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Marysville 2008 Sports Year In Review
M-P’s heavy weights lead Premier meet in kind of state preview
In what would become a kind of preview of the Tomahawks’ state wrestling team, M-P wrestlers Tannon Hillis and Michael Pfeiff won the top weights at the Jan. 12 meet.
Pfeiff, who would go on to place fourth at the Mat Classic at the end of the season, advanced through the bracket, pinning every opponent except Snohomish’s Jake Reinhard in a 9-3 semifinal decision.
Hillis, who placed fifth at the end of the season at 215 pounds, defeated Snohomish’s Derek Britton with a 7-4 decision in the final.
Freshman Demitri Robinson, a Tulalip student who coops with the Marysville wrestling team, was the third member of the Tomahawk squad to wrestle at state, placing first the Class 1B bracket at 103 pounds. Though Robinson met mostly 4A competition throughout the season on the Tomahawk mats, he met wrestlers from Tulalip-sized schools in the district and state matches.
Lakewood girls secures district spot
A big game in a big venue gave the Lakewood girls basketball team a late-season boost.
Playing Sultan at Key Arena Feb. 2, the girls gained an extra game advantage over the Turks, Lakewood’s closest competition for the league’s second automatic district berth.
Lakewood won 59-50.
“Mathematically, we’re in the playoffs now,” said Lakewood coach Chris Walster.
Seniors Jennifer Lind and Aly Stewart led Lakewood’s scoring with 15 and 11 points respectively.
Caldwell, Ordonez represent Lakewood’s state wrestlers
Lakewood junior Christina Ordonez and sophomore Keely Caldwell stormed through the opening rounds of the girls wrestling regional at Arlington High School, pinning all opponents in their path.
Each fell in the regional title match, but not before securing berths to Washington’s first girls state wrestling tournament Feb. 15-16.
Though neither Lakewood wrestler placed at the Mat Classic, the girls returned for another try in 2008-09.
LeValley swims AAC at state
Tomahawk junior Trevor LeValley swam an All-American Consideration time and won the preliminaries of the state 200 individual medley.
The team went to place sixth in the meet at the King County Aquatic Center Feb. 15-16.
LeValley’s time of 1:55.20 earned him the top seed in the 200 IM finals where he eventually took third place. He also was third in the 500 freestyle.
Teammates Spencer Girard, Oliver Durand and Taylor Gibson also qualified for finals in their individual events.
Early loss imparts lesson to conference champion Lakewood baseball
After a flat performance cost Lakewood baseball its opener against Archbishop Murphy, the Cougars roared back to capture the series with 12- and 14-run performances.
Despite the foreboding start in the March 10 game there were bright spots.
Right fielder Josh Spears — who would go on to garner conference player of the year honors — had a first-inning double and a long pass to home plate for a dramatic second-inning out.
With a sweep of Granite Falls to close out the season and some help from South Whidbey, Lakewood earned their first conference title since 2005 when the Cougars made it all the way to the state championship game.
Lakewood met South Whidbey in the opening round of the district tournament in Anacortes where the team ultimately fell a game short of qualifying for state.
M-P grad plays in NCAA tourney upset
A standout on M-P’s basketball team the year before, San Diego freshman Nathan Lozeau played for the Torero team that knocked off No. 4 Connecticut in the opening round of the NCAA basketball tournament.
Lozeau’s Toreros defeated the Huskies 70-69 on March 21 to play fellow upstart Western Kentucky.
Despite watching UConn basketball from an early age, Lozeau took to heart his coach’s message about playing in the tournament.
“He just says to come out and have fun, don’t get intimidated by the name on their jersey,” Lozeau said.
A freshman on the team, Lozean played only about a minute of their opening draw, getting a rebound against Connecticut.
Tomahawk track wins Kent-Meridian Invite
In a portent of how their season would unfold, the Tomahawk track team earned a big early season victory as the girls won the Kent-Meridian Invite. M-P also turned in the top coed score at the March 29 meet.
Senior boys Blake Lovell and Brandon Greene won their respective events, with Lovell taking the javelin with a throw of 153-6 and Greene the high jump.
