Big turnout encourages Rainier’s new football coach

mwochnick@theolympian.comMarch 21, 2013 

Terry Shaw is five months away from his debut as a head football coach, but already, he’s seen a change in a program he’s inheriting at Rainier High School.

When the newly appointed football coach met with his prospective players at a meeting last week, the turnout he saw was encouraging: 44 students, up from the two dozen who finished the football season with a 1-8 overall record last fall. Naturally, Shaw is energized.

“It’s a good place to walk into right now,” said Shaw, 35. “They’re hungry for change and hungry for something new.”

Shaw, who is Timberline High School’s choir director, has had assistant coaching stints on the defensive side of the ball for the past decade at three programs — Timberline, Northwest Christian and, for the past two years, Olympia — and was waiting for the right opportunity to earn his first head coaching job.

And he thinks Rainier is it.

“I’ve wanted to do this for a while,” Shaw said. “It was a matter of finding a place that fit me.”

Though Shaw’s background is defense, he will be the Mountaineers’ offensive coordinator.

Shaw, a 1999 graduate of Pacific Lutheran University, will have some familiar faces on his staff, including longtime area coach Pete Fulton, former Northwest Christian assistant Jeremy Clark, former Yelm assistant Calvin Hicks and Kyle Stanley, the Rainier boys basketball coach.

For Shaw, his first order of business begins Sunday when he starts the team’s weight training program.

In addition to being Timberline’s choir director, he teaches one class of weight training. But one aspect he’s looking at changing is his players’ mental focus and changing the program’s attitude. So far, so good.

“If we do that,” Shaw said, “we start the process of winning.”

OLYMPIA GIRLS LOSE BASKETBALL COACH

Olympia High School girls basketball coach Rod Tripp has resigned after three seasons.

Tripp led the Bears to an 11-9 overall record and a fifth-place finish (5-7) in the 4A Narrows League with a starting lineup mainly consisting of freshmen and sophomores during the 2012-13 season.

Olympia’s best season under Tripp came in 2011-12, when the Bears qualified for the 4A regional — the furthest the Bears have gone in the playoffs since going to the 4A state tournament in 2003. The school hopes to name a new coach by early May.

NOTES

Shelton High School girls golfer Felisity Brush had a day to remember in the Highclimbers’ nonleague dual against Capital on Monday at the Olympia Country and Golf Club, making a hole-in-one. Using her driver, she aced the 78-yard, par-3 No. 2 hole. Capital won the match, 112-48. … The candidates for the vacant Black Hills football job are down to four finalists, and the school will hold a parent/supporter roundtable starting at 1 p.m. Friday at the school’s performing arts center. … Black Hills senior Hope Mortensen and W.F. West senior Jamika Parker will be the Class 2A squad for the state coaches association’s girls all-state games Saturday at Seattle Christian in SeaTac. Game times for all classifications are as follows: 1B vs. 2B game at 2 p.m., 1A vs. 2A game at 4 p.m. and 3A vs. 4A game at 6 p.m.

Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473 mwochnick@theolympian.com theolympian.com/southsoundsports @MegWochnick

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