Archive for the ‘Ranting and Raving’ Category

“Publish on social media? No sir, that’s for them fancy lads.”

You are NOT reading this on Facebook.

Or Instagram.

Or Twitter.

Or any of a million other social media platforms sprouting up, dying, then sprouting back up, like poisonous mushrooms clinging to life.

If you don’t like something I wrote here, on my blog, to dismiss it with an arch, tossed-off “Well, I don’t have social media” proves only one thing.

You have a fundamental misunderstanding of what I have been doing for the past 11 years on Coupeville Sports.

Because none of the 10,176 articles I have written have ever been published on “social media.”


Zuckerberg, and Musk, and their buddies don’t make any money off me.

After I publish a story HERE, I post a LINK to said story on Facebook and Twitter, to drive readers to my actual site.

So, yes, it’s there on social media where readers often then share the LINK, or comment on the LINK.

But a huge chunk of my readership doesn’t have social media, even the snarky ones, and it doesn’t matter, because they come directly to my blog.

You know, that place where all my articles are actually printed.

But I get it.

While Coupeville Sports is overwhelmingly positive in its coverage, there are articles which people don’t like.

When something provokes, that discussion often plays out on social media, which is the 2023 replacement for people meeting and talking in person at Videoville and Miriam’s Espresso.

Social media is the frickin’ Wild West, with people shooting off opinions like they’re gunslingers. Sometimes things get pretty dang funky.

If I was a school administrator, I’m sure I’d also want to avoid the whole mess if possible.

So, it’s a good thing I don’t publish stories on social media sites.

Makes it easy for the big bosses to monitor my written output without having to sink into the swamp.

But, as they do so, it’s always good for them to remember something else.

As it very clearly states in my “Who’s responsible for this?” section, I am NOT an employee of the Coupeville School District.

Never have been.

You ain’t never paid me a cent, and I am NOT your PR flack.

Probably should have gone that route. Might have my indoor/outdoor swimming pool by now.

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A partial list of stories coming to Coupeville Sports in the near future. It changes hourly this time of year.

This is unique.

As far as I can tell, there are no other web sites or blogs in the state of Washington doing what I do here on Coupeville Sports.

No one else has chosen to hyper-focus on one small town and write about everything sports-related in it – high school, middle school, elementary school.

On the fog-enshrouded prairie in the middle of a rock slapped down somewhere out in the middle of the water, you can get your athletic props — whether you’re a professional basketball star cashing checks in a foreign country or a 3rd grader.

And, thanks to my off kilter sleeping habits at times and obsessive need to document every last bit of info I stumble upon, this is all delivered on an almost daily basis.

If you go back and count the days in 2023 where nothing new was published on Coupeville Sports, you’d have several fingers and toes left to use.

Today, midday on May 17, I’m sitting at 69 stories this month — slightly more than four a day, every day — with 375 for the year and 10,145 since the blog debuted Aug. 15, 2012.

Unlike other publications which work at a much-slower pace, be they local or international, I have been free to read since day one, and will be free to read until we reach the end of wherever this road takes us.

And it is a journey we are taking together.

I may be smacking my fingers on the keyboard at 2 AM, but Coupeville Sports wouldn’t make it without the photographs, news tips, or (occasional) elbows to the ribs from you, the readers.

If it’s happening in Coupeville, or at least has some vague connection to Cow Town, and I haven’t written about it yet, it’s probably not personal.

Email me at davidsvien@hotmail.com and let me know what’s crackin’.

Last, but certainly not least, an enduring thank you to everyone who has ever donated to the cause, your support keeping me one step ahead of a return to the dish pits.

Years of abuse from working on farms, in restaurants, or moving large rocks from one side of a field to the other have resulted in a cranky back and assorted aches and pains.

But the mysterious back and body medicine sold at the $1.25 store helps, and I still have the use of my fingers — most mornings — so the blog churns on.

Want to read for free? So be it.

Want to help me keep paying for my internet, allowing Coupeville Sports to keep being its unique self? Check out the links below.


