Sports -- October 30, 2003

Published on Thu, Oct 30, 2003
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by Jack Kintner

Soccer team loses last regular game

The Blaine girls lost another heartbreaker on the road last Thursday, finishing regulation play in a scoreless tie and then losing in a shootout to Mt. Baker. The teams went through six shooters on each side before Mt. Baker�s keeper Kristina Kennedy finally stopped a shot that gave them the 1-nil win.

This came just two days after giving up a 2-1 victory to undefeated South Whidbey in the last few seconds of double overtime at the Pipe last week. The losses dropped the Borderites to 10-5 and cost them sole possession of second place, although rival Sultan also lost, leaving both tied for second. Last Tuesday�s season-ending game at Granite Falls was called due to a power outage and was to have been made up yesterday afternoon.

Soccer league playoffs begin Saturday in Mount Vernon. Second spot will go to either Blaine or Sultan depending on how they finish their seasons. If they tie, a one game playoff will be held today ��a possibility at press time.

Team looks to post-season

League powerhouse Meridian defeated the Blaine girls in three straight games last Tuesday night, 25-15, 25-13, 25-19.

Blaine beat them 3-1 last September 17, seniors Jess Freeman setting 29 assists and Amanda Stull learning to turn her left-handed serve into a weapon with three aces.

�Freeman gave me everything, every practice and every game, start to finish,� coach Murierl Ridnour said. �And Amanda Stull has worked and worked on her game, especially improving her accuracy. These girls have a lot of heart.� The coach and team have grown close over a season that began with an intense week-long team summer camp at an Idaho lake cabin and saw them win their first trophy at the Mariner Invitational. Before tonight�s home match with Granite Falls, departing seniors will be honored, including outside hitter Alisa Burk, setter Jess Freeman, leftie Amanda Stull and the ol' Stretcheroo, Jessica Summers.

Volleyball playoffs begin next Wednesday in a final scenario somewhat clouded by power outages that canceled two matches Tuesday night.

In beating Blaine, Meridian remained undefeated and clinches the league title, but South Whidbey and Lynden Christian, locked in a tie for second place with 5-1 league records, had their game postponed a day.

Blaine, 3-4 in league play, is still in fifth place though their nearest rival, Mt. Baker, had yet to play Granite Falls due to weather and could still tie Blaine for fifth if they won. The top six teams move into post-season play.

Borderites drop Nooksack game 60-7

Remember the name Derik Stremler, Duckey to his friends. The five-foot-10-inch, 134-pound freshman fullback scored Blaine�s first touchdown in three weeks against Nooksack last Friday, outrunning six Pioneer defenders and breaking a last gasp tackle from free safety Jeremiah Diacogiannis.

�We�ll be hearing from him,� said head coach Dave Fakkema, looking on the bright side of Blaine�s third lopsided loss in a row as they went down 60-7. Stremler was the leading Blaine rusher with 45 yards in five carries.

Other flashes of brilliance in Blaine�s offense were the improved play of the offensive line, especially senior Mark Sanborn and junior Matt Carr, Bryan Galbraith�s quick thinking in making up a play on the fly that turned into a quarterback keeper good for 21 yards, and sophomore wide receiver Robert Bleecker�s 21-yard second quarter catch. Both offensive gems nearly went all the way.

All the hard work this team does in practices from Monday to Thursday began to pay off defensively as well, such as when freshman linebacker and kick returner Aaron Johnson tackled a Nooksack running back for a loss.

The problem, of course, is to connect the moments into a whole game, which they will do. A moment that provided a glimpse of the future happened when Blaine scored. Even though it was late in a game where they still trailed by seven touchdowns, the stands erupted as if they�d just taken the lead.

In terms of the kind of heart they play with, they never lost it. The opposing coach, Rob Myhre, commented that �with three years� varsity experience they�ll be scary. They�re taking their lumps now but they�ll be talented the next couple of seasons.�

The Borderites play an away game tomorrow at Lakewood, and then the last game of the season, where the three seniors on the squad will be honored before the game, will be here against the Sultan Turks on November 7.

After Mike Poitras broke his leg in practice, senior fullback Brian McCall is now the second Borderite to be lost to injury for the season. On the advice of his physician, Dr. David Allan, he�s hung up his cleats following a concussion received in the Mt. Baker game October 10.

On the bright side, Mark Anello is back and played in last Friday�s game. And to fill in the void, Sean Hicks has moved from the line to the backfield and sports a new number, 5.

The only other major injury, Joey Paciorek�s ankle sprain, is day-to-day.

First Barracuda practice tonight

The Blaine Barracudas open their season tonight at 6 p.m. when they hold their first practice in the brand new Blaine high school wrestling room. The room is located between the two high school gyms. Barracuda practices are for kids aged six to 18, and are held each Tuesday and Thursday night at 6 p.m. Children can register at any pratice throughout the season. Contact coach Craig Foster at 332-9835 or 332-6945 for more information.