Go flying over Lake Sammamish in upcoming courses

September 9, 2014

Washington State Parks offers a Safety in Flight Training course Sept. 10-17 and Sept. 26 through Oct. 1 at Lake Sammamish State Park, 2000 N.W. Sammamish Road.

The flying is in the Sunset Beach area, all day.

The course involves experts towing paragliders behind a boat on the lake who instruct students on various safety maneuvers.

 

State park offers bicycle, orienteering racing events Sept. 7 and 9

September 6, 2014

NEW — Noon Sept. 6, 2014

The Washington State Parks offers two racing events for outdoor enthusiasts at the Lake Sammamish State Park, 2000 N.W. Sammamish Road:

MFG Cyclocross — An all-day bicycle event Sept. 7 on Sunset and Tibbetts beaches. Learn more here.

Krank Adventure Race — All-day orienteering event Sept. 9 where groups have to find 15 survey markers using a map, compass and GPS device.  Learn more here.

High-school football game of the week: Skyline at Issaquah, tonight at 7

September 5, 2014

NEW — 1 p.m. Sept. 5, 2014

About the game

It’s the first time this district-rivalry game has not been played at the end of the season. League realignment caused the change to the schedule.

The schools play for a trophy called the “Coal Bucket,” something original Skyline High School coach Steve Gervais and Issaquah High School coach Buddy Bland dreamed up early on in the rivalry.

“It’s really odd for us,” Skyline coach Mat Taylor said of playing the Eagles in Week 1 rather than Week 9. “But, it’s also really helped motivate the kids this offseason.”

Skyline has made a habit of playing a big-name (and many times out-of-state) team to begin the year. The Spartans don’t have a game like that on the schedule this season.

For the Eagles, tonight’s game marks Bland’s return to the sideline for his first game since he resigned in 2006 after seven seasons. Issaquah is looking to snap a nine-game losing streak to Skyline.

The Eagles led at halftime a year ago, but wilted in the second half and fell, 30-17, in the regular-season finale.

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Buddy Bland returns ‘home’ to coach hard-working Issaquah Eagles

September 2, 2014

After Issaquah High School parted ways last season with head football coach Chris Bennett, the administration turned to a familiar face to fill his shoes — Buddy Bland.

By Greg Farrar The Issaquah High School Eagles’ top athletes include (from left) senior offensive/defensive lineman Oliver Lekressner, senior wide receiver/defensive back Luke Watanabe, senior offensive/defensive lineman Parker Simon, junior quarterback Cam Humphrey, senior tight end/linebacker Chason Hawkins, senior offensive/defensive lineman Andrew Dieken and senior running back/linebacker Mikey Giannopulos.

By Greg Farrar
The Issaquah High School Eagles’ top athletes include (from left) senior offensive/defensive lineman Oliver Lekressner, senior wide receiver/defensive back Luke Watanabe, senior offensive/defensive lineman Parker Simon, junior quarterback Cam Humphrey, senior tight end/linebacker Chason Hawkins, senior offensive/defensive lineman Andrew Dieken and senior running back/linebacker Mikey Giannopulos.

After leading the Eagles for seven seasons before resigning in 2006, Bland chose to focus on teaching his video production class at Issaquah.

However, Bland never completely stepped away from the game — he was Skyline’s offensive lines coach during the Spartans 28-0 run that led to two state titles in 2007 and 2008. He returned to Issaquah to coach the Eagles offensive line in 2011 and 2012. He jumped at the chance to start is 16th year as head coach.

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Liberty Patriots ready to take on 2A

September 2, 2014

After 16 years at the helm, Liberty High School football coach Steve Valach has seen his fair share of senior classes.

By Greg Farrar The Liberty High School Patriots’ top athletes, in their brand new weight room, include, from left, senior lineman Nate Jarvis, senior running back/linebacker Drew Hall, senior running back/linebacker Romney Noel, senior running back/defensive back Russell Boston, senior lineman Alec Waters, senior offensive/defensive lineman Quinn Magendanz and junior quarterback Nate Solly.

By Greg Farrar
The Liberty High School Patriots’ top athletes, in their brand new weight room, include, from left, senior lineman Nate Jarvis, senior running back/linebacker Drew Hall, senior running back/linebacker Romney Noel, senior running back/defensive back Russell Boston, senior lineman Alec Waters, senior offensive/defensive lineman Quinn Magendanz and junior quarterback Nate Solly.

