Panthers hope to pick up where they left off | Spring Sports Preview

As the sun starts to shine again in the Pacific Northwest, the Bonney Lake Panthers baseball team prepares for its first game of the season on Saturday, March 15 against Emerald Ridge at home.

As the sun starts to shine again in the Pacific Northwest, the Bonney Lake Panthers baseball team prepares for its first game of the season on Saturday, March 15 against Emerald Ridge at home.

The team has been “working their tails off and have truly picked up right where (they) left off last year from a practice perspective,” coach Mike Olson said.

Olson has been coaching the Panthers since Bonney Lake High School opened starting with the 2006 season.

This will be his eighteenth year coaching, Olson started coaching when he was in college.

Olson said he got into coaching because of his love for competition, athletics and working with talented young people.

“Combine those (things) and the path seemed pretty clear for me,” he said.

Coaching baseball also seemed fitting because Olson played four years at Pacific Lutheran University as a pitcher.

Olson said he enjoys coaching because of the growth he can see in the players both on and off the field.

“A player from a few years ago told me I was like a father to him, and that will always stick with me,” he said.

Last season, the Panthers ended the season 14-12 taking fifth in state.

Olson said last year might not have been as successful as a winning record may indicate.

The Panthers losses came to state playoff teams and a majority of them were lost by either one run or in a game where they were leading, he added.

Seven starters and seven players with varsity experience are returning to the team, Olson said.

The Panthers only graduated one player from last season’s team and will lose one other player, Olson said.

“We like our chances to compete this season,” he said.

Some of Bonney Lake’s seniors have committed to continue playing baseball beyond high school.

Pitcher Kash Koltermann will attend Bellevue College, shortstop Michael Gretler will play at Oregon State University, pitcher and outfielder Taiki Green is going to University of New Mexico, third baseman and pitcher Cory Burrill has committed to Big Bend Community College and outfielder Dylan Moran will keep playing next fall at Pierce Community College.

The Panthers are “raring to go,” Olson said.

“We are thrilled with our staff, our returning players and our new class of freshmen who have joined us this season,” he added.

More in Sports

Sumner’s Rodriguez is 4A dive champion

Enumclaw Hornets also take 5th and 12th.

EHS boys, White River girls headed to hoop regionals, then state tournaments

Regionals are this weekend, with both away games on Saturday.

White River takes Mat Classic championships

Bonney Lake nabbed second, Enumclaw in 7th and Sumner finishes 13th.

Area athletes make it official, sign with collegiate programs

Students who signed letters of intent included Tre Weed of Sumner High, Annabelle Hall of White River High, and Teagan Eldridge of Enumclaw High.

White River among favorites for team title

The boys wrestling team claimed the regional championship last weekend

Sumner’s Clark 4A wrestling champ, White River takes 8th as a team

Hornet Payton Shroud took second in the 120 pound weight class.

Top gymnasts primed for state

Sumner, White River and Enumclaw athletes will be heading to sate this year.

Playoff hoops: some still alive, others ousted at districts

White River girls, Enumclaw boys still in the mix

Girls climb in wrestling rankings, two on national list

Check out which female wrestlers from the Enumclaw, White River and Sumner-Bonney Lake school districts are ranking high in their leagues.

EHS students advance to state robotics competition

The Robo Knights – consisting of Nathan Erickson, Hailey Henken, Chloe Nemish, Billy Staley and Jacob Woodley – will represent EHS Feb. 11 at the ShoWare Center in Kent.

Local athletes score well in Special Olympic tournaments

The local three-member team earned a silver medal at the state bowling tournament, competing against teams from all across the state at Kenmore Lanes.

Spartan swimmers qualify for league, district meets

Sumner High coach Maari Bennett was nothing but positive following the Spartans’ Jan. 4 swim and dive meet.