After suffering first L, Hawks bounce back with three Ws

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

The Tulalip Heritage boys basketball team opened the season undefeated with a (9-0) record. As they powered through the NW1B league, so did league foe Cedar Park Christian (11-0). This set up a battle of the unbeaten on January 5 at Francy J. Sheldon gymnasium.

Cedar Park proved during the game that their bigger, stronger backcourt was able to keep Heritage off the boards and prevent them from attacking the basket. The Hawks had lots of difficulty manufacturing points in the 1st half and trailed 13-34 at halftime. In the 2nd half, the Hawks got back to running and playing their style, but their deficit was too large. Their winning streak was snapped with a 43-60 defeat.

Coming off their first loss of the season, the Hawks responded by putting up a season-high in points when they whooped Shoreline Christian, 87-53. They followed that up with a 70-32 blowout win over Providence Classical Christian.

Next up was rival Lummi Nation, in a home game played on Tuesday, January 16. With the gym packed full of fans for both sides, the environment was prime for a competitive game. Lummi came out with a solid game plan of slowing down the pace of play to throw the Hawks off their game. It worked over the first three quarters. The Hawks are so accustomed to playing up-tempo and using their combination of speed and athleticism to get transition buckets that Lummi’s slow, methodical pace gave them fits.

At the end of the 3rd quarter, the game was tied at 34-34. In the 4th quarter, the Hawks were finally able to bust the game open with their senior players leading the offensive charge. Josh Iukes hit two clutch 3-pointers and Nashone Whitebear scored 8 points in a four-minute frenzy, giving Tulalip the momentum to take home victory. Up by several baskets, Tulalip focused in on Lummi’s key scorer and prevented him from scoring down the stretch.

When the final game buzzer sounded, the Hawks had earned a hard fought 52-40 W. Josh led the Hawks in scoring with 13 points, while Nashone, Jr. Shay, and Rodney Barber each added 10 points.

The Hawks look to keep getting better in their half-court sets, as a looming matchup with Cedar Park on January 26 will surely go a long way to dictating who wins the NW1B crown. Next up for the Hawks is a road game at Lopez before returning home on Tuesday, January 23, for Senior Night versus Grace Academy.

She Got Game: Women Tribal Members Featured in College Hoops Matchup

Tulalip tribal members Adiya Jones (left) and Kanoa Enick (right) are matched up for the first time as collegiate adversaries.

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

They’ve grown up together on the Tulalip Reservation playing more games of rez ball than can be remembered. Years and years of dribbling, rebounding, and hearing the net swish has created countless memories on the hardwood, but an all-new memory was created for Tulalip tribal members Adiya Jones and Kanoa Enick when they matched up for the first time as collegiate adversaries.

In her second year playing for Skagit Valley Community College, Adiya has stepped up and taken the reigns as the team’s unquestioned leader. She is the primary playmaker on offense while also anchoring the team’s defense.

“Adiya is our best player and there’s a reason why. She has a high basketball I.Q., she’s so smooth with the ball, has a great shooting touch, and she’s a willing passer; making her a tremendous asset to our team,” beams Steve Epperson, Skagit’s Athletic Director and Women’s Basketball Coach. “Over the last few games she’s rebounded the heck out of the basketball as well.

“I’m really proud of her as a student, too, because she’s doing really well in school and making great progress towards her degree.”

Meanwhile, Kanoa recently decided to test her medal at Northwest Indian College (NWIC) by enrolling in Winter quarter. Her appetite for getting buckets still strong, she walked onto the women’s basketball team and is quickly showing promise.

“She adds another dimension to our team. Kanoa is a good hustle player, she’s very long and is able to contest shots on the perimeter,” states Matthew Santa Cruz, NWIC’s Women’s Basketball Coach. “She’s also able to take it to the hole, get fouled, and make her free-throws. That’s a real asset in this game.”

And so the stage was set for the two home-grown college athletes to face-off for the first-time ever.

