It was an interesting year for sports in North Kitsap in 2022, at least more interesting than they were the two previous years when COVID caused so many issues.
Following are the Top 10 sports stories this year in the North Kitsap Herald:
1. Title IX’s 50th Anniversary: How 37 words changed sports: Women in sports has drastically changed over the last 50 years. Besides a 33% increase in participation, the opportunities for female athletes has grown tremendously. This story talked to some of the older and younger coaches and administrators in Kitsap County about what they went through in the last 50 years.
2. Vikings fall one drive short of a state title: The North Kitsap football team reached the state championship against Lynden. Although the Vikings had the momentum in a tied fourth quarter, the Vikings failed to stop the Lions. Therefore, Lynden snuck out a state title from the Vikings in the final minute.
3. Community comes together in support of NK football: The North Kitsap community followed the football team during its historic run to state. Several alumni came to practice to see the team, parents filled downtown Poulsbo to send the team off and the whole community traveled to watch the team compete against Lynden.
4. NK boys place 3rd at state: Jonas La Tour, Cade Orness and Harry Davies led the Vikings to a third-place finish in the 2A state playoffs last season. Although the Vikings led, they fell to Pullman and look to repeat their success this season.
5. NK standout Colton Bower strives for state baseball title: After leading the North Kitsap football team to the state semifinals and committing to Washington State for baseball, Colton Bower looked to cap his high school career with a state baseball title, although the Vikings fell short. Bower did look to play two sports at WSU but decided to focus on baseball only.
6. NK wins 2A state boys title in doubles: At the end of their freshman season, Drake Jones and Josh Smith paired up as a doubles team for North Kitsap’s boys tennis team. Since then, the dynamic duo took over the courts, including winning the 2A state championship last season. They did not lose a match in two years.
7. Hammou wins state title: Sofian Hammou continued his family legacy within the Viking wrestling program by capturing a state title at the 220-pound class. His little brother, Zakaria, captured third in the 170-pound class while Makayla Heymann placed for the girls team.
8. Buc scores college soccer scholarship: Kaden Schaefer moved to Washington with a mindset of playing soccer in college. Although he didn’t receive many offers, Schaefer was able to earn a scholarship to play at William Penn University in Iowa. The left-footed striker amazed the college and is now playing among some of the best NAIA players in the country.
9. Brockett a freshman phenom at NK: North Kitsap’s volleyball team contends at state every season. Typically, the Vikings only have a freshman called up to varsity once every few years. This season, Iliana Brockett did not only start but made first-team all-league and led the Vikings to the state playoffs.
10. NK plays at Lumen Field: The North Kitsap Vikings were one of eight teams in Washington state invited to play at Lumen Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks. The Vikings came out victorious on the big stage over Port Angeles. Plus, the cheerleaders, band and football team had the opportunity to perform in a professional stadium.