Two dominant playoff Ws give Hawks chance at 1B District crown

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

The Tulalip Heritage Hawks basketball team ended the regular season with a (17-3) overall record, which included a (12-2) record in league play. Both those two inner-league losses came at the hands of a Cedar Park Christian team that finished their season undefeated. When the NW1B District playoff bracket was announced, many expected Tulalip and Cedar Park to meet in the Championship game.

Tulalip entered the tournament as the #2 seed, which allowed them to host an opening round game. Francy J. Sheldon gymnasium was jam packed with friends and family who came out to root on their team on February 1st, when then hosted Shoreline Christian.

These two teams had faced off twice during the regular season and in each the Hawks came away with 30+ point victories. Because of the lopsided nature of those wins, the Hawks started the game sluggish. The defensive rotations weren’t there and the boy just weren’t playing hard. At the end of the 1st quarter, the home team only led by 1 point, 17-16.

During intermission, the Hawks coaching staff lit a fire under the team to get them playing their usual brand of up-tempo, aggressive basketball. The whole squad responded, but none more so than senior guard, Jr. Shay. He was absolutely on fire in the 3rd quarter, scoring 18 points on 7/8 shooting. His intensity was contagious and defensively the Hawks only allowed 16 points the entire 2nd half.

Heritage ended up routing Shoreline 70-39 in front of a crowd of cheering fans. Jr. Shay led all scorers with 21 points, Alonzo Jones added 14 points, and Rodney Barber chipped in 12 points.

Moving onto the 2nd round of the tournament, the Hawks traveled to Lummi where they played the Grace Academy Eagles on February 3rd.  During the regular season Tulalip had defeated Grace by 20+ in both their matchup. This game would mirror those previous ones.

Grace had no answer for the length and athleticism of the Tulalip boys. Center Rodney Barber was corralling rebounds on both ends of the floor and scoring at the rim over the shorter Grace players. After the 1st quarter, the Hawks led 17-12 and would balloon their lead from there.

Hawks players continued to move the ball well offensively, leading to all five starters finding their groove and knocking down shots. Defensively, the Hawks hounded the Grace ball handlers into committing several turnovers. In the 2nd quarter Grace would only score 8 points because of the defensive pressure.

When the buzzer sounded signaling end of game, the Hawks had notched a 67-46 victory, advancing them to the Championship round. Rodney led the Hawks in scoring with 15 points, Nashone Whitebear added 14 points, and Alonzo chipped in 11 points.

Next up, the Hawks will face off against Cedar Park Christian tonight for the NW1B crown. The Hawks nearly beat them the last time they matched up and are looking to ride their recent momentum to an upset victory over the undefeated Cedar Park.

Lady Hawks firing on all cylinders to start postseason

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

The Tulalip Heritage Lady Hawks basketball team finished the regular season with a (15-4) overall record, including a perfect (12-0) in league play. Going undefeated against league opponents earned them the #1 seed in the NW1B District playoffs.

Tulalip started the postseason by hosting the Lions from Cedar Park Christian in an opening round game played on February 1. It was obvious from the onset that Tulalip was the much more talented and all-around better team as they took a 5-0 lead, extending it to 13-0, before the Lions finally got on the board right before the end of the 1st quarter. After the first eight minutes of play Heritage led 15-3.

During the entire 1st half, senior guard Keryn Parks put the offense on her back by routinely attacking the basket, finishing through contact, and scoring bucket after bucket. In fact, Keryn scored an impressive 18 points in the first half, outscoring a Cedar Park team who only managed 7 points through the first two quarters.

In the 2nd half, forwards Deandra Grant and Krislyn Parks controlled the game by exploiting the smaller Cedar Park team in the paint. The Lady Hawks played through Deandra and Krislyn who were able to get quality looks from point-blank range.

It was a dominant performance from the Lady Hawks as they won 62-20. They were led in scoring by Keryn’s 26 points, while Deandra added 11 points and 18 rebounds, and Krislyn had 13 points and 13 rebounds.

