B-2 • Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Take me out to the ballparks — all of them! Baseball aficionados like to say that their sport is the national pastime. I like to claim some sort of membership in that group. However, on behalf of all of those who love the game, I’d like to clarify. It’s watching baseball that is the national pastime, not playing. We’re pretty good at talking a good game and postulating which batter or fielder or pitcher or era was better than another between innings or pitching changes. And no matter what any baseball fan tells you, where you see a ball game matters. I started my little love affair with the game of baseball back in the early 1980s when my folks took me to San Diego Padres games. I don’t remember much, only that we cheered for such baseball greats as Kurt Bevacqua (who, according to Tommy Lasorda, couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat) and Sixto Lezcano (who, surprisingly, had 10 toes, five on each foot) at old Jack Murphy Stadium. No longer home to the Padres, it’s now home to the NFL’s Chargers, college football’s San Diego State University football and the Big 3 Auto Parts Exchange show. When my family moved to Washington, D.C., I became an Orioles fan. Being a shortstop in Little League, my hero
REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK Michael Dashiell defaulted to one of the game’s greats, Cal Ripken Jr. We’d sit in old Memorial Stadium and yell at Cal to snag grounders — and he’d comply. That stadium was demolished in 2001 and the Orioles play in nearby Camden Yards. And years later, when my family moved back to the left coast, I became a Mariners fan. Games at the Kingdome were, well, ugly in the early going. You try rooting for Rey Quinones, Ken Phelps and Scott Bradley each game. I hear they officially counted as Major League games, although a late-season, Mariners-White Sox battle typically drew fewer than than 6,000 fans per game (in 1986, Seattle was dead-last in the American League in attendance). Since then, the Kingdome’s been demolished, too. I realized every ballpark of my youth has been razed
Jim Dries celebrates his induction into the Stadium Hall of Fame with family: his wife, two children and four grandchildren, Photo courtesy of Stadium Hall of Fame/Jim Dries next to a statue of Dodger great Roy Campanella. or traded to some football organization. Yikes. A few weeks ago I got a chance to visit a couple of ballparks on a family trip to St. Louis and Milwaukee. I started to think about how tough to would be to see all of them, to be able to claim to have been to every major league park in the country. I began to wonder how many people could make that claim. I’d read about these baseball fanatics who’d race across the country and try to do a ballpark each day or all the ballparks in 50 days, and while that certainly seems like a lot of fun, it’s not really my dream. But I would like to see every ballpark I can before I die. With that in mind, I got an interesting e-mail the other day from a guy from Sequim named Jim Dries who claimed he’d done just that — visited every major league park in the land. And that he’d just been inducted into a Hall of Fame for the effort. I simply had to talk to this guy.
‘Abandoned’ fan finds a home
Hard to beat the view you can get at Busch Stadium. The arch is just a quick walk away. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell
Folks in St. Louis love their Albert Pujols. Seriously. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell
“It was going to be an accidental goal,” Dries tells me, reclining in his sunlight-filled living room in a home not far from the cliffs overlooking Dungeness Spit. I say, sure, who can afford that? I look up at his bookcase and see rows and rows of baseball books. This is a real fan, I think, not just a guy showing that he can foot the bill for a bunch of plane tickets. Dries grew up in Iowa, where his mother and her family were big Brooklyn Dodgers fans. His father passed along to Jim a hero: Ted Williams. Dries began to follow the Splendid Splinter, too, not just for his baseball acumen but his work with children. When the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles in 1957, Dries
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I got a note from him just last week that he got last-minute tickets to see the Mariners at Safeco on Oct. 1 and sat 13 rows behind home plate. He got into a conversation with a fan from Tokyo who was in Seattle for three games to see a Mariner — Griffey, not Ichiro. While Ted Williams remains his all-time favorite player, Dries says he likes Ichiro, the Japanese sensation in Seattle, and the Yankees’ Derek Jeter. But he’s clearly a bigger fan of the Despite a closed roof, Miller Park gets plenty of light from game. He walks me into his those muddled Milwaukee skies. The park, like Seattle’s Safeco Field, has a retractable roof option. And, like Seattle’s baseball memorabilia room and I nearly have a heart atMariners, the Brewers have a retractable offense option. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell tack. The wall perpendicular to this vaulted ceiling is litersaid he couldn’t follow them, him 13 years. With minor ally covered with hats. Yanthat he felt “abandoned” by league stadiums and fields, kees hats. Reds hats, Pirates them. Eventually Dries and he can boast of more than 60 hats. Cardinals hats. Orioles hats. You get the idea. parks. family moved to New York. I’m blown away, partly Nine years ago, Sports “The dreaded Yankees became the beloved Yankees,” Travel and Tours started a because I’m in awe of it all program with the Baseball as a fellow baseball nut, and Dries says with a chuckle. Dries and a friend would Hall of Fame to honor fans partly because I have my own take trips now and then, hit- completing the 30-ballpark stack of hats not yet mounted back at home. ting a string of ballparks on a major league gauntlet. I started collecting them “We’ve been taking fans minivacation when they had the time, but there was no hint to ballparks for many years,” to remember certain games of trying to make it to all of said Jay Smith, president of or times and it’s grown to a them. Instead, the pair would Sports Travel and Tours, “and modest 10 or 12. But this, this hit a number of ballparks, the constant comment of our is ridiculous. He’s even got major or minor league, in a travelers is ‘I want to see ev- a World Series hat from the “Subway Series’” (Yankees certain geographic region. ery ballpark before I die.’” And so, with two-dozen versus Mets, 2000) with series Dries was content with that. Working as a teacher in other fanatics, Dries was pins on it. Some hats are from New York, Dries got an in- inducted into the Baseball minor league parks. In the same room, on teresting offer one day from Stadium Hall of Fame on July a teaching colleague who 25 in the Bullpen Theatre in another wall, are scoreboard started up a company doing the National Baseball Hall of numbers from the old Busch Stadium that Dries had exactly what Dries had been Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. At the ceremony, a staff displayed, proclaiming his doing, only providing the scheduling, tickets, hotel member of the Hall of Fame wedding anniversary date. stays and a “guide” for each welcomes the inductees and Nearby, a trophy case full of Smith awards each member signed baseballs and autoexcursion. Understandably, Dries a plaque and certificate in graphed photos and plaques. took the job offer. Forty years recognition of their achieve- Everywhere I turned, a bit of later, he still works for Sports ment. Their names then are baseball’s glorious past. It’s like Sequim’s Cooperplaced in a record book kept Travel and Tours. on file at the membership stown. Beautiful. Dries and I spend a few desk at the Baseball Hall of Hall-of-Fame more minutes talking, reFame in Cooperstown. class of 2009 “This is a way to honor calling our favorite in-perMore of an adult chaperson games. He one than a tour recounts a 2-0 guide, Dries helps Yankees win at fans complete a Boston’s Fenway unique baseball ■ His favorite stadiums Park in May 1979. experience with Safeco Field, Seattle. “I love the fact Safeco can Reggie hit a home what are essenbe covered if it needs to be.” run and Tommy tially baseball Camden Yards, Baltimore. “It broke the mold John beat Dennis “road trips.” For and … brought it back to the city.” Eckersley with a a package price, Petco Park, San Diego. “It’s very familythree-hitter. fans get to see two friendly.” I recall a recent to eight games in trip to St. Louis, PNC Park, Pittsburgh up to six ballparks watching Cardiin a little more Comerica Park, Detroit nal Adam Wainthan a week. The ■ His favorite stadium food wright throw a 1-0 “Eastern Loop” Safeco Field, Seattle — for the variety shutout against trip, for example, Dodger Stadium — for the Dodger Dogs Houston. sees 10 teams in Milwaukee — for the bratwursts Dries rememfive games in five ■ Stadiums he’d want to visit if they were still bers a game just ballparks in just standing before the 2008 six days, from Ebbetts Field, New York All-Star game, a Washington, D.C., Crosley Field, Cincinnati 4-2 pitcher’s duel to Philadelphia, Old Comiskey Park, Chicago between the Gito New York (both ant’s Tim LinceYankees and Mets) cum and the Cubs’ to Baltimore. Ryan Dempster at Wrigley Other tours include the the fans,” Dries says. Each member gets to pick a Field. Baseball Hall of Fame, the “I like a great, fast game,” All-Star game, a minor league team affiliation for induction. game, the Football Hall of Dries, for years a diehard Yan- Dries says. We could do this all day, but Fame and one — the Califor- kee fan, chose to be inducted nia Express tour — includes a as a Mariner. He now owns the I had other stories to write, so honor of being the first Mari- I thanked Dries and headed visit to the Hearst Castle. Other Sport Travel and ner in the Baseball Stadium back to the office. On the way back, I can’t Tours packages include bas- Hall of Fame. “When I moved here, I (de- help but wonder if I’ll be ketball, football and hockey cided to) root for the Mariners lucky enough to see every tours. In other words, a sweet and I support the Mariners,” ballpark in the country. That, he says. “But I still have a soft frankly, is a lot of hats. gig. Michael Dashiell is a Along the way, Dries spot for the Yankees. Sequim Gazette reporter. He picked up games in every macan be reached at 683-3311 jor league park, sometimes Not calling it quits visiting cities to see newly Now that’s he’s a hall-of- ext. 113 or via e-mail at constructed ballparks. It took famer, Dries isn’t letting up. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jim Dries’ picks
SEQUIM GASEQUIM GAZETTE
Wednesday, January 6, 2010 • B-1
SHS hoopsters fall in winter tourneys. B-2
Students harness sun power. B-8
B SPORTS/SCHOOLS Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Western Washington’s best weekly sportswriting
A Sequim shootout Rutherford leads P.C. to win versus Webb, Rangers
A decade of Sequim sports: Best prep games
by MICHAEL DASHIELL Sequim Gazette
A new year, but it sure felt a lot like old times. Peninsula’s Ryan Rutherford and Olympic’s Ary Webb, a pair of Sequim High grads, put on a dazzling display of basketball acumen in Port Angeles on Saturday night, combining for 70 points in a 105-83 Pirate home victory to open NWAACC conference play. Webb, the 2009 graduate, sank eight three-pointers to lead the Rangers with 29 points. Rutherford almost had that by halftime, drilling six three-pointers — one short of the school record. Overall, Rutherford hit 15 of 17 shots from the field and, for good measure, knocked down another five free throws, giving him 41 points — a modern Peninsula College record. “Everything I shot was going in,” Rutherford said. “I tweaked my shot a little bit (and) I asked for more free rein this week, coming off high screens. It was a fun game. We just really wanted to step it up on defense.” But it was his offense making the Rangers go. Rutherford broke the mark previously set by Port Angeles grad Garrett Abbott, who scored 38 points on Nov. 29, 1997. (The all-time record was set by Bernie Fryer, he of NBA referee fame, who tallied 57 points against Lower Columbia in Peninsula College’s state overtime title victory in 1970.) Rutherford’s six three-pointers was one shy of the school record. “He’s capable on any given night (of doing that),” Peninsula coach Peter Stewart said. “He can flat score.” Packed with Sequim fans, mostly to see Webb, the recent graduate, the Peninsula crowd saw Rutherford simply explode in the first half, hitting all six three-pointers and driving to the hoop at will, reminiscent of his senior season (2004-2005) at Sequim High. When not knocking down long-range bombs, the 6-foot combo guard found ways to slither between Rangers and dive toward the hoop. He had 27 points by halftime and the Pirates led 51-34. When Rutherford and teammates were off the mark — and they weren’t very often, hitting 65.5-percent of their shots in the first 20 minutes — Jason Gamblin was there to clean up the mess. Gamblin finished with 24 points and 16 rebounds. Teammate Trevant Musgrow added 14 points, five rebounds and five assists. “I was pleased with our offensive execution,” Stewart said.
REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK Michael Dashiell
Peninsula guard Ryan Rutherford drives to the hoop for two of his school-record 41 points on Saturday night, helping the Pirates top Olympic, 105-83. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell
NWAACC North standings Team Bellevue Peninsula Seattle Skagit Vly. Whatcom Edmonds Everett Olympic Shoreline
Conf. 1-0 1-0 1-0 1-0 0-0 0-1 0-1 0-1 0-1
Over. 8-2 4-6 6-4 7-3 5-4 3-5 2-7 2-6 6-3
For Webb, the homecoming was bittersweet. The 6-foot 2-inch freshman sharpshooter said he could feel the encouragement from the almost-hometown crowd. “It kind of felt like coming home,” Webb said. The Rangers have taken a couple of big hits to their roster this season thanks to poor grades and injury. Saturday night’s loss dropped them to 2-6. “We’re in it mentally (but) we’re
pretty small,” Webb said. “We’re trying to get back to where we were (at .500).” It was Webb’s first game back on the peninsula after helping Sequim High make the state playoffs in February and March 2009. Webb and Rutherford never played on the same team for the Wolves, but Webb recalls as an eighth-grader watching Rutherford, then a senior, hit big shots for Sequim in the SHS gym. Saturday night, the pair made for a special evening of basketball. “(Webb) can play,” Stewart acknowledged. “We hate to see him in the uniform he’s in.” Isaiah Thompson helped the Ranger cause with 21 points while Cartiera French-Toney added 11 assists. For the Pirates, it’s a way to clear away the missteps they made in a 3-6 preseason. In four of those losses, the Pirates saw close games get away from them in the second
See SEQUIM, page B-4
Olympic Ranger Ary Webb, a Sequim High standout, steps back and shoots a three-pointer Saturday night. Webb hit eight threes en route to a 29-point effort but his Rangers lost, 105-83.
Hard to believe I’ve been here nearly 10 years. When I first came to the Sequim Gazette , I never had any intention of taking over the sports beat. After all, theneditor Jim Manders had that part covered and I was covering the ins and outs of the Sequim City Council. But, as it happened, Jim left the paper, we hired an editor who, by his own admission, knew little more about sports than the paper we printed on, and I unwittingly volunteered to help out. What a ride it’s been. (Boy, this sounds like a retirement speech, doesn’t it? It’s not.) I’ve seen a bunch of fantastic Sequim High School games since I’ve been here, and even though I missed the first year-and-a-half of the 2000-2009 decade, I figure I can give a pretty good account of some of the best Sequim sports games in those 10 years. I wrote about these in one of my first entries on my sports blog (www.sequimgazette.com/ sportsblog). If you read that version, this has a couple of changes. Originally, I kept out individualbased meets and tournaments, figuring that it’d be too tough to compare those to team-based games. But that would leave out too many sports — and since this list is completely subjective anyway, I figured, why not? The list is a little footballheavy but it’s hard to find bigger drama than these 25 entries. Got a game that should make the list? Drop me an e-mail (see below). And keep rooting for those Wolves. 1. Oct. 22, 2004 (football) — Sequim 36, Port Townsend 29 A playoff game-style atmosphere for a regular season game, this was perhaps a turning point for Sequim football. On their way to an undefeated season, the Wolves had to knock off previously unconquered
See PREP, page B-5
The ‘ultimate’ hi-flying sport Sequim couple sees Frisbee take on new competitive level by MICHAEL DASHIELL Sequim Gazette
Her teammates get it. Her sister gets it. Her husband definitely gets it. But for Jessica Thoms, it took a couple of years before her parents really understood ultimate Frisbee. “At first, when I started playing, they thought, ‘Good, you’re out getting exercise.’” But then we started going out of town to tournaments … and
not visiting them.” It took a trip to Florida to see Thoms and her sister Trish play in the Ultimate Player’s Association national club championship before it clicked for their folks. “It was the first time they’d seen us play,” Thoms recalled. “They were just floored with what we THOMS could do. In school, I was a swimmer. They’d never seen me run and jump.” Thoms and her husband, Curt Haugen, Midwest transplants who have lived in Sequim for two years, enjoy and excel at ultimate Frisbee, one of America’s top-growing sports.
See SPORT, page B-3
Ultimate Frisbee is one of the faster-growing sports in the nation. According to a recent study, about 900,000 Americans play the sport regularly, including Sequim’s Curt Haugen and Jessica Thoms. Photo courtesy of Ultimate Players Association
Wednesday, January 6, 2010 • B-5
This was supposed to be another jewel in Kingston running ace Ruby Roberts’ crown. But after finishing behind Roberts four times during the season — at the Capital City Invite, in a regular dual meet, at the Olympic League meet and at districts — Sequim’s Allison Cutting kept with Roberts and the lead pack, then blew by the fellow junior to win her first state title by nine seconds. Sequim — with runners Audrey Lichten, Laura Moser, Christina Bruce, Zoei Zbaraschuk, Alyssa Stratton and Taylor Roads — finished in a virtual tie for third place as a team, the best cross country team finish in school history.
Prep From page B-1 Port Townsend (ranked No. 7 in the state) in a homecoming game to be remembered. Quarterback Tim Dosey threw for two touchdowns and Ryan Rutherford caught five passes for 240 yards and three scores as the 10th-ranked Wolves came back from an early deficit to topple the state 2A sixth-ranked team. 2. Sept. 8, 2006 (football) — Port Angeles 34, Sequim 31 Hard to beat this one. A backand-forth duel, the Wolves and Roughriders left it all on the field in Port Angeles this night. Sequim’s Erik Zangara made four rushing touchdowns to help Sequim overcome a 27-6 halftime deficit and take a 31-27 lead. Not to be outdone, P.A. quarterback Stephan Walker led a heroic, 80-yard touchdown drive, capped by a 40-yard catch-and-run to Levi Fahrenholtz with 26 seconds left. Zangara finished with 228 yards. This game is the one when Sequim fans may remember Adrien Gault being carted off the field after a big hit. The youth had to have brain surgery later that season. 3. Nov. 14, 2009 (football) — Sequim 34, Burlington-Edison 32 (class 2A state playoffs) Think Sequim could get away with a blowout in these state playoffs, the scene of so many heartbreakers? Hardly. The Wolves built a 34-2 lead in the fourth quarter behind the powerful running of Travis Decker (146 yards, three touchdowns) and sharp passing of Drew Rickerson (19-of-24, 214 yards). But the Tigers mounted an improbable comeback. Down eight points with mere seconds left, Tiger quarterback Dylan Boe threw a 13-yard touchdown pass on fourth down. Needing a two-point conversion tie, however, Sequim’s defensive line stuffed Tiger back Damon Acoba just short of the goal line, preserving the Wolves’ first-ever state tournament victory. “For every Sequim High Wolf is hard to beat”? They sure were on this night. 4. Nov. 9, 2007 (football) — Tumwater 22, Sequim 20 (class 2A state playoffs) A wild one in the class 2A state playoffs. Vastly favored in the opening round of the state playoffs, host Tumwater sought to crush the Wolves and give coach Sid Otton his 300th career win. It nearly didn’t happen. Sequim’s Kincaid Nichols, who earlier had an 87-yard touchdown run, took a fourth-down-and-4 reverse handoff for 57 yards for a touchdown and a 20-19 Sequim lead. But Tumwater came back to boot a 27-yard field goal with 35 seconds left for the victory, keeping Sequim from its first state playoff win. 5. Feb. 21, 2004 (boys basketball) — Sequim 75, Lakes 63 in overtime The Wolves, 17-4 at the time and needing a win to stay alive in the West Central District tournament, survived in a tough road game at Lakes High. Sequim guard Chris Mobley scored 16 of his 18 points after halftime, including what most onlookers thought were two clutch, game-winning free throws with 1.3 seconds remaining, but he was called for a foul with no time left on the clock. Lakes’ Raheem Reggler, however, missed the second of two free throws to send the game into overtime. Sequim jumped all over the Lancers, blasting their hosts 15-3 in the extra frame for a trip to the double-elimination bracket at districts. 6. Feb. 9, 2007 (girls basketball) — Sequim 52, North Mason 43 in overtime On their way to the Olympic League’s 2A title, Sequim needed — and got — a huge win against their rivals from Belfair. Justine Textor scored five of her game-high 18 points in overtime as the Wolves won their final regular season home game. For 32 minutes, it was a classic battle of rivals and the top two 2A teams in the league, but when Bulldog Stephanie Hicks hit a desperation bank shot to send the game into overtime, something clicked for Sequim. Something to the tune of a 9-0 whitewashing. The Wolves went on to make the state tourney for the first time in 20 years.
