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CHS cheerleader Mckenzie Meyer offers an interpretive dance version of what it would be like to be on a ferry right now. (John Fisken photo)

   CHS cheerleader Mckenzie Meyer offers an interpretive dance version of what it would be like to be riding a ferry right now. (John Fisken photo)

Put the buses back in the barn.

Mother Nature, in all her windy, ferry-rockin’ glory, has forced cancellations of all Coupeville basketball games scheduled for tonight.

The girls and boys high school squads were supposed to travel to Belfair to play non-conference games against 2A North Mason, while the middle school boys were going to be trekking to Sequim.

With the season wrapping down — the CHS girls have seven games left, the CHS boys six, all to be played between now and Feb. 4 — it’s highly unlikely the high school games will be rescheduled.

The middle school game, though, is a league affair, so Coupeville Athletic Director Willie Smith is working on finding a new date.

A star is born!!

Chelsea Prescott (John Fisken photo)

Chelsea Prescott will terminate you. (John Fisken photo)

She is the future, and the future looks pretty dang impressive.

When you look at middle school athletes and try and forecast how they will do at the high school level, it’s always a bit tricky.

A million little things can change, and the kid who was a star at one level never hits it as big at the next, or the kid you never saw coming grows into a superstar.

But let me say this — I’m betting the farm on Chelsea Prescott.

The Coupeville Middle School 8th grader, who hits the big 1-4 today, reminds me a lot of Lindsey Roberts, who, as a CHS sophomore, is currently on target to earn the maximum 12 athletic letters.

Having watched Chelsea play volleyball and basketball at CMS, and both baseball and softball with Central Whidbey Little League, she’s the real deal.

As a spiker, she lashed one serve that (literally) exploded a rival player’s face, sending blood spraying and ensuring no one on the other team will ever want to come back to Coupeville.

Fear the Wolf. That’s a good thing, I say.

On the hard wood, Prescott is a scoring machine who already has a confidence rare at the middle school level, and on the diamond, she’s the complete package, whether pitching or playing short stop.

Chelsea has power, speed, hits with a rare aggression and, again, possesses quiet confidence.

And that is why I think she will be successful at whatever sports she plays at the next level, because she is confident, yet not egotistical, plays to win and is quick to work with her teammates and even quicker to listen to her coaches.

She’s also 14 years old, and I don’t want to put too much pressure on her.

I hope she has a phenomenal prep career (makes for better stories for me) but I hope, more importantly, that Chelsea continues to enjoy herself.

That she gets out of sports what she wants, but that she is also successful in every other part of her life.

From the stands, she comes across as a low-key, friendly young woman, one with a strong, supportive family. I think that bodes well for her future, as an athlete, a student, and a person.

As she celebrates her birthday today, I just want to chime in with my own well wishes.

It has been a treat to watch you play so far, and I look forward to watching your future successes unfold, whether they be on or off the athletic stage.

Happy birthday, Miss Prescott.

Maddy Hilkey (John Fisken photos)

   Maddy Hilkey lines up a free throw during basketball practice. (John Fisken photo)

(Konni Smith photo)

   Hilkey hangs out with volleyball buddies (l to r) Emma Smith, Kailey Kellner and Ashley Menges. (Konni Smith photo)

Lindsey and Maddy (John Fisken photos)

Huggin’ it out with Lindsey Roberts. (Fisken photo)

You can tell a lot about a person by how they treat their friends.

In my time covering her middle school and high school sports events, Maddy Hilkey’s actions have spoken loudly.

She has a tight-knit bunch of super-close friends, another couple of layers of really good friends, and a bunch of other people she interacts with while playing volleyball and basketball for the Wolves.

To those of us in the stands, Maddy has always come across as a genuinely warm, likable young woman, and that is evident every day in how she treats those friends.

I have rarely seen a photo (and she pops up in a lot of sports photos) where she is not smiling, especially when she is interacting with her teammates.

Hilkey is a talented athlete, a very strong volleyball player who will be a key for CHS the next two years, and a scrappy ball-hawk on the hard court who delights her coaches with every new bruise she proudly wears.

But it is Maddy the person, the strong, smart, confident young woman who treats her friends with kindness and love, that is ultimately more important than Maddy the athlete.

