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FOLLOWUP: Seeking solutions to school-sports transportation trouble

West Seattle High School‘s athletic director says their Friday night football game vs. Cleveland HS at Southeast Athletic Complex might have to be canceled because of the ongoing transportation problem with away games.

That’s what AD Trevor Leopold told the 20+ people at last night’s community meeting called to strategize how to get Seattle Public Schools to address the ongoing problem, which is affecting other schools too.

Patrick Sand covered the meeting for WSB: Read More

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HAPPENING NOW: Orca Half runners headed for Lincoln Park


10 AM: The first-ever Orca Half (as in half-marathon) is happening right now, as the kickoff to today’s Seattle Summer Parkways “car-free” event on Alki. More than 400 runners are headed outbound to Lincoln Park and back to Don Armeni Boat Ramp, where they started in two groups shortly after 9:30.


This means the road changes are on, too. Our photo is from Harbor Avenue at the bottom of the California Way hill, by Seacrest – if you are westbound on Harbor, you will be diverted uphill, because that’s where the water-side biking/running/walking-only lane begins. And once you get to 56th/Alki, the entire road is off-limits to cars (etc.) until 63rd. We’ll have as-it-happens coverage from Alki once everything gets going there around 11 am.

ADDED 10:37 AM: At least one runner had a mini-cheering section:


These are the finishers’ medals, waiting back at the start/finish line:


You’ll also see The Whale Trail – beneficiary of the run – there, with Mike the inflatable orca (who was still getting deployed when we left).

High-school football: Chief Sealth shut out by Garfield

(WSB photos. Above, Sealth sophomore running back Donnie McMillan)

Tough night for Chief Sealth International High School last night in their second home game of the year at Southwest Athletic Complex. Garfield HS went home with a big win, 65-0. The night opened with high hopes for the home team, as the Sealth cheerleaders welcomed the players onto the field:


Garfield started piling up the points relatively quickly, ending the first quarter with a 21-0 lead. Despite what was happening on the field, the two schools had an exuberant collaboration at halftime, with their bands joining in the stands to perform together:


Another moment of shared appreciation happened before the game, when Sealth announcer Eddie Snead spoke warmly of Garfield, saying GHS had given him his first fulltime teaching job and CSIHS – where he teaches history – would surely be his last. As for football, Chief Sealth plays at home (SWAC) again next Friday night, 7 pm, vs. Ballard.

P.S. We covered Garfield’s pregame protest separately, here.

High-school football: Third win for West Seattle High School

West Seattle High School is 3-1 on the season after a Friday night victory against Ballard High School. Final score at Memorial Stadium downtown was WSHS 36, Ballard 20. The Wildcats are on the road again next Friday night (September 30th), playing Cleveland at Southeast Athletic Complex at 5 pm.

High-school football: Garfield protests again at SWAC, to ‘work toward a better future together’

7:27 PM: For the second consecutive Friday night, Garfield High School is the visiting opponent at Southwest Athletic Complex in West Seattle. And again before the game, its team and cheerleaders (in foreground of second photo below) knelt during the pre-game anthem:


No players from this week’s home team, Chief Sealth International High School, players joined in tonight (last week, seven West Seattle HS players did), though one person on the sidelines with them knelt:


Garfield’s team issued a statement this week to clarify the intent of its protest, which the team says it will continue at each game this season. We obtained the statement through GHS:

Recently Garfield High School’s football team took a knee at an evening game. In an effort to clarify their position and better articulate the thought behind it, Garfield’s Football Team held an inclusive meeting … to put the team’s position into writing.

Garfield Football Team – We have increasingly heavy hearts over various issues that have been escalating in the media.

Many of us have been touched in some way in our own personal lives by racism, segregation and bias.

Through a series of open, honest and supportive conversations we have reached a team consensus and understanding.

We have unanimously decided to take a position as a team and work towards a better future together. We are going to demonstrate this decision through taking a knee at our games.

We are asking for the community and our leaders to step forward to meet with us and engage in honest dialogue. It is our hope that out of these potentially uncomfortable conversations positive, impactful change will be created.

