Black Hills future college athletes

Caroline Franklin is a senior at Black Hills High school and is a four year volleyball player through the school and has also been very involved in the club sports outside of school. She is continuing her volleyball in college.

Caroline has decided to play for Edmonds Community College. She is very excited to start her season as the program has intrigued her and she has a personal connection with the head coach. Last year the Edmonds girls volleyball team made it to the NWAAC and Caroline stated “that's a goal of mine going into college.” Referring to getting to NWAAC as a team member with Edmonds CC. Her long terms goals are to make it to a four year university and play on their volleyball team, which is a very good possibility considering Edmonds has a historically successful program. They are many in state four year options that could show interests in her after her two years at Edmonds.

Also playing in college is senior Jacob Noonan a four football player signed to the College of the Redwoods, a northern California based junior college. Jacob Noonan is very excited to continue his football career after a successful senior season.

Jacob was looking at and considering a few schools before his decision. On why Jacob Noonan chose the College of the Redwoods “ I chose the college because I wanted to go to a place where I can get decent playing time and where I can also get exposure of my abilities to larger schools.” Regarding his long term goals Jacob had this to say “After my two years at College of the Redwoods I want to get recruited by a bigger D3, D2 school and keep playing football.

If you see either of the student athletes or any other athletes that are continuing and playing at the next level congratulate them and wish them luck.

Kyle Wiesner, Reporter

Track team competes at 52nd Annual Shaner Invitational

On Friday, May 6th, the Black Hills track and field team competed at the 52nd Annual Shaner Track & Field Invitational, hosted at Tumwater District Stadium. With each of the thirteen participating teams’ top athletes competing in each event and the rest of the entries based off of seeding, the Black Hills men’s team finished second overall, while the women finished eighth, respectively.

Over the course of the meet, many other athletes were able to take advantage of getting the opportunity to compete against the top local competition and came out with personal records. In the sprint department, Edward Afeiche dropped his 100 meter time to 11.43. For the hurdlers, Kade Weitzel rolled to a 16.92 in the 110 meter hurdles, Skyler Webb dropped to 48.60 in the 300 meter hurdles, and Madi Frampton was able to PR in both the 100 and 300 meter hurdles (16.09 100m hurdles, 48.49 300m hurdles). Austen Daisa heaved the shot put 46’ 11” for a one-foot PR, Kyle Fischer hit a three-second PR in the 1600 meter (4:54.37), and Pearse Popchock cruised to a six-second PR in the 800 meter race (2:04.54).

Also, reigning top-ten finisher at the 2A State Championship Meet in both the 100 and 200 meter races, Mark Melendres, was able to get closer to regaining his form. With a season record in the 200 meter (23.20) and a second place finish in the 100 meter (11.31), Melendres has begun to feel confident going into the tail-end of the season. He commented on how he’s been able to regain his form, saying “The thing that helped me PR in the 200 is just not worrying too much. The more I began to relax, the more it helped me get better. I’m starting to figure out the phases in the 100 too, and I just gotta focus on finishing my race… I feel like I’m starting to peak at the right time in the season.”

Amidst all of the improvement, two athletes were able to bring home their own gold medals at the meet. Kyler Nygren, the fifth-ranked long jumper in the 2A classification, soared to a first place finish in the long jump (21’ 8.75”), edging out the second-ranked jumper in 2A, River Ridge’s Josh Braverman, by a mere 1.5”. Jason Underhill, ranked third in 2A for the 400 meter race, cruised to a victory with a near-personal best of 50.40 seconds.

With his close victory in the long jump, Nygren has momentum to build off of going into the league championship meet. He recalled his victory, saying, “I went out there and did the best I could do and happened to compete better than him in the long jump to take the lead… I hope that everything that has been happening earlier this year leads on into league, districts, and state.”

The Shaner Invitational marked the final regular season meet for the track and field program. This coming Friday, the team will be hosting the 2A EVCO Sub District meet at Tumwater District Stadium.

Edward Afeiche, Reporter

Wolves fastpitch battles vs. T-birds

Taylor Elliott delivering a pitch

On Thursday, April 28, the Black Hills Wolves fastpitch team hosted the Tumwater Thunderbirds in a league contest, with the Thunderbirds coming out victorious over the resilient Wolves, 8-3.

Taylor Elliott started on the mound for the Wolves. She pitched a strong four innings, struck out five batters, and surrendered only four runs to the T-bird offense.

Offensively, the Wolves threatened early. After a first inning in which they left the bases loaded with two outs, Aly Gill was able to get Black Hills on the board in the second inning with a two-out double that scored Elsa Means from second base. The Wolves were unable to capitalize with runners in scoring position, and Tumwater pitcher Jocelyn Glasgo was able to end any threat made by Black Hills that inning. After two innings, the Wolves were trailing 2-1.

