NOTE: This is part of a series of biographies on the Kitsap Athletic Roundtable Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2017 inductees. The HOF Banquet is Saturday, Jan. 27, at Kiana Lodge in Suquamish. Social hour begins at noon with the ceremony starting at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are available by reservation at kitsapathleticroundtable.org. Biographies were written by members of the HOF Committee.
North Kitsap High School baseball came alive and exploded on the state scene in the mid-1980s with a state championship and almost another one during what was a remarkable 34-game winning streak.
The Poulsbo high school has always had a good youth baseball program, so it was not a real surprise that in 1988 North Kitsap claimed a state championship with a 12-4 victory over Tahoma in a game pitched by Curt Morrison.
Morrison and Aaron Sele were the dominating pitchers who paced NK to its championship. Sele pitched the semifinal win over Mount Vernon 4-1 and finished the year with a 7-0 record. He then went on to Washington State and into the pros where he pitched for 15 years with six different clubs, including twice with the Seattle Mariners. Morrison finished 7-1 in his junior season (1988) and the following season, when the Vikings won their first 24 games, he would go 9-1, suffering his lone loss in the regional championship game. Scott Moon went 10-0 on the mound, adding to the team’s pitching success.
“We were for sure one of the closest teams,” says Jeff Weible, catcher-pitcher. “That was the biggest thing for us. We had grown up together and played ball together through PeeWees, Little League, and Babe Ruth. We played hundreds of games together and we battled and believed in one another. If one guy couldn’t get it done, the other could. It was like our football program now. It’s all about brotherhood.”
“We were more like a family. We had lots of parents and community members who supported us,” added Moon. “I’m a baseball guy. My grandpa (Ed Moon) coached Little League for 33 years. He taught Aaron Sele how to throw his 12 to 6 curveball. That team was an amazing group of kids. Our coaches put in extra time and you could tell they cared about us on and off the field. I still remember the conversations we had with them on the bus just about life in general. They didn’t care so much about wins and losses, but they cared about us as young men.”
When the 1988 team lost, it didn’t lose by much. It finished with a 21-4 record and three of its losses were by one run and the other was by two runs. And the team hit extremely well, led by infielder Corey Sullivan’s .497 batting average and Morrison who also hit over .400 and belted six home runs, tying Weible for the most dingers on the team.
The team was coached by Virgil Taylor, who compiled a 383-197 career record in 28 seasons (1966-93) and is in the Washington State Coaches Hall of Fame. Taylor was assisted by infield coach Steve Frease and pitching coach Larry Harvey, who managed North Kitsap Babe Ruth with many of the same players to the Dizzy Dean and Babe Ruth World Series in the summers of 1986 and ’87.
Most of the players on the 1988 team would go on to play some college ball, including Weible who caught two years for the University of Washington and is now NK’s baseball and football coach.