With a mark of 4:12.87, the girls 4x400 relay of Cali Cull, Haley Nemra, Alisha Oden and Nicolette Runyan beat Thomas Jefferson High by a seven-second margin.
The girls gave M-P a fourth event victory as senior Michaela Caldwell cleared 9-6 in the pole vault to win the event.
Marysville’s performance at Kent was buoyed by a slew of top-five finishes.
M-P coach Randy Davis credited big meets like the Kent-Meridian Invite for fostering competitiveness in his athletes.
“One of the things too, you need to learn how to win,” he said.
Caldwell, who edged teammate Robin Mueller in the pole vault, went on to share the school record in the event with her teammate. Both girls cleared 11-0 to break Caldwell’s old school record of 10-9 at the conference championships at the end of the season.
A strong senior class helped the girls go on to win their first district championship in more than 32 years.
M-P boys soccer beats Cascade, plays at state
With a chance at school history on the line, the M-P faithful turned out in droves to watch their Tomahawk soccer team wrest control of the league from a physical Cascade team.
In a come-from-behind victory, M-P broke the tie for first place and seized control of its destiny, with the school’s first-ever conference championship and an automatic berth to the state tournament on the line.
Cascade took the first lead as Bruin forward Jeff Gosslee beat Tomahawk keeper Erik Cruz.
“At some point we started going away from our game plan, so we started to throw their game plan at them,” said M-P coach Geoff Kittle after the April 24 game.
M-P got ready for their first match against Cascade by practicing and defending restarts. It paid off when the Tommies scored in the 51st minute off a corner kick, a patented Cascade scoring technique. Off a kick-in, senior midfielder Nick Burdett put the ball in the air and junior Seth Jones headed it in.
Then, the cards started falling against Cascade in the second half, literally. A call against the Bruins with less than five minutes pending set up a short-range penalty kick. Burdett was set to kick and delivered, averting overtime and all but assuring M-P the win.
The next week, Arlington put off M-P soccer’s quest for a conference championship, but they couldn’t keep the Tomahawks from earning the district’s third state tournament slot and the team’s first trip to state in 23 years.
M-P drew eventual state runners-up Puyallup in the first round, playing to a 1-1 overtime tie, but falling on penalty kicks.
Lakewood boys soccer win district
After two regular season losses to Cedarcrest, the Cougar boys finally got a win of their own over their league nemesis.
With a 1-0 win, Lakewood defeated the Red Wolves May 10 in the district championship game at Mount Vernon High School.
Lakewood midfielder Joseph Hawkins scored the game-winning goal in the 76th minute.
Lakewood hosted Mark Morris in the opening round of the state tournament May 13, ultimately falling 2-1.
M-P fastpitch tops Monroe, wins districts
The Marysville fastpitch team was written off by preseason polls, picked to finish in the cellar of the Western Conference.
But with a 1-0 win over a highly-touted Monroe program in districts at Skykomish River Park May 16, the Tomahawks proved the naysayers wrong, earning their first trip to state since 2004.
Senior shortstop Kristina Sherriff got the team’s first hit against Monroe’s heralded pitcher Jordan Birch, making it to first base on a sneaky bunt in the fifth inning. Freshman Megan Rollings batted her in on a base hit to right field to give the Tomahawks the game-winning run. The Marysville win was Monroe’s third loss of the season and the second at the hand of the Tomahawks.
Sherriff, who batted 2-for-4 against Monroe, was in tears at the end of the game.
“It’s just so surprising. We proved everyone wrong,” she said.
The girls defeated Jackson 4-2 in the district championship game the next day. Freshman Riley Fritz pitched all three games for M-P.
The girls went 1-2 at the state tournament in Tacoma.
M-P grads play for NWAACC championship team
M-P graduate Brandon Kizer started on the mound for Edmonds Community College, helping his Tritons defeat Lower Columbia 6-4 for the Northwest Athletic Association of Community College tournament championship.