PayPal — https://paypal.me/DavidSvien?country.x=US&locale.x=en_US


Venmo — David-Svien at https://venmo.com/


Snail mail — 165 Sherman, Coupeville, WA 98239

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Coupeville Athletic Director Willie Smith, killin’ it as a male model. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

This is not the way.

Sports didn’t get you into this financial hole, and taking arguably the most-efficiently run program in the Coupeville School District and kneecapping it isn’t going to solve anything.

We have one of the most-respected Athletic Directors in the state in Willie Smith, a man who is currently the Northwest 2B/1B League President.

A man who has decades in the game, a man who knows everyone and can get things done with a phone call, an email, or a nod of the head from across the prairie.

He absorbs any and all criticism, remains unflappable and upbeat, even in the worst of times, and has built strong, successful programs even as other schools around us struggle mightily to maintain numbers.

Athletic programs which largely pay their own way, in terms of ticket sales and coaches being willing to give back money from their budgets to help cover transportation costs.

But when it comes time to propose the opening cuts in Budget Wars 2023, we’re going to bounce Willie from his AD job and replace him with an already stretched-thin assistant principal whose own hours would then be cut?

Poppycock, as the kids would say.

Well, maybe the kids from the 1920’s, not the 2020’s, but anyway.

This is by no means an attack on Leonard Edlund, the aforementioned assistant principal.

He is a righteous dude who, in my opinion, has been a great hire for the district.

Working with CHS/CMS principal Geoff Kappes, he does the never-ending work to keep our upper schools operating in a safe, efficient, productive manner.

The last thing he needs is to be asked to do twice as much work for less money, while having to navigate a complex state-wide web of AD’s, coaches, athletic secretaries, bus barn bigwigs, administrators, athletes, and parents who Willie is already on a first-name basis with.

And we’re not even talking about how many new emails and/or texts the man would have to delete on a daily basis from me alone.

That part of the job alone is staggering, and something no other AD in the state has to endure.

Let Mr. Edlund do what he was hired to do – be an assistant principal. Don’t subject him to my inane ranting!

And let Willie do what he does – run an athletic program which, unlike some other departments in Cow Town schools, is a booming success.

I’m not just talking about wins and losses, or league titles, or the fact football and boys’ basketball broke 30-year dry spells and returned to the state tourney with Willie at the helm of Wolf athletics.

We are not, have never been, and likely never will be, a true athletic powerhouse in the state.

We’re not King’s or Archbishop Thomas Murphy – private schools funded (allegedly) by money from blood diamond mines owned by local parents.

And we’re not Lynden or Lynden Christian, where seemingly waves of genetically flawless teenagers emerge from the haze (or a mad doctor’s laboratory), every ponytail, every chin cleft, identical.

We’re scrappy, a farm town where not that many of the kids actually work on farms anymore, but where we can open a can of whup ass on entitled rivals every now and then.

Where Willie’s greatest success as an AD has come has been in maximizing what he has, of getting coaches and players to buy in to his plan to be competitive, and to do it in the right way.

The pandemic crushed athletics at many schools, but thanks to his leadership, Coupeville has emerged stronger on the other side.

Just look at Wolf teams this spring.

The track and field rosters, at both the high school and middle school, are the biggest they’ve been in decades.

High school baseball and softball are able to field win-happy varsity and JV teams while many league rivals are struggling to field just one squad, and girls’ tennis has no issue filling all of its varsity slots.

It’s been that way all school year for almost every sport, with football, in particular, being a bounce-back story.

After several years of rosters which could barely withstand the loss of a player here or there to injury, the Wolves topped 30 players this season and drew in massive, ticket-buying, crowds.

Look, I get it.

Schools are here for education, not sports.

But sports, especially when attention is paid to both the All-State player and the kid who has never run a lap around a track in their life, is invaluable.

Coming out of a pandemic, with mental health issues for teens a huge concern, getting kids out of their bedroom and into the sun (OK, into the prairie wind and rain…), making them a part of something bigger than themselves, is invaluable.

Sports are not bigger than education, but sports keep kids in school, and they are a lifeline for many teens.

