Archive for the ‘Hall o’ Fame’ Category

Big goals, big celebrations for Sebastian Davis. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

He could seemingly do it all.

Athletics, academics, or activities — if Sebastian Davis put his mind to it, he could accomplish great things.

All while making it look easy-peasy from the outside, and without making others around him feel like they were accomplishing less.

That’s a rare talent, to be overwhelmingly successful while never coming across as a glory hound.

Sebastian cycled through just about every sport at some time during his run through Coupeville schools, but there are two where he made a truly enduring impact.

On the soccer pitch, he burst onto the scene as a fully-formed, goal-scoring beast, an electrifying complement to established stars such as Abraham Leyva and Zane Bundy.

His standout season, at least in terms of stats, came during his junior campaign, when he punched in six goals for the Wolves, second-best on the squad.

Most of Sebastian’s pitch tallies were of the impressive type, as evidenced in the photo above.

He had a knack for flying in from the side, plucking the ball away from a rival player, then using a lil’ razzle-dazzle to baffle the goaltender.

The ball would go one way, the netminder the other, and, up in the CHS press box, close friend Sebastian Wurzrainer would get to softly bellow, “GOOOOOOAAAAALLLLLL.”

It was a good set-up.

But as much as he turbo-charged things on the soccer field, Sebastian had his best run on the tennis court.

Davis and Loren Nelson enjoy the fruits of their labors at a tennis banquet. (Wendy McCormick photo)

He made the postseason every year, for four years running, captured a league singles titles, and sits on Wolf coach Ken Stange’s list of the best-ever players he’s coached in Coupeville.

Sebastian, despite almost always having a lead role in the fall theater production, always found a way to be the star on both the court and the stage,” Stange said.

“What’s more, his did it while maintaining a ridiculously high academic standard.”

The long-time coach was most impressed with how Sebastian collected his wins.

“He didn’t have the big serve and forehand that most singles players desired,” Stange said. “But he did have amazing drive and passion for the game.

“He kept focus, ran every ball down, and played every shot like it was the shot that could win the match. That kind of attitude inspired others to reach similar heights.”

Davis and teammates (left to right) Connor McCormick, Joey Lippo, and William Nelson bagged many a tennis award. (Ken Stange photo)

As Stange noted, sports were far from the only stage on which Sebastian excelled.

He was a scholar of great note, won a ton of medals in Science Olympiad competitions, and was the leading man of choice for the CHS theater troupe.

Sebastian was the Cary Grant of Coupeville, bringing a puckish charm to his many roles on the stage, all while balancing learning his lines with his many other activities.

After high school, he went on to another well-lit stage, studying Earth and Space Sciences and Aeronautics and Astronautics at the University of Washington, where he graduated in 2020.

Today, in an event which should have happened a long time ago, we welcome Sebastian to the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame, inducting him into our hallowed digital shrine for his excellence as an athlete and student.

After this, you’ll find him hanging out under the Legends tab at the top of the blog.

He is proof that small towns can produce big superstars, and that those same superstars can achieve epic heights while remaining down to Earth.

Sebastian Davis — a winner in every way.

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SarahRose Bernhardt, the very definition of “a truly lovely human being.” (All photos poached from her Facebook account)

SarahRose Bernhardt is special.

Always has been, always will be.

It takes a special talent to light up every room you enter, to make others feel good about themselves, to achieve and inspire without asking for credit.

But that is SarahRose.

We live in a world which has grown harsher in the past few years.

Or, at the very least, one in which people are much more inclined to be abrasive to each other, to demean and ridicule.

There are days where it feels like there is little hope of kindness reclaiming the public mood.

Which is why SarahRose is like a light at the edge of the world, buffeted like the rest of us, but not willing to give up the fight.

In the same year that the Coupeville High School grad and her fiancée, David, returned to find their home burning to the ground, she has endured, and she has prospered.

As a new year dawns, SarahRose is not sitting back. She has moved to the front of the crowd, pursuing a medical calling at the height of a worldwide pandemic.

In the pictures she and her proud parents have posted, we see a young woman who pulls on fire gear, hefts a saw half the size of her body, and moves into action.

“Badass” Bernhardt (far right), ready to battle whatever comes her way.

We see a brilliant student, a talented dancer — an actress and cheerleader during her high school days — who, clad in PPE from head to toe, brings healthcare right to the front doors of those in need.

Working for Dispatch Health out of Seattle, SarahRose is, like the others she works with, a reassuring face in a troubled time.

That she would make this decision, to be part of the solution at a moment of crisis, is not surprising to me.