The historical moment took place at the Lummi High School gym, the home court for NWIC, on Friday, December 5. Adiya shined while leading her team with 24-points, but it was Kanoa’s NWIC team taking the W in a 64-61 nail biter.

The following day, the two team’s played once again, this time in Mt. Vernon, giving Adiya’s Skagit squad the opportunity for payback. There were several Tulalip fans in the crowd who journeyed to watch the matchup. Skagit came away with a convincing 66-35 W the second time around, giving both Tulalip women a victory over the other.

Following their second matchup in as many days, Adiya and Kanoa reflected on this new experience.

“I was nervous and excited when I realized we were about to play against each other,” said Kanoa. “It doesn’t come off like we know each other on the court because we’re both so focused on the game. It was really cool to see Tulalips in the stands rooting for us.”

“It was definitely fun. It hit me when I was warming up for our first game; I was thinking ‘this is so weird I’m about to play Kanoa’,” smiled Adiya. “For the younger generation at home in Tulalip, I hope they see this and realize they can attend college and play ball, too. Get outside your comfort zone because, honestly, once you try it you’ll realize how exciting new opportunities are.”

Season comes to an end for Lady Hawks

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

The Tulalip Heritage Lady Hawks volleyball team started off the season with a disappointing (0-3) record, largely due to a whole new cohort of players, including several who had never played organized volleyball before. The coaching staff of Tina Brown, Katia Brown, and Aliya Jones reviewed lots of game film and implemented a series of new practicing techniques to teach their new players the fundamentals of team volleyball. Over the course of the season, the practices paid off as the Lady Hawks found the winning way, taking four of their next six matches.

After a humbling loss to Providence Classical Christian, the girls bounced back in a big way, again finding their rhythm on the court and finishing the regular season with four straight victories. The winning streak moved Heritage into a tie for 4th in the Northwest 1B League with an (8-6) record, and earned them a berth in the postseason tournament.

Over the course of the two-day 1B District playoffs, the Lady Hawks played four competitive matches vs. top quality opponents. First up was against Providence Classical Christian, which for the third time this season got the better of Heritage. In their following match Tulalip made quick work of Cedar Park Christian, beating them 3 games to 1.

Arlington Christian was the next challenge. In a match that was by far the most competitive of the season for the Lady Hawks, with each game coming down to the wire and every single point being consequence, the girls gave a valiant effort and fell just short of victory.

The letdown of the previous match carried over in what would be the final match of the season, a matchup with Shoreline Christian. The match was tightly played, with the Lady Hawks having a lead in every game, but not able to finish strong. Tulalip showed high spirits by continuing to play hard each and every point, even when the outlook was grim.

Following the tournament, Lady Hawk senior captain, Keryn Parks, shared her thoughts as she reflected on the season.

“During our season, we all tried are best and hardest to reach our goals as a team. We improved tremendously, worked better as a team, and built stronger relationships as a family,” said Keryn. “We grew so much. For myself, being a senior and playing on this team since my sophomore year, I knew the game pretty well and was more than willing to help my teammates, and encourage my teammates on just how great each of them are.

“Winning five of our last six regular season games was awesome. We really wanted to go far in the playoffs, but everything happens for a reason. We played so hard every game, and we played with so much heart. It hurts that our season is over, but I’m so blessed to have a team I’ll forever consider my family!”

Lady Hawks season opener

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

After finding unprecedented success on the volleyball court last year, a season that saw Heritage make it all the way to Tri-Districts, the Lady Hawks opened up a brand new season with a home game versus the Providence Classical Christian Highlanders. The game was played on Monday, September 11, at Francy J. Sheldon gymnasium.

The foundation of this year’s team include senior captains Keryn Parks and Deandra Grant. The Lady Hawks graduated six seniors from last year’s team, which included three starters. In their place comes a new batch of young, eager to play student-athletes.

“We have lots of new faces to our Lady Hawk program. For some of the girls this will be their first-ever volleyball match,” says Coach Tina Brown. “Fortunately, we have two senior leaders in Keryn and Deandra who can remain positive and help teach their teammates during the games. There’s a learning curve for us as a team, but we’ll only get better as we gain more experience playing together.”

