West Seattle, Washington
A week and a half ago, we reported that Seattle Parks had changed its mind about adding pickleball stripes to three of the six tennis courts at Solstice Park. Instead, Parks said, it would create a pickleball-only area at nearby Lincoln Park.
So far that’s not going over well with either pickleball players or wildlife advocates.
First, we asked Parks for more information on the plan and the timing. Spokesperson Rachel Schulkin said the site would be the decommissioned ex-tennis courts in the upper park. “The Lincoln plan creates 6 dedicated courts at this location made from an asphalt overlay, with installation set to conclude at the end of Fall 2023. Next, we will evaluate the feasibility of lights at this location.”
West Seattle wildlife biologist/advocate Kersti Muul says she’s helping organize opposition, and explains:
I am requesting the city provide further information regarding the proposed pickleball courts in Lincoln Park. Including that which reflects poorly on the city; not informing the public or providing opportunity for public comment, and bending to a niche voice. This has resulted in another poor idea from the city as it further marginalizes park wildlife inhabitants and will severely impact how people and wildlife use and enjoy the park. I was consulted on, and have begun the process of opposition based on environmental, public, and mental health concerns.
Lincoln Park needs to remain as natural as possible. It already shares its greenspace with many picnic areas, playgrounds, sports fields, two pools, heavily traversed outer paths and quieter inner [unmaintained] paths and, unfortunately, lots of off-leash dogs. Pickleball courts are loud with sustained and repetitive noise. Saturday I measured decibels at the Highpoint courts and at times it was over 80. They are also bright. Light pollution is detrimental to wildlife as well as public health. I am providing (much like the dog park opposition, and lots of crossover) extensive ecological and biological knowledge as well as an intimate understanding of the complexities of species interactions within the park habitat, with humans, and with each other, and how this type of disruption will impact them. Basically, I am outlining why this is a bad idea. I am encouraging folks to reach out to the city via email, and guiding them on comments. There is a lot of opposition.
You can contact her at email@example.com. Meantime, pickleball advocates/players aren’t thrilled either. They want the city to keep its original commitment of adding stripes to half the courts at Solstice Park. The Seattle Metro Pickleball Association has started an online petition, with this explanation, saying, among other things, it’s an efficient use of the courts:
… West Seattle pickleball players need lighted courts for the short winter days. We play outdoor year round. We squeegee rain, snow, and even hail to clear the courts to play. Tennis is not played at all when the courts are wet. The 6 to-be-resurfaced Solstice tennis courts with new LED lights will be mostly empty for months.
We can only guess what happened. The most likely scenario is that some tennis players were not happy to share three of their six courts with pickleball players and successfully convinced Seattle Parks to reverse course. … The Solstice courts are scheduled to be resurfaced and the work can start any day.
Transparency: Seattle Parks need to explain the decision process that led them to reverse their decision to paint pickleball court lines on three of the six Solstice Parks tennis courts, and to explain why pickleball players were not involved in this process.
Reversal: Seattle Parks need to follow through and deliver the 6 pickleball courts at Solstice Park.
The pickleball group says they had no notice that the city was even thinking about reversing a decision they say was made seven months ago. Their petition is here. The city’s announcement a week ago said that the idea of Lincoln Park had been floated in previous discussions of the city’s Outdoor Pickleball Study, though that ultimately called for a pickleball-only facility at Hiawatha (we don’t yet know how or whether the Lincoln Park plan will affect that).
9:37 PM: At Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex, West Seattle High School just won back the Huling Bowl trophy in the annual crosstown-rivalry game with Chief Sealth International High School. After WSHS went up by two TDs, CSIHS battled to a 17-17 tie with 1:18 left in the game; then a Wildcat field goal with :05 to go sealed the West Seattle win, 20-17. Full story and photos to come.