While I don’t think I’ve seen her in person since back in the Videoville days, SarahRose, like her parents and siblings, was always something special.

She graduated from CHS in 2004, after being a member of the Hi Q Academic Quiz Bowl team, serving as a school board rep, participating in the Learning Partner program, and being a group leader for Honor Society.

Not content to stop there, SarahRose was also a tutor, an active volunteer in the community, and a team leader for the Wolf cheer squad.

Graduation from the University of Washington, after a similar string of accomplishments, arrived in 2008.

In her post-school days, she used her love of dance to inspire countless people through her work at places such as Barre3 Bellevue and Daybreaker Seattle.

And now, a frontline worker in a troubled time, a continuing ray of hope in all she achieves, and how she reaches those goals.

A day at the beach with her fiancée and the doggos.

As I said before, SarahRose has never been one for beating her chest, screaming out why she rules (even if she does), and expecting folks to get in line and bow to her.

Too bad, cause we’re going to do the latter part right now.

That’s because we’re capping 2020 by inducting SarahRose Bernhardt into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

Since it’s technically a digital shrine to athletic achievement, she’ll be listed as a cheerleader, even if she’s really going in for that and a billion other things.

After this, if you wander past the top of the blog and look under the Legends tab, that’s where you’ll find her hanging out.

At least on-line.

In real life, SarahRose will be found where need arises, where her skills and hard work will accomplish much, where she can leave behind an impact on the world she moves through.

She is a badass, and she is the light, and she makes her hometown proud, every day.

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Mekare Bowen, who turns 24 today, is a special human being. (Photo courtesy Dea Bowen)

In a world of grey, she is the sunshine.

Not just a ray, but the whole sizzlin’ ball, lighting up the universe with her every action and word.

I’ve known Mekare Alora Bowen since she was born — which would be 24 years ago today — as her mom, Dea, worked with me at Videoville and Miriam’s Espresso back in the day.

From the moment Mekare popped into the world, (politely) bellowing “Let’s get this party started!!,” she has amazed me.

She is incredibly smart, not just in a “do well at school” sort of way, but where you look at her in awe, and wonder not whether she will accomplish something, but just how much she’ll accomplish.

Mekare wrote a 550-page fantasy novel, Flying Fast: Untouchable, during her teen years.

If a computer crash hadn’t eaten her work, it’s likely no one would be paying any attention to J.K. Rowling and Stephanie Meyer right now.

Her passion for writing was captured in this quote, when she agreed to let me write about her after much tut-tutting that there were others who should be featured ahead of her.

“I have a new idea every day. I’ve had a lot lately, but I typically forget them and then they come back to me randomly,” Mekare said back in 2012.

“I love those moments actually, because it’s like somebody punched you in the face with flowers wrapped around their knuckles.

“It’s a bittersweet moment because half of you is ecstatic to have the idea back, the other half is mad that you forgot it in the first place, and the idea typically hits you again at the most inconvenient time.

“Actually, if someone were to punch me, I’d probably punch them back — without the flowers. But I think you get the picture.”

While some would spend years wailing over their tech misfortune, our Hemingway just jumped right back in, continuing to write, while also developing a subtle touch with the camera.

As younger sister Aria also grew up, she could often be found on the other end of Mekare’s lens.

A photo from a few years back, capturing sister Aria at play. (Mekare Bowen photo)

The same was true for family and friends, every animal she could find, and a thousand other subjects, animate or inanimate.

Whatever the world wanted to show, Mekare was there to capture and immortalize.

A boat slices through the sun-dappled water. (Mekare Bowen photo)

Anyone can click a camera and call themselves a photographer.

But it takes a special skill to make those images come alive, and Mekare and her equipment work in often uncanny union.

When she hit high school, moving from private to public, Miss Bowen wanted a new challenge, and so she jumped head-first into cheerleading, joining legendary 20-year coach Sylvia Arnold’s final squad.

Sylvia Arnold with Mekare Bowen. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Mekare was an immediate hit with the sideline crew, joining close friends like Julia Felici and forming a vibrant, loud ‘n proud team.

Julia Felici and her nephew Drake join Mekare to celebrate a Coupeville win. (Shelli Trumbull photo)

Whether traveling to other countries to help those in need, picking up a new sport and embracing every aspect of it, or being quietly awesome without ever tooting her own horn, Miss Bowen has impressed me her whole life.

I’m sure, like all of us, she has her faults. But, if so, I have yet to see one.

There have been other Wolf athletes who have shown great skill and great kindness, finding a balance which is rare.

Breeanna Messner, Aaron Trumbull, Makana Stone, Hunter Smith, and Valen Trujillo immediately jump to mind.

