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

T-Birds select Dauner, Mackie in Western Hockey League U.S. Prospects Draft

Dauner is a center from Fargo; Mackie is a defenseman from Anchorage

White River Hornets take talents to collegiate hoop programs

Here are where some Buckley athletes have taken their talents around Washington and California.

Spring should be busy for EHS sports, but it’s all taking a break

Let’s hope the coronavirus won’t affect this season’s sports too badly.

Talent returns to White River baseball, softball

Watch out for the spring version of the Battle of the Bridge this Friday, March 13.

Enumclaw High baseball, softball teams seeking diamond wins

The boys team is seeing many veterans return, while the girls lost some players to graduation.

Tough times for White River in the SunDome

Both the girls and boys team fell early in the state tournament.

White River teams in Yakima for state 2A hoop tourney

The boys team hasn’t gone to state since placing second in 2012.

Enumclaw swimmers, diver take part in state Class 4A competition

Ricky Bonthuis placed eighth in the diving competition.

Both White River teams headed to 2A state hoops

But the Enumclaw girl’s shot at state came up short.

White River girls claim state wrestling title, boys place third in 2A ranks

White River High wrestlers were the cream of the Mat Classic crop… Continue reading

Maple Valley co-ed softball seeking seniors

Practice will begin as soon as the rain stops.

Three local hoop teams stay alive in district tournaments

White River’s boys and girls team, plus EHS’ gils team, are still battling to get to state.