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I’m outta here!!

"Oh lord, Uncle David's gettin' dramatic again..."

“Oh lord, Uncle David’s gettin’ dramatic again…”

OK, no one do anything awesome or amazing for a bit.

I’m going to see my nephews for a few days, so we’re putting a CLOSED sign on Coupeville Sports.

I won’t be posting anything while I’m gone, and may not even check my email, for that matter. Being the last hold-out against owning a cell phone, that’s slightly easier for me than others.

This is the slowest stretch for sports and sporting activities on Whidbey anyway, so it’s not like anyone will be going into crisis mode.

The world will keep spinning. Life will go on. I will be back.

Now, of course, if UFOs invade Penn Cove or some such nonsense while I’m gone, I’ll feel slightly guilty.

But only slightly.

The GU19 Whidbey Islanders hoist Lydia Peplinksi after her goal clinched a tourney title Sunday. (Kali Barrio photos)

The GU19 Whidbey Islanders soccer squad celebrates after winning the Crossfire Select Cup Sunday. (Kali Barrio photos)

A memento from the last tourney of the summer.

A memento from the last tourney of the summer.

Ayla Muller enjoys the sweet taste of victory. (Charity Graves photos)

Ayla Muller enjoys the sweet taste of victory. (Charity Graves photos)

Morgan Zylstra played five games in three days and is still smiling.

Morgan Zylstra played five games in three days and is still smiling.

Lydia Peplinski loves drama. Apparently.

Picking the biggest moment to make her biggest play, Peplinski netted a goal with less than five seconds to play in overtime during the championship game Sunday afternoon, lifting the GU19 Whidbey Islanders select soccer squad to its second win of the day and a tournament title.

Her shot sent the Franklin Pierce Fury down in flames, and the 2-1 win, coming on the heels of a 3-1 drubbing of Bainbridge Island FC in an early morning game, gave the Islanders the crown at the Crossfire Select Cup in Redmond.

Whidbey finished 2-1-2 in the three-day tourney, the cap to the summer soccer season.

The Islanders will continue to practice together, but won’t compete again until after the high school season plays out.

Peplinski sent them out on a huge high, netting both of the goals in the finale.

Trailing 1-0, Whidbey tied things up when Jenn Spark lobbed a free kick over the heads of the Fury defenders, finding Peplinski in mid-stride.

Timing her run perfectly, she snatched the ball away and poked it past a flailing goalie.

After that, the two squads battled back-and-forth through the remainder of regular time, then through two ten-minute overtime periods.

With the referee’s mouth a breath away from signaling the end of play and the beginning of penalty kicks to decide the match, it was Peplinski time.

Taking a pass off the foot of Bailee Olson, Peplinski launched a shot from an impossible angle, shocking the world by burying the ball in the back of the net.

Cue the screaming and hollering.

“The referee literally blew his whistle signalling the end of that half immediately after the ball hit the back of the net!,” said Islander coach Sean LeVine. “It was very exciting for us and well deserved. Champions!”

The win avenged a tie against the same team earlier in the tourney.

“In the earlier game we felt like we dominated and should have easily won,” LeVine said. ” However, they were coming off a 3-0 win that morning, and they were definitely a better team Sunday afternoon. It was a battle!

“Those girls were large, speedy, and aggressive,” he added. “Our organized possession proved to be much better though.”

The Islanders made it to the championship with an offensive explosion in their first game of the day, an 8 AM wake-up special against Bainbridge.

After not scoring in their first three games, Whidbey was locked and loaded.

Erin Rosenkranz punched in a pair, the first off of an assist from Micky LeVine, then Gillian Crossley broke free and converted on a pass from Peplinski.

Winning the title was especially impressive, as the Islanders played several players down for most of the tourney.

Leading scorer Jacalyn Hefflefinger missed the tourney, while Alyssa Cross, Jacki Ginnings and Paige Waterman all were limited in how much playing time they could put in.

With most of the team’s regular backfield out, others stepped up and, while playing out of position, excelled.

Becca Pabona, Ayla Muller and Olson all got nods from LeVine.

