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Coupeville grad Makana Stone was honored by Whitman College for her athletic and academic performance. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Coupeville’s Makana Stone was one of six student/athletes honored recently by Whitman College.

The former Wolf, who is headed into her senior year at the Walla Walla school, and her compatriots were hailed at the fourth annual fall awards picnic.

Whitman’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, which is made up of current athletes, chose two top performers each from last year’s freshman, sophomore, and junior classes.

The picnic was a way to bring together athletes from all 15 Blues varsity sports programs, while also including the incoming freshmen recruiting classes.

A barbecue was served and Whitman’s new Athletic Director, Kim Chandler, made her debut at the event.

The winners from the 2018-2019 school year:

Freshmen:

Bella White (swim)

Michael Chang (swim)

Sophomores:

Sage Ali (lacrosse)

Peter Sephens (soccer)

Juniors:

Makana Stone (basketball)

Travis Craven (baseball)

Whitman women’s basketball kicks off a new season with an exhibition game Nov. 2 in Ellensburg against Central Washington University.

The first game to count in the win/loss standings arrives Nov. 15 when the Blues host Concordia University during the 2019 Whit Classic.

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Gavin O’Keefe is a little older now than he was in this photo, but his basketball skills remain on-point. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

No subs, no worries.

Playing with the minimum three players, “Trust the Process,” a team headed up by former Coupeville High School basketball stars Kramer and Gavin O’Keefe, finished second at a 3-on-3 hoops tourney Saturday on the South end of the Island.

The hot-shooting brothers teamed up with Kyle Collins to come within a late three-ball of winning the title, before falling to the Monstars, a squad led by former South Whidbey High School supernova Parker Collins.

“Trust the Process” dropped a close opening game, then ripped off three straight wins to emerge from the loser’s bracket and get their shot at the Monstars, who finished 4-0 in tourney play.

The five-team, double-elimination event, which is in its ninth year, was hosted by LM Premier and the South Whidbey Parks and Recreation District.

Played outside on the Rotary Court, which was built thanks to money raised by previous 3-on-3 tourneys, the hoops extravaganza raised funds for a scholarship program which covers youth basketball registration fees for families in need.

Along with the games, the event included a three-point shooting contest, won by current SWHS player Nick Young.

During their time at CHS, the O’Keefe brothers, who are part of arguably the most-successful basketball-playing family in school history, both had stellar careers.

Kramer rattled the rim for 636 points, which puts him #27 all-time on the Wolf boys career scoring chart, which has been adding names for 102 seasons.

He’s second among family members, with uncle Randy Keefe sitting at #3 all-time with 1088 points.

A horrifying string of injuries prevented Gavin from flying up the scoring chart as far as he would have, but, when he was healthy, he was a spark plug for the Wolves, playing his heart out and drilling jumpers from all angles.

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Foster Faris, one of the best athletes in CHS history, and also a tough son of a gun.

Kids were just tougher in the ’70s.

Or, parents, coaches, and doctors weren’t as sensitive.

One of the two, but I’m going with a lot of the first, and a little of the second.

Case in point, Foster Faris, universally hailed as one of the best athletes to ever suit up for Coupeville High School.

I was leafing through old Whidbey News-Times clippings today when I stumbled across a story from June 16, 1977.

The piece hailed Faris for being named the 76-77 CHS Athlete of the Year, an honor he earned after playing football, basketball, and baseball.

During his days on the gridiron, he played quarterback, split end, cornerback, punter, and placekicker.

In basketball, Faris pumped in 668 points, and still stands as the 21st highest scorer after 102 seasons of Wolf boys hoops.

He was #10 when he graduated, long before the three-point line arrived.

And while Faris scored oodles of buckets, he also led the Wolves in assists and steals as a senior.

That season, Coupeville fell just short of state — denied by a two-point loss to Bellevue Christian — robbing Faris of a third-straight trip to the big dance.

Once spring sprung, the guy hailed as “Mr. Everything” hit .406 for the Wolf baseball squad, stole 32 bases, picked up 17 RBI’s and scored 35 runs as CHS romped to a fourth-straight league title.

The ’70s were a decade of excellence for Coupeville, probably the best run male athletes have ever had in Cow Town.

And Faris was as good an athlete as Wolf fans have ever witnessed.

But the point of this story, today, is to highlight two paragraphs from that ’77 story.

Paragraphs which caught my attention, paragraphs which will never be written in a modern-day story.

Here they are:

Although only 135 pounds (127 during football season), Faris has proved to be quite durable, with his only serious injuries coming during football season.

A broken finger, two brain concussions and a sprained ankle, all incurred while playing cornerback on defense, have never caused Faris to miss more than part of a game.

Gol-dang!

