By Amylynn RichardsVOLLEYBALLThe La Conner Braves volleyball team played a tense 3 out of 4 cliffhanger against Darrington to win the first annual WIAA sponsored 1A/2B Northwest League championship on Saturday, Oct.30.At noon, the Braves beat Mount Vernon Christian in three: 25-14; 25-13; 25-13. Candice Pedroza had 28 assists; Kelley McClung had 12 assists and went 19 for 19 serving; Lauren McClung had 10 kills and 18 digs; Priscilla Ponce-Venegas had 15 kills; and Emily Anderson had 9 kills. “It was a good opening win for us,” Coach Suzanne Marble said, “and I was pleased with the way we ran a lot of offensive options that we have been working on in practice. Candice did a nice job of mixing up our hitters.”Mount Vernon Christian packed it up and took the bus over to their home turf to continue in the competition against Orcas. Orcas won the game, which earned the Vikings third place and the Hurricanes fourth.The real surprise of the day was the Darrington team. The Loggers won the first set 24-26. It was the first league loss in 9 years for the lady Braves, and shook the team up a bit. “Darrington came in fired up,” Sammie Miller said after the game. The last time the Braves played the Loggers was on Oct. 12 and that day’s score had been 25-18, 25-20, 25-22; up until taking on the Braves that day, the Loggers had been undefeated. The Loggers were ready for revenge.Both teams were visibly tired during the second set, but the Braves earned a satisfying set win, 25-16. The Braves began the third set with a 7 point lead but the Loggers caught up fast, reducing the difference to 2-points. The fans were getting nervous, but the Braves caught their second wind in time to beat the Loggers in the third match 25-21. The Braves were red hot in the fourth set, winning the set, and game, 25-18.Candice Pedroza had 40 assists and went 19 for 19 serving; Lauren McClung had 16 kills and 9 blocks and 26 digs; Priscilla Ponce-Venegas had 17 kills; and Emily Anderson had 10 kills and went 26 for 26 serving.“Darrington came out fired up and ready to go in the first set and we played catch up pretty much the entire set,” Coach Marble said, “We had the lead at 24-22 in the first set and were unable to finish and Darrington took the first set 24-26. We came out mentally and physically ready in the second set and that carried us through the match. It was a great match and Darrington definitely came ready to play. It was a good match for us to see what we need to work on going into post season. It was the first ever league tournament we have ever had and we were pleased with how the day went!”Eight schools in the Northwest 1A/2B League competed: Concrete Lions; Friday Harbor Wolverines; Darrington Loggers; Mount Vernon Christian Hurricanes; Orcas Island Vikings; North Sound Christian Lions; and the La Conner Braves. The championship was held simultaneously at the Mount Vernon Christian and La Conner campuses. Losing teams boarded their home school busses and travelled to the Mount Vernon Christian campus to vie for lower seed rankings in State competition.Bi-District Tournament is this Saturday, Nov. 6 at Stanwood.Earlier in the week, on Monday, Oct. 6, the Braves hosted Friday Harbor for the final regular season game. The Braves won in three: 25-5; 25-9; 25-13. Candice Pedroza had 15 assists; Kelley McClung had 12 assists; Lauren McClung had 6 kills and 14 digs; Emily Anderson had 10 kills and 4 aces; Samie Miller had 3 kills 5 aces and 10 digs; and Priscilla Ponce-Venegas had 7 kills and 10 aces, “a great night for her,” Coach Marble said, “It was a great night to honor our seniors and I am very pleased with the way we played. They did a nice job from start to finish. This was a good match for us to get focused for the league tournament.” The Braves ended the regular season 10-0 and 13-1 overall.Volleyball seniors are: Candice Pedroza; Lauren McClung; and Sammie Miller.BOYS’ SOCCERThe Braves are 1A/2B district champion, thanks to a 2-1 win over Providence Christian on Saturday, Oct. 30. La Conner is the number one seed for the Bi-District championship in Sammamish on Saturday, Nov. 6, and will play at 5 p.m.The win came at a terrible cost: DJ Carr, the state goal leader with 34 goals scored, was taken off the field by ambulance due to a head injury that, at first, appeared