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   CHS track guru Randy King unleashes a voting tsunami. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

“It’s good to be the king, baby!”

Randy King’s fan club stays up late.

When I went to bed Tuesday night, the battle in the 2nd annual CHS Coach Supreme poll was a very-close, three-person tussle.

By the time I emerged from my covers Wednesday morning, the Wolf track guru had emerged as a solid winner, holding off the combined forces of softball coaches Kevin and Justine McGranahan.

King, who has the most seasons of any active coach at the school, covering past stints in basketball and football and his current run in track, follows in the wake of Ryan King (no relation), who won the poll in its inaugural season.

Despite the fact I’m 99.99% certain he didn’t cast a single vote for himself, Randy loyalists got their man a totally prestigious, and totally imaginary, award.

He finished with 1,024 votes, which accounted for 22.82% of the 4,487 cast.

Rounding out the top five were Kevin McGranahan (605), Justine McGranahan (580), track assistant Sylvia Hurlburt (400) and volleyball head man Cory Whitmore (363).

There was a field of 30 coaches in the poll, covering everyone who was a head or assistant coach at Coupeville High School during the 2017-2018 school year.

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   CHS coaches, l to r, top to bottom, Chris Smith, Ashley Herndon, CJ Smith, Justine McGranahan, Mike Etzell, Lincoln Kelley, Luke Pelant, Chad Felgar, Gary Manker.

   Bob Martin, Jordan Ford, Amanda Jones, Neil Rixe, Brad Sherman, David King, Jon Atkins, Josh Welshans, Jerry Helm.

   Steve Hilborn, Ron Wright, Aaron Lucero, Kevin McGranahan, Sylvia Hurlburt, Kyle Nelson, Emily Stevens, Greg Thomas, Cory Whitmore.

   And the trio with the most seasons as Wolf coaches — Randy King, Ken Stange and Amy King.

A new champion will arise.

And a totally imaginary trophy will be waiting for them when they do.

With last year’s top two vote-getters, Ryan King and Kristin Bridges, taking a break from coaching this year, the 2nd annual CHS Coach Supreme should be a wide-open affair.

The rules are simple — 30 coaches enter the arena (whether they want to or not) and, 48 hours later, one emerges with a chance to do their best Sally Field impersonation.

“You like me, you really like me.”

No, there’s no real trophy, or plaque, or even a commemorative t-shirt, just a warm glow in your chest from a heapin’ helpin’ of internet love cascading over you.

To be eligible, you had to be a Coupeville High School coach during the 2017-2018 school year.

No slight intended to middle school coaches, but you are being excluded this time around. The name of the “award” starts with CHS, not CMS.

Voting rules? There are none.

Vote as many times as your little fingers desire, or your internet provider allows, over the next 48 hours.

The poll goes live Monday morning at 8:06 AM, and shuts down Wednesday at 8:06 AM (or whenever I stumble from bed).

It’s the Wild West out there. If you want the “award,” work for it. If you don’t, how dare you not take my silly, imaginary award seriously??????????

He said with a grin.

And, yes, if the poll seems like it arrived a bit earlier this year, it did.

I decided to jump the coach poll up from May to April to provide a bit more room (and for your voting fingers to un-cramp) between it and the poll of polls, the 6th annual CHS Athlete Supreme.

That one, where everyone loses all sense of dignity and decorum, while fighting for … an imaginary award … returns mid-May.

I’m still debating on whether to return that poll to one vote per person after internet scamps pulled off shenanigans last year to dramatically tip the results in favor of one athlete.

We shall see.

For now, like I said, this time out is Wild West rules. May the coach with the craftiest, most dedicated fan base win.

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   Coupeville’s athletic future, like this basketball, is up for grabs. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

First, the bomb hit. Now, the hot takes are raining down, as everyone and their mother chimes in with an opinion.

If you were asleep at the wheel Wednesday, here’s the break-down:

Coupeville High School is leaving the 1A Olympic League at the end of the school year. Come next fall, Wolf athletes will have a new batch of rivals.

Washington state divides athletics into six classifications (4A, 3A, 2A, 1A, 2B and 1B), and, moving forward, CHS has two primary options.

One, which is ongoing, is a bid to move back down to 2B, where Coupeville lived and prospered for decades.

CHS has always been one of the smallest 1A schools in the state, and, currently, its student body numbers for grades 9-11 fit nicely into 2B parameters.

But, Washington Interscholastic Activities Association classification counts last for four years. With the last one in 2016, Coupeville is locked-in as a 1A school until 2020 … unless the WIAA grants a reprieve.

That decision arrives Jan. 28.

If CHS gets approval, it’s likely bound for its old time stomping grounds, the Northwest League, which currently houses 2B schools La Conner, Concrete, Darrington, Orcas Island and Friday Harbor and 1B Mount Vernon Christian.

Instead of giving up 75-250 students to almost all of our main rivals, we would be facing schools which are mirror images of Coupeville. Or, in a lot of cases, smaller.

Plus, it would reignite long-time rivalries with schools that current Wolf athlete’s parents and grandparents once faced on a regular basis.