1:21 AM: Both teams went into the game undefeated – Sealth at 3-0, WSHS at 2-0. But the Wildcats had the upper hand on offense for the first quarter and half of the second. Here’s the moment they got on the scoreboard:
#3, Bo Gionet, ran that one in with 8:03 to go in the first quarter. He passed to #5, Gibson Aguilar, for West Seattle’s second TD at 3:22.
#34, Scott Bremen, landed both point-after kicks plus a field goal at 6:17 in the second quarter to boost WSHS to a 17-0 lead.
Then Sealth’s comeback began, starting with the first of two touchdowns by #3, Jeylen Pham-Arejaga, at 1:15 to go in the first half:
The halftime score was 17-7. The energy in the stadium kept rising. Both schools’ bands and cheer teams helped with that.
Almost four minutes into the second half, the Seahawks scored their next touchdown, bringing them to within three points of the Wildcats. And that’s where things stayed until less than a minute and a half remained. Running out of downs but within field-goal range, Sealth went for the three, and #26, Ogi Petronijevic, made it:
That tied the score 17-17. Was overtime unavoidable? As it turned out, no. The Wildcats marched down the field and got close enough for Bremen to nail another field goal with just :05 to go:
With that, West Seattle reclaimed the Huling Bowl trophy:
Among those in the stands tonight, the Huling brothers themselves, Steve and Tom – the backstory of why this annual game carries their name is in this 2012 WSB story.
They are Chief Sealth alumni, as is the man between them in the background – Mark Denniston, who was on Sealth’s undefeated 1968 football team. Even with tonight’s loss, the Seahawks and head coach Daron Camacho have much to celebrate at 3-1 on the season. And West Seattle, under head coach Anthony Stordahl, keeps its loss-less record, now 3-0. Here’s what’s next for both teams:
–WSHS, road game vs. Roosevelt next Thursday (September 28th) at 7 pm
–CSIHS, home game vs. Ingraham next Friday (September 29th) at 4:30 pm at NCSWAC (2801 SW Thistle)
3-0 was doubly meaningful for Chief Sealth International High School‘s football team tonight. That’s the score by which they defeated Franklin at Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex – and that’s their record so far. The three points came on a field goal in the final second of the first half by #26, sophomore kicker Ogi Petronijevic (above). Otherwise, it was mostly a defensive contest – one busy tackler was #11, junior Xavier Nguyen:
During the offensive attempts, #3, senior Jeylen Pham-Alejaga, did a lot of carrying:
Another highlight of the night – the Chief Sealth cheerleaders were joined by younger protegés from their fundraising cheer camp earlier this week:
Next up for head football coach Daron Camacho and the Seahawks, the annual Huling Bowl game against West Seattle High School – that’s next Friday night, September 22nd, 7 pm, at NCSWAC (2801 SW Thistle).
Last month, thanks to a reader tip, we reported on Seattle Parks‘ plan to add pickleball stripes to three of Solstice Park‘s six tennis courts as part of resurfacing work. That didn’t go over well with tennis players. Now, Parks has changed its mind, sending this update late today (thanks to the readers who forwarded it to us):
We greatly appreciate the robust feedback received about dual striping at the Solstice Park tennis courts.
The department is pleased to announce the creation of a dedicated pickleball court at Lincoln Park, keeping the Solstice Park tennis courts intact as a dedicated tennis site with no dual striping.
In the department’s 2021-2022 Outdoor Pickleball plan, Lincoln Park had been considered for a dedicated pickleball site, but lacked sufficient funding, opening the dual-stripe proposal at Solstice. However, thanks to recent funding allocations, SPR can now create a dedicated pickleball court at Lincoln without alterations to the Solstice courts, which will allow opportunities for tennis and pickleball to occur at their respective sites.
We will make every effort to post updated information about the Lincoln Park pickleball project on this project page so that you may follow the project’s progress.
There’s nothing there yet, though, and no details of a specific location – we’ll ask Parks about that tomorrow.
Another high-school team is off to a successful start of the season. The report and photo are from West Seattle High School volleyball coach Scott Behrbaum:
The West Seattle High School girls varsity volleyball team were the champions of the Kent Meridian Varsity Volleyball Tournament on Saturday, defeating Shadle Park HS in the finals. Way to go. Wildcats!
