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SECTION C Nisqually Valley News • Friday, April 24, 2009

Schoenherr earns AP all-state award By Tyler Huey Nisqually Valley News

Reminiscent of a hot shooting streak, accolades continue to pour in for Rainier sophomore guard Kristen Schoenherr. Already a first-team allleague selection, Schoenherr earned honorable mention on The Associated Press’ all-state basketball team. She was one of three players to earn the 1A honorable mention. Sports writers and editors from around the state vote on the award. “Oh my gosh, I was ecstatic!”

Schoenherr

said Schoenherr on receiving the award. “I thought it was so amazing. I didn’t know anything like that existed.” Coach Dave Wasankari said he was im-

pressed. “I haven’t had a player (receive this type of recognition),” Wasankari said. “I don’t remember the last girl at Rainier that has.” Schoenherr led Rainier to its

second consecutive state berth. During the regular season, Schoenherr averaged 17.8 points, 5.3 steals, 5.5 rebounds and six assists per game. She broke the four-game district tournament scoring record with 95 points, including a 38point game against La Center. The previous record, 92 points, had been intact since 1987. Schoenherr also averaged 21 points in each of Rainier’s two state tournament games. “I think I grew up a lot this season,” Schoenherr said. “I had a good year. I’m hoping to get

first-team (all-state) next year.” Wasankari thought Schoenherr had the talent to achieve the award as her statistics continued to mount. “I thought it was a possibility to get honorable mention because of how well she played during the playoffs,” he said. “A lot of people from the press were talking about her.” Not only does the award signify Schoenherr’s stellar year, it motivates her to improve every aspect of her game. “Oh yeah, it gives me a ton more drive to get better and better each year,” Schoenherr said.

“It’s super motivation. I’m definitely going to step it up.” Schoenherr’s current level of play, and untapped potential, only continues to impress her coach. “If I had to pick any kid from our league, she’d be the first one I’d select,” Wasankari said. “And it’s not because she plays for me. It’s her ability to score and her abilities that you can’t teach — the natural feeling for the ball and pressure defense.” “You can’t teach it. It’s something you have or don’t, but she has the gift for it.”.

Squared circle an old school eternal memory MIND OF MR. PERFECT By Tyler Huey

Photo by Tyler Huey

Yelm co-captain Miguel Gonzalez crosses a pass to his brother, Daniel, in the first half. The pass was deflected by a North Thurston defender, but Yelm went on to win 5-0. The Tornados are 10-1 overall and 2-0 in league.

Tornados remain ‘in driver’s seat’ By Tyler Huey Nisqually Valley News

When it comes to the league’s best soccer teams, Yelm is steadily proving it belongs at the top. The Tornados (10-1 overall, 2-0 league) blew past North Thurston 5-0 on Tuesday and defeated Capital 2-1 in a shootout on Friday. “With us in the South Puget Sound League, I was hoping (in the beginning of the season) that we would have a winning record right now,” Yelm coach Mark Tate said. “I’m ecstatic where we’re at right now.” “We’ve worked hard to get here.” Yelm took a 2-0 halftime lead against North Thurston. Midfielder Greg Willman netted the first goal off forward Daniel Gonzalez’s assist in the 22nd minute. One minute later, forward Miguel Gonzalez assisted Daniel for a 2-0 lead. “In the first half we were struggling to control the ball,” Tate said.

“Our goal out of the half was to not be so direct and kicking long balls (to Miguel and Daniel). In the second half we did a nice job of knocking the ball around; we were more dangerous.” Yelm scored quickly to begin the second half. Midfielder Anthony Avelar was credited with an assist to Miguel in the 44th minute. Avelar kicked the ball at the 45 yard line, the goalie bobbled the ball and Miguel knocked it in. Defender Edd Brown came back with an assist to Miguel in the 54th minute and Daniel scored the final goal when goalie Jacob Smith booted the ball over the defense to him. Coming off the win over Capital, Tate was concerned Yelm might come out flat. He attributed the team captains with getting the team focused. Capital took the initial lead in the 38th minute off a corner kick. Yelm retaliated in the 45th minute. On a

free kick from 35 yards away, midfielder Alejandro Cisneros sent the ball in and Daniel headed it home. Regulation play ended in a tie and the game was decided in a shootout with Daniel as the goalie. “We put Daniel in goal because he does a great job of reading and reacting to shots,” Tate said. “He is very quick off his line and can make some big saves — which he did.” Capital scored two goals to Yelm’s three. “I don’t know how to explain it,” said Daniel on his shootout success. “It’s hard to explain. I just try to guess what they are going to do.” Daniel said he is happy with the team’s success, yet somewhat surprised. “I didn’t expect to be better than last year,” he said. “We’re playing really well together.” Tate said that having an undefeated league record puts “them in the driver’s seat, but it is still early.”