We pull for her more, cheer for her accomplishments more, feel greater happiness for her successes because she is a wonderful young woman in every aspect of her life.

Her parents, Emrie and Travis, should be very proud of who she is, and who she is becoming.

A great older sister, a strong student, and someone who brightens the day of those both in her inner circle and those out on the edge.

Maddy is celebrating her 16th birthday tonight by playing in a basketball game.

It would be nice to say it was a home game, but the Coupeville girls are enduring the schedule from Hell, and she will, instead, be at North Mason as the Wolves play their eighth straight road game.

While that’s not ideal, knowing her coaches, they will do something for Maddy.

And that will be kind of fitting, celebrating her arrival in the world with her teammates and friends.

As she does so, we all want to say happy birthday, Miss Hilkey.

May your special day be as amazing as you are.

Battle for a banner!!

Kalia Littlejohn (John Fisken photo)

   Sophomore Kalia Littlejohn has heated up on the offensive end in recent games, moving up to #4 on her team in scoring. (John Fisken photos)

Ethan Spark

   A deadly three-point shooter, junior Ethan Spark also occupies the #4 scoring slot.

A fight and a runaway.

That’s what we’re facing as the chase for Olympic League championship banners plays out in the basketball world.

On the boys side, Port Townsend sits literally one win away from clinching a title and knocking off two-time defending champ Chimacum.

Take care of the Cowboys Tuesday, and the RedHawks will have swept the three-game season series from their arch-rivals.

A win would put them three up on Chimacum with three to play, while owning the tie-breaker.

It would also be Port Townsend’s sixth league victory in a season where neither Coupeville or Klahowya could possibly win more than five.

While the RedHawks don’t want to celebrate early — they did blow a two-game lead to the Cowboys last season — it’s hard to picture the change at the top not happening.

On the girls side, Coupeville, as it has from day one of the league in 2014, controls its own destiny.

The Wolves are 4-0 in league this season (with three of those wins by double digits) and 22-0 all-time, but Port Townsend is hanging around.

PTHS, which fell 39-29 to Coupeville in the two school’s first meeting, is just a half game back of the Wolves after pulling out last-second wins against Chimacum and Klahowya.

The Wolves head to Port Townsend this Friday for a first-place showdown, then host the RedHawks in the regular season finale Feb. 4.

Where things sit through Monday morning:

Olympic League girls basketball:

School League Overall
COUPEVILLE 4-0 9-3
Port Townsend 4-1 8-4
Chimacum 1-4 7-7
Klahowya 0-4 3-9

Olympic League boys basketball:

School League Overall
Port Townsend 5-0 10-3
Chimacum 3-2 3-9
COUPEVILLE 1-4 1-12
Klahowya 1-4 2-11

And scoring stats for Coupeville’s varsity players:

Girls:

Kailey Kellner – 99
Mia Littlejohn
– 74
Mikayla Elfrank
– 67
Kalia Littlejohn
– 41
Lindsey Roberts
– 36
Lauren Rose
– 30
Lauren Grove
– 27
Tiffany Briscoe
– 23
Sarah Wright
– 13
Kyla Briscoe
– 7
Charlotte Langille
– 2
Allison Wenzel
– 2

Boys:

Hunter Smith – 185
Gabe Wynn
– 131
Brian Shank
– 84
Ethan Spark
– 74
Hunter Downes
– 36
Joey Lippo
– 16
Cameron Toomey-Stout
– 16
Steven Cope
– 9
Ariah Bepler
– 5
Jered Brown
– 5

Youth will be served!!

Anthony Bergeron (bottom, left) is joined by (clockwise( Joel Walstad, Oscar Liquidano and Jennifer Spark. (John Fisken and Shelli Trumbull photos)

   Anthony Bergeron (bottom, left) is joined by (clockwise) Joel Walstad, Oscar Liquidano and Jennifer Spark. (John Fisken and Shelli Trumbull photos)

We might have to ask for ID’s.

We’re going all “new school” today as we induct our 81st class into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

But while our four CHS grads are all young enough they could still easily pass for high school students if a 21 Jump Street situation were to arise, they all left behind a strong body of work.

