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home : schools & sports

Kodiaks playing strong as season gets underway

Photo by Ian Dunn
Cascade left fielder Madi Russ dives into the third base, in action against Okanogan last week. The Kodiaks rallied in the seventh inning for the 8-7 win.
The spring season got underway quickly for the Cascade Kodiak softball team. It was a busy week as the girls played four games against Naches Valley, Okanogan and Zillah.

On March 17, the Kodiaks scored a close road win over Naches Valley, 6-5. The two teams traded the lead seven times in the game. Cascade lead early 2-0 in the top of the third, as Ariah Ells singled home Kaycee O'Brien and Sarah Pickel doubled to drive in Ells.

Naches tied the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the third, and took 3-2 lead in the fourth. Cascade tied the game 3-3 in the fifth, then Naches went ahead 4-3 in the bottom of the frame. A big sixth inning gave the Kodiaks the lead for good. Leanne Fraker stole home for the go-ahead run.

Thursday, March 26, 2015 More...

Cascade Track team turns in solid performance at Ray Cross Invitational
Against a talented field with over 20 schools, the Cascade Kodiaks started off the 2015 season strong at the Ray Cross Invitational in Ephrata last Saturday.

The boys finished 10th out of 23 teams, while the girls were eighth out of 24 teams. Senior Dennis Merritt won the 100 meters in 11.7. He also anchored the 4x100 relay team which took second.

Austin Cassayre was third in pole vault. James Sandelin was sixth in 110 hurdles and 10th in 300 hurdles.

"The most impressive part of the meet for me was all the personal bests at the beginning of the season. Many athletes had marks better that their best marks last year. That's a great way to start the season," said Head Coach Bill Davies. "Our boys 4x100 relay finished second in front of many 3 and 4A schools. They ran 46.57 which will be one of the fastest times for 1A boys so far. The team consisted of Blakely Brown, Noax Woods, Vinnie Anzalone, and Dennis Merritt."

Thursday, March 26, 2015 More...
Tennis team off to a strong start
The Cascade Kodiaks began their 2015 season with a jamboree against Chelan and Cashmere on March 17 in Chelan. The girls picked up from last year, winning nine of 10 matches. Since it was early season, some singles players were playing doubles and some doubles players were playing singles, said Head Coach Mark Hassinger.

The boys won five of 10 matches.

"It's a little early to tell but we are having a great time getting back on the courts. They are a fun group of kids to be around," Hassinger said.

Cascade played at Tonasket on March 19, and swept the Tigers. Normally competitive, Hassinger figures the Tigers must be rebuilding.

Thursday, March 26, 2015 More...
Cascade soccer team still working out the kinks as season begins
The Cascade Kodiaks are off and running with the 2015 soccer season. The team began the season at Sultan, losing 3-1 on March 16.

Cascade Head Coach Pete Spiegel said his team was tentative in their first game, as Sultan was beating them to the ball, time and again.

"We have some players in new positions and it will take a little while for things to jell. One of the keys for us is communication. We have to let teammates know where we want the ball, when to step forward, etc. We did not do this during the first half," Spiegel said.

The Turks established a 3-0 lead in the first half. Spiegel did not feel any of the goals were deserved, nonetheless, a "goal is a goal."

Thursday, March 26, 2015 More...
Cascade relishes opportunity to play tough teams in the non-league season
The Cascade Kodiaks began the second week of the season at defending 1A state champions, Naches Valley on March 17. The Rangers jumped on Austin Murdock in the first inning for two runs. The Kodiaks scored their lone run in the top of the second. Naches Valley would go to score five more runs, unanswered.

The Rangers won 7-1.

"Naches is a great club. They are very well coached. I knew it was going to be a great early season test for our kids and it was. Actually our entire non-league schedule is built that way. I'm a firm believer in never wasting an opportunity to compete against the very best, especially when we get to make our own schedule," said Cascade Head Coach Mike Kelly.

Murdock pitched four innings, giving up 5 earned runs on 9 hits with 3 walks and 2 strikeouts. Carson McMahon pitched in relief, going 2 innings, giving 1 earned run on 3 hits with 1 walk.

"It was the first time in nearly a year that Austin's been back on the bump as a pitcher, as he was only used sparingly as a hurler in his summer season with the Desert Dogs. Like we have over the last three years, we'll lean on Austin to throw a significant number of quality innings this season," Kelly said. "Carson McMahon came in and pitched the fifth and sixth innings in relief. Once he was able to settle into a groove, Carson threw really well, both working his spots and controlling the run game. A bright spot on the day."

Thursday, March 26, 2015 More...
Kodiaks score solid opening win over Ephrata
A solid pitching performance from Blake Vandel helped the Kodiaks to an opening day victory over Ephrata, 5-3 last Saturday. Cascade Head Coach, Mike Kelly, the day went about as good as he could have predicated against a traditionally strong Ephrata team.

"This season I'm confident in the crew we have. They're very athletic, have good speed and are working hard in continuing to develop their baseball awareness," Kelly said. "Ephrata has always offered us a great challenge, but our kids showed great poise and the ability to play within our system rather than be intimidated by the past."

