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Archive for the ‘Boys Basketball’ Category

From little league through high school ball, Aaron Trumbull was a class act. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Aaron Trumbull was a rock.

When you look back on his athletic career, the word which pops up most often is “consistent.”

He crossed paths with big-time stars like Ben Etzell, Josh Bayne, Aaron Curtin, and Nick Streubel, to name a few, but he not only held his own, his stats can stand with anyone from his time period.

And he did it all in a quiet, classy manner that can’t, and shouldn’t, be overlooked.

Trumbull delivered big hits, threw big pitches, and sank big buckets, but he approached every game in the same manner – as a solid pro.

He was a key player on a little league team which won a state title, finished higher on the CHS boys basketball career scoring chart than you probably think, but also shone brightly in small moments.

That he’s not already in the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame is a surprise and a shame.

I whiffed on this one somehow, but better late than never.

Today we throw open the doors to our lil’ digital wonderland, and welcome Mr. Trumbull to a club which couldn’t be complete without him.

After this, every time you look at the top of the blog, then peek under the Legends tab, you’ll find him strolling by, confident in his own abilities, but never one to scream and holler about how great he was.

Like older sister Alexis, who is also in the Hall o’ Fame, Aaron just went about his day, and let his actions speak for themselves.

He was a star as a young player, part of the 2010 Central Whidbey Little League Juniors baseball team which, under the guidance of coach Chris Tumblin, rumbled to an unexpected state title.

In the championship game, Trumbull came through twice with the pressure on, helping Coupeville upend West Valley 10-9 in 10 innings.

Down three runs entering the seventh, and final, regular inning, Trumbull, Wade Schaef, and Morgan Payne all delivered base-knocks as Central Whidbey rallied to force extra innings.

Then, in the 10th, it was Trumbull who rapped a single to plate Jake Tumblin with the game, and title-winning, run.

Once he hit high school, Trumbull continued to soar, both as a baseball player and basketball star.

His time on the hardwood came at a time when Coupeville’s fortunes were at an all-time low, as losses piled up and the team adapted to a new system after Randy King’s retirement.

Through it all, Trumbull was, as I said before, a rock.

He fought like a devil on the boards, crashed for loose balls, and did what he could to put points in the book for a Wolf team which struggled to generate much offense.

In fact, Trumbull finished with 330 career points, which leaves him sitting as the #77 scorer across 102 years of CHS boys basketball.

On the baseball diamond, whether he was flinging heat from the mound, or holding down first base, he was as steady as they come.

The hardball team had more success during his years at CHS than the basketball team did, and Trumbull was always a big part of that.

But, his impact went beyond wins and losses, or stats.

One of the defining moments of Coupeville athletics is one 99% of people never saw happen, or never heard about.

Late in his career, the Wolves had a number of JV players, but not enough to field a full nine-man lineup.

That meant a different varsity player or two had to fill in each game, to give their teammates a chance to see the field.

It went pretty well, until one Wolf decided they were above it all, and threw a hissy fit at the suggestion they could, for one day, “play down.”

As the JV players milled around, and the other team tried to avoid eye contact with CHS coach Willie Smith as he edged towards going into full-on stroke mode, Trumbull stood up and left the bench.

He had already pulled JV duty in a previous game, and was a much-bigger varsity star than the player throwing the hissy fit, and yet it mattered not to him.

Instead, Trumbull strode over, snatched the ball from his red-faced teammate, turned to the JV players, said “let’s do this,” and led them on the field.

That moment, above all others, above his state title-winning base-knock, or the buckets he hit while being double and triple-teamed, goes to the very core of who Aaron was, is, and will always be.

He didn’t leave teammates behind, didn’t leave them hanging, didn’t embarrass them.

Aaron Trumbull is among the classiest players to ever pull on a Wolf uniform, and he earned his spot in our Hall of Fame every single day he played.

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Ulrik Wells was a force on both ends of the floor Tuesday, as Coupeville drilled Friday Harbor 54-41 in a scrimmage. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

No one has touched them this spring.

And with that word – spring – we can probably simmer down, but still, the Coupeville High School boys basketball team is off to a strong start.

