Hornets look to build on last season’s title-winning success

The Enumclaw squad features a long list of proven talent, all coming together under the watchful eye of Mark Gunderson, last year’s North Puget Sound League 4A Coach of the Year.

Enumclaw’s Kellen Kranc returns for a senior season, aiming to lead the Hornets to another NPSL title. File photo Vince Miller

Enumclaw’s Kellen Kranc returns for a senior season, aiming to lead the Hornets to another NPSL title. File photo Vince Miller

The Enumclaw High football squad – coming off a stellar 2017 season that included an 8-2 record, the school’s first league title in two decades and a postseason appearance – launches a new campaign against a traditional foe.

Friday night brings the annual Battle of the Bridge, the gridiron tussle between EHS and White River High. This year’s installment is slated for the Enumclaw Expo Center with kickoff set for 7 p.m.

The Enumclaw squad features a long list of proven talent, all coming together under the watchful eye of Mark Gunderson, last year’s North Puget Sound League 4A Coach of the Year.

Gunderson has lofty expectations for his group. “We expect to compete for a league title and our goal is to take another step forward as a program,” he said. “We have made some huge strides the past two seasons and expect to build off of that.”

Leading the Hornets into a new season is returning quarterback Kellen Kranc, a first-team all-league selection a year ago. He’s back and, as a senior, Gunderson might be looking for even more.

On the receiving end of his passes will be, among others, Ethan Eilertson and Jacob Burns, both seniors. Eilertson was an all-league first-team receiver last year and Burns earned honorable mention. When the Hornets run the ball, they can look to senior Nick Harberts, a second-team pick a year ago, or junior Jackson McCann.

Whether the ball is in the air or on the ground, someone needs to clear the way. And, among the “impact players” Gunderson cites on offense, is lineman Mathew Utu, a senior.

The other side of the ball will feature “the best defensive back crew we’ve had,” Gunderson said, pointing to his pair of all-league performers, Anthony Russell and Bryson Engebretsen. Both are heading into their senior seasons and are joined by Eilertson, McCann and Travis Smith.

Harberts and Kameron McKee return at linebacker after earning second-team recognition last season and Kale Engebretsen was an honorable mention linebacker. Also expected to make a defensive impact is middle linebacker Riley Snyder. All are seniors.

More in Sports

Track and field athletes from Enumclaw, WR finish in Top 10

Among the athletes are EHS’ Carson Christiansen and WRHS’ Jackson Gibbon.

State football championships no longer at Tacoma Dome

Like every high school football player in the state of Washington, Hornets… Continue reading

Local riders take honors in state equestrian meet

Enumclaw took third amongst all the other large programs.

White River unified soccer takes fifth in state tourney

The Hornets beat out Tahoma 6-5 to take first in district play, but fared less well in the state games.

WR’s Zaugg takes seventh at state tennis tournament

The Enumclaw doubles team fared less well.

Registration open for annual 3-on-3 hoop tournament

The event is Saturday, July 27, during the annual Street Fair.

Enumclaw, WR athletes shine at state track meet

The EHS boys placed ninth overall in the 4A competition.

White River girls bounced from 2A softball tourney

The Hornets lost against Ephrita and Lakewood, ousting them from the state competition.

White River girls third, EHS boys No. 8 at state golf

WRHS’ Brooke Gelinas took fourth overall, finishing at 154.

Enumclaw duo qualify for state 4A tennis tournament

Emily Miller and Emma McKeighen placed fifth in the district tourney.

Local golfers heading off to Spokane for 4A, 2A state tournaments

The EHS boys placed fifth in district play, and was the only local team to send the whole squad to state.

White River girls heading to state tournament, again

The Hornets’ first game is Friday, May 24.