The Newport Knights boys water polo team may have not had a winning record during the 2017 season but they put together a respectable year nonetheless.
The Knights, who went 1-2 at the 2017 Puget Sound Water Polo regional tournament, were knocked out of postseason play courtesy of a 13-9 loss to the Bellevue Wolverines on Nov. 4 at Rogers High School in Puyallup. The Knights defeated Emerald Ridge 16-4 but suffered a 19-3 defeat to the Curtis Vikings and the four-goal loss to the Wolverines. Newport head coach Farrah Kunkel who is in her seventh year as the Knights head coach, said the program made significant strides in the pool in 2017.
“We didn’t have a winning season but we did get some significant wins against teams that we haven’t beat in a while. We beat Roosevelt and that was a really good win. We also beat Shorewood and that was the team that knocked us out of the playoffs last year,” Kunkel said. “We beat them to lock in our berth at regionals.”
Kunkel said the finality of the final loss of the season to Bellevue was something on all of the players minds as they exited the pool for the final time.
“As a group we were pretty upset but we were able to keep it together. We had a little meeting afterwards and talked about the journey of life and the ups and downs. We showed a lot of character and bounced back from disappointments this year,” she said.
Kunkel said the Knights’ team leader in the pool this season was Ben Golan.
“Ben was an amazing captain with an amazing work ethic. We had some really strong leadership that helped the younger kids on the team learn the game,” Kunkel said.