Spikers set to serve with French at helm

KINGSTON — Many aspects of North Kitsap High School’s upcoming volleyball season will serve as fresh starts — new equipment, a new gym in which to play and even a new coach. Well, he’s kind of new, anyway.

KINGSTON — Many aspects of North Kitsap High School’s upcoming volleyball season will serve as fresh starts — new equipment, a new gym in which to play and even a new coach.

Well, he’s kind of new, anyway.

Tim French, who served as the Kingston Junior High School volleyball coach for five years, is poised to take over as North Kitsap Vikings’ coach this year. Former coach Clay Blackwood left the program last spring. Considering that much of the team will be former Cavaliers who played for French in Kingston, the move to Poulsbo won’t feel altogether like a new beginning.

“I’ve had (French) through junior high school and now I have him in high school,” said NKHS junior Joanna Kaiserman. “I think he’s a good coach — and I already know him pretty well.”

To get a jump on the upcoming season, French held a camp this week at Kingston Junior High School for those interested in honing their skills before the team’s Aug. 18 tryouts. Campers, many of whom played for the former Cavs’ skipper at KJH, offered early praise for the new Purple and Gold coach.

“He’s a great coach and he knows what he’s talking about,” said incoming NKHS sophomore Melissa Lucas.

“I’ve never been the best player, but he’s never left me out (during camp),” said incoming 10th grader Casey Clark. “He’s always tried to help me.”

French began his volleyball coaching career on a whim at Lind High School. As coach of the basketball team there, he was asked to come on as an assistant for the volleyball team.

“I’ve been hooked on volleyball ever since,” French said.

After serving as Lind’s head coach, French took a teaching position and the head coaching position in the sport at Quilcene High School, where he was three-time coach of the year for the North Olympic League. He began teaching in North Kitsap in 1997 and became the Kingston Junior High School head coach in 1999. While there, he has compiled a record of 38-10, including a perfect season of 12-0 in 2002.

French said he brings to the North Kitsap program an ability to find strengths in each of the players and an atmosphere in which team members will work well together on the court.

“I try to utilize each player’s skills and find out where they’ll be the most successful,” he said. “Attention to detail goes a long way.”

In a game geared around momentum, French said cutting down errors on the court can be the most important aspect in winning.

“I believe at any level of this game, the team that makes the fewest mistakes has the best chance to win,” he said.

The new surroundings are also exciting, he commented.

“I know there’s the talent and enthusiasm for the game here,” French said. “But I’m coming in with an open mind. It’s a clean slate — a fresh start for everybody.”

But just because it’s his first year at NKHS, don’t think that French will settle for a slow start on the season. One only needs to look to the rafters in the NK gym to see why he’s stoked for the season.

“There’s nothing on the banners in the gym, and my goal is to get something in here,” French said. “The program has a solid base built by (Blackwood). We’re going to build on that.”

More in Sports

NK's Angel Chavez (8), a junior forward, and Jackson Reeves (12) rush back to defend to keep Clover Park from scoring a breakaway goal. Steve Powell/North Kitsap Herald photos
NK wins in soccer, softball

North Kitsap is still alive in the District 2/3 2A boys soccer… Continue reading

Pitcher Noah Sorensen moved the ball around and struck out a number of Pirates.
NK wins district title, on to state

Kingston wins 1 before being eliminated

The free fishing derby put on by the Lions Club is Saturday in Poulsbo. Courtesy Photo
Free fishing derby Saturday in Poulsbo

The Poulsbo Noon Lions Club is hosting a “Hooked on Fish Derby”… Continue reading

Colton Bower of NK dives safely back to first base after hitting a single in the first inning. Zach Duffy of BHS applies the tag. Steve Powell/North Kitsap Herald
NK falls to league-leading Bainbridge

You can bet the North Kitsap Viking outfielders are going to be… Continue reading

NK baseball team keeps winning

North Kitsap The Vikings beat Columbia River in baseball 10-7 and Ridegefield… Continue reading

Kingston goalie Carter Krantz jumps up to make a save under crowded conditions against Olympic. Krantz and the Bucs shut out the visitors 1-0. Krantz’s booming kicks also were a powerful offensive weapon for the Bucs, keeping Olympic on the defensive side of the field. Steve Powell/North Kitsap Herald photos
Kingston’s defense blanks Olympic in soccer

Kingston has a strong defense, and it needed every bit of it… Continue reading

Kaden Schaefer of Kingston signs a letter of intent to play college soccer, while brother Zander, 5, looks on with admiration. Steve Powell/North Kitsap Herald photos
Buc scores college soccer scholarship

Once Kaden Schaefer got to high school, he started to think maybe… Continue reading

Ian ‘J.R.’ Ritche
Outdoor prep sports spring into action

The Bainbridge Spartan baseball team returns one of the top pitchers in… Continue reading

Owen Scheer tees off for Bainbridge in a match at Kingston. Steve Powell/Bainbridge Island Review Photos
BI, Kingston split golf matches

Bainbridge In girls golf last week, Bainbridge beat Kingston 230 to 264.… Continue reading

Viet Tran of Kingston follows through on his second shot after missing the numerous sand trips off the tee on Hole 1 at White Horse Golf Club. Steve Powell/North Kitsap Herald photos
Kingston splits golf matches against Bainbridge

Kingston In girls golf last week, Bainbridge beat Kingston 230 to 264.… Continue reading

Junior captain Elise Walters was the medalist for Bainbridge in the match against Sequim. Lucy Rector/Courtesy Photos
Defending champs start year with win over Sequim

The Olympic League defending champion Spartans started off the season last week… Continue reading

Cade Orness had 7 assists in the game for third place.
NK boys place 3rd at state

Now that’s more like the Vikings North Kitsap fans know and love.… Continue reading