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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

 

BOYS SOCCER:

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 (*)

 

CROSS COUNTRY:

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)

 

FOOTBALL:

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 (*)

 

GIRLS SOCCER:

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

 

VOLLEYBALL:

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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Logan Downes looks for an open receiver. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

The Bennett Richter era is underway.

Coupeville High School’s new head football coach made his debut Thursday, as the Wolves traveled to Richter’s alma mater for a five-team spring scrimmage.

Oak Harbor hosted the event, with South Whidbey, Sedro-Woolley, and Inglemoor (led by former CHS coach Marcus Carr) also on the field.

Since my blog is called Coupeville Sports, that’s what we’re focusing on with our selection of pics, but there are plenty of photos featuring the other Whidbey schools.

To take a look at what wanderin’ photographer John Fisken snapped, pop over to:

 

Coupeville:

https://www.johnsphotos.net/Sports/Coupeville-Football-2022-2023/FB-2022-06-16-Scrimmage-at-OHHS/

 

Oak Harbor:

https://www.johnsphotos.net/Sports/Oak-Harbor-Football-2022-2023/FB-2022-06-16-Scrimmage-at-OHHS/

 

South Whidbey:

https://www.johnsphotos.net/Sports/South-Whidbey-HS/FB-2022-06-16-Scrimmage-at-OHHS/

 

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The first football game of Scott Hilborn’s senior season arrives Sept. 2. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

In 92 days, the games start counting again.

With spring sports wrapped up and graduation bearing down quickly, the 2021-2022 school year is all but done, and yet, here we are already looking ahead.

Coupeville High School football, and new head coach Bennett Richter, open fall practice Aug. 17 — with soccer, cross country, tennis, and volleyball slated to kick things off Aug. 22.

Then, when Friday, Sept. 2 rolls around, the Wolf gridiron squad travels to Silverdale to face Klahowya and the 2022-2023 school year — at least sports wise — is up and roaring.

While most other CHS sports teams already have at least partially formed schedules, you can expect some tinkering between now and then, so we’ll wait to post anything until we get closer.

But football seems pretty set in stone, so we’ll take a chance and jump the gun.

The Wolves, who went 3-5 a season ago, snapping a two-year run of posting winning records, have five home games against just four road trips.

Coupeville, a 2B school, is punching above its weight class in non-conference games, with plans to face four 1A foes, plus 2A Bellingham.

Only one opponent — South Whidbey at 6-4 — posted a winning mark in fall 2021, with the seven teams on the schedule combining for a 24-36 record last time out.

Among the three 2B schools in the Northwest 2B/1B League, Friday Harbor is the defending league champs, having held off Coupeville 13-6 in a triple overtime thriller to decide that honor.

La Conner, by comparison, suffered through the worst football season in an otherwise rich school athletic history, being outscored 231-0 across five games.

Unleash the Wolfpack.

 

The 2022 schedule (* = league games):

Fri-Sept. 2 — @ Klahowya — 5:00
Fri-Sept. 9 — South Whidbey — 7:00 — The BUCKET GAME
Fri-Sept. 16 — Sultan — 7:00
Fri-Sept. 23 — @ La Conner (*) — 5:00
Fri-Sept. 30 — Friday Harbor (*) — 6:00 — HOMECOMING
Fri-Oct. 7 — Bellingham — 7:00
Fri-Oct. 14 — @ Cascade (Leavenworth) — 7:00
Fri-Oct. 21 — La Conner (*) — 7:00 — SENIOR NIGHT
Fri-Oct. 28 — @ Friday Harbor (*) — 6:30

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Bennett “Big Energy” Richter (right), a football man with a plan. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

“Safety is our biggest concern.”

New Coupeville High School head football coach Bennett Richter has been around the game most of his life, both as a player and mentor.

But as he moves up from defensive coordinator to the head of the Wolf program, he realizes there are parents and guardians who are unsure about letting their students suit up for the gridiron squad.

So, Richter and his assistant coaches are putting on a Football 101 clinic to give the community a better feel for the game they love, and the safeguards put into place in modern practice sessions.

The free event, which also features lunch, runs from 10 AM to noon Saturday, June 4.

Things will start at the health room inside the Coupeville High School gym (first thing on your left as you enter the front door), then out on the nearby football practice field.

Richter is hoping for a strong turnout, and a chance to make his case.

“We would like to reach as many people as possible,” he said. “And show them what we are doing to make the game of football as safe as possible for their children.

“Our hope is that we can really provide information to parents on the fence of letting their kids play, in hopes to continue to grow our program to a competitive level.”

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Bennett Richter (right) is Coupeville High School’s new head football coach. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The Wolves are staying in-house.

Bennett Richter is making the jump from Defensive Coordinator to Head Coach for the Coupeville High School football program, replacing the departed Marcus Carr.

The hire has been confirmed by CHS Athletic Director Willie Smith and will be official after the school board approves the move at its next meeting.

Richter, a 2009 Oak Harbor grad who played for that school’s ’06 state champion gridiron squad, has been on the Wolf coaching staff since 2018.

It’s a busy time in his life, as he is scheduled to marry Megan Smith, Coupeville High School’s varsity girls basketball coach, this summer.

After having the same man at the helm of the Wolf football program for 26 years, CHS has cycled through head coaches since Ron Bagby retired after the 2009 season.

Jay Silver (two seasons), Tony Maggio (3), Brett Smedley (1), Jon Atkins (2), and Carr (4) precede Richter, who rose from being a volunteer assistant to directing the Wolf defense.

The view from the stands on this hire is extremely positive, as Richter is a passionate, deeply committed coach, well-liked and respected by his peers, players, and fans.

His first game as head coach will be a road game Sept. 2 at Klahowya, with his home debut Sept. 9, when Coupeville plays South Whidbey, with ownership of The Bucket at stake.

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