Chief Sealth International High School: 2012-2013 Winter Sports Recap
By Sam Reed
Athletic Director/Activity Coordinator
Chief Sealth International High School
How quickly time flies. As I sat down to work on this season’s recap – something that has become one of my favorite parts this job – I looked through my files to see that this is my 11th season recap over the past 4 years. And while this season didn’t bring State rankings, divisional championships or the local media blitz that’s been associated with so many of our recent sports seasons, these recaps remind me what is special about high school athletics. 181 Seahawk student-athletes participated in a winter sport and they did so not because they were promised their name in the paper, a State title, or event recognition by their peers. Instead, they sweated through 14 weeks of practices and games because they valued the camaraderie of their teammates and the bond that comes out in competition.
No team bond might have been stronger this season than that of the swim team. Led by the ‘12-‘13 Metro League Coach of the Year Les Holland, the CSIHS swim team spent countless early morning hours in the pool, hours which paid off in a big way. The Seahawks were represented at the 3A State level by junior Michael Stewart who qualified in both the 100 and 200 freestyle, placing 17th in the state in the 100M. Senior captain Kelsey Hastings capped off an impressive swim career by leading the girls team to multiple regular season team wins. This season could well be a stepping stone toward future success, as 23 members of the team were either 9th or 10th graders this year.
3rd year head coach Katie Jo Maris felt confident about the girls basketball team’s odds heading into this past summer. But when a rash of injuries and transfers altered the landscape, plans changed. The team, relying on senior captain and All-Metro League honorable mention Zoe Haywood, persevered claiming a Metro League playoff berth while competing down to the wire against some of the best teams in the State. Current juniors Sydney Proctor, Sam Scroggins and Allison Steele are committed toward leading the younger girls this off-season and beyond.
The ‘12-‘13 boys basketball season proved to be a perfect example of what 10th year head coach Colin Slingsby means when he says the Metro League is the toughest basketball league in the State. Despite starting the year with a few big wins and an early Seattle Times State ranking, the Seahawks fell victim to a brutal stretch of games in the middle of the season before finishing strong and earning a Metro League playoff berth. Senior Vidal Griffin II earned All-Metro 3rd team honors and teamed with fellow-senior Aaron Knox (honorable mention) to form a strong veteran nucleus, all of whom will be missed next season.
A program in the midst of a renaissance is gymnastics. After years of practicing in cooperation with West Seattle High School (as with swimming), increased numbers necessitated that both programs go at it alone. Behind veteran coach Echo Balliet-Legge, a young team grew leaps and bounds (tumbles too!) throughout the season, one that ended with CSIHS hosting our first home meet in more than 30 years. While the team will say goodbye to seniors Keyona Nelson, Isabella Proctor, and Benita Lucchesi, a number of sophomores will be entering their 3rd year in the program next winter.
The wrestling program was the one sport this season to be able to crown a champion, with senior Mike Lakisa claiming the Metro League title in his weight class. Behind 2nd year head coach Maurice Dolberry, the team grew in numbers and saw more favorable results over last season. A number of our wrestlers made “the leap”, going beginners to competitors in just a few months. Freshmen Daron Camacho is expected to lead a strong squad into the ’13-’14 season.
The winter is also the time that we officially recognize the cheerleaders for all they do. Behind 3rd year coach Keiosha Jackson, these girls can be found everywhere, giving countless hours of support to all of our fall and winter teams. Seniors Lizzie Keu (captain), Lisa Lam, Merissa McEwan, Isabella Proctor and Taylor Pollard saw their careers end, but the squad will continue to grow thanks to the new freshmen squad that debuted this year. Additional recognition goes the marching band led by Marcus Pimpleton for their spirited performances all basketball season. New this year was the Sealth Athletics social media presence, where senior Kayla Shewbert “tweeted” constant updates and results to keep everyone informed. Finally, I’d like to thank Jenny Hernandez, our dedicated assistant secretary who spends countless hours ensuring that our coaches and athletes are taken care of.
On a personal level, this season was very humbling. As many of you know, I was named as the WIAA District 2 Athletic Director of the Year (matching the same honor given within the Metro League) and will be in the running for the State award this April. As part of that process numerous parents, coaches, staff members and even students wrote letters of recommendation on my behalf. Reading those positive words about how participating in Sealth Athletics has benefitted so many student athletes, serves as a powerful reminder how lucky I am to have this job, and even more so, to have this job in this community. Thank you all.
Please join us on Thursday, March 7th at 6:00pm in the Chief Sealth Galleria as we recognize and celebrate our 2012-2013 winter sports teams and athletes. Hope to see you there!