Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Weekly Braves sports capsule, Sept. 14, 2011

Check out this sequence captured by photographer Ryan Hiller during Friday's first home game

From Braves Raves......
By Amylynn Richards
The 1A league Nooksack Pioneers overpowered the Braves 44-0 at the first home game of the season. Senior Mat McCauley, who was one of the two team quarterbacks, had his collarbone broken during the very first play.
Coach Johnny Lee reports that McCauley is expected to be out of commission for around 6 weeks. “That loss is really going to hurt us, going forward,” he said.
“Nooksack is a really good football team that should be competitive in the 1A state playoffs,” Lee says, “overall, and despite the end score, I thought we were a very improved football team from week one.”
Compared to the 2010-2011 season, Lee says that the Brave were down 42-0 at half time, and the fact that the Braves held them to 44-0 overall “is a silver lining…. Nobody else in our league plays the caliber of teams that we do in our first three non-league games of the season.”
All told, the Braves had fewer turnovers than week one and Lee says they “established a run game as the game wore on…we’re getting better prepared for our league contests starting in two weeks.”
Dahlton Zavala was named player of the Nooksack-La Conner game. Zavala caused a Pioneer fumble, and Brave teammate Cameron Wischhusen recovered the ball for La Conner. Zavala “ran the ball very well,” Lee said, “I was proud of the improvement our offensive line showed. We are not quite where we need to be yet, but we're closing in on it.”
The boys travelled to play Crosspoint in Bremerton on Thursday, Sept. 8. “The heat was a major factor,” says Coach Steve DeLeon; but the Braves still managed to win the game 3-1 despite the heat and missing a few key players.
Coach DeLeon reports that Todd Hoagland and Tanner Cyr “showed their experience and leadership” during the match. 
Hoagland scored the first Brave goal at the ten minute mark, assisted by Tyler Baker. The second goal was also scored by Hoagland, unassisted. Freshman Hayden Schmidt scored during his debut match at 27 minutes, assisted by Hoagland.
DeLeon noted “solid defensive performances” by Cyr, Spenser Finley,  Jack Borusinski and from freshman goalie Eric Reinstra.
Crosspoint scored a “consolation goal” as DeLeon quipped, at the 57 minute mark.
The Braves volleyball team took on the 2A league Anacortes Seahawks Saturday, Sept. 6; the Seahawks won 3-0 (25-21, 25-16, 25-19). Coach Suzanne Marble said, “Anacortes was a strong team; we couldn’t get anything going defensively, therefore our offense wasn’t working. It was a good test to see what we need to improve on and what we are doing well.” 
Marble is impressed with the new players, who “maintained their composure under pressure.” 
Team highlights: Kelley McClung had 14 assists; Priscilla Ponce-Venegas had 7 kills; and Katie McKnight had 9 kills.
Junior Taysha James, the team right side hitter, was taken out of the game with a knee injury. An MRI showed a torn ACL and James will be out the remainder of the season. “It was a huge loss to our team physically,” Coach Marble said, but “she will be a big factor for us this year mentally.”
The Thursday, Sept. 8 match against Squalicum went much better for the Braves. Braves won 3-0 (25-15, 25-23, 25-18). Marble said that she is “really impressed with my senior leadership tonight.  Priscilla Ponce-Venegas and Emily Anderson did a nice job of keeping things on track and flowing.”  Marble said the team played more “fluid” volleyball this game, and that the non-league matches are “really good for us going into league play.”
Team highlights: Kelley McClung had 22 assists; Emily Anderson had 5 aces, 10 kills and 5 blocks; and Priscilla Ponce-Venegas had 15 digs and 5 kills
The girls played two games last week. The first home game of the season was on Tuesday, Sept. 6 against 1A League Meridian. Meridian won the game 3-0. The girls travelled to Cross Point Academy on Friday, Sept. 9, and earned their first win 5-4.
Photo by Amylynn Richards
Photo by Amylynn Richards
Photo by Amylynn Richards

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