District’s high school seniors reflect on their lost spring sports season — and what lies ahead

All of us have been impacted in different ways by the COVID-19 outbreak and related cancellations of special events and milestones — including high school sports. Among those feeling the pain are senior athletes who were preparing to compete for the last time in their respective spring sports at Edmonds-Woodway, Lynnwood, Meadowdale and Mountlake Terrace high schools.

We reached out to athletes at all four high schools for their thoughts. Here’s a summary of the replies we received:

Nicholas Sibiryakov

Nicholas Sibiryakov, E-W track (pole vaulter)

— All-Wesco League First Team (2019), All-Wesco League Second Team (2018)

“I think it’s super unfortunate that our sports season was cancelled as it would have been our victory lap and every senior athlete was ready to leave it all out on the track, field, or court,” Sibiryakov said. “Personally, I was really close to breaking the school record in the pole vault and I was ready to use this last season as my opportunity to leave my name up on the athletic wall at Edmonds-Woodway.

“However, I believe that health and safety is ultimately more important than athletics when it comes down to the fact that we are currently living through a pandemic,” he added.

Sibiryakov said he will miss “the feeling of competing with all of my teammates and coaches around encouraging each other to do our best. I will also miss the exhilarating nerves that ran through my body before competing and the joy that followed after a successful meet,” he added.

“I’ve talked to other teammates and they’re pretty bummed out as well, but we all agree that this is the right decision considering everything that is happening. The conversations put the focus on what lies ahead rather than thinking about everything that we will be missing in this lost season.” 

Sibiryakov will be attending Bowdoin College in the fall, where he will compete in track and field.

Leo Ventura-Amador, Lynnwood boys soccer

— All-Wesco League Honorable Mention (2019)

Leo Ventura-Amador

Ventura-Amador admitted he was “very upset” when he heard the news about the season being canceled. “It was very hard on us because most of us had been practicing almost every day from our freshman year too, then just for it to all go to waste,” he said.

If health rules allow it, Ventura-Amador expressed hope that the team captains of various high schools could organize some games during summer. “I and my whole team would especially want to play against Mountlake Terrace since that is a game we were all looking forward to,” he said. 

After high school, Ventura-Amador plans to attend college and play soccer — possibly at Edmonds, Everett or Bellevue College.

Miguel Ahumada, Lynnwood boys soccer

— All-Wesco League Honorable Mention (2019)

The thing that I miss the most about the season cancellation is going and playing with the team and getting to know the new players and being able to teach the new freshmen who joined,” Ahumada said.

Especially disappointing was the fact the team had 12 seniors “and we all played varsity since our freshman and sophomore year,” he added.

After high school, Ahumada plans to attend UW Bothell and may play club soccer again — but that is up in the air depending on the COVID-19 outbreak.

Olivia Dimmock, Meadowdale softball

— All-Wesco League First Team (2019), two-time All-Wesco League Second Team (2017 & 2018)

Olivia Dimmock

 “I know everyone was looking forward to this season,” Dimmock said. “Many of the spring sports teams at Meadowdale were in a great position to do really well this year.”

Dimmock said that while she and her senior teammates are grateful for the time they had playing together during the past three years, they are sad about the sudden end to the year. “We were all so excited to give everything we had this season and take it as far as we could,” she said.

Dimmock will be attending San Diego State University this fall, majoring in nursing. “I will not be playing softball in college, even though I will always have a love for the game,” she said.

Mason Vaughn, Meadowdale baseball

— All-Wesco League First Team (2019), All-Wesco League Honorable Mention (2018)

Mason Vaughn

“It is a really hard pill to swallow,” Vaughn said, especially since Meadowdale was an early favorite to win the WIAA 3A state baseball championship. “So knowing that I won’t be able to compete with these amazing players around me really sucks. I’m also gonna miss just hanging out with them everyday cause those are some of my best friends,” he added.

Vaughn said that among his teammates, “the feeling all around is the same in the sense of what a missed opportunity this season was. We all know what this team was capable of.” 