But I put Mekare up on the top of this mountain peak.

She is, quite simply, the best of what Coupeville, and this world, have to offer.

Her continued success and high achievement in life, as she navigates the adult world, is a source of great happiness for me. And, I’m sure, for a lot of others.

In the grand scheme of things, induction into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame probably isn’t on the same level as say, winning a Nobel Peace Prize or a Pulitzer.

Both of which could easily be in Mekare’s future. Just sayin’.

But it’s what I have to offer, and so we celebrate her birthday — which should probably be a national holiday — by welcoming her into our lil’ digital shrine.

After this, if you cruise by the top of the blog and look under the Legends tab, you’ll find Mekare hanging out, along with those other five former CHS athletes I mentioned just a second ago.

It’ll say cheer next to her name, since it’s a sports hall, but we’ll all know she earned her induction for a lot more than that.

For her talent, for her grace, for her kindness, for her care to all around her, and for being, each day and every day, the kind of person I would like to be if I ever grow up.

You’re the best, Mekare. Thank you.

Hangin’ out with mom Dea. (Beth Kuchynka photo)

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Hannah Davidson joins her friends in the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Her destiny was always to be a Wolf.

A family move to California pulled Hannah Davidson away for a bit.

But then, like a Valkyrie arriving on the battle field, she returned to Whidbey and reunited with her childhood friends and teammates.

After accomplishing great things with her Coupeville pack — Scout Smith, Maya Toomey-Stout, Emma Mathusek, Avalon Renninger, and many more — Hannah is killing it in college, but always connected to Cow Town through our memories.

And today, she rejoins her friends, inducted into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame, forever immortalized for her play and her heart.

When you bounce up to the top of the blog, you’ll find Hannah hanging out under the Legends tab, a worthy spot for a very-talented young woman.

She made her first big impact (on the local sports scene at least) as a key member of a Central Whidbey Little League Juniors softball squad which battered foes while winning a league title and compiling a 13-3 record.

Younger versions of (left to right) Emma Mathusek, Scout Smith, Davidson, and Maya Toomey-Stout. (Charlotte Young photo)

Those young Wolves, featuring a 10-woman roster pulled together at the very last second, were a run-scoring machine, outgunning their rivals 185-85.

Hannah swung a big bat for that squad, while also playing nimble defense at first base, as showcased in the season finale.

Facing off with Anacortes, its arch-nemesis, Central Whidbey clung to a late lead when a throw to first, with runners on base, went wayward.

Not letting the play end there, Hannah alertly whirled, as the base coach behind her lurched backwards, lost control and did an awkward, but very entertaining, half-cartwheel.

Snagging the skittering ball as it ricocheted back up off the edge of the dirt, she spun and pegged a flawless throw to second base.

Staying low and blocking the bag in anticipation, Mathusek was exactly where she needed to be, slapping the tag on one very surprised incoming runner to end the inning.

That calmness under pressure and ability to pull off top-notch plays while fitting her skill-set into her team’s needs benefited Hannah greatly during her high school days.

She was an All-Conference player in two sports as a senior during the 2019-2020 school year, helping CHS volleyball and basketball teams achieve great success.

On the volleyball court, Hannah was a masher with an often surprisingly light touch around the net.

Hannah and Emma rejoice in a volleyball win. (Brian Vick photo)

She could come in hot and wail the ball off the back line, or off a rival girl’s shoulder, but she was also deadly with her tips.

Bouncing on her toes, ready to go in either direction, then finish with power or precision, Hannah was a boon to her teammates, and a danger to opposing defenses.

As a senior, she helped lead the Wolf spikers to one of the best seasons in program history.

Coupeville capped Cory Whitmore’s fourth season as coach by opening 7-0.

Losing only to state powerhouse King’s during the regular season, the Wolves finished 14-5, tying the program record for wins and narrowly missing a trip to state.

Jump forward to basketball season, and Hannah was a player who could give you something different each night, depending on the opponent and what would benefit the Wolves most.

First she sucks in the defense, then she beats it with a crisp pass. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

She used her natural height and strength to pound the boards, pulling down rebounds on both ends of the floor, was a strong passer, and was never shy when it came to sacrificing herself on defense.

With the ball, Hannah was a complementary scorer, one who raised her season scoring totals in each of her three campaigns on the CHS varsity.

Playing alongside sharpshooters such as Chelsea Prescott and Ema Smith, bulldog creators like Scout Smith, and open floor weapons in Mikayla Elfrank and Lindsey Roberts, she still finished as the #88 scorer in program history.

Not bad, considering Wolf girls have played hoops since 1974.

