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Archive for the ‘Girls Basketball’ Category

CHS freshman Ryanne Knoblich, a one-woman wrecking crew. (Photos courtesy Suzan Georges)

Gwen Gustafson beats the defense and leads the charge.

New Wolf head coach Scott Fox dispenses wisdom.

Coupeville players and coaches enjoy being up at 6 AM on a summer day.

Jill Prince gets set down low.

Hannah Davidson (in headband) entertains the troops.

Trinity McGee (far left) and teammates wait for their turn to play.

Word (or photos) has arrived from the far-flung outpost.

Battling through low-rent WiFi, Coupeville High School girls basketball support staff have breached the internet desert, sending out pics from Soap Lake.

The Wolves are stationed in Grant County this week for a summer basketball camp, the first under new CHS coaches Scott Fox and Megan Smith.

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Trinity McGee, who will be a freshman at Coupeville High School in the fall, is a three-sport athlete. (Photos courtesy Angela McGee)

McGee (4), here playing club volleyball, is “very passionate” about her favorite sport.

With one eye on the future, and one eye on improving daily, she’s a young woman who wants to make history.

Trinity McGee doesn’t back down.

The three-sport athlete, who will be a freshman at Coupeville High School in the fall, approaches each game, each practice, ready to rock the joint.

Whether she’s playing volleyball or basketball, or competing in track and field, McGee is fully committed.

“A strength I have in my sports is my aggressiveness,” she said. “When I go to hit the ball in volleyball I gather all my anger and just slam the ball down.

“When in a basketball game I use my aggressiveness to get me to the other side of the court and push myself to the extreme.”

As she transitions to high school, McGee plans to continue with all three of her sports, enjoying the chance to stay active and involved all year long.

“Doing three sports keeps me busy,” she said. “And I get more exercise and stay healthy while moving and practicing.”

But, while McGee enjoys all three, volleyball is nearest and dearest to her heart.

“I feel very passionate about it,” she said. “I would definitely say that volleyball is my favorite sport because of the strategic system.

“You have to communicate with your team on a good strategy that will get the ball over the net and have the rivals speechless,” McGee added. “I also love diving and digging the rivals serves.

“When I get a good dig in, I feel accomplished and proud.”

Whether it’s playing club volleyball or working on her shot in basketball, McGee is always looking to improve.

“I would like to work on my form for shooting and my footwork for hitting,” she said. “But I know that if I work hard enough I can accomplish things I thought I’d never be able to in the past.”

McGee has a vision of future success, and is striving to get herself there.

“My goal is to get better and better and work harder at my sports so that I can have a good chance at getting a scholarship or breaking a record,” she said.

“I have always looked up at the record boards and imagined what it would be like to have my name up there,” McGee added. “Then I decided to try my hardest to make it happen.”

As she has progressed through middle school sports, her coaches and teammates have proved to be invaluable for a young woman on the rise in the classroom and athletic arena.

“In any sport, (teammate) Maddie Georges has always lifted me up when I am down,” McGee said. “Telling me everyone makes mistakes and it’s okay.

“She is the reason that I don’t get down on myself like I used to; she has brought me a long way into the game.”

While playing multiple sports, both in the school system and outside, McGee has had numerous coaches already, and she credits them for helping with her growth.

“Most of all, I would like to thank my coaches for teaching me everything I know from this day on,” she said. “If they were not as caring and determined as they were, I wouldn’t be here today, playing and enjoying sports.”

During her brief down time, McGee enjoys “reading a good book or spending class in Language Arts with Mrs. (Casie) Greve,” woodworking with her dad and baking with her mom.

“Spending time with the people I care about makes life better when I’m not practicing,” she said. “I’d also like to thank my parents for supporting me through everything that happens with my sports and being by my side.”

While the fast-rising young star dreams of big accomplishments, and works to make them a reality, her love of sports ultimately comes down to one thing – happiness.

“Being an athlete is enjoyable because I get to be recognized for something I’m good at and passionate about,” McGee said.

“Also, you get to play with a team and know you’re not alone,” she added. “All the pep talks and the cheers get your adrenaline running and that’s what makes the game fun!”

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Gwen Gustafson is bringing her athletic skills to Coupeville High School in the fall, following in the footsteps of successful older siblings. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Gwen Gustafson has the pedigree.

