Prep teams started strong in 2010

The 2009-2010 winter sports season kicked off with a strong showing from the Kingston High School basketball teams.

The boys team began the season with a three game winning streak and by mid-January the team was in the running for the 2A league title.

The team was in second place in the league and remained consistent until the playoffs, when it suffered three losses in a row.

During the same week, both the NK and KHS wrestling teams attempted to raise awareness of the wrestling programs.

The teams hosted “Friday Night Wrestling,” which drew a near capacity crowd to the KHS commons. The meet was the first of its kind as both head coaches tried to bring wrestling to a broader audience.

Wrestling often struggles to attract large audiences because meets are held Tuesdays and Thursdays, with tournaments on Saturdays during the winter season. This schedule is often overshadowed by more popular sports, such as basketball, which happen on Tuesday and Friday nights.

Wrestling would not stop there, as North Kitsap High School sent more wrestlers to state than it had since 1998. The athletes included five grapplers and one alternate to take their skills to the Mat Classic XXII in Tacoma.

The group was lead by Jake Velarde, the only freshman on the NK team.

For Kingston High School, a trio was sent to state, lead by Travis Schriner in the 189-pound class.

Ivy Rodolf also competed in the Mat Classic, after placing fifth in the girls’ 112-pound division at the regional meet. Her brother, Freddy Rodolf, represented the 215-pound class.

For Velarde, it would become a tournament to remember as he took home the state title after defeating Olympic High’s Cody Yeik to win the Class 3A title in his division. Velarde is the third wrestler to take a state title in the history of the program.

As the winter sports season wrapped up, KHS then-junior Sophia Baetz earned a spot in the All-Kitsap County basketball team for the third year in a row.

With winter sports behind and spring sports underway, the NK boys soccer team remained undefeated through mid-season.

The team, 5-0 overall and 2-0 in the league, looked primed for the state 3A soccer tournament.

The NK baseball team had a similar start.

The team was off to an 11-0 start in mid-April after defeating Bremerton High 6-1, improving their rank in the Olympic League with an 8-0 record. The success could be counted as a team improving their rank in the Olympic League with an 8-0 record. The success could be counted as a team effort as every player stepped up, including Alex Smith, who threw a no-hitter in a 4-0 win over Port Angeles.

The season for the NK baseball team ended sooner than expected. After 17 straight wins and their second league title in a row, the team skidded to a halt after four losses in the district playoffs.

The KHS teams kept rolling through the baseballs season, with a third trip to state.

The Bucs finished the regular season with their best record, 14-5 overall and 13-3 in the league. Though the team was eliminated from the tournament after a loss against W.F. West High, it showed a strong edge for a return shot at the title in the 2010-2011 year.

The KHS tennis team showed what it was made of as well. The team was the only team in the school district to go undefeated. The girls’ regular season ended with a 13-0 record, and seven players advanced to the district tournament at Auburn High School.

Track and boys tennis also came through.

Sixteen students from NK and eight from KHS competed in state championships, where Ruby Roberts took state in the 2A girls 1,600 meters. Roberts set a state record with a time of 4 minutes, 53.27 seconds.

See sports highlights from the second half of 2010 in the Dec. 31 edition of the North Kitsap Herald.

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