Panthers look to make state games a ‘regular experience’ | 2015 spring sports previews

The Panthers baseball team finished the 2013-2014 season one win shy of bringing home the state 3A title. Bonney Lake advanced into the post season and fell short, losing 12-0 to O’Dea in the championship game.

Grant Townsend

The Panthers baseball team finished the 2013-2014 season one win shy of bringing home the state 3A title.

Bonney Lake advanced into the post season and fell short, losing 12-0 to O’Dea in the championship game.

“We finished last year with the best run in our program’s history, losing in the state title game,” coach Mike Olson said. “It was a near-perfect finish for the class of seniors and such a cool experience for our entire program, giving our underclassmen a taste of what we hope will be a regular experience in the future.”

Olson has been coaching for 18 years and is entering his 10th season as head coach of the Panthers.

The season hasn’t started yet but Olson said during the first week, the Panthers saw a “great turnout” and held captain-led workouts.

The first pitch of the new season is scheduled for 4 p.m. Friday against Decatur at home.

When looking ahead to what the season has in store for the Panthers, Olson said “we expect our team to compete day in and day out.”

He added, “the postseason is always the goal. (And) we feel it is a very realistic one this year.”

The Panthers and its rival, Sumner Spartans, are in the same South Puget Sound League 3A division this season.

When it comes to preparing for rival games, which are the final two games of the season this year scheduled for May 4 and May 5, Olson said the players don’t change their approach but the coaches do.

He said, for the players, “the Sumner game (is) always something they are geared up for and we always have a great battle.”

But for the coaches, Olson said the approach is different this season because the two are now in the same division.

“We always want to put our guys in positions that are best for our team and when it is a nonleague game sometimes you set up for maintenance and experience as much as success that day.”

The Panthers graduated a total of eight players from last year’s team.

“It is a major adjustment for our entire program,” Olson said.

He said there may be more unanswered question entering the season but talent wise, it won’t be an issue.

“It will be a matter of putting the pieces together as the year goes on to find out what our best fit will be,” he said.

Reach Sarah Wehmann at swehmann@courierherald.com or 360-825-2555 ext. 5060. Follow her on Twitter @swehmann_SOUND for more news, pictures and local events.

 

More in Sports

Area football teams add to victory column

Enumclaw remains undefeated, but all four schools saw wins last weekend.

Handful of area teams add wins, still sitting undefeated

Enumclaw football and golf, White River soccer and golf, and Bonney Lake and Sumner soccer lead their leagues.

Futures Academy aims to teach lessons for a lifetime

The soccer program, put on by the Mount Rainier Futbol Club, is meant for elementary-aged athletes.

WR runners tackle Ragnar Relay

The relay consisted of nearly 16 miles per runner.

Prep football: EHS remains undefeated with win over Rams

White River and Sumner also had good games, but Bonney Lake fell to Lincoln.

Bonney Lake on a roll, starts perfect

The 2018 team hasn’t missed a beat, scoring goals early and often while limiting the opposition to almost nothing.

EHS tennis starting out strong

Kyle Dunning is helping his team to victory early this season.

The season just started, but swimmers are already qualifying for the postseason.

The Enumclaw High swim and dive team opened the season in impressive… Continue reading

Hornets sting Sumner Spartans

The nonleague volleyball game ended with Enumclaw on top.

Prep football roundup: Enumclaw improves to 3-0, others sit at 2-1

The Sumner Spartans fell to their Puyallup opponents 37-7.

Participation in sports, other activities, hits an all-time high in state | WIAA

Survey results, released Aug. 24, show that Washington high schools reported 175,783 students participated during the last school year, ranking 15th in the country.