It was a tough opening matchup for the new look Lady Hawks, as the PCC Highlanders only lost one regular season game last season and returned the majority of their players.

In the 1st game, the Lady Hawks struggled to get any momentum going while the Highlanders weren’t missing a beat. The Highlanders took the opening game 25-11.

The Lady Hawks played much better in the 2nd game. After trailing 0-5 to start, the girls got their game going on both sides of the net, going on long rallies and hustling to every ball. The service game got going as well with several Lady Hawks coming up with aces. They battled back to get within four points, 19-23, before the Highlanders called a timeout. Both teams traded points leading to the Lady Hawks dropping a competitive 2nd game 21-25.

The 3rd and final game saw the Lady Hawks go down 3-9 early before once again battling back behind timely aces and solid defense to get within three points, 10-13. The Highlanders were just too good on this day though and won the game 25-19 and the match 3-0.

Following the game, Coach Tina said she was very proud of her players for playing as competitively as they did versus a top tier opponent. She continued, “There were stretches during the final two games where we played them even, nearly point for point. However, the mistakes we made during the match are the same we’ve been making in practice. They are little mistakes, but they add up when they keep happening. So we’ll look to fix them and continue working on getting better at practice.”

Keryn added, “It’s a whole new group of girls compared to last year and we’re still getting used to playing with one another and learning each other’s strengths. In the 2nd and 3rd games the score showed we got really close. I think we’ve gotten way better through practice and it showed today on the court.”

Up next for the Lady Hawks is another home game versus Arlington Christian before hitting the road to play at Shoreline Christians. Heritage then returns home to play rival Cedar Park on Thursday, September 21.

Over 5,000 Indigenous athletes compete in NAIG 2017

Let the Games begin!

NAIG opened with a surprise musical appearance from Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas, flanked by traditional hoop dancers putting on a mesmerizing cultural performance.

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

On the spectacular evening of Sunday, July 16 an estimated 5,250 Indigenous athletes, coaches and support staff proudly marched into the Aviva Center, located just outside of Canada’s largest city Toronto, for the opening ceremony of the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) 2017.

The over 5,000 athletes represent 26 regions across North America, consisting of 13 provinces and territories in Canada and 13 regions in the United States. Since 1990, Indigenous competitors between the ages of 13 and 19-years-old have taken part in the showcase that celebrates their athleticism and heritage. This year’s Indigenous Games marks the 9th edition of the multi-sport, multi-disciplinary event dedicated to Indigenous youth from the United States and Canada. The Games offer 14 sport competitions in addition to a vibrant cultural program.

For the first time in over 25 years NAIG returned to eastern Canada, notably allowing the province of Ontario to host its first ever Indigenous Games. For many of the young tribal competitors who reside on reservations in the United States, their athletic expertise allowed them their first ever entrance into Canada, to sightsee the City of Toronto, and, most importantly, to experience and connect with Indigenous cultures from around the continent.

Mississauga of the New Credit First Nation elder Gary Sioux lit the ceremonial smudge and offered a blessing, while his granddaughter fanned the flames of competition for NAIG 2017.

During the opening ceremony of NAIG 2017, which was delayed approximately 90-minutes due to a thunderstorm, the capacity crowd of over 9,000 was rightfully energized by a surprise musical performance from Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas, flanked by traditional hoop dancers putting on a mesmerizing cultural performance.

“Ladies and gentlemen, it is an honor to be here. I represent the Shoshone and Hopi Nation,” said Taboo before performing his musical medley. “I am very proud to be Native American representing here with you all in Toronto. We represent the future. Natives, Indigenous, First Nations, and Aboriginals all coming together as one people, one nation, one tribe to make dreams come true.”

Spanning the week of July 17-22, more than 5,000 athletes from across the continent will compete in 14 sporting categories on the traditional lands and homelands of the Huron-Wendat Nation, Metis Nation of Ontario, Mississauga of the New Credit First Nation, Mississauga of Scugog Island First Nation, and Six Nations of the Grand River.

