Photo courtesy of Anna Duff
                                The Bellevue Wolverines girls swim dive team earned the Class 3A state championship on Nov. 11 at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way. The Wolverines, who compiled a total of 281 team points, won a state title for the first time since the 2006 season. Bellevue athletes Elena Acevedo, Eleanor Casey, Katie Duff, Delora Li, Janelle Rudolph, Rylee Siripipat, Aneta Wyzga, Rachel Jin and Sarah Walsh competed at the state meet. The Wolverines were coached by Andy Hay, Lisa Van Loben Sels, Mckenzie Schroder, Oey Chang and Ale Fuentes.

Photo courtesy of Anna Duff The Bellevue Wolverines girls swim dive team earned the Class 3A state championship on Nov. 11 at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way. The Wolverines, who compiled a total of 281 team points, won a state title for the first time since the 2006 season. Bellevue athletes Elena Acevedo, Eleanor Casey, Katie Duff, Delora Li, Janelle Rudolph, Rylee Siripipat, Aneta Wyzga, Rachel Jin and Sarah Walsh competed at the state meet. The Wolverines were coached by Andy Hay, Lisa Van Loben Sels, Mckenzie Schroder, Oey Chang and Ale Fuentes.

Bellevue 2017 sports year in review

JANUARY

Baker announces he will enter NFL Draft: University of Washington Huskies safety Budda Baker, who is a 2014 graduate of Bellevue High School, announced on Twitter on Jan. 3 that he will forgo his senior season of college football and enter the 2017 National Football League draft.

Landes has interim tag removed, guides Wolverines football program: Mark Landes was the Bellevue Wolverines football team’s interim head coach during the 2016 season. The Bellevue Football Twitter feed, @BellevueFB announced Landes was officially named the head coach of the Bellevue Wolverines football program on Jan. 23.

FEBRUARY

Wolverines girls basketball team earns KingCo 3A title: The third time was a charm for the Bellevue Wolverines girls basketball team against Mercer Island. Bellevue, who suffered two defeats against Mercer Island during the regular season, registered a 49-45 triumph in the KingCo 3A championship game on Feb. 9 at Newport High School in Factoria.

Wolverines boys basketball squad captures KingCo 3A championship: The Bellevue Wolverines boys basketball team’s stingy defense was the difference against Mercer Island in the Class 3A KingCo title game. Bellevue, which led Mercer Island by just one point at halftime, outscored Mercer Island 34-26 in the second half en route to a 61-52 victory on Feb. 9 at Newport High School. Bellevue particularly dominated the third quarter, outscoring Mercer Island 22-10 to build a 13-point lead. The Wolverines led by as many as 15 points in the fourth quarter of play.

Bellevue boys swim team earns second place at state swim meet: The Bellevue boys swim and dive team saw its quest for a third consecutive state title come to an end on Feb. 18. The Wolverines finished runner-up to Bainbridge at the 3A state swim and dive championships at King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, ending Bellevue’s two-year title reign. The Spartans won the meet with 369 points. Bellevue was second with 351 and Mercer Island finished third with 193. Though it was not the season-ending finish the Wolverines expected, Bellevue coach Andy Hay said he was proud of the effort he saw from his swimmers.

“I got nothing bad to say about how anybody performed in the pool today,” Hay said. “This is a tough season for me because I’ve been at Bellevue for so long now, the better part of a decade, and I’m graduating some of my favorite people in the world. I would’ve liked to send them off with a championship. But we just got beat.”

MARCH

Newport defeats Bellevue in season opener: The Newport Knights earned a 2-1 win against Bellevue in a non-league matchup on March 13 at Newport High School. Newport got on the board in the 25th minute off of a goal by sophomore Ryan Smith. Knights’ senior Hunter Hahnemann unleashed a hard shot on goal, which deflected off Bellevue’s goalie. Smith was there for the rebound and put the ball in the back of the net, giving the Knights a 1-0 lead. Newport extended its lead to 2-0 when Knights sophomore Will Carlson scored in the 55th minute. With three minutes left in regulation, Bellevue’s Sebastian Scrivner scored, cutting the Knights lead to just one goal. In the final three minutes of play, Newport’s defense prevented Bellevue from tying the game.