Sequim High School football players celebrate a big win against ranked Port Townsend in 2004. Sequim Gazette file photo by Michael Dashiell
7. Nov. 14, 2008 (football) — Centralia 21, Sequim 14 (class 2A state playoffs) Another heartbreaker on the gridiron. Finding themselves an underdog in the state playoffs once again — in Tumwater stadium, again — Sequim battled back from a 14-7 deficit to tie the game at 14 apiece. But Centralia stuffed a Sequim fourth-down try with less than a minute left, and Tiger QB Forrest Ahrens found Dominick Courcy from 26 yards out in the end zone with less than seven seconds left, a stunning toss that got between three diving Sequim defenders. Sequim running back Travis Decker had 177 yards and two scores for the Wolves, who lost their starting quarterback and best linebacker a week before the game. 8. May 22, 2004 (fastpitch) — Sequim 1, Washington 0 This West Central District game meant a ticket to state — Sequim fastpitch’s first in school history. The Wolves managed to scrape across three hits, but Alanna O’Hara hit a single in the bottom of the fifth and came around to score for the game’s only run. Star pitcher Jessica Rosencrants, who earlier in the tourney lost a 1-0 decision to Division I-bound Tiffany McDonald’s North Mason team, was lights out against Washington, striking out 11 and allowing just three hits. 9. Nov. 12-13, 2004 (girls swimming) — Jackson All-American, Wolves seventh (class 3A state meet) By far the most impressive performance by a Sequim swimmer in school history, Summer Jackson’s efforts were magnified by the talent around her. Jackson swam to automatic All-American times in her winning 50-free and 100-butterfly swims and helped the Wolves’ 200-medley relay squad finish second. For her efforts, Jackson was named state 3A Swimmer of the Year. The rest of the Sequim swim squad — Staci Stratton, Justine Textor, Kori Winnop, Sarah Moores, plus divers Stacia Bibler and Caitlin McNulty — helped the team to a seventh-place finish, best in school history. Jackson went on to earn a swimming scholarship at the University of Arkansas. 10. March 6, 2009 (boys basketball) — Sequim 39, Steilacoom 36 Call it the last great game “off the clock.” In their final season sans shot clock, the Wolves’ boys team made it a memorable one. After an up-anddown regular season that saw an injury-wracked Sequim team barely qualify for the district tourney, the Wolves edged Eatonville by a single point to avoid elimination in round one. Then, after a loss to Fife, Sequim faced a bigger, more athletic Steilacoom squad that was favored heavily in a winner-to-state, loser-goes-home game. Behind Ary Webb, the Wolves built an eight-point first-half lead and drained the clock, hitting eight of nine free throws down the stretch for the state tourney berth. 11. May 23, 2009 (fastpitch) — Sequim 1, Klahowya 0 in 8 innings Sequim freshman Demiree Briones and Klahowya senior Kazandra Holliday dueled to a scoreless tie in this, a West Central District elimination game.
In next week’s issue: Top Sequim sports photos of the past decade Sequim already had survived an elimination game earlier in the tourney, beating Fife 2-1 in the first round. A one-run loss to North Mason in the semifinals set up this winner-to-state, loser-goes-home contest. In the bottom of the eighth, Maddy Zbaraschuk drilled a Holliday pitch into center to score Chelsie Winfield for the win. The Wolves went on to place fifth at the state 2A tourney. 12. Dec. 7, 2004 (boys basketball) — Port Angeles 53, Sequim 49 in overtime In a seesaw basketball game that saw the Wolves hold leads late into the fourth quarter and overtime, Port Angeles edged their peninsula rivals. P.A.’s Brian Hoch had 14 straight points in the fourth quarter and Roughrider Chris Stone sealed the win with a three-point play with less than a minute to go in overtime. Sequim’s Ryan Rutherford scored 13 of his team-high 19 points in the first half as his 3A Wolves stayed with their 4A opponent on P.A.’s home court, down just 27-23 at the midway break. The Wolves held a 33-32 lead after three quarters and had a fourpoint lead late, but Sequim missed the front end of two one-and-one free-throw situations, allowing P.A. to even the game at 46-46 with 34 seconds in regulation. The Wolves could manage only three points in overtime. 13. Nov. 8, 2005 (football) — Lindbergh 7, Sequim 6 (class 3A state play-in game) With less than a minute to play in the game, the Sequim Wolves had their first state playoff appearance since 1978 in their collective grasp. A screen pass and 66 yards later, Lindbergh dashed those hopes, shocking a defense that had held the Eagles in check all night. Though Lindbergh’s high-powered offense stalled for nearly 48 minutes, junior receiver John Desmarais caught a short screen pass on fourth-down-and-4, then out-raced Wolves defenders for the winning score in the winner-tostate, loser-out playoff game. “Craziest call in the world,” Sequim coach Wiker said. “He can get tackled anywhere. They know they got lucky.” The Wolves finished the year 9-2 but, for the second consecutive year, failed to make the state tourney. 14. May 4, 2006 (boys soccer) — Sequim 1, Steilacoom 0 in shootout The Wolves shrugged off losing a chance at the Nisqually League title by edging Steilacoom in a shootout, bringing hometown fans to their feet and their own team to a No. 6 seed in the district playoffs. Down 1-0 at the half, Sequim twice came back to force ties. Tyler Linderoth scored on a free kick from 30 yards to tie the game at 1-1. Steilacoom answered soon after and the Wolves looked destined to lose their second-straight game, until Greg Dunbar deflected a shot into the Steilacoom goal, his first score of the season. After two scoreless overtimes, Sequim went up 4-3 in a shootout and Kai Antrim finished the deal.
15. Nov. 9, 2004 (football) — Franklin Pierce 36, Sequim 35 (class 3A state play-in game) One kick sailed wide left. One kick hit the crossbar and bounced through. Sequim High School’s undefeated football season — and the season as a whole — ended abruptly, with missed and made fourth-quarter extra points being the scoring difference. A bad snap on Sequim’s last attempt caused Sequim’s pointafter try to line drive off to the left, leaving Sequim in the lead, 35-29. Franklin Pierce countered with a touchdown three minutes later, with their kicker’s extra point pinging off the right upright and through the goalpost for a 36-35 lead. Sequim running back Brian Savage carried the ball 26 times for 144 yards and two rushing touchdowns on the night and threw for a score. So began Sequim football’s playoff “curse.” 16. Feb. 15-16, 2002 (wrestling) — Sequim grapplers earn four medals (state 2A tournament) The stars truly aligned for Sequim wrestlers in the 3A ranks of MatClassic, the state tournament, in the Tacoma Dome. All four of their top wrestlers — Travis Martin (103-pound weight class), Graeme Johnson (160), David Waters (171) and Kyle Keith (215) — earned spots on the medal stand. It was Keith who shone brightest, battling his way to a state title to join Brian Gilliam as the only Wolves to win wrestling individual championships. Martin lost a heartbreaker in the finals and finished second; Johnson and Water finished fifth. The team took seventh-place overall after an undefeated (8-0) regular season. 17. Nov. 4, 2006 (cross country) — Marcy, SHS girls finish fourth (state 2A meet) This was a measure of closure for Stephanie Marcy, who as a junior in 2005 held a lead at the state cross country final only to see it slip away in the home stretch. No such fate awaited her this time. She destroyed the field in the race, taking the lead six minutes in and cruising to a 27-second victory. The girls team — Laura Moser, Hannah Ohnstad, Zoei Zbaraschuk, Christina Bruce, Breck Barnes and Jen Bruce — helped Sequim place fourth overall while the boys took 10th as a team. Marcy went on to earn a scholarship to run for the Stanford Cardinal cross country team, then a three-time defending NCAA champion. 18. May 18, 2005 (fastpitch) — Sequim 1, South Whidbey 0 in 11 innings Not a playoff game, this match-up was less a warm-up and more of a barnburner. And that’s a good thing. The Wolves proved tough as nails in a 1-0, extra-inning win against previously undefeated South Whidbey. Ashley Pearson delivered the game-winning hit in the top of the 11th inning and pitcher Jessica Rosencrants got even better with the game on the line, striking out the final three batters. Rosencrants was nearly unhittable, mowing down Falcon players left and right. Of the 33 outs the Lady Wolves recorded, 16 were by a Rosencrants’ strikeout. She gave up just two hits and allowed no walks. 19. Nov. 8, 2008 (cross country) — Cutting takes title, SHS girls near the top (state 2A meet)