The May 26 win was a fine end to Kizer’s second 7-0 season in a row, after leading the Tomahawks to the district tournament his senior year of high school.
Kizer was joined on the championship team by fellow 2008 graduate Kyle Mallory.
Seattle University announced in November that Kizer and fellow Tomahawk alum Ricky Holm had signed letters of intent to play for the school’s first baseball team in some 20 years, beginning in the 2009-10 season.
Stilly Valley places at Strawberry Tournament
It took extra innings, but the Stilly Valley Falcons defeated Marysville-area Walker’s Coffee Company to vie for the Strawberry Tournament championship at Cedar Field.
The June 10 playoff game was scoreless for four innings until Stilly Valley took advantage of a walk, scoring on Seigo Hall’s RBI to mid-right field. Hall’s was the first of three consecutive hits that gave the Falcons a 2-0 lead and a big momentum swing.
Walker’s came back, scoring one run. The defense held Stilly Valley to just three batters, coming up with the chance to tie or win.
A solo home run by Walker’s slugger Alec Bargmeyer brought up the tie and extra innings.
In the eighth inning, Stilly Valley fourth and fifth batters Noah Jones and Tim Kolling had RBIs to give the Falcons a 4-2 lead. Walker’s would only be able to answer with one run of their own.
Edward Jones wins Strawberry Festival Golf Tournament
In the absence of the back-to-back champion WELCO Lumber team, the Strawberry Festival Golf Tournament’s results were more Big Brown than Triple Crown.
The Edward Jones Investments team of Greg Jensen, Craig Roth, Scott Dudley and Pete Black winning bragging rights and individual trophies in the June 13 tournament. The quartet finished the par 70 Cedarcrest Golf Course with a winning scramble score 14 under par.
Individual golfers on Edward Jones-sponsored teams won kudos as well, with Jim Bashor earning the award for closest to the pin and Roth taking the prize for longest drive.
Marysville arena youth place 2nd at first-ever nationals
The Marysville arena football team that won back-to-back league championships more than measured up in a first-of-its-kind national playoff tournament in Texas in late July.
Undefeated in the regular season, the boys continued their perfect season all the way up to the championship game, where they fell to the North Texas Falcons.
The boys ultimately placed second out of 16 teams that had traveled to compete in the games at Texas Stadium and Cowboys training facility Valley Ranch.
“Marysville was winning the championship game up until the final minutes,” said head coach Dan White said of the game they lost 19-14.
The team, comprised of players from Marysville, Lakewood and Camano Island, defeated the Arlington Eagles in the regular season championship 46-26. They will move up to compete at the senior division next year, Arena Youth Football’s oldest division for football players ages 15 to 16.
M-P produces another Olympian
While most middle- and long-distance runners set their career-best marks in their 30s, recent Marysville-Pilchuck graduate Haley Nemra will compete in the Beijing Olympics at 18 years old.
Nemra, a cross country and track standout in her career at M-P, competed in the women’s 800-meter run for the Marshall Islands, a small island nation located about midway between Australia and Hawaii. Her dual citizen status and success at the South Pacific Games in 2006 earned her an invitation to represent the Marshall Islands in their first-ever Olympic delegation.
She also represented the nation in opening ceremonies, donning traditional island garb.
In the Aug. 15 preliminaries, Nemra raced in the second of six heats, finishing the course in 2:18.83.
Nemra’s personal best in the event came three months earlier at the Washington state track meet in Pasco where she finished preliminaries in a time of 2:13.83.
While Nemra did not qualify for the Aug. 17 semifinals, nor did the three Americans in the race.
After her Olympic experience, Nemra flew back to San Francisco, where she began her freshman year at the University of San Francisco. She competes on the cross country and track teams there.
Nemra became M-P’s second Olympian in as many contests. In 2004, 1995 graduate Jarred Rome qualified to represented the United States in the discus at the Athens Olympics.
M-P swim and dive sets school records
While the Tomahawk swim team no longer boasted a perfect record, they set a new record.
A school record, that is.
