by Jack Kintner
Matmen make good
Jacob Humphrey decisioned Lake Steven’s
Zach Zweifel 9-2 to win his division as Blaine’s
matmen picked up where they left off last year, garnering
a strong third place finish at last Saturday’s Mariner
Invitational wrestling meet.
It was 103-pounder Humphrey’s first high school meet, though he does have considerable free-style experience with the local Barracuda program.
Blaine’s top finishers were Tyson Foster; fifth at 119, Garret Barrow, fifth at 275 lbs.; Cody Dobbs, fifth at 215; Niko Rehom, fifth at 189; Jason Parker, fourth at 112; Mike Broyan, fourth at 130; Nick Jordan, third at 160; John Brady, third at 152; Calvin Moore, second at 140; Sam Abrams, second at 130 and Humphrey, winner in the 103-pound division.
Blaine schools placed in new sports league
our little five-team AA Whatcom County League while you
can. In an effort to reduce travel and play closer to
home, Washington’s 193 high schools
that enroll between 199 (Colfax) and 1,287 students (Fort
Vancouver) have all been reclassified into three more
or less equal groups of 64 1-A schools, 65 2-AA and 64
Beginning next year, Blaine will compete in the Whatcom-Skagit County based Northwest Conference. The new league will have four 3-AAA teams (Mount Vernon, Ferndale, Sedro Woolley and Squalicum), seven 2-AA schools (Bellingham, Sehome, Burlington-Edison, Anacortes, Lynden, Mt. Baker and Blaine) and three 1-A teams (Nooksack, Meridian and Lynden Christian).
To get to a state tournament, Blaine will have to get through district playoffs with other Northwest Conference 2-AA schools.
“Yeah, it’s a tough group,” said Blaine athletic director Gary Clausen, “but sometimes small schools can do well, like Prosser in football or Chehalis in baseball.” Though Blaine can expect to meet any of the other schools in most of the sports, “in football we’re not going to send Ferndale to play a Nooksack Valley,” Clausen said, “We have to think of safety and experience.”
Blaine, at 539 students on the day the census was taken, is the smallest 23-AA school in the league, and was just 46 over the break between 2-AA Woodland at 484 and 1-A Port Townsend at 476. Nooksack came next with just 476 students, and will compete with Meridian and LC and other district 1-A rivals for state tournament berths.
Rather than divide the schools at certain levels, the Washington Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) wanted to have equal numbers in each classification. The re-alignment of the county leagues into one large league was unrelated to that but the re-classification did provide for a convenient time for that to happen, as several schools will find themselves scheduled against different competition than they’ve seen for a while.
“Now that all this has been sorted out we’re ready to move forward,” said Clausen. He said he expects to have some preliminary schedules by next week and a fall schedule all ready to go by the end of January. “Who we may not be seeing any more are some of the old North Cascades League teams, like Granite Falls and Sultan,” he said, “probably no more than one each year of those in each sport.”
The girls’ basketball game that was canceled due to snow last week has been rescheduled to Saturday, December 17, at Granite Falls at 7 p.m. The boys’ game had not yet been rescheduled by press time.