Local graduates earn academic honors

November 11, 2010

NEW — 11 a.m. Nov. 11, 2010

Lauren Maris and Nick Rocco, two former standout athletes from the Issaquah School District, have received academic honors this fall.

Maris, an Issaquah High School soccer star who plays for the University of San Francisco, was selected to the COSIDA Academic All-America District III women’s soccer team. A senior, Maris has a 3.83 grade point average and is majoring in exercise and sports science.

San Francisco coach Mark Carr said Maris is a “great leader on the pitch and in the classroom.”

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Multisport skills puts athlete on Air Force’s radar

June 22, 2010

Mitchell Kim participated in 12 of 12 possible sports seasons at Skyline High School. He was a football wide receiver, a varsity swimmer and an outside midfielder in soccer. By Christopher Huber

Mitchell Kim has always managed to participate in as many school and club sports as possible. He played varsity football, swam for Skyline High School’s swim and dive team, starred on the Spartans and Eastside FC soccer teams and, at times throughout his life, played basketball and baseball. In one year as a middle-schooler, Mitchell said he remembers playing on seven different sports teams. Read more

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Junpei Tsuji’s leadership earns player of the year honors

June 1, 2010

A soccer player doesn’t always have to score a ton of goals to get noticed by opposing players and coaches.

Junpei Tsuji

Sometimes, just his leadership qualities on the field are enough to earn praise. Certainly, 4A KingCo Conference coaches were impressed by Issaquah High School senior Junpei Tsuji’s inspired efforts this spring.

While Tsuji was a scoring threat, it was his leadership that led to his selection as the league’s Player of the Year.

“When you consider all the outstanding players in the league, this was a great honor for Junpei and great recognition for our program,” said Issaquah coach Jason Lichtenberger. “I think he was probably surprised by the honor.

“Yet, when coaches talked about a player who played hard in every game, Junpei was the guy they talked about,” he added. “They said what a great leader he was on the field. Junpei was always encouraging his teammates.”

Tsuji, a midfielder, helped the Eagles be a contender for the league title this season. Issaquah finished just one point out of first place.

“He is a talented player. He makes a lot of things happen. He does a good job of getting the ball to his teammates. More than anything, he just worked his tail off for 80 minutes in every game,”

Lichtenberger said.

In practice, teammates always compared their shirts to see who worked the hardest.

“Junpei always had the sweatiest shirt,” Lichtenberger said.

Tsuji is bound for Whitman College, where he will play soccer with Issaquah teammate Mike Axelson next year.

Issaquah, with back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in several years, has had the league’s MVP the last two years. Quinn Grisham, a senior, was selected as the league MVP last year. Grisham, despite missing some games this season because of injuries and illness, joined Tsuji on the all-KingCo first team. Read more

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Early goal not enough, Spartans lose 4-1 to Garfield

May 18, 2010

Travis Strawn, Skyline’s junior midfielder, pulled off a stunning shot less than eight minutes into the KingCo 4A title game against Garfield. The goal left the Bulldogs wondering how their tight defense let it in and sent Skyline players joyously leaping into the air.

Strawn nailed the ball into the right side of the Garfield net after teammate Braxton Griffin’s header deflected a Mitchell Kim throw in from the left sideline. It put the Spartans up 1-0 early on, but in the end Garfield proved to be a bit stronger on both sides of the ball.

Thanks to two penalty kicks (a rarity) and two late goals, Garfield won 4-1 to take the KingCo 4A soccer championship May 11 at Memorial Stadium in Seattle.

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Baseball season ends for Issaquah, Liberty

May 12, 2010

NEW — 10:40 a.m. May 12, 2010

The high school baseball season ended Tuesday for Issaquah and Liberty high schools as both were eliminated in loser-out tournament games.

It was a disappointing end for both teams, who had high hopes of qualifying for the state tournament.

Issaquah fell to Lake Washington 7-2 in the 4A KingCo Conference tournament at Woodinville.. The Eagles ended the season with a 17-6 record.

