by Jack Kintner
Injuries take two starters
Blaine lost two starters � both its sophomore running backs � over the weekend as Mark Anello strained his knee in last Friday�s Lynden Christian game and Mike Poitras broke his right leg in practice Monday night.
Anello, who rushed 12 times for 14 yards and caught one pass for 5 yards, came out of the game late with a strained medial collateral ligament. He hopes to be back for the Meridian game scheduled on October 17.
Poitras said that the team was in the middle of hitting drills, �and my leg just kind of rolled over and gave out.� Poitras broke the same bone, his right fibula, eight months ago in a non-football injury but had been cleared to play. Though at press time he�d not yet finished his medical appointments, he said he�s lost for the season.
In last week�s game, a dense fog in Lynden left the Lynden Christian passing game unaffected as they rolled to a 54-13 win over the Borderites. The fog was so thick that the last Lynden Christian touchdown � Jeff Hoekstra�s 64-yard punt return in the third quarter - got no home crowd response at all until it went up in lights on the scoreboard.
Blaine�s sophomore quarterback Nick Jordan and junior wide receiver and back-up quarterback Bryan Galbraith both connected with freshman Joey Paciorek for touchdowns of 71 yards in the second quarter and 42 yards in the fourth.
Over 60 teams came to Silver Lake State Park last Saturday for the Mount Baker Invitational on a dry and sunny day. Blaine fielded three boys� teams, in frosh, JV and varsity divisions.
Blaine�s freshmen finished fourth out of nine teams with a total of 99 points. Stephen Fraser finished a respectable 13th with a time of 18:34, and Josh Ecklund was 21st in 19:05.
The JV team scored 490 points, finishing 17th out of 20 teams entered. Kevin Teng was 99th in 19:46, Kyle Fosberg was 142nd in 20:29, and Kenneth Cunningham placed 165th in 21:00.
Beau Craig, the lone varsity contender, finished 143rd in 18:39.
Soccer beats Granite Falls, volleyball faces ranked teams
The tough and flashy Blaine girls finally had the break-out game everyone�s been expecting as they picked apart a badly out-gunned Granite Falls squad 6-0 in another afternoon of bright sunshine at the Pipe last week.
Well into the second period the nearly perfect day was marred when senior forward Krista Jones came out of the game with a badly sprained left ankle after a brutal collision with frustrated Granite Falls senior defender Neva Hensley, who misplayed a tackle and instead of kicking the ball hit Jones� leg. A later trip by senior mid Christina Snelson earned her a yellow card.
Shela Robertson faced only one shot on goal � a free kick coming after junior defender Nicole Riddle was called for tripping.
�I didn�t think I touched her,� Riddle said later, �because I didn�t feel anything, but I guess I must have done something.�
The shot went well to the right and Robertson recorded her fourth shutout of the season as Blaine advanced their record to 6-2 on the season and remained a strong contender for post-season play.
Granite Falls sophomore forward Jasmine Kettler relieved their regular keeper for the game and let through six of the 37 shots she faced. The first came only two minutes in from freshman forward Alyssa Hendrickson on a Holly Steckler assist. Five minutes later junior midfielder Andrea Harmening scored off an assist from her sister, senior Kimberly. Hendrickson scored again at 16 minutes, fed by Andrea Harmening, and then at 26 minutes senior mid Kristina Francis buried a long shot off an assist from Kimberly Harmening.
Last Tuesday, Blaine senior Kristina Francis, playing defense, scored with less than ten seconds to go in sudden death overtime to defeat a determined and skilled Meridian team 1-nil at the Pipe.
Blaine kept the ball in Meridian�s end of the field for much of the game, out-shooting them 17 to 11, but both keepers were perfect at the end of regulation play. Tie games are settled with two five-minute sudden death overtimes followed by shoot-outs, one shooter against the opposing keeper.
Blaine�s final offensive rush began with Shela Robertson�s goal kick to midfield followed by a left-to-right crossing pass from freshman Alyssa Hendrickson to senior forward Kimberly Harmening, who was deep in the corner but immediately double-teamed by Meridian�s Kristen Bunker and sweeper Missy Pears.
�I saw Kimberly [Harmening] with the ball and really thought she was going to shoot it,� Francis said after the game, �but instead she poked it my way. I barely got my foot on it but it rolled on in.�
Harmening said afterward that she saw Bunker coming up from behind out of the corner of her eye. �The keeper was charging out at me, cutting down on what was already a bad angle, so I just rolled it over to Kristina.�
The 7-2 girls team play at 4:30 today at Nooksack before returning home for one of two big games left before post season play. They play state champ Sultan, next Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. at the pipe.
Blaine faced two ranked teams at home after dropping a road match to Mount Baker in three straight last week. Fourth ranked South Whidbey came to town last Thursday and took the first two games, 25-21 and 25-10, before being pushed and eventually defeated 27-25 in the third game by the tenacious Borderites. South Whidbey won the fourth 25-14. Jessica Summers recorded 19 kills and seven blocks, Jen Kramer had five of each and Jess Freeman had 30 assists and four aces at serve.
Last Saturday the top-ranked Lynden Christian girls came to the new gymnasium and won three games to one in a match that saw Summers and Kramer combine for 20 kills and Freeman provide 23 assists.
�Three games the same week is a tough schedule, especially when two of those teams are ranked No. 1 (LC) and No. 4 (SW) in the state polls,� said head coach Muriel Ridnour, �so hopefully we�ve used these games to make ourselves better. We still have the potential to be a dangerous team.