Out of Write Field
Making sense of the ever-changing South Kitsap sports landscape.
Along with the game-time change for South Kitsap’s Saturday game at Olympia, which now is set for 3 p.m. because of SAT conflicts, another interesting revelation came out of the Wolves’ 31-0 loss Friday against Bellarmine Prep. Coach Eric Canton confirmed afterward that the Class 4A Narrows League only will receive three berths to the state play-in game. That is one fewer than last year.
It is a change that could have significant ramifications for the Wolves.
In 2012, South claimed the league’s fourth playoff spot with a 3-3 record in 4A Narrows play. Given that scenario, the Wolves might have been able to entertain playoff prospects even with a loss Saturday. That is because they likely will be favored in their two remaining league games this month, Oct. 11 against Yelm and Oct. 25 at Stadium, before concluding the regular season Nov. 1 at home against Central Kitsap.
But now that South has lost its first two league games, it will have to win its final four league contests to make the playoffs. Otherwise, the Wolves will finish the season outside of the playoffs for the first time since 2010. In that scenario, South will play a crossover game against a 3A Narrows school.
Athletic director Ed Santos said the crossover likely will be a road game because the Wolves have five home contests this season. In addition, he said South probably would compete against a team that has similar ability and one that it has not played lately. But the latter factor is not significant for the Wolves as the only team they play from 3A Narrows during the regular season, Oct. 18 against Lincoln, is likely to win the league championship. That seems to leave Foss, North Thurston, Shelton and Timberline as the most likely opponents for South.
Roch Kubatko, who covers the Baltimore Orioles for MASNsports.com, does not believe 2000 South Kitsap High School graduate Jason Hammel will return to the team next season. Kubatko covers that topic toward the end of his piece reflecting on the Orioles. Hammel, 31, is eligible for free agency after the conclusion of the World Series.
After a career-best season in 2012, Hammel finished with a 7-8 record and a 4.97 ERA this season. Perhaps the most significant reason behind his success in 2012 was his 8.6 strikeouts per nine innings, which was the best rate of his career. The rate fell to 6.2 this year.
Hammel, who was acquired by Baltimore with reliever Matt Lindstrom from Colorado for right-handed starter Jeremy Guthrie on Feb. 6, 2012, has pitched in parts of eight major-league seasons. He has a 49-59 record with a 4.80 ERA for Tampa Bay, Colorado and Baltimore.
Follow sports long enough and you will hear no shortage of coach-speak and clichés about “taking it one game at a time” and “all of our focus is on this week.” Fortunately, sportswriters and fans are under no such obligation, which leads us to the Class 4A Narrows League’s playoff picture.
While it might seem absurd to look that far ahead as South Kitsap enters league play Friday night against Gig Harbor at Roy Anderson Field, a closer examination reinforces how important this game is for the Wolves. That is because only the top four teams in 4A Narrows advance to the state play-in game.
A loss Friday night means South likely starts the season 0-2 in league as league-favorite Bellarmine Prep visits Port Orchard on Sept. 27. The Wolves then follow that with an Oct. 5 game at Olympia, which is coming off its first losing season in nearly a decade. But Ingersoll Stadium never is an easy venue for the visiting team, especially for South. The Wolves have lost five of their last six games against the Bears. Their only win during that span came in 2009 when Leon La Deaux translated a fake punt into an 82-yard touchdown in a 10-6 victory.
The league schedule then lightens with games against Yelm and at Stadium, sandwiched by a nonleague contest versus Lincoln, to finish October. The Wolves should be favored in both league games. But that leaves only one 4A Narrows game, Nov. 1 against Central Kitsap, remaining. A loss against Gig Harbor likely means that would fall into the must-win category for South to advance to the playoffs. And relying on a win in a rivalry that has been evenly matched — the Wolves are 23-23-1 since 1949 against the Cougars — would be shortsighted.
A win against Gig Harbor changes the conversation. Beating the Tides means South should win at least three league games, which likely would be enough to secure the league’s No. 4 playoff spot. The focus then would be on playoff positioning. Wins against either Central or Olympia probably would bump the Wolves into 4A Narrows’ third-playoff position. The difference between the league Nos. 3-4 playoff positions last year for South, which earned 4A Narrows’ final playoff spot, was visiting Camas instead of Auburn.
