SK sports season officially under way

"Every year at this time the questions about the teams' depth come into the forefront at South Kitsap High School.Some years a team will be senior-ladened and other years it will be loaded with underclassmen.Only one practice into the 2000 fall sports season and there's a noticeable difference with numbers.For example, the SK football team already knows that success will hinge on the success of the stacked junior class because of a smaller senior class.Freshmen--which normally enjoy--being the kings of their junior high sports teams--have been thrust into the rookie roll again.A $200 user fee--$165 more than last year--has also weeded out some student-athletes from participating in sports.This has all made for a more competitive turnout, especially for the freshmen and sophomores vying for a spot on the varsity or junior varsity sports, which are the only two levels of sports active in the SK school district.Assistant volleyball coach, Geoff Curtis, said only eight freshmen volleyball players are trying out.It'll be interesting to see the freshman dynamics and how that works, such as how they will get to practice in time Curtis said. Of the 3 junior highs we have we have only girls. You know there would be obviously 35-40 varsity players at the ninth grade level. So where are those kids?Curtis said the toughest thing for freshmen is dealing with being at the bottom after not being given the opportunity to enjoy the top at the junior high level.Now it's back to the bottom of the totem poll for them, Curtis said. It's one thing to be a sophomore and be a rookie, but to not even be in the building and be a rookie is even tougher.Though coaches don't enjoy turning away kids, the costly user fee has weeded out the casual athlete, which leaves those who take the sport seriously.If the kids or parents are going to pay $200 it's not going to be casual, Curtis said. You hope that high school athletics wouldn't be a casual thing for kids because it can't be. But we've see it. Curtis said the freshmen who do make varsity sports are going to benefit. But the kids that don't will be a year behind."

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