Running in rain, swimming in Saratoga and Whidbey Olympians were just a few of the main sports stories in 2012.
Whidbey Island boasted Whidbey Island women in the Olympic dressage and judo competitions. The course record for the Whidbey Triathlon was shattered.
South Whidbey’s athletic accolades centered around its high school athletes. In track, two Falcon throwers competed in the state 2A meet. One girls tennis player made the state tournament.
Here are 2012’s major sports stories through June.
The WIAA officially drops South Whidbey from the 2A classification to the 1A. That meant that playoff spots in the 2012-2013 school year were less contested in the Cascade Conference, which had only two other 1A programs. It also intensified the island rivalry with Coupeville, also a 1A school.
A hard fall to the court knocked out Jessica Manca for much of the Falcon girls basketball season’s second half. The senior forward was one of the team’s leading scorers until she fell and hit her head on the hardwood as she tried to defend a fast break. The impact resulted in a concussion on the Falcons senior night, which was lost to the King’s Lady Knights.
Any time South Whidbey beats Archbishop Murphy, it’s news. When the struggling boys basketball team does it, it’s huge news. The Falcons topped the Wildcats 54-42. It was also a battle of the bigs that pitted South Whidbey’s 6-8 Zach Comfort against Archbishop Murphy’s 6-8 Zach Gordon, both all-conference nominees. Gordon, who now plays at Cal Poly, won the individual battle with a game-high 18 points. But Comfort won the game.
Referees are often blamed for negatively impacting sports. In the case of a boys soccer match between Mount Baker and South Whidbey, they couldn’t be charged with that — they never showed. The Falcons traveled some 90 miles to Deming in Whatcom County, only to have the game not count toward their season total because referees failed to arrive because of a scheduling miscommunication.
Zach Comfort was voted to the all-Cascade Conference first team in boys basketball. He was one of the top-six vote recipients at the coaches’ meeting in his senior season when he averaged 15.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 4.3 blocks and 1.3 assists per game.
Cedarcrest’s softball team pulled a seventh-inning rally to beat South Whidbey. The Falcons led 4-1 and were three outs from the conference win, but three walks and a double put the Red Wolves on top.
Bellingham shut out South Whidbey in boys soccer. The match was winner-to-state, loser-out. An early penalty kick about 10 yards from the Falcons’ goal was the only score in the game.
Two Freeland residents climbed for cancer research. Chris Kesler summited Mount Adams and Mary Lou Harris tackled Mount Rainier as part of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s “Climb to Fight Breast Cancer.”