White River tracksters, soccer players waiting for spring athletic season

With a bunch of veteran players returning, the boys Hornet soccer team is starting this season in a good position.

White River High’s Jessica Taylor was a Class 2A state meet qualifier in the pole vault a season ago. Photo by Kevin Hanson

White River High’s Jessica Taylor was a Class 2A state meet qualifier in the pole vault a season ago. Photo by Kevin Hanson


With nearly 100 athletes under their wing, coach Dameon Marlow and his assistants have their hands full. It helps that many on the Hornet roster, boys and girls alike, have been around for a few seasons and experienced the success that stems from hard work.

The Hornet boys took the bigger hit at graduation time, the most notable loss being Jackson Gibbon, last year’s SPSL Field Athlete of the Year and a state participant in both the shot put and discus.

But there are still state veterans on the roster. Among those are senior Spencer Brooks, who placed sixth a year ago in the 400-meter run. He also competed at Star Track in the 4×100 relay, which included Grant Swettenam, Payne Plaster and Braedan Clay. All three of those Hornets return as well, Swettenam and Clay as seniors and Plaster for a sophomore season.

Other returnees who made an impact last season are senior Blake Leahy, juniors Jared Zaugg and Riley Maas, and sophomore Cole Riley.

The White River girls’ roster is dotted with athletes who capped successful 2019 seasons with a trip to the state championships in Tacoma. That list includes seniors Makayla Melcher, Jessica Taylor, Emma Robbins and Paidon Froemke; juniors Madison Jenkins, Taylor Schmidtke and Tori Schmidtke; sophomore Maria Hawthorne.

Other Hornet girls to watch for include senior pole vaulter Gabriella Piontek, senior runner Kajsa Holland-Goon and senior sprinter/jumper Sam Fiedler.


White River High’s soccer coach is justifiably upbeat these days. Most of last year’s squad has returned, putting an experienced and positive vibe on the first two weeks of turnouts.

Even the staff is intact, with head coach TJ Suek sharing the sideline with assistants Scot Curran and Lee Sinkovic.

All the returnees helped the Hornets climb to a record of 7-7-2 last season, an improvement over the three seasons prior.

Now, the challenge is to keep the momentum building and Suek seemingly has the pieces in place to make that happen.

For example, Isaac Morris is back, coming off a 2019 season that saw him named the SPSL East Goalie of the Year. Angel Acosta also has returned, having earned first team, all-SPSL honors a year ago. And Kristian Latozke, a second team honoree a year ago, is back at forward.

Other returnees include forward Cristian Senestrari; midfielders Austen Mitchell (captain) and Riley West; and defenders Tanner Penrose, Josh Mackie and Blake Bova.

That battle-tested group is joined by a small handful of newcomers. Sophomores Jonathan Corr and Holden Anderson are expected to contribute, Suek said, and a pair of freshmen, Brayden Bockness and Tate Ringel, have had strong early-season showings.

“The senior and junior leaders have been instrumental in getting the team ready for the 2020 season,” Suek said. Players like Acosta, West and Latozke, he added, “have been stepping it up at practices and bringing a high intensity level that should help us be successful on the field this season.

Suek also singled out players like Senestrari and Mitchell who are “looking to fill more dynamic roles this season and replace the hard work of some of our graduated players.”

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@courierherald.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.courierherald.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 500 words or less.

More in Sports

Image courtesy Enumclaw Expo Center
Expo Center to livestream EHS games

Tickets to the event are $7.

The Enumclaw High Hornets practicing on their home field Feb. 10. Photo by Ray Miller-Still
Enumclaw, WR football teams to kick off season this weekend

White River begins with a home-field advantage Friday, while Enumclaw travels to an away game Saturday.

White River football players were running through drills last week, with masks in place and players spread throughout the practice field. Here, coach Jesse Reeves leads the way while Jayden Sams hands off to Ossyan Williams. Football practice for real is set to begin Feb. 10. Photo by Kevin Hanson
Schedules set for high school Season 1, games to begin week of Feb. 22

With King and Pierce County moving to Phase 2, sports will be starting up soon.

It's been a while since local schools have been able to practice sports. Pictured is Coach Mark Gunderson working on technique with one of his players during an Aug. 28, 2019 practice. Photo by Kevin Hanson
At EHS and White River, football to begin Feb. 10, other sports to follow

Golf looks to be the only fall sport not starting next month.

Kentwood High football. FILE PHOTO
WIAA Executive Board revises Season 1 sports in response to state guidelines

Practices scheduled to begin Feb. 1 for football, volleyball, soccer and 5 other sports

Free image
Start of high school sports delayed again

Winter sports are scheduled to begin with practices on Feb. 1.

The Mercer Island boys basketball celebrates their 61-36 victory over Interlake in the 3A KingCo championship game on Feb. 11, 2020, at Sammamish High School. File photo
WIAA pushes back return to play for prep sports

Season 2 now begins Feb. 1 and seasons have been shortened to seven weeks each.

Kanaskat-Palmer State Park is one of several local parks you can visit for free on Nov. 11 and 27. Photo courtesy Washington State Parks
State Parks announces last two ‘free days’ for 2020

Nov. 11 and 27 will be the last time you can visit a state park for free.

A new paved trail, provided by the city of Enumclaw, extends to a point just shy of the city limits. Here, a trail user and canine companion turn and head back toward Battersby Avenue. Photo by Kevin Hanson
Flat, smooth and short: two trails completed on Enumclaw’s north side

A quick tour of the new trail along Battersby Avenue.

Margaret Petellin
Enumclaw’s Petellin takes swim talents to Luther College

As a Hornet, Petellin was a four-year letter winner in swimming and track and field.

The Enumclaw pool won’t be filled for several months more, as extra repairs need to be done first.  Photo by Ray Miller-Still
Cold water thrown on pool’s grand-reopening

Plans to open the pool early November have been scrapped as more repairs appear necessary.

White River High taking nominations for Year 2 Hall of Fame inductees

Here’s what you need to know to nominate a sports legend from your time at WRHS.