Vikings win district baseball championship | Playoffs

POULSBO — As Kitsap’s 1A and 2A teams continue in their state championship bids, here’s a look at how the playoff picture is shaping up.

2A baseball

The North Kitsap Vikings won the 2017 West Central District 2A Baseball Tournament championship game, defeating Highline 8-6 May 13.

The Viking victory was preceded by a 7-0 win against Fife earlier that day, and an earlier 5-0 shutout win in their opening game against River Ridge May 6 at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds, in which they clinched a berth in the state tournament May 20-27 at Yakima County Stadium.

Vikings head baseball coach Jeff Weible suspects this could be the Vikings’ first district championship win since the late 1980s.

“The game was outstanding,” he said. “The kids played really well and the teams seemed even. Our guys got a couple of extra runs on the other team. I’m really proud of the kids.”

Weible said the win escalated team morale, and the team’s spirits are high as they prepare for their May 20 state tournament opener.

“The guys are believing that they can run the table. They’re confident and the last few days have been good practices,” he said.

In fact, to keep fresh, the Vikings played a practice game against Bainbridge May 17; although the Vikings lost to the 3A team, Weible said, it was more about coming out of the match uninjured.

“We started off 0-0 at first, but then they got to some of our guys late in the game. We played Bainbridge earlier in the year and beat them.”

As both teams focus on their regionals play, Weible is more preoccupied with the team’s practice before May 20.

“We are headed over to Auburn to practice where we will be playing on Saturday,” he said. “The kids are ready to get it done.”

The Vikings, focused mentally and physically on their practices, are into what Weible calls “situational stuff.”

“We’re working moving players up. We’re going to work on some pressure situations like ground balls, and just keep doing what we’ve been doing,” he said. “It’s more about those little things, mental things. But we need to be able to execute. We might only get one chance on Saturday — and if we don’t get it done, it might cost us the game.”

Of the team, strong with quality pitching and a solid defense, Weible said their biggest strength was their chemistry.

“Everyone is pulling for one another,” he said. “Together we’re pretty cohesive, they play for one another, there is no selfishness on the team — it’s about the team as a whole and whether we win or lose. In the baseball world, that’s pretty special.”

The Vikings continue to a must-win game against Black Hills at 1 p.m. May 20 at Auburn High School.

Among other Kitsap teams, Olympic defeated Washington on May 6 at Franklin Pierce, lost 4-0 to Highline later that day, then rebounded on May 10 with a 12-8 win over Franklin Pierce.

On May, Olympic defeated Sequim 3-1, but lost 8-2 to Port Angeles to finish sixth at district. Still, finishing sixth clinched a state playoff berth. Olympic plays Cheney May 20 at Johnson-OBrien Stadium in a loser-out game.

1A baseball

Though Klahowya topped the 1A Olympic League standings, the Eagles’ season ended at district with a 9-0 loss to Seattle Christian May 12 and a 4-3 loss to Bellevue Christian May 13.

1A/2A golf

Qualifying boys and girls golfers from 1A/2A Olympic League schools competed in the West Central District III Championships at 9:30 a.m. May 16 at the Gold Mountain Golf Club.

Results were not available at press time.

Though Kingston head golf coach Anh Tran said Kingston did not send any golfers to the West Central District 3 Championship, he said three athletes qualified for state at the League Championship on May 2.

The three Kingston qualifiers headed to state are Dawson Clark, Delaney Olson and Isaac Tran.

2A soccer

Two-time consecutive Olympic League champions Kingston High School (10-2-0, 12-3-1) defeated Franklin Pierce 1-0 May 9 at North Kitsap. The Bucs played Highline for third place at district May 13 at Franklin Pierce, and won 2-0.

The Bucs hosted Ridgefield May 16 in the semi-finals at North Kitsap and won 2-1, catapulting them further into post-season play.

The day before that match, Kingston head soccer coach Craig Smith said, “Today we’re going to talk about tomorrow and Saturday’s games. We’ll keep loose, check our physical injuries and create our game plan.

“We are continuing to improve, but I expect an aggressive, intelligent game.”

The Bucs travel May 20 to face two-time state champion, Archbishop Murphy.

Smith said the team is not intimidated; they will continue to play how they have throughout the season.

“Bring it on,” he said. “That’s what you do at state, you play as good or better than what you’ve been playing so far — may the best team win.”

North Kitsap, after making it to state for the fifth time in a row, lost 2-0 to East Valley on 1-0 May 9, ending their season.

