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December 25, 2013



Eastside Catholic students show off playwright chops By Neil Pierson

For the past two years, Eastside Catholic School has used an outside-the-box approach to spark creativity in prospective writers. This fall, the Sammamish private school brought back the Young Playwrights Program in which a resident artist at Seattle’s ACT Theatre visited twice a week for 10 weeks to offer the basics of writing for the stage. The program paid off as 11 Eastside students – five from Sammamish – were honored during a celebration Dec. 9. The Sammamish students recognized were seventh-graders Adam Gregg, Conrad Gregg, Lizzie Iwicki, Max Stewart Steele and Grace Tacchetti. Conrad Gregg earned a huge distinction as his play, “The Amelia,” was one of eight works selected from about 400 submissions to be performed in March at ACT Theatre’s Young Playwrights Festival. The other four students earned honorable-mention status for the festival. Conrad Gregg said he was surprised to achieve such immediate success. His play will come to life through professional acting, directing and stage management. “The Amelia,” is inspired by Gregg’s interest in war history,

“So there really was a big range. My class had a lot of social studies plays, a lot of history. Some classes, there are a lot more comedies, parodies of fairy tales.” – Arlene Naganawa, Teacher –


Five Eastside Catholic School seventh-grade students from Sammamish were honored Dec. 9 at the Young Playwrights Program celebration at the ACT Theatre in Seattle. Pictured from left to right are Max Stewart Steele, Conrad Gregg, Lizzie Iwicki, Adam Gregg and Grace Tacchetti. and follows the story of a boy whose dad is called into battle. The play will be performed twice during the March festival, and Gregg will be in the theatre during rehearsals to lend a hand. “I’ll have to come in a couple days and work with my play, do revisions, and kind of see what’s going to happen, see how they’re

going to set it up,” he said. During YPP sessions at Eastside Catholic, students were immersed in different aspects of writing, said Arlene Naganawa, who teaches middle-school humanities, language arts and social studies. Students are taught various pieces of being a playwright,

from story structure and characterization to dialogue, conflict and resolution. “Each play is about 10 pages long – some are a little bit longer – and they can choose whatever subject,” Naganawa explained. “So there really was a big range. My class had a lot of social studies plays, a lot of history. Some

classes, there are a lot more comedies, parodies of fairy tales.” Adam Gregg wrote a comparatively serious play called “The Choice.” “It’s about a boy who works at the White House, and he’s offered a lot of money to betray his country,” he said. “And it’s about him deciding if he should do it or not.” Tacchetti said students were hooked into YPP through “a bunch of fun games,” and she quickly became adept at turning individual scenes into an entire play. Her play, “The Grotto,” was something she envisioned while doing community service at Mary, Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Sammamish. The See PLAY, Page 9

London calling: Skyline cheerleader selected for big honor By Neil Pierson

While many Americans will tune into the famous Tournament of Roses Parade on Jan. 1, Skyline High School senior Kailin Patterson will be on the other side of the globe performing in a similar event. Patterson is one of more than 500 high-school cheerleaders and dancers from across the country chosen to perform in the London New Year’s Day Parade. She was selected as an All-American during a summer camp hosted by the Universal Cheerleaders Association. The cheerleaders who are traveling to London represent the top 12 percent of participants in Varsity, a national organizational body for cheer and dance teams. UCA is one of Varsity’s five divisions. Earning the trip was a big deal for Patterson. She was one of five Skyline cheerleaders selected for auditions by coach Stephania Gullikson, and she managed to

make the cut as a top all-around athlete. “They pick the top overall, what we consider to be AllAmerican-type girls,” Gullikson explained. “The girls that have great motions, great showmanship, great jumps, can tumble, and kind of have that look that’s hard to describe – that confidence that comes out when they cheer, and their leadership that they portray.” Patterson was also invited to a separate tryout to become a future UCA staff member. Her background in gymnastics – something she started when she was 2 – has translated into a successful cheerleading career. “I learned a lot of my tumbling through gymnastics, and I learned body control, and it just kind of naturally corresponds,” Patterson said. Skyline sent a cheerleader to London last year, too, Patterson said, so she’s familiar with the itinerary. The group will be in England for a week, and while

Photo by Robb Drake/Plateau Portraits

Skyline High School senior Kailin Patterson will have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of performing in the London New Year’s Day Parade.

they’ll have plenty of intense preparation, they’ll also get to be tourists, visiting sites like Big Ben and the London Eye.

