The Chronicle’s Top 25 Sports (Instagram) Photos of 2018

By Matt Baide

mbaide@chronline.com

It was quite the year in Lewis County sports. The year started off with many basketball championships, including W.F. West girls winning a district and state title and the Adna boys winning the district championship. The Bearcat boys basketball team even made an improbable run through the 2A tournament to finish in second place.
In the spring, we had even more champions, with the Bearcat baseball and softball teams capturing district championships and the Napavine softball team claiming the district championship before finishing second in the state tournament.
In track & field, we had several champions. In Cheney, Adna’s Austen Apperson claimed four state titles in the 3200, 1600, 800 and was on the Pirates’ 4×400 state champion relay team consisting of Zander Blankenship, Brady Collins, Aisan Ryan and Apperson. Luke Wellander won the 110 meter hurdles title and Napavine’s Draven Riddle captured the triple jump title. Mollie Olson won the 100 meter hurdles title for Napavine.
In Tacoma, W.F. West’s Kendra Bottenberg won the javelin and Colby White won the high jump.
After a relaxing summer, the 2018-19 school year started with fall sports and they did not disappoint. The Napavine football team was able to get back to the state title game, although they came up just short against Kalama to finish in second place. Adna captured the Mountain Division football title and Pe Ell-Willapa Valley claimed the Coastal Division crown yet again.
I’ve always heard the phrase a picture is worth 1,000 words. Although I believe it’s hard to come up with 1,000 words on a picture of food you made for dinner and posted it on Instagram (although I do like food pictures), I wanted to share the top photos from The Chronicle sports Instagram as chosen by the people.
These are the photos with the most engagement in 2018 (likes and comments combined). Starting from the top:

1. The Chronicle’s 2018 All-Area Boys Basketball Team
Cutline: W.F. West’s Jordan Thomas, Toledo’s Reece Wallace, Morton-White Pass’ Matt Poquette, Adna’s Cody Young and W.F. West’s Brandon White pose for a photo at Michael Smith Gymnasium in Centralia.
Thomas, Wallace, Poquette and Young have all moved on and are playing college basketball while White is playing baseball at Washington State University and was drafted by the Dodgers in the 2018 MLB draft, a solid squad for the All-Area team.

The Chronicle’s 2018 All-Area Football Team poses for a photo on Thursday at Michael Smith Gymnasium in Centralia. Front Row (L to R): Adna’s Jason Chilcoate, Braden Thomas, Abel Ingle, Brady Collins, Chance Fay and Cole Fay. Second Row: W.F. West’s Leandre Gaines, Jaiyden Camoza, Lafe Johnson, Max Taylor and Zach Sloan. Third Row: Onalaska’s Ashton Haight, Tristen Lawrence, Lucas Kreger, Pe Ell-Willapa Valley’s Hezekiah Carter and Max Smith. Fourth Row: Napavine’s Jared McCollum, Dawson Stanley, Seth Butler, Hayden Lester and Ben Woodrum. Fifth Row: Toledo’s Fano-Arceo-Hansen, Hunter Eaton, Max Smith, Centralia’s Colby Sobolesky-Reynolds and Justus Kuykendall. Back Row: Morton-White Pass’ Gavyn Higdon and Rochester’s Patrick Riley.

2. The Chronicle’s 2018 All-Area Football Team
Cutline: The Chronicle’s 2018 All-Area Football Team poses for a photo on Thursday at Michael Smith Gymnasium in Centralia. Front Row (L to R): Adna’s Jason Chilcoate, Braden Thomas, Abel Ingle, Brady Collins, Chance Fay and Cole Fay. Second Row: W.F. West’s Leandre Gaines, Jaiyden Camoza, Lafe Johnson, Max Taylor and Zach Sloan. Third Row: Onalaska’s Ashton Haight, Tristen Lawrence, Lucas Kreger, Pe Ell-Willapa Valley’s Hezekiah Carter and Max Smith. Fourth Row: Napavine’s Jared McCollum, Dawson Stanley, Seth Butler, Hayden Lester and Ben Woodrum. Fifth Row: Toledo’s Fano-Arceo-Hansen, Hunter Eaton, Max Smith, Centralia’s Colby Sobolesky-Reynolds and Justus Kuykendall. Back Row: Morton-White Pass’ Gavyn Higdon and Rochester’s Patrick Riley.
This team features nine players that were on All-State rosters. I’d like to see this team play against another All-Area team.

