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Bruce Report, March 8, 2012

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2012 begins the 27th season of soccer for WHS and the coach for just over half of those years has his squad opening the season Saturday with a Jamboree in the Apple Bowl. This is Dennis Tronson’s 14th spring as head coach and he has guided the Panthers through 218 matches (125-91-2). Wenatchee has whipsawed through the last four years going 12-7 in 2008, 4-12 in ’09, back to 12-7 in ’10 and back to 4-12 a year ago.

Monday, Quincy here.
The first regular match is against Quincy. The Jackrabbits have given the Panthers fits recently. After Wenatchee started the series with their 2A neighbors with three straight wins, Quincy has rebounded with three consecutive victories themselves. Like this match, all have been in Wenatchee. A year ago QHS won 2-1.

Both Wenatchee teams return to the Coke Classic in Yakima Saturday to begin the 2012 spring campaign. The young men participated in this even four times between 2003 and ’08, took a second the first year and first the following three. The girls in five appearances (played there last March) have a first two seconds and two thirds.

And no surprises here – the coaches. Norm Armstrong is back for his 13th season guiding the girls (121-33-2). For the boys, a quarter century has passed since anyone not named Ron Zielinski has been their coach. A veteran of 317 dual matches Zielinski is 259-56-2.

The horsehide gets put into action Saturday as Wenatchee hosts a jamboree in hopes of getting warmed up for the season which begins next week. Stepping in this year as coach is Jeff Zehnder. This will be Zehnder’s first year managing the Panthers.

Monday, University here.
For the second season in a row Wenatchee is opening with University. Last spring the Titans nipped the Panthers 4-3 at Rec Park. WHS first played the Spokane school in 1969 and they have now met 16 times. The Purple and Gold leads the series 12 wins to four and they are 7-1 at home.

A close mirror image of last season would be nice. A year ago the Panthers earned a berth in the state tournament for the first time since 1995 and won 21 games for the first time since 1992. Back as the head man in the dugout is Brent Grothe and this will be his 18th year as skipper (213 wins,-181 losses).

Tuesday, Cascade, here.
This will be the fourth straight season Wenatchee has played a nonleague game with the Leavenworth school just up the road. WHS won the first, CHS the second and the Panthers prevailed last year 9-5.

Davis is the boys’ state champion. This is the same team that was ranked number one in the state and on February 4 in the Wenatchee High School gym trailed the Panthers 20-5 late in the first quarter. Alas, Pirates 51, Panthers 49. Davis became the fourth member of the local league to win the title. Richland was the kingpin in 1972 and again in 1979, and Walla Walla won the whole thing in 1999. The highpoint for CBBN hoops (actually two schools) occurred in the ‘70s – 1970 Pasco runner-up, 1971 Pasco runner-up, 1972 Richland champion, 1973 Richland runner-up, 1974 Richland runner-up, 1977 Richland runner-up and then to cap it off in 1979 Richland defeated Pasco in the title contest. In a 10-year span that’s eight first or second place trophies.

And for the girls, the team from Central Valley that dismantled the Wenatchee girls in a regional play-in game, finished their season second in the state when they lost by three to Skyview of Vancouver.