My 1st Time Watching Lacrosse

I sat down on the cold bleachers for the first time this spring, if you can even call it that yet, wrapped in blankets and hoping my first time watching lacrosse would be easy to understand, move quickly, and would be entertaining. At least it was entertaining.

Going into this game only knowing that lacrosse involved sticks, I was not prepared for the mash up of multiple different sports that it ended up being. With a penalty box like hockey, clock stopping like football, constant ball movement like soccer, but with a stick and a lot of body checking, I got a lot more than I planned for by going to lacrosse. But it was definitely fun to watch.

Entertaining is seriously the best word I can think of to describe lacrosse. The physicality of the defensive play, the quickness of the offense, and the crazy trick shots kept me watching throughout the entire game. Of course, it was made even more entertaining by the 3-man heckle squad made up of seniors Riley Quinton, Aleks Hansen, and Ben Harasek.

I was completely blown away by the performances of seniors Bennett Duffy and Joseph Doyle; the pair were the sole scorers in the Wildcat victory. Duffy scored 5 goals and Doyle netted the other 3, ending the game 8-5 over Bellingham. Other amazing performances, particularly defensively, were put on by seniors Will Doud and Hayden Smith. I’d also like to shout out freshman Cece Vaughn; that girl is awesome for playing on a guys team and still rocking it.

Check the AMHS calendar and come out to watch the Wildcat Lacrosse team play before the season is over!

Player Profile: Bennett Duffy

In 6th grade, AMHS senior Will Doud brought his lacrosse gear with him to school and asked classmate Bennett Duffy if he was interested in playing. Previously only playing basketball and soccer, Duffy then began to transition to the sport that would later become his passion. This season, as seniors on the AMHS lacrosse team, Duffy and Doud are shoe-ins to be co-captains, hoping to lead the mere 3 year old team to the state tournament.

Technically only a club at Archbishop Murphy due to the Title IX rule,  Duffy says it’s sometimes difficult because the lacrosse team isn’t always viewed in the same light as other sports. However, this is the least of the challenges Duffy has faced in his lacrosse career. “The head coach for Jackson High School, Coach Hess, once told me I wasn’t good enough to play on the top line,” he said. This moment of criticism prompted Duffy to work harder and has helped him to become the player he is today.

His favorite memory of his high school lacrosse career is beating Friday Harbor his sophomore year, the first win in the program’s history.

Duffy has committed to play at Notre Dame de Namur University in the fall of this year. There he looks forward to competing at a national, collegiate level. Along with the competition, he hopes he’ll have the opportunity to play on national television.

Although I’ve yet to go to an AMHS lacrosse game, or any lacrosse game, I look forward to seeing Duffy take the field with Doud and his other teammates in the coming weeks.

 

Player Profile: Chase Whittaker

Senior Chase Whittaker started playing soccer when he was just 5 years old. Although he followed for many years in his father’s footsteps, focusing his athletic career on baseball, Whittaker let his love for soccer take over in the 7th grade. He hasn’t stopped loving it since, and this year marks his 4th and final year with the Archbishop Murphy Wildcats’ varsity boys soccer team.

Under head coach Mike Bartley, Whittaker is utilized across the field. “In high school I end up playing all across the board,” he commented, “a little defensive mid, outside mid, and sometimes even forward.” It was for his role as outside back on his Rush club team however, that he got recruited to play soccer at the collegiate level by Linfield College.

“My mom always told me to pick a school I would want to stay at if for some reason I had to stop playing soccer,” Whittaker said of his decision to commit to Linfield. The team at Linfield is currently restructuring after losing a big senior class, and Whittaker saw this as an opportunity to hopefully play some freshman minutes. He says he’s always looked forward to the intensity and speed of collegiate ball.

