Local high schools’ fall sports teams wrap up

November 22, 2011

By Staff

Girls cross country finally makes state

Kim Bussing Issaquah High School

Issaquah High School’s girls cross country team made a triumphant return to the state championships earlier this month, finishing 10th overall and placing 21st out of 72 teams.

The 2011 season commemorated the team’s first return to state in 13 years after succeeding in various invitationals, finishing second at the KingCo Conference and placing fifth at districts.

Notable runners include senior Rachel Osgood, who placed 32nd overall at state; freshmen Ellie Clawson, Cayla Seligman, Abby Wilson and Ellie Hendrickson; and sophomore Amanda Chalfant, all of who participated at state.

“Everyone improved drastically,” captain Madison Callan said. “The team worked really hard this year, and we ended up holding a season record of 9-1.”

But according to Seligman, cross country is more than just making headlines throughout the season.

“I don’t just do it because I love running,” Seligman said, “but because of the social aspect. You meet people who have the same interests as you, and make friends that support you during cross country and outside of it.”

Before every competition, the girls gather for their customary spaghetti feed; this tradition seems to be paying off if this year’s stats are anything to go by.

Even with a year between this season and another chance for the team to conquer the state championships, Callan said the girls continue to keep in shape.

“During winter we have running club at school,” she said. “During the spring we have track, and we keep training throughout the summer.”

Callan grinned.

“It’s a lot of work, but it’s an amazing experience,” she said.

Congratulations, girls, and keep up the good work!

Girls soccer is second in state

Veronica Austin Liberty High School

High school sports teams tend to come and go, with little to remember once the season is finished.

This year’s Liberty High School varsity girls soccer team is nothing like that. For a while, it looked likely that 2011 would finally be the year that they won the elusive 3A state title.

The girls hoped to conclude an impressive year with a win in the state championships, something they have gotten close to three times (placing third each time), most recently in 2001. But it was not to be. They came in second, falling 3-2 to defending state champion Seattle Prep in the title match Nov. 19.

With a remarkable season of 15-1-0 in league play, which made them KingCo champions, they only lost one game, the season opener to the Skyline Spartans, 0-1.

The team owes its success to its collective talents, with many gifted players, including goalie Macaire Ament, whose performance in the semifinal match was her 11th shutout this season, as well as University of Oklahoma recruit, senior forward Cassidy Nangle.

The girls played their semifinal game Nov. 18, defeating Eastside Catholic,  1-0, courtesy of a goal by junior Kailiana Johnson in the 16th minute.

Volleyball reaches high goals

Lee Xie Skyline High School

Skyline High School is no stranger to great sports teams, but this year, the girls volleyball team stole the spotlight with a true fight to the finish.

The Spartans’ season record was 16-6, with a third-place finish in KingCo and a sixth-place finish in state, the best Skyline has ever performed. Despite the strong finish, the girls’ journey to state wasn’t easy.

“Starting out the season, no one thought we would go far,” Marissa Fortier, middle blocker, said. “We started off slow but as we began to win our hopes were raised.”

“It was definitely an obstacle even setting a goal to get to state,” Emily Harris, defensive specialist, added. “There were some doubts after not even making it to districts last year. So we all had mental roadblocks.”

So what made the team so successful this year?

“First off, a huge shout-out and thank you to head coach Callie Wesson and our assistant coaches Silver and Bailey,” Halle Erdahl, second-team all-KingCo outside hitter, said. “We could not have accomplished any of this without them.”

“I think the mentality and mindset of the team as a whole was the major difference this year,” Harris added. “We were all looking for a fresh start with high goals.”

Erdahl summed up everyone’s thoughts when she said her experience at state was “unbelievable, indescribable. We accomplished things that no one ever thought we could. A school-best finish? I could not ask for anything more.”

Football team has successful season

Katie Sutherland Eastside Catholic High School

At Eastside Catholic High School, the fall football season is a great time of year and with a difficult schedule and an improved 7-4 record, Crusader football was exciting.

This year, Eastside welcomed five great new additions to the coaching staff, including Head Coach Jeremy Thielbahr (formerly of the University of Idaho). Thielbahr’s expertise and enthusiasm, as well as the talent and leadership of team captains Trey Reynolds, Anthony Roy, Joe Stoutt and Chevy Walker, led the team to the state playoffs.

As Thielbahr said, “Our leadership will set us apart”, and it truly did.

Eastside won its first playoff game against Nathan Hale, 38-29, and upset Oak Harbor with a 50-33 victory. Sadly, the Crusaders fell to No. 1 ranked Bellevue in their third playoff game.

Regardless of the loss, this was a very successful season at Eastside Catholic and the team’s accomplishments on and off the field are truly something to be proud of. The entire varsity football team was honored as the WIAA 3A Academic State Champions, senior Jake Springfield was named a      National Merit Scholarship Commended Student, senior captain Stoutt was a finalist in the Seahawks Leadership  Challenge and senior captain Walker was honored as the Seattle Seahawk High School Player of the Week.

Although this year is finished and the team is already looking forward to the next one, it has been a season that Eastside won’t soon forget.

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