Back in high school, a few friends and I were really into wrestling. Not real wrestling, but sports entertainment — as it was known back then, the World Wrestling Federation. And it was all thanks to one man: Vince McMahon. McMahon, Chairman of WWF (now known as World Wrestling Entertainment), was a big influence regarding my freshman through junior year. Though it’s somewhat humorous now, characters he helped create were focal points in my maturation. All this comes to mind because McMahon recently did a captivating interview with ESPN. Not only did it shed light on his upbringing and multimillion dollar rise to power, it made me realize what it took for two unforgettable high school memories to exist. First surprise: McMahon, born as Vinny Lupton, grew up in an eight-foot wide trailer with his mom and stepdad. Wouldn’t have guessed that, especially since he’s now worth more than $500 million. Second surprise: McMahon has often said, “It is unfortunate that (my stepdad) died before I had a chance to kill him.” In the interview, McMahon was asked why he wanted to kill him. “Because he needed it,” McMahon said. “And I would have happily been the person to have done that.” But why? “It was just the beatings … the way he beat my mom and the way he treated me in so many different ways. … In a fight of any kind, physical or otherwise, if I’m not dead, I win.” “He used to beat me unmercifully, but I knew that if I lived through that beating, (expletive) him, I won.” Much of the 13-plus minute interview was information I already knew, such as how he turned his real father’s wrestling business into what it is today and past stories of rampant steroid use throughout the company. But it was McMahon’s feelings toward his stepdad that stuck with me. When McMahon said he would have killed him if given the chance, I believe him. Without actually saying it, I took that as a Vince McMahon guarantee. That clip brought me back to high school. Even at times to this day, that phrase — Vince McMahon guarantee — has relevancy. See HUEY, page C2

League success for Rainier track By Tyler Huey Nisqually Valley News

Rainier High School hosted the 1A Southwest Washington league track meet last Thursday — and the home cookin’ treated them well. With 142 points, the boys team placed second out of six schools and the girls, 107.5 points, were third out of five. “The boys keep getting better each week,” Rainier coach Rob Henry said. “They’re pretty steady.” The girls team had some athletes in different events and were missing a top performer, sophomore Kristen Schoenherr who was out with a sore back.

Senior Bradon Franklin led the boys team with a personal best 133 feet, nine inch discus throw, winning the event by more than 15 feet. He also placed second in the shot put at 42-08. “Bradon competed at state last year and has learned what to expect and how to behave,” Henry said. “Now he can step in and be confident and not overly nervous.” Franklin said he’s right where he wants to be. “I’m improving every week and throwing farther,” Franklin said. “I want to beat the school See TRACK, page C2

Photo by Tyler Huey

Kyle North strains to hand off the baton to teammate Jimmy Soto in the 4x100 relay. Rainier took second p place at 46.64 seconds.


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SECTION C Nisqually Valley News • Friday, January 15, 2010

NFL playoffs visit the ‘Jersey Shore’ MIND OF MR. PERFECT By Tyler Huey The NFL postseason is kind of like MTV’s “Jersey Shore.” Seriously, just think about it: every remaining playoff team can be compared to one of the show’s cast members, and said comparison will potentially relate to how far each team advances. “The Situation” knows what’s up: “Alright, we got a situation.” It only seems right. America is obsessed with the NFL and “Jersey Shore.” The reality show features eight “guidos” and “guidettes” in search of parties and hooking up while sharing a beach house in New Jersey’s Seaside Heights. Since the NFL playoffs and “Jersey Shore” are heating up, it’s logical to intertwine the two when forecasting football’s future.

THE CONTENDERS ■ New Orleans Saints The Saints’ offense is just as precise as Pauly D, a 28-year-old DJ who has a tanning bed in his house. While quarterback Drew Brees can dissect a defense in 25 seconds, it takes Pauly D 25 minutes to style his hair. “Greatness takes time, and this hair right here is greatness,” Pauly D said. “I have it down to a tee, but this is a process right here.” Need more proof? “It only takes nine pounds of pressure to break a nose,” he claims. Just like the Saints, that’s precision at its finest. Though New Orleans has lost three straight games, they had a first-round bye and have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. If the Saints score often, which they will, and get a lead, the crowd will be deafening. All I’m saying is if the Saints’ opposition isn’t concerned, they should be. ■ Minnesota Vikings Just like The Situation, Minnesota is scary good, but they sometimes lack an identity. If the Vikings decide whether they’re a run-first or pass-first team, they’ll be a juggernaut. Quarterback Brett Favre has been unbelievable, and running back Adrian Peterson is a freak. Speaking of freaks, The Situation’s cockiness is reminiscent of the confidence Minnesota has earned: “You can hate on me all you want to,” The Situation said, “but what can you possibly say to somebody that looks like Rambo, pretty much, with his shirt off?” I’m not saying Favre has a six pack, but he silenced his critics long ago. Because of the Vikings, the color purple is no longer emasculating. With a high-scoring offense and a stout defense, the Vikes are a must-watch situation. “I don’t think they are going to be ready for this situation; everyone’s gonna be like, ‘Oh shoot, that’s the situation right there.’” ■ San Diego Chargers If properly tweaked, the Bolts remind me of a finely crafted “JWoww” quote: “(The Chargers) are like a praying mantis; after (playing an opponent they) will rip their heads off.” Similar to JWoww’s habit with men, San Diego has a habit of playing games with their opposition. “When they date me,” she said, “it’s cool in the beginning, we do our thing in the first month and then I send them on a roller coaster ride to hell.” After starting the season 2-3, San Diego looked to be in trouble. But since then, they’ve won 11 consecutive games and look like the team to beat. Quarterback Philip Rivers is the leader and everyone else just falls in line. ■ Baltimore Ravens You know what you’re in for when it comes to Sammi “Sweetheart” and the Ravens. For Baltimore, prepare for smash-mouth running, deceptively good passing and a pressuring defense. It’s also just as easy to see where everyone stands with Sammi: “If you’re not a guido then you can get the (expletive) outta my face.” Sammi has quite a mouth on her, but she probably can’t back up her words up like the Ravens. Teams know what they’re in for but they can’t do anything about it. I mean, any team that can decimate the New England Patriots in their house needs to be reckoned with: 234 yards on 52 rushes. Enough said.

