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Amy and David King resigned this week, likely ending coaching careers which have spanned nearly two decades at Coupeville High School. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

After impacting hundreds of Coupeville High School athletes over the past two decades, David and Amy King are handing off their clipboards.

The Coupeville High School girls basketball coaches, who previously worked with Wolf volleyball, baseball, and softball programs, as well as little league, SWISH and middle school teams, submitted resignations this week.

“As of now, this is a retiring,” David King said.

“Always willing to give advice or input if asked,” he added with a chuckle.

Their departure opens up varsity and JV coaching positions.

After years of balancing prep sports with their real-world jobs, the decision to retire gives the Kings a chance to step back and have more time for other pursuits.

That begins with the couple’s 33rd wedding anniversary, which, coincidentally, is today, Feb. 22.

Three years ago, when the Kings hit the big 3-0, they celebrated in the gym with their players while preparing for a trip to the state tournament.

The duo, whether coaching together or separately, are cut from old school cloth.

At a time when many fellow CHS coaches are just getting started, the Kings, along with track guru Randy King (no relation) and tennis whisperer Ken Stange, are true rarities, veteran coaches who always showed a willingness to innovate.

David King started in the CHS girls basketball program as a volunteer coach from 2003-2009.

After taking a season off, and putting in time as a SWISH coach, he returned to high school ball, with two years as JV coach, and seven with the varsity.

He also worked as an assistant coach with the school’s baseball team for three seasons, before bouncing across the street to join the softball staff.

Once there, he worked with Jackie Calkins, then with his wife, putting together three years at the high school level and one with the Central Whidbey Little League juniors program.

Amy King piled up 27 seasons, 24 as a coach and three as a volunteer, across basketball, volleyball, and softball.

She put in four seasons on the diamond, and seven on the volleyball court. The first five were with middle school teams, the final two as high school JV coach.

Her longest run came in basketball, however, where she has been involved with the CHS program as a varsity assistant and JV head coach since 2002.

During that time, she worked with five different head coaches, doing stints with Greg Oldham, Geoff Kappes, Blake Severns, and Jackie Bykonen, before she and the hubby claimed total control in 2012.

Preaching a love for defense, David King guided the Wolf varsity into the playoffs every season as head coach, even as Coupeville bounced through three different leagues.

The Wolf varsity won 79 games between 2012-2019, covering two seasons in the 1A/2A Cascade Conference, four in the 1A Olympic League, and one in the 1A North Sound Conference.

Despite running a gauntlet of private school powers in the postseason, Coupeville crafted several signature playoff wins as well.

The biggest, arguably, was a 49-33 dismantling of Seattle Christian Feb. 19, 2016, a win which came in a loser-out game in a hostile road gym, sending the Wolves to state for the first time in a decade.

Coupeville won three-straight conference titles, going 9-0 each time, in the Olympic League, and missed a fourth crown by a single game.

While defense was his hallmark, guiding ball-hawks from Kacie Kiel to Tia Wurzrainer, David King also helped shape 11 of the top 50 scorers in Wolf girls basketball history during his time as head coach.

While they had vastly different personal playing styles, Makana Stone (#3), Lindsey Roberts (#18), and Kailey Kellner (#30) were among those who thrived offensively under his guidance.

Amy King, like most JV coaches, had one of the hardest jobs in prep sports — trying to win games, while also having to often juggle lineups when star players were called up to get varsity floor time.

She persevered, winning 64 games with an often-depleted roster over the past seven seasons, including going 14-5 overall, 9-0 in league play, during the 2014-2015 season.

Under her tutelage, future varsity standouts like Lauren Grove, Breeanna Messner, and Amanda Fabrizi made huge jumps in confidence and skills.

Amy King was also famous for making sure every single player on her team scored at least once.

She never failed in that task, no matter how many foreign exchange students or first-time players suited up.

That fact is almost as impressive as her ability to craft a poem about a game while camped in a darkly-lit bus bouncing across the back-roads of rural America.

While both had success in separate endeavors, their work together, as “Coach King Boy” and “Coach King Girl,” is how many will remember them.

Their teams were built around hard work, fun, and family, then topped off with success.

The Kings were the only active CHS coaches to have guided athletes in two completely separate sports to the state championships.

Along with the 2016 basketball run, the duo led softball to state in 2014, breaking a 12-year dry spell for that program.

CHS Athletic Director Willie Smith, who coached Wolf girls basketball (1998, 2000) and baseball (2008, 2014) teams to state, knows what it takes to build successful programs, and he hailed the duo for their success, and growth.

“They will definitely be missed; they have been a steady, positive part of our programs as head coaches and assistants for years,” he said. “They have dedicated a large portion of their lives to our kids and have built a solid, successful program, leaving a strong base for whomever takes over the program.”

