Battle-tested Panthers preparing to tackle the Pierce County League

It might be time to take the next step for the Bonney Lake soccer team, a talented and battle-tested squad that advanced to last year’s Class 3A state tournament.

Payton Schelin (15) has been a mainstay for a Bonney Lake soccer squad that advanced to the state tournament a season ago. File image

Payton Schelin (15) has been a mainstay for a Bonney Lake soccer squad that advanced to the state tournament a season ago. File image

GIRLS SOCCER

It might be time to take the next step for the Bonney Lake soccer team, a talented and battle-tested squad that advanced to last year’s Class 3A state tournament. The Panthers finished the 2017 with an impressive record of 14-3. The campaign only came to an end when Bonney Lake went up against Edmonds-Woodway, on the road, and lost a 3-2 heartbreaker.

This year’s quest to advance even further begins with the dynamic duo of senior Summer Kober and junior Kaylee Coatney. Both were first team all-PCL honorees a season ago and Coatney has been something of a goal-scoring machine since she stepped onto the Panther pitch.

Adding to the roster are experienced players like seniors Ashley Nall, Breyanna Bixler, Payton Schelin and goalkeeper Eliza Christensen and sophomore Haleigh Delaire.

Backed by the PCL coaching staff of the year (head coach Wayne Farris and crew), the Panthers will take their first step into the new season tomorrow, Thursday. Bonney Lake opens with a home game against Black Hills; game time is 7:30 p.m.

VOLLEYBALL

Last year’s Panther team made an inspired run toward the Class 3A tournament but, in the end, fell a match short.

This year’s mission might be to clear the district hurdle and advance to the 3A’s Sweet 16.

The path begins at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11, in the Panthers’ home gym when the Lakes Lancers come calling. The early-season schedule is mighty busy, with the Panthers playing three matches in five days and five matches during the opening nine days of the campaign.

The program lost a couple of standouts in middle blocker Carly Ginnon and libero Raelyn Kimmel but the cupboard is far from empty.

Outside hitter Brooke Nelson returns for her senior season, a year after being named to the all-PCL second team. She is joined by others with notable varsity experience like juniors Marissa Berry and Olivia Heald.

BOYS AND GIRLS GOLF

The Bonney Lake golf program stalled in the fall a season ago, as no Panthers advanced to the spring’s Class 3A state tournament.

That’s a situation this year’s crew will look to reverse. And, with a handful of players with a season of experience under their belts, this could be their time.

On the boys side of the ledger, top returnees appear to be seniors Rayce Spoor and Tanner Smith, along with sophomore Champ Spencer. Spoor was a second team selection last year when coaches voter their all-Pierce County League teams and both Smith and Spencer received honorable mention.

The Panther girls are stocked with seniors Gabby Jones, Jessica Holubowsky and Rylee Howard, plus junior Ally Richied. A season ago, both Jones and Holubowsky were second team picks and Richied and Howard earned honorable mention.

Coaches J.D. Rushton (boys) and Sharon Lovinger (girls) had a first look as their squads in action Tuesday, when the Panthers took on Mount Tahoma at the High Cedars course in Orting. Today, both the Bonney Lake boys and girls challenge Wilson High at Allenmore Golf Course in Tacoma.

CROSS COUNTRY

Bonney Lake’s distance runners have been putting in the miles necessary to compete in the Pierce County League.

They will see how the training has paid off this Saturday, Sept. 8, when they journey to the Capital Invitational, hosted by Olympia’s Capital High.

For coach Andy Foster, the program is headed by a pair of juniors on the boys team, Cayan Dibble and Nolan Gain. Each advanced to the Class 3A state meet a season ago and was honored as a second team selection when coaches voted their all-league squads.

BOYS TENNIS

Coach Damon DeLapp appears to have an experienced roster available for singles and doubles play this fall.

Among those with varsity experience to their credit are seniors Josh Ning (second team all-league last season) and Luis Todd, juniors Mason Brooks and Sam Tays, and sophomores Danali Sir and Landen Swanbeck.

The Panthers jumped into action Tuesday, traveling to face the Bethel Braves. Tomorrow, Thursday, brings a home match against Lincoln High at 3:30 p.m.

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