Enumclaw soars in football playoff opener; both sets of Hornets off to state volleyball tourney

Elle Thomas goes high for a kill against North Kitsap, White River’s first opponent during last week’s district tournament. Photo by Kevin Hanson

Elle Thomas goes high for a kill against North Kitsap, White River’s first opponent during last week’s district tournament. Photo by Kevin Hanson

The past week was a busy one in the world of Plateau high school sports, with some teams participating in state tournaments, others qualifying for state play and a couple seeing their seasons come to a close.

Here’s how things stand, for athletes from both Enumclaw and White River high schools, heading into this week.

STATE FOOTBALL

More than 60 Class 2A teams throughout Washington kicked off their football seasons roughly 10 weeks ago. Now, only eight remain as the state playoffs advance.

The Enumclaw High Hornets find themselves in that exclusive group. Thanks to a 38-28 victory over Hockinson High in the opening round of the 2A tournament, the EHS squad moved into the Elite Eight.

Next up for Enumclaw is a Nov. 19 battle against Tumwater High, the top-seeded team in the 2A field. The Friday night game is slated for Tumwater District Stadium, kicking off a 7 p.m.

The game is a rematch from the season opener, a nonleague tussle that saw the Thunderbirds race to a 56-6 victory over the Hornets.

Enumclaw enters the state quarterfinal contest with an overall record of 9-2 and is the No. 9 seed. Tumwater sits at 8-2 after whipping East Valley-Spokane 56-7 in the opening round of the state playoffs.

Enumclaw’s playoff opener, staged at Battle Ground Stadium, featured an entertaining, back-and-forth, first-half battle. The Hawks hit the scoreboard first, only to see Enumclaw answer with 17 points. Those scores came courtesy of an Emmit Otero rushing touchdown, a TD pass from Malcolm Harper to Clive Pond and a 24-yard field goal by Noah Seabrands.

After Hockinson added a second touchdown, Enumclaw quickly marched down the field and capitalized when Harper connected with Dylan Watterson for a TD and a 24-14 halftime lead.

The Hornets padded their advantage in the third period when Harper and Karson Holt teamed up for a scoring strike. The 17-point lead disappeared when Hockinson posted a pair of passing touchdowns in the fourth quarter, cutting the EHS margin to 31-28. Otero made sure Enumclaw would escape with the win, however, first running for the game’s final TD and then intercepting a Hawk pass to put the playoff game on ice.

POSTSEASON VOLLEYBALL

Two swarms of Hornets will be buzzing Friday and Saturday at the Yakima Valley SunDome, the traditional home to the Class 2A state volleyball tournament.

Both White River and Enumclaw high schools qualified for the Sweet 16 festivities, based on regular season success followed by victories in the District 2/3 tournament. That tourney wrapped up last weekend, spread over four days and three venues.

In Yakima, each of the Plateau programs will get an early start, scheduled for 7 a.m. matches on Nov. 19. White River, as the No. 7 seed, will take on No. 10 Ellensburg; at the same time, No. 11 Enumclaw will challenge No. 6 Lynden.

The Class 2A state tournament features a double-elimination format, with all 16 teams playing twice on opening day. Teams need at least one victory on Friday to assure a Saturday appearance.

Both Plateau teams had entered District 2/3 play needing just an opening-round victory to lock up a state berth. That’s exactly what Enumclaw High did, romping to a 25-15, 25-16, 25-15 victory over Sammamish High.

The Nov. 10 match was played in the Patriot Dome at Washington High School in Parkland.

Already assured of a Yakima trip, coach Jackie Carel and her crew had two more contests on their district card. On Saturday, Nov. 13, EHS defeated North Kitsap 3-0 in the semifinals, then fell 3-0 to Steilacoom in the district finale.

White River also opened district play at the Patriot Dome but quickly faced a more difficult task to earn its Yakima berth.

The opening round for coach Gressa Eide and her squad was against a talented squad from North Kitsap High of the Olympic League. White River got off to a positive start, winning 25-16 but dropped the next three to the Vikings (27-25, 25-21, 25-19).

