High School Sports

Prep notebook: Pitsch takes over as Bonney Lake wrestling coach

Dan Pitsch won a pair of state wrestling titles under the late Paul Greeley while at Spanaway Lake High School. And he coached a couple of state champion as an assistant under Mike Bressler at Decatur High School.

Now he gets a chance to run his own program.

The 32-year-old Pitsch was hired as the coach at Bonney Lake High School, replacing Anthony Clarke, who has been promoted as an assistant principal at the school.

“I had to put my dues in and build my resume,” said Pitsch, who is also a math teacher at Bonney Lake. “Luckily I was able to work at Decatur with some good teams and good individuals, so that gave me more credibility.”

Pitsch won Class 4A titles at 160 pounds (2000) and 171 (2001) before heading off to be a four-year starter at Oregon State University, twice making it to the NCAA Division I championships.

He replaced the retiring Greeley as the coach at Spanaway Lake in 2006. Three years later, he joined Bressler’s staff at Decatur.

The past two seasons, Decatur has been the state runner-up in Class 3A.

“I have matured as a teacher and matured as a coach,” Pitsch said. “I have been mentored by (Bressler), and I have seen what it takes to run a top program – and stay on top.”

Bonney Lake placed fifth at the 3A championships a season ago, but saw both of its state champions – Colton Tracy (132) and Chili Sabin (181) – graduate.

4A WCD going solo

Over an allocation dispute with the West Central District, the 4A Greater St. Helens League has decided to send its top two teams directly to state championships for 2014-15.

For this season, WCD tournaments other than football will involve just schools from the South Puget Sound League Northwest, Northwest and South Divisions, and the 4A Narrows League.

“If we were to go into a 16-team district tournament, the WCD would have 13 schools, and there would be three from the Southwest District,” said Shelly Thiel, the director of the West Central District.

“They wanted a pigtail (play-in game) to get a fourth team in, and we said, ‘Well, no.’ ”

Now the WCD tournament will have six available berths to state championships. Under the previous WCD/Southwest District bi-district format, eight berths were available.

Thiel said he hopes to continue dialogue with the 4A GSHL in an attempt to come to a mutual agreement for 2015-16 – and beyond.

“We are not fighting one another,” Thiel said. “The West Central District and Southwest District get along great. No question, we will get back together.”


There has been a halt of the Stadium-Lincoln 94-year-old football rivalry game – the oldest head-to-head game in the area - at least for the time being. Both schools mutually agreed to stop the game because it “was no longer competitive,” said Stadium athletic director Jim Catalinich. … Colleges, watch out for the Clarke triplets from Emerald Ridge High School. Mac has given an oral commitment to play men’s soccer at San Diego State, Riley has committed to the Air Force Academy for women’s basketball and Wain will play football at Hillsdale College. … Cary Davidson picked up his 100th career coaching victory Tuesday when the Auburn Mountainview girls soccer team beat Peninsula, 2-0.