Though the girls fell 95-88 to Snohomish in an Oct. 9 dual meet against the Panthers and Glacier Peak, a 12-year-old swimming mark came down off the wall as the 400 freestyle relay of Kami Girard, Megan Shoemaker, Jewel LeValley and Kendall Vincelette swam a 3:47.89. The previous record was set in 1996 by Emily Hutson, Richelle Little, Sarah Imholt and Tracie Valentine.
It was not the only school swim record to fall that season. After breaking the school’s six-dive record as a sophomore, junior Sarah Clark set a new 11-dive record three weeks after the Snohomish meet. She would break it again and set a meet record at the end of the season, breaking 400 points and the previous district record at Kamiak.
Lakewood defeats King’s
Lakewood football suffered its share of misfortune this season.
But things looked especially grim when the Cougars entered the Sept. 26 game against conference leader King’s without starting quarterback and eventual all-league pick Justin Lane.
In an impressive come-from-behind victory in the fourth quarter, the Cougars rallied to beat King’s 25-22.
Behind senior quarterback Saul Velasco, Lakewood started strong, driving down the field for a touchdown and then picking off King’s and culminating the first half in a field goal.
The momentum did not remain with Lakewood.
King’s came out in the second half, scoring on a kickoff return and then completing a scoring drive after holding the Cougars three-and-out.
The Lakewood defense kept the boys in the game and ultimately Velasco found the end zone in the fourth quarter on a two-yard keeper. The Cougars had a three-point lead with 50 seconds on the clock.
The Lakewood senior would eventually end up with 26 carries for 155 yards, compete six of 13 passes for 102 yards and three rushing touchdowns.
After the game backup quarterback Saul Velasco said, “This was a team effort. We played like a family today.”
M-P celebrates 100 years of football
With a little help from Jackson and a lot of hard running on the ground, the Marysville-Pilchuck football team became the league’s team to beat as they improved to 5-0 with a win over Arlington.
Thanks to the Tomahawks’ 37-15 win as they celebrated a century of M-P football on Oct. 3 and Jackson’s 50-49 overtime win over Lake Stevens, the Tomahawks became the last unbeaten team in Wesco North.
Arlington received first and scored on their opening drive. Quarterback Jake Parduhn and running back Kellen Botten drove the ball 73 yards down the field.
Within 10 seconds, Marysville answered the Arlington score as senior Andy Abadam returned the Arlington kickoff about 90 yards for a Tomahawk touchdown.
The next several drives set the tone for much of the rest of the game. After holding Arlington to three downs and a punt, running back tandem Austin Denton and Caleb Posey put up big runs. Denton broke free for a 50-yarder, while Posey’s 12 yards set up Denton’s scoring run for a 12-7 lead with 3:43 left in the first quarter.
The Tomahawks celebrated 100 years of football at halftime, announcing the names of visiting alumni, one of whom had played for Marysville High School in the 1930s.
Players and coaches alike pointed to this history as inspiration for the season and the Tomahawks had an inspired season indeed as junior running back Denton ran into the history books with one of the school’s best-ever rushing efforts, a total 1,529 yards for the regular season. That puts Denton fourth on the all-time list, behind Kyle Woods (1994), Marquis Moses (2004) and Andy Vodegal (1997).
Guske wins Hole in the Wall, Cascade Conference
There’s no place like home to run one’s best.
It was at home at Lakewood’s annual Hole in the Wall Invitational on Oct. 11 that junior Taylor Guske gave his best performance of the season and won the varsity boys 5k.
With a time of 16:18, Guske set his third personal record of the season, beating Peninsula junior Chris Borg by two seconds for first place. Guske’s performance helped lead the Lakewood boys to a third-place finish overall behind Issaquah and Peninsula.
Senior Nick Devier also finished in the boys top 10, taking 10th place in a time of 16:41. Byron Gouette (32nd), Trent Tresch (38th) and Chad Skiles (47th) also scored points for Lakewood, all finishing within a minute of Devier.
Guske followed up the effort two weeks later by winning a conference title, once again on his home turf.
