Todd Beamer Titans ready for 2003-04 season


Sports editor

The Todd Beamer Titans athletic department now has everything intact –– except the kids who will be donning the blue, silver and green uniforms.

The new Federal Way high school, which is on schedule to open in the fall, recently announced the hiring of 20 head coaches and one athletic trainer.

“Our goal is to have a strong athletic program,” said Beamer athletic director Jerry Peterson. “I am really excited about our coaching staff. They all have strong backgrounds and experience.”

Now the titanic job of starting the Titans’ athletic program from the ground up will begin in the rugged South Puget Sound League. According to Peterson, the head coaching hiring process went as smooth as can be expected.

“We posted the positions in the middle of December and got some great candidates,” he said. “I am very happy that a large number of the coaches will be in the building (Beamer staff members). That is very important.”

Also important is the school’s nickname. Students who will be attending Beamer in the fall recently made nominations on what the school mascot should be. The overwhelming winner was the Titans. The second choice was the Patriots.

“I think a lot of people thought it would be the Patriots,” Peterson said, in reference to Todd Beamer’s role in bringing down the terrorist-hijacked airliner on Sept. 11, 2001. “I was kind of surprised by Titans, but it is a good name. There are not a lot of teams out there named Titans.”

The administration at Beamer has also picked the school’s colors: Navy blue, silver and forest-green. Artists are designing the school’s logo, according to Peterson.

The Titans will join the SPSL’s South Division, which includes the other three Federal Way high schools. Beamer’s entrance into the league will bump the South Division up to 10 schools and give the entire SPSL 19 members, including the North Division.

Talk has been circulating among athletic directors and administrators that the SPSL will have a different look in 2005. That is when three more high schools are scheduled to open in the Sumner, Auburn and Bethel school districts.

The addition of the three new schools, plus Beamer, will necessitate the SPSL to reorganize. Rumors have the Bleague dividing into three divisions – North, South and Central – at that point. But details are still being worked out, according to Peterson.

“Nobody really knows what is going to happen when those three schools come in,” he said. “But they are going to have to look at something different.”

Football will be the only sport at Beamer that won’t be competing in the SPSL. The Jeff Housman-coached Titans will be playing an independent schedule that will include no Class 4A schools. A preliminary schedule is currently being developed which includes R.A. Long, of Longview, Kalama, Meridian of Bellingham, Mt. Baker of Bellingham and Toppinish.

Not playing an SPSL football schedule is nothing new. The three newest members of the league, Auburn Riverside, Kentlake and Emerald Ridge, all completed a non-SPSL football season during their first year.

“That is just based on the recommendations from other athletic directors,” said Peterson. “We would be playing in one of the strongest leagues in the state with no seniors.”

“It was a good thing for us to do,” said Dell Dittus, the athletic director at Emerald Ridge, which entered the SPSL South three years ago. “it is just a little less intense playing against the 2A and 3A schools.”

Emerald Ridge finished their first football season with an 0-9 record, even against the lower-level competition.

“We had some kids that would have played JV, but not many,” Dittus said.

The football and varsity soccer teams will be playing their home games at Federal Way Memorial Field, but the rest of the sports will be calling the new facilities at Todd Beamer home. Work is almost completed on the all-weather surface track that surrounds a turf football/soccer field. The baseball and fastpitch fields have been completed since August and the main gym, the activities center, which will house gymnastics and wrestling, and a fitness center with a weight room are nearing completion.

“We are going to have first-class facilities,” said Peterson.

Dittus’ advice to the sports administrators at Beamer is simple – enjoy it.

“Not everybody gets a chance to create their own program,” he said. “It was nice to hire all my coaches and be able to establish something that will last awhile.”

Meet the Todd Beamer High School coaches


Missy Widmann Cheer

Carrie Boers Girl’s soccer

Tiffany Rutter Girl’s basketball

Brett Lucas Wrestling

Stuart Prince Fastpitch

David Hammond Boy’s golf

Jim Nilsen Girl’s golf

Jarrett Mentink Boy’s basketball

Scott Haines X-country/track

Jeff Richards Tennis

Adam Kulaas Boy’s soccer

Jerry Peterson Baseball

Jeff Housman Football

Bliss Carlson Volleyball

Sue Bergman Girl’s swimming

Al Alexander Boy’s swimming

Michelle Thompson Gymnastics

Juliann Davies/

Missy Widmann Dance

Jay Cardwell Girl’s track

Jim Dillon Athletic trainer

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