Our student athletes work hard, exhibiting exceptional character in highly competitive environments.
MS Girls Volleyball — 2017 Season Recap
The MS girls volleyball team looked to continue their success from the previous season; however, the team would have to adjust to some new changes. First, the team introduced a new coach, Emily Hoeflein, a former Lady Eagle player fresh off of her High School graduation! Coach Hoeflein brought plenty of experience to the team; however, this was her first chance at coaching a young group of girls.
The 2017 season was one of transition. Not only did the team need to adjust to having a new coach, but the Lady Eagles needed to figure out a new line up, considering many of the former middle school players had moved on to high school. The team consisted of 11 players; however, only 4 of them were returning players.
Although the team entered the 2017 with a level of inexperience, they performed valiantly and showed a huge level of improvement! The MS Lady Eagles finished the season record of 3 wins and 9 losses.
HS Girls Volleyball – 2017 Season Recap
The HS girls volleyball team looked to rebound from their early exit in the 2016 1B playoffs by adding a new group of freshman and a new coaching assistant. Returning coach, John Stevens, brought in some outside help in the form of coaching assistant, Jenn Nesland. A revamped strategy that not only focused on the Lady Eagles’ stellar defense, but mixed in some big striking and improved serving helped the team finish the regular season with 12 wins and 6 losses. The Lady Eagles earned the #3 seed in the 1B District IV playoffs, where the Lady Eagles would travel to Wishkah Valley, the same team that ended the team’s 2016 campaign.
The Lady Eagles, whom had never won a playoff game, looked to change that and add their names into the FFCS history books; the team did not disappoint! With the team traveling to Wishkah Valley, the Lady Eagles defeated their opponents, earning the school their first ever playoff win, in any team sport. The win advanced the Lady Eagles to the 1B District IV championship round, where they would face league opponent, and top-seeded, Naselle. The Lady Eagles fought hard and upset Naselle, 3 sets to 1. This gave the Lady Eagles a chance to earn a berth in the State tournament. Their opponent was league-rival Three Rivers Christian. The match was a back-and-forth contest; however, the Lady Eagles eventually succumbed to Three Rivers in 5 sets.
The Lady Eagles earned 2nd place in the District IV playoffs; however, their season was not over. The Lady Eagles’ performance in the District IV playoffs earned the team the opportunity to play in a winner-goes-to-State match against Klickitat-Glenwood. The Lady Eagles were the higher seed and were able to host. With the FFCS gymnasium filled to capacity, the Lady Eagles defeated Klickitat-Glenwood in straight sets, earning them a spot in the State tournament, held at the Yakima Valley SunDome.
The Lady Eagles traveled to Yakima for the 1B State Volleyball tournament, something that had never been done in school history! The team were 1 of 16 teams competing for a spot on the State Podium. The tournament format was a double-elimination tournament. The Lady Eagles’ first opponent was Almira-Coulee-Hartline, which defeated the Lady Eagles in straight sets. The Lady Eagles still had a chance to podium, if they could win out in the consolation bracket; however, the team lost their second match to Rainier Christian, thus effectively ending the team’s historic season.
At the conclusion of the 2017 season, there was much to be proud of.
MS Boys Basketball – 2016/2017 Season Recap
After failing to field enough players in the 2015/2016 season, the MS boys basketball team hoped to have enough athletes to field a team for the 2016/2017 season. Newly hired coach, Dwight Patterson, had seven players to utilize at the start of the season; however, two players quickly dropped out leaving Coach Patterson with a team of 5 boys, two of whom were 6th grade students.
It didn’t take long to realize that such a small team would not be able to compete in the competitive MCL boys basketball league. After two losses, the mutual decision to forfeit the season was made by the Athletic Director, Coach Patterson, the players, and the parents.
HS Boys Basketball – 2016/2017 Season Recap
After losing to the Oakville Acorns in the 2015/2016 1B District IV playoffs, and losing 4 starters due to graduation and transfers, the Eagles were in a rebuilding phase for the 2016/2017 season. Losing 4 starters didn’t deter Coach John Stevens one bit, as he and the Eagles looked to avenge the closest playoff loss in school history.
Again, the Eagles would play against Columbia Adventist, Three Rivers Christian, and the Washington School for the Deaf, in league play. The 2016/2017 season began with a couple of losses, as the Eagles looked to make adjustments to their young roster. As the season rolled on, the Eagles were in a tight race with Three Rivers Christian for the #2 seed in the 1B District IV basketball playoffs. The Eagles needed a victory in their final home game of the regular season, against WSD, to secure the #2 seed, something that had never been done in program history. The Eagles prevailed and granted them the chance to host the Oakville Acorns, the same team which defeated them in the playoffs the year prior.