serious. “DJ’s head connected with a Providence player’s chin. There was quite a bit of blood,” said Coach Steve DeLeon.Carr was treated in an emergency room and released. Tracy Carr, DJ’s mother, said on Sunday, “The gash was pretty deep, about an inch long.” DJ needed five stitches.Doctors confirmed there was no concussion or other injuries, though he needed to wear a neck brace to stabilize the muscles in his neck. Sill, DJ hopes to be well enough to play at the Bi-District championship on Saturday, Nov. 6 in Sammamish. The top five teams will advance to State.DJ’s was the second injury in last Saturday’s game; Christian player collided with a Brave and injured his arm.Kory Duran and Todd Hoagland scored the goals for the win. “Conditions were difficult; the turf was slick and wet. Providence is a hard team to break down,” DeLeon said. “At the end of the day, it was our captains who pulled us through. DJ’s injury in the seventy-sixth minute made it an emotional ending to a tough game. The entire team wishes him a speedy recovery.”FOOTBALL
The Braves showed the Darrington Loggers what they are made of, with a whopping 52-0 win at home on Friday, Oct. 30. It was a great way for the Alex Teissen; Dan Biladeau; Garrett Wilbur; Conner Anderson; Brandon Drye; Travis Silva; and Sherman Quinn to celebrate seniors’ night.
“I thought that the kids did an excellent job executing what was asked of them,” Coach Johnny Lee said, “they also were focused on the task at hand.” Lee also says that “it would have been easy to have a ton of mental errors after the loss to Concrete,” or to blow off the game, focusing on this Friday’s away game against Orcas Island, whom the Braves need to beat if the team is make the playoffs. “The boys played extremely well on both sides of the ball,” Lee concluded.
The first quarter was the show that Braves fans have been hoping for this year: the score was 32-0 going into the second quarter.
From Friday's Post: In the opening minutes, Garrett Wilbur made a touchdown on a 50-yard run. A short time after the opening touchdown, the Braves’ Landy James made a second touchdown; Darrington blocked the extra point after James’s touchdown, and the score was 13-0.
A minute or two later, Matt McCauley intercepted a Logger’s pass and ran the ball to another touchdown. Right away, La Conner’s Brandon Drye carried the ball past the goal line for yet another touchdown. Then Garret Wilbur scored again, on a play in the end zone, where Matt McCauley had run the ball. In the second quarter, Conner Anderson aka “Captain America,” set the Braves fans in the stands and sidelines screaming as he made a 62-yard run for a touchdown. At halftime, the score was 39-0.
In the third quarter, Garret Wilbur made his third touchdown of the evening. The final touchdown was scored by Wyatt Melton; the Braves finished the game at 52-0.
It was a great end to the final home-turf game of the season for Coach Lee's inaugural year at La Conner, and a great way for the seniors to wrap up their high school career in front of their home-town fans.
The final game of the season will take place on Orcas Island on Thursday, Nov.4, and will determine if the Braves or the Vikings continue on towards district competition.
The girls beat Friday Harbor 2-0 at home on Monday, Oct. 25 in the final home game of the season. “This was a really good game, in that all of our players who normally do not get in a full game of play were on the field all game,” said Coach Amy Freeto, “these girls gave the crowd a good show, and displayed great teamwork and aggressiveness.” The goals were scored by Maddie Cavanaugh and Sara Scott.
Seniors were celebrated during half-time: Galena Graham, Defender and Midfield; Sydney Hartwick, Midfield; Sierra Brown, Defender; Alissa Mc Coy, Keeper; and Rachel Dewey, Forward
On Thursday, Oct. 28 the Braves beat Seattle Lutheran 3-0 on their home turf. It was a big win for the Braves. Freeto said, “we played them in the state final last year; they got 3rd and we got 4th in state.” Kelsey Crawford scored on the Saints, and Sydney Hartwick and Sammie Messman scored off of two different corner-kick plays. Freeto says the team has been “diligently practicing” their corner-kick skills, “scoring on two different corner kick plays was a huge improvement for us.”