Fall is one the way, a new school year has begun and athletes in 10 sports have concluded preseason workouts and are jumping into league competition.
Here’s a look at how things are shaping up at both Enumclaw and White River high schools. (The schools’ football programs were previewed in the Aug. 30 edition.)
ENUMCLAW GIRLS’ SOCCER
Veteran coach Shawn Tobius has been putting his squad through preseason paces the past couple of weeks, all gearing up to the beginning of South Puget Sound League 2A play.
The team will be looking to built on the great success of the 2022 squad. Last year’s Hornets advanced to the Final Four of the Class 2A state playoffs. Playing back-to-back days at Shoreline Stadium, Enumclaw walked off the pitch with fourth-place state honors. The team’s overall record of 16-7-1.
The 2023 league season kicked off last night (Tuesday) when the EHS squad hosted the Franklin Pierce Cardinals at the Expo Center. League play continues Thursday when the Hornets host Foss High.
Graduation saw the departures of Hornet standouts like Charlee Torgison, Grace McCain and Heidi Sholseth, but plenty of talent and experience remain.
Back for more are senior Lauren Boger and junior Megan Madill, both first team, all-league performers a season ago. Also returning is second team, all-league pick Josie Schampera, a senior.
WHITE RIVER GIRLS’ SOCCER
In her third season at the Hornet helm, coach Mack Anderson is looking to continue White River’s run of success. A season ago, the squad advanced from league and district play and found itself in the 16-team Class 2A state tournament.
A handful of players with state tourney experience are back in action. Among those are Laura Corr, a senior who earned first team, all-league honors last year, and junior Claire Carter, an all-league second team selection. Other senior returnees include Ava Bright, Lexie Banks and Josie Jacobs. Seniors new to the varsity squad are Kendra Hemmen and Kyra Griffeth.
Anderson also highlights a strong freshman class. Making the varsity roster from that group were Alice White, Charlotte Weber and Gracie Banks.
Anderson and her crew opened the South Puget Sound League 2A season yesterday (Tuesday) with a home game against Orting. League play continues with a September 8 contest at Franklin Pierce and a September 12 home game against Clover Park.
Coming off a season in which she guided her EHS troops to an appearance in the Class 2A state tournament, coach Jackie Carel has some key holes to fill.
But there’s no challenge Carel hasn’t faced during her years at the Hornet helm. She’s easily the dean of the Enumclaw coaching department, having directed the EHS volleyball fortunes since 1986.
Carel’s 2022 squad placed third in the South Puget Sound League 2A standings, went 14-3 during the regular season and then took No. 3 honors in the district tournament. The state tourney didn’t go quite as well, with EHS winning one of three matches.
Gone from that team are Samantha Darby and Macy Furtwangler, both first team, all-league performers, and dependable outside hitter Lexie DeGroot.
But there’s still plenty of experience to build upon. “We have eight returning players,” Carel said. “They are cohesive, and together they will be competitive.”
Carel also is looking forward to what some of her younger players might provide. “We are deep when we consider the talent on our JV team,” she said. “I look forward to watching them battle for the opportunity to swing to varsity.”
The varsity roster features returning seniors Natalie DeMarco, Bella Firnkoess, Olivia McKeighen, Rya Montgomery, Raea Middleton and Ailianna Quaempts; returning juniors are Haley Osborne and Jayden Coffee. New to the varsity squad are senior Towa Harris and sophomore Haley Dumontet.
The Hornets kicked off the 2023 season last night (Tuesday) with a road trip to Orting. Thursday will see EHS on the road again, taking on Clover Park. Both are SPSL 2A matches.
WHITE RIVER VOLLEYBALL
The Hornets have been turning out under the direction of new coach Stephanie Pond.
She is charged with leading a squad that went 15-2 during the 2022 regular season, placing second in the South Puget Sound League 2A. The team went on to finish fourth in the district tournament and earn a berth in the Class 2A state tourney in Yakima.
That squad was hit hard by graduation, but talent remains. Looking to continue the recent success are players like senior Audrey Berg and junior Kianna Rohner; both were second team, all-league selections a season ago. Also back are two Hornets who received all-league honorable mention, seniors Addy Stone and Ava Froemke.
Pond had her first look at her squad in action last night (Tuesday) when the team traveled to Franklin Pierce High. Tonight, the team is on the road again, headed to North Kitsap for a nonleague contest.
ENUMCLAW CROSS COUNTRY
A big-time experience awaits the Enumclaw High cross country crew, both boys and girls. On September 15-16, Hornet runners will be part of a huge field that gathers for the 42nd annual Woodbridge Cross Country Classic.
EHS coach Jeff Jacobson said the meet attracts approximately 10,000 prep athletes, all gathering at Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California.
