Kiara Burdge, seen in her Coupeville cheer days, is now appearing in a national ad. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

All the commercial spots will be ours. Soon. Very soon.

Following in the (large) footsteps of Coupeville alumni Will Butela and Mike Duke, among others, former Wolf cheerleader and track star Kiara Burdge is currently tearing up the internet for Jane.com, a national site offering daily boutique deals.

You can see the entire two minute and 19 second ad, or if you’re just here for the Coupeville connection, pop over right to the 1:18 mark.

That’s where Burdge makes her debut as “Sharon,” with her first dialogue coming at the 1:28 mark.


Make the nets sing!!

Levi Pulliam triggers a play for the CMS 8th grade hoops squad. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It’s a two-man race right now.

With four games in the books, and six more to play, Logan Downes and Alex Murdy are out in front in the Coupeville Middle School boys basketball scoring race.

Downes, a 7th grader, tops all CMS varsity players in points (57) and scoring average (14.3), but Murdy, an 8th grader, can’t be counted out just yet.

The older Wolf is at a disadvantage, having missed a game, but he’s still singeing the nets for 11.7 points a game, and has the electric style needed to rack up big chunks of offense quickly.

For now, the duo, and their teammates, have to stay content dropping buckets during practice.

Coupeville is mid-way through an 11-day break between games.

The Wolves, who last played Nov. 15 at Granite Falls, don’t hit the court again until Nov. 27, when they host Lakewood.

When they do return to action, the CMS hoops squads close with six games in 17 days.


Varsity scoring through Nov. 20:


7th grade:

Logan Downes – 57
Cole White – 12
Ryan Blouin – 11
Zane Oldenstadt – 7
William Davidson – 5
Quinten Pilgrim – 3
Nick Guay – 2


8th grade:

Alex Murdy – 35
Ty Hamilton – 21
Dominic Coffman – 13
Mitchell Hall – 12
Kevin Partida – 5
Levi Pulliam – 3
Josh Upchurch – 2
Alex Wasik – 2

Coupeville grad Makana Stone was honored Monday as the Northwest Conference women’s basketball player of the week. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

She’s a three-timer.

Coupeville grad Makana Stone, now a junior at Whitman College, was honored Monday as the Northwest Conference women’s basketball player of the week.

It’s the third time she’s received the honor, having been previously picked in Dec. 2017 and Jan. 2018.

Stone received the accolades after tearing up the floor in Spokane this weekend at the Whit Classic.

She broke her personal collegiate high in back-to-back games, throwing down 24 points Friday in a win against the University of Texas at Tyler, then topping it Saturday with 26 in an overtime thriller versus Montana Tech.

The NWC honors athletes weekly in four sports during the winter season, and Stone was joined by men’s basketball player Ryan Lacey (George Fox) as well as swimmers August Bergh (Lewis & Clark) and Kelli Callahan (Puget Sound).

Whitman women’s basketball is 2-2 in non-conference action, with Stone front and center for the Blues.

The former Wolf standout leads her squad in scoring (17.8 points a night) and rebounding (8.8), while shooting 52.7% from the floor (29-55) and 81.3% from the free throw line (13-16).

Senior Ema Smith is one of three captains for the CHS girls basketball team. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

“We want to come into the league and show that we belong. We want to compete until the final buzzer, and, if we get beat, make the other team earn the win.”

After dominating the Olympic League, winning three titles in four years, the Coupeville High School girls basketball squad faces a big challenge this season.

With the North Sound Conference prepping for its first hoops season, the Wolves, who lost three varsity players to graduation, and another three to reasons such as family moves, will have to be ready to fight from day one.

That’s something CHS coach David King knows, and looks forward, to.

“We’re basically going back to the league we left five years ago,” he said. “A new league means we are coming in to unknowns with the other teams. There are new coaches we haven’t competed against, so there will be a learning curve through the first round.

“Each day at practice and each game we want to get better,” King added. “By the end of the year, we want to see the work we put in from the beginning show that we have improved. If we do this, we should be playing our best and earn a playoff spot.”

The battle for a conference title will go through Shoreline, where perennial state power King’s has added a freshman, Jada Wynn, who played in the Junior NBA World Tournament this summer.

But it should be more than a one-team race.

“We know King’s is the team to beat. They were very good last year and have an incoming freshman that could be their best player,” David King said. “Cedar Park Christian will have something to say about the standings. They have a college-type player that leads their team.

“South Whidbey always seems to be in the mix and the games between them and us are always a battle,” he added. “Granite Falls and Sultan are unknowns since we have not played them for the last four years.

“With King’s leading the charge and CPC right behind, it may be a jumbled group with the rest of the teams.”

Coupeville will jump into action with a small, but talented and feisty, core of players.

“The team and players we have is a team I want to go to war with!,” King said. “Dedicated and competitive as well.

“The leadership we have is second to none.”

Seniors Lindsey Roberts and Ema Smith and junior Scout Smith enter the new year as captains, and anchor the team.

Lindsey has been on varsity all four years and has grown each year,” King said. “She is someone the incoming players can watch and see how a leader leads and works for her playing time.

Ema and Scout are both vocal and keep the team upbeat and positive.”

Roberts is also a player who could make a deep run on the scoring chart in her final go-around.

With 298 career points, she enter the season in 36th place all-time among Wolf girls hoops stars, and seems primed to make a run at crashing at least the top 20 before she’s done.

Juniors Hannah Davidson and Avalon Renninger and sophomore Chelsea Prescott round out the returning varsity players, while senior Nicole Laxton and junior Tia Wurzrainer make the jump from JV.

“With this group, they are so versatile that we are opening it up on the offensive end and not putting players in “set” positions,” King said.