Thursday, March 19, 2015 More...
Kodiak softball drops twin bill at Ephrata to open the season
The 2015 season started for the Cascade Kodiaks at 2A Ephrata last Saturday. The Kodiaks jumped out to a lead in the first game, but could not hold on, losing 8-6.

Cascade led 3-0 in the second inning, thanks to a triple by Madi Russ, and doubles by Madeline Krous and Charlotte Gaughan. But the Tigers came back with three runs in the bottom of the second to tie the game 3-3.

The Kodiaks went up 4-3 in the third as Sarah Pickel doubled and later scored on a sacrifice bunt by Meredith Krous. Ephrata came back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third to take the lead 5-4.

In the fourth, Cascade retook the lead 6-5, but the Tigers scored twice in the bottom of the frame to go up 7-6. The Tigers added to their total with a run in the sixth to lead 8-6. The Kodiaks had the tying runs on base in the seventh, but could not get the clutch hit.

"The girls battled all game. Its early and we know we just need to keep improving every day," said Ken Krous, Cascade head coach.

Thursday, March 19, 2015 More...
Cascade boys' golf team hopes to compete for league title
With the majority of his varsity boys team back this season, Cascade Head Golf Coach Randy Alexander has reason to be optimistic.

"I am young, but experienced. I only have one senior, Alex Woods. All my boys varsity is back. There are a couple freshman coming in that have played before, so that is exciting," Alexander said.

Top returners include Tyler Bain, Nate Wells, Alex Woods, Logan Nielson and Gunnar Stubblefield. Others expected to contribute include Sam Winters, Chandler West, Bruce Ledbetter-Gibbs and Tim Wells.

"I am excited to have the experience. I have no sophomores. One senior. It is a good nucleus," Alexander said.

With only three teams in the league playing golf, Cascade, Chelan and Omak, Alexander is unsure how playoffs or qualifying for State might work. He does feel like he has the squad to compete for the league championship.

"Omak nipped us at districts and they are younger than us. We need to practice and hone our games. Chelan is always tough, defending district champs. They have a good team. We will fight for spots at district," Alexander said.

Thursday, March 12, 2015 More...
Cascade soccer team looking for improvement
The district title in his first year seems long ago now. Now in his fourth year, Cascade Head Soccer Coach Pete Spiegel is hoping to rebound from 5-10-1 season, which saw them lose seven in a row.

"We only have four seniors, but we have a big junior class. We have 14. It's going to be younger crew, but that is ok, because they are ready to get at it," Spiegel said.

The past two years, the team has been impacted by snow on the soccer field at the beginning of the season. And while the soccer field is clear of snow this season, it is currently unplayable, due to damage from construction crews installing the lights there this past winter.

"It is like having snow on the field because of all the damage. We aren't going to be able to play on the field until after spring break in April. I don't know what we will do for our home games. We could play at Eastmont or Cashmere," Spiegel said. "When you walk it off, it really comes in tight on the corners. That is the trouble. There is not enough room to mark out a field right now."

Thursday, March 12, 2015 More...
Cascade track team has the star power
New Cascade Head Track Coach Bill Davies took a couple years away from coaching, after coaching cross country at Cascade and track on the other side of the mountains. An assistant last year, Davies is the new head coach this season, taking over for longtime coach Rob Rosenau.

"Just really happy to do it here in Kodiak country. There's nothing better," Davies said.

Greeting Davies this year is a newly resurfaced track, along new areas for shot put, discus, javelin, high jump and pole vault. New lights have also been installed.

"The track is so fast. This is a beautiful facility. We ought to have some good meets here. We will have league here for sure and a couple other big ones," Davies said.

Davies said they have a strong girls and boys teams. He has 10 senior boys, and the girls are loaded with talent too.

"In the sprints, between Dennis Merritt and Maddy Parton, we are going to have the number one boy and number one girl in league. The whole distance crew is really strong. Erin Mullins is outstanding. Having her back is great," Davies said. "We have a couple other kids who are skiing right now. Lydia (Youkey) and Kieran (Ringel) will be back when they are done skiing."

Thursday, March 12, 2015 More...
Kodiaks hope to defend their league championship
It has been a stellar couple of years for the Kodiak baseball team. Two years ago, they finished fourth in state. Last year, they swept powerhouse Cashmere to win the outright Caribou Trail League title.

Gone are the three outstanding players that helped lead the Kodiaks to all that success, Tristin Parton, Jesse Ward and Mike Allen. But the cupboard isn't exactly bare.

"I am anxious and excited. That only comes from being uncertain where we are at, personnel wise. Even in my very first year, I knew we were going to be inexperienced. I knew we would have a mix of baseball kids and non-baseball kids," said Cascade Head Coach Mike Kelly. "But it didn't take me long to figure out a static lineup and know who our guys are. In the years after, there is a comfort in knowing the majority of your lineup day-to-day. With the loss of Tristin, Jesse and Michael, it leaves us with some holes."

Kelly said they will miss the athleticism, but more importantly, the leadership and commitment to the program.

Thursday, March 12, 2015 More...

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