Spring, summer, sports for all

State tourney’s are in the books, graduation looms and the 2008 spring sports season is officially over. Deprived of a playoff-caliber Mariner team — even the nay-sayers figured they’d be a little more competitive — I found solace in great high school competition over the past month.

Watching Bremerton speedsters race to the podium, from districts all the way to state, kept me on the edge of my seat. Congratulations to the 100-meter relay team of Alex Griffin, Jamiere Abney, Jamaree Wells and Chris Flemming for setting the school record. I can’t make it to the fridge and back in 42.74 seconds, let alone around a 400-meter track.

Hearing from King’s West athletic director and track and field coach Dan Dittmer about the Warriors’ success on the track also became a weekly ritual. Every Monday I’d hear from coach Dittmer about the team’s latest record-breaking performance. And to bring home 10 state medals shows Warriorville is both rich with talent and a force to be reckoned with in the SeaTac League. I applaud all KW coaches and athletes.

Also on the Warrior front, Bryan Hanley recently announced his departure as coach of the KW girls basketball team. While disappointing because Hanley led by example and epitomized a quality coach, his departure also is reason to celebrate. He left the team on top, finishing fourth at this year’s state tournament while creating team unity that will carry the Lady Warriors into next year.

While spring sports might be over, summer ball is right around the corner. And if the Mariners still hold the worst record in the big league’s when BlueJacket baseball hits off, head out to the Kitsap County Fairgrounds for an affordable fix of fly balls and quality play. Opening Night at home is Wednesday, June 11 against the Tacoma Cardinals.

Coach Matt Acker figures to keep the ‘Jackets in the playoff hunt, following last year’s 34-win season that saw the team reach the playoffs. If Acker and Co. improve on that total, Kitsap could take it all.

Even if you’re not a baseball guy or gal don’t worry, cause the pigskin too will fly this summer. The West Sound Saints — Kitsap’s semiprofessional football team — kick off June 28 at Silverdale Stadium against the Vancouver, B.C. Spartans.

Between the BlueJackets and Saints, along with golf, the rodeo and a slew of outdoor activities, sports will stay at fever pitch even as the high school year winds down.

As we spring into summer, a wide range of sports can keep us all off the couch and in the action.

So once again, congrats to all the fantastic high school athletes in and around Bremerton, especially the seniors who are leaving, and here’s to summer and the new batch of sports that eagerly awaits.

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