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Archive for the ‘Middle School’ Category

   Hawthorne Wolfe, here slicing to the hoop as a 7th grader, is back for a second season of middle school basketball. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They’re 18 strong in the early going.

While players may still come and go, Coupeville Middle School boys basketball coaches Bob Martin and Dante Mitchell have a pretty good idea of what they’ll have to work with.

And what that is, is a fair amount of 8th graders (13) and a bare bones amount of 7th graders (just five).

Last year, it was the other way around, as the younger team was the well-stocked one.

With most of that crew staying with the game, Mitchell will have plenty of bodies to mix and match, while Martin is hustling to try and attract some more players to turn out.

The rosters as they stand through after day one of practice:

8th grade:

Lucious Binnings
Isaiah Bittner
Aiden Burdge
Brayden Coatney
Brawn Gadberry
Tony Garcia
Logan Martin
Caleb Meyer
Xavier Murdy
Grady Rickner
Cody Roberts
Damon Stadler
Hawthorne Wolfe

7th grade:

Dominic Coffman
Alex Murdy
Kevin Partida
Levi Pulliam
Alexander Wasik

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   Xavier Murdy is one of Coupeville’s top returning 8th grade players. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

We’re going inside.

As fall sports begin to shift to winter sports, the basketball courts will light up with activity, and we’ll all get out of the rain and wind.

First up is the Coupeville Middle School boys, led by coaches Bob Martin and Dante Mitchell.

The Wolf young guns kick off practice Monday, with games set to start at the end of the month.

The 10-game CMS boys schedule, with all home games set to tip at 3:15 PM:

Thur-Nov. 30 @Sequim
Mon-Dec. 4 Stevens
Thu-Dec. 7 @ Forks
Mon-Dec. 11 Blue Heron
Thur-Dec. 14 @ Chimacum
Thur-Jan. 4 Forks
Mon-Jan. 8 @ Blue Heron
Thur-Jan. 11 Chimacum
Tue-Jan. 16 Sequim
Thur-Jan. 18 @ Stevens

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   Angelina Gebhard and the Coupeville Middle School 8th grade JV volleyball squad rallied for an epic win Thursday afternoon. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

As comebacks go, this one was pretty dang incredible.

Rallying multiple times Thursday, the Coupeville Middle School 8th grade JV volleyball squad stormed back from an enormous first set deficit, then liked success so much it promptly rolled to a straight-sets win over visiting Sequim.

The 25-23, 26-24, 15-11 victory, in which the Wolves trailed from the first serve to the next-to-last point of the opening set, was the highlight on a day when the other three CMS teams fell to their big school rivals.

And, if you win, you get first priority in the story.

8th grade JV:

Things were not going especially well.

The JV squad, which had trailed from the first point of the match, fell behind, then watched its deficit steadily grow.

A few strong serves from Samantha Streitler aside, the Wolves were in trouble, trailing 16-8 and lacking any sort of spark.

Or maybe CMS coach Casie Greve and her team were just pulling a long con, cause things flipped and they flipped fast.

Morgan Stevens turned out to be the catalyst, and the finisher.

A pair of aces started the comeback, then Amanda Thomas, Abby Mulholland and Angelina Gebhard caught fire at the line, while Sequim suddenly went ice cold, missing four consecutive serves.

Even with all that, the Wolves didn’t take the lead until Stevens dropped in two straight aces to push CMS up 24-23.

With all the air rushing out of the bodies of the Sequim players, Stevens twirled the ball one more time, launched it skyward and sent a ball across the net which hit the receiver in the arm and bounced away for set point.

At which point the Wolves erupted like they had won the state championship, screaming loudly enough to wake up any cows still grazing out in nearby fields.

Buoyed by the improbable, heart-stopping comeback, the JV dropped the hammer after that.

Stevens continued to be on fire at the service line, while Mulholland and Chloe LaRue put together torrid runs of their own.

In between the service winners, Ella Colwell dropped in a sweet tip for a winner, while LaRue came storming down the sideline to save a runaway ball and redirect it back over the net and through a mob of Sequim players.

8th grade varsity:

The Wolves started in cruise control, then the wheels fell off the car.

After opening with a 25-16 win in the first set, Coupeville suffered through a lengthy dry spell on serve — at one point five of six servers put their first ball into the net during the second set — and things turned sour quickly.

Sequim, which benefited more from CMS errors than anything it accomplished for itself, captured the final two sets 25-18, 15-6.

Part of the visitors success on this day came from something which may trip up its players down the road.

Coupeville coaches preach overhand serving, if at all possible, while Sequim had a staggering amount of girls lofting the ball underhand.

