With winter sports officially behind us, it’s time to turn our attention to the spring sports season. With so many sports in the spring, it’s tough to touch on all of them, but here are a few storylines to keep an eye on.
Gig Harbor’s baseball roster is stacked
The Tides were one of the state’s best teams last year in Class 4A. Despite losing star Michael Toglia to UCLA and one of the state’s best catchers in Jon Burghardt, now a freshman at WSU, the Tides still look pretty loaded on paper. Gig Harbor boasts a rotation with University of Minnesota-bound, 6-foot-7 pitcher Patrick Fredrickson and Washington State University-bound, 6-foot-6 pitcher Avery Jones, not to mention several other players who will play baseball at the next level. With the drop down to Class 3A and a stacked roster, Gig Harbor could once again be one of the state’s most dangerous teams.
Can Peninsula soccer take the next step?
Peninsula was close to reaching the Class 3A state tournament a season ago. The Seahawks will miss all-league center back Bradley Keller, but Peninsula still returns several capable playmakers, most notably creative attacking midfielder Mason Haubrich and goal-scorer Mynor Martinez. Gig Harbor will enter as the league favorite in the South Sound 3A, but look for the Seahawks to make some noise.
Bellarmine no longer standing in Gig Harbor’s way
Gig Harbor soccer coach Todd Northstrom was the first to admit that the Bellarmine Lions had Gig Harbor’s number the past few years in the Narrows 4A. Now that Gig Harbor is in a different league without Bellarmine, the path to a league title appears a bit more clear. Gig Harbor will still face some tough competition from Central Kitsap, Peninsula and Capital, but the Tides are the favorite to take the league. Oh, and I doubt Northstrom will shed any tears over no longer playing games on Bellarmine’s muddy Memorial Field.
Can Gig Harbor softball get the Yelm monkey off its back?
Gig Harbor was 1-3 against in-league rival Yelm last year. And if Gig Harbor was hoping a new league and classification might get them away from the Tornados, the Tides are out of luck, as Yelm made the drop down with them. Gig Harbor coach Kara Dressel is confident that her team, led by senior ace Jordan Adams, can get the best of Yelm this season. But Yelm returns a lot of talent as well, and is well-coached and disciplined. It will take an A+ effort for Gig Harbor to take the trophy away from the Tornados this season.
Can Gig Harbor girls water polo be stopped?
The Tides are going for their seventh state title in the past eight years. For this year’s senior class, it would become the first class at Gig Harbor to win four state titles in a row. Although water polo is not a WIAA-sanctioned sport, and Gig Harbor’s competition has been limited seemingly to only Curtis High School in recent memory, Gig Harbor’s streak is undoubtedly still impressive. With All-Americans Alana Ponce and Olivia Lott, it seems unlikely that Gig Harbor’s streak will be crashing to an end this year.