June 2011 Archives
Check out a recent Q&A with former Husky softball player Tami Storseth (1993-96).
Last week, approximately 70 young gymnasts filled the UW gymnastics practice room for the first of three summer sessions of camp. Monday-Friday the campers, taught by the UW coaches and student-athletes, learned tumbling, dance routines, and worked on the beam, vault and bars. Check out some pictures and video below from the week.
Junior Faustine Dufka of the women's soccer team recently wrote this fictional soccer story for one of her classes. She has decided to share her piece with Husky Nation by releasing two parts a week. Read part one below.
Casablanca. September 12th, 1992
I have no one left but you.
My two wives and my three sons have all been taken by illness and death, yet my faith in God has helped me stay brave in the face of these sorrows.
I continued on, day by day, in an unbounded solitude that only death could relieve me of. I felt like my country had abandoned me, like everyone else, except you.
One day it occurred to me that Morocco had, in fact, never welcomed me home. It had never appreciated me, what I had accomplished: the reality of my existence, unacknowledged by the people to whom I professed my unswerving loyalty.
When the European press called me "the adopted Frenchman", I bit my tongue. Let them believe that, I told myself. I knew that would never be true. I was always a Moroccan at heart.
I thought I had made my country proud. I thought I had brought them honor. They returned the favor by burying me alive.
The day I realized this, I made a decision. I could no longer bear living in a time where I was being ostracized by my own people, like a traitor, banished forever from the soil I was born on.
Don't blame yourself; you tried to keep in touch with me. I never answered your letters. I couldn't stand burdening you with these thoughts.
In truth, there is no one to blame. It is the path I chose for myself, floating between two countries, lost amidst two incompatible worlds. I surrendered the right to call either of them home the moment I stepped onto that ship, relinquishing any claim to my identity as a Moroccan. Had I known this, I may have reconsidered my decision to leave, but it is too late for that now. I have already been forgotten, my existence rendered invisible by the passage of time.
I leave the world today, but I should have left it years ago. No one would have noticed.
Although I have not been spared by my own people, I have hope that I will be bestowed the Grace of God, when it truly matters.
Larbi Ben Barek.
Through the lone window in the destitute apartment, Meriem Zehria could see the boys playing football in the alley, raising clouds of dust as they chased after the ball. Her three sons were among them, their shoes serving as goal posts instead of protection. Their bare, calloused feet moved swiftly as the ball bounced around on the dirt. Too many stones had pierced the once new, tightly bound leather, committing the prized family possession to eternal deflation. Her husband had saved for many months in order to buy the ball for his sons, as a reward for getting good scores on their end-of-year exams.
The odor of cumin, ginger, and saffron emanated from the tiny kitchen. That afternoon, her daughter Souad was helping her make an onion and carrot tagine, with scraps of lamb that Meriem had brought home after bargaining with one of the vendors at the market that morning. What her family ate depended on what they could afford. If the meat was too expensive, they would eat a vegetarian tagine or a bean soup with couscous. If they were lucky, they might have freshly baked rghaif and a nicer piece of fish, but Meriem's four children learned at an early age not to complain about what she served, because she always found a way to put food on the table.
Meriem was a very resourceful woman and an experienced mother, having learned at a young age how to fend for herself and provide for her family. As she watched her daughter carefully stir the simmering onions and carrots over low heat, she was reminded of her own childhood. At the age of ten, her mother had fallen terminally ill and Meriem was left to care for her two younger brothers and her drunken father.
She painfully recalled the numerous times her father had come home reeking of whisky, expecting dinner to be served as soon as he sat down at the table. When Meriem could only serve a meager portion of bland couscous because there was nothing else, he would brutally slam the table with his fist and grab her wrists so forcefully that she would be bruised for several days. Hoping to placate his anger, she would not eat anything on these occasions in order to leave her father a bigger portion, sometimes even going for two or three days at a time without food. Meriem always put her family first, it was what she knew how to do best.
These memories sent chills down her back, even in the sweltering heat of the steaming, poorly ventilated kitchen. Although Meriem was harsh on her children about their manners and their grades in school, she prided herself in the way she had raised them. They were not allowed to play outside until their schoolwork was finished, and she made sure they learned how to read at a young age. The boys were always rewarded for their good scores because it motivated them to study hard. She firmly believed that succeeding in school was the only way out. She had been told on several occasions that her eldest son Mehdi was exceptionally gifted and should try out for one of the Moroccan football clubs, but she was skeptical. Education came first for her sons.
