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Sports In Review, Part Ii

2004: A year of team and individual achievements

JULY

Hood River Valley Swim Team members Matthew Bergstrom and Mariah Rawding earned high-point awards at the La Grande Invitational Swim Meet in La Grande, Ore.

Bergstrom, of White Salmon, posted seven first-place finishes and three personal records in eight events competing in the boys 8-and-under age group.

Rawding, of Husum, had six personal records in winning seven times in eight starts in the girls 8-and-under competition. She also recorded an Oregon state 'A' qualifying time during a second-place swim in the 100-yard freestyle.

A leaner Gorge Games returned to the region in 2004 after a one-year hiatus, during which games founder Peggy Lalor succeeded in wresting control of the franchise from former partners.

The games, in summary, were smaller but nonetheless successful in carrying on the summertime tradition. There were, however, some changes.

Gone were the big-name title sponsorships that previously helped catapult the games onto the national outdoor sports scene. Also missing was the Gorge Games village at the Hood River marina that gave the event that festival feeling.

In their place, organizers enlisted Klickitat County's Mercer Ranch as a primary sponsor and spread events throughout Gorge communities to give the games a more indigenous, home-grown and health-conscious identity.

White Salmon's Skyline Hospital promoted Teresa Schuemann to the post of director of its Physical Theraphy and Sports Medicine Department.

Schuemman, a licensed physical therapist, certified athletic trainer and sports certified specialist, succeeded Tom Moline, who left to pursue his goal of opening a private clinic in Hood River.

Rachel Zoller of BZ Corner officially joined the family profession, observing her 18th birthday while making her debut as a professional whitewater rafting guide for her father's company, Zoller's Outdoor Odysseys.

On the water with her as she guided her first commercial trip down the lower White Salmon River were her father, Mark, and her grandfather, Phil, who started the guiding service back in the late 1960s.

AUGUST

The Washington Officials Association recognized Mitch Hecomovich of White Salmon for his 43 years of service as a sports official--22 years as a member of the WOA--with induction into the association's Hall of Fame.

Hecomovich's career as a basketball official and baseball umpire spanned the years 1946-89. "I was an interest I had, a vocation that I just enjoyed doing," said Hecomovich, referring to officiating athletic competitions that ranged from Washington state Class B boys basketball tournaments to Oregon state baseball playoff games.

The WOA also honored local basketball officials Mike Gilderhus of White Salmon and Jonas Keys of Klickitat. Each received the association's meritorious service award.

They joined an elite group of Columbia Gorge officials who have garnered the award. The first to receive the honor was Hecomovich in 1977, followed by John Codino of Hood River in 1992, and Ron Logan of White Salmon in 2003.

SEPTEMBER

Columbia High kicked off the 2004 football season with a 13-7 victory at Goldendale. It was Bruins Coach Scott Ross's second-straight season-opening win over Goldendale.

The Bruins won the non-league contest with a 13-play, fourth-quarter drive that covered 90 yards and consumed seven minutes of game-clock time.

Senior fullback Alex Riley kept the drive alive with a 13-yard gain on fourth-and-1, then capped the long march with a 7-yard touchdown run.

Trout Lake's boys soccer team opened the season with seven consecutive victories. The Mustangs outscored their opponents, 32-8, during the winning streak.

But the streak ended when Greater Columbia B League rival Moses Lake Christian visited Trout Lake for a pair of weekend matches. The Lions won both to take the early lead in the league standings.

OCTOBER

Stevenson rallied from a 13-7 halftime deficit to win its homecoming game against Trico Division rival Columbia High, 20-13, and end CHS's six-game winning streak in the head-to-head series.

The Bruins scored on long passes to junior Matt Cooley and sophomore Mason Giovannoni on their second and third possessions of the first quarter to take a 13-7 lead, then held it with a goal-line stand late in the second quarter.