3. Who Will Carry The Water?
Cutline: Adna’s Brady Collins, Napavine’s Dawson Stanley, W.F. West’s Leandre Gaines, Onalaska’s Ashton Haight and Pe Ell-Willapa Valley’s Matt Pearson pose for a photo during The Chronicle’s 2018 football tab cover shoot in Adna.
When coming up with an idea for the cover of our football tab, sports reporter Jordan Nailon mentioned a farmer he was writing a story about that said we could use his farm for the football tab cover shoot. I thought this was a great idea as our concept was ‘Who Will Carry the Water?’ We went out to the field and it was during the fire season, so it was rather smoky outside, but it helped make for great photos just before the sun went down. This photo is by Nailon and was our third most popular Instagram photo.

4. The Chronicle’s 2018 All-Area Girls Soccer Team
Cutline: The Chronicle’s 2018 All-Area Girls Soccer Team poses for a photo on Wednesday at Michael Smith Gymnasium in Centralia. Front Row: (L to R): W.F. West’s Lauren Tornow, Tenino’s Brieanna Dell, Maria Collins, Courtney Dodge, Lara Kershaw and W.F. West’s Courtney Bennett. Back Row: Centralia’s Alayna Miller, Napavine’s Halee Williams, Adna’s Payton Aselton, Jordyn Swenson, Cierra Swenson, Makaela Meister, Onalaska’s Adalee Sabin and Winlock’s Alexa Barragan.
Another solid All-Area team, highlighted by several outstanding players from seven local teams.

5. Anyone Excited for Basketball Season?
Cutline: The W.F. West girls basketball team poses for a silly photo at practice in November.
I wasn’t planning on taking a team photo when I got there, but Tom Kelly gathered them all together in their new uniforms and I’m glad Kelly suggested it because I actually like the team photo the best for our cover shot. I asked them to do a silly pose for the photo and you can see the results.

A sunset fills the backdrop of Ben Woodrum (8) Friday night in Kalama.

6. Football Sunset
Cutline: Napavine’s Ben Woodrum plays in a football game against Kalama as the sun is setting in Kalama.
This photo is by Jared Wenzelburger (also known as Nightcrawler around the office, watch the movie and you’ll understand) and it is a fantastic shot. It looked like a painting to me and I had to post it.

7. Carrying the Load into Week 1
Cutline: Pe Ell-Willapa Valley’s Matt Pearson, Adna’s Brady Collins, W.F. West’s Leandre Gaines, Napavine’s Dawson Stanley and Onalaska’s Ashton Haight hold bales of hay while posing for a photo during The Chronicle’s 2018 football tab cover shoot in Adna.
This is the cover of the football tab and as soon as I took this photo and looked at it in the back of the camera, I was pretty sure we had our cover shot and it turned out well.

W.F. West High School players celebrate Friday with the championship trophy after beating Black Hills High School for the District 4 2A title at Saint Martin’s University.

8. District Champions
Cutline: The W.F. West girls basketball team poses with the district championship trophy after defeating Black Hills at Saint Martin’s University in February.
This great celebration shot was taken by Paul Dunn.

Images from a State 2A Girls Basketball Championship Game between W.F. West and Archbishop Murphy at the Yakima Sundome on Saturday, March 3, 2018.

9. Championship Dance
Cutline: W.F. West’s Annika Waring, Taya McCallum (43), Maggie Vadala and Julia Johnson dance on the court after winning the state championship in Yakima in March.
I was taking a lot of photos for this game, and when Queen’s ‘We Are The Champions’ came on, I thought there might be some dancing and sure enough, the Lady Bearcats didn’t disappoint.

The Chronicle’s 2018 All-Area Softball Team poses for a photo at Fort Borst Park in Centralia on Tuesday. Front Row (L to R): Onalaska’s Alicia Vint, Onalaska’s Amy Henderson, Napavine’s Maddie Thompson, Napavine’s Abbi Music, Napavine’s Ada Williams, Rochester’s Hunter Hahn and Rochester’s Delaney Glazer. Back Row: W.F. West’s Paetynn Lopez, W.F. West’s Olivia Dean, W.F. West’s Ashlyn Whalen, W.F. West’s Ashlee Vadala, Pe Ell-Willapa Valley’s Britney Patrick, Pe Ell-Willapa Valley’s Sid Pollard and Adna’s Haley Rainey.

