Community Sports

Sports Beat: Gig Harbor team hopes to dance to a repeat title

Posted on October 7th, 2022 By:

We start this week’s Sports Beat with the talented and award-winning cheer and dance teams from both local high schools. Including the only local team that won a state championship last year: H2Whoa!, the Gig Harbor High School dance team.

Last year’s team combined hip-hop dance choreography into precise routines that featured acrobatic moves, perfect timing and rhythmic steps. They also showed a fierce attitude that was conveyed to the many spectators who enjoyed their performances. They overwhelmed the Class 3A judges and brought home a state championship trophy in 2021-22.

The Gig Harbor dance team, H2Whoa! won the state championship last year and look to repeat this year as well. Courtesy Gig Harbor High School dance

Three of the nine members of this year’s team return from the championship squad. Seniors Brooklyn Milbourn and Hayden Estler captain the team along with junior returner Cailyn Smith. That leaves six newcomers who have waited in the shadows for their chance to perform on the big stage.

Another newcomer to the team is coach Tifny Eicher, who stepped in last minute but has been impressed by the team already.

“I am delighted by the way this group of young ladies has come together. We have our eyes on a repeat state championship this year,” she said.

GH cheer team performs at Husky halftime

Gig Harbor’s cheer team is also one of the best in the state, finishing third in the WIAA’s Class 1A/2A/3A Small Game Day category in 2022.

The team joined 450 other cheerleaders from around the state to perform at halftime of the Sept. 17 Washington-Michigan State football game. The performance was part of UW’s Spirit Day celebration.

The Gig Harbor cheerleading team performing a recent routine at a football game. Courtesy Gig Harbor High School cheerleading

The cheer teams perform at halftime of football, basketball, volleyball, soccer and wrestling events, among other occasions. Their mission is to promote integrity, pride and spirit while setting an example of good behavior at games, performances and competitions.

The team will be hosting a WIAA qualifying competition on January 7, 2023. Coach Laura Nation welcomes everyone to come and see what competitive cheer in Washington is like. The team will also be competing in the WIAA state cheer championships Feb. 3 and 4 in Yakima.

Peninsula hosting Seahawk Cheer Challenge

Peninsula’s cheer team is also one of the best in the state. The Seahawks earned two top-five finishes at the WIAA state cheerleading competition last year — fourth in the Class 3A/4A Game Day Super Large and second in the Class 2A/3A/4A Traditional Small categories.

The 20-member squad is captained by Sarah Beth Olive and Molly Rogers and coached by Samantha Sharp.

The Peninsula cheerleading team runs onto the field during a football game earlier this year. Bryce Carithers

The team is looking forward to their Oct. 14 homecoming game against Capital. The Seahawks will perform at a school assembly and at halftime.

Peninsula will host the Seahawk Cheer Challenge on Saturday, Nov. 5.

Gig Harbor volleyball falls to North Thurston

The Gig Harbor girls volleyball team took their undefeated league record into the gym of the fourth-ranked North Thurston Rams on Thursday, Oct. 6. They won their previous league matches in comfortable fashion, but the Tides dropped a 3-0 decision to the South Sound Conference-leading Rams.

The Peninsula Seahawks looked like conference champions for much of their Sept. 29 match against North Thurston before losing 3-2. They got back on track this week with 3-0 wins over River Ridge and Timberline to go to 6-1 in SSC play (6-2 overall).

The two local squads face off at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11, at Peninsula.

Natalie Piasecki jumps to serve for the Gig Harbor girls volleyball team. Bryce Carithers

Court report: Gig Harbor edges Capital

Gig Harbor (12-1, 11-1) faced the tough Capital Cougars tennis team in Olympia on Oct. 6. Capital (7-3, 8-4) was third in the SSC, but Gig Harbor prevailed 3-2. No. 1 singles player Elliot Strachan, a senior, won 6-2, 6-1. Another senior, No. 2 second singles player Dylan Batista, won 6-4, 6-2.

The match of the day was at first doubles when Rylan Coovert and Hugh Vicente couldn’t convert multiple match points in a 6-4, 1-6, 5-7 loss.

“It was an amazing match, it had everyone on the edge of their seats and exhausted at the end,” Gig Harbor coach Lorrie Wood said.

The Peninsula boys tennis team lost a 5-0 match against conference power River Ridge, which may share the league title with Gig Harbor.

Gig Harbor hosts Peninsula at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12.

Soccer teams keep pace with each other

After the Peninsula and Gig Harbor girls soccer teams played to an entertaining 2-2 tie on Sept. 30, neither team can afford to lose a league game until their Oct. 25 rematch if they want the league crown.

Peninsula (9-1-1, 8-0-1 SSC) is ranked No. 6 in Class 3A. The Seahawks took care of business against Central Kitsap (a 1-0 win) on Oct. 4 and Capital (a 6-0 win) on Oct. 6.

No. 5 Gig Harbor (8-0-1 overall and SSC) beat Yelm 8-0 on Oct. 4 and earned a 1-0 win by forfeit over River Ridge.

Football: Local teams face struggling opponents

Both football teams will be in action at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7.

League co-leader Peninsula (4-1, 3-0) plays Central Kitsap (0-5, 0-3) at 7 p.m. in Silverdale. Expect the Seahawks to run the ball with their multiple backs until they’re stopped. The Cougars have given up a lot of rushing yards this season.

Peninsula QB Payton Knowles takes one to the house, as the league leading Seahawks win against North Thurston. Bryce Carithers

Gig Harbor’s (3-2, 1-2) homecoming game at Roy Anderson Field is against River Ridge (0-4, 0-3). The Tides are coming off a 36-34 loss to Timberline but are getting healthier as they face some easier opponents in the SSC. The Tides are still in the playoff race but need to win out and a couple of the top three teams to stumble going forward.

Rivalry week kicks off in the pool

The Gig Harbor and Peninsula boys water polo teams face off at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, at the Peninsula pool. Both teams possess excellent ball handling, crisp passing and experienced goalies. This contest is highly anticipated among polo enthusiasts and should be very competitive.

Be sure to catch next weeks Sports Beat with reports on that big Water Polo game which kicks off rivalry week between Peninsula and Gig Harbor. Next week the girls swimming and diving teams will compete against each other. So will the boys tennis teams, cross country teams and volleyball teams.