Hutchman places third at state

Senior Clark Hutchman dominated the 160 lbs. weight class and rode his way to a third place finish at the Mat Classic, Washington’s state wrestling tournament.

Hutchman went undefeated at the 4A Region III Championships, the tournament leading up to state Feb. 14, out-scoring his three opponents 37-9 technically.

Hutchman’s two final matches at the Regionals were technical victories in which neither opponent really had a chance to beat the NK senior: one over SK’s Jeff Cink, 19-4 and the other over Mark Dodge of Heritage High School 12-4. Points by his opponents were only for escapes. At the Tacoma Dome’s Mat Classic XV Feb. 21 and 22, Hutchman was focused on taking on former state champion Pat Pitsch of Spanaway Lake High School. The two had wrestled previously when Pitsch defeated Hutchman in freestyle competition.

Unfortunately, Hutchman tripped up a match early and lost to Ferris’ Aaron Tugmon 12-4 in the semifinals — his first and only loss at the 160 lbs. class all season. The loss dropped the senior into the consolation round, and denied him his shot at the championship. The NK senior would bounce back in the consolation, out-scoring his two opponents 17-4 on the way to a third place finish. Hutchman’s teammate, Leo Pendergraft, was a reserve at the Mat Classic but never wrestled at the event.

Despite injury, Jenne Jones battles to state

North Kitsap High School then-sophomore gymnast Jenne Jones battled her way to state despite a potentially devastating knee injury. Jones, who tore tissue in her left knee, qualified for both the beam and the vault at the West Central District III tournament Feb. 15 and 16. She qualified with a score of 6.475 on the beam and an 6.475 on the vault. She missed qualifying in floor by 25 hundredths of a point. At the state tournament, held at the Tacoma Dome’s Exhibition Center Feb. 21, Jones placed 95th in the beam competition, scoring a 6.475 and 56th in the vault competition with an 8.35.

Fastpitch beats CK for the first time — ever

For the first time since fastpitch was introduced as a high school sport in the Olympic League in 1991, the North Kitsap High School fastpitch team beat the Central Kitsap Cougars — twice. There was some confusion among coaches on the matter but most evidence pointed to the first — and second — Vikes’ wins over Central in the 12-year history of the sport at the two schools. The first “game” was only one inning long, the extension of an extra-innings affair that was called on account of darkness March 27. NK’s Brenda Stice scored the winning run on a dropped third strike and a fielder’s choice to throw out Jamie Heins at first. The second game saw North explode for eight hits, beating the Cougs 8-1 in a game marked by a two-run home-run by Heins. North qualified for the district playoffs in the team’s most successful season since 1997.

The Vikings played in the West Central District III tournament May 23 after a six-year drought but were eliminated after back-to-back losses. The Vikings lost 1-0 to Auburn Riverside, then fell 5-4 later in the day to Spanaway Lake.

The good news: Heins, Stice and last year’s Narrows co-MVP pitcher Heather Case will return for the 2004 season along with the majority of players.

Prince leads North back to football


North Kitsap football team quarterback Jared Prince was the cornerstone in the Vikes’ football revival this past season, throwing for more yards than any quarterback in NK history and altering North’s traditional running game to a passing style almost single-handedly. He was also awarded the All-Narrows League Most Valuable Player on offense by the other league coaches.

Six other players from North Kitsap also won awards.

On offense, senior Nic Stearns took all-league, first team in the running-back division and junior Andy Sturza won an honorable mention in the same category. Junior Jacob Snell was honored as all-league, first team on offensive line, and junior Jordan Henry took all-league, second team at wide-receiver. Junior Travis Tobin won an honorable mention in the same category.

On defense, senior Bobby Thompson took all league, first team for his play at the linebacker position.

The Vikings started the season 4-0 before the much-anticipated showdown and Kitsap civil war game with South Kitsap — a team NK has failed to beat for 26 years. In a game that featured end-to-end action, the Vikings fell only in the final seconds, after their scoring drive failed in the final seconds of play.

North was up 35-33 going into the final five minutes but couldn’t sustain the lead. Prince went 27-of-51 for 357 yards and three touchdown passes in the 39-35 loss. The Vikes finished the season 7-3, enduring two disappointing losses to Shelton and Bellarmine, the former of which bounced NK from playoff contention. Once again, the good news: Prince, as well as the majority of the team with the exception of Thompson, will return for the 2004 season.

Salwei the lone state contender for the fall

NK swimmer and senior Jacklene Salwei was the only athlete from North Kitsap to compete at state for all of North’s athletics in the fall of 2003. Salwei competed in the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle events but failed to qualify in the top 16 in either event.

The senior qualified for state four years in a row — every year she swam for the team — and continues to swim for the North Kitsap’s club team, the Piranhas.

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