2019: The year in sports for the Bothell-Kenmore area

Athletic success is a staple of the local community.


• Bothell High football head coach Tom Bainter exclaimed, “Bothell is in the Super Bowl!” according to the school’s athletic director Yonni Mills.

Cougar graduate Johnny Hekker lined up as the punter for the Los Angeles Rams as they faced the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta. Both squads won their respective NFC and AFC divisional championships in overtime on Jan. 20 to make it to the football promised land.


• Inglemoor’s girls basketball team notched a 21-8 overall mark and won one of three games at state. The Vikings opened the tournament with a 65-54 win over Rogers and then dropped their second game, 65-46, to Eastlake. The Vikings’ season ended with a 52-41 loss to Central Valley.

• Cora Taylor loves flipping on the bars, and with a double back in her arsenal, the Bothell High gymnast achieved a sterling result at the state championships.

The sophomore Cougar topped the competition with a score of 9.650 to nail a 4A title. Taylor felt she reached the pinnacle with a solid attitude and coaches on her side.

After leading the way on bars with a 9.500 on day one, Taylor rose to the occasion at finals on the routine she’s been performing for three years.

• Brandon Stride didn’t quite know what to say about the situation. The North Creek senior swimmer was still trying to digest what happened.

Moments earlier, he was named 4A swimmer of the meet after notching two state titles in the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke at the King County Aquatics Center in Federal Way.

• Los Angeles Rams kicker Johnny Hekker connected on a Super Bowl record 65-yard punt in Super Bowl 53 against the New England Patriots. The Patriots defeated the Rams 13-3 on Feb. 3 in Atlanta, Georgia. Hekker, who was in his seventh season with the Rams, had nine punts for 417 yards in the loss.


• Bothell’s Dakota Butteris, 10, rounded the bases during his Make-A-Wish run before the Seattle Mariners’ home opener against the Boston Red Sox. Butteris, who is battling leukemia, was then greeted at home plate by his favorite M’s, Dee Gordon, Felix Hernandez and Kyle Seager.


• Bothell High’s Katie Rutter qualified for the 4A state golf tournament after her performance at the 4A KingCo medalist/District 2 tournaments on April 29 and May 1 at Snohomish Golf Course. Rutter shot a 91-89-180 during the two-day event.

• Bothell High’s Katie Fodge and Briley Shults teamed up for a no-hitter in the Cougars’ 11-0 blanking of Mount Si in softball action.

Fodge sported a heavy bat as well by hammering a homer along with Lizzy Olson; both girls combined for four hits and four RBIs. Kelsey Fortney had two hits and Izzy Brandolini and Nicole Leadley had two RBIs each.


• It took a while, but Inglemoor High graduate Hannah Shimek and her Southern Oregon University softball squad eventually clutched the coveted championship trophy.

The Raiders won the NAIA World Series title by beating Oklahoma City, 8-3, in a thunderstorm-delayed game on May 29 in Springfield, Missouri. Southern Oregon led 6-3 when the game was halted in the fifth inning at about 11 a.m. The contest finally resumed at 9 p.m. that night, and the Raiders finished off Oklahoma to give the school its first national championship.

• Cedar Park Christian senior Sam Van Peursem won discus and shot-put titles at the 1A state track and field championships at Eastern Washington University in Cheney.

He unleashed the discus 181-02 and launched the shot put 60-08.

North Creek’s Natalie Holmer unleashes the javelin at the 4A state track and field meet. Andy Nystrom /staff photos

North Creek’s Natalie Holmer unleashes the javelin at the 4A state track and field meet. Andy Nystrom /staff photos

• North Creek’s Natalie Holmer knew it was her last meet, so she went all out.

The Jaguar senior outgunned her opponents with the top girls javelin throw of 138-11 in the 4A state competition at Mount Tahoma High in Tacoma.

“It just feels amazing. My last couple meets I hadn’t broken 130, so it was just fantastic to get back up there within 10 feet of my PR,” she said of her top mark of 147-4, which was the best nationally amongst high-school girls in March.

