It became evident there was plenty of room for Meridian golfer Ben Ratzlaff to improve when the first-time golfer shot his first round of golf this spring for Meridian coach Bryant D'Hondt.
Ratzlaff's first varsity round was a 145.
In the coming weeks the Meridian freshman's work ethic, attention to detail and willingness to improve also became apparent.
D'Hondt said his Trojans have set a goal for vast improvement, and Ratzlaff so far is headlining Meridian's effort to lower its scores.
He shot a 119 Thursday, April 10, during a six-team tournament at North Bellingham Golf Course, dropping 26 strokes of his round.
D'Hondt billed Ratzlaff his most improved player.
"Those numbers don't come around often," D'Hondt wrote in an email. "It's not how low you can go right away, but it's about the process of learning the game, and he has showed that he is a very quick study."
BAKER'S TOIVOLA GETS WIAA AOW NOD
Mount Baker softball pitcher Aleks Toivola was selected as a WIAA Athlete of the Week last week for her impressive outing during the Mountaineers' 16-4 win against Bellingham on Friday, March 28, at Bellingham High.
Toivola added her fourth win of the season while striking out 12 batters and allowing no walks. She's helped Baker put together a 5-3 record this spring.
SEHOME'S ZIEGLER SELECTED WIAA AOW
Sehome senior track and field sprinter Daniel Ziegler, who placed fourth at last year's Class 2A State Championships in the 100 meter, is already off to a strong start this spring.
He earned WIAA Athlete of the Week recognition three weeks ago for his multiple-event-winning performance Wednesday, March 19, during a dual meet against Anacortes at Civic Stadium.
Ziegler won both the 100 meter and 200 meter. He ran the 100 in a time of 11.26 seconds and ran the 200 in 24.56 seconds. His wins lead the Sehome boys' team to a victory.
STORM'S JOHNSON, TROJANS' TUTTERROW SELECTED WIAA AOW
Squalicum baseball player Ben Johnson and Meridian baseball player Tanner Tutterrow earned WIAA Athlete of the Week selections four weeks ago for their efforts during the opening week of the spring season.
Tutterrow went 2 for 3 with three RBI during Meridian's season-opening 7-1 win against Sultan on Saturday, March 15, at Archbishop Murphy High School. Tutterrow has helped the Trojans to a 4-4 record.
Johnson helped the Storm earn a 15-4 season-opening win against La Conner on Saturday, March 15, in La Conner. He went 2 for 4 with a double, three RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base. Johnson has helped Squalicum to a 6-2-1 record.
COLBY, CLEM GET HALL OF FAME CALL
Two longtime Skagit County prep sports fixtures were selected to the WIAA Hall of Fame when the newest class was announced Tuesday, April 8.
Anacortes native Steven Colby, who is the Northwest District's Washington Officials Association Executive Board representative, was one of the six selections.
Colby spent 41 years officiating basketball and is the officials coordinator for the Class 3A and 4A state basketball tournaments.
Jim Clem, who spent many years coaching baseball at Burlington-Edison High School, also will be inducted. He was widely viewed as one of the state's top baseball coaches, appearing in 15 state tournaments while compiling a 481-212 record.
A luncheon will be held at noon Wednesday, May 7, at the Renton Pavilion Events Center. Doors open at 11:15 a.m. and tickets cost $20.
Reach ANDREW LANG at firstname.lastname@example.org or call ext. 862.