by Jack Kintner
Sports highlights for the year of 2006
Blaine welcomed Jay Dodd, a new head football coach who took us into post-season play for the first time since he played on the team himself in 1998.
Dodd, whose extended family in Blaine is almost as big as the vast Freeman clan, joined brother Rob Adams on Blaine’s coaching staff after four years at Prosser. Adams coaches girls basketball and coached girls fast pitch up until last year.
Dodd posted a 5-4 season record behind the gridiron antics of seniors Joey Paciorek and Adam Dykstra, but were defeated in their first post-season game by Murphy.
Dan Steelquist resumed head coaching duties with boys soccer, taking them to a third place league finish and into the district playoffs. Steelquist is also head girls soccer coach.
Blaine became part of a new athletic conference that replaced the old five-team Whatcom County League with a regional conference that includes all the teams from Whatcom and Skagit counties. The switch was made both to save on travel costs and because the state reclassified the schools, putting several into new classifications.
Blaine stayed in its former group, double-AA, but is one of the smallest schools now in that division. Former Whatcom County League archrivals Meridian, Nooksack and Lynden Christian all now compete as single-A.
Coach Craig Foster took his thinclad charges through an undefeated season that included handing Mt. Baker their first defeat in 61 dual matches. Foster was also a repeat as coach of the year.
Blaine won the district tournament for the first time in 15 years and Nick Jordan (160 pounds) was named outstanding wrestler.
Shane Hicks (171) was one of four Blaine wrestlers to go to state as a regional champion. Other regional winners were Blayne Brandenburger (189), Calvin Moore (140) and Jacob Humphrey (103). John Brady (145) and Jordan also reached the finals.
Blaine boys finished third but lost a bid for a state berth to Nooksack in a district tournament marred by the deaths of Kailey Walter and Brittney Armstrong in a car accident following the Borderite’s first-round victory over Mount Vernon.
Two boys from the Blaine varsity track team and six girls from the undefeated Lady B team went to the state tournament. Although one of our most talented seniors, pole vaulter Erin Lippie, failed to qualify for awards, the Lady B’s got 11th place at state.
For the boys, middle distance runner Douglas Ramirez got a respectable 2:01:11 in the 800 meter, leaving him just .04 seconds behind third place finisher James Ervin of Lakewood.
Tegan Bukowski lead the girls team to an undefeated season and a league championship finishing fifth at state. The boys did almost as well behind junior John Dudley.
Alyssa Hendrickson and Bailey Richardson made it all the way top the state tournament in doubles.