2014 Year in Review part 1

Good morning. Today, we begin a two-part retrospective on what we feel were the top 10 sports stories of the year in the Snoqualmie Valley. We’ll count down from ten to six today, then the top five stories come tomorrow.

10. Mount Si softball makes state and becomes first Wildcat softball team to go winless in state tourney: Mount Si High School’s softball team came into 2014 with high expectations. And after winning the SeaKing District title this spring, this senior and junior-laden group, which included several kids who will be hitting college softball diamonds in the next couple of seasons, including Celine Fowler (Central Washington) and Britney Stevens (Hawaii Pacific) looked poised to make a deep run. But the Wildcats fell in a slugfest in their opener to Bonney Lake, then were routed stunningly by Vancouver’s Mountain View, ending what had been perhaps the program’s best chance to win the whole kit and caboodle since 2004, when Kandis Clesson, Amy Trenkamp, Kayla Jayne and company led Mount Si on a dream run through the state tournament, coming up just short in a memorable title game against Yelm. With the team having graduated Stevens, Fowler, and several others, the team will be younger this fall, but the pitching remains intact, led by current senior Paige Wetherbee and sophomore Claire Lis. With the team playing in 4A this coming spring (more on that tomorrow), the road will be a lot tougher, but it will still be doable for a trip to state in 2015 to make up for lost time.

9. Mount Si baseball makes state, but falls in first round to team Wildcats beat in 2011 to win it all: The Mount Si High School baseball program is in a bit of a retooling mode these days; gone are the core players that helped the team to successful seasons under former head coach Elliott Cribby, many of whom are playing collegiately – and a couple who are likely to make it to the pros someday. In their place are kids who understand the expectations and culture that has lived on in the program under current head man Zach Habben, and those kids worked hard this spring and won the Kingco 3A championship to earn another berth to state. But, they drew a familiar foe for their first round matchup, a foe that was hungry for revenge. Shorewood was the team that Mount Si rallied from behind in the last inning to beat in 2011 for the state title, so the Thunderbirds were certainly ready for anything. But they had an ace up their sleeve – one known as star pitcher Sam Boone, who had an 0.36 earned run average coming in. Boone pitched a shutout to propel Shorewood to a 2-0 win back in May in the first round game in Centralia, ending Mount Si’s season at 15-8. The Wildcats, as they head to 4A this coming spring, will be in a tougher Kingco league environment, so their chances of making state will be more challenging. But, if last season’s team is any indication, anything is certainly possible.

8. Cedarcrest High School boys’ cross country makes state despite rebuilding: Graduation losses following 2013 left the Cedarcrest High School boys’ cross country squad in a youth mode, and their chances of making a deep postseason run in some question. But, the boys overcame the long odds and even surprised their coach, longtime CHS head man Bruce McDowell, by earning a state berth out of the tough Northwest 2A District. Sophomores Ian Fay and Cameron Hammontree led the way at the district meet with top-15 finishes, but fellow runners Chase Bolin and Simon Fraser, both of whom were a little down the Red Wolves depth chart, also had strong showings at the district event back in November, and those efforts helped CHS beat Bellingham by just six points in the team standings for the final state berth. With all four of these runners back this fall, the Red Wolves could once again contend for a state trip on the boys’ side, and with the added experience of last season’s run under their belt, could make a deeper run for it all.

7. The Valley has a new high school cross country star on its hands: The past four years have all been about the development of Logan Orndorf, who ran for Cedarcrest from 2010-2013 and graduated this past June, into the top high school cross country runner in the Valley; Orndorf took his talents far and wide and parlayed that into a scholarship to run at the University of Portland. Well, Mount Si now has its own budding cross country star, and it’s a girl. Sophomore Hannah Waskom this fall was the lone Wildcat cross country runner to make state, and her efforts there enabled her to compete in the prestigious Nike Border Clash race in November down in Portland, where she had a mid-pack finish. She also competed in a Nike regional meet back in October and finished in the top 10 of the girls’ division one race. Waskom is poised to get similar college interest to Orndorf, and will have a chance as 2015 rolls along to make a stronger case to that end.

6. Boeing Classic 10th anniversary season: The Snoqualmie Valley’s premier summer sports event, the Boeing Classic golf tournament at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge, enjoyed its 10th anniversary back in August, and once again the event was a smashing success, with strong attendance and competition throughout the weekend they were here at the end of that month. The tournament needed extra holes to decide a winner, with Scott Dunlap winning that playoff to take the Classic crown. The tournament once again this fall received a postseason recognition from the Champions Tour, the pro golf tour the Boeing event is part of, and the event will be back once again in 2015, helping showcase the Snoqualmie Valley to the nation and the world.

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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