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Spartans to field strong teams despite the loss of some top talent
After the Spartans boys lacrosse team and the boys soccer team made runs at the state title before losing in the final, lacrosse head coach Jack Visco and soccer head coach George Vukic agree that it is hard to predict what will happen this year.
That said, both think their teams will again be very competitive.
“We had a lot of kids graduate,” Visco said.
“We are going to be a young team this year, I am going to take it just one game at a time, I can tell who we play this week, but couldn’t tell you who we play next week,” he said.
The lacrosse team lost the likes of Alex Crane, Camron Parker, Nick Lacy and Quinn McMahon, who all helped lead the Spartans to a state final last season but the young team still has lots of returning talents.
Jason Ashton is one of the only returning seniors this season. Also returning are juniors Jake Knostman, Sean Maier and Greg Shea, who all have experience in state and will be big contributors.
“These guys are the work horses,” said Visco.
Lacrosse is very much a growing sport with more and more teams becoming competitive each year. This year, Mukilteo and Lake Washington are expected to be the Spartans’ top competitors.
“I expect us to be competitive every game and hopefully peak at the right time,” said Visco.
The season kicks off Friday with a home game against Lake Washington. Visco will face off against one of his ex-coaches, Dejon Hush, in what promises to be an exciting opener. Game time is at 7:30 p.m.
Like the lacrosse team, the boys soccer team is also losing some of their big contributors from their run at the state title last season, but also have several outstanding returners.
“We have been strong over the years, and we will again be strong, no doubt,” said Vukic.
Alex Raquer, Joe Makenzie, Will Dezereaux and Nic Miller are the key losses who graduated last season.
Senior Connor Winship, who has one of the top scorers for the Spartans last season, and junior Sebastian Scales will be the top returning forwards this season.
“We will score lots of goals,” said Vukic. “We have strong forwards and attacking players.”
Junior midfielder Michael Crowley will be a threat in the middle. Seniors Alex McMillan, Ben Kaufman, as well as juniors Alex Coplan and Jesse Moore are the top returning defenders.
Vukic said the team’s weakness this year is in muscle, but aside from that, the team looks like a contender.
The season kicks off with three straight home games, beginning Tuesday against Lakeside, followed by Nathan Hale on March 16 and Kingston, March 17.
Track and field
This year’s Spartan track team boasts a roster thick with upperclassmen who made their mark in district competition, as well as athletes who went to the state championships.
Some of the key returners for the boys team include senior Cameron Brink, who placed fifth in state at discus, and Kyler Mikami who placed sixth in districts in the javelin throw.
For the girls team, sophomore Danielle Bogardus and senior Isabel Ferguson who were part of the 4x400 relay team who qualified for state last season, are also returning to compete for the Spartans.
Head track and field coach Andrew Grimm said other key returners for the boys team include senior Cole Adams (pole vault, districts); junior Tyler Cox (distance qualifier in the Metro League); junior Joe Misenti (pole vault, districts); junior Matt Stone (sprints/relays, districts); and sophomore Corey Dunn (mid-distance/relays, districts).
For the girls team, the key returners are senior Katherine Bond, sprint/relays districts); sophomore Serena Canner (sprint relay, districts); junior Anna Misenti (distance, Metro); junior Katelyn Shephard (hurdles, districts); sophomore Ivy Terry (mid-distance/relays state alternate, 4x400); senior Pearl Terry (mid-distance/state 4x400); senior Joli Holmes (mid-distance); senior Carolyn Milander (sprints, relays); and junior Julia Thomas (distance).
Coach Grimm said the returners to the boys squad who could make an impact in the Metro League include senior Sam Pappas (sprints, relays), junior Jay Terry (hurdles), senior Chris Wilkerson (distance), and junior Tomas Delgado (distance).
The team’s key newcomers include senior Colin Chupik (mid-distance, relays), freshman Lindsay Weinkers (sprints, middle distance), sophomore Austin Harper (mid-distance), sophomore Ryan Comstock (jumps/throws), freshman Madeline Rogers (hurdles, jumps), junior Brendan Willerford (mid-distance) and sophomore Signe Lindquist (distance).
The track team will host the Pat Logan relay meet against Kingston and North Kitsap at noon Saturday.