Skyline Spartans claim opening round in run for state title, 27-17

November 15, 2011

Skyline High School’s football team is renowned for always having an explosive offense. However, the Spartans also know that this time of the year a team had better be playing solid defense, especially if it has aspirations of playing for a state title in the Tacoma Dome.

And Skyline always has those aspirations.

The Spartans, coming up strong on defense, moved another step closer to the Tacoma Dome Nov. 12, when they defeated the Greater Spokane League Champion, 27-17, in a first-round game in Spokane’s Joe Albi Stadium.

With the victory Skyline, 8-3, hosts Central Valley, another Spokane-area team, at 1 p.m. Nov. 19 in a Class 4A state quarterfinal. The winner of the game will meet either Union or Woodinville in the semifinals Nov. 26 in the Tacoma Dome. The semifinal winners play for the state title Dec. 3 in the Tacoma Dome.

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Eagles senior leaves legacy of honor

March 8, 2011

When Nik Landdeck entered the Tacoma Dome for the first time, he was a bright-eyed, gleeful little fan, enraptured by the sweeping football glory.

Now, however, only 10 years later, when Landdeck graces the Dome, he does not hold a basket of hotdogs in the energized stands. Instead, he holds a grass-stained football in the open field, leading the Issaquah High School varsity football team.

Nik Landdeck holds the first Nik Landdeck Award, which was started by his basketball coach Jason Griffith. It will be given to a deserving Issaquah High School player annually. By Staci Landdeck

Landdeck, an 18-year-old senior, is a multitalented football and basketball powerhouse.

In his senior year, he lettered in varsity football and earned first-team 4A All KingCo honors as an inside linebacker and second team honors as a fullback. In basketball this winter, Landdeck averaged 9.1 points a game for the season (18 games) and had a total of 163 points. When the 4A all-KingCo team was selected, Landdeck earned honorable mention.

At the recent year-end banquet for baseball, he was given the first Nik Landdeck Award by head basketball coach Jason Griffith.

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Patriot repeats as state’s No. 2

February 22, 2011

Hamilton Noel reached the finals at the Mat Classic for the second straight year. This time, the Liberty High wrestler reached the 152-pound finals of the 3A state competition Feb. 19 in the Tacoma Dome.

But, once again, Noel came up a bit short.

Noel lost to Enumclaw’s Josh Musick 6-2, after opening the match with a 2-0 lead.

Hamilton Noel, Liberty junior, has the better position on Enumclaw’s Josh Musick early in their 152-pound state 3A championship match Feb. 19 at the Tacoma Dome. By Sebastian Moraga

A disappointed Noel blamed himself for the loss.

“I knew it was going to be a good match; I came out, I scored on him, thought I had him, but I didn’t finish strong enough,” he said. “I’m just glad there’s next year.”

As it turned out, Noel was just one of two 3A KingCo Conference wrestlers to reach the finals.

Noel pledged to work on his conditioning for his senior season.

“I was a little gassed,” he said. “More than I should have been.”

Noel’s road to the finals began with a pin of Bishop Blanchet’s Myles Hollowed in the second period, a pin of Yelm’s Anthony Allred in the third, and a 4-2 decision over Mount Spokane’s Austin Pea.

Liberty coach Manny Brown praised his wrestler and the new champion.

“He gives us his all in practices and matches, everything,” Brown said of Noel. “Congratulations to Josh, who had a good match.”

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Spartans drop 4A girls league title to the Falcons

February 22, 2011

Skyline High School senior guard Lindsey Nicholson gave the Spartans plenty to cheer about in the first half against the Woodinville Falcons.

By Christopher Huber Skyline’s Megan Weideman goes up for a shot against Woodinville’s Ali Forde during the third quarter of the KingCo 4A championship game Feb. 18.

She hit her first three 3-point shots of the first quarter and a half and at one point helped Skyline get out to an early 18-10 lead.

But Woodinville’s Deidre Miller hit more baskets, and they all counted down the stretch.

By the look of it through three quarters, the 4A KingCo Conference girls basketball title seemed to belong to the Spartans. But Miller’s barrage from beyond the arc aided the Falcons to a 55-47 comeback victory against Skyline for the league championship Feb. 18 at Juanita High School.

Miller, a junior coming off two years on the bench with two consecutive ACL injuries, finished with a game-high 21 points, including five 3-pointers.

“We knew she was there,” Skyline coach Greg Bruns said. “Boy, she knocked down shots.”

Both teams are bound for the state tournament. This year there is a new tournament format with four regionals. The top two teams from each regional advance to the quarterfinals March 3 in the Tacoma Dome. Skyline, 16-8, plays in Region 3 Feb. 25 at Rogers of Puyallup. Woodinville, 19-5 and winners of 11 straight, plays in Region 2 Feb. 25 at Inglemoor.

“I think we came out really prepared,” Nicholson said after the game. “I haven’t shot threes like that in a while.”

Skyline was firing on all cylinders in the first half. The Spartans led 13-8 to end the first quarter and the defense caused all sorts of adversity for the Woodinville offense.

