Photo by Amylynn Richards
The joy of winning! The lady Braves beat the Mount Vernon Bulldogs last week!
photo by Amylynn Richards
The Ninja Braves
photo by Amylynn Richards
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By Amylynn Richards
Brave fans have two varsity opportunities to cheer on the home team. On Thursday, Sept. 22, the boys soccer team hosts Orcas at 4 p.m. On Friday, Sept. 23, the football team hosts Bellevue Christian school. The teams are closely matched; safe to say it will be a good game. Go Braves!
Band teacher Brian Frasier brought the 8-member strong pep band to encourage the volleyball team for the first time in memory. Volleyball coach Suzanne Marble enjoyed their presence, and wanted “to thank Brian Frasier and the band for playing for us! It was a first!”
Gracing the fans with fight tunes were: Emily Parker, clarinet; Jordan Holt, bass clarinet; Joe Lee, alto saxophone; Alex Holt, alto saxophone; Dylan Sicklesteel, trumpet; Jacob Shivers, trumpet; Martin Sampson, drums; and Sara Peterson, baritone. Other pep band members are Diane Knutzen on clarinet and flute, Grace Kim on trumpet, and Dylan Watkins, tuba.
The band will perform next at the 7 p.m. home football game against Bellevue on Friday, Sept. 23
The volleyball team hosted 3A league Mount Vernon Bulldogs on Tuesday, Sept. 13, in front of a house packed with Brave and Bulldog fans. Coach Suzanne Marble said simply, “We had a successful last week!” The Bulldogs were taken down in three: 25-18; 25-18; and 25-17. Team highlights: Kelley McClung had 27 assists and four blocks; Emily Anderson had 5 aces 14 kills and 2 blocks; Priscilla Ponce-Venegas had 6 kills and 13 digs; Emma Christianson served 8 in a row in set two when we were behind 7-0 to give us the lead 8-7, she also had 5 kills and 2 blocks.
Marble was pleased with the fan turnout, and with her team, “Mount Vernon is always a fun cross town rival and I was proud of my girls for keeping their composure and coming back in set two to win the set and the match,” she said, “Mount Vernon had a lot of talent and they will be a strong team this year.”
The girls traveled to Orcas Island on Thursday, Sept. 16; the Braves won in three: 25-17; 25-6; 25-19. Team highlights: Kelley McClung had 30 assists; Emily Anderson had 3 aces, 7 kills; Priscilla Ponce-Venegas was 22 for 22 serving and had 10 aces, 11 kills and 11 digs. Ponce-Venegas “played a great match from start to finish,” Coach Marble said, “her serving was too much for the Vikings.” Carly Anderson had 15 digs; Katie McKnight had 3 aces and 7 kills; overall, the Braves were 953% in serving.
Coach Marble was “pleased with the total team effort tonight. We got to try some different players in different positions and this is always good to do early in the season. It is always tough to go to Orcas and have a ton of time to kill, but the girls came ready to play!”
It was a busy week for the girls’ soccer team. “With each game, our team got better and better,” says Coach Amy Freeto.
The highlight of the week was beating Evergreen Christian 7-0 on Friday, Sept. 16; in the past, Evergreen has knocked the Braves out of State playoffs 2 out of the past 3 years the teams have competed. “Beating them soundly was a very nice win,” Freeto said, “They are definitely not the same team they were last year-our last loss of the season-but the win still felt important and a way to make a statement about who ‘This Year's Team’ is going to be.”
Most of the second half was played by girls who don’t usually get to be starters, and starters in different field positions. Nikki Finley scored 3 goals,1 by Keeper Tess Bruland, 1 for sweeper Sammie Mesman, which was scored from a defensive position, and1 for Kelsey Crawford.
The girls hosted Bear Creek on Tuesday, Sept. 13, which ended in a tie. “It was a well fought match, although our team came out bigger and better in the last two of the week, for sure,” Freeto said, “Bear Creek has always been a very competitive program with us...we were still struggling with our lineup and formation on Tuesday, so a tie was a good way to end that match.”
The girls played an away game on Thursday, Sept. 15, against the Orcas Vikings. Freeto mentioned that the Vikings are a “always a hard team to play,” but the Braves beat the Vikings 5-0 this time out. What a “great way to end our first league game,” Freeto said.