20. May 13, 2004 (boys soccer) — Sequim 2, Kennedy 1 Kennedy took an early 1-0 lead, and Sequim was having trouble controlling the offensive side of the ball. It looked as if Kennedy would end Sequim’s season for the second consecutive season. Mario Servin broke free in the second half and made the most of his penalty kick opportunity by crushing the ball to the back of the net to tie the game. Joe Quan added the winning goal off a header with just five minutes left as Sequim goalkeeper Kyle McKenzie had 11 saves. Two days later, Sequim went on to beat Highline 1-0 for the Wolves’ first state playoff berth. 21. May 25, 2007 (fastpitch) — Sequim 4, Archbishop Murphy 0 in 9 innings (state 2A tournament) By the end of the class 2A state tournament’s first day, opposing teams were asking how a mere third seed was beating some of the state’s top teams. Sequim beat the topseeded Archbishop team with four runs in the top of the ninth inning. Pitcher Carly Swingle allowed just three hits and zero walks over all nine innings as Sequim took down the top-seeded foe. Sequim went on to beat WF West later in the day and finished fifth overall. 22. Jan. 4, 2008 (boys basketball) — Sequim 56, Port Townsend 46 This win got more impressive over time. Sequim dumped the favored Redskins on their home court, and it wound up as Port Townsend’s only loss on the season until the state tourney, where they placed sixth. Ary Webb scored 19 points while Nic Thacker added 17 points and 12 rebounds. Aaron Gifford, P.T.’s scoring whiz, managed 17 points but many of them came through double- and triple-team defensive efforts. It was a spectacular win in an otherwise disappointing season. 23. May 25-26, 2007 (girls tennis) — Wolves earn first team title (state 2A tournament) A true group effort, Sequim’s tennis squad hadn’t lost a match in three regular seasons heading into the state tournament. With singles player Justine Textor (third-place finish) and doubles teams Stacia Bibler/Staci Stratton (third) and Laine Briggs/Anna Slater (fourth), the Wolves essentially shared the team title with Lynden with 23 points each. Coupled with the boys top doubles team of Cody Hanson and Michael Richards taking second place, this is the pinnacle of SHS tennis during the decade. 24. May 29, 2009 (fastpitch) — Sequim 5, Pullman 4 in eight innings (state 2A tournament) On the biggest stage, Sequim got some big hits to get to the medal stand. Needing a win to advance to the second day of the class 2A state tournament, Sequim edged Pullman 5-4. With the score tied 4-4 in the eighth inning, Lea Hopson smacked her second home run in as many games, taking an outside pitch and driving it over the right-center field fence. 25. May 16, 2009 (baseball) — Sequim 12, Fife 5 Needing a big game from their big-time pitcher, 5-foot 8-inch Alex Gillis provided it, throwing a complete game four-hitter to give Sequim’s Wolves their first state berth in a dozen years. Despite losing a bit of his control to the Trojans, Gillis struck out eight batters on the mound and started the game-clinching five-run rally in the fifth inning. Reach Michael Dashiell at email@example.com
Wolves’ track team gets sweep versus Knights, Bulldogs. B-2
P.C. softball edges Skagit in ‘reunion’ game. B-4
Wednesday, April 29, 2009 • B-1
B SPORTS/SCHOOLS Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Western Washington’s best weekly sportswriting
Calling the game as I see it
Happy trails Ultra races more than a numbers game for Sequim CPA
SPOTLIGHT ON SPORTS
by MICHAEL DASHIELL
Scooter Chapman As you may or may not know, your intrepid scribe dabbles in sports officiating as a hobby and has been involved in baseball and fast pitch, both men’s and women’s, for some 50 years. In my earlier years, I also put on the football referee’s jersey and bounced up and down the basketball courts on the Olympic Peninsula during high school hoop season. I remember many a junior varsity game at Sequim when I called the fouls and then sat behind the scorer keeping play by play and stats so I could write a first-person story for the almost daily newspaper. But, alas, those days are in the past and now I just put on the umpire’s gear and have fun on the big and small diamonds. Today, a plethora of officiating trivia, notes and a quiz for you to amaze your friends at your next trivia party.
Steve Kanters is in midrace form at the 2006 White River 50-mile run.
See GAME, page B-3
Photo by Glenn Tachiyama
For someone who spends an awful lot of his working day sitting down, it seems a little odd that the first thing Steve Kanters asks for after a race isn’t water or fruit or even directions to a massage table. “Give me a chair,” Kanters says, a grin on his bearded face. “Because I leave it all out there.” After more than a full day racing against time, other runners and the onset of muscle failure, no wonder the man wants a seat. Kanters, a Sequim accountant, is one of a burgeoning subgroup of runners who challenge their bodies, minds and all good sense in the sport of ultra marathons. Ultras are, by definition, anything longer than the 26.2-mile marathon. Some ultras eke past that marathon barrier at 26.3 miles to boast the “ultra” tag, but most are much more formidable. Some
are based upon distance in a given time, such as a 24-hour race, but most ultras are 50 kilometers (about 31 miles), 50 miles or — for the few brave souls — 100 miles long. David Ferrell’s 1997 piece for the Los Angeles Times, “Far Beyond a Mere Marathon,” details one particularly painful 135-mile ultra, the Badwater race in Death Valley. “For a thin slice of society — zealots who live to train, who measure themselves by mental toughness — the ultra marathon is the consummate test of human character,” Ferrell wrote. “No other event in sport, except possibly prizefighting, is as punishing, as demanding of the mind and body.” For Kanters, the challenge isn’t in how much pain he can endure. It’s simply about seeing what his body can do. “How many people have gone 100 miles?” Kanters asks rhetorically from his business
See TRAILS, page B-8
Wolves roll past Bucs, Redskins
Sequim’s Lea Hopson fields a ground ball. Hopson made the play and Sequim beat North Kitsap 8-1 on April 22. Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell
Sequim posts 4 shutouts in a week, climbs in league standings
Sequim’s Evan Watkins, left, and Bremerton’s Jordan Sather vie for control of the ball in their Olympic League match-up April 20.
by MICHAEL DASHIELL Sequim Gazette
‘Sweep’ week keeps Sequim in hunt by MICHAEL DASHIELL Sequim Gazette
Facing three teams Sequim had already squashed once this season, coach Mel Hendrickson simply hoped his Wolves wouldn’t overlook any Olympic League foe. For one inning, those fears came true. “We spotted them a run and I thought, “Oh geez, (this is) the game I was worried about,” Hendrickson said, watching Olympic’s Trojans put a run on the scoreboard on Friday afternoon. Not to worry. Sequim scored in five of the next six innings and freshman hurler Demiree Briones shut down the visiting Trojans on five hits for a 10-1
league victory. The win puts Sequim (9-4 in Olympic League, 11-4 overall) within striking distance of Klahowya for the league’s No. 2 seed to districts behind undefeated North Mason. After the semi-shaky start, Sequim put runners on and forced Olympic to try to catch the Wolves’ basestealers. “Once we put some pressure on them, they folded,” Hendrickson said. At the plate, Briones also was 2-for-4 with a triple, Sarah Donahue had three hits and both Cindy Miller and Kathryn Roeber had two hits. Chelsie Winfield had a double in Sequim’s 12-hit attack. Briones went the dis-
See SEQUIM, page B-4
Following their cr ucial match-up against Port Townsend on Saturday, the Sequim Wolves got a treat from their coach: a meal at Waterfront Pizza. Earlier in the day, it was the coach getting a treat from his players. The Wolves (7-2-1 in Olympic League play, 8-3-1 overall) got a first-half goal from Evan Watkins and a second-half score from Daniel Servin to cap a huge week for Sequim, that posted four shutouts in four games and moved into first place in the Olympic League standings as of April 26. Coach Dave Brasher was impressed with Sequim’s win against the Redskins, particularly coming less than a full day after topping Kingston in a 1-0 thriller Friday night. “They’re all pretty sore and tired,” Brasher said. No kidding. In Por t Townsend, playing in their fourth game in six days, the Wolves got their first score from Watkins, a freshman, when the ball snuck past the P.T. keeper with heavy traffic in front at 19 minutes.
Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell
That was the score going into halftime and almost to the end frame until Nick Camporini took a free kick rebound and found Servin for the game-clinching goal and 2-0 victory. A day earlier, Sequim got its biggest win of the season — and a bit of revenge — in a classic at Sequim’s stadium. The Wolves and Buccaneers battled each other and a tough wind coming from the northwest for a scoreless first half and another 38 minutes into the second half. With two minutes left, Sequim’s David LaBeaume rocketed a corner kick that nearly found the net but missed the mark,
Olympic League standings (as of April 26) Team Sequim North Kitsap Kingston Pt. Townsend Bremerton Olympic Port Angeles North Mason Klahowya
Lg. 7-2-1 6-0-1 6-2-0 6-3-0 2-2-3 2-3-2 1-4-1 1-7-0 0-8-0
and it looked as if the Wolves, despite out-shooting the Bucs 18-8, might have to settle for a tie. But Brasher had sophomore forward Aldo Garcia try screening the Kingston goalie,
Over. 8-3-1 7-2-1 7-3-0 7-4-0 3-4-3 3-4-2 2-8-1 1-8-0 0-12-0
Pts 22 19 18 18 9 8 4 3 0
and when LaBeaume got a second chance with another corner kick, the distraction paid off. The Kingston keeper
See WOLVES, page B-4
B-8 • Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Trails From page B-1 desk in downtown Sequim. “That really jazzes me.” A bicyclist in his teens and 20s, Kanters didn’t get hooked on running until his mid-30s. Living in Boulder, Colo., Kanters saw a 10-mile run as a challenge. Now that’s a small training run. One of his first races was a half-marathon in Colorado and he hasn’t done anything shorter since; no 5k fun runs, no 10k races to celebrate some obscure festival. If it’s worth running, it’s got to be worth the pain. In 1991, Kanters did the Seattle Marathon, then he did Portland’s biggie in 1993. Then a work friend from Boulder called and suggested he try Pike’s Peak, a 26.3-mile barelyultra race in Colorado. That changed Kanters’ racing taste buds for life. “I just got hooked on peaks and trails,” he says. For a runner considering an amateur career in running super-long races, that was a good sign; ultra courses generally are set on trails since it’s too difficult to shut down roads for that long of a course. In the Pacific Northwest there are plenty of ultra runs to try one’s mettle, from 50-kilometer races near Bellingham (the Chuckanut 50k) and Orcas Island to 50-milers near White River and Olympia. A 50-k was next on Kanters’ list and once that was in the bag, then a 50-miler near White River. Soon he was looking for the next big hurdle.