The Wildcats also defeated Holy Names in the first league match of the year on Wednesday, 9/6.
WSHS has three road matches ahead this week, and then will be home, vs. Roosevelt, on Wednesday, September 20th – here’s the season schedule as finalized so far.
West Seattle High School‘s football season is off to a 2-0 start after a resounding win tonight over Franklin, 42-6 at Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex. Comprising most of the Wildcats’ score were six touchdowns – two by #3, senior Bo Gionet:
The first TD of the night was by #80, junior Myles Mutchler:
WSHS held Franklin scoreless for the second, third, and fourth quarter – after the Quakers’ TD in the final minute of the first quarter, they were done. Back to WSHS scoring: Another TD was by #5, senior Gibson Aguilar:
Another by #24, junior Airric Lewis, seen below with head coach Anthony Stordahl:
And the sixth and final TD for the Wildcats tonight was by #16, junior Niko Craven:
Among the night’s star runners, #1, senior Leland Gayles III:
The point-after kicks were all good – all by #34, sophomore Scott Bremen. And the defense was responsible for the announcer’s repeated use of the catch phrase, “brought down by a pack of Wildcats.” Many penalties, mostly for Franklin, slowed things down, and the game was headed for three hours before it ended in time for the second NCSWAC game of the night (Ingraham-Cleveland) to take the field.
NEXT WEEK: WSHS plays Cleveland at SWAC, 7:30 pm Friday (September 15th).
Friday night means high-school football: Chief Sealth International High School played tonight at Memorial Stadium downtown, vs. Lakeside, whose Twitter/X updates include the final score: Sealth 36, Lakeside 21. Next Friday the Seahawks, now 2-0, play their first home game of the season, 4:30 pm Friday (September 15th) vs. Franklin, at Nino Cantu SW Athletic Complex (2801 SW Thistle).
Alki Kayak Tours is raising money for Maui fire survivors with a community paddling event tomorrow (Saturday, September 9th) – just received:
From 6:30 – 7:30 pm, we are inviting the whole community to paddle out together to watch the sunset either bringing their own gear or renting from us; all rental proceeds and donations will go to benefit People’s Fund of Maui. We are meeting at the channel marker off Duwamish head aka Anchor Park and would love to get as many people out there as possible.
If you need to rent, Alki Kayak Tours is at Seacrest (1660 Harbor SW).
You can buy, sell, or trade paddlesports gear this Saturday at Mountain to Sound Outfitters (3602 SW Alaska; WSB sponsor) during the West Seattle Boat Swap. Extra reason to go to the shop: As announced last week, the M2SO store in The Triangle (and online) is getting out of the paddlesports business, so they are offering hot clearance deals as they get ready to focus on winter sports. If you have gear to sell on Saturday, register online first – deadline is 6 pm Friday – and then drop the item(s) off 9-11 am Saturday; if you want to buy, Boat Swap hours on Saturday are 11 am-4 pm. (P.S. You can also set your calendar now for M2SO’s West Seattle Ski Swap, October 14-15.)
Both of West Seattle’s public high schools have started their football seasons with victories. We covered West Seattle HS‘s home win on Friday; then on Saturday, Chief Sealth IHS opened their season on the road at Bellingham. That game ended with a 32-27 victory for the Seahawks. Next week, head coach Daron Camacho‘s team is on the road again, 5 pm Friday (September 8th) vs. Lakeside at Memorial Stadium downtown.
Waving their flag and bursting through a banner, the West Seattle High School Wildcats roared onto the Nino Cantu SW Athletic Complex field tonight for the first time this football season. Two-plus hours later, they left the field victorious over Columbia River High School (Vancouver, WA), but only after some literally last-minute drama.
