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Warrior ready for Fall battles

Junho Park works on his ball-handling skills during practice Monday, Sept. 16, for the King’s West boys soccer team on the field behind the school on Chico Way. - Photo by Rogerick Anas
Junho Park works on his ball-handling skills during practice Monday, Sept. 16, for the King’s West boys soccer team on the field behind the school on Chico Way.
— image credit: Photo by Rogerick Anas

It’s Fall again for the King’s West Warriors, and that means plenty of running, kicking and hitting for the four teams at the Class B school.

Cross Country

Cross country coach Dennis Sheline wants his team to know the truth — it ain’t all in the legs. Besides running his team on 3- and 8-mile runs or sprints in Jackson Park, he also is pushing for upper body weightraining.

“The lower body is your strength, but when you’re tired your arms are what carry you through,” Sheline said.

He’s even asked his team to jog with their arms glued to their sides to see what kind of role they play in running.

Shaved head, calm and lean, Sheline has been coaching since 1986 when he was an assistant at Central Kitsap.

Now at King’s West, he joins his wife Sue in their fourth year coaching, and is pleased with the growth of his team from last season to now.

The team has grown from 11 to 18 kids, including six guys. There’s only one senior on the team, Kelli Finney, and 10 freshman, but most of the kids have running experience.

It’s the perk of coaching at King’s West, because the middle school runners often run along side the high school kids, and when they are old enough, they just step on the other side of the fence.

Returning juniors for the girls are Brittany Quinn, Alyssa Miller and Emily MaGuire. Although three of the boys have left the team for different sports or have moved, freshman Nick Webster and Chris Anderson and sophomore Rik Moseng will help anchor the boys’ side this year.

Each day the team isn’t at a meet they are at practice behind the school, running laps around the field, sprinting on the sideline and steadying themselves for their vigorous sport.

Girls Soccer

Leave it to to King’s West girl’s soccer coach Rick Nohmi to quote an old football player while considering his team’s chances this year.

“We are better together than we are alone,” Nohmi said, repeating the words of the Hall of Famer Walter Payton.

Although Nohmi does predict moments of individual glory for his girls throughout the season, Nohmi, like Payton, knows team play brings home the big wins.

This year’s team has more depth than any other team Nohmi has coached.

“That’s one thing I have been really charged up about,” he said.

Previously he was missing one defender or middle player, at a key position, but this year he has a team with a greater understanding of the game overall.

He can slip subs in without losing cohesiveness.

He also can swap a lot of players around to fill in holes and to match up with the opposing team’s quickness or height.

“When there’s no options that’s when you have weaknesses,” he said.

Gone from last year’s 8-8 team are sweeper Shannon Dorsen, defender Rosie Beach and outside midfielder Callan Honley.

However, freshmen Erin Ferderer, Merideth Johnson and Tristen Squires are willing to fill the holes.

For their turnout, the Warriors have more juniors than any other grade, which means good things for next year’s squad, but they also have some senior leadership in Beth Handon, Natalie Mansfield and Lacey Pirak.

“The center of my field is really strong this year,” Nohmi said.

Although some teams have more of their squad composed of select players, Nohmi has four this year, which is nothing to complain about, and may create some big wins for the Warriors.

Boy’s Soccer

Boy’s soccer at King’s West has traditionally had a new coach every two years, and a turnout only half as much as they need on the field for a game. Not to mention way too many losses for anyone’s liking.

“The only problem is people associate having a good year with a win and loss record,” said Bob Meeder, who is co-coaching King’s West soccer with his son Jason for the first time.

He’s not interested in stats this year, but he is happy about one number. So far, the turnout for boys soccer doubled last year’s. They’ve got 13 now, with one transfer gaining eligibility to play.

Of the 13, Meeder said he has five players who have generous experience, and the rest are just learning the game.

He’s working with the boys on the basics, and getting people into positions. Look for some leadership from senior Adam Bassett and junior James Meiar at defense, and junior Ben Dyer and junior Scott Ross at midfield. Junior Ben Valenta will handle the goal for another season.

Meeder has his eye on Tim Grey at midfield, who is just a freshman, but is far advanced at the position for his age.

“They are all willing to improve themselves,” Meeder noticed, and that is what he is most focused on for the year.

So far, the team lacks the speed and strength to compete with the older teams in the league, so he wants the boys to work with the pass as much as they can.

Volleyball

Even though a hard kill right at your opponent’s shoelaces feels really nice, the members of King’s West’s volleyball team should keep their thinking caps on this season, because it’s smart play, not muscle, that actually wins the games, according to their coach.

With an overall record of 6-10 last year, seniors Abby Morse and Sara Smaalden lead a new team heavy with sophomores, yet bursting with team cohesiveness.

So far, the team has played a couple matchups, including a three game defeat against Olympic, and a tight five game loss to Bremerton a few days later.

Communication is a big thing for the team, because otherwise it “rots,” said first year head coach Don Pearce.

“We’re playing with more confidence, more faith in our abilities and we’re more together,” Pearce said.

It is Pearce’s ninth year coaching, but his first as a varsity coach. He is optimistic about his team this year, and mentions that the two schools he has faced so far have been much larger.

“It’s a good way to see that we can compete at that level,” he said about the games.

So far, from one week to another, the team has been working on blocks, touches and covering hitters.

The other thing the Warriors have been working on is their quickness. Instead of over-anticipating and then having to retreat to catch the ball behind you, Pearce is advising them to let the ball come to them.

“To succeed in this league and beyond you have to be able to do everything,” he said.

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