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Erin Locke is leaving Coupeville Middle School. (Photo courtesy Locke)

Coupeville Middle School is in the market for a new volleyball coach.

Erin Locke has resigned her position as a teacher at the school, and will also let go of her duties as a spiker guru.

Her departure becomes official when approved by the school board at its next meeting, set for Tuesday, May 26.

Locke shared CMS volleyball coaching duties with Sarah Lyngra, and was also an assistant wrestling coach at Oak Harbor High School.

A 2018 graduate of Eastern Washington University, Locke taught PE and English as a Second Language for Coupeville.

She came to CMS with a strong sports background, having been a championship-level wrestler and Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitor.

Vibrant and outgoing, Locke built a strong fan club among her students, and continued to provide them with leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic school shutdown, posting music-infused exercise videos to social media.

She’s leaving Whidbey to accept a position which moves her closer to family.

“I accepted a position as an ELL teacher in the Bremerton School District and will be moving there in the fall,” Locke said.

“This is one of the hardest things I have ever done, because I love Coupeville and our community so very much, but Bremerton is a few hours closer to my family and someone very special to me. So, very personal draw.

“This has been a hard decision, but I am excited for what’s to come.”

 

Locke sent out the following video to her students, which she is allowing us to share:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1NzR-5DrvJggq5tmR0YXq0YzT5ycCU_5A/view?usp=drivesdk

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Coupeville High School/Middle School Athletic Director Willie Smith. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Anything is possible.

When school sports return, there is a chance 6th graders at Coupeville Middle School will be allowed access to the same athletic opportunities currently afforded to Wolves in 7th and 8th grade.

Maybe.

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association passed an amendment Monday which allows 6th graders to participate in all WIAA sports with the exception of football.

Previously, they only had the chance to try cross country and track, which were used as test sports for the idea.

The amendment, one of 18 to be OK’d, received the absolute minimum “yes” votes needed for approval in a 32-21 tally by members of the WIAA’s Representative Assembly.

To be implemented, the plan must be approved at the local level by school officials (principal, superintendent, and school board), while also garnering a thumbs-up from a school’s league and district.

Coupeville High School/Middle School Athletic Director Willie Smith is all for 6th graders hitting the field and court, though he acknowledges there could be issues which prevent the change.

“We would be interested in having our 6th grade participate fully,” he said. “However, our middle school league is a bit all over the map.

“Mostly because some schools don’t have sixth grade on the same campus, and are not 6-8 … so there is no definitive plan as of now.”

While CHS was part of the North Sound Conference the past two years, CMS plays in the Cascade League, which includes South Whidbey, King’s, Granite Falls, Lakewood, Northshore Christian Academy, and Sultan.

With the high school moving down from 1A to 2B for at least the next four years beginning with the 2020-2021 school year, it’s bouncing over to the Northwest 2B/1B League.

CMS is expected to remain in the Cascade League, and currently fields teams in volleyball, boys soccer, cross country, girls and boys basketball, and track.

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Brionna Blouin (left) and Allison Nastali would have been part of the Coupeville Middle School track team this spring. (Elizabeth Bitting photo)

It was gonna be ginormous.

There were 50(!) athletes ready to turn out for track and field at Coupeville Middle School this spring, much to the delight of their coaches.

But, before the Wolves could get going, the COVID-19 pandemic shut down schools, then erased the season before it could begin.

It’s a bittersweet moment for CMS coach Elizabeth Bitting, who would have been joined by fellow track guru Jon Gabelein.

“Very disappointing, but so understandable,” Bitting said.

“And our (high school) senior volunteer coach, Coach Kenji (Jaylen Nitta), was looking forward to coaching this season as well. He is very disappointed.”

While the trio of Wolf coaches won’t be working with their athletes at the track, Bitting, who also coaches in the fall, is already looking ahead with the hope prep sports will return.

“So I figure in the next few weeks I’ll send out an email for cross country!!!” she said with a note of conviction in her voice.

 

The 2020 CMS track team would have been:

 

6th grade:

Cody Badger
Teagan Calkins
Aleksia Jump
Jeann Nitta
Brynn Parker
Malichi Somes
George Spear
Liza Zustiak

 

7th grade:

Chase Anderson
Edie Bittner
Preston Epp
Mia Farris
Oktober Frost
Isabella Gaspio
Tavan Hughes
Katie Marti
Chloe Marzocca
Candace Meek
Jack Porter
Johnny Porter
Landon Roberts
Lyla Stuurmans
Nicholas Wasik
Savina Wells
Laila Wenzel

 

8th grade:

Brielle Armstrong
Brionna Blouin
Ryan Blouin
Alex Clark
Jackie Contreras
William Davidson
Logan Downes
Nick Guay
Issabel Johnson
Lauren Marrs
Erica McGrath
Hank Milnes
Ava Mitten
Allison Nastali
Timothy Nitta
Zane Oldenstadt
Alena Osborne
Skylar Parker
Desi Ramirez
Mikey Robinett
Olivia Schaffeld
Isabella Schooley
Ethan Smith
Cole White
Reese Wilkinson

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Pamela Morrell and her CMS basketball teammates reached the halfway point of their season Wednesday afternoon, facing off with Lakewood. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

7th grader Savina Wells leads all Wolves in scoring, averaging 14.6 points a game.

