Spring sports help put Beamer on the map

Todd Beamer High School has arrived.

Sure the school has been around for almost two years and it will be holding its first graduation Tuesday inside the Tacoma Dome. But, outside of the Federal Way area, the name Todd Beamer is still associated with the 9/11 tragedy and the catch phrase “Let’s Roll.”

Things have changed, thanks to an ultra-impressive spring sports season on the school’s Federal Way campus.

Whether it’s good or not, a college or a high school basically makes a name for itself through its sports programs.

Football is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Notre Dame and North Carolina will forever be thought of as a basketball factory. At the high-school level in Washington, South Kitsap is the Notre Dame on the gridiron and basketball pops into your head when you hear Rainier Beach.

Beamer is now on the map, thanks to the on-field exploits of the Titan baseball team, the boys soccer squad and the doubles tennis team of Megan Havili and Judy Liening. All three won championships during the spring.

The baseball team, as well as Havili and Liening, rolled to overall league championships in the 20-team SPSL and the Beamer soccer team tied for the SPSL South title with Decatur with a 7-1-1 record.

“It’s been a pretty good spring at Todd Beamer,” said athletic director Jerry Peterson, who also serves as the head baseball coach for the Titans.

There were many similarities between the Beamer baseball and soccer teams.

Other than just having good players, both teams received gobs of experience last year in the school’s inaugural season in the SPSL.

The Beamer baseball team struggled to a 4-14 record, but competed in the rugged SPSL South with a roster full of freshmen and sophomores — something that paid off this year.

The Titan soccer team actually entered the 2005 season as a title contender in the SPSL South despite having only two seniors on its roster. Beamer finished up in fourth place in the South last year and won a game at the SPSL Tournament before being knocked out of the postseason by eventual state-champion Bellarmine in overtime in one of the better soccer games of the season.

But the baseball and soccer teams at Beamer did take the same approach entering the 2005 season.

Both played a tough preseason schedule in preparation for the season. The baseball team took on the defending SPSL champion Auburn Trojans in their opener — a 6-2 loss. The soccer team had it even tougher. The Titans took on four eventual playoff teams during their six-match preseason — Jefferson, Curtis, Decatur and Bellarmine. Beamer downed Bellarmine, the defending state and national champions, 3-2, to end the Tacoma school’s 26-game unbeaten streak April 13.

“Our schedule was great this year, we had the opportunity to play some of the best teams in the state,” head coach Adam Kulaas said. “The game with Bellarmine gave them confidence and the improvements from last year were noticable to the team.”

Havili and Liening also had a little taste of what it takes to be successful in the postseason. The pair finished fourth at last year’s Class 4A State Tennis Championships and rolled to a runner-up finish at this year's tournament in Spokane.

The pair lost in the finals at both state and districts to the defending state champions, Alita Fisher and Katie Kennel of Bellarmine.

Beamer was also represented at the state track and field championships in Pasco. Freshman Jordyn Woodke (triple jump) and the boys 4x100 relay team were the first-ever track qualifiers for the Titans.

Todd Beamer High School sports have definitely arrived.

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565,

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