Four starters set Hornets up for a productive year

With six varsity players back for another year of action, including four starters, the White River Hornets will look to climb in the South Puget Sound League 3A boys basketball standings.

Junior A.J. Rice is one of several players returning for the Hornets.

With six varsity players back for another year of action, including four starters, the White River Hornets will look to climb in the South Puget Sound League 3A boys basketball standings.

The Hornets traveled a rocky road a season ago, the first campaign under veteran coach Bill Hawk, who made his mark at nearby Enumclaw High before spending a few seasons outside the area.

This time around, Hawk is working with a varsity roster that includes seniors Nolan Gibson (6-3, guard), Casey Zimmer (5-8, guard), Bill Rohler (6-6, post) and Kenneth Thomas (6-3, wing); and juniors Chad Sayler (5-7, guard), Mat Dickson (5-9, guard), A.J. Rice (6-4, post), Blake Halvorsen (6-3, wing), Jake Bailiff (6-3, wing), Hunter Chadwick (6-1, guard), Kramer Green (6-0, guard) and Dalton Reynolds (6-1, wing).

Of that group, Gibson, Zimmer, Sayler, Dickson, Rice and Halvorsen have at least one varsity season under their belts. Gibson, a returning starter, is a three-year varsity player.

Thomas is expected to make a difference this year, having transferred from Rochester, Wash. He brings AAU experience to the roster and has landed firmly in the starting lineup.

“We can push the ball pretty well…and this is one of the better shooting teams I’ve had,” Hawk said.

The Hornets kicked things off with a Saturday jamboree and were slated to host the Yelm Tornadoes Tuesday night; results came too late to be included here. Saturday, White River travels for a nonleague contest against Capital High.

Reach Kevin Hanson at khanson@courierherald.com or 360-802-8205.

More in Sports

White River boys, girls second at Fife Open

Hornet girls Taylor Schmidtke, Hannah Swettenam and Camryn Berryhill placed first in all their events.

EHS equestrians still finding success

Enumclaw is cementing its best “large school” equestrian team title in the state.

WIAA honors Bonney Lake’s Nelson, Sumner’s Labarge

Labarge’s soccer skills and Nelson’s control of the pitchers mound got them recognition.

Nelson strikes out 24 as Panthers roll to 5-0

The Panther’s star player nearly blanked Stadium High.

Indian Relay Racing set to return in early June

In Indian Relay — the nation’s oldest sport with a history that goes back 500 years — teams race twice around the Emerald Downs one-mile track and exchange horses every half-mile.

Familiar names among expected stars at Emerald Downs

Among those returning are Mach One Rules and Gold Rush Dancer.

Enumclaw’s Ulrich, Cassell sign with college programs

Ulrich is heading to Bosie State while Cassell will go to Skagit Valley College.

Panther dance, drill team wins state; appears at national event

This is the third year the Pantherette’s have been state champions in the “show” competition.

Two new coaches join White River programs

Lacrosse team aims to improve last year’s 4th place standing

Sumner returns two-time state champion on tennis court

Soccer and track also hoping to build on last year’s success.

Busy time on diamond for Spartan baseball, fastpitch

The fastpitch team’s first game is against Enumclaw on March 13.

Solid group of returnees for White River diamond sports

The baseball team placed second in the 2A League last year, but fell quickly in the West Central District tournament.