“We came out very strong, scoring in the first 10 minutes,” Freeto continued. The stat sheet was not readily available, but Freeto recollected that Kelsey Crawford earned 3 goals, Madi Cavanaugh, one goal and one for Nikki Finley.
The Braves played three games last week.
The Braves hosted last year’s state champs, Providence Classical Christian, on Friday, Sept. 16. Fridays’ game was an onslaught of attempted goals on the Braves, but goalie Taylor Fay kept Providence at bay, allowing only one goal in the middle of the second half.
“It was an exciting game from start to finish,” said Coach Steve DeLeon, “They pressed us several times and we came back with many of our own attempts on goal…The loss was hard to take. Next to Mount Vernon Christian, Providence is our biggest rival. The loss lets us know that we have some more work to do in order to compete with the top teams in our league”
On Thursday, Sept. 15, the Braves took a 5-1 win over Grace Academy. The match was the first home game for the boys’ soccer team. It was a “great game for our home opener, said DeLeon, “after our first two goals, the result was never in doubt. Grace Academy has clearly improved since last year; they stayed in it until the end.”
Earlier in the week on Wednesday, Sept. 14, the Braves went to Orcas Island to play the Vikings. The Braves won 8-0. “We controlled the game the entire 80 minutes,” DeLeon said, “Many of our young players got into the act. We used almost our entire bench.” Scoring goals for the Braves were: Kory Duran in the 4th minute, assisted by Todd Hoagland; 3 goals were scored by Hoagland, the first in the 7th, 52nd, and 72nd minute, each assisted by Duran; Hayden Schmidt in the 16th minute, assisted by Tyler Baker, Schmidt at the 20th minute, assisted by Dylan Sicklesteel; Joseph Lee at minute 57, assisted by Hoagland; and Baker at 69th minutes, assisted by Lee.
Half-time score was 4-0.
The Braves were undefeated until the Providence Classical Christian Highlanders won the match 1-0 on Friday.
Senior Todd Hoagland has scored 7 goals this season so far. Hoagland and Alex King of Trout Lake are the state leaders. The Washington Soccer Club has named Hoagland their Player of the Week, and made note of his 5 goals, 2 assists, and 1 shutout in 2 spotlight games. The Washington Soccer Club has begun making a fantasy soccer team this year, pulling the best athletes from across the state in the 2B league. Two Braves made the list: Todd Hoagland and Kory Duran. Hoagland was listed for last week’s fantasy team.
The Braves, currently ranked 30th state-wide among 1A/1B/2B leagues, took on the Adna Pirates, who are ranked 4th in the state on Saturday, Sept. 17.
Coach Lee said, it was a “pretty bad day on Saturday. We drove 3 hours down to play in the rain and get beat 40-6. Not a good way to start the weekend.”
Adna, ranked fourth state-wide, took an early lead and ended the first quarter with a 20-0 lead, and the Pirates brought in two more touchdowns in the second quarter. The Braves rallied in the third quarter, keeping the Pirates to six more points – the final Adna points of the game. Skylar Krueger brought in the Braves’ six points in the fourth quarter.
“I was pretty disappointed with our execution and lack of urgency at times,” Coach Lee reports, “We definitely took a step back from last week and need to get a lot of things fixed before we start league in the week ahead. Adna was a good team but we didn’t help ourselves out any. We missed tackle after tackle, failed to seize the opportunities we were given and capitalize. Hopefully we can muster up a little resiliency and rebound from this and get off to a good start in our league schedule.”
On the up side, Lee pointed out that Wil James had a “good game defensively” and that Skylar Krueger “ran the ball well for us offensively.”
The boys play Friday, Sept. 23 against 1A league Bellevue Christian High school. Bellevue is rated 29th in the State division; La Conner is ranked 30.
Coach Lee has named a “Player of the Week” each week. For week one, the honor went to Sean Hulbert, as he “personified what we look for in a competitor on the field.” For week two, Dahlton Zavala was player of the week; a he “ran with heart,” took 4 tackles and forced 1 fumble. The player of the week for week three is Wil James, who had a “good game defensively.”