In the top of the third inning, Elliott was assisted by some superb defensive plays courtesy of Sammi Payne and Kassi Ward. When asked to recall her momentum-stopping catch in center field, Payne said “All in all, I made the decision to dive for that ball, because I saw Kayley Moloney running to back me up. Catching that ball was an amazing feeling and really gave us momentum in the game. It stopped a triple from happening, which really made a difference in the score.” She also added, “Diving catches are the kind of plays in fastpitch and baseball that totally can change a whole team’s attitude about a game, because they truly are “team above self” plays. On our team, everyone plays for each other rather than for themselves. I can’t say that for every other team in the league.”

The Wolves made their last mark on the scoreboard in the fourth inning. Ward ripped a triple down the right field line to score two runners, making it 4-3 in favor of the Thunderbirds.

After a couple more hard fought innings, the T-birds tacked on four more runs to solidify their lead and close out the game.

The team will be working to improve. Jordan Tarrow acknowledged some critical aspects in the game that the team must work on in order to get better. Saying, “We need to work on pressure situations. We left runners on base last game and weren’t able to come up with the hits to bring them home. I think we just need to continue to fight throughout the game no matter the score.”

The Wolves (1-5 in conference play, 3-14 overall), host league-leading WF West Bearcats (6-0 in conference play, 15-0 overall) in an evergreen conference matchup with district playoff implications for Black Hills.

Edward Afeiche, Reporter

Boys baseball cruises past Tumwater 11-1

On Thursday, April 13, the Black Hills Wolves hosted crosstown-rival Tumwater Thunderbirds. Following a 5-6 loss at Tumwater the day before, the Wolves avenged this shortcoming with an 11-1 victory in five innings.

Zach James started the game on the mound for Black Hills and was able to keep the T-Birds’ offense quiet. Registering four strikeouts, picking off two T-Bird base runners, and even catching a line drive hit back at him to end the game, James allowed his only earned run in the first inning and shut down Tumwater the rest of the way.

Catcher Milo Ames explained the team’s gameplan with James on the mound, saying “Honestly we pitched them backwards. Instead of starting off with fastballs and working in off speeds we just did the opposite. It was pretty much experimental.”

Third baseman Tate Determan led the way defensively for the Wolves. With nobody out in the first inning and runners on second and first, Determan took a hard ground ball from Tumwater’s Keenan Milligan and was able to register a 5-3 double play by getting the force at third and quickly firing a cross-field throw to first baseman Cole Lester.

Offensively, Black Hills took advantage of multiple errors within the Tumwater infield and having runners in scoring position in the bottom half of the first inning. Tumwater’s infield committed three errors, two of which resulted in two Black Hills runs. Jaycee Miller also chipped in with a bases loaded, two-out RBI single to score Ethan Loveless and Jaycee Miller. After one inning, Black Hills was up 4-1.

The bottom of the second inning started with the Wolves back at the top of the batting order. Nate Hutson led off the inning with a line drive single up the middle, Determan smacked a double down the third base line advancing Hutson to third, Lester blooped a single up the middle to knock in both baserunners, Austin Parr pulled a double to the right field wall to score Lester all the way in from first, Milo Ames sacrifice bunted Parr to third, and freshman Ethan Loveless popped up to right field deep enough for Parr to tag-up and score.

After James made quick work of all three Tumwater batters he faced in the top of the third inning, the Wolves were also held scoreless. After three innings, the Wolves held a commanding 8-1 lead.

The fourth inning was where the Wolves pulled away for good. James retired the side once again in the top of the inning, and the potent Black Hills offense was up to bat once again. Following two leadoff singles by Parr and Ames, Loveless worked his at-bat into a full count. With nobody out, he was able to take advantage of a fastball thrown right down middle and pulled an absolute bomb over the right field fence.

When asked about his first homerun on the high school varsity level, Loveless lacked no confidence. Saying, “Well, when I hit it I knew it was out. I was just like, ‘Oh crap, I just hit a homerun’, so I was kinda surprised. But then when I rounded first I was just like, ‘Oh yeah, I just hit a homerun.’”

With an 11-1 lead going into the fifth inning, Zach James once again retired the Tumwater batters in order, and the game ended in only five-innings because of the mercy rule.

The Wolves, now 6-7 overall and 2-3 in conference play, are tied with the T-Birds for third place in the Evergreen Conference, and host reigning state champion Centralia Tigers at home on Tuesday, April 19.

Edward Afeiche, Reporter

Dance competes at State

The dance team ranked third in Kick and sixth in Hip Hop at State competition

On March 25th, BHHS’ Dance team headed down to Yakima and participated in this year’s State competition. Making BHHS history, the team--which consisted of only freshman--placed 4th in Kick and 6th in Hip Hop.