That topic only is relevant with a win Friday night, though.
As we reported Wednesday, South Kitsap’s football opener at Kentridge has been rescheduled for Sept. 5. The game originally was scheduled for the following day. South coach Eric Canton said his staff confirmed the change Thursday morning with Kentridge, which he initially learned about during Wednesday night’s practice, but did not have many more details to share.
“I haven’t been given a rational,” he said, adding that the game will start at 7 p.m.
With football practice beginning throughout the state Wednesday — the Wolves will hit the field from 6:30 to 8 p.m. that day — I thought I would post the team’s regular-season schedule, as well. South Kitsap’s game at Olympia will be the first time it has played a regular-season game on Saturday since Oct. 17, 2009, at Stadium.
Sept. 6 at Kentridge
Sept. 13 Newport
Sept. 20 at Gig Harbor
Sept. 27 Bellarmine Prep
Oct.5 at Olympia
Oct. 11 Yelm
Oct. 18 Lincoln
Oct. 25 at Stadium
Nov. 1 Central Kitsap
Brady Steiger is the latest South Kitsap graduate to become a professional baseball player.
Steiger, who led Idaho’s Lewis-Clark State College in batting average (.430), hits (89) and doubles (22) last season, recently signed a free-agent contract with the New York Yankees.
A 2009 South graduate, Steiger had another year of eligibility at LCSC and it appeared he would return to school after he was bypassed during June’s Major League Baseball amateur draft. But the Yankees maintained their interest in the left-handed hitting first baseman while he played this summer for the Seattle Studs, a select collegiate team.
Steiger played third base at South before signing with Washington State. He played one season for the Cougars before sitting out the 2011 season. Steiger then transferred to Sierra College in California, where he was teammates with former South pitcher Collin Monagle, before moving onto LCSC.
He now will report to the Yankees’ Gulf Coast League team in Tampa, Fla.
Port Townsend School District’s Board of Directors voted Monday night to retire the name “Redskins” from the high school during the next year. Former Independent reporter Charlie Bermant covered the story for the Peninsula Daily News.
Port Townsend becomes the latest high school to move away from a name that considered less offensive to Native Americans. In 2003, Issaquah High School changed its mascot from the Indians to Eagles.
Controversy surrounding mascots has not been limited to high schools, though. Nationally, many long have called for the NFL’s Washington Redskins to change their name.
MVP: F Max Harvey, Stadium, sr.
Coach of the Year: Chris Floro, Central Kitsap, and Adam Becker, Stadium.
Goalkeeper: Lorenzo Alvamga, Central Kitsap, sr.
Forwards: Kurt Koemmphel, Central Kitsap, sr.; Bjorn Brynestad, Gig Harbor, sr.; Andrew Foreman, Stadium, sr.
Midfielders: Drew Barker, Bellarmine Prep, jr.; Steven Johnson, Central Kitsap, jr.; Derrick Bonafilia, Central Kitsap, sr.; Davis McCall, Gig Harbor, jr.; Jacob Beardemphl, Stadium, sr.; Garret Harp, Stadium, sr.; Aaron Weathington, South Kitsap, jr.
Defenders: Alex Moon, Central Kitsap, sr.; Kyle Miyake, Gig Harbor, jr.; Tyler Foster, Stadium, sr.; Bryce Ikeda, Stadium, so.
Goalkeeper: Ian Fry, Stadium, sr.; Davin Johnson, Olympia, so.; Jacob Radawick, Yelm, sr.
Forwards: Cameron Watson, Central Kitsap, sr.; Gabriel Castillo, Stadium, so.
Midfielders: Tanner Stepp, Gig Harbor, so.; Connor Bitterman, South Kitsap, sr.; Vladislav Afichuck, Stadium, sr.
Defenders: Connor Thompson, Bellarmine Prep, so.; Dylan Abrams, Central Kitsap, sr.; Colin Hannerman, Central Kitsap, jr.; Elliott Duea, Gig Harbor, sr.; Austin Yon, Stadium, jr.; Cole Murphy, Stadium, sr.
