Sports

The Year In Review

Decatur wins state soccer championship

The Decatur soccer team finished the season as undefeated state champions with a 21-0-1 record and only five goals scored against the team the entire season.

The Gators won the 4A state championship in May with a 2-1 victory over the Ferris Saxons of Spokane.

“We talked about winning state the first day we showed up for training,” Decatur coach Jimmy McAlister said. “That was our goal and we reached it. To win it the way we did, was like the weight of the world off these boys’ shoulders.

“The biggest thing is, when you look, that we had no red cards and very few yellow cards all season. Our kids conducted themselves as gentlemen. They proved they’re not only the best team in the state, but showed the class of a champion.”

Federal Way wins state baseball championship

The Federal Way baseball team beat North Central of Spokane 4-0 in May to win the first state championship ever for any boys team from Federal Way High School.

Throughout the season, the Federal Way baseball team played, lived and breathed the saying, “It’s expected.”

The Eagles finished the season with a 23-3 record.

“This is a bunch of guys who set very high expectations for themselves and we set very high expectations for them as coaches,” Federal Way coach Eric Fiedler said. “All year long it was a constant battle to play at the level of our ability, and I think we finally got there at the end. If you set the bar high for a bunch of good kids, they can get over that bar.”

Youm wins two state championships

As a sophomore last season, Decatur’s Joon Youm won two state swimming championships at February’s state meet.

Youm won the 100-yard breaststroke, which he swam in 0:57.01.

Youm also won the state championship in the 200-yard Individual Medley in 1:53.15.

The times in both events were fast enough to qualify Youm a high school All-American.

“Joon is the best swimmer in the state,” Decatur teammate Garrett McCaffrey said. “He hasn’t even grazed the surface of what he’s going to do.”

With the two wins and All-American status, Youm was named the co-winner of the state’s Swimmer of the Year award.

Hussong wins state diving championship

Decatur’s Christina Hussong closed out her high school career with a win in the Class 4A diving championships in November.

Hussong’s final score of 392.35 was good enough for the win. She also holds the school diving record for most points.

“It’s a great way for Christina to finish her senior year,” said Decatur coach Tom Knapton.

Earlier in the year, Hussong was selected as a 2001 All-American for diving by the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association.

“I was surprised,” Hussong said. “I was looking at the list of people, and a lot are ranked nationally in club diving. I thought it was cool I was on the same list as them.”

Hussong is one of only two girls from Washington honored with the selection.

“I also hope to make the Olympic Trials at least once — that’s my ultimate goal,” Hussong said. “It will be hard, but it will definitely be worth it.”

Federal Way relay team wins state

The Federal Way boys 1,600-meter relay team won a state championship by running the event in 3:19.37 at the state track meet in May.

Team members include Germaine Pugh, Brandon Keeler, Shaun Bodiford and Jon Manthey.

The team also holds the Federal Way school record.

Decatur wrestling program turns around

Just three years ago, the Decatur wrestling team didn’t have enough wrestlers to field a full team.

Last year, Decatur went undefeated, won the South Puget Sound League title, tied for first place at the Region III Wrestling Championships, and advanced seven wrestlers to the state wrestling tournament.

“My kids impress me with every competition,” said Decatur coach Mike Bressler. “They are a driven, gutsy bunch who just have a will to win. They aren’t afraid of working hard for something and making sacrifices. I couldn’t be more proud and I hope our community feels the same way.”

Gary Baker retires

After 20 years of heading Decatur’s girls basketball program, Gary Baker decided to hang up his whistle.

“After 20 years you start to know yourself a little bit,” Baker said. “I enjoy coaching tremendously, but this was my time to give up something I enjoy doing.”

Decatur finished fifth at the state tournament two years ago. Other Baker highlights include breaking Auburn’s 82-game SPSL winning streak in 1991-92, taking the Gators to their first state basketball appearance in 1989-90, and the 1994 Decatur team that had 19 wins.

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