Sports

Time for battle

It’s been a long time since Central Kitsap’s football team has lost to their cross-district rivals from Olympic.

The last time it happened was in 1999 and since then the Cougars have gone on not only to win, but take the series lead 16-13 and all the bragging rights that go with being champs of the Battle of Bucklin Hill.

Now in its 24th year and 30th game, the series name harkens back to when the Trojans and Cougars each played on their own fields before the school district moved all football games to Silverdale Stadium. Olympic is hosting this year’s contest with kickoff at 7 p.m.

“It’s one I’ve been waiting for two years to play,” starting Trojan running back Jonell Hodge said on Monday afternoon. “They had the right to talk mess for a whole year after beating us (37-19.) But after this game, we’ll see.”

Who’s got the edge in this year’s game? That’s the toughest question of all. Olympic definitely has the most pressure on its shoulder pads being this is its Homecoming game and they are 0-4 (2-4 overall) in the Bridge Division.

Central Kitsap (1-3, 1-5) is coming off its first win of the season after beating Bremerton 49-12 last Friday night (see story below.)

“They’re a better team than their record shows,” Oly coach Carlton Cooper said of the Cougars on Monday. “They play solid defense and they’ve got some solid kids.

“(CK coach Mark) Keel has probably gone through the emotional ups and downs we’ve gone through on this side of the hill. They were looking at a better season just like we were.”

When asked about the game, nobody in the Cougars’ locker room Friday night dared make a prediction on the Battle of Bucklin Hill. They just want to come out and play.

“I’ve been looking forward to that game for a long time,” is all CK junior quarterback Nick LaFontaine said.

“We’re playing for pride now,” offensive lineman Cale Stenerson said. “Oly’s always a good game for us.”

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