Bryan and Sara Berntsen of Omak celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary at the National Football Conference championship, won by the Seahawks over San Francisco in Seattle.
Early this season Bryan told his wife that if Seattle reached the playoff game, he was going.
As the date neared, he found it landed on the couple’s anniversary.
Grandmother Angie Kaufmann agreed to watch the Berntsens’ four children.
“It was the first time in a year and a half that we have been totally kid-free,” Sara Berntsen said.
Sara, 29, had never attended a professional football game. She also was a bit apprehensive since she’s pregnant.
“It was very fun, extremely fun,” she said. “My husband is a big football fan. I said it was a life-changing experience for me. I am now a very big football fan.”
They don’t plan to attend the Super Bowl, due to cost and it being in New Jersey.
“It was great to be part of something that big,” Sara said.
Bryan attended a preseason game about 12 years ago.
“I don’t remember who they played,” he said.
Tickets to the conference championship weren’t too hard to find, Bryan said.
“I bought some resale tickets,” he said. “We were sitting just about dead center of the Hawks Nest. They weren’t cheap (tickets). We had a great view.”
The legendary crowd noise was very noticeable, he said.
“Some buddies came with us,” said Bryan with a hoarse voice Monday. “They were outside sitting in a pizza parlor. The water in their glasses was shaking. It was rumbling. It was pretty amazing.”
The South Central Athletic Conference’s athletic directors rejected a request by Chelan, Cascade and Cashmere to join the league, which would bring it to 16 teams.
The conference principals also nixed an appeal, said Elia Ala’ilima-Daley, who heads the athletic directors in the Caribou Trail League.
The league sent a letter Friday appealing the SCAC’s decision to reject the teams to Washington Interscholastic Activities Association.
The prime reason given is added expense to the SCAC teams for going north to Chelan, Cascade and Cashmere, which have agreed to the added expense to compete in the SCAC that is located in the Yakima and Tri-Cities area.
I wrote a column on the subject the last couple weeks that appeared in the Sunday editions of The Chronicle.
Sled dog racer Linda Pierce of Omak returned Monday after taking first place overall last weekend in Darby, Mont.
“They had plenty of snow and a beautifully groomed trail,” she said. “The race was held at the Chief Joseph Pass at approximately 7,000 feet.”
Pierce ran in the 4-dog class on a 6-mile course Saturday and Sunday.
“We covered the 6 miles in 30 minutes, 20 seconds, which was first place ,” she said. “Second place was 30:37, so a very close race.”
The out-and-back course included a short loop at the end.
“My leader was not familiar with doing a 360 circle so we had a few issues that fortunately were overcome on Sunday’s run,” said Pierce, who improved to 26:23 on Sunday.
There were 27 teams, of which 4 teams were in the 4-dog class.
“The Bitterroot Mushers Association did an excellent job, especially since this race attracted the most mushers they have had for this race to date,” Pierce said.
She will head to Canada on Friday with Okanogan’s Dina Lund.
Pierce is not sure in which class she will compete, anywhere from 4-dog spring to 2-dog skijor.
“If there is snow, it will be worth the trip,” she said.
The Okanogan High School boys basketball team (12-0) was ranked No. 1 in the state with 10 first place votes in the Associated Press poll published Jan. 16.
Undefeated Zillah (11-0) was No. 2 and King’s, with No. 3 with 3 first place votes in the 1A poll.
The Bulldogs, which was 14-0 entering Tuesday’s game at Tonasket, could retain the No. 1 ranking in the next poll Thursday.
Brewster (10-3) was ranked No. 7.
In the 1A girls poll, Brewster(13-1) retained its No. 1 ranking with 8 first place votes.
Cashmere (13-0), which edged the Bears prior to the poll, was ranked No. 2 with 4 first place votes.
Okanogan (11-1) was ranked No. 3. The Bulldogs could fall in the poll when the loss to Cashmere is factored in this week.
Cascade, which is now 10-4, received 2 votes.
In 1B, Pateros (10-1) and Republic (11-2) were tied for the No. 5 (and final) poll berth.
Wilbur-Creston (11-0) was ranked No. 3.
The Winthrop Ski Derby is scheduled for Feb. 8, weather permitting, on trails at Sun Mountain Lodge, 604 Patterson Lake Road, Winthrop.
“This winter continues to vex us with its very low snowfall, and now daily highs above freezing,” the Methow Valley Nordic Ski Education Foundation said on its website. “It is likely that we will have to either cancel the event, shorten the course, or move it.”
Possibilities include having a 10K classic at Klipchuck.
A decision will be made by noon Feb. 3.
The race originally was planned for 9 a.m. on 15K and 30K classic technique courses with mass starts.
Ferry County 4-H leaders and members met at the Republic Gun Club Jan. 11 with Tom Johnson, shooting sports coordinator, to test new .22 rifles and spotting scopes.
“These were provided by grant funding, written by Janine Koffel Extension Educator, and awarded from the National Rifle Association Foundation,” said Tonia Jordan, WSU Ferry County-Colville Reservation Extension’s administrative assistant, office manager and master gardener coordinator.
“The primary focus of the program was the promotion of safety protocol and responsible firearm handling,” Jordan said.
Chandler Smith of Brewster and Justin Rivas of Okanogan should each pass a scoring milestone this week.
Smith entered the game against Omak on Tuesday with 1,946 points after scoring 21 against Quincy on Saturday.
Rivas enters the game at Tonasket on Tuesday with 993 points after scoring 10 points against Cascade.
Al Camp is the sports editor for The Chronicle. Email him at email@example.com.