Two days later, Tulalip travelled to Lummi High School to play Grace Academy in a 2nd round playoff game. The 3-ball was falling early on with guards Georgie Randall and Loralei Eli knocking down multiple shots from deep. At the end of the 1st quarter, the Lady Hawks led 15-10.

In the 2nd quarter, the Lady Hawks were hit foul calls left and right, none bigger than Keryn getting her 3rd personal foul in the early going. Due to that foul trouble Keryn hit the bench and in her absence the team stepped up admirably. From that point on the team’s defense locked in and didn’t allow Grace Academy any easy looks. Meanwhile, the coaching staff adjusted their offense to run everything through Deandra in the post.

With Keryn on the bench, Deandra shouldered the offensive burden with ease. She was often double and even triple teamed, but it didn’t matter. She was just too big and too strong. Deandra scored 18 points from the 2nd quarter on. Combine her scoring with a Tulalip defense that was locked in, they held Grace to only 5 points in the 2nd quarter and then an astounding 1 point in the 3rd quarter, and Heritage ran away with a 60-34 victory.

Deadra led all players in scoring with 20 points, including double digits rebounds and blocks, while Georgie and Keryn both chipped in 11 points.

The 2-0 start to the postseason gives the Lady Hawks a berth in the NW1B Championship game where they will play Mt. Vernon Christian tonight at 5:00 p.m. at Lummi High School.

Tulalip Heritage High School Receives Accreditation

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

Tulalip Heritage High School recently received accreditation through AdvancED, an accrediting agency comprised of educators who conduct on-site external reviews of Pre K-12 schools. The education accreditation procedure is a yearlong voluntary process in which a school becomes a certified institution by meeting a set of external standards of quality. Due to successfully completing the process, Tulalip Heritage has been granted accreditation for the next five years.

Tulalip Heritage was previously accredited under Marysville-Pilchuck, the recent accreditation now recognizes Heritage as its own school and by doing so, the high school has the opportunity to thrive on its own, as well as provide a fresh outlook for potential students and their families. On the evening of Wednesday August 30, Tulalip Heritage celebrated their accreditation with the Tulalip community at the Francis J. Sheldon Gym.

“It’s really a huge accomplishment for us, as a school, to receive this accreditation,” states Tulalip Heritage High School Principal, Shelly Lacy. “We’re accredited through AdvancED, they have accredited over 34,000 schools nationally and we actually scored ten points higher than their average. A lot of times we hear in the community that Tulalip Heritage is an alternative school, that we’re less than. This accreditation tells them no, we meet the same standards; as a matter of fact, we exceed those standards.

Tulalip Heritage High School Principal, Shelly Lacy.

“It took us a year to get ready,” she continues. “[AdvancED] were at our school for three days and spent over a week looking at all of our data. They came in and did interviews with the students, parents and staff; and also observed the classrooms. We learned a lot through the process, [the accreditation] is good for five years and is an ongoing process where we continue to work with them to improve our instruction so that we make sure that our students receive the best education that they can receive.”

The accreditation celebration allowed parents and students a chance to fill out paperwork for the upcoming school year. Heritage also provided dinner, a spaghetti-bar buffet by Olive Garden, as well as entertainment as many Tulalip Heritage Alumni took to the basketball court to compete in a full four-quarter game against the current Heritage High School student-athletes.

“When we thought about celebrating the accreditation, we wanted to include all of our alumni because they are who made our school important. They came and did their best work here and then they continue to come back. They come back to support the athletes, they come back to volunteer at our school. So, we wanted to make sure we included them and the best way is through their love to play sports.

“The one thing we’re most excited about is this year’s graduating class will receive the first-ever Tulalip Heritage High School diploma, we’re really excited about that,” Shelly expresses. “We’re in the process of designing the new diplomas. They will say Tulalip Heritage High School and will include our logo and probably a picture of our school. We thank the Tribe for their support because we couldn’t offer our students what we offer without the Tribe’s support. We can offer P.E., have a full-time counselor and a full-time principal because the Tribe supports us, so that we can make sure our kids have everything they need to graduate and be successful in college and their future careers.”