If the WIAA says no, you’re 1A until 2020, then CHS likely heads in the direction of its other old time stomping grounds, the Cascade Conference.

Or, more appropriately, what is rising from that league’s ashes.

King’s, Granite Falls, Sultan, South Whidbey and Granite Falls (all 1A schools if Granite Falls gets WIAA approval to drop down from 2A) have defected, shedding 2A schools Cedarcrest and Archbishop Thomas Murphy.

Next fall, those five schools (and possibly Coupeville) will launch the 1A North Sound Conference.

Reuniting with Island arch-rival South Whidbey in a league setting is the main selling point of that scenario. Also, there’s always something to be said for competing at the highest possible level.

I know what direction I hope we go in, but, since there’s a poll below, I’m staying neutral.

So, here’s where I ask you, the reader, what do you hope to see?

The decision will come down to the WIAA and Coupeville Athletic Director Willie Smith.

The former is a fickle master (witness its fleeting “punishment” of Bellevue football), but I have complete faith in the latter, so we’re good.

But, until our path is set, you can vent and dream and argue all you want. So get at it. Choose what you want Coupeville’s next athletic adventure to be.

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   The shorts were shorter, the three-ball was non-existent and #35 set scoring records in the ’60s which I think we will find still stand. (Photo courtesy Jeff Stone)

It was a donnybrook.

Five sports entered the polling arena, and an hour later it was apparent we were locked in a death battle.

My little 48-hour poll to determine which CHS program deserved to get the first push in an effort to add to the school’s current record boards (track, volleyball, football) drew a lot of attention, and a fair amount of votes.

7,173 of them.

When the voting booth closed at 9 AM Friday morning, these were the final stats:

Basketball – 3,721
Softball – 3,044
Baseball – 198
Tennis – 188
Soccer – 22

That capped a battle where softball was up by 300+ votes, basketball flipped the tables to take a 400+ vote lead, softball cut the margin to a mere three votes Thursday night, then basketball put on a full-court press for the “win.”

So, what does that mean?

It does NOT mean softball or any of the other sports will not get their own record board.

My hope is to one day see glossy record boards raised for every CHS sport, a way to document the best achievements of the past while giving current Wolves something to aim at.

But, as was shown in the effort to bring football’s board up to date, there’s a lot of work involved in making these things a reality.

This poll was a way to give the people a say in which sport I direct my attention at first.

Researching 117 years of CHS history is not a simple task, especially when there is no magical “stat room” where a chain-smoking secretary of olden days faithfully filed away info.

We have to track down score books (or at least the ones which didn’t get thrown away), go through newspaper stories and be detectives.

Do all that, and then it’s time to harass the Booster Club into footing the bill for new boards and school officials into letting us hang them in the gym.

It’s a process, but one which hopefully will flow easy now that I’ve trod this path twice — once for the mammoth Wall of Fame in the CHS gym and then again with the football records.

So, I have my mission.

From Jeff Stone to Makana Stone, leave no stone unturned as we document basketball’s rich history in Cow Town.

How can you help?

First, if you have any CHS basketball info from any era — score-books, clippings, stat sheets, photos, etc. — send them my way.

My email is davidsvien@hotmail.com and my mailing address is 165 N. Sherman, Coupeville, WA 98239.

Second, take a moment to reach out to Keven R. Graves, the head honcho at the Whidbey News-Times and call upon his sense of civic duty.

Email him at kgraves@whidbeynewsgroup.com and maybe say:

We know your “prodigal son,” David, is an idiot, and he needs to stop making critical comments about the Whidbey newspapers he once happily cashed checks from.

But don’t let his lack of social skills stand in the way of the two of you continuing to work together to embrace and celebrate Coupeville sports history.

Don’t close the News-Times archives to him.

Cause, if nothing else, it’s easier to throw things at him when he’s sitting a mere five feet away from your office.

And finally, when you support Coupeville Sports, through donations, ads or purchases of my book, you keep me out of the dish pits and give me time and support to keep on writing while also accomplishing side projects like this.

Together, we can shine a spotlight on our local sports history, honor the past, inspire the present and spark the future.

A new game begins. Time for tip-off.

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Who do you have?

I need a new project.

Last summer was the biggie, as we raised the Wall of Fame in the Coupeville High School gym, honoring titles across every sport from 1900-2017.

A couple of weeks ago, the football record board in the entrance way to the gym was updated, filled in and brought to full reality, and now it can stand with pride next to the volleyball and track boards.

But now I have some empty hours to fill, so my brain wanders and wonders — which sport deserves to be next as we try and get every sport at CHS its own glossy record board?

There are five active sports (baseball, softball, basketball, tennis and soccer, with the last three having both girls and boys programs) which do not have record boards.

You could make solid arguments for all of them, so I’m turning that part of the process over to you, the readers.

There’s a poll below and you have 48 hours to make your feelings felt.

Voting is open now (no restrictions, vote as many times as your heart desires) and closes 9 AM Friday.

This is the people’s project, so you choose — which sport do I research, obsess over and agitate for, next?

I await your decision.

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