Joel Walstad is the #3 passer in 1A and he's healthy again. (John Fisken photos)

Joel Walstad is the #3 passer in 1A and he’s healthy again. (John Fisken photos)

Wiley Hesselgrave

   Wiley Hesselgrave, here cradling the ball after a reception, has been a two-way terror for the Wolves.

How many marbles? All the marbles.

The Coupeville High School football season comes down to this — one 48-minute bout on its home turf.

Coming off of three straight road games, the Wolves (4-3 overall, 3-2 in Olympic League play) host Klahowya (3-4, 3-2) tonight for Homecoming.

The town’s annual parade is at 2 PM, starting at the school and heading down Main Street to Front Street.

Kickoff is at 5:30 and the rules are simple.

Win and you’re in the playoffs. Lose and you’re not.

Barring an upset of epic proportions, Port Townsend (5-2, 4-1) will blow out Chimacum (0-7, 0-5) tonight and claim the first football title awarded in the new four-team league.

That leaves the Wolves and Eagles playing for the second playoff berth, which would send them on the road to play the #1 team from the Nisqually League (likely Cascade Christian) Nov. 7 or 8.

Win or lose, Coupeville will wrap its regular season Oct. 31 with a non-conference game at Concrete.

While the Wolves were rolled 49-6 the first time they faced Klahowya this season, there are multiple reasons to believe they can gain some revenge tonight.

First, they’ve shown they can drop a beat-down on a big-time opponent when everything is clicking.

Unlike Klahowya, Coupeville was the lone Olympic League team to take down Port Townsend this season.

The Eagles were drubbed in both of their match-ups with the Redhawks, while the Wolves stepped up and knocked PTHS down hard the first time the schools faced.

Second, CHS is healthier than it has been in awhile.

Quarterback Joel Walstad, the #3 passer in 1A, has recovered from a hip pointer that made it hard for him to plant when throwing.

Carson Risner, Oscar Liquidano, Aaron Wright? All playing. Lathom Kelley (hand injury) is expected to be the only starter out.

Third, emotion.

It’s Homecoming and Coupeville will also honor former player Adam Garcia, murdered at 21 last week, prior to the game.

Fourth, the Wolves need to prove the computers wrong again.

ScoreCzar.org has Klahowya pulling out a 29-20 win. But the computers picked Port Townsend the first time around, and Coupeville shocked the world.

Fifth, Josh Bayne is running wild, currently the #2 rusher in 1A and #6 in all classifications, with 1,038 yards (he’s topped Jake Tumblin, who snagged 1,016 last season).

Awesome Joshsome is ready to erupt.

And last, and certainly not least, this is our town, our night.

Seven seniors (Wright, Risner, Isaac Vargas, Liquidano, Walstad, Bayne and Matt Shank) have a chance to exit as immortals.

Cow Town doesn’t bow down. Not tonight, not ever.

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McKenzie Bailey soars high in an earlier game. (John Fisken photo)

McKenzie Bailey soars high in an earlier game. (John Fisken photo)

Revenge comes to those who wait and wait and wait some more.

Bouncing back from a set down Thursday, the Chimacum High School volleyball squad ultimately derailed visiting Coupeville in four sets, preventing the Wolves from putting together a perfect fall season of competition between the two schools.

The 16-25, 25-15, 25-18, 26-24 Cowboy win, coming in the final regular season match-up between the new Olympic League rivals, snapped Coupeville’s streak of eight straight wins over four sports.

The Wolves went 3-0 against Chimacum in boys’ tennis, 2-0 in football, 2-0 in girls’ soccer and had taken the match the first time the two schools faced off in volleyball.

With the loss, CHS dropped into third place in the four team league, with three matches to play.

Now 1-2 in league play, 1-8 overall, Coupeville trails Klahowya (4-0, 12-0) and Chimacum (2-2, 4-7).

The Wolves need to stay ahead of Port Townsend (0-3, 6-5), as the top three teams advance to the postseason.

Coupeville closes with three matches in four days, hosting Klahowya Monday for Senior Night to kick things off.

After that, they travel to Port Townsend Tuesday before reuniting with the Redhawks Thursday on Whidbey.

A second win against Chimacum would have helped their push for a playoff spot, and the Wolves jumped to a quick lead.

But then miscues began to crop up, eventually turning into a never-ending blizzard that thoroughly buried them.

“We had a hard time executing, and we made errors, too many errors; many occurring at critical moments,” said CHS coach Breanne Smedley. “Our defense did a good job of staying disciplined and made some great plays but our errors started to create momentum against us in the second, third, and fourth games.”

Madeline Strasburg flew all over the court, recording 12 kills and 16 digs, while fellow senior Hailey Hammer notched 11 kills and two blocks.

Kacie Kiel filled the stat sheet up (five kills, three service aces, 19 digs), with Valen Trujillo (30 digs) and Lauren Rose (30 assists) making key plays.

