BASEBALLFriday, Richland away.* Wenatchee opens the season against former league foe Richland. The Panthers and Bombers were both CBBN members from the beginning in 1967 and until 2012 when several schools broke away and formed the Mid-Columbia Conference.* A year ago WHS took a season opening doubleheader at Rec Park from RHS.* Richland has had the upper hand in the 91-game series with 65 wins to Wenatchee’s 26.* The Panthers are 33-17 in their season openers since 1967. They are 1-0 vs. Richland.* This isn’t any old season opener, it’s also St. Patrick’s Day. Luck (or skill as I assume they prefer to call it) has been with the local nine in the past 50 years as they’ve gone 6-1 on March 17.
Saturday, Sumner home.* It will be Purple and Gold all over the field when Sumner is here Saturday, with both teams sharing the same colors.* This will be Wenatchee’s third meeting with the South Puget Sound League 4A team. The Panther won in 2013 and lost in ’14, both games here.* In the past half century WHS is 36-14 in home openers, including the two with the Spartans in the line above.
SOFTBALLBack for his 23rd season as coach of the Panthers is Brent Grothe (268-240). Grothe’s time here is a split shift. He did five years from 1991 to ’95 and then returned for more fun in 2000 and has been here ever since.Tuesday, Southridge away.* Today’s opponent, Southridge, is one Wenatchee hasn’t faced since 2010 when the Suns pulled out of the league.* WHS leads the series 15-11 and is 5-5 at home.* Grothe is 11-9 against the Kennewick school.* In season openers Wenatchee is 20-18 and 1-1 with Southridge.* In home openers WHS is 21-17 and 1-0 vs. the Suns.
Thursday, Cascade away.* For the ninth consecutive season Wenatchee will take on 1A Cascade in an early season encounter.* The Leavenworth squad has been competitive against their larger foes from down river as each team has won five times. In fact in the two previous games played in the Bavarian Village the win has gone to the home club.* Grothe is 5-5 vs. the Kodiaks.
GIRLS TENNISCyndi Noyd joins the Panther program as the new head coach. She is only the fifth coach in the last 41 seasons.Tuesday, Sunnyside away.* The series with Sunnyside has been sunny for the Apple Capital squad, and anything but for the outfit with the bright sounding name. Twelve matches, 12 Panthers victories – 10 by 7-0 scores and two at 6-1. * The young ladies from SHS have had kind of a rough time the past four years in the CBBN. They’ve managed but a single win in 43 matches.
Thursday, West Valley home.* The first home match of 2017 is Thursday against West Valley at the Wenatchee Racquet and Athletic Club.* These two teams have played a dozen times with the Panthers the victors in 10 of those. WHS has defeated the Rams four straight times.
Streakin’The Purple and Gold begins the season with the following winning streaks – 32 overall, 29 league, 14 home and 20 away.
BOYS TENNISThe 2017 season begins with a new coach for the Panther, Don Talbot. The new coach is the sixth man to head the program in the last 41 years.Tuesday, Sunnyside away.* No nonleague matches to get warmed here. Just jump right into conference action to begin the season.* A win today will be the 13th in 13 matches for Wenatchee against Sunnyside.
Thursday, West Valley home.* West Valley is the bunch that a year ago broke the longest league winning streak of any sport in Wenatchee High history. With a 4-3 win in Yakima the 82-match win streak for the local boys came to a halt. The Panthers had won the first meeting 4-3 here in town. The two tied as co-champs, each with 11-1 records.* In 12 matches with WVHS that is the only Ram win.
BOYS GOLFAs near as can determined this is the 63rd season of golf at Wenatchee. I found a reference to “first year” in 1955 and Jack Barnes was the coach. At this end of the six-plus decades and back for his third season is Scott Paine. The Panthers finished third his first season and second a year ago.Thursday, away.* The Purple Cup…a unique first. The Panthers will begin their season as one of four participants In the Purple Cup at the Whidbey Golf & Country Club. The event is hosted by Oak Harbor (Purple & Gold) and includes three other schools – Lake Stevens (Purple & Gold), Edmonds-Woodway (Purple & Green) and of course our favorite local Purple & Gold team.* This will not be the first time WHS has competed against the other three thanks to the Jack Barnes Memorial held here annually. Oak Harbor was in town in ’73 and ’74, Edmonds-Woodway in ’98 and ’99 and Lake Stevens in ’05, ’06, ’07, ’10 and last spring.* A rare venture. Traversing the mountains is something extraordinary for Wenatchee golf. A check of the records (prior to 1990 they are somewhat spotty) the last westside trip was 36 years ago in 1981 when the team played at Snohomish. They did play a few times at Everett in the 1960s.
Monday, League match hosted by Davis.* The first of seven CBBN events is Monday. As has been the case the past few years, each of the seven league members hosts one match and everybody shows up each time. Points are awarded 7, 6, 5, etc. for each match and the league champ is the point leader on May 9.
* The first POD, as the league calls them, is at the Apple Tree Golf Course in Yakima.
BOYS SOCCER (2-0)Tuesday, Quincy (0-0) here.* It’s soccer season, time for a game with Quincy. Today marks the 11th consecutive year the Panthers and the 2A school about 32 miles southeast of here have played each other.* Before the event became an annual affair in 2007, they did meet once in 2002. Wenatchee holds the lead seven wins to four, but the Jackrabbits came out on top a year ago 2-1.
Friday, Sunnyside (0-2) home.* The contest with the Grizzlies is the first of a dozen league games to be played between now and the end of April.* WHS and SHS have met a 12 times with the former leading 7-5, and have won five of the last six.* A year ago the pair split their two league games and they met again in the district tourney and Wenatchee won.* Of course one of the big questions among fans for this game is how do the Panthers do on St. Patrick’s Day? Well, they have been a little short on luck as they are 2-5.
New Records* New school record. With their two wins last weekend WHS has now won 12 straight and set a new school record. The old mark of 11 in a row was set in 2001.* For four consecutive games Panther opponents have scored nary a goal…the final two games last spring and now two this year. The four tie the school record set by the 2000 team. Oh yes, and WHS has blanked their foes in seven of the last nine games.
GIRLS GOLFMonday, 9-hole shootout, Rock Island