Classifieds | Place a class ad | PDF Edition | Home Delivery
By SPENCER GLEASON
Daily News Sports Editor
The Ketchikan Lady Kings have some unfinished business.
After nearly picking off the two-time defending state championship Thunder Mountain High School Lady Falcons in the state title game last season, the Lady Kings are itching to get back on the field.
It’s been 10 years since the Lady Kings last won a state title — when head coach Kathleen Reno was a senior at Kayhi.
And with the majority of last year’s team returning — along with an influx of freshmen — the Lady Kings will begin this year’s journey this week in Las Vegas.
“We’re looking good; we’ve got a lot of potential,” Reno said. “We’re just cleaning up (some) rusty parts, and addressing those little things that need to be fixed. And we’re going to keep improving. ... It’s very beneficial that we only lost a couple players. So we can advance from where we left off last year.”
Kayhi will start its season in Nevada, as part of a 12-team tournament. Ball clubs from the hosting state, as well as California and Washington, will be participating.
Kayhi will play a double-header on Monday and Tuesday.
The outcome of those pool play games will decide Wednesday’s start time.
First pitch on Monday is slated for 9 a.m. against Foothill High School, from California. Kayhi will play Pahrump High School, from Nevada, at 11 a.m. on Monday.
Games will be broadcast locally on KGTW 106.7.
“Those teams play (so many more) games a season,” Reno said. “It’s always nice to see (different teams) that get a lot of reps, and a lot of practice.”
The Lady Kings graduated two seniors from last year’s second-place team. This year, Kayhi’s roster will list four seniors, six juniors, six sophomores and nine freshmen.
Kayhi will be without senior Payton Simmons, who tore her ACL during basketball season. But the Lady Kings added Lianne Guevarra, who wasn’t part of last year’s squad.
Guevarra is one of at least eight pitchers Kayhi has on its roster.
“It’ll be nice to add her to our pitching staff,” Kayhi co-coach Wendall Pahang said.
Pahang is part of Kayhi’s five-person coaching staff that has been together for three years.
“I think it helps when we’ve all had experience playing,” Reno said. “Kalea (Chapman) and I share our experiences. We both won state titles.”
Both Reno and Chapman pitched. Pahang played second base and shortstop, and spent some time on the mound. And all five coaches bring their area of expertise.
“I see a lot of options with our team,” Pahang said. “We have a couple new pitchers on our roster, so it gives us more options there — and same with our offense. I think offensively we’ll be good.”
Monday’s forecast in Las Vegas will be favorable for hitters. With sunny skies and game-time highs near 75 degrees, wind gusts could reach 20 mph.
Notes: Kayhi will host Thunder Mountain this Friday and Saturday for its home opening weekend.