This year’s, though, the class that will graduate in 2015, is in the running for the best he has ever coached.

“I think we were 3-7 in their sophomore year, so they’ve seen some lean times and still kept competing,” Valach said. “There’s some talent, and then it’s bigger than ability, it’s who they are as guys.”

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Skyline Spartans look to avenge disappointing 2013 finish

September 2, 2014

When Skyline High School kicks off the 2014 football season this week against rival Issaquah, it will mark the culmination of a nine-month process for the Spartans as they try to return to the elite echelon of Class 4A programs.

By Greg Farrar The Skyline High School Spartans’ top athletes include (from left) junior running back/linebacker Rashaad Boddie, senior wide receiver/defensive back Derek Loville, senior wide receiver/defensive back Blake Sypher, senior lineman Riley Griffiths, senior running back/linebacker Chandler Wong, junior quarterback Blake Gregory and senior lineman Cameron Saffle.

By Greg Farrar
The Skyline High School Spartans’ top athletes include (from left) junior running back/linebacker Rashaad Boddie, senior wide receiver/defensive back Derek Loville, senior wide receiver/defensive back Blake Sypher, senior lineman Riley Griffiths, senior running back/linebacker Chandler Wong, junior quarterback Blake Gregory and senior lineman Cameron Saffle.

Skyline’s players indicate they haven’t forgotten their 26-20 loss to Federal Way in the first round of the 2013 state playoffs, and it has served as motivation for this season.

“We took it to heart,” junior Rashaad Boddie, a running back and linebacker, said of last year’s early exit at state. “Everyone was in the weight room with our trainer, coach (Kevin) Chiles, every day of the week, strength training and getting ready for the next season.”

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Food, football add appeal to All in for Kids fundraiser

September 2, 2014

The Issaquah Schools Foundation is partnering with area businesses for its All in for Kids annual fund campaign Sept. 5-10.

Funds will support advancing academic achievement, support struggling students, promote professional development and connect students to their futures.

Sept. 5 — Battle of the Fans in the Stands — Issaquah vs. Skyline football game, Issaquah High School, 7:30 p.m.
It’s the district’s rivalry game of the year. Dress in school colors and feed the jar with $1 or $5 contributions in support of your favorite team upon entrance. All who donate receive a Battle of the Fans gift. The winning side will win the coveted Battle of the Fans trophy for their school and bragging rights for a year.

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New mountain bike trail opens on Tiger Mountain

September 2, 2014

A 2.5-mile mountain bike trail opened Aug. 30 in the Tiger Mountain State Forest.

It will be part of the 15-mile Off-the-Grid Trail that the state Department of Natural Resources is developing.

The new trail connects East Tiger Summit Trail to the top of Fully Rigid Trail.

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Lake Sammamish Triathlon takes place Aug. 23

August 21, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 21, 2014

The Lake Sammamish Triathlon returns to Lake Sammamish State Park on Aug. 23.

The event begins at 7 a.m. and includes a quarter-mile swim, a 14.7-mile bike ride and a 3.2-mile run, mostly over trails.

Participation fees range from $45 to $100, depending on the division being entered. They increase after online registration closes, at 12:10 a.m. Aug. 22.

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Summer workouts prepare team for slog through soccer season

August 19, 2014

The Skyline High School girls soccer team has its sights set on another deep run in the state playoffs, but it’s the work they’re doing during the summer that may hold the key to success.

Dozens of Spartans soccer players have been preparing for the 2014 season — which officially stars Aug. 25 with tryout sessions — by spending their summer in the weight room.

They’re not working without guidance. Skyline brought in Kevin Chiles, a professional sports development coach, for a series of twice-a-week workouts that started in mid-July and finish during the week of tryouts.

By Neil Pierson  Parklyn Neil (left) and Alyssa D’Mello, Skyline High School athletes, perform squats with dumbbells during a summer workout session at the school Aug. 6.

By Neil Pierson
Parklyn Neil (left) and Alyssa D’Mello, Skyline High School athletes, perform squats with dumbbells during a summer workout session at the school Aug. 6.

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