Although winning 2 state championships with the AMHS team ranks pretty high on Whittaker’s list of favorite soccer memories, his biggest inspiration comes from two different sources. “I think the game we played against Shorecrest after Kristi had passed away  was probably the most inspirational moment of my soccer career. I’ll never forget the magic and the passion on the field that night,” he told me. Kristi Bartz, a captain of the girls soccer team and a prominent member of the AMHS community, was killed in a tragic accident in May 2015. Whittaker’s other source of inspiration is his late aunt, who he said was a,”born athlete and always challenging [him] to step out of [his] comfort zone.” She passed away from ovarian cancer just a few years ago.

You can see Chase Whittaker in action with the Wildcats for the last time this season as they chase a third consecutive state championship. So far this season the team is 1-0, beating East Valley this past Saturday 1-0.

Macho Volleyball

On one side of the court, Eat My Ace huddles anxiously during time out. Decked all out in their NBA jerseys, seniors Paul Schireman, Lucas Dini, Ben Harasek, Connor O’Brien, Riley Quinton, Will Doud, Chase Whittaker and Connor Johnson hope to take down Sets on a Beach for the championship. Across the court, wearing brightly colored swim shorts stand seniors Matt Williams, Jensen Crisler, Joseph Doyle, Keaton Weyers and juniors Trey Miller and Ben Hines.

Early in the match, Doud said, “Numbers don’t mean anything. Minor setback for a major comeback.” Although the game was close until the end, Eat My Ace pulled out the win over Sets at a Beach 25-23.

Throughout the evening there was never a lack of energy on the courts, even when teams weren’t doing so well. Between the decorated, ripped up t-shirts, breaking of rules, and lack of shorts, a fun night was had by all in support for Operation Rice Bowl, Archbishop Murphy’s Lenten fundraiser. Other events contributing the fundraiser later this month include the Mr. Murphy Pageant, bunco night, and powderpuff football.

Other competing teams:

 

Cabin Boyz 0-2, TBD 1-1, Brick Squad 1-1, Mongols 0-2

Emily’s Spring Sports Predictions 

It’s already been a fantastic year for Archbishop Murphy sports. Girls soccer and volleyball both placed 3rd in state, football won the state title, girls basketball is playing for the district championship this week, and boys basketball needs 2 wins for a state berth. Individual sports, such as cross country, swimming, and wrestling, have all sent or are sending athletes to compete in state tournaments.

With tryouts for spring sports just over a week away, here are my predictions for how all the Wildcat sports teams will do in their 2017 season. (None of them are bad because, let’s face it, the Class of 2017 is a phenomenally talented and athletic class, and many of them play spring sports.)

Boy’s Soccer

Losing only one starting senior last year, the Wildcats will be fielding mostly all returning players this season as they look to take the state title for the 3rd year in a row. With powerhouse senior Matt Williams up top, assisted by Jensen Crisler (sr) and Isaac Feeney (jr), and a midfield and defensive front consisting of Sam Johnson (jr), Jake Snider (sr), Chase Whittaker (sr) and goalie Daniel Mycroft (sp), it doesn’t seem far fetched that the boys could bring home the state title again this season. Preseason games are still undecided, as many 3A and 4A teams don’t want to risk their RPI rankings by losing to the Wildcats, but make sure to find time to come out and support the boy’s soccer team. I know I’ll be at as many games as possible.

Girl’s Tennis

Last year, senior Lauren Braswell was the only AMHS tennis player to make districts, with 1st-alternate being Hannah Van Hollebeke. This year, Van Hollebeke is a junior and I’m prepared to see her kick some butt on the court and push through to the district tournament. Also, keep an eye out for seniors Natalie Sizelove and Maddy Williams either as a doubles pair or as singles this season.

Baseball

The Wildcat baseball team is another team poised to go far in districts and possibly state. Led by seniors Parker Sand, Connor O’Brien,  Aleks Hansen, and several others, the team has a good shot of returning to districts again this year and making a run at state. Catch them on Roman Miller Field this spring in their spiffy new uniforms.

