“G’s” vs. “JuJu”, plus the rest of this morning’s diamond cuts…..

Good Saturday morning. Hopefully, it is a wonderful morning for everyone from Mount Si High School’s class of 2019, 415 strong who all graduated last night in a special ceremony down at ShoWare Center in Kent. Those 400-plus now embark on a trail that for many of them hopefully will be a successful one for them as young adults, and we once again wish them luck this morning.

We lead our morning round of diamond cuts off with a pair of Mount Si 2017 alums crossing paths last night in the West Coast League. Friends and former Wildcat teammates Gavin Gorrell and Justin Lutz and their teams clashed last night in the first of a three-game rivalry weekend set. Gorrell’s Wenatchee AppleSox took on Lutz’s Yakima Valley Pippins in the so-called “Highway 97” rivalry clash at Yakima County Stadium, the first of six of these this summer for the two college summer baseball teams.

Gorrell, from North Bend, and Lutz, from Fall City, faced each other twice. In the second, Lutz coaxed a walk from Gorrell, who then got the last laugh in the fifth, getting the Yakima Valley catcher to ground out to second to close out his five innings of work, which, for a player who hadn’t pitched competitively since last summer when he played for the Pacific International League’s North Sound Emeralds college summer squad, went fairly well. Gorrell allowed three runs on eight hits, with the walk to Lutz in the third being one of just two of those on the night for the Wenatchee lefty. He also struck out four but took the loss as the Pippins took care of the Sox 4-1. Lutz finished the game 0-3.

Gorrell redshirted this spring after transferring from the University of Northern Colorado to Boise State University, whose program will start next spring. Lutz just finished two years with the Community Colleges of Spokane program and is looking to transfer to a four-year program.

The two teams play again tonight at 6:30 over in Yakima, with the game available on YouTube. Search Yakima Valley Pippins for the live feed.

Marenco aids Bellingham: Us thinks Bellingham Bells infielder Mason Marenco was pretty busy last night. The 2017 MSHS’er, from North Bend and playing collegiately for Gonzaga, we’re guessing watched his brother Spencer graduate on the Mount Si graduation webstream prior to last night’s Bells WCL divisional road game against the Port Angeles Lefties, then proceeded to celebrate going 1-4 with a walk and two runs scored for Bellingham as they held off Port Angeles 11-10 in a wild one up at Civic Field in Port Angeles. The hit was Marenco’s first as a Bell, who he signed with for this spring after spending last summer with the AppleSox over in Wenatchee. The two teams play again tonight on the Peninsula.

Everett routs Highline: In Pacific International League action last night, the Highline Bears fell at home 11-1 to the visiting Everett Merchants down at Steve Cox Park in south Seattle. 2017 Cedarcrest HS grad Riley Mallot got his first action of the summer for the Bears, and it didn’t go as planned, as he allowed three runs on one hit in just 2/3 of an inning of work on the hill for Highline. He walked three, struck out one and received no decision. Mallott this spring pitched for a community college in California after spending last season with Columbia Basin College in the Tri-Cities.

Honkers beat Fairbanks-based squad: The Valley-based PIL’s Northwest Honkers won their 10th game of the season last night, outlasting the Alaska Goldpanners, from Fairbanks, 4-3 in a marathon that perhaps was influenced a little bit by rain last night in Bellevue. Duvall’s Cameron Padron went 2-4 with an RBI pacing NWH, playing the majority of their games in Bellevue this year as they seek a new permanent home field in the Valley to replace Fall City Community Park, which up until last season was their home field. Any decision on a new field is not likely for months, but Mount Si High School’s new on-campus field in Snoqualmie could be a possible destination for the team.

Youth Baseball
Light night on the youth baseball front thanks to the weather last night. Scores and highlights from Gamechanger and the Gamechanger app, available on Apple IPhones and IPads in their app store.

