This past week athletes who compete in spring sports reported for their first day of practice.
It sure doesn’t feel like spring, considering the downpour of rain and frigid temperatures that have blanketed the east Pierce County region during the past two weeks.
The Cascade Christian Cougars boys basketball team has advanced to the 1A state tourney, but other than that, it’s on to baseball, fastpitch, track and field, tennis, water polo, boys soccer and golf for the next three months.
The Puyallup Vikings baseball team, which finished 22-3 last season, recently was ranked No. 21 in the nation by the Collegiate Baseball National High School preseason poll and will be one of the favorites to win the Class 4A state championship this spring.
The Vikings will return their entire starting lineup this season. Following last year’s 3-0 loss to the Heritage Timberwolves in the state-regional round, Puyallup head coach Marc Wiese said his team has the talent to earn the first state baseball title in school history.
“I told the guys that I have been at Puyallup for 18 years, and we’ve got to win this thing (state championship) for everybody in the history of the program,” he said last May. “It’s right there in front of us for the next few years. We have to continue to get better, no question about it, but we will keep working. I know we’re on the right track, and we’ll get there.”
The state championship game is close to three months away, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Puyallup plays in it when the time comes.
In track and field, Rogers senior Eric Simpson will strive to repeat as a state champion in the 110-meter hurdles. Simpson finished the race in 14.35 seconds last May.
Simpson’s victory was the first individual state title for a member of the Rogers boys track program since 2001.
Simpson hasn’t rest on his laurels during the past nine months. He was a regular at the weekly Pierce County Parks and Recreation track meets at Sparks Stadium last summer.
“After the track season, I took about a week and a half off,” Simpson said last July. “Right after that, I started getting back do doing drills and doing my workouts again.”
The fact Simpson took just 10 days off before he began to train again speaks volumes about his work ethic.
That kind of attention to detail will pay off for Simpson this season.
Sports Editor Shaun Scott can be reached at 253-552-7002 or by email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter, @herald_shaun.