10. The Chronicle’s 2018 All-Area Softball Team
Cutline: The Chronicle’s 2018 All-Area Softball Team poses for a photo at Fort Borst Park in Centralia on Tuesday. Front Row (L to R): Onalaska’s Alicia Vint, Onalaska’s Amy Henderson, Napavine’s Maddie Thompson, Napavine’s Abbi Music, Napavine’s Ada Williams, Rochester’s Hunter Hahn and Rochester’s Delaney Glazer. Back Row: W.F. West’s Paetynn Lopez, W.F. West’s Olivia Dean, W.F. West’s Ashlyn Whalen, W.F. West’s Ashlee Vadala, Pe Ell-Willapa Valley’s Britney Patrick, Pe Ell-Willapa Valley’s Sid Pollard and Adna’s Haley Rainey.
This All-Area Team features a lot of talent, including some players that have moved on to play college softball in Vint, Music, Thompson, Hahn, Dean and Pollard. Should The Chronicle host a softball homerun derby? Not sure who the favorite would be.

Adna’s Tyler Minkoff (37) and Cody Young (1) soak pitchers Camden Ryan (8) and Connor Weed(19) with ice water to celebrate their second win on the day Saturday afternoon in Chehalis.

11. So Much Winning
Cutline: Adna’s Tyler Minkoff (37) and Cody Young (1) soak pitchers Camden Ryan (8) and Connor Weed (19) with ice water to celebrate their second win on the day Saturday afternoon in Chehalis.
There were four photos in this post but I picked this one because I think it’s the coolest photo, and it’s the only one in the post I didn’t take. This photo was taken by Wenzelburger as the Pirates punched their ticket to the final four at Wheeler Field.

Zach Sloan (58) holds the Swamp Cup trophy and cheers while surrounded by his teammates Friday night in Centralia.

12. That Swampy Feeling
Cutline: Zach Sloan (58) holds the Swamp Cup trophy and cheers while surrounded by his teammates Friday night in Centralia.
This is another Wenzelburger photo, as the Bearcats won the Swamp Cup this season.

13. Championship Bound
Cutline: W.F. West’s Brock Jones and Jordan Thomas are surrounded by W.F. West teammates as they celebrate a semifinal win over Foss in Yakima.
The run to the title game for W.F. West was something that hardly anyone predicted and boy was it fun to watch. I was interviewing head coach Chris White when I saw this going on and had to make sure I snapped a photo.

Images from a non-league volleyball match between W.F. West and Mossyrock at W.F. West High School in Chehalis on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018.

14. Jump Around
Cutline: W.F. West’s Annika Waring and Ashlyn Whalen jump in the air for a photo during a volleyball match against Mossyrock in September.
I’m not usually a fan of posed photos, but I was making my way to my spot for taking volleyball photos when W.F. West coach Emily Mora said Whalen and Waring wanted a photo and this was the product.

Images from a State 2A Girls Basketball quarterfinal game between W.F. West and Black Hills at the Yakima Sundome on Thursday, March 1, 2018.

15. Semifinal Feeling
Cutline: Members of the W.F. West girls basketball team pose for a photo while leading Black Hills during a State 2A Basketball tournament quarterfinal game in Yakima in March.
I was paying attention to the game even though it was a blowout and heard someone yelling my name. I looked at the bench and the team was ready for a photo, as you can see.

The Chronicle’s 2018 All-Area Girls Basketball Team. From Left: W.F. West’s Kiara Steen, Julia Johnson, Erika Brumfield, Napavine’s Mollie Olson and Melissa Lee.

16. The Chronicle’s 2018 All-Area Girls Basketball Team
Cutline: W.F. West’s Kiara Steen (far left), Julia Johnson (middle left), Erika Brumfield and Napavine’s Mollie Olson (middle right) and Melissa Lee dribble the ball in unison while posing for a photo during The Chronicle’s 2018 All-Area basketball photo shoot in March.
Three of the five (Steen, Olson, Lee) are playing college basketball and Brumfield has committed to play at Portland State University after this year. I was happy with the dribbling synchronization to help me capture this photo.

W.F. West’s Ava Fugate heads for home after a home run during the State 2A Softball Tournament quarterfinals against Selah on Friday at Carlon Park in Selah.

17. Money’s Calling
Cutline: The W.F. West softball team waits at home plate for Ava Fugate to touch home plate after hitting a home run during the State 2A softball tournament in Selah in May.
Throughout the season, the Lady Bearcat softball team continuously had a slogan of “Who’s calling? Money’s calling.” After another long ball by W.F. West, the photo box I’m restricted to during state softball games help set me up as they were repeating it as Fugate approached home which set up this solid celebration shot.

Images from a Central 2B League girls basketball game between Napavine and Rainier at Napavine High School on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018.

