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SECTION C Nisqually Valley News • Friday, May 8, 2009

Yelm soccer eyes league title By Tyler Huey Nisqually Valley News

When Mark Tate became Yelm’s soccer coach seven years ago, the program still needed balls and uniforms. “Competing was hardly even a goal,” Tate said. “We didn’t have the players to compete.” Now fast forward to the present day: Yelm has an opportunity to win its first league championship Friday at Timberline. The Tornados netted a district berth with a 2-1 victory against North Thurston on Tuesday night.

At a minimum, Yelm will be crowned coleague champions with a victory Friday. A Yelm win, accompanied by a Capital loss, Willmann will make them league champs. Yelm midfielder Greg Willmann struck first blood with an unassisted goal in the 49th minute, but North Thurston tied the game one minute later.

Forward Miguel Gonzalez got the final goal in the 75th minute off an assist from his brother, Daniel. Miguel received the pass at the 50 yard line, got around the last defender and sprinted toward the goal. The North Thurston victory came at a critical point for standings in the Western Cascade Conference. Yelm (4-1 WCC) lost its previous game to Capital last Friday. The loss gave Capital (4-1) the upper hand with a firstplace tiebreaker over Yelm due to a higher differential in their

head to head matchups — Yelm won in a shootout, 2-1, April 17. Coming off Friday’s loss, Tate wasn’t even focused on the district tournament. “I am more concerned with the fact that we have given up 13 goals in the last three games,” Tate said. “Our motivation to compete in games is not the same as earlier in the season. If we can’t get these issues figured out, then we may not want to go to the district tournament.” But since that loss, Yelm has regained its focus.

“We now prepare differently,” Willmann said. “Before that we prepared by talking about a lot of things and laughing. Now we’re kicking the ball around, listening to music and focusing.” Though a district berth has been guaranteed, Tate said all the team’s focus is on Friday. A league title would be the culmination of a season-long goal. “Coach would be proud of us (if we win legue) and I would be proud of the team,” Willmann said.

‘Tyson’ documentary lands surprising KO MIND OF MR. PERFECT By Tyler Huey Some kids would pick on him, but he couldn’t stop them. He had never been in a fight, so he ran away. His youth was filled with hopelessness and frequent lock ups. Mike Tyson grew up in a “kill or be killed” neighborhood of Brooklyn. One time an older kid tried to steal his pigeon. After an altercation, the guy broke the pigeon’s neck and threw it on the floor. This led to Tyson’s first fight. He won. Tyson, a boxer once known as Iron Mike and the Baddest Man on the Planet, fought out of fear and the need to never be humiliated again. “Tyson” is a documentary that hits hard both in and out of the ring. This is Tyson’s story in his own words. Not only is the story compelling, powerful and saddening, Tyson is persuasive. He attempts to shed misconceptions of psychotic craziness and reveals the truth behind his life. This documentary is like a boxing match from Tyson’s past: it’s must-watch TV that’s impossible to turn away from. You just want to know what he is going to say next. Tyson touches on all aspects of his life including fame, money, women, prison and his later career. Tyson is humanized early on. He has never gotten over the death of Cus D’Amato, his late trainer, mentor and best friend. It’s been more than 20 years since he died, but Tyson’s feelings toward him tug on the heart strings. If it wasn’t for D’Amato, this documentary wouldn’t have been made. For Tyson, boxing would have been an afterthought. He probably would have been on the streets hustling, possibly dead. Tyson was a boy when they met. D’Amato made him a man. “He spoke with me every night about discipline and character,” Tyson said while fighting back tears. “I knew nobody, nobody physically, was ever going to (expletive) with me again.” Tyson said he has lived his entire life with an inferiority complex. The fear of being defeated drove him to greatness. As several footages indicate, it wasn’t just the victories that made Tyson famous, it was the sheer speed, power and dominance of his fights that captivated a nation. “Once I’m in the ring, I’m a god,” Tyson said. “Nobody can beat me.” That confidence, however, was also his downfall. Once Tyson became cocky and his marriage to ex-wife Robin Givens crumbled, he overlooked opponents, trained lackadaisically and began to lose what had made him unbeatable. Tyson regrets his past mistreatment of women, but adamantly denies his rape conviction of Desiree Washington, which led See HUEY, page C2

Photo by Tyler Huey

Senior Jen Davis went the distance in game one of a double-header last Thursday against Rochester. Rainier won 5-2 but lost the second game 7-1.

Having ‘fun’ sparks Rainier’s win total Criticism led to mistakes, poor play By Tyler Huey Nisqually Valley News

When Rainier’s fastpitch team is having fun they often win, but if they lose focus, losses seem to mount. Take last week as a prime example. Rainier (5-10 overall, 2-8 league) split a double-header against Rochester, winning 5-2 and losing 7-1. The two games, including its final scores and team focus, were mere opposites of each other. In Rainier’s win, the team was confident. Senior Jen Jones, who pitched a complete-game five-hitter with six strikeouts, attributed her performance to the team’s morale. “It was really fun,” Jones said. “I

didn’t get caught up in everything and wasn’t concentrating on everything else. I focused on my game.” Accompanied with solid pitching and defense, Rainier’s bats came alive. Freshman Kara Schoenherr went 1-for-4 with a triple and 2 RBIs. Senior Teresa Coberly-Mayer went 2for-4 with an RBI and senior Sarah Vincent went 2-for-3 and knocked in an insurance run in the sixth inning. But most everything — including fundamentals — came crashing down in the rubber game. “We just got mentally tired,” Rainier coach Don Franklin said. “We committed seven errors in the second game for whatever reason. Their pitcher wasn’t all that overwhelming, but we couldn’t seem to dial into her.” A snowball effect ensued once the first couple of errors were committed. “We weren’t having as much fun,” Jones said. “We kind of gave up at the end. In the beginning we were doing good, but the errors got (the team)

