Archive for the ‘Boys Basketball’ Category

Coupeville Middle School hoops star Ryan Blouin and friends return to the gym in two weeks. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

We’re kind of getting ahead of ourselves, but just barely.

While fall sports are still chugging along, with plenty of games left to play, we’re also just two weeks away from the start of Coupeville Middle School boys basketball.

CMS soccer and cross country wrap up Oct. 23, then, bam, five days later, the Wolf boys head to the gym, with the first practice set for Oct. 28.

Games begin Nov. 13, with the 10-game season running about five weeks, then there’s an almost two-month gap before the CMS girls get their crack at basketball.

When games start, the CMS boys play four of their first five away from Whidbey, but also get a three-game home-stand to close the season.

Also, following a new wrinkle which debuted during volleyball, the hoops teams won’t be divided into 7th and 8th grade teams, but will instead feature three squads, referred to as Level 1, 2, and 3.

The teams will play in a different order almost every time out, just to keep people guessing.

The Wolves will be coached by returning hoops guru Greg White and CMS newcomers Jon Roberts and Craig Anderson.


The schedule:

Wed-Nov. 13 — @King’s (3:15)
Thur-Nov. 14 — Northshore Christian Academy (3:15)
Mon-Nov. 18 — @Granite Falls (3:15)
Tues-Nov. 26 — @Sultan (3:30)
Mon-Dec. 2 — @Lakewood (3:15)
Wed-Dec. 4 — King’s (3:15)
Mon-Dec. 9 — @Northshore Christian Academy (3:30)
Wed-Dec. 11 — Sultan (3:15)
Mon-Dec. 16 — South Whidbey (3:15)
Thur-Dec. 19 — Granite Falls (3:15)

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Ethan Spark celebrates a well-timed three-ball. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

A superb passer and a dangerous scorer, Spark was electrifying on the soccer pitch.

“Just give me the dang ball!”

Splash. Splash. Splash.

It’s the sound of a high-arcing three-point bomb dropping back to Earth and gently snapping the bottom of the net while knifing the collective heart of five rivals.

It’s the sound a soccer ball makes after it travels half the length of the field, exploding off the toes of a marksman, then whistling past defenders and the goalie to bury itself, improbably but wonderfully, in the back of the net.

It’s the sound Ethan Spark made when he worked.

The 2018 Coupeville High School grad was a cold-blooded killer and thriller during his time in a Wolf uniform, and it’s for that we induct him today into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

After this, when you look at the top of the blog, up under the Legends tab, you’ll find Spark hanging out with big sis Jenn, as both of Kali Barrio’s children take up residence in our little digital hall o’ wonders.

During his time on the pitch and hard-court, Ethan was Coupeville’s answer to Scottie Pippen, and I mean that with a deep amount of respect.

Michael Jordan was Michael Jordan, but never forget Pippen was an NBA Hall of Fame player, a six-time champ, and one of the best to ever pick up a basketball.

Spark played alongside Hunter Smith on the basketball court, and the Leyva cousins (Abraham, Aram, and Derek) plus Will Nelson, on the soccer pitch, some of the most electrifying athletes CHS has witnessed.

But they, like Jordan, became better because they had Pippen running alongside them.

On the basketball court, Spark was a fearless shooter, one who lived to gut other team’s with three-balls a-droppin’.

He fully believed he could hit any shot, from any angle on the floor, at any point of the game, and he backed that up more often than not.

And every time Spark elevated, slight smirk on his face, and drilled the bottom out of the net, he opened things up for Smith, and made it tougher for other teams to focus on the high-scoring rampager.

Across two varsity hoops seasons, Spark dropped in 352 points, which puts him #68 on the CHS boys career scoring list, a chart which covers 102 seasons of Wolf basketball.

He could have finished higher if he had been more selfish, but Spark was also a strong, and willing, passer who often delighted in sucking the defense to him, then dishing it to a suddenly wide-open Smith, Joey Lippo, or Gabe Wynn.

Ethan was also fond of teaming up with Hunter Downes as the duo burrowed deep into their rival’s heads.