At this time, the Garfield High School Football Team is especially concerned with the following:

1. Equality for all regardless of race, gender, class, social standing and/or sexual orientation – both in and out of the classroom as well as the community.

2. Increase of unity within the community. Changing the way the media portrays crime. White people are typically given justification while other minorities are seen as thugs, etc.

3. Academic equality for students. Certain schools offer programs/tracks that are not available at all schools or to all students within that school. Better opportunities for students who don’t have parental or financial support is needed. For example, not everyone can afford Advanced Placement (AP) testing fees and those who are unable to pay those fees, are often not encouraged to enroll into those programs. Additionally, the academic investment doesn’t always stay within the community.

4. Lack of adequate training for teachers to interact effectively with all students. Example, “Why is my passion mistaken for aggression?” “Why when I get an A on a test, does the teacher tell me, ‘Wow, I didn’t know you could pull that off.’”

5. Segregation through classism.

6. Getting others to see that institutional racism does exist in our community, city, state, etc.

In an effort to find solutions and create impactful change, Garfield Football is stepping forward as leaders within the Garfield Community and Seattle. As a first step towards finding solutions, Garfield Football will be pursuing the following:

1. Meetings with the local police leaders to share personal experiences and hear from officers and leaders on what their experience is and what changes we might be able to work together on.

2. Meetings with students in classes where diversity is lacking. Speaking at assemblies and with local youth groups and/or programs.

3. Meetings with school staff to include teachers and administration. Embarking on open dialogue about what triggers the negative experiences and interactions.

Garfield Football has set a course of action and we will see it through. Together United and Garfield Strong. Our Garfield Football mandate is TOP. Totally Optimizing Potential and we will demonstrate TOP both on the field and off.


The game is under way now at SWAC and we will report on it separately after it’s over.

SATURDAY: K-8 students invited to Chief Sealth Mini Cheer Camp

(Chief Sealth cheerleaders @ SWAC on September 2nd)

Students in kindergarten through 8th grade are invited to spend this Saturday (September 24th) at Chief Sealth International High School Cheer Camp, 11 am-3 pm:

You will learn a dance, basic arm motions, some Chief Sealth cheers, team bonding games, jumps, and stunts. You will have the opportunity to perform your dance with the Chief Sealth Cheerleaders during their home game (Sealth vs. Ballard) halftime show on September 30th at the SWAC. Come join us for the fun! …

The cost of the camp is $40 cash or check payable to “Chief Sealth Cheerleading” – it includes admission to the (Sept. 30) game and a T-shirt to wear for your performance!

Registration is due tomorrow (Friday) – you can e-mail Sealth cheer coach Tahreana Turner for a registration form – – then on Saturday, the cheerleaders will meet campers at the gym door (2600 SW Thistle)!

Transportation consternation: West Seattle HS Booster Club says athletes now forced to miss too many classes

Even if you don’t have kids in Seattle Public Schools, you probably know that many schedules changed this year. West Seattle High School now starts about an hour later than it used to, and the WS Booster Club says the resulting district transportation plan “is unacceptable” – forcing students to leave class too early on “away” game days, so they’re marshaling support to go to the School Board. Here’s their message for you:

Dear Seattle Public School Families and Community:

We want to invite you to a very important meeting on Monday, September 26th, 7 pm, in the West Seattle High School library. We will be discussing the transportation issues affecting our students.

Our high school student athletes currently have to leave school at 1 pm for away events because of the Seattle School Districts transportation plan. This means they have to be dismissed at 12:45 pm, missing all of 5th and 6th periods, lunch, and part of 4th period as well. This is unacceptable and we need to do something about this.

The West Seattle Booster Club invites you to join us in taking our concerns to the Seattle School Board. We are inviting families, staff, PTSA, Booster Clubs, and community members from all of the Seattle High Schools to join our efforts.

On Monday, September 26th, we will learn more about these issues, discuss our plans moving forward, and coordinate our actions for the School Board meeting we will attend as a group. Please join us. The more voices they hear, the better the impact.

Thank you for your support!

~ West Seattle Booster Club

WSHS is at 3000 California SW.

