WR: Girls still loaded with talent, boys replacing key players

The White River Hornet girls team never seem to need an overhaul, just some annual tinkering with quality, familiar parts.

Sofia Lavinder was a second-team all-league pick last year in the 2A league, and will be returning to the courts with her sister Georgia this year. File photo

Sofia Lavinder was a second-team all-league pick last year in the 2A league, and will be returning to the courts with her sister Georgia this year. File photo

WHITE RIVER GIRLS

The White River Hornet girls team never seem to need an overhaul, just some annual tinkering with quality, familiar parts.

That’s the legacy of success Chris Gibson has built on the Buckley campus, where league titles and state tournament appearances are never out of the question.

But the squad Gibson puts on the floor this season will be notably different that his past few teams. Gone is Kendall Bird, a four-year starter and two-time league MVP who finished her Hornet career as the program’s all-time leading scorer. Her size and talents landed her a scholarship at San Diego University.

The White River lineup is still stocked with proven talent, however, and includes four players who garnered postseason honors a season ago. Back on the court are seniors Georgia Lavinder, a first-team all-league selection last year and Sofia Lavinder, a second-team pick. Juniors LeeAudrey Norris and Chloe Narolski earned all-league honorable mention a year ago.

Others who had significant playing time last year include seniors Megan Cash and Taylee Goethals, junior Noelle Mills and sophomore Emma Robbins. Rounding out the roster are senior Emma Cash, sophomores Sam Fiedler and DeeDee Forsman, and freshmen Kara Marecle and Taylor Schmidtke. Robbins is slated for plenty of playing time once she recovers from a knee injury suffered near the end of the fall soccer season.

Gibson likes the look of this year’s squad, noting that he has good shooters, multiple players comfortable handling the ball and plenty of depth. And they improved individually and as a team during a summer of tournament play. The White River squad annually competes in a large tourney in San Diego and, for the first time, claimed a championship. That was followed by a winning effort at a Hawaii tournament.

The Hornets are coming off a season that would be considered remarkable at some schools but has become commonplace in the halls of White River High. Gibson’s squad spent time as the top-rated team in the state, earned a first-round bye into the Class 2A state tournament and – once at the Yakima SunDome – won one of three games. That resulted in sixth-place state honors, going along with fourth-place finishes in both 2015 and 2014 and third-place honors in 2012.

During Gibson’s 19 years at White River, the Hornets have reached the state tourney’s Sweet 16 in all but two seasons.

WHITE RIVER BOYS

With a mix of familiar faces and varsity newcomers, coach Rick Tripp is leading his White River boys basketball team into another campaign.

Tripp, coming off co-Coach of the Year honors a season ago, will head into the 2017-18 season having lost six seniors and much of his offensive firepower to graduation. Gone are Alex Wallen, who was a first-team all-league performer a year ago; Cameron Cawley, a second-team selection; and Ryan Larsen, an honorable mention pick. Those three were the Hornets’ leading scorers last year, the only ones averaging double-figure scoring.

The top returnee is junior Joe Flanigan, who was accorded honorable mention status by league coaches a season ago when he averaged 9.8 points per outing.

He is joined on the early-season varsity roster by returning seniors Bryan Charest, Kaden Phillips and Chance Glissmeyer; junior Brandon Howard; and sophomore TJ Stroschein. New to Tripp’s varsity roster are seniors Tanner Wallen and Emery Riendeau, juniors Mavrik Mills and Isaac Voellger, and sophomore Ryan Firle.

Tripp, in his ninth season leading the program, looks for Glissmeyer to play a large role in the Hornet fortunes. And, hoping for continued success, Tripp notes that last season’s junior varsity squad was tops in the league while headed by Wallen, Voellger, Phillips and Stroschein.

Last year’s Hornet squad advanced to the West Central District tournament after placing third during the regular South Puget Sound League 2A season and splitting a pair of crossover games. The team’s final record was 14-11.

More in Sports

Local athletes score well in Special Olympic tournaments

The local three-member team earned a silver medal at the state bowling tournament, competing against teams from all across the state at Kenmore Lanes.

Spartan swimmers qualify for league, district meets

Sumner High coach Maari Bennett was nothing but positive following the Spartans’ Jan. 4 swim and dive meet.

Fall will bring change for White River, SPSL 2A

Under the changes, the league will split into three divisions — Mountain, Sound, and another yet to be named. However, football will still be split into the two divisions the league is currently divided into.

Former Hornet Keenan Fagan an NAIA All-American

The former Hornet, who just completed his junior season at Rocky Mountain College, was named an NAIA first-team defensive back when All-America squads were announced by the American Football Coaches Association.

Girls climb in wrestling rankings, two on national list

Check out which female wrestlers from the Enumclaw, White River and Sumner-Bonney Lake school districts are ranking high in their leagues.

EHS students advance to state robotics competition

The Robo Knights – consisting of Nathan Erickson, Hailey Henken, Chloe Nemish, Billy Staley and Jacob Woodley – will represent EHS Feb. 11 at the ShoWare Center in Kent.

Panther rosters are packed with plenty of experience

Familiar faces are back on the mat, looking to continue Bonney Lake’s near-decade tradition of wrestling excellence.

Winter season in full swing at Enumclaw High

The Hornets have participated in a pair of four-team gymnastics meets so far. They will compete again Wednesday hosting Federal Way, Kennedy Catholic and Mount Rainier at PEAK Gymnastics in Enumclaw.

White River wrestlers top foes

The White River High gymnasium was the place to be Dec. 6, as some of the state’s top wrestling teams – and a handful of highly-ranked individuals – gathered for a night of competition.

Panther pair sign with college programs

A pair of Bonney Lake High School seniors formalized their athletic futures during a Nov. 22 signing ceremony at the school.

Spartans: More victories in the works

Last year’s Sumner High girls basketball team didn’t experience the thrill of victory all that often, winning just five of 20 games, but a flock of returning players should help turn the tide.

WR: Girls still loaded with talent, boys replacing key players

The White River Hornet girls team never seem to need an overhaul, just some annual tinkering with quality, familiar parts.