The Wolf JV had the night off, as Chimacum doesn’t have enough players to field a second unit.

Erin Rosenkranz is one of nine seniors on the Wolf girls' soccer squad. (John Fisken photo)

Erin Rosenkranz is one of nine seniors on the Wolf girls’ soccer squad. (John Fisken photo)

A win is a win any way you get it, especially if it’s a league win.

So, while Thursday night’s 1-0 win at Chimacum — which came after a 3-1 victory in penalty kicks — maybe wasn’t all that pretty or awe-inspiring, the Coupeville High School girls’ soccer team will gladly accept it.

The win gave the Wolves a sweep of the Cowboys, lifting CHS to 2-1 in Olympic League play, 5-4-1 overall.

Coupeville, which has three regular season games left, is solidly lodged in second place in the four team league.

Klahowya (4-0, 12-1) is in first, with Chimacum (1-3, 2-10) and Port Townsend (0-3, 1-10) bringing up the rear.

The Wolves, who need to finish in the top three to make the playoffs, close with three games in four days next week.

To keep alive their (admittedly slim) chances of winning a league title, they will need to shock Klahowya Monday. The game will be Senior Night for nine CHS booters.

Survive the Eagles, who played in the 2A state playoffs five consecutive years before dropping to 1A this year, and Coupeville gets last-place Port Townsend for back-to-back games.

Tuesday is a road affair, with Thursday (a makeup for a game postponed when weather knocked out ferry service) at home.

Facing a Chimacum squad they blew out 6-0 the first time around, the Wolves were missing the magic scoring touch Thursday.

Still, their defense, headed up by senior goaltender Julia Myers, responded, clamping down and denying the Cowboys much of anything.

With neither team able to break the scoreless tie in regulation or overtime, the match was decided on penalty kicks, and it was then Coupeville stepped up.

Micky LeVine, Ana Luvera and Marisa Etzell all hit on their kicks, with Myers sealing the win with a big save.

“I am very proud of these ladies, regardless of their record,” said CHS coach Troy Cowan. “It’s their heart and never-die attitude that makes me proud to coach them on the pitch.”

Britt’s the best!!

Brittani Wil;kinson (John Fisken photo)

Brittani Wilkinson (John Fisken photo)


Born to cheer.

Wilkinson (center, middle row) during Senior Night for football. (Cheridan Eck photo)

Wilkinson (center, middle row) during Senior Night for Wolf football players and cheerleaders. (Cheridan Eck photo)

Like a bright, blazing light bulb, forever lighting up the world around her.

That’s Coupeville High School senior Brittani Wilkinson, who celebrates her 18th birthday today.

Her smile is huge, her heart even bigger, and she has excelled as a Wolf cheerleader and part of a large, loving family.

I remember the early days, when she used to toddle along behind older sister Courtney Boyd when she and her siblings would come in to Videoville and later, David’s DVD Den.

Now, she’s all grown up (well, mostly grown up) and headed towards graduation.

The smile has never dimmed, the sense of joy she exudes in everything she does, especially cheer, where she has made her name, never faded.

She is as bright, personable, friendly and outgoing as anyone, which I credit a great deal to her mom, Carrie Wilkinson, who is also all of those things.

The mom is a marvel and her daughters (and sons) have lived up to her example.

Happy birthday, Brittani. I hope it is as wonderful as you are.

Which would be pretty dang wonderful.

Dodge this!!

Former Wolf volleyball coach Toni Crebbin, the ultimate warrior.

Former Wolf volleyball coach Toni Crebbin, the ultimate warrior.

CHS tennis coach Ken Stange is a man of many talents. (Shelli Trumbull photos)

CHS tennis coach Ken Stange is a man of many talents. (Shelli Trumbull photos)

Wolf seniors flex their muscles.

Wolf seniors flex their muscles.

Micky LeVine

Micky LeVine keeps an extra ball hidden away … just in case.

Freshman Lauren Bayne

Lauren Bayne (in front) and Kameryn St Onge fight for freshman glory.

Matt Shank

Seniors Matt Shank, one of the Luvera twins (Ana? Ivy? You tell me…) and Hailey Hammer (right) watch the action.


The wily veterans.

Junior Sebastian Davis (right) congratulates Makana Stone as Dalton Martin patrols the back line.

  Junior Sebastian Davis (right) congratulates Makana Stone as Dalton Martin patrols the back line.

CHS coaches Randy King (left) and Willie Smith have the last laugh. "We are the champions ... of the world!!"

CHS coaches Randy King (left) and Willie Smith have the last laugh. “We are the champions … of the world!!”

Old age and treachery beats youth and skill every time.

It’s a time-honored saying that once again came true Wednesday night, as the Coupeville High School teachers rallied to beat the Wolf seniors and claim the school’s Homecoming week dodgeball tourney.

Along for the wild ride was Shelli Trumbull, who provides most of the photos above.


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