Retiring Sports Editor Bob Taylor shares milestones from a long career on the sidelines

March 6, 2012

Kasen Williams, then-Skyline High School senior, makes his winning triple-jump leap of 45 feet, 5 1/2 inches, during the KingCo track and field championships May 13, 2011, at Juanita High School. File

I kind of know how Bill Gates must have felt when he made his first million. When I joined The Issaquah Press news staff May 22, 2000, I struck it rich, too!

Five days after being hired at The Press I covered my first Issaquah School District state championship team. Actually, it was inevitable that an Issaquah team would win when Issaquah and Skyline met for the 3A state baseball title in Tacoma’s Cheney Stadium. Issaquah won 5-3.

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Issaquah grad drafted by Atlanta Beat

January 24, 2012

University of Washington midfielder Kate Deines, a former Issaquah High School standout, was drafted Jan. 13 by the Atlanta Beat in the 2012 Women’s Professional Soccer League draft.

Deines was taken with the final pick, the 23rd overall in the fourth round.

Deines had an outstanding four-year career for the Huskies, being named first-team All- Pacific Region and second-team All-Pacific Conference 12 as a senior.

Issaquah schools high schools keep same classifications

January 24, 2012

NEW — 4 p.m. Jan. 24, 2012

Issaquah, Skyline and Liberty high schools will all remain at their current classification levels for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years.

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Executive Board approved the classification enrollment figures to the next two schools years at its Monday meeting.

According to the figures, Skyline (1,443.57 students) and Issaquah (1,396.47) both were clearly in the 4A classification. Liberty (870.64) opted up to remain at Class 3A.

When the new classification system was implemented for the 2010-12, the goal was to balance the number of schools in each class so they would have equal post-season opportunities, or as close to it as possible. Currently, there are 66 schools in 4A, 67 in 3A, 64 in 2A, 65 in 1A, 62 in 2B and 62 in 1B.

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Kasen Williams leads parade of 2011 best efforts from individuals, teams

December 27, 2011

Peyton Pelluer (right), Skyline High School junior linebacker, and teammate Nic Sblendorio (9), junior defensive back, combine to throw Woodinville senior running back Devin McKee to the turf during the 4A state semifinal game Nov. 26. By Greg Farrar

It was a year of state titles for Skyline High School, and the end of a career for a Spartan who always seemed to be in championship form.

When he graduated last spring, Skyline’s Kasen Williams left a legacy that might never be duplicated in the Issaquah School District. He was definitely the most dominant figure in the local sports scene in 2011.

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Issaquah’s Audrey Thomas earns top honors

December 13, 2011

Issaquah High School soccer standout Audrey Thomas hauled in some more honors last week. Thomas was selected the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Washington State High School Player of the Year.

In addition, she was selected to the association’s All-Far West Region Team and named an All-American.

Previously, Thomas was named the KingCo Conference 4A Most Valuable Player and was selected to all-league first team. She led KingCo in scoring this season with 31 points, which included a league-leading 10 goals.

“She had a pretty good year,” Issaquah coach Tom Bunnell said.

Issaquah’s Audrey Thomas named 4A KingCo most valuable player

November 29, 2011

Several athletes make all-league soccer team

Audrey Thomas (left), Issaquah junior midfielder, and Brooke Bofto, Skyline sophomore midfielder, battle during the Oct. 18 soccer match. By Greg Farrar

One of the smallest players in KingCo Conference 4A girls soccer had a mighty big impact this season.

Audrey Thomas, just 4-feet-11, was a dynamo on the pitch for Issaquah High School. The junior midfielder led the conference in scoring and sparked the Eagles to the 4A state tournament.

She was also selected the league’s most valuable player.

“She won it by a landslide,” Issaquah coach Tom Bunnell said. “She was just so dynamic.”

Although on the small side, Thomas commanded respect from every team she played against.

Thomas scored a league-leading 10 goals and had 11 assists to tally a league-leading 31 points.