Enumclaw’s boys have competed at the Southern California for several years now, but the girls’ squad will return to the meet after sitting out the past few years.
The reason is that Jacobson is now heading both programs. It’s something he did years ago.
This fall, the veteran coach has 24 boys turning out. There’s talent at the top, with seniors McCoy Brooks and Evan Cheney leading the way. A year ago, Brooks was named the SPSL 2A Athlete of the Year and Cheney joined him on the first team, all-league list.
Rounding out the Hornets’ top seven that will make the California trip are seniors Michael Poleski and Jeremy Dumler; sophomore Ellis Behrens; and freshmen Elliott Cheney and Tegan Smith.
Other runners who have looked strong during early-season turnouts include junior Max Furtwangler, sophomore Spencer Ballard and freshmen Melvin Johnson and Jack Blair.
It’s a different story on the girls’ side of things, where only six runners have turned out.
Leading the way, in both varsity experience and proven talent, will be senior Ava Sawyer and sophomore Lily Haas. Both were a part of last season’s league championship team.
Rounding out the roster are sophomores Mali Rademacher and Sydney Poe, along with freshmen Avery Marecle and Stella Grant.
Prior to the Woodbridge Classic, the Hornets are slated to compete in the September 13 Fort Steilacoom Preview. Yesterday (Tuesday) the team was in Thurston County for the Timberline 2-Mile Jamboree.
WHITE RIVER CROSS COUNTRY
Veteran coach Dameon Marlow has welcomed 30-plus runners to his 2023 cross country program, a number that is split somewhat evenly between boys and girls.
What is not exactly even is the level of varsity experience. On the girls’ side, only one of his top seven athletes was lost to graduation. As the start of the season draws near, Marlow has senior Emma Tomlinson returning to her usual position as the Hornets’ top competitor. She was a first team, all-league selection a season ago.
Also back in the varsity fold are fellow senior Evie Holmes, juniors Paityn Kaydus and Nativity Leddy, and sophomore Lily Rodarte.
Marlow also is heartened by an incoming class of freshmen that could challenge for a varsity spots. Included on that list are Paeton Poelman, Allie Chepulis and Naomi Carthum.
A question mark is the health of Vivian Kingston, a junior who has been a standout runner in the past. She is recovering from an injury sustained during last winter’s basketball season.
On the boys’ side of the ledger, the Hornets are again paced by Michael Marlow. The junior moved into the team’s No. 1 spot midway through his freshman season and remained there during his sophomore campaign. He received first team, all-league honors at the close of the 2022 season.
Other Hornet runners with varsity experience are seniors Porter Simmons and Josiah Dehnert and sophomore Cannon Ross. Top candidates to fill the remaining varsity slots are sophomore Oliver Schramm and freshmen Eli Long, Grant Robinson and Marcus Marlow.
White River’s season begins tomorrow (Thursday) when the Hornets travel to the Fife Jamboree. Aside from the Hornets and the host Trojans, the meet will include the Class 1A Eatonville Cruisers.
This season will be unlike others, as Class 2A meets have been combined with 3A events to broaden the field of competition. While runners will be in the same pack (3A and 2A boys together, for example) scoring will be kept separate. White River will experience this first-hand on Sept. 27 when the Hornets host Fife, Orting and Washington from the SPSL 2A and Bonney Lake, Mount Tahoma and Spanaway Lake from the 3A Pierce County League.
Boys: A trio of seniors are expected to lead the way this season, according to Hornet coach Ryan Picinich, who singles out varsity returnees Tanner Nichols, Alex Long and Kole Carnino.
Nichols is among three Hornets who gained valuable experience last season by qualifying for the Class 2A state tournament. Others who earned berths at state were junior Dylan McMahan and sophomore Travis Leonard.
Picinich also has high hopes for young players like sophomore Taelon Van Dam and freshman Wyatt Webb.
A season ago, Nichols was a first team, all-league selection. Named to the SPSL 2A second team were Long, McMahan and Leonard.
Girls: The Hornet girls “are hoping to build on the momentum of a solid year,” coach Tyler Salsbury said, referring to the team’s sixth-place finish at last season’s Class 2A state tournament.
Salsbury has welcomed back five players (all seniors). That list is headed by Emily Alicea, Danika Korpe and Kate Hartman. Alicea placed 16th at last year’s Class 2A state tournament while Korpe and Hartman “have improved every year and are looking great this fall,” Salsbury reported.
Other seniors who are steady contributors are Kate Tinney and Gracie Covington.
The coach also has six underclassmen on his roster, led by sophomore Taylor Puryear. “We are looking forward to seeing them grow throughout the season and by key contributors this season and next,” he said.
