Sports

Athletic fetes, coaching configurations dominate 2007

North Kitsap athletes shined in 2007, from dominating the baseball diamond to splashing their way into the high school state swim meets. Above all, it was a year when teamwork prevailed and the seemingly impossible came true.

Reece leads

Kingston grapplers

KINGSTON — Kingston High School (KHS) Athletic Coordinator Dan Novick hired Kingston resident Bobby Reece as the first head wrestling coach in the Buccaneers’ history. Reece was also the first head coach hired for KHS.

Reece, 32, is the definition of a local. He’s lived in Kingston his entire life. Reece graduated from North Kitsap High School in 1994 and during his junior campaign in 1993, he advanced to the 3A state tournament in the 135-pound weight division at the Tacoma Dome.

NK select softball

dusts up a storm

BOZEMAN, MONTANA — The Diamond Dusters North Kitsap select softball finished the season as the best team in the Pacific Northwest.

The Dusters advanced to the 18U Amateur Softball Association National Tournament in College Station, Texas, after defeating the Yakima Steelers 4-3 in the regional championship tournament July 22 in Bozeman, Montana. Unfortunately, the Diamond Dusters didn’t make the trek to the lone star state for nationals because of money constraints — though the team decided it was all right with this turn of events.

The decision was made by Diamond Dusters North manager Jake Wallace and his staff when they put together the teams’ budget in fall 2006.

The Diamond Dusters finished with a seven-game winning streak, compiling a record of 8-1 at regionals.

NK Babe Ruth falls short of World Series bid

POULSBO — The North Kitsap Babe Ruth 16- to 18-year-old baseball team earned second place in the Babe Ruth 16-18 year old state tournament, giving it a berth at the regional tournament, despite losing to the Kent Bulldogs 12-3 in the state championship game in Port Angeles July 21.

The team fell just short of the World Series during the regional tournament, after putting forth a 3-0 record in pool play with victories against Umatilla, Columbia Basin Riverdogs and Missoula, Mont.

The team suffered its first defeat of the tourney during a 7-2 loss against Ryder Showtime of Vancouver.

The loss put North, Ryder Showtime and the Columbia Basin Riverdogs in a three-way tie for first place atop the American Division of the regional tournament. Each team finished with a record of 3-1.

Since each of the three teams compiled a 3-1 overall record and a 1-1 record against each other, another tiebreaker was needed to decide which two teams would move on to the semi-final round.

NK Warriors take

on the Golden State

CHINO HILLS, CALIF. — The North Kitsap Warriors select baseball team comprised of 12-year-old boys from Poulsbo, Kingston and Suquamish showed the entire country just how good a team they are.

The Warriors won its first three games at the United States Speciality Sports Association AA World Series in Chino Hills, Calif., against the Harbor Area Hammers, Riverside Wolves, and Manny Squad giving themselves a 3-0 record during pool play.

Unfortunately for the Warriors, they lost three of their next four contests. The Warriors captured its fourth win via a 6-5 victory against the Dragons of Sammmamish Thursday afternoon.

Duwe swings his way

to state junior tourney

TACOMA — Joey Duwe’s goal heading into the Washington Junior Golf Association State Tournament was to place in the top five out of a talented field of 60 golfers in attendance.

Instead, he finished in 22nd place after shooting an 80 in the first round at Tacoma’s Fort Lewis course July 25 and a 72 in the second round of the tourney at Tacoma’s Fircrest course July 26.

And while Duwe missed the cut by one stroke to advance to the final round, the experience was well worth the trip.

“My first round didn’t go very well for me. After I shot an 80, I was in 31st place and knew I needed to make up a ton of strokes in the second round to make the cut,” Duwe said. “I figured if I could hit a 72, it would give me a good shot to make it.”

16-year-old Babe

Ruths shine, too

MOSES LAKE — The North Kitsap 16-year-old Babe Ruth All Star team saved its best for last.