First came a 5-0 run through the Crescent Classic, and Tuesday, it was time for the Wolves to lace up their sneakers and go toe-to-toe, and three-ball-to-three-ball, with visiting Friday Harbor in a scrimmage.

Playing two 25-minute halves, with a running clock and refs working the floor, Coupeville rebounded from a slow start, then poured it on, building a 24-point second-half lead before walking off with a 54-41 victory.

And it was those three-balls which did a lot of the damage.

Back-to-back daggers from Hawthorne Wolfe and Logan Martin gave the Wolves the lead for good midway through the first half, and, by the time it was done, CHS rained down 10 shots from behind the arc.

The two teams played with very different styles, as Coupeville won the three-point battle 10-3 (providing a nice 30-9 cushion), while Friday Harbor spent much more time at the free-throw line, carving out a 16-4 advantage in made shots.

In the early going, the Wolves hit the boards with ferocity, getting strong glass-cleaning work from the trio of Ulrik Wells, Gavin Knoblich, and Jacobi Pilgrim.

Only problem is, Coupeville couldn’t get anything to drop, going nearly five minutes into the game before any of its players found the bottom of the net.

That was Knoblich, who finally broke the seal on the rim, banging home a short runner in the paint off a feed from Sean Toomey-Stout.

Koa Davison immediately hit a shot of his own the next trip down the floor, pulling off a bang-bang give-and-go play with Knoblich.

That cut the margin to 5-4, and the game stayed as a one or two basket affair for the game’s first 14 minutes.

Daniel Olson picked the pocket of a Friday Harbor guard, then crashed end-to-end, smacking the layup home under great duress, to stake CHS to its first lead at 8-7.

But it was the final 10-11 minutes of the first half which radically changed the flow of the game.

Three different Wolves — Martin, Wolfe, and Davison — splashed home three-balls as Coupeville went on an 11-0 run, gave back one single, solitary bucket, then tacked on another quick seven points.

The eventual 18-2 surge carried CHS into the halftime locker room up 26-13, and Friday Harbor would never remotely sniff the lead again.

The Wolves, who had a 12-7 advantage in players — even with varsity vets Mason Grove and Jered Brown sitting out the game — used their depth to run the visitors a bit ragged, especially after the break.

Coupeville used a 14-3 surge coming out of the break, with Wolfe hitting for eight of the points, to push its lead out to 40-16, which would be the high-water mark for the afternoon.

Brad Sherman’s squad mixed it up, using the long ball to knock Friday Harbor back on its heels, before utilizing crisp, efficient passing to garner buckets on quick slashes to the hoop.

While Wolfe dropped three of his four treys in the second half, his prettiest bucket came on a little one-hander that was set up by a one-man-wrecking-crew play from Wells.

The CHS big man took the ball three-quarters the length of the court, sucked the defense to him, then flicked a perfect lil’ set-up pass to Wolfe, who was strolling through the paint, acting all innocent until he gutted the defense.

Other Coupeville players had big moments, as well.

Knoblich nailed back-to-back buckets, one after he chased down a loose ball, then spun and hit nothing but net, the other on a shot which made almost as many bounces on the rim as Kawhi Leonard’s┬áseries winner against Philly.

When Wells wasn’t setting others up, he was benefiting from the positive karma he had collected.

Martin, holding down the back line, went airborne to reject a Friday Harbor shot, smashing the ball right onto Wolfe’s fingertips.

Skipping second gear, and going right to third, Wolfe spun down the right side of the court, before zipping the ball on a bead to Wells coming down the left, setting him up for a sweet layup.

Then there was Xavier Murdy, the right man in the right place, with the right touch on the ball.

Davison drove the lane, got hammered by multiple enforcers, and saw the ball pop loose and shoot towards the sideline.

But, a mere moment before the orb disappeared for good, Murdy, coming in hot, yanked the ball out of the air, reversed on a dime and let fly with a fall-away three-ball.

Time stopped for a second, then ball tickled the twines as it landed with a soft, satisfying plop, sending Wolf JV players in the stands into near hysterics.

In the end, nine of the 12 Wolves in uniform scored, led by Wolfe’s game-high 15-point performance.

Knoblich (6), Martin (6), Jean Lund-Olsen (6), Davison (5), Murdy (5), Olson (5), Wells (4), and Toomey-Stout (2) also scored.