I may not fully remember that algebra equation I solved in Mr. Luikko’s class at Tumwater back in the late 80’s.

But that time I shocked my own coach by thumping a rich-school kid on the tennis court — literally drilling him with the ball three times in my win — while my teammates climbed up the fence encircling the court?

That I remember.

And I was that kid who only stayed in school so I could play a sport, any sport.

If you’ve read any of my thousands of stories, I’m a writer thanks to hitting future Rose Bowl-winning quarterback Brad Otton in the face with an overhead during practice.

If I wanted to keep doing that, I had to stop skipping school, and what the heck, my tennis coach, Lionel Barona, was also the journalism teacher.

So, I’m just saying, my writing heir is out there right now, and he or she is probably the kid throwing worms at their friends during practice.

And if there is any AD in this state who will embrace his worm throwers and help them grow into semi-normal adults, it’s Willie freakin’ Smith.

The man, the myth, the ever-grinning legend endured a pandemic to show us the way.

Respect his authoritah!

ADs and coaches across the state fell by the wayside in a dark time, but in Coupeville, I watched as Willie refused to buckle.

He dealt with all the crap thrown at him, enforcing pandemic rules dictated by state officials, and did it in a way that Coupeville, unlike some other districts, never erupted into a full-on culture war.

Willie was firm, but he was fair – even to the asshats who deserved to be kicked where the good Lord split them.

He kept his coaches invested, he kept his athletes active, he found creative ways to honor those who lost games and seasons, he gave hope to a town at a time when it needed it most.

In the best of times, being an athletic director is never-ending work.

The schedules for next school year? Already largely in place, thanks to Willie’s work.

And then Mother Nature laughs, especially in a state and on an island bathed in liquid sunshine, and you have to scramble to rip everything up, and put it back together.

League rules change, state rules change, and ding, another 10,001 emails from the guy blogging at 2:00 AM.

All handled with a calm ease.

I have known Willie for many years, from back in the Videoville days when he first stepped off the ferry from Sequim.

As a coach, a teacher, an AD, and a father, husband, and man about town, he remains one of the best I have ever dealt with.

He is a straight shooter who can be brutally honest (in a good way), someone who doesn’t dodge responsibility, a man who has given a chunk of his life to Coupeville and made our schools immeasurably better.

We’ve already gone through this once before, where a misguided rush to save a few bucks pushed Willie out of the AD’s office.


Then, things were tweaked, he returned to the job, and guess what? Things got much better, even when the world shut down around him.

The $15,000 you “save” by stripping Willie’s AD duties is not enough to justify the lasting damage you will do.

If Mr. Edlund is the man trying to ignore my emails next year, he will give it his all. I have no doubt of that.

But it doesn’t have to be like that.

Edlund should be allowed to focus on holding the front line at our schools, and Willie, the man with the plan, the man whose athletic department is the gold standard in the district, should be leaning back in his chair, making things hum.

Saving a penny to set the bank on fire?

This is not the way.

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Logan Downes has two more years to slap home buckets. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Gaze into our cracked crystal ball.

Looking ahead at the 2022-2023 school year, we can make some educated guesses as to which storylines will dominate conversation in the prep sports world.

Then again, there’s always surprises, whether it’s a worldwide pandemic suddenly surfacing or a team (or athlete) catching fire in an unexpected manner.

You need to stay nimble, remain on your toes, and be ready to have things crash apart in unforeseen ways.

That’s life.

While we wait for those sudden veers, however, here’s some guesses on things which I think will be part of the conversation, stretching from fall out to next spring.

1 — There will be at least one new head coach at Coupeville High School, as Bennett Richter takes the reins of the Wolf football program.

The former CHS Defensive Coordinator, who’s also getting hitched to Wolf girls basketball coach Megan Smith this weekend, replaces Marcus Carr, now calling the shots at Inglemoor.

Richter is the sixth Wolf head gridiron coach in the past 13 seasons, after Ron Bagby retired in 2009 with 26 campaigns in the record book.

2 — Meanwhile Cory Whitmore enters his seventh year as CHS varsity volleyball coach.

