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The latest news and analysis on high-school sports around the Seattle area

April 14, 2011 at 6:00 PM

US Lacrosse Washington Players of the Week

SEATTLE – Mercer Island junior Connor Bernal, Sammamish senior Tyvan Schmidt, Bainbridge junior Bea Sheffer and Garfield senior Linnea Whisman were named by US Lacrosse as Washington High School Players of the Week for the week of April 4-10.

Whisman, who also received the award for the week of March 28-April 3, is just the second player in the 33-year history of high school lacrosse in Washington state to earn back-to-back Player of the Week honors.

The US Lacrosse Washington High School Player of the Week in Boys and Girls Division I and II is selected based on exceptional performance and sportsmanship on the field of play by the Washington High School Boys Lacrosse Association and the Washington Schoolgirls Lacrosse Association. The award is presented weekly by the Washington State Chapter of US Lacrosse and the Washington Stealth.

The players of the week will be honored by the Washington Stealth this Saturday, April 16 at their home game with the Rochester Nighthawks. The game gets underway at 7:30 p.m. at Everett’s Comcast Arena. To learn more about US Lacrosse Washington High School Player of the Week visit www.StealthLAX.com .

Boys Division I

Connor Bernal

Mercer Island, Wash. – Junior, Midfield, Mercer Island High School

Mercer Island midfielder Connor Bernal scored four goals, including the overtime game winner in an upset of the No. 8 ranked high-school lacrosse team in the country, Duxbury, to highlight the Islander’s spring break road swing through Massachusetts. Behind Bernal’s four goals, an assist and five ground balls, the Islanders emerged from the Commonwealth with a 2-1 record against some of the toughest high school lacrosse competition in the county. In games that Bernal played with a partially torn ligament in his right shoulder suffered just four days prior to boarding a plane for the east coast, the Islanders became the first Washington state team in the 33-year history of the sport in Washington to defeat a top 10 nationally ranked lacrosse squad with a 7-6 OT upset of Duxbury and downed perennial powerhouse Lincoln-Sudbury 8-7 before slipping to Concord-Carlisle 9-5.

As a sophomore, Bernal was named third team All-State and helped guide his team to the 2010 Washington state championship game in boys Division I. A highly versatile and talented athlete who plays with heart, the 5-8, 160 pound Bernal already has five school letters to his credit including two in football and three in lacrosse. As a junior, Bernal captained the Islander varsity football team playing as a wide receiver and cornerback where he was named first team All-KingCo Conference. When he’s not catching touchdowns or pestering opposing goaltenders, Bernal spends time snowboarding and playing tennis.

In the classroom, Bernal maintains a 3.90 GPA at Mercer Island with a schedule of advanced placement course work. He plans to play collegiate lacrosse in the Ivy League where Harvard, Yale, Brown and Dartmouth are all of interest. In the community, Bernal chairs Mercer Island ‘s Relay for Life, where he led the recruitment over 500 participants from throughout the community and guided the event’s local fundraising, raising over $87,000 for the American Cancer Society. A youth leader with the local LDS church, Bernal also mentors Mercer Island grade school youth and referees boys and girls basketball games with the Mercer Island Boys and Girls Club.

Boys Division II

Tyvan Schmidt

Bellevue, Wash. – Senior, Attack, Sammamish High School

Tyvan Schmidt scored 13 points, including 11 goals and two assists, in Sammamish’s wins over Skagit Valley and Lakeside. Through hard work on the field of play, the 5-6, 140 pounder helped Sammamish outscore its opponents 24-9 during the week. In an 8-5 home win over Skagit Valley, Sammamish’s leading goal scorer delivered six goals and six ground balls. In a 16-4 win over Lakeside, Schmidt again drove the Totem offense, netting five goals and delivering two assists and two ground balls.

A lacrosse player since 2004, the senior at Bellevue’s Sammamish High School has started all four years on the lacrosse squad. Beyond the classroom and lacrosse field, Schmidt is an imaginative and passionate artist. Along with singing in the school’s choir, Schmidt studies the fine art of glass blowing through the school’s glass arts program, the only program of its kind at a Northwest high school. Since his freshman year, Schmidt has actively produced pieces following the artistic genre of Northwest glass artist and artistic pioneer Dale Chihuly. Schmidt’s artistic passion reflects the vibrancy of color immersed in the medium of glass, and producing glass and free-form glass as fine art. His creations are on display at Sammamish High School.

When he’s not creating in the school’s hothouse, Schmidt volunteers with the Bellevue Salvation Army’s afterschool daycare program and also coaches youth lacrosse in the community. Following graduation, Schmidt plans to follow his passion for anthropology and architecture, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in those fields of study at the University of Montana.

Girls Division I

Bea Sheffer

Bainbridge Island, Wash. – Junior, Center, Bainbridge High School

Bea Sheffer scored 10 points including nine goals and an assist, grabbed six ground balls and forced three caused turnovers as undefeated Bainbridge downed Roosevelt High School and Lake Sammamish. Outscoring their opponents 33-11 during the week, the Spartans were led by Sheffer’s seven goals and a ground ball in an 18-3 home win over Roosevelt and two goals, three assists and five ground balls in a 15-8 road win over Lake Sammamish.

A crossover athlete, along with lacrosse where she helped guide the Spartans to the 2010 Washington state championship game in Girls Division I, Sheffer also runs cross country at Bainbridge and played on the school’s soccer team as a freshman and captained the JV squad as a sophomore.

Stellar in the classroom, the Bainbridge junior maintains a 3.90 GPA, is a member of the National Honor Society and is a student-photographer for the Bainbridge High newspaper, the Spartan Standard. In the community, she is a youth lifeguard and swimming instructor at the local aquatic center, teaches youth soccer and is a camp counselor at the Bainbridge Parks and Recreation Children’s Science and Arts Camp. This summer she will travel to Russia with other local students exploring her interest cross cultural education and volunteerism. The Camp Siberia program, structure around supporting an orphanage in the countryside outside of Novosibirsk, accepted just 17 Bainbridge High School students this year. She has currently raised $3,000 of the $5,000 required to fund her trip.

After graduation, Sheffer plans to play collegiate lacrosse and pursue her passion for research and education, helping youth working through learning disabilities.

Girls Division II

Linnea Whisman

Seattle, Wash. – Senior, Attack, Garfield High School

For the second consecutive week, Garfield High School leading scorer Linnea Whisman was named US Lacrosse Washington High School Player of the Week in Girls Division II. Whisman scored 12 goals and one assist for a total of 13 points in Garfield’s 10-4 win over Kennedy and 18-3 defeat of North Kitsap. In those wins, the senior played stellar defense, grabbing seven ground balls and created five caused turnovers. She also won five draw controls to set the offensive table for the Bulldog’s squad, which outscored its opponents 28-7 during the week.

A highly versatile athlete in the skill positions, Whisman has started three of four years on the Garfield soccer team, winning a letter as a senior. On the lacrosse field, the girls Division I All-State second team selection began playing the sport in the 7th grade. She was elected captain as a senior and with a strong field sense and quick feet has earned a starting role all four years. In 2010, she was named to the All-Regional lacrosse team.

In the classroom she maintains a 3.4 GPA. In the community, Whisman is a member of Students Against Violence Everywhere, where she mentors local youth working towards reducing inner city violence. She also teaches the game of lacrosse to youth in the Seattle community and has traveled throughout Sweden.

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