When temperatures drop and the leaves start changing color, we know fall is around the corner.
That also means the beginning of high school fall sports.
JD Rushton has been coaching the Panthers for the past 10 years.
He said last year was successful for Bonney Lake with the team finishing in third place in the South Puget Sound League 3A.
Rushton said returning to the course this season are four “top varsity players from last year.”
Three returners are seniors Curtis Koltermann, Frank Griffin and Conor Lees.
Koltermann, Rushton said, returns as the two-time defending SPSL 3A champion.
“He (Koltermann) hopes to have his best year ever,” Rushton said. “And prepare for the next level of college golf.”
Rushton added Griffin and Lees have improved over the years and look to lead Bonney Lake to its highest finish in recent years.
A number of juniors including Michael Korum, Trevor Castor, Kyle Jung, Bryson Wilhite, Isaiah Brooks and Jacob Brigham look to compete for the remaining varsity sports, Rushton said.
The Panthers teed off Thursday for its first game of the season against Enumclaw.
At the time of press final scores were not known.
The next meet for Bonney Lake is 3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10 against Auburn at the Auburn Golf Course.
The Sumner Spartans boys golf team started its season with an away meet against Auburn Mountainview.
The next meet is against Auburn Riverside at 3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10 at The Tapps Island Golf Course.
For the past 15 years Damon DeLapp has been coaching tennis.
He started coaching at Sumner until Bonney Lake High School opened.
He is entering his 11th season with the Panthers.
Last season, DeLapp said the Panthers finished with a 9-6 overall record which was fourth best in the league.
“I have a solid core of returning players as well as some fun new players,” DeLapp said. “I am most looking forward to seeing how the off season work will pay off and how they will compete in the league.”
He added there are some players new to tennis this season and he is “equally excited to see them improve.”
He said the Panthers lost top varsity players due to graduation and they were the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in doubles.
But some returning players to watch, DeLapp said are seniors Nate Monsrud, Jordan Kurtz, Justin Cunningham, juniors Jordan Byersdorf, Jeremy Kurtz and sophomore Logan DeLapp.
When asked how he expects the Panthers to do this season, DeLapp said it’s tough to answer.
“A coach always wants to finish near or at the top but the SPSL 3A league is very tough and all the schools have some quality players,” he said. “I believe we will finish in the top half of our eight team league.”
The Panthers began the 2015 season with a home match Tuesday against Auburn.
This match was played after the press deadline. Check online for final scores.
The Sumner Spartans boys tennis team hit the road for the season’s first match against Auburn Mountainview Tuesday.
This match was played after the press deadline. Check online for final scores.
Jerry Turner is returning for his second year of coaching girls swim.
He has spent ten seasons either coaching at Bonney Lake or Sumner.
He said last year was successful for the Panthers, more than half the team competed at districts and three made it to the second day of the state tournament.
“I am very excited to see this team grow together,” he said. “We have a lot of young swimmers and divers and I feel like the team is really becoming unified. I look forward to getting back to state.”
He said last season, Bonney Lake had a strong number of seniors.
The biggest impact that will be missed, he added, is Ashley Yandt.
He said she is currently on the rowing for the University of Washington.
For those to keep an eye on this season, Turner said to watch diver Samantha McCurley, Kailyn Fleeman and Adrianna Hernandez-Tobon.
He said this season may be a building year for the Panthers but even so, he believes the team will compete well.
The first meet on the season is away at Enumclaw at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10.
Dana Powers has been coaching the Sumner Spartans since 2009.
Having swam in college, she has also been coaching on and off since she graduated.
Powers said the Spartans had a “solid” season last year with a strong showing at districts and state.
She said Sumner is returning a number of key swimmers and divers.
Powers added she looks forward to watching Mikaela Miele, MichaelAnn Wilson, Sophie Walker, Alley Ekers and Kali.
“I expect to see strong competition from the girls at districts and state,” Powers said. “The goal is to stay healthy during our short season, especially during the championship meets.”
The Spartans splash into the new season with a home meet against Auburn at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10.
The Panthers will be led onto the field by a new face this season.
Wayne Farris is entering his first season at Bonney Lake.
Farris has been coaching soccer for the past 30 years including time spent at Sumner High School.
“I am excited to join the Bonney Lake community and take over a respected program that has seen some success on the field and help to set the next era of Panther ladies soccer into motion,” Farris said.