• Inglemoor defeated Rogers, 2-0, in the opening round of the 4A state boys soccer tournament.

Three days later, Puyallup beat the Vikings, 3-1, in the quarterfinals at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup to end the locals’ season.

Returning to the pitch against Rogers after sitting out for a month with an injury, Ben Tyler tallied in the 36th minute off assists from Nic Grotle and Lucas Hakamada. Hakamada sent in a corner kick, which Grotle knocked down and Tyler cracked the net with a first-time shot from 10 yards out.

• Skyview beat Inglemoor, 1-0, in the opening round of the 4A state baseball tournament at Heritage Park in Puyallup.

Skyview scored its run in the fifth inning. For Inglemoor, Kolby Solomon pitched a complete-game one-hitter with five strikeouts. On the hitting front for the Viks, Zach Hedge, Sean Mulcare, Jacob Liedle and Trevor Thurman all singled.

Inglemoor finished its season with a 15-9 overall record.

Columbia defeated Cedar Park Christian, 4-0, in the opening round of the 1A state baseball tournament at Volunteer Field in Anacortes.


• Abby Kauffman’s feet continue to glide along the track and launch her body through the air.

Although the prep track and field season ended in May, Kauffman kept maximum focus along her running and jumping journey, with her sights already set on notching a stellar senior campaign.

Kauffman earned 4A KingCo championship victories this season in the 100 with a personal record of 12.57 and in the long jump with a 16-11. She took first in the 100 at districts in 12.99 and finished 10th at state in 13.04. The Viks’ 4×100 relay of Emily Reid, Erica Swift, Abby Monson and Kauffman took second at districts in 50.09 and unleashed a PR of 50.03 to take 13th at state.


• North Bothell Little League’s majors baseball all-stars headed to San Bernardino for Northwest Regional play after winning the state championship.

The locals defeated Federal Way, 9-8, to snag the title in Richland. The North Bothell 12U squad won its third consecutive District 8 title to enter the state tournament.

North Bothell beat Camas, lost to Pacific the following day and then reeled off seven straight elimination victories to notch the state crown. The locals, who lost twice to Pacific in last year’s state tournament, rebounded from its loss this year to win a loser-out game against Pacific and advance in the tourney.

• O’nalisa Hall’s spirits were high after returning home from Colorado and Georgia, where her Voodoo Rhinehart 18U softball squad played in a trio of tournaments.

The Inglemoor High senior experienced two and a half weeks of solid fastpitch action and bonding with her teammates.

Hall — who sports a 3.9 grade-point average — was further thrilled to learn that she was named to the second team of the class 4A Washington State Softball Coaches Association all-state teams.


• North Bothell Little League powered through with yet another elimination-game victory by delivering five runs in the second inning and four runs in the third inning as the locals notched a 9-2 win over Montana in the Northwest Regional at Al Houghton Stadium in San Bernardino, California.

Against Billings Heights National Little League of Montana, North Bothell kicked things off by nailing five consecutive singles in the second. Koleman Johnson and Zach Daniel had RBI singles and Jack Smith knocked a two-RBI single in the 11-batter inning.


• Prior to the start of the Inglemoor-Redmond football matchup, one referee grinded his way through some pushups on the side of the field.

He apparently knew an epic battle was about to be unleashed on the crowd at Pop Keeney Stadium on Sept. 26.

After the two 4A KingCo Crown squads blasted into the end zones 11 times, Inglemoor emerged with a 42-34 victory behind a pair of scores by running back Trevor Thurman, including a thrilling 86-yard run to put the Vikings ahead 42-28 with 2:52 remaining in the game.

However, the game was not in the books yet as Redmond’s Colby Fazio snagged his third touchdown pass of the night on a 12-yard strike from quarterback Tyler Fortney with 1:56 left. After the blocked kick, the score stood at 42-34 in favor of Inglemoor. With Redmond’s defense holding tough, Inglemoor converted a third-and-6 pass for a first down and knelt out the rest of the way for the victory.