After a tough back-and-forth contest, the Eagles succumbed to the Acorns by a final score of 49-43. Again, the Eagles lost in the first round of the playoffs and were officially eliminated from competition. Although the team suffered another first-round exit, there was much to be proud of. The Eagles secured the program’s first ever home playoff game and overcame the adversity of starting such a young roster. The team also had three players earn the coveted Columbia Valley League All-League award: August Helmes, Daniel Kogler, and Andrew Rommel. The Eagles look to bounce back next season, as they only lost one senior, Michael Clarke, and hope to continue what they worked so hard for during the 2016/2017 season.
MS Track – 2017 Season Recap
The middle school track team had never had a member of the team make it to the MCL district track meet, but all of that changed this season, with the help of newly hired coach, Nicole Jones.
The MS team was small; however, the athletes made their presence known in the league as they continued to set numerous PR’s and eventually having 3 athletes qualify for the district meet. Avery Tapio (1600m) and Elsa Helmes (800m), both 6th grade students, not only qualified for the district meet but set PR’s! 8th grade student Taylor Kopp set a new PR and placed 3rd overall, earning a spot on the winner’s podium, a first for our MS track program!
HS Track – 2017 Season Recap
The Eagles looked to improve upon their successful 2016 campaign, where 7 athletes qualified for the 1B state track meet. Coaches Tim Snell, Timo Congdon, and Don Sorenson sought another coach who could provide some expertise to the HS track team in events such as the high jump and hurdles. The team brought on Coach Kyle Gonzales, a local track athlete who competed with Clark College as a decathlete. Coach Gonzales was able to bring a whole new level of training and experience to our HS team and his efforts proved to be extremely valuable!
At the 1B District track meet, the team set 25 new PR’s and SR’s! The HS track team had 9 participants qualify for the 1B State meet, held at Eastern Washington University:
Emily Hoeflein (Long Jump, 4x100m Relay), Emma Merritt (4x100m Relay), Beth Merritt (4x100m Relay), Sofia Tervo (4x100m Relay), Jenna Rogers (300m Hurdles), Craig Brenton (Long Jump, 800m), Kaden Richter (300m Hurdles), Andrew Rommel (300m Hurdles), Kaleb Moyer (High Jump).
Andrew Rommel, in his first ever season competing in track, finished 12th overall in the 300 meter hurdles.
Kaden Richter and Jenna Rogers, both whom qualified for State in the 300 meters, an event which was new for both of them, placed 16th overall.
Kaleb Moyer, the team’s only high jumper, matched his PR, and finished 18th overall.
Craig Brenton, the only male athlete who qualified in multiple events, earned a PR in the Long Jump and finished 16th overall; he also placed 16th overall in the 800 meter run.
Emily Hoeflein, the only female athlete who qualified in multiple events, earned 10th place overall in the Long Jump, amidst a controversial call that cost her a spot on the winner’s podium.
The 4×100 girls relay team, consisting of Emma Merritt, Sofia Tervo, Beth Merritt, and Emily Hoeflein, earned a PR and finished 15th overall.
The 1B State meet was a mixture of joy and disappointment; however, regardless the outcomes, to God goes the glory!
Athletic Program Future Developments and Updates
The 2017/2018 school year is right around the corner, and with that comes some changes to Firm Foundation Christian School’s middle school athletics program.
First, it has been decided to eliminate the 5/6 girls volleyball team and the 5/6 boys basketball team. This decision was made due to several factors. Currently, our middle school program is a participant in the Metro Christian League (MCL). Approximately 75% of the schools in the MCL do not have a 5/6 sports program due to gym constraints and low player numbers. In the past, we have had to cancel several 5/6 sports teams due to low participation. This can cause a strain on the league schedules with teams suddenly dropping out at the last minute. Any 5th and 6th grade students who are looking into playing either volleyball or basketball can contact their local YMCA or Community Centers for opportunities.
Second, the Firm Foundation middle school program will be partnering up with Meadow Glade Adventist, another participant in the MCL, to create a co-ed Middle School soccer team. Due to field restrictions at FFCS, we have never been able to participate in the MCL soccer league. The team will be coached by Meadow Glade, but this will still give our students an opportunity to play MS soccer!
For the 2017/2018 athletic season, FFCS will be offering the following sports for MS and HS students:
– 7/8 coed soccer – Fall 2017
– 7/8 girls volleyball – Fall 2017
– HS girls volleyball (JV and Varsity) – Fall 2017
– 7/8 boys basketball – Winter 2017
– 7/8 girls basketball – Winter 2017
– HS boys basketball (JV and Varsity) – Winter 2017
– HS girls basketball (Varsity) – Winter 2017
– MS track (coed) – Spring 2018
– HS track (coed) – Spring 2018
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