THE PRETENDERS

Photo by Tyler Huey

Senior wing Austin Schorno takes a jumper amid pressure during Tuesday’s practice. Every player seemingly had a hot hand, which Yelm hopes to maintain for Friday’s league opener at Timberline.

Eye of the Tornados Girls aim for second straight league title By Tyler Huey Nisqually Valley News

To say the Yelm girls basketball team is playing well would be modest at best. In posting eight consecutive wins, the Tornados are on a hot streak that nobody could have predicted. After their only loss Dec. 4, Yelm has outscored their opponents by 83 points, 414-331. Not only has Yelm won via blowout, they also won two games by one point and another game by two. Not a shabby way to enter Friday’s league opener at Timberline. “Our goal all along was to get ready for the league championship,” coach Russ Riches said. “We didn’t anticipate being 9-1, but as the season progressed, we’re at that place where we’re able to draw on things we’ve learned.” “They have definitely exceeded that expectation.” Riches said he attributes the team’s success to leadership, mainly coming

from his two seniors, post Katelyn Smith and wing Austin Schorno, and two junior wings, Karley Miskimens and Samantha Jennen. Not only is Smith a vocal leader, she leads the team in scoring and is a top rebounder. “She has stepped up another notch,” Riches said. “It has been fun to watch. The kids understand their role. If she doesn’t touch the ball, we’re not as productive.” In general, players have also bought into the system and are playing their respective part. “I’m encouraged with people settling into their roles,” Riches said. “We play better as a team. It’s a testament to their ability to work hard.” Sophomore wing Sydney Anderson, for example, is the team’s “naildown defender” and has earned the role of guarding each opposing team’s prime scorer. Freshman post Anushka Maldonado has been explosive off the

bench. Riches said Maldonado gives the team a spark, but when she pairs with Smith on the court, watch out. “When they play together they’re pretty much an unstoppable tandem,” Riches said. “They’re very effective at times when Anushka is playing and Katelyn comes in off her breather.” Maldonado said she uses her youth to her advantage. “Since I’m the youngest girl on the team I try to push myself harder to be at their level,” she said. “I just try to do my best to put some points on the board and get as many rebounds as I can.” Coming off a league championship and their first state tournament berth since 1991, Yelm had some “tough shoes to fill” as six players were lost to graduation. The roster may be young, but they quickly gelled and are ready to start defending their league title. See TITLE, page C2

Boys knock off Montesano By Tyler Huey Nisqually Valley News

Considering Rainier suffered a gut-wrenching double overtime loss to Rochester last Friday, the team was in need of an uplifting victory. Bouncing back to drop Montesano 56-50 on the road hit the spot. “We really needed a win at this point,” Rainier coach Josh Frunz said. “The kids were playing really well and outworking our opponents.” The win improved Rainier to 3-7 overall and 2-3 in league. “It says a lot about their heart,” Frunz said of winning after the difficult loss. “This group is really good about shaking off losses like that.” “They can shake off mistakes.” Chris Ashby, who scored a team-high 20 points, said the win “definitely felt good.” “We have lot of young kids,” Ashby said, “and considSee WIN, page C2

Photo by Tyler Huey

As sophomore Dalton Delio, right, puts on the pressure, sophomore Trenton Green looks for an open teammate during Monday’s practice.

Half-court shot Yelm readies lifts Mounties for league play By Tyler Huey

By Tyler Huey

■ Indianapolis Colts Sure, maybe my hatred has gone too far, but after ignoring the chance at going 19-0, the Colts deserve to pay. Indy is now Angelinaesque. The Colts felt like they were above making history, similar to how Angelina felt about working for a T-shirt company: “I feel this job is beneath me,” she said. “I’m a bartender. I do great things.” Ha ha! Being stupid. Classic.

Nisqually Valley News

Nisqually Valley News

Junior Kristin Schoenherr hit a half-court shot to spark Rainier’s girls basketball team in a 49-31 win at Montesano Tuesday night. Schoenherr’s basket gave Rainier a one-point lead entering halftime. “That was an emotional boost, no doubt about it,” Rainier coach Dave Wasankari said. “That boosted our enthusiasm and our players played with more passion. Every game we play on the road in league is so tough to win.” With the victory, Rainier (8-4 overall, 4-1 league) is in second place behind Toledo in the Southwest Wash-

Now that league play is here, the Yelm boys basketball team can ignore their 2-8 start. From now on, it’s three games a piece against Timberline, North Thurston and Capital that will determine if the Tornados are playoff bound. Yelm hosts Timberline 7 p.m. Friday. Assistant coach Dan Helms said they are hoping to have a big crowd. “It is our first league game against Timberline and they are on a five-game winning streak,” Helms said.

