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Matt Hilborn was named team MVP for his senior season on the baseball diamond. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Jake Pease won the team’s “Dirt Bag Award” for plays like this.

A late-season run carried the Coupeville High School baseball squad to the playoffs, and won the Wolves some fans among league coaches.

When All-Conference balloting was finished, four CHS diamond men landed North Sound Conference Second-Team honors.

Seniors Matt Hilborn, Jake Pease, and Dane Lucero were tabbed, while junior catcher Gavin Knoblich also got the call.

Those awards were just the start of what Coupeville coach Chris Smith doled out Tuesday, as he and his staff held a season-ending awards banquet.

Hilborn, who led the team on the mound and at the plate, was named the MVP, while Lucero was tabbed as Offensive Player of the Year and Knoblich as Defensive Player of the Year.

Pease claimed the “Dirt Bag Award,” Gavin Straub was handed the “Aiden Award,” named after former CHS player Aiden Crimmins, and Lucero and Pease were honored as captains.

Seniors Lucero, Pease, Hilborn, and Shane Losey notched Four-Year awards for playing their entire high school career.

 

Varsity letter winners:

Mason Grove
Matt Hilborn
Gavin Knoblich
Shane Losey
Dane Lucero
Daniel Olson
Bryce Payne
Jake Pease
Cody Roberts
Ulrik Wells
Hawthorne Wolfe

 

Participation Awards:

Jonny Carlson
Sage Sharp
Gavin Straub
Seth Weatherford

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Central Whidbey sluggers celebrate a win Monday. L to r, it’s John Rachal, Alex Smith, Aiden O’Neill, Landon Roberts, Jacob Schooley, Camden Glover, Chase Anderson, and Jordan Bradford. (Carron Chernobieff photo)

They’ve got the bounce-back perfected.

Rebounding from a close loss Thursday, the Central Whidbey Little League Majors baseball team returned to their home field Tuesday and promptly drilled the North Whidbey Diamondbacks 9-4.

The win at Rhododendron Park lifts the Wolves to 7-2 on the season.

After surrendering a run in the top of the first Tuesday, Central Whidbey immediately responded, throwing down a five-run rally in the bottom half of the frame.

Aiden O’Neill ripped a lead-off triple, then, with the rival pitcher dazed and confused, the Wolves added singles off the bats of Chase Anderson, Camden Glover, Jordan Bradford, and Jacob Schooley.

From there, Central Whidbey added a run in the fourth, thanks to a single from Landon Roberts and an RBI double launched by Glover, before putting the game on ice with a three-run fifth.

Eagle eyes helped in the fifth, as John Rachal, Anderson, Glover and Marcelo Gebhard eked out walks, while Roberts and Bradford plunked singles.

The Wolves used three pitchers to stifle their Island rivals, with Bradford getting the start and tossing four solid innings.

After whiffing five, he handed the ball to Glover, who struck out two more batters.

From there, Anderson came in to close things out, also K’ing up another two North Whidbey sluggers.

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CJ Smith tossed 4+ innings of shutout ball Saturday as he and the Green River College baseball team ended their season. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

He closed with a vengeance.

Coupeville High School grad CJ Smith pitched strongly on the final day of his freshman college baseball season, offering a glimmer of hope to a Green River team ending a tough trek.

While the Gators were swept in a doubleheader Saturday by Lower Columbia College, bringing their final mark to 4-32, CJ and younger brother Hunter Smith offer hope for the future.

Hunter was the team’s lead-off hitter until he suffered a broken hand after being plunked by a wayward pitch with eight games left on the schedule.

CJ became Green River’s #1 relief pitcher, and ended up tying for the team lead in appearances and saves.

His final game was essentially over when he entered, as Lower Columbia had shelled two Gator hurlers for 12 runs in 4.1 innings.

But, after CJ took the ball, things righted themselves.

