If I’d of known I was going to live this long, I’d of taken better care of myself. But here we are 19 years past the Y2K scare, moving into the great unknown.
But we should take a moment to reflect, seein’s how 2018 had some great moments. There were four teams to make the list, five individual/tandem efforts, and one event that I feel made a difference in 2018.
1.) Royal football: Even though the three-time defending 1A state champions’ run ended in the semifinals in a knockdown, drag-out with Colville, the Knights were as dominating a program as they’ve ever been. Their winning streak reached 53 consecutive games, which was the longest active streak in the nation. They did not allow a single point scored against in all six SCAC East conference games. Barring a Colville kick return for a touchdown, they were playing for their fourth consecutive 1A state championship in the Tacoma Dome. But that’s why they don’t mail the trophy out.
2.) Pete Doumit: Longtime Moses Lake, Big Bend, Columbia Basin River Dogs coach Pete Doumit passed in November. Doumit wrapped up a 45-year baseball coaching career a couple of years ago, but what a man this world lost. Not only did Pete coach at the community college, high school and senior Babe Ruth levels, he was an instructor of life for the hundreds of people he crossed paths with in and out of the Columbia Basin.
3.) Hunter Cruz: The Moses Lake standout capped his stellar wrestling career with his second Tri-State championship in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, then won his second consecutive Washington 4A wrestling state championship. In the spring, the CBBN defensive player of the year in football made the decisive play in the East-West All-Star Game to give the East the victory.
4.) Almira/Coulee-Hartline football: The 1B defending state champion Warriors worked their way back to the Tacoma Dome, where they had won two state championships in the past three years. Their bid to repeat as 1B champions was derailed by No. 1 Odessa in the title game. Where the Warriors did everything but sell the popcorn at the vending booth the year before, beating Sunnyside Christian in record fashion. All they could do was play out their destiny against an ultra-talented Odessa team.
5.) Dominic Signorelli: Moses Lake High School standout Dominic Signorelli was named to the USA/Today Washington state baseball list in addition to being selected as the Columbia Basin Big Nine player of the year. As a senior, Signorelli recently signed a national letter of intent to Boise State University and will carry on the great tradition of Columbia Basin baseball at the NCAA Division I level.
6.) Moses Lake baseball: Donnie Lindgren took over the Chiefs program. Donnie’s a longtime Columbia Basin coach, having won a NWAC East title at Big Bend. Vance Alvarado threw a no-hitter to seal the Chiefs’ first Big Nine league championship since 2014 and they were back in the tournament where they advanced to the quarterfinals.
7.) Big Bend baseball/Big Bend women’s basketball: The Vikings returned to the NWAC Baseball Championships for the first time in 15 years. The Vikings (31-20) were 31-game winners in a region that sent three of its four qualifiers to the Elite Eight. They won the West Super Region with victories over Chemeketa and Tacoma (2). The Big Bend women’s basketball team also returned to the NWAC Tournament for the first time in 15 years where they finished third, after advancing all the way to the semifinals.
8.) Othello’s Chris Melo/Isaiah Perez: Melo rebounded from a season-ending shoulder injury at the regionals as a junior to add his name to the 2A state champion board in the Huskies room. Perez won an epic 1-0 decision against undefeated, defending state champion Cy Hicks of Tumwater. Hicks was not only ranked No. 1 in Class 2A, but viewed as the top heavyweight in all classes. In football, Perez was named the CWAC defensive player of the year for the second straight season and a first-team 1A all-state selection. He is being sought by Stanford, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, UCLA and a number NCAA Division I programs nationwide.
9.) Zach Washburn: The 15-year-old became the youngest swimmer from Moses Lake to compete in the Speedo Winter Junior Nationals-West at Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center in Austin, Texas, with swims in the 50-yard freestyle and the 100 freestyle. Washburn is the first since 1999 graduate Nick Jarman qualified as a junior.
10.) ACH wins Academic State Championship: Almira/Coulee-Hartline won 2017 state championships in football, baseball and softball to help propel the school to its second-consecutive 1B Scholastic Cup. The Warriors’ football team excelled on and off the field, picking up an Academic State Championship as well, joining the boys basketball team with the honor.
Honorable mention: Moses Lake girls basketball finished third in state, losing only to eventual state and national champion Central Valley in the semifinals. Point guard Jamie Loera and forward Abby Rathbun committed to Division I Arizona State University and the University of San Francisco, respectively.
Rodney Harwood is a sports writer with the Columbia Basin Herald and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org