Thursday, that worked, as it meant the visitors put just about everything into play. But it also means a lengthier adjustment for those players down the road as they try and rise through the ranks.

When CMS players hit high school, they will already be prepared to serve at that level, which is huge.

From Izzy Wells, who cracked off a nasty ace which hit the court and burrowed five feet down (part of a string of eight straight winners during the good-times first set), to Jaelyn Crebbin, who frequently unleashes bombs, one loss doesn’t tell the full tale of their potential.

During that opening set, Coupeville also benefited from strong play by Abby Meyers, Noelle Daigneault and Eryn Wood, who closed out the set with a high-flying tip which elicited a scream of approval from her dad, Robert, camped in the bleachers.

While things didn’t go as smoothly after that, the Wolves still got some big plays, such as Audrianna Shaw painting the back line with a spike.

7th grade varsity:

The match was closer than the score might sound, as the Wolves, led by the serving of Kaielle Bepler and Alita Blouin and the hustle of Jill Prince and Gwen Gustafson, fought hard in a 25-8, 25-15, 25-15 loss.

Capping their first season as co-coaches of the young guns, Sarah Lyngra and Kimberly Bepler were thrilled with the progress they saw from their often very raw players.

“Everyone worked really hard, today and all season,” Lyngra said.

Bepler agreed, saying “We saw a big development of skills from the girls as we went from match to match.”

7th grade JV:

The scores were much closer in this one, a barn-burner where a serve here, a spike there, could have flipped the match.

Sequim escaped with a 25-20, 25-18, 25-23 win, but not before Wolves Cypress Socha (nine successful serves), Vivian Farris (7) and Hayley Fiedler (5) sliced ‘n diced the visitors while at the service stripe.

Cypress was awesome today,” Lyngra said. “Her best super, duper day of the season!”

Both coaches were happy to see their player’s continued growth in getting “three hits and over,” pointing to one rally where there were five such combinations before the point was finished.

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   Coupeville’s small, but scrappy, middle school football team showed great growth this season. (Bob Martin photo)

“They done good.”

While the Coupeville Middle School football team couldn’t nab a win in its final game of the season Wednesday, the Wolves earned the approval of coach Bob Martin.

Chimacum used a punishing running game to pull away for a 33-16 win on its home turf, leaving Coupeville with a final record of 1-4.

Playing mostly against teams with much-larger rosters, the Wolves held their own this season. Even when they lost, there weren’t any blowouts.

In its finale, CMS got a couple of big offensive plays from Caleb Meyer, Xavier Murdy and Cody Roberts, and strong defensive play from Nezi Keiper and Scott Hilborn.

As they hang up their uniforms, a look back at those who made up the roster:

Mathias Anderson
Lucious Binnings
Isaiah Bittner
Brayden Coatney
Brawn Gadberry
Jesus Garcia-Partida
Ty Hamilton
Scott Hilborn
Nezi Keiper
Logan Martin
Caleb Meyer
Xavier Murdy
Kevin Partida
Michael Peterson
Cody Roberts
Gabe Shaw
Damon Stadler
Josh Upchurch
Logan Wertz
Hawthorne Wolfe
Kiara Contreras
(Team Manager)
Lucas Salazar (Team Manager)

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   Gwen Gustafson and her Coupeville Middle School volleyball teammates close their season at home Thursday. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They’re peaking at the right time.

Finishing the regular season with three home matches in one week, the last one which will go down Thursday, the Coupeville Middle School volleyball squads are going out in style.

Wednesday, both the 7th and 8th grade Wolves romped to wins against Blue Heron, each taking two of three sets from the visitors.

Coupeville will try to keep that momentum going when it hosts Sequim in its finale Thursday. First tip is 3:15 PM.

Facing off with Blue Heron, which hails from Port Townsend, the Wolf 7th graders cruised to the win thanks to strong serving.

They hit on 35 of 44 serves across the first two sets.

Brynn Schmidt kick-started things, nailing 10 serves in a row to start the first set, before Kaielle Bepler (seven serves) and Alita Blouin (6) carried the burden in the next set.

Since Blue Heron fields only one team for each grade, Coupeville mashed together its varsity and JV teams on the afternoon.

“Everyone played, so it was great to get the whole team on the court, even though it was only three games,” said CMS 7th grade co-coach Kimberly Bepler.

“We’ll be glad to play the full three games for JV and the full three games for varsity tomorrow (Thursday),” she added. “The girls are looking forward to playing our last match after a really fun season of learning and acquiring new skills.”

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