While he will miss having the Kings working the sidelines, the Wolf AD appreciates what they brought to the school.

“It has been fun to watch David grow as a head coach,” Smith said. “He’s always been willing to do whatever he needed to do to create a lasting, fundamentally-sound program.

“I’ve appreciated both he and Amy’s willingness to always look at themselves as the first evaluative point in their program,” he added. “Very sad to see them go, but excited for them to be able to spend some time with each other in a setting that’s different than a basketball gym!”

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CHS basketball players (l to r) Ema Smith, Scout Smith, and Lindsey Roberts were tabbed for All-Conference honors. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They made a strong first impression.

The Coupeville High School girls basketball team beat preseason predictions, finishing third in the new six-team North Sound Conference.

Proving the best of the four scrappy public schools, CHS pushed back as hard as anyone against the twin private school juggernauts who ruled the roost.

The Wolves took Cedar Park Christian to the final moments in the second meeting between the teams, and did what it could to contend with league champ King’s.

Based on their play, and their refusal to back down, league coaches tabbed three Wolves for All-League honors, led by senior Lindsey Roberts earning a First-Team distinction.

A four-year varsity vet, she led Coupeville in scoring for the second-straight season, and wrapped her career as the #18 scorer in program history.

Fellow senior Ema Smith and junior Scout Smith, Coupeville’s other two varsity captains, were honored as Second-Team All-League picks.

Both Smith girls had big seasons, with Ema topping the team in nailing three-pointers, while Scout ran the point for the Wolves and sealed a key win at Sultan with a pair of late free throws.

In addition, junior Avalon Renninger shared the NSC Sportsmanship Award.

The coaching staffs from each league team picked one player from their squad to be honored.

The league awards were just the start Thursday as CHS coaches David and Amy King capped their seventh season with a team banquet.

 

Team awards:

 

Four-Year Varsity:

Lindsey Roberts

 

Four-Year Participation:

Nicole Laxton
Ema Smith

 

Varsity Captains:

Lindsey Roberts
Ema Smith
Scout Smith

 

JV Captain:

Mollie Bailey

 

Most Improved:

JV:

Alana Mihill
Morgan Stevens

Varsity:

Ja’Kenya Hoskins

 

Best Offense:

JV:

Audrianna Shaw
Izzy Wells

Varsity:

Lindsey Roberts
Ema Smith

 

Best Defense:

JV:

Ja’Kenya Hoskins

Varsity:

Tia Wurzrainer

 

Hustle Award:

JV:

Kiara Contreras

Varsity:

Tia Wurzrainer

 

Most Inspirational:

JV:

Mollie Bailey

Varsity:

Avalon Renninger

 

Wolf Pride:

Alana Mihill

 

Coaches Award:

Nicole Laxton

 

Varsity letter winners:

Hannah Davidson
Ja’Kenya Hoskins
Nicole Laxton
Chelsea Prescott
Avalon Renninger
Lindsey Roberts
Ema Smith
Scout Smith
Tia Wurzrainer

 

Varsity participation certificates:

Mollie Bailey
Anya Leavell
Izzy Wells

 

JV participation certificates:

Mollie Bailey
Kylie Chernikoff
Kiara Contreras
Ja’Kenya Hoskins
Anya Leavell
Ivy Leedy
Lily Leedy
Alana Mihill
Abby Mulholland
Audrianna Shaw
Morgan Stevens
Kylie Van Velkinburgh
Izzy Wells

 

Manager:

Heidi Meyers

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Brionna Blouin dropped in six points Thursday as Coupeville’s 7th graders played at Everett. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It wasn’t a win, but it was the next best thing.

Fighting until the very final second Thursday in Everett, the Coupeville Middle School 7th grade varsity came within a bucket of upsetting private school powerhouse Northshore Christian Academy.

While the Wolves fell 27-26, stabbed in the back by a foul call in the final seconds, their effort was everything coach Megan Smith wanted to see.

“Another good and close game,” she said. “It was a good learning game for us all.”

While the CMS 7th graders are 1-3 after the loss, two of those defeats have come by a single basket.

And, with a full roster, the Wolves are clicking and taking some of the scoring load off of top gunner Brionna Blouin.

She knocked down another six points Thursday, giving her 53 across four games, but it was running mate Lauren Marrs who had the really hot hand on this day.

Rattling the rim for a game-high 11, the feisty Wolf point guard scored multiple ways.

While Marrs slapped home three field goals, she also rippled the nets for five free throws, proving she’s cool under pressure.

Coupeville got scoring from five different players, its biggest number of the season in that category.

Along with Marrs and Blouin, the Wolves got four points from Reese Wilkinson, three from Desi Ramirez, and Allison Nastali’s first two of the season.

Skylar Parker, Jackie Contreras, Kayla Arnold, Kaitlyn Leavell, and Erica McGrath rounded out the active roster.