down.” Once mistakes manifest, the blame game can often rear its ugly head. “People take (their frustration) out on others,” Jones said. “We need to try to not give up and just keep trying to have fun.” “When we’re having fun we win, instead of doing this and that, which (results) in team criticism.” Despite Rainier’s record as of Wednesday, they are not mathematically eliminated from the postseason, but they must sweep Toledo and Tenino in two double-headers to have a chance. “Overall, we’ve made some progress,” Franklin said. “Pitching has been better and we’ve improved our hitting.” But aside from team morale, pitching and hitting, the team’s biggest improvement potential may lie with its youth. “We have nine really good freshman out this year, but we’re losing five key seniors,” Franklin said. “With varsity experience, the freshman will be ready to step in next year.”

YHS track readies for postseason By Tyler Huey Nisqually Valley News

Despite around five no-shows due to prom, several Yelm track standouts were on display at Saturday’s respective Shoreline and Lake Washington Invitationals. At Shoreline, the boys scored 24 points to place 11th out of 57 schools; the girls tied for 39th place out of 50 teams. Seniors Jesse Elvrom and Gabe Cadero-Smith placed first in javelin and pole vault, respectively.

Elvrom won by three feet, two inches with a 184-09 throw. Cadero-Smith’s top vault was 14-06. Elvrom also took fifth place in the 300-meter hurdles at 39.66 seconds. Yelm coach Mike Strong said pole vault and javelin are the two most difficult events. “In pole vault, there are a number of things you have to line up with tremendous speed, coordination, strength, flexibility and a dynamic take off,”

Strong said. “There are so many things you have to put together. If one little thing is off you can’t vault well.” “Javelin is tough for different reasons. It is about lining up force … and accelerating between the teeny tip of the javelin.” If everything is not done properly, it won’t go as far, he said. Last year Elvrom took fourth at state in javelin. “Jesse is a guy who can

throw up to 215 feet,” Strong said. “He’s really strong and explosive.” In Cadero-Smith’s win, he topped last year’s state champion and looks poised to make a run throughout the postseason. “He’s kind of coming into his own,” Strong said. “He might be able to get (more than 15 feet.) He will be tough to beat, that’s for sure.” Other top performers were sophomore Michael HerlingerHopkins, who took 12th place

in the 200 meters at 23.27; senior Zach Smith placed 17th in the 3,200 at 10:44:08 and junior Andrew Almeida placed 22nd in the 100 at 11.75. Junior Ashley Taylor was the girls team’s top performer. Taylor placed fifth in the 3,000 at 10:39:52. Taylor said she hopes to make the state tournament and place in the top 10 in the 3,200. To do so, she said she needs See TRACK, page C2

C2 Nisqually Valley News, Friday, May 8, 2009

Q&A: Athletes of the Month YHS: Daniel Gonzalez

RHS: Mitchell McComb

Name: Daniel Gonzalez Age: 16 Parents: Jose and Martha Gonzalez How would you describe your performance this month? “I’ve been working hard.” Who’s your biggest inspiration? Gonzalez (Professional soccer player) Cristiano Ronaldo. I like his techniques and the way he plays. I’d like to be as good as him.” When did you get into playing soccer? “When I was about 8 years old.” What was your most memorable soccer moment? “In my club soccer team (South Sound Select), we won a league championship a year ago. It was really cool.” Why do you like playing forward more than goalie? “Goalie gets kind of boring after a while. I like running.” What is you favorite video game? “Fifa ’09 for PS3. It’s kind of realistic and fun to play.” Would you rather score a goal, make an assist or have a game-altering save as goalie? “Have a save as goalie.” If you could take a free vacation, where would you go? “Hawaii because the weather is really nice.” Favorite movie: “Taken” Favorite band/artist: None Coach Mark Tate on Gonzalez: “Daniel is obviously a huge part of our team and one of the many reasons we have been successful this year.”

Name: Mitchell McComb Age: 16 Parents: Mitch and Mary McComb What is your best pitch? “My fastball. I like getting hitters out on fastballs. Curveballs are great, but blowing a fastball past a hitter to overMcComb power them is one in the best feelings in the world. It makes them look stupid.” Who’s your biggest inspiration? “My dad, by far. He played ball thoughout his life. He’s given me everything I’ve ever needed to become what I have become.” How does it feel to have a dominant pitching performance? “It feels great. I get an adrenaline rush and that rush gets me in the zone. I don’t think or hear anything that’s going on. When I’m on the mound I’m totally in the zone.” Do you have a nickname? “Mitch-Tits” Who’s your favoorite baseball player? “Albert Pujols because of what he does for his community. I always see him in magazines about how he helps kids with down syndrome, which my sister has.” What is your favorite video game? “MLB 2K9 for the Xbox 360.” How would your teammates describe you? “A quiet leader.” Favorite movie: “61*” Favorite band/artist: Hollywood Undead Coach Mark Mounts on McComb: “He’s a quiet leader. He leads with his actions.”

