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From the Goal Line

A Mercer Island Sports Blog

Nate Robinson on the NBA in Seattle

July 13th, 2010 at 12:09 pm by Megan Managan
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I talked to Nate Robinson, of Rainier Beach/Boston Celtics fame, a couple of weeks ago for a story that comes out in today’s paper. He’s currently enjoying his summer break after a longer than usual season with the Celtics (thank the NBA playoffs for the extend playing time).

Of course when I sat down to figure out what to talk to him about, other than the fact that he’s returning for his basketball camp on Mercer Island for the third year, the Sonics came up. It’s probably become status quo these days to ask anyone affiliated with the NBA their opinion about the Sonics, and it might be becoming a cliche, but I was still curious.

“Of course I want the NBA to come back,” Robinson told me toward the end of our conversation. “It would be the highlight of my life.” He said he wasn’t sure how they could just take a team away, especially when an NBA team would be so good for the city.

“It’s a great place and teams have a lot of good support,” he said, pointing out everyone from the Mariners to the Storm who all have large fan bases.

For the full story see tomorrow’s edition of the Reporter and you can follow Robinson on Twitter.

Islanders earn All-State nods

July 9th, 2010 at 10:53 am by Megan Managan
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Mercer Island boys soccer player Matt Johnson earned an honorable mention as a defender for the All-State boys 3A soccer team. The list of list of players is voted on by sports writers from around the state and compiled by the Tri-City Herald.

Islander baseball player Willy Reel was also given the honor, named to the All-State first team in baseball.

If you know of anyone else who was named to the list (these two are the only from Mercer Island I found) or has received any other awards please feel free to let me know via email at

Paddle surfing demo at Luther Burbank this Sunday

July 6th, 2010 at 3:04 pm by Megan Managan
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Ever wanted to give paddle surfing a try? Check it out this weekend as the ‘Round the Rock organizers Jeff Underwood and Dan Eberhardt will be offer a free demo on Sunday, July 11 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Luther Burbank swimming beach.

Jeff said in an email: We will have ample boards and paddles of various shapes and sizes for you to try. Expert instruction will also be provided for the uninitiated. If you happen to already own some equipment, bring it, and join us on the water. There’s nothing cooler than seeing dozens of people “walking” on the water.

From previous experience I can say paddle surfing is a blast, easy to learn and a great way to get out on the water, especially now that the weather has made a turn for the beautiful.

The duo will be gearing up for the second annual ‘Round the Rock race,  Sept. 12.

MI Little league announces all-star teams

July 1st, 2010 at 12:36 pm by Megan Managan
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Here are the roster for the summer’s All Star Little League team’s on the Island. Visit the Little League’s homepage for schedules, tournaments and results.

Majors All Stars
Michael Bantle
David Emanuels
Harrison Goonewardene
Griffin Kane
Eric Kim
Peter Lopes
Michael Petrie
Sam Pugel
Anthony Scalzo
Josh Stenberg
Brenden Yan
Manager: Steve Stenberg
Coach: Anne Emanuels

11U All Stars
Bligh Bjarnason
Luke Boksem
Drew Christofferson
Eric Dreyer
Jacob Evans
Devon Hayes
Noah Hsue
Kenneth Koning
Justin Myers
Scott Ramseyer
Johnny van der Velden
Alternates: Shain Scott, Spencer Fuhr
Manager: Brad Myers
Coach: Ed Dreyer

9-10U All Stars
Boissoneault, Matt
Fuchs, Greg
Ho, Justin
Jenkins, Andrew
Nayer, Nikhil
Rosenstein, Sam
Sandwith, Carson
Shanks, Alex
Simpson, Parker
Sims, David
Smith, Jack
Manager: Bob Sims
Coach: David Sandwith

Lawsuit in Connecticut aims to find if cheerleading is a sport

June 22nd, 2010 at 9:34 am by Megan Managan
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There is a trial going on in Connecticut right now to determine if cheerleading is a sport. A federal judge will decide if schools in Connecticut can count it as sport as they look for ways to meet the Title IX gender equality requirements.

