Archive for the ‘Football’ Category

Brett Smedley, back in his Coupeville days. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Former Coupeville High School football coach Brett Smedley has resigned from his gridiron position at his alma mater, Columbia River.

The husband of the school’s two-time state champion volleyball coach, Breanne Smedley, held the head job for four seasons after putting in three campaigns as defensive coordinator.

He led the Rapids to playoff berths in 2019 and 2021 but is stepping down now to focus on family.

Brett and Breeanne have two children, ages four and one.

Smedley, who graduated from Columbia River in 2003, plans to remain at the school as a PE teacher and assistant track coach.

During his four years in Coupeville, he coached middle school basketball in addition to working with the high school’s football program, first as an assistant to Tony Maggio, then as a head coach for one season.

Smedley was head coach in 2015, when Wolf quarterback Gabe Eck threw for a school single-game record of 403 yards in a win over Chimacum, a mark which still stands.

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Coupeville High School grad Sean Toomey-Stout, live from the heart of Texas. (Photos courtesy Beth Stout)

Celebrating a bowl win.

“The Torpedo” is a champ.

Coupeville grad Sean Toomey-Stout and his University of Washington football teammates capped their season Thursday with a win in the Alamo Bowl.

The Huskies, ranked #12 in the country, built a 27-10 lead over #20 Texas, before holding on for a 27-20 win.

With the victory, U-Dub finishes 11-2.

It’s the fifth time in program history the Dawgs have reached 11 wins in a season.

Kalen DeBoer becomes the first UW head coach to win a bowl game in his debut season, and the first to win more than eight games in their initial go-round.

Toomey-Stout, a sophomore safety, played in six games, including appearing in the Alamo Bowl, recording seven tackles.

Maya’s twin and Cameron’s “lil” bro also was featured on a trading card, as part of a set issued by the Huskies.

Beth Stout and Lisa Toomey’s son is believed to be the first Coupeville athlete to earn that honor.

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Move over Ken Griffey, Jr. — there’s a new card king. (Photo courtesy Beth Stout)

It’s a piece of Coupeville history.

Sean Toomey-Stout has become, as far as I can tell, the first former Wolf athlete to grace a trading card.

“The Torpedo” is part of a collection of active University of Washington football players being sold through Jacksons Food Stores.

Packs, which contain 14 cards, retail for $12.99 and went up for purchase in mid-December.

The collection, which features U-Dub players, head coach Kalen DeBoer, and mascot Harry the Husky, is made possible by the NCAA’s Name, Image, and Likeness program.

While most Wolf fans will have to hit up stores — the closest Jacksons to Whidbey is located in Marysville — Sean’s family found the hard-hitting walk-on wonder stashed in their Christmas stockings.

Maya’s twin brother, who once had a deer block for him on a kick return touchdown during his Coupeville days, has played in five games this season, recording seven tackles.

The Huskies, boasting a 10-2 record, play Texas Dec. 29 in the Alamo Bowl.

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Nezi Keiper, Superstar. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The first time I saw Yetlanezi Keiper play a sport, she was busy making a boy seriously rethink his life choices.

Clad in a Coupeville Middle School football uniform, she had unloaded on a dude who thought he was going to block her, sending her rival sprawling to the grass.

Standing over him, long hair flowing from beneath her helmet, Nezi’s face was a study in calmness.

She wasn’t outwardly mad, but she also wasn’t going to smile at the fellow player she cut in half and left to (metaphorically) bleed out on a muddy patch of grass.

It was one of the most striking moments I have witnessed in three decades of on and off writing about prep sports.

Not because Nezi was a girl, dominating in a sport where girls are rarely made to feel welcome.

But because, in that moment, it was obvious she was a truly special athlete.

She showed no fear.

She asked for no quarter.

She was going to kick your butt on every play.

End of story.

Young Nezi, dominating the gridiron. (Sarah Saunders photo)

Now, over the last six years, as Nezi moved through middle school, then left football behind and played soccer and basketball during her high school days, I’ve seen a different side of her.

In her dealings with others, close friends or casual acquaintances, she remains one of the kindest people you will meet.

And one of the strongest.

Plus, and this is huge, she always answers my messages, sending me tidbits of info after games while bumping along the backroads of America in a school bus.

Whether her team wins big or gets roughed up on the scoreboard, Nezi is solid gold as a sideline reporter.

For someone such as myself, who can be a bit obsessive about wanting to get stories printed the same day a game is played, she has been invaluable.

