Max Wysong has been chosen as the winner of the Gordon Prentice Award at Bainbridge High School.
The prestigious honor is named after Gordon Prentice, the Spartans’ head football coach from 1972 to 1983.
Prentice passed away during winter break after the 1983 season, and the trophy was first presented following the 1984 football season.
“It’s fantastic,” Wysong said.
“I was pretty shocked. I never really considered myself a candidate,” he said. “It’s a great honor.”
Spartan Coach Andy Grimm presented the award.
Grimm was the first-ever winner of the award, when he was a senior tackle on a 1-9 BHS team. The award was recently presented at the Spartans sports banquet.
“It was a great honor being called down there,” Wysong said.
Wysong played all four years at BHS, and first got involved in football in the eighth grade, when he moved to the island.
“I love football - everything about it. I love the camaraderie, the brotherhood, and just hunkering down and working for a common goal,” he said.
Grimm said Wysong, a two-way starter on offense and defense, was the unanimous choice for the honor.
“He was a great player for us,” Grimm said of Wysong, a 6’0, 200-pound fullback and nose guard who finished the season with 133 carries for 560 yards and six touchdowns. Wysong also had 25 unassisted tackles, including three tackles for a loss and one sack on the season.
“He was a guy who just came to practice and worked every day.
He was one of the guys you never had to tell him something twice; he got the job done every day,” Grimm said.
The award means a lot to the coaches who bestow the honor.
Grimm recalled playing for Prentice, and noted that others on the Spartan sideline — Deano Perlatti and Shawn Jackson — also suited up for the beloved coach. Mike Roe, an assistant for the football team, also coached alongside Prentice.
Grimm said the honor is not based entirely on how someone plays on the field.
“It’s not just an award, it’s an award that means something. This is about representing Spartan football and Bainbridge Island,” he said.
At the team banquet, Matt Stone, who finished the season with eight touchdowns (68 carries for 504 yards and eight receptions for 98 yards) earned Offensive MVP honors.
Dan Drewry was Defensive MVP. He had 60 unassisted tackles, a dozen assisted tackles, and two sacks.
Sam Kallas was Special Teams MVP. Kallas punted 30 times for 973 yards and had 1,414 yards on kick offs.
He also had five kick-off returns for 91 yards, and was 6-for-6 on field goals. On point-after attempts, Kallas went 14-of-15.
Ryan Comstock was named Best Blocker; Nick Bierly was Best Tackler, and quarterback Paimon Jaberi was Most Inspirational.
Max Thomas, Kyle Jackson and Taylor Wilson were named the Spartans’ Rising Stars.
Oskar Dieterich and Jackson Larkin were voted as Most Improved.
In other end-of-season accolades, four Bainbridge players were named to the 2012 Metro League Mountain Division All League Football Team.
The All-League selections are based on voting by coaches in the league.
Three Spartans were chosen for the Metro Second Team Offense. The outstanding athletes are all seniors on the team: Wysong, running back Matt Stone, and wide receiver Alex Copelan.
Sam Kallis, an outside linebacker for the Spartans and a senior on the squad, was named to the Second Team Defense.
Two Spartans also received honorable mentions: defensive end Ryan Comstock, a junior on the team, and defensive end Jay Terry, a senior.
The Spartan boys cross country team ended the season by running as a team at the state meet for the first time since 1995.
The boys placed seventh overall, the highest placing for the boys in school history.
Ryan Cox was 43rd in 16:36, Tyler Cox was 50th in 16:41, Tomas Delgado was 54th in 16:45, and Davin Fitzgerald 72nd in 17:00.2.
Nick Entress placed 86th in 17:12, Thomas Daniels was 91st in 17:18 and Brendan Willerford was 96th in 17:22.
On the girls cross country team, Signe Lindquist made her third trip to state in Pasco; she placed 36th and ran a personal best of 19:46. The year before, she placed 52nd with a time of 19:57.
“I also was looking to work hard in the second mile, and I had a few girls that I have been racing against all season in my district league that I wanted to beat,” Lindquist said.
“A positive mindset got me through that tough final mile,” she added.
