Kent Valley Preps
Your source for up-to-date sports news and information from around the South Puget Sound League North Division.
Here the prep season has just begun and one streak already has fallen and another technically remains alive, but has taken a hit.
Let’s begin in swimming, where the Kentridge girls opened the season having won 36 straight South Puget Sound League North Division meets. It’s a streak that dates back to 2004, when the Chargers last lost a league meet, that coming against Kentlake. Well, the Chargers dropped their opener, falling to Kentwood 107-78. Kentridge has won the last four SPSL North titles, though now that streak is in big-time jeopardy.
Kentridge, in a roundabout sort of way, did get some revenge days later — on the volleyball court. Kentridge knocked off Kentwood on Tuesday night in five games — 24-26, 25-22, 25-16, 16-25 and 15-7. Kentwood entered the season having won 51 straight SPSL North league matches and the last four league titles. This is a tremendous win for the Chargers. The only sticking point comes from the fact that it was not an official league game. Sure, it was against a league opponent, but league games (essentially those that count in the standings) don’t begin until Sept. 23.
That said, the win remains a big confidence booster for the Chargers. Kentwood hadn’t lost to a North Division opponent — league or nonleague game — since Sept. 23, 2004, when they fell to Auburn Riverside.
In the end, Kentwood’s streak of 51 straight league wins remains alive.
And while we’re talking about streaks, it’s worth noting that the Kent-Meridian girls soccer team ended one last week when Ashlann Wood scored a goal. K-M hadn’t scored a goal since Sept. 11, 2007, a run of 31 straight matches. The Royals weren’t able to pull off the game, falling to Kentlake 6-1.
It really was an interesting Week 2 in the SPSL North, a week in which I was left to follow scores on-line since I was out of town due to family obligations.
There are a few things we can take from Week 2 …
1) After beating K-M 49-20 on Friday, Kentlake is better than it showed in the opening loss vs. KR. Running back Latrelle Dukes (3 scores, 139 yards) delivered a solid game and the KL defense stopped a K-M offense that has as many weapons as any team in the league. It’s worth noting that K-M’s Va’a Logotala, a force in the backfield, hasn’t been able to avoid the injury bug (neck). The Royals could certainly use his leadership and ability on the field. K-M is a better team than Friday’s score indicated, though it won’t get any easier for the Royals, who face fourth-ranked Auburn on Friday.
2) How about that Auburn-KW game? A lot of people didn’t give Kentwood a chance, which is interesting considering its history and a coaching staff that is as prepared as any I have ever worked around. What can Auburn take from this win? What can KW take from the loss? I’d be surprised if Auburn lost a North game this year, though it’ll have its hands full with Kentridge (Oct. 1).
3) Speaking of Kentridge, is it time the Charger ‘D’ gets a nickname? If so, what? The starters havne’t allowed a touchdown this year. And sophomore quarterback Caleb Smith has been playing great. As always, don’t forget about KR in the SPSL North race.
4) Tahoma, like Kentridge, moved to 2-0 this week, though the Bears’ schedule stiffens this Friday at Maxwell Field, when it hosts KW. There’s something about KW-Tahoma games. No matter what the talent level on each side, the game is always a nailbiter. That said, the talent level is generally pretty solid for both programs. If I have to pick one game to be at this week, that’s it. Though, keep in mind, Friday is the annual Taylor Trophy game between Auburn and K-M. It’s the second-oldest football rivalry in the state. I’d like to know how familiar the players are with the Taylor Trophy history? Auburn has won the last 11 straight matchups and the Royals would need to pull off a tremendous upset in this one to end that slide.
Former Kentwood football and basketball standout Aaron Boyce was at it again this past weekend.
Boyce, a 2005 Kentwood High graduate, helped lead the Eastern Washington University football team past Western Oregon on Saturday 35-14. Boyce, a senior, pulled in six receptions for 126 yards, including a 53-yard touchdown. Boyce, along with Eastern free safety Kevin Hatch, who picked off two passes and collected six tackles, were named the Big Sky Conference’s co-Players of the Week.
Boyce, a 6-foot-3, 210-pounder, has 189 catches for 2,822 yards and 24 touchdowns in his career. He now ranks second in school history in all three categories, trailing only Eric Kimble (2002-05), who has records of 253 catches, 4,140 reception yards and 46 touchdowns.
While the season doesn’t begin until later this evening, I have a hard time telling who the top team is. I could see KW, KR, KL, AR, Tahoma or Jefferson winning the North this season. Kentwood has won three of the last four North Division titles, but KR and KL bring back more starters than any other team in the league. Even with the loss of Stephanie Horibe (ACL), AR is loaded. And Tahoma and TJ simply have two of the strongest traditions around in soccer.
Does anyone see a runaway favorite in this bunch? If so, I’d love to hear why.