UCA gave Patterson a DVD with three different cheer routines. She’ll have to learn each of them, although she won’t find out which one she’ll perform until she joins the traveling group. “I’m not entirely sure how it works, but I’m hoping it’s not too difficult,” she said. “I don’t think it’ll be too bad, because I’ve done different parade routines at Skyline.” The 51 athletes on this year’s Skyline squad selected four captains, and they couldn’t have chosen a more appropriate leader than Patterson, her coach said. “She’s absolutely always on time, ready to go, positive attitude, works for the best of the team, and helps the other girls as they struggle through difficult things and hard times,” Gullikson said. Cheerleading demands mental toughness, the coach said. Over the summer, Skyline regularly held two-a-day practices – four hours in the morning, two in the afternoon. That intensity helped

Skyline qualify for the National High School Cheerleading Championship, held Feb. 8-9 in Orlando, Fla. The competition will be televised on ESPN and ESPN2. Though the schedule scales back during school, the cheerleaders still have commitments like football and basketball games to keep track of. “I don’t think I’d be able to do it if I didn’t like cheer as much as I do,” Patterson said. “You have to put so much effort into it, but it’s so rewarding.” Patterson doesn’t slack in her academic commitments either. Her top college choices are Washington and UCLA. She’d like to continue cheering at the next level, and she plans to study medicine for a career as a pediatric surgeon. “I have high standards for myself,” she said with a smile. “She’s a model student, a great mentor, a good role model for the kids, and she’s very, very talented,” Gullikson added.



December 25, 2013



Eastlake wrestlers up their intensity, flatten Bothell By Neil Pierson

Two days after his team had a lackluster performance in a home meet with Roosevelt, Eastlake wrestling coach Dexter Beckstead saw big improvements. Eastlake earned pins in the first three matches, and cruised to a 46-25 victory over the Bothell Cougars in a Class 4A KingCo Conference dual meet Dec. 19 at Bothell High School. Beckstead said the Wolves looked flat in their loss to Roosevelt, but it was a different story when they competed on Bothell’s mats. “I’m satisfied with the way we wrestled today,” he said. “This is the intensity we need to be at. We didn’t show it Tuesday. We have to be consistent. We had ups and downs. It’s possibly my fault of not being able to prepare them. I think, being at home, we kind of took it for granted, maybe.” The Wolves set the tone against the Cougars as 170-pounder Ryan Wasserman earned a quick takedown and pinned Jesse Floyd in 1 minute, 19 seconds. Jacob Kaufman (182) trailed Bothell’s Blaine Hoogerwerf 5-4

after one period, but dominated after that, winning by pin in 3:12. Jonnie Estrada (195) gave the Wolves an 18-0 lead, pinning Kevin Lopez in 1:09, and they never looked back. Beckstead used a little gamesmanship to get the Wolves some insurance points. Rudy Ross, a senior, was supposed to wrestle at 220 pounds, but Beckstead didn’t feel good about his matchup with Aaron Ibanez. “Ibanez, he’s a real good wrestler,” Beckstead said. “He would’ve more than likely pinned Rudy.” Beckstead waited for Ibanez to be announced for the bout, then forfeited. Eastlake was originally scheduled to forfeit at 285, but Ross moved up to face Colton Moser. Ross earned four takedowns and a near fall to pick up a 15-6 major decision and four team points. While the move didn’t ultimately sway the team result, it left more room for error for the Wolves. “I avoided the sure pin … and we saved points that way,” Beckstead said. Eastlake’s William Galarpe (145) battered Logan Moore, get-

Photo by Neil Pierson

As his Eastlake teammates cheer him on, Rudy Ross tries to get Bothell’s Colton Moser on his back during a 285-pound bout on Dec. 19. Ross won a 15-6 major decision. ting two near falls in the first period for an 8-1 lead. He didn’t let up, getting an immediate takedown in the second period and finishing the pin in 2:26. The result gave Eastlake an insurmountable 40-21 lead with two bouts to go. Galarpe, a sophomore, said he’s struggled to get takedowns early in the season, but he turned that around against Moore by staying low. Galarpe is a fourth-year wres-

tler, and was part of Eastlake’s varsity squad as a freshman. He took his lumps, but is starting to inflict some of his own. “It was tough, but being a freshman, it was nice to go out there,” Galarpe said. “It’s different wrestling from junior high. It’s a new experience, and you just take what you learn.” The evening’s final bout saw Eastlake freshman Leon Morris power through Emanuel Hanks for a pin in 1:32.