This is a massive comeback for dance, considering there was no team last year. Sammy Schwartz, this year's Captain, described the difficulties of bringing the team back. Initially, “We started out with doing middle school clinics. So we got middle schoolers more involved and--that year that we took off--we mainly focused on building the middle school program. So then, when we came back this year, we had middle schoolers that were moving up to the high school that tried out. And we also have a middle school program now at TMS.”

As a result, the team is made up primarily of Freshmen. When asked about what it’s like having so many young teammates, Schwartz said “They’re not used to dancing with each other like we were, two years ago. We’d all danced with each other before. A couple of us had danced at studios with each other prior, so we all kinda knew how it worked but… It’s a little different and kinda cool in the same way because they’re all freshman. It’s kinda cool being a senior, and seeing them first experience a competition and stuff.” Freshman dance member Rachel Barrientes added that “It’s easier to connect as a team because we’re all going through our first year together. And it’s great and it’s wonderful and I love it!”

State competition at The Yakima Sundome included teams from all over Washington. The teams competed in a multitude of categories, including Hip Hop, Pom, Dance, Kick, Military and Show. BHHS choose to compete in the Kick and Hip Hop categories.

The event featured a lot of talented teams, and some excellent choreography. Some dances incorporated themes, such as scuba diving, Ghostbusters, and Pirates. These dances were especially intriguing in that they appealed to what people were familiar with and already enjoy. Some teams also took things further by including outfit changes mid dance, as well as props.

During BHHS’ first dance, the team did an excellent job executing their Kick routine. Sporting sparkling black dresses, this routine was especially energetic, with constant jumping, kicking, and moving. It also included a lift, in which Rachel Barrientes and Lauren Gibbons were picked up by their teammates, and kicked their legs outward in a dazzling display. Barrientes described being lifted as “being a once in a lifetime opportunity. It made me feel like I could do anything”.

During their Hip Hop routine, the team incorporated stomping, flips, and V jumps, setting an almost aggressive mood. Brielle Bryan showed excellent tenacity, executing two kip ups in a row. The routine ended with the dancers collapsing onto the floor in time with the music.

Once all the teams had finished performing their routines, a Drill Down competition began, in which teammates, coaches, high school seniors, and alumni dancers competed for awards. Schwartz explained that “Drill downs are like a mental, it’s like a way to get your team like mentally focused. And it also improves memorization, which is really important for dancers to learn choreography. So it’s basically like a set of commands that you have to remember and execute perfectly without moving any other [part of your body]”

With state competition over with, this years dance team has completed their season. Having danced in multiple competitions, assemblies, and football games, the team has worked hard to improve their skills. Considering this year's success-- despite being a mostly inexperienced team-- BHHS students should be expecting some phenomenal performances from dance during the next couple years.

Alicia Barrientes, Reporter

BHHS Track and Field opens up their season

Over the past week, the Black Hills High School track and field team opened their season with a league meet against the Centralia Tigers and W.F. West Bearcats at Centralia High School, and competed in the Tiger Invite at Battle Ground High School.

Coming into the season, many Wolves returning from the 2A State Championship meet held high hopes for the team. Senior captain Jason Underhill, coming off of a top eight finish in the state for the 400 meter race, claimed that “The boy’s side really has a solid chance of winning a combined state title. All of us have individual state titles in our minds and we feel like the boys squad is talented enough to bring one back for Black Hills. We are all motivating each other to accomplish that goal, and we just need to be serious with what we are doing and put in the work.”

In the team’s league opener, many athletes finished on top. The trio of seniors Mark Melendres, Jason Underhill, and Edward Afeiche were able to sweep the 100 meter race, senior Josh Brandon came out victorious in the 300 meter hurdles, senior Cameron Berndson won the shot put, and senior Gabe Adamson won both the javelin and high jump. On the girls side, freshman duo Parker Janke and Maisy Williams won the 100 meter race with a .01 second difference in their times, Williams and junior Jewel Bender finished in the top two for the 200, sophomore Bella Brown won the 1600 meter race, Williams won the high jump, and sophomore Madi Frampton won the long jump.

After her top finish in the 1600, Brown commented on the distance team’s camaraderie and her nerves going into her first race. Saying, “I love the distance team. All the guys are super nice. The workouts are hard but everyone pushes each other to be better. The first couple of meets have been really fun… Usually I feel super scared and nervous, but this season I have felt more prepared.”

She also offered advice to anyone considering joining the track and field team. Saying, “Just do it because it’s super social and you won’t regret it. And best of all, you get fit if you choose to work hard.”

