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Shawn Harris takes over for Penny Gienger, who retired last year, and hopes to continue the Vikings' winning tradition

By George Edgar
For West Sound Sports Plus

As the new girls’ basketball coach at North Kitsap High School, Shawn Harris will be bringing a love of basketball to a program to build upon its winning tradition.

“My plan is to build off the winning tradition that has already been established,” said Harris, a native of Rhode Island.

Harris was named as the Vikings’ new coach after Penny Gienger stepped down last spring. Gienger had built winning programs at Bainbridge, Kingston, and North Kitsap, winning the 3A state championship at Bainbridge in 1999.  Last year’s Vikings’ team advanced to the 2A regional round.

At North Kitsap, Harris sees that girls’ basketball competes for attention against volleyball, soccer, and softball. He would like make basketball a students’ first choice.

“I would like this to be a first sport for them,” said Harris, “to be the number one player sport. I believe this would be a great tradition at North Kitsap.”

Harris played basketball from middle school to high school at Woonsocket, Rhode Island. He played three varsity seasons at Woonsocket HS, where his senior year, the Villa Novans finished second in the state championships. After high school, Harris began to referee high school basketball games and build up contacts within the basketball community. He eventually became girls varsity coach at the middle school. He also helped out with boys basketball in the area, coaching AAU teams and running clinics.

Harris came out west two years ago and was hired as assistant girls basketball coach at Federal Way High School. Last year, he applied for numerous coaching jobs in the state and was named head coach for North earlier this week.

If and when the season begins, Harris will bring a defensive approach to the team. He has met with a couple of the players and is very excited for the season to start.

“I believe if you give 110 percent, you’ll get 110 percent,” Harris said.

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