See HUEY, page C2

See GIRLS, page C2

See BOYS, page C2


C2 Nisqually Valley News, Friday, January 15, 2010

WIN: Home court awaits RMS having Continued from page C1 ering the competition, it’s nice to come out with a win.” Kevin Volesky scored 19 and had six rebounds. Brandon Eygabroad added 9 of 10 points. Ashby made 9 of 10 shots from the field and had nine rebounds. Volesky drained four 3-pointers and went 7-of-8 from the free throw line. “Chris just focused on going to the basket,” Frunz said. “Kevin is our shooter. He did a

good job of spotting up.” Ashby said he stayed aggressive, attacked the hoop and tried to get Montesano’s big guy in foul trouble. Rainier held a 30-20 halftime lead. Montesano stayed competitive because one of their players scored 18 points in the second half. “He kept them in the game,” Frunz said. “Montesano did a good job of battling. The game went down to the last 30 seconds.”

Rainier now has a chance to get back in the postseason race. Their most difficult games are behind them and they play six of their final 10 games at home, including three in a row Jan. 29 to Feb. 5. “Home court really makes us feel good,” Ashby said. “We have momentum and a bigger crowd. We just know the court and rim. We need to keep coming out with intensity because that is definitely what wins games.

BOYS: Nine games left Continued from page C1 “We need to take advantage of the home court to win this game. The band will be there and hopefully the community will give us a much-needed boost.” Yelm has had troubles all season with starting off slow and needing a second-half rally. But they did hold a 26-22 halftime lead against Steilacoom last Friday yet were unable to

pull out a win. “Now that the guys have proven that they can put together a good first half, they need to work towards playing a complete game,” Helms said. “We need to value every possession (because) we tend to play very well in spots, then turn around and throw the ball away. The guys will need to limit their turnovers and show a greater level of discipline for an entire game if we want to have a

chance to win in league.” Before the season started, head coach Arlin Olson said he thought Yelm had the potential to win up to 13 games. That won’t happen, but the staff is far from disappointed. “We are very proud of our players as quality people first and athletes second,” Helms said. “Our players dream of packing our gym some day and giving the community a quality team they can be proud of as well.”

GIRLS: Remain focused Continued from page C1 ington 1A Evergreen Division. In the second half Rainier settled down, tightened up defensively and went on a 12-minute run in which they only allowed two points.

Wasankari said his team “acted like they wanted to win the game in the first two minutes … but they settled down and went back to basics.” Schoenherr scored 14 points and five assists, while Ashley Stancil had her “best game of

the year,” Wasankari said. Stancil contributed 12 points and six “big” rebounds. Stancil grabbed defensive boards in three consecutive possessions. Similar to the boys’ team, the girls have had a heavy away schedule. But that is about to change. Including Thursday’s game versus Winlock, Rainier plays six of their next seven at home with two road matches to conclude the regular season. “It’s just a matter of coming into each game focused and playing intelligently throughout the game,” Wasankari said. “We’re getting better.” Wasankari said Rainier must limit their mistakes in order to continue winning throughout league and into the postseason.

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TITLE: Players know their roles Continued from page C1 “As I look at our league, Capital (7-4) is still the team to compete with,” Riches said. “If we win the league it’s not any different this year, and with the way we’re playing, I think we’re a tough matchup for any team.” Thanks to Yelm’s current win streak, Maldonado said the season has started better than she expected. Though Maldonado is excited for her first taste of league competition, she has butterflies.

“I’m looking forward to how league is going turn out, but I’m also kind of nervous,” Maldonado said. “I want to perform well and I’m really hoping we have a chance to go to state.” From the start of the season, Yelm’s expectation was to win league and get the No. 1 seed heading into the West Central District. “If it doesn’t happen that doesn’t mean we were unsuccessful,” Riches said, “but we have the ability to get to that point if we continue to work together.”

HUEY: Don’t player hate – congratulate Continued from page C1

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The Ridgeline Middle School girls basketball team was flirting with perfection, but the third time wasn’t a charm. Coming into Tuesday afternoon’s game against Eatonville, the Storm (7-1) had defeated them twice this season, just not this time, losing 24-19. “We just couldn’t make any baskets,” said first-year coach Todd Stancil. “We worked hard the entire game, but we couldn’t get any easy buckets to fall.” Stancil said the team missed about 10 two-foot shots and were well below their 45 points per game average. Sometimes teams just have bad offensive nights, and this was one of them. But Ridgeline hasn’t lost any confidence. Stancil said this is the first time they had been undefeated this late in the season. Since the team has been playing together for years, they understand the game. “It has little to do with my coaching,” Stancil said of the team’s success. “I’m sure I help, but the girls have been around the game for a long time. That makes a big difference for this level as far as how successful you become in high school.” Having team chemistry is a

major factor of Ridgeline’s success. Oftentimes players anticipate what their teammates are going to do and communicate without words. “It’s very obvious if you watch them, they know what the other girls are doing,” Stancil said. “They know what their teammates will do before it happens.” “They enjoy playing together and really enjoy the game.” Guard Mckayla Tyler, for example, is an “all-around good player” who has often been a focal point during Ridgeline’s run. “She really understands the game,” Stancil said. “She’s a smart player who doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. Every aspect of her game sets her apart as far as where she’s at,” Stancil said. The season is far from over, but if Ridgeline keep up the pace, it would be special. “I definitely feel fortunate and lucky to coach a team of their talent level my first year there,” Stancil said. “Again, it’s not all me. These girls had a lot of good coaching before I ever got to them.” “On paper it makes me look good, but the bottom line is they were good long before me.”

