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The WIAA believes that school activities matter, and here's why...


Check out these great highlights from the Vancouver Public Schools Unified Basketball League. Great work everyone!

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Artimus Johnson


Artimus Johnson is a senior at Hoquiam High School and is the male recipient of December’s Student Spotlight. 


Johnson is a three-sport athlete, participating in football, wrestling and track and was nominated as both football and wrestling team captain this year. As the current Evergreen 1A League football MVP, he has made it to state in all three of his sports during his sophomore and junior years, and is now hoping to do the same in his final year as a Grizzly.

A music lover and piano player, Johnson is a Certified Nursing Assistant, a full-time running start student at Grays Harbor College and has logged over 83 hours of community service working with youth football programs, nursing homes and the local hospital.

Johnson has an impressive 3.897 grade point average and plans to either play football or wrestle at a four-year university. Post undergrad, Johnson hopes to go on to become a family practitioner. 

How does a three-sport athlete and full-time running start high school student manage and succeed like Johnson has? According to Johnson, it’s all about what you take away from the sport itself, coaches and teammates.

“I have learned from my coaches and from sports

that life is not easy, but if you work hard and stay focused, good things will happen – and also to play with passion, or just to have passion in whatever you do.”

Besides a way to showcase emotion and passion, Johnson spoke about why sports matter to him.

“When I play anything or do anything, I always try to perform my best to make tasks or challenges easier for others around me.”

He then touched on why he likes playing for Hoquiam.

“What I like the most about playing at my school is the size and the chemistry or bond that grows in each sport that you play. Since our school is not the biggest, you get to know all of your players a lot easier. Being captain, I like to keep up with my teammates to make sure we’re progressing.”

Longtime football coach Rick Moore jumped at the opportunity to speak about Johnson as a young man and player.

"He is a great kid that continues to excel in his own skills and to help those around him excel in theirs.  He strives to improve himself both athletically and academically, to set goals, to adjust those goals and keep striving to push for excellence.  Through all this he has always been humble and helpful."

Johnson is an altruistic, caring and hard-working leader. Giving credit to his teammates and coaches, Johnson also says the life lessons learned while growing in his sports are the reason he is the mature young man he is today.

“Overall, let’s just say I hope sports don’t go anywhere.”

Bobbi Hall

Bobbi Hall is a senior at Pateros High School and is the female recipient of December’s Student Spotlight.


Most recently, Hall led the Nannie’s volleyball team to an undefeated league season as floor captain, and will be finishing out her high school career with one last varsity year on the girls basketball team. She participated in track her freshman year, but later determined she is “more of a team sport kind of person.”

When asked about notable awards and achievements, Hall thought most recently about the Pateros Fall Sports banquet.

“I came home with some serious loot, I had to help my Mom carry stuff home – it was crazy,” she said laughing.

Some of that loot included volleyball MVP in this year’s Central Washington B League, Pateros’2016 volleyball MVP (based off points), Most Valuable Teammate (voted on by players) and Pateros’ 2016 “Ms. Volleyball” during Homecoming season. With basketball still to come, Hall has a lot to be proud of in her senior year.

When asked why sports and activities matter to her, Hall once again spoke about the powerful influence of teammates.

“They introduce you and kind of create a family away from your own family, you share so much with them. You get to know your teammates inside and out.”

Beyond a way to make and keep friends, Hall explained how sports have taught her how to stay dedicated to something while realizing how much hard work it takes. She has spent a lot of her life dedicating time and energy into not only sports, but her family, heritage and local community.

A proud member of the Colville tribe, Hall’s family has been in the area for hundreds of years. She has lived her life on a piece of the reservation, which was bought by her grandfather and gifted later to her mother. Nine of Hall’s immediate family members live on the property (cousins, aunts, uncles, great uncles), and have been a huge help to her over the last few years in school and sports.

“Family is a huge part of why I have succeeded.”

Hall is a fourth generation graduate of Pateros. She mentioned that playing on the same court as her papa and grandparents has been an incredible experience. With Pateros being a K-12 school, Hall says she can still walk down the elementary hallway and bump into teachers who taught her when she was little.

“I love Pateros. There’s tons of support here, school is amazing and teachers are great. I just love it and am going to miss it if I move away,” Hall said.

With a 3.9 grade point average in both running start and high school classes, Hall has a bright academic future. She has been applying to colleges, is a self-claimed “non – city girl” and is not quite sure what she wants to do yet. Hall will have earned enough college credits to be halfway done with an AA degree at the end of the year and is currently interested in environmental science classes.

Volleyball coach Gene Dowers was able to capture Hall in a few words.

“Bobbi is a prime example of what we would all like our school activities to produce. Well-rounded, well-balanced, confident, intelligent and socially aware, she is a model of what can be achieved through the integration of academics and activities.”

WIAA student leadership committee.  Sophomores:  applications accepted in the spring.
$5,000 scholarship opportunity for graduating seniors.  Apply November 1-April 1, 2017.

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T-Strong at Kent Meridian

While sports are a natural arena for rivalries and competition, the Kent Meridian Football and Cheer programs have used this season as a chance to promote unity and sportsmanship throughout the North South Puget Sound League (NSPSL).


The Royals cheer squad and football team brought attention to Childhood Cancer Awareness month this September by implementing a "#TaylorStrong" awareness campaign.

A member of the KM coaching staff has a family friend whose son Taylor was diagnosed with terminal cancer.  The “T-Strong” campaign was started to support his fight. Taylor loves to watch student-athletes in uniform under the Friday Night Lights. These student-athletes have become heroes to Taylor, and the KM Royals have chosen to show Taylor how many “heroes” he has here in Washington State.

Cheer coaches Erica Wolfskill and Gerald Spalti explained the campaign further, “As a way to spread awareness and show this little boy that we have his back, KMHS Cheer and Football teams have been meeting their opponents’ mid-field, prior to kick off, to take one massive photo for Taylor.” 

 Amidst the fiery emotions that come along with competition, Kent Meridian and its opponents have created space for cross-team camaraderie and uniting for an altruistic movement.  
“While yes, we are bringing awareness, we are also showing that all schools in this league can unite for a cause. We are always looking for ways to promote and encourage sportsmanship…what better way to do so than to unite for a cause.”

Throughout the season, visiting coaches and players from schools such as Auburn Riverside, Hazen, Kentlake and Mt. Rainier have participated in the campaign by joining the Royals at the 50-yard line for a pre-game photo.

“This campaign has made so much of an impact that the new slogan for every game is to be “T-Strong," said Wolfskill and Spalti.

The KM Royals hope to use “#Taylorstrong” as a symbol of awareness for all students, regardless of their challenges, and to show that no matter what happens on the field, it's what you do off the field that can really make a difference.

Nathan Adrian
Bremerton HS '06
Nathan Adrian, Olympic Swimmer and Bremerton HS Alum '06

Ten-time Olympic medalist Nathan Adrian, a Bremerton HS alum, is featured in the Olympics edition of the Alumni Spotlight.

Nathan was introduced to swimming at the age of five when his older brother, sister and his friends were all swimming. His love of swimming blossomed from there. Nathan became a two-time WIAA State Champion in the 200-yard Freestyle with a time of 1:37.17 and the 100-yard Freestyle with a time of 44.08 as a senior (2006). His winning time in the 200-yard Freestyle is still a Boys Swimming & Diving State Meet Record. He followed his brother's and sister's footsteps and chose to swim at the Division I collegiate level. He attended the University of California, Berkeley, where he swam for the Bears.


(Video courtesy of Team Speedo YouTube channel
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