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Archive for the ‘Middle School’ Category

CMS athletes like Lyla Stuurmans could be back in action in January. (Corinn Parker photo)

Middle school sports have not been forgotten about.

As Washington state (and the world) deals with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, prep sports have been massively disrupted, with the loss of spring and summer seasons, and a push-back to any games during the upcoming school year.

Athletic directors, league officials, and the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association worked on creating opportunities for high school students first, but now they’ve turned their efforts to middle school as well.

As expected, middle school athletic programs will follow the lead of their high school counterparts, with no games until Jan., 2021, at the earliest.

Middle school athletes will not be totally sidelined until then, however.

The current plan offered by the WIAA will allow for an “open coaching season” from Sept. 28-Nov. 29, with this being available to middle and high school athletes.

Practices will be held after school (2:30-on), even if students are still in online learning and not in-person education, and will be posted on the Coupeville School District’s Tandem calendar.

High school sports are currently set to begin actual competition with basketball up first. Practice would begin the last week of December, with the opening games the first week of January.

With middle school sports, it’s still very much a work in progress, said CHS/CMS Athletic Director Willie Smith.

The hope is for CMS teams to also begin play in January, but no schedules have been drafted yet.

That’s largely because only two schools in the Cascade Middle School League — Coupeville and South Whidbey — are in counties which have reached Phase 3 in the state’s reopening plan.

Granite Falls, Sultan, King’s, Northshore Christian, and Lakewood all are in counties currently in Phase 2.

“This is why we aren’t publishing any schedules, because we don’t know where the majority of our league will be in January,” Smith said. “We are hopeful that all will be in at least Phase 3.”

Of the sports CMS plays, boys soccer, volleyball, track and field, and cross country are considered Phase 3 sports, while girls and boys basketball require Phase 4.

If some sports can be played, but it requires moving seasons around to do so, that opens up other questions for the league athletic directors.

“When planning the seasons, it’s important to note that we have to look at gender equity, facilities, transportation, and officials availability,” Smith said.

If and when middle school teams are allowed to play, the Cascade League plans to have each season be comprised of two weeks of practice, and three weeks of games.

The WIAA and the sports medicine group it works with plans to waive the practice requirements, but league AD’s don’t agree.

“We didn’t feel it would be in the athletes best interest, either on a safety or a mental/physical preparedness level to follow those guidelines,” Smith said.

Though current WIAA plans call for high school teams to compete through the end of June, the Cascade League wants to wrap middle school sports by the end of May.

“This aligns with the ability of our middle school students and families to be able to focus on the last month of school, rather than extend the sports year all the way to the end of June as high school is being proposed to do,” Smith said.

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Brynn Parker and other Coupeville Middle School students were recently honored with academic awards. (Corinn Parker photo)

Online is where all the action is at.

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic preventing people from hosting in-person events, Coupeville schools have taken their awards ceremonies to the internet this spring.

The latest showcase to arrive online is the Coupeville Middle School Virtual Awards Show, which you can see by popping over to this site:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1b8BBSLJ74vnal_EyuoQ0jsyOahRwie1J/view

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Kaitlyn Leavell and her fellow Coupeville 8th graders are off to high school in the fall. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They’re outta here, virtually.

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic having shut down schools, everyone had to get a little creative this spring with celebrations.

Thursday, Coupeville Middle School posted the video seen below, which honors the 8th graders who will, in some way, move up to high school in the fall.

 

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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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