HUEY: The guy who stopped gnawing Holyfield’s ear and yelling obscenities Continued from page C1 to a three-year prison sentence. And despite the highest of highs and lowest of lows, Tyson spoke candidly. He was honest, contrite, humble and ashamed. This isn’t the same man who bit Evander Holyfield’s ear in 1997, nor is it the man who spewed out a profanitylaced tirade during a Lennox Lewis press conference in

2002. Instead, he’s more like the man who lost his last fight to journeyman Kevin McBride in 2005. “I’ve got the ability to stay in shape, but I don’t have the fight and guts anymore,” said Tyson after his final fight. “I just don’t have this in my heart anymore. … I’m not an animal anymore.” But Tyson is still angry. He is mad at himself. Life’s all about choices, and he knows that he’s made the

wrong decision countless times. But that was in the past. Tyson seems prepared for the future — but only to a certain degree because, at times, a bullied child still seems to lurk behind his high-pitched lisp. All of his misfortunes are documented, so this film provided a platform to tell his side. He sought vindication, sympathy and an opportunity to get paid. Just like his prime, “Tyson” wins by knock out.

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Who’s Who in the Nisqually Valley & Community Yearbook

Continued from page C1 to run times around 11:20 and no higher than 11:30. If Taylor achieves her goals, it will be thanks to of f-season Taylor y training. “Ashley’s a person who is very disciplined,” Strong said. “She works hard to get herself fit.” Coming into each race, Taylor has a plan in mind.

RHS track places 1st, 2nd at league meet By Tyler Huey Nisqually Valley News

Rainier High School had allaround strong per for mances in the five-team track meet last Thursday The boys placed first with 137.5 points and Reese the girls took second at 81. The boys bested Forks, who placed second, with 81 points and the girls trailed Toledo by 61. “I’ve been really happy with them,” Rainier coach Rob Henry said. “We’re competing well.” Junior Ryley Reese was the top placer on the boys side, taking two firsts and two seconds. Reese placed first in the 200 meters at 24.15 seconds and was lead in the 4x100 relay at 46.84. He took second in the 100 at 11.60 and lung jump at 17 feet, three inches. “I did pretty well,” Reese said. “I could have done better in the 200 and the long jump wasn’t my best. I was surprised a bit.” Reese said he wants to “at least make district” because he has never advanced to the postseason. His best chance is in the 100 and 200, but his favorite event is the 4x100. “It’s so competitive,” he said. “It’s really, really quick. … I get to watch because I’m in the first leg. It’s a pretty cool feeling.” Henry said Reese has come a long way and is showing improvement. “He’s got an outside shot 118 Prairie Park Street P.O. Box 597 Yelm, WA 98597

118 Prairie Park St. • Yelm


to qualify for state in 100 and 200,” Henry said. “He’s right in the mix and is as good as anyone.” Seniors Bradon Franklin and Kevin McCrea placed first in discus and javelin, respectively. Franklin topped out at 127 feet and McCrea at 151-8. Senior Jimmy Soto was an all-around performer in placing second in the 200 at 24.20, fourth in the 100 at 11.90 and javelin at 139-8, as well as part of the first place 4x100 team. “He’s been around the program for four years,” Henry said. “He’s always the one person you could really count on.” On the girls side, sophomore Kristen Schoenherr reigned supreme yet again. She placed first in the 200 at 27.93 and 300 hurdles at 50.62, and was second in the 100 hurdles at 18.09. Henry said this was the first time Schoenherr competed in hurdles since eighth grade. “She’s a natural athlete,” he said. “I’m really happy with her results. Now we need to make a decision on where to put her at (for the postseason).” Freshman standout Zoie Daniels took first place in the 800 and second in the 1,600. With a time of 2:28:59 in the 800, Daniels won by 24 seconds. She lost the 1,600 by one second. Henry said Daniels has a good chance to place at the state tournament. Sub-districts are Friday, May 15 at Onalaska. The District 4 Championships are Friday, May 22 at Rainier.



Left to right: Renée Casad, Rae Maddox, Brian Edwards, Kathy Lord, Tyler Whitworth, Megan Hansen, Kelly Stonum, Janice Graves, Keven Graves, Tyler Huey, Angie Evans, Kerri Baltzell

“Usually, at harder meets when facing someone who is faster than me, I try to stay with them the whole race and not get far behind,” Taylor said. “The last lap I pick up the pace. ” “If it’s a race that is not as hard, I try to lead because that’s the right thing to do.” And as of now Yelm is “coming down to the home stretch,” Strong said. The final regular season invitational is 4 p.m. Friday at Tumwater. Sub-districts are Thursday, May 14 and Saturday, May 16 in Sumner.

303 Creek St. • Yelm, WA • 360-400-1499

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TRACK: Regular season ends Friday at Tumwater


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Nisqually Valley News • Friday, December 25, 2009

Rugby in Yelm is a done deal By Tyler Huey Nisqually Valley News

Creating a rugby club in Yelm was just an optimistic goal three months ago. The dream has now become reality. “I was hopeful but a little nervous that it might not come together, but it did,” said Pat Norton, who organized the club. “I’m really excited for the boys in Yelm. It’s going to bring a different dimension into the area.” “It’s another positive outlet for the youth in the community to work as a team, have camaraderie, build friendships and do something positive.” The Prairie Rugby Football Club Mustangs, which is a USA Rugby registered club, look to have a U19 and U16 team, and possibly a U14. More than 15 ruggers have signed up and about the same number have said they are “serious” about playing. Several students who are currently playing winter sports have also expressed interest, and seven current and former rugby players volunteered to coach. “The club formed because of advertising, organizational meetings and by word of mouth,” Norton said. “In a club, it’s a little different than a team,” he said. “It’s like a big family where you get together around rugby to help the team out.” Mike Baker, the club’s head coach, has lived See RUGBY, page C2


Photo by Tyler Huey

Blake Raush, of Rainier, rides over a hump in July during his birthday party. Blake, 6, had won 21 dirt bike trophies at the time.