Not afraid to exchange elbows with larger players, both played with nice lil’ chips on their shoulders, provoking their opponents into lapses in judgement, then strolling away, smirks intact, as the refs punished the other guy.

That carried onto the soccer pitch, where Spark played rough ‘n ready, while also showcasing one of the best scoring touches in the game.

Like his older sister and her bionic leg, Ethan was the guy the Wolves went to when they needed someone to crush a ball from deep in his own territory.

He could air the ball out, but also showed a sometimes uncanny touch, using his long shots as weapons, and not just as a way to clear the ball from his own side of the field.

With 17 career goals, Spark stands #5 on the CHS boys soccer career scoring chart, though he’s being a bit short-changed.

Injuries took away much of his senior season, preventing him from keeping pace with Nelson, who tallied 20 scores across four seasons.

But, when he was healthy, Spark was Pippen, fully capable of roasting teams by himself, but also a highly-efficient set-up man, his passes slicing through defenses to set up the Leyva trio for a hail of goals.

And yet, with all the three-balls and the game-busting penalty kicks, the moment I will most remember from his career didn’t involve a single point.

It came during his freshman season, when he was a fast-rising JV hoops star intent on blowing up everyone in his sight.

Sometimes literally.

Chasing a loose ball as it careened towards the sideline, Spark reached the point where 99% of players would stop, then jammed the gas pedal through the floor.

Flinging his arm out at the last millisecond to redirect the ball back onto the court, he exploded through a wall of chairs.

CHS players and coaches flew through the air like bowling pins, as Spark spun towards the locker room door and completely, absolutely destroyed a large water jug that was minding its own business.

Complete devastation ruled the land. Referees stood with their mouths agape.

Bodies and chairs were everywhere, and in the middle of where the tornado touched down stood Spark, drenched head to toe in water.

From somewhere to his left, Wolf coach Dustin Van Velkinburgh plucked himself from the floor, shaking his head.

“You crazy man! You crazy… and I like it!!”

Slight nod, slight smirk, and Spark loped away to the other end of the court, having taken the first step on a rampage which would carry him to the Hall of Fame.

Scottie Pippen would have been proud.

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Kyle Rockwell sails in and snags a rebound during his days as a three-sport athlete at Coupeville High School. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Rockwell, seen here with Wolf baseball coach Chris Smith, joins older sister Maria as a member of the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

Kyle Rockwell had a senior season for the ages.

Before he graduated back in 2018, the one-time Wolf achieved a rare trifecta, pulling off the signature play of his team’s season, and doing it not once, not twice, but three times.

When you look back at Coupeville High School male athletics during the 2017-2018 season, the school’s final in the Olympic League, it would be hard to argue anyone made more of an impact than Rockwell did.

Now, I’m not saying Kyle was the best athlete in a CHS uniform. That was Hunter Smith, absolutely.

But Rockwell was a superb complementary player, the kind of durable, high-achieving support crew you need, and want.

And, given the chance, he stepped up three times, once each in the fall, winter, and spring, and made a play which will linger for a long time in the minds of Wolf fans.

For that, for overcoming every obstacle which has come his way, and for being the dude everyone cheered for thanks to his eternally positive attitude and easy-going nature, we’re rewarding him.

Mr. Rockwell joins his older sister, softball supernova Maria, in the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame, and, after this, will be found at the top of the blog under the Legends tab.

Part of this honor stems from Kyle’s resiliency, as he has been blind in one eye since childhood, yet never let that slow his roll.

Rockwell has been an athlete since day one, though it took awhile for his parents, understandably, to let him enter certain arenas.

He finally got the OK to play football as a senior, and it was there he made his first big-time play.

All season long he was a … rock … on the line, but in the home finale, he grabbed the spotlight, reflected it up at himself, and sang a few bars of My Way.

Ripping through would-be blockers like a (very large) knife slicin’ ‘n dicin’ walking, talking, non-blocking pats of butter, Rockwell destroyed a rival running back as he tried to come around the edge.

