PREP NOTEBOOK: Mariner names Krier its head wrestling coach

Other than sprinkling in more running drills at practice, Mariner High School’s new wrestling coach, Matt Krier, plans to keep doing what’s worked so well for the Marauders.

Krier accepted an offer to become Mariner’s head coach on Oct. 5. He was an assistant coach the past six seasons under former Mariner coach Otto Olson, who resigned in August and took an assistant coaching job with Kamiak in September.

“I’m just excited to get my feet wet,” said Krier, a first-time high school head coach, “and I obviously had a good role model for the last six years. I feel pretty fortunate that (Olson) chose me to be his assistant six years ago, and I learned a whole bunch.”

A 2001 graduate of Cascade High, Krier wrestled and also ran cross country and track for the Bruins. In addition to the Mariner job, Krier is in his fourth year as Voyager Middle School’s head wrestling coach.

“He brings a lot of enthusiasm for (wrestling), a lot of passion for it,” Mariner athletic director Scott Powers said.

Mariner should have a strong team this winter, Krier said. The Marauders lost just three starters from their 2008 starting lineup.

Kane commits to Gonzaga baseball

Tyler Kane, a senior at Archbishop Murphy High School, verbally committed Oct. 6 to play baseball for Gonzaga University. The pitcher/infielder also received a scholarship offer from Indiana University but said he prefers Gonzaga’s small, private-school environment. Recruited to pitch, Kane was a 2A all-state second-team infielder and a Herald All-Area second-team third baseman this past spring. He hit seven home runs.

Jackson’s cross country dominance

Jackson High School’s boys cross country team earned a sweep (Timberwolves runners placed first through fifth) and tallied a perfect score (15 points) Saturday at the Wesco South championships.

But there’s more.

Five other Jackson runners finished among the top 23 individuals: Nick Schonewald (eighth), Chris Knakal (11th), Nick Calacat (13th), Matt Sherk (16th) and Grant Grosvenor (23rd). That’s right, 10 of the top 23 finishers in the race were from Jackson. The T-wolves also swept the top six places in the South junior-varsity race.

Jackson and other local teams will compete in the Northwest District Championships on Saturday at South Whidbey High in Langley.

M-P alum leads Grace Academy revival

Last year the Grace Academy volleyball team was winless in 15 matches. It lost 44 games and won just six. But under the guidance of first-year head coach Melissa Thompson, Grace Academy has turned things around. Going into its final Northwest 1B League match tonight, Grace Academy is 7-4 in league (7-8 overall) and has clinched a Tri-District playoff berth. Coach Thompson — a 2005 graduate of Marysville-Pilchuck High who played volleyball at Robert Morris University — is the key to it all, according to Grace Academy athletic director Jonathan Sarr.

“She pushed the girls very hard and has helped them to actualize their potential, as they keep getting better and are peaking at the right time,” Sarr wrote in an e-mail. “We’ve won more games this year than in the previous five years combined.”

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