Luke Salme knows some people might believe he’s crazy to jump down the coaching ladder from Class 4A to Class 2B, but small-town basketball and small-town living is what Salme and wife Marcy, a Pateros native, are most familiar with — and they want their two sons to experience it, too.
That’s why Salme resigned as Olympia’s boys basketball coach this week to accept the same position at Adna High School, where he’ll also teach English. The Pirates went 17-6 overall this past season and finished tied for second in the Central 2B League at 15-3.
A native of Willapa in Pacific County, the 36-year-old Salme called the coaching gig at Adna an ideal position: a combination of a perfect location and size, a small-school atmosphere with strong academic and athletic traditions. He and Marcy, who currently teaches within North Thurston Public Schools, along with sons Braeden (third grade) and Trevin (kindergarten), will move to the small Lewis County town approximately 30 miles south of Olympia, Salme said.
Salme said even while coaching at Olympia, where he spent the past eight seasons, he still attended 2B District IV basketball playoff games whenever he could. He called 2B basketball a “pretty special thing.”
“Once you experience it and grown up in it,” he said, “there’s nothing quite like it.”
He praised his time at Olympia, calling it “one of the best jobs in the state,” but knows this opportunity was too good to pass up for him and his family.
“We’re thrilled,” Salme said. “I couldn’t be more fired up.”
The Bears went 4-16 overall in Salme’s final season.
SHANER INVITE FRIDAY
The 51st annual Bob Shaner track and field invitational starts Friday at Tumwater District Stadium. Field events begin at 4 p.m., followed by the first running event at 5 p.m. (girls 4x200 relay). The boys long jump features two of the state’s top jumpers, River Ridge’s Ika Morton (22 feet, 113/4 inches) and Yelm’s James Rodeman (22-71/2), who are ranked second and fifth in the state, respectively.
PLAYOFFS START SATURDAY
The 3A West Central/Southwest bi-district baseball tournament begins Saturday at various sites. Fifth-seeded Capital (11-9) plays Sumner at 10 a.m. in Kelso in a loser-out contest, third-seeded North Thurston (10-10) plays Columbia River at 10 a.m. at Enumclaw’s Osborne Field, and second-seeded Shelton (13-7) plays Auburn Riverside at Kent’s Art Wright Field at 10 a.m. All games are double elimination. … In boys soccer, the 2A District IV tournament kicks off with a doubleheader at Tumwater District Stadium: Black Hills and R.A. Long at noon followed by Tumwater and Washougal at 2 p.m. in the double-elimination tournament.