Now, I know what you’re going to say. Modern medicine is making people safer, yadda yadda yadda.

Stow it.

It was 1977, a time when a six-year-old me would ride around town (and on the freeway) sitting on the engine block of my dad’s work van.

Which meant every time my dad’s foot jammed through the brake pad, my head bounced off the wind-shield and then I flew into the back of the van, where all his jagged carpet cleaning tools and giant pump bottles of weird chemicals were waiting to break my fall.

I was six, Foster Faris was 17, and we were just tougher than these whippersnappers today. End of story.

Now get off my lawn!

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Nicholas Armstrong will be a freshman at Coupeville High School this fall. (Photos courtesy Tara Armstrong)

He plans to play football and basketball for the Wolves.

Nicholas Armstrong arrived just in time.

A recent newcomer to the Coupeville School district — he wrapped up the last month of his middle school days at CMS — he’s eager to provide depth to the high school football program.

Armstrong makes the jump to freshman status at CHS this fall, and has already been on the field, putting in time with the Wolves during spring practice.

A big fan of the TV show The Office, he has his heart set on one day winning a college football or basketball scholarship.

He’ll be adding hoops to his resume in Coupeville, as it’s one of the few 1A schools in the state not to offer wrestling, which he competed in prior to arriving in Cow Town.

Armstrong is an equal opportunity athlete, one who competes hard in any sport he plays, but football will always be his go-to favorite.

“(I like it) because it’s a team and contact sport,” he said.

Whether on the field, the mat, or the hardwood, Armstrong enjoys “being able to do any sport and being good at it.”

When looking at his strengths and areas he’d like to improve on, he hails “being able to run for a long time” as one of his best traits.

Armstrong would like to “build a little more muscle,” and, with the support of his parents and friends, plans to continue to chase his sports dreams.

And for a Wolf football program in need of every player it can find, consider his arrival a blessing.

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Allie Lucero will join twin sister Maya as freshmen at Coupeville High School this fall. (Photos courtesy Jess Lucero)

In between playing three sports, Lucero finds time to hang out with a wide variety of animals.

You name it, Allie Lucero is likely involved in it.

Much like twin sister Maya, she plays three sports, while also pursuing a wide range of activities from band to Girls Scouts and way beyond.

Which doesn’t mean Lucero can’t also find time to tend to a menagerie of animals.

She has her dog, Yadi, to play with, while also commanding an army of chickens and ducks the family raises.

Lucero, who will be a freshman at Coupeville High School in the fall, tabs language arts as her favorite class, and likes to “read, hang out with friends and family, paint, watch Netflix, cook, and garden.”

And, somehow, in the middle of all that, she finds the time to also be one of the town’s most-promising young athletes.

During her middle school days, Lucero played SWISH and school basketball, club and school volleyball, and little league softball.

She plans to stay true to all three sports as she hits the high school stage, which is great news for local fans, as she and Maya bring skill, determination, and a love of the game to everything they do.

Following in the footsteps of older brother Dane, who just graduated from CHS after playing football, basketball, and baseball, Allie is out to make a name for herself.

“It would be pretty memorable and awesome if I had a chance to go to state for any sport,” Lucero said.

“I would also like to make varsity on one or all of these sports throughout high school,” she added. “And, finally, I want to improve and succeed.”

Lucero, who springs from a family with a deep sports background, embraces the chance to be an athlete.

“I enjoy staying active and always learning new things as an athlete,” she said.

Turning lessons into improvement on the field or court is huge for Lucero.

“Some (of my) strengths as an athlete are staying positive and enthusiastic, and my level of commitment,” she said.

“My best skills are serving and setting in volleyball, and fielding and hitting in softball,” Lucero added. “Yet, there is always more that I can learn and improve on with these sports.”

She’s picked up these lessons from many people along the way, and approaches each practice, each game, eager to soak up knowledge.

“There are many people who have helped me become the athlete that I am today,” Lucero said. “My coaches, who have always helped me improve on what I needed work on.

“This includes my mom and dad, who have supported me ever since I started sports,” she added. “My dad has always given great advice, and something he says that I will always remember, is to become successful by doing the things that others aren’t willing to do.”

Being a twin, Lucero always has someone else close by who’s playing at the same level as she is, which is a nice built-in advantage.

Maya has also supported me and has practiced with me in our yard countless times.”

While she approaches all of her sports with an open heart and a gung-ho attitude, Lucero is most at home in the fall and spring.

“My favorite sports are softball and volleyball,” she said. “I love softball because I have played it since I was seven. I love the game, and I always have the best time hitting or fielding.

“Volleyball is also a favorite, because even though I haven’t played it for very long, it always excites me, and it never gets old or boring!,” Lucero added. “I love these sports because I can always explore improvements to make, and I find them super fun.”

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