But first – new head coach Anthony Stordahl‘s team got off to a strong start, taking the ball on an interception just half a minute in. They needed a while to break through the Rapids’ defense but with 4:28 to go in the first quarter, #1, senior Leland Gayles III, got the first TD.
The Wildcats got another one in the final minute of the first quarter, with #45, junior Cole Edwards, recovering a Columbia River fumble in the end zone.
The Wildcats capitalized on another of their opponents’ mistakes in the first :15 of the second quarter, when #7, junior Alex Jorge, followed an interception with a run most of the way down the field. That eventually set up a field goal by #34, sophomore kicker Scott Bremen, that boosted the WSHS lead to 17-0 with 10:27 to go in the first half.
The Rapids finally got on the scoreboard with a touchdown at 7:16 left in the half, and that was the end of scoring before halftime, when everyone left the field with WSHS up 17-7.
In the second half, more big runs – including two by #2, junior Sam Turner – paved the way for a touchdown pass at 7:26 caught by #5, senior Gibson Aguilar.
With the point-after kick, WSHS was up to a 24-7 lead. A few minutes later, a spot of trouble – a short-lived physical altercation at midfield, broken up quickly by coaches and refs, saw (corrected) two players, one from each team, ejected. The next significant action in the game didn’t come until the final minute, when Columbia River scored two touchdowns, resulting in a final score of 24-19. Close call, but reason for WSHS fans to join the expanded Cheer Team in celebrating.
NEXT WEEK: WSHS has an early home game, 4:30 pm, next Friday (September 8th) at NCSWAC, against Franklin.
Some fall high-school sports start up even before the first classes of the year. High-school football season is about to begin. Tomorrow night (Friday, September 1st), West Seattle High School plays a home game at Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex (2801 SW Thistle), 6 pm, vs. Columbia River (from Vancouver, Washington). Chief Sealth International High School was scheduled for a season-opener on the road at Foster High School in Tukwila, but the Metro League schedule page says the game’s been canceled and that CSIHS instead is playing at Bellingham, 1 pm Saturday (September 2nd). You’ll also see/hear football at West Seattle Stadium, where O’Dea – which plays its home games there – will play Union at 7 pm Friday.
A change in focus is ahead for Mountain to Sound Outfitters (3602 SW Alaska; WSB sponsor). As proprietor Greg Whittaker summarizes it, the Triangle shop – and its online operation – will be “focusing on the mountain side of it and the Sound side will be primarily located in Alki Kayak Tours,” his longtime business at Seacrest. Here’s the announcement:
Mountain to Sound Outfitters (M2S) in West Seattle announces it will no longer continue its Paddlesports department. After several years of attempting to grow the category, we have determined that it is no longer a feasible category for us in the Seattle market. Mountain to Sound Outfitters’ on-water location, Alki Kayak Tours, will continue to operate as a rental, instruction, and touring operation for paddle sports, and will offer demo kayaks and stand-up paddleboards (SUPs) for certain brands. M2S will continue to be the go-to winter-sports provider for the Seattle market and is currently ramping up for the upcoming winter ’23-’24 season.
This Labor Day weekend, Mountain to Sound Outfitters is holding a clearance event to liquidate its inventory and has amazing clearance deals in the best paddle brands in the world. M2S is also holding a Scratch & Dent, and Boat Swap on 9/9 and will be selling off a lot of the used equipment from Alki Kayak Tours at that time as well. Information can be found at this link: m2soutfitters.com/boat-swap–scratch–dent-sale.htm
“It is a business decision that I have held off making with the hopes we could make the paddlesports department work,” says Greg Whittaker, owner of M2S. “We are paddlers and love providing the best equipment in the world for our customers, but the volumes don’t offset the overhead costs of the store to continue to be a stand-alone paddlesports shop.” Whittaker adds, “Since we also operate an on-water location, we will be shifting our energy toward growing the variety and offerings at Alki Kayak Tours, and will still be able to offer certain kayak and SUP brands to demo and purchase through our livery operation.”
