Sports

Gridders standout on loaded AKC team

Several also make All-Metro Mountain Division team.

Many Kitsap County teams had successful seasons in 2007, with several teams in the playoff hunt for most of the year.

Bainbridge was no different.

The Spartans started strongly with three wins over rival North Kitsap (its fourth in a row), Bremerton and Chief Sealth.

After two losses to Eastside Catholic and O’Dea, Bainbridge rebounded with wins over Lakeside and Seattle Prep.

But the Spartans were eliminated from playoff contention in a tough road loss to Bishop Blanchet.

The Spartans ended the season on a good note with wins over Chief Sealth and Interlake in crossover games.

For their efforts this season, eight Spartans made the All-Metro Mountain Division team.

Mike Walsh was a second team selection on offense, while Kiyle Playter, Colin Feldtman, Kyle Szarzynski and James Herman were honorable mentions.

In team awards, Szarzynski won the Best Tackler award while Kauika Peleti won the Best Blocker award.

Feldtman was named the Special Teams MVP.

Ian Powell won the Most Inspirational award and the Gordon Prentice Memorial Award while Joe Haley won the Most Improved Award.

Jason Haley and Alex Johnson were voted as Rising Stars.

Five Spartans also made the All-Kitsap County team, as were compiled by the sports writers for the Bainbridge Island Review, the Bremerton Patriot, the Central Kitsap Reporter, the North Kitsap Herald and the Port Orchard Independent.

Candidates for the team are nominated by the writers for their respective areas. The nominees are then voted on by the writers, with the top vote-getters making the teams.

Two honorable mentions are selected from each school for each sport.

The MVP

RB – Howard McDonald, Central Kitsap, junior – McDonald ran for 1,619 yards on 242 carries with 17 rushing touchdowns. He was also an above-average linebacker, recording 44 tackles with a sack, a forced fumble and three fumble recoveries.

After helping CK advance to state for the first time since 1997, McDonald will be at the forefront of helping CK repeat that success next year.

The coach

Mark Keel, Central Kitsap – It was clear that in 2007, Keel had his players set on working as a team, which led to winning as a team much more often than losing as one.

CK finished the regular season at 9-1, second only to an Olympia team that beat them.

The Cougars also advanced all the way to the state playoffs, falling in the round of 16 to Bothell.

The offense

QB – Jason Simonis, Central Kitsap, junior – Simonis completed 73 of 134 pass attempts for a 54.5 completion percentage.

Simonis finished with 1,296 yards and 12 scores to just four interceptions. He also ran in two more scores and should be a big part of CK’s offense next year, even without top target Caleb Brown.

RB – Andre Moore, Klahowya, junior – Moore took his spot in the Eagles’ record books this year, breaking the school record for rushing yards in a season – set just last year – with 1,573 yards on 163 carries for a whopping 9.6 average.

He scored 17 touchdowns on the ground while adding another score by catching a pass for 46 yards,

Defensively, Moore was a standout defensive back, recording 89 tackles along with two picks and three sacks.

RB – Stephen Tucker, South Kitsap, senior– Tucker became the latest star running back for the Wolves, who returned to state for the first time in five years behind his 1,329 yards and 14 touchdowns on 187 carries.

WR – Jack Clearman, Kingston, senior – Clearman finished the 2007 season with 61 receptions for 838 yards and 10 touchdowns.

His run-after-the-catch ability resulted in him averaging 13.7 yards per reception and 104 yards receiving per game.

WR – Dimitri Alston, Bremerton, junior – Alston was one of the biggest benefactors of the reins being loosened on quarterback Jacob Belden.

While Belden took some time to hit his stride, he was able to connect with Alston to the tune of 376 receiving yards and four scores on 16 receptions.

TE – Caleb Brown, Central Kitsap, senior – Brown, ranked 24th in the state for top senior recruits according to washingtonpreps.com, was huge on both sides of the ball.

Brown gave Simonis a consistent target, catching 25 catches for 689 yards with eight touchdowns.

As a safety, Brown logged 36 tackles with four picks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

Brown was also a big return threat for CK, running back punts for 173 yards and two more scores.

OL – Gary French, Bainbridge, senior – French was part of a talented offensive line that helped clear the way for Bainbridge’s top running backs to gain over 2500 yards this season despite playing with two painful hip flexors.

He also contributed on the defensive line with 32 tackles and one sack.

OL – Brad Fedderson, South Kitsap, senior – Head coach D.J. Sigurdson attributed some of the team’s success to tight end Matt Foxworthy, whom he regarded as the team’s best blocker and Fedderson, the Wolves’ top offensive lineman.

OL – David Reynolds, Olympic, senior – What Reynolds lacked in physical size, he more than made up for with heart, as Olympic coach Eric Allen called Reynolds the top lineman in the Olympic League.

Reynolds also helped Oly fill a void on defense, recording 36 tackles in helping the Trojans make it to the state preliminary round for the first time in 11 years.