As Lakewood played host to standout teams from around the league including Cedarcrest and King’s, Guske’s championship effort helped Lakewood earn its 20th boys league championship in 25 years.
The Lakewood boys went on to compete at state as a team, placing seventh. They were joined by Lakewood senior Lacey Nation, who ran a big personal record in her last meet in a Cougar uniform.
M-P football completes 9-0 regular season
On Oct. 31, the Tomahawk football team finished their regular season with a 20-3 win over Oak Harbor and their undefeated record intact.
A Wesco North championship secured the week before, the Marysville-Pilchuck football team rose to No. 5 in the state coaches poll.
Senior running back Caleb Posey put Marysville on the board as the team successfully drove down the field on their first possession, but the game was still 7-3 in the fourth quarter.
In that final quarter, Oak Harbor drove deep into Marysville territory, with a first and goal and the chance to go ahead. The Tomahawk defense buckled down with a goal-line stand, holding Oak Harbor at the one-yard line and getting the ball back with a turnover on downs.
That defensive play was quickly followed by a 94-yard scoring run by Ryan Sterley that helped put the game away.
M-P volleyball qualifies for state tournament
An upset was brewing as Marysville-Pilchuck volleyball took on Snohomish in the district semifinals Nov. 15.
The Tomahawks had narrowly lost to Snohomish in a preseason match at the beginning of their calendar, and then again late in the season with district seeds on the line.
But that wasn’t the upset.
As Snohomish called timeouts in games two and three, trying to turn around a game that would eventually eliminate the Panthers in straight sets, the Tomahawk volleyball team couldn’t help stealing glances over at the other court where a Kamiak-Stanwood match was creating quite a stir.
The winner of M-P-Snohomish would face the winner of that game for a trip to state, and the Tomahawks certainly had a horse in that race. The Tommies lost their opening bout with Kamiak 25-19, 19-25, 19-25, 20-25 three days earlier. Although each game of that meeting had been close enough to swing either way, it was clear M-P preferred a Stanwood challenge.
And as the Stanwood base cheered every late point — the Spartans won games two, three and five in extra points — it seemed to energize the Tomahawks in their own game against Snohomish.
After falling to Kamiak Nov. 12, the Tomahawks marched on through the consolation bracket, defeating Arlington, Snohomish and Stanwood en route to a trip to the state volleyball tournament in Kennewick Nov. 21. While M-P volleyball might have surprised some observers by qualifying for this year’s state tournament, but that wasn’t the last surprise up their sleeves.
The Tomahawks stormed into Kennewick’s Toyota Center Nov. 21, pulling off an upset victory in their opening match against No. 1-seed Curtis. Playing a nearly flawless game, the Tomahawks defeated Curtis 24-26, 29-27, 20-25, 25-22, 15-12.
M-P coach Shelly Johnson credited a 100 percent serving effort by the girls for their first-round win.
The win sent the girls into a match the same afternoon against Skyview and M-P forced an epic third game before falling in that set for a 25-19, 25-16, 34-32 loss. The girls fell in a final round against Kentwood, coming up one win short of placing at state.
M-P’s Soriano hits seven three-pointers against Cascade
By the time senior guard Nick Soriano scored his first three-point basket against Cascade, the Tomahawks were already up 15-11.
So while there were a few early lead changes in the Dec. 9 game, neither the first nor the next six of Soriano’s three-pointers came at a critical time to the Tomahawks. It was just an excellent performance in a very good team effort as M-P defeated Cascade 75-57. Soriano had 23 points, matching the effort of Cascade star Chris McGrath.
“Soriano was on fire,” said M-P coach Bary Gould. “He was feeling the tingle.”
McGrath was hitting shots from around the court, but while Cascade’s 14- and 20-point efforts in the first half were nothing to sneeze at, they couldn’t quite hold up to the 20 and 22 points M-P put on the board. The Tomahawks always seemed to have an answer for anything the Bruins did.
While Soriano said he hopes to have the hot hand for Marysville this season, he just wants to see plenty of time on the court after limited minutes off the bench last year. “It’s just nice to play after being in the system,” he said.