Ballard High School introduces new coaches

After 16 years coaching soccer at Ballard High School, Gary Hunter has stepped down as head coach. Hunter coached girls soccer for four years before coaching the boys for 12 years.

Replacing Hunter is 2002 Issaquah grad, Mark Nicholson. This is Nicholson’s first head coaching position. He has been an assistant coach with the Bellevue Youth Soccer Club, University Prep and for the girls and boys Mercer Island High School teams. “I’m very excited by the opportunity given by Ballard AD Carrie Burr,” he says, “and I’m looking forward to the challenge in serving as the new boys soccer coach at Ballard High School. I can’t wait until the first kick-off next year.”

Ballard High School Athletic Director Carrie Burr states, “Coach Nicholson will be a great addition to the Beaver Athletic Staff and Community. I feel Ballard is very lucky to give someone like Nicholson a chance to start his head coaching career at Ballard. He is energetic but firm and very structured. I feel Mark will take our boys soccer program to the next level.”

The girls basketball team also has new leadership. Sara Wetstone will take over as head coach this year.

“I’m thrilled to be coaching at Ballard,” Wetstone says. “With an amazing school and team staff, supportive parents and hard-working student-athletes, we are primed for a re-emergence of greatness in the girls basketball program. I’m looking forward to seeing these girls step into their own potential, get tough, and experience the magic of teamwork.”

At Lakeside School, Wetstone was a great athlete and student leader. As point guard and co-captain in basketball, Lakeside went 96-1 in her last three seasons, winning two State titles, ranked 12th in the nation by USA Today and named Team of the Century by The Seattle Times. She was named Lakeside Female Athlete of the Year at graduation (’94) and was the Student Body President.

After playing college ball at Princeton and playing professionally in Denmark, she came back to Seattle after a career-ending knee injury. Wetstone and her family now live in Ballard.

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