Both of her older siblings, Amanda Fabrizi and Clay Reilly, had standout careers at Coupeville High School, and both now sit in the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

But just wait, because the lil’ sis has game too, and is already a well-established three-sport star in her own right as high school beckons.

Gustafson, who will be a freshman at CHS this fall, has been playing almost since she could walk, and has been a key part of successful teams in volleyball, basketball, and softball.

Her last two teams went a combined 22-1, in fact.

First, Gustafson was a starter on a Coupeville Middle School 8th grade hoops squad which polished off everyone on its schedule, rolling to a flawless 9-0 record.

Then she capped that by pulling double duty as a flame-throwing pitcher and a hit-happy batter for a Central Whidbey Little League Juniors softball team which outscored foes 245-101 while romping to a 13-1 mark.

While Gustafson plans to stay with all three of her sports in high school, the siren call of the hardwood is a powerful one.

“I like the competitiveness, and the teamwork,” she said. “I can compete with my teammates, stay healthy, and have fun.”

Away from the court, Gustafson enjoys gym and math class, listening to rap and pop music and spending time with friends and family.

But when she’s practicing, or playing in a game, regardless of the sport, she does so with deep commitment.

“I have confidence, trust in my teammates, I don’t give up, and I can pick skills up quickly,” Gustafson said. “(My goals are) to work hard and improve my team.”

While her older siblings have shown her the path to success, Gwen also looks to her parents, Lark and Fawn Gustafson, for support and encouragement as an athlete, student, and human being.

“My dad has inspired me and really helped me grow as a person and as an athlete,” she said. “He has been my coach and a loving father for my whole life.

“My mom has also supported me,” Gustafson added. “Helping me be aware of my health and well-being, and she has inspired me to be a better person.”

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Alita “The Assassin” Blouin heads to Coupeville High School this fall, ready to turn hard work into success. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They call her “The Assassin” for a reason.

Off the court, Alita Blouin is a strong, smart, highly-motivated young woman.

On the court, she’s all those things — and also a stone-cold killer.

Of all the athletes headed to Coupeville High School this fall, Blouin is the one I most feel confident in hailing as a star.

She has talent, which she has shown on the volleyball and basketball court, and will soon bring to the tennis court, but it’s more than that.

During her middle school days, Blouin showed a fieriness, an unwillingness to back down, which is too often missing in Coupeville athletes.

That was key to success in volleyball, where she was a leader, and in basketball, where she sliced ‘n diced rivals both as a passer and shooter for a Wolf 8th grade team which went undefeated.

You can read more of my thoughts on the rare qualities Blouin brings to Wolf sports by popping over and reading an article from last year:

https://coupevillesports.com/2018/12/30/heart-of-a-wolf-heart-of-a-champion/

Now, no one can truly know if middle school success will translate to high school stardom.

Sometimes everything clicks, other times life intrudes.

Most of all, it’s not fair to put too much pressure on a young woman yet to attend her first class as a CHS freshman.

But Blouin, with a solid support crew headed up by parents Shawn and June, and younger brother Ryan, seems built for success.

And it all starts with her positive attitude.

“My strengths as an athlete are taking criticism and applying it to how I play,” Blouin said. “I also always look for a way to give one of my teammates a good opportunity to succeed and work together in the process.”

She’s very close to many of those teammates, which helps her both be a leader and work together for the greater good of the team.

“Being an athlete helps me make a stronger bond with my teammates/friends,” Blouin said. “It helps me bring out my competitive nature.

“And playing sports is just overall really fun.”

Meshing well with the other young women on the court is one of Blouin’s primary goals, and it extends not only to those her own age, but to the upperclassmen she will soon join.

“My goal as a high-school athlete is to create stronger bonds with my older teammates, so that we can all have chemistry while we play,” she said.

“And also, so I can learn from them, since they have more experience than I do.”

While she’s already achieved some athletic success, Blouin isn’t content to rest on her laurels.

Instead, she has a clear vision of the future, and what she and her teammates can accomplish over the next four years, if they continue to grow, both as individuals, and in a team framework.

“I would like to work on my self-confidence,” Blouin said. “Many times I miss out on an opportunity simply because I don’t believe in my own abilities.

