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Local teams on top of the SPSL in all sports
" It's the halfway point of the South Puget Sound League spring sports season and a team from Federal Way is in first place in every sport. Teams battling for a post-season berth have three more weeks until the playoffs start, while the teams on top try to retain their positions. Fastpitch The Federal Way girls fastpitch team is blistering the SPSL, off to an 8-0 start. The team finished strong last year, so we're picking up where we left off, Federal Way coach Mark Cole said. The Eagles' most recent win came Friday in a 14-0 route of Curtis. We have to keep playing as well as we have been, Cole said. We need to put the focus into our game and realize all the teams are going to be coming for us. They're going to play their best games and we have to be ready. Jefferson is still in the hunt for a playoff spot with a 6-2 record, its only losses coming to Federal Way and Emerald Ridge. It's nice to go into the second half having played some good teams and some good ball, Jefferson coach Kevin Hanis said. Decatur is 0-7, but looking to get another shot at the teams it lost to the first time around. They have eight games left. We owe them all, coach Greg Flynn said. Decatur started without any experienced pitchers, but has developed players in the early part of this season, Flynn said. Baseball The Eagles baseball team may have snuck up on some teams earlier this season, but with an 8-0 record on the line, players will be marked men the rest of the year. We've gotten everybody's attention by now, Federal Way coach Eric Fiedler said. We'll see everyone's No. 1 pitchers the second half of the season. That's what we expect and that's what we hope for. It took the team nine innings before beating Puyallup 7-2 on Saturday. Nick Batkoski hit a double to score the go-ahead RBI. It's not the winning, but how we are winning that makes me happy, Fiedler said. We gave up a run in the bottom of the seventh inning, which could have been mentally draining, but our players stayed tough. While the Eagles look to stay on top, Jefferson is tied for third place with Rogers with a 5-3 record. We need some key hits and clutch pitching to come through, and we'll be better off the second half of the season, Jefferson coach Chad Fahnlander said. Jefferson pitcher Tony Barnette is out to a 3-0 start in league with a 1.05 ERA, having only allowed three earned runs so far this year. Johnny Wolf is hitting .450. Decatur is looking to improve on its 4-4 record. Two one-run games that ended up being losses could have been wins for the Gators, which would have put the team in second place. Soccer After Friday's 4-2 win over Rogers, the Decatur boys soccer team is rolling with a 7-0-1 record. There's only one game we really want to win - the state championship - and the rest are practice for the ultimate goal, Decatur coach Jim McAlister said. With the playoffs looming, Decatur's toughest competition might be in its own back yard. Federal Way played us harder than any team we've played, McAlister said. The Eagles, led by Kevin Popich, are 3-3-3 and in fourth place. They tied Jefferson last week for the second time of the year. Jefferson is 2-4-4 and getting solid scoring from sophomore Chris Henry. Girls tennis The Decatur tennis team is 7-0 after overcoming previously undefeated Rogers last week. Top Gator performers include Sirrah Williams, Joanna Rice, Becca Camarda and Monica Loera-Sanchez. Jefferson is in third place at 6-2, led by strong doubles team of Katie Shultz and Janice Jung, whose only loss this year came to Decatur. Federal Way is 0-4, but senior January Chay is attempting a return to state. Boys track With a solid core of six athletes, the Federal Way boys track team has sprinted out to a 4-0 record. The team is anchored by defending state champion Jon Manthey in the 800, and is also receiving strong performances from Rian Barta, Germaine Pugh, Mustafa Scott, Brandon Keeler and Tui Avaava. Decatur is 0-4 in the league, but should have a few individuals qualify for state. Our team is going to be a lot better toward the end of the season than the beginning, Decatur coach Colby Rogers said. We're young and developing and growing as the season goes on. Distance runners Chris Williams and Marco Bocatto are putting up solid times in the mile and 2-mile races while shotputter Steve Herlocker has thrown more than 51 feet. We're getting lots of personal records, Decatur distance coach Heather Kreier said. Ryan Yelle gets a PR in every single meet. Even though numbers are small, the kids are doing quality work and that's what makes it exciting to coach. The Jefferson boys are led by Omari Gildon and Kamarr Evans in the sprints and relays. Girls track Not only does the Federal Way girls track team have a 4-0 record this season, but the team hasn't lost in its past 19 dual meets. Individually, Eagle sophomore Ashley Pugh is undefeated this year in sprints. While Decatur and Jefferson are both 0-4, they have a number of strong individuals. I'm really happy with the effort I'm getting out of the women, Decatur coach Heather Kreier said. We're in the competitive training mode right now and the girls are stepping up to the plate. Decatur sophomore Gayle Imran is state bound in the sprints while Jefferson is led by junior Danielle Freeman. "