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Archive for the ‘Softball’ Category

Central Whidbey’s John Rachal fires the ball back in during a playoff game. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Celebrating during a run to the state tourney are (l to r) Madison McMillan, Allison Nastali, Chloe Marzocca, and Savina Wells. (Photo by Jackie Saia)

Central Whidbey Little League finds itself at a crossroads.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic prevented any games from being played this spring, and the future is hazy.

While CWLL is moving forward with the hope of returning its players to the diamond in 2021, a looming crisis involving a lack of volunteers could become a major issue.

Despite being the smallest league in the region, with 90-100 players, Central Whidbey is required to have the same compliment of board members and volunteers as bigger leagues.

North and South Whidbey, Anacortes, La Conner, Sedro-Woolley, and Burlington have larger parent bases to draw from, while CWLL has had to scramble to fill all of its positions in recent years.

That may get harder very soon, unless a new generation steps up.

“CWLL finds itself in a very challenging position,” said President Gordon McMillan. “Probably not unlike many other non-profits and youth organizations in these unique times.

“And we are facing another huge challenge; the majority of the current board and volunteers have children (or grandchildren in my case!) that are “aging out” of little league in the next year or so,” he added.

“We have very few volunteers that have younger kids playing; with no line of succession, it is clear, in my opinion, CWLL may very well not survive.”

If Central Whidbey is unable to fully staff up, its players might have to try and latch on with North or South Whidbey in the near future, something which could prove difficult – especially if those organizations decide they can’t handle the influx.

“This would be tragic,” McMillan said.

The league president would hate to see Coupeville’s ballfields sit silent.

“CWLL has by far the most beautiful setting,” McMillan said. “I like to call Rhody Park our “Field of Dreams.”

“Island County Parks have been very accommodating and generous in their support of CWLL and it should be duly noted. Rhody belongs to all of us … and the county should be recognized!”

Baseball and softball have a place deep in McMillan’s heart, a big part of the reason he and others have worked so hard to make CWLL the success it is today.

“Little League has touched so many of our lives, the vast majority in a positive manner, I believe,” he said.

“Not every child can play football or basketball, but I venture a guess that every child has picked up a ball, a bat, a glove, and played some sort of baseball/softball/Wiffle ball … neighborhood … sandlot … school PE … or little league.”

For McMillan, little league made an impact on his life, first as a player, then as a coach and official through two generations of his offspring.

“Little League has been a passion of mine since 1956, when I first “made the team” in North Vancouver, BC,” he said.

“I have coached three of my kids and one granddaughter (Madison) and only hope they have, or will have, the same warm and wonderful memories as I have, and look back someday, not remembering the wins and losses, but the fun, camaraderie, and life lessons

“Then, and only then, did we, as coaches, umpires, administrators, concession operators, field maintenance crews, score keepers, spectators, etc. do a good job!”

 

If you’d like to become a volunteer, or have any suggestions for CWLL officials as they navigate the waters ahead, contact McMillan at centralwhidbeyll@gmail.com.

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Carolyn Lhamon slices to the hoop during a recent basketball practice. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Wolf freshman Brionna Blouin works on her volleyball skills.

Mano a mano, hardwood-style.

Abby Mulholland hones her shooting touch.

Chelsea Prescott gets down to snag a sizzlin’ grounder.

Brian Casey gets stretched out.

Katie Marti slides in to make the play.

Quinten Simpson-Pilgrim flies up-court.

Kylie Van Velkinburgh snaps a throw across the infield.

No games, but plenty of action.

While the ongoing pandemic prevents Washington state schools from playing competitions, Coupeville High School athletes continue to take part in off-season workouts.

The pics above, shot at a number of practices, come to us courtesy local photo clicker John Fisken.

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Kylie Van Velkinburgh (with a little help from Tupac) keeps things locked down at first base. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Heidi Meyers snuffs out a potential base hit.

Wolf coach Kevin McGranahan gets his swing on.

Jill Prince tracks an incoming throw.

Chelsea Prescott prepares to unleash a laser.

“Get in my glove, ball.”

Izzy Wells hauls in a long bomb.

“Try and run, fool, I dare you!”

The girls of spring are playing this fall.

Sort of.

While there won’t be any games, in any sport, for some time thanks to an ongoing pandemic, Coupeville athletes are being allowed to participate in practices right now.

Staying off to the side at a reasonable distance, intrepid photographer John Fisken visited a recent Wolf softball event, where he snapped the pics seen above.

 

To see everything he shot, pop over to:

https://www.johnsphotos.net/Sports/2020-10-07-CHS-BT-SB-Practice/

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Whidbey Island Little League fields will remain quiet.

North Whidbey Little League announced Wednesday it was cancelling its fall ball season due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

That follows on the heels of South Whidbey Little League cancelling its Summer Sandlot series.

Both moves come after Island County Commissioners voted to “restrict outdoor recreation events including sports in Island County to no more than 10 participants.”

That ruling went into effect July 28.

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Maddie Georges was third in scoring for the Wolf varsity basketball squad during her freshman season. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

A broken ankle kicks off Mad Dog’s summer. (Suzan Georges photos)

On the mend.

One of Coupeville’s most-promising young athletes will kick off summer vacation in a boot.

Maddie Georges, who was third on the Wolf varsity squad in scoring during her freshman basketball season, broke her left ankle Saturday.

Mad Dog was a top JV volleyball player right out of the gate, and is the heir apparent to the soon-to-be-graduated Scout Smith at setter for the CHS varsity volleyball program.

Georges then made a huge breakthrough on the hardwood, jumping from being a vital part of an undefeated middle school hoops team in 8th grade to becoming a starter for the Wolf varsity midway through her freshman campaign.

Coupeville’s deadliest three-ball threat, she joined Smith in running the offense, while racking up 86 points.

That left her trailing just Smith (148) and junior Chelsea Prescott (110) on the season scoring chart.

When spring came, Georges also made the CHS varsity softball roster, only to see her season end before it began thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down Washington state schools.

Now, three months ahead of a new high school volleyball season — if prep sports return on time — Mad Dog is on the mend.

The good news is the injury seems fairly uncomplicated.

“A clean break,” said mom Suzan Georges. “So much for softball and on to healing for volleyball and basketball. Girl’s got some serious PT in her future.

“Huge thanks to all the ER doctors, nurses, and X-ray tech,” she added. “We were in and out in less then an hour and a half.”

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