Come by and support the shop online or in person as we clear out our remaining paddlesports inventory, and stay tuned for developments in our retail operations as we determine what best fits our store and community’s needs.
M2S is open Wednesdays through Sundays; you can see its hours by going here.
Thanks to Jennifer for the info and photos from the latest marathon swim completed by a Northwest Open Water Swimming Association member. Above, swimming past Lincoln Park‘s beach on Saturday afternoon, is Wendy Van De Sompele, who is aquatic director of Colman Pool, and an accomplished distance swimmer at age 57. On Saturday, she swam 13 miles from Point Robinson Lighthouse on Maury Island to Alki Point Lighthouse in West Seattle.
She completed the swim in 10 hours, 21 minutes, Jennifer tells us. She was swimming at a faster pace earlier but then a change in the tide, plus a headwind, slowed her down considerably. Earlier this summer, Van De Sompele swam between three lighthouses in one day – from Gig Harbor to Tacoma to Maury. That swim was chronicled by the Vashon Beachcomber.
6:07 PM: A sunny summer Saturday night like this would be busy at Alki anyway, but right now it’s busier than usual because hundreds of participants are off on the Alki Beach Sunset Run. No road closures for this 5K. More coverage later!
8:29 PM: The post-race party is scheduled to be wrapping up about now. We’re back at HQ adding photos and video. First, some pre-race levity:
Next, our video of the race start from the west end of the Alki promenade, done in four waves so the course didn’t get overwhelmed with one big wave:
We’re still awaiting UPDATE: Here’s the results list, and the top male and female finishers – Ty Hansen ran it in 18:39:
And Kristi Houk came in at 19:50:
The race producers, Fizz Events Northwest, told us 543 people registered this year.
In case you haven’t seen this in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar: Special Olympics has a new West Seattle program on the way, and there’s a kickoff event this Thursday for everyone interested. It’s happening at Lincoln Park picnic tables 53/54 [map], 5-7 pm Wednesday (August 16th). You can register an athlete at specialolympicswashington.org/athlete-registration and/or contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Thanks to Brian for the tip: The Solstice Park tennis courts will be resurfaced soon. And that work will include adding pickleball lines to three of the six courts. Though the work was scheduled to start next week, Parks tells us the start date may slide because, “The contractor who will doing this project is currently working on resurfacing the courts at Volunteer Park, which has been delayed some this week due to the change in the weather. It has to be dry for the surfacing to dry or cure properly between the layers of color.” Once the Volunteer Park work is complete, Parks says, then the Solstice Park work can begin. Meantime, regarding the plan to add pickleball stripes to three of the courts: “It will be the north three courts so that the Lock Box we plan to install will be easily accessed from the north court gate. We will be purchasing 6 temporary nets there to be used at Solstice Park.”
P.S. While researching this, we noted that the city is still proceeding with a plan to add “dedicated pickleball sites,” including Hiawatha; while that plan suggested there would be community “engagement” this month about that, Parks told us it’s now more likely to happen this fall.
That’s “Coach Al” and his 10-to-11-year-olds’ volleyball team from last year. He asked us to share this announcement that registration is open for this year:
Sign-ups are now open for 10–11-year-old volleyball players at High Point Community Center:
Come have some fun while learning the awesome game of volleyball in a fun, supportive, and encouraging environment by a coach who’s passionate about the game!
Open to 10–11-year-olds regardless of experience level who want to learn the sport and improve their skills while building team camaraderie and competing against other centers throughout the city, culminating in an ‘All-City Jamboree’ in November.
High Point Community Center (6920 34th Ave SW) is now open for registration for play beginning the first week of September.
There are only 12 spots available on the roster so get your child(ren) signed-up right away.
Registration and more information can be had by calling 206-684-7422.