That pushed White River into loser-out territory and another Nov. 10 contest. Facing Orting High for the third time this season, the Hornets picked up their third victory, staying alive with a 24-26, 25-18, 25-19, 25-10 win.

Action then moved to Saturday, Nov. 13, and Sammamish High School where White River was paired against another familiar foe, the Fife Trojans. In a winner-to-state, loser-out battle, White River took a 3-0 victory to lock up a SunDome trip.

STATE SWIM & DIVE

The Plateau was represented by eight competitors – six from Enumclaw High and two from White River – during last weekend’s state swim and dive meet.

The Nov. 12-13 event brought together athletes from all classifications, from all corners of the state. The season-ending meet was, as always, at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.

In swimming events, the top performance was turned in by Enumclaw High junior Kate Perlot who placed second in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:29.08. She also impressed in the 200 freestyle where her time of 2:02.43 landed her in fourth place.

Also qualifying for a pair of swimming events was EHS senior Anna Bogh. She wound up fifth in the 100-yard butterfly (1:03.02) and seventh in the 200 freestyle (2:04.85).

Perlot and Bogh were joined by senior Lizzie Tolbert and junior Clara Madewell for the 200-yard freestyle relay. The EHS quartet finished in 1:51.04 to place 11th.

The Enumclaw High showing was completed by a pair of divers, both juniors. Naomi Prince placed third and Ashley Dickerson was sixth.

Having qualified for the state meet from White River were diver Mackenzie Hale, a senior, and sophomore Cheyenne Fessler who competed in the 50-yard freestyle.

Hale wound up in 12th place and Fessler clocked a time of 27:64 to place 23rd.

As a team, Enumclaw’s girls placed eighth among the 36 programs in the field. With just two competitors, White River finished 32nd.

STATE SOCCER

The girls’ teams from both Enumclaw and White River high schools had successfully advanced through the regular season and a three-game district tournament, landing themselves a berth in the Class 2A state soccer tourney.

Upon joining the Sweet 16, however, the Plateau squads found the going a bit too rocky.

The Hornets, and the other Hornets, saw their seasons come to a close the evening of Wednesday, Nov. 10. Each round of the state tournament is a loser-out affair and that was each team’s undoing.

Enumclaw headed to Ridgefield to challenge the host Spudders and was sent home on the losing end of a 2-0 score. EHS had entered the contest seeded No. 14 in the 16-team field, while the Spudders (16-4 after defeating Enumclaw) entered at No. 3.

For the season, EHS coach Shawn Tobius and his squad finished with an overall record of 12-6-1. That included a mark of 11-2-1 in South Puget Sound League 2A play and a nonleague loss, followed by one victory in three district games prior to the state appearance.

White River had an even longer road trip Nov. 10, venturing to Vancouver’s Kiggins Bowl and a contest against Columbia River. The Buckley crew fell 2-1 and had entered as the No. 12 seed, paired against the No. 5 Rapids (17-3 after defeating the Hornets).

First-year head coach Mackenzie Breeden guided her club to a dozen victories in 17 outings (12-4-1). That included a 10-2-1 league record plus two wins in three district contests before the state setback.

Both Ridgefield and Columbia River high schools participate in the Clark County-based Greater St. Helens League.


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White River libero Kelli Kaelin keeps the ball in play as teammate Sydney Schultz approaches the net during the Hornets’ district match with North Kitsap.

White River libero Kelli Kaelin keeps the ball in play as teammate Sydney Schultz approaches the net during the Hornets’ district match with North Kitsap.

Macy Furtwangler serves during Enumclaw’s 3-0 district victory against the Sammamish Redhawks.

Macy Furtwangler serves during Enumclaw’s 3-0 district victory against the Sammamish Redhawks.

Enumclaw senior Rosie Penke registers a kill during the Hornets’ district victory over Sammamish. Guarding the net is the Redhawks’ Akshar Ameir.

Enumclaw senior Rosie Penke registers a kill during the Hornets’ district victory over Sammamish. Guarding the net is the Redhawks’ Akshar Ameir.

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