Eleven Spartans earn All-Metro honors

Josh Truan (56) and Bryan Gilbreath (19) anchored a swarming Spartan defense this season. - JIM BRYANT photo
Josh Truan (56) and Bryan Gilbreath (19) anchored a swarming Spartan defense this season.
— image credit: JIM BRYANT photo

The gridders fell short of the playoffs, but it wasn’t for lack of individual effort.

With only two playoff spots available in the Metro League, Bainbridge had their work cut out for them this season.

They started off with a 21-6 win over rival North Kitsap and followed with wins over Nathan Hale, Sequim and Seattle Prep, but a three-game losing streak to O’Dea, Bishop Blanchet and Eastside Catholic derailed any hopes of making the playoffs.

For their efforts this season, 11 Spartans made the All-Metro Mountain Division team. Gabe Culkin was a first team offense and defense selection, while James O’Malley was a first team defensive selection and Nathan Draper, James O’Malley, Tom Hannuksela, Cameron Johnson and Dan Peck were honorable mentions.

Five players also made the Kitsap News Group’s All-Kitsap team, as voted on by sportswriters from the Bainbridge Review, the North Kitsap Herald, the Central Kitsap Reporter, the Bremerton Patriot and the Port Orchard Independent.

The offense:

QB – Kyle Pease, South Kitsap – The MVP of the county, Pease had an outstanding senior season. He completed 90 of 148 passes for 1,307 yards with 11 touchdowns and just four interceptions. He showed stellar leadership on and off the field, keeping a quiet confidence that spread throughout his team.

RB – Chad Fowler, South Kitsap – As an out-of-state transfer, he worked his way up the depth chart to lead the county in rushing with 1,141 yards and 11 touchdowns. Showing a knack for picking his way through blocks, the junior averaged 6.8 yards a carry.

RB – Carter Williams, Bainbridge – Even after missing a few games with a high ankle sprain, the senior still rushed for 715 yards and six touchdowns, including five 100-yard rushing games. He was also named to the All-Metro Mountain Division first team on offense.

WR – Monte Enyeart, South Kitsap – Enyeart led the county in catches and yardage, grabbing 30 balls for 551 yards and five scores. He allowed South to open up its offense and give opposing defense more to think about than just the run.

WR – Cody Oakes, Central Kitsap – The versatile Cougar wide receiver always managed to come up with big plays for CK, catching 21 passes for 397 yards in just nine games. The senior averaged almost 20 yards a catch and scored five times.

OL – Kyle Saltsgaver, South Kitsap – The three-year starter dominated up front, collecting 18 team hashmarks for outstanding blocking. A strong, physical force, he paved the way for the county’s top-rated offense.

OL – Brendan Bermea, Olympic –

Bermea showed heart in establishing himself as the Trojans’ most physical lineman, anchoring the offensive line and providing a stopgap on defense as well.

OL – Andrew Thatcher, South Kitsap – He was the center, literally, of an offense that averaged 351 yards and 32.3 points a game. Not many defenders got by him, but a group of running backs found plenty of running room in front of him. He played just about every down both ways this year.

OL – Mike Cook, South Kitsap – An undersized and quiet guard, he did all of his talking by putting defenders on their rear ends. He was second on the team in hashmarks and led the way for Fowler and company.

OL – CJ Moen, Klahowya – While Moen would have preferred a better season for the Eagles, he showed the talent that made him a 2005 Wendy’s High School Heisman candidate. Doubling as a linebacker, Moen also recorded 65 tackles and an interception while opening the lanes that helped the Eagles’ ground game rack up about 2,000 yards this season.

TE – Caleb Brown, Central Kitsap – Brown was among the most involved tight ends in the county, finishing with 13 catches for 297 yards and three scores. Just a sophomore, he’ll help a Cougar offense looking to rebound from a subpar 2005 campaign.

The defense:

DL – Renard Williams, South Kitsap – A junior with tons of talent, Williams recorded 38 tackles despite missing the first four games of the season with a broken wrist. A dominant, physical force up front, he took on his share of double teams, yet still made plenty of big plays. With a little work, could be the county’s best defender next year.

DL – Bryan Gilbreath, Bainbridge Island – As a two-way player, Gilbreath was superb in leading the team in sacks, five, and tackles for losses, three, and was tied for second in total tackles with 59. The junior also led the team in catches, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns and was an All-Metro Mountain Division first team defensive selection and a second team offensive selection.

DL – Kyle Petheram, Bainbridge Island – Petheram, a junior, was a force at defensive end, leading the team in total tackles with 78 and solo stops with 51. He was an All-Metro Mountain Division Honorable Mention on defense.