Long before classes start for the new school year, tryouts and practices begin for fall high-school sports. West Seattle High School has sent its list of first practice/tryout dates for six fall sports:
First Day of Practice: August 16th
Wildcat Girls Volleyball
First Day of Tryouts: August 21st
Wildcat Girls Soccer
First Day of Tryouts: August 21st
Wildcat Girls & Boys Golf
First Day of Tryouts: August 21st
Wildcat Girls Swim & Dive
First Day of Practice: August 21st
Wildcat Girls & Boys Cross Country
First Day of Practice: August 21st–
Times and locations vary – all those details, along with other information about what to do and who to contact before tryouts/practices begin, can be found here.
About 50 canoes were registered to participate. The short-course race started at 9 am and the long-course (12 miles) waves are scheduled to start around 10:30. The event ends with an award ceremony around 3:30 pm. More photos later!
6:53 PM: As promised:
The results will be posted here.
Two months ago, we published this report on athletes from West Seattle’s Rain City Ropeworks making the national jump-rope team. Now we have an update on local jumpers’ achievements at the national and world championships; the report and photos were sent by Zack Hill:
Rain City Ropeworks, a West Seattle-based jump rope team coached by Rene Bibaud, has had a busy summer performing and competing. In June, 10 members competed at the National Jump Rope Championship in Milwaukee, competing against 30-plus teams from across the US.
Rain City competitors included Mara Garrison, Grace Muller, Avery Forcum, Ethan Im, Alia Lundburg, Riley Hill, Ava Wheatley, Madeleine Garrison, Halle Morgan, and Calla Freeman.
Grace and Madeleine both medaled in Single Rope Freestyle, earning a 3rd place spot, and Ethan and Alia together medaled for their partner routine.
Riley, Ava, and Madeleine [seen above at worlds] were crowned National Champions in Double Dutch Single Freestyle. The team was recognized by their peers and other coaches for excellence in choreography and musicality and is making a name for themselves as a new team on the scene at the national and international level. You may have seen Grace and Alia along with some of their younger teammates in the West Seattle Grand Parade last Saturday.
Five of these incredible athletes — Riley, Ava, Madeleine, Halle, and Calla — were named to the United States National Jump Rope Team, and last week made their first-ever appearance at the World Jump Rope Championships in Colorado Springs, CO.
The double dutch team of Riley, Madeleine, Halle, and Calla earned 5th place in their division of the international open tournament. Congratulations to all of these athletes and Coach Rene on their success!
We reported yesterday on the plan for next Sunday’s Alki arrival of dozens of Indigenous canoe families during the Paddle to Muckleshoot, first tribal Canoe Journey since pre-pandemic. One day earlier – next Saturday (July 29th) – a different canoe event will take over Alki: The Seattle Outrigger Canoe Club-hosted annual Da Grind races. Canoe clubs come from around the region to participate in a day of racing that is scheduled to start around 9 am Saturday and wrap up in time for a 3:30-ish awards ceremony.
Proud mom Stephanie Jordan reports that her daughter Claire Gordon (above left) is a national champion! Claire “earned a gold medal in the U17 Women’s 4+ at the 2023 USRowing Summer National Championships last weekend – she rowed stroke seat for the U19 Selection Development team. Claire also won a bronze medal in the Women’s U23 8+, which is particularly cool because she’s just 14!” Claire will be a West Seattle High School sophomore this year, after finishing her freshman year remotely from Ohio, where she was training. Stephanie tells us more about Claire:
-She rows 6 days a week during the Fall and Spring seasons at Green Lake.
-She earned a silver medal as NW Junior Regionals in the Women’s JV 8+ in May and competed with the Green Lake Varsity 8+ boat at Junior nationals in Sarasota last month.
-Her results this season earned her one of 44 spots at the U19 Selection Development camp (part of the Olympic Development Program), where she trained for 4 weeks with rowers from across the United States
-Claire tried rowing two summers ago at the encouragement of her older brother William, who is also a NW Youth Regional gold medalist in the Men’s 4V 8+, and a junior at WSHS
William also rows for Green Lake, Stephanie tells us, a program managed through Seattle Parks. Green Lake is also the site of the next regatta on August 5th. P.S. You can see Claire’s race in this video.