Bonney Lake set to clash with White River Friday

The Bonney Lake Panthers will get a couple more nonleague soccer games under their belts before kicking off South Puget Sound League 3A play April 1 against Enumclaw High.

The league opener will be on the Panthers’ home field.

Bonney Lake hosts White River Friday and Yelm Monday. Even though White River is an SPSL 3A foe, the game will not count toward the league standings. Bonney Lake had one game earlier this week, traveling to Timberline High Tuesday; results came too late to be included here.

The Panthers’ first game of the season came Friday when the Panthers hosted Franklin Pierce and fell 1-0 on a late goal.

Coach Luke Helling-Christy wasn’t able to judge his team’s progress because a good portion of his varsity squad was sidelined while getting their academics in order. He had 11 players, so there were no substitutions, and Helling-Christy was without a varsity goalkeeper.

Junior Greg Kuykendall, a junior varsity midfielder, was assigned the task of working in goal. “We threw him in there and he did a great job,” Helling-Christy said.

The Panthers had five or six legitimate scoring opportunities but were turned away each time.

“The Franklin Pierce goalie did a tremendous job,” Helling-Christy said.

Reach Kevin Hanson at or 360-802-8205.