Top BI sports stories of the year


Cross country

The Bainbridge Spartans traveled to Gordon Fields to begin the 2023 cross country season. The boys team won the first Olympic League meet with 49 points while the girls had 17 points. The top runners were Mairin O’Brien and Laird Ferrel.

Seven cross-country teams from Kitsap County competed in their league championships. The Bainbridge boys finished second in the Pierce County League 3A Championships with 68 points, behind Lakes. The girls also finished second with 65 points; Stadium was first.

At state, the Bainbridge girls finished 12th with 274 points. Mairin O’Brien led the girls by finishing 31st in 19:54.5. The Bainbridge boys team finished 13th with 351 points. Ben Crandall finished 41st with a time of 16:53.8.


The Bainbridge Spartans and North Kitsap Vikings girls tennis teams battled each other down to the wire. In the seven varsity matches, there were 12 ties, 10 lead changes and two tiebreakers. The final match fell in Bainbridge’s favor with an 11-9 tiebreaker.


Dan Schoonmaker, the former Poulsbo police chief, was named the new football coach at Bainbridge. He is crossing Agate Pass Bridge to lead the Spartans after being the quarterback coach at North Kitsap High School last season.

The football team was 3-0 for the first time since 2011 as the Spartans romped past Sequim 45-17. Schoonmaker said: “It was a great win but (we’ve) got plenty to work” on.

The Spartans believed they were destined for the postseason. Before the season began, Schoonmaker was told the Spartans needed to finish in the Top 3 in the Olympic League and have a higher RPI than the third-place team in the Pierce County League to qualify. But the PCL teams appealed so they had to finish in second place or better and have a play-in game to qualify. Schoonmaker planned to appeal the new ruling.

The last time the Bainbridge football team was this good, many of the Spartan varsity players were in elementary school dreaming about playing under the Friday Night Lights. That dream is coming true after the BHS 42-0 victory over Kingston, as the Spartans finished off their best season in 11 years.

Girls soccer

In the last few years, Bainbridge girls soccer has struggled against the Central Kitsap Cougars, failing to score for three-straight years. However, the Spartans battled the Cougars down to the wire with a 1-1 draw to start the season.

When the playoffs arrive, the star players need to become game-changers in order to win close battles. Central Kitsap goalie Rachael Remnent proved she is one of the best with her performance in the 3-2, 4-2 penalties, victory over Bainbridge.

Girls Swim

The Bainbridge girls swim team easily won at North Kitsap, but both teams qualified for the state and district meets with fast times in different events.


The Bainbridge Spartans volleyball squad swept the Olympic Trojans 25-5, 25-15, 25-19. Spartan Noella Rosentrater began to serve Bainbridge a momentum run with four aces to take an 11-2 lead.

The Bainbridge Spartans completed their final home vollleyball game of the season with a 3-0 victory against Port Angeles, including coming back from a 15-5 deficit in the second set.

Boys basketball

The Bainbridge boys basketball team defeated Kingston on the road 70-45 Jan. 19. Although the Spartans were the taller squad, they excelled from behind the arc rather than going inside. They hit seventeen 3’s with Sam Nyland leading the way with a career-high 33 points.

The team lost its play-in playoff game against the Prairie Falcons 55-47, ending its season. The Spartans fell into a quick hole within the first few possessions and struggled to respond offensively.

The BHS basketball program hosted a Blue & Gold night Nov. 17 at Paski Gym. The event included raffles, concessions, free t-shirts, skills and three-point contests and intrasquad scrimmages. “I came up with this idea and something Will [Ferris] and I did in college too called Midnight Madness,” girls basketball coach Zach Burnham said.

Girls basketball

The new girls basketball coach at Bainbridge High School not only has them winning and setting records, he’s also got them thinking of playing in college.

Zach Burnham’s defensive mindset has led the team to just its third winning season and playoff berth in the last decade. The Spartans were 10-4 in the Olympic League and 11-9 overall. The Spartans held teams to less than 40 points in 10 games and have a point differential of +5.5.

They say all good things must come to an end, and the historical season for the Bainbridge girls did just that, falling to Silas 37-33.

The Spartan defense held its own in the first half, allowing 11 points in the first quarter and eight in the second. However, the offense was one-dimensional with Bella Ramirez scoring six of their only 11 points.


Bainbridge had four wrestlers reach the podium while Kingston had three at the BI Invitational. Wyatt Chabot and Wyatt Goade captured second in the 152- and 220-pound classes. Garrett Goade finished fourth at 170, and Retto Peato sixth at 132 pounds.

Bainbridge finished seventh at the North Puget Sound League 3A sub-regional tournament. Garrett and Wyatt Goade were champions at 170 and 220 pounds. Chabot placed second for the Spartans.

