The Warford’s shine in opening day of playoffs at PNGA’s, plus news from the diamond, volleyball and the pitch on this Thursday…..

Good Thursday morning. Busy morning this morning, and we start on the links.

Snoqualmie’s Warford brothers found plenty of success yesterday on the opening day of match play at the Pacific Northwest Golf Association’s junior boys’ amateur championship tournament in Caldwell, ID. But, at times for one of the duo, it wasn’t easy.

As we alluded to yesterday in our preview of the match play rounds, that type of play is a much different animal in golf than stroke play, and that proved to be the case for top-seeded Drew Warford in his opening round championship playoff match with Portland golfer Brody Marconi, seeded 32nd in the field. The two golfers were neck and neck for most of the match before Warford birdied the 15th hole (with Marconi parring that hole) to take a 2-up (two-hole) lead on his challenger. But Marconi responded, birding both 16 and 17 (with Warford parring those two holes) to even the match “all-square” and force it into extras, where Warford birdied the first extra hole to take the match.

The Mount Si junior-to-be then played yesterday afternoon in the quarterfinals at the TimberStone Golf Course against William Fleck, from Bend, OR, and after the two golfers played the opening nine holes even, it was all Warford on the back nine, blowing away the central Oregon foe by winning every single hole down the stretch, and sealing the 4-and-2 victory with a birdie on 16. Fleck bogeyed that hole.

Drew Warford takes on Colorado golfer Peter Grossenbacher in the quarterfinals today.

As for Drew’s brother, Hogan, the Mount Si freshman-to-be had a much easier time of it in his first match yesterday in his consolation playoffs. He dominated the match with local favorite Gerek Eubank from nearby Meridian, ID, a suburb of Boise, taking as much as a four-hole lead in the match before sealing it by a two-and-one score with the Valleyite birdieing 17 with Eubank double-bogeying that hole to close things out. Hogan Warford meets future Kingco rival Jordan Werner from Sammamish a little later on this morning in the consolation semis.

The playoffs continue through this weekend there in the Treasure Valley. Also this morning:

MSHS grad plays for second straight night with new team: Freshman Maggie Gunning, from Snoqualmie, saw some action for the second straight night with her new college team, Northwest University’s women, as they finished up their season-opening back-to-back set in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland.

The Eagles, who fell Tuesday night to open the season (with Gunning seeing action in that contest) to Trinity Western up in Langley, last night fell 1-0 to the University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford. Gunning, who graduated from MSHS back in June, played about 20 minutes off the bench, with no stats of note recorded.

Northwest now is off until next Friday when they hit the road for the sunny beaches of south Florida and a pair of games with Miami-area teams.

Stanton in Seattle: North Bend’s Nikki Stanton and her National Women’s Soccer League professional team, the Chicago Red Stars, were in Seattle last night to play the Reign. Stanton, a 2008 Mount Si HS grad, did not play in the contest for the Red Stars, who finished in a scoreless tie with the Reign at Memorial Stadium on the Seattle Center grounds and in the process prevented Seattle from clinching a spot in the NWSL playoffs later this season. Stanton and Co. will likely remain in the Seattle area for the next couple of days before their next game, which is in Portland against the Thorns on Saturday night and will be televised on the ESPNNEWS cable network at 7:30 p.m. That ESPN service is available on all local cable/satellite providers so call yours for more information if you want to add that channel to your lineup.

Lane dinged on hill: North Bend’s Trevor Lane saw work last night in “AA” minor league baseball’s version of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry. New York-affiliated Trenton took on Boston-affiliated Portland (ME) up in Maine with the 2012 Mount Si HS grad seeing 1 1/3 innings of relief pitching duty in the fifth and sixth innings for the Thunder, allowing two runs on three hits, striking out two and receiving no decision. The host Sea Dogs handled Trenton in the Eastern League contest 6-5. Lane has been with the Thunder for the last couple of weeks after being promoted from the Yankees’ “advanced A” team in Florida.

Karalus injured: Lane’s fellow 2012 MSHS classmate Reece Karalus, a pitcher with MLB Tampa Bay’s “AA” minor-league team in Montgomery, AL, has not pitched in a week and a half and that is thanks to another injury, something which has dogged the former Wildcat during his minor-league career. Karalus, also from North Bend, is eligible to come off the disabled list today after being placed on it last week for what was described as an oblique injury on the MILB website. Karalus has been up with Montgomery since the beginning of this month after he was also promoted from “advanced A” ball in Florida by the Rays.

Valleyite’s efforts not enough in two losses to open season for NWU ladies: The Northwest University women’s volleyball team opened their season yesterday on a down note with a pair of losses in their season-opening tournament in southern California. But they kept their Valley rep real busy.

