Braves dominate – even in pouring rain
By M. Sharon Baker
The La Conner Boys Soccer team handed undefeated Bear Creek School its first loss of the season on Saturday Nov. 6, thus earning the No. 1 seed for the 1B/2B State Championship Tournament.
La Conner beat Bear Creek 1-0 during a heavy downpour at Sammamish High School in Bellevue. The Braves lone goal came late in the first half when Todd Hoagland threw the ball into DJ Carr, who then headed the ball to Trenton Swigert.
Then Swigert jumped and shot the ball high, and it sailed over Bear Creek goalie Jamie Clough’s outstretched arms.
“We knew this was going to be a tough game,” said La Conner Coach Steve DeLeon. “And we got a little revenge knowing that these guys beat us last year in the state tournament. They are a good team and well coached but Trenton hit a good ball that swizzled right in.”
Bear Creek Head Coach Chad Pohlman praised the play of La Conner goalie Taylor Fay, who made a number of good saves. The game was Fay’s fifth shutout of the season.
“We couldn’t get much going on offense,” said Pohlman, whose team was 16-0 going into the match and whose defense and goalie are the stingiest in the state. Bear Creek had only let in seven goals this season prior to Swigert’s goal.
Senior Kyle McKnight, who for most of the season played center mid, anchored the La Conner defense as sweeper, successfully thwarting the advances of Bear Creek’s offense. Fay, along with La Conner’s defense, holds the No. 2 spot when it comes to goals allowed, having only let in 13 this season.
The Braves (16-2) now face 2008 and 2009 State Champion Tacoma Baptist (10-5-1) in the quarterfinals of the 1B/2B Boys State Championship Tournament to be played at Mount Vernon High School at 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 12.
Week in Review
By Amylynn Richards
Head over to Mount Vernon High School on Saturday, Nov. 12 to see the Lady Braves play Evergreen Lutheran at 4 p.m. and the Braves boys take on last year’s state champ, Tacoma Baptist at 6 p.m.
The Braves football season ended on Thursday, Nov. 4, after a season in which the team showed incredible progress.
The Braves traveled to Orcas to play the Vikings. Vikings won 12-10, in one of the best games that the Braves have played in many years, according to Brave fans.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the way this team played,” Coach Johnny Lee said, “We have shown nothing but improvement each and every week. The team has become very close and they are learning to depend on one another. I think many kids grew up throughout this season, both in terms of football and in their lives off the gridiron.”
The boys were only 2 points away from State playoffs. “That’s something to hold our heads high and build on for next season,” Lee said.
Lee praised his seniors, “we wouldn’t have had near the success we did this year without them. They are a truly special group that helped this team turn the corner. They will be missed for sure next year, both on and off the field.”
The seniors were: Alex Teissen; Dan Biladeau; Garrett Wilbur; Conner Anderson; Brandon Drye; Travis Silva; and Sherman Quinn.
The legacy continues: The girls’ varsity volleyball team is the Tri-District Champion for the sixth year running!
The Braves were up against Tacoma Baptist first, and beat the Crusaders in three: 25-12; 25-6; 25-7. Second game was against Mount Vernon Christian, which the Braves won in three: 25-20; 25-11; 25-14. The championship game was a trouncing of the Darrington Loggers in three: 25-15; 25-11; 25-21.
Coach Suzanne Marble reports, “We had a great day overall. Everyone really stepped up and we played some of our best volleyball on Saturday! The girls kept their focus and composure throughout the day.”
The Lady Braves are red hot: Candice Pedroza had 73 assists, 7 blocks and 6 aces; Lauren McClung had 39 kills, 15 blocks and 49 digs, “She was so strong for us at the net,” Marble says; Kelley McClung had 7 aces and 22 digs; Priscilla Ponce-Venegas 14 aces, 19 kills and 31 digs; Emily Anderson had 37 kills, 9 aces and 9 blocks; Samie Miller had 7 kills, “she was a strong force for us,” Marble said.. Priscilla Ponce-Venegas “was 53/57 from the serving line and was unstoppable,” Marble said, “Sammie Miller was really strong hitting for us against Darrington.”
The girls play Northwest Christian at the Yakima Dome on Friday, Nov. 12.
The girls took on the Seattle Lutheran Saints on Thursday, Nov. 4 in Bellevue, winning the first step to the Bi-District Championship 3-2.
The Braves scored their first two goals within the first seven minutes of the game, and a third right before the end of the first half, with a half-time score of 3-1 for the Braves. The Saints score their second goal seventeen minutes into the second half. “At that time we switched to a conservative defensive formation to simply hold them, and it worked,” Coach Amy Freeto reports, “the girls played great. I believe that Seattle Lutheran will be one of our toughest matches we may see in state competition, so it was nice to get another win on them.”
Freeto believes the team win is a direct result from “renewed practice dedication and mental preparation.”
The girls beat the Bear Creek Grizzlies on Saturday, Nov. 6 in Bellevue and are Bi-District champions. The Grizzlies were on the Brave’s heels during the match, but a “hard shot goal from Sydney Hartwick midway through the first half, and a hard fought battle throughout the team, kept us ahead and gave us the win.”
The weather was terrible. “It was a nightmare, as far as weather goes. There was sideways wind and rain, almost blowing over our team's tent, coaches and subs right out of the stadium, but that's what it's like playing soccer in November.”
As the regular season ends in October, Freeto tells her girls to “cherish these games, no matter the weather.”
The girls are prepping hard this week for their State bid.
The winner of La Conner’s Friday’s game against Evergreen will go on to the final four in Sumner on Saturday, Nov. 19. “We plan to advance to the semi’s,” says Freeto, “we’ll be only the second La Conner all-girls team to do so.”
If Bear Creek wins their Friday match against Napavine, the Braves will face them at the semi-finals on Saturday, Nov. 19 in Sumner.
The win gives La Conner the number one seed from districts one and two going into State competition on Friday, Nov. 12 against the Evergreen Lutheran Eagles at Mount Vernon High at 4 p.m.
Bear Creek high was the only undefeated team in Washington State, until it took on the La Conner Braves in the Bi-District Championship, that is. The Braves took down the Bear Creek Grizzlies 1-0 in Bellevue on Saturday, Nov. 6. Senior Trenton Swigert scored the Brave goal, assisted by Todd Hoagland and DJ Carr. The Braves will face last year’s state champs Tacoma Baptist at Mount Vernon high at 6 p.m.
Senior Isabel Sible has had a tremendous year as the lone La Conner Brave on the Anacortes Seahawk swim team. Sible recently set a new state record of 1:55.26 in the backstroke 200 IM. relay team, which won her first place at district level competition, and earned her a first seed in State. Sible anchored the 200 m. free relay, placing sixth in district and qualifying for State.
Also at districts, Sible swam her personal best in the 100 m. backstroke, 1:06.88, which earned her third place; fifth in the 200 IM relay and another personal best in 2:22.39.
The State championship will take place at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal way on Thursday, Nov. 11 and Friday, Nov 12.