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Tuesday, March 15, outstanding students and school teams that have placed in the top three in state/national championships this winter were recognized at the school board meeting. These students, coaches and advisors support the WWPS mission and model the district's vision of Developing Washington’s Most Sought-After Graduates.

3A Boys Wrestling (Jacob Butenhoff, Coach)
• Mateo Caso (3rd Place - 145lbs)
• Jake Humphrey (2nd Place - 170lbs)

3A Girls Bowling (Jason Postlewait, Coach)
• Kaitlynn Beuck (3rd Place with a score of 760)

3A Cheerleading (Morgan Arreola, Coach) (3rd Place)
o Lauren Ewoniuk
o Lola Ewoniuk
o Gabi Reyna-Marie
o Bianca Olmos
o Sophia Walters
o Marisa Fullen
o Grace Miller
o Kendra Kelly
o Ally Beuck
o Tazie Betzler

JROTC (SFC Mark Mebes, Rifle Team Coach)
Cassidy Hanson
• 1st Place JROTC Western Regional Rifle Championship

Tristan Scott
• 1st Place Junior Olympic Men’s Air Rifle
• 1st Place Junior Olympic Men’s Three Position Air Rifle

Music (Roger Garcia, District Music Director)
• Caleb Wagner
• Sofia Groff
• Ember Richardson

Western International Band Clinic
• Suzanne Nicault
• Aaron Christopherson

Congratulations to the following students for receiving awards at the ESD 123 Regional High School Art Show.

2022 Recipients:
• Superintendent’s Choice: Olivia Isenhower, Wa-Hi - “Home”

Judge’s Choice:
• Nicole Drader, Wa-Hi - “Accepting Change”
• Samantha Beam, Wa-Hi - “Yarn Heart”
• Alyssa Gunshefski, Wa-Hi - “Self Cycle”
• Kimberly Camargo, Wa-Hi - “Forever with an Ending”
• Ethan Kelnhofer, Wa-Hi - “Tall Blue Vase”
• Ryan Hill, Lincoln HS - “Models”
PASCO, WA– Educational Service District 123 proudly announces the opening of the 49th Annual Regional High School Art Exhibit.  One of only two ESDs in the state to offer an in-person exhibit this year, the halls and conference room at the ESD 123 building are now filled with more than 270 pieces of student artwork. The exhibit is open to the public now through Friday, March 11th.
The 2022 exhibit includes artwork from 200 talented student artists representing 15 high schools in southeast Washington.  This year’s juried art show includes 28 “Judge’s Choice” awards, along with 8 “Superintendent Choice” winners, which are awarded to one student by the superintendent of each participating school district.  Additionally, Central Washington University (CWU) is once again awarding $10,000 in scholarships to selected students. 
Students will receive their awards during the award ceremony on Wednesday, March 2nd at 6:00 PM. The ceremony will be held at ESD 123 and is sponsored by STCU.  Judge’s Choice winners approved for sale from ESD 123’s show will advance on to the virtual state art competition in Olympia in April. 

Congratulations to Walla Walla High School senior varsity boys basketball player Diego Jaques for topping the 1000 points milestone in his career at Walla Walla High School. His point tally currently sits at 1009 points overall and 504 for the season. Jaques is in select company with this accomplishment, joining outstanding graduates Michael Cornia, Gary Winston, Michael Weisner and Kyle Bankhead in recent memory.

"We are very proud of Diego and this accomplishment,” said Coach Adam Berg. “He has worked extremely hard and deserves recognition for this achievement. Scoring 1000 points in a career is a rare feat and doing it with one season shortened due to COVID is even more impressive. Diego has shown what hard work and dedication can do for a player and his impact on our program will last for years moving forward."

The boys basketball team stayed alive in the District 8 3A tournament with an 84-63 victory over North Central High School. The Blue Devils face Mead High School Thursday at 7 p.m. at East Valley High School.