Knights softball team collects third consecutive victory: The Newport Knights softball team captured a 6-2 win against the Ballard Beavers on March 16. The Knights improved their overall record to 3-0 with the win.

APRIL

Gibbs dominates in the pitching circle for Bulldogs: At the midway point of the 2017 softball season, Bellevue College sophomore Payton Gibbs was a dominant force for her squad. Gibbs struck out 135 batters while compiling 14 wins as a pitcher. At the plate, she connected with 14 home-runs and 52 RBI. While Gibbs enjoys hitting, her first love is the pitching circle.

“I get that constant adrenaline rush and the pressure. I enjoy the pressure of being out on the mound,” Gibbs said.

MAY

Saints girls tennis wins KingCo title: The Interlake Saints girls tennis team displayed their dominance on the tennis court at the KingCo 3A tournament. The Saints cruised to a first-place finish, compiling 48 total team points en route to a KingCo 3A tournament championship on May 10 at Mercer Island High School. The Saints, who won the Class 3A state title last season, were thrilled to bring home the KingCo crown.

“The girls were ecstatic. They were so excited to be part of this win. They all contributed and they all knew they contributed, which was really wonderful for us. They all played a key role in making this happen,” Interlake head coach Matthew Perlman said. “It was pretty amazing.”

Gaultier wins Squash tournament: Gregory Gaultier (France) defeated Ali Farag (Egypt) 3-0 (12-10, 12-10, 11-8) in the championship match at the inaugural Pacific Market International Bellevue Squash Classic on May 20. The victory was Gaultier’s 40th Professional Squash Association (PSA) title and his 79th appearance in the finals.

Interlake girls golf team earns second place at state tournament: The Interlake Saints girls golf team registered a second place showing at the Class 3A state golf tournament on May 24 at Canyon Lakes Golf Course in Kennewick. The Saints finished with a total of 77 team points. Mercer Island won the tournament, compiling 82 team points. Samantha Na finished in ninth place individually with a total of 164 strokes. Katie Kester captured a 16th place finish individually with 174 strokes. Bronte Polette finished in 22nd place (179 strokes) and Nhi Nguyen finished in 38th place (193 strokes).

Wolverines boys lacrosse wins back-to-back state titles: For the second consecutive season, the Bellevue Wolverines boys lacrosse team reached the mountaintop. The Wolverines defeated the Mercer Island Islanders 12-4 in the Washington High School Boys Lacrosse 3A state championship game on May 27 at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila.

JULY

Titans win regional soccer championship: The NPSA Titans BO3 Navy boys soccer team captured the US Club Northwest Regionals championship courtesy of a 6-2 win against the FPSC Fury BO3 on June 26 in Yakima. It was the first regional title in the club’s history. The Titans roster consists of Max Medin, Dilon Spahia, Carter Bawcutt, Ibrahim Burka, Kai Snyder, Adrian Martinez, Bridger Tautvydas, Oakley Browning, Roberto Guzman, Dexter Shack, Trent Denholm, Anthony Ramos, Alexander Kovsky, Carlos Espinoza, Blake Porter, Yadata Jamal, Robel Kidanemariam and Antheny Leal.

Lakeside 15U baseball team wins district title: The Lakeside Recovery 15U baseball team captured first place at the American Legion District tournament courtesy of a 12-4 victory against Sedro Woolley in the championship game on July 16 at Sedro Woolley High School. The team roster consists of Tyler Reese, Nick Radabaugh, David Chapman, Cameron Kaku, Nate Lawrence, Brady Liddle, Jack Githens, Jack Rodgers, Ty Buckner, Derek Gellos, Cole Larson, Joseph Warner, Brendan Chan, Nolan Rouse, Cory Kawaguchi, Colton Willbrandt, Ryan Baker and Nathan Kaku. The head coach of the team is Frank Lawhead.

