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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Kevin Powers, local lacrosse star, plays in All-American Showcase

August 16, 2011

Kevin Powers plays in May 2010 with his Issaquah Lacrosse team against the Stadium Tigers. His five goals contributed to a 16-4 win. By Greg Farrar

In May, Issaquah High School’s four-year varsity lacrosse player Kevin Powers made first team all state for his performance as top midfielder on both offense and defense. Because of that achievement, Powers was invited to participate in the U.S. Lacrosse’s All-American Showcase in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

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Lacrosse title run ends in semifinals

May 31, 2011

The Issaquah High School boys lacrosse club began its season with heavy hearts and ended it falling short of their goal — the state championship.

The Eagles’ season came to an end May 25, when they lost to host Bainbridge, 13-9, in the semifinals of the Washington Boys Lacrosse Division I tournament.

Issaquah players had dedicated this season to Tyler Lucas, who died Feb. 1 from injuries he sustained in a three-car accident. Lucas was a two-year starter and an all-league player. Program members wore a special decal on their helmets in memory of Lucas this season.

The Eagles, who had a two-year reign as Division I state champions end last spring, were eager to return to the top spot. That was also Lucas’ goal for this season.

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Issaquah High School boys lacrosse ousted in semifinals

May 26, 2011

NEW — 11:50 a.m. May 26, 2011

The Issaquah High School boys lacrosse team saw its season come to an end Wednesday when the Eagles lost to host Bainbridge 13-9 in the semifinals of the Washington State League’s Division I tournament.

Issaquah, which was knocked out in the semifinals for the second straight year, finished with a 14-6 record.

The Eagles’ offense had trouble clicking early and despite a strong attack in the final quarter could never overcome Bainbridge.

The host Spartans led 2-0 after the first quarter. Issaquah got on the scoreboard at 9:02 of the second period on an unassisted goal by senior Jake Fritz. However, Bainbridge quickly counter when Alex Rabin went coast-to-coast and hit Jacob Knostman on a pass. Knostman scored to give Bainbridge a two-goal lead again. The Spartans led 5-1 at halftime.

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Issaquah boys lacrosse reaches semifinals

May 24, 2011

The Issaquah High School boys lacrosse team, which hopes to win another state title, faces a big challenge May 25, when the Eagles play at Bainbridge High School in the semifinals of the Washington State Lacrosse Division I tournament.

The contest is set for 7 p.m.

Bainbridge finished first in the Southwest Division this spring with a 10-0 record. Issaquah was second in the Northeast Division with an 8-2 record.

The winner of the contest plays Mercer Island or Bellevue, who meet May 25 in the other semifinal, for the championship at 7:30 p.m. May 28 in Seattle’s Memorial Stadium.

Issaquah and Bainbridge met earlier this season with the Eagles winning 8-6 at home. This contest figures to be another defensive battle.

The Eagles reached the semifinals after they clobbered Tacoma, 18-5, May 21 in Gary Moore Stadium.

Issaquah came out fired up and scored three goals before Tacoma got its attack started. After going up 6-1, Issaquah then broke through for seven straight goals to take a commanding lead.

Junior Matt O’Neill led Issaquah with five goals. Seniors Jake Fritz, Kevin Powers and Ashton Ritchie had strong games in their final home appearance. Fritz had three goals, two assists and six groundballs. Powers had three goals, four assists and five groundballs. Ritchie scored three goals, had an assist and one groundball.

Bainbridge qualified for the semifinal after it defeated Eastside Catholic, 14-4, May 20 in the quarterfinals.

Issaquah lost to Mercer Island 4-2 in last year’s semifinals after winning the state title in 2008 and 2009.

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Skyline records first win over Issaquah, 10-9

May 17, 2011

The Skyline High School boys lacrosse team recorded one of its biggest victories in the club’s young history May 11 when the host Spartans topped Issaquah, 10-9, in overtime.

Ryan McMackin (6), Skyline High School junior midfielder, scores a second-quarter goal against Issaquah during their May 11 lacrosse match. By Greg Farrar

It was the first time Skyline defeated Issaquah in lacrosse.

Issaquah jumped to a 3-1 first-quarter lead, but Skyline came back in the second quarter with three goals to make it a 4-4 tie at halftime. The Eagles went ahead in the third quarter and were in front until the final nine seconds of regulation. That’s when Skyline’s Ryan Benz tied the score at 9-9 to send the game into overtime.

McMackin and Andrew Hankey each had three goals to lead Skyline.

Fritz had five goals and an assist to lead Issaquah. Kole Lindor, of Issaquah, had 10 groundballs.

