Archive for the ‘Boys Tennis’ Category

Longtime Coupeville tennis guru Ken Stange won’t have a chance to coach this fall. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The rackets remain unstrung, and the courts are empty.

Coupeville High School has cancelled its boys tennis season due to a lack of players, Athletic Director Willie Smith confirmed Thursday afternoon.

It will be the third-straight non-season for the Wolf netters, as the program has been beset from all sides.

Friday Harbor, which was Coupeville’s most reliable tennis opponent, cancelled its fall sports programs at the height of the pandemic.

During that lost season, many Wolf tennis players migrated to soccer, helping save that program from its own cancellation.

The biggest stumbling block for the netters might simply be Coupeville’s move back to the 2B classification in 2020.

At the 1A level, boys soccer is played in the spring. In 2B, those booters join the girls in playing their season in the fall.

With football, cross country, tennis, and soccer all vying for male athletes in the same season at a small school, someone is likely to lose out.

So far, that’s been tennis.

Coupeville is the only one of seven schools in the Northwest 2B/1B League attempting to field four male sports teams in the fall.

The other NWL schools offer:

Friday Harbor — tennis, football, soccer
La Conner — cross country, football, soccer
Concrete — football, cross country
Mount Vernon Christian — cross country, soccer
Orcas Island — cross country, soccer
Darrington — football

While boys tennis sits idle, girls tennis remains strong, and the CHS courts should once again be filled with aces and overheads next spring.

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It’s go time.

With the start of fall football practice just six days out, Coupeville has set Wednesday, Aug. 17 as its fall sports registration day for middle and high school athletes.

The event runs from 12-5 PM in the CHS/CMS library.

The high school offers volleyball, girls and boys soccer, cross country, boys tennis, and football in the fall, with CMS fielding volleyball, cross country and (possibly) boys soccer.

Players and parents can submit new sports physicals, pay athletic and ASB fees, as well as complete applications for free and reduced food service.

Physicals are good for two years in Washington state, unless otherwise noted by the doctor.

With the schools moving much of the paperwork online, all student athletes need to have an account set up through the Final Forms link, which is here:


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Helen Strelow returns this fall to make a run at qualifying a second time for the state cross country meet. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

We’re going to the future.

One school year is still fading away in the background, and already some of us are looking ahead at plans for another.

Coupeville High School has released schedules for five of its six fall sports programs, with boys tennis the lone exception.

That’s because the program is twisting in the wind, having failed to field a team in back-to-back seasons.

The move from 1A to 2B stung the net program, as the transition bounced boys soccer from the spring to the fall.

That means four sports — cross country, football, soccer, and tennis — are fighting for male bodies in the same season, and there are only so many athletes to be had.

If tennis is able to pull together a team, we’ll have a schedule for you closer to the fall.

But for now, you’ll have to make do with what we have.

The first day of practice for CHS football is Aug. 17, with volleyball, soccer, cross country, and (maybe) tennis starting Aug. 22.

Games start Sept. 2, and when you go to laminate the schedules, remember the words of Coupeville Athletic Director Willie Smith.

“As always, they are living, breathing, ever-slightly changing documents…”

Willie Smith scans the future, looking for schedule changes.


* = league games



Tues-Sept. 6 — Auburn Adventist Academy
Tues-Sept. 13 — @ Mount Vernon Christian
Sat-Sept. 17 — Cedar Park Christian-Lynnwood
Tues-Sept. 20 — @ La Conner
Fri-Sept. 23 — Friday Harbor
Tues-Sept. 27 — Orcas Island
Tues-Oct. 4 — @ Cedar Park Christian-Lynnwood (*)
Sat-Oct. 8 — Mount Vernon Christian (*)
Tues-Oct. 11 — @ Grace Academy (*)
Fri-Oct. 14 — @ Friday Harbor (*)
Tues-Oct. 18 — Providence Classical Christian (*)
Sat-Oct. 22 — Lopez Island (*)
Tues-Oct. 25 — La Conner (*) — SENIOR NIGHT
Thur-Oct. 27 — @ Orcas Island (*)



Sat-Sept. 10 — @ Sehome Invitational
Sat-Sept. 17 — @ Westling Invitational (South Whidbey)
Wed-Sept. 21 — @ Orcas Island
Sat-Sept. 24 — @ King’s Invite
Tues-Sept. 27 — @ Concrete
Sat-Oct. 1 — @ Twilight Invitational (Cedarcrest)
Sat-Oct. 8 — @ Hole in the Wall Invitational (Lakewood)



Fri-Sept. 2 — @ Klahowya
Fri-Sept. 9 — South Whidbey — THE BUCKET GAME
Fri-Sept. 16 — Sultan
Fri-Sept. 23 — @ La Conner (*)
Fri-Sept. 30 — Friday Harbor (*) — HOMECOMING
Fri-Oct. 7 — Bellingham
Fri-Oct. 14 — @ Cascade (Leavenworth)
Fri-Oct. 21 — La Conner (*) — SENIOR NIGHT
Fri-Oct. 28 — @ Friday Harbor (*)



