bookmark and Share

Awards luncheon awaits

May 12, 2009


citizen-kellyrobin-2008052The Community Awards Luncheon is at 11:30 a.m. May 19 at the Holiday Inn, 1801 12th Ave. N.W. Tickets are $30 per person. Make reservations by May 15 by calling 392-7024 or online at

Bookmark and Share

« Previous PageNext Page »