Goodwin named Kitsap prep coach of the year

When Elton Goodwin retired from teaching and coaching in June, he wasn’t kidding when he said he was going to get away from it all — for a short while at least.

Goodwin, who coached the South Kitsap High School baseball team to its third state title in 28 years two months ago, was named prep coach of the year Wednesday evening at the fourth annual Kitsap County Sports Award Banquet at the Kitsap Golf and Country Club.

But Goodwin was nowhere to be seen.

Taking his earlier words literally, Goodwin was in eastern Washington on a camping and fishing trip. Longtime assistant Don Smith was on hand to receive the award on his behalf.

Central Kitsap’s Nicole Zygmontowicz was named female scholar-athlete of the year, and Olympic’s Jarrell Nelson was named male-scholar athlete of the year.

Those in attendence filled out a ballot sheet, which had a male and female nominee from each high school that presides in the county.

South Kitsap’s Brian Cox and Kayle Peterson were the local nominees.

Nelson, who will attend Washington State University on a track scholarship this fall, said he was stunned he won the award.

Many felt Cox would double his award after recently being named the Bremerton Sun prep athlete of the year.

“I wasn’t really expecting to come out and win this thing,” Nelson said. “I was surprised. But it feels good to have an award like this.”

Nelson said the most gratifying accomplishment was taking first place at state this spring with three other teammates in the 400-meter relay and taking first in the 200-meter dash.

All Nelson is looking forward to is running for WSU this fall.

“I hope to go in and just help the team get a Pac-10 championship,” he said.

Zygmontowicz is headed to the University of Houston on a soccer scholarship. After suffering a torn ACL late in the basketball season of her junior year, Zygmontowicz spent the next six months rehabilitating her knee for her senior year of sports.

A sprained ankle in fastpitch ended her high school playing days, but she said she has no regrets looking back on her prep career.

“My top moments were as a freshman winning the state championship for soccer at Klahowya, playing great basketball before I hurt my knee, and going to state in basketball this year.”

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