Nisqually Valley shared many sports moments in 2009 By Tyler Huey Nisqually Valley News

‘Robin Hood’ gambler gives to less fortunate

MIND OF MR. PERFECT By Tyler Huey An anonymous man is taking high-stakes blackjack to a whole new level. One year ago he used his skills to win a family out of debt, and now Las Vegas’ self-proclaimed Robin Hood is set to do it again. The gambler is in search of anyone who’s in dire straits and needs help. “I’m going to look for the story that’s really going to touch my heart,” he said, according to Fox News. “That’s it.” Last year, calling himself “RobinHood702” after Vegas’ 702 area code, he asked for submissions on his Web site,, and received thousands of responses. He selected a couple from Detroit with a young daughter whose battle with brain cancer put them $35,000 in debt. What ensued was like USA hockey beating the Soviets all over again: “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!” The man flew the family to Vegas first class, set them up in a primo suite and treated them like royalty. In this case the story of Robin Hood is true, since he took from the rich and gave 35 grand to a struggling family. Now, with the help of a friend, RobinHood702 plans to get two families out of the red. This seems like a fairy tale because it practically is, only better: “Are you buried in bills? About to lose your home? On the brink of financial ruin? If so, this could be your big break.” RobinHood702’s online help ad is no joke. He’s already proved it once before, and now it’s going to be double the pleasure. Even if he hits a bad run, the card shark guarantees at least half of the chosen family’s debt will be paid. Since Santa Claus doesn’t exist, maybe RobinHood702 should take his place. Not only does he offer complete strangers the chance of a lifetime near Christmas, he is real, yet secretive, like Old Saint Nick. RobinHood702, however, is even more incognito than the festively plump Kris Kringle. Unlike most people who want their generosity to be praised, he keeps his identity a secret. In his eyes, his face doesn’t need to be shown. For all anyone knows, he’s a card counter, which isn’t illegal, but is frowned upon. If his face was revealed, he may get blacklisted from casinos, thus there would be no families to help. Casinos, after all, don’t continue to grow because they’re losing money. They want to net as much cash as possible, and ridding themselves of a potential card counter would make it easier to build brand new complexes. But even if that isn’t the case, being nameless only adds to his mysterious allure. He’s a masked vigilante minus the mask and vigilanSee HUEY, page C2

DOESN’T IT SEEM like yesterday when the world was about to end because of Y2K? Technological Armageddon had breached mankind because representing a year from ’99 to ’00 is something the world’s computers would not, and could not, handle. But once clocks struck midnight and the date rolled over, nothing happened. Seems kind of funny now, but so is the fact that 10 years later and the name for this decade is still up in the air. Is it known as the 2000s, double zeroes or the first decade of the 21st century? Whatever the case, 2009 should be known as a good sports year. Sports can provide moments which take people to a place where time stands still and the only thing that matters is right here, right now. Some athletic achievements are so profound and memorable they can never be forgotten. Just ask members of the greater Yelm community. FATHER’S DAY 2009 will be impossible to forget for one Yelm father and son. Kelly Kabat and his 10year-old son, Evan, attended a Seattle Mariners game. Sounds like a great way to celebrate the occasion, right? Not much could top a Father’s Day enjoying the great American pastime, except if Evan threw out the ceremonial first pitch to his dad. At first everything seemed normal, aside from spending the day with Kabat’s brother, Brian, who flew in from Arizona. Once they entered Safeco Field, however, the wheels went into motion. An employee told them they could walk on the field as part of a pregame parade to celebrate “Youth Baseball Day.” So they did, walking from the center field warning track to home plate. Brian then took a photo of the happy father and son. The next part was out of a movie script. A Mariners representative then asked Kabat and Evan if they wanted to be part of the pregame festivities and throw out the first pitch. “I thought it was a dream,” Evan said in April. “I was excited and nervous.” Evan, despite playing organized baseball for just two years, went on to throw a strike from the pitcher’s mound to his dad, who was crouched behind home plate. Kabat said the moment was “fantastic,” and Evan said he just threw the ball like it was practice. Talk about a remarkable moment. Now every other father and son are jealous. “It was a once-in-a-lifetime extraordinary event,” Kabat said. “It was an out-of-body experience.” BLAKE RAUSH IS living proof that good things come in small packages. Standing 3-feet tall and weighing in at 40 pounds, Blake, of Rainier, is a 6-year-old who doesn’t mind getting dirty on the race track. At his birthday in July, he hit the dirt tracks with several friends. To the naked eye, he’s small in stature,

Photo by Ben VanHouten

Evan Kabat, of Yelm, threw out the first pitch to his dad, Kelly, at the Seattle Mariners game on Father’s Day. Evan, who pitched from the mound, threw a perfect strike.

