Sports

Oak Harbor athletes honored

A season’s worth of hard work recently paid off for nine Oak Harbor athletes who received WesCo North all-league honors.

Of those awarded, eight were either individually or part of a group that was named to the first team.

Boys basketball

Wildcat senior Jeremy Brown was named to the WesCo North all-league first-team for the first time in his four-year career.

Brown, who was a second team member as a junior, averaged 19.1 points per game in 2004. His scoring average was good enough to give him the second overall highest average for the entire Western Conference. Only Snohomish star forward, Jon Brockman (22.4) averaged more.

“He opened up a lot of things for us offensively,” head coach Bryan Schulle said.

Brown has had interest from local junior colleges and Schulle feels with that experience there is no end to where he could go.

“He’s got potential to play at a very high level of college ball, whether that’s D-2 or possibly D-1.”

Junior Marc Ferguson, the only full-time varsity player returning to next year’s squad, was listed as an honorable mention to the all-league team. Ferguson, who earned a reputation as one of the highest leapers in the league, was second in scoring for the Cats at 13.7 points per game.

“Marc gave us a really nice effort this year,” Schulle said. “With his athleticisim teams had to respect that. He just goes and goes and goes.”

Girls basketball

Even though the lady Wildcats came up short of making the state playoffs for a third consecutive year, that didn’t allow for 6-foot-3 junior Heidi McNeill to go unnoticed. The University of Washington bound McNeill averaged 17.7 points and 10 rebounds per game on her way to her third straight first-team WesCo North selection. She was recently honored by the Seattle Post Intellengcer as one of the top ten regional all-stars.

“You can kind of get an idea of how important she is to us by how teams shape their defense around us to stop her,” head coach Brett McLeod said.

Despite Oak Harbor making its third straight trip to the district tournament, no other Wildcats were named to the all-league team.

Boys swimming

What was a record year for the Oak Harbor boys swim team deservedly resulted in several league honors.

Senior Kyle Ciminski was named to the first-team in the 100-meter breaststroke after claiming the district title and taking fourth at the state meet with a new school record of 58.99.

“Kyle was one of our hardest workers both in practice and in meets,” head coach Neil Romney said. “His excellent attitude and racing success set a stellar example for his teammates and inspired them to believe that they could achieve beyond what they might have believed.”

Senior Jason Hunter was named first-team member for the 200 individual medley where he took first at districts and 14th at the state meet.

“He developed his racing skills so that he went into most races with the attitude he could win it and he usually did...,” Romney said.

The 400-meter relay team of Ciminski, Hunter, Josh Luttrell and Brian Hall became the first Oak Harbor relay team ever to capture a league crown and the only to be named first-team all-league. The group took eighth at state, while setting a new school record of 3:21.42.

“As a group they went to state and improved on the school record and district championship performance, dropping another second—quite a feat considering that three of the four had shaved and tapered for districts,” Romney said.

Wrestling

To earn all-league honors in wrestling it’s required you win your weight class at the league meet.

Junior Chris Wichers (140) and senior Ryan Lange (189) both accomplished that feat.

At the district tournament Wichers placed second overall after hurting his leg in his championship bout. Despite the injury, he recovered in time for his first ever state meet, where he took seventh overall.

After a strong season, Lange came up short of finishing in the top four of the district meet putting an end to his state hopes.

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