Blaine soccer, baseball start season hot



Borderite baseball started off the season with a pair of blowout wins, defeating Burlington-Edison 15-2 on March 8 and University Prep 15-4 on March 11.

The Borderites’ bats were red hot to start the season, scoring 14 runs in just the second inning of its first game, and were well-supported by solid pitching on the mound.

Blaine’s “ace” pitcher, senior Kieran Markusen, earned his first win of the season against Burlington-Edison, giving up just three hits and one earned run through four innings of work, striking out four batters and walking none.

Alejandro Moser-Hernandez and Brady Dohner hit well in the opening game, combining for four of the Borderites’ nine hits, and junior Evan Yates led the team with three RBIs.

It was also a special day for first-year head coach Hunter Anderson, who earned his first career win as head coach, against his alma mater Burlington-Edison, no less.

The Borderites’ 15-4 win against University Prep on March 11 also came with a monster second inning, this time with Blaine exploding for eight runs on a string of solid hitting.

Pitcher Diego Gutierrez started on the mound for the Borderites, and after a shaky first inning, he settled down nicely in the second inning to earn the win. Dohner, pitching in relief, looked locked-in during his three innings, allowing two hits and zero earned runs, while striking out four.

The Borderites were down 3-0 before the bats woke up, but Anderson said the team knew the game was still well in control.

“We didn’t have any fear or any panic in our dugout,” Anderson said. “Down 3-0 with these guys, we know we’re a couple of swings, a couple of hard 90s and just a couple plays away from getting right back into it. It takes one guy like Aaron Garza to hit a double and score two runs and then we’re moving.”

The Borderites combined for 30 runs in just two games, and Anderson hopes that discipline in the batter’s box can continue.

“We try to take quality at-bats every time we get out there,” Anderson said. “It doesn’t matter what the score is. It doesn’t matter what the situation is. We tell our guys, ‘You have a job to do.’ Whether we’re down zero to three or we’re up a couple of runs, our job and our mindset doesn’t change,” Anderson said. “That’s part of what we’re trying to do moving forward.”

With two more non-league games still to play before the conference schedule begins, Anderson hopes the team can continue its solid pace through a long spring.

“It doesn’t matter who we play, we treat every game like it’s a playoff game,” Anderson said. “Heading into conference play, we know we’re going to get really, really good competition from Northwest Conference opponents and we embrace that and we invite that. We know if we want to be at our best at the end of the season, we want to see everybody’s best guys, everybody’s best performance.”

Boys Soccer

Boys soccer kicked off its season with a 2-1 win against Anacortes at Borderite Stadium on March 12.

Junior forward Blake Koreski opened up the scoring just seven minutes into the season when he beat his defender on a stellar through-ball from senior midfielder Xavier Blanco, placing the ball past the keeper to go up 1-0.

Blaine’s lead was threatened with a penalty kick awarded to Anacortes early in the second half, but sophomore keeper Abel Carlson-Vega dove left and blocked the attempt, preserving the Borderite’s lead. It was Carlson-Vega’s first start in goal for the varsity team, and he said he had an inkling of where the penalty shot might go.

“I saw that guy who was taking the PK, every time he was crossing it, he hit it with his right foot and he curved it away,” Carlson-Vega said of the Anacortes penalty-taker. “So I assumed he’s going to do the same thing on the PK.”

Carlson-Vega assumed correct, and the greenhorn keeper made the save of the night.

Koreski scored another to put Blaine up 2-0, again tearing up the left side of the Anacortes defense. The insurance goal was needed once Anacortes was able to convert on its second penalty kick of the day after a handball was called on Blaine.

The Borderites held on for the final 15 minutes of the match, winning 2-1. Blaine’s next game is at home on Thursday, March 14 at 7 p.m. against Burlington-Edison.

Girls Basketball

While the girls basketball season was cut short with a pair of postseason losses during January’s 1A Northwest Conference district tournament, one Borderite is still being recognized for her on-court achievements.

Senior Jordyn Vezzetti was named to the All-Northwest Conference second team, and will play on the 1A all-state senior team for the 2024 Washington State Girls Basketball Coaches Association Senior All State Games, set for Sunday, March 17 at King’s High School in Seattle.

Vezzetti was the only Blaine athlete to earn the all-state honor, and will play alongside a trio of Nooksack Valley players coming off of their second consecutive 1A state championship win.

Through an up-and-down season for the Borderites under new head coach Vic Wolffis, Vezzetti was a team leader that deserved the recognition for her years of hard work at the end of her high school athletic career, Wolffis said.

“It’s a sense of accomplishment for both the athlete and the program,” Wolffis said. “For years [Vezzetti] has been playing basketball and doing multiple sports, so it’s nice to see the recognition for her accomplishments which have come from a lot of hard work, a lot of sweat and a lot of dedication.”

Vezzetti led the Borderites in points and rebounds per game, averaging 14.2 points and 7.6 rebounds per game, according to Blaine Athletics.

Even battling through injuries late in the season, Vezzetti constantly showed her natural scoring abilities and led the Borderites to a solid 10-12 (6-9 NWC) season record.

“We had stretches where scoring was such a challenge and one thing Jordyn brought was just a constant attack,” Wolffis said. “That’s probably one of her greatest strengths. She’s just an attacker and I don’t think she thinks too much about the game. She’s not a super analytical player or anything. She just really attacks the rim.”

Athletes were nominated and voted on by high school coaches, and Vezzetti will be one of four Whatcom County girls competing on the 1A all-state team.

Her game will start at 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 17 when the 1A team faces off against the 2A team.


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