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The Colts have so much in common with Angelina. Not only do they think too highly of themselves, they make moronic decisions. Example: Angelina was kicked out of the house for refusing to work because she was “sick” and having boyfriend problems. “We wish she had stayed,” The Situation told In Touch. “What was she thinking? It’s like leaving the Beatles.” Maybe Angelina getting booted and the Colts deserving to lose isn’t on par with leaving the most successful band ever, but it’s right up there. ■ New York Jets Kudos on getting a free pass to the playoffs. The only reason the Jets made the postseason is because the Indianapolis Colts gave them a freebee in Week 16, then beat an unmotivated Cincinnati Bengals squad. Sure, they came back and beat Cinci in the opening round of the playoffs, but it was an exception to the rule. Mark Sanchez became the fourth rookie quarterback since 1950 to start and win a playoff game. Don’t expect this to become the norm. In fact, trusting the Jets is just as smart as believing Ronnie will follow his own rules. “Rule number one: Never fall in love at the Jersey Shore,” he said. Similar to the drunk guy’s face Ronnie pummeled in a recent episode, he broke his rule within the first week. When it comes to the Jets,

and the NFL as a whole, here’s the only rule that matters: Don’t trust a team that can only run the ball and not throw down field. Relying primarily on the ground game is so three years ago. ■ Arizona Cardinals It’s no secret that quarterback Kurt Warner leads an explosive offense, but it’s just as obvious that their defense is ripe for the pickin’. Heck, Vinny knows how to act in every scenario. “They’re pretty cool, ya know, they’re some girls that are just gonna come here, strip off their clothes and jump in the jacuzzi,” he said. “Then there are some girls that are respectful, that you have to just actually treat like girls, human beings." Well put. Arizona's offense may jump out to a lead, but their humanly defense is fresh meat. ■ Dallas Cowboys Pertaining to waking up with a hangover, the 4-foot-9 “Snooki” can relate with the ’Boys: “When I woke up I was like, ‘What did I do last night? Like, what did I do? I (expletive) up. Story of my life.” Dallas won its first playoff game since 1996 when they destroyed the Philadelphia Eagles, a team they beat for the third time this season. America should be waiting for quarterback Tony Romo’s inevitable postseason implosion. Story of his life.


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SECTION C Nisqually Valley News • Friday, May 1, 2009

ATHLETES OF THE MONTH

Gonzalez’s all-around Stellar pitching leads game merits honor McComb to success By Tyler Huey

the postseason, but without him, things would look bleak. Gonzalez was the goalie last season, and according to Tate, he was one of the best. But sometimes change is for the better. Gonzalez “Goal scorers are extremely hard to find,” Tate said. “There are some very good teams that can’t win games because nobody will step up and put the ball in the back of the net. With

Nisqually Valley News

After discussions throughout last offseason, Yelm soccer coach Mark Tate said he knew Daniel Gonzalez needed to be on the field. And going by the numbers, it was the right move. Gonzalez, a sophomore forward, has netted seven goals and five assists this month — 18 goals and 10 assists overall — and earned the Nisqually Valley News’ Athlete of the Month for April. Gonzalez’s success is a major factor in the team’s 11-2 record. Yelm will need more players to contribute than just Gonzalez to succeed in

See GONZALEZ, page C2

By Tyler Huey Nisqually Valley News

Rainier High School’s baseball team is just that — a t-e-a-m. With a 12-3 overall record and second place standing in league, things are looking up for the squad. But if there was a player who deserved to be singled out, sophomore Mitchell McComb fits the bill. Not only is he becoming nearly unhittable on the mound, he bats third. And since McComb is 4-1 — three of his four wins came in complete games — with a 1.97 ERA, he earned the Nisqually Valley News’ Athlete of the Month for April.

“When he’s on the baseball field, he’s just comfortable,” Rainier coach Mark Mounts said. “That is the environment in which he’s most comfortable. One of the reasons why he’s been successful is the McComb group that is with him.” McComb said when his nerves are in check is when he excels the most. “I’m just comfortable at the plate,” McComb said. “If the team was doing See McCOMB, page C2

Billy Mays here for the NFL Draft MIND OF MR. PERFECT By Tyler Huey

Ball and Barbero won the team’s only match at 7-6, 6-1. The duo is 2-0 in league. Barbero only recently joined the team because she competed in Jazzline. “I knew what she was capable of,” McClellan said. “They are a little inconsistent, but hopefully they’ll make a strong team.” Unfortunately for the No. 1 team, inconsistency is what thwarted them at White River. Yelm’s No. 2 doubles — Prater and Riezinstein — lost in three sets: 6-2, 4-6, 6-2. Jessica Detlefsen and Katie Schneider lost a tie breaker and fell 7-6, 6-2. Leimback lost her second match

