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Wolf Mom Alia Houston rocks a memorable face mask. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

The pandemic didn’t keep them away.

The first Coupeville High School football game in 17 months brought out a fair chunk of the town this past Saturday, and the Wolf faithful was rewarded with an overtime win.

Wanderin’ photo whiz kid John Fisken snapped a ton of pics, and I’m still working my way through them all.

So here’s more glossies, mostly centering around fashionable fans clad in the snappiest of face masks.



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“Ooh, do not make me come down there! You know I will, skippy!!” (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

On field, off field, always on camera.

Whenever he’s working a game, photo clicker John Fisken always makes sure to capture a full range of action, which includes fans and behind the scenes folks at work.

The pics above and below come from Friday’s season opener for Coupeville High School football, and are courtesy the man whose pics can be found at John’s Photos.

 

Opening night, and already in mid-season form.

William Davidson daydreams about destroying rival QB’s.

Wolf soccer and volleyball stars (left to right) Carolyn Lhamon, Maddie Georges, Nezi Keiper, and Alita Blouin — ready to wage war (against thirst).

Coupeville gridiron guru Marcus Carr hums a few bars of All I Do is Win.

Disney Princess 4 Life Aimee Bishop is back in black, ready to use her laser eyes to destroy a malfunctioning scoreboard.

Michael Davidson and Charlotte Young enjoy a night out on the prairie.

Cheridan Eck, forever full of spirit.

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Avalon Renninger launches a shot in pre-pandemic times. Even with Washintgon state moving into Phase 3, don’t expect local gyms to be this full anytime soon. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Everything is fluid in the Age of Coronavirus.

Day to day, game schedules and rules can, and do, change, and school athletic directors have to remain nimble and ready for everything.

As Coupeville AD Willie Smith and his associates in the Northwest 2B/1B League continue to pull off a remarkable comeback for school athletics, the latest twist is the state moving to Phase 3, and how that affects fans attending games.

So far, all NWL athletic contests have been limited to home fans, with the exception of track and field, where fans have been barred.

That’s because schools have been working with a limit of 200 people at an event, which includes coaches, athletes, refs, officials, media, and fans.

With most track meets featuring 6-8 schools, that number fills up fast counting just participants.

Baseball, softball, and girls tennis, with just two teams playing, leave enough open slots that league AD’s opted to include home fans, something many other leagues statewide have not.

The move to Phase 3 statewide includes language which seems to indicate the number of people who can be at an event bounces from 200 to 400, raising the idea road fans might be allowed.

But it’s not that simple, as there are a lot of moving parts involved.

“Our league is still working through the process,” Smith said. “The Island schools (Orcas, Friday Harbor) are waiting to hear back from their health department on what the requirements will be.”

While all spring sports are played outside, the return of fall sports in early April present a new challenge for the NWL, with volleyball matches played in gyms.

“One thing that needs to be made clear is that indoor sports are predicated at 25% of max occupancy OR 400, whichever is less,” Smith said.

Coupeville’s high school gym legally holds 1,459 people, while its middle school gym holds 1,048.

That means the limit for each under Phase 3 is actually 365 and 262 people, respectively, not 400.

Determining how many people can legally be at a soccer or football game at Coupeville’s Mickey Clark Field is still under review, Smith said.

The other six NWL schools, which all have smaller student bodies than CHS, face similar, unique issues with their gyms and playing fields.

“Determining who gets in is going to be quite a task, which we are still working on,” Smith said. “We don’t have an answer yet, because it’s not quite as simple as just saying all are welcome.”

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Attendance at high school sporting events can double in size, from 200 to 400, as of March 18. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

A full return to high school sports competition in Washington state took a new, positive turn Thursday afternoon.

In a press conference, Governor Jay Inslee announced his Healthy Washington: Roadmap to Recovery plan will transition back to a county-by-county evaluation process Monday, March 22.

Island County will no longer be lumped into a region, and will stand on its own. Also, smaller counties will be held to different numbers than larger counties.

Under the plan, all counties will move into a new Phase 3, which allows for increased fans at outdoor and indoor sports events.

Currently, the cap is 200, and many leagues have opted not to allow fans for any sports.

The Northwest 2B/1B League, which includes Coupeville, currently allows home fans at baseball, girls tennis, and softball competitions.

Road fans are barred, and no fans at all are allowed at track meets.

As of Mar. 18, the limit jumps to 400 individuals at “outdoor venues with permanent seating with capacity capped at 25%” and “indoor facilities — so long as 400 people does not exceed 50% capacity for the location.”

Physical distancing and masking protocols will still be enforced.

Five of Coupeville’s six scheduled track meets, including a home event April 3, fall after the increase from 200 to 400 fans.

NWL Athletic Directors have not yet commented on how the change will affect the status of road fans, or whether fans will be allowed to attend track meets.

While many leagues opted to open with traditional fall sports, the NWL chose a spring-fall-winter format for this pandemic-afflicted school year.

That should prove to be a financial boon for the league.

By holding off on football, the leading money maker, until season two, the NWL will benefit from increased crowd capacity, something which has dinged most schools currently playing on the gridiron.

The transition also makes it much more likely winter sports, considered the “highest risk” by the State Department of Health, will play during the planned season of May 3 to June 12.

“The sports guidance applies to a safe and healthy expansion of youth sports,” Inslee said on his official Twitter account. “High-contact sports like basketball, wrestling, and cheerleading will be allowed to have competitions again.”

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Trinity McGee (center, in headband) and associates lead off a collection of pics showing Wolf fans in their natural habitat – the gym. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

The fans have claimed the spotlight.

In between snapping pics of basketball action this winter, wanderin’ paparazzi John Fisken has also snagged an assortment of photos depicting the wide world of Wolf supporters.

They put the fan in fantastic.

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