18. That League Champion Feeling
Cutline: Napavine’s Melissa Lee poses for the camera during introductions before the Tigers faced Rainier in a Central 2B League girls basketball game in February.
I’m sure Jeremy Landrum put Lee up to this. As I saw her approaching, it definitely startled me, but luckily, I was ready with my camera to capture Lee in full “rock on” mode during introductions, although my favorite part of the photo is the people in the background who are watching and reacting to what’s happening.

Images from the District 4 2A Baseball Tournament Championship Game between W.F. West and R.A. Long at Propstra Stadium in Vancouver on Friday, May 11, 2018.

19. District Champs
Cutline: The W.F. West baseball team poses with the district championship photo after defeating R.A. Long in the district title game in Vancouver in May.
This was quite a day for me personally, but the district championship was a fun baseball game to watch, with W.F. West coming from behind to win on a walk off by Lane Douglass followed by this trophy celebration shot.

Images from an Evergreen 2A Conference boys basketball game between Centralia and Tumwater at Centralia High School on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018.

20. GOAT
Cutline: Ron Brown, Janet Brown and Larry Mollerstuen stand at half court as the crowd applauds in a standing ovation during halftime of a Centralia-Tumwater boys basketball game in January.
I covered Ron Brown night on the first Saturday of January and during halftime of the Tumwater-Centralia boys basketball game, Ron, Janet and Larry all came to half court to be recognized for Ron’s 58 years of coaching basketball. While I never really covered Brown during his coaching tenure, it was great to see him be sent off one final time in the house that Ron built.

Images from the District 4 2B Boys Basketball Tournament Championship Game between Adna and Toutle Lake at W.F. West High School in Chehalis on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018.

21. Trophy Season
Cutline: Adna’s Cody Young lifts up the district championship trophy after defeating Toutle Lake in the title game at W.F. West High School in Chehalis in February.
In a packed house in Chehalis, the Pirates won an exciting game against the Ducks to claim the district title. Trophy shots have been a theme on this countdown and this is another solid trophy shot.

22. The Chronicle’s 2018 All-Area Baseball Team
Cutline: The Chronicle’s 2018 All-Area Baseball Team poses for a photo at Fort Borst Park on Monday. Front Row (L to R): Centralia’s Jeremy Wood, Centralia’s Kolby Sharp, Tenino’s Miles Cannon, Adna’s Sawyer Burdick, W.F. West’s Dakota Hawkins and Onalaska’s Matt Kurzeika. Back Row: W.F. West’s Tyson Guerrero (Co-MVP), Adna’s Conner Weed, Centralia’s Broc Selstrom, W.F. West’s Brandon White (Co-MVP), W.F. West’s Nole Wollan and W.F. West’s Brock Jones.
Another quality All-Area team featuring co-MVP’s at Washington State University (Guerrero, White) now along with three other players playing collegiate baseball (Hawkins, Wollan, Cannon) and a slew of guys returning to play baseball in their same colors come March.

Images from the District 4 2B Boys Basketball Tournament Championship Game between Adna and Toutle Lake at W.F. West High School in Chehalis on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018.

23. 3-Day Weekend Feeling
Cutline: The Adna Pirates celebrate after winning the district championship against Toutle Lake in Chehalis in February.
The late, great Pete Caster once told me when it comes to celebration shots, “Get in there.” I think this is a prime example of me getting right in the middle of the celebration, thanks Pete.

24. The Chronicle’s 2018 All-Area Volleyball Team
Cutline: The Chronicle’s 2018 All-Area Volleyball Team poses for a photo at Michael Smith Gymnasium in Centralia on Monday. Front Row (L to R): W.F. West’s Paytton Crawford and Mak Moore, Mossyrock’s Heather Edgar and Andee Nelson. Back Row: Onalaska’s Eryn Duryea, Napavine’s Olivia Alegria, Morton-White Pass’ Carly King and Rochester’s Lexie Jones-Sederberg.
This All-Area team features five players selected to an All-State team (Nelson, Moore, Duryea, Alegria, King) with four players returning to play volleyball in 2019.

Images from an Evergreen 2A Conference girls basketball game between W.F. West and Centralia at W.F. West High School in Chehalis on Friday, Jan. 12, 2018.

25. Celebrating a 3-Day Weekend
Cutline: W.F. West’s Erika Brumfield celebrates with Kiara Steen as the Lady Bearcats line up to shake hands with Centralia following a W.F. West win in Chehalis in January.
There was a lot of Lady Bearcat basketball on this countdown, and why not, they won the state title last year. This was following a Swamp Cup win and the posters in the background made for a colorful backdrop to yet another reason to celebrate for W.F. West girls basketball in 2018.

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