‘You learn about your body’ Going from 50 miles to 100 is, as Kanters puts it, “way beyond double the effort.” So adequate (and almost excessive) training becomes a must. If not for a calf injury limiting his runs this year, Kanters, who turns 57 this year, typically gets a long run in first thing in the morning,
Steve Kanters has a few years and many more miles than son Davis, but the Sequim resident hopes his boy takes to running later in life.
Sequim’s Steve Kanters takes a breather from ultra race training near No Hands Bridge near Auburn, Calif. Submitted photos setting out from Sequim and trekking his way up Palo Alto to Tubal Cain and back, or up and over Burnt Hill and back, all before hitting the phone lines and computer at work. During a typical full-swing training week, three times Kanters is up at 5 a.m. and on a trail or road by 5:45 a.m. He’ll only do one long run — for Kanters, that’s a five-hour epic — just once a week. At the height of training, he posts 50 miles or more per week. On that kind of training regimen, he is pretty well alone. “If you get hurt, you can be kind of screwed … but it’s very peaceful,” he says. Peaceful to be sure, but ultra runners can find not having the right kind of energy boosts to be anything but calming. Runners burn hundreds of calories per hour and while shorter races don’t necessitate highly-specific foods and liquids at stops, they’re a matter of life and death in ultra running. Those runners pop salt tablets and electrolytes at prescribed times or distances because the body simply can’t absorb enough from regular food. Kanters puts that into practice on his training runs,
Ultra running on the web www.ultrarunning.com www.ultrarunner.net www.ultrunr.com www.run100s.com www.americanultra.org www.ultramarathonrunning.com stashing food and water in his car and looping back for replenishment. He runs with a Camelback backpack that’s filled with water and will dip into high-elevation mountain streams in emergencies. “You learn a lot about your body — everybody’s different,” he says. Lacking proper food and nutrients isn’t the only danger. Besides running in the dark with flashlights, rare animal attacks, floods and lightning, long training runs in unknown regions can put runners at risk if they get off trail. Kanters describes a long training run where he got lost, running several miles off course. The day he got home, he bought a Satellite Personal Trainer, a device that tracks his progress via a Google
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The prize for finishing the Western States race: the
Earth-like GPS system and coveted belt buckle. has three key buttons. One is like a 9-1-1 button for emergen- is a 100-mile sojourn from cies. Another is a nonemer- Squaw Valley to Auburn, Cagency help button. The third lif. Runners often hold up the is an “OK” button for when race as the Boston Marathon he’s fine and wants to let his of ultras. family know. Kanters didn’t need an “It takes out the cocki- invitation and he sure wasn’t ness,” Kanters jokes. going to get one: With so many For runs closer to home, athletes hoping to give the 100 he’ll sometimes take his son, miles a go, registration begins 4-year-old Davis, along the in December, closes quickly Olympic Discovery Trail. and is capped at 369 runners. “Most of my runs since Da- Why 369? It’s the number of the vis was born have been from last Western here,” KantStates race ers says from before the his Sequim 1984 Califoroffice. “He’s nia Wildera part of (my ness Act was training). I put into law, hope somebanning any — Steve Kanters day he’ll run organized with me. The events in the key is, you Granite Chief can’t ignore family obliga- Wilderness. The race still extions.” ists since it predates the act Kanters got through 47 but is limited to that number miles of an ultra in Wiscon- — and participants must be sin that he couldn’t finish. picked by lottery. The weather was so bad that Western States sees runrunners slogged through mud ners climb more than 2,500 with lightning all around. feet in the first four miles, then Halfway through, Kanters another 15,000 feet at its apex could hear warning sirens before descending nearly telling runners to leave the 23,000 feet into Auburn. course. Not willing to go into that “That was a bad feeling kind of race blind, Kanters did — usually I’m very elated,” his homework and it had little Kanters says. to do with numbers. In 2007, the Sequim ac“I was more interested in countant would find 100 miles the DNFs,” he says. Did Not worth of elation. Finish runners. Rather than read the musings of ultra winners, he wanted to know The Boston Marathon why people weren’t able to of ultras The Western States ultra get to the finish line and to
“How many people have gone 100 miles? That really jazzes me.”
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try to eliminate potential race-killers. He got plenty of great advice from a runner named Jenny Ray who posted her DNF in great detail. Kanters took heed. “You’ll never know if you don’t start,” he says. So he did. With Davis and wife, Anne, in tow, and after shedding 10 pounds in training, Kanters took to the starting line at Squaw Valley and started making his way up and down the course’s rocky terrain. At mile 32 or 33, well past a marathon’s length, Kanters fell and surmised he’d bruised or broken ribs on his left side. The pain and nausea didn’t stop and he did pick up some poison oak along the way, but Kanters still managed to finish in 28 hours, 56 minutes and 54 seconds. “What I’ve read in the past — you are in the best physical shape at the start and the worst shape at the end — is true for me,” Kanters wrote in a review of his race. “I was sore but my legs were surprisingly fresh,” he recalls. Despite the finish, Kanters isn’t settling. He wants the silver buckle, awarded to those who finish the Western States in fewer than 24 hours and, with his calf injury starting to settle, Kanters is eyeing a training schedule for the 2010 race. Until then he’ll have to settle for his bronze buckle, the one he proudly displays between prepping documents for the newest tax season. “I think I’m capable,” Kanters says.
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Wednesday, June 10, 2009 • B-1
Coming next week:
Also next week:
Lacrosse program blooms on peninsula.
Middle schoolers tackle environment problems.
B SPORTS/SCHOOLS Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Western Washington’s best weekly sportswriting
Fraser takes NODM crown More than 1,500 turn out for Sequim- Port Angeles marathon, half-marathon Sequim Gazette
Even with the chance the Hood Canal bridge might not be open by the time the marathon got under way, the champion already was just a few miles down the road. Ian Fraser of Por t Townsend won the overall title at the North Olympic Discovery Marathon, his second NODM title, with a 2:36 finish. Fraser won the inaugural 2003 North Olympic Discov-
ery Marathon by nearly 11 minutes. This time around, Fraser outpaced Seattle’s Aaron Ladd by more than six minutes. Fraser missed breaking the course record set in 2006 by Preston Brashers by just 15 seconds. Margreet Dietz of Squamish won the women’s championship in a little more
See MARATHON, page B-8
North Olympic Discovery Marathon winners: Marathon ■ Men 1. Ian Fraser, Port Townsend 2. Aaron Ladd, Seattle 3. Jeff Hashimoto, Ellensburg ■ Women 1. Margreet Dietz, Squamish (B.C.) 2. Ginger Gruber, Port Orchard 3. Sarah West, Portland, Ore. Half-marathon ■ Men 1. Harsha Thirumurthy, Carrboro, N.C. 2. Nick Best, Victoria (B.C.) 3. Ben Sauvage, Seattle ■ Women 1. Ashley Kapus, Poulsbo 2. Katie Klevens, San Diego, Calif. 3. Kristi Jordan, Boulder, Colo.
2:36:02 2:42:18 2:42:25 3:10:39 3:23:20 3:26:06
1:11:38 1:13:34 1:13:42 1:28:53 1:29:14 1:31:16
Ginger Gruber of Port Orchard is the runner-up in the full North Olympic Discovery Marathon Sunday behind champ Margreet Dietz of Squamish, British Columbia. Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell
Mariners are staying alive in AL West Ary Webb will play in Bremerton next school year after signing a letter of intent recently with the Olympic College Rangers basketball team. Gazette file photo
SPOTLIGHT ON SPORTS
Scooter Chapman The Hood Canal bridge is back open and now I can get to a Seattle Mariner game now and then without having to drive umpteen hundred miles. My last in-person game was April 18 and a lot of water has gone under the bridge since that time. Is the season over? Do the Mariners have a chance to get back into the race for the AL West title? Will they start purging players as the July 31 trading deadline nears? Those are questions being mulled over by Mariner brass. As I get ready to send this, the Mariners have a record of 27-29. They are third in the AL West standings, five games behind leading Texas and 0-5 against the Rangers. Here are the other numbers: 15-14 at Safeco, 12-15 on the road. 11-9 in day games, 16-20 night tilts, 15-12 in one run games, 4-3 in extra frames. Want more? The Mariners are 13-14 against the AL West: 7-6 vs. LA, 6-3 vs. Oakland and winless in five starts against Texas. The Mariners are 6-3 against the AL East, 6-11 vs. AL Central and 2-1 against the National League.
Around the horn Let’s look at position by position with Chapman analysis … At first, Russell Banyan has proved he is an everyday player and can hit against both right and left-handed hurlers. His play around the bag has been adequate. Waiting in the wings is Bryan LaHair in Tacoma. Manager Don Wakamatsu moved him from clean up to second in the or-
See SCOOTER, page B-4
SHS’s Webb signs with Rangers Sequim Gazette
Giants since 1994. Jean Rickerson says she hopes the information will help parents, coaches and the players themselves become experts about concussions and know exactly when they occur. The goal, she says, is to help those hurt know how to seek medical care, what’s important to watch for with possible concussions, when hurt athletes can/should return to play and how to avoid more serious complications. The event features the premier of “Help! My Bell Just Rang,” a video featuring players from Sequim, Port Angeles and Chimacum. That video includes interviews with Adrien Gault, the Sequim High football player whose multiple concussions sent him into seizures and a coma in September 2006.
When Sequim High School senior Ary Webb hits the basketball court on the Olympic Peninsula next winter, he’ll be donning Bremerton black and red. Webb signed a letter of intent and received a scholarship to play for the Olympic (Community) College Rangers for the 2009-2010 season. Sequim High School’s guard/forward combo stand-out scored a teamhigh 15.9 points per game in 24 games and led the Wolves to their second 2A state tournament in three years. The Rangers retur n five players from a team that went 21-8 and placed seventh at the NWAACC tournament last winter, bringing home a trophy from the tourney for the first time since 2000. “Ary brings a great understanding of the game with a good shooting touch,” said Billy Landram, men’s head basketball coach at Olympic College. “We had a lot of great athletes but nobody to knock down shots when teams played off of us or when we drove to the basket. We think Ary can be the guy to do that for us.” Webb said that a recruiting visit from Landram helped in his decision.