But the Bulldogs evened the score at 13-all in the third quarter with a 71-yard drive, then seized the lead with a 13-play, 70-yard march. The come-from-behind victory was Stevenson's second of the season.

Columbia High's girls soccer team, in just its second season of competition, clinched its first SW Washington District 4 playoff berth.

The Bruins finished the regular season in third place in the SW Washington 2A League's Trico Division, with a record of 9-5, which included a forfeit loss at Hockinson.

NOVEMBER

With a 1-0 district-playoff victory over Onalaska/Napavine/Mossyrock United, Columbia High's girls soccer team made its post-season debut a good one.

The Bruins' win--their school-record 11th of the season--secured their spot in the 16-team Class 2A state tournament field.

Trout Lake notched its school record-tying 14th victory with a 4-0 victory over Riverside Christian in a Greater Columbia B League boys soccer playoff match.

The Mustangs carried the day with two goals by senior Kris Huffsmith and one each by seniors Matt Dearden and Ian Smith. Sophomore goalkeeper Michael Paxson earned the shutout.

Trout Lake subsequently lost a regional seeding match to Moses Lake Christian, 3-2, but still qualified for the Class 1A/B East Regional tournament in Kennewick.

Columbia High's girls soccer team made a long bus trip to Sumner for its first-ever state Class 2A tournament match.

The Bruins stay in the tourney proved short, however, as the Nisqually League's Eatonville Cruisers sent the SW Washington League upstarts home carrying the baggage of a season-ending 7-0 defeat.

A defensive standoff between Trout Lake and Northwest Christian turned into an offensive free-for-all in the final eight minutes of their state 1A/B boys soccer play-in match.

The Crusaders from Colbert broke a scoreless deadlock in the 73rd minute with a goal that came after the Mustangs failed to clear the ball.

Trout Lake eventually fell behind 3-0 in the 78th minute and remained scoreless until senior forward Peter Schmid headed in a free kick by classmate Adam Paxson in the 79th minute.

The eastside regional playoff loss ended the Mustangs' season. Trout Lake finished 14-5, matching the win-loss record of the 2003 team that advanced to the state Final Four and placed fourth.

Columbia High sophomore Chelsea Ludwig and Bruins Coach Amy Kasenga garnered two of the Trico Division's individual honors in a vote taken by the division's girls soccer coaches.

Ludwig was named the division's most valuable defensive player while Kasenga earned the coach of the year award for guiding the Bruins to a third-place finish in the Trico and their first state 2A tournament appearance.

Sophomore Chani Weiler, like Ludwig, repeated as a first-team All-Trico selection.

Four Bruins--juniors Kelley McNallan and Jessica Emanuele, sophomore Kelsey Kidd, and freshman Shannon McNallan--were voted to the second team.

DECEMBER

Strong team defense and a patient effort at the offensive end keyed Lyle's 63-42 boys basketball victory over Columbia High in the first game of the 2004-05 season's State Route 14 series between the two teams.

The Cougars converted 15-of-26 free throws in the fourth quarter to ice the win and secure their second-straight home-court victory over the Bruins.

Sebastian Alvarez, an exchange student from Chile, hit two free throws with five seconds left in the second overtime to lift Columbia High to a 59-58 non-league victory over visiting Montesano.

Alvarez entered the game for the first time in the first overtime period after the last of four disqualified Bruins went to the bench with his fifth foul.

The junior guard--who had not attempted a free throw in CHS's first three games--stepped to the line after being fouled in the act of shooting and calmly sank both foul shots, capping a wild second overtime period that the Bruins trailed by four points with 3:12 remaining.

Chelsea Ludwig, a Columbia High sophomore, became the first athlete in CHS history to receive all-state recognition in girls soccer.

The Trico Division player of the year was named to the Associated Press' Class 2A second team for her standout play during the 2004 season. CHS's sweeper played a key role in helping the Bruins win a school-record 11 matches and earn White Salmon's first state playoff berth in just its second season of competition.

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