Lady Hawks silent against Grace Academy, 0-3

By Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News

LH-vs-Grace-Academy_Paris-VerdaTULALIP – The curse of the Eagles struck the Tulalip Lady Hawks again in last night’s game against Grace Academy Eagles, 0-3, played at Heritage High School.

Both teams stepped on the court looking to take a win after both teams experienced crushing losses in their season openers. But Lady Hawks’ lack of communication, which has plagued the team since the start, enabled the Eagles to easily take the lead.

The Lady Hawks came together in the second match to score 17 points but couldn’t hang on to turn the tide.

Tulalip Heritage – 8  17  15 – 0

Grace Academy – 25  25  25 – 3

You can watch all home games live on Tulalip TV or online at


Brandi N. Montreuil: 360-913-5402;

Lady Hawks play Highland Christian Knights tonight at 6

Tulalip News staff 

TULALIP– Heritage Lady Hawks will host Highland Christian Knights tonight at 6:00 p.m. at Heritage High School.

Lady Hawks are coming to the net off a lost from Grace Academy Eagles played last Friday that ended with the Lady Hawks unable to secure a set match win ending the game at 0-3.

Highland Christian has been unable to secure a win this season and will be looking to change that coming into tonight’s game. Last season the Lady Hawks played the Knights twice, with one game resulting in the Lady Hawks first five-set match game of the season and ending in a win for the Lady Hawks.

You can watch the Lady Hawk live online in tonight’s game at

Former Mets player spreads message of hope

 by Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News 

Jose Rijo-Berger, credits sports and a spiritual connection to God as his way out of a gang life in Everett, WAPhoto/ Brandi N. Montreuil

Jose Rijo-Berger, credits sports and a spiritual connection to God as his way out of a gang life in Everett, WA
Photo/ Brandi N. Montreuil

TULALIP, Wash. – Tulalip Heritage High School and 10th Street students, this morning, joined each other for a special presentation at Tulalip Heritage High School, where guest speaker Jose Rijo-Berger shared his journey from gang member to professional baseball player.

Jose Rijo-Berger, former professional baseball player for the New York Mets and current scout for the St. Louis Cardinals, took time out from his training facility, Rijo Athletics located in Woodinville, to inspire students to rise above peer pressure.

Rijo-Berger, drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1995 while he was still in college, told students his road to fame was not a storybook tale. Born in Aberdeen, he was placed in foster care and adopted by a couple from Everett. Life turned rough after the death of his adopted father when he was eight, leading him to experiment with alcohol at 13 and quickly finding himself joining a new family.

“I should be dead or in jail,” said Rijo-Berger. “I joined a gang when I was 16. There were a lot of challenges growing up with a single mom and living in a rough neighborhood. I was shot at multiple times, I even had a gun held at my head at one point and I thought that was the end of it.”

During the day he was a typical high school student, excelling in his school’s sport teams, but by night he was involved in criminal activity. Soon his life took a dramatic turn after a party where he and a rival gang member held guns to each other’s head. It was then he knew he couldn’t live that lifestyle, so he did what his coaches trained him to do, he ran.

Jose Rijo-Berger tells students you are important and you have something great to achievePhoto/ Brandi N. Montreuil

Jose Rijo-Berger tells students you are important and you have something great to achieve
Photo/ Brandi N. Montreuil

Devoting his time to sports, he attended the Walla Walla Community College where his skills at baseball landed him a professional career. But Rijo-Berger said something was still missing. After an invitation to a local church during the Mets off-season, he found what was missing. He decided to live a Christian lifestyle and felt a calling to open a training facility for youth. His goal was to provide a safe outlet for youth to become involved in a family where you weren’t committing crime, but training for your dreams.

“I want to give the students hope and let them know how important they are and let them know how much God loves them. Kids don’t realize how much they are valued and how important they are, and I really want to get that message to them. I want them to know that there are people that care about them and that want to help them, and they can have the courage to say no to the things that other kids are saying yes too,” said Rijo-Berger.