Complexities of the injury
Sequim studentathletes in college
The mysteries surrounding concussions are multi-
Check out where recent Sequim High grads are playing now at search.sequim gazette.com/sportsblog.
Drew Rickerson takes snaps in a preseason practice in 2008. A hit he took late in a game that November sent the sophomore into a series of side affects from the brain injury, taking months to recover. Gazette file photo by Michael Dashiell
Concussions hit home with Sequim family by MICHAEL DASHIELL Sequim Gazette
The hit came quickly and on the opposite side of the field from the home grandstands, on a foggy November evening. Sequim High quarterback Drew Rickerson knew he’d been hit hard, and his teammates knew, and by the time he was stumbling around the sidelines, shooting water over his shoulder instead of into his mouth and getting up from the bench to ask coaches if he could sit down, his mother Jean suspected her 16-year-old son wasn’t all there. “I knew something was up,” Jean Rickerson says. “(But) I didn’t want to be the mother who sits on the bench.” The sophomore quarterback, doctors know now in hindsight, suffered a concussion, defined by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke as a short loss of normal brain function in response to a head injury. Had she known all about
Concussion, The Invisible Injury What: A community workshop featuring Dr. Stanley Herring, professor of neurosurgery at the University of Washington Medicine Sports and Spine Center at Harborview Medical Center When: 1-3 p.m. Saturday, June 13 Where: Sequim High School auditorium, 601 N. Sequim Ave. Admission: Free Includes: Raffle for three sets of two tickets each to Mariner games Contact: Dave Ditlefsen at 582-3600 or Jean Rickerson at 452-6765 concussions and the repercussions of hits to Drew’s head, Jean Rickerson might have been quicker to demand her son get taken immediately to a hospital. T he scary thing, she says six months later, is that it didn’t seem like HERRING anyone around knew the impact her son’s concussion had on his brain or what to do next. Eventually Drew did make it to the emergency room. The time span from the hit to the hospital, all told, was
two and a-half hours. “That timetable could have been deadly for him,” Jean says. The incident and the resulting complications — Drew experienced numbness, loss of reflexes and sapped energy — led Jean Rickerson to ask Dr. Stanley Herring, professor of neurosurgery at the University of Washington Medicine Sports and Spine Center, to lead a workshop on concussions in Sequim this Saturday. Herring has been the team physician for the Seattle Seahawks since 1997 and a consultant for the San Francisco
See INJURY, page B-4
B-4 • Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Injury From page B-1 fold. The most common type of brain injury sustained in sports, according to the Brain Injury Association of America, they generally do not involve a loss of consciousness. People can sustain a concussion even if they do not hit their head; an indirect blow elsewhere on the body can transmit an “impulsive” force to the head and cause a concussion to the brain. The problem can come from a single blow to the head, sometimes causing massive headaches. Or, as in Drew’s case, the headaches can appear three weeks after the blow. Scarier still, multiple concussions can have cumulative and long-lasting life changes, such as epilepsy. Concussions can lead to a hematoma, or bleeding in the brain that collects and clots, forming a bump that pushes on the brain. A hematoma may not be apparent for a day or even as long as several weeks and can be life-threatening. That Friday night, Drew had a computerized tomography (CT) scan showing no significant, permanent brain damage. But by Monday morning he still was unresponsive, still dazed. “He couldn’t read, he couldn’t watch TV, he couldn’t concentrate on anything,” Jean says. “(At that point), I’m frantic.” By Wednesday, Drew had no reflexes on his right side and was numb in the extremities. At that point, the family rushed Drew to Harborview for more tests that showed no structural damage but — as another quirk of the injury
Scooter From page B-1 der last week and he did very well so he might stay there. Jose Lopez is at second. He can frustrate you when at bat but then can launch a long ball. His defense can be spectacular and awful. I might trade this guy if I could get a consistent hitter. He has hit well in the past week or so and
Teammates check on Drew Rickerson after a hard hit against Fife in November 2008. The hit caused numbness and loss of feeling in the sophomore’s extremities days after the game. Gazette file photo by Michael Dashiell
— concussions rarely show up on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and CT scans. Drew spent the next two weeks out of school, then spent the next two months going part-time with much of his studying at home. The concussion had sapped much of his energy and affected all but his mathematics skills (which, not uncommon to concussion sufferers, can remain sharp). It wasn’t until March, exactly a day before baseball season started, that Drew felt well enough to play and got the OK from doctors.
A new, safer law Washington now has what many sports injury advocates say is the nation’s toughest high school return-to-play law for concussions. Gov. Chris Gregoire signed a House bill into the Zackery Lystedt law on May 14. The law prohibits athletes younger than 18 and suspected of sustaining a concussion from returning to play without approval from a licensed health care provider. (Lystedt is a is the team’s runs-batted-in leader. Mariner brass probably will keep him right where he is. Then there’s Yuniesky Betancort at shortstop. Flashy fielder? Yes. Can get to any ball left or right? Yes. Can throw it accurately? Sometimes. Can hit? They’ve tried him in the 8-hole and the 2-hole. He has become more patient at the plate. He is hard to figure. I like backup Ronny Cede-
When brain trauma occurs Doctors advise emergency medical assistance for anyone who suffers trauma to the head and exhibits any of these symptoms (source: staff at the Mayo Clinic): ■ Severe head or facial bleeding ■ Bleeding from the nose or ears ■ Severe headache ■ Change in level of consciousness for more than a few seconds ■ Black-and-blue discoloration below the eyes or behind the ears ■ Cessation of breathing ■ Confusion ■ Loss of balance ■ Weakness or an inability to use an arm or leg ■ Unequal pupil size ■ Repeated vomiting ■ Slurred speech ■ Seizures 16-year-old in Maple Valley. He suffered a life-threatening brain injury in 2006 after he returned to play football following a concussion. His major injury came a week before Gault’s and the two were in Harborview at the same time.) The law already was gaining steam in the Legislature before Jean Rickerson heard
of it, but she become such a supporter that she visited Olympia to witness the announcement. “I was thrilled when I found out about the law,” she says. The law also mandates that school districts work with the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association — the gover ning body for high
no at either short or second. Yes, I would trade Yuni and he wound up the last home stand sitting on the bench. Now the 64-buck question: What to do with Adrian Beltre at third? His fielding is gold glove. His batting has fallen in the past two seasons and his power output has dropped. I would trade him in a heartbeat as he is in the last year of a big contract that has weighed upon the team. He fits better in the National League. Matt Tuiasosopo is waiting in Tacoma for his chance to shine.
ners did well with Chavez leading off and Gutierrez hitting second. I would go back to that if I were manager. I’d bat Ichiro third where his singles and doubles might drive in more runs and might make him try to exert his latent power stroke.
Outfield Ichiro Suzuki is a superb right fielder and can hit for average and has some power. Endy Chavez has been good in left and Franklin Gutierrez is a solid center guy. Wladimir Balentien is waiting for a chance to play more. I think he is the future, even though he needs much more work on outfield defense. He has trouble tracking the ball off the bat, I think. Back in April, the Mari-
Designated hitter/ catcher As much is I thought Ken Griffey Jr. was going to be the answer at this spot, it hasn’t happened. He looks like a 39-year-old at the plate and has not provided the key doubles and singles to drive in runs as he promised he would do, even though he did come through last Saturday with a key double stroke. Power numbers are down and, as of last Sunday, he had just six homers and 18 runs batted in. At times he seems patient at the plate and gets his walks, other times, like an 0-for-22 recently, he waves at pitches he can’t hit. Look for Mike Sweeney to get more at-bats the rest of
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Drew Rickerson scrambles away from Fife defenders on his way to a 25-yard touchdown run — and a concussion. A hit at the end of this play had long-lasting effects for the young sophomore. Gazette file photo school interscholastic sports in Washington state — to develop policies educating coaches about concussions. One of the major problems with figuring out if a player has sustained a concussion, Rickerson says, is that the person who has sustained the injury isn’t in his or her right mind anymore. “Asking someone who’s had a brain injury if they’re OK isn’t a reliable source,” Jean Rickerson says. Instead, she says, coaches, teammates and parents need to be able to read the signs and symptoms of a player they suspect has received a concussion — appears confused, dazed or stunned; unsure of the game, score or opponent; answers questions slowly; has loss of memory either before or after the hit; loss of consciousness, etc. Players who can realize their own symptoms — head-
ache, nausea, dizziness or balance problems, double vision, sensitivity to light or noise, sluggish or groggy feeling, confusion — can help diagnose their own problem. “What floors me is the lack of information most of us have,” Rickerson says. “I was part of the problem.” According to the Washington State Athletic Trainers Association, as many as 64 percent of Washington state high schools do not have access to a certified trainer. Herring, professor of neurosurgery, told the Seattle Times in November, “If you want to ask me what the booster clubs should spend money on … (it’s) a certified athletic trainer to cover the sporting events. Money well spent.”
the way unless Junior comes out of it. Right now he has an average that doesn’t cut it for a designated hitter. With Kenji Johjima injured, the burden has fallen on Rob Johnson; and the young catcher has done well. He hasn’t had enough major league experience at the plate, however, but can handle pitchers. His plate production will improve.
the ball at all. They’ve left too many men on base and I don’t care how good the pitching has been, the hurlers need to have run support so they don’t have to be so very, very fine against the good hitters on the other teams. Can they right the ship? Maybe. Will they start wheeling and dealing? I think so. Reach Scooter Chapman via e-mail at scooter@ olypen.com.
