Local athletes conquered in 2008

As a sophomore Ruby Roberts became Kingston’s first state champion, winning the 1600-meter run at state for track and field.  - Brad Camp/File photo
As a sophomore Ruby Roberts became Kingston’s first state champion, winning the 1600-meter run at state for track and field.
— image credit: Brad Camp/File photo

A season in the life of North Kitsap sports, January to June recap.

Buc girls basketball: Bring it on

In its first year out of the blocks the 2008 Kingston High School basketball team set the standard high for future teams. What can be said? A first-year program, a first-year team and a new coach did the near impossible. The Kingston Buccaneers girls basketball team put Kingston on the map as they rocked it all season long, qualifying for the state tournament. The Bucs went two and out at the tournament but they took a bite and have the hunger and skills for return trip after return trip. They capped last season as the Olympic league 2A champions and placed second at districts. Head coach Kevin Strozier was voted Olympic League coach of the year.

Olé, olé, olé! KHS soccer stars are born

Not to be outdone by the girls basketball team, and to show the world of Washington high school sports Kingston’s got the goods, the boys soccer team put the smack down. It’s a Cinderella story of sorts. A first year program and team of a few starters, but a lot of leftovers, under the direction of one of the county’s most notable coaches, Craig Smith, advanced to the quarterfinals of the state tournament last spring. The Kingston community rallied around the team to host the state quarterfinal game, which was knotted 1-1 at the end of two five-minute golden goal overtimes. The Sehome Mariners won the contest 2-1 after a kick off. “It’s disappointing, that’s all I can say, but at least it came down to us not leaving anything on the field,” said super-star senior goal keeper Devin Langaker. “I think for our first year we set the bar high for Kingston High School and I think it’s a pretty big accomplishment for the whole team. I’m proud of every one of them.”

Senior captain Chris Hall had a similar outlook.

“This was only our second loss this year,” Hall said. “We are the most successful team in Kingston High School history. Be proud of that guys.”

So close they could taste it

Sometimes in the world of sports there are issues far more important than winning and losing, or making the state tournament for that matter. The Vikes were one win shy of advancing to the state basketball playoffs, but finished a tremendously successful season, 14-11.

For North Kitsap High Vikings head boys basketball coach Tony Chisholm what mattered most was the way his team conducted itself on the wood.

“I was very proud of how we played the game last night,” Chisholm said of the Vikes season ending game against the Tide of Gig Harbor. “I told the team, ‘Hey you have every right to walk out of the locker room with a smile on your face because you know you gave 110 percent and played with pride and character. Those are things you can’t buy and you brought them up within yourself.’”

This year the Vikings are fleshed out with 10 seniors and two juniors. State playoffs, here come the Vikings.

NKSD’s got the runners to beat

Two NKSD runners, North Kitsap High’s Siara Byers, and Kingston High’s Ruby Roberts, set school records, won meets and more or less were just awesome during last spring’s track season.

Then sophomore sprinting super star Byers shattered the school’s 100-meter record twice. She first set the 100-meter standard on May 9 at the Narrows League Championships when she ran the race in 12.68 seconds. At the district championship meet Byers shattered her own 100-meter record time as she tore down the track in 12.4 seconds. Byers finished the race in fifth place.

“She’s so fast,” said coach David Snyder. “She’s the fastest North Kitsap girl ever and probably the fastest in the county for a long time to come.”

Byers went on to place seventh in the 100 at the 4A state track and field meet, finishing the race in 12.41 seconds.

Roberts crossed the final two finish lines of her sophomore year high school track season in awe-inspiring and record-shattering style, similar to the way she ran all season long.

She’s Kingston High School’s first state champion, one of the fastest distance runners in the state, and proud owner of two impressive personal records. Roberts won the 1600-meter run at state, a race she hasn’t lost since the seventh grade. She also ran the personal-record-setting race of her life, finishing the mile in 4:59.76 seconds. Roberts placed second at state in the 3200, but once again her time was the ultimate reward, finishing the race in 10:59.15.

Could’ve been so beautiful

Generally when a new high school within the same district opens the senior class is kept together or given a choice.

However, when Kingston High School opened the seniors were split, leaving a losing legacy for the sport teams.

North Kitsap High School’s teams struggled, but for a few individual athletes, and the story’s the same at KHS except for the girl’s basketball, boy’s soccer and baseball teams.

While coaches may have been frustrated and fans not as entertained, the senior athletes paid the highest price.

In KHS summary: “Most of the time there wasn’t fan support because the teams lost,” said KHS senior football, basketball and track team member Jack Clearman. “Sports would have done a lot better. Boy’s soccer would have won state, the football team would have been really good and girl’s basketball could have gone further.”

In NKHS summary: “We lost. Losing sucks that’s pretty much all it is,” said senior soccer, basketball and fastpitch team member Ashley Tobin.

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