Fun(draiser) results: Chuck Diesel Invitational raises $34,000 for First Tee

A big day of golfing a few weeks ago resulted in big help for the regional nonprofit The First Tee of Greater Seattle, which shared the photo and report:

Two West Seattleites, Charlie Anderson and Stuart Martin, and their planning committee, raised more than $34,000 for The First Tee of Greater Seattle at the Chuck Diesel Invitational at West Seattle Golf Course on August 28. There were about 112 players who donated funds through player fees, sponsorship, a silent auction, and other fun ways.

The First Tee of Greater Seattle is a nonprofit that serves youth ages 5-18, by teaching them life skills and healthy habits through the game of golf. The First Tee of Greater Seattle serves more then 1,700 youth at 6 different courses and 85,000 youth in 185 schools in King County.

Interested in an invitation for the 2017 tournament? You can sign up here.

RSVP ASAP: Free self-defense class for local runners

After the recent attack on a woman running in our area, West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor) decided to organize a free self-defense class. In case you haven’t already seen it in our calendar, here’s the announcement of the class at 7 pm Wednesday, October 12th:

West Seattle Runner and P3Running are hosting a self defense class for runners. We are pleased to announce that Seattle Integrated Martial Arts (SIMA) will be presenting the class. It will last approximately 1-1.5 hours. … Our hope is that this workshop will help you feel empowered and safe while out doing what you love. Additionally, we hope to create a network of runners that night who will connect to run together during the dark hours. Please invite friends who will benefit, and have everyone RSVP. Either RSVP on the Facebook event page OR email

West Seattle Runner is at 2743 California SW.

3 more home games until West Seattle-residing Sounders FC veteran Zach Scott retires

(WSB photo: Zach Scott signing autographs at 2011 Lafayette Elementary playground celebration)

After the Seattle Sounders FC‘s 1-0 win over Vancouver at CenturyLink Field today, fans have three more regular-season chances to cheer for the West Seattle-residing player who has announced this is his last season. 36-year-old Zach Scott plans to retire after what the team describes as “a distinguished 15-year professional career in Seattle at the USL and MLS levels, making 347 all-time appearances in a Sounders uniform, including the last eight seasons in MLS.” Scott “won seven trophies throughout his time in Seattle, including two USL league titles, four Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups and the 2014 Supporters’ Shield.” In addition, the club notes that Scott “is one of three remaining original players from Sounders FC’s expansion season in 2009, and he ranks fifth in club history with 116 career regular-season appearances, starting 91.”

Scott grew up in Hawai’i and lives in West Seattle with his wife Alana and their three children. When not on the field, he’s given a lot of his time to community involvement – some of which is chronicled in WSB coverage archives, like his visits to the West Seattle Cup community soccer event in June 2014:

(June 2014 photo contributed by Steph – that’s her son Zach Arthur with Zach Scott at the West Seattle Cup)

The Sounders announcement of Scott’s upcoming retirement quotes him as saying, “The time has come for me to turn the page on my soccer career and start a new chapter of my life. When I signed with the USL Sounders in 2002, I never imagined that I would have a professional career that lasted 15 years, and it’s been a rare blessing to have played in the same city the entire time. That said, I have much more to offer in this life and I couldn’t be more excited to see what’s next. … It’s unlike me to draw individual attention to myself, and my focus for the rest of the season remains on helping my teammates and this club get to the playoffs. However, my family and I owe so much to the overall Seattle community and the organization, so we wanted to share these final weeks with everyone. I wouldn’t have wanted my career to go any other way and I couldn’t have picked a better place for us to put down roots as a family.”

(Sounders file photo of Zach Scott, by Corky Trewin, used with permission)

The Sounders’ schedule for the rest of the season is here; the three home games are two Wednesdays (7:30 pm), September 28th vs. Chicago and October 12th vs. Houston, and one Sunday (1 pm), October 23rd vs. Salt Lake.

High-school football: West Seattle’s first loss

(WSB photos. Above, West Seattle’s #8 Rico Saeturn and #18 Gabe Gagnon)

The Friday night lights shone a little brighter at Southwest Athletic Complex this time around – besides a media swarm for the anthem protest, the game had been voted KING5’s Big Game of the Week – but West Seattle High School would have preferred a different outcome: The Wildcats were defeated for the first time this year, as the visiting Garfield Bulldogs went home with a 52-9 win.


