Sports

2008: North End athletes showcased the talent

After Zach Sampson’s stellar kicking season the senior football and soccer star has four Division I universities interested in his skills.    - Brad Camp/File Photo
After Zach Sampson’s stellar kicking season the senior football and soccer star has four Division I universities interested in his skills.
— image credit: Brad Camp/File Photo

Fantasy came to fruition

Nothing beats the realization of a dream. Especially a dream that’s been 10 years in the making.

July 2 is the day when fantasy came to fruition for two locals imbedded in the North End’s alternative culture, as Dan McDougall, 24 of Kingston and Bill Mickelson, 22 of Bremerton, hosted Kingston’s first skate competition and concert. The duo showcased SK8 Rollick, the county’s first skate event held with actual permission at the Billy Johnson Skate Park in Kingston.

The event was a feast for the eyes and ears, as it combined a spectrum of skateboarding skills with the beats of local bands.

Some 100 skaters and fans rolled out for the event, and four bands and two deejays took the stage for hour-long sets.

The SK8 Rollick may become an annual event, keep a look out come July.

One for the record books

Finally.

On Sept. 5 at Buccaneer Field, Kingston brought home its first-ever victory in varsity football, defeating the 1A Cowboys of Chimacum, 13-8.

During the program’s first year the Bucs didn’t win a game, during its second year the Bucs won one game, but by golly, it was one awesome evening for the players, coaches, students and community. The bleachers were packed out with gold and cardinal clad or Buc-jersey adorned yelling and cheering fans. Spectators spilled out of the seats to form a semi-circle perimeter around the northwest side of the field.

“It feels great,” said senior quarterback Paul Bagala at the game’s finale. “It shouldn’t have been this close, but it feels awesome.”

He’s got the magic kick

Two short steps to the left is the magic formula for kicking a school record field goal, something North’s hardcore senior kicker Zach Sampson did twice.

On Sept. 26 during an away football game against Yelm, Sampson went to the left and launched the pigskin 48 yards through the uprights to set North Kitsap High’s school record, shattering the previous record of 40-yards, which he also set on Sept. 6 in a game against Bainbridge.

During his four years on the squad he perfected an approach that suited him well.

He began by relaxing and visualizing kicking the ball through the uprights.

Once the ball was set up, he took one step back and two short steps to the left.

He kept his head down and his eye on the ball. Once it’s in his possession, the right-footed kicker planted his left foot and struck through the ball. He listened for the impact, if it wasn’t right he heard it.

Sampson also rocked it on kickoffs as his average sailed 55-yards.

“I’ve never seen a high school kicker like him. Not many kids can hit a 48- to 50-yard field goal with room to spare,” special teams coordinator Will Synder said.

Buc girls soccer took it a step further

In a way, the Kingston Buccaneers girls soccer team made history in the fall.

Last year the Bucs soccer season ended short of postseason. This year the Bucs were the Olympic League’s No. 3 2A seed for postseason play, advancing to the first round of the district tournament. Fife ended Kingston’s season with a shutout victory during the district tournament. Kingston finished its season with a 4-7-2 record, and it was a year marked with impressive improvements.

Head coach Craig Smith said the Bucs grew tremendously, made significant strides playing defensively, developed their counter attack and even began to play with some creativity. Creativity, he clarified, can’t be taught — it comes solely from the athletes.

Smith used a few regular season games to highlight the Bucs improvements. Kingston held Olympic High School, the Olympic League’s No. 1 3A team to a score of 1-0 in sudden death overtime and the undefeated Olympic League champs North Mason to 1-0 the first time the teams squared off and a 3-3 tie the second time.

Vikings girls soccer accomplished decade-old feat

Sometimes a team just has to get to state to kick off a program’s continual improvement.

That’s exactly what the Vikings’ girls soccer team did.

It’d been a decade since the Vikes set foot on the fields at state. In 1998 they advanced to the semi-finals, and this year North made it to the first round of state playoff action.

Although it was a quick one-touch on the state-laiden fields — the Everett High School Seagulls knocked the Vikes out of state play with a 7-1 victory — the Vikes garnished an invaluable education from the experience.

Just like the balance of the opposites, less-than-happening endings can produce positive beginnings, and the pages of this story will now unfold for Viking girls soccer.

Head coach Dee Taylor said this year’s squad “set the bar” by reintroducing NK girls soccer to the state competition. It was a goal all season to do so, they did it, and now Taylor knows he needs to raise the training intensity and keep pushing the bar higher for the program to continue improving.

“From here on out it is our expectation at a minimum to get to the state playoffs, and now it’s up to the younger players to keep setting the bar higher,” Taylor said. “The youth in this program have the ability to raise the bar. This team set it and we’ve got the ability next year to raise it.”

Vikings sent ‘dream team’ to swim state

Instead of just sending one athlete and a coach to state, for the first time in more than 20 years, the Vikings sent two relays and two individuals. They sent a team.

“When you have a whole team you can actually have a section, and find a spot in the bleachers and say ‘Here is the Vikings team.’ They can pump each other up. It’s huge to have a team,” said head coach Greg Braun. “This is almost the season that never was and then it turns out to be one of, if not the most successful season we’ve had in the history of NK swimming.”

Stephanie Longmate competed in the 200- and 500-freestyles, freshman Bethany Aban competed in the 100-breaststroke and 200-individual melody, and Longmate, Aban and seniors Ingrid Reeves and Andrea Coyle competed in the 200- and 400-free relays.

The girls broke the 400-free relay school record four times during the season, capping at 4:00.67 and their 200-relay time was the second fastest in school history, less than a second shy of the school record, at 1:48.07.

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