So let’s not wait years to give them their props, but get it done long before any of them would need a wheelchair to get to the induction ceremony.

With that, we welcome engaged couple Anthony Bergeron and Jennifer Spark and gridiron brothers in arms Joel Walstad and Oscar Liquidano.

After this, you’ll find all four at the top of the blog under the Legends tab.

Our first inductee, Spark, can stand with any player to ever pull on a CHS soccer jersey.

Owner of a leg which launched nuclear strikes, she is arguably the best defender in Wolf girls soccer history, but one who impacted play all across the field.

Spark scored a surprising amount of goals for a defensive player, and most of her tallies came on long, booming kicks which exploded, then curled over the surprised goaltender’s head.

Her best score?

Probably the one that left her foot at midfield, traveled on a low, vicious line, then hit the goaltender squarely on the top of the head and ricocheted into the back of the net as her teammates (and family) went bonkers.

A quiet, but very effective, team captain, Spark battled through a terrible leg injury to star as both a high school and select team player, and made the jump to college soccer this past fall.

Hard-working, extremely likable and a rock-solid young woman, both on and off the field, Sparky set a high standard for her teammates and the young women who will follow her on the pitch, and her legend will continue to loom large.

Her beau, Mr. Bergeron, came to competitive basketball fairly late.

But, in his two years as a Wolf, he transformed from a quiet, studious young man who worked long hours in the gym to a quiet, studious young man who soared through the skies and became one of the rare Wolves to legitimately dunk during game action.

Anthony is a testament to where hard work will take you, as he went from a rough-around-the-edges JV player who showed flashes of brilliance to an electrifying varsity player.

He always had hops, which he showcased early during his stint as a football receiver.

There is a photo out there somewhere, shot by Shelli Trumbull, in which Bergeron is almost a full body length above his defender, plucking a throw from fellow inductee Walstad, out of the evening sky.

On the basketball court, Bergeron, as his confidence grew, begin to play above the court more and more, a rare weapon in a Wolf hoops program where most of the action has been at ground level in recent years.

A class act, on and off the court, he’s gone on to launch a career in the US Navy and pop the question to Spark, taking over the world one quiet grin at a time.

Our third inductee, Liquidano, The Big O, is a rock of a man, an imposing football lineman and soccer defender who also knocked down a few foes on the basketball court during his day.

When he wasn’t protecting his QB or goalkeeper, Oscar was also a ball of fire in the stands and on the sidelines, one of the most vocal and enthusiastic fans of his fellow Wolf athletes you could find.

The body said, “I’m gonna knock you on your rear,” while the epic smile told you, “And then I’ll pick you back up and muss your hair.”

Oscar is the oldest in a family that has provided a string of superior athletes to CHS.

Uriel and Estefanny have followed in his footsteps, and the Liquidano family has become a vital part of Wolf Nation.

Now he’s a married man (having wed fellow CHS grad Ashlyn Miller) and a proud papa, yet never too busy to come back and cheer his siblings and former classmates, his voice booming from the stands.

It’s a bit of a recurring tend today, but Oscar, like his fellow inductees, earns his spot in the Hall for two reasons — his athletic skills and his character. Both are first-rate.

The same could be said of our fourth and final inductee, Walstad, who joins older sister Bessie in punching his ticket for entry to our digital wonderland.

A three-sport athlete (football, basketball, soccer), he was a star in all three, combining hustle and grit with talent and charisma to emerge as one of the most memorable of Wolves to wear the uniform during this decade.

He poured in buckets on the hardwood and deflected countless shots on goal while guarding the net on the pitch, but his senior season on the gridiron is what truly seals the deal.

Under the guidance of Tony Maggio, Walstad took the reigns in 2014 and put together one of the best seasons ever compiled by a Wolf QB.

Throwing for 1,675 yards and a school single-season record 18 touchdowns (he also scored four times as a runner), Walstad guided Coupeville to its best record in a decade.

That he kicked off the season by thrashing South Whidbey (going 20-29 for 252 yards and 3 TDs) to claim The Bucket? The cherry on top.

Four stellar athletes, four stellar human beings. The Hall o’ Fame is honored to welcome you all home.