Meriem was almost ready to call the boys inside. Most afternoons, they played football with the other kids in the neighborhood. She encouraged this because it always gave them a healthy appetite. Her daughter Souad, on the other hand, came home early from class to help her with the cooking. Although Souad was allowed to go to school in the morning, the kitchen was where a woman belonged, and her teenage daughter was no exception to that rule.
The door burst open, and the three boys sprung out of the hall into the apartment, like the seeds of the overly ripe tomato she had cut open only moments before. Their labored breaths, still short from running around outside, were all out of sync, creating a cacophony of panting that could be heard from the kitchen.
"Mom, we're starving!"
"Not yet, your father is not home." Her husband Mustapha worked for a garbage disposal company in the city. The bus ride to their home on the outskirts of Rabat was an hour long, and he usually arrived just in time for dinner. When he was delayed because of traffic, they would always wait for him to begin eating, even if that meant the food would be cold by the time they started.
I glanced at the letter quickly, shoving it into my back pocket as I rushed into our apartment, yelling for someone to call the police.
My mother had just sent me across the hall to bring our neighbor some of the freshly baked rghaif she had made. Although we weren't rich, my mother always had a big heart and shared leftovers with the old man. He lived alone and never had any visitors.
I knocked loudly and shouted his name several times. We just called him "Monsieur Larbi," no one really knew his full name. After a few minutes, I let myself in. The door was unlocked, as always, because he was too old to get up and answer.
It was unusually quiet in the hall of the apartment, and I noticed an odd, putrid smell permeating the space around me. I felt my way in the obscurity along the damp wallpaper, towards the small old-fashioned table lamp that I knew, from experience, would be on my right, three or four steps down the corridor. I found the switch easily. The antique provided dim, yet sufficient lighting to find my way towards the back of the apartment. I had an instinct that I was the only person who ever used it, during my weekly food deliveries. Aside from an empty ashtray, it was the only object on the dusty bureau pushed up against the wall.
I could hear the muffled sounds of the television coming from the living room, so I walked in that direction. As I turned around the corner of the hallway, I saw him, pallid, motionless, lying on the sofa. I yelled his name a few times, first with an interrogative tone "Monsieur Larbi?" Then again, louder, and more urgently: "Monsieur Larbi! Monsieur Larbi!!"
I rushed to check his pulse. Pressing my thumb against his wrist, I remained perfectly still and held my breath, searching for any signs of life distantly throbbing below the surface of his waxy, discolored skin. But the only rhythm I felt was the thumping of my own heart, becoming louder and stronger by the second. His hands felt heavy and stiff in mine; they were colder than they should have been on a warm autumn afternoon. I put my ear to his chest in a last attempt to find a faint heartbeat, but there was no doubt in my mind that he was dead.
That was when I saw the letter, tucked underneath a bottle of pills, on the low coffee table beside the couch.
Joshua Mayers from the Seattle Times wrote a nice feature on former Husky Veronica Perez who is playing in the women's World Cup this summer with the Mexican National Team. View the first paragraph below and click the link for the rest of the story.
Check out the great feature story on incoming freshman Courtney Gano from the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
When you're the daughter of one of the San Gabriel Valley's all-time softball legends and a high-profile football coach, expectations sort of come with the territory.
That's how it is for Courtney Gano, whose mother, Rhonda Wheatley, was the 1983 Division II-A softball player of the year after leading Workman High to the divisional title, and who also was an All-American at Cal Poly Pomona. Her father, Greg Gano, is the football coach at Damien, but is most known for winning four CIF titles at Los Altos, which is where Courtney Gano started her high school career before transferring to Bonita and finishing off her senior season in style.
Gano worked relentlessly and carved out her reputation on the travel ball circuit before arriving at Los Altos. After her freshman year she verbally committed to the University of Washington, where she's headed this fall.
Unlike others, though, who coast late in their high school careers with their futures already inked, Gano committed herself even more and had a monster senior year for the Hacienda League co-champion Bearcats, who finished 23-5 and advanced to the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 playoffs
GoHuskies has the full list of dispatches from Dawgs based in various summer baseball sites around the country.
My name is Tyler Kane and I am playing this summer for the Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League. It's a relatively new league but the competition is great. The first couple of days were a little awkward trying to learn everybody's name, and I am the only one from the West Coast on the team. So far things have been off to a good start. The team is 4-3 now and I'm in the same late-reliever role that I had at UW. Although I am hoping to get a few starts later this summer.
Little Falls, the town we are located in, is very small. It's a great atmosphere because everyone on the team is like a celebrity over here. We have done a few community things to reach out and help. I was involved in going to an elementary school to do a read-aloud for the kids. But they had a field day and so instead we played kickball with them.