Casaundra and Jimmy Soto, of Rainier, competed in the Pamplona Running of the Bulls in July on a 20-day vacation. Jimmy was so close to the action he could have touched a bull.

but in hindsight his bedroom proved that he was larger than life – 21 dirt bike trophies. Blake looks to have inherited his stepdad’s love for dirt bike racing. “I’ve always been into it,” said Blake’s stepdad Chris Waller. “He just took a ton of it.” Blake got his first dirt bike for Christmas when he was 4 and hasn’t looked back. In the summer, he raced in the Burnt Ridge MX series and Mudslingers out of Tenino in two 50cc dirt bike series. One class is pee wee for ages 4-6. The other is an open class where riders can range up to age 9. Blake was in first place in both series. “I just like to go out there and have fun and try to win it,” Blake said. “I just go out there and try to do my best.” THINGS TO DO on the last full day of a 20-day vacation in Spain: relax, pack bags and compete in the Pamplona Running of the Bulls. Spanning June 24 to July 14, Jimmy and Casaundra Soto, of Rainier, did all three things. The relaxing and bag packing just came in between their July 13 Running of the Bulls. The brother and sister, who graduated from Rainier High School in 2009 and 2005, respectively, took the vacation before embarking on their military careers. They ended the vacation with a bang, not a gore. “Oh my gosh, it was intense,” Casaundra said after returning home.

“It was crazy because you could see when the bulls were coming near because everybody’s face would show it.” Jimmy and Casaundra were two of more than 1,000 runners. They dressed in the traditional white shirts and pants with red waistbands and neckerchiefs. The Running of the Bulls, which is about 850 meters, began in an alley, went onto a main street and ended in the Plaza de Toro bullring. Once each runner got a head start, a rocket was set off to alert everyone that the corral gate was open. If adrenaline had not already kicked in, it certainly did now. Legs moved quicker and heart rates rose exponentially. Another rocket then went off to signify the bulls were within 30 seconds of the runners. In total, six bulls and six steers ran through the streets. Casaundra didn’t see any bulls during the event because she was up toward the front of the pack. Jimmy was a little more brazen. At one point he was so close he could have touched a bull, but didn’t because officials would have hit him with a stick for breaking the rules. “It was probably one of the most amazing moments of my life,” he said. “It probably should be on everybody’s to-do list in life. I’ve never been so full of adrenaline and fear at the same time. It was just crazy.” See REVIEW, page C2

C2 Nisqually Valley News, Friday, December 25, 2009

RUGBY: Club offers REVIEW: New decade awaits many life experiences Continued from page C1

Continued from page C1 in Yelm for three years. He played rugby for more than 22 years worldwide. “It’s a good time to go from playing to coaching,” Baker said. “I’m a little older, but I’m addicted to rugby. It’s hard to get away from. I saw ads for rugby in Yelm and couldn’t resist to call.” Rugby, he said, is the number two sport in the world behind soccer. “It brings all the action of high-impact tackling in football at a non-stop, unrelentless pace,” Baker added. “The sport itself is great for the kids because of that. Rugby is bonded more than any sport. It’s not just a bunch of jocks.” “It’s a community.” Another coach, Phil Northcraft, has played/coached rugby from South Africa to the University of Washington. He also witnessed South Africa win the 1995 Rugby World Cup, which the movie “Invictus” is based on. “I’ve realized the importance of a life experience around a club, which is very important,” Northcraft said. “Rugby is very social. It can provide positive social aspects.” Some of the things Northcraft wants to teach the players are how to cooperate and compromise. “It’s a life experience through the rugby field,” he

said. “With 15 members on a team, there has to be a glue that really binds them together, a real spirit and attitude.” The club is currently holding fundraisers to raise money to buy game jerseys, shorts, socks and field equipment. One fundraiser involves roasted coffee for delivery, which includes four blends, whole bean or ground, for $10. The Mustangs are also looking for a sponsor. The league costs $110. Practices start Jan. 5 and the season ends in June. The season includes a few friendlies (non-league games) and seven regular-season contests, followed by a three-game round-robin playoff for the state championship. “Playing rugby is like having a credit card,” Northcraft said. “You can literally go any place in the world … and if you called up some rugby club I bet you they’d come pick you up and throw the ball around just like that.” “It would be nice to have that spirit here in Yelm.” Baker said the interest in a small city like Yelm proves the point. “It’s more than just a sport,” Baker said. “What (the players) will get out if it is a hard work ethic that can guide them through life. It helps overcome obstacles.” “When they think they can’t do something, they’ll learn they can.”


BASEBALL AND SOUND go hand in hand, yet umpire David Hankinson, of Yelm, proves the two don’t have to be linked. Hankinson, 48, has umpired more than 100 games in a twoyear span, despite being deaf since 1968 due to mumps and measles. “I went to bed hearing fully and woke up the next morning totally unable to hear anything at all,” Hankinson said in September. “It was really a shock to me and I had a lot of adjusting to do.” Hankinson, who is licensed with the Olympic Sports Specialty Umpires Association, officiates throughout Thurston County in games for Pony League, Cal Ripken and Babe Ruth. The highest level he has umpired is 14 and younger. He has been assigned to umpire high school games, but they were canceled or rained out. “My biggest reward is seeing the kids play and learn the fundamentals of the game,” he said. “I hate to see games canceled due to lack of umpires available.” Hankinson actually became an ump because of his disdain for cancellations. It all started when one of his son’s games was on the verge of being called until he stepped in from the stand to fill in as umpire.

David Hankinson, 48, of Yelm, has umpired games throughout Thurston County for two seasons, despite being deaf since 1968.

