North Kitsap’s Nate Blanchard and Justus Jagodzinske in action during their opening round match at the West Central District 2A doubles tournament on Oct. 27. The duo won the district championship. Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group

Blanchard, Jagodzinske net district crown | Boys Tennis

Six tennis players from North Kitsap and Kingston advanced to the state tournament.

BREMERTON — The North Kitsap School District will send six athletes to the state tournament in the spring after a successfu run through the West Central District singles and doubles tournament, which ran from Oct. 27 to 28.

Leading the pack is North Kitsap’s Nate Blanchard and Justus Jagodzinske, who won three consecutive matches over the course of the two-day tournament to capture the district doubles championship.

After dispatching opponents from Fife and Franklin Pierce, Jagodzinske and Blanchard advanced to the semifinal, where they engaged with Keaton Dean and Aidan Ortega from Olympic for a rematch of the Olympic League championship final.

This time, the boys from North Kitsap were victorious, winning 6-1, 6-4, and advancing to the finals against Jordan Anderson and Cooper Schelbert of Fife.

“They kind of faltered and we just capitalized,” said North Kitsap head coach Jay DeVries. “They’re just real consistent, real smart, and very intelligent players.”

In the final match, Blanchard and Jagodzinske actually lost the first set on a 7-2 tiebreaker, but rallied back to win the next two sets, 6-4, 6-1, and take home the district crown.

North Kitsap’s Scott Lyons entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed, and had not lost a match all season. But in a semifinal match against the powerful serve of Cyrus Shaviri of Fife, Lyons lost the final two sets after winning the first, which sent him to the third place match, where he fell to an upstart freshman, Jared Zaugg, from White River. He will enter the state tournament at the No. 4 seed.

“By then, Scott was fatigued, he didn’t play his best tennis,” said DeVries. “He played really in well that first semi and kind of put it all out there the day before. But he’s a good player and he’s a great sportsman, he’s a super kid.”

On the other side of the bracket, Kingston’s Ian Schmid took the more difficult path, but qualified for the state tournament as the No. 5 seed.

Schmid took an early loss to the top seed from the South Puget Sound League, Abe Rios of Foster, who eventually went on to win the tournament. From there he had to battle through the left of the bracket to get one of the final two qualifying spots.

In what Kingston head coach Jordan Prince referred to as “one of the more remarkable matches” he has seen in his time as a coach, Schmid overcame a 6-1 loss to Hayden Woods of Port Angeles in the first set to win the second set 6-4. In the third, he was down 2-5 and fought off several match points to force, and eventually win, a tiebreaker.

“He’s a grinder, you always feel like he has a chance to come back,” said Prince. “He doesn’t miss a whole lot, he’s a good athlete, and runs court and plays defense well. He went to state last year, and got a taste of what that felt like.”

Schmid was automatically in the tournament after that win, but the momentum he gained helped him defeat Kyle Hebbler of Lindberg in another three-set thriller to earn the No. 5 seed.

In the doubles tournament, Dawson Clark and Ethan Sax defeated Dean and Ortega of Olympic to earn the No. 3 seed in the spring state tournament.

“They are two different players that have morphed into a really good doubles team,” said Prince. “Ethan has always played doubles, and he’s a good net player and has a good serve. Dawson has played singles, but moved to doubles because the two are really good friends. So he’s more comfortable from the baseline and he really developed into a smart doubles player. He’s very coachable.”

Prince said the duo had played well in their first two matches, but were not at their best against Anderson and Schelbert of Fife and lost, 6-3, 6-4.

However, they rebounded quickly against Dean and Ortega, winning 7-5, 6-0, and Prince expects his pair to do well at the state tournament.

“Talent-wise they’re right up there,” said Prince. “I had a doubles team that went to state last yer, but i think these guys are more well-rounded, there are not as many specific holes in their games.”

— Mark Krulish is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at

Kingston’s Ian Schmid placed fifth at the district singles tournament, which will allow him to advance to states. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

More in Sports

Courtesy photo
Megan Hyte, a former Poulsbo resident and North Kitsap soccer star, is giving back to her old club, Kitsap Alliance, through her 110 brand and fundraising platform.
Former NK soccer star gives back to her old club team

In order to find the right path in life, Megan Hyte first… Continue reading

WIAA has new return-to-play guidelines based on county benchmarks

New return-to-play guidelines tied to Kitsap County benchmarks rather than the governor’s… Continue reading

No asterisks needed as championships still deserved

COVID-19 has changed many things in the sports world. Major League Baseball… Continue reading

Extracurricular activities will likely be on hold as long as most school districts remain in remote learning. Review file photo
WIAA releases next steps for return to play

There has been a groundswell of support for fall athletes returning to… Continue reading

Virgil Taylor celebrates with his son, David, who served as the bat boy for North Kitsap’s 1988 state championship team. (Contributed photo by the Taylor Family)
N. Kitsap coaching legend dies at age 80

He’s been a fixture at prep baseball, football games

Contributed photo
                                Virgil and his wife, DiAnn, who were together for 63 years and married for nearly 58.
N. Kitsap coaching legend dies at age 80

He was a longtime fixture at high school baseball, football games

Bainbridge running back Alex Ledbetter tries to break away from the pile during the Spartans’ 2018 opener against North Kitsap. (File photo)
A look back at some great Week 1 local prep gridiron games

Under normal circumstances, tonight fans would have gathered at high school stadiums… Continue reading

“Strong Like Her” features American powerlifter Megan Gallagher on the cover.
Kitsap native Haley Shapley features strong women in “Strong Like Her”

Says it’s OK to have muscles if you’re female

Cross country was one of the few remaining sports that had a chance to compete this fall until the decision was made to move all fall sports to spring. (Review File Photo)
PREPS: Fall seasons officially pushed to spring 2021

Cross country, boys tennis join girls swim and dive in season 3

Island resident Greg Nance pulls up to the end of Point Monroe Drive near Fay Bainbridge Park during his endurance run around Bainbridge. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
With community encouragement, Greg Nance completes his run around Bainbridge Island

For the rare few among us who enjoy putting ourselves through the… Continue reading

Photo courtesy Pete Saloutos
                                Greg Nance, a 2007 Bainbridge High School graduate, will run the island’s entire shoreline on Aug. 18 to raise awareness for mental health issues.
BHS grad Greg Nance to run island shoreline for mental health and addiction support

On the surface, just about anyone would be envious of Greg Nance.… Continue reading

Krulish: Release the Kraken

What’s in a name? When it comes to professional sports teams, not… Continue reading