Player Profile: Kyler Gordon

Senior Kyler Gordon received his very first D1 college offer last summer after only 2 seasons of high school ball. Now, he’s accumulated a total of 11, including offers from Notre Dame, Stanford, and University of Washington. Oh, and all of them are full ride.

Gordon didn’t start playing football until he was 10, when his friend’s family introduced him to the sport. Since then, he’s played “every position”, including running back, wide receiver, quarter back, and defensive back while in high school. “Colleges want me to play corner back,” he said.

Over 4 years as a member of the Archbishop Murphy varsity football team, Gordon has accumulated 715 rushing yards, 1,610 receiving yards, 4 defensive touchdowns, 9 rushing touchdowns, and 18 receiving touchdowns. According to ESPN, he’s the 3rd top recruit in Washington, and is 29th corner back recruit in the nation.

Gordon’s biggest inspirations to become a better athlete are his dad and cousin.

His favorite Murphy traditions include going to mass before each game together in the Chapel, and praying the Hail Mary on the field.

“My goal for myself is 14 interceptions and for the team I want a repeat of the state championship,” he said. So far he has 2 interceptions this season, and hasn’t even played in the last 3 games. In terms of taking the state title again, the Wildcats have 2 more regular season games before diving into districts.

The Wildcat football team returns home for Senior Night against the Cedarcrest Red Wolves on October 27th.

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Player Profile: Victor Gabalis

Sophomore Victor Gabalis began playing quarterback in 8th grade because he had the chance to start and wanted to “take the opportunity”. 2 years later, he’s QB1 for Archbishop Murphy’s varsity team and is currently leading the league with *384 passing yards.

In somewhat a turn of events, Gabalis ended up at AMHS after playing for the Cedarcrest Jr football team in Duvall since he was 10. “I chose Murphy because I wanted to be at a Catholic school that would provide good education for college,” Gabalis said. Cedarcrest is also a member of the Cascade Conference like AMHS.

Gabalis’ pre-game ritual includes the team dinner, of course, and listening to “Carry On” by Kid Ink. “My favorite team dinner is spaghetti,” he shared.

During the game, Gabalis is all business. So far this season he’s had 22 completions, 4 passing touchdowns, and only 2 interceptions, a stat he’s made a goal out of not having change. He averages 17.5 yards per completion and 96.0 yards per game.

Gabalis hopes starting this season will help him get early looks for college football and that he’ll be able to carry his team to a state title, just like last year’s quarterback, Connor Johnson, who also wore the number 11, did.

Victor Gabalis will lead the Wildcat offense tonight (Friday 9/29) in Archbishop Murphy’s homecoming game against Sultan High School. Come to the game and see his talent for yourself!

*all stats are according to maxpreps.com

Player Profile: Matt Welter

Senior tennis superstar Matt Welter starts his warm ups before each match by listening to “I Am A God” by Kanye West. Although it may seem silly, obviously it works. Matt’s record so far this season is 3-2, and his 2 losses have been against the best players in the league.

When he’s on the court however, his record doesn’t matter to him. “I’m always analyzing the previous play and my opponent so I can make my next shot be a winner,” Matt said.  To him, “it’s all about strategy.”

During this past off season, Matt prepared by playing year round for the Mill Tennis Club at the champs level. He also played in USTA champs tournaments, where he competed against some of the best players in the state and even some from across the country. ‘

As a singles player, Matt enjoys the fact that he “has no one to blame or praise except for [himself].” This season, he hopes to take 1st or 2nd in districts and qualify for state. If he makes it to state, he wants to be “very competitive and finish in the top 4.”

Matt Welter and the rest of the Wildcat tennis team take on South Whidbey today (Thursday, 9/28), so wish them luck!

Player Profile: Gabi Koch

In a district game against Liberty High School during the 2016 season, Wildcat’s assistant soccer coach Mike Boswell turned to Gabi Koch and said two words: hammer down. “I knew exactly what he meant,” Koch remembered, “That’s my absolute favorite soccer memory hands down.”

This season, Koch, a junior, is a captain hoping to get her team back to the same place they were at when last season concluded by leading through example. “This season I want to help my teammates on and off the field so that we can get right back to the final four of the state tournament,” Koch said.

