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New CHS head football coach Brett Smedley (John Fisken photo)

New CHS head football coach Brett Smedley. (John Fisken photo)

The Wolves stayed in-house.

Word broke Thursday morning that assistant coach Brett Smedley has been tabbed to replace Tony Maggio at the helm of the Coupeville High School football squad.

The early-morning buzz was confirmed by Coupeville Athletic Director Duane Baumann.

Brett Smedley has indeed been hired as Head Coach for football,” Baumann said.

“I am excited and ready for the challenge of continuing to develop a high quality football program at CHS,” Smedley said.

Maggio stepped down after three seasons to devote more time to family and his job at Sherwin Williams.

Smedley, a P.E. teacher at CHS who has been the gridiron squad’s defensive coordinator, becomes the school’s third head coach in the last six years.

After Ron Bagby capped a 20+ year career, Jay Silver did two years (he’s now head coach at Mount Vernon) and then Maggio led the troops for three.

Coupeville is coming off a 5-5 season, its best since Bagby’s retirement.

The Wolves went 3-3 in their first year in the 1A Olympic League and were the only team to beat league champ Port Townsend.

Smedley should have a strong returning core of players such as Wiley Hesselgrave, Lathom Kelley, CJ Smith, Jacob Martin, Gabe Wynn, Ryan Griggs and Hunter Smith.

Your Coupeville Wolves girls' basketball team, a moment away from being the 2014-2015 Olympic League champs. (John Fisken photos)

   Your Coupeville Wolves girls’ varsity basketball team, a moment away from being the 2014-2015 Olympic League champs. (John Fisken photos)

The moment is now.

It has been 13 years since a Coupeville High School basketball team won a league title.

That is a very long time, especially in teenage lives.

This year’s seniors were kindergarteners when a Wolf girls’ hoops squad that included Ashley Ellsworth-Bagby, Brianne King, the Lamb sisters and a young, shot-blocking whippersnapper named Lexie Black captured a 2001-2002 Northwest League banner.

Since that time, nada for Wolf hoops.

There have been good teams, even very good teams (the Wolf boys were 16-5 in 2009-2010), but no league titles, boys or girls.

Friday night (4:45 varsity tip-off) that can, and will, change.

When (not if) the Wolves step on their home floor and put their collective feet down in one emphatic stamp, beating Klahowya and sending a message that this is their time, history will be made.

A victory and Coupeville would be 6-0 in Olympic League play, holding a three-game lead over Klahowya with three to play, and owners of the tiebreaker over the Eagles.

That’s not the end, of course.

This team has more stories to write. More mountains to conquer.

They would be 12-5, which would tie them for the program’s most wins in the last nine seasons. They would sit three games away from a perfect 9-0 debut in their new league.

The playoffs beckon, as well. And a chance to make more history.

Four of this year’s basketball players (Madeline Strasburg, Monica Vidoni, Hailey Hammer and Kailey Kellner, who was a manager) went to state last spring as softball players.

It was Coupeville’s first trip in 12 years, since, yep, the glory girls of 2002.

It hasn’t been as long a gap for basketball, but it has been a gap.

The last Wolf hoops squad to punch its ticket to the big dance was the 2005-2006 team, which lost both its games. That capped a run where CHS girls’ hoops made it to state six times in nine years, bringing home three top-eight banners.

They want to go back. They need to go back.

From the start, though, it has been small steps building into big steps. Reaching a goal, celebrating it, but not looking ahead until there is the next target in place.

Right now, right here, that target is Klahowya in a little over 31 hours.

It is a moment a long time coming. A moment that should be honored.

Skip out early on work. Whatever you are doing, put if off for later.

Be there.

Fill the stands, with every man, woman, child and farm animal that hails from Cow Town.

Be loud ‘n proud. Be there for the pride of your town, for your young women, as they rise up and achieve something a long time coming.

And to you, Makana, Hailey, Mia, Monica, Kacie, Wynter, McKenzie, Julia, Madeline and Kailey, this is your moment. Your time. Your memories waiting to be made.

