By Bucky Beaver
The transition back to the Metro league has increased the playoff action over at Ballard High School. A number of the programs are experiencing playoffs for the first time in a long time.
Ballard High School Athletic Director says the school is excited to be back in the Metro conference after being gone for a while.
“During our tough seasons in 4A, regardless of the opponent, our coaches prepared our athletes to compete day in and day out”, says Burr. “Now that we are back in Metro, competing with schools on our level, the hard work and dedication is paying off”, she added.
Fifth year head coach Bob Mirenzi has guided both the girls and boys programs to State this season. The girls program, which was ranked first in state during the season, took second in the Sea-King districts allowing them to advance to state for the first time ever in Ballard’s history.
The girl’s team members include Jamie Smith, Giulia Park, Taylor Saffor, Lauren Kangas, Natalie Bruecher, Veronica Redpath, Chase Hagar, Monica Cohen and Adi Carlye.
The boys program took fifth at Districts also allowing them to advance to state for the first time since 2007. The boy’s team members include Owen Buck, James Konugres, Hanson Lee, Denali Cornwell, Elliot Bailey, Benjamin Klinkman-Sinatra, John Maier, Sebastian Skepetaris, and Luigi Maiorano.
Burr notes “the tireless work Coach Mirenzi and his runners have put in since the summer have truly paid off by sending both the girls and the boys teams to State.” The State competition is this Saturday at the Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco, Washington. The girls run at 12:30 p.m. and the boys at 2 p.m.
Volleyball won the Seattle Public Schools championship this year going undefeated in their division of Metro play finishing in 4th place in the post season tournament.
Burr points out that “Coach Tami Reese and her volleyball athletes have proven that only one team can beat the Beavers, themselves.” She adds, “this team is a force to be reckoned with and if they stay healthy, they should take one of the berths to State.”
Because of their great play, a number of players were selected for all conference honors including Sophie Bolz making first team; Rudy Fera and Ally Witeck making second team; and Lizzie Malmgren making honorable mention. Bolz was also selected MVP of the Valley division! Ballard’s head Coach Tami Reese was voted the Coach of the Year!
The girls continue their run for State playing a loser out game 5:30 p.m. on Thursday night at Juanita High School against Bainbridge High School.
Football advanced to the playoffs for the first time since 2007 after placing 4th in Metro.
Ballard has been led this season by the Ta’ase brothers. Senior quarterback Jacob passed for 205 yards per game with 17 touchdown passes against only 2 interceptions. He also has rushed for 5 touchdowns averaging 35 yards rushing per game.
Junior linebacker Fua averages 9.4 tackles per game with two interceptions, one for a touchdown.
Ballard opens up their state competition hosting Wilson of Tacoma Friday night at Memorial Stadium at 7:45 p.m.
Locals can also vote for the Ballard vs. Wilson game to be the KIRO 7 game of the week online.
Girls’ swimming is participating in the Sea-King District swim meet this Friday and Saturday at Mary Wayte Pool. The girls hope to advance a number of individual swimmers and relay teams to the State tournament the following weekend.
Soccer advanced to the second round of the Metro playoffs losing eventually in a shoot out to Roosevelt.
“I am so proud of our athletes and coaches this fall! This will be a November to remember for Beaver Nation!” exclaims Burr.
Photos courtesy of Ballard High School.