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Luke Taylor and the Path Less Traveled

  • Written by Derek Johnson

Luke Taylor looked out a window from the 50th floor of the MetLife Building in New York City. The 26-year old Woodinville grad was on the phone last week with a reporter. “I’m overlooking Grand Central and it’s nighttime in the city,” Taylor said. “I can see all of lower Manhattan and Brooklyn in the distance. Incredible view! I wish I could say it was my office-- but I’m in a conference room.”

Since graduating from Woodinville High School in 2010, Taylor has traversed the country. His travels have taken him through minor league baseball, Trinity College and finally to a job at the law firm in New York City.

The journey began when the Seattle Mariners drafted Taylor in the 9th round of the 2010 draft. The 6’6” 200 pound pitcher played four seasons in the organization. He started in Arizona and then played for the Pulaski (VA) Mariners in 2011. His final season was 2013, when he pitched briefly for the Everett Aqua Sox. A torn labrum brought his baseball dreams to an end. 

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Bullied as a child, former pro helps girls gain self-esteem through basketball

  • Written by Derek Johnson

Val Whiting has cold memories of a cruel adolescence. Growing up in Delaware, the former WNBA player was taunted in middle school. It got so bad that she switched schools looking for relief. 

“I had low self-esteem,” Whiting said. “I didn’t feel accepted. I felt ugly. I was teased for being tall, for being shy, for being smart and for being a nerd. I just wanted to be accepted.”

Now at the age of 46, she’s giving back. Whiting runs after school girls-only basketball programs in the Northshore and Lake Washington school districts.   

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All Stars Softball Team - District Champs

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff
SoftballCoach/ Team Manager: Keoki McCarthy Asst Coaches: Ryan Wilkerson and Vicki Ryan Team members: Addison Hagen, Allison Ryan, Claire McCarthy, Elisa Reed, Erin Thoreson, Ginger Milbrodt, Jada Smith, Jocelyn Grieser, Landry Wilkerson, Lauren Tanner, Lucy Ford, Macy Yracheta, and Serena Bahl
The Woodinville Little League 10U All Stars Softball Team (8-10 year olds) won the District 8 All Stars tournament on July 3.  The team was undefeated during the competition.  The championship earned them a spot in the State Championships in Spokane, Wash. from July 7-14.
Parent Fleur Tanner said, "[This is a] Fantastic team! The girls work amazingly well together, are all incredibly enthusiastic and supportive of each other and give it everything they’ve got every game."  She added, "[We] Couldn’t ask for better coaches - they have ALL worked and continue to work very hard to teach and train the girls, they have created a great team atmosphere, they make it fun and have helped foster the strong camaraderie and fantastic team spirit.  Congratulations to all!

Coach made journey from Venezuela to Woodinville

  • Written by Derek Johnson
It’s a summer evening at a little old ballpark in rural Monroe. The game is over and Woodinville has won. Players and fans head for the parking lot. And 38-year old Guillermo Garcia stands on the field. He talks with a reporter.
 
“When I was growing up in Venezuela we had only three baseballs for the whole team,” Garcia said. “Only a couple of bats. When I came here I see the difference. Every kid here has his own glove. Every kid has his own bat. It’s a huge, huge difference.”
 
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Local Kids enjoyed their time at Falcon Football Camp

  • Written by Derek Johnson

Coach Wayne Maxwell smiled. His trademark sunglasses shielded his eyes from the bright afternoon glare. It was Day 2 of Falcon Football Camp. In front of him, kids scurried about the Woodinville High School field. They were running drills. . 

“These kids are out here having fun, and as a result they’re working hard and they don’t realize it,” Maxwell said. “You can ask the parents. The kids are tired when they go home.”

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