Sports

CKSD soccer's fab five

CK teammates Brandi Hamre and Jordan King, who’ve played together since they were 8 years old, signed their letters together. - Photo by Aaron Managhan
CK teammates Brandi Hamre and Jordan King, who’ve played together since they were 8 years old, signed their letters together.
— image credit: Photo by Aaron Managhan

By AARON MANAGHAN

Sports editor

Badger lands right where she wanted.

Having grown up a member of Bremerton Church of the Nazarene, Olympic senior Kayleigh Badger always wanted to continue her education at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho.

Thanks to soccer, she’s getting that opportunity.

“I always wanted to go to Northwest Nazarene,” Badger said. “It wasn’t until a couple years ago I wanted to play collegiately. I just always wanted to go there. It’s just a plus getting to play soccer there too.”

Badger, twice an All-Olympic League soccer selection after the longtime volleyball player injured her shoulder following her sophomore year with the Trojans, helped Olympic reach the state tournament for the first time since 2000. And while NNU is where she always envisioned herself, the program itself still made the final sell.

“Watching them play was really interesting,” Badger said. “They do a lot of the same things my club team (Westsound FC) does, a lot of the same formations.”

Getting to meet her future teammates didn’t hurt either.

“I really like the girls,” she said. “They’re all really positive.”

NNU women’s soccer coach Jamie Lindvall said Badger is part of a strong five-member recruiting class that can help the Crusaders (7-10-2) right away.

“Each of them brings unique strengths to our team, from attacking-minded defenders to proven attackers,” Lindvall said. “We are thrilled that these five have decided to attend NNU and are excited to see the impact that each of them makes.”

While Badger always loved volleyball, she was no soccer novice after the injury changed her fate.

“I’ve been involved in soccer for a long time, but not really competitively,” Badger said. “I was always really into volleyball.”

But that doesn’t mean she’s daunted by the upcoming challenges of playing collegiate soccer.

“I’m looking forward to so many things,” she said. “I’m really excited about the program. I’ve heard it’s hard a freshman, especially doing a fall sport, but I’m excited. I really like challenges.”

Badger is the daughter of Bill and Kim Carlson.

Sky’s the limit for New Hampshire-bound Curry.

Of all the area girls soccer signees bound for colleges this coming fall, none will travel farther than Olympic’s Elizabeth Curry.

Curry, the Olympic League girls soccer MVP last fall, will travel more than 3,100 miles after signing Wednesday with the University of New Hampshire (Durham).

“My mom always thought I was an East Coast girl,” Curry said. “She wanted me to go there. And I’m open to whatever.”

Don’t judge Curry’s soccer skills by her easy-going, take-it-as-it-comes personality off the field. As Olympic coach Steve Haggerty said, she’s as fierce a competitor as they come.

“Liz is very deserving of it,” Haggerty said. “I’ve had a lot of good players. But Liz is probably the most complete player I’ve had.”

While Curry had opportunities to stay closer to home, she said upon visiting New Hampshire’s campus she new it was where she’d land.

“I went there and it was just the right fit,” Curry said. “I still can’t make up my mind on what I want to major in, but they’re a liberal arts school so they offer anything I could possibly change my mind to.”

It’s just a good thing Curry’s not one to judge on first impressions.

“I came out on a red eye,” Curry said. “I only got about three hours of sleep. I even told my mom, ‘I don’t want to go here.’ I was in a bad mood that first day.”

After the start of her unofficial visit in July, the school had no where to go but up.

“Each day I was there I liked it more and more,” Curry said.

Curry will primarily play defense, while she was a midfielder most of her Oly career. She said defense is her love however.

“I love playing defense,” Curry said. “There’s scoring a goal, but there’s nothing like two people going for a header and you get it, or one-on-one, they’re scoring and you take ‘em down. There’s just nothing like it.”

She thanked her past coaches and teachers for helping her achieve her success.

Curry is the daughter of Scott and Laura Curry.

Cook is ready for fun in the Arizona sun.

For Klahowya senior Sierra Cook, what might be the best part of her upcoming collegiate career at Arizona State University (in Tempe) had nothing to do with a soccer pitch.

“I’m so excited for that,” Cook said of getting more sun. “It’s going to be so hot in the summer, but I’m so excited for the change.”

Cook, who inked with ASU Wednesday at Klahowya with a group of family, friends and supporters, said it’s nice to know what the future holds before the end of her final high school year.

“It’s finally official,” a relieved Cook said. “It ensures it’s all taken care of.”