With two years under his belt, Hankinson continues to hone his craft as he gains respect from his peers. “I will umpire for as long as I can skillfully officiate games,” he said. “If I retire from my job, I would consider umpiring fulltime.” AS THE DECADE comes to an end, another 10-year time frame patiently awaits. So what will Nisqually Valley residents have to offer sportswise in 2010? Just by looking at what was, it’s clear anything is possible in the 2010s. Wait, perhaps it’s the twenty-tens or the tens. Whatever the case, 2010 and beyond is an empty slate for unforgettable sports occasions. Who’s next?

HUEY: ‘Robin Hood’ is a low-level superhero Continued from page C1





ON THE SAME day a brother and sister ran with bulls, two Nisqually Valley residents were pedaling toward the Golden Gate Bridge. After completing the Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic in two days, Mike Rurup, 60, of McKenna, and Robert Doidge, 71, of Rainier, kept on trekking to San Francisco. Not only did they ride more than 900 miles in nine days, Rurup did it with a prosthetic right hand, and Doidge wore steeltoed boots and street clothes. Rurup and Doidge seemed to take separate paths for the same trip. Rurup wore bicycle gear and rode a Cannondale touring bike. Doidge rode a 1950s-style cruiser that had thick tires and a basket to hold his coffee. “It (the bike) is comfortable and I always wanted to be a little different, I suppose,” Doidge said after returning to Yelm. “Everybody asked me, even on the STP, ‘You gonna ride that bike?’ and I said, ‘Well, you’re gonna ride yours, aren’t ya?’ They looked at me like, ‘You aren’t gonna make it.’” “Well,” he replied, “at 71, yes I am.” From Astoria, Ore. to San Francisco, danger lurked all around. For instance, there were no shoulder guard rails with 1,500-foot drops, parts of the roads were eroded and narrow, pot holes were everywhere, and uphill climbs appeared all too often. But that was just part of the

journey. After all, the two had been planning this trip for two years. “For the last few years, after the STP I felt so good I wanted to do it again,” Rurup said. “I anticipated the urge this year.”

tism. Thousands of people have seen him at the blackjack table, yet had no clue of his true identity. And just like last year, many people have submitted video and photo requests plead-


ing for help. Go ahead, read or watch some of the entries. Men and women are literally begging a stranger to help them get their life back on track. It’s sad and depressing. How did they get in that position?

Others may not care, but two entries will find out firsthand that someone does. Consider RobinHood702 to be a low-level superhero. Though this unknown guy cannot fly, shoot webbing from his wrists or teleport, he possesses something much more powerful: a big heart.

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Nisqually Valley News • Friday, May 15, 2009

Wrestler drops 200 pounds in just one year


Photo by Tyler Huey

With all his might, senior Justin Byrd’s 49-foot shot put earned him fourth-place at last week’s Shaner Invitational. In the 11-team league meet, the boys placed third; the girls were eighth.

Tornados leave mark at league track meet More than 30 advanced to sub-district By Tyler Huey Nisqually Valley News

All things went according to plan for Yelm in Friday’s 45th annual Shaner Invitational. The boys and girls placed third and eighth, respectively, amongst the 11-team field. With 115 points, the boys finished five points behind Capital and one shy of River Ridge. Because of their success, Yelm is sending more than 30 competitors to sub-district on Thursday and Saturday. The top seven competitors in each event advance to district May 22-23. “The goal was to get them prepared for the championship part of the season,” Yelm coach Mike Strong said. “What you’re trying to do is compete and stay rested. We want them to perform close to what they’re capable of.” In fact, the meet could have gone even better. Yelm simply decided to not win the event. “We were really good,” Strong said. “We could have won that meet if we wanted to. … I pulled some people out of some

events. (Winning) wasn’t the goal.” Yelm placed first in five events: javelin, 300-meter hurdles, 4x100 and 4x400 relays and pole vault. Senior Jesse Elvrom won javelin at 183 feet — winning by nearly 13 feet — and set a personal record in the 300 hurdles at 39.21 seconds. Even though Elvrom took first in javelin, he can throw much farther, such as his 194 feet mark at the Viking Classic on April 25. Strong attributed the different distances to varying conditions. “This place (Tumwater High School) has a rug surface, which is not great,” Strong said. “It’s a little bit loose and is not great to throw far.” Yelm ran the 4x100 in 43.59 and the 4x400 in 3:29.81, winning the events by a combined 2.28 seconds. Six teams, including two alternates, advanced to sub-district. “We’re loaded with good kids,” Strong said of the relay teams. “They have trained very hard and we haven’t had injuries.” And in what Strong considers is the

most difficult event, senior Gabe CaderoSmith placed first in pole vault at 13 feet. But Yelm was much more than its five top finishes. Sophomore Michael Herlinger-Hopkins, who also competes in the 4x100, placed second in the 100 at 11.24 and 200 at 23 seconds. Junior Andrew Almeida placed fourth in those respective events at 11.54 and 23.38. But their competition is about to increase exponentially. “Sprints in the region are ridiculously competitive,” Strong said. “He missed (qualifying for state) last year by two places. This year is even tougher. It will be difficult to get through sub-district.” In the 12-pound shot put, senior Justin Byrd took fourth-place at 49 feet — his second best mark of the year — and placed seventh in discus at 134-08. Strong said Byrd needs to throw in the 51- to 52-foot range to make the state finals. At sub-district, Strong said 48to 49-feet would probably be enough to See TRACK, page C2

YHS soccer nets first Mountaineers on brink league championship of state tourney berth By Tyler Huey Nisqually Valley News

In the wake of a league championship Friday night, Yelm co-captain Jeff Johnson said every player received a motivational note with a quote that roughly stated: “Coming together is a success. Staying together is progress. Playing together is an achievement.” The inspirational message may have helped since Yelm was crowned co-league champion after its regular season finale 5-2 win at Timberline. “It feels great,” Yelm coach Mark Tate said of the program’s first title. “The boys are very excited because we accomplished one of our goals that we set at the beginning of the season.”