While Hannah never played softball in high school, she did put in a season of track and field as a sophomore, tossing the discus and javelin.

She had six top-four finishes, including a 1st place performance in the javelin at a home meet, and successfully advanced to the postseason in both events.

Through it all, regardless of the sport, Hannah embraced her teammates, and seemed to deeply enjoy her time as an athlete competing with her tight-knit group of friends.

I’m sure she would have done well in Cali, if that had been her destiny, but it’s especially nice that she got the opportunity to return to Coupeville and be with her sisters from other misters.

Smart and strong, confident and caring, Hannah has been a visible inspiration to her brothers, two of whom are already following her trail as Wolf athletes.

As she pursues her college studies in Boise, the milestones will keep coming.

Athletically, academically, and in real life, Hannah is a bright, shining example of a young woman striving to be the best she can be, in every way.

Once a Wolf, always a Wolf.

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Zoe Trujillo, the newest member of the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

She made it look effortless.

Even if I know it wasn’t.

I know she worked hard behind the scenes, just like her sister. Her family has always embraced hard work, sacrifice, and commitment.

But when Zoe Trujillo played, she made it look effortless.

Sporting killer socks, a young Zoe eyeballs her rivals on the basketball court.

It’s not always easy to be the younger sister, to follow the path laid down by an older sibling, especially if that person was a one-of-a-kind athlete and human being.

But Zoe Trujillo, like big sis Valen, always rose to the moment.

Put her next to a volleyball net, place her on a tennis court, or drop her into the world of track and field, and the little sister crafted her own highlight reel, made her own memories.

Zoe was lethal when unleashed, gracefully twirling into the air, pausing for a second or two in mid-flight to survey the scene on the other side of the net, then ripping off a laser of a spike.

She was a big hitter and a big part of the success of a Coupeville High School volleyball program which never finished lower than second-place in league during her four years on campus.

Her senior season in the fall of 2019 was a particular highlight, for the Wolves and for Zoe.

Led by an eight-pack of seniors, including the younger of the Trujillo sisters, CHS opened 7-0, went 13-2 in the regular season (losing only to state power King’s) and finished 14-5.

Narrowly missing out on a trip to state, those Wolves tied the program’s record for wins.

Some of the biggest moments, the ones which provided the most bang for the ticket buyer’s buck, came when Zoe elevated and smashed.

Zoe and Maddie Vondrak get down with their bad selves.

It was there, in those displays of crackling power and shimmering intensity, where she made the gym walls rock and mom Amy bounce happily in her seat.

Dad Craig spent a lot of his time toeing a line down on the floor, and, as a properly impartial linesman, had to pretend to be impassive when his younger daughter whistled a winner past his shoe.

It was only after the set or the match was complete, and he had returned to dad status up in the bleachers, that he beamed like a lightbulb powering up, glowing with the pride which his daughters brought out in him.

Zoe played a different position than Valen on the volleyball floor, the former an outside hitter, the latter a libero.

But both always carried themselves with a quiet grace, filled with a burning intensity, but always calm, composed, and attentive to the words of their coaches and the feelings of their teammates.

That carried over to the tennis court, where Zoe swatted her shots in a manner which, and stop me if you’ve heard this before — often looked effortless.

Zoe flicks a winner on a rainy spring afternoon.

She was a nimble player, mixing power with a nice touch, and advanced to districts as a young doubles player, before stepping away from the sport.

There was also a stint with the CHS track team as a sophomore, where she threw the javelin, competed in the long jump and triple jump, and ran in both the 200 and 4 x 100 relay.

While she never played basketball in high school, much like her older sister, Zoe showed promise on the hardwood during her middle school days.

But it was volleyball which lured her in, captivated her, and let her express herself best across six seasons in a Wolf uniform.

Through some of the biggest wins and toughest losses in program history, Zoe soared and delighted.

When she left the floor after her final prep match, she was taller, stronger, more confident, more polished than she had been when she first pulled on a Coupeville uniform.

But, from the earliest days as a middle school athlete to her senior swan song, one thing remained the same — Zoe was always, without fail, a class act.

Today, we’re revisiting her days as a Wolf, because we’re about to welcome her into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

After this, you’ll find her hanging out up at the top of the blog, under the Legends tab.

Inducted for her talent, her temperament, her grace, her humility, and for her heart, Zoe joins Valen in our digital shrine — two sisters who worked their own magic, in their own way.

Each chose a path, accomplished great things along the way, and are now off to top those school-day achievements with success in the adult world.

Zoe never coasted on the value of her last name or on the talent she was born with.

She worked for everything, and she earned everything.

Even if she did made it look effortless.

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