Archive for the ‘Middle School’ Category

Coupeville Middle School runners catch a quick photo op before competing Saturday in Shoreline. (Elizabeth Bitting photo)

Truly one team, one dream.

Competing Saturday at the King’s Roller Coaster Trail Run in Shoreline, the Coupeville Middle School harriers faced a larger-than-normal starting line.

That’s because this time out, both the girls and boys competed together, covering the 1.6-mile course in one teeming mass of humanity.

While it was a bit unusual, the Wolves rose to the occasion.

“There were some nerves but they all powered through,” said CMS coach Elizabeth Bitting. “The course was VERY HILLY and all appreciate the hills around Coupeville for helping them make it up and pass others on the hills.”

The race also gave the young harriers an opportunity to cheer on and hang out with their older compatriots from CHS, who were taking part in the same meet.

“It is a powerful moment when you see two of your middle school runners walk up to a high school runner and congratulate them on a great run,” Bitting said. “Plus cheering on our high school counterparts was so much fun!”


Complete results:



Claire Mayne (11th) 12:26
Cristina McGrath (24th) 14:09
Erica McGrath (30th) 14:45
Allison Nastali (31st) 14:45
Sam McMahon (37th) 16:08



Hank Milnes (14th) 11:38
Aiden Anderson (28th) 12:32
Hayden Harry (33rd) 12:58
Andrew Williams (38th) 13:23
Alex Clark (53rd) 14:52

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Taygin Jump, here firing up a serve, was a rock Thursday for the Coupeville Middle School 8th grade varsity volleyball squad. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It might still be going on.

Thursday’s middle school volleyball rumble between Coupeville and visiting Lakewood featured four matches, one stunning reversal, and a running time of well over three hours.

It was so long, I can’t honestly say I was there for the entire thing, as a Booster Club meeting plucked me from the gym midway through the day’s third match.

At which point things had already been unfolding for two-and-a-half hours, all backed by the screams of 10,000 hyped-up middle school girls trapped in one small gym.

So, here’s what I know:

I had to ankle for the exit midway through the 7th grade varsity, which Coupeville eventually lost 25-10, 25-6, 25-14.

I also completely missed the 7th grade JV, which apparently put up a spirited battle in a narrow 25-18, 25-15 defeat.

Before I bailed on the 7th graders, Jill Prince and Melanie Navarro (both 8th graders helping fill out a thin roster) delivered strong plays to send a jolt through the Wolf fans.

Navarro popped a nice shot in between two Lakewood players, triggering a return shot into the net, while Prince thumped the afternoon’s most distinctive spike.

And, with that, we’re on to the 8th grade.



One close set, one not so close set, in a 25-20, 25-7 loss to a school which funnels its players on to a fairly large 2A high school.

Maya Lucero and Ryanne Knoblich smoked impressive aces while on serve, while Prince, who was making her season debut, pulled off a play which doubled as a great recovery and a winner, all in one.

Going low to stab at a quickly-dropping serve, Prince caught the ball with the tips of her fingers and spun it back across the net while sliding to one knee.

Not only did the ball arc back across the barrier, it then flung itself to the floor between a pair of surprised Lakewood players and skipped merrily away before a rally could break out.

Ultimately the visitors were just too on-point with their own serving for the Wolves to get much going, but Lucero did put together a quality run at the line in a one-woman effort to balance things out.



Talk about a plot twist.

If you saw only the first set, you wouldn’t have believed the score of the second set. And vice versa.

Little went right for the Wolves in the opening frame, as Lakewood, lashing one laser serve after another, roared out to a 16-0 lead en route to a 25-3 win.

Heck, toss out a Lucy Tenore tip, in which she froze a rival and dumped the ball right in front of her for a winner, and we can just say nothing went right.

And then everything changed in a snap.

Powered by (high-jumping) Taygin Jump, who went on a crusade of dropping in winners with quick flicks over her shoulder, Coupeville found its mojo and roared back to win the second set 25-19.

While the Wolves couldn’t pull the match out, falling 25-18 in a tightly-contested final set, the turn-around was remarkable.

Once they got going, the CMS spikers served strongly, chased down balls they had no business getting to, and got quite efficient at smacking winners.

And it came from everyone on the floor.

Alita Blouin, who ran off four straight aces on her serve midway through the second set, also had a superb dig in which she popped the ball back into play while sprawled on the floor.

Her teammates — Gwen Gustafson, Hayley Fiedler, Maddie Georges, Vivian Farris, Jump and Tenore — all chipped in with hustle plays, before Fiedler closed out set #2 with a wicked serve.

The final set was all-out war, with Georges and Tenore firing off an assortment of dazzling serves, while Jump was a young woman in constant motion.

Locking down the right side of the floor, she continually thwarted Lakewood, using a variety of moves to drop winning shots, each one hitting like a dagger.

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Coupeville Middle School runners go in for a team cheer before competing Thursday in Arlington. (Elizabeth Bitting photos)

The Wolf girls, ready to hit the trail.

Warm-ups? We don’t need no stinkin’ warm-ups.

Thanks to their bus driver being given the wrong destination Thursday, the Coupeville Middle School cross country team arrived for its meet in Arlington with mere minutes left until the first gun.

That forced CMS coach Elizabeth Bitting and her runners to play catch-up, but it worked out fine in the end.