Lakeside Recovery 12, Bellevue Dragons Elite 15U Green 2 (game one, doubleheader): Issaquah-based Lakeside rolled to the win by run rule in the first of two over the Bellevue team at Bannerwood Park in Bellevue. Mount Si’s Ryan Llewellyn went 1-2 with a run for BDG, and fellow Wildcat J.T. DeRouen also had a hit. Mount Si’s Chris Jarocki and Luke Richter both pitched, with Jarocki allowing six runs, five earned, on just two hits in two innings; six walks did not help things but he struck out two. Richter allowed two runs on two hits in his inning of work, walking two. Neither pitched recorded a decision.

WW Sweets 15U 3, Northwest Naturals 16U 2 (8): Mount Si’s Aidan Dougherty was the hero last night for Sammamish-based Sweets in a win over their Plateau rivals which took place on neutral soil up at Inglemoor High School in Kenmore. Dougherty walked it off with a single scoring teammate Luke Olsen in the bottom of the eighth, completing a 3-4 effort that led Sweets with that walk-off RBI. Mount Si’s Hayden Weaver paced the Nats, going 1-2. He started on the hill for NWN, allowing two runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings, walking five and striking out one. He received no decision.

Lakeside Recovery 8, Bellevue Dragons Elite 15U Green 7 (game two, doubleheader): The Dragons rallied late but fell just short in the nightcap as Lakeside swept the twinbill. The Dragons’ Mount Si delegation in this one was led by Brady Hossfeld, who went 2-4 with a run scored and an RBI. Llewellyn had a hit, run scored and RBI, and Richter also had two hits and two runs scored. He started this game after finishing the first game on the hill and allowed a run on three hits, striking out one, in an inning and a third. He again had no decision.

Youth Softball
Off to southern California for this score, from Gamechanger and the Gamechanger app, available on Apple IPhones and IPads in their app store.

Gold Coast Hurricanes 7, Washington Ladyhawks Miller Gold 18U 0: The Puyallup-based Hawks opened their summer schedule last night being limited to just three hits – one of those by soon-to-graduate Cedarcrest HS senior Michaela Carter – in their loss to the Florida team down at the Triple Crown Zoom into June event in Anaheim. Also of note, Woodinville-based Voodoo Fastpitch Rhinehart, which includes Mount Si’s Abby Gronewald, is down there, too, except Gronewald is not playing this weekend thanks to her being among those 400-plus members of MSHS’s class of 2019 who walked the aisle at ShoWare last night and got a diploma, for which we congratulate her here. Voodoo fell to a southern California team.

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On this graduation day for Mount Si High School, two grads could face one another on the diamond in a little while tonight

Got some baseball news for you this afternoon. If you’re looking for something to listen to tonight aside from the Mariners or the NBA Finals after hopefully witnessing another class of students graduate from Mount Si High School, you have a chance to potentially catch a game featuring a pair of Mount Si grads potentially facing one another.

The college summer West Coast League’s Wenatchee AppleSox and Yakima Valley Pippins baseball teams begin a three-game series tonight, round one of their Highway 97 rivalry series over on the east side of the Cascades, and on the mound for Wenatchee will be 2017 Mount Si HS alum Gavin Gorrell. Gorrell, from North Bend, will be making his first start of the season for Wenatchee, and he could get a chance to face his friend and fellow Wildcat ’17er Justin Lutz in the game tonight. Lutz, from Fall City, just signed with Yakima Valley. Gorrell will be a sophomore this fall at Boise State University while Lutz will be a junior and is currently seeking a four-year college program to transfer to following the completion of his two years of community college baseball with the Community Colleges of Spokane.

Going to potentially be a good one tonight. Here’s links to audio and video coverage of the contest, which will start at 7:05 p.m. at Yakima County Stadium in downtown Yakima:


Wenatchee (KCSY-FM)

Yakima Valley (Mixlr)

Live Video (Yakima Valley)

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The Friday round of cuts, and your annual note from the editor about this year’s Mount Si senior graduation ceremony……..

Good Friday morning. The morning round of diamond cuts on deck, but first, a quick note from your editor.

Tonight is a special night for Mount Si High School’s class of 2019, as they all celebrate graduation and the beginning of a new chapter in their lives, as they move onto college or other endeavors and become adults.