With ASU, a Pac10 Conference school, Cook is excited to see what the competition will be like.

“As far as soccer goes, it’s going to be more physical,” she said. “With any step higher in soccer, the game gets a lot quicker, a lot faster.”

But it’s a challenge Klahowya soccer coach Troy Oelschlager thinks Cook will be up to after helping Klahowya to the state tournament for the first time since 2001.

“She’s so focused and dedicated,” Oelschlager said. “She’s really got the total package. Not only is she a gifted athlete, but she’s really focused on setting goals and getting to those goals.”

Making the transition shouldn’t be too hard, as she said she’s already been communicating with her new roommate for next year.

“Her family lives 20 minutes away (from the school),” Cook said. “She was like, ‘If you ever get homesick, you can come over.’ So I already have a home away from home I can go to.”

Cook said she’s excited to play for the Sun Devils, especially since they opened talks with her and not the other way around.

“I had no idea where I wanted to go,” she said.

When she met the ASU coaching staff, headed by Kevin Boyd, Cook said it simply verified what she already knew.

“They were really welcoming,” Cook said. “I felt like I could talk to them about anything.”

Without support from her parents and family, Cook said she couldn’t have made it to as far as she has. Cook is the daughter of George and Helen Cook.

CK’s Hamre looking forward to city life.

While Brandi Hamre is excitied about taking her high school soccer game to the collegiate level, another aspect of continuing her educational and athletic careers at Seattle Pacific University equally excites here: life in the big city.

“Just all the cultural difference; how different Seattle is from here, Hamre said after signing for SPU Wednesday alongside teammate and friend Jordan King. “That’s what I wanted.”

While Hamre got offers from schools larger than SPU, she said she liked the feeling of being away from home without having to be too far from it. In fact, she fell in love with SPU enough so that she didn’t even bother making the rest of her official visits.

“I was supposed to visit some other places,” Hamre said. “But after I went there, I said, ‘Mom, I don’t want to visit other places.’ It just seemed like the perfect fit.”

Not only was Hamre impressed with the soccer program at SPU, which went 23-1-0 last year as a member of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, but also by the school itself.

“I feel in love with the entire school,” she said. “I liked that it has smaller classes. The coaches are amazing and I really like the style of play at the school.”

One of the top area scorers and passers throughout her high school career (she graduates with CK’s goals and assists records), Hamre is known for being a leader on the pitch.

“She has desire, determination,” CK girls soccer coach Vicky Webb said. “She’s a team player and she has the talent.”

She was elated to be signing along with King, as the duo have played together since they were just 8 years old. But more than anything, she was glad to be signing with her mom along side her.

“She’s been there through everything and pushed me to be better,” Hamre said. “She’s been my inspiration and my motivation.”

Hamre also thanked the many coaches she’s had over the years.

Hamre is the daughter of Randy and Tami Hamre.

After overcoming injury, King lands a college deal.

There was a time Jordan King thought her soccer days were behind her.

A Central Kitsap defender, King suffered a knee injury that sidelined her for the entirety of her junior season.

But after a strong senior year, and a strong outing on her Washington Premier select team, King’s soccer career has only just begun as she signed her letter of intent to play for NCAA Division I Cleveland State University.

“It uplifts my spirits because when I was recovering, I was like, ‘Maybe I just want to go to school,’” King said of contemplating leaving the sport she’s played since she her youth. “Once I realized what I was getting into, it was like something was telling me to keep playing. I have too much heart to give it up.”

Much like her teammate at CK Brandi Hamre, who signed with King in a joint ceremony at CKHS Wednesday, King said looks forward to playing at the next level.

“I’m excited to compete at a higher level of soccer,” she said. “And getting away from home. It’s the next step to growing up. But mostly I’m excited to keep playing soccer.”

With Cleveland being a bit more than a hop, skip and jump away, King said she’s looking forward to the change of scenery.

“I like the city a lot,” King said of her visits to the school and area. “I think I’ll like the city life a lot.”

Known for her strong boot, King will be a strong asset to the Vikings, CK coach Vicky Webb said.

“She’s a quiet, determined, focused one,” Webb said. “She’ll contribute wherever she’s at (on the field). I truly believe she’ll make an impact right away.”

CSU drew her in not only with the program, but also with the future.

“They’re building it up,” she said. “When I noticed they were improving everything, that got me excited.”

She said she also felt welcomed by her new coaches and teammates and thanked her family and coaches for their support.

King is the daughter of Zivin and Carla King.

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