“I always tell our players that they are soccer players, not positions, and they proved that Sunday!”

E gets an A+!!

Emma Puharic

Emma Puharic

Puharic (back row, fourth from left) during her days as a CHS softball sensation.

Puharic (back row, fourth from left) during her days as a CHS softball sensation.

She’s like a freakin’ ray of sunshine, she is.

Former CHS softball player Emma Puharic hits the big 2-2 today, and, while she might be a tad older and wiser, she’s still one of the most genuinely likable people you’ll ever meet.

Bubbly and vivacious, Puharic, who splits her time these days between working at Christopher’s on Whidbey and building her own Isagenix empire, is an ever-smiling force of nature.

There is little she can’t do, and much she will accomplish, with her giddy laugh trailing along behind her.

Emma is now, and has always been, a winner. More importantly, she’s just a wonderful person through and through.

Her heart is epic.

I hope her day is incredible, and truly worthy of her. Cause she deserves the best.

Happy birthday, Miss Puharic. Don’t stop ’till you rule the world (even more than you already do.)

Which of these is not the same as the others?

Which of these is not the same as the others?

I have a battered, cruddy t-shirt, worn down by time and the tears of those who toiled for The Whidbey Examiner while she was still still an independent newspaper.

The hole across the collar is getting larger, and, since the shirt itself is getting thinner after several years of wear and washing, it’s about to go from a slight annoyance to full-on disgrace.

I should probably throw it away, or burn it.

And yet, I have held on to it, since it was the last connection to a time before the Canucks swept down from Moosejaw and bought up The Examiner, putting a monopoly on Whidbey’s three papers.

Having written a lot of stories for the rag — my weekly video column alone ran, without missing a week, for 15 years — I wasn’t thrilled to see it sold off to Black Press, becoming just another small line item in a vast global media empire’s business report.

But, we’re not here to rehash that.

Instead, I’m here to show off the unexpected gift that showed up in my mailbox yesterday.

Having seen a photo of my much-battered Examiner t-shirt, Eric at Ashley’s Design (http://www.ashleysdesign.com/) in Oak Harbor decided, on a whim, to print up some shirts for Coupeville Sports, using a similar design.

It was a nice, unexpected surprise.

As this blog careens, slightly out-of-control, towards its two-year anniversary on Aug. 16, maybe it’s time to put on a new t-shirt and fully discard the past.

Who wants to make smores cooked over the embers of a beat-up Examiner t-shirt?

Anyone … anyone … BuellerBueller?

Ryan Griggs prepares to launch himself down field. (John Fisken photos)

Ryan Griggs prepares to launch himself down field. (John Fisken photos)

Gabe Wynn (33)

Gabe Wynn (33) plants a Lakeside runner.

Two years out, former Wolf star Caleb Valko surveys the young guns. "The freshmen are getting so small!"

   Two years after his last game, former Wolf star Caleb Valko surveys the young guns. “The freshman are getting so SMALL!!”

Wiley Hesselgrave looks for running room.

Wiley Hesselgrave looks for running room.

Matt Shank prepares to defend his turf.

Matt Shank prepares to defend his turf.

A fair amount of fans turned out on a brilliantly sunny day.

A fair amount of fans turned out on a brilliantly sunny day.

Fomer Wolf QB Gunnar Langvold hangs out on crutches

Former Wolf QB Gunnar Langvold, still in need of a haircut.

Langvold's successor, Joel Walstad, rolls out to fire a pass.

Langvold’s successor, Joel Walstad, rolls out to fire a pass.

More photos? More photos.

Saturday’s spring scrimmage between Coupeville and visiting Lakeside kept photo man John Fisken hoppin’, and his camera clickin’. Enjoy a few more of his images, and, if you want to see everything he captured, head over to:

http://www.shutterfly.com/progal/album.jsp?aid=768a5498cf354d7ba545&esch=1

And remember, a portion of all sales goes to help fund scholarships for CHS student athletes.

This past school year, Breeanna Messner and Brandon Kelley became the first recipients. Who will be honored in 2015, and will a few of your bucks go to their cause?

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