New coaches abound for spring sports

By Oliver Lazenby

New faces will greet many Blaine High School athletes at tryouts this spring. Due to a variety of circumstances, the district replaced five out of seven varsity head coaches for the upcoming sports season, school district athletic director Sean Linville said.

“It’s a challenge to try to find that many varsity coaches for one season but I think we’ve got good people,” he said. “We were lucky that some of the coaches had already been in the programs as JV coaches and they wanted to step up.”

Tanner Olson will replace Linville to coach the baseball team this season; Linville is becoming the district’s athletic director. Olson was an assistant coach at Ferndale High School last season and is security staff at the Blaine School District.

Assistant coach Larry Hoffman, who coached with Linville for the past 14 years, also left the program. Hoffman is taking over as Ferndale fire chief later this year and no longer has time to coach, Linville said.

Nancy Williams is the new varsity softball coach, replacing Alisa Burk. Williams coached the JV softball team last year; she’s also an assistant basketball coach.

Ryan Pike, girls basketball head coach, will lead the girls golf team this year. He’s taking over for former coach Laura Vincent. Rick Shockey, a career counselor at Blaine High School, replaced Steve Barthlow as boys golf coach.

Fryth Rasar has assisted coaching the track team since 1991 but this year will be her first as head coach. Rasar also took over as head cross country coach this fall. Former track and cross country coach Carey Bacon retired last year after 30 years working for the school district.

Head tennis coach John Freal and head boys soccer coach Gio Quesada are both returning to their positions. Spring sports start on Monday, February 26.

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