My host family is great, they have three kids and we all get along great. I feel right at home. The weather here the first few days looked exactly like Seattle, a little rainy and gray. It finally got nice and for the last week it's been 85 and humid, perfect baseball weather. The summer has only just begun and I'll keep you updated on how it goes.
Drew White, Camas High School
• Scored two second-half goals in Papermakers' 4-0 win over Southridge in the state semifinals.
• Scored a team-leading 28 goals and had 11 assists, which tied for the team lead with Parker Roland.
• White's favorite goal was scored in Camas' 3-0 state playoff win over Shorecrest. He stole the ball and scored the last of the goals in the match he and his teammates called their biggest win.
More about Drew
• Drew wears more than a dozen wrist bands on his left wrist, each a reminder of a person or event of significance in his life. Among them is a piece of string from a homeless man.
• Favorite music: "Oldies" Lynyrd Skynyrd, Aerosmith, Barenaked Ladies, music often played in the car on trips to soccer practices in Tacoma.
Next year and beyond
• White plans to play soccer for Washington. A defender for the Seattle Sounders FC Academy team, he hopes to someday play professional soccer.
"Soccer's different. You have to be running for 90 minutes, sweating and getting tackled and bleeding, and still keeping your head in the game. ... It takes so much more mental strength than you'd expect."
CHULA VISTA, Calif. - The journey begins Monday morning for 35 athletes as they begin selection camp for a spot on the 17-person roster for the 2011 USA Softball Women's National Team. The Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball will host the athletes at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., June 12-16. Kicking off Monday with position drills followed by exhibition games all week, the athletes will perform before the Women's National Team Selection Committee who will announce the 17-person roster on Friday, June 17 at 11 a.m. CST.
The 17 athletes selected to the USA Softball roster will compete in six different events in three countries. Fans in the United States will get four opportunities to see the team in action with three exhibition stops scheduled as well as the World Cup of Softball VI, July 21-25, in Oklahoma City. For ticket information on the World Cup as well as the tour stops in Plant City, Fla., Salem, Va., and Bowie, Md., go to www.usasoftball.com.
The 2011 Women's National Team will also participate in the Canadian Open Fast Pitch International Championship July 9-17 in Surrey B.C. Canada. This squad will later seek the program's eighth Pan American Championship title at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, Oct. 17-23.
New to the list of athletes who accepted an invitation is Lauren Gibson (Pasadena, Md./Tennessee).
Below are the final 35 athletes who will compete this week for a spot on the 2011 USA Softball Women's National Team:
Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif./California)
Kylee Lahners and Courtney Gano will be freshmen at UW in the fall of 2011 and signed NLIs earlier this year to play softball under head coach Heather Tarr. Both student-athletes just earned more honors at the end of their high school careers.
Lahners is a second baseman from Laguna Hills and a Team USA Junior National Team member. She was named to the All-Orange County first-teamfor the third consecutive season. Lahners batted .506 with three doubles, four triples and eight home runs. She drove in 17 runs and scored 31 runs. She had a .594 on-base percentage and a .938 slugging percentage.
Gano, from West Covina, Calif., played in the San Gabriel Valley Senior All-Star game. She was on the North team that defeated the South team, 21-8.
The game was played to honor the Wilson High School coach who died suddenly last summer. Bruyninckx's 3-year old grandson Brody Schatzman, accompanied by Bruyninckx's widow, Joyce, threw out the first pitch.
Gano was the designated hitter and led off with singles for the North. Two errors and a single gave the North a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Gano had three hits, including a triple and a home run, and scored four runs for the North.
"It's an honor to play here," Gano said. "I've been here every year to support my teammates and I'm just happy to play with the best in the area."
By Matt Massey
Special to The Seattle Times
For the Camas boys' soccer program, it's become a family tradition. It's almost a birthright to claim a state title nowadays.
Camas (20-1-0), once a downtrodden program, captured its third state title in the last six years. Since coach Roland Minder took over in 1995, the Papermakers have reached the state playoffs 13 years in a row.
"We have guys from 10 different clubs that we are tying in together, and they love playing for Camas," said Minder, whose team outscored opponents 80-8 this season and dominated state foes 12-1. "We have guys who play year-round. We have soccer families. We have good chemistry. They love each other and they play like brothers. They play for each other."
It was ninth-ranked Bainbridge's first title appearance in boys' soccer and its best finish in school history. The Spartans were 1-12 in 13 previous trips before this year's 3-1 playoff run.
