Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Baseball team ends season, lacrosse squad has one more, and IHSAA shriners named

Wood River baseball wraps up

Pitching is the name of the game in Great Basin West 4A baseball battles—and this year the Minico Spartans had the best in the four-team league in sophomore Casey Christiansen.

Christiansen, a sidearm righty, threw a two-hit shutout at the Jerome Tigers Monday lifting Minico (18-11) to its fifth consecutive GBW tournament title by a score of 8-0, at Rupert. Minico knocked out 11 hits.

"He's got good stuff, and Minico has him for two more years," said Wood River High School coach Matt Nelson about Christiansen.

The lack of a stand-up ace turned out to the biggest difference for the Wood River High School Wolverines, who rode the pitching of senior Pat Patterson to the state tournament last spring. This time around, Nelson didn't have that luxury.

Host Burley (10-18), the third seed, rallied from 3-1 and 4-2 deficits to oust Wood River by a 5-4 score Monday. The Wolverines left 14 runners on base and couldn't produce the big hit three times, with the bases loaded and less than two outs.

Starting pitcher Sean Bunce (2-2) pitched well for Wood River but didn't figure in the decision, with Greg Wakefield (2-7) yielding the winning run in the home seventh. Wakefield had two hits on the afternoon, and four for the tournament.

On Saturday, #1-seeded Minico spotted Wood River a 5-0 lead and stormed back for a 14-7 opening-round win. Second-seeded Jerome (12-10) beat Burley 9-4 Saturday and hosted the Bobcats again Tuesday in the league's second-place game.

Wood River (8-15) dropped four of its final five games and will now focus on the American Legion summer season. The player/parent meeting is Monday, May 11 at 5:30 p.m. at Founders Field in Hailey.

Wet lacrosse match for Warriors home finale

You thought Saturday was a wet day in the Wood River Valley? Imagine playing lacrosse on an extremely soggy day.

In the pouring rain the Wood River Warriors played the best prep team in the state, undefeated Timberline of Boise, last Saturday in Hailey.

With a squad depleted by injuries and juniors taking SAT tests, many younger Warriors got a chance to see some very good lacrosse up close in a 25-1 loss to Timberline.

Crisp passing and back door cuts enabled the Timberline offense to capitalize on every mistake the Warriors made. Scoring five goals was Andrew Rusin. Players with four apiece were Mitch Hawk and Alex Williams for the Boise boys.

Timberline's defense never let the Warriors get on track offensively. Neils McMahon scored a Warriors goal, assisted by David Dredge. Goalkeeper was Reed Stokes (12 saves).

Coach Jay Bailet said, "Our freshmen group of Brian Boyle, Jimmy Williams and Nate Seamons got some great game experience, and gave us some good effort. Reed Stokes playing his first game as goalie did a great job although the score didn't reflect his effort.

"Our defense didn't come out and hit players around the crease, which made it easy for their attack to pick us apart. Nobody on the offensive end stepped up to challenge their defender's sticks. Once we were down 10 goals they had knocked the wind out of our sails and we never came back.

"We are capable of better lacrosse and I expect a better effort this coming weekend."

The Warriors honored their seniors following Saturday's game. Bailet thanked Gus Engelhardt, Cody Chandler, Luke McNees, Kyle Rose, Reed Stokes, David Dredge, Robbie Jost and Tracy Bailet for their efforts to keep the program going over the last four years.

Wood River remains in the hunt for a spot in the TVLL Tournament. The final league game Saturday against the Rocky Mountain Grizzlies in Meridian will determine who goes to the TVLL "Show."

Bailet said, "We've learned something from every game we've played, and are playing lacrosse at a much higher level than six weeks ago. We have a week to get ready for Rocky Mountain which will allow us to get healthy and work on getting it right.

"Our goal for this season was to be the first Warriors team to make it to the tournament. We control our own destiny to achieve that goal. I would be elated to get another crack a Timberline next Tuesday in the play-offs."

Arrossa, Dunne among new IHSAA Hall of Famers

Kimberly athletic director George Arrossa and longtime Jerome track and field coach Tim Dunne have been chosen to the Idaho High School Activities Association's Hall of Fame.

Each year the IHSAA, governing body of Gem State athletics, annually honors individuals who have given many years of exemplary service to Idaho's youth. Arrossa, Dunne and Terry Jones of Malad will be honored at ceremonies during the 30th annual Hall of Fame banquet Wednesday, Aug. 5 at the DoubleTree Riverside Hotel in Boise.

In addition, Shoshone basketball and volleyball coach Larry Messick will receive a Distinguished Service Award, representing District Four.

Arrossa spent 35 years in education, 30 as athletic director at Kimberly High School. He has served in numerous leadership positions for the Fourth District including the Athletic Directors Association and the Coaches Association. Arrossa is respected and admired for his tireless work on behalf of Idaho's student-athletes as well as his honesty and integrity. He retired in June 2007 but remains involved in coaches' clinics and all-star games.

Dunne's impact in the area of track and field in Idaho is immeasurable. He spent 30 years as the head track coach and head cross country coach at Jerome High School and in that time Jerome won 27 championships in track and cross country.

In 1999 Dunne was named Idaho's track "Coach of the Century".

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