He said Bonney Lake has a number of seniors looking to make an impact.
Some returning Panthers are Brooklyn Gratzer, Allie Kober, Danielle Lisk, Kelsey Lund and Lauren Hanbidge.
The Panthers started its season with a jamboree at Sumner on Saturday.
The 2015 begins with a home match against Peninsula at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15.
For the Spartans, Robi Turley returns for her 11th season at Sumner.
Turley has been coaching soccer for a total of 15 years.
Last season, the Spartans won the SPSL 3A and played in the Sweet 16 of the state tournament.
Key players the Spartans lost, Turley said, are “the Sumner Six.”
The six include Rachel Stowell, Jamie Lange, Abby Smith, Alyssa Murray, Dacia Alexander and Brooke Lancaster.
All who have gone on to play soccer at the collegiate level.
Three key players to keep an eye on this upcoming season are Jordan Thompson, Megan McDonald and Sam Larberg.
The Spartans have been league champs for the past six years straight and Turley said Sumner looks to defend its title.
Sumner’s chance to defend its championship starts with a jamboree it hosted on Saturday.
The first 2015 season game was an away match against Tahoma Tuesday.
This game was played after the press deadline. Check online for final scores.
The Panthers will be led by Ann Hansen this season.
Hansen has been coaching volleyball for six years, three of them being at Bonney Lake.
Last year the Panthers finished with an overall 7-8 record.
Its season ended with a 1-2 record in the 3A West Central District tournament.
She said the Panthers have a large number of juniors looking to take on leadership roles.
“I’m looking forward to building the team throughout this season and for the future of BLHS volleyball,” she said.
The Panthers graduated five seniors from last season.
They were Miranda Jeter, Vegas Casey, Natalia Medrano, Shayi Woodard and Sadie Meier.
Hansen said to keep an eye on sophomore Carly Gibbon.
Hansen added to keep an eye on juniors Payton Mitchell and Alisha Feist.
Hansen hopes the Panthers can “build on our performance from last year.”
The Bonney Lake Panthers started the 2015 season traveling to South Kitsap for a match Tuesday.
The game was played after the press deadline. Check online for final scores.
Eric Stansbury returns for his second year at the helm for the Spartans.
However, coaching volleyball isn’t new to him, he has been coaching for a total of 16 years at Sumner.
Last season, Sumner finished with a 7-7 record, placing fourth in the league.
This season, he said there are “some hungry juniors” who have been waiting for their chance to play varsity.
He added, they have been working hard in the offseason and this summer to commute for a starting position.
A total of six seniors including four of Sumner’s starters graduated.
To keep an eye on this season is senior Heather Thompson, Stansbury said.
Thompson was second team all-league after last season and has been receiving interest from D2 schools, he said.
Another is senior Kiandra Franklin.
He said Franklin is “a very athletic, energetic and exciting player.”
This will be Thompson’s fourth year on varsity and Franklin’s third.
The SPSL 3A is a tough league in regard to all sports and that is no different for volleyball.
Leading the 3A are the Auburn Riverside Ravens who are the undefeated, defending champions.
Stansbury mentioned a number of other teams in the league that will have strong teams this season.
And added that the Spartans may be a “bit inexperienced this year.”
“But our kids play tough every point of every game, so we should be right in the thick of things,” he said.
Sumner starts the season with a non-league matchup against White River at 7:15 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10 at home.
Andy Foster has been coaching cross country for 15 seasons.
This is the start of his 11th season with Bonney Lake.
He said last year the boys team made it to state and a number of girls made it to districts.
He said he looks forward to watching the progress of all the athletes.
Only one senior from the boys and girls team graduated, Gavin McElroy and Haley Wells.
Some athletes Foster said to keep an eye on this year are Brock Frame, Mykel Fisher, Bennett Hillier, LaRee Graham and Mallory Speers.
He said this season will be “very fun.”
Hopefully, he added, the Panthers can make a return trip to state.
Bonney Lake started the season Saturday with a jamboree at Auburn Riverside.
Next up for the Panthers is the Capital Invite at Capital High School at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 12.
The Sumner Spartans look to begin its season at the Fort Steilacoom Invitational hosted by Lakes on Saturday, Sept. 19.
Currently there is no information regarding what time the invitational starts at.