WTL: What The League?

Reporter, Noelle Misterek, gives information on the recent league change.

Noelle Misterek

Reporter, Noelle Misterek, gives information on the recent league change.

Noelle Misterek, Sports Editor

Untitled designThe time that high school students in Gig Harbor have been excitedly anticipating, or perhaps dreading, has finally come. Gig Harbor High School has chosen not to stay in the 4A league, but to move down to 3A, meaning that Peninsula and Gig Harbor will be more that non-league rivals from now on. Starting next year, these long time cross-town rivals will be facing off in every sport, and the outcomes will finally count for real. Although this new arrangement may be a little daunting for Peninsula (since Gig Harbor High excels in nearly every sport) athletes and coaches seem excited to prove their skills and to make this season count.

Not only will the Tides and Seahawks finally be in a league together, our entire current league will change next season. Ross Filkins, PHS football coach and athletic director, said that in his 20 years at the school, PHS has been in its current South Puget Sound league for longer than any other. Students and coaches alike are psyched just to have any type of change.

“I’m very excited,” said Filkins. “With the new league comes new challenges and new opportunities, and so it’s very exciting. And we have history with every single one of these teams at some point in our past.”

The new league will consist of Peninsula, Gig Harbor, Central Kitsap, Shelton, North Thurston, Timberline, Yelm, and Capital.

These are all skilled teams; there isn’t one that has a low performance record. Filkins agrees, stating that “there are going to be strong programs all throughout the league.”

Though all of these teams will be tough competitors, everyone is most eager to compete against the Gig Harbor Tides for real. The Fishbowl rivalry game has always been one of the most popular events for high school students in Gig Harbor’s small community. Now, it will just be an opener for a whole season of contest between the Seahawks and the Tides.

In terms of football, the Seahawks are not at all afraid to take on the new competition. Junior at Peninsula and varsity football player Matt Carter said confidently, “It’ll be great to have [the Tides] in our league because now we can beat them outright and put a loss on their record”.

Travel time will be a bit longer with this new league, but no one is complaining. Everyone is choosing to focus on the positives; for example, the bus rides will provide more time for team bonding. “For us having to be on a bus for 45-50 minutes, most leagues in the state would love to have that,” said Filkins

The league is completely transformed, but the coaches’ and athletes’ determination and goals aren’t wavering.

“We want to come out and really dominate the other teams and show them that we are going to be the league leader”, said Carter.

Peninsula’s sports have been successful in the past, but this brand-new league gives the school a fresh opportunity to both prove its skills and determination to a greater variety of teams and become a force to be reckoned with all across the Puget Sound.

Filkins plainly states Peninsula’s goals with optimism: “Onward and upward, we are always open minded and looking to improve”.