Archive for the ‘2020: Looking Back’ Category

COVID-19, still the biggest story as 2020 ends. Here, a mask-clad Taylor Brotemarkle goes through a basketball practice. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Well, we’ve seen better years.

In the Age of Coronavirus, there’s little suspense as to what was the biggest story of 2020.

No Coupeville High School sports team has played a game since the Wolf girls basketball team fell to Meridian February 11 in a loser-out playoff game.

Even with the arrival of the first vaccines, that probably won’t change for awhile.

Spring sports were cancelled, fall sports were postponed, and winter remains a question mark.

But, in between the two times I tried to walk away from the blog this year, there were other stories which arose.

So, since the “retirements” turned into “vacations” both times, I’m still here to take a look back at what was what.

20 stories to define 2020, in fairly random order:


20 — Geoff Kappes named Principal at CHS, replacing Duane Baumann, who circles back around to rejoin the school as Special Services Director.


19 — Former Wolf spiker Ashley Menges, a 2019 CHS grad, hired as Wolf JV volleyball coach, replacing Chris Smith, who moves off-Island.

Ashley Menges makes the transition from player to coach.


18 — Jim Waller, my high school journalism teacher, retires from the Whidbey News-Times, ending his second run as Sports Editor at the newspaper.

I am now the “elder statesman” of Whidbey sports journalism, which will give a lot of people, myself included, the cold sweats.


17 — Island Greens, the reasonably-priced nine-hole golf course which welcomed thousands of duffers to Clinton, sold and (seemingly) shut down.

After 33 years, no more tee shots. (Photo property Island Greens)


16 — Coupeville grad Kyle King, a five-time state champ during his high school track and field days, runs the marathon at the US Olympic Team Trials.

He finishes a very-respectable 47th out of 222 runners, with his fastest mile coming late in the race.


15 — Seventh-grader Savina Wells makes her hardwood debut for Coupeville Middle School and outscores the other team by herself.

Dropping in 20 points through three quarters, while also cleaning the boards and running the point, she paces the Wolves to a 41-15 rout of Northshore Christian Academy.

Savina Wells leads the charge. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)


14 — Ally Roberts caps her college equestrian career with a regional championship in Advanced Western Horsemanship.

While COVID prevents her from attending nationals, she exits Western Washington University with her degree — the biggest award of them all.


13 — Coupeville loses a pair of legends, as Larrie Ford and Jack McFadyen pass away.

The former was a Hall of Fame coach with CHS track, the latter one of the most loyal fans Wolf athletes have ever had.

Jack McFadyen with his grandkids. (Photo courtesy Carmen McFadyen)


12 — Wolf grad Nick Streubel closes his football career at Central Washington University with a pair of honors, being named to the All-Super Region team, and to his school’s All-Decade squad.


11 — Lauren Grove, one of just two athletes in the CHS Class of 2017 to play a sport in all 12 seasons, is badly-burnt in a grease fire.

In her recovery fight, and her willingness to share the painful journey with others at lauren (@the.burnt.bitch), she remains one of the strongest women I know.


10 — Maya Toomey-Stout, Scout Smith, and Sean Toomey-Stout tabbed as CHS Athlete of the Year winners. It’s the second-straight time Sean takes top honors.

Scout Smith wheels ‘n deals. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)


9 — College sports are calling, as Mica Shipley (Eastern Washington University – cheer), Mallory Kortuem (Western Washington University – track), Ja’Tarya Hoskins (St. Martin’s – track), and Ben Smith (Culver-Stockton – football) find their next destinations.


8 — CHS boys basketball avenges a series of losses to its personal boogeyman, finally taking Port Townsend down.

With sophomore sensations Xavier Murdy and Hawthorne Wolfe banging away for 22 and 21 points, respectively, the Wolf varsity romps to a 79-66 win at home, a sign of good things to come.

Brad Sherman has a word with his team.


7 — Call ’em the comeback kings. The Wolf JV boys basketball team pulls off several stunning come-from-behind wins, but two stand out.

Trailing Granite Falls by three points headed to the final frame, Coupeville explodes for a 56-42 win as Daniel Olson dumps in 13 of his game-high 26 over the final eight minutes.

The most-satisfying victory, however, might have come against arch-rival South Whidbey, when the Wolves scored 27 fourth-quarter points to nail down a 70-63 win.

Going Olson one better, Murdy nets 14 in the final quarter.


6 — Coaching jobs start multiplying, with Chris Smith (baseball, volleyball, boys basketball), Erin Locke (middle school volleyball), and Luke Samford (cross country) all leaving Whidbey.

Meanwhile, Kyle Nelson is still hanging around as Wolf girls soccer coach, but lets go of his boys soccer gig.


5 — After years of being one of the smallest schools in 1A, Coupeville officially moves back to 2B and its old stomping grounds in the Northwest 2B/1B League.

COVID has delayed the transition, but some day it will become reality on the playing field as well.

Mollie Bailey (32) and Audrianna Shaw will move from 1A to 2B.


4 — End of an era, as longtime CHS teacher/coaches Randy King and Ron Bagby retire, along with registrar Marie Bagby.


3 — CHS grad Makana Stone caps a splendid four-year run of basketball excellence at Whitman College, graduating as the #2 rebounder and #5 scorer in program history.

She plays in 110 games for the Blues, including making a record 92 starts, and earns All-American and All-Region honors to go with the Northwest Conference MVP award.

Makana Stone, swishin’ hoops and dazzlin’ folks in Jolly Olde England. (Photo property Loughborough University)


2 — Not content to stop with America, Stone moves to England.

Six games into her first season at Loughborough University, she’s been tabbed twice as the Women’s National Basketball League Player of the Week, and has made the Team of the Week four times.


1 — COVID. It was, and is, a whole thing. But tomorrow is another day.

They will be back in action at some point. Believe it.

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