“All, with Hannah being the exception, will be able to lead us from the point and play on the wing, while Lindsey and Ema are able to add post play to their resume.”

Laxton and Wurzrainer offer valuable support.

Tia’s strength is defense and hustle. She will fit in well with these skills,” King said. “Last year on JV she gained confidence and improved her shot and started looking to be a scorer.

Nicole brings strength and height,” he added. “Her ticket to helping us is tough rebounding and improved effort on the defensive end.”

Sophomore Mollie Bailey, who has “been working hard throughout the summer and the first week of practice,” will round out the team while swinging between varsity and JV action.

However the lineup plays out, Coupeville will live and die as a team.

“We are a tight-knit group,” King said. “The players are competitive and willing to put the work in.”

That work extends to both sides of the floor.

“We are putting an emphasis on our offensive execution and court vision,” King said. “We are minimizing our offensive sets; this, in turn, will allow us to put in the time and effort every day to run our offense with confidence.

“If we execute correctly, we will have shots we are looking for.”

To get those shots, the Wolves want to force the action on the defensive end of the floor, which has been a Coupeville trademark during King’s time on the bench.

“Defense is a staple for us. Every year the players buy into our defensive schemes and bring the effort that allows us to excel on this end of the court,” he said. “This team is no exception and are proven defenders.

“Rebounding will be something we will need to get after every day,” King added. “We may not be the tallest team, so we will have to survive on desire and effort, especially on the defensive rebounds. Need to be tenacious.”

Another key area the Wolves will concentrate on is cutting down on errors of any kind.

“Minimizing turnovers, the unforced variety,” King said. “Last year and in years past, we struggled with being too loose with the ball.

“Concentrating on our execution and court vision and improving in these areas will help us improve and lower our turnovers,” he added. “If not, the turnovers lead to easy baskets going the other way.”

While the varsity squad enters the new season with a relatively short bench, there is depth at the next level. And opportunity for those younger players.

“Our incoming freshmen and new players are athletic and competitive,” King said. They are going to push our varsity players every day in practice to get them ready for our opponents.

“Our depth could be a hindrance. Foul trouble is a concern with the bench depth,” he added. “We are hoping one or more incoming players improve as the season progresses and earns some time on the varsity bench.”

Coupeville freshman Alana Mihill was a revelation this fall, embracing cross country and making an immediate impact. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

CHS coach Natasha Bamberger honors senior captain Danny Conlisk, who, after two years of training and traveling with South Whidbey, got to lead his own team. (Photos courtesy Bamberger)

Wolf runners, and their support crew, celebrate “Crossgiving” at Sunday’s awards banquet.

The coach who revived a program she once led as a runner has a special gift to remember this season. (Photo courtesy Helene Lhamon)

Revived, reborn and earning respect.

Ending a two-decade-plus exile, cross country returned to Coupeville High School this fall, and it was a smashing success.

Starting the program virtually from scratch — two returning runners, Danny Conlisk and Sam Wynn, had trained and traveled with South Whidbey last year — CHS coach Natasha Bamberger hit the ground running.

She pulled together an eight-athlete roster, fielding a full boys team while launching the very-promising harrier careers of Catherine Lhamon and Alana Mihill.

The trail runners made huge strides while training with Bamberger, who won a 1985 state title in cross country and four more in track back when she was the one wearing a CHS uniform.

Tack on a huge turnout at the middle school level for CMS coach Elizabeth Bitting, and the future of the cross country program couldn’t be brighter.

But Sunday night was about hailing the trailblazers who brought cross country back inside Coupeville schools.

In future years, as the program grows, other Wolves may join Bamberger and 2010 state champ Tyler King at the top of the podium.

When they do, they will be rightfully hailed.

But for now, and forever, the two girls, six boys, one ecstatic coach and their all-star support crew, the ones who stepped up in 2018, will live large.

It’s a feeling Bamberger captured in her awards banquet wrap-up:

“Happy Crossgiving!!”

This is how the Coupeville High School cross country family ends its first XC season – at Fort Casey with submarines, laughs and tons of kindness.

Captain Award:
Danny Conlisk

Varsity letters:

Catherine Lhamon
Alana Mihill
Danny Conlisk
Sam Wynn

Senior Awards:

Danny Conlisk
Uriah Kastner
Kyle Burnett

Runner Discovered:
Uriah Kastner

Fighter Award:
Kyle Burnett

Sam Wynn

In the Zone:
Chris Ruck

Toughest Competitor:
Catherine Lhamon

Workhorse Award:
Alana Mihill

Alana’s first letter; she pushed the team from the first day of the summer preseason.

She made every practice and when team felt tired she’d be right out front pushing the boys!!

Best Attitude Award:
TJ Rickner

TJ has the best attitude you could ask for in a runner. Finishes the race saying coach that was so fun! Smiling ear to ear.

I want to bottle that enthusiasm!

It was a great night! They sewed coach a quilt!

Special thanks to Dawnelle, Glenda and Ken. Fitting he was at the head of the table, submarines and all!

Huge thank you Robyn Myers, SPU-Fort Casey, and for the amazing support of the Coupeville Boosters. I’m overwhelmed.

Thank you David for your support of the team. Anything I can do for you please ask.

You have done so much for this community.

Do your articles motivate? Maybe we better put you in the hot seat in the next super motivator contest!!

We could graph athlete performance and “Coupeville Sports” coverage. Haha!!

Parting words … “Summer practice starts weekdays 10 AM after the last day of school, Monday-Friday.

(Big focus eye contact and huge smile holding my breath…)

I look forward to seeing you ALL there!

Feels great to be home!