Halfway home.

The Coupeville Middle School girls basketball squads reached the midpoint of their season Wednesday, welcoming ginormous Lakewood to town.

While the Wolf players will eventually move up to join a 2B high school here in Cow Town, their rivals represent the farm team for a large 2A school.

But, while CMS pulls from a much-smaller student body, Coupeville’s hoops stars put up a good fight Wednesday, staying close in two of three contests.

How the day played out:

 

Level 1:

Coupeville won the second half, but couldn’t fully dig its way out of an early hole, falling 36-23.

The loss drops the Wolves to 2-3 on the season, headed into another home game next Monday, March 2 against Granite Falls.

Lakewood controlled the game in the early going, jumping out to a 10-3 lead after one quarter of play, then stretching the margin to 24-8 by the half.

The Wolves rallied after the break, however, putting together a strong third-quarter performance behind the play of Savina Wells.

With the 7th grader dropping in seven of her team-high 10 points across the seven-minute frame, CMS had a 9-6 run, and outscored Lakewood 15-13 in the second half.

Brionna Blouin and Lauren Marrs backed Wells up on the offensive end of the floor, racking up nine and four points, respectively.

Blouin netted her team’s lone three-ball, and was the only Wolf to score in three different quarters.

Lyla Stuurmans, Mia Farris, Allison Nastali, Desi Ramirez, and Madison McMillan also saw floor time for Coupeville’s top squad.

 

Level 2:

This one wasn’t pretty.

Failing to score until the 4th quarter, the Wolves absorbed a 47-3 loss, dropping their record to 1-3 on the season.

Down 20-0 at the first break and 35-0 at the half, CMS couldn’t get a shot to drop until Chloe Marzocca splashed home a fourth-quarter three-ball.

Her support crew included Issabel Johnson, Taylor Brotemarkle, Jada Heaton, Kayla Arnold, Katie Marti, Grey Peabody, Aby Wood, Reese Wilkinson, Kaitlyn Leavell, and Nastali.

 

Level 3:

The final game of the day was the closest, with Coupeville battling strongly in a 32-24 loss.

The defeat drops the young Wolves to 0-3 on the season.

A little bit of a slow start tripped up CMS, as the hosts fell behind 10-4 at the end of the first quarter, then played Lakewood virtually even the rest of the way.

The second, third, and fourth quarter all ended up with counts of 8-6, with Coupeville claiming the third frame behind four points each from Heaton and Johnson.

Heaton had the hot hand all afternoon, rattling home points in all four quarters as she tallied a team-high 10, while Johnson (6), Marzocca (4), Bryley Gilbert (2), and Devika Vogelsang-Puente (2) also banked in points.

With Marzocca and Vogelsang-Puente notching their first buckets Wednesday, 20 of Coupeville’s 27 players have scored this season.

Also seeing floor time against Lakewood were Alena Osborne, Shayla Town, Pamela Morrell, Kassidy Upchurch, Gabriella Becktell, and Aubrey Blitch.

 

Unofficial season scoring stats:

Savina Wells – 73
Lauren Marrs – 33
Brionna Blouin – 23
Jada Heaton – 17
Lyla Stuurmans – 15
Reese Wilkinson – 14
Katie Marti – 9
Grey Peabody – 9
Issabel Johnson – 8
Chloe Marzocca – 7
Bryley Gilbert – 6
Skylar Parker – 6
Mia Farris – 4
Madison McMillan – 4
Kayla Arnold – 2
Aubrey Blitch – 2
Taylor Brotemarkle – 2
Allison Nastali – 2
Alena Osborne – 2
Devika Vogelsang-Puente – 2

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Mia Farris leads off a collection of CMS basketball pics. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Devika Vogelsang-Puente

Reese Wilkinson

Bryley Gilbert

Aubrey Blitch

Shayla Town

Kayla Arnold

Alena Osborne

Lyla Stuurmans

Photos, photos everywhere.

As Coupeville Middle School girls basketball fans count down the hours until the next set of games, a collection of snappy portraits to fill the time.

They come to us courtesy John Fisken, and, if you like his work, you can find more photos over at his web site:

https://www.johnsphotos.net/

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