After dropping its first two games of the its regional tournament, North stormed back, winning its final two contests en route to a 2-2 tournament record and third place finish at regionals.

“We battled back pretty good. We were a different team in those last two games,” said North manager Rick Ritter. “Our team rose to the occasion at the end of the tournament.”

More opportunities

means more athletes

POULSBO — When KHS opened its doors in early September, the amount of athletes participating in fall athletics throughout the North Kitsap School District soared.

A whole new set of athletic programs at KHS reaped more athletic opportunities for student athletes to participate in, meaning more students than ever are hitting the pitch, gridiron, pool, courts and trails. During the 2006-07 school year, 580 students in grades seven through 12 participated in fall sports. At the beginning of the 2007-08 school year that number increased to 750 students in grades seven through 12 throughout the district, marking nearly a 23 percent boost. At KHS, 187 students are donning uniforms this season.

NKHS’s Jewett lands a spot on UNC’s squad

POULSBO — After years of knocking them out of the park for North Kitsap, Jordan Jewett will take her talents to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where she will take the softball diamond for the Spartans.

While Jewett may be small in stature compared to other players — she stands 5 feet, 2 inches — this petite competitor packs a powerful punch. In her junior season she compiled a sizzling hot .520 batting average and pounded out 26 hits from her leadoff position in the lineup.

Vikings softball coach Bill Hobaugh said he wasn’t surprised Jewett’s talents will pave the way for her college career.

“She’s just this tiny little girl, but she’s so unbelievably strong,” he said. “We haven’t had too many girls who have played Division 1 softball, but she’s one of them.”

NKHS’s Longmate swims her way to state’s top 20

FEDERAL WAY — Stephanie Longmate captured 18th place overall with a time of 5:25.70 in the 500 free and 19th place overall with a time of 2:04.10 in the 200 free at the girl’s state swim meet in King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.

“Stephanie did well. Her goal was to place in the Top 20 in each event and she did it,” said Vikings coach Greg Braun. “It was really exciting for her. Anytime you see a kid achieve a specific goal they worked hard for is great.”

Braun said Longmate ridded herself of anxiety during the 200 free race.

“She got 19th place but didn’t get her best time,” he said. “She went into that first race so darn nervous and it showed. She kind of psyched herself out. But that race got all of her nervousness out of the way.”

Longmate’s 5:25.70 in the 500 free was a personal best.

The weather

outside is frightful

POULSBO — For the second year in a row, it was obvious Father Winter is not a sports fan. Starting on Nov. 28, his foul temperament wreaked havoc on sporting events throughout North Kitsap. From canceling practices to postponing full-scale events, the effects of the first blast of winter will be felt throughout the season.

“It’s deja vu all over again,” said Trish Olson, athletic director for North Kitsap School District, as she anticipated losing power in her office Monday morning from the flooding. She was referring to last year’s sports season which began just as badly as this one has.

The mess began when the NKSD cancelled all after-school activities on Nov. 28. A whole slew of cancellations and makeup games in every sport ensued.

Are you kiddin’ me?

POULSBO — As of press time, the North Kitsap Vikings varsity boys’ basketball team is off to a 7-1 start. Their only loss came at the hands of the Central Kitsap on Dec. 7, when they lost 63-58. Their record this year is a far cry from last year’s humbling record of 2-18.

“We’re getting better,” said coach Tony Chisholm said, his voice hoarse from praise and gentle reminders from court side after a game in late December.

Two bits of advice Chisholm keeps repeating: practice patience and pass the ball. And the advice, when heeded, is doing the trick. He also pays homage to the fans, who are playing a huge role in keeping the team motivated on the court.

“They (the players and the fans) endured a lot of close games last year. To me, that’s school spirit,” he said of the fan’s support. “North Kitsap basketball has changed. We’ve put a team on the floor that has grown together since last year and they’re working their tails off. This is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.”

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