Hazen sports blaze through spring on the back of loaded baseball team

May 6, 2011

By Tim Pfarr

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Hazen High School’s baseball was red hot through April, going 7-2 during the month to finish its season with a 13-3 overall record and a 12-2 conference record.

The team was awaiting results from Lindbergh High School’s final two games May 4, which was after Newcastle News’ deadline, to find out if it would be crowned Seamount Champions for the year.

Hazen’s boys soccer team — now under the direction of coach Ken Matthews, the school’s girls soccer coach — went 2-3-1 in April, bringing its overall record to 5-6-1 and its conference record to 5-4-1. The Highlanders are third in the Seamount League behind Kennedy Catholic and Highline high schools.

Meanwhile, numerous athletes on the track and field team set new school records.

On the baseball diamond, Hazen outscored its opponents 95-26 in April. Thanks to that strong performance, the Highlanders clinched the Seamount 3A No. 1 seed heading into the postseason, which begins May 6 with a seeding round. Hazen will likely play Enumclaw High School in a battle for the top spot heading into the district tournament.

Although Lindbergh is still in contention for the Seamount League title, it will compete in the 2A playoffs.

A diverse group of athletes led the Highlanders through each game, baseball coach Gary Jacobs said.

“From one day to the next, we have a different group of guys that step up,” he said. “We have a big, strong, fast team that’s capable of scoring a lot of runs in a lot of different ways.”

Senior team captains Jeffrey Beckman (catcher, shortstop and pitcher) and Travis Johnson (third base and shortstop) have been impact players, as have junior Zach Kolterman (first baseman and pitcher) and junior Jimmy Schmidt (pitcher and outfielder).

On the soccer field, Hazen tied Kennedy Catholic at 0 and snatched games from Highline, 2-0, and Renton High School, 3-1, at the beginning of the month. At the end of the month, the team dropped three straight games, falling to Foster High School, 1-0; Highline, 1-0; and Kennedy Catholic, 4-0.

The team finished its season against Highline on May 5, also after the News’ deadline. With a win, the team would advance to the playoffs. Get results from the game at www.newcastle-news.com.

Matthews took over as coach April 7 after former coach Rich Gouk resigned. Matthews said the team has been playing well, but many shots haven’t fallen.

“If we ever get that ball in the net, we’re going to start scoring,” he said.

He said many shots on goal have bounced off the goal post.

“We’re very capable of doing it,” Matthews said about scoring. “When we lost to Highline, we outshot them 10-1.”

The team was further at a disadvantage for the final three games of the month when both of its goalkeepers were out with scheduling conflicts. Senior defender Alex Bailey and sophomore defender Eddie Timm volunteered to step into the goal box.

Senior midfielder Jonathan Bettencourt leads the team in scoring with four goals, and sophomore forward Samuel Bunnell and junior defender Frankie Johnson lead the team with three assists each. Bunnell also has three goals.

Although many shots haven’t fallen, Matthews said Bunnell and fellow midfielder Jordan Lewison, a junior, have been hard at work.

“They’re working their tails off to get that ball in the net,” he said

Matthews said he hopes to be the team’s permanent coach.

In track and field, Lloyd Byram set a new school record in the 3,200-meter with a time of 10 minutes, 18.64 seconds at the Eason Invitational at Snohomish High School on April 16.

Junior Sarah Schoville also set a school record in the 100-meter, 33-inch hurdles, recording a time of 16.50 seconds.

Keith Beasley, Travis Lily, Daniel Huie and Daniel Karpman also set a school record in the distance medley, which combines the 400-, 800-, 1,200- and 1,600-meter events. The group recorded a time of 11:19.88, beating the previous record by nearly 11 minutes.

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