“Also, I would like to win, and maybe make it to state for at least one of my sports.”

While she enjoys basketball, and is looking forward to trying out tennis, the first high school sport she will play claims the biggest part of her heart.

“My favorite sport is volleyball, because when you are playing, you get rushes of adrenaline during rallies and this rush of energy makes the game so exciting,” Blouin said.

“Especially when the point is won and everyone is cheering, it just makes me really happy.”

When she’s not competing or practicing, Blouin also excels in the classroom, enjoying art, math, and computer design.

She helped create the CMS yearbook as an 8th grader, spends time painting and drawing at home, and will bravely tackle both geometry and algebra at the same time during her freshman year.

As she makes the jump to high school, Blouin knows she isn’t alone.

Her family and friends, many of whom play sports alongside her, will always be there to provide support at crucial moments.

“My teammates have had one of the biggest impacts on the person I am today,” she said. “Mostly (fellow basketball starters) Maddie (Georges), Gwen (Gustafson), Carolyn (Lhamon), and Nezi (Keiper).

“We all push each other and help each other improve as athletes,” Blouin added. “We are all very competitive with each other and that is why we are competitive when we play in games.”

Before and after she steps on the floor, she gets a different kind of support from her family, with extended members, from grandparents to cousins, often filling a chunk of the stands at her games.

“My parents also have always believed in me since day one,” Blouin said. “They always tell me what I do well and what I can improve on next time.

“Without them I wouldn’t have the opportunity to be an athlete.”

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Maddie Georges slices ‘n dices on the basketball court. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

There’s already been one “Maddie Big Time” at Coupeville High School.

Now, there might be two.

For the moment, Maddie Georges, who will be a freshman at CHS in the fall, can go by her other nicknames – “Mad Dog” or “The Wall,” the second of those coming from her defensive stopper skills on the basketball court.

But, as the heir to a strong family athletic history, and a young woman who has shown top-level skills across three sports, she might one day supplant former Wolf great Madeline Strasburg and lay claim to the first nickname.

Georges, who is the younger sister of former CHS standout, and current CMS coach, Alex Evans, plays volleyball, basketball, and softball, and has been an important part of the success of her teams in each sport.

In particular, her 8th grade basketball team went 9-0 with Georges kick-starting the attack, while her Central Whidbey Little League Juniors softball squad just finished a 13-1 season.

For her part, Georges is that rare athlete who not only plays, and excels, in three sports, but enjoys them equally.

“When I play a sport more than the others, I like that one more, and it always keeps changing,” she said. “So no (favorites); I just like to play sports.”

She’s been doing it since she was old enough to walk, inspired by her brother, who starred on CHS football, basketball, and baseball teams.

As she’s progressed in her own hoops career, Georges has played several seasons with Evans coaching her, and it’s been a strong partnership.

“He is my idol and I strive to be like him,” Georges said. “And, possibly, someday, be better than him!”

A big fan of the TV show Jane the Virgin, she enjoy spending time with her friends, something she can do in the sports arena and out, as many of them play the same sports as she does.

While she hails her parents as “my biggest supporters, that keep me going,” Georges is very close to many of the girls she suits up with.

“My teammates, especially Alita (Blouin), Carolyn (Lhamon), Gwen (Gustafson), and Nezi (Keiper), we always keep each other going and I can always count on them,” she said.

While each of her sports is unique, they all contribute to building Georges up and helping her be a high achiever.

“The adrenaline rush, the motivation to try to improve my skills, the practices, and, especially, I love working with my teammates,” Georges said. “They help me strive to get better.”

With the ball frequently in her hands, working as a volleyball setter, a basketball point guard, or a softball catcher, she often finds herself as the focal point of the play.

Each time she’s there, or when she’s on the outskirts of the play, or, far more infrequently, grabbing a quick bit of rest on the bench, Georges tries to always be learning, always be improving.

“My strength as an athlete is striving to get better, and I always try to help my teammates,” she said. “I most importantly try to be a team leader, to really uplift my teammates as best I can.”

That’s an important mind-set for a gifted young woman, who aims to excel in academics and sports, and wants to play for as long as she can.

“I want to continue to strive to get better and try to improve as much as possible,” Georges said. “I want to be able to play sports through high school to college.”

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