He ripped off the final 4.2 innings, holding Lower Columbia scoreless while whiffing two and scattering three hits.

While his offense couldn’t get all the way back, Green River did scratch out three runs during CJ’s time in the game, making for a 3-0 “mini-win” and a 12-3 loss.

On the season, CJ made 13 appearances, including one start, striking out 11 over 30 innings of work.

He finished 0-1 with a save, one of two earned by Gator relievers, and was third-best in ERA among Green River hurlers who made three or more appearances.

The Green River diamond squad was one in transition this spring, with a roster full of fresh faces, and, while the record might not reflect it, it was a team which showed great promise.

Both Smith brothers are expected to return for their sophomore seasons.

Gossip bubbling around Coupeville indicates at least one, and maybe more, former Wolf teammates may seek to join them as Gators next spring.

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Maddy Andrews hearts tennis. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Dane Lucero waits for the ball to smack into his mitt.

Amanda Thomas made her high school softball debut for the Coupeville JV team this spring.

Though just a freshman, Abby Mulholland made an immediate impact as a hard-hitting netter.

Ashley Menges is there for the assist, helping volleyball teammate Lucy Sandahl land a Prom date with Daniel Olson.

Seth Weatherford stretches out, lunging for home in a late-season game.

Annika Heller was one of three foreign exchange students to join the CHS tennis team.

Fab frosh Ja’Kenya Hoskins (striped shirt) lays down the law. “OK, enough with the photos. Maybe go do some real writing now.”

There’s no real flow to this story.

Probably because it really isn’t a story at all, just a collection of spring sports photos I haven’t used, but need to get out to the public at some point.

Hopping nilly-willy between tennis, baseball, and softball, with some fan pics sprinkled over the top, it’s light, glossy, and makes for fast “reading.”

Perfect for a Wednesday.

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Coupeville baseball stars Jordan Bradford (left) and Camden Glover celebrate another win. (Photo by Carron Chernobieff)

Softball isn’t the only sport tearing up the Island this spring.

The Central Whidbey Little League Majors baseball team is off to a scorching start as well, rolling to a 6-1 mark.

Their latest victim was the Oak Harbor Angels, who went down hard Tuesday night, falling 17-4 to Coupeville’s diamond men.

Central Whidbey, whose only loss this season was a 1-0 thriller with South Whidbey, came out swinging the big bats against Oak Harbor.

The Wolves plated three runs in the first, thanks to a booming double from Chase Anderson and sharply-hit singles zinging off the bats of Landon Roberts and Jacob Schooley.

With Jordan Bradford dealing on the hill, peppering strikes, Central Whidbey was able to deal more easily with a number of players being out of position.

Jack and Johnny Porter are out-of-state for two weeks, so Roberts slapped on the catcher’s gear for the first time this season, while several of his teammates bounced to unfamiliar playing destinations.

Not that it mattered, as Bradford whiffed two hitters in the first, and the Wolves nailed a runner coming in to third.

Spurred on by its defensive stand, Central Whidbey opened up the offensive floodgates, sending nine runners across the plate in the second inning thanks to five hits and four walks.

Marcelo Gebhard, Anderson, Roberts, Bradford, and Schooley all had the magic touch, rifling base-knocks, and the tone was set for the rest of the game.

Bradford set two more Oak Harbor hitters down swinging, then turned the mound over to Aiden O’Neill, who made a successful season debut as a pitcher.

The Wolf reliever struck out two, before Roberts came on to play Mariano Rivera, whiffing the game’s final three would-be sluggers.

John Rachal, Camden Glover, and Roberts added base-hits down the stretch, while Anderson and Roberts teamed up for a sparkling defensive play, the Wolf shortstop pegging a nice throw that his first-baseman plucked out of the air while in a full stretch.

The Wolves get right back at it Thursday, when they travel to Windjammer Park in Oak Harbor to face off with the North Whidbey Mariners, a team they’ve already beaten once.

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