Baseball at Wenatchee High has been played continuously since 1951…for sure. I have found records for those 62 years. Before then it positively was played at least 11 seasons, definitely was not played in other years and likely I just haven’t found evidence for some seasons. Jeff Zehnder is back for his second year as skipper. In his first year, last spring, the team tied for the league title with Richland.
Friday, Sumner (2-0) home.
Wenatchee’s season and home opener bring Sumner to town Friday. The Spartans are members of the South Puget Sound 2A League and have already played two games, defeating Decatur and Steilacoom, and playing Steilacoom again today and Bonney Lake tomorrow. Wenatchee has never faced Sumner. Overall WHS is 2-0 against two SPSL foes.
Saturday, Mercer Island (1-0) home.
Another new opponent for Panther baseball. Like Sumner, WHS will be playing the Islanders for the first time. The boys from “Poverty Rock” (as a Seattle DJ used to refer to the island) opened with a 4-2 win yesterday over Kennedy Catholic, and they play Garfield and Seattle Prep before coming here. Mercer Island is a 3A school and plays in the KingCo Conference 3A/2A League. In 35 games through the years with KingCo opponents WHS has won 23.
This season marks the 35th year of softball at Wenatchee High School, a program that started in 1979. And returning for the 19th year as coach is Brent Grothe. The Panther head man coached five years from 1991 to ’95, and came back five years later in 2000. Twice Grothe has had teams tie for the league championship, in 1991 and 2010, and the 1992 squad finished third in the state tournament. He has a record of 224-193.
Wednesday, Cascade home.
For the fourth year in a row the Panthers open their season with Cascade High School. Actually, this will be the fifth straight season they have faced the Kodiaks, as they first played in their third game of 2009. WHS holds a 3-1 lead over the 1A school as Wenatchee won the first game, then lost and has taken the last two.
Friday, Mount Si home.
The Wildcats come pownlin’ Friday. This will be the sixth game with Mount Si, and all in the Apple Capital. Mount Si first visited in 1983 and the Panthers swept a doubleheader. They came back in ’09, ’10 and ’12 and turned the tables by winning all three.
Saturday, Woodinville and Bothell at Eastmont.
Three KingCo Conference opponents in two days. WHS sees 3A Mount Si Friday and 4A Woodinville and Bothell the following day. The latter two are in East Wenatchee at the Eastmont Mix and Match event. Wenatchee’s previous history with Woodinville and Bothell consists of one game with each school. In 1994 the WHS Panthers met the WHS Falcons in the state tournament and lost 2-0. A year ago the Cougars of Bothell defeated Wenatchee 14-8 at Moses Lake. Over the years Wenatchee is 4-5 vs. five KingCo teams.
A veteran and a rookie head the Panther net teams in 2013. The veteran is Norm Armstrong, back for his 14th season heading the girls program. And new is Jared Vidano for the boys team, a Wenatchee grad who helped the team win the 2004 state 4A tennis title. Armstrong’s teams have never had a losing record, and they won four straight league championships form 2006 to ’09. Vidano steps in to fill the giant shoes of Ron Zielinski who retired after guiding the boys for 25 years. I’ve accumulated season records since 1977 and the boys have only had one losing season in those 36 years.
Saturday, Coke Classic Yakima.
Both the girls and boys begin the season by participating Saturday in Yakima at the Coke Classic Tournament. Wenatchee has participated in this annual event five times in the last 10 years.
BOYS SOCCER (0-1)
Tuesday, Quincy home.
The Jackrabbits jump start a busy week for soccer…three matches in five days. This is the seventh straight year WHS had played Quincy, and there was also a game in 2002. In the previous encounters Wenatchee has prevailed four times, including a 2-0 win a year ago.
Friday, Central Valley (1-0) home.
The Greater Spokane League sends a pair of teams to town this weekend. The first to arrive at the Apple bowl is Central Valley. The Bears opened with a 5-1 victory over Kamiakin. Once before the Panthers played CVHS, and that was a 4-0 loss to the Bears in the 2005 state tournament.
Saturday, Shadle Park (0-2) home.
Shadle Park, from the GSL, will face WHS for the first time ever on Saturday. The Highlanders have dropped a couple of matches so far this season, 3-1 to East Valley (Spokane) and 2-0 to Kennewick. All-time Wenatchee has played seven of the 10 Spokane teams and has won four of 12 games.