He’s posted a winning mark each time out, and his teams have nabbed at least 11 wins in every season except 2020 — when Covid limited the schedule to just nine matches.

Whitmore can post some milestones this time around, as he’s 66-30 at the helm of the Wolves.

His 100th match on the CHS bench is all but guaranteed, a 75th win very likely, and a second trip to state the goal.

3 — Ken Stange is the current dean of Wolf coaches, with long runs with the school’s two tennis programs.

But the pandemic and Coupeville’s move from 1A to 2B, which sent boys soccer from spring to fall, has made it difficult to field a boys tennis team.

After two years of the Wolf male netters being AWOL, will the program return, or will the competition for athletes with cross country, football, and soccer remain a stumbling block?

4 — Helen Strelow, Claire Mayne, and Mitchell Hall will chase a second-straight trip to state once cross country hits the trail, while Strelow also looks to defend her individual Northwest 2B/1B League title.

As year five of the harrier rebirth dawns, what new heights will the Wolves reach?

Alex Murdy (left) and Aidan Wilson sandwich a rival. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

5 — With boys and girls soccer sharing the same field in the same season, I’ll have plenty of opportunities to watch pitch action.

Will I ever stop being a heathen and develop a greater appreciation for the “beautiful game?”

You never know…

6 — Winter means basketball, AKA God’s chosen sport, and the return to the hardwood should have storylines aplenty.

Wolf girls coach Megan Smith will be in season two at the helm of the program she once played for, and the Class of 2023 — which went undefeated as 8th grade hoops stars — get a final run.

It’s a deep, talented, tight-knit group, but point guard Maddie Georges gets an extra bit of hype since she’s got a chance to crack an elite group.

The fiery three-ball ace has tossed in 253 points in three seasons of high school ball and sits at #43 on the all-time scoring chart for a program which launched in 1974.

Depending on how much of the scoring she takes on as a senior, Georges has a solid shot at finishing in the top 20, where Maureen Wetmore (438 points) is currently holding down the final slot.

On the boys side of the court, the Wolves are coming off their best season in decades, opening 16-0, winning league and district titles, and advancing to the state tourney for two games.

Head coach Brad Sherman lost a large senior class, though young(er) gunners Logan Downes and Alex Murdy can return.

Downes (224 career points through his sophomore year) and Murdy (206 through his junior season) are #127 and #134 all-time for a program which began in 1917 and are primed to make large leaps up the scoring chart.

Will either one rise as far as the recently departed Hawthorne Wolfe (800) or Xavier Murdy (482)? Only time will tell.

Sluggers (l to r) Jada Heaton, Mia Farris, and Taylor Brotemarkle are part of a bright future for CHS softball. (Photo courtesy Jennifer Heaton)

7 — Wolf softball is the King Kong of NWL softball, but Kevin McGranahan and Co. are aiming bigger and want a return to the state tourney.

Izzy Wells, who was the team’s #1 pitcher since her freshman season, graduated, and lil’ sis Savina moved to Florida with three years of eligibility left, so the hunt for a new hurler is job #1.

Even with the 2020 season completely erased by the pandemic, McGranahan has six years and 83 wins in the bank at CHS, and a return to state would all but guarantee lighting up the scoreboard for win #100.

8 — Baseball also won a league title this past spring, in coach Will Thayer’s second season, though the Wolves fell a hair short of earning a trip to state.

Coupeville lost a good batch of seniors, but a huge chunk of the core of the team will be back, with Scott Hilborn, Jonathan Valenzuela and friends primed for a sweet swan song.

9 — Girls tennis has the most league titles of any sports program at CHS, and Helen Strelow tops a strong group of potential returnees.

Ken Stange enjoys making trips to Eastern Washington when it sizzles, so another jaunt to state for a Wolf netter or two could put a nice cap on his 237th season as CHS net coach.

10 — Speaking of state championship events, the biggest of them all got back on track after two pandemic-marred springs, with track and field athletes making the wheels on the bus go round and round all the way to Cheney.

Coupeville’s boys claimed 7th in the team standings, while Wolf athletes earned four second-place finishes during the big show.