• Bothell High junior Johnny Schuller became the first Bothell High singles player to qualify for state after finishing second at the 4A KingCo tennis tournament.

No. 1-seeded Schuller lost in the final to No. 2-seeded Ananta Ranganathan of Skyline, 2-6, 7-5, 3-6. Schuller, who was 7-1 in league and 8-2 overall at No. 1 singles this season, rallied from a 5-2 deficit to win the second set in the final. Earlier this season, Schuller beat Ranganathan, 6-1, 6-3.

• North Creek senior Ryan Knox qualified for the 4A state golf tournament for the second consecutive season. At the 36-hole 4A KingCo medalist and state-qualifier tournament on Oct. 15 at Snohomish Golf Course, Knox finished fourth overall with an even-par 71-73-144.


• Inglemoor sported a tenacious girls soccer team that persevered through all that was kicked its way over the last few years, said senior defender and captain Rachel Conchi following the team’s state semifinal loss.

Inglemoor won the school’s first-ever girls soccer 4A KingCo title with an 8-0-1 record and finished 14-3-3 overall. The Vikings also won the Wes-King District crown.

Inglemoor’s Julia Monson (middle) fights for the ball against Glacier Peak in the 4A Wes-King District title match. Andy Nystrom/ staff photo

Inglemoor’s Julia Monson (middle) fights for the ball against Glacier Peak in the 4A Wes-King District title match. Andy Nystrom/ staff photo

• North Creek’s volleyball team started off with a victory and then won two straight matches to finish the 4A state tournament with a fifth-place finish at the Yakima SunDome. The Jaguars played 18 sets of volleyball and staged several big comebacks during the event.

With a three-set sweep of Jackson on Nov. 12 in the 4A Wes-King district volleyball semifinals, North Creek qualified for the big dance.

As North Creek began to pull away in the fourth set in the 4A KingCo title match earlier in the month, freshman outside hitter Kyleene Filimaua’s kills smashed the court even louder. Her team turned its cheers up a few notches as well as the Jaguars were on their way to victory.

For the second consecutive season, North Creek (16-2) grabbed the tournament title, this time with a 25-12, 23-25, 25-16, 25-13 triumph over Mount Si (15-4).

• Bothell High’s volleyball team earned the 4A academic state title with a combined 3.773 grade-point average. They are Ashley Baron, Beatrice Anitei, Nora Hayd, Haedyn Bambolo, Jenna Legault, Avarye Monsef, Nadia Rios, Lauren Culp, Tessa Hoover, Janée Hall, Alyssa Moran and Jenna Milner. LeGault made the 4A KingCo all-league first team and Hayd was an honorable mention. Bothell (14-8) compiled a 4-4 record in the postseason league and district tournaments.


• Down 21-0 against the undefeated Camas Papermakers from Vancouver, Bothell’s football squad cranked up its offensive machine and soon made it a 21-14 game with 7:40 left in the third quarter of the 4A state championship game on Dec. 7.

However, the comeback magic ran out on the Cougars as Camas held strong and notched a 35-14 victory at Mount Tahoma Stadium in Tacoma to complete a 14-0 season with a Gridiron Classic crown. Bothell’s season ended with an 11-3 record.

As he prepared to leave the locker room after a lengthy, emotional postgame gathering with his teammates and coaches, Colin Fisherkeller discussed the team’s journey this season. Bothell won the 4A KingCo title along the way.

“This is a family, this is a brotherhood, we’ve been going at it since the third grade together,” he said. “We’ve just been going through so much, the workouts and just everything, just working our butts off for each other. I think that’s what makes this program so special is everything’s for each other.”

Bothell’s Christian Galvan finds a hole in the Camas defense during the 4A state championship game. Photo courtesy of Greg Nelson

Bothell’s Christian Galvan finds a hole in the Camas defense during the 4A state championship game. Photo courtesy of Greg Nelson