Both the Squalicum girls' cross country team and volleyball club have enjoyed success this year in their respective athletic arenas, but no other Class 2A team in the state has matched their work in the classroom.
Both Storm teams were announced academic state champions when the WIAA released the 2013 Scholastic Awards Fall Team Academic State Champions Friday, Oct. 25.
"We knew we were close in four, and we were excited we were state champions in two of those four," Squalicum Athletic Director Patrick Brown said during a phone interview. "We place a high value on academics at Squalicum, as do other schools."
The Storm girls' cross country team had a combined 3.990 GPA, while the volleyball team's GPA was 3.863. The girls' soccer team and boys' tennis team were also close to winning state titles, Brown said.
"I think if you ask most student athletes in our program, when I talk to athletes I say the term student athletes," Brown said. "Those young ladies in those two programs work hard and have the support of their parents and their coaches."
Brown also noted many of the girls who play volleyball and run cross country take advanced placement classes. The cross country team is coached by Katrina Henry, and Laurie Yearout coaches volleyball.
The Bellingham girls' swimming team also won an academic state title. The Red Raiders are 5-2 overall and 4-2 in league during dual meets, but there is no better 2A swim team in the state academically.
"It definitely speaks for itself," Bellingham Athletic Director Chad Larsen said in a phone interview. "We view the pool as an extension of the classroom. We have great kids, and they work hard after school and work hard in school. They deserve that recognition for their work."
The team, which is coached by Jeff Anderson, compiled a 3.822 GPA.
"Jeff is a true professional," Larsen said. "He is a master communicator. He sets the bar high, and the kids respond to that. He is turning the program around before our eyes.
No other Whatcom County teams won academic state titles.
SEHOME'S HRUBY, VOSBURGH KEY WIN STREAK
The Mariners' football team has turned its season around the past two weeks with wins against Burlington-Edison and Squalicum. The play of linebacker Tyler Hruby and running back/linebacker Austin Vosburgh have been a main reason.
Hruby made 19 tackles, recorded two sacks and made two fumble recoveries during Sehome's win against Burlington-Edison, and Vosburgh ran for 125 yards and scored two TDs.
"Tyler worked very hard all summer," Sehome coach Bob Norvell wrote in an email. "He has become on of our defensive leaders when we needed someone to rise up and take our defense to the next level."
Vosburgh has provided leadership and energy all year.
"Austin is an emotional leader for us who leaves everything on the field and never wants off the field," Norvell wrote. "Even when I sub him, he is sneaking back in."
BLAINE'S QUESADA HEADS TO COSTA RICA FOR TRYOUT
Blaine forward Ashley Quesada will partake in tryouts for the U-17 Costa Rica World Cup team on Monday, Oct. 28, in Costa Rica.
Quesada currently leads the Borderites in scoring with 11 goals and two assists this season, and is fresh off a hat trick against Sedro-Woolley on Thursday, Oct. 24.
For Quesada, whose father is from Costa Rica, going through the week-long tryout is a dream come true.
"I am a little nervous," she said in a phone interview, "but the nerves will probably go away once I hit the field."
Quesada has known of the trip for two weeks, and has been putting in extra time at practice to prepare for the opportunity to compete against some of the best youth soccer talent in Costa Rica.
"(I've) been working on my attack and speed," she said.
As for the support she has received from her teammates, that's been without question.
"I know my varsity team for Blaine is crossing their fingers for me to make it," Quesada said. "I thank my team for all their support."
Reach ANDREW LANG at email@example.com or call ext. 862.