Friday, June 24, 2016
By Frank Workman
It’s been a banner year for our local high school athletes, and with the school year coming to a close this week, now’s a good time for a look back at the year and remember a few favorite players, stories and moments.
|Ronnie Gary in the Rotary Cup|
Photo by Wayne Pridemore
The Rotary Cup Game featured all the drama you could ask for, as Shorecrest hung on for an exciting 14-12 win over Shorewood. The T-Birds got the ball back with just over two minutes remaining in the game, trailing 14-6. When QB Aaron Okamura completed a long touchdown pass to a streaking Ronnie Gary, SW was a two-point conversion away from tying the game. But SC’s Marvin Yong intercepted the pass intended for Gary in the end zone to preserve the win. Yong sat out the entire season before to injury, yet he attended every practice his junior year, wanting to be as ready as possible should he be challenged during his senior year. Yong rose to the occasion when it mattered the most, and the Rotary Cup returned to Shorecrest yet again.
|Ronnie Gary at the Shoreline Invitational|
Photo by Corey Rainboth
|Delaney Hopen spikes the ball in a 2015 game|
with Edmonds Woodway
Photo by Wayne Pridemore
Last fall, Shorewood’s Volleyball team brought home a fourth-place trophy, finishing off a dream season for coach Jenn Chartrand’s girls. Senior Delaney Hopen struck fear in the hearts of the opposition with serves as powerful as her smile is bright.
Photo Geoff Vlcek
Sometimes when you watch an elite high school athlete, it’s apparent that he or she is ready to play at a higher level. Such has been the case for SC soccer star Sophia Viviano. She led her team to a second-place finish at State as a junior, and this past fall her team ‘settled’ for making it to the quarter-finals. It was breathtaking to watch her long legs inhale ground as she flew past defender after defender, game after game.
Part of the reason the SC girls championship was so unexpected was due to the way they were beaten up by the excellent competition they faced in their league. Lynnwood returned speedy Jordyn Edwards and Mikayla Pivec from their State Championship team the year before. Glacier Peak likely would have gone to state if not for injuries. Edmonds-Woodway took home a sixth-place trophy at State, and Arlington made it all the way to the championship game this year. The Scots could only muster a single win in seven tries against this top-notch 3A competition, but when the playoffs came around, the 2A Scots feasted on the smaller schools.
As unexpected as the Scots’ basketball championship was, their girls track team carried the heavy burden of high expectations all spring, having won State the previous year, primarily on the strong, fast legs of Wurrie Njadoe, who won four events as a junior. But win it all again they did, with much more of a team effort this year.
with State Medal
But my favorite moment of the entire year came on an obscure Friday night when the SC girls were playing at mighty Lynnwood. The Royals (royalty, indeed) were allowing only 35 points per game at that time, yet on this night the Scots put 61 on the board against the defending champs. Never mind that Lynnwood won the game by 25, the mere fact that the Scots could score nearly double the points usually allowed by Lynnwood was amazing.
|Uju Chibuogwu at Hoopapalooza|
Photo by Geoff Vlcek
With three seconds remaining on the clock, the Scots were inbounding the ball from mid-court, trailing by 25. Normally the ball would be passed in and held, letting time expire. But one of the Lynnwood students, sitting in the front row, rose to his feet, cupped his hands, and made a loud plea – “Pass it to #40”.
He wanted to see if Uju had one more impossible shot left.
So did we all.