NK, KHS winter season sports preview

Kingston and North Kitsap athletes are putting forth their best in basketball, swimming, wrestling and gymnastics. Here’s what coaches say you can expect.


Kingston Coach Ben Wisniewski

2015 record: 10-1

Team strengths: Experience. We have three starters returning from last year’s team.

Areas you’re improving on: Transition offense and defense.

Players to watch: Liam Young, Gabe Gregory and Andrew Shaw.

Most challenging opponent this year: Everyone is tough.

Team philosophy: “Shot selection wins championships.”

North Kitsap Coach Scott Orness

2015 record: Last year, we had a year that was historic. We won the league title, we won the first district title for North Kitsap boys basketball since 1983. We went 21-5, making it to the state tournament.

Team strengths: Speed, quickness, experience and team depth.

Areas you’re improving on: Consistency.

Players to watch: Zac Olmsted, returning all-league player and starter; Cooper Lindsey, four-year varsity letter winner, returning starter; and Kohlten Mahitka, returning starter.

Most challenging opponent this year: It will be a dogfight between Olympic, Port Angeles, Kingston and us for the Olympic League title.

Team philosophy: It’s not just about building a great basketball team and program. As coaches, we feel it’s our job to impact the character of the kids. We set high standards for them on the floor in the class and in the community.


North Kitsap Coach Britton Johnson

2015 record: 7-3

Wrestlers to watch: I expect Josh Bayne and Alexandra More to do well at state. They’ve put a lot of time in the off-season wrestling.

Most challenging opponent this year: Olympic High School.

Team philosophy: Last year is was “it’s not about surviving, it’s about winning.” We have yet to get one this year.

North Kitsap Coach Robert Gomez

2015 record: Did not win a dual; sent one alternate to state.

Team strengths: Numbers. A lot of athletes came back to wrestling after taking time off.

Areas you’re improving on: Strength, being stronger as athletes, staying positive as a team.

Wrestlers to watch: Zach Strun and Oliver Chapman.

Most challenging opponent this year: Ourselves.

Team philosophy: “You get what you work for.”


Kingston Coach Chris Eaton

2015 record: 7-5.

Team strengths: Fast and athletic, many great shooters.

Areas you’re improving on: Team defense and communication.

Players to watch: Cameron Friedel and Shilene George.

Most challenging opponent this year: Olympic High School.

Team philosophy: “We will be great teammates, through our attitudes and actions, both on and off the court.”

North Kitsap Coach Penny Gienger

2015 record: Finished third.

Team strengths: Our strength is our experience. We have a good base of knowledge and have played together since last year. We have some depth allowing us to utilize the bench personnel.

Areas you’re improving on: We are trying to focus on defense. We would like

to be able to compete with the top teams and in order to do that, we must be able to stop people from scoring.

Players to watch: I have three out of five starters back and six of 11 varsity returners. Lauren Weins, Viva Selembo, Ainsly Mackenzie and Raelee Moore were major contributors to our team last year as were Ashley Vest and Bea Bato. Katie Hughes and Erin Pearson played with us last year and will help inside for us this year.

Most challenging opponent this year: We know that Olympic High and Port Angeles have dominated the top spots in the league, which they will not give up easily. Bremerton is playing tough basketball. Sequim and Kingston have some very nice athletes.


Kingston head coach Mark VanHuis

2015 record: 6–1, league champions, district champions and fourth place at state.

Team strengths: We have a strong returning veteran core.

Areas you’re improving on: Building on where we left off last season and trying to become an even more well-rounded team.

Swimmers to watch: Tim Gallagher, Ethan Fox, Quincy Walker, Bryce Hoffer, Nolan Platz, George Dalton and Owen Maxwell.

Most challenging opponent this year: I think this year will be challenging among all of the Olympic League teams. There was such a strong showing at district and state from this league last year, I foresee that success continuing this year.

Team philosophy: “Be champions in every aspect. Champions in school and in the pool.”

North Kitsap Coach Greg Braun

2015 record: 4-2 and third in the league. seventh at state, 4-3 overall.

Team strengths: We have a number of kids with competitive experience.

Areas you’re improving on: We have quite a few seniors this year and didn’t get as many freshmen as we would like.

Swimmers to watch: Nathan Ramey (10), Matt Smith (12), Matt Wooldridge (12), Zach Slama (12), Brandon Anderson (10), Alex Chow (12) all have district and state-level experience. Alex Stefanski (9) brings club experience that should put him at the district and state competitions.

Most challenging opponent this year: Kingston. Our first meet is on Dec. 6 at North Kitsap Pool. Warm-ups at 3 p.m. and the meet from 3:30–5 p.m.

Team philosophy: “If you want to swim, we’ll take you.”


Kingston Coach Sheila Moore

2015 record: As a team, we finished third place in the league meet. Four girls went to districts: Mikka Yamane, all around; Aunika Kramer, on bars and beam; Taylor Seaman, on floor and vault; and Maddisun Cashman on beam. Mikka qualified to state all around, and Aunika qualified on bars. Mikka finished eighth place in state on beam.

Team strengths: The girls look strong on floor and beam this year. Several girls are doing well on every event and compete on any event I need them on.

Areas you’re improving on: We are improving on bars. The girls are doing well learning new skills.

Gymnasts to watch: Gymnasts to watch are Mikka Yamane and Aunika Kramer. I am hopeful that they will both qualify to state on every event this year. Watch for Annelise Pardee on bars.

Most challenging opponent this year: I would say Port Angeles.

Team philosophy: “Work hard and be a team player.”

North Kitsap Coach Kris Goodfellow

The Herald did not connect with Coach Goodfellow in time for this edition.