There’s a story in the Washington Post about it today. Apparently a university in Connecticut is padding rosters in order to get around the Title IX issue, then either cutting or adding after the rosters are submitted to get what they want.

The lawsuit came forward because Connecticut’s Quinnipiac University cut it’s women’s volleyball team in favor of a competitive cheerleading squad. The school said it was a budgetary move and members of the team sued to keep the program. Through the process of the suit, a judge issued a temporary injunction last year to keep the school from disbanding the volleyball team as it was discovered the school over reported opportunities for female athletes and under reported the opportunities for male athletes.

The trial starts on Monday in U.S. District Court.

If judge decideds that yes cheerleading can be considered a competitive sport the implications could be long reaching. Many schools, especially during the last several years of budgetary woes, have struggled to find ways to make sure the offerings are equal, while balancing paying for coaches, equipment and fields. If a judge sets a precedent that says cheerleading counts, even if it is not recognized by the NCAA, high schools could perhaps count it as a sport, not an activity.

Under Title IX an activity can be considered a sport if certain criteria are met. To be considered the activity must have a coach, competitions as part of a defined season and have a governing organization.

Should be interesting to see what could happen in the logn run with this. Also it begs the question what is a sport? The Title IX definition seems like a pretty standard one to me, but under that the case could be made for a lot of different activities to be counted. The WIAA consideres these things to be activities: cheer, dance/drill, drama, forensics and music.

So what do you think? I know many long time cheerleaders and programs, especially those who compete at a regional and national level who consider it to be a sport, even if the WIAA and NCAA does not.

Do you consider cheerleading to be a sport?

3A/2A All KingCo baseball awards

June 21st, 2010 at 1:22 pm by Megan Managan
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Here’s a list of the 3A/2A All KingCo baseball honors for Mercer Island for the spring sport season.

Player of year — Willy Reel, Mercer Island

First Team
P/SS Willy Reel, Sr., Mercer Island

OF Jordan Richartz, Jr., Mercer Island

Second Team
DH Cameron Ogard, So., Mercer Island

3B Evan Thompson, Jr., Mercer Island

Honorable Mention
Mercer Island — Max Dammeier, Ben Emanuels, Kirby Ingram, George Jiranek, Mike Potoshnik.

A quick look at 2010 football season

June 16th, 2010 at 10:55 am by Megan Managan
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It’s hardly even summer yet (or maybe never will be if this rain doesn’t let up sometime), but here’s a quick look at the fall football schedule for Mercer Island High School. The team finished the 2009 season 4-6 under first year head coach Brett Ogata, who returns for a second season in the fall.

2010 Varsity Schedule (preliminary)
Home games in bold
• Sept 3: at Seattle Prep (West Seattle stadium)
• Sept 10: Newport
• Sept. 17: at Juanita
• Sept 24: Interlake
• Oct. 1: at Bellevue
• Oct. 8: at Mt. Si
• Oct. 15: Liberty (homecoming)
• Oct. 22: at Sammamish
• Oct. 29: Lake Washington
• Nov. 5/6: Playoff or Metro crossover game

MIHS sophomore Jeff Lindquist named to top QB list

June 15th, 2010 at 4:09 pm by Megan Managan
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Mercer Island High School quarterback Jeff Lindquist, who just finished his sophomore year at MIHS, was named one of the top seven high school quarterbacks in the U.S. and will be honored at the Steve Clarkson Super 7 retreat.

According to a press release, Clarkson, a quarterback expert, will invite the top seven QB’s in the country to a retreat in Maui in July.

