Contributed photo
                                South Whidbey girls golf won a state championship in May 2017, a first in the program’s history.

Contributed photo South Whidbey girls golf won a state championship in May 2017, a first in the program’s history.

Year in review: South Whidbey sports in 2017

It was an action-packed year of sports in 2017, from a state championship to gutsy performances. Here’s a look back at the top stories, month by month.

January

South Whidbey football leaves the Cascade Conference in favor of an independent schedule to rebuild enthusiasm for the program following a winless season in 2016.

February

South Whidbey Reign’s girls U-14 soccer club finishes second in the Washington Youth Soccer Founders Cup in Tukwila.

Mark Hodson, who coached South Whidbey football from 2001-2013, is hired again as the Falcons’ head coach.

Two South Whidbey wrestlers, Hunter Newman and Chase Barthlett, advance to the class 1A state tournament at the Tacoma Dome. Both fall short of finishing in the top eight.

March

Wrestling coach Jim Thompson retires after 12 years at the helm.

Isaiah McClure, a fifth-grader, earns a “Triple Crown” by winning state folkstyle, Greco-Roman and freestyle championships.

South Whidbey’s cheer team wins an academic state championship with a cumulative grade point average of 3.905.

April

South Whidbey softball takes sole possession of first place in the Cascade Conference just a year after finishing 4-18 overall.

In one of the more wild comebacks in the program’s history, South Whidbey baseball climbs out of a eight-run deficit with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning to beat Cedarcrest 13-9.

May

South Whidbey girls golf claims the class 1A state championship for the first time in program history. Falcon junior Kolby Heggenes finishes second individually for the second consecutive season.

The Falcon boys golf team places second in the state.

South Whidbey Reign’s U-16 girls team loses in the state finals of the Washington Youth Soccer Founders Cup.

South Whidbey track and field’s boys and girls teams claim Cascade Conference titles. The Falcons later send 16 girls and boys to the state championships.

The Falcon girls tennis team wins the class 1A District 1 tournament and sends three to the bi-district championships. All three girls, Alex Foode, Bayley Gochanour and Mary Zisette, fall short of state.

South Whidbey softball advances to state for the second time in three years. The Falcons win one game at state before being eliminated with two losses.

June

Four South Whidbey track and field athletes — Bailey Forsyth, Sophia Nielsen, Romey Rohde and Emma Barker — place in the top eight at the class 1A state track and field championships in Cheney.

Emerson Robbins resigns as head coach of South Whidbey boys soccer after three years at the helm, citing frustration with “unfair” competition in the Cascade Conference between private and public schools.

Seven Falcons are inducted into the 2017 Wall of Fame. They include Megan Drake (girls basketball), Kacie Hanson (volleyball, girls basketball, softball), Connor Antich (football, baseball), Will Simms (baseball), Anna Leski (cross country), Bailey Forsyth (track and field ) and Anton Klein (boys golf).

July

Terry Swanson is hired as South Whidbey’s new girls soccer coach.

The Northwest Passage Ragnar Relay ends 197-mile relay race at the Island County Fairgrounds; nearly 6,000 racers competed.

September

South Whidbey volleyball wins its annual home tournament, the South Whidbey Invitational, for the third consecutive year.

The Falcon football team breaks a 20-game losing streak that spanned three seasons with a 42-8 win over Valley View Secondary (British Columbia).

Cascade Conference schools King’s and Cedar Park Christian apply to transfer to the Emerald City League. Their application is later denied.

Falcon girls basketball coach Andy Davis steps down after seven seasons.

October

South Whidbey girls soccer ends a three-year playoff drought by qualifying for the class 1A District tournament.

Falcon football beats Concrete 27-17 and ends streak of five consecutive losses on homecoming night.

November

South Whidbey’s girls cross country team places fourth in the 1A District 1 championships and sends its entire team to the state championships in Pasco, while two boys also qualify. Freshman Kaia Swegler Richmond places 14th.

The Falcon volleyball squad punches its ticket to the class 1A state championships for the second consecutive year. South Whidbey goes two-and-out.

South Whidbey girls soccer claims its first state berth in 14 years with a fifth place finish in the 1A Bi-District tournament. The Falcons were eliminated after a 4-1 loss to Klahowya.

Softball standout Mackenzee Collins inks letter of intent with Colorado State University, a Division I program.

December

The Cascade Conference’s athletic directors vote to split apart the league. South Whidbey and four other 1A schools form a new league, the North Sound Conference, which will begin next fall.

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