The moment for all of these kids, whether they are athletes or not, is one that has been earned through a lot of years of hard work and sacrifice, both by the kids themselves and their families. These young men and women have faced many challenges over the years, both individually and as a group, but they have risen above that to make it to this special night tonight.

It has been your editor’s honor and privilege these past four years as a local writer to tell the athletic stories of this great group of kids. Whether it’s been two-sport athlete (football/basketball) and Mount Si’s boys Athlete of the Year Jonny Barrett, softball star Abby Gronewald, boys’ distance track star Joe Waskom, senior girls’ track and field throwing experts Abby Triou or Jenae Usselman, girls’ two-sporter (soccer and gymnastics) Shelby Johnson, baseball athletes Trace Halvorson or Spencer Marenco or dozens of others too numerous to mention here, the accomplishments of these kids, both on the field and in the classroom, are accomplishments that will forever be etched in history.

Many of these kids will be moving on to college to pursue their goals. Others will head to the military, or perhaps straight into the workforce. There will be some challenges on that trail, but there will also be some opportunities for these kids to chase, opportunities which may see them head elsewhere. But these kids will always have a piece of this Valley in their hearts, and will forever bleed that scarlet and gray.

We congratulate Mount Si’s Class of 2019 on their accomplishments and wish them all the best as they move on and chart their new paths to success as young adults.

The graduation ceremony once again this year is being webstreamed live for those unable to get a ticket to the event. That webstream is below.

The event itself is this afternoon down at ShoWare Center in Kent, at an unusually early 4:30 p.m. start time to accommodate other events in the arena this evening. Those going to the event we would suggest you dress for the weather as rain is in the forecast and get there early.

Cedarcrest High School’s graduation takes place next Friday.

With that, time for the scores. Youth baseball action powered by Gamechanger and the Gamechanger app, available on Apple IPhones and IPads in their app store.

Washington Rush White 9, FM Sports 16U 8: A wild one up north in Snohomish County last night went to the Rush on a walk-off. The Mount Si High School delegation all pitched in for Redmond-based FM; among them, Josh Moore started the game for FM on the hill, allowing a run on six hits in three innings with a strikeout and no decision, and Jackson Crumb went 1-2 with two walks and a run scored. Also, Scott Harris had a hit and RBI and Ryan Harris had a hit, walk and two runs scored, both for FM.

Rippers Baseball 16U 7, Baden Black 16U 5: The Redmond-based Rippers held off Seattle-based Baden in a game at the Cam Christian tournament down in Auburn last night. Cedarcrest HS’s Kian Pegueros-Warren paced Rippers, with a double as part of a 2-3 effort; he scored a run and also drove in one as well. And fellow Red Wolve Carter “Deuce” Knowles was also delivering the goods, going 2-2 with two runs scored and an RBI. The third CHS’er on Rippers, Mason Pudwill, went 0-1. Former Mount Si High School player Mason Gronewald went 1-2 with a double, walk, run scored and RBI for Baden. He played this spring for Mercer Island.

Northwest Naturals 16U 3, Kirkland Merchants 16U 2: This was a good one up at Skyline HS in Sammamish last night as the host Sammamish-based Nats won it on a walk-off over the Kirkland team. Mount Si’s Dawson Schneider got the win in relief for the Nats, allowing one hit in one inning of work while striking out two. He offensively went 0-3. Woodinville’s Caden McCann, whose family are regular readers of this blog, pitched very well last night, allowing two runs on four hits in a solid six innings of work on the hill for the Merchants. He walked six, struck out eight and ended up with no decision thanks to the walk-off heroics in the seventh.

Rock Creek 15U 8, Power Baseball 8: Also in Cam Christian action in Auburn last night, the Maple Valley-based Rock Creek could not hold a late lead and ended in a draw with the south Sound team. Cedarcrest’s Nate Hoyer went 1-4 with a run scored for Rock Creek.

Diamond Sports 9, Boys of Summer 18U Blue 8: The Pierce County team held off the Bellevue-based Boys at home in Bellevue last night. Marenco and Halvorson spent their graduation eves on the diamond last night for BoS, with Marenco going 0-4 with a run scored and RBI and Halvorson going 0-2 with a walk and run scored.

