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Kings West:Small school brings heart to athletics
Its Fall again for the Kings West Warriors and that means plenty of running, kicking and hitting for the four teams at the Class B school.
Cross country coach Dennis Sheline wants his team to know the truth it aint all in the legs. Besides running his team on 3- and 8-mile runs or sprints in Jackson Park, he also is pushing for upper-body weightraining.
The lower body is your strength, but when youre tired your arms are what carry you through, Sheline said.
Hes even asked his team to jog with their arms glued to their sides to see what kind of role they play in running.
Shaved head, calm and lean, Sheline has been coaching since 1986 when he was an assistant at Central Kitsap.
Now at Kings West, he joins his wife Sue in their fourth year coaching, and is pleased with the growth of his team from last season to now.
The team has grown from 11 to 18 kids, including six boys. Theres only one senior on the team, Kelli Finney, and 10 freshman, but most of the kids have running experience.
Its the perk of coaching at Kings West, because the middle school runners often run along side the high school kids, and when they are old enough, they just step on the other side of the fence.
Returning juniors for the girls are Brittany Quinn, Alyssa Miller and Emily MaGuire. Although three of the boys have left the team for different sports or have moved, freshman Nick Webster and Chris Anderson and sophomore Rik Moseng will help anchor the boys side this year.
Each day the team isnt at a meet they are at practice behind the school, running laps around the field, sprinting on the sideline and steadying themselves for their vigorous sport.
Leave it to to Kings West girls soccer coach Rick Nohmi to quote an old football player while considering his teams chances this year.
We are better together than we are alone, Nohmi said, repeating the words of the Hall of Famer Walter Payton.
Although Nohmi does predict moments of individual glory for his girls throughout the season, Nohmi, like Payton, knows team play brings home the big wins.
This years team has more depth than any other team Nohmi has coached.
Thats one thing I have been really charged up about, he said.
Previously he was missing one defender or middle player, at a key position, but this year he has a team with a greater understanding of the game overall.
He can slip subs in without losing cohesiveness.
He also can swap a lot of players around to fill in holes and to match up with the opposing teams quickness or height.
When theres no options, thats when you have weaknesses, he said.
Gone from last years 8-8 team are sweeper Shannon Dorsen, defender Rosie Beach and outside midfielder Callan Honley.
However, freshmen Erin Ferderer, Merideth Johnson and Tristen Squires are willing to fill the holes.
For their turnout, the Warriors have more juniors than any other grade, which means good things for next years squad, but they also have some senior leadership in Beth Handon, Natalie Mansfield and Lacey Pirak.
The center of my field is really strong this year, Nohmi said.
Although some teams have more of their squad composed of select players, Nohmi has four this year, which is nothing to complain about, and may create some big wins for the Warriors.
Boys soccer at Kings West has traditionally had a new coach every two years, and a turnout only half as much as they need on the field for a game. Not to mention way too many losses for anyones liking.
The only problem is people associate having a good year with a win and loss record, said Bob Meeder, who is co-coaching Kings West soccer with his son Jason for the first time.
Hes not interested in stats this year, but he is happy about one number. So far, the turnout for boys soccer doubled last years. Theyve got 13 now, with one transfer gaining eligibility to play.
Of the 13, Meeder said he has five players who have generous experience, and the rest are just learning the game.
Hes working with the boys on the basics, and getting people into positions. Look for some leadership from senior Adam Bassett and junior James Meiar at defense, and junior Ben Dyer and junior Scott Ross at midfield. Junior Ben Valenta will handle the goal for another season.
Meeder has his eye on Tim Grey at midfield, who is just a freshman, but is far advanced at the position for his age.
They are all willing to improve themselves, Meeder noticed, and that is what he is most focused on for the year.
So far, the team lacks the speed and strength to compete with the older teams in the league, so he wants the boys to work with the pass as much as they can.
Even though a hard kill right at your opponents shoelaces feels really nice, the members of Kings Wests volleyball team should keep their thinking caps on this season, because its smart play, not muscle, that actually wins the games, according to their coach.
With an overall record of 6-10 last year, seniors Abby Morse and Sara Smaalden lead a new team heavy with sophomores, yet bursting with team cohesiveness.
So far, the team has played a couple matchups, including a three game defeat against Olympic, and a tight five game loss to Bremerton a few days later.
Communication is a big thing for the team, because otherwise it rots, said first year head coach Don Pearce.
Were playing with more confidence, more faith in our abilities and were more together, Pearce said.
It is Pearces ninth year coaching, but his first as a varsity coach. He is very optimistic about his team this year, and mentions that the two schools he has faced so far have been much larger.
Its a good way to see that we can compete at that level, he said about the games.
So far, from one week to another, the team has been working on blocks, touches and covering hitters.
The other thing the Warriors have been working on is their quickness. Instead of over-anticipating and then having to retreat to catch the ball behind you, Pearce is advising them to let the ball come to them.
To succeed in this league and beyond you have to be able to do everything, he said.