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

WR bowlers compete in state tournament

Dakota Farrer made her second appearance in state, while Morgan Smith made her first trip.

White River boys, girls take wrestling titles

The teams head to regionals this Saturday, and from there, hopefully to state.

Boys lacrosse, a club team, will make debut at EHS

With the Washington High School Boys Lacrosse Association forcing White River and Enumclaw high schools to split their lacrosse club, EHS will have its own this spring.

Senior guard AJ Andino drives past his opponent during the first half of Wednesday’s game. Photo by Sarah Brenden
Sumner advances in districts with win

With a break in the winter weather Wednesday, the Sumner Spartans and… Continue reading

Plateau Rebels win state, then earn national title

The team is made up from students in the Enumclaw, Buckley, Bonney Lake and Maple Valley areas.

Wrestlers to state, hoop teams aim for regional play

The snow derailed many sporting events, including regional wrestling tournaments.

WR girls earn trip to district bowling tourney

The state tourney will take place Jan. 31 through Feb. 2 at Narrows Plaza in Tacoma.

Hawk inducted into EHS Athletic Hall of Fame

The former basketball coach let the Hornets to win 276 games to 95, and secured 9 state trips.

At long last, Edgar Martinez’s waiting game is over. Photo by clare_and_ben/Flickr
Edgar Martinez finally makes the Hall of Fame

In his last year on the ballot, the Mariner legend and greatest designated hitter of all time gets the Cooperstown call.

White River second in gymnastics meet

Erin McGinnes was tops in gymnastics all-around.

Area wrestlers earn Viking titles

Also, the White River girls placed second in the Lady Husky Invitational.

Hornet swim, dive team remains undefeated, in the hunt for league title

The Hornets stand at 5-0 in North Puget Sound League.