Birthday buddies (clockwise, from left) Emma Smith, Mikayla Elfrank and Ethan Spark. (John Fisken photos)
Birthdays, as far as the eye can see.
There’s so many possible candles on so many possible cakes today, the entirety of Whidbey Island could be a fire hazard.
The never-ending alerts on Facebook (I got it the first seven times your algorithms harassed me, Zuckerberg!) for Sept. 25 stretch out across 237 pages.
Or at least it feels that way.
Anyway, we’re here to narrow it down to the triplets, three current Wolf stars who all hit their cake day today.
Without further ado, we want to send birthday wishes out to Ethan Spark, Emma Smith and Mikayla Elfrank, who between them have a presence on what could be eight (or more) CHS sports squads.
First up (by random coin flip) is Spark, a high-octane, high-scoring soccer (and sometimes basketball and tennis) ace who inherited his dynamic kicking leg from older sister Jenn.
The rest of his talent and charisma? On loan from God.
Spark can crack a soccer ball half the length of a field, bend it like Beckham and drop it into the goal as sweetly as anyone in the biz.
With the graduation of school career scoring leader Abraham Leyva, Spark will be the leading returning goal scorer this spring, having scorched the nets for eight goals last season.
That being said, my favorite moment of his came when he was playing hoops a year or two back and wrecked a Port Townsend player so completely, the RedHawk wiped out the entire Wolf bench.
Spark, who was on a tear in the game — which Coupeville won — spun viciously to the hoop for a key basket, losing his defender in the process.
Unable to slow his roll, the RedHawk went face-first, at full speed, into the Wolf water-dispensing machine, carrying it into the stands with him as chairs (and players) went flying like bowling pins.
By the time the hapless hoopster had come to a halt, most of the CHS bench was destroyed, paper cups were blowing in the breeze, and water covered half the gym.
He knocked down the shot, then stood off to the side, eyeing the carnage with a small smile. Like a boss.
Our second birthday buddy, Smith, often wrecks people as well, but she does it by elevating to the gym ceiling and lashing spikes that cause volleyball foes to run away screaming.
A power hitter who always makes her feats of spiker destruction look elegant, Emma is also a track star on the rise, throwing the shot put and discus for the Wolves.
One of the best in the game at delivering pre-game photo ops to wandering paparazzi, Smith, who comes from a long line of Wolf greats (including grandpa Steve and aunt Joli, to name but two) was born to be a star, and she embraces her heritage.
Whether dropping on-court dance moves with her pack (volleyball and real-life buddies Maddy Hilkey and Ashley Menges) or gracing the school’s honor roll on a regular basis, Emma is as impressive as they come.
Giving her a run for her money is Elfrank, who has been a Wolf for the shortest time of the birthday trio, but has already made a huge impact.
South Whidbey’s loss has been Coupeville’s gain, as we inherited a three-sport supernova who combines boundless talent with impeccable class.
Mikayla made her debut in red and black as a softball player last spring, and has now taken her spot on the volleyball court as a junior.
Still to come — a stint as a basketball player, which bodes extremely well for a Wolf program seeking its third-straight league title.
Elfrank has raw talent for days, which makes her capable of gunning down runners with laser throws from the hole at short or tattooing folks with high-flying spikes.
But what makes her the complete deal is the joy she takes in competing, the way she meshes with her teammates, and the class she shows off the field of battle.
This trio, all of whom have several more seasons to ply their trade for CHS, are winners, both in the games they play as Wolves and in the game of life.
Sept. 25 produced a bevy of talented student/athletes, and our town hit the jackpot with these three.
So happy birthday, Ethan, Emma and Mikayla, and thank you.