The victory, accompanied with Capital’s win against North Thurston, tied their league record at 5-1. Capital, however, is seeded No. 1 from the Western Cascade Conference because of a first-place tiebreaker over Yelm due to a higher differential in their head to head matchups. Yelm midfielder Alejandro Cisneros opened the game with a goal in the 5th minute. After a pass from defender Juan Cisneros, Alejandro had a one-on-one versus the goalie and knocked it in. Timberline tied the game in the 11th minute off a direct free kick, but Yelm came back three minutes later. Play started when Johnson See CHAMPS, page C2

By Tyler Huey Nisqually Valley News

With a state tournament berth on the line, it’s déjà vu all over again for Rainier High school’s baseball team. Last year, in a winner-goesto-state game, Rainier lost 3-1 to Castle Rock. Now it’s time to do it all over again. Rainier and Castle Rock face each other at 4:30 p.m. Friday at Castle Rock High School. The winner advances to state; the losing team’s season is over. “The kids are motivated to beat Castle Rock because we’re in the exact same position as we were last year — playing Castle Rock to go to state,” Rainier coach Mark Mounts

said. “Oh, yeah (the rematch is motivation). They want to go to state really bad.” And for this scenario to unfold, it took a “movie script” ending Tuesday afternoon in Rainier’s second game. But first things first. Rainier (15-4) entered the postseason as a No. 2 seed. Rainier washed away La Center 13-3 amid rainy conditions in game one. The 10-run rule was issued after five innings. “We were really aggressive at the plate,” Mounts said. “We did a good job of putting the ball in play.” Sophomore Mitchell McComb pitched five innings and struck out seven. McComb also See BERTH, page C2

Trim body fat. Tone up. Flatten that spare tire. If those thoughts have ever crossed your mind, you’re certainly not alone. At one time or another, most everyone has battled the bulge. Now think of what it would take to lose 200 pounds in one year — without surgery. That was 45-year-old Terence Haynes’ goal. And not only did he accomplish it, Haynes now wrestles on a DIII college team. Say what? You heard me. Talk about a one-year wonder. Haynes’ story was recently featured on “E:60,” an investigative journalism show on ESPN. Seeing his before and after pictures is enlightening. Not only is his transformation incredible, it makes everyone else’s failed attempts look futile. He is 5-foot-9 and on Dec. 9, 2007, weighed 405 pounds. “Food — food made me feel like I had no cares in the world,” Haynes said. “It was like a drug. I’d hide it under my bed, under a pillow, in my pants.” But it wasn’t always like that. Haynes grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. As a senior in high school he weighed 237 pounds and was the captain of his football team, playing running back, nose guard, linebacker and kicker. But everything changed in 1982. As a sophomore at nearby Baldwin-Wallace College, Haynes’ mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, so he dropped out to support his family. At this point, food was his savior. Wrestling, rather sports in general, were no longer an option. “When I had to hang up my cleats, I felt like I didn’t even have a reason to live,” Haynes said. “So I had to refocus more on her versus my own needs. But on the other hand, what brought me comfort was more food.” As a 28-year-old fast food manager, Haynes’ weight ballooned, his self-esteem plummeted and his bank account crashed — no thanks to spending about $2,500 per month on food. “I didn’t pay my bills all the time,” Haynes said. “My lights were off, my gas was off and I didn’t have running water.” “Food was much more important.” How important? Try about 20,000 calories per day throughout his 30s and early 40s. The athlete of his past disappeared with each cheeseburger and french fry. “He was eating to kill himself,” said Dr. Karen Cooper, Cleveland Clinic Physician. “If he had not stopped, I’m sure he would not be around much longer.” Haynes was digging his own grave and it looked like things would only get worse. Take 2005 as a prime example: “Getting in my car and breaking the car’s seat,” Haynes said. “How can I break my own car seat? I felt like I began to just sink into the ground. I couldn’t take this any longer.” But Haynes’ life turned around in April 2007. Now weighing more than 430 See HUEY, page C2

C2 Nisqually Valley News, Friday, May 15, 2009

TRACK: Yelm to advance about 50 percent each round

CHAMPS: It’s win or go home Continued from page C1 took a quick free kick, then passed the ball to Alejandro, who sent in a cross to midfielder Greg Willmann, Tate said. Willmann volleyed the ball in. Yelm forward Daniel Gonzalez headed in a corner kick in the 38th minute for a 3-1 advantage. Timberline scored in the 54th minute, but Yelm sealed the final score 10 minutes later. Yelm defender Edd Brown sent a long ball to forward Miguel Gonzalez who “tracked it down and made a great move around Timberline’s defender.”

Yelm was recently in a lackadaisical funk, but as of now they have overcome their prior indiscretion. “I think we have overcome the lack of intensity that we were showing prior to last week,” Tate said. “The boys did a fantastic job of getting mentally ready for both the North Thurston and Timberline games.” Yelm played its sub-district game versus Bremerton Thursday at Clover Park. A Yelm victory pits them against the loser of the Franklin Pierce-Mt. Rainier game 3 p.m. Saturday at Clover Park.