The others named to the Super 7 list include:

• Kyle Boehm from San Jose, Calif. (committed to UC Berkley)
• Jerrard Randle from Hollywood, Fla. (undecided)
• Brett Hundley from Chandler, Ariz. (undecided)
• Bennie Coney from Plant City, Fla. (undecided)
• Jeff Lindquist from Mercer Island, Wash. (undecided)
• Max Wittek of Santa Ana, Calif. (committed to USC)
• Jacoby Brissett of West Plam Beach, Fla. (undecided)

The group was selected from Clarkson’s Dreammaker tour across the country from February through June where Clarkson and a team did evaluations of players, workouts and interviews.

Clarkson has long been regarded as one of the top authorities on quarterback coaching, having coached players like Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Leinart and Jimmy Clausen.

For more information visit the Dreammaker Web site.

Pac-10 expansion’s effect on locals

June 10th, 2010 at 12:09 pm by Megan Managan
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If you are a college ahtletics fan, be it crew, football, basketball or any of the other myriad of NCAA sports, you’ve without a doubt, seen the frezy of media acitivity about the expansion of the Pac-10.

As of now only Colorado has been added to the Pac-10 which I guess makes it the Pac-11 (doesn’t quiet roll off the tounge like before), but I, and many others believe that number will be expanded on in the coming days and weeks. Speculation is that it will become the Pac-16 with the inclusion of the Texas and Oklahoma teams.

While the changes to the conference wouldn’t happen for another season or two, it will certainly change the way schools in the area, and out of it, recruit. As programs look to gain the upper hand on their competition, isn’t it likely that they will look to where those schools recruit?

WSU head coach Paul Wulff has made a point of recruiting closer to home the past several seasons, and UW has had success finding local talent and keeping them local. While the WSU football recruiting patterns isn’t likely to get anyone in Texas excited, UW’s certainly could.

So the question, along with the million others, is will this affect who is looking at local kids? I’d think to a certain extent it could be a factor. If a local athlete is good enough to garner attention from Oregon, UW or USC, whats to say they couldn’t suddenly be getting attention from Oklahoma or Texas A&M (not that those schools don’t already have a depth of places to recruit from)? Perhaps in the next five years local recruits could see some orange or Sooners red in the stands?

At the same time this goes both ways, as a colleague pointed out. Kids at high schools in Texas, Oklahoma and other places who might get some attention from their local colleges and universities could attract West Coast recruiters as well.

So who knows what’s going to happen, expect it looks like college athletics on the West Coast will be forever changed. I won’t even start on the Gonzaga, Boise State speculation…

How do you feel about the Pac-10 expansion?

Matt Boyd named to Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America Team

June 10th, 2010 at 11:20 am by Megan Managan
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This press release was passed along by the OSU sports information office.

TUCSON, Ariz. – Oregon State utility player Matt Boyd has been named to the Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America Team, Collegiate Baseball announced Wednesday morning. Boyd was selected as a utility player since he split time as a designated hitter and pitcher this past season.

As a pitcher, Boyd was dominant in 42 2/3 innings, making 20 appearances, two of which were starts. He led the Beavers with a 7-1 record and posted a 1.90 earned run average while opponents batted just .200 against him. Boyd had a 2:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio and opponents collected just 31 hits off him in 2010.

Offensively, Boyd, a native of Mercer Island, Wash., had a fine season, batting .264 with six doubles, three home runs and 19 runs batted in. He hit his first career home run while making his first career start on the mound, March 4 against UC Riverside, and a week later, drove home three runs on a double to right against Utah, send the Beavers to the victory.

His success at both positions earned the lefty All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention honors in just his first season in Corvallis.

He and the Beavers recently completed their 2010 campaign after going 1-2 at the Gainesville Regional in Florida. Oregon State finished the season 32-24.

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About Megan Managan

I’m the sports reporter at the Mercer Island Reporter newspaper. On this blog you’ll find extra bits and pieces to stories I’ve written, behind the scene looks at teams and observations on the sports in our area. I’ll field questions here, and ask a few too. You can follow me on Twitter (@MIRsports ) or send me an e-mail.

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