Boys swim

Bainbridge and North Kitsap both came into the final swim meet of the season Jan. 25 undefeated, but when it was over the Spartans were the only squad still that way. The teams met at North Kitsap Community Pool with BHS winning 125-55. Bainbridge nearly swept the top three places in 11 events.

The Bainbridge boys swim team easily won the West Central District 3A meet at Mount Tahoma High School Feb. 4. The Spartans scored 371 points. Jason Nordgren and Curtis Stewart both stood out for Bainbridge, each winning two events. Two others also placed first.

Jason Nordgren is the fastest freestyle swimmer in the state. He won both the 50- and 100-yard free with times of 20.85 seconds, and 45.75 seconds. He won a third event to help the team place third at state.

With a star like that, it’s easy to see how Bainbridge also won the 400 free relay with a time of 3 minutes, 10.4 seconds. Also on that team were Aidan Cole, Curtis Stewart and Finn Wenker.


The Bainbridge gymnastics team finished fifth and North Kitsap seventh out of 47 teams at the WIAA 1A/2A/3A State Championship. The Spartans finished with 162.875 points; NK had 160.15. Two Spartans advanced to the finals Feb. 24 in two events each.

In the finals, Jade Bereman finished 8th on the floor with a 9.375, 11th on the beam with a 9.025 and 16th with an 8.0 in the vault. Avery Gray finished 13th on the bars with 8.525 and 9.0 on the vault.


Bainbridge has begun to turn the Field of Bad Dreams into the Field of the Future. Over the summer, Bainbridge boosters put pressure on the BI school district to provide better baseball and softball facilities. In the last couple of months, the two sides have worked together to turn Bainbridge into a baseball paradise.

BHS baseball coach Geoffrey Brown has always wanted to give back to youth in the Greater Seattle area. The Seattle native has decided to fulfill that dream by helping young players. “Growing up, I didn’t have it easy,” Brown said. “I had a single mom but dealt with a lot of drugs and alcohol around me. Baseball was my way to college and chase a dream to professional baseball.”

BHS rarely beats itself in baseball. It barely loses at all — only twice all season while winning 20 and outscoring opponents 149-49.

But that wasn’t the case May 20 as the Spartans made two untimely errors, mixed with an untimely walk and some untimely baserunning mistakes, in losing to Liberty of Renton 5-1, knocking BHS out of the state playoffs.


Although Bainbridge’s scores did not count for the 2A Olympic League play because it’s 3A, the Spartans did qualify as a team for the district tourney for the larger schools. Andrew Jobes finished tied for sixth overall with an 82. Andrew Grinter also scored an 82 while Dane Byers scored an 83.

The Bainbridge girls had the best performance at state golf. The girls finished sixth as a team through the two rounds in Lacey with a combined score of 728 strokes. The champions were Bellevue at 622.

Boys soccer

The Bainbridge seniors led the Spartans to a 6-0 victory over the Kingston Buccaneers on the final home game of their careers April 25. Five of the six goals were by Spartan seniors.

“It was a great send-off, and the crowd was amazing,” senior Damoni McKenna-Greenawalt said.

BHS ended up being knocked out of the playoffs at districts against Auburn-Mountainview 1-0.


Bainbridge High School’s girls track team won the Olympic League Track and Field Championships May 4 and 6 at North Kitsap.

But since it is a 3A rather than a 2A school their marks didn’t qualify them for districts. They had to compete again for that honor. But they showed the other teams in their league who was the boss, scoring 125 points.

Bainbridge High School track has a strong history so breaking a Spartan record is quite a feat. Last spring, three records were broken, which coach Jena Winger calls “groundbreaking.”

Ella McRitchie broke the pole vault record, Claire Hungerford the 300-meter hurdles record and Mairin O’Brien broke the 1600 event.


Kingston’s fastpitch team defeated Bainbridge 12-0 in five innings to pick up its sixth win of the season March 28.

Once Kingston scored nine runs, Bainbridge decided to let freshman Rollins Anderson pitch. She held one of the top offenses in the league to three runs, two earned, in the final four innings.


Aidan McLennan and Charlie Combs finished first at the 3A districts and completed the fall season undefeated. McLennan and Combs defeated Auburn Mountainview 6-0, 6-1, Central Kitsap’s Landon Frandsen and Nate Lander 6-4, 6-0, Capital 6-3, 6-3 and Lincoln 6-1, 6-1.

Water Polo

The Bainbridge High School girls water polo team finished third in state May 27. The Spartans began their state journey May 25 against Bellevue and defeated them 7-2. Bainbridge fell 7-6 but ended the tournament just like it started for them, defeating Bellevue 9-5 to capture the third-place trophy.

It was the perfect ending to a perfect season for the boys club, which lost the title match last year. Coach Kristen Gellert continued to credit the loss as the moment her team found the motivation to return to its winning ways once again.