Koch started playing soccer when she was only 5 years old, but it didn’t become her main sport until she was 8. Now, along with playing for the Archbishop Murphy varsity team, she plays for the Greater Seattle Surf team in her age division. For both teams, she plays center attacking midfielder her “absolute favorite position.”

Koch’s motivation for continuing to better her game is truly inspiring. “My biggest motivator would be my close family friend Jake Eastwood,” answered Koch. At age 13, Jake was forced to have one of his legs amputated due to an osteosarcoma. “He’s still one of the most athletic and uplifting people I know,” Koch added, “Knowing him and his story will always inspire me.”

Watch Gabi Koch take the field with the Wildcats at home this season at Terry Ennis Stadium.

Player Profile: Caroline Kowalchuk

Senior Caroline Kowalchuk has felt at home in the water since the 3rd grade, when she started swimming competitively for West Coast Aquatics. Now, she’s in her 4th year as a member of the AMHS girls swim team and her second year as captain.

Part of being a captain means putting the team’s needs before your own, and Kowalchuk is a great example of this idea. Her goal for this season is “that everyone swims their best times and comes out of the season feeling stronger and more accomplished than at the beginning of the season.”

A beast in the pool, Kowalchuk “swim[s] all the events at meets.” At state however, she says the plan is for her to swim the 200 meter freestyle along with either the 100m free (her favorite event) or the 500m free.

Last year at state, Kowalchuk placed 6th in the 500m free and 7th in the 200m free, setting a school record in the 200 with a time of 2:01.81.

When it comes to college, Kowalchuk would like to swim, but says it depends on where she goes. “Academics are my first priority, and if swimming helps, then I’ll continue to swim,” she added.

Catch Caroline Kowalchuk in the pool this season by checking out the season schedule and heading out to a meet!

Player Profile: Natalie Hayward

It’s hard to believe there was a time in her life when senior Natalie Hayward wasn’t interested in volleyball. But there was once such a time, and she even thought that it was weird.

The AMHS volleyball program sure is lucky she doesn’t think it’s weird anymore.

Natalie has now played volleyball for almost 7 years. She’s been a member of the Washington Volleyball Academy since she was 11, traveling across the country to play the sport she now loves. “I love the traveling and being able to play against some of the best volleyball players in the country,” she said. Her favorite places to travel for volleyball are Kansas, Kentucky, and Florida.

She has also played varsity volleyball at Archbishop Murphy since her freshman year. After bumping around between numbers, Natalie said she picked 10 freshman year and has stuck with it because “it just felt right.” And it certainly is right: her presence on the team is huge; this past Tuesday she recorded 6 aces, 18 kills, and 3 digs in the Wildcats 3-1 win over Blanchet. 

“My goals for this season are to keep our titles from last year, make it back to state, and hopefully get that trophy,” Natalie shared. 

Natalie has already committed to play volleyball at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. “I loved the atmosphere,” she said, “and the staff and students were so genuine and welcoming.” The volleyball program at DePaul is currently on the rise, and Natalie is excited to be a part of that over the upcoming 4 years. 

See Natalie in action along with the rest of the volleyball team this season as they seek to bring home the state title. 

Player Profile: Yutanee Ryan

Joining the softball team her sophomore year, senior Yutanee Ryan was just looking for another fun activity to participate in at school. Three seasons later, she’s grown to love the sport and the teammates she plays it with.

Math teacher Stephanie Harmon had been the softball coach at AMHS up until this year. She was the first softball coach Ryan ever had. “Harmon set the basics down for me: how to throw a ball, catch pops, field grounders, hitting, and just learning the game itself,” she said. This year, dean of students Jeff Latta and football coach Damien Holman have taken over coaching positions for the team. From them, Ryan says she’s learned how to use all her body power when swinging and throwing.

Ryan is an outfielder for the team, and she says she loves it because it helps her avoid her weakness. “I’m not great at ground balls,” she laughed.

Her favorite memories though, don’t come from the field. It’s the bus rides after games, especially wins, that Ryan loves the most. “Softball is such a team game. When I go up to the plate, my thought is never ‘I have to get a base hit’ it’s more like ‘I need to hit something to help my teammate get home,” she added.

The Wildcats are looking to close out a solid season in the next 2 weeks with some strong final games and head on to the district tournament. Yutanee Ryan and her fellow seniors will be celebrated for senior night this Thursday, 4pm, on the Upper Field at AMHS.