Track: overcoming hurdles
While the pandemic has been a whole hurdle for sports, the Friday Harbor High School will be back at hurdling and much more this season.
Coach Shannon Plummer said he is most excited about completing a full sports season and having the opportunity to compete at the state level.
This is his fifth year coaching the track and field team. Plummer has resided on the island since 1994.
In those five years, he said what he realized he loves most about coaching is being able to push his team’s limits and bring out 100% of what they can perform.
While Friday Harbor missed out on a full track season last year, only having a couple of events, he said much of his team competes in other sports year-round, so they shouldn’t be too rusty in the competitive and athletic department.
“Do your best, have fun, and be a good teammate,” Plummer said.
The track team schedule is not yet available, but updates will be posted on https://www.sjisd.wednet.edu/Page/131
Baseball: looking for a home run
The baseball team is batting into a long-awaited new season this year. The team wasn’t completely robbed of games last year, as they played nine games.
“We are looking to have a very competitive season and for all the guys to have success in the game they love,” said coach Rich Warin. “We have five seniors who should all have great seasons. We stress a team concept where all players are equal. We look to be the deepest in talent than we have been in years.”
Warin also coaches with Steve Schram. Assistant coaches also include Justin Nibbler and Steve Schramm. This is both his and Schram’s 27th year with the baseball team together. Warin has been on the island for 50 years.
“So three more years and I will be a local,” he joked.
In those 50 years, he said his favorite part of coaching has been being part of the team and watching them grow together.
They practice everyday after school at Linde Park, but currently they must use the batting cages at Hall Gym while new ones are being built at Linde.
“Thanks to the crew at Linde field for all their hard work and purple and gold for all they do for the kids,” he said.
Tryouts are currently still in the works as the team just began practicing due to WIAA guidlines. Once tryouts are complete, an updated picture and roster will be published.
There are 19 scheduled regular games for this baseball season, including nine home games. The first game is against Lynden Christrian High School and kicks off on March 12 at noon located at Linde Field. The following game will take place away at Meridian High School, March 16 at 4 p.m. The next home game takes place on March 25. For more updates on the schedule check out https://fhwolverines.com/teams/3197160/boys/baseball/varsity/schedule
Fastpitch 2022 schedule
• Tuesday, March 15 at 4 pm. Away at Ferndale High School.
• Saturday, March 19 at noon. Away at Mount Baker High School.
• Saturday, March 26 at noon. Home at Linde Community Fields against Nooksack Valley High School.
• Monday, March 28 at noon. Away conference game at Darrington High School.
• Friday, April 1 at 4:30 pm. Home at Linde Fields against Coupeville High School.
• Friday, April 1 at 6 pm. Home conference game against Coupeville High School.
• Saturday, April 2 at noon. Away at Meridian High School.
• Tuesday, April 5 at 4:30 pm. Home conference game at Linde Community Fields against Concrete High School.
• Friday, April 8 at 4 pm. Conference game at La Conner High School.
• Tuesday, April 12 at noon. Home conference game at Linde Community Fields against Orcas Island High School.
• Monday, April 18 at 4:30 pm. Home at Linde Community Fields against Lynden Christian High School.
• Friday, April 22 at 4:45 pm. Home conference game at Linde Community Fields at Darrington High School.
• Tuesday, April 26 at 4 pm. Away conference game at Coupeville High School.
• Friday, April 29 at 3 pm. Away conference game at Concrete High School.
• Friday, April 29 at 5:05 pm. Away conference game at Concrete High School.
• Tuesday, May 3 at 6:15 pm. Home conference game at Linde Community Fields against La Conner High School Conference Game.
• Friday, May 6 at 3:30 pm. Away conference game at Orcas Island High School.
• Friday, May 6 at 5 pm. Away conference game at Orcas Island High School.
Girls’ tennis: building for the future
Wolverines’ ladies’ tennis team may only have four matches this season, but they are focusing on the future and honing their skills for next year.
“This wasn’t the year we were hoping for,” coach Kevin Cullen said. Cullen is a STEM teacher at Friday Harbor High School and has been coaching girls’ tennis for the last seven years.
“In a small school you kind of get asked to do a lot of different things,” Cullen said. After the last tennis coach quit, Cullen was asked, and he stepped up. “I love coaching, and this is a really great group of girls. We have a lot of fun.”
After two seasons cut short by Covid, the plan was that this year there would be a new high school tennis court to play on, and with the team ready to play, it would be a big year. “We were planning on having new courts by this time. Unfortunately, the reconstruction of courts which began last fall, is not quite finished. Instead of the usual location, the team, comprised of 15 girls, has been practicing at the San Juan Golf Course and Country Club.
The golf course he added, has been extremely generous blocking off 3:30 to 5:30 everyday in order for the team to practice. “It’s a beautiful facility, it just isn’t designed for an entire high school team.”
The main issue simply being the number of courts there are only two. That means there simply isn’t enough space for the entire team to practice, or for Friday Harbor to host any matches. As a result, the team only has four matches scheduled. A normal tennis season has approximately 12. There is some hope the high school courts will be completed in May, meanwhile the team is taking it in stride and using their time to improve their game and having a good time together.
Senior Lucy Martin is playing first singles this year for the first time, and senior Emilie Mason is playing second doubles. Both girls were freshmen the last time they were able to play a regular season, since the last two years were interrupted by Covid. “This would have been their time to shine,” Cullen said sadly., before adding “we also have a lot of strong doubles players coming forward who have put a lot of court time in over the years.”
When asked if there was anything else they wanted readers to know, Mason responded saying, “We are coming back ten times stronger.”
The current schedule is as follows:
Monday, March 21 in Granite Falls.
Thursday, March 24 at Coupeville.
Monday, March 28 at South Whidbey
Monday, April 25 at Coupeville.
Heather Spaulding contributed to this article.
Golf: skills for life
Wolverine’s golf is robust this year with 30 students in the girls’ and boys’ teams combined. Coach Jack Rice is looking forward to getting back into the swing of a regular season after two difficult ones interrupted by Covid.
“We are in the smallest league there is, so we ended up playing LaConner six times,” Rice said.
In 2020, the team was only able to play for 2 weeks. Last year they played for six, but this year they will finally be playing their normal 12-week season.
He is very excited about the girls’ team, which now has nine golfers. A number of them are younger, with time to develop their swing.
The boys’ team has a number of up-and-coming stars as well as strong key players. Senior Jack Mason went to state as a freshman, so Rice is excited to see how far his skills have come after already starting at the top.
Rice said his primary goal of the season is simply to have everyone stay healthy.
Rice has been coaching golf for 15 years, and while he jokes its probably time to retire, he clearly isn’t about to put away his clubs any time soon.
“I remember all the folks who drove me to tournaments when I was a kid,” Rice said. “This is my give back, and I really enjoy it.”
He learned the game himself, Rice said, which taught him to be able to analyze other players swings.
“I can watch their swing, figure out what’s wrong and usually work with them to fix it. It’s my gift,” Rice said, to which
Senior Torsten Raichlen, who was practicing near by piped up, “It’s true, it is your gift!”
He has made lifelong friends with his students over the years. Rice has been coaching so long at this point, that now when they visit him, they bring their own kids.
“I love seeing them grow,” Rice said. “Golf is a great place to learn life skills.”
The first tournament takes place at Friday Harbor, Thursday March 24 where they will be playing against Lopez. For the rest of the seasons games, visit https://www.sjisd.wednet.edu/Page/131.