Several top Wolves graduated, but medal-winners Aidan Wilson (2), Reiley Araceley (1), Ryanne Knoblich (1) and Dominic Coffman (1) all can return, while young phenoms like Lyla Stuurmans are primed to break-through to glory.

Aby Wood and friends will be back for another season of track. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

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Daydreaming about that indoor/outdoor swimming pool with waterfall I’ll never own. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

We’re closing in on some major milestones.

Today marks nine years and 11 months for Coupeville Sports, leaving me a month shy of the blog’s 10th birthday, which hits Aug. 15.

Two days later, CHS football begins practice, with the other fall Wolf teams taking the field Aug. 22.

Right now, this is the 9,359th story to appear on Coupeville Sports, and you can count the stories I haven’t personally written on one hand.

We’re also very close to hitting two million page views all-time and would have likely already reached that number if the pandemic hadn’t shut down all sports for more than a year.

When you write a sports blog, and there are no sports, you get creative, but readership also predictably goes down.

Though, with the return of sports, the numbers have shot back up – to the point where here in year #10, I’m currently on target to post my best numbers since the prime of the blog back in 2016.

As we head towards the big 1-0, let’s clear up a few things for those who may have joined us recently.

#1 — I am NOT employed by the Coupeville School District, and they have yet to give me a penny of financial support in a decade of being their unofficial PR agent.

If you have an issue with something I write, contact me, instead of wasting the time of school administrators. My email is davidsvien@hotmail.com.

#2 — I am NOT connected to John’s Photos, and do NOT make a penny off of his photos.

He’s been gracious enough to allow me to run his pics for the past 9+ years, but we are separate entities, and whatever money you spend on photos goes to the guy actually clicking the camera.

#3 — I may not be the only person in the state of Washington doing what I am with this blog, but it’s pretty dang close.

Find me someone else hyper-focusing on a small town and covering not just varsity, but JV, C-Team, and middle school teams on a game-by-game basis.

I’ll wait.

#4 — Coupeville Sports is free to read. Has been since Aug. 15, 2012 and will forever remain that way. No pay wall. Ever. End of story.

#5 — I understand and appreciate the pain of Oak Harbor and South Whidbey sports fans, who have been largely left high and dry with the Whidbey News-Times declining to fill its Sports Editor position after Jim Waller retired more than a year ago.

As a WNT alumni (1990-1994), it’s an embarrassment and dereliction of duty in pursuit of saving a few bucks.

That being said, I am NOT the person to ride to your rescue.

When the school athletic year is in full gear, I average 4-5 articles a day, every day, covering just Coupeville.

I can’t add two more towns and countless more teams to that.

Whidbey is too big (and gas too expensive in this economy!), my knowledge of Oak Harbor and South Whidbey sports is too limited, and my obsessive nature too likely to send me down a path to cracking up in pursuit of penning 15 stories a day.

You can start a blog literally for free, and I hope at some point someone in those towns steps up and seizes the bright, shining opportunity which exists.

But for me, I made my choice, and that’s covering sports at Coupeville schools and ballfields which sit a mile from my duplex.

#6 — Yes, Coupeville Sports is my only job.

I left the restaurant biz in 2015, and despite my many prayers, it doesn’t appear that video stores will ever return.

So, I write and write some more … and then go do some weed eating and mowing on the side as my 51-year-old back screams at me.

#7 — Yes, I will never, ever be getting my indoor/outdoor swimming pool with waterfall writing about small town sports. Sad but true.

#8 — Coupeville Sports survives because of the generosity of my readers.

You can read for free, but those who choose to financially back me, at whatever dollar amount, are the true MVPs.

Want to keep me typing away on a computer powered by three squirrels running on a mini treadmill at 2 AM? There are multiple ways.


Venmo: David-Svien

PayPal: https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/DavidSvien?country.x=US&locale.x=en_US

Mail: 165 Sherman, Coupeville, WA 98239

In-person: Once games start back up, I can be found flattening my tush in the stands (or occasionally being fancy in the press box).

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