AUGUST

Blast 18U softball team competes at nationals: The Bellevue Blast 18U softball team competed in the United States Nationals softball tournament, which concluded on Aug. 6 in Salem, Oregon. The Blast advanced to the quarterfinals and compiled an overall record of 3-2 in tournament play. There were 49 teams across the nation who competed at the tournament.

SEPTEMBER

Saints win Crossroads Cup on gridiron: The entire Interlake Saints football team huddled around the famed “Crossroads Cup” trophy for a well-deserved celebration after capturing a victory against their fiercest rival. Interlake cruised to a 46-12 victory against the Sammamish Totems in the annual Crossroads Cup showdown on the gridiron on Sept. 8 at Sammamish High School in Bellevue. Interlake outscored Sammamish 33-6 in the second half to seal the victory. The Saints led the Totems 13-6 at halftime before dominating the final 24 minutes of play.

Totems football team earns third victory: The Sammamish Totems football squad earned a 15-14 victory against the Ingraham Rams on Sept. 29. Sammamish improved its overall record to 3-2 with the win.

OCTOBER

Wolverines dominate Islanders in rivalry contest: Bellevue Wolverines senior running back Isaiah Ifanse was an unstoppable force against Mercer Island in a Class 3A KingCo rivalry matchup. Ifanse scored five rushing touchdowns, propelling the Wolverines to a 40-7 victory against the Islanders on Oct. 13 in Mercer Island. Bellevue kicker Jed Michael connected on two field goals (30 yards, 44 yards) in the win. Bellevue improved its overall record to 6-1 with the triumph.

Bellevue captures second place at KingCo 3A volleyball tournament: The Bellevue Wolverines captured second place at the KingCo 3A volleyball tournament on Oct. 28. The Wolverines defeated Redmond 3-0 in the first round but lost 3-1 to the Mercer Island Islanders in the championship match.

NOVEMBER

Interlake cross country team finishes second at state meet: The Interlake Saints boys cross country squad earned second place at the Class 3A state meet at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco on Nov. 4. The Saints compiled 92 team points. Kamiakin captured first place with 55 team points (low score wins in cross country). Interlake senior Dante Paszkeicz captured ninth place individually with a time of 15:41. Saints’ senior Matthew Roberts earned 11th place with a time of 15:45.7.

Bellevue girls swim wins state swim & dive championship: The Bellevue Wolverines girls swim and dive team earned the Class 3A state championship on Nov. 11 at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way. The Wolverines, who compiled a total of 281 team points, won a state title for the first time since the 2006 season. Bellevue athletes Elena Acevedo, Eleanor Casey, Katie Duff, Delora Li, Janelle Rudolph, Rylee Siripipat, Aneta Wyzga, Rachel Jin and Sarah Walsh competed at the state meet. The Wolverines were coached by Andy Hay, Lisa Van Loben Sels, Mckenzie Schroder, Oey Chang and Ale Fuentes.

Former Microsoft exec to bring professional basketball to Bellevue in 2019: The sound of bouncing basketballs reverberating from the hardwood and swishing through the net will be the norm in the world of professional basketball in the Bellevue region in January 2019. Former Microsoft executive Michael Nassirian was recently awarded a franchise in the new North American Premier Basketball league. The NAPB, which begins play in January 2018, will feature eight teams in its inaugural season of existence.

DECEMBER

Ifanse wins Gatorade player of the year honors: Bellevue Wolverines senior running back Isaiah Ifanse was named Washington’s 2017-18 Gatorade Washington Football Player of the Year. Ifanse rushed for 2,485 yards and 44 touchdowns this past season. Bellevue, which advanced to the Class 3A state semifinals, finished with an overall record of 11-2.

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