South Kitsap booters off to a fast start

While the South Kitsap High School baseball and fastpitch teams are left soaking in the rain, the boys soccer team is basking in the rotten weather.

The baseball and fastpitch teams have had seven of eight games postponed because of rainouts.

The Wolves soccer team is proving poor weather can’t slow them down.

SK improved its record to 3-0 Friday night after dominating Central Kitsap in a 2-0 win at Silverdale Stadium.

With a Narrows League showdown at Gig Harbor tomorrow at 3:30 p.m., SK coach Eric Bergeson said he’ll reserve judgement until after the game has been played.

But, he did say he has been impressed with what he has seen out of his team so far. He said he likes what he is seeing with the team’s mental approach to games.

After two weeks of practicing and playing in miserable conditions, Bergeson said dismissing the weather has been a big advantage to his team’s approach to playing games.

“We can’t use conditions as an excuse and we haven’t,” Bergeson said. “We have embraced it. At CK we refused to let the wet turf be an excuse. We just needed to focus on the fundamentals. I think we did that.”

SK’s ball control against CK was a direct reflection of strong passing, Bergeson said.

“I think when we were in the gym half of our time there was passing drills,” he said. “We pass-ed every chance we could get.”

SK opened its scoring in the 32nd minute when a corner kick was flicked back off the head of Brendan Sweglar and onto the feet of a darting John VanGeelkerken, who booted it past CK’s goalkeeper.

The Wolves had a golden opportunity to take a quick 2-0 lead early in the second half, but Matt Hopper uncharacteristically missed a penalty kick.

The Cougars nearly took advantage of Hopper’s missed opportunity minutes later.

Off a corner kick, CK’s Keith Cain had his point-blank shot deflected by SK goalkeeper Jared Stevenson.

On the ensuing corner kick, Stevenson was caught out of position and CK’s Brandon Screen appeared to have a goal in the far post.

But SK defender Jason Boyett was there to clear the ball out and preserve SK’s one-goal lead.

SK sophomore Tyler Penn gave SK the insurance it needed when he boomed a 25-yard direct free kick in the upper right corner of the goal in the 60th minute.

“What a great free kick,” Ber-geson said. “He couldn’t have kicked a nicer shot. It would have gone five yards over the post if weren’t for the weather.”

Bergeson said he likes the play he has gotten out of varsity newcomers VanGeelkerken, Ryan Schurr, and Penn.

But he especially lauded the play of Sweglar and Hopper, both key members of last year’s state qualifying team.

“Sweglar is having a really nice season and it’s mostly the mental part more than anything,” he said. “He’s developed into a man on the field.”

Hopper, whose speed was utilized up front against CK, has also shown his versatility as a defensive midfielder.

Bergeson said what drives the team is the number of players on the sidelines that are able to get on the field and contribute.

“The guys know that if they don’t practice well, there are guys on the sidelines that will come in and do the job,” Bergeson said. “I think having that versatility not only helps me but it keeps the players on their toes too.”

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