High School Sports

PREP NOTEBOOK: Sehome volleyball’s Johnson commits to Seattle Pacific

Sehome volleyball outside hitter Dani Johnson led the Mariners to a fourth-place finish at the Class 2A State Tournament last season and an unblemished regular season record. She wasn’t the most powerful or dominating hitter in the league, but she found ways to get the ball to touch the court.

That crafty striking ability earned her a scholarship from NCAA Division II Seattle Pacific University, where she will play collegiate volleyball after signing her National Letter of Intent.

The 2014 Northwest Conference Player of the Year was coach Kristy White’s go-to for kills and for good reason, as she also was a humble senior leader for the impressive Mariners. During Johnson’s four years with the Mariners, they compiled a 64-20 record, going to the state tournament all four years.

The 5-foot-10 hitter will join a Falcons’ squad that went 12-14 last year, competing in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. She will at least get to play in front of a Bellingham crowd once a year still, when the Falcons face off against rival Western Washington University in conference play. Also on the Falcons is former Lynden middle blocker Maddi Hommes.

WIBCA selects eight for Hall of Fame

The Washington Interscholastic Basketball Association selected eight new members to its Hall of Fame. The awards ceremony will be held on July 22 and July 23 in Richland and Tacoma, respectively.

Zillah’s Doug Burge, Richland’s Phil Neill and Jim Castleberry, Yakima and Highland area coach Frank Mattason, Kentridge’s Dave Jamison, La Conner’s Scott Novak, Willapa Valley’s John Peterson and Seattle area assistant Al Kawashima all will be honored.

Longtime coach and author Jim Stinson will receive the Ed Pepple Service Award for positive contributions to high school basketball.

For more information, contact Dave Dickson at david.dickson@bellinghamschools.org

Atwall plays up to level of former mentor Worley

Meridian goalkeeper Harjaap Atwall had a little added motivation to help his team earn a 1-1 tie with Bellingham on Tuesday, April 21, at home — the keeper on the other touchline was his former teammate and mentor, Joe Worley.

Worley and Atwall played for the Trojans last year, and the former helped teach the latter how to be an effective keeper.

“They were great teammates last year,” Meridian coach Joe Spencer said in a phone interview. “It was a big deal for Harjaap, so he wanted to play well today. They were great teammates last year. Joe helped Harjaap learn the position a bit.”

Spencer called Atwall the man of the match on Tuesday, after he saved a key penalty shot midway through the second half.

The Meridian coach also was impressed with Worley’s resilience, as he made a game-saving stop in the final minute of play to preserve the tie.

Sehome swing player making name for himself

Swing players bounce back and forth between varsity and JV, usually with little playing time on the former. But because Sehome’s boys’ soccer team has been riddled with injuries, swing player Sammy Pacheco-Rodriguez has found a role.

He now has three goals this season after scoring two against Blaine in Sehome’s 10-0 win on Tuesday, April 21.

He also picked up what could have been a very meaningful goal a few games earlier against Nooksack Valley, when he found the net just after the half to make it 2-1 before the Pioneers eventually went on to win 5-1.

His goal against Nooksack was the makings of a savvy soccer player — Pacheco-Rodriguez is only a freshman. He ran the wing perfectly, staying wide until the moment was right and received a pass in the open field before calmly slotting it home.

It’s a good sign for Sehome soccer and a much-needed boost for a team that’s struggled to stay consistent.

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