“She is extremely quick and she can jump like nobody’s business,” Bunnell said. “She has the whole package. She has a great knowledge of the game and very good vision. Teams would come up with plans trying to stop her, and she always would find a way to avoid that plan. She is tough physically and can take a hit.”

Thomas was joined on the all-KingCo first team by teammate Lyrik Fryer, a freshman defender.

“Lyrik is fantastic,” Bunnell said. “She really took to the position. She had a great freshman season.”

Fryer’s speed made her a force on defense.

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Emily Frankland, Junpei Tsuji earns soccer honors

November 22, 2011

Western Washington University senior forward Emily Frankland, a Skyline High School graduate, was selected to the Great Northwest Athletic Conference women’s soccer all-star second team.

Whitman College sophomore Junpei Tsuji earned All-Northwest Conference honorable mention. Tsuji, a midfielder, started 18 of 19 games this fall.

The Issaquah High School graduate scored three goals and handed out three assists.

Issaquah girls soccer team blanked, 4-0, to end soccer postseason

November 15, 2011

FEDERAL WAY — Jenny Hoefel and the third-ranked Todd Beamer High School girls soccer team were in high gear from the start and never let off the throttle.

Hoefel, a junior forward, supplied two goals as the Titans handed Issaquah a 4-0 defeat Nov. 9 at Federal Way Stadium in a first-round Class 4A girls soccer state tournament game.

The Titans looked unstoppable while applying pressure and attacking on offense.

“We like to go the whole game. Especially me, I try to push myself the whole game and never stop,” said Hoefel, who has 18 goals this season. “We’ve brought all our talents together and play as a team and that makes us that much stronger.

“We just connected and kept that intensity up.”

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Beamer blanks Issaquah girls soccer team, 4-0

November 10, 2011

NEW — 11:45 a.m. Nov. 10, 2011

FEDERAL WAY — Jenny Hoefel and the third-ranked Todd Beamer High School girls soccer team were in high gear from the start and never let off the throttle.

Hoefel, a junior forward, supplied two goals as the Titans handed Issaquah a 4-0 defeat Wednesday at Federal Way Stadium in a first-round Class 4A girls soccer state tournament game.

The Titans looked unstoppable while applying pressure and attacking on offense.

“We like to go the whole game. Especially me, I try to push myself the whole game and never stop,” said Hoefel, who has 18 goals this season. “We’ve brought all our talents together and play as a team and that makes us that much stronger.

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Skyline wins KingCo girls soccer title in OT

November 8, 2011

Brooke Bofto (left), Skyline sophomore midfielder, heads the ball as Jocelyn Eng, Issaquah senior forward, tries to take possession during the first half of the KingCo 4A title game Nov. 1. By Christopher Huber

The game seemed to be in the bag for the Skyline High School girls soccer team, but a last-second Issaquah goal made the Spartans work a little harder Nov. 1 for the KingCo Conference 4A girls soccer title.

An 80th-minute, Issaquah goal stunned Skyline fans and players, but it didn’t take long for the Spartans to seal the deal in overtime.

Senior midfielder Sydne Tingey scored in the 83rd minute to lift the Skyline Spartans over the Issaquah Eagles, 2-1, to become KingCo champs for the second year in a row.

Tingey took a well-placed cross from Jordan Branch at about the 4-yard line, turned and shot left-to-right from the left post. It was her sixth goal of the season.

“It was so relieving. I was like, ‘I’m going to score this goal,’” Tingey said as her team celebrated its third KingCo 4A title in four years. “I just touched it, I kinda volleyed it and I shot it.”

Skyline finished the regular season 14-0-2 and is seeded No. 1 in District 2 heading into the state tournament. Issaquah (9-5-2) is seeded No. 2. The Spartans, ranked first in the state, hosted No. 8 Kentridge Nov. 8 in the first round of the state tournament. Issaquah plays No. 3 Todd Beamer at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 9 at Federal Way Stadium.

It was a classic Skyline-Issaquah match-up.

“This was the kind of test quality teams have to pass,” Skyline head coach Don Braman said.

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