02-18-12: Student athletes claim nine league titles
02-18-12: Student athletes claim nine league titles

Student athletes dominated the fall sports season by clinching nine out of 10 South Puget Sound League (SPSL) South Division championships.

“Winning 90 percent of the titles against all of the teams in the south Puget Sound is remarkable,” said Rick Wells, director of athletics, health, and fitness.

Wells shared an overview of the fall sports season, including Coach of the Year honors, academic recognitions, and sportsmanship awards, at the December Puyallup School Board meeting.

“Congratulations are in order for all of our fall athletes, coaches, and schools — not only for their achievements and accomplishments, but also for the perseverance and hard work it takes to complete the season successfully,” Wells said.

League champions

Wells gave special recognition to Puyallup High School, which won five of the nine SPSL South championships. Equally as impressive, he said, is the collective win/loss record for those five sports teams: 42 wins and one loss in the regular season.

The Vikings won the SPSL title in girls swim and dive with an 8-1 record. Boys golf, girls and boys cross country, and volleyball also topped the league standings with undefeated records.

Puyallup High School’s volleyball team went on to win fifth place in the Class 4A state final tournament. The school’s boys varsity cross country team placed seventh in state, the water polo team placed eighth, and the boys golf team won the SPSL league medalist team title.

Rogers High shared the SPSL championship title in girls golf with Emerald Ridge High. The Rams also were co-champions in boys water polo in the South Sound West Division. The water polo team went on to take sixth place at the state tournament.

The Emerald Ridge High tennis team also topped the league with a 9-1 record.

Several golfers and tennis players from all three high schools will advance this spring to state tournaments.

Academic and sportsmanship awards

Students excelled academically, in addition to athletically.

Ten Puyallup teams received the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association’s “Outstanding Academic Team Award” for having earned at least a 3.5 grade point average.

They include: Emerald Ridge High girls cross country, girls swim and dive, boys tennis, and volleyball; Puyallup High boys tennis and girls swim and dive; and Rogers High volleyball, boys Tennis, girls golf, and girls cross country.

Sportsmanship awards were handed out this year to the Puyallup and Rogers high school girls swim and dive teams.

Coach of the Year

The South Puget Sound League (SPSL) South Division named two coaches of the year in Puyallup. The coaches, recognized by their peers in the league in a vote taken at the end of the season, are Puyallup High volleyball coach Tony Batinovich and Emerald Ridge High boys tennis coach Theresa Gotter.

This is the third consecutive year that Gotter has won the boys tennis Coach of the Year award. She also won once as a girls tennis coach.

This is Batinovich’s fourth Coach of the Year award for volleyball. He has also received the honor multiple times as a fast pitch coach.