Wolfe ruffled the nets for a crowd-pleasing four treys, while Lund-Olsen and Martin netted two apiece. Murdy and Davison rounded out the three-ball assassins.

While they didn’t score, Pilgrim, Tucker Hall, and Sage Downes all delivered with strong work on the defensive end of the floor.

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“So, anything else you want to tell us, coach?” “Nope.” (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Well, it hasn’t been a full five months…

I swear, the next time Ron Bagby tells me he won an award will be the first.

The former Coupeville High School coach still wanders the hallways and gyms at the school, fulfilling his teacherly duties, and I’ve run into him on numerous occasions as winter turned into spring.

Yet, in typical low-key Bags style, he never once mentioned he was inducted into another Hall of Fame back in January.

I mean, once you’re in the totally made-up Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame, as he is, probably everything else kind of pales in comparison. I get it.

But, thanks to a tip from Carmen McFadyen, who got the news from her son Jason, who starred for football and basketball teams coached by Bags back in the day, who got the info from former teammate Dan Neider, I’m on top of things.

Five months late…

So, back in Jan., Bags snuck out of town, headed down the road to his former home, the far-flung outpost of Forks, and was inducted into the Spartan Basketball Hall of Fame.

And I’m gonna stop you right there.

Forks High School has a freakin’ REAL Hall of Fame for basketball and we here in Coupeville DO NOT.

Come on, people.

We have Jeff Stone, and Bill Riley, and Jeff Rhubottom, and the ’69-’70 Team o’ Death and Destruction, and 10,000 Keefe brothers, and Jack “The Zinger” Elzinga.

Then there’s Hawthorne Wolfe, the floppy-haired reincarnation of Pistol Pete, coming for all their scoring records, and on and on it goes.

And that’s only half the story, with the girls game giving us Makana Stone, and Novi Barron, and Marlene Grasser, with Maddie Big Time droppin’ half-court bombs and Julia Myers droppin’ forearm shivers.

I want a frickin’ real Hall of Fame!

But anyways.

Back in reality, or Forks at least, Bags was always kind of a big deal in the town long before the sparkly vampires brought in all the tourists.

In his younger days, he won a state track title in 1978, blistering the oval in the 100, and this on the heels of being a First-Team All-State running back for a team he helped propel deep into the playoffs.

So they know his name, and his game, in Forks.

During a doubleheader against Tenino this winter, the laconic one was immortalized again, this time for his play on the hardwood.

And for any of his students who watch him amble by, and think to themselves, “I could beat Bags,” no, you can’t, and yes, you’re an idiot.

Time may have (slightly) tamped down his hops, but he’d still annihilate you on the court … then never tell me about it.

Back when he was wearing the Forks shorty shorts, Bags tossed in 52 points against Tenino, setting a Far West League single-game record which stands to this day.

Just to put the cherry on top, his final bucket, coming in a game before the three-point line, came off of a steal, and the ensuing layup capped a 79-77 win for the Spartans.

At which point he exited the court, looked around at all the fans, and said, “Let us never speak of this again.”

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Coupeville boys basketball, which boasts nine players who will be seniors this coming season, went 5-0 this weekend, winning the Crescent Classic. (Mindy Grove photo)

The underclassmen join the action. (Photo courtesy Brad Sherman)

Right now, at this moment in time, they’re undefeated.

The high school boys basketball season is still months and months away, but that’s not stopping Coupeville from getting after it.

Prepping for an upcoming team camp, the Wolves traveled off-Island this weekend, and returned home as Crescent Classic champs.

Coupeville, facing off with Chimacum, Forks, and the host team, went 5-0 to nab the title.

Having traveled 154.8 miles round-trip to Crescent, the Wolves earned a win for every 31 miles.

CHS coach Brad Sherman had his full team at his disposal, with all nine returning full-time varsity players in attendance.

That group includes Jacobi Pilgrim, Jered Brown, Hawthorne Wolfe, Jean Lund-Olsen, Gavin Knoblich, Ulrik Wells, Mason Grove, Koa Davison, and Sean Toomey-Stout.