Government and Indigenous leadership from various regions took to stage to deliver rallying messages of encouragement, strength, and unity through sport.

“On behalf of the Six Nations, we are the Haudenosaunee and we welcome you. We are so excited and proud to be one of the community partners hosting these Games,” exclaimed Chief Ava Hill, representing the Six Nations of the Grand River. “To the athletes, these are your Games! It is so emotional to me as a leader to witness all you young people here today because each and every one of you is a dream come true. You are role models for the younger ones who are watching you. You are ambassadors for your families and for your communities. You are all winners! You are all winners just by being here and being a participant in the North American Indigenous Games.”

Following a rocking performance by A Tribe Called Red, fireworks filled the night sky at the Aviva Center to signal the beginning of the Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games.

Sport can be a launching pad for many great things yet to come for youth. Through participation in NAIG 2017, youth are given many opportunities to travel, make new Indigenous friends, and form life-long connections. As athletes participating in NAIG 2017, Indigenous youth learn many character building skills, such as team building, courage, determination, and goal-setting in a familiar setting located at the intersection of culture and sport. These are all skills that will help greatly as the youth move on to the next chapters in their lives.

Representing the Pacific Northwest region of the United States is Team Washington and its 19U men’s basketball team which includes three Tulalip tribal members: Robert Miles, Darion Joseph, and Bryce Juneau. They are joined by Michael Leslie (Muckleshoot), who played basketball for Tulalip Heritage during his sophomore year, Tre Williams (Nez Pierce), Xavier Littlehead (Northern Cheyenne), and Isiah Strom (Yakama). They are coached by Tulalip tribal member Harold Joseph, who participated in the first four editions of NAIG as a competitor and has coached in every NAIG since.

“Having three Tulalip tribal members on the team is special because they get to share this experience with the younger youth back home,” says Coach Harold. “All three of them are positive role models in our community. They each played high school sports; Robert at Heritage, Bryce at Marysville-Pilchuck and Darion at Archbishop Murphy, so the younger kids see that and it pushes them in the right way. I want to thank the Tulalip Tribe for supporting us and giving us the opportunity to represent all our people back home in our quest for a gold medal.”

Celebrating athletic accomplishment

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News; photos courtesy Heritage H.S.

Tulalip Heritage High School faculty and coaches honored their Fall and Winter sports participants with a joint celebration and banquet-style potluck on Wednesday, March 29 in the Heritage Commons.

With friends and family in attendance, the players took center stage and received recognition for their dedication to practice, constant improvement and teamwork during the sports season.

Bringing cheer and halftime entertainment to every home and playoff game were the Heritage cheerleaders. They always kept a positive attitude, smiles on their faces, and were determined to keep the home crowds upbeat.

 

The Hawks football team was short on eligible players this past season, but that didn’t stop them from showing up come game day and leaving their all on the field. After a narrow 2-point loss in their opening game, the football program showed out the very next game for a 51-26 victory in front of the home crowd.

 

Lady Hawks volleyball had another productive season under coach Tina Brown. The girls opened the season with five straight victories on their way to a 9-6 regular season record and a trip to the postseason. At the 1B District playoffs, they dropped their first match before bouncing back with back-to-back Ws and earning a trip to Tri-Districts.

 


Coaches Marlin and Cyrus “Bubba” Fryberg made the best of a rebuilding year for their boys basketball program. With so many new faces on the team there was a steep learning curve. The Hawks opened the season 1-6, but soon after found their identity and went 7-5 down the stretch to clinch a playoff spot. In the postseason, the boys played their best basketball and defeated two teams with better records to earn a Tri-District berth.

