Kingston's David Anderson, Central Kitsap's Brittany Kwon and North Kitsap's Raelee Moore were named the Jim and Marlyn Carlson Scholar-Athletes of the Year by the Kitsap Athletic Roundtable and WSSPlus
One year of athletics, and even one sport, is enough for thousands of high school athletes but for a special few competition and striving for their best leads them to play multiple sports.
Even fewer truly excel at both.
David Anderson of Kingston, along with Brittany Kwon of Central Kitsap and North Kitsap’s Raelee Moore were named the first Jim and Marlyn Carlson Scholar Athletes of the Year, presented by the Kitsap Athletic Roundtable and West Sound SportsPlus.
Anderson was named a co-valedictorian for the 2019 class and was a three-sport standout for the Buccaneers and now added male athlete of the year to his resume. Anderson was a four-year letterman competing in cross country, soccer and swimming. Anderson was named a first team All-Olympic League 2A member in soccer, helping Kingston to three OL titles.
Anderson said the reason for playing three sports during his four years in high school was a simple one.
“I really love competing,” he said.
Soccer is Anderson’s favorite sport and initially competed in cross country to stay in shape for soccer. Swimming came about for the same reason, plus it was just fun to be around his teammates, Anderson said. He didn’t qualify for the state swimming meet when Kingston won the 2A team title, but it furthered his resolve to get the soccer team to the top of the pack.
“Once I saw that a Kingston team could go to state it made me wonder if we could do it in soccer,” he said. “My junior and sophomore year we gave it our best shot.”
Anderson, who is headed to play soccer at Allegheny College in Pennsylvania, said there’s always those nights when he’s driving home at 10:30 at night after soccer practice when the game can take its toll, but he wouldn’t change it for anything.
“Nothing clears my head like soccer,” he said.
Sharing in the athlete in the year honors are co-female winners Moore and Kwon.
“It’s a big honor for me,” Moore said of being named a KAR athlete of the year. “I’m truly blessed to be recognized for that award. There’s a lot of great athletes that deserve it as well.”
Moore competed in basketball and track and field and will head to Lipscomb University in Nashville to compete in track in the fall. Moore was named a four-year All-League first-team member in basketball, helping the Vikings to the state tournament, her junior season as well as regionals three times. Most recently, Moore helped lead North to district and state 2A 4×200 relay championships in May as well as setting a school record. She also finished seventh in the long jump and sixth in the 4×100 relay. She finished her high school career with nine state medals.
Playing high school sports was always on Moore’s agenda.
“I’ve been raised on sports,” she said. “I wouldn’t have done anything different. I got so much out of it. It helped me with my grades, I had to keep them up, and it definitely helped me focus and helped me with time management.
“I used to be extremely shy,” Moore said, adding it forced her to become more social and communicate. “Sports have helped shape me into who I am.”
Kwon capped her high school career with a school-record fourth straight 3A state girls golf championship in May. The now-Cougar alum is headed to play at the University of Washington.
Kwon didn’t set out to win four state titles, but the relief on her face after sinking her final putt at the state tournament showed just how much she wanted to finish with the win. Golf, Kwon said, taught her how to focus.
“In middle school I wasn’t as strong minded as I am now,” she said. “I’ve learned to deal with the pressure. I just like pushing myself.”
Kwon has been a standout on the course from day one. Kwon was the youngest winner of the Pacific Northwest Golf Association championship at age 13 and did it again the next year. She went on to win the first of her four prep titles. During her junior campaign Kwon shot a 9-under 65 on the second day of the state tournament to set a course record at Indian Canyon in Spokane. This past May Kwon needed to three-putt on her final hole to win the state title, but instead sank a 25-foot putt — making it look easy like she always does.
Kwon, who wants to play on the LPGA Tour, said the time she spent practicing on the course and constantly playing. With that experience comes the knowledge that not every course is tailor-made for her but it’s also a challenge.
“You don’t always play your best,” she said. “You can play well and have a bad score. I could play bad on a practice round and the next day shoot five under. It’s different every time.”