The COVID-19 pandemic that effectively postponed sports seasons for half of 2020 made for a busy (and somewhat chaotic) 2021, particularly on the local prep sports scene.
High school athletes wound up playing — in order — fall, spring and winter seasons, albeit shortened and without postseasons, in the first half of the year, before enjoying full fall and (so far) 2021-2022 winter seasons.
Athletes were allowed back on the fields, gyms and in the pool with varying levels of COVID-related guidelines and precautions, including masking, social distancing and cancellation of some games.
Here are some of the highlights from the past year in sports:
• Leader of the pack
She still has a track season to go, but Sequim High senior Riley Pyeatt continued to make her mark among the school’s best runners in 2021. She started the year with a runner-up finish at the 2020-2021 Olympic League cross country meet, then racked up four league titles (100, 400, 800, 4×400 re;ay) in the 2021 track and field season. She capped the year with league and district meet championships and a fifth-place finish in the 2021 state 2A cross country meet in Pasco.
Cross country teammates Kaitlin Bloomenrader and Colby Ellefson showed the SHS cross country program is in good stead; both sophomores earned state meet berths.
• Making a racket
Without district and state titles to play for, Sequim High’s girls tennis team made the most of their 2021 season: senior Kalli Wiker dominated singles play during the regular season and league tourney (14-0), while senior-sophomore sister combo McKenna and Kendall Hastings did the same in doubles regular season and league tourney play (14-0); the Wolves went 10-0 as a team.
Garrett Little dominated play of the tennis courts in his freshman and sophomore seasons. As a ninth-grader, Little went undefeated (13-0) and took the Olympic League singles title. A couple of months later, Little repeated as league champ and took second at the district tourney, finishing the year with a 32-1 record; he’ll vie for a state 2A title in May.
• Races return
The five-event 2021 Run the Peninsula series was held as planned, with some COVID restrictions. In June, Sequim High grad Mikey Cobb switched from the full marathon to win the North Olympic Discovery Half Marathon in 1:10.49. Race planner Victoria Jones also earned Washington State Event Organizer of the Year.
• Hardcourt success
Sequim High’s girls basketball squad made the most of its shortened 2020-2021 season, going 11-2 — their only losses came to Port Angeles in the regular season and in the regional final. Among the Wolves’ 11 wins were a 68-8 win over Klahowya.
• Loss of the Superfan
Myron Teterud, Sequim’s own “Superfan,” dies on April 29 at age 81. He was known by prep athletes and community members for his decades-long passionate support for Sequim High sports and other community events. The Sequim Alumni Association for much of the year petitioned the Sequim School District to name the SHS athletic field on West Fir Street for him. By the end of the year, school board directors had agreed to address a policy regarding the naming of facilities sometime in 2022.
• Rainshadow Rumble winners
Sequim’s football squad started the year with an odd, five-game 2020-2021 season that saw the Wolves best bigger schools (Bainbridge, South Kitsap, Central Kitsap) but fall to fellow 2A schools (North Kitsap, Olympic). Missing out on a chance to play their rivals earlier in the year, Sequim edged Port Angeles 17-12 in the “regular” 2021 fall season, and added a thrilling, last-minute, one-point win over North Mason.
• Knapp gets honors
Locals and family members honored the memory of long-time youth sports advocate Don Knapp — who died in November 2020 — with a special event at Sequim Little League’s fields on April 11. The league created a special postseason sportsmanship award in Knapp’s honor. Mia Kirner and Bryant Laboy are awarded the inaugural honors.
• Coaching shifts
SHS’s girls basketball and girls soccer teams saw successful leaders step down: Linsay Rapelje, who in her second stint as Wolves’ coach led them to a state tourney appearance (2018-2019), left the program — succeeded by assistant Joclin Julmist — while Derek Vander Velde, who led SHS’s girls soccer squad to its first-ever state berth in 2018, resigned. Ken Garling took the reigns and led SHS to an 11-6 mark and district tournament berth in 2021, missing a state appearance by just one win.
• On goal
Spearheading the SHS girls soccer team’s offense in the fall were sophomore Taryn Johnson and senior Hannah Wagner. Johnson racked up 24 goals and eight assists while Wagner chipped in 19 goals and 12 assists.
The Wolves’ boys team in March and April earn an impressive 9-3 mark, falling in the Olympic League final to 3A power Bainbridge. Senior Eli Gish lead the team with 16 goals on the season.
• College soccer stars
Peninsula College’s women’s soccer team posted another impossibly grand season, winning the NWAC title on Nov. 14 and earning a No. 1 national ranking by season’s end. The PC men — defending NWAC champs — are upset by Rogue CC in the quarterfinals and finish 15-1-1.
In September, the college inducted four historic soccer teams (2012 and 2013 men’s and women’s teams) along with longtime hoops backer Bill Peterson into the Pirate Hall of Fame.
• Net gains
Sequim High School’s volleyball squad posted a strong shortened 2020-2021 season with a 10-3 mark and follows that with 13 wins and a state 2A tourney berth later in the year. Kendall Hastings earned two all-Olympic League first team nominations.
• Fairways and greens
Sequim High’s boys golf squad showed its significant depth, winning the 12-team Olympic League tourney in late April. Ben Sweet tied for second place overall with a 1-over-par 73. Sequim’s girls place fourth at the league final.