I was at the KR-KL football game Friday night and came away rather impressed with the Kentridge defense. KR linebacker Dylan Zylstra was virtually unstoppable all night, leading a defensive performance that allowed just 71 total yards of offense (70 of which came in the fourth quarter, when the game was essentially decided).
Meanwhile, Kent-Meridian dropped a heartbreaker to Auburn Riverside, but had several really impressive performances to talk about. I mentioned K-M running back B.J. Arceneaux in the preseason preview as one to watch and he showed why Friday night, rushing for more than 200 yards in his varsity debut.
As for Friday night’s stars, here they are (in no particular order):
1) Arceneaux was the man. After seeing him on the track in spring, I was left to imagine what he could do on the football field. Friday night, I found out as he rushed for 208 yards and three touchdowns (65, 84 and 15-yards) on 17 carries. Nice night, young man.
2) Sure, K-M lost, but as I said, many good performances here. David Jones, K-M’s junior quarterback with speed to burn, rushed for 221 yards and a touchdown (81 yards) on 25 carries. Jones also passed for 82 yards, giving him 303 total yards. I haven’t seen anyone go for more than 300 all-purpose yards since Tahoma’s David Bentrott did it in 2006.
3) As I mentioned, Zylstra was unstoppable on defense. In leading Kentridge past Kentlake 34-7, he managed two sacks and four tackles for a loss.
4) Kentridge’s Axl Snure. Kentlake passed the ball 12 times against the Chargers, two of which landed in the hands of Snure.
5) Overshadowed by KR’s defense was a solid performance from Kentlake wide receiver Austin Pernell, who proved to be the Falcons’ bright spot. Pernell finished with four receptions, including a touchdown, for 80 yards.
6) Auburn Riverside quarterback John Hakala showed the Ravens have an aerial attack worth watching as he completed 13 of 30 passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns.
7) Last but not least, I have to give a nod to the Auburn Riverside coaching staff, which decided to go for the 2-point conversion when the Ravens were trailing K-M 29-28 in overtime. It was a gutsy move that led to Cameron Grad’s game-winning run.
I’m sure there were some big performances that I missed. Such is life when you’re a sports staff of one. That said, feel free to chime in with those I missed.
I’m heading out to Kentlake-Kentridge here in the next 30 minutes or so. Log on around 11 p.m. tonight and I should have a game story up on our site and some random game notes on the blog, including a couple stars of the night. In addition, you can follow Kent Valley Sports on Twitter (kent_sports).
I spent Thursday night at French Field watching the season opener between Kentwood and Central Kitsap. In all honesty, I went into the game not expecting too much since it didn’t count in the standings and, after all, it was the season opener when every team has some rust to knock off.
I was, however, pleasantly surprised.
Kentwood beat CK 39-27. Despite allowing 27 points, Kentwood’s defense looked great. It only allowed 7 first downs and pressured CK quarterback Brett McDonald all night. Kentwood junior linebacker Dalton Blackmore (the younger brother of Hunter) gets the nod for the hit of the game, blindsiding McDonald with a hit I felt in the press box.
Other standout nights included:
1) KW quarterback Tristan Askew, who went for 172 yards of total offense, 80 in the air on one pass and 92 more on the ground. This kid has some wheels (he’s one of the school’s elite tracksters after all) and is slippery in the pocket.
2) KW quarterback Shane Green. He led the JV team to a 9-0 record last year and showed why Thursday night, completing 7 of 10 passes for 78 yards and one touchdown. What impressed me the most, however, was how calm Green was in the pocket, something that came in handy on a 48-yard strike to Allain Songco with less than a minute to play. The touchdown pass won the game.
3) Last but not least, Songco enjoyed a fantastic game. The kid has great hands and caught 4 passes for 141 yards. As if that wasn’t enough, he also threw one touchdown, a 25-yard score to Mike Roy.
If you were at the game, I’d love to hear what you think, especially with KW’s quarterback situation as both were impressive.
I’ll be at KR-KL on Friday night. Should be fun.
After a long summer that ended in a teachers’ strike, the prep season is upon us! This week’s football Game of the Week? Kentlake vs. Kentridge, Friday night at 7 p.m. at French Field. Both teams have high hopes this season. This will be the first chance to get a glimpse of KR’s new I-formation offense, which is expected to focus on the running game of Devin Topps and Alex Tyson. This game also will be a good opportunity to get a look at KL’s offensive line, which should be one of the best in the SPSL North this year. In addition, it will be the debut of sophomore running back Latrel Dukes, who has impressed coach Mike Shepard in the preseason.
It should be a good game.
I’ll be at KW-Central Kitsap Thursday night. The game doesn’t have any impact on the standings, but it’s always nice to see the first game of the year. The game is slated for 7 p.m., Thursday at French Field.