DL – Kyle Saltsgaver, South Kitsap – He recorded 29 solo tackles and 19 assists as part of a front four that allowed just 115 rushing yards a game. A two-way starter and team captain, he was a three-year starter for the Wolves. He had his best game when it counted, getting 12 tackles against Gig Harbor.

LB – Jeff Ottele, North Kitsap –Ottele led the team in tackles, tallying 71 combined. Of that total, 61 were solo tackles and 20 were tackles for a loss, displacing opponents for a total of minus 48 yards.

LB – Ryan Cosgrove, South Kitsap – Second on the team in total tackles, Cosgrove was good against both the run and the pass. Using his speed and strength, he notched 37 solo tackles and had 24 assists, including a season-high 11 against Mountain View.

LB – Jimmy Groat, Olympic – Playing through a leg injury that cost him a good portion of field time, Groat not only held up on defense, but also served the bulk of the season as Olympic’s punter, showing his versatility.

DB – Moises Lovinaria, Bremerton – Playing injured much of the season and standing a head shorter than some of the receivers he covered, Lovinaria logged four interceptions, three fumble recoveries and a number of touchdown-saving tackles that kept Bremerton alive longer than they should have been in some games.

DB – Bubby Ditmer, North Kitsap – Ditmer led the Viking secondary in pass coverage, snagging three interceptions in the last four games of the season. Contesting the run game as well, Ditmer was the fourth-best tackler on a stout defense. The junior recorded 33 tackles, 30 of those unassisted.

DB – Xavier Mancha, Olympic – Mancha was again a consistent target for Olympic quarterbacks, but made his biggest impact on defense, where he recorded four interceptions this season.

DB – Cody Kirkpatrick, Klahowya – A senior leader for the Eagles, Kirkpatrick showed why he’s one of the top defensive backs in the Nisqually League. With four interceptions, 74 tackles and 11 passes defended, Kirkpatrick was a presence opposing offenses were forced to respect.

Kicker – Greg Ottele, North Kitsap – In addition to running duties, Ottele’s foot racked up 22 points this season in the form of 16 extra points and two field goals, perfect in both categories.

Returner – Tyler Goddard, South Kitsap – He led the Wolves in return yards, taking 16 punts back for a total of 275 yards and two touchdowns. His best game came against Olympic, as he covered 196 yards on six returns, including a score.

Coach – Steve Frease, North Kitsap – In his first year at the helm of the Viking’s ship, Frease led the Vikings to a third-place finish in the Bridge Division and into the preliminary round of the state playoffs. After a rough start, Frease, who took over for the retired Jerry Parrish, rallied the Vikings to a four-game winning streak in the latter half of the season to secure the spot in the post-season with a regular season-ending win over Shelton, knocking the Highclimbers out of post-season play.

Honorable mentions:

Nick Stone, Bainbridge – He filled in admirably for Williams at running back, rushing for 471 yards and seven touchdowns and was the team’s top kick returner with 236 yards. Stone was an All-Metro Mountain Division honorable mention as well.

Zac Brown, Central Kitsap – The Cougars QB threw for 1,171 yards and 14 touchdowns, while completing 68 of 129 passes.

Bruce Fernie, South Kitsap – Led the Wolves in tackles with 66, including 18 over the first two games of the year. The hard-hitting safety was tough against the run.

Colin Barrett, Olympic – If any Olympic player was first to the ball on defense, it was almost always Barrett, who led his team in tackles and sacks.

Isaac Solaita, Klahowya – Solaita, a junior, racked up more than 800 yards and hit double-digit touchdowns this season for the underachieving Eagles.

Jerrell Smith, North Kitsap – Sharing time in NK’s rotating backfield this year, Smith tallied the most yards of the crew, rushing for 632 yards in his senior season. Not to mention his returning two kickoffs for touchdowns and averaging 41 yards per return.

P.J. Mallhi, Bremerton – Wearing many hats for the Knights, Mallhi could be looked at as a throwback. The 260-pounder lined up in the backfield, provided the most consistency on the team’s line and eschewed soccer-style kicking for the straight-on booting fans just don’t see much anymore.

Garren Dukes, North Kitsap – Dukes racked up the second-most tackles for the Vikings from his defensive back position, coming up from the secondary for a total of 47 tackles, 37 of those solos.

Joe Beitinger, South Kitsap – The final piece of the best offensive line in the county, Beitinger’s size and smarts will take him far beyond the high-school level.

Josh Truan, Bainbridge – The senior defensive lineman and co-captain tied with teammate Bryan Gilbreath in tackles with 59. Truan was also an All-Metro Mountain Division honorable mention on both offense and defense.

Jeff Melin, Central Kitsap – Melin was a handful on both sides of the ball, rushing for 408 yards and eight scores on 87 carries, while getting 58 tackles from his linebacker position.

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