Coach Andy Foster is back at the helm, putting his Panther runners through their long-distance paces. He welcomed 45 cross country athletes, 29 of those on the boys team.
From that boys group, Foster will have to fill a roster depleted by graduation. The list of former Panthers includes last year’s standouts Mykel Fisher and William Glick.
“We graduated most of our boys state XC team, so we are basically starting new and young,” Foster wrote in an email. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t some experience in the field: among the returnees are senior Billy Rohrbough, junior Dereck Sadler and sophomores Cayan Dibble, Colten Graham and Max Lea.
In addition, there’s a good crop of newcomers, Foster said, singling out sophomore Nolan Gain and freshman Jacob Schlosser.
On the other side of the Panther ledger, “we have a good core of girls returning,” Foster said.
Veteran runners include seniors Madison Lewis, Mallory Sweers and Meredith Graham, along with juniors Madelyn Mitchell and Jessica Day.
Among the newcomers are senior Jax Wetteland and freshmen Alyssa Duarte and Jasmine Ochoa.
“I am excited for this upcoming season as the team is really focused and had a very good summer of training,” Foster wrote.
The Panthers’ varsity squad was pretty much wiped out by graduation, with five seniors departing, but coach JD Rushton remains optimistic.
“We have a good group coming up,” he said, noting that the squad will be led by senior co-captains Eric Hughes and Michael Yanusevich. When it comes to point production, the top returnee is junior Rayce Spoor, who captured second team, all-league honors a season ago.
Rushton also touts the potential in returning players like juniors Tanner Smith and Griffin Karch, while noting there are six new players this time around, including five members of the freshman class.
With a few key players carried over from last season, the Bonney Lake boys tennis team is ready to hit the court.
Back for another year of competition are senior Logan DeLapp, a first team, all-league doubles player last year, and Alex Nguyen and Josh Ning, who teamed up in doubles and received Pierce County League honorable mention.
Reigning PCL Coach of the Year Wayne Farris has reason to smile.
His 2017 Panther squad is stocked with talent, sparked by the dynamic Kaylee Coatney. All Coatney did a season ago – as a freshman – was garner PCL Offensive Player of the Year honors while being named to the all-league first team.
But this year’s success won’t be due to a single player. The Panthers have returning stars like senior Olivia Grob, an all-league first team defender last year; junior midfielder Summer Kober, a second team selection; and senior midfielder Olivia Kirby, who received honorable mention last fall.
A good deal of Panther talent departed Bonney Lake High at graduation time, but senior Carly Gibbon returns as the reigning PCL 3A Most Valuable Player.
Adding to the talent pool is junior Brooke Nelson, an all-league honorable mention performer a year ago.