And to think, the Whatcom County Senior Classic almost didn’t take place.
Fortunately, the all-star boys and girls basketball games featuring the top seniors from our 11 county schools did take place Friday night at Lynden High School’s Jake Maberry Gymnasium.
It was an evening not only of some of the most talented players in Whatcom County history showing off their skills with incredible shooting, creative dunks and amazing passes …
But it was an evening of fun that would have made even the most grumpy Grinch grin and even the most sour Scrooge laugh.
Be sure to read all about the games at www.whatcomhoops.com and see lots of photos on the Whatcom Hoops Facebook page.
It’s hard to believe that after 32 straight years of giving our favorite seniors one last time in the spotlight, that the 33rd time almost didn’t happen.
Over the years, the event had been sponsored by the Boys and Girls Club, but when it pulled out this year, there was a mix-up with insurance for the event that left the organizers scrambling and almost cancelling it.
To the rescue came Lynden Christian girls coach Brady Bomber and his father Ed, a teacher, coach and key sports figure at Lynden High School. Along with coordinator Greg Helgath and his staff at COAST physical therapy, the problem was solved at the last moment and the Classic became … well, a classic.
Yes, there was a little roster shuffling at the last minute, but it really didn’t matter. In fact, because there was doubt that the games would happen, there wasn’t enough time to order special jerseys and the players wore their own school uniforms.
And that was awesome! Right away we knew what school the players represented, and it made a colorful event even more colorful. Let’s do that every year.
So thank you …
* Greg and Miranda and anyone else at COAST who helped out.
* Ed and Brady Bomber and all the other sponsors who pitched in.
* The coaches — Helen Newcomb and Ken McLendon for the girls, and Dick Stark and Jerry Blankers for the boys — who have given so much of their time to youth sports.
* All the volunteers from Lynden and LC who helped make everything run smoothly Friday night.
* And especially to the 46 young men and women who gave us a spectacular season-ending evening of basketball.
BOYS: Bellingham’s Spencer Lee and Drew McFall; Blaine’s Adam Vega; Lummi Nation’s Jermaine Toby; Lynden’s Dakota Baar, Carson Bode, Kobe Elsner, James Marsh, Blake Silves, Clayton Whitman, and Christian Zamora; Lynden Christian’s Cole Bajema, Luke Bos, Cristian Colwell and Cole Langstraat; Ferndale’s Stewart Freeman and Sequoyah Julius; Meridian’s Gabe Hughes; Mount Baker’s Carter Backstrom and Kaleb Bass; Nooksack Valley’s Tyler Rawls; Sehome’s Eddy Hochsprung and Michael McLin; and Squalicum’s Noah Martin.
GIRLS: Bellingham’s Adelyn Pagels; Blaine’s Ashley Dickerson and Brynn Hallberg; Ferndale’s Nicole Guessford, Kim Weden, Rylee Weg; Lummi Nation’s Dezirae Toby; Lynden’s Blakely Doerge and Kyla Bonsen (who was unable to attend); Lynden Christian’s Josie Bocci, Isabela Hernandez and Grace Sterk; Meridian’s Lexi Groen, Makenna Holz and Lindsey Moore; Mount Baker’s Haylee Malone and Danielle Tyler; Nooksack Valley’s Jenna TenKley; Sehome’s Dana Ruffatto and Natalie Zender; and Squalicum’s Maddy Blackwell and Jadyn Hawkinson.
It was a lot of fun … and we will miss you.
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.