 

There were no 8th grade games Thursday (varsity or JV), as Northshore is only fielding a 7th grade team this season.

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Nezi Keiper tossed in seven points Wednesday as the CMS 8th graders pounded host Sultan. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It was a good day to be in Sultan, unless you played for the home team.

Rampaging through town like a horde of Vikings, the Coupeville Middle School girls basketball teams left destruction in their path, winning two of three games played on the hardwood.

How the merry mayhem played out:

 

8th grade varsity:

Coupeville hammered the Turks through three quarters, before coasting home with a 35-12 win to stay undefeated.

The Wolves got started on getting to a crisp 2-0 start on the season with a 10-4 first quarter run, then steadily pulled away.

Four different CMS players scored in the opening frame, led by Nezi Keiper, who pounded home a pair of buckets.

The attitude of sharing spread from there, as five Wolves combined to shape a 9-2 second quarter surge.

Coupeville’s most dominant seven-minute stretch was in the third, as Maddie Georges and Carolyn Lhamon tossed in four points apiece to fuel a 10-2 run, before CMS closed the fourth with a mild 6-4 advantage.

Georges paced the Wolves with eight points, while Keiper popped for seven, and Lhamon netted six.

Ryanne Knoblich and Alita Blouin both added four points to the scoring explosion, Hayley Fiedler, Gwen Gustafson, and Jordyn Rogers chipped in with a bucket apiece, and Jill Prince was a terror on defense.

 

8th grade JV:

A defensive gem, as the Wolves limited the Turks to just a single bucket in both quarters played, claiming an 8-4 win.

The game was knotted up at 2-2 after the first seven minutes, with Coupeville’s lone bucket coming off the fingertips of Jessenia Camarena, but things changed after the break.

While a 6-2 run in the second quarter might not bring back memories of the Showtime-era Lakers, it was enough to lift the JV to its first win of the season.

Now 1-2 on the still-young season, the Wolves picked up a second-quarter basket from Cristina McGrath and two buckets by Trinity McGee to seal the deal.

Claire Mayne, Abigail Ramirez, Mercedes Kalwies-Anderson, Adrian Burrows, Karyme Castro, Jessica Ross-McMahon, and Melanie Navarro rounded out the CMS roster.

 

7th grade varsity:

The lone loss of the day came down to the final moments, but a late Sultan surge carried it to a razor-thin 27-25 win.

With the defeat, Coupeville drops to 1-2 on the season.

The Wolves get an immediate chance to bounce back, however, as the 7th graders (and only the 7th graders) travel to Everett Thursday to play Northshore Christian Academy.

Facing off with Sultan, CMS put up a strong fight.

Trailing just 6-4 at the first break, and 14-9 at the half, the Wolves put together a sizzling 12-6 run across the third quarter with three players dropping in points.

Brionna Blouin worked the glass for six of her game-high 14 during the surge, while Lauren Marrs tossed in four and Desi Ramirez knocked down a bucket.

Back up by a single point heading into the fourth, Coupeville couldn’t quite hold on down the stretch, with a late Sultan three-ball being an especially sharp dagger.

With her 14 points, Blouin increased her lead in the season scoring race.

Sitting with 47 points after three games, she’s averaging 15.7 a night, while Georges, who has 22 in two 8th grade contests, is throwing down 11 a game.

Marrs, who was making her season debut, chipped in with seven points, including a three-ball of her own, while Ramirez rounded out things with four points.

Reese Wilkinson, Ava Mitten, Kaitlyn Leavell, Skylar Parker, Erica McGrath, Allison Nastali, Jackie Contreras, and Kayla Arnold gave coach Megan Smith multiple options to work with.

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Jessenia Camarena pushes the ball up-court. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Desi Ramirez looks for an opening in the defense.

Skylar Parker would like a teammate to get open, like now.

Reese Wilkinson (24), backed up by Brionna Blouin, looks to kick the ball back out.

Adrian Burrows hauls in a rebound.

Claire Mayne keeps the ball well away from any pesky defenders.

They are the future of the program.

The Coupeville Middle School 7th grade varsity and 8th grade JV went toe-to-toe with King’s Thursday, and wanderin’ photographer John Fisken was there to document things.

The last photo in the camera had barely cooled when he legged it out of the gym and hit the open road to Tacoma to cover the state wrestling championships.

Now that he’s back on Whidbey and rested up, it’s time to look at his snaps from last week’s hoops action.

To see everything he shot, pop over to:

https://www.johnsphotos.net/Sports/Coupeville-Basketball-2018-2019-boys-and-girls/MSGBB-2019-02-14-vs-Kings/

And remember, a percentage of each purchase goes to fund scholarships for CHS senior student/athletes. So, circle of life and all.

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