Sports Beat: Gig Harbor boys golf prevails in blustery conditions
It’s time for this week’s edition of the Sports Beat, a weekly capsule of the area’s prep athletic events. We will start with the matchup of the week on the links as the Tides and Seahawk teams, both boys and girls, were at the lush grounds of the Canterwood Golf and Country Club on Thursday, April 21, for a dual match.
The Gig Harbor boys’ team is 4-1 and one of the top teams in the South Sound Conference. On Thursday, they prevailed 53-22 over Peninsula in the face of torrential rains and blustery conditions.
Most golfers wouldn’t go out to play a round of golf in that weather, but because of previous cancelations this match was going to be played short of a monsoon rising above Carr Inlet.
These resilient young players have had enough events canceled during their early years, so they pulled out smiles and umbrellas and went at the slick fairways, wet bunkers and unpredictable greens. Along the way, they hit some fine golf shots on a tight, challenging course.
Gig Harbor captain Aiden McDougall blistered a 5 wood straight up the tree-lined fairway to within 20 yards of the pin, which allowed for a clear path to the green. He then hit a beautiful chip and a 10-foot, sidehill birdie putt.
The senior followed that up with a 270-yard drive off the next tee. McDougall was a medalist with junior Colin Morkert, who has been consistently near the top of the leaderboard this season. They both shot a 41 for 13 points, while sophomore Chet West shot a 42 for 12 and sophomore Rylan Coovert scored eight points for the Tides.
Peninsula’s No. 1 golfer, senior Kolton Waage, showed some soft hands when he used his sand wedge to launch a plugged golf ball from a bunker. The shot went high in the air and onto the green. He then calmly dropped a 8-foot uphill putt to save par and earn two points for his team. Waage, Jackson Tull and Elliott Siddall were tied with six points apiece for the Seahawks.
Waage was a sensational football and baseball player at a young age before rupturing his Achilles tendon two years ago. While the injury reduced his lightning speed, it didn’t hurt his spirit. He chose to take up golf as a competitive replacement.
“Being the No. 1 golfer means a lot to me, knowing that I am the leader out there,” he said. “Trying to set the tone of the match with a good drive to start off is important.”
His personal goals for each round are to not have any three-putts, start off the first hole strong and always remember that each hole presents a new opportunity.
Those types of attitudes were found on both teams as their coaches allowed a mixed format, pairing friends from rival teams together. The camaraderie was evident as fair-play, high-fives and encouraging words were shared between both teams.
Seahawks prevail in girls golf
The Peninsula girls golf team, which is undefeated in the SSC with a 4-0 record, took care of Capitol, 53-22 on Monday before facing the Gig Harbor girls Thursday afternoon at Canterwood. They topped the Tides 63-40.
They teed off 30 minutes behind the boys and got hammered by the rain. They have a well-balanced team that mixes players who are long off the tee and show good touch around the greens.
The Gig Harbor girls golf team was led by Carly Ikei, who shot an impressive 38 for nine holes, accounting for 26 of the Tides’ 40 points. Ikei was precise with her approach shots and displayed the intelligence that is needed to play this difficult game.
She chose to layup a few times instead of riskier shots from the wet fairways and she mostly left herself with uphill putts that tend to save strokes. Bridget Liberty was second on the team with eight points and Sarah Ehler, Ella Gardner and Hailey Graf all tied for third place on their team.
Lacrosse: Peninsula powers past SK
Peninsula used a physical, explosive and coordinated attack to dismantle the South Kitsap Wolves 19-3 in a lacrosse match at Roy Anderson Field on Wednesday, April 20.
Lacrosse is an exciting sport that blends many of the finer elements of other games into one. It is a fresh sport that is continuing to attract new participants both locally and nationally. The sport evokes the goal shooting and passing of soccer — except all passing of the ball is done above ground.
The game also merges the physicality of football, the speed of basketball, the on-the-fly substitutions of hockey and the goalkeeping of water polo into a sport that is captivating to watch.
Wednesday was senior night for Ethan Hogan, Jones Clarke and Jacob Marcuson, and the 5-1 Peninsula Seahawks were running on all cylinders. The Seahawks used an aggressive weave play that involved a solid pick, a quick back cut and a pinpoint pass for a rocket shot on goal by Robert Akulschin for a 1-0 lead.
Peninsula kept their foot on the gas by continually controlling the faceoffs and maintaining possessions. At one point they scored nine consecutive goals.
The speedy Akulschin was all over the field, scoring six goals with three assists. Nathan Delong had three goals, one on a pretty 360 spin-move. Maddox Ice showed his speed with three goals and two assists and Hogan, who just accepted a lacrosse scholarship to Montana State, played with a very aggressive, physical defensive presence.
Peninsula is the top team in the Class 3A/4A Olympic League. They also own a 5-4 victory over the senior-laden, second place Gig Harbor Tides, who will be looking for redemption on Friday, May 6, in the notorious Baggataway Bowl. Look for a preview of that matchup in the coming weeks of the Sports Beat.
Baseball: Peninsula remains atop SSC standings
The Seahawks baseball team got a huge victory on Friday, defeating Capital 9-2 in a makeup game of an earlier rainout. Capitol had closed to within a game of the league-leading Seahawks with Tuesday’s 4-2 victory over Peninsula.
A win in the rematch would have given the Cougars the conference lead; instead, they saw a gritty and hungry Seahawk team shut the door with solid pitching and explosive hitting.
Peninsula now has the inside track on the title. The Seahawks have conference games remaining against Timberline and two against Gig Harbor next week.
The Gig Harbor baseball team has been somewhat inconsistent in the tough SSC, although their bats have come alive lately. They dropped a 3-2 contest to Central Kitsap on April 19 that hurt their hopes for the conference title. They are still mathematically alive, but will have to win out and have Peninsula lose out.
The Tides have talented hitters and quality pitchers who can be stingy. Their bats came alive on April 20, when they pounded CK 23-8 to stay alive in the conference race.
Fastpitch: Seahawks, Tides both SSC contenders
The weather has been particularly unkind to fastpitch teams, as many games have been canceled recently. Peninsula (7-1, 4-0 SSC) is ranked sixth in the Class 3A RPI ranking. Word is traveling fast about this young team that will only graduate a few seniors and may challenge for a state title down the line.
Gig Harbor (6-3, 6-1 SSC) sits in second place of the conference and is scheduled for five games in the next two weeks, culminating in a rematch with Peninsula. The Tides are looking to avenge a 6-0 loss to the Seahawks earlier in the season in a game that Alli Kimball dominated from the pitching mound. The Tides are ranked 21st in the Class 3A RPI.
Be sure to check next Fridays’ edition of the Sports Beat with reports on girls tennis, water polo and track teams.