It was a surprising result for Beckstead. “We just put him in the lineup because everybody made weight down below,” the coach said. “Usually, we’re wrestling a weight up because they hadn’t gotten to their weight level that they’re required to be. This week they did. “I thought (Morris) was going to get pinned. I just threw him in See WRESTLE, Page 11

Kassuba goes on scoring spree, but Lady Spartans fall short By Neil Pierson

With its top-three scorers from last season now playing college basketball, the Skyline Spartans girls basketball team has had to find new offensive sources this year. Senior wing Shelby Kassuba is one of the players who has stepped forward, and she nearly led the Spartans to an important Class 4A KingCo Conference win Dec. 18. Kassuba scored a career-high 24 points, including 16 in the second half, but it wasn’t enough as Skyline’s rally fell short in a 61-58 loss to the visiting Bothell Cougars. Kassuba’s outburst upped her scoring average to 12.2 points per game, and it gave Spartans coach Greg Bruns something to smile about. “That was good to see,” Bruns said. “She was due for that, and

she’d been struggling a little bit offensively, but boy, she was knocking down shots and feeling it tonight.” However, Skyline (3-3 overall, 1-3 conference) had trouble containing Bothell’s duo of Brenda Akoto and Taya Corosdale. Corosdale, a 6-foot freshman, had 24 points, and Akoto, a 5-11 sophomore, added 14 points as the Cougars (3-2, 2-2) dominated the battle under the basket. “They have some young, talented posts that can do a lot of damage, and we just didn’t give them the attention that we needed to,” Bruns said. “We knew that. We saw that from scouting, and knew that we had to pay attention to them.” Foul trouble played a big part in Skyline’s defensive deficiencies. Senior post Bryn deVita sat the bench much of the game after picking up two fouls in the first quarter. She picked up a

third shortly before halftime, and was disqualified with two fouls in a 26-second span of the fourth quarter. The Spartans’ leading scorer with a 13.5 average, deVita was held to seven points and didn’t have the rebounding or shotblocking presence her team usually counts on. “She’s been a leader with us for the first five, six games,” Bruns said, “where she’s not only scoring and defending and rebounding – she’s leading the team in all those categories – but she’s also a smart kid. “All the other kids look up to her, and so to not have her on the floor is tough just because she does a lot of good things.” The first half was a fastpaced, back-and-forth affair in which neither team gained a big advantage. Bothell, paced by Corosdale’s 14 points, went to the locker room with a 27-25 lead.

Skyline didn’t take enough good shots in the first half, Bruns believed, settling for a lot of jump shots early in possessions. “That was probably the biggest conversation that we had (at halftime), that we were just a little rushed,” he said. “And we weren’t running anything. The ball got in hands for a rebound, and it was already shot again.” Kassuba had a huge third period, drilling three 3-pointers to keep the Spartans close. But the Cougars capped a big surge early in the fourth quarter, using a Randy Dixon 3-pointer and an Erin Burns breakaway layup to build a 54-43 lead. After deVita fouled out with five minutes to play, Skyline came on strong. Kassuba stole the ball and sank a 3-pointer, and a traveling call on Bothell was followed by two Alex Daugherty free throws that trimmed the Cougars’ lead to two

points with 25 seconds left. Bothell’s Hanna Tyndall hit one free throw with 6 seconds to play, and Skyline had a chance to tie at the other end. But Alicia Shim passed on a 3-point try, then missed on a driving attempt as the clock expired. Daugherty and Taylor McKerlich scored 10 points each for Skyline, and Burns added 13 for Bothell. The Spartans are headed to a tournament in Walnut Creek, Calif., over the holiday break, and return to KingCo action Jan. 8 at Woodinville. Bruns said the team should continue improving, and was pleased with the way the girls fought back against Bothell. “We make a couple shots there in the last two minutes and we actually take the lead again,” he said. “They’re a team that doesn’t quit.”



December 25, 2013



Fables become puppets

January 9

A puppet show based on Aesop’s Fables is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Dec. 30 at the Sammamish Library.

Focus on faith

Grief Share Support Group meeting from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday nights at Sammamish Presbyterian Church. Wednesday night youth group will have games, worship and fun for students in grades six-12 from 7-8:30 p.m. Wednesdays at Sammamish Presbyterian Church. Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) allows mothers of young children time to make friends, share stories and grow spiritually while their children are in childcare. There are multiple groups in Sammamish. One group generally meets twice a month on Thursday mornings at Mary, Queen of Peace Catholic Church. Another group meets on Wednesdays at Pine Lake Covenant Church at 9:30 a.m. Another meets Fridays at 9:15

volunteer opportunities

Providence Marianwood seeks volunteers to work with the senior citizens who live there. They are particularly looking for people to assist with group activities, work in the gift nook or make new friends. Call 391-2897.


