It was a good fall sports season for South Whidbey sports teams

Any year when your school’s football team has a winning season is a good one.

The Falcons went 7-3 and though they lost three straight to Cedarcrest, Archbishop Murphy and Lynden, it was South Whidbey’s best season since 1992.

Six players were named to the Cascade Conference All-Conference list, defensive linebacker David Monell was named Most Valuable Player and Mark Hodson was voted Coach of the Year.

Freshman tennis ace Riley Newman lost only two matches all year and qualified for state finals in Yakima next May. Newman spearheaded a boys team that placed fourth in the tough Northwest Conference with an 11-4 record; Newman was named to the all-conference first team. Coach Tom Kramer noted this was one of his best boys teams in his 30 years at the helm of South Whidbey tennis.

The tight-knit girls cross country squad placed fifth at the state finals in Pasco.

The girls qualified for state for the second consecutive year; it was the 17th year out of the last 18 that the team advanced to state.

After winning the Cascade Conference title, the girls competed against 139 of the state’s best runners.

The Falcon volleyball team went 5-9 on the strength of a very young team. With only two graduating seniors and some promising junior varsity talent, coach Tim Durbin thinks next year will be excellent.

“We were able to introduce a number of girls into our system and that’ll help us next year,” Durbin said. “They have what it takes to win. This sport requires less physicality and more finesse. The number one thing to remember is we’ve never had anything but an outstanding group of girls representing their sport and South Whidbey High School,” he added with no small measure of pride in his voice.

The girl’s soccer team, plagued with injuries to forward stars Grace Itaya and Karissa Thomas, managed to win five games against some of the toughest schools in the state.

Though the team loses some key seniors to graduation, coach Paul Arand expects younger girls to step up and be counted next fall.

Practice for winter sports begins on Monday for the boys and girls basketball teams and the Falcon wrestlers.

At noon on Saturday, Dec. 8 the basketball teams welcome Friday Harbor for the first home games in Erickson Gym. Three days later, Cedarcrest wrestlers arrive for the first home Cascade Conference take-down match.

Jeff VanDerford can be reached at 221-5300 or