Blaine's 6,000-yard man is heading east.
Running back Mario Gobbato earlier this month signed a National Letter of Intent to play football for Montana State Northern.
Gobbato said he also took visits to Dickinson State and Eastern Oregon before deciding on joining the Lights, an NAIA program in Havre.
"I liked the feel of the team better," Gobbato said in a phone interview. "They seem pretty serious about football, and the program they offered was a better fit for me too."
Not surprisingly, MSU Northern plans to keep Gobbato at running back.
But then again, what else would you do with a guy that rushed for 6,118 yards over three years on the high school level and flirted with the state's single-season rushing record two straight years. As a senior, Gobbato rushed for 2,821 yards and 36 touchdowns.
Though the Lights run a spread offense and finished sixth in the NAIA in total offense, Gobbato said they like to run the ball, as well.
"I think my athleticism will help me adjust to the new offense," Gobbato said.
MSU Northern finished 3-7 last year, but Gobbato is confident the team is primed to start building, and he said he's excited to be a part of it.
Gobbato plans to major in Agricultural Operations so that he can manage his own farm.
Though he's anxious to start the next chapter in his life, Gobbato said it's the relationships he made in football that he will remember, not all his personal accomplishments.
"The records and yards really didn't mean all that much to me," Gobbato said. "What I'm going to miss the most is getting out with my friends and playing on Friday nights."
FORMER VIKING TO LEAD STORM
Squalicum athletic director Patrick Brown announced that the school has hired former Western Washington University standout Laurie Yearout as the volleyball team's new coach.
Yearout, who is student teaching at Bellingham High as a fifth-year senior at Western this year, finished fourth among WWU's career leaders in assists with 3,116. She was a unanimous first-team All-Great Northwest Athletic Conference selection last fall and earned Academic All-GNAC recognition for a third straight year.
"We are very excited to welcome coach Yearout to the Squalicum family," Brown wrote in an email.
Yearout takes over for the departed Julie Clift, who coached the Storm for the past four seasons.
Squalicum went 10-4 last year and just missed qualifying for the Class 2A Northwest District Tournament with an 8-4 Northwest Conference mark.
"They got a taste of winning last year, and I think they're ready to do more of that this year," Yearout said in a phone interview. "They have a great group of seniors that are just awesome. I want them to have a great senior year."
Yearout, who came to Western from Lewis & Clark High School in Spokane, is actually already rather familiar with the team, as she has coached many of her players since they were eight graders with the Lightning Club Volleyball program.
That, plus many of the lessons she learned from WWU coach Diane Flick and her staff helped prepare her for this role, she said.
"They taught me a lot about not only about technique, but the tactics of the game," Yearout said. "I think you need that as a coach. Going through the program really helped me. I got to coach kids clinics and summer camps, and that, of course, helps. I've gotten so much advice from Coach Flick over the years."
Plus being a setter didn't hurt, as Flick treated Yearout "like a coach on the court."
WIAA POSTSEASON ALLOCATIONS
The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association released its spring sport state playoff allocations earlier this month.
Of interest are the only three allocations District 1 and 2 got in Class 2A for baseball, softball, boys' soccer and track this year, meaning an already competitive district will be even tighter this year.
The good news is those numbers all go up to four next year.
The 1A tri-district will only get four softball berths to state this year, but baseball will get five and boys' soccer six.
For a complete breakdown of berths, please see the attached chart.
ALBERT GATHERS ANOTHER HONOR
Sehome's Rachel Albert was selected the Most Valuable Player of the 1A/2A Washington State Girls' Basketball Coaches Association All-State Game on Saturday, March 23, at Seattle Christian.
Albert scored nine points, grabbed 11 rebounds and recorded three blocks, three steals and an assist to lead the 2A squad to a 59-56 victory.
Burlington-Edison's Mariah Swanson added eight points for the 2As.
Lynden's John Shine scored a game-high 30 points for the 2A squad in its 92-83 victory over the 1As in the Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches All-State boys' game a week earlier at Curtis High School.
Lynden Christian's Isaac Reimer had four points for the 1As.
SPRING TRAINING IN LYNDEN
The Lynden High School baseball and softball coaching staffs invite kindergarten to sixth graders to attend Spring Training camp, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, at Curt Maberry Field House and Jake Maberry Gym.
The Spring Training camp will teach the fundamentals of baseball and softball. Cost is $20 per person. For more information, contact Cory White at 360-224-2201 or by email at email@example.com.
Reach David Rasbach at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-715-2286.
2013-14 WIAA SPRING SPORTS ALLOCATIONS
First number is for 2013, second for 2014:
Sports 3A 2A* 1A# 1B
Baseball 3/3 3/4 5/5 2/3^
Softball 3/3 3/4 4/5 N/A
Boys' soccer 3/3 3/4 6/6 N/A
Boys' track 3/3 3/4 6/5 3/4+
Girls' track 3/3 3/4 6/5 3/4
Boys' golf 15/14 17/16 33/32 N/A
Girls' golf 16/16 17/16 17/16 N/A
Boys' tennis 3/3 3/2 N/A N/A
Girls' tennis 3/3 3/3 3/4 N/A
*Northwest District combines with SeaKing District for 2A berths
#Northwest District combines with SeaKing and West Central districts for 1A berths
^Northwest District combines with SeaKing District for 1B baseball berths
Northwest District combines with SeaKing, West Central and Southwest districts for 1B track berths
Reach DAVID RASBACH at email@example.com or call 715-2271.