Also along for the trip were Daniel Olson and Xavier Murdy, who were swing players during the 2018-2019 season, and Tucker Hall.

After a season in which Coupeville had just one senior, the now-graduated Dane Lucero, the Wolves could boast nine 12th graders this winter.

The only underclassmen in the current varsity group are Olson, who will be a junior, and Wolfe and Murdy, who will be sophomores.

Their coach came away from the trip pleased with the results, and, more importantly, thrilled with the effort he saw from his players.

“Was a good opportunity for our guys to get out and play before camp,” Sherman said. “Good team basketball; really great team effort.”

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Dominic Coffman brings huge heart, and a dash of danger, to every sport he plays. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Coffman, here kick-starting a fast break in middle school, will be a freshman at Coupeville High School this fall.

The most exciting player in middle school sports is headed to high school.

We’re going to let Dominic Coffman speak for himself here in a second, but I just have to say something first.

Over the past two years, no one in a CMS uniform has been quite as entertaining to watch play as he has been.

Coffman is a savage, and I mean that in the best possible way.

He comes with everything he has, and watching “The Dominator” in action is a treat.

Coffman goes flying into every play, whether on the football field, basketball court, or when he’s bouncing between events in track and field.

For example, other players may occasionally get a blocked shot on the hardwood.

At one point during his Coupeville Middle School days, Coffman chased down a play from behind, launched himself airborne, and managed to both reject the shot and bounce his shoe-clad foot off the back of the rival player’s head.

The second part was probably accidental. Doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it.

It was a thing of furious beauty, a testament to the fire Coffman brings to everything he does, and proof that he’ll be worth the price of admission when he invades Coupeville High School this fall.

The whirlwind wild man plans to continue playing all three of his sports, which is good news for Wolf fans (and writers who like a good foot-to-the-head moment).

“They keep me busy all year and with track and field it helps me get ready for football,” Coffman said. “With basketball, it helps me to get stronger and focus.”

While he enjoys all of his sports, gridiron action narrowly nips hoops as his favorite.

“I was six years old when my mom first put me in football,” Coffman said. “Then, when I learned to tackle kids that were two times bigger than me, it helped me to work hard and not to play with fear.”

While track and field can be a largely solitary sport, football and basketball involve groups of players working together to achieve success, something Coffman appreciates.

“They are team sports, so it helped me to learn to get along with others, build friendships and work hard for myself and the rest of the team,” he said. “Football and basketball show love for the game and for family.”

Coffman draws inspiration from fellow freshman-to-be Alex Murdy and current and former Wolf stars like Sean and Cameron Toomey-Stout.

All three are known for their dedication and hard work, something Coffman wants to emulate.

“My friend, Alex, he continues to be himself, not caring what other people think and always reminding me to be a team player doing my best and wanting others to do their best,” he said.

Cameron and Sean, I have watched them and how they push themselves,” Coffman added. “They have encouraged me and they are not afraid to be who they are.”

He also credits his parents for “always supporting and loving me and wanting me to be the best me I can become in everything I do,” and thanks “Ms. Z, Ms. Raven and Mr. Black” for their support in school.

Whether working in class, where he enjoys “math with Mr. DeArmond and history with Mr. Volkman,” or progressing as an athlete, Coffman is all about putting in work.

“All the stuff you can do to get better at my position and to see the face of my future coming true,” he said.

Coffman is working on increasing his speed and vertical jump, and has set goals of becoming a starter in football and “keeping my grades up, so I can still play sports.”

When he’s not at practice or involved in a game, he enjoys swimming, listening to hip hop, taking his Bernese Mountain Dog, Zion, for walks, and spending time with family and friends.

Ultimately, though, it all comes back around to sports, which drive him to be a well-rounded person, and one who plans to shine for the next four years.

“My strengths are my love for sports, my footwork, strength, and speed,” Coffman said.

“I want to work on my mental game and to get faster to get to the ball when I’m playing wide receiver,” he added “I also need to work out in the weight room, and get stronger.

Underestimate him at your own risk. Heart matters most in sports, and Coffman has a huge one.

“I might not be very tall, but I will continue to show it is not the height that matters,” he said. “It is my determination, getting stronger, and love of sports, that will prove who I will become.”

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