Liberty, which led the 3A/2A KingCo Conference for most of the season, lost to Sammamish 4-1 in the first round at Bellevue’s Bannerwood Park.

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Issaquah edges Skyline in softball thriller

May 6, 2010

NEW — 10:55 a.m. May 6, 2010

The Issaquah High School girls softball team scored two runs in the top of the ninth inning Wednesday to defeat host Skyline 5-4 in a 4A KingCo Conference extra-inning thriller.

Winning pitcher Mikenzie Voves went the distance, allowing just one earned run while striking out 16 batters. Skyline pitcher Lauren Richard also worked all nine innings and had 10 strikeouts.

Brielle Bray had three hits and drove in two runs for Issaquah. Teammate Amanda Marques also had two hits.

Mickey Dunn-Blad and Anya Kanyer each had two hits for Skyline.

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Issaquah Eagles baseball team finishes second

May 5, 2010

NEW — 11:01 a.m. May 5, 2010

Redmond scored twice in the top of the seventh inning Tuesday to defeat the Issaquah HIgh School baseball team 3-1 in a 4A KingCo Conference contest.

The two teams finished the regular season in a tie for first place in the Crest Division with 12-4 records. However, because Redmond swept the season series between the two teams, the Mustangs will enter the KingCo tournament as the Crest Division’s top seed. Issaquah will enter the tournament as Crest Division No. 2. The tournament starts Saturday at Woodinville High School.

Redmond took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fifth inning but Issaquah tied the score in the bottom of the sixth.

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Issaquah Eagles baseball ties Bothell

April 28, 2010

NEW — 11:11 April 28, 2010

The Issaquah High School boys soccer team fought first-place Bothell to a scoreless standstill Tuesday in a 4A KingCo Conference defensive battle.

Goalkeeper Evan King recorded the shutout for the Eagles, who are 5-2-1 in league play and tied with Roosevelt for fourth place.

Skyline jumped ahead of Issaquah in the jam-packed KingCo standings with a 5-1 rout of Ballard. Cole Calabro scored two goals for Skyline. Goals by Giancarlo Santoro and Braxton Griffin gave the Spartans a 2-0 halftime lead. Ballard scored in the first minute of the second half but Pedro Miola answered for Skyline.

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Issaquah leapfrogs Skyline into conference lead

April 27, 2010

They are playing leapfrog in the 4A KingCo Conference soccer standings.

Two weeks ago Skyline jumped into first place and knocked out Roosevelt, the previous leader. Last week Skyline fell out of first place because of two losses.

Bothell, the hottest team in the league, took over first place with two victories. The Cougars, who have won five straight games entering this week, have a 6-2 record, good for 18 points.

Issaquah and Garfield, both 5-2-1, jumped past Skyline and into second place with 16 points. The Spartans, 5-3-0, dropped to fourth place and Roosevelt, 4-2-2, is tied with Eastlake for fifth place.

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Liberty hires new hoops coach

April 20, 2010

Liberty High School has hired Joe Fithian as head coach of the boys varsity basketball team for the 2010-11 season.

Fithian served as interim junior varsity coach for the Patriots last season. He has more than 20 years of experience as a basketball coach, working at the high school and collegiate levels.

Prior to joining Liberty last season, Fithian was officiating high school games in the state.

“It was clear to the hiring committee that Joe possesses the skill set to lead the Liberty Patriots basketball program forward,” Liberty Principal Mike Deletis said in a press release. “We are excited to bring on a coach with strong values, coaching history, and a work ethic that will develop our student athletes and our basketball program.”

Spartans take soccer lead

The Skyline High School boys soccer team won twice last week to move into first place in the 4A KingCo Conference standings.

Skyline, 5-1-0, knocked out Roosevelt from the top spot April 13 with a 2-0 victory. Travis Strawn scored both goals.

The Spartans topped Inglemoor 2-0 April 16. James Molyeaux-Elliot and Strawn scored for Skyline.

Issaquah topped Ballard 3-2 April 13, but lost to Eastlake 2-1 April 16. In the game against Ballard, Michael Axelson, assisted by Michael Roberts, scored the winning goal at the 79th minute.

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