Reach Michael Dashiell at miked@sequimgazette. com.
Hurling The Mariners started with a rotation of Felix Hernandez, Erik Bedard, Carlos Silva, Jarrod Washburn and Ryan Rowland-Smith. The rotation at the end of May was Felix, Erik, Jason Vargas, Jarrod and Garrett Olson. That group has a very nice earned-run average but the lack of run support hasn’t helped the hurlers. They tried Brandon Morrow at closer — did not work. Now David Aardsma is the ninth-inning guy and was 8-for-8 saves until blowing a big one a week ago Sunday in Anaheim. Miguel Batista is in the pen and either is very good or very bad. Sean White, Mark Lowe, Chris Jakabauskus and Roy Corcoran are in the pen and Silva was such a disappointment that he is on the bench with a disabled list and probably never again will pitch for the Mariners.
The future The Mariners have not hit
SEQUIM LITTLE LEAGUE Boys Majors ■ June 1 Sequim Mariners 16, Sequim Marlins 2 ■ June 3 Sequim Red Sox 4, Sequim Marlins 0 ■ June 4 Sequim Mariners 13, Port Townsend Angels 12 Highlight: Alex Serrano hit a two-run home run • June 5 Chimacum Giraffe’s Gutters 3, Sequim Marlins 0 ■ June 6 Sequim Reds 9, Chimacum Twins 2 Sequim Mariners 9, Chimacum Cowboys 4 Chimacum Giraffe’s Gutters 7, Sequim Red Sox 0 ■ Standings Chimacum Giraffe’s Gutters 16-3 Sequim Red Sox 13-3 Sequim Reds 11-4 Sequim Marlins 9-7 Port Townsend Angels 8-9 Sequim Mariners 7-8 Chimacum Twins 5-12 Chimacum Cowboys 5-14 Quilcene 0-14
Girls Majors ■ June 2 Sequim Heat 17, ChimacumPieper 7 ■ June 3 Chimacum Red Hots 15, Sequim White Sox 2 ■ June 4 S e q u i m H e at 1 6 , Po r t Townsend Raven 5 ■ Standings Sequim Heat 11-1 Chimacum Red Hots 9-4 Chimacum-Pieper 5-9 Port Townsend Ravens 5-9 Sequim White Sox 3-10
Girls Juniors ■ May 30 Sequim Glory 12, North Kitsap 11 Sequim Glory 20, North Kitsap 6 Highlight: Darien Hall made game-saving catch in game 1 ■ June 3 Sequim Thunder 9, Sequim Glory 1 ■ Standings Sequim Glory 14-1 Sequim Thunder 6-2
SEQUIM SEQUIM GAZETTE GA-
Wednesday, December 30, 2009 • B-1
SHS alum Ary Webb, Olympic Rangers take on SHS alum Ryan Rutherford, P.C.’s Pirates. Date: Saturday, Jan. 2 in Port Angeles. Time: 7 p.m.
It’s a gas, gas, gas … tank Sequim school district adds fuel tank for transports. B-4
B SPORTS/SCHOOLS Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Western Washington’s best weekly sportswriting
Meandering, moseying by Morse Creek
Port Angeles, Ediz Hook and the Olympics are visible in the distance from the shore of the Strait of Juan de Fuca near the mouth of Morse Creek. Photo by Leif Nesheim
The Olympic Discovery Trail is awesome. I can’t wait to try out some of its newest sections west of Port Angeles. In the meantime, I visited a short section that’s one of my favorites between Sequim and Port Angeles in an unsuccessful attempt to meet up with some hiking friends. I thought we were going to meet at the Morse Creek parking area at 11 a.m. I got there at 11:02 and either missed them or was in the wrong place. Either way, I had an enjoyable hike. This portion of the ODT starts by crossing Morse Creek via a lovely
ON THE TRAIL Leif Nesheim trestle bridge. The 400-foot trestle curves gently to the north as it heads over the coursing waterway below.
Volunteers rebuilt it in 1999; a large informative plaque commemorates their contribution. Several anglers tried their luck from the bank below. One young man cast a line from the bridge itself; I don’t think he was having much luck as he had to cut his line from the trees. I’m not sure how easy it would be to haul a fish some 60-plus feet to the bridge, let alone return it to the water if need be. The highway bustles on the left and fences keep hikers and bikers
See CREEK, page B-6
LEADER OF THE WOLFPACK
Time to hit the slopes
SPOTLIGHT ON SPORTS Scooter Chapman It’s time to get out the skis, the boots, check to see if there are any holes in the long underwear, find the ski cap and scarf, as well as the fanny pack to carry goggles, snacks, gum and stuff to put on your lips to keep from chapping and head for the ski areas. Today a look at what’s in store for the holidays and beyond, starting with the closest ski area to us, Hurricane Ridge. For more than 50 years, a core group of ski enthusiasts has kept the ski areas in Olympic National Park open, often by the skin of their teeth and most often by dipping deep into pocketbooks. First it was the Deer Park area, where getting to the ski area was a trip in itself, now the Hurricane Ridge area. There was just enough snow to open the season Dec. 19, but it blew up a storm the next day to close the lift. The slopes were open with rope tows only over the Christmas break, but there wasn’t enough snow to open all lifts. We’re hoping for more snow and the area will be buzzing this weekend as December winds down and we welcome January and 2010. The Hurricane Ridge Winter Sports Club is ready for action. If all goes well, the ski area opens this weekend on a weekends-only basis (holidays give an extra day or two). The Hurricane Ridge Winter Sports Club is ready for action. Last year, great snow but not enough to open the Poma Lift, the most popular lift on the hill that has two rope tows: one for the beginners, the other for intermediate skiers. The Poma opens up a whole new area on the so-called “back side” for intermediates and above.
See SCOOTER, page B-2
Serious as a heart attack on the field, Sequim coach Erik Wiker eyes his Wolves as they clobber Eatonville 41-6 on Oct. 23 en route to a fifth league championship in six years. Photo by Jim Heintz
Wiker leads list of SHS football coaches Erik Wiker made history and didn’t even know it. The evening was a cold and wet one and it seemed that by the fourth quarter few of the people at the game — fans, referees, coaches or players on either side, save a third-stringer or two — were interested in continuing the game. On one side, the Sequim Wolves were getting ready for a playoff run, hoping to break their streak of bad luck and finally get a win in the state playoffs for the first time. On the other side, Port Townsend’s slumping Redskins were looking forward to basketball season. When the final whistle blew and the scoreboard indicated a Sequim
REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK Michael Dashiell 49-14 win, Wiker and the Wolves shook hands with their Nisqually League foes, huddled for their routine post-game chat and loaded the bus to get home. Perhaps if they’d known that
their coach had just become the winningest coach in the program’s history, they’d have given an impromptu cheer or an extra pat on the back. As it was — and how apropos, for a man who seems all business until a season is over and finished — the Wolves took no notice and focused on the next week’s playoff game. That game was Oct. 26, 2007. A week later, the Wolves beat Washington in a state-play-in game and earned their second consecutive berth in the state tourney. Wiker’s feat? Even more impressive. The fourth-year coach (at the time) had just recorded his 34th career win to pass Bill Schade, the Wolves’ leader from 1947-1956.
Schade needed 10 years to accumulate his 33 victories. Since that bitter-cold night in Port Townsend, Sequim’s football squad has racked up two more state tourney appearances, to run that string to four overall, and tallied 19 more wins. “I really didn’t know,” Wiker says. “The only person I knew had a decent amount of success was (Bill) Anderson. I didn’t know how long coaches stayed (here).” When Wiker joined the program as an assistant in 2000, no Sequim High School football coach in the previous three decades had stayed in
See COACHES, page B-3
Gardiner salmon derby canceled Sequim Gazette staff
The February 2010 salmon derby on Discovery Bay has been canceled because of an unresolved conflict over rights to the derby. Since 1973, a core group of Gardiner residents ran this fundraising event each Presidents Weekend. Early derbies focused on the Gardiner boat ramp but they expanded in recent years to additional ramps in Port Townsend and Sequim. The conflict centers around who has the right to run future derbies.
In 2009, Gardiner residents petitioned to change their emergency response district, leaving Jefferson County Fire District No. 5 in September to join Clallam County Fire District No. 3, with its new fire station in nearby Blyn. (Gardiner remains part of Jefferson County.) Gardiner volunteers had expected to continue running the annual salmon derby, but this was contested by Jefferson County Fire District No. 5. The matter remained unresolved in late December, so the Gardiner derby committee has been
forced to cancel the 2010 event. Dan Tatum, a major derby organizer, said he is disappointed. “We apologize to all our loyal supporters that we couldn’t resolve this situation,” Tatum said. “And we apologize to the volunteers who already did so much work this year. We should have dealt with this last summer, but we never expected the problem because the derby association was a local organization independent of the fire district.” In 2009, more than 800 tickets were sold and more than $16,500
in prizes awarded. Derby proceeds were contributed to Gardiner’s local fire department, more than $50,000 since 2006. Local restaurants, merchants and hotels no doubt will miss the off-season traffic normally generated by the event, Tatum said. But he said he thinks the biggest impact will be in Gardiner. “It just won’t be the same here without our derby, Tatum said. “The same neighbors and local
See SALMON, page B-6
Wednesday, December 30, 2009 • B-3
Some of Erik Wiker’s favorite Sequim gridiron moments
From page B-1 the position for more than five years. Some moved on to coach at other schools; some stayed in the district to coach other sports or at the middle school; still others were contemplating retirement by the end of their tenure. Wiker and then coach Bill Anderson worked to improve turnout, boosting the roster from 38 players in 2000 to more than 70 players just four years later. When Wiker took the reins as head coach in 2004, he said, “I plan to be here the rest of my career — not (just) four years then move up, down or sideways.” Six years later, he says that sentiment still holds true. “A lot of people ask me (if I’ll leave),” says Wiker, who turned 40 years young during the 2009 season. “It’d have to be U.W. or the Seahawks. I really like it here. I like having my kids growing up here. That’s why I didn’t want to coach in college. A coach’s life in college is two or three years and gone. I didn’t want that. Plus the challenge of being at the same school is, you get what (athletes) you get and make it work.”
