Another year is almost in the books. 2018 is nearly over. This marks the sixth “Year in Review” article I’ve written for the Woodinville Weekly. Lots of great moments to choose from and distill into one article.
Looking back to early in the year, there was that night in February when the Woodinville Gymnastics team turned in a glorious performance at Districts. Shining as a beacon of supreme confidence and grace, Kylie Mosset dominated to lead Woodinville back to the State Tourney.
The senior won floor, beam and all-around, to help Woodinville to a top score of 176.75. That sent the four-time defending State Champions back to the Tacoma Dome once again.
“A huge night for Kylie,” Woodinville coach Kathie Koch said. “She did a great job in all four events. Probably her best event of the season. So exactly what we wanted to do, building throughout the season. And to bring your A game in post season, that’s always the goal.”
Woodinville would go on to finish second at State behind Camas. Mosset is now a freshman diver at Bowling Green University in Kentucky (her days as a gymnast are over).
The Lady Falcons basketball team also had a memorable winter. Traveling to the Tacoma Dome for the State tourney, Woodinville began play as a #5 seed. Over three days, the girls won three straight overtime games to punch their ticket to the title game. But it was there, before a regional TV audience, that they’d fall to Central Valley.
The most thrilling moment from those playoffs came in the second round win over Kentridge. Woodinville trailed 54-52 with two seconds left. Woodinville’s Regan Schenck was inbounding the ball, looking first for Mia Hughes in the paint, before spying Maddy DuBois coming open outside and passed her the ball.
“I came off those two screens and [the defenders] lost me,” DuBois said. “I was like oh my gosh I’m open! And Regan hit me in the sweet spot and I let it go. I could see it was dead on. I was like, that’s good, that’s in! The place erupted, oh my gosh it was crazy! I peed myself a little, I’m not going to lie.”
As the ball swished through the net, the buzzer sounded. Pandemonium broke out in the arena. The entire Woodinville team stormed toward DuBois, mobbing her near half court.
Woodinville ended the season with a 22-5 record. By finishing in second place, the Falcons became the most successful basketball team in school history.
As winter gave way to spring, the Falcon lacrosse team was making a late-season surge. On a Friday night in May, Woodinville made a long bus ride to University Place. It was there that they beat Curtis 10-5 to earn advance to the State semifinals.
“The boys just fought,” Woodinville coach Pete Crowley said. “We had some injuries this week. We came into the game with starting attackers down. We talked about how we’re a brotherhood and a family and guys need to step up.
That’s exactly what happened.”
Woodinville fell to Eastlake the following week, bringing the season to a close. But the young, growing Falcon program broke new ground by getting to the Final Four.
Woodinville’s formidable softball program also had a great season, though it ended in disappointment. But there was that warm day in May when Rachael Rhinehart struck out 14 batters and Mikaelie Sullivan had a key RBI double as Woodinville beat North Creek 5-2. That win moved the Falcons to a 12-0 record. But it was also their 38th win in a row going back to 2016. It was their 44th consecutive regular season victory.
“We’re not worried about the record, I just want to win,” Woodinville coach Dani Tachell said. “If we happen to be undefeated, that’s great.”
Woodinville went into the Kingco 4A tourney fully expecting to advance to the State tourney in Spokane. But the Lady Falcons hit a rough patch and were eliminated. The young squad vows to get to Spokane in 2019.
As summer turned to fall, the Woodinville volleyball team made strides as a program. There was a memorable night during the Kingco 4A playoffs. The Falcons beat Redmond 3-0. It was a long time coming.
Woodinville’s Colleen Ochs was well aware of the postseason drought. The 17-year old was just ten years old the last time the Falcons won a playoff match.
“My cousin was on that team,” Ochs said with a nod. “Her name is Andie Kelly. I would come and watch her play.”
But as of that night, the drought was no more. It was a season to build on. And Cate Quilantang earned First Team All-Kingco 4A honors, while Emma Daoud-Hebert was Honorable Mention.
At Woodinville, the fall time also means football. The Falcons finished the season 11-2 and tied for third place at State. The most special time was that rainy night in Snoqualmie, when the Falcons beat Mount Si 16-13 to win the Kingco 4A title.
“It just feels awesome to win a Kingco championship,” Falcon quarterback Noah Stifle said. “Especially to win a three-peat, that’s insane. Not a lot of teams can get that done. It’s cool to see that hard work does pay off -- and it’s not just people saying words.”
That Falcon team featured lots of great kids. Cage Schenck is electrifying, pure and simple. The junior earned first team All-Kingco honors as a cornerback, wide receiver, punt returner AND kick returner. Miles Mustarde and Danny Metsker shared the honor of wearing the #44 jersey – in memory of the late linebacker Parker Moore.
The football season also produced my favorite moment of the year. The Falcons played Gonzaga Prep in the State quarterfinals at Pop Keeney Stadium. Woodinville center Matt Harvey is only 5’8”. During the game, he was going up against a 6’4” defensive tackle. The Gonzaga Prep player called Harvey a nasty word, then yelled “HEY -- BLOCK LIKE A MAN!”
On the very next play, Harvey snapped the football to quarterback Noah Stifle. Harvey then proceeded to rag doll the defensive tackle and dispatch him to the turf. The video of this play is impressive – and hilarious.
Many other great moments happened throughout 2018, of course. I can’t list them all. But some honorable mentions include freshman Holland Pilukas finishing second at State (4A) in the high jump. Falcon wrestler Drew Christensen finished 7th at State (4A) in the 160 pound weight class. Wyatt Mosher went to State on behalf of the Falcon golf team. And Luke Houser won the cross country title at the Kingco meet.
I also had some myths debunked about Jordan Worthington of the girls basketball team. I had long assumed she was the younger sister of former Falcon baseball pitcher Alex Worthington. Not the case, Jordan told me. (“Everyone thinks that, it’s not true!”) I also found out that Jordan is not the heiress to the Worthington Auto License empire in Bothell. (“That’s the other one everyone always assumes,” she said).
Special shout outs to people who made the year enjoyable for me… The list includes coaches Scott Bullock, Sam Moscatel and Ali Forde from the girls basketball team. Football coaches Wayne Maxwell, Mike Monan, John Hamilton, DJ Baddeley, Tom Lenart, Pat Accimus and Steve Armstrong… Football statistician Andrew Strutzel… WHS Swim coach George Sayah… Softball coach Dani Tachell… Baseball coach Alan Dillman…Volleyball coach Andrea Roelen…Tennis coach Betty Hummer… And in the athletic department, a tip of the cap to Renae Hector and Deb in the ticket window.
In early December, I watched the Woodinville girls basketball team beat University. It was one of those rare, laid-back Saturday afternoon games. I sat with Bob Nicol (assistant coach, boys basketball) and Ronald Jones (assistant coach, football). It was just casual conversation while watching an entertaining game (and checking our smart phones to keep tabs on the Alabama-Georgia football game). It was a great way to kick off the holiday season. And it marked one of those many times where I smile and think to myself, “Not a bad way to earn a buck.”