Ed Shepherd
Kyle Mack getting ahold of the shirt of Devonte Watley in a tackling drill of a recent Wildcats Junior Football practice. Coach Joel Gaither, in red shirt, watching the play.

SLIDESHOW: West Seattle Juniors ready to roll; Football season brings lots of expectations

Jamboree is set for Aug. 23

By Ed Shepherd

It's time !
Time for players to slap on the shoulder pads, throw on the jersey, fit on the helmet and lace up the cleats. It's time for West Seattle Wildcats Junior League football.

Only practices so far, as the jamboree is still to come on Saturday Aug. 23, but these players for the six divisions, from the six and seven year old youngest level, 76ers, to the oldest, 14 year old Seniors, are making the most of practice time right now.

And coaches are ready,too, prepared well to take on this task, having to spend time before practice even begins -- in early August -- learning how to coach in the junior football league.

"Coaches have to take the USA Heads Up Football online testing, learning things like hydration, equipment fitting, proper tackling, and also receive certification from a coaches clinic that takes a half-day, too," said Joel Gaither, who coaches the Bantams and Juniors, 10 to 13 year olds, for those two divisions.

More ›

SportsWatch 8-12-14

Week of Aug. 13-20
High schools
Tryouts for high school football will open across the state on Wednesday, Aug. 20.
Contact the respective schools for more information.
Tryouts for all other fall sports begin Monday, Aug. 25.

Junior football
Practices are continuing for area junior football teams this week.
They begin at 5 p.m. each weeknight at Hiawatha for the West Seattle Wildcats and at 5:30 p.m. at the Southwest Athletic Complex for the SWAC Cougars.
The Burien Bearcats begin at 5:30 p.m. at the old Glacier High School field and the Pacific Highway Chargers start at 6 p.m. each night at Chinook Middle School.

Tukwila will host a professional sports event Wednesday as the Seattle Sounders of Major League Soccer entertain Chicago in a 7:30 p.m. match at the Starfire complex. The Sounders train regularly at the site but usually play their matches at CenturyLink Field.
Seattle drops in on Salt Lake for an 11:30 a.m. match Saturday that can be seen on NBC Sports and hosts San Jose next Wednesday at CenturyLink on JOEtv.

More ›
Ed Shepherd
Hannah Tittel of Arbor Heights getting ready to spring off the blocks for the start of the girls 13-14 50 yard breaststroke final at All City. She took fourth place overall, and, was the only swimmer from the Southern Division seven teams to make the final in the event.

Arbor Heights Swim finishes 15th in All City meet

By Ed Shepherd

Although not finishing high overall as a team, there were still some good swims which buoyed Arbor Heights' Otters to some top three finishes at the All City Championships for the Seattle Summer Swim League at Gregory Seahurst's pool on Tuesday.

"It gets competitive at this level, but we are getting there," said Arbor Heights head coach Chris Veraya, whose team finished 15th among the 16 teams competing from the Northern and Southern SSSL Divisions at All City.

Veraya looked past that, just noting, "We're looking forward to more kids in there next summer and we are going to go for one of those trophies."
The top six teams get a trophy at All City.

Veraya's emphasis was on the team's regular season of dual meets which was one of the best finishes of any of the SSSL Southern Division teams, spanning from Federal Way to Normandy Park to Kent and Renton.

"We came off a great 5-2 season," said Veraya.

More ›