Softball

Coaching changes this year have put assistant football coach Damien Holman and dean of students Jeff Latta in the position filled for many years by Stephanie Harmon. However, I don’t expect this to put a damper on the girls’ season. Although they lost several seniors last year, the team should be returning several strong players such as Yutanee Ryan and Mackenzie Treece, while also seeing the involvement of several new players. I’d keep my eye on the softball team this year; I’ve seen Latta coach powderpuff before, and if he can do half as well coaching this team, they’ll be in good shape.

Track & Field

AMHS boasts a large track & field team, consisting of many talented people. From cross country runners Josh Rauvola (jr), Teresa Barron (sr), and Mackenzie Ryan (jr) running the 3200m and 1600m, to football players Paul Schireman (sr), Martin Napeahi (jr), and Kobe Moorhead (jr) doing long jump, discus, and shotput, to soccer player Tia Asher (sp) running the 400m, make sure you look out for these guys throughout the season. I predict several of them will place in conference, at districts and possibly even at state. I’m definitely planning to make my way to a few meets this season because this team is star studded.

Boy’s Golf

The boy’s golf team also has several returning seniors, 3 of whom placed top 10 at districts last season. Steve Shih, Matthew Pabisz, and Jack McClincy, along with junior Fulton Brawner, should once again prove to be forces to reckon with on the course. Possibly the best dressed Murphy sport’s team, take some time to go watch golf this season.

Girl’s Golf

Coach Cassie Snyder is turning herself into a 3 sport coach this season by stepping up to coach golf. The team last year was small, but who knows, maybe there’ll be a bigger turnout this year.

Boy’s Lacrosse 

This should be a good year for the boy’s lacrosse team. The youngest Murphy sports team, only 3 years old, the lacrosse team is technically, because of Title IX, not a sanctioned AMHS team. However, led by seniors Bennett Duffy, Joseph Doyle, and Will Doud, lacrosse will definitely be a sport you should come out and watch this season. 

Not All Athletes

Watch any TV show or movie that takes place at or revolves around a high school, and one of the lead characters is an athlete. “Jock” is just one of those stereotypes that seems to always be in the forefront. But not everyone in high school is a jock. And for some, not being an athlete wasn’t a choice.

Katherine Mozingo is a senior at AMHS. She is a member of the National Honor Society, DECA, the robotics team, and leads on many of the school’s spiritual retreats. At one point in her life, she was an athlete, but after an injury she was left unable to participate in high school sports.

Mozingo was a gymnast for 8 years until she suffered a back injury while performing a beam routine. Even though she wanted to do sports, as she entered high school, her back hurt sitting and standing. “There was no way I could do any strenuous activity,” she said.

However, Mozingo’s injury doesn’t keep her from being one of the biggest sports fans at AMHS. Frequently seen at football and boys soccer games, she does her best to support as many sports team as she can, catching the ferry late at night to go back home to Whidbey. “I love the energy at football games and the sense of community, but I understand soccer more so it’s more enjoyable to actually watch those games,” she commented. 

Mozingo is a perfect example of someone who doesn’t let their inability to play sports interfere with their love for them. 

Some people don’t enjoy sports, some choose to participate in other activities, and others have had their opportunity to play ripped away by childhood injuries. We can’t all be athletes. That’s just how the world works. 

Player Profile: Barret Floyd

Barret Floyd

Class of 2018

Wrestling

 

Floyd started wrestling in 6th grade after failing to make the schools basketball team. “I was awful at basketball, but luckily wrestling stuck.” His favorite move is called the Cow Catcher, which involves a front headlock and an underhook, and can typically result in a pin. The move is his favorite because it was the first move he achieved a pin from and is the one he uses most often to pin his opponents.

“The biggest misconception about wrestling is how difficult it is. Wrestling practice, let alone a wrestling match, have been some of the most physically demanding moments of my life.” Floyd explained.

He also explained that he loves the sport because of his teammates. “I’m not good enough to be a state champ. I like wrestling because every day during practice, when I am sweating or sometimes bleeding, I look to the left and right and see my boys. I know that they’re going through the same thing.” Floyd also told me about some of his favorite memories with the team, including eating burgers late at night and pulling each other around in an old truck tire.

Floyd is also a leading member of the cross country team.