Top athletes honored

Oak Harbor High School seniors Jenny White and Blake Ward were forever etched into the Wildcat athletic history on Friday morning, both receiving the athlete of the year awards for 2004.

“I was surprised,” White said of the honor. “Our whole girls class is basically athletic, so I figured it would be a tough award to get.”

White was a three-sport participant almost her entire high school career, only taking one track season off her junior year. She lettered four years in soccer, three in basketball and three in track and field.

Although she had an abundance of great athletic memories at OHHS, her senior soccer season stuck out to her the most.

“The biggest moment was beating Snohomish in soccer three times in a row and on the road,” she said. “They hadn’t been beat on their field in 13 years.”

White, who was named a first-team all-league forward, also set the assist record in her senior season with 13 and helped the Wildcats advance to the quarter finals of the class 4A state tournament.

“Jenny’s speed, assists and shots on goal were all a crucial part of our team’s success this year,” head coach Gretchen Hanson said. “She was selfless on the field and determined when playing.”

White also excelled on the hardwood, where she started as a guard for the past two years and was a major contributor to the school’s first ever state appearances in girls basketball during 2002 and 2003.

Her quickness on the court allowed White to be the team-leader among steals every year she played, including a three steal per game average in 2004.

“She could run so fast and she played great defense,” head coach Brett McLeod said. “We’re really going to miss that energy she brings to the court.”

After taking a year off from track, White came back her senior season to have one of the best OHHS seasons ever for a female sprinter. She made the district meet in the 100 meters, 200 and she was an integral part of the short relay teams. If it were any other year, her third place finishes in the 100 and 200 would have advanced her to the state meet, but the Northwest District was only allotted two spaces this season.

With high school coming to an end, White plans to attend college and pursue a career in dental hygiene.

“I’ve gotten scholarships for basketball, but I decided to stop playing and become a dental hygienist,” she said.

With a number of talented male athletes in the senior class, Ward was equally surprised when his name was announced by athletic director Jeff Stone on Friday.

“I wasn’t expecting it,” he said.

Ward led the Oak Harbor football team this season as a WesCo North first team all-league fullback and middle linebacker. He set the school record for touchdowns in a season (23) and points scored in a season (200), while helping the Wildcats advance to their second straight state tournament.

“That Ballard game was tough,” Ward said of the 21-10 first-round state loss. “We came in there kind of hot-headed in the beginning and they were ready and things just kind of went downhill from there.”

Not only was Ward an unstoppable force on offense, but he was among leaders in tackles on defense and handled the punting and kicking duties the entire season.

“It was fun to have a chance to coach him,” head coach and father, Dave Ward said. “He was a positive influence and a great leader and it really made things easy for me.”

For his outstanding season, Ward was invited to the East-West all-state football game at 1 p.m., Saturday, June 26 at Everett Memorial Stadium.

Ward also excelled in wrestling where he lettered for a third straight year, winning 23 of his 32 matches at 215 pounds. He just missed earning an automatic berth to state, finishing fifth at districts, while earning a spot as an alternate.

For the first time since his freshman year Ward decided to give a third sport a shot, trying out for soccer in the spring.

“I played my freshman year, but stopped sophomore and junior,” Ward said. “I just felt like playing again.”

After a two-year break, it didn’t take long for Ward to get back in the swing of things.

He won the team most inspirational award, while receiving league honors at forward and honorable mention as a goalie.

Of all the time spent playing sports at OHHS, the thing Ward will most remember is the comradery developed on the gridiron.

“Playing football with all the same people for the last four years has been a great experience,” he said. “I’ve gotten to know everyone really well, it makes it hard to split off from them.”

Ward will walk on the Central Washington University football team in the fall, where he plans on red-shirting his freshman year. He will join former teammate Grant Bull, the 2003 OHHS athlete of the year, as a member of the NCAA Division II Wildcats.

Oak Harbor H.S. Hall of Fame

2004—Blake Ward, Jenny White

2003—Grant Bull, Missy McIntyre

2002—Jon Garcia and Brent Thompson, Valerie Hartman

2001—Brian Lang, Molly Bull

2000—Garrett Stone, Sheena Darling

1999—Jason Williams, Lindsay Bull

1998—Brannon Stone, Rachel Davis

1997—James Taylor, Chelise Baysa

1996—Shamonta Dean, Becki Matzen

1995—Levar McClary, Debra Vaughn and Gretchen Talmadge

1994—Maurice Perigo, Cheryl Scholten

1993—Charly Shannon, Natalie Turner

1992—Trig Johnson, Mandy Armstrong

1991—John Henton, Kristin Adams

1990—Pat Herms, Angie Deden

1989—Cory Hartman, Tricia Lake

1988—Marc Gallaway, Carrie Gunderman

1987—Jim West, Lisa Huff

1986—Jimmy Miller, Paula Doane and Val Stocker

1985—Jimmy Miller and Mark Peck, Linda Johnson

1984—Dave Fakkema, Linda Johnson

1983—Chris Isaacson and Lee Sherman, Sandy Lafond

1982—Chris Isaacson and Sandy Lafond

1981—Dave Tipton, Emily Mamales

1980—Larry Vance, Eve Hardin

1979—Bruce Bull, Kim Smith

1978—Ron Durrant, Linda Lampers

1977—Ron Durant, Linda Lampers

1976—John Randall, Vicki Henley

1975—Ron Bull, Cheryl Johnson

1974—Dave Barrett, Theresa Malphrus and Eve Patterson

1973—Mark Melton, Bette Roberts

1972—Randy Allen, Anita Linn

1971—Ken Hamernik

1970—Gary Berner

1969—John Brady

1968—Mike Waller

1967—Jeff Short and Keith Hoffman

1966—Ken Lee

1965—Bruce Biddle

1964—Jim Cope

1963—Jim Cope

1962—Ole Carlson and Jim Kirk

1961—Ray Johnson

1960—Bob Bell and John Summerfield

1959—Jerry Storrey

1958—John Zeilstra

1957—Orson Christiansen

1956—Bill Campbell

1955—Ken Lang

1954—Ken Lang

1953—Pat McGreevy

1952—Joe Hallberg

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