With the changing of the seasons, that can mean only one thing — fall sports are back in session.
Boys and Girls Golf
The season teed off Tuesday against South Kitsap.
The new season begins under fourth year head coach Jay Johnston, with Steve Malloy in his third year as assistant coach and volunteer Nick Bendon.
Top returning golfers on the boys team are sophomore Alec LaBarge, junior Dillan Wehmer and senior Quinault Mackey.
For the Spartan girls, top returners are juniors Abby Burns and Natasha Leffel and senior Hailey McCabe.
“Both teams are young and experienced and we are expecting a great season from both teams,” Malloy wrote in an email.
The boys team consists of 18 golfers and 14 on the girls side.
With Sumner in the South Puget Sound League 4A this year, all the teams are new to the Spartans, Malloy said.
“We see the changes as challenges and are ready to move to the new league,” he said. “Sumner should be very competitive and the boy’s and girls’ team are looking forward to the challenge.”
Up next for Sumner is a home meet for the boys against Curtis at 3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8. And the girls travel to Curtis for a 3:15 p.m. meet Thursday.
Boys and Girls Cross Country
The 2016-2017 season began with an away meet at Emerald Ridge against the Jaguars and Curtis today.
With the changing in the leagues this year, coach Tim Dressler said the teams are excited “for a new league and a new challenge.”
This is Dressler’s first season coaching cross country at Sumner.
The Spartans face its rival, Bonney Lake, on Sept. 14.
Although they are not in the same league this year, Dressler said the “rivalry will always be a positive experience for the program.”
“We both represent the same school district and are proud of it,” he added. “I have great respect for the quality program at Bonney Lake under coach Andy Foster. We love to compete with each other but we will also cheer each other during the season.”
A weakness and strength for the Spartans this season, Dressler said, is that the program has a lot of underclassmen. But many “are showing great strength and endurance,” he added.
He also said the upperclassmen are being “great leaders and they are rising to the occasion to lead our team to a great season.”
Dressler said the boys team is returning almost all their athletes. He said the boys graduated one and the girls lost two athletes to graduation last year.
Key athletes to keep an eye on this season, Dressler said, are Joel Mott, Nicolas Bourgeois, Adam Sjolund, Emma Sjolund and Abbie Marcotte.
“We are excited to represent the Sumner School District in our new league,” he said. “We are excited to compete and build new rivalries in our new league.”
Next up for the Spartans is the Tahoma Cross Country Invite hosted by the Bears at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 10 at Lake Wilderness Park.
The Spartans season swings into action at Auburn High School at 3:30 p.m. Thursday.
League play for Sumner doesn’t begin until Sept. 22 when it faces Olympia.
The Spartans and Panthers will not face each other this season because of the league changes.
A jamboree was held Saturday at Sunset for the Sumner Spartans. The season kicked off with an away meet Tuesday at South Kitsap.
The Spartans return home Thursday for a 7:30 p.m. game against Curtis.
With the league changes this season, the Spartans and Bonney Lake Panthers will not play each other this year.
Girls Swim and Dive
The Spartans splash into the new season traveling to face Graham Kapowsin at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
Despite being in different leagues this season, the Spartans and Panthers will face each other for the last meet of the year on Oct. 18.
The season began Tuesday with a rivalry match against Bonney Lake.
The next match is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. Thursday when the Spartans host Thomas Jefferson.
League play doesn’t begin until Sept. 27 when the Spartans travel to play Puyallup.