Shoulder met stomach, ball flipped free.

Then, staying as calm and cool as you can after you’ve just knocked a fool out of his cleats, the guy in the Wolf uniform lunged forward and scooped the now-free football into his chest before half of the other team landed on his head.

It was a beautiful play, full of precision and fury, and yet just the start for Rockwell during his year of glory and achievement.

Skip forward to basketball season, and Coupeville pulls off the biggest upset of the season, again in the home finale.

Facing first-place Klahowya, Rockwell and Co. pull off a 59-54 thriller on Senior Night that reignites memories of former Wolf basketball glory.

Hunter Smith goes off for a career-high 35 to spark CHS, but it’s Rockwell with the clincher.

Caught in a traffic jam in the paint, surrounded by three KSS players, he flexes his biceps to create a shock wave, then rips the ball free from an Eagle, spins and powers back up for the game-clinching layup.

The Klahowya players, sprawled on the court, can do little more than bow their heads to their conqueror, as Smith, Joey Lippo, Hunter Downes, and Cameron Toomey-Stout come charging in to group hug all the air out of Rockwell’s body.

And yet, there’s more.

Spring brings with it baseball, Rockwell’s longest-running sport, and our urban legend caps his prep career with one more play, his best yet.

Coupeville, trying to win its second league crown in three seasons, spends much of the campaign in a stare-down with Chimacum.

The Cowboys win the opener of the team’s three-game season series, taking advantage of a ridiculously muddy field on the mainland.

But the Wolves hold strong, and given a rematch on the prairie, they come up with a 1-0 victory which all but clinches the title.

Rockwell, who normally operates at first base, is lurking in right field when destiny comes calling, and I’ll direct you to the game story from that day, which captures his insane, game-clinching throw in all its Spielbergian glory.

You can find it at https://coupevillesports.com/2018/04/23/magic-on-the-prairie/.

And, just to prove it wasn’t a one-time thing, Rockwell came back later in the week, playing in the third game of the Chimacum series, and laid down the RBI bunt which provided the only run Coupeville needed to win again, and make everything official.

Cause that’s what you do when you’re the author of “I Rock: The Kyle Rockwell Story.”

Which is now, and forever, the autobiography of a certified Hall o’ Famer.

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Former Coupeville Middle School teammates played together again at this weekend’s Spokane Hoopfest. Left to right are Caleb Meyer, Hawthorne Wolfe, Grady Rickner, and Logan Martin. (Photo by Abbie Martin)

They got the old gang back together, and it paid off big time.

Coupeville High School basketball stars Logan Martin, Grady Rickner, and Hawthorne Wolfe reunited with former middle school hardwood teammate Caleb Meyer this weekend for the Spokane Hoopfest.

The four-pack, who will be sophomores in the fall, then went out and won the consolation bracket in the High School Male division at the world’s biggest 3-on-3 tournament.

Playing as the Coupeville Wolves, even though Meyer attends Jackson High School after transferring before his freshman year, the gunners went 2-2 on the weekend.

After being nipped by “Kermy’s Army” and the “Beastie Boys,” the Wolves bounced back to blast “C-Team Skills” and “We Are Inevitable.”

The Spokane Hoopfest, which began in 1989, celebrated its 30th anniversary this year.

Action, which draws thousands of teams across a staggering amount of divisions, is open to players from third grade up, and plays out on 400+ courts.

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Coupeville High School basketball players huddle during a summer hoops camp in Cheney. (Photos by Courtney Pilgrim)

With everyone from incoming freshmen to grizzled seniors, the Wolves brought 19 players to Eastern Washington University.

Packed in like sardines, but enjoying every moment.

The Wolves chomped Cheney.

Coupeville High School boys basketball coaches packed up 19 players this past week and headed to Eastern Washington University for a three-day hoops camp.

While there, the Wolves got the chance to throw down with other teams, and pick up some valuable bonding time.

Coming on the heels of a scrimmage win over Friday Harbor, the summer camp keeps momentum rolling through the offseason, something CHS coach Brad Sherman is always happy to see.

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