Nate Pryor scored West Seattle’s only touchdown, on a pass from Gabe Gagnon, with a little over three minutes left in the first half. With it, the Wildcats went into halftime behind 24-9, and didn’t score in the second half.


As the crowd departed post-game, rain started to fall. Next Friday at 7:45, West Seattle, now 2-1, is at Memorial Stadium downtown, against Ballard.

High-school football: Seattle Lutheran’s first home game

Neah Bay visited Seattle Lutheran tonight at West Seattle Stadium, the Saints’ first home game of the season. Neah Bay headed back north with the win, 70-32, and that has the Saints at 0-2. Next week SeaLu heads to Clallam Bay for a 6 pm game on Friday, September 23rd.

High-school football: Overtime heartbreaker for Chief Sealth

In high-school football tonight: Chief Sealth International High School was on the road at Sammamish. As tweeted via @sealthathletics, the Seahawks led much of the way, ahead 20-14 at halftime. Regulation ended with the score tied at 34, but Sammamish managed to get the win in overtime, 40-34. Next Friday night at 7, Sealth – now 0-3 – is back home at Southwest Athletic Complex (2801 SW Thistle), facing Garfield (which beat WSHS there tonight, 52-9, story/photos to come).

High-school football: Garfield team, some West Seattle players protest during anthem before game @ SWAC


As mentioned in our daily event preview, Garfield High School football players told the South Seattle Emerald that they planned to kneel during the national anthem before tonight’s game with West Seattle High School, to protest racial oppression. The anthem has just been sung (by WSHS’s Kelsey Lenzie) here at Southwest Athletic Complex, and not only did Garfield’s players kneel, as shown in the top photo, so did several WSHS players, while the Garfield cheer squad sat (photo below).


The game is now underway and we will report on it separately later.

ADDED: Garfield coaches, from our photographer on the field.


Nelson Cruz hits home run in West Seattle launch of Boomstick23 Foundation, with gift for Chief Sealth IHS


One night after hitting a home run to help his team win its eighth straight, Mariners star Nelson Cruz was in West Seattle last night, going to bat for local students. An all-star list of attendees helped celebrate the launch of his Boomstick23 Foundation at The Sanctuary at Admiral. A big reason to launch it here – Cruz’s foundation is supporting Chief Sealth International High School, whose principal Aida Fraser-Hammer and athletic director Ernest Policarpio were at the launch.


Fraser-Hammer accepted a check for $10,000 last night and “a promise to provide us with gear for our baseball team,” as she wrote in a message to the CSIHS community this morning, explaining:

… It has long been Nelson’s dream to start a foundation to support education. Both his parents were teachers and he often speaks of their strong commitment to education and to ensuring that all students graduate from high school. Nelson has always wanted to take up the charge to support education as a way to honor his parents and to give back to the community. In looking for a school to partner with, Nelson visited our school in the spring, where he met some of our students and learned a lot about our strengths and challenges. …

Others from the Mariners organization and extended family were there – including Edgar Martinez!


The event at The Sanctuary also included a silent auction – with memorabilia like this:


Donors/supporters on hand included Kirk Keppler from Wyatt’s Jewelers (WSB sponsor) in Westwood Village, showing the diamond “Boomstick” his business contributed:


Others in attendance included King County Executive Dow Constantine and family:


Mayor Ed Murray stopped by too. This isn’t the first philanthropic venture for Nelson Cruz – he is also involved with the community in his Dominican Republic hometown, Las Matas de Santa Cruz. Meantime, he and the M’s go for their ninth consecutive win tonight at Safeco Field, 7:10 pm vs. the Astros.

CONGRATULATIONS! Hole-in-one for West Seattle High School’s Berit Syltebo

The photo and report are from West Seattle High School athletic director Trevor Leopold:

Congratulations to West Seattle High School golfer Berit Syltebo, who shot a Hole-in-One yesterday at the Jefferson Golf Course. It was the 102-yard par 3, 6th hole.

She did it during the Wildcats’ Tuesday match against Garfield. The golfers play against Roosevelt at West Seattle Golf Course tomorrow (3:30 pm).