What does the NFL Draft, singer Amy Winehouse and “The Godfather: Part III” have in common? If any of those train wrecks are viewed, the following reactions may occur: boredom, disappointment and depression. The point is the NFL Draft sucks. Watching it is worse than listening to a looped explanation from Ms. Teen South Carolina on why one-fifth of Americans cannot locate the U.S. on a world map. The first round took 6 hours and 8 minutes last April. This year’s draft, which took place last weekend, shortened the time to draft in the first round to 10 minutes. Ooh! Ah! Five minutes shorter per selection and the first round still took three and a half hours to complete. The draft doesn’t make sense. The NFL season concluded three months ago and each team has been planning ever since. Obviously it takes an enormous amount of time to evaluate players, but by the time the draft rolls around, shouldn’t it be pretty cut and dry on who to select? Draft by team needs or take the best player available. Rocket scientists need not apply. Why does it take up to 600 seconds to make a decision that has been analyzed day and night since before the Super Bowl ended? It shouldn’t. When each team is on the clock, they have a pretty good idea of what to do. Even if the draft isn’t unfolding as planned, they expect the unexpected. If players A, B and C are gone, every team has a backup plan. Sure, teams often make trades in their respective war rooms, but it’s not as if they’re facing a nationwide dilemma. And sometimes the clock continues to tick even when a decision has already been made. Last year, the Miami Dolphins had its No. 1 pick signed five days before the draft. Yet, for some unknown reason, it took several minutes to announce the pick. Speaking of mind-numbing, the live coverage is nauseating. Hearing NFL Draft expert Mel Kiper analyze players is like watching infomercial salesman Billy Mays promote “Mighty Putty.” Similar to Mays’ loud voice, it’s tough to focus on Kiper’s insight because of his gel-infused hair. However, if there was one reason to watch the draft, Kiper would be it. Even though he’s kind of annoying, he usually knows what

See TENNIS, page C2

See HUEY, page C2

Photo by Tyler Huey

Emma Leimback improved her record to 8-2 with a 6-3, 6-3 win Monday. Above, Leimback struggled last Thursday, falling 7-5, 6-1 to North Thurston. As of Tuesday, Yelm’s overall record is 2-8.

Yelm’s tennis team shows improvement By Tyler Huey Nisqually Valley News

After suffering a 4-1 league defeat to North Thurston last Thursday, Yelm’s tennis team had a role reversal and toppled White River 4-1 in a nonleague match on Monday. Sophomore Emma Leimback, Yelm’s No. 1 singles, improved her season record to 8-2 with a 6-3, 6-3 victory. “She’s a competitor,” Yelm coach Mike McClellan said. “It does not take a lot to get her fired up. … I don’t know what got her going, but it does not take much to get herself motivated.” Lauren Prater, who normally plays doubles, played No. 2 singles. Prater wasn’t challenged in facing an

opponent from junior varsity, winning 6-0, 6-0. Yelm’s No. 1 doubles team — Kaedra Ball and Kathlyn Barbero — had an off day, falling 6-2, 6-3. “They played horribly and were never in the game,” McClellan said. “They couldn’t hit anything. It was just not pretty, especially after beating North Thurston.” “It surprised me. Hopefully they will bounce back.” For Michele Niemann and Krista Riezinstein, their road to victory wasn’t very smooth. After making it through two tough sets, they capped off the victory at 7-5, 5-7, 6-0. When Yelm faced North Thurston, however, the competition was much tougher.

Fishing season opens amid wintry weather By Tyler Huey Nisqually Valley News

Windy, sometimes rainy weather welcomed anglers during the April 25 fishing season opener. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife reported checking 5,410 anglers with 12,497 trout from 121 lakes statewide. At Lake McIntosh in Tenino, for example, 113 anglers were checked and 101 trout were caught. For Rainier High School senior Eric Lordier and friend James Johnston of Chehalis, opening day was the culmination of a long-awaited spectacle. Lordier and Johnston began fishing at midnight. “We wanted to get started as early as possible,” Johnston said. Lordier said he had been fishing at McIntosh for two or three years.

“There are lots of fish here,” Lordier said. “You never get skunked.” Bites can sometimes be few and far inbetween, but that didn’t seem to matter. “We just like to sit around and talk,” Johnston said. “We’re enjoying ourselves.” At one point Lordier was reeling in a lunker, but when the fish got about seven feet off shore, there was a lot of tension and the line snapped. Lordier said he was furious. “It was about a pound and a half,” he said. “I should have went in after it.” Eleven hours into the day, they had caught five fish and were working on an hour and a half dry spell. But no worries because they weren’t leaving until they limited out — five fish per angler — and subtle rain was an off anf on affair. But Lordier is OK with the rain, “because a lot of people leave,” he said.

Photo by Tyler Huey

Chehalis resident James Johnston, left, and Rainier High School senior Eric Lordier wait for a bite Saturday morning at Lake McIntosh in Tenino.


C2 Nisqually Valley News, Friday, May 1, 2009

GONZALEZ: Ability McCOMB: Teammates and to take over the game development play role in success Continued from page C1 Daniel on the field, I feel like there is a possibility that we can score at any time.” Gonzalez can possess the ball with ease and is difficult to defend because of his speed. Gonzalez isn’t one to gloat, nor is he one to speak highly of himself. He prefers to lay low and speak about the team. Concise statements are his forte. “We’ve been practicing hard and just playing our game,” he said. “We’ve been playing really well.” When it comes to scoring goals, Gonzalez said a lot of it had to do with teammates putting him in good positions. “I am a firm believer that scoring goals is more mental than anything,” Tate said. “Goal scorers are usually people that are not afraid to make mistakes and they have an internal drive to want to score. Most people that can score goals think that they can do it each time they touch the ball.” But there is more to Gon-

zalez than being a prolific goal scorer. He has an all-around game that is difficult to find. “I’m not just a scorer,” Gonzalez said. “I help the team by dropping back and helping in the midfield.” Coaches often say special players have “it” or a “feel” for the game. At a young age, and judging by his on-field play, Gonzalez may have both. “Daniel has the ability to take over games,” Tate said. “I have seen him track players down, steal the ball from them, dribble past three defenders and hit incredible shots.” At times, Gonzalez’s speed has even allowed him to get by defenders at the 50-yard line, outrun the last defender and score. “There are not a lot of players that can dominate like that,” Tate said. There are also not a lot of players who have the potential to play college soccer, and possibly a higher level afterward. Gonzalez is in a class few can attain. “I think the skies are the limit for Daniel,” Tate said.