"(Camas) was getting in, but we were getting just as many looks," said Bainbridge senior forward Alex Raquer, whose Spartans (17-4-1) outshot Camas 16-14. "It was nice to get here, but it would've been nice to get the big trophy. We were hoping to go home a winner.
Connor Winship's 21-yard scoring volley for Bainbridge in the 17th minute was waved off by the referee when teammate Sebastian Scales was called offsides.
Less than two minutes later, Beasley volleyed in a looping free kick from Chris Miller to give the Papermakers a 1-0 lead in the 19th minute. Beasley slid the shot just inside the left post after waiting for Miller's 30-yard free kick.
Beasley struck again in the 29th minute, converting a well-placed pass on the left wing from UW-bound Drew White. Beasley powered the shot into the upper middle portion of the net from close range.
Beasley nearly converted his third goal of title match in the 53rd minute when Spartan goalkeeper Nic Miller came out to challenge, leaving an open net. But Beasley fired at the left post and Bainbridge defender Joe McKenzie cleared the ball away at the left post.
Camas' Parker Roland hammered in a 22-yard blast from out top for a 3-0 lead in the 69th minute. That shot came after a Miller shot glanced off the Bainbridge keeper and ball bounced conveniently to Roland's feet.
"Years and years ago, we were kind of the doormat of southwest Washington in (boys) soccer," said Minder. "Everybody looked forward to playing us, because they knew it was going to be an easy win. When I took over, it was Camas-Washougal. "It took four years to turn that around, but we've got great synergy and we all also grew as a town."
White signed a National Letter of Intent on Feb. 2 to attend UW in the fall. He will join former Camas HS grads, Brent Richards and Quinton Beasley on the team.
Former Huskies Danielle Lawrie, Ashley Charters and Jenn Salling will begin play in the National Pro Fastpitch League on June 10. The 40-game season begins tomorrow as the Pride take on the Chicago Bandits at 4 p.m. PT. All 40 games for the Pride this season can be watched live on their website: http://www.usssapride.com/.
On June 11, fans can watch the Pride live on ESPN2 at Noon PT.
The Pride won the championship last year as Lawrie was a part of that team. Charters joins the team this season as does Salling who just wrapped up her outstanding career at UW and was the No. 3 pick in the NPF Draft this year.
With Arizona State winning the NCAA softball title this week, Pac-10 Conference teams have now
claimed 400 NCAA Championships, becoming the "rst conference in history to reach the milestone.
With nine team titles thus far in 2010-11, the Pac-10 has now led the nation in NCAA Championships in 45 of the last 51 years.
"The Pac-10 has been built around excellence and we are very proud of reaching this historic
milestone," Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott said. "This is the reason why we are looking forward
to the launch of the Pac-12 Network, so that fans across the country and around the world can
witness the amazing accomplishments of our student-athletes. The Conference of Champions
moniker is well deserved and well earned."
Arizona State entered the NCAA softball championships as the tournament's top seed for the first
time in school history after finishing Pac-10 play by winning 13 of their final 14 games, including a
12-game winning streak. It is the school's 23rd NCAA Championship and second softball title.
The ASU softball team joins USC's men's water polo, Stanford's men's gymnastics, California's
men's and women's swimming and diving, Oregon's women's indoor track, Stanford's women's water polo, UCLA's women's golf and USC's men's tennis as the nine Pac-10 teams to claim national championships this academic year.
The 400 Pac-10 championships consist of 271 men's titles and 129 women's championships and
all 10 Pac-10 institutions have won multiple national championships.
It is almost ftting that the Pac-10 has reached the milestone with a softball title this year since
2010-11 marks the 25th anniversary of women's sports in the Pac-10 and softball is the Conference's most successful women's sport. The Pac-10 now has 23 titles in softball, 19 in women's tennis and 14 in women's golf.
The moniker Conference of Champions has been earned by the number of titles, but also the depth
of success. Pac-10 teams have won championships in 26 of the 37 Division 1 sports the NCAA
sponsors and has reached double digit titles in 16 of those sports.
The Conference will have a chance to add more titles this year as it will have teams competing in
three additional championships this Spring - men's and women's track and feld and baseball.
In the final tuneup before the 2011 Women's World Cup in Germany, former UW stars, Hope Solo (Team USA) and Veronica Perez (Mexico) battled against each other. Solo earned the shutout as Team USA scored in stoppage time to defeat Mexico.
Read the complete release here: http://www.ussoccer.com/News/Womens-National-Team/2011/06/Cheney-Strike-in-Stoppage-Time-Lifts-US-Women.aspx.
The Women's World Cup is June 26-July 17. Find all of the schedules for all of the groups here: http://www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/index.html.
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