COUNTDOWN: Orca Half, less than two weeks away

The first-ever Orca Half (Marathon) on Alki is now less than two weeks away – one of three big events on Sunday, September 25th, along with Seattle Summer Parkways (the latest incarnation of “car-free day”) and the Disaster Relief Cargo Bike Trials. Orca Half organizers tell us that they DO have some spots open for the run, so you can register now if you haven’t already (even though some parts of their website might say it’s sold out). West Seattle-headquartered The Whale Trail is the beneficiary (as previously announced here). Go here to find out more about signing up.

High-school football: Another West Seattle HS win

West Seattle High School is 2-0 after a big win last night at Southwest Athletic Complex.

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)

The Wildcats’ first home game of the season ended with a 43-7 victory over Ingraham. The scoring was spread around: #84 Colin Roman (below, celebrating with #85 Andrew Burggraff) got the first touchdown with 8:17 to go in the first quarter.


Five minutes later, Ingraham tied the game at 7-7 … Read More

High-school football: Chief Sealth @ Nathan Hale

The first road game for Chief Sealth International High School ended with the Seahawks’ second consecutive loss – final score Nathan Hale 48, Sealth 6 at Northeast Athletic Complex. Dontae McMillan scored the lone Sealth touchdown. Next Friday, the Seahawks are on the road again, at Sammamish.

SHE DID IT! Erika Norris becomes first Bremerton to Alki Point swimmer in 50+ years


2:29 PM: On the shore at Alki Point, swimmer Erika Norris hugged her dad Jim after she became the first person in more than half a century to swim from Bremerton to Alki Point. She finished the “Amy Hiland Swim” – named after the woman who did it in 1959 – moments ago. We first reported on Thursday about the Northwest Open Water Swimming Association‘s announcement of Norris’s 10.4-mile swim.

3:10 PM: NOWSA says Erika’s official time was 4:09:20; Amy Hiland’s 1959 time was an hour and a half longer, according to the coverage linked in the first paragraph.

ADDED 5:24 PM: Our video as Erika came ashore:

Some of the people who hiked out onto the rocky shore at low tide to watch:


Here’s what they saw as she approached, with the accompanying sailboat:

20160904 142028 Erika Norris and support boat approaching Alki Point - Bremerton to Alki Point swim - 1024x1365

(That photo and the next one are by David Hutchinson.)

20160904 142204 Erika Norris at Alki Point - Bremerton to Alki Point swim - 1024x1366

Even before this, Erika was an accomplished swimmer, as explained in the bio published when she was named to the New York University Hall of Fame last year.

PHOTOS: Chief Sealth IHS football home opener vs. Washington

September 3, 2016 12:41 am
|    Comments Off on PHOTOS: Chief Sealth IHS football home opener vs. Washington
 |   West Seattle news | WS & Sports

One home game for a local team as high-school football season began Friday night:

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)

At Southwest Athletic Complex, Chief Sealth International High School hosted Washington HS (Pierce County), which went home with the win, 60-20. The Seahawks were being shut out 35-0 until the last four minutes of the first half, when suddenly #2, senior Chase McNelly, caught fire.


“They got the touchdown fever,” announcer Eddie Snead (a Sealth history teacher) proclaimed admiringly after McNelly’s two TDs sent the Seahawks into halftime down 44-13. They have a new, yet not-so-new head coach this year:


As announced in April, Luther Carr III is back. He has a very young team, just a handful of seniors to work with.


But there’s time.


Besides supporting the team, spectators tonight were supporting Denny-Sealth Performing Arts via fundraising concessions:


Next Friday night (September 9th), Sealth is on the road vs. Nathan Hale.

High-school football: West Seattle HS opens season with win

September 2, 2016 11:51 pm
|    Comments Off on High-school football: West Seattle HS opens season with win
 |   West Seattle news | WS & Sports

The West Seattle High School Wildcats varsity football team is 1-0 after its first game of the season. On the road tonight in Clark County, they defeated Washougal HS, 28-21. Next Friday, the Tom Burggraff-coached Wildcats will be home at Southwest Athletic Complex (2801 SW Thistle) vs. Ingraham

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