Continued from page C1 bad it would be more stressful, but the stress level is so low and because everyone’s doing well. My number one and two hitters, Cody Schneider and Dalton Delio, make it much easier to hit well.” When it comes to pitching, McComb’s maturity is coming through. Early on, McComb was constantly having high pitch counts, Mounts said. But McComb has lowered his pitch count and stopped nibbling with some hitters. “Mitchell realized how he

of the year to Lena Maconson, 7-5, 6-1. Maconson made the state tournament last year. McClellan said the main reason Leimback lost the match is because Maconson made fewer unforced errors. “Maconson was more consistent,” McClellan said. “Emma played really well. It was just a couple here and there and the set’s over. It’s just the way the game goes.”

Leimback knew her opponent competed at state after being told so during a break between sets. “It was kind of scary,” she said, noting that wasn’t the reason she lost. “It wouldn’t have made a big difference (if I would known she competed at state or not).” “Nerves don’t really get the best of me.” Leimback said she lost because she got tired in the second set and made too many unforced errors.

Yelm’s equestrian team has 11 riders qualified for the state tournament. Riders going to state are pictured at right. From left, top row: Hollin Wisehart, Erika Smith, Shelby Peck, Samantha Cooper, Ashley Heltemes, Ceylon Keelsar, Sarah Adkins and Amanda Wright. Front row: Ceara Maxwell, Roberta Woronowica and Tawny Gallegos.

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minutes in round 2 and two minutes in rounds 3-7. A new announcer next year wouldn’t hurt, either: “Hi, Billy Mays here for the 2010 NFL Draft, the easy way to fix, fill and seal virtually any team’s need fast and make it last. The 2010 NFL Draft is not a snoozefest, but a super-powered epoxy that can be molded to any organization for an everlasting bond. Ordinary drafts are a depressing bore. With the 2010 NFL Draft, just watch for a few minutes, see the selections and let the future unfold.” Wishful thinking at its best.

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HUEY: With a few tweaks, 2010 draft could be great

But for not having played singles until this year, Leimback has adapted well. “She’s shown some good maturity for a young player,” McClellan said. “She’s gone in matches where she should beat the person, fell behind and found a way to come back. She has the ability to adapt to the other person and come up with winning shots.” “Emma picks up on weaknesses and tries to exploit them.” As of Tuesday, Yelm is 2-8 overall and 0-2 in league.

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“My guys (McComb and Tyler Schaff) throw strikes. McComb said, ‘Here’s the ball, now hit it.’ They didn’t. Coming after them is a huge deal.” McComb, as well as his teammates, experience success off the field too. “Academically, it’s nice to have a player you don’t have to worry about,” Mounts said. “In my seven years coaching, I’ve been worried when grade checks come up.” “What I like about Mitchell, and the other kids, is that academics are not an issue. It’s just another way he leads.”

YHS equestrians ready for state

TENNIS: Leimback shows maturity beyond her age Continued from page C1

can exploit other teams, especially on the mound,” Mounts said. “He knows what other teams can’t do. He’s getting better and not trying to hide things … and makes adjustments really quickly.” One of McComb’s best efforts came last week against Rochester, the defending 1A state champions. Rainier won 71 in large part due to McComb, who threw a complete-game five-hitter and struck out 11. Mounts said constantly throwing strikes was the key. “Rochester hadn’t faced a guy like that yet,” Mounts said.

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C2 Nisqually Valley News, Friday, April 24, 2009

TRACK: Mounties place Little League holds opening ceremonies 2nd, 3rd at league meet Continued from page C1 discus record (143-6) and get first in league.” Sophomore Katy Dawson helped the girls with a strong performance, placing first in the 3,200-meter run at 14 minutes, nine seconds. Dawson said she hopes to drop that time to 12:30 by the end of the season. She also placed sixth in the 1,600 and ninth in the shot put. This was Dawson’s first meet of the year since she is also on the equestrian team. Dawson said she has always preferred the two-mile run. Henry said she excels because of her drive. “She pushes herself and keeps pushing when she’s tired and wants to be done. She focuses through everything.” In the 3,200, Dawson stayed with the pack until the final lap.

Photo by Tyler Huey

Jimmy Soto competes in the 4x100 relay and readies to take the handoff from Kyle North. Soto also placed fifth in the 200-meter at 25.01 seconds.

“I know how to consume energy,” Dawson said. “In the mile I don’t pace myself. … In the two-mile coach Henry told me to keep up with them and sprint at the end.” “I guess I am just faster than them.” Other top performers were junior Milena Seymour, who took first place in the 300-meter

hurdles; freshman Zoie Daniels was second in the 800 and third in the 400; senior Kyle North was second in the triple jump at 40 feet; junior Ryley Reese was second in the long jump at 1704.05. Freshman Trenton Green placed second in the pole vault at 11 feet, as did senior Jimmy Soto in the javelin at 135-03.

