Monday, June 12, 2017
SUNNYSIDE The second of two high schools in Sunnyside — Sunnyside Christian High School — had a successful athletic year with a boys 1B basketball state championship and state appearance by each of its other programs.
There were a total of five state trophies added to the Knights’ trophy case during the 2016-17 academic year, including the football team’s first-ever contribution.
The football team surpassed any number of expectations, including those of the players and coaches, with a third-place finish.
“This is the best season ever — coming in, we didn’t think we would do this,” senior Adrian Heffron said following the game that ended the season in the state semifinal.
Coach Jeremy Thomas also indicated his team and coaching staff kept moving forward, surprising themselves after each win.
“We’ve never been here before and it was incredible,” he said after the 40-42 loss to Odessa-Harrington that garnered the Knights a state trophy.
The team ended its season 13-1.
The school’s other fall team is the volleyball squad, which was fifth at the state championships, leading the Washigton State Volleyball Coaches Association to select Kristen Broersma and Aydan Harrington to play among those on the 1B All-state Volleyball team.
Fall transitioned into winter and many of the same faces from the previous season were on the hardwood, giving their best for the school’s basketball programs.
The boys reached the pinnacle of their high school athletic careers, earning the state title, and the girls earned another fifth-place at the state tournament.
“That was awesome,” senior Justin Faber said after winning the title game. “I can remember when I was little coming to these games. (The title) is a dream come true.”
The title is the ninth in Knights history.
Luke Wagenaar and Cade Bosma were recognized by the Associated Press. Wagenaar was voted to the all-state basketball team and Bosma received honorable mention.
The girls lost their final game of the season to defending state champion Colton, but were proud to add to the trophy case.
“We’ve had a phenomenal year,” coach Al Smeenk said.
During the season, Broersma was recognized as Athlete of the Week by the Washington Interscholastic Athletic Association. She was selected by the Washington State Girls Basketball Association as one of a handful of girls to play on the all-state team. The Associated Press also voted her for its all-state team, while teammate Sailor Liefke received honorable mention.
The athletes had to switch specialties again for spring.
The boys and girls took to the baseball and softball diamonds, while a few other boys took to the links.
The baseball team and one of the golfers all made state appearances, but did not bring home a trophy.
The baseball team did claim the district championship, winning the title game against Riverside Christian, 3-1. The team lost in the first round of the state tournament.
Johnny Heffron was the lone golfer to qualify for the state tournament. Carding 99 on the first day of action, he was unable to advance.
The softball team later that same week competed in its state tournament, losing the first game to Quilcene (one of the same schools to dent their state volleyball record). They battled back to claim fourth place in a 3-9 loss to Colton on the final day of action.