The Hornet boys were hit by graduation, as all athletic programs are, but coach Shawn Tobius has welcomed back a handful of players who are proven contributors.
Heading into the season, Tobius expects his crew to be competitive, and says a strong work ethic will contribute to the overall success.
When it comes to key returning players, the coach points to center defender Nick Norton, center midfielders Cam Burkey and AJ King, forward Alan Mejia and outside back Fulton Gunderson. When all-league honors were passed out following last season, Norton, Burkey and King received honorable mention.
Tobius has also welcomed some new players to the varsity roster. In particular, he’s looking for contributions from forward Ronald Vasquez, center defender Bennett Tripp and goalkeeper Dylan James.
Tobius and his crew made their season debut Saturday at the Trojan Jamboree, hosted by Auburn High. Competition began in earnest yesterday (Tuesday) when the Hornets hosted Emerald Ridge and continues at 7 tonight with a home contest against nonleague rival White River.
TRACK AND FIELD
Coach Jenelle Murrell reports her Hornet program, both boys and girls, has had some great practice sessions and are looking forward to spring competition.
The wait comes to an end tomorrow (Thursday) when Enumclaw heads to Tahoma High to challenge the Bears. The afternoon meet begins at 3:30 on the Maple Valle campus.
Murrell is happy to see new faces joining the program but also has a list of proven track and field athletes to count on.
Among the top returnees on the boys’ side, she points to Jacob Dickson in the 800 and 1,600 meters; Jack Morse, long jump and high jump; Ricky Portillo, sprints and relays; and Royal Snyder, 400 meters and relays. From that group, Portillo and Snyder advanced to last spring’s state meet as members of a Hornet relay team, while Snyder also made it to state individually in the 400 meters.
The list is even longer for the girls’ team, where the coach ticks off names like Mia Ammons in the 400 meters and relay events; Carli Boger, springs and relays; Johanna Brown, 400 and relays; Ellie DeGroot, hurdles and relays; Marissa Espinosa in the throws; Isabella Hoyer, 400 and relays; Addison Neu, 800 meters; Gracie Neu, springs and relays; and Natasha Puzon, 1,600 and 3,200 meters.
A year ago, five Hornet girls qualified for the Class 4A state meet and four have returned for another season. Advancing to Tacoma last season were both Brown and Ammons in the 400 meters, Addie Neu in the 800 and Gracie Neu as part of a relay.
GIRLS WATER POLO
Coach Ken Deman has the luxury of experience in his ranks. He has welcomed 221 girls to the pool, most with varsity playing time to their credit.
That wasn’t the case when turnouts began a season ago. Deman figures 15 of the 18 varsity girls were largely unfamiliar with the sport and it showed; the losses mounted quickly.
But the situation is a bit different this time around. There are still a lot of newcomers – Deman figures about half the roster is made up of first-year players – but he has some proven veteran talent to count on.
It starts with the team captains, senior Katie Norton and junior Gracie Smith. And there’s a new wrinkle this season, as Brooklyn Fessler is serving as an honorary captain; the junior is a three-year member of the squad but attends White River High, so she can play only in non league games.
Added to the mix of key returnees are junior Kaetlyn Marlow and sophomores Isabelle Hoyne, Leanna Walski and Elizabeth Tolbert.
Deman was set to get a first real look at his squad tonight, Wednesday. The team’s season opener will come against Auburn Riverside at 7 p.m. in the Auburn pool.
Veteran tennis coach Rick Carol has a few key returnees to count on, but there are also some holes to fill in his varsity lineup.
That’s the early-season scenario on the Enumclaw High’s courts, where Carel and junior varsity coach Ted Carlson have been putting players through their paces.
As a starting point, the team has three seniors – Lauren Bone (a second team, all-NPSL selection a season ago), Amy Meneghini and Keanna Beals – that bring varsity experience. Adding to the mix is the team’s top newcomer, freshman Macy Furtwangler.
The varsity lineup took a huge hit due to the graduation of Emily Miller and Emma McKeighen. Both were first team, all-league performers who advanced to the Class 4A state tournament.
Spring tennis is a dicey proposition at times, but Carel and company were hoping to begin the 2020 season yesterday (March 17) with a home match against Auburn Mountainview. The campaign continues today, Wednesday, with a non league visit to neighboring White River High and a busy week concludes Thursday with a home contest against the Todd Beamer Titans.