“My goal was to be the top freshman in 3A,” said Ryan Cox.
“When I spoke with the freshman after the race who was my biggest competition, and I learned that I had beat him, I felt that all my hard work had paid off.”
Cox said the team had a goal of beating Bishop Blanchet and finishing as one of the top eight teams.
“We did both,” he said.
“I loved the course and the conditions were near perfect for speedy racing,” he added. “We got to start in the lane next to the heavy state favorites, and eventually champions, and that was pretty cool.”
Tyler Cox, a senior on the team, said he had hoped to run faster.
“My time wasn’t as fast as I thought it could be but I gave it everything I had the last mile, so not really any complaints,” he said.
“As a team, I thought we did a great job keeping focused after our district meet. I think the team was similar to me in that there weren’t a ton of PR’s but it got the job done. Overall, an amazing experience and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end my senior cross country season,” he said.
Boys water polo
The Spartans’ boys water polo team finished the season with an improbable trip to the state tournament, where Bainbridge finished in 12th place.
It was a rebuilding year for the team, which graduated nine seniors and had only one returning starter. Add to that, just 13 athletes turned out for the team, all juniors or younger.
The team finished fifth in what many view as the hardest division in the state, and Bainbridge earned a spot in the wildcard tournament and a shot at one of the three remaining slots in the state tourney.
The team topped Kentridge in the first game, 22-10. It was a total team effort: goals were scored by Conner Vacca (two), Noah Clark (five), Nick Williams (nine), Rory Gallivan (who went 5-for-5), and Zarye Wessene picked up his first career goal. Cade Taylor finished with one steal, one assist and three blocks in the goal.
The Spartans next faced Lakes High School in their home pool, and fell to the Lancers 15-8. Vacca and Gallivan each scored twice, Williams added four goals. Taylor had six blocks and two steals from the goal.
Bainbridge then played Emerald Ridge in a thriller, and the Jaguars edged the Spartans 13-12.
In their final wildcat game, the Spartans faced the familiar Roughriders of Roosevelt, a team that had beaten Bainbridge twice by 10 points or more two times in the season.
The Spartans scored quickly and tested the Roughriders the whole way. Bainbridge upset Roosevelt with a final goal scored by Riker Haddon in the final five seconds of the game to put the Spartans into the state tournament.
The Spartans were the 12th seed at state and fell to Mercer Island (26-6) and Auburn Riverside (19-7).
Bainbridge nearly edged Peninsula, but fell 18-12 the next day of the tourney.
In the team’s final match, Emerald Ridge won 13-8.
The Spartans’ Tim Taylor and Sam Warkentin finished the season by qualifying for the state tournament, which will be held this spring.
Casey McKay earned a spot as alternate at the tournament.
In girls golf, DD Madigan and Annika Van Houte both earned a spot at the district tournament in the spring.
Tara Wilford and Julie Ischer earned spots as alternates for BHS.
In other post season honors, Emma Burgess was named MVP of the Metro League’s Mountain Division. Maggie Haskin was named to the second team and Kat Frickleton was named to the honorable mention team.
Burgess was also selected to the Seattle Times’ All-Area Team as the only libero.
Though the team did not make it to the state tournament, the team did finish with the best record in the Metro League.
“It doesn’t take away from their season at all. They did an awesome job this season,” said Coach Julie Miller.
That said, the season ended strangely.
“It was one of the weirdest playoffs I’ve ever been a part of,” Miller recalled.
Four points into the district semi-final against Mercer Island, Lauren Sheehan was taken out by a Mercer Island player who came under the net.
“She was done pretty much for the tournament,” Miller said.
Maggie Haskin — who played with a bad back all season — went down with a back injury in the match against Seattle Prep, and then against Lakeside, Emma Burgess began to have back spasms to the point where she couldn’t play.
During subsequent play, Rowan Atherley, the team’s back-up setter, developed a huge lump on one leg that was first thought to have been caused by a cracked bone.
“She could barely walk,” Miller recalled.
Bainbridge fell to Lakeside 3-0 for the fifth and final seed to state.
In a word, the string of injuries was “wacky.”
“You start thinking ... why is all this stuff happening to one team?”