Whidbey athletes shine in 2019/ Sports year in review

2019 was a good year for South Whidbey sports…


For the third consecutive year, the South Whidbey Reign, coached by Karl Peterson, reached the final four in the state select soccer tournament. The U14 club defeated Kent United on penalty kicks to reach the finals. Simone White scored twice in regulation and Savannah Simmons, Nikki Murnane and Ella Pozarycki tallied in the shootout.

South Whidbey High School senior Kody Newman scored 32 points in a 72-40 boys basketball win over Coupeville Jan. 29, giving him 1,001 points in his career.


Falcon Clay O’Brien (182 pounds) won his class in the subregional wrestling tournament Feb. 2. He and four others — Drew Aposhyan (120, second), Dylan Davis (285, second), Caleb McArthur (138, third), Eden Batiste (145, fourth) — qualified for the state tournament. At state, O’Brien finished sixth, while Aposhyan and McArthur each split four matches.

The North Sound Conference named Newman Player of the Year in boys basketball.


For the second time in three years, the South Whidbey Wind 1, coached by Steve Thompson, won a gold medal in the basketball skills division of the Washington State Special Olympics March 1-3. The squad included Julietta Cedar, Dagny Schellenberg, Ambria Labadens-Willis, Ryan Hagar, Zoe Thompson and Stacie Lanners.

The subregional champion South Whidbey Wind 2 included Nicky Whitehouse, Connor Weaver, Dylan Matros Bartkowski, Alek Taylor-Hope, Lucas Etzell and Matteo Uhl.

South Whidbey pitchers Ethan Petty, Brent Batchelor and Andrew Fry combined to no-hit Kingston 9-0 in the baseball season opener March 13. The Falcons went on to throw three more combined no-hitters during the season.

In softball, Falcon Melody Wilkie fired a no-hitter and was a home run shy of hitting for the cycle in an 11-1 win over Sultan March 27. Two days later, Chanel Sterba tossed a no-hitter in a 17-1 win over La Conner.


Newman was named to the Associated Press 1A all-state basketball team.

The Falcon boys soccer team, coached by Emerson Robbins, claimed the conference crown with a 2-0 win over King’s April 26.


The South Whidbey boys track team, coached by Mark Eager, captured the North Sound Conference championship May 2.

In golf, the South Whidbey boys, coached by Steve Jones, and the girls, coached by Joe Thompson, won their respective conference championship tournaments May 6. Emma Leggett was the girls individual champion. At the state boys golf tournament May 21 and 22, Gabe Jacobson-Ross placed 26th.

The South Whidbey boys track team finished second at the state meet May 23-25. Callahan Yale was the 800-meter champion and earned three medals overall. Issiah Gonzales and Bodie Hezel also won three medals.


Three Falcons were named North Sound Conference Players of the Year for spring sports: Michael Lux, soccer; Leggett, girls golf; and Petty, baseball. Lux set school records in single season goals (27) and career goals (72). Coach of the Year honors went to Robbins, boys soccer, and Tom Fallon, baseball.

Seattle’s David Dahl won the eighth annual 1.2-mile Whidbey Adventure Swim in record time (26:28.5) June 23.

South Whidbey High School graduate Riley Newman swept the men’s open division at the Canadian National Pickleball Tournament June 27-30 at Kingston, Ontario.


South Whidbey Little League’s Kasen Parsell, Malachi Pierson and Grady Davis combined to toss a no-hitter in an 11-1 win over North Whidbey July 9 in the District 11 tournament.

Whidbey Island’s Sherry Phay finished second at the United States Powerlifting Association Drug Tested National Tournament July 11-14 in Las Vegas. In addition to placing second in her age and weight division (Masters 45-49 at 90kg), Phay set a new state record in the bench press (72.5/80/85kg).

Greenbank’s Jenny Cisney, competing in the women’s 30-39 division, finished first in combat sparring and third in traditional sparring at the American Taekwondo Association World Championships July 8-14 in Little Rock, Ark.

Langley’s Peter Oakley, 57, was the top local finisher (16th overall, first in his division) in the 23rd annual Whidbey Island Triathlon July 27.


Langley’s Sophia Morgan won her division at the eighth annual Race the Reserve in Coupeville Aug. 10.

A team of current and former South Whidbey High School cross country runners (Cooper Ullmann, Aidan Donnelly, Sam Martin, Reilly McVay, Aidan O’Brien, Thomas Simms, Will Simms and Yale) placed second overall and first in their division out of 341 teams at the Ragnar Rainier Trail run Aug. 23 and 24 at the Crystal Mountain Ski Resort.


Kaia Swegler Richmond, a junior at South Whidbey High School, won her division at the 145-team Nike Portland XC Sept. 28 at Blue Lake Park in Fairview, Ore.


The South Whidbey girls soccer team, coached by Terry Swanson, tied King’s for the conference title.

In cross country, the Falcon boys, coached by Doug Fulton, won the North Sound Conference meet Oct. 26.


The South Whidbey boys cross country team snagged the bi-district title Nov. 2. The Falcons placed fourth and the girls eighth at the state meet Nov. 9.

The Falcons girls soccer team earned a state berth with a 5-1 bi-district win over Overlake Nov. 7. At state, South Whidbey fell to Tenino in a shootout Nov. 13.

South Whidbey siblings Lindsey and Riley Newman finished second in the open mixed doubles division of the Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships Thursday, Nov. 7, at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in California.

South Whidbey’s Ashley Lynch placed 16th (first among 1A swimmers) in the 200-yard freestyle at the state 2A/1A/2B swim meet Nov. 16 at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way. Lynch joined freshmen Parker Forsyth and Abigail Ireland and junior Katie Zundel on the 19th-place 400-free relay team (second among 1A schools).

Falcon Lila McCleary was named the North Sound Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year in soccer, Bodie Hezel was the league’s Most Valuable Offensive Player in football and Fulton was the league’s Coach of the Year in cross country.

Whidbey Island’s Tishia Malone placed third in her division (women 55-59) at the 19th annual Scottish Masters Athletics Heavy Events World Championships in Tucson, Ariz.


Sterling Patton hit eight three-point shots and scored 34 points in South Whidbey’s 79-65 boys basketball win over Oak Harbor Dec. 13.

Aposhyan won the 132-pound class at the Lynnwood Classic Wrestling Tournament Dec. 21.