Sports

The Meeker shal inherit the laughs

When South Kitsap High School coaches D.J. Sigurdson (football), John Callaghan (basketball), and Elton Goodwin (baseball) were asked to describe Josh Meeker, each one of them began with a chuckle.

Whether it’s his coaches, teammates, or peers, Meeker has given hundreds of SK Wolves a reason to laugh.

After three years of pranks, jokes and downright goofiness, South Kitsap will say goodbye to one of its most-liked students at graduation tomorrow at the Tacoma Dome.

It’s only fitting Meeker will return to the place where he pulled off one of his funnier moments as an SK athlete.

Meeker, who was a member of the state-qualifying basketball team, had already shaved his chest hair off prior to the start of the tournament.

But it was after one of the games Meeker decided to find an alternative use for the towel bin provided to the team in the locker room.

Meeker, with the help of a few teammates, filled the towel bin with water and soap and proceeded to take a bubble bath.

“The T-Dome was so much fun,” Meeker said. “The bubble bath at the T-Dome...that was amazing.”

Meeker wasn’t always the loquacious comedian who made people contagious with laughter.

Baseball teammate Josh Showers remembers growing up with a different Meeker

“I knew him in Little League, and he was shy,” Showers said. “Seventh and eighth grade it was the same thing. But in ninth grade, all of a sudden he just blew up and became this wild and crazy guy.”

Meeker said it was the process of growing up that he found his true personality.

“I didn’t know too many people and I was tired of being by myself,” Meeker said of his youth. “So I just started being outgoing and having a lot a fun. I wasn’t like the richest kid or the coolest kid, but I realized that doesn’t really matter. I just wanted to have a good time.”

It was Meeker’s personality that helped transcend his play in sports.

Meeker became the second SK athlete to play at the state level in three sports of the same year (joining fellow classmate Tyler Mayfield).

While Meeker was never the best player on any team, coaches say Meeker’s drive to win and humor proved invaluable on and off the field.

Sigurdson said Meeker always knew when to be serious and when to be funny.

“He has a great sense of humor, but he always had a real good sense of timing,” Sigurdson said. “He was always giving 110 percent when he was playing the game.”

Sigurdson said he’ll remember Meeker for his determination to earn the starting tight end position, but also his general goofiness, whether it be the way he walked or talked.

Though usually the last to come off the bench during the basketball season, Callaghan said some of the credit to the team’s success goes to Meeker.

“He kept the guys loose,” Callaghan said. “He’s a good athlete but that guy is a character. He’s such a nice kid. I can’t say enough.”

Callaghan said his 6-year-old son Ryley is very fond of Meeker.

“The kids just love him so much,” Callaghan said. “Ryley wants him to come to his birthday party.”

Meeker said he is competitive by nature, but said sports is nothing if you can’t make it fun.

“If you’re not having fun, and you’ve got pressure put on you, then sometimes it’s tough to play well,” Meeker said. “The key thing for me was to relax and play my game. I think it’s always important to think of the positive stuff.”

Showers said it clearly rubbed off on his teammates.

“He’s a fun person to be around,” Showers said.

Meeker’s let his personality be known last week at the west sound senior all-star baseball game in Bremerton.

Showers said Meeker did a few things to make the team laugh.

“In the base-running competition he ran the bases like he was a cartoon,” Showers said. “He was making noises in the dugout that made you say ‘Meeker, what are you doing?’ You just shake your head at some of the things he does.”

Knowing Meeker, he’ll make a lot more heads shake come graduation tomorrow.

Making his final appearance as an SK student in cap and gown, classmates will wait in anticipation and ask the same question they’ve asked over the last three years: “What’s Josh Meeker going to do this time?”

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