Mars Hill Students is made up of sixth-12th grade students in Sammamish, Redmond, Issaquah and surrounding areas. It meets every Wednesday from 7-8:30 p.m. for a time of life music, teaching, food and connection. Visit


Purrfect Pals cat shelter is seeking volunteers to care for and play with cats. Volunteers must be 18 or older. Shifts are two hours, once per week. Visit

Considering going for Eagle Scout this year? The city is hosting a meeting to connect potential Eagle Scouts with groups from around the area to brainstorm possible Eagle Scout projects at 4 p.m. Jan. 9 at City Hall. Groups who have ideas for possible scout projects should contact Dawn Sanders at The art exhibit ‘Crossing Boundaries’ opens Jan. 22 at City Hall. The exhibit will be available for viewing during regular business hours through April 25.


at Sammamish Presbyterian Church Visit A Toast to the Lord, a faith-based Toastmasters club, meets at 1 p.m. Saturdays at the Eastridge Church Jamin Café. They offer job interviewing skill development for those seeking employment or a career change; motivational and inspirational speaking training. Call 427-9682 or email toasttothelord@gmail. com. Mary, Queen of Peace Catholic Church youth groups are for children in sixth-eighth grade and ninth-12th grades. Meetings are at 6:30 p.m. Sundays. Call the church at 3911178, ext. 129. Healing Prayer Service is for those who desire to experience God’s love through worship, prayer and healing. The fourth Tuesday of every month (and the third Tuesday in December), 7 p.m., at Pine Lake Covenant Church. Email Celebrate Recovery, a Christ-centered program offering support. Mondays, 7-9 p.m.,

Pine Lake Covenant Church. Visit Moms in Prayer International invites moms to replace their anxiety with peace and hope. Pray with other moms for your children and their schools. Visit Contact Linda Yee at Pine Lake Covenant Church offers a ministry for children with special needs at 10:30 a.m. Sundays. Call 3928636. Learn to read and speak Samskritam at the Vedic Cultural Center. Visit www. Sammamish Plateau Community Bible Study, open to all women and their children, meets Wednesday mornings from 9:45-11:45 a.m. at Faith United Methodist Church. email Bhajan Bliss. Musicians and singers teach the traditional devotional bhajan. Vegetarian food. 7:30-9 p.m., Fridays at the Vedic Cultural Center.

Prsrt Std U.S. POSTAGE PAID Kent. WA Permit No. 71

Visit residents in nursing homes. Friend to Friend matches volunteers with residents in Sammamish nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Volunteers are asked to visit residents a couple times a month for a year. Orientation will be provided. Background check required. Call 1-888-383-7818. Evergreen Healthcare is seeking volunteers to help serve patients throughout King County. Volunteers, who will be assigned to help people in their own neighborhoods, provide companionship, run errands, do light household work, or give a break to primary caregivers. Volunteers will be supported by hospital staff. Call 899-1040 or visit www.

The King County LongTerm Care Ombudsman Program needs certified longterm care ombudsman volunteers. After completing a four-day training program, visit with residents, take and resolve complaints and advocate for residents. Volunteers are asked to donate four hours a week and attend selected monthly meetings. Contact Cheryl Kakalia at 206-694-6827. Eastside Bluebills is a Boeing retiree volunteer organization that strives to provide opportunities for retirees to help others in need and to assist charitable and nonprofit organizations. 10 a.m. to noon, the third Wednesday of the month at the Bellevue Regional Library. Call 235-3847. LINKS, Looking Into the Needs of Kids in Schools, places community volunteers in the schools of the Lake Washington School District. Opportunities include tutoring, classroom assistance and lunch buddy. Email or visit www. Eastside Baby Corner needs volunteers to sort incoming donations of clothing and toys and prepare items for distribution. Visit

Join the club The Sammamish Heritage Society meets from 7:30-9 p.m. the second Wednesday of each month at the Pine Lake Community Club, 21333 S.E. 20th St. in Sammamish. Sammamish Plateau Amateur Radio Club meets at 7 p.m. the second Wednesday of each month at Fire Station 83. The club is open to amateur radio operators and those interested in the hobby. Rotaract, a community service for young adults ages 18-30

To submit items for the Community Calendar, email to Items will be edited and must be received by the Wednesday before publication.

sponsored by the Sammamish Rotary, meets twice a month. Email The La Leche League is committed to helping mothers breastfeed their babies. They plan to meet on the second Wednesday of each month from 10 a.m. to noon at the Sammamish EX3 Teen Center, 825 228th Ave. N.E. Visit SammamishWA. The Sammamish Citizen Corps, a volunteer group affiliated with the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, meets the first Wednesday of each month at Fire Station 82. Visit