In the opener, Northwest fell to Embry-Riddle from Arizona in five, 23-25, 25-26, 20-25, 25-23, 15-12. Sophomore Courteney Carr, from Snoqualmie and a 2017 Mount Si HS grad, was busy, recording a kill, 15 assists, three digs and an ace as the Eagles weren’t able to close things out after taking a two- sets to one lead in the match. Then, in front of just 50 people (fewer, frankly, than you see at any average Mount Si home match in our view) in their nightcap, the Eagles fell to Vanguard from southern California in a three-set 25-18, 25-20, 25-18 sweep. Carr had eight assists, five digs, two kills and an ace in this one.

Northwest finishes up play in the tournament today against teams from the California-based Golden State Athletic Conference. It is being hosted by Hope International University down in Fullerton, in Orange County.

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Wash, rinse, repeat: Snoqualmie’s Warford continues push for golf title, and news from the pitch, on this Wednesday…..

Good Wednesday morning. We start on the links this morning.

A Valley athlete finds himself in prime position to defend his regional junior’ amateur boys’ golf championship after landing the coveted top seed into the championship playoffs for that title yesterday.

Snoqualmie’s Drew Warford fired a 70 yesterday and finished the opening segment of stroke play with an eight-under par 136 on the par-72 TimberStone Golf Course layout in Caldwell, ID, and that earned him the top seed into the championship playoffs at the Pacific Northwest Golf Association’s Junior Boys’ Amateur tournament, which start this morning. Warford, a Mount Si High School junior this fall, will have his first round match with Portland’s Brody Marconi, who seeded in 32nd overall in the top-32 playoff. Marconi finished stroke play with a five-over 149, but match play is a different animal than stroke play, with the two competitors playing for each hole, and the player that wins the most holes taking the match (a golfer wins a hole by scoring better than his opponent on that hole – example, Warford birdies a hole while Marconi were to par that same hole, Warford would win that hole, and vice versa, but if both golfers were to birdie a hole, then that hole is tied, or as it’s called “halved.”). So the strategy for Warford will be playing smart on each hole and also playing consistent. He gets an early tee time for the match, too – 6:40 our time, so very shortly – so the cooler conditions might present slower greens and fairways that could also affect things.

Drew’s brother Hogan, a freshman we think this fall at MSHS, also is competing this week at the tournament and finished stroke play tied for 77th after an 86 yesterday. He finished with a two-round total of 165, +21 over par, and will be the sixth seed in a consolation round playoff which also starts today. His first match is at 9:30 our time this morning.

We’ll keep you posted on how the Warford’s do today.

Couple of items from the pitch as well this morning, and the first item in particular might give MSHS girls’ soccer coach Sophie Rockow a nice smile this morning:

2018 MSHS’er makes college debut north of the border: Northwest University’s women’s soccer team opened its season yesterday with the first of two games north of the U.S.-Canadian border in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland, and with it came the college debut for a recent Mount Si High School alum.

Maggie Gunning hit the pitch for the Eagles in the 4-0 loss to Trinity Western up in Langley, B.C. yesterday. Gunning, a freshman this fall for NWU and from Snoqualmie who graduated from MSHS back in June, played 45 minutes and recorded no stats of note for Northwest, where she will be coached by a fellow ex-Wildcat. Among the coaches on staff this season with the Eagles is alum – and friend of this blog – Jordyn Wilson, also from Snoqualmie. She is in her second season with NWU’s coaching staff after four successful seasons as a player for the school.

Northwest continues its Canadian swing this afternoon playing the University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford.

Mount Si grads square off on pitch: The University of Idaho’s women’s soccer team finished up its exhibition play with a 2-0 win last night at home in the Kibbie Dome on campus in Moscow, ID, over the visiting Central Washington ladies. We have no stats available for you, but the game provided an opportunity for a pair of Mount Si High School grads to square off. Seniors Claire Johnson (Idaho) and Michaela “K.K.” Wallace (CWU) both were expected to play in the contest. The two are both 2015 alums of MSHS, Johnson from Snoqualmie and Wallace from North Bend.

Idaho opens its regular season Friday in Reno, NV, against the host Nevada Wolfpack. The Vandals’ home game next Friday, August 24, will be live on the webstream service PlutoTV beginning at 4:00 p.m., against Grambling. You can find a link to Pluto, which you can download for free, on our newslinks. Central opens its season August 30 at Fresno Pacific University. All of the Wildcats’ home games this fall will be on, which you can also access through our news links.

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Snoqualmie’s Warford brothers open tourney play at PNGA junior boys’ championships, plus note from the pitch on this Tuesday…..

Good Tuesday morning. We start our morning coverage with a look at the links, and yesterday’s round one of the Pacific Northwest Golf Association junior’ boys amateur regional championships in Caldwell, ID, had vastly different results for the two Snoqualmie brothers competing in this week’s tournament.