 

The Lady Hawks basketball program achieved the most this year. The girls carried a stellar record all season long on their way to battling for the NW1B regular season crown. Led by their Big 3 (Aliya Jones, Keryn Parks, and Deandra Grant), they finished the regular season 16-3. With two decisive victories to open the playoffs, the Lady Hawks matched up with inner-league foe Cedar Park Christian for the third time in the NW1B championship game. Back and forth for nearly the whole game, Cedar Park pulled away in the final minutes. It was a heartbreaking game for the Lady Hawks, but they bounced back admirably to win two more games at Tri-Districts and clinched consecutive trips to Regionals.

Coach Bubba Fryberg was recognized as Coach of the Year in the Northwest 1B League, while three of his players (Aliya, Keryn, and Deandra) were named to the All-League 1st Team. Additionally, Aliya earned All-State recognition with an honorable mention by the Associated Press.

Lady Hawks set school records in 74-6 rout of Chargers

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By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

Led by All-State talent Adiya Jones, last season’s Lady Hawks team went a perfect (19-0) in the regular season, winning those games with an astoundingly high 30-point average margin of victory, and made it all the way to the State tournament. That team finished with a (23-3) overall record as they rewrote the Heritage history books.

Fast forward nine months and the Lady Hawks are looking to replicate that same level of success in the upcoming season. Gone now are Adiya, Michelle Iukes, Desirae Williams, and Kaenishia Herrera who all graduated, but remaining are talented seniors Aliya Jones, Myrna Redleaf, and Cyena Fryberg. Along with stand-out junior Keryn Parks and a bunch of new faces who intend on being key contributors, the expectations remain high for the Lady Hawks basketball program.

On Monday, November 28, the Lady Hawks returned to action as they hosted the Marysville Getchell Chargers c-team in the 2016-2017 season opener. It’s worth noting two Tulalip tribal members play on the Chargers c-team, freshman Jasmin McLean and sophomore Kecia Zackuse.

From the opening tip it was obvious that it wasn’t a question of if the Lady Hawks would win, it was only a question of by how much. The Chargers c-team is comprised of all freshman and sophomore players who are still learning to play the game, while the Lady Hawks have players with years of experience and are coming off a State run.

It couldn’t have been gone any better as the Lady Hawks opened up the game hitting their first six shots and taking a 12-0 lead before the Chargers called a timeout. Following the timeout, the home team continued to hit shots and execute their offense, while playing stifling defense. At the end of the 1st quarter Tulalip led 24-0.

In the 2nd quarter, the game continued to be all Lady Hawks. In fact, Tulalip led 48-0 at one point before the Chargers made their first basket of the game with only nine seconds to go in the half. At halftime the Lady Hawks were up 48-2.

 

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With the victory already well secured, Keryn got the home crowd going with a one-woman scoring demonstration to open the 3rd quarter. In what seemed like only a matter of seconds, she scored back-to-back-to-back-to-back buckets giving her team a 57-2 lead. After hitting the bench for a quick breather, the hot-handed Keryn returned to score two more buckets, making it six straight shots without a miss for her.

Going into the 4th quarter, Tulalip led 61-2. Even in a blowout of this nature there is valuable experience to be had. All the new faces on the Lady Hawks were able to get a lot of run and get familiar with running the team sets in real game action.

When the final game buzzer sounded, Tulalip had won their season opener 74-6. In the process they set team records with the 68-point margin of victory and a team total 34 turnovers forced, including a record breaking 31 steals.

Keryn led all players with 19-points and 7-assists. Adding to the awesome game notes was every Lady Hawk player scoring at least 4-points. Not a bad way to start the season.

The Lady Hawks next home game is Wednesday, December 7, when they host Chief Kitsap Academy. Tipoff at 5:00 p.m.

 

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Lady Hawks fall to 3rd in standings

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By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

The Tulalip Heritage Hawks volleyball program’s scorching hot (5-0) start seems like a distant memory after losing four of their past five matches. Their latest loss came at home when they hosted the (4-5) Arlington Christian Knights on Wednesday, October 12.

