With the fall sports season heading into the home stretch, better teams are separating themselves from the pack. Or, in several instances, group of top-tier programs are bunched at the lead, bracing for an exciting finish.
Here’s a look at area programs that sit undefeated through action of last week.
The Hornets won the North Puget Sound League 4A title a season ago and are looking for a repeat performance. They just might achieve that lofty goal, having posted a perfect 6-0 record thus far while sitting at No. 10 in last week’s statewide AP poll.
Coach Mark Gunderson and his troops will finish the regular season with games against Todd Beamer (Friday) and Tahoma (Oct. 19) before diving into the NPSL playoffs. Beamer should be the tougher test as the Titans have lost just once this season, a nonleague game against Federal Way, and are tied with Enumclaw atop the NPSL standings. Friday’s winner will be poised to capture the league title a week later.
BONNEY LAKE SOCCER
Can anyone stop the Panthers?
This year’s squad improved last week to 8-0 in Pierce County League play and 10-0 for the season, whipping Lakes and Lincoln.
The short-term schedule is favorable as the Panthers are paired against middle-of-the-road squads into next week. Things could get interesting late in the league calendar, however, when Bonney Lake concludes the PCL season with games against Stadium (Oct. 23) and Lakes (Oct. 25). Those two have hovered slightly behind the Panthers in the standings and would love to make a statement.
Of course, coach Wayne Farris and his impressive Panthers would like nothing more than a clean state come playoff time.
WHITE RIVER SOCCER
The Hornet girls and haven’t tasted a league defeat, sitting at 7-0-2 through games of last week. The only blemish on the ledger was a nonleague loss to powerful, Class 3A Bonney Lake during the first week of the season.
White River faced a decent league test Tuesday when the Hornets hosted Eatonville. The Cruisers sat in second place heading into the game on the Buckley campus. The regular season will conclude with games against Orting, Franklin Pierce and Foss and all have at least a few losses on their record.
WHITE RIVER GIRLS GOLF
Under coach Anna Rose, the Hornet girls won their first six matches of the season.
A danger spot in the season came Monday of this week (weather permitting), as White River was paired against Franklin Pierce High. The Cardinals had lost just once heading into the match at the Enumclaw Golf Course; that loss, however, came at the hands of a Fife team the Hornet girls dispatched rather easily earlier in the season.
The Spartan girls rolled through the first half of the season without a loss but did so in rather odd fashion, compiling a record of 5-0-5. Included were friendlies against SPSL 4A opponents Rogers, Graham-Kapowsin and Curtis.
The season turned up a notch last week when Sumner opened the league campaign with two more deadlocks, against Emerald Ridge and South Kitsap, followed by a Saturday victory over Bellarmine Prep. It’s nothing but league contests the rest of the way for coach Robi Turley and her Spartan squad.
ENUMCLAW GIRLS GOLF
In their quest for an undefeated season, the Hornet girls cleared their biggest hurdle. On the afternoon of Oct. 4, the EHS crew squared off against Decatur’s Golden Gators: both entered the match 8-0 and, when the final putt dropped, it was the Enumclaw squad standing atop the leader board.