Drew and Hogan Warford both are competing in the event. Drew did very well in the opening round, and finds himself in contention for the title at the end of the week, while his younger brother Hogan struggled and is facing a trip to the consolation playoffs.

Drew, a Mount Si High School junior and defending champion of this event, fired an opening-round 66 on the par-72 TimberStone Golf Course layout to put him at six under par and in second place, a shot behind first-round leader Gunnar Knutson, from Mount Spokane High School in north Spokane. Knutson finished 14th in this spring’s WIAA state 3A boys’ high school golf tournament.

Drew’s round was filled with birdies – six of them to be exact, including one to close out things on the 18th. He heads out a little later this morning, looking to advance into the opening round of the playoffs tomorrow as one of the top 32 in the field.

As for Hogan, the soon-to-be Mount Si’er found the course a bit challenging. He bogeyed seven holes and finished with a round of 79, good for seven over par and in a tie for 60th. With the top 32 players as noted advancing to the championship round, Hogan looks to be out of contention for a trip to the title bracket. It is likely he’ll end up in one of the consolation playoff brackets tomorrow. Hogan will head out shortly for his second round and will look to have a much better round today, having learned things from yesterday’s round that will help him today.

Also this morning, from the pitch:

Fall City’s Brownell starts college season: Idaho State University’s women’s soccer team kicked off the 2018 fall campaign yesterday, and with it started the season for Valley athlete Rachel Brownell. Brownell, a sophomore from Fall City and a 2017 Mount Si HS grad, is a defender for the Bengals, who play in the NCAA Division I Big Sky Conference, and is one of two ex-Wildcats on Big Sky women’s soccer rosters this season – the other being Claire Johnson, from Snoqualmie, at Idaho.

Brownell came off the bench and played 28 minutes for ISU in their 3-1 home exhibition loss to Utah Valley in Pocatello, ID. She recorded no stats of note. The Bengals will finish up its exhibition schedule, in which the results do not count in the official standings for the season, Friday afternoon meeting the NAIA’s Westminster, from Salt Lake City. The regular season starts August 24 with a trip to the University of Texas-El Paso for a game with the Miners.

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Snoqualmie’s Warford brothers begin quest for regional junior boys’ golf crown today

Good Monday morning. We start a new week with a quick look at the links and a preview of the Pacific Northwest Golf Association’s junior’ boys regional championship tournament, which starts today and will have a pair of Valley athletes competing.

The Warford brothers – Drew and Hogan, both from Snoqualmie – will be representing the Valley in this year’s competition, which is being contested at TimberStone Golf Club outside of Caldwell, ID, which is near Boise. Both Warford’s will tee off for their first rounds this afternoon – Drew just after 12 noon Mountain time (11am our time) and Hogan around an hour after Drew hits the course. Weather is expected to be hot and dry with temperatures in the high 90’s today and through this week in the Boise area, so greens and fairways could be quick this week depending on how well they’re watered prior to each round. The two local kids – and their regional opposition in the field – will have to make allowances for that as the rounds continue.

The tournament has drawn a solid field of golfers from all over the Pacific Northwest and western Canada. However, a couple of names perhaps familiar to Drew Warford in his recent title success are not competing in this week’s tournament – Tahoma High’s Colt Sherrell, from Maple Valley, who the Mount Si golfer beat for the WIAA 4A state title in the spring, and Oregon golfer Scotty Kennon, a very good competitor who Warford beat last summer on the way to winning the PNGA title, which he will be looking to defend this week.

It will be an interesting tournament to be sure and we’ll follow it for you here throughout this week.

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“Kimbo” gets ‘er done again on mound for indy baseball squad

Good Sunday morning. Light morning this morning with just one item and it’s from Normal, IL, where it was another solid outing on the hill for Valleyite Josh Kimborowicz with the River City Rascals independent minor league baseball squad.

“Kimbo”, a 2010 Mount Si HS grad, moved to 5-4 on the season allowing three runs on four hits in five innings of work, walking three and striking out four as the Rascals broke out to a 7-0 lead after three innings and held on for an 8-5 win over the host Normal CornBelters in a Frontier League contest.

River City, based in suburban St. Louis, moved back to .500 (39-39) with the win and are now four games back of Frontier Western Division-leading Normal (41-33). Kimborowicz is in his first season with the Rascals after spending the past two seasons bouncing around with teams in both the United States and Europe. He was drafted by Major League Baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays out of college in 2013 and played three seasons with the Rays organization before being released following the 2015 season. He has been in independent and foreign baseball since, with this stint with the Rascals being his second within the Frontier League, a Midwest-centric independent minor league.

Normal and River City finish their series today with Kimborowicz not expected to see another start until perhaps this coming weekend again.

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