Kirkland Merchants Premier 10, Washington A’s Premier 18U 3: The Merchants cruised to a home win at Inglemoor High School in Kenmore over the Sammamish-based A’s. Will Scott, who walked down this same ShoWare Center graduation aisle last year during the MSHS class of 2017 graduation ceremony, went 0-1 for the A’s. He just completed his freshman college season at the Colorado School of Mines.

College Summer Baseball
Ridgefield wins first-ever game: The West Coast League’s expansion Ridgefield Raptors won their first-ever game last night, outlasting the Yakima Valley Pippins 3-2 at home in Clark County. Skyline HS grad Riley Gill, whose family now lives in Snoqualmie, went 1-3 for YVP, who now has on their roster Fall City’s Justin Lutz. And the Mount Si grad could face a fellow Wildcat alum – Gavin Gorrell – tonight as the Pippins host Wenatchee for their home opener. We’ll keep tabs and let you know.

Honkers roll: In Pacific International League action, the Northwest Honkers rolled to a 13-1 win over the Seattle Wallbangers last night in Edmonds. The Valley-based Honkers, playing home games at various out-of-area venues this summer as it seeks a permanent field in the Valley to replace their former home of Fall City Community Park, scored six in the eighth to cement the win. Ben David and Paul Bryniarski both homered for NWH, while Mount Si alum Tiye Utley went 0-4 for Seattle.

Posted in Basketball, College Sports, Football, News and Comment, On the Diamond, Soccer, Tennis, Track/XC/Running, Volleyball, Water Sports, Wrestling/Gymnastics | Comments Off on The Friday round of cuts, and your annual note from the editor about this year’s Mount Si senior graduation ceremony……..

Some perspective from your editor regarding yesterday’s major Snoqualmie Ridge ice hockey rink announcement

As many of you may have heard yesterday, there was a major announcement of a new ice hockey facility coming to the Snoqualmie Valley.

Here is more on that from KING 5 reporter Chris Daniels, but we wanted to add a little additional information and perspective about this announcement and how it will impact the Valley.

For those not aware, the Sno-King Amateur Hockey Association is one of several organizations in the region that promotes and sponsors youth ice hockey, but is the one that covers teams and players serving the Valley. The association has battled for years with a lack of facilities, with their closest on the Eastside being in Kirkland. As Daniels’ story notes, the association is expecting an uptick in interest, and has already seen some growth start to occur, as a result of last December’s announcement of a National Hockey League expansion franchise coming to western Washington.

As for that NHL team, this soon-to-be constructed facility, which will be located deep within the Snoqualmie Ridge industrial core behind Safeway and the shopping center up there, is not slated to be the team’s practice facility. That facility, as you may also know, is being constructed in north Seattle as part of the redevelopment of Northgate Mall. However, there is a chance you may see a Seattle NHL team practice or two take place there if the team decides to do certain practices around the region as a means of building interest in the team among local fans.

It could also be a plus for attracting some of those professional players in any event to make the neighborhood their home when the new team starts operations in 2021. Having a facility like that nearby will allow for those players to do additional work beyond what they would do in regular team practices and also in the offseason.

That all said, the primary use for the facility will be for youth hockey and the building is expected to generate a lot of use from folks from outside the Valley, which could help Ridge businesses economically. Traffic impacts are likely not to be too serious considering the location of the facility well off Snoqualmie Parkway. There could be additional issues though with additional traffic through the I-90/Highway 18 interchange, but outside of that, traffic impacts are not going to be too big of an issue, we expect.

The facility might also help generate additional local interest in the sport, and could, one day, serve as a home for high school hockey programs, including at Mount Si should the school want to explore such a program for their athletic department in the future.

In all, this was a great announcement and one that will be good news for our community moving forward.

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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!

Posted in Athletes of the Week 2018-19, Basketball, Football, On the Diamond, Wrestling/Gymnastics | Comments Off on The 2018-19 Snoqualmie Valley Sports Journal’s High School Athletes of the Year