Yelm baseball team falls again By Tyler Huey Nisqually Valley News

It’s been a tough season for Yelm High School’s baseball team. Tuesday’s game against Timberline was no different as Yelm fell 10-1. But the thing is, Yelm (4-11 overall, 0-8 league) continually shoots themselves in the foot. “We’re not talented enough to come back from a huge deficit,” Yelm coach Stacy Roe said. “We need to stop beating ourselves at some point and step up. (Tuesday) was a prime ex-

ample.” Despite allowing six runs, pitcher Chris McEldry threw a solid game. Only two of his runs were earned, and he had four strikeouts. “Chris has the respect of every coach in our league,” Roe said. “They’re very impressed with his poise and mound presence.” Yelm trailed 4-1 in the sixth inning. McEldry immediately allowed a single, hit a batter and walked the next to load the bases with no outs. Roe called a timeout, talked to McEldry and

calmed him down. McEldry then got a grounder to third base with a force out at home plate, followed by a strikeout. But the next batter, Timberline’s Elijah Firestone, hit a grounder to second base to end the inning … but it went underneath the infielder’s glove for a two-run error. The floodgates opened from there. “I’m disappointed that nobody has responded and done something positive,” Roe said. “Right now we need to be willing to stop the bleeding.”

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Photo by Keven R. Graves

League President James Punzel, left, judges the pitching competition as Jay Geiger prepares to throw a strike.

By Tyler Huey Nisqually Valley News

If last week’s sunshine was a precursor of things to come, local little leaguers are in for an enjoyable season. The Nisqually Valley Basin Little League held its opening ceremonies Saturday at Prairie Elementary. Throughout the event a silent auction fund-raiser was held that goes to the end of the year all-star program. The final numbers won’t be available for another week, but League President James Punzel said more than $1,000 was raised. The ceremony marked the league’s 26th anniversary. After the 16 teams and coaches were introduced, the fun was ready to begin. T-ball played two inning jamboree games and the 7to 14-year-olds participated in the national Pitch, Hit and Run skills competition. PHR provides players an opportunity to demonstrate their pitching, hitting and running abilities. The players can advance through four levels of competition. Top achievers advance from local to regional competitions, then go to Safeco Field. The National Finals are held

HUEY: Squared circle means large trampoline Continued from page C1

Jerry’s Color Center 401 Creek St. SE, Yelm 360-400-3067 1321 Grand Ave., Centralia 360-736-5264

July 12-14 at the MLB All-Star Game in St. Louis, Mo. The top players were the overall winner in their age group: Layne Moergeli (7- to 8-year-olds), Joey Hawks (9-10), Brandon Rochester (11-12) and Austin Reise (13-14). With the win, those four advance to sectionals in Olympia in late May. The pitch portion tests how accurately a players can throw strikes from 45 feet to a “strike zone” target. Any pitch that hits the target is called a strike. The hitting program tests a competitor’s ability to hit a baseball from a tee at home plate toward center field on a straight line. Hits were measured for distance and accuracy. In the run portion, each player’s speed is timed in a sprint covering 160 feet from second base, touching third and crossing home plate. But now it’s time for the real games to be played. “Our goal is they have fun and get good solid baseball fundamentals,” Punzel said. “We’re trying to grow the program in Yelm. They’re good kids and we want to develop them as players and citizens.”

Everybody has guaranteed something at some point in his or her life. But oftentimes, whatever was guaranteed doesn’t come true. That wasn’t the case for McMahon. My friends and I noticed whenever he guaranteed something was going to happen during an event, it did. Of course we knew matches were scripted, but it was uncanny nonetheless, because something like 10 or 15 of his guarantees came true. Thus, my friends and I invented the Vince McMahon guarantee. When we knew something to be true, a Vince McMahon guarantee solidified our belief. Unfortunately, over the years all of us have used that claim without merit, but it’s still humorous at times to bring back a decade-long inside joke. Speaking of jokes, that is the other memory McMahon’s interview reminded me of. When I was about 15, my friends and I used to have wrestling matches. But instead of a wrestling ring, our squared circle was a large trampoline. One time I was in a match against Elliott, and while he lifted me in the air to perform a powerbomb, I started flailing my arms. In doing so, I accidently hit Elliott in the nose and busted him wide open. He was

pissed off and challenged me to a first-blood match — the first person to bleed loses. After I accepted, Elliott threw me down, sat on my back and repeatedly smashed my head with a folding chair seat. Pain set in. Elliott eventually gasped. I felt the back of my head. It was covered in blood. I went to the bathroom, rinsed my hair and threw away by favorite T-shirt because it was covered in blood. Now I was mad. I got that shirt at a Blockbuster Video grand opening. Though it was corny — “Kick back. Curl up. Make it a Blockbuster night.” — it was also an uncanny undershirt. Most necklines get loose over time, but this shirt’s neckline seemed to get tighter with each wash. The funny thing is a couple of years later Elliott revealed the truth about that day. Little did I know, Elliott had a tube of fake blood. He said he wanted to use it at some point, and when I made him bleed he had an idea. So that blood on my head and T-shirt? Yup, fake blood that he poured right before hitting me. Oh well, we’ll joke about that day when I’m one of the best men at his wedding this summer. I Vince McMahon guarantee it.

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