You have this. It is yours. If you want it badly enough.

Make every pass count. Every shot matter. Every defensive assignment not just a job, but an obsession.

Rise up and make this night your night. Make YOUR gym rattle.

We are all witnesses to what you are going to accomplish.

Playoff hopes flicker!!

Joel Walstad (John Fisken photo)

   Joel Walstad scored seven Tuesday, but left the game midway through the third with an ankle injury. (John Fisken photo)

Wolf JV coach Dustin Van Velkinburgh talks strategy with his troops. (Madeline Strasburg photo)

Wolf JV coach Dustin Van Velkinburgh talks strategy with his troops. (Madeline Strasburg photo)

The hunt for a playoff berth just got harder.

Not impossible, maybe, but more of an uphill battle, to be sure.

Take one comeback that ran out of time (the Wolves falling 67-59 at Chimacum Tuesday) and an improbable upset (Port Townsend knocking off Klahowya 51-48 in overtime) and the Coupeville High School boys’ basketball squad is now on the outside looking in as the battle for postseason berths winds down.

The loss dropped the Wolves to 5-10 overall, 1-4 in Olympic League play and leaves them alone in the cellar of the four team league, trailing Chimacum (4-1), Klahowya (3-2) and Port Townsend (2-3).

The top three teams make the postseason, with Coupeville having four games left on the schedule to fix things.

First up are road games at Klahowya (Jan. 30) and Port Townsend (Feb. 3), then home match-ups with Chimacum (Feb. 6) and Klahowya (Feb. 9).

One huge question for the Wolves will be health, as they’ve now had five varsity players go down with injuries.

Senior Aaron Trumbull has been limited the last two games by an ankle injury and now fellow starter Joel Walstad is questionable.

He hurt his ankle midway through the third quarter Tuesday, and early reports that he “heard a pop” aren’t encouraging.

“We’ll see how he’s doing by Friday and hope he’s back,” Wolf coach Anthony Smith said. “If he can’t go, we’ll have to adjust.”

Gabe Wynn, Jared Helmstadter and Dalton Martin are all out with injuries as well.

While much of Tuesday was doom and gloom, two things stood out for Coupeville.

A fourth quarter run sparked by the bench cut what had been a 22-point deficit down by quite a bit and junior guard Risen Johnson snatched the spotlight.

Pumping in a career-high 21, he used a variety of moves to dazzle the Cowboys.

Wiley Hesselgrave knocked down 13 before fouling out, while Aaron Curtin (9), Walstad (7), Ryan Griggs (6), Matt Shank (2) and CJ Smith (1) rounded out the scoring attack.

JV runs out of steam:

Down by seven at the half, the wheels fell off after the break for the Wolf JV boys.

The 54-30 loss dropped the young guns to 6-8 overall, 3-2 in league play.

“We have lost the competitive fire that we had a couple weeks ago,” said CHS coach Dustin Van Velkinburgh. “With four games to go we will recapture that and finish strong.”

Birthday trio (clockwise from left), Allison Wenzel, Robyn Myers (with son Sam Wynn) and Erik King.

   Birthday trio (clockwise from left) Allison Wenzel, Robyn Myers (with son Sam Wynn) and Erik King.

Respect.

A trio of people important to Wolf Nation celebrate joint birthdays today, and respect is something all three have more than earned.

The alumni, the current multi-sport athlete and the booster club’s Energizer Rabbit — united by the way they handle their business and the pride they instill in their fans.

Erik King is a chip off the block.

A star baseball and basketball player during his time as a Wolf, he brought the same commitment and unwavering search for excellence to his game that his parents do as CHS coaches.

David and Amy King are the coaches every school hopes for, and the lucky ones get.

Working together in basketball and softball (with Amy soloing in volleyball), they have built strong programs that allow each of their young women, stars or scrubs, to blossom to their full potential.

