Editor’s note: Due to the vast amount of sports preview coverage, we had to cut several team previews from this print edition. Head to courierherald.com to read the full article.
BOYS CROSS COUNTRY
Longtime coach Jeff Jacobson has been around the cross country scene long enough to know what it takes to be successful. He mentored last year’s squad to a league title and, following the season, was named the South Puget Sound League 2A Coach of the Year.
So, what does he think about his 2022 team that features and handful of returnees and welcomes a few newcomers?
“I feel we can do well this year,” Jacobson said. “However, it is a competitive league.”
The secret to success doesn’t sit with his top performers, the coach explained. Rather, victories will depend upon runners claiming those third through seventh spots in the EHS varsity lineup.
“This is a team sport,” Jacobson said. “One runner alone can’t win it all for the team.”
Leading the way for the 2022 Hornets will be a pair of juniors, McCoy Brooks and Evan Cheney. Brooks was a first team all-league selection a season ago and Cheney was a second team pick.
Also returning to the varsity squad are Liam Leonard, Will Scharf, Michael Poleski and Jeremy Dumler. “We’re excited to be adding some new members to the team,” the coach said, mentioning Cody Kohl, Spencer Ballard, Elliis Behrens and Caleb Grantham.
A highlight for this year’s boys’ team is the travel schedule which includes the Woodbridge Invitational in California, the Nike Invitational in Portland, the Fall Classic in Tacoma and the Leavenworth Invitational.
Before that, the Hornet boys will run today (Sept. 7) at the Timberline 2-Mile Jamboree. Then, on Sept. 14, the squad will head to Fort Steilacoom Park for a multi-team meet.
The Enumclaw High girls’ soccer program, headed by veteran coach Shawn Tobius, returns a handful of players who garnered honors at the completion of the 2021 campaign.
Among the top returnees, according to the coach, are senior Grace McCain, who was a first team, all-league defender last year; Lauren Boger, a junior and a second-team midfielder in 2021; senior midfielder Heidi Sholseth, all-league honorable mention; and junior Bella Baird.
Serving as team captains are Sholseth and McCain.
Also returning to the varsity lineup are two Hornets who received honorable mention when coaches picked all-league teams last year: senior forward Sofia Smits and sophomore goalkeeper Megan Madill.
Tobius lists freshman Claire Largent as the top newcomer to the EHS program.
The rest of this year’s roster includes seniors Charlee Torgison, Gabi Martel and Kate Garland; juniors Josie Schampera and Raegan Eilers; sophomores Ally Mavin, Emma Henshaw, Ruthie Landewehr, Sydney VanHoof and Reese Darby; and freshman Sutton Kelsey.
Last year’s program went 11-2-1 in league play, advanced through the district tournament and was one of just 16 Class 2A teams advancing to the state championships.
As for this year, Tobius said, “our team goals would be to challenge Fife and White River for a league title, give our maximum effort 100 percent of the time and to limit our mistakes.”
The team played its season opener Sept. 6 at Franklin Pierce and now has back-to-back contests to close out the week. The Hornets travel to Foss High Thursday and head for Tahoma High on Friday.
Taking to the tennis court for Enumclaw High will be “a mix of young and older players,” according to coach Will Stuenkel.
The squad will have to come together quickly if they hope to match the success found by last year’s squad. That team went 13-1 in SPSL 2A play, captured the league title and propelled Stuenkel to Coach of the Year honors.
While admitting that graduation depleted his ranks, the coach highlights the return of seniors like Carter Williams, Greysun Harris, Kyle Koehn and Nathan Leonard. “They have strong leadership and experience that will hopefully prove successful,” Stuenkel said.
Aside from that foursome, the coach is looking at “new and upcoming players who are looking for varsity spots.”