Conflicting interests

A ringing “ping” sound as the base

ball makes contact with a metal

bat or a muddy jersey after making a diving save.

Baseball versus soccer.

That’s what spring came down to for Central Kitsap senior Trevor Lange.

“I didn’t really know which one I wanted to play,” he said. “It’s kind of a bummer that you have to choose.”

In progression since his freshman year, Lange has chosen baseball, soccer, baseball and soccer.

“Anytime, you would like to see a player dial into your sport,” CK soccer coach Charles Frohman said. “But the state wants to see players play as many sports as possible.”

Lange, who was a leadoff hitter and played in center field and shortstop, displayed his passion for both sports when sharing a story about honing his skills during one summer.

“I played baseball and soccer one summer,” he said. “I went to play soccer in Redmond once and I had to change my clothes in the car for a baseball game on Bainbridge Island.”

Now the focus has shifted to soccer and Lange has gained notoriety throughout the league for his unusual punting style. After tuning into a professional soccer game a few years ago, Lange decided to break from his normal punting style.

“I see a lot of professional goalies doing it,” he said. “I have a goal at my house, so I kind of taught myself how to do it. I haven’t seen another high-school goalie use it.”

Frohman is a fan of his goalkeeper’s drop-kick punting style, which resembles a karate kick.

“It makes a big difference when you start on their 30 instead of the 50,” said Frohman, referring to the yard lines on the field.

That doesn’t mean his style is easy.

“It’s a lot harder because it’s all about timing,” he said. “But I can kick it about 75 yards (this way). I actually got an assist off it once.”

The Cougars’ offense can use the help. While CK’s defense arguably is the best among the Narrows League Bridge Division schools, scoring has been infrequent with the Cougars battling in several low-scoring affairs. That has led to Lange receiving playing time at forward as well.

“Basically, we need to step up on offense,” he said. “There’s a lot of talent on this team — we just need to start putting it to good use.”

Entering Thursday’s game at Shelton, CK (5-2-2 league) was second behind Bridge Division-leader Gig Harbor (8-0-1), but the Cougars lack of offensive productive has proven costly — a pair of 1-1 ties at North Kitsap and Olympic — against teams that appear to have inferior talent.

Success often results in recruiting attention from colleges and missing the playoffs, which still is a possibility in the tightly contested Bridge Division, wouldn’t help Lange.

“I’ve got a scholarship to Peninsula College, but not anywhere else,” said Lange, adding that he favors the Port Angeles school but hasn’t made a final “I’m on a semipro indoor team (Olympic Force) and I hope there’s going to be some recruiting there.”

Lange, who carries a 3.1 grade-point average at CK, still is mulling over career possibilities when his playing days end.

“I was looking to maybe go into business or firefighting,” he said. “(Firefighting) is a lot of athletic stuff and my next-door neighbor is one and he’s been telling me a lot of stories. Those guys are role models and I look up to him a lot.”

For now, though, Lange still has stories to share and ones to be told from the field.

“I don’t know what got me stuck on soccer,” he said. “I joined a select team (FC Kitsap) and got cut during my third year from the (16-year-old) team, so I tried out for the (17-year-old) team and made it. It was kind of weird.”

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