ILWACO - From the opening kick off of the emotionally packed, on the field and off, Tenino football game to the Sun Dome success of the Fishermen hoops squad, to the triumphant state record-setting run of Nate Appel, the Ilwaco High School Class of 2003 provided an exciting and entertaining sports year.
The football team produced scoring binges of record proportions but lost three games by less than a TD to finish out of the playoff picture. Seniors Matt Bonney, Kevin Brown, Tyson Dykes, Greg Iverson, Cole Dumbauld, Andy Hudkins, Travis Lemons, Tony Kangas, Justen Schaak, Heath Miller, Dan Davis and Izaac Mendez all contributed mightily to the Fishermen's success.
The volleyball squad started slowly but improved to finish fifth in the Trico. Heather Hocking, MaryMargaret Tomberlin and Argelia Mendez were the glue that held the Lady Fishermen squad together.
The cross country boys scored a rousing fifth place finish at state on the swift feet of stalwart performers Appel, Ed Guelfi, Jon Fagerland, and Bryce Jacquith, and the Lady Fishermen runners were paced by Karla Parsons.
Matt Bonney wrestled his way to eighth place in Mat Classic XV and Izaac Mendez also grappled for Ilwaco. The Lady Fishermen hoopsters qualified for District IV play and were paced by the 1500 career points of Hocking, Tomberlin's role as forward and reserves Laura Herbold, Herlet Padilla and Argelia Mendez.
The boys' basketball squad captured a seventh place trophy at 2A State Tournament, bringing home the first hardware ever for Ilwaco in that event. Kyle Kaino, Hudkins, David Thorne, Dustin Starr, and Adam Ellsworth provided senior leadership, talent and stability to the team that finished third at district.
Competing in the fall but going to the State Golf Tournament in the spring were David and Christiaan Thorne. The twin terrors of the links failed to medal but joined Ellsworth and Starr to provide a strong golf team for Ilwaco.
The Lady Fishermen softball nine was anchored by senior starters, Stevie Lindsley, Tomberlin, Johanna Hazen, and Megan Peterson. The second best team in the short history of Ilwaco baseball featured Sam Eilers, Brown, Burt Walters, Christian Thorne, and Casey Venus.
Senior stars, Appel, Guelfi and Kangas led the Fishermen to much success in track and field.
Soon enough the headlines will dwindle for the IHS Class of 2003. Memories of their athletic prowess will either fade or be embellished upon, but surely new athletes will compete to fill the sports page with their triumphs.
The balloons still have a touch of helium and the ink is drying on the diplomas as the graduated seniors now begin their quest for occupations, lifestyles, spouses, and eventually families. While the fanfare may have stopped, the really important decisions and actions are just beginning.
Thanks to the class of '03 for the courage and effort you have demonstrated, and may your next chapters be just as excellent as your headlines have been.