Being hailed on Senior Night. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

On the field or court, she has never wavered, never made me rethink that first appraisal of her inner fire.

She is relentless as a soccer defender, taking on the best goal scorers in the region time and again, always making sure they will remember the time they unwisely chose to tangle with her.

Nezi is not a dirty player, by any means.

In fact, she goes out of her way not to hurt others and often shows concern for the physical well-being of those she clashes with.

But she is not going to back down. Like ever.

Capable of clearing the back line with a booming kick, Nezi believes every 50/50 ball belongs to her, and legs churning, she will not surrender her patch of turf, no matter how quick or large the foe may be.

If a collision is required, she never shies from contact.

But, at the same time, she’s just as likely, if not more so, to strip the ball and send it flying far away from her net before the shooter realizes they’ve lost control of the play.

“Get outta here!” (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

When she’s on the hardwood, Nezi brings the same style of play to basketball as she does to soccer.

A ferocious rebounder, when she plants herself under the hoop, good luck on moving her from her appointed position.

One of my favorite photos from Coupeville Sports is one of Nezi going toe-to-toe with a much-taller South Whidbey hoops player during her 8th grade season.

She will not be moved. You can try, but it ain’t happening, skippy.

The Wolves went undefeated that year, and Nezi was a major contributor on both ends of the floor.

Other players may have been set up to be scorers, but she showed a deft touch with the ball in her hands and could sting rival defenses.

But, as on the soccer pitch, Nezi was an absolute rock on defense and that was where she rightfully earned her fame.

Locked in from the line. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

So, here we are in early December, and she doesn’t graduate until June, and yet I’m skipping ahead of the normal schedule a bit. As you’ll see in a few moments.

Nezi chose not to play basketball this season, focusing on school, work, and life, and while her absence saddens me, it’s not about me.

If she’s happy and fulfilled, good on her. That’s what matters.

There are rumors in the air Nezi might pick up a tennis racket this spring and cap her high school days on the court or migrate to track for one go-round.

I hope it’s true, either way.

But if it’s not, Nezi deserves the peace of being allowed to make her own decision, so I’ll go be quiet in the corner after this.

As I do, however, I want to take a moment to put an official stamp on things.

Whether she still has high school sports highlights to craft or not, Nezi long ago punched her ticket to the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

She is a special athlete, and an even better human being, and putting her in our digital shrine makes the joint a lot classier.

So, let’s do this now, and not wait until summer.

After this, when you slide past the Legends tab at the top of the blog, that’s where you’ll find Nezi hanging out.

Was there ever a doubt?

No, no there was not.

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Daylon Houston (left) and Aiden O’Neill, dressing for success. (Davin Houston photo)

The most successful Coupeville High School gridiron season in three decades is officially in the books.

Capping a seven-win campaign which included the football program’s first league title and trip to state since 1990, the Wolves wrapped things Tuesday with an awards banquet.

The team’s All-Conference picks were honored, and you can find that list at https://coupevillesports.com/2022/11/09/love-this-team-love-this-town/.

Also noted Tuesday were the players who suited up for CHS all four years of high school — Dominic Coffman, Scott Hilborn, Daylon Houston, Tim Ursu, and Kai Wong.

Team managers Brenna Silveira and Melanie Navarro were also with the football program every step of the way.

Coffman, Houston, Ursu, and junior QB Logan Downes were noted for their season-long work as captains, as well.

Freshman Ezra Boilek, who displayed a powerful leg while launching kickoffs, earned a varsity letter. (Brenn Sugatan photo)


Varsity letter winners:

Chase Anderson
Piotr Bieda
Ezra Boilek
Cameron Breaux
Hunter Bronec
Hurlee Bronec
Peyton Caveness
Myca Clarkson
Dominic Coffman
Adrian Cunningham
William Davidson
Logan Downes
Jage Drake
Marcelo Gebhard
Scott Hilborn
Daylon Houston
Coen Killian
Casey Masters
Melanie Navarro
Henry Ohme
Zane Oldenstadt
Aiden O’Neill
Kevin Partida
Jack Porter
Johnny Porter
Mikey Robinett
Yohannon Sandles
Brenna Silveira
Malachi Somes
Xavier Stinnett
Josh Upchurch
Tim Ursu
Jonathan Valenzuela
Chris Villarreal
Kai Wong


Participation certificates:

Devinion Hill
Davin Houston
Zachary Neiman

Tim Ursu, makin’ plays. (Helen Strelow photo)

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