Supreme Court rules in Ballard High murder

Back in 1994, 16-year-old Melissa Fernandes was killed in a drive-by shooting in front of Ballard High School — a crime that made headlines in Seattle and beyond. The shooter, Brian Ronquillo, was sentenced to 52 years. The driver, Cesar Sarausad II, was convicted of second-degree murder, but an appeals court threw it out over a jury technicality. The case made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and today the high court reinstated Sarausad’s murder conviction. He’s now serving a 27-year sentence.

New details on Ballard High gun incident

We reported last week that Ballard High “sheltered in place” after someone spotted a man with a silver handgun nearby. He was never found. Three days later, according to a police report posted by the Seattle 911 Blog, officers responded to the school a second time after students were overheard talking about a gun. Police and school officials tracked down an airsoft (pellet) gun that was dumped in the bathroom at Salmon Bay Park — not the silver handgun. Police say the student who dumped the airsoft gun said “he joined up with the Crips,” but in reality was likely not a gang member. After all that, the initial investigation into the silver handgun remains an open case.

With just 1 win, controversy over Ballard coach

Well, you knew this was coming. The Ballard Beavers varsity football team has ended the season with an embarrassing 1-8 record, outscored by their opponents by over 200 points. And the team’s first-year coach, John Bowers, is getting an earful from some frustrated parents.

The Ballard News-Tribune reports that some parents are criticizing Bowers for leaving talented players on the bench and being too hard on the team. The paper also quotes a player who says Bowers was “recruiting students in the hallways if they looked like they could play football” after some players quit the team. Meanwhile, the Huskies are 0-8, the Cougars are 1-8, the Seahawks are 2-6, the Mariners lost 100 games and the Sonics left town.

But as they say, there’s always next year.

Beavers overwhelmed in season opener

John Bowers’ first game as head coach of the Ballard Beavers ended in a stinging defeat this Friday night. Renton’s Liberty High beat the Beavers decisively in the season opener at Memorial Stadium, 43-7.

Now, I’m not a sports writer, but I’m a football fan, and the game was painful to watch. Turnover after turnover plagued the Beavers on offense.

Here, a Liberty player returns an interception for a touchdown. “It looked like we weren’t coached well, and we weren’t,” Bowers told reporters after the game. “I’ll take total responsibility for this one.”

But it’s not all about winning, right? (And it was a non-league game.) The cheerleaders kept the crowd in the game, and everyone seemed to have a good time. Here’s a video clip of a few highlights, and click below for more photos…

Beavers back to school, first game Friday

Today’s the first day of school at Ballard High, and the Beavers will take on Liberty at Memorial Stadium this Friday evening in the first varsity football game of the season. It’s also the first season for head coach John Bowers. So what’s the scouting report? “With the new KingCo 4A alignment, three of the five teams Ballard beat last season are no longer on the schedule,” explains the Seattle Times. “Two of those opponents have been replaced with Bothell and Skyline, two state contenders.” All the more reason to show your support by wearing your red and black and learning a couple Ballard High cheers, as taught by the young ladies in this video clip. Go Beavers!

Grass is gone at Ballard High

Over the last few weeks, crews have removed the natural grass at Ballard High School’s athletic field in preparation to install artificial turf.

While artificial turf is much easier to maintain, as we’ve written about before, not everyone is sold on the idea. The $1.65 million project is scheduled to be completed by August, before the football season begins.

By the way, if you’re wondering what happened with Ballard High School’s website, it crashed and burned a couple months ago. So the second-period web design class quickly built this new site (sing along!)

New coaches at Ballard High

Both the Ballard High varsity football coach and the varsity girls basketball coach quit a few months ago, and now there’s word of their replacements. John Bowers, formerly the recruiting coordinator and secondary coach for the Western Washington Vikings, is taking over the Beavers’ football team. And Derek Fulwiler, who was the assistant head coach for the boy’s basketball team at Ballard, is the new varsity girl’s head coach. You may remember, the girl’s basketball team had a historic season, but coach Karen Blair quit in protest because the girl’s team does not have a team room like the boys.