Issaquah dropped to 8-2 in Division I play while Skyline went to 5-5. Despite the victory, Skyline failed to qualify for the league tournament, which begins this week.

Two losses last week proved costly for Skyline. The Spartans lost to Lake Washington, 12-7, May 9 and fell to first-place Mercer Island, 8-5, May 13.

In the Lake Washington game, Benz had four goals and Cannon Gardner two goals to lead Skyline.

Mercer Island scored three times in the fourth period to overcome Skyline. Benz had two goals and goalkeeper Cory Larson made 17 saves.

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Liberty High School Patriots win track titles

May 12, 2011

NEW — 3 p.m. May 12, 2011

Two members of the Liberty High School track and field team captured individual titles Wednesday in the first day of the 3A/2A KingCo Conference Championship meet at Juanita High School.

Joshua Gordon won the boys long jump by leaping 22 feet. He was also the top qualifier in the preliminary 200-meter race with a time of 22.47 seconds.

Devin Bennett, of Liberty, was third in the long jump by going 20-8 1/2. He was also the top qualifier in the preliminary 400 race with a time of 52.06.

Liberty’s Tyler Westendorf was fourth in the 1,600 in 4:29.52. Teammate Nick Knoblich took sixth in 4:35.20.

Kevin Ahrens, of Liberty, finished eighth in the shot put with a throw of 39-3.

In the girls competition, Liberty’s Amy Broska won the 1,600 in 5:24.17. Teammate Megan Chucka was second in 5:28.91. Rachel Shaw, of Liberty, also placed seventh in the race with a time of 5:34.81.

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Skyline overcomes Issaquah in baseball battle

May 10, 2011

The Skyline High School baseball team exploded for six runs in the top of the seventh inning May 3 and overcame host Issaquah 9-6 in a 4A KingCo Conference contest.

The game wrapped up the regular season for both teams, who entered the league tournament May 7 at Woodinville. Issaquah, 6-8, finished in fourth place in the Crest Division. Skyline, 8-6, took third place.

Ethan Kalin gave Issaquah an 4-1 lead in the bottom of the first inning when he walloped a grand slam. Issaquah extended its lead to 6-3 going into the top of the seventh inning. However, Skyline came back to defeat Issaquah for the second time this season.

Nate Litka had two hits and drove in two runs for Skyline. Teammate Brandon Fischer also had two hits, and Clayton Huber knocked in three runs. Andrew Kemmerer had two hits for Issaquah.

On May 7, Skyline advanced to the KingCo tournament semifinals with a 4-1 victory against Woodinville. Fischer and Zack Liddle each slammed home runs for Skyline, which played Newport on May 9, after The Press’ deadline. The winner of the game earned a berth to the state regionals.

Issaquah meanwhile lost to Crown Division champion Bothell, 2-0.

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Issaquah soccer blitzes Bothell and Ballard

May 3, 2011

The Issaquah High School boys soccer team stayed in the running for the regular-season 4A KingCo Conference title last week by posting two victories.

Michael Roberts and Alex Shane each scored two goals April 26 as Issaquah blitzed host Bothell, 5-1, in Pop Keeney Stadium.

Shane put the Eagles ahead with an unassisted goal at the third minute. Roberts, assisted by Shane, scored 10 minutes later as the Eagles went ahead for good.

On April 30, Issaquah downed host Ballard, 4-1. Shane had a goal and two assists to lead the Eagles, who trailed 1-0 at halftime. Roberts had a goal and an assist.

Shane tied the game in the 66th minute. Akash Ramachandran, assisted by Cooper Fry, put Issaquah ahead to stay at the 69th minute.

Issaquah improved its league record to 6-2-1. The Eagles trail Skyline, Garfield and Eastlake, all tied for the top spot, by just three points entering this week’s final round.

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Skyline High School baseball stuns Redmond

April 27, 2011

NEW — 11:45 a.m. April 27, 2011

The Skyline High School baseball team posted one of the biggest upsets of the season in the 4A KingCo Conference on Tuesday when the Spartans stunned Redmond 4-3.

Redmond entered the contest as the first place team in the Crest Division.

With the game tied 3-3, Skyline scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Winning pitcher Travis Snider went the distance and held Redmond, a strong hitting team, to just four hits. Snider also struck out four batters.

Jimmy Sinatro and Snider each had two hits to lead the Spartans. Brandon Fisher, Jimmy Sinatro and Matt Sinatro each drove in runs for Skyline, which went to 6-5 in league play.

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