We now close out our series reviewing 2011’s big sports stories in the Valley with the top five stories from the year in Valley sports that we had for you here at the SVSJ. Again, comments about our series are welcome, post in comments or better yet, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Note that with the comment page, we have instituted some changes there to help us combat comment spam, so be aware.
We go from 5 all the way to number one.
5. Cedarcrest girls’ soccer finishes as runner up in 2A state tournament
The Red Wolves’ soccer team had a great season in the Cascade Conference this fall, and on top of two big nonleague wins to open the season against Kingco 3A foes (including Mount Si), Cedarcrest was being seen by some as a state title contender. Well, after a minor detour in the district playoffs as a result of a home loss to Archbishop Murphy, the Red Wolves successfully made it the rest of the way through the district playoffs and into the state tournament.
Cedarcrest beat Klahowya in the first round to make it to a second-round date with defending 2A chanp Sehome up in Bellingham, and the Red Wolves goalie, Bailey Parrish, proved to be the difference, making key saves down the stretch in weather and field conditions that were way less than ideal, helping Cedarcrest stun the Mariners and make the state semis, where they beat East Valley of Spokane to reach the title game against another Kingco foe, Interlake.
The Saints had a deadly connection this fall, Emma Bergstrom and Isabel Farrell, and that connection once again proved to be key as Interlake scored the game’s lone goal thanks to those two and took the state crown. While the Red Wolves may have been disappointed with the outcome, Cedarcrest had a lot to be proud of this fall and will look to make it back to the title game in 2012.
4. Vanwinkle breaks school football records
It was another tremendous season for Mount Si football in 2011, and leading the charge was junior kicker/punter Cameron Vanwinkle, who broke several school football kicking records this season, among them longest field goal, most field goals in a game and in a season. Much of that record-breaking success came in two games early in the season, the September 10 win at Bothell and the September 17 win over Lake Washington.
Vanwinkle’s performance has earned him considerable national praise, and many around the country think he could be the top Class of 2013 high school kicking prospect for college recruiters. He is being looked at by quite a few schools, and his success at camps around the country will only increase that notice.
He also was in line for a national high school kicking award, the Herbalife Chris Sailer award, but a kicker from California took that award. Still, though, Vanwinkle has plenty to look forward to next fall, as he aims to break many of the records he himself broke this season.
3. Snoqualmie Valley North Little League wins it all on softball diamond
The 9 and 10-year old division also had a successful team from the Valley, in the Snoqualmie Valley North Little League’s all-star team. The SVNLL team dominated in their district tournament to make state, and continued to do the same in the state tournament until making the finals against South Snohomish Little League.
July 24, the South Snohomish kids offered a bit of a reality check to SVNLL, handing the kids from the Lower Valley a big loss, but the girls from Carnation and Duvall responded well to the adversity they faced, as they came back the next night, July 25, and scored a hard-fought 2-1 win to take the state title.
The title was a tremendous accomplishment for these kids, all of whom now will look to duplicate that success in future years.
2. Cedarcrest boys’ basketball makes historic run to state
The Red Wolves boys’ hoopsters in 2010-11 made huge news in Duvall, as the team, coached by Micah Rieke, had tremendous success throughout the season, led by sophomore Zach Taylor and seniors Andrew Alness and Colton Rekers. That success earned them a trip to districts and a chance to make state.
February 18, Cedarcrest was home against Anacortes, with history on the line, and a packed gym witnessed maybe one of the greatest games in CHS school history, a nail-biter throughout which ended with the Red Wolves winning 68-66 to earn their trip, which was the first for CHS in over 50 years and only the second time in school history, dating back to their days as Tolt HS in Carnation, the boys had ever made it.
CHS fell in a heartbreaker in the first round against Franklin Pierce at the regionals, but it did not take away from the great accomplishments of the season that had just been completed. Following the end of last season, Rieke resigned and was replaced by Sammamish resident Mark Prince, and he has the team, led by Taylor, making another strong run this season at 5-3 thus far.
And now, our top story of the year in Valley sports.
1. Mount Si baseball wins first state title in dramatic fashion
The Mount Si Wildcats baseball team in 2011 had a new coach, Elliott Cribby, and he inherited a strong group of players who had underacheived a bit in 2010, resulting in his predecessor, Chaz Carr, being let go. Cribby, a former Eastside Catholic assistant coach making his first go-round as a head man in high school baseball, instituted an exciting brand of offensive baseball which, combined with the solid play of a number of the team’s top players, helped Mount Si dominate Kingco throughout the spring, ultimately leading to a Kingco championship and a trip to the state tournament for the first time since your editor’s graduation year of 1997, where they made it through regionals and into the state finals.
The semifinals and finals were both heartstopping, with Mount Si winning the semifinal game against Kennewick’s Kamiakin by one run on a play at the plate for the last out of the game, then in the finals, the Wildcats rallying from a 4-2 deficit against Shorewood with two outs in the bottom of the final inning to score three runs to take the state title. There are several videos on Youtube of the fateful moments, we have the full version for you here.
The team received many honors following their win, including recognition from both the cities of Snoqualmie and North Bend. And many of their top senior graduates from 2011 found college opportunities, led by shortstop Tim Proudfoot, who signed with Texas Tech several weeks after the high school season ended.
It has been a fun year in 2011 for Valley sports, and we look to bring you more great stories in 2012 here at the Snoqualmie Valley Sports Journal.