The boys and girls teams had several athletes that were able to earn a spot in the top 10 2A rankings in the state for their events. Junior Kyler Nygren exploded in the long jump, posting a 2 foot personal record of 21’ 10.25” while earning himself the top spot in the 2A state standings. Underhill has kept his streak of first place finishes in the 400 meter race going with a time of 50.68 seconds, placing him second in the state by a mere .3 seconds. and Williams also jumped her way into fifth in the state standings with a high jump of five feet.

Coach Dudley noted the improvement from returning athletes in these past couple of meets. He stated, “The team is farther along this year than they were last year. The focus is better, the drive is better, and the teamwork is much better this year.” He attributed the success to the team’s “buy-in” and “the athletes’ trust in the coaches, and the coaches’ trust in the athletes.”

The team’s next meet is coming up this Saturday, as they prepare for the Bill Harris Invitational in Federal Way. Following spring break, the Wolves will be hosting the school’s first ever invitational, the Wolfpack Invite on April 13th at Tumwater District Stadium.

Edward Afeiche, Reporter

BHHS Golf plays against Olympia

BHHS Girls Golf braved a rainy round

On March 21st Black Hills Girl’s Golf Team played against Olympia at the Tumwater Valley Golf Course, ending with a score of 94-55.

Black Hills Golf Team played in the wet and soggy weather, but the threat of thunder didn’t stop them. They played hard, ending with a score of 55. The team is scored by using Stableford Points.

Two players who did well at the match were sophomores Emma Darling and Elle Hirotaka. Hirotaka had the highest score with 25 points. Hirotaka’s freshman year she made it to the first day of State. Hirotaka says that her goal this year is to “make the second day at State and hopefully be in the top twenty.” Following Elle’s score was Emma Darling with a score of eleven.

Girl’s Golf has ten players this year. Out of these ten players one is a junior, four are sophomores, and five are freshman. The Golf team is rebuilding with younger players. This year there are many new inexperienced players. Emily Dobson, a freshman on the team likes that “you get to work as a team but also get to determine how good you get.”

Dale Reeves has been the Head Coach for the Golf team for 15 years now. His goal for the team this year is “to have an enormous amount of fun, build skills, and unity among all players as we progress through the season.” Emma Darling says that Coach Reeves “pushes me to do better in golf and has a good attitude. He makes me a better player by always helping me.”

Overall, the Golf team is working on building skills. The team has even had a lot of humour throughout their season. Lauren Cagle said the funniest thing that happened was when “Niki Jones threw her club into the driving range while hitting the ball.” Not only has there been humor there has been frustrations, Niki Jones “I’m frustrated with putting because as soon as I get on the green it take me like ten puts.”

Mikael Stigall, Reporter

BHHS Cheer places third at State

The cheer team ranked third at the 2A division at the Washington State Championship.

The Black Hills High School cheer team has been working on perfecting their 2015-2016 competition routine since late November. This year the team had a lot of girls new to Competition, with six freshmen, five sophomores, one junior, and six seniors.The team has competed at four competitions this year, and competed at the statewide competition the last weekend of January. The team got to state by being in the top 50 teams in Washington. Molly Dobson said “ we took an inexperienced team, and performed so well at state, by growing so much.”

The Wolves’ Cheer team has been competing for the last three years, making it to state all three years. This year the team went to state with two first place wins. In previous years the team has places 2nd and 4th in the 2A non tumbling division at state. Ellie Hirotaka said this season “ we had to strive for a goal to better our team, rather than cheering on the sideline.” Last year the team got to cheer at the Holiday Bowl because of their hard work during their competition season.

The cheer team is coached by Mikay Bundy-Trana and Melissa Berrien. Coach Trana has coached for four years, and has been the Head Coach for the competition team all three years. Coach Berrien is a new coach to the team this year. Coach Berrien says that she has had such a good time coaching the team this year.

The past few years the team has decided not to have Captains anymore. Instead of having Captains, all the seniors lead the team. This year’s seniors are: Savannah Johnson, Molly Dobson, Jancin Krohn, Mikael Stigall, Calli Peutz, and Shaylie Seidlitz. Jancin said the team’s biggest achievement was “bonding, coming together as a team, and making friendships. We all had the same goal and put all of our hard work towards achieving it.” Overall, the team has worked hard on their place at State and can’t wait to place higher next year.

Mikael Stigall, Reporter

Recent Results

 Girls Soccer  W 3-0  November 1st  vs Washougal
 Football  W 56-28  October 31st  vs Centrailia
 Girls Soccer  W 2-0  October 28th  vs Tumwater

Upcoming Sporting Events

Girls Soccer November 4th 7:00 p.m. vs Hockinson
Swimming November 4th 4:00 p.m. @ Evergreen State College
Football November 7th 7:00 p.m. @ Hockinson
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