‘Winning breeds winning’ Wiker was a lineman in high school, paying his dues on offensive and defensive lines. He moved on to a junior college for two years, then played on University of Idaho’s offensive line. After his playing days were done, he did some offensive line scouting for the Vandals, then took a job in Post Falls, Idaho, working with linemen. He took a job as an offensive line, special teams and strength coach in Nevada before moving to Sequim with family in tow in 2000. That year, the Wolves went 0-9. In Anderson’s final season in 2003, the Wolves went 7-3. “Winning breeds winning,” Wiker said shortly after his promotion. “Anderson did a great job here. Kids have short memories; that 0-9 season is a thing of the past.” Wiker’s Wolves saw success immediately, no doubt helped by the team’s shift from the Pierce County League to smaller, 2A Nisqually League in 2001. But Wiker says the wins have come in a sort of convergence of things: the bump in turnout, the move in leagues, the emphasis on spring practices and summer camps, and in part because those who played for Anderson knew their new coach well. “I knew the kids and everything; the transition really wasn’t there,” Wiker says. “We’re running same defense (now) as when I came on and …
Knowing that most high school football games are won or lost at the line, Erik Wiker keeps an eye on his linemen in this 2007 preseason workout. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell the same special teams.” While Wiker’s career numbers look considerably better than winning percentages of coaches who led the Wolves into gridiron battles in the “old’ Olympic League — battling the likes of North Kitsap, Central Kitsap and Bainbridge each year — Sequim has posted strong numbers against bigger schools in his six years here, plus posted five league titles against some strong competition in the “new” Olympic League. Perhaps more importantly for Sequim High fans, the Wolves are 4-2 against Port Angeles. Only Schade has more wins (five) against the Roughriders, and it took him nearly twice as long to do so with a worse overall record (5-10-1). “I think they are fun. It’s definitely grown on me,” Wiker says. “The first few years, we didn’t play them. When we won (in 2004, a 37-6 Sequim victory), it was huge in the community. I knew it was big but it was so lopsided that it meant a big deal.” In the backfield for that game was Brian Savage. Now an assistant coach for the Wolves, Savage was a force that night (230 yards, two scores) and several nights thereafter, earning all-state status at the end of that season. “We kind of knew he was good at the time, but he made it look easy,” Wiker says. The Sequim coach notes that he’s seen a few Wolves players with a certain “wow” factor — Savage, plus receiver/kick returners Ryan Rutherford and Kincaid Nichols — but most solid players from Sequim earn football success because of good work ethics, who relay more on heart than on talent. Those include lineman Joe Shaw (“big body but maximum potential and a great leader,” Wiker says), running back/linebacker Chris Riggs (“awesome energy guy”), tail-
back Travis Decker (“played up to the top of his potential”), Clancy Catelli (“made lots of plays, very athletic”), plus linemen Thomas Gallagher, Wes Maguire and Roman Turner. “We have a lot of self-made guys,” Wiker says. Example: Sept. 21, 2007, in a nonleague contest against Klahowya, the host Eagles are up 17-14 and looking for the game-clinching score. On fourth-and-goal from the 3-yard-line Klahowya quarterback Dan Zimny flipped the short toss toward the superspeedy Andre Moore, but Riggs, the Wolves’ all-league linebacker, stepped in front of the pass and went 99 yards for a touchdown. The run was made all the more impressive when Moore pulled up more than 20 yards short, conceding the score. “That,” Wiker says, “is where that heart thing is.”
Dusty pages of history I started out trying to answer one simple question: Who is the winningest coach in Sequim High School’s football program? I have to admit, researching Sequim High School’s football history proved to be a tricky matter. For one, our newspaper archives here at the Sequim Gazette date back to 1974. Since I came here in 2001, I’d kept pretty substantial records regarding each football game but apparently that wasn’t always the case with our other football reporters. At times it took me until the 20th paragraph to find the game’s final score or whom they were playing. Armed with a list of coaches provided by Doug McInnes and the Sequim Alumni Association, I went to Sequim High School, hoping their archives would detail game scores and coaches and perhaps a bit of anecdotal information. The SHS library had nearly every yearbook from the
Sequim High School football: All-time coaching wins since 1928 Coach W L T Seasons Erik Wiker 53 14 0 6 (2004-09) Bill Schade 33 48 3 10 (1947-56) Glen Greathouse 28 25 1 6 (1969-74) Jim Scott* 17 13 3 6 (1937-42) Bill Anderson 15 22 0 4 (2000-03) Ed McGuire 14 9 1 3 (1966-68) Barry Wheeler 14 13 0 3 (1978-80) Doug Adkins 13 14 0 3 (1975-77) Mark Textor 12 24 0 4 (1992-95) Dan Gagnon 10 10 2 3 (1943-45) Richard Sweeney 10 17 0 4 (1984-86) * — team records for 1940, 1941 seasons not available
Notes Made state tmt. last 4 seasons Longest tenure in program Won 15 of 17 games (69-70) Shut out P.A. twice in 1938 0-9 in first season; 7-3 in last Earned first state berth (1978) 1972 team went 7-2 1985 team upset No. 3 NK
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season I needed (1973) back to the early 1940s. Despite some worn and tattered covers, I found yellowing page after page of game scores, portraits of ruddy-faced players in those great “throwback” poses, photos of coaches with clipboards in hand and whistles at the ready. Good stuff. I found that my hopes to have a complete history of the program were far from achievable, at least here. For one, according to our alumni group and documents I found at the Sequim Museum and Arts Center, Sequim High played its first games — three in all — in the 1914 season. But the high school’s yearbook archives only went back to 1929. By the looks of things, folks might not have produced yearbooks before then. The early 1930s yearbooks weren’t exactly the Encyclopedia Britannica, if you catch my meaning. Further more, several years were missing from the school’s collection. Some people haven’t returned them, librarian Nancy Woolley told me. Others were more easily explained: several editions in the 1930s weren’t printed because of the Depression, and the 1941 and 1942 yearbooks might not have been printed thanks to that World War II thing. I went to the Clallam County Historical Society, where more information turned up. I was able to fill in some of the blanks from seasons in the 1950s and 1960s; fortunately, a certain newspaper that printed evening editions in the greater Port Angeles area included some bits of Sequim games from time to time, and I was able to get a better picture of the SHS football program, its on-the-field successes and (frankly) its more abundant on-the-field failures.
Top Wolf on the pile In the end, it turns out Wiker already was the winningest coach in the program’s history — by a long shot — by the time he tallied his 50th win earlier this year, a 41-6 decision at home against Eatonville. But I’m glad I did the research. I found enough tidbits of interesting factoids about the Wolves to fill a trivia book. For example: ■ Despite being closer to Port Angeles, the Wolves have played Port Townsend more than 80 times since the late 1920s. Though I’m missing results from a few of those seasons, it’s clear the SequimP.T. rivalry is much more competitive (44 Redskin wins,
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36 Wolves wins and two ties) than the Sequim-Port Angeles rivalry (Roughriders 47 wins, Sequim 18 wins and five ties since 1928, minus results from four seasons). ■ Sequim has had seven winless seasons since 1961. ■ The Wolves played in daylight for their first 45 seasons until 1959 when the school put lights on the field. Five years later, a lit scoreboard was installed. ■ In a 1999 game against White River (a 30-8 loss), Sequim fumbled 12 times. ■ Sequim has played at least 75 different schools in its history. ■ The Wolves have played Notre Dame twice. No, not the storied school in South Bend, Ind. It’s a school in British Columbia. Sequim also played Vancouver College once in 1978. Sequim won 29-14 en route to its first state playoff berth. ■ That same year (1978), Sequim played at Port Angeles as the Roughriders played on their brand new home turf at Civic Field. After the Wolves won 23-8, Sequim carried coach Barry Wheeler off the field on their shoulders. ■ For a while in the 1960s, Sequim was so outmatched by the Roughriders, they played (and beat) Port Angeles’ junior varsity squad instead. ■ Sequim’s longest winning streak is 16 games, from the 2003-2004 season. Coach Anderson saw his team win six in a row, followed by Wiker’s 10-game undefeated streak that ended in a playoff loss to Franklin Pierce. ■ Sequim’s longest losing
■ Beating Por t Townsend his first year (2004). “We were both 7-0, both ranked, lots of people there. That was a big win and fun game to coach in.” ■ Edging Klahowya 2117 in the 2007 season, locked up when Chris Riggs intercepted a goal line pass and ran 99 yards for a touchdown. ■ Edging Friday Harbor 15-14 in 2007. A number of Sequim fans took boats to San Juan Island, then got treated to a top-notch game that Wolf Alex Gillis saved by blocking two field goals. “A pretty neat experience for the kids.” ■ Beating ranked 3A powerhouse Bainbridge Island 42-21 in 2004. ■ Nearly knocking off favored Tumwater in the class 2A state playoffs in 2007. “They had superior talent across the board, all the things were on their side (but) our kids really wanted it.” Sequim had two key starters missing due to injury. “I remember, in the last three or four minutes, thinking, “Wow, this is a good football game.” ■ All of the Port Angeles games.
streak is 23 games, including parts of the 1960 and 1963 seasons and all of 1961 and 1962.
Editor’s note: I’ve put a few things online about the program, such as a year-by-year, game-bygame score recap and all-time records versus individual schools. Check it out at www. sequimgazette.com/sportsblog. I’m hoping to get some help filling in the blanks, so if you have any archive information that can help, send me an e-mail (see below) or drop it by the Gazette office (147 W. Washington St.). Reach Michael Dashiell at miked@sequimgazette. com.
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