Following last fall’s campaign four returning Hornets received second team, all-league recognition: Alicea, Hartman, Tinney and Korpe.
WHITE RIVER GOLF
Girls: Coach Anna Rose and her Hornet girls’ golf team are excited about the fall season and with very good reason.
Back for another campaign on the links are many of the girls who helped White River to a second-place finish at last season’s Class 2A state tournament.
Heading the Hornet charge is junior Lexie Mahler who placed third at the state tourney and earned SPSL 2A Player of the Year honors. Other notable returnees are seniors Abby Rose, Sophie Ross and Alle Klemkow. All three were first team, all-league selections last year and all had berths in the state tournament; Rose placed 21st at state, Ross was 23rd and Klemkow had to sit out the tourney due to injury.
Other players to watch, the coach said, are junior Abigail Ringel and sophomore Abby Akins.
The Hornet girls have already jumped into the season, taking on Emerald Ridge High (nonleague) on August 30, Enumclaw High on August 31 and Orting on September 5. All were home matches played at Enumclaw Golf Course.
Boys: On the boys’ side of the White River golf program, coach Terry Vallala has reason to be excited.
His Hornet squad tied for the SPSL 2A title a season ago with a varsity roster composed of underclassmen. Some of those are returning after experiencing postseason success last year and others, Vallala said, have been working hard to polish their game.
Leading the way is senior Kaden Ausen who not only advanced to the Class 2A state tournament last year, but finished in a tie for fourth place. Others who fared well last year during league play and qualifying tournaments are senior Jayson Walker and junior Kary Evans. Other returnees who played some varsity golf last season are sophomores Zach Wisdom and Alex Kelley.
Vallala notes improved play from junior Micah Lynch and sophomores Jonah Wright, Logan Senon and Vaughn Porter. And, finally, the coach notes that he had some promising freshmen make the team; those are Gavin Wever, Mason Miller and Brodee March.
Vallala expects a competitive SPSL 2A campaign with White River, Enumclaw and Orting battling for top honors. The early season has already provided some key matches as White River and Enumclaw staged the golf version of the Battle of the Bridge August 29 and White River took on Orting September 5.
The Enumclaw and White River teams practice together and compete in the same meets, but score individually. They also share a coach, Laini Goodlett, who was named Coach of the Year a season ago.
The Plateau teams get started September 21 during a three-team meet that includes the Steilacoom Sentinels. Competition will take place in the pool at Clover Park High in Lakewood.
Enumclaw: The squad was hit hard by graduation, losing standouts like Kate Perlot, Ella Hoyne, Clara Madewell, Ashley Dickerson and Naomi Prince.
Taking the biggest hit was diving, as Prince was a state champion last year and Dickerson took third place at the state meet.
But Goodlett has some solid building blocks as she prepares this year’s team. Among the returnees are junior Tori Massey and sophomore Alexandra Levesh; both were first team, all-league selections last year and each qualified for the 2022 state meet.
White River: There will be some proven performers leading the way this fall.
Back in action are sophomore Haley Weisheyer, a first team, all-league selection last season; senior Cheyenne Fessler (second team); and sophomore Trista Turgeon (honorable mention).
All three competed at last season’s state meet, where Turgeon placed third in diving.
ENUMCLAW BOYS’ TENNIS
Coming off a successful 2022 season in which they won the SPSL 2A league championship, the Enumclaw High squad is back on the court.
Coach Will Stuenkel has welcomed returning seniors Caden Zuydhoek, Colin McCann and Brock Hyatt; also back for another season with the varsity are juniors Noah Nuttle and Amos Hall, along with sophomore King Gisa.
A season ago four of the returnees – Nuttle, Zuydhoek, McCann and Gisa – earned second team, all-league honors for their doubles play.
Stuenkel and Co. opened the 2023 campaign yesterday (Tuesday) by hosting Clover Park High and will continue Thursday by hosting the Franklin Pierce Cardinals. Both are South Puget Sound League 2A matches.
“Our theme for the season is ‘Becoming Better Men’ and we hope to continue growing as athletes, students and young men,” Stuenkel wrote in a preseason email.
WHITE RIVER BOYS’ TENNIS
The White River High boys’ tennis team has been turning out under mostly sunny skies and this week launches its 2023 season.
The first test came Tuesday when the Hornets challenged Fife High at the Jupiter Tennis Center in Edgewood. Tomorrow (Thursday), White River hosts its home opener, welcoming the Steilacoom Sentinels at 3:30 p.m.
Coach Brad Pratt lost some top singles and doubles players to graduation, but there is still varsity experience to build around. Sophomore Ashton Chapin was a second team, all-league selection in singles play last year, junior Colby Lange was a first team pick in doubles, and senior Zach Slominski was a second team honoree in doubles.