WAHI’s Scott Leads the Blue Devils to State Title in Junior Olympic Rifle

The Blue Devil Precision Rifle Team captured the Washington State Junior Olympic 3 Position Air Rifle Championship in Spokane this weekend, with Cadet Lieutenant Tristan Scott taking home the individual state championship title.
Nearly 40 of the state’s top precision class marksmen comprising 6 teams met in 2 locations, Spokane and Tacoma, this weekend to compete for the title of Junior Olympic 3 Position state champions. Athletes competed in a course of 60 record shots, 20 prone, 20 standing and 20 kneeling for a total possible score of 600 points. Teams competed for state honors and invitations to the Junior Olympic National Championship held in Ohio this summer.
WAHI’s marksmen led the match from the beginning with Team Captain Cadet Major Cassidy Hanson, Cadet First Sergeant Raquelle Justice and Scott all turning a 198 out of 200 from the prone position.
“Scott has been inclining steadily” Said Rifle Team Coach Mark Mebes “He took 4th place at the JROTC Western Regional match and it seems like every time he picks up his rifle lately, he’s been shooting a higher score.”
Scott and Hanson kept pace with each other through the standing position, but it was in the kneeling position that Scott pulled ahead of the pack in Spokane.
“My position felt really solid today” Said Scott after the match Saturday “I have spent a lot of time working on getting my kneeling scores consistent the last couple of months.”
Scott finished his relay with a career high score of 584, putting him in the number 1 position for the state, a single point ahead of Tacoma’s Phoebe Chandler who took silver. Hanson finished the day on a 580, putting her in 4th statewide just behind Alexis Kunz. The Blue Devils tallied up a total of 2290 to take the state championship, 19 points ahead of The Spokane Junior Rifle Club’s Gold Team.
As the Junior Olympic Rifle Matches take place from state to state, the Civilian Marksmanship Program, which is the sanctioning body out of Camp Perry, Ohio will keep track of the highest scores nationwide. The top scoring teams and individuals nationally will receive invitations to the Junior Olympic National Championship in Camp Perry this July.
The Blue Devils next set their sights on the JROTC Cascade Mountain League’s next contest to be held in Kennewick on February 26th.

Our Boys and Girls Wrestling teams are wrestling at Regionals this weekend, February 12. The top 5 in each weight class punch their ticket to the Mat Classic (state tournament) in Tacoma next week.
Those that are competing:
Girls Region 4 (55 teams) in Ephrada:
Kylie Kemp @ 125lbs
Alexa Kemp @ 140

Boys 3a Region 4 (MCC/GSL/KingCo):
Elijah Bauer @ 113lbs
Ricky Lozano @ 120lbs
Diego Caso @ 126lbs
Caleb Milligan @ 132lbs
John Mark Whitaker @ 132lbs
Mateo Caso @ 145lbs
Carter O’Dell @ 152lbs
Drew Humphrey @ 152lbs
Emilio Navarette (Sardina) @ 160lbs
Jake Humphrey @ 170lbs
Eli Wilson @ 220lbs

"Jake Butenhoff"
WW Wrestling

Walla Walla High School had an excellent regional tournament as we qualified 4 wrestlers and one alternate to the WIAA Mat Classic State Wrestling Tournament at the Tacoma Dome.
Jake Humphrey (34-2 with 31 pins) was crowned Champion of the 170lb weight class while also pinning his way through the bracket. The kid is an absolute force to be reckoned with.

Mateo Caso (33-9) with 25 pins also forced his way into the finals out of pure grit. Mateo hasn’t stopped working the last two years in pursuit of reaching his goals. He is a fierce competitor on the mat.

Drew Humphrey (31-8) with 25 pins on the year also punched his ticket at 152lbs. Drew does something’s on the mat that simply cannot be taught. He’s got an incredible sense of leverage and can scramble in and out of just about any position he’s in.

Carter O’Dell (24-15) also at 152lbs really came into his own at the tail end of this season. He has found his stride as he runs through his opponents and is merciless as he ramps the intensity with each period. It is rare that we were able to double up at 152, but the trust these guys have in our staff and in each other made all the difference.

John Mark Whitaker (38-16) will serve as an alternate at 132lbs. John is an absolute warrior. He scratched and clawed his way back into the heap after dropping his first match and was a takedown away from placing in the top 4.

We are very proud of our kids. They have fought through and overcame so much adversity in the last couple years and they kept their eyes on their goals. This is the just one more step in the direction they are heading. They are not content and they have not peaked to their highest potential.
"Walla Walla Sports"