“Early in the season we talked quite a bit about making a long run into the state tournament,” Tate said. “However, right now it is important for us to take one game at a time and not get too far ahead of ourselves. Our goal right now is to make it to the district tournament and, after that, the state tournament.” Johnson, on the other hand, took it one step further. “My goal is to get the team to the state semifinals,” Johnson said. “I think we can play well and come together to overcome difficult teams.”

Continued from page C1 advance, “I wanted to throw well,” Byrd said. “I threw decent. I’m capable of (more than) 53 feet, but it will take some time.” Last year, Byrd threw 48-1 at district and failed to make state. He hopes this year has a different ending. “State is within my grasp,” said Byrd, noting he would need to “throw at least 51-6 at state to keep himself in contention.” Byrd said competition fuels him to reach his potential. His goal is to place in the top 10 at state in shot put and discus. Senior Greg Hudik also fared well, placing third in the 400 at 53.02 and participating

BERTH: State tourney, rematch with Castle Rock on the line Continued from page C1 went 3-for-4 with 2 RBIs. Sophomore Cody Schneider went 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs and senior Kevin O’leary was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Schneider helped the run barrage begin early. In the second inning, Rainier scored six runs. “With the bases loaded, it’s encouraging to get few RBIs to help the team,” Schneider said. “You just want to hit the ball harder and run faster.” But game two’s 5-4, eight inning loss against Onalaska was a true shocker. Onalaska’s Dalton Richey pitched in the team’s game one win, but he took a line drive to the face and was admitted to a hospital. Without Richey in the lineup, Rainier built a 4-2 lead. In the fifth inning, however, Richey returned and hit a tworun homer to tie the game. “That put us down in the dirt,” Schneider said. “To come back after that (going to the hospital) and knowing he tied it up, it’s mentally bad for us to try and come back.” McComb said the momen-

tum shifted and Rainier was unable to come back. “If that happened to us, and we hit a two-run bomb, it’s a confidence-booster and plays a big factor.” To a certain degree, Onalaska was fortunate, Mounts said. Just like the first game, Rainier hit the ball hard, only this time the ball was hit right at defenders. “For Onalaska, everything went their way,” Mounts said. “It was right out of a movie script, man. The kid comes back from the hospital and hits a home run. Every ball they hit that was close we couldn’t get to, and every ball we hit that was close they got to.” “They were the No. 4 seed, so it’s kind of like a Cinderella story.” When Onalaska won the game in extra innings, Rainier was devastated. “It was like watching those kids rip (our) hearts out,” Mounts said. “It was interesting. I’ve never seen anything like it the way the game played out. It was unbelievable.” Schneider and McComb agreed with Mounts, saying the loss did “rip our hearts out.”

“The two teams in the district championship — Montesano and Onalaska — are teams we swept (in the regular season),” McComb said. “To know we swept them, we could be in the championship game.” “We should be there,” Schneider added. Since they know what could have happened and have felt the pain of defeat, Rainier’s focused on defeating Castle Rock on Friday. “It would mean a lot,” McComb said. “We have a lot of encouragement because of the reputation we have in Rainier. It would be nice to prove people wrong. We know we’re better than that.” “It can drive us to win.” McComb and Schneider, along with the entire team, is hell-bent on making it to state. And after last year’s defeat, they know all too well the ramifications their Castle Rock rematch has. Redemption is on their mind. “It absolutely means everything,” Mounts said. “Rainier hasn’t made it to state in three years.”


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pounds, Haynes met a personal trainer at a local gym. It took a lot of persuasion but in December 2007, with his trainer’s help, Haynes dedicated himself to lose 200 pounds in one year. With an 1,800 calorie diet and working out four to six times a week, Haynes lost 150 pounds in nine months. From there, the pounds continued to fall. Now enter wrestling. In 2008, at age 45, Haynes reenrolled at Baldwin-Wallace to earn his bachelor’s degree. After talking with the school’s wrestling coach, Haynes was invited to tryout. Haynes made the team and went 2-13 last season. But his win-loss record was insignificant. Like every other wrestler, making weight was Haynes’ focus. As of January 2009, Haynes

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weighed 227 pounds, besting his goal of weighing less than 230. “I don’t remember this weight,” he said. “Wow.” Talk about the understatement of the year. This is more than a “wow” moment. Not only did Haynes achieve his weight loss goal, which motivated him to reenroll in college, he made the wrestling team. Talk about a turnaround that showcased what hard work and dedication can lead to. Who else has worked that hard to achieve something? Probably not many. Even calling this inspirational may not be giving him his due. However, just for the heck of it, might as well play devil’s advocate because there’s one downside to this fairy tale ending: He didn’t become rich like The Subway Guy.

Continued from page C1

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HUEY: Haynes’ wrestling record is insignificant

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in both relays. Senior Zac Farino took third in the 110 hurdles at 15.73; junior JJ Johnson was fifth in triple jump at 39-11 and sophomore Marcus Crone was second in pole vault at 12 feet. For the girls, junior Ashley Taylor placed second in the 3,200 at 11:28:49 and third in the 1,600 at 5:17:85. Sophomore Alex Bachmeier placed second in the 400 at 59.49 and sixth in the 200 at 26.92. Senior Alysha McCloud was sixth in the 110 and 300 hurdles. Leading up to state, Strong said he expects about 50 percent of the team’s qualifiers to advance each round.

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