Pitching MVP: Ashley Chamberlin, South Kitsap, sr.
Position MVP: Hannah Spohn, South Kitsap, jr.
Coach of the Year: Jessica Cabato, South Kitsap
Pitchers: Courtney Schwan, Bellarmine Prep, jr.; Maddy Stensby, Olympia, so.
Catchers: Adrianna Rupright, Olympia, so.; Drew Camacho, South Kitsap, so.; Savannah Brown, Yelm, jr.
Infielders: Sam Williams, Central Kitsap, jr.; Tessa Matthews, Yelm, sr.; Nikki Schroeder, Olympia, sr.; Aubrey Lindberg, Gig Harbor, jr.; Becca Sorensen, Bellarmine Prep, so.; Alissa Buss, South Kitsap, sr.
Outfielders: Kayla Clausen, South Kitsap, sr.; Shelby Reyes, South Kitsap, so.; Megan Bishop, Yelm, sr.; Alyssa McKiernan, Bellarmine Prep, fr.
Utility: Breann Robertson, Yelm, so.; Megan Riggs, Gig Harbor, so.
Pitchers: Anna Hitt, Gig Harbor, sr.; Caylee Coulter, Central Kitsap, sr.; Jessilyn Enlow, Yelm, so.
Catchers: Gracen Malich, Gig Harbor, jr.; Tristan Vandermann, Central Kitsap, jr.
Infielders: Hailey Hull, Olympia, sr.; Anna Overland, Gig Harbor, so.; Alex DeStephano, Bellarmine Prep, sr.; Hayley Romo, South Kitsap, so.; Emily Gorecki, Central Kitsap, sr.; Tayler Finch, Yelm, so.
Outfield: Tiffani Ferrel, Central Kitsap, jr.; Jessy Turnbull, Olympia, jr.; Erin Roloff, Olympia, fr.; Chelsea Foster, South Kitsap, jr.; Michaela Nelson, Gig Harbor, sr.; Rachel Barcena, Bellarmine Prep, sr.
Utility: Madison Watson, South Kitsap, jr.; Corinne Luke, Gig Harbor, sr.
Honorable mention (South Kitsap only)
Tessah Tremper, jr.
League MVP: SS Leo Valenti, Olympia, sr.
Pitching MVPs: Elliott Loague, Olympia, sr.; Michael Wood, South Kitsap, sr.
Coach of the year: Todd McDougall, Olympia.
Pitchers: Nick Gagliardi, Gig Harbor, sr.; Harry Stenberg, Bellarmine Prep, jr.
Catchers: Matt Gunn, Stadium, jr.; Justin Polzin, Yelm, so.
Infielders: Infielders: Sterling Brown, Gig Harbor, jr.; Michael Fairchild, Olympia, sr.; George Foley, Bellarmine Prep, sr.; Garrett Gallinger, Gig Harbor, sr.; Jacob Veith, Stadium, jr.
Outfielders: Nathan Heath, Bellarmine Prep, sr.; Joey Knight, Olympia, sr.; Brandon Thompson, Bellarmine Prep, jr.; Michael Van Orden, Stadium, jr.; Cody Wolfe, South Kitsap, sr.
DH: Tanner Paulson, South Kitsap, jr.
Utility: Haak Wagner, Gig Harbor, sr.
Pitchers: Leif Hansen, Olympia, jr.; Josh Johnston, South Kitsap, sr.
Catchers: Michael Ota, Bellarmine Prep, sr.; Riley Paschal, Central Kitsap, jr.
Infielders: Jesse Moore, South Kitsap, sr.; Alek Morrison, South Kitsap, sr.; Gabe Padukiewicz, Olympia, sr.; Kevin Whatley, South Kitsap, sr.
Outfielders: Alec Anderson, Central Kitsap, sr.; Jake Biscay, Olympia, sr.; Drew Frame, Gig Harbor, sr.; Cameron Frost, Olympia, sr.; Tom Simpson, South Kitsap, sr.
DH: Brandon Hamilton, Stadium, jr.
Utility: Logan Knowles, South Kitsap, jr.
Honorable mention (South Kitsap only)
Tyler Pickerton, jr.; Tiler Moore, sr.