The 2018-19 Snoqualmie Valley Sports Journal’s High School Athletes of the Year

We neglected to bring this to you on Monday, but we have our official announcement now of this year’s 2018-19 Snoqualmie Valley Sports Journal’s High School Athletes of the Year.

As you know if you are a regular reader, every Monday we recognize athletes from both Mount Si and Cedarcrest High School for their performances on, and sometimes off, the field during the previous week. We alternate that each week between boys and girls and make sure every team has at least one athlete recognized in this segment. And as you saw a couple times this year, we also offered recognition outside of the athletic arena as well, to students excelling in other things at their local high schools.

So with that said, here’s our choices for Athletes of the Year.

MOUNT SI – This one was a tough one for us, but we’re giving it to senior Jonny Barrett. Barrett this school year proved to be an important two-sport athlete for the Wildcats, excelling on both the football field and basketball floor and helping both of those teams make deep runs in the state 4A high school playoffs. But not only was Jonny getting it done on the court, he was getting it done in the classroom, too, achieving a strong grade point average and using that to net himself a scholarship to attend and play football for Dartmouth University, an Ivy League school, this fall. Barrett, who we recognized as an AotW last September 12 in a dual honor then again individually on January 4, had been recruited by several Ivy League schools before making his decision official with an announcement prior to a Wildcat basketball game earlier this year. Barrett was also a very strong leader in the school this year and we enjoyed our interactions with him. Barrett is a young man we expect you’ll be hearing good things about in the future, and we are pleased to offer this recognition to him in advance of him walking down the graduation aisle at ShoWare Center tomorrow afternoon.

CEDARCREST – We head to basketball and baseball and senior Chris Busch gets our nod this year. Busch was a valuable leader for both the Red Wolve hoops and baseball teams this school year, helping both make it to the district playoffs. But he also was a strong ambassador for his school off it, too. We recognized Busch on February 13 after receiving word that the Wesco Conference’s officials association had recognized him for his excellent sportsmanship during a game this season, and he was also a very valuable contact for us earlier this spring when the news broke that his fellow senior boys’ athlete Bryce Hefner had passed away. We’re sure that it was a difficult time for Busch and his fellow seniors following that, but we’re also sure that Busch did tremendous work both inside and outside the school helping his friends and the community come to grips with that terrible loss. Busch is off to Washington State University in the fall, and like Barrett, we expect you’ll be hearing good things about him in the future as well. We recognize Chris Busch as our Cedarcrest High School boys’ athlete of the year.

MOUNT SI – Freshman golfer Kasey Maralack gets the nod this year. Maralack helped lead Mount Si’s girls’ golf team to a state appearance this spring, as the team finished eighth overall, but she also is helping build the “brand” of Wildcat girls’ golf and representing it at regional and national events quite well, most recently at the national Drive, Chip and Putt youth golf competition down at Augusta National Golf Course during the week of the Masters’ golf tournament back in April. We recognized Kasey back on April 3, largely out of her efforts at DCP. She’s going to be competing on the Washington Junior Golf Association tour this summer and we also expect her to compete at the Pacific Northwest Golf Association’s girls’ junior amateur tournament in August. Maralack will be a name that you’ll be hearing about for a long time and we expect the Mount Si girls’ program will benefit from her success and exposure for a long time to come.

CEDARCREST – Five young ladies blazed a trail this school year for their peers at Cedarcrest and all five excelled in doing so. Wrestlers Olivia Hillestad, Abby Varday, Jessica Wonder, Abbi Link and Olivia Sipes comprised the Red Wolves’ first-ever girls’ wrestling squad. It was incorporated as part of the boys’ wrestling team, but no matter, the girls and boys both worked hard and worked well together to achieve success. Red Wolve wrestling on the boys side has historically been a strong program at the high school level, so for girls to give the sport a shot – and have success at it out of the gate – breaks barriers and gives them another option athletically to succeed at if they so choose. Wrestling over the years has seen a steady increase of participation from girls, and Mount Si is no exception, having had a few girls, most recently Kinsey Steskal, give the sport a shot. But this group of five, who we recognized over this past holiday break (then again we recognized Jessica and Abby on January 23 after they made it to postseason) is building a new tradition at CHS, one that we expect and hope will stand the test of time. We salute all five of you and you’re all our CHS girls’ athletes of the year.

We congratulate all of you on your recognition today, and wish you all luck this summer and in the 2019-20 school year!

Rhett Workman

About Rhett Workman

Rhett Workman is the editor of the Snoqualmie Valley Sports Journal. Workman is a veteran sports journalist, having covered Snoqualmie Valley sports for nearly a decade with the Snoqualmie Valley Record newspaper before starting up the SVSJ. Workman's coverage has earned the support and respect of Valley coaches, players, parents and fans, and the SVSJ continues the standard of coverage that Workman brought to the Valley Record.
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