OL – Cecil Spence, Central Kitsap, senior – While CK was short on seniors, Spence was one of several that keyed up an offensive line that allowed the offense to put up more than 3,000 total yards this season.

Defensively, Spence recorded 23 tackles, 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble for the Cougars.

OL – Dominic Cruz, Klahowya, sophomore – The Klahowya lineman was known throughout the school for his work ethic, with running back Cody Hertenstein as well as other Eagles pointing out Cruz as the standard for “working his butt off.”

The defense

DL – Will Morris, Central Kitsap, senior – While Morris’ stats may not be the most impressive around, few defensive linemen put as much pressure on the quarterback as routinely as Morris did.

At 6-0 and 260 pounds, Morris had deceptive speed and agility that helped him crack the opposition’s offensive line, as Morris recorded 26 tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery.

DL – Kyle McCown, North Kitsap, senior – The lanky defensive end possessed a motor that never stopped and was one of the hardest hitters on the team. McCown finished with nine tackles for a loss and five sacks on the season.

DL – Dayton Gilbreath, Bainbridge, senior – Like his older brother Bryan, Dayton was a threat to score every time he touched the ball for the Spartans this season, contributing on defense (with 55 tackles, four sacks and four fumble recoveries), offense (rushing for 1,119 yards and 18 touchdowns and catching 12 passes for 125 yards and a touchdown) and special teams (returning two punts for scores).

He was a All-Metro Mountain Division first team selection on offense and defense while being voted the team’s offensive MVP.

DL – Rashad Greene, Olympic, senior – Defensively, he recorded 51 tackles with 5.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries and a block this season.

While his presence on the defensive side of the ball was irreplaceable, he was also a vital cog of the Trojans’ run offense, picking up 479 yards on 62 carries from the backfield, scoring 11 times.

LB – Chris Martindale, Bremerton, senior – Martindale was a prolific tackler for Knights, recording an astounding 90 tackles with a sack, a pick and two fumble recoveries.

LB – Josh Burlingame, South Kitsap, senior – After missing nearly the entire 2006 season with a torn ACL in his right knee, Burlingame returned as the Wolves’ “emotional leader” on defense, according to Sigurdson.

He led the Wolves with 76 tackles and was known as the team’s hardest hitter.

LB – Chris Wade, Kingston, senior – Wade was always around the ball, which was evident by the team-high 77 tackles he made in Kingston’s eight games, averaging 9.6 tackles a contest.

DB – Blake Johnson, Olympic, sophomore – Another of Oly’s impact sophomores, Johnson was vital defensively for the Trojans, picking off an almost unheard of 11 passes and recording 62 tackles.

Offensively, he was quarterback Zach Bird’s top target, catching 12 passes for 201 yards and four touchdowns, adding another score on a 20-yard run.

DB – Glen Hewey, Central Kitsap, senior – Hewey was nothing short of consistent for the Cougars this season as he recorded 23 tackles and four interceptions.

DB – Greg Ottele, North Kitsap, senior – Ottele finished the year with four interceptions from his strong safety position.

The hard-hitting senior also played well on the offensive side of the ball, finishing with 364 yards on the ground.

DB – Cody Hertenstein, Klahowya, junior – Another key two-way player, Hertenstein helped the Eagles on both sides of the ball and ultimately, back to the state prelim round. He ran for 749 yards on 140 carries while scoring eight times in addition to his defensive numbers, registering 62 tackles and a pick.

Hertenstein was most exciting to watch on special teams however, as he recorded three blocks on punts and kicks and came close to about a half-dozen more.

Special teams

K – Zach Sampson, North Kitsap, junior – Sampson connected on 21 of 23 extra points and booted a 39-yard field goal, breaking a school record that had stood for 20 years.

He scored 29 points and averaged 48.7 yards on each kickoff this year.

P – Kevin McCormick, Bainbridge, sophomore – McCormick did the job for the Spartans this season with his strong leg, punting 25 times for 807 yards, averaging 32.3 yards per punt and pinning opponents deep in their own territory time after time.

RET – Ryan Williams, South Kitsap, junior – The Wolves’ star return man had kickoff returns of 93, 89 and 84 yards this year – all for touchdowns.

Also stellar

DL – Zane Sackett, Bainbridge, junior – With 42 tackles, Sackett was part of a talented defensive line that forced many a runner into the backfield.

He also played on the offensive line and opened many a hole for Spartan runners to shoot through.

Sackett was named as a All-Metro Mountain Division first team selection on defense and second team selection on offense.

Sackett also won the team’s defensive MVP.

RB – Ross Cobb, Bainbridge, junior – Before he was done for the year with a concussion, Cobb led the team in rushing for a time and was the speedster that complimented Gilbreath’s bruising style.

He finished with 736 yards on just 69 carries and scored eight touchdowns, making him the main person to replace Gilbreath.

Cobb was an All-Metro Mountain Division second team selection on offense.

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