Q: Who is the most "snakebit" coach in the state in any sport? A: Mike Archer, baseball coach at Selah High School, is my leading candidate...
Q: Who is the most “snakebit” coach in the state in any sport?
A: Mike Archer, baseball coach at Selah High School, is my leading candidate.
Archer, the Vikings’ head coach since 1996, has made six trips to the Final Four and hasn’t won the title. His 1996 team lost to Bishop Blanchet 10-7 in 13 innings in a game in which the Seattle team turned a triple play in the ninth. In 1998, Selah had a 10-run lead over Capital in a semifinal, and the argument was made that the game should have ended then. However, the 10-run mercy rule wasn’t in the tournament guidelines, so the game continued and Capital rallied to win. Capital went on to beat Kennedy for the title.
Last spring, top-ranked and undefeated Selah was edged 2-0 in the semifinals by Columbia River, whose ace, Kyle Beitey, threw a no-hitter. Selah then took out its frustration by pounding Burlington-Edison 13-4 in the third/fourth-place game.
Before becoming head coach, Archer was an assistant on Selah teams coached by his father, Bob, that lost state title games in 1990 (7-6 to Mount Vernon with future major-leaguer Mark Hendrickson) and 1995 (5-4 to Lindbergh). The 1990 game ended with a Selah runner being thrown out at the plate.
Archer has had more luck in the summer his American Legion teams have won three state titles.
He said when Selah is in the Final Four, fans tell him, “You’re overdue to win the big one.” His stock answer is, “You don’t realize how many big ones we won to get here.”
Still, the fans are right he is overdue to win the big one.
Q: What are the most lopsided football and basketball scores in state history?
A: Prep historian Don Davison unearthed a 174-0 Everett football victory over Whatcom (a now-defunct Bellingham-area school) in 1913. In boys basketball, Medical Lake beat Latah (another now-defunct school) 123-13 in 1956. In girls basketball, we can’t find anything to top Neah Bay pounding American Indian Heritage of Seattle 102-2 in 1989.
Q: What is the best fund-raiser you’ve ever heard of for a high school?
A: At Mark Morris High School in Longview, pen and pencil sets made from wood from the now-replaced basketball floor are on sale for $30. The new floor was a $162,000 project that didn’t use taxpayer money. The Ted M. Natt Court is named for the late publisher of the Longview Daily News who died in a 1999 helicopter crash.
“Ted loved to play basketball,” said Bill Bakamus, Mark Morris boys basketball coach. Natt’s family made a generous donation to the project.
Natt was one of this state’s most highly regarded publishers, and his newspaper won a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the eruption of Mount St. Helens. His generosity and leadership made him one of the most respected individuals in Southwest Washington.
Q: Which gym is bigger Hudson’s Bay in Vancouver or Richland High?
A: Hudson’s Bay. Athletic director Jim Condon said the gym can seat 5,000 and said some folks think the capacity is even more than that. The Portland Trail Blazers played exhibition games in Bay’s gym in the 1970s, and the Harlem Globetrotters also have played there.
The capacity of Richland’s Art Dawald Gymnasium is 4,400, according to athletic director Mike Edwards. There had been talk that it was more than 5,000, but Edwards said architects studying the gym for upcoming remodeling have told him that 5,000 people never could have fit in it.
The Richland gym has the state’s most distinctive center circle the school’s famous mushroom cloud emblem.
Q: Have you heard about Big Nine co-defensive player of the year, Trevor Nix of Walla Walla, who won the award despite being legally blind?
A: Quite a kid. Nix is only 5 feet 9 and 175 pounds, but he is cat-quick as a nose guard and made 22 tackles for loss, including 5-1/2 sacks. He also blocked three kicks.
His sister, Meghan, a sophomore at WaHi, explained yesterday that her brother suffers from achromatopsia, a congenital deficiency in color perception that causes reduced vision.
“When we watch TV, he’s about an inch in front of the set and you have to say, ‘Trevor, move back,’ ” she said.
Have a question about high-school sports? Craig Smith will find the answer every Tuesday in The Times. Ask your question in one of the following ways: Voice mail (206-464-8279), snail mail (Craig Smith, Seattle Times Sports, P.O. Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org