Preceding their defining match, the Vikings took fifth place in the West Central District 3 2A Boys Soccer Tournament May 13, defeating Fife 2-0. They secured a 2-1 win against Franklin Pierce in a shootout May 11, after recovering from a 2-0 loss against Tyee on May 9.

“Our postseason was successful,” Head coach Greg St. Peter said. “However, we struggled to score and take advantage of opportunities. Even though we were fifth seed into state and facing a number one seed (East Valley).

“We were confident we could move on and it was a good matchup. They got a couple nice goals and there was a lot of back and forth as the game progressed. We had several great chances to score but couldn’t pop it in.”

All in all, St. Peter said, “I’m proud of this year’s team. They are a terrific group of players and students.”

In fact, the varsity Viking team are the academic state champs for all 2A schools in the state.

“That’s a huge accomplishment and something that they, their parents and teachers should be very proud of,” St. Peter added.

As the season concluded for the Vikings, St. Peter noted the four graduating seniors who will be missed.

“[They are] a small group of great guys who led our team with patience, class and quality,” St. Peter said. “I wish them the best of luck in college!”

1A soccer

1A Olympic League champion Klahowya was ousted 1-0 by Charles Wright Academy in the 2017 West Central District 1A Boys Soccer Tournament May 13.

Before that, the Eagles beat Bellevue Christian 4-0 May 9 at Silverdale Stadium and advanced to play Seattle Christian in the championship game May 11, losing 1-0.

1A/2A track

Qualifying boys and girls track athletes from 1A/2A Olympic League schools competed in the 2A Olympic League sub-districts May 13 at Bremerton. Qualifying athletes from that meet continued on to the 1A/2A West Central District Championships 3:25 p.m. May 19-20 at Renton Memorial Stadium. Results were not available at press time, but Kingston head track coach Lee Willson noted, “We have five girls and seven boys competing at the District meet.”

2A fastpitch

The 2017 West Central District 3 2A Softball Tournament is scheduled May 19-20 at Sprinker Fields in Tacoma. The top six teams in the district championships advance to state.

Currently, Port Angeles tops the league (12-0, 16-1), followed by Sequim (8-4, 10-9) and North Kitsap (8-4, 9-7).

The Vikings hosted Seattle Christian in their final regular season game May 17. Results were not available at press time. The Vikings advance to play in the 2017 West Central District 3 2A Softball Tournament. They are scheduled to play an undetermined team May 19 at noon.

Before that, the Vikings scraped out a 10-9 victory at home against Bremerton (0-12, 0-13) May 10. Before that, they lost 4-1 to Sequim May 9 and defeated rival Kingston 11-3 May 8.

Kingston, fifth in the Olympic League standings, secured a 10-9 win against Olympic May 9 but lost 15-0 against Port Angeles May 10. Though the Bucs didn’t make it to the play-offs this season, Kingston head coach Joe Schiel said, “It was a good season, and a great lead to next year’s team.”

1A fastpitch

Klahowya (4-5, 9-7) eked out a 4-3 win over Bremerton May 12. Before that, the Eagles slammed Port Townsend 15-1 after recovering from a 10-1 loss to Quilcene May 5.

Klahowya was scheduled to play Seattle Christian May 19 in the 2017 West Central District 3 1A Softball Tournament at Sprinker Fields. Results were not available at press time.

2A girls tennis

North Kitsap (13-1, 13-1) is the Olympic League champion, followed by Olympic (9-2, 11-2) and Sequim (9-4, 9-4). Kingston follows at (9-5, 9-5).

Viking head tennis coach Jordan Prince was optimistic heading into playoffs. “We’ve had a great year,” he said. The Vikings lettered a record 22 players this season.

His top player, junior Danya Wallis, is said by Prince to have a great chance to compete in singles at state.

“Danya is going for her third state title in a row,” he said. “There’s a lot of talent, as evidenced by a number of varsity players this year. I expect to make another run at a state title. We have a bunch of very talented doubles teams who have a chance to go far at state.”

Kingston head coach Terry Grimm said Buc players Lily Beaulieu and Emily Shaleen qualified to go to the state championships. They played North Kitsap May 19 to determine first through fourth place.

“We played them in the league tournament and once during the season so this will be the third time we play them. It should be a good match. I have no other kids in this tournament,” Grimm said. “It should be a good match,” she said.

The 2A district tennis championships took place May 17-18 at the Kitsap Tennis & Athletic Center. Results were not available at press time.

— Sophie Bonomi is a reporter for the Kitsap News Group. Contact her at sbonomi@soundpublishing.com.

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