“The Skyline defense was amazing,” Miller said after the game.

Nicholson said ultimately the string of big shots helped motivate the team to finish the first half strong. The Falcons missed handfuls of easy shots and looked like a different team than the one that beat Eastlake to get to the title match.

Bruns added that the Spartans threw in some new strategies the Falcons would not have been ready for.

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Eagle gymnasts earn high marks at state

February 22, 2011

Coach Ryan Fleisher (back to camera) and Olivia Goree, Issaquah senior, embrace as Goree finishes her high school gymnastics career with a floor routine Feb. 19 during the 4A state gymnastics tournament at the Tacoma Dome. By Sebastian Moraga

Issaquah High School gymnasts A.J. Bowers and Olivia Goree both came away with high places Feb. 19 at the 4A state gymnastics tournament in the Tacoma Dome.

Bowers, in her first year of varsity gymnastics, finished fourth in vault. Goree, a senior, capped her varsity career by finishing fifth on the balance beam and tying for eighth in floor exercise.

While Bowers beamed from the Tacoma Dome podium, Goree wept at the end of her floor performance in the arms of head coach Ryan Fleisher.

Fleisher, the 2011 4A Washington State Gymnastics Coach of the Year, had high praise for both.

“I thought she did really well,” Fleisher said of Bowers. “To make it to state in your first year on the team, in the toughest league and not let the intimidation factor get to you, she did great.”

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Two local wrestlers grab regional titles

February 15, 2011

David White, of Issaquah High School, and Hamilton Noel, of Liberty High School, each won individual titles Feb. 12 in their respective regional wrestling tournaments.

White captured the 145-pound class at the Region II Tournament at Skyline. He defeated Austin Henderson, of Bethel, 7-2 in the final. White was the only 4A KingCo Conference wrestler to win a regional title.

He opened the tournament with a 10-0 victory against Bothell’s Dustin Rhode and defeated Inglemoor’s Brian Trabun 13-2 in the semifinals.

Issaquah teammate Max Tickman placed third in the 112-pound class after defeating Brett Dykman, of Beamer, 10-4. Almen Thorpe, of Issaquah, took fifth in the 135-pound class with a 7-0 victory against Redmond’s Brandon Long. Sean Novak, of Issaquah, placed fifth in the 140-pound class after pinning Eastlake’s Nykolai Peterson in 2:26.

Issaquah finished ninth in the tournament with 56 points. Graham-Kapowsin took first place with 194 points.

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Football cedes spotlight as other sports reach milestones, memories

December 28, 2010

Skyline High School swimmers Nina Zook, Katie Kinnear, Jessie Dart and Maria Volodkevich (from left) celebrate their 200-yard medley relay team state 4A swim championship victory Nov. 13 in Federal Way. By Greg Farrar

Football often dominates the sports scene at Skyline High School, with good reason. The Spartans have won five state football championships in 10 years. Read more

Spartans run out of comebacks

December 7, 2010

Coach Mat Taylor, with the team around him, hugs senior wide receiver Michael Ford on the sideline after the game. Ford was in a wheelchair after breaking his leg during the semifinal against Curtis. By Greg Farrar

Ferris ends Skyline’s reign as state champ 24-16

As the clock ticked toward zero, Skyline High School’s Kasen Williams was like a statue. He lined up in his safety position, Ferris quarterback Ben Goodwin took a knee and the Saxon fans erupted in celebration.

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Skyline boys basketball team nips Renton

December 3, 2010

NEW — 11:25 a.m. Dec. 3, 2010

Bryan Cikatz scored a game-high 23 points Thursday to lead the Skyline High School boys basketball team to a 48-47 come-from-behind victory against Renton in the opening round of the Les Schwab Tipoff Classic at Kentwood High School.

Skyline, which was missing some key players who are on the football team, trailed 31-23 at halftime. The Spartans outscored Renton 25-16 in the second half to pull out their season-opening victory.

Will Parker added 13 points for Skyline.

Darren Briggs topped Renton with 18 points.

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Simone brothers take pride in each other’s success

December 3, 2010

NEW — 11:15 a.m. Dec. 3, 2010

As the clock expired, Jordan Simone looked into the stands.

Skyline High School’s football team had just finished off a 35-34 come-from-behind victory over Curtis in the Class 4A semifinals and the senior wanted to find his brother. Gino was about 10 rows back on the 45-yard line.

They made eye contact and pointed at each other. It was a simple signal between state champions, former teammates but, more important that anything else, siblings.

“That was a really powerful moment for me,” said Gino, a receiver for Washington State who won state titles with Skyline in 2007 and 2008.

Later, down near the field, Gino hugged his younger brother.

“I’m so proud of you,” he said.

Jordan finished the game with eight catches for 165 yards and made several key defensive plays, leading the Spartans (12-1) back to the state-title game for the fourth consecutive season. Skyline faces Spokane’s Ferris (13-0) at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Tacoma Dome.

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