Tues-Sept. 6 — Auburn Adventist Academy
Thur-Sept. 8 — @ Friday Harbor (*)
Tues-Sept. 13 — Oak Harbor
Thurs-Sept. 15 — @ University Prep
Sat-Sept. 17 — Ocosta
Sat-Sept. 24 — @ Forks
Tues-Sept. 27 — Mount Vernon Christian (*)
Tues-Sept. 29 — @ La Conner (*)
Tues-Oct. 4 — Friday Harbor (*)
Sat-Oct. 8 — Crosspoint
Thur-Oct. 13 — @ Mount Vernon Christian (*)
Tues-Oct. 18 — @ Granite Falls
Sat-Oct. 22 — @Sultan
Tues-Oct 25 — La Conner (*) — SENIOR NIGHT



Tues-Sept. 6 — Auburn Adventist Academy
Thur-Sept. 8 — Friday Harbor (*)
Sat-Sept. 10 — @ South Whidbey Tournament
Mon-Sept. 12 — @ South Whidbey
Tues-Sept. 13 — @ Cedar Park Christian-Bothell
Fri-Sept. 16 — @ Sundome Tournament (Yakima)
Tues-Sept. 20 — @ Darrington (*)
Thur-Sept. 22 — Orcas Island (*)
Sat-Sept. 24 — @ Forks
Thu-Sept. 29 — @ La Conner (*)
Sat-Oct. 1 — South Whidbey
Tues-Oct. 4 — @ Friday Harbor (*)
Tues-Oct. 11 — Concrete (*)
Thur-Oct. 13 — @ Mount Vernon Christian (*)
Thur-Oct. 20 — Darrington (*)
Sat-Oct. 22 — @ Orcas Island (*)
Tues-Oct. 25 — La Conner (*) — SENIOR NIGHT

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Coupeville High School tennis coach Ken Stange abides. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Ken Stange’s fall schedule just got less cluttered.

That’s not necessarily a good thing, however, as the longtime Coupeville High School tennis coach will see a second-straight boys net campaign fall by the wayside.

During the 2020-2021 school year, the Wolves lost out when Friday Harbor, the only other school in the Northwest 2B/1B League to play tennis, cancelled all of its fall sports programs due to Covid concerns.

With NWL schools not playing non-conference games in any sport during the height of the pandemic, that left Coupeville up a creek without a tennis racket.

This time around, things were looking up, with Friday Harbor back in action.

The two NWL schools were set to join South Whidbey this fall in playing Seattle-based private schools from the Emerald Sound Conference.

Unfortunately, things won’t go as planned, as the Wolf tennis program, which is competing against football, cross country, and soccer for male athletes, wasn’t able to draw enough players.

CHS Athletic Director Willie Smith confirmed Monday the season had been cancelled.

Stange, who will return to the courts next spring with the Wolf girl netters, remains deeply-committed to both Coupeville tennis programs.

“We will try again next year,” he said.

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The senior leaders from the 1964 Coupeville High School boys tennis team, which won league and sub-district titles. (Photo courtesy Jack Sell)

Another tile (or two) on the wall.

Five years ago, almost to the day, the Wall of Fame in the Coupeville High School gym was installed.

Since then, current teams and athletes have added themselves to the collection, headlined by Danny Conlisk winning a pair of state titles in track and field.

But the work to fully uncover what is now 121 years of CHS sports history is never-ending, especially in sports such as tennis, which often went largely unwritten about in old-school newspapers.

Something I fully appreciate, as I haunted the hardcourts for three years in the late ’80s at Tumwater High School.

I played as high as #1 singles for a 2A school, yet never once saw anyone massacre my name while trying to spell it in The Daily Olympian.

But enough about me and my teenage angst.

Back to Coupeville, and my discovery today of two titles missing from our Wall of Fame.

Flipping through the 1964 Leloo Cly yearbook (from my landlord’s sophomore year), I found a (fairly astonishing for the time period) two-page layout on the Wolf netters.

And lo and behold, concrete proof of Coupeville winning both Northwest League and Sub-District titles!

The Wall of Fame documents three league titles from the ’60s — 1961, 1967, and 1968 — but not ’64, and the earliest district title under the boys tennis banner is 2009.

History reclaimed!

The 12-man ’64 Wolf tennis squad had an impressive campaign all around, beating Friday Harbor in the regular-season finale to clinch the league title.

Dave Lortz, playing with two different Edwards boys, then went on a tear through the postseason as a doubles player.

After teaming up with Henry Edwards to win league and sub-district titles, Lortz paired off with Ron Edwards, the sub-district singles champ, to head to the state tourney.

The duo were one of 32 pairs to make the trek to Bremerton, and were one of the last eight undefeated tandems standing.


The ’64 CHS boys tennis team:

Bill Bainbridge
Henry Edwards
Ron Edwards
Jim Henry
Denny Keith
Jim Keith
Dave Lortz
Lee Milheim
Bruce Seiger
Mike Syreen
Stan Willhight
Steve Wilson

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