“Unfortunately there was no time to walk the course, but our Wolves didn’t let that dampen their race strategy,” Bitting said. “They all ran strong! They all ran hard! They all finished tired.

“They were amazed with how many runners they passed on the one long hill,” she added. “And once they hit the track they were flying!!!”

The race featured harriers from seven schools, with Langley, Granite Falls, Lakewood, King’s, Sultan and Northshore Christian Academy joining Coupeville on the 1.71-mile course.

While the late arrival left everyone a bit frazzled, the Wolves (backed by their faithful traveling fans) still managed to pull off a superb performance in their second meet of the young season.

“Afterwards they (the runners) said it was actually better because they didn’t have time to get nervous,” Bitting said.

“We had a great parent turnout. It’s so nice to hear cheers for our athletes!,” she added. “They appreciate it and I appreciate it. It helps fuel their adrenaline.”


Complete results:



Carolyn Lhamon (7th) 11:45.26
Claire Mayne (8th) 11:48.58
Helen Strelow (22nd) 13:23.70
Cristina McGrath (23rd) 13:27.15
Erica McGrath (27th) 13:59.36
Allison Nastali (30th) 14:06.38
Sam McMahan (37th) 14:50.00



Cole White (8th) 10:34.00
Aiden Anderson (26th) 11:40.00
Tate Wyman (32nd) 12:08.00
Hayden Harry (47th) 12:59.18
Andrew Williams (48th) 13:01.81
Alex Clark (56th) 13:49.04

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Scott Hilborn has places to be, and yards to pile up. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

The Wolf line gets ready to mash people.

“I said … stay down, man!!”

Wolf QB Nathan Ginnings, eyes always moving, prepares to make some magic.

Coupeville fans fight a stirring, but losing, battle with the late-afternoon sun.

It was then, as he delivered a flawless Darth Vader-style Force Choke, that William Davidson’s coaches began to wonder if he had truly gone to the Dark Side.

When the sun comes out, so does the big camera.

Noted photo bug John Fisken was in Coupeville Wednesday, taking advantage of the balmy weather to snap pics at two different events.

The one you’re currently looking at is a middle school football clash between the Wolves and visiting Sultan.

To see everything Fisken shot in his day out in the (not so) big city, pop over to:


And remember, purchases help fund scholarships for two CHS student/athletes each year.

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Nathan Ginnings (1) and Nicholas Guay are ready for kick-off. (Charlotte Young photo)

Scott Hilborn (7) streaks for yardage. (Gary Shelly photo)

Your 2018 Coupeville Middle School football squad. (Michael Davidson photo)

One step at a time.

With a roster low in numbers and jam-packed with 7th graders making their gridiron debut, new Coupeville Middle School football coach Brett Casey is operating very much in teaching mode right now.

While Wednesday’s home opener against Sultan was a bit rough at times — with the Turks using a considerable size advantage to run their way through the Wolf line en route to a 41-0 win — progress was made.

“It was the first game our kids got to hit someone else besides their teammates,” Casey said. “First time we’ve gotten to play 11-on-11 as well, after practicing mostly 6-on-6, or 7-on-7.

“You can see them starting to come together, which is what we want to see.”

Coupeville has 14 players, and all but one were able to play Wednesday, with a couple making a sizable impact.

Scott Hilborn, younger brother of CHS standout Matt, was the primary offensive weapon for the Wolves, and he did his best to slash through the Sultan defense.

His best run came on Coupeville’s first offensive play, as Hilborn cut back, then shot down the right sideline, popping a couple of defenders in the mouth as he rambled for 26 yards.

While the opening drive failed to get into the end zone, it was the longest, most consistent stretch the Wolves put together on offense, with Hilborn and Dominic Coffman sharing running duties.

CMS stayed mostly on the ground, though Alex Murdy snagged a second-half screen pass under great duress, pulling the ball in while he had two defenders draped all over him.

Nathan Ginnings and Hilborn rotated behind center, keeping Sultan guessing as to who would take the snap.

While Sultan pounded away for six touchdowns, the Turk scores came courtesy of their strong play, and not Wolf errors.

The Coupeville defense, other than one play in which Sultan pulled off a 60-yard catch-and-run for a score on the final play of the first half, did a decent job of tracking down the guy with the ball and laying down some hits.

The best stand by the Wolves came on Sultan’s second possession, when they forced the Turks to turn over the ball on downs.

Owen Shelly got things started when he obliterated the hapless soul who was supposed to be blocking him.

Roaring up on the Turk QB like a freight train going downhill with no brakes, Shelly pounced on the rival gunslinger, flinging him to the turf for a solid five-yard loss.

Sparked by his play, his teammates pulled off back-to-back sweet take-downs.

Coffman, tabbed “The Dominator” by CMS Athletic Director Willie Smith, flattened a Turk runner several steps behind the line, before Murdy chased down the QB for a sack.

The game’s biggest pop might have come courtesy Mike Robinett, however.

The second-generation Wolf gridiron star caught a Turk runner in mid-stride, lowered his shoulder and sent him halfway back to Sultan, without the use of a bus.

While the final score on the board wasn’t quite what the Wolves might have wanted, plays like Robinett’s KO softened the loss.

The future of Coupeville football is coming, and while there is much work left to be done, there is also much cause for hope.

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