By Mike Cane Herald Writer
One way or another, Briana Knight was going to coach softball this spring. But a change of plans means she will be the head honcho, not the junior-varsity coach.
This month Knight was hired as head coach of the Mountlake Terrace High School softball team. She replaces Kim Stewart, who resigned this past spring after guiding Mountlake Terrace to the Class 4A state championship game.
“She has a great knowledge for the game and she has a lot of passion for the game,” Stewart said of Knight, a 2004 Mountlake Terrace graduate who was an all-league first team second baseman for the Hawks.
Knight, who played softball at East Tennessee State University, is a first-time head coach. She was a volunteer coach for Terrace last season.
Knight was going to be Terrace’s JV coach in 2010 but the woman originally hired to be the team’s new head coach backed out. Sarah Ripperger was hired in early November but then was accepted to veterinary school in Grenada and decided to give up the coaching job, Stewart said. As a result, Knight was elevated to head coach.
Knight, coached by Stewart when she played for Terrace, already has a great relationship with Hawks players. After guiding Terrace’s softball program for 14 years, Stewart said he feels good about handing the reigns to someone who is closely connected to the team.
Lake Stevens wrestlers No. 1 in 4A
The local squad with the best chance to snare a state team title this winter might be the always dangerous Lake Stevens Vikings. Coached by Brent Barnes, Lake Stevens is No. 1 in the Washington Wrestling Report Class 4A preseason team rankings. The Vikings seek their fourth straight team crown after placing first at Mat Classic in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Three Lake Stevens wrestlers are ranked No. 1 in their respective weight classes: Senior Josh Heinzer (119 pounds), sophomore Steven Walkley (135 pounds) and senior Jacob Anderson (145 pounds). Heinzer is a two-time individual state champion.
To see complete rankings, go to www.washingtonwrestlingreport.com.
Big hoops matchups this week
The boys and girls basketball seasons are off and running. Here are some of the week’s must-see games.
- Boys basketball: Beamer at Snohomish, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Snohomish High. Picked to finish third in The Herald’s Wesco North preseason coaches’ poll, Snohomish will be seriously tested by Todd Beamer of Federal Way, ranked No. 3 in the state (Tacoma News Tribune). Kevin Davis, a 6-foot-8 center who averaged 16.3 points and 15.3 rebounds last season, leads Beamer.
- Boys basketball: Meadowdale at Stanwood, 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Stanwood High. Coming off a season-opening loss against 3A No. 9 Seattle Prep, 4A Stanwood gets another tough non-league test versus 3A No. 8 Meadowdale. In The Herald’s preseason coaches’ polls, Stanwood is second in the Wesco North, Meadowdale third in the South.
- Girls basketball: Lake Stevens at Jackson, 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Jackson High. The favorites in the North and South, according to local coaches, will clash in what could be a preview of the 2010 4A District 1 championship. Ranked No. 8 in 4A, Jackson returns everyone from its 2009 squad that advanced to state.
Mike Cane: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out the prep sports blog Double Team at www.heraldnet.com/doubleteam.