Game 1 was a lackluster effort from the Lady Hawks. They went through the motions of playing, but the effort wasn’t there and they dropped the opening game 16-25. During intermission, they tried to talk strategy and came to the conclusion they just weren’t pumped up to play. During game 2, the home team fell behind 3-9 before putting together a few rallies and got the score to 14-15. The crowd got into it and the Lady Hawks looked to be getting their groove back. The Lady Hawks played as a team with energy and grinded out a 27-25 win.

Their momentum continued in the 3rd game, as they took a 9-3 lead and extended it to a 20-14 lead before the Knights called a time-out. Following the timeout the Knights took momentum back and left the home team reeling. After being up 20-14, the Lady Hawks were unable to close out the game and lost 23-25. They were unable to muster a comeback and dropped game 4, resulting in a 1 game to 3 match defeat.

With the loss the Lady Hawks are now (6-4) and find themselves in 3rd place in NW 1B standings. They have work to do and it will start in practice to rebuild their team chemistry. The next two games are against the winless Skykomish and Lummi Nation teams. Hopefully the girls can right the ship, get those Ws, and figure out how to sustain their energy for a full match in order to clinch a spot in the postseason tournament.

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Friday Night Lights Brings Communities Together

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By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

The Tulalip Tribes and Marysville School District kicked off Tulalip/Marysville Unity Month (#TMUnityMonth) on October 7, 2016, with Friday Night Lights. The event, hosted by Youth Services, is a flag football tournament that sees over 60 participants on the field every Friday.

An all-ages event, Friday Night Lights participants get to play live, fast-paced football, while bonding with family and community members of Tulalip, Marysville, Everett, and Arlington. The event consists of four teams that will play each other every Friday night during the months of September to November.

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Youth Services provides snacks on the busy Friday nights to participants playing football, the young adults skateboarding the new skate park, and also caters to additional people taking part in indoor events such as open gym and movie nights.

Friday Night Lights is held 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. every Friday night during the first few months of football season. Josh Fryberg, Youth Services Activities Coordinator, believes that building relationships is a major key to growing together as a community.

 

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He states, “We have people coming from neighboring communities to play football and to have some fun. The main objective of Friday Night Lights is bringing the community together, that’s what it’s all about.”

For more details about Friday Night Lights and #TMUnityMonth, please contact Youth Services at (360) 716-4909.

 

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Lady Hawks stumble in back-to-back defeats

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By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

After opening the season in grand fashion, undefeated at 5-0 and sitting atop the league standings, the Tulalip Heritage Lady Hawks have taken the L in consecutive matches.

On Friday, September 30, the Lady Hawks (5-0) hosted the Highlanders (2-1) from Providence Classical Christian. The Lady Hawks got shellacked 9-25 in the 1st game, but responded with a gritty 25-23 win in the 2nd game. The 3rd game was a repeat of the 1st, with the Lady Hawks committing too many errors and not able to return the ball. They dropped the 3rd game 10-25.  Again, the home team responded with a well-played 4th game, winning 25-14, and forcing a match deciding Game 5.

In the 5th game, the Lady Hawks started out playing with a sense of urgency and went up 6-3. However, they weren’t able to keep it up and the Highlanders would battle back and claim the game and match victory. It was the first taste of defeat for the Lady Hawks.

On Monday, October 3, the Lady Hawks (5-1) traveled to Mountlake Terrace to take on the Lions (5-1) of Cedar Park Christian. These two teams were tied for first in the Northwest 1B league.

The Lady Hawks came out ballin’ in the 1st game. They took a very quick 12-1 lead and closed out the game 25-16. Unfortunately, the tide turned in the Lions favor as they seemed to figure out the Lady Hawks offensive strategy. At every opportunity, the Lions would wait for the setter and put their tallest players at the net to block Lady Hawk attacks. The Lions strategy worked as they won the 2nd game 25-18, 3rd game 25-19, and 4th game 25-15.

Tulalip falls to second in the standings with a (5-2) record. They now have a few days to practice, watch game film, and figure out where they can make adjustments. With upcoming home games on Monday, October 10, and Wednesday, October 12, the Lady Hawks will look to right the ship and get back to their winning ways.

 

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