“If you do what’s right you are going to be more successful in life,” he told students. “Have the courage to say no, don’t be that one that always goes to the parties and drinks, there are millions of those guys. Be that one person that stays home, studies more, stays in school, and achieves their dreams.”

Jose Rijo-Berger has a .279 career batting average and is one of two players in the league to start every game. He was voted as “Best Conditioned Athlete” by the Mets organization. Rijo Athletics, located in Woodinville, has trained over 6,000 students since 1999, and have over 50 players drafted professionally.


Brandi N. Montreuil: 360-913-5402;

Hawks feel the pressure in loss against Evergreen Lutheran, 33-58

By Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News writer

MOUNT VERNON, Wash.- Tulalip Heritage Hawks faced off against Evergreen Lutheran in the last 1B Tri-District games held at Mount Vernon Christian High School on February 18th.

Hawks held a tight man-to-man coverage trailing by three points going into the second quarter, where they struggled to take the lead from Evergreen Lutheran, who continued to dominate the court scoring 16 points to Hawks 11 at the end of the first half.

Unable to match the offensive plays by Evergreen Lutheran, Hawks fell drastically behind only scoring 12 points to Evergreen Lutheran’s 29 in the second half, taking a loss with a final game score of 33-58.

Hawks will play Taholah at regionals in a winner–to-state/loser out contest at Timberline High School.

Dontae Jones led the Hawks with 10 points scored, Willy Enick 7, Brandon Jones 5, Kyle Jones 5, Robert Miles 2, Shawn Sanchey 2, and Alan Enick 2.


Brandi N. Montreuil: 360-913-5402;

Hawks crushing loss to Cedar Park Christian, 72-77

By Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News writer

MOUNT VERNON, Wash.- Tulalip Heritage Hawks met Cedar Park Christian during a 1B Tri-District game on February 14th held at Mount Vernon Christian High School.

Trailing behind Cedar Park’s fast pace going into the second quarter the Hawks made a brief play for control of the ball, but fell short with an 8 point difference going into the second half.

Determined to build off their momentum Hawks added 22 points in the third quarter but couldn’t connect with the basket with a few three pointers that could have pushed them into the lead costing the Hawks the win in a narrow loss for a final game score of 72-77.


Brandi N. Montreuil: 360-913-5402; 


Local basketball star lands fan vote for Herald’s player of the week


By Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News staff writer

Adiya Jones-Smith vs Grace Academy_1-25-13 TULALIP, Wash.- Tulalip Heritage High School freshman and Tulalip tribal member, Adiya Jones-Smith received the fan vote for HeraldNet’s Girls Basketball Player of the Week for January 21st-27th.

This is her second round in the Player of the Week, previously she was nominated for the December 10th -15th Player of the Week, but did not win.

According to, the Player of the Week is a combination of votes that are tallied by combining the winner of the fan voting along with votes by Herald staff that attend games.

Adiya was chosen for the 25 points she scored in a win over Grace Academy Eagles on January 25th when Tulalip Heritage Lady Hawks hosted Grace Academy. Adiya’s 25 points helped push the Lady Hawks into a solid leadAdiya Jones-Smith_2_vs Grace Academy_1-25-13 for a win with a final game score 60-35.

With the help of her notorious rebounds, and easy three-pointers, she stands at five feet ten inches and is the tallest player the Lady Hawks have to offer, and sports an average of 12 points scored during each game.

This combination of talent, focus, and consistent scoring has helped her team remain undefeated in the Northwest 1B League play.

Adiya received 35.33 percent of 801 votes cast with a total of 283 votes winning the fan vote while Everett’s Darian Rielly, who received 220 votes for her 25 points scored in a win over Oak Harbor and 18 points in a win over Marysville Getchell, won the Player of the Week being voted by Herald staff members, Rich Myhre, Jon Saperstein, and Aaron Lommers.

The Lady Hawks will face off against Lummi Nation tonight at 5:00 p.m. at Tulalip Heritage High School in a league game. You can view live coverage of the game at


Brandi N. Montreuil: 360-913-5402;