Region 4 Girls:
Kylie Kemp - 120lbs - 4th

Walla Walla High School’s JROTC Rifle Team Captain Cassidy Hanson earned the title of JROTC Western
Regional Rifle Champion this weekend in Phoenix, Arizona. The match featured over 100 of the top qualifying high school ROTC marksmen from across the western region of the US was held at the Rawhide Event Center in Chandler on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 4-5.
The Phoenix match is the second of three matches that pitted the top Army JROTC shooters against each other vying for honors and an invitation to the All Service JROTC National Championship in Camp Perry, Ohio this March. Over 400 high school JROTC programs compete in local qualifying matches to gain an invitation to the event. The team, captained this year by Hanson received invitations for both the precision class and sporter class rifle teams. Sporter Team members qualifying for the match were Cadet Captain Wyatt Hutson, Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Maxwell Wooster, Cadet Captain McKenna Hart, Cadet Lieutenant Gerry Soto and Cadet Sergeant Sara Justice. Serving on the Precision Team were Hanson, Cadet Lieutenant Tristan Scott, Cadet Lieutenant Kaden Kerr, and Cadet First Sergeant Raquelle Justice.
The match consisted of 2 days of Olympic-Style air rifle shooting with competitors shooting 20 record shots in each of three firing positions; prone, standing and kneeling. Each shot is worth a total of 10 points, with each shooting a daily score out of a possible 600 each day.
Shooters were divided into 3 relays each day, with the sporter teams shooting the first relay and precision teams shooting later in the day.
The Blue Devil sporter team shot their highest score of the year on day 1, led by senior Wyatt Hutson who produced a 523, followed by Soto at 501. Their team score of 1998 put them in 6th place out of the 12 teams present at the Arizona location.
The Precision team finished the first day with a team total of 2290, putting them in 2nd place 13 points behind the team from Fountain Fort Carson High School in Colorado. Hanson held WAHI’s top score of the day with a 580, putting her in 3rd place overall at the match. Teammate Tristan Scott finished the day 2 places behind Hanson at 577 with Justice at 575 in 6th.
“We shot really well as a team in prone today.” Said Hanson on Friday “We struggled a little in prone last week in Spokane, so it was good to have a good showing here in that position.”
On the second day of competition the sporter team turned another season-high score of 2009, dropping however in placement to 7th overall, led this time by Soto who shot a career high score of 521 followed by Hutson at 514 and Hart with a career personal best of 507.
“Soto was absolutely on fire today” Said Mebes “He’s been turning excellent scores in practice, but as a new sporter team member it is really good to see him shoot this well in his first big competition.”
In the precision class, the Blue Devils turned a slightly lower score the second day of the match at 2288, still maintaining 2nd place and finishing 16 points behind the team from Colorado. Hanson again led the team with a 579, giving her a career high two day total of 1159 and placing her in a tie for first place with Sarah Hancock from Fountain Fort Carson. Scott produced a 578 raising his placement to the number 4 spot for a two day total of 1155.
The championship concluded with a final match on Saturday afternoon. In the final, the 8 shooters with the highest 2 day totals trade blows for 10 shots from the standing position to determine final placement and medals.
Hanson and Hancock began the final in a tie with 1159 points. On the first shot Hanson pulled a low-right 8 with Hancock producing a 10.5, jumping into the lead by 2 points. Over the next 7 shots they dueled shot for shot, matching each other’s pace so that the two of them were never as much as 2 points apart at any time. On the 7th shot Hanson overtook first place and managed to maintain a slight lead to the end, finishing with a 1259.1 to clinch the JROTC Western Regional Title.
“That is the closest match final I have seen since 2015” Commented Mebes “You could have cut the tension with a knife. People kept tapping me on the shoulder with wide eyes on each shot as she closed that 2 point gap, little by little.”
“I really had to shake off that first shot” Said Hanson later “It was just nerves. Plus the crowd kept cheering every time we got ready to fire. Sergeant Mebes has us train that way though, so I was able to block it out each time. It felt really good to have all that training pay off today.”
Scott successfully defended his 4th place spot against Allison Courtney of Fountain Fort Carson, who closed in on him from the 5th place position, reducing the gap between them to 3/10th of a point on the last shot.
The third leg of the Army JROTC National Match will be held next weekend in Ohio. The results of this match will determine final national placement for Army JROTC and invitations for shooters to compete in the All-Service JROTC Rifle Championships this March in Camp Perry. Hanson’s placement as Army western champion will most likely earn her a place as an individual, with Scott in consideration as well.
The Blue Devils return home this week to train for the 3 Position Junior Olympic Match held in Spokane this week.

Two Wa-Hi bowlers are headed to state this week! Please congratulate  seniors Jenna Huntsman and Kaitlynn Beuck on going to state for bowling. Both shot very well! Wa Hi finished 2nd behind a very talented Kennewick team. We are very proud of all our bowlers: Morgan Perron, Alizaeya Sauceda, Taylor Krupkat, Rayanna Ridgway, Danielle Swenson Leaks, Jenna Huntsman, Kaitlynn Beuck.

Photo:Jenna Huntsman, bottom right and Kaitlynn Beuck, top left.

UPDATE: Kaitlynn Beuck finished 3rd out of more than 120 bowlers across the state. She shot 760 for 4 games with 2 over 200. This is the highest finish in our program. Super excited for her! (Coach Postlewait)

Walla Walla High School students in Sarah Moore’s Culinary Arts classes showed off their cooking and creative skills during finals week, January 27, 28, through their Cupcake Wars competition. Groups of students in each of Sarah’s classes were challenged to make a dozen cupcakes and design them with a Disney theme.

Walla Walla High School staff members served as judges each period to name the winners. Students used the brand new kitchen spaces made available thanks to the bond program. Sarah said she was amazed at the artistic skills her students demonstrated with their creations and is proud of how hard they worked to make the event a success. She also said the students loved having staff members come in and support their program by judging their work.