Sports

Kickers end season on high note

Left, Bremerton’s Megan Arriola, normally a doubles competitor for the Knights, stepped into a singles role on Monday against North Mason. While the Knights lost, Bremerton is depending on the emergence of players like Arriola. Right, Bremerton’s Nicholas Earls putts the ball during the Higgins Memorial Tournament last week. Earls shot a 90 to lead the Knights. - Wesley Remmer and Jesse Beals/staff photos
Left, Bremerton’s Megan Arriola, normally a doubles competitor for the Knights, stepped into a singles role on Monday against North Mason. While the Knights lost, Bremerton is depending on the emergence of players like Arriola. Right, Bremerton’s Nicholas Earls putts the ball during the Higgins Memorial Tournament last week. Earls shot a 90 to lead the Knights.
— image credit: Wesley Remmer and Jesse Beals/staff photos

While the Bremerton boys soccer team didn’t reach its preseason goal of making the playoffs, the Knights have little reason to hang their heads.

With a 3-2 victory against Port Angeles on Tuesday, Bremerton finished the year 6-9 overall and 5-6 in the Olympic League, barely missing the playoffs.

“We had to win our last two games to make the playoffs,” coach Randy Lund said. “But we lost that game to Peninsula.”

The Knights lost to Peninsula 4-2 on April 24, eliminating them from postseason contention.

But the team answered the call in the season finale, coming from two goals down to take the victory.

Franco Garcia ended a blistering season with three more goals, bringing his goal total to 17, good for the Olympic League lead. Along with six assists, Garcia finished the year with 40 total points.

“I’d be amazed if he didn’t win the Olympic League MVP,” Lund said of Garcia, who averaged more than a goal a game.

Against PA, Garcia netted goals in the 66th, 72nd and 76 minute, single-handedly pushing the Knights ahead.

A controversial call in the first half, when a PA would-be goal was called off, led to PA coach Chris Saari protesting the game.

Despite the controversy, Lund was pleased with his players’ efforts.

“They played hard to overcome that deficit,” he said. “We got down (2-0) but were able to inch back and win it.”

Tennis

After a 5-2 loss against North Mason on Monday, the Bremerton girls tennis team held a 7-3 record with two games remaining on the regular season schedule. Results from a Wednesday match were unavailable, but the Lady Knights will be a force in the playoffs regardless of the season’s final two outcomes.

While undefeated No. 1 doubles tandem Sandy Schmidt and Mayara Simone figure to lead the BHS playoff charge, coach Jeremy Monroe believes a few other players will be in the mix as well.

“Courtney (Wasserburger) and Kendal (Mantzke) have a shot,” Monroe said of his No. 2 doubles team making the postseason. “That No. 2 (doubles) slot is wide open.”

Still in the mix to win the Olympic League title, Monroe has been more than happy with his team’s play.

“They are a great group of girls,” he said. “They’re super coachable.”

Varsity newcomer Megan Arriola, who has played in the No. 4 doubles slot, is one of many players who has impressed Monroe.

“She’s a scrappy and athletic player,” Monroe said. “If you’re scrappy and athletic, at least at this level, you’re gonna be competitive.”

The Lady Knights begin post-season play May 9 as qualifying matches for the district tournament will get under way.

Golf

Despite finishing last, the Bremerton Knights had a solid outing at the 43rd annual Tim Higgins Memorial Golf Tournament last week, all things considered.

After all, the Knights weren’t the only ones to see their numbers rise thanks to biting winds.

With high winds directly influencing the path of several golf balls in flight, not to mention adding a wind-chill factor that got under the skin of golfers and spectators alike, the Higgins Memorial Golf Tournament still gave Olympic Peninsula golfers and coaches a chance to catch up while at the same time sharing in the memory of the late Tim Higgins, who died of unknown causes at just 17 years old.

And while the tournament itself reached 43 years on Thursday at Kitsap Golf & Country Club, Olympic boys golf coach Jim Rosendale said it never gets old.

“I think there’s kind of a synergy,” Rosendale said. “It’s a collaboration of energy built on tradition and that energy comes together here. We’re a disparate group. We’re 4A, 3A, 2A. We’re from all over.

“It’s a little bit of a coming home event.”

With the Higgins family (parents Joe and Katie and sister Pam Roy) on hand again, it was Bainbridge Island walking away with the Higgins title, which it last won in 2006 after skipping the event last year.

Led by Sean Leonard’s 3-over 74, the Spartans scored 318 team points to best second-place finishers South Kitsap and Peninsula, which each scored 334. South Kitsap won the event last year.

Bremerton was last among the 13 participating teams with a score of 396, just two strokes behind 12th-place Klahowya.

Nick Earls led the way for the Knights with a 90, while Doug Tran was close behind with a 91. Tommy Hanberg shot a 98 for the Knights and Kiril Zagorov rounded our Bremerton’s effort with a 117.

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