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Vikes enter with experience | Spring Preview
POULSBO — North Kitsap fastpitch coach Jamie Heins knows the competition in the Olympic League is tough.
Unlike the Vikings, many teams are comprised almost fully of club players who play outside of high school sports; the Vikings have five club players. But the 2011-12 varsity team has two things on its side: experience and more coaches.
Pending eligibility, on Wednesday afternoon the team had 11 returning players, three swing players and a transfer student who played elsewhere. There are three coaches, too, who have split duties during practices.
Having more coaches “has helped immensely,” Heins said during an afternoon practice this week. “It’s just worked great. We’ve been able to get more accomplished.”
Right now, the team’s shining strength is its communication, Heins said. The players get along well and have established goals. Heins wants to see the team win at least 50 percent of its games and improve the hustle going on and off the field; what she calls the 9-5 rule. The coaches are also working on improving the players’ enthusiasm.
“We’re trying to instill passion, even if they don’t want to play at the college level,” Heins said.
Heins would like to see the team learn better from its mistakes — once a mistake is made, don’t repeat it. She does not want to see the players get too upset or take a loss too hard, either. However, no matter how well the team does, Heins will always expect more. Her expectations are high because the competition in the Olympic League is difficult.
“For me, I’m never satisfied,” she said. “Even if we had won every single game last year, I wouldn’t have been satisfied.”
The season has not been without challenges already. The varsity catchers are out — which includes a knee injury requiring an MRI — so the team is looking to replace that position. The weather, as is typical this time of year, has not helped either. The team is practicing in the gymnasium. Batting practice is being held in the morning, inside with the batting cages.
This is Heins’ third year as head coach at North Kitsap. She also coaches volleyball at Kingston High School. Also coaching the North Kitsap fastpitch team is Carla Anderson, JV coach; Jordan Jewett, who played for North as a student; Ashleigh Marcelino, and Sarah Matheson.
— Sports schedules are subjedt to change. Visit www.highschoolsports.net/school/North-Kitsap-High-School-Poulsbo-WA/
2011-12 Vikings fastpitch
Tani Dominguez, Lindsey Foster, Bree Henshaw, Miranda Holt, Emma Keller, Taylor Knutsen, Jazmine Royal, Karrissa Sheriff, Jaquelyn Stenman, Jordan Thomas, Kalie Weible and Morgan Wright — if eligible. Three swing players include Hailey Carstensen, Lindsey Fredericksen and Stephanie Pham