Hornets look to defend league title

It won’t be easy for the Enumclaw High boys swim team to defend its South Puget Sound League 3A title and go undefeated again, but coach Ann Bettencourt believes she has the personnel to get the job done.

It won’t be easy for the Enumclaw High boys swim team to defend its South Puget Sound League 3A title and go undefeated again, but coach Ann Bettencourt believes she has the personnel to get the job done.

“We did well last year,” said Bettencourt, who as a last-minute replacement and first-year coach last season took the Hornets to their second straight undefeated season, team title and a repeat as the league meet champions. “We have a lot of experienced swimmers on the team that should do very well.”

If she has any concern it’s the league realignment. During the fall, the South Puget Sound League 3A lost Auburn and Auburn Riverside, but gained formidable Peninsula, which earned an 18th-place team finish at state, and Lakes. Toss in those teams that stayed like Sumner, Bonney Lake and Auburn Mountainview, and the Hornets will need to be on their toes.

The Hornets start the season with a nonleague contest at North Thurston at 3:30 p.m. Thursday and then host Capital at the Enumclaw Aquatic Center, also a nonleague contest, at 3:30 p.m. Dec. 11. Capital and Timberline, the Hornets’ Jan. 15 opponent, were Top 20 finishers at state.

The Hornets return a crew of veterans from last year’s team and most of those guys are in shape and ready to hit the water after putting in a full season with EHS’s water polo team. Familiar names abound, like Greg Rufener, Pierce Beigh, Josh Petersen, Zach Petersen, Travis Culp, Shane Jackson, Tim Holston, Tanner Ross, Taylor Capellaro, Alex Stopsack, Willie Skelley and Sam Horn.

Rufener, a senior, raced to an 11th-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle and a 14th-place finish in the 100 backstroke at the Class 3A state swim meet in February. He joined teammates Josh Petersen, Jackson and Beigh at the state meet on the 200-yard medley relay, and Petersen also was part of the Hornets’ state 400 freestyle relay in 2007.

Newcomers include Jeremy McCarthy, a junior, and freshmen Gabe Sales and Logan Ross.

Assistant coach Steve Bannerot returns to work with EHS’s divers again this season. Returning to the springboard are veterans Garrett Hall and Miles Taylor.

Reach Brenda Sexton at bsexton@courierherald.com or 360-802-8206.

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.