As for his plans beyond high school, Vaughn — a three-sport athlete — said he would “love to play college football, but I still need to decide where I am going to end up.” 

Kelci Studioso, Meadowdale softball

— All-Wesco League First Team (2019), All-Wesco League Honorable Mention (2018)

Kelci Studioso hits a sacrifice RBI
Kelci Studioso

Studioso noted that many of the seniors on the Mavs softball team have played together since Little League. “We never thought that our last time playing together would’ve been at that last practice we had before the cancellation of school,” she said.

“What I miss most about the season is seeing all of my teammates everyday and creating better bonds with everybody on and off the field,” she said. “Our team is a very close knit group of girls and that made the season a lot of fun and something to look forward to everyday.”

Studioso said she is “not 100% sure” where she will be going to college, but is leaning toward attending Diablo Valley College, to play softball and study dental hygiene.

Cutter Buchea, Meadowdale baseball

— All-Wesco League Second Team (2019)

Cutter Buchea

“Devastated.” That’s how Buchea described the feelings of his teammates about the sudden end to the spring sports season. “We didn’t even get to play one game this season, put on our uniforms one last time, or take a team photo.”

“Everyone’s been working really hard…and now it’s just gone,” Buchea said. “We have a ton of seniors on the team, and we all feel cheated out of our last season together.” Many of the team members have been playing baseball together since kindergarten, he added. “I’m going to miss joking around in the dugout, bus rides and team dinners the most.”

Buchea has signed to play baseball at WSU, and will leave for Pullman in August to start training. He plans to study either construction management or business. 

Kate Houghton, Meadowdale softball

— All-Wesco League First Team (2019)

Kate Houghton

While she is disappointed by not being able to compete in the postseason, Houghton said it is important that that her Meadowdale teammates “are there for each other since we are all in this together. We have been talking about what we can do together once it is safe to do so to have some fun.”

Houghton has signed with Central Connecticut State University to play softball.

Jenna Maxfield; Mountlake Terrace softball

— two-time All-Wesco League First Team (2018 & 2019), All-Wesco League Honorable Mention (2017)

Jenna Maxfield

“I’m still very broken about it and hope that the seniors in other spring sports are doing all right too,” said Maxfield, adding she is “trying to talk to my teammates often to make sure they know they’re not alone in this time and we all have each other’s backs.” She gave a shoutout to her “amazing” teammates, noting that on her recent 18th birthday, “they all surprised me and drove to my house in their cars, honking down my street and singing happy birthday. I cried very hard, but it made me so happy to see them all again,” she said.

Maxfield has signed with Western Washington University to play softball, and she plans to major in manufacturing supply chain management.

Jamie Bingaman, MTHS softball 

— All-Wesco League First Team (2019), All-Wesco League Second Team (2018), All-Wesco League Honorable Mention (2017)

Jamie Bingaman

While Bingaman was also disappointed, she said she understands the reasoning behind the decision to cancel spring competitions. “Our sport has forced us to be capable of handling all kinds of adversity, including what happened to our season,” she said. “If this is what we have to do in order to keep people safe, then we have no choice.”

As for her post-high school plans, she will be attending — and playing softball at — California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks.

Dylan Breuer, MTHS track (200 meters, 400 meters)

— two-time All-Wesco League Second Team (2019)

Dylan Breurer, left.

Breuer said he was glad to be a three-sport athlete, so he could participate in two other sports at Terrace this year. “However, track and field is my favorite out of the three so it was a hard hit for me,” he added.

“I mostly miss my teammates,” he said. “They are a large part of my life and a large part of the experiences I had as an athlete.”

Breuer will be going to basic training for the U.S. Army Reserves, then will be attending a college near where his unit is stationed in Idaho. “Since I will be starting college in the spring semester I have extra time to decide where to go,” he said, adding he is considering Whitworth University, University of Idaho, and Washington State University. He plans to continue track competition in college.

— Reporting and file photos by Doug Petrowski, Jonah Wallace and Scott Williams

 

 

 

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