Gateway: Sports

5 storylines to watch for Gig Harbor, Peninsula spring sports teams

Winter sports are in the rearview mirror and spring sports are in full swing for Gig Harbor and Peninsula high schools. With the sheer number of spring sports, there are a ton of compelling storylines for fans to follow. Here are a few I’ll be keeping an eye on, in no particular order.

Can Peninsula soccer build on its league title performance from last season?

Each year, the Peninsula soccer team has gotten better under fourth-year head coach Brad Scandrett. Last year, the Seahawks took the biggest step yet in that development, winning the Class 3A South Sound Conference league title over Central Kitsap and Gig Harbor, traditionally strong soccer programs. Peninsula’s program has become deeper, more talented and has established its own identity.

Whereas before, the Peninsula program always had some talent sprinkled in, the demeanor seemed off. The self-belief was never quite there. Now, this is a program that refuses to back down from anyone. We’ll see if the Seahawks can repeat as league champs and make a deeper run into the state playoffs this year.

Can Gig Harbor soccer build on its third-place finish in state last year?

Speaking of soccer, boy, did Gig Harbor come out of nowhere last postseason. For a team that finished third in the league behind Peninsula and Central Kitsap, few probably expected the Tides to make a deep run in the playoffs. I certainly didn’t. But so much of sports is about getting hot at the right time (just take a look at the NCAA tournament for proof on that). And Gig Harbor peaked when it mattered most, storming through the playoffs and taking third in the state tournament.

It’ll be interesting to see if the Tides can carry that momentum into this season. So far, the early results are overwhelmingly positive. Gig Harbor is 4-0 overall and 3-0 in league, and has outscored its opponents, 10-1 so far, posting three clean sheets in four games.

Can Gig Harbor baseball defend its state title?

What a run for the Tides last spring. Gig Harbor won all eight of its postseason games, culminating in winning the state title, 5-1 over Southridge.

Gig Harbor lost three legitimate aces from its pitching staff to graduation in Patrick Fredrickson, Avery Jones and Logan Gerling. In high school baseball, especially, winning a state title is a bit of a crapshoot. It often comes down to favorable pitching matchups in certain games, timely hitting, defensive errors and most importantly, a bit of luck.

Basically: Defending a state title in baseball is really, really difficult. Senior pitcher Austin Dempewolf and sophomore Owen Wild form the 1-2 punch for the Tides on the mound this season, while the infield remains largely intact from last year. We’ll see if Gig Harbor can recapture that magic from a season ago.

Who will win the softball league title?

Yelm has topped the league lately, but Peninsula and Gig Harbor should push them this year. Peninsula returns a strong team with Baily Paul, Kirsten Ritchie and others. While Gig Harbor lost ace Jordan Adams to graduation, the Tides have a habit of reloading, with Adelaide Werner, Lauren Forseth and others returning to the squad.

Can Gig Harbor track win a state title?

The Gig Harbor boys track team is a legitimate contender for the Class 3A state title this year, with junior Jurrian Hering leading the way in the hurdles and sprints. Pair that with some strong relay teams, Bradley Peloquin in the mile and senior Peter Smith in the 800-meters, and this team should be able to go toe-to-toe with the state’s best. Staying healthy will be key.