There never could have been any doubt as to who Erik’s parents were, as he approached every game the same way they do.

He left every bit of himself on the field or court and handled himself with class every step of the way.

Allison Wenzel is also following in large footsteps and making her family (starting with parents Susan and Tim) justifiably proud.

Older sister Rachel was a fleet-footed track runner and whip-smart scholar and Allison lives up to the family legend.

Born in Japan in the Year of the Dragon, “The Beast” is a sweet-natured young woman with a smile that stretches from one corner of the Earth to the other.

Unless you try and take a basketball away from her.

Her long braid slashing through the air, sending death from above to anyone whose face wanders into her area of the court, she is a defensive demon. Mess with Wenzel and feel the sting!

That’s sort of how Robyn Myers played back in the day, when she attended Oak Harbor and still had her maiden name of Seth.

These days she’s a vital part of the Coupeville Booster Club, married to Rob Myers and helping lead an epic family that includes Wolf athletes current and former (Katelyn, Sam and Gabe Wynn, Julia and Jimmy Myers, Taylor Herreman).

All three share more than just a birthday.

They all conduct themselves with class and style, show complete commitment to their pursuits and have sunny, outsized personalities.

Together, or separately, they have made, and will continue to make, a huge impact on their school and town.

We are lucky to have all three of you. May your birthday be worthy of your awesomeness.

Tiffany Briscoe had her "best offensive game of the season

Tiffany Briscoe outscored Chimacum by herself Tuesday. (John Fisken photo)

Some nights, everything goes right.

Every shot you throw up goes in. Every defensive wrinkle you throw at a team works. The water even tastes better.

Tuesday night was that kind of nirvana for the Coupeville High School JV girls’ basketball team, which massacred host Chimacum 44-4 in a game that could have been much, much worse.

The Wolves pulled back midway through the third, however, trying to run clock, work on plays and not embarrass the Cowboys any more than necessary.

The team’s fourth straight win, it lifted the young guns to 10-5 on the season, 5-0 in Olympic League play.

And it was over fairly quickly, as Coupeville stormed out to a 12-0 lead after the opening quarter.

Even though things didn’t quite work out the way Wolf coach Amy King had it planned.

“Our goal was to jump up quickly on the board, then have a chance to make our first attempt at a press. I told the girls we would press after our first score,” she said. “Of course, it was several times up and down the court before we would score and then just about everyone just ran down the floor, forgetting all about the press.

“We finally got it though, and once we started, the press just flowed beautifully.”

With Kyla Briscoe, Lauren Grove and Lauren Rose harassing Chimacum at every turn, the Wolves spent most of the night scoring off of steals and quick transitions.

When it did have to work the ball around on offense, Coupeville benefited greatly from a more-assertive Tiffany Briscoe.

Normally a terror on defense, she accepted the call to duty on the offensive end in this game, as well.

Tiffany loves defense … but not so much love for offense,” King said. “We have been working her over pretty good telling her she needs to play a full game – both ends of the court.

“Tonight she was driving, fighting for rebound put backs and just taking the opportunity to score. It was so nice!”

Every one of the eight Wolves brought a smile to their coach’s face on this night.

“These girls really are just playing so well right now,” King said. “Very happy with them all.

Allison (Wenzel) was everywhere on defense and fought for everything,” she added. “Brisa (Herrera) has really stepped up her game too; she has been grabbing rebounds and following Skyler (Lawrence’s) lead with grabbing onto the ball, trying for steals or causing jump balls.”

Kailey Kellner paced the offense with 11 points before swinging up to join the varsity, with Tiffany Briscoe (10), Grove (9), Rose (5), Herrera (4), Lawrence (3) and Wenzel (2) rounding out the scorers.

Kyla Briscoe snatched eight rebounds and made off with four steals to help spark the super-charged Wolf defense, with big sis Tiffany (six rebounds), Kellner (5) and Lawrence (5) also hitting the boards hard.

Lawrence had a team-high six steals.

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