Bellingham, Sehome Put On Spirit-Filled Show

In Whatcom County basketball — perhaps in all of Whatcom County sports — there is no spectacle quite like the annual BellingHome boys and girls basketball doubleheader.

The latest was Thursday night, Dec. 16, at Sehome and it was, well …

“It’s very crazy,” said Bellingham senior Mazzy Wright.

For those who haven’t attended, it’s a throwback to the old days of “We’ve got spirit, how about you?” when the fans and cheer staffs would have their own informal competitions in the stands. Except BellingHome has taken it to a new level.

For a story and lots of photos from Thursday’s Bellingham-Sehome boys and girls games, check out Whatcom Hoops. 

In addition to non-stop cheering by both student sections decked out in school colors and outrageous costumes, and music from the Sehome band, there was:

* Karaoke, and you haven’t heard karaoke until you’ve heard a crowd of teen-agers screaming “Sweet Caroline!”

* An energetic skit by the Bellingham leadership students that looked like a red-and-black take on “West Side Story” featuring the old Red Raiders vs. the new Bayhawks.

* A rousing routine by the combined Bellingham and Sehome dance teams.

* High-flying acts by both the Bellingham and Sehome cheer staffs.

* And the always impressive performances by first the Bellingham drum line and then a combined Bellingham-Sehome drum circle.

In the end, Bellingham was again awarded the prestigious if humble spirit trophy/plaque, but as always, it didn’t matter who won, because everyone won.

“I love it,” said Sehome junior Mathew Storms. “It’s crazy with the crowd going back and forth.”

“It brings the whole school together,” said Wright. “It’s the one time of year when you get a lot of people watching (a girls game).”

For the record, the Mariners won both games with the Sehome girls taking a 60-36 victory, and the boys defeating the Bayhawks, 64-46. But regardless of what was happening on the court, even the players and coaches enjoyed the extra-curricular parts of the game.

“It was a good night for our school,” said Bellingham boys coach Brad McKay. “We were down 20, but they (the Bellingham players) were excited when they announced we’d won (the spirit trophy).”

Maybe Sehome boys coach Skyler Gillispie put it best when he put the evening in perspective considering all that has happened in a school year that has included the contentious effects of the pandemic, community-crippling flooding, and recent lockdowns because of gun and bomb threats.

“This was good for everyone in our community,” he said. “It was a good environment, and we needed an opportunity to cheer with all that’s gone on recently. It was a good experience.”

Make that a great — and crazy — experience. Thank you, Bayhawks and Mariners.



Jim Carberry of Whatcom Hoops

Jim Carberry is a former Bellingham Herald sports editor and author of several books on Whatcom County prep basketball. Follow him on Twitter @whatcomhoops and visit the Whatcom Hoops Facebook page.

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