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State tourney veteran Mollie Bailey was set to play a major role for the CHS softball squad as a junior. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Coral Caveness, who played strongly as the Wolves made their postseason run last spring, was also back for more, only to be denied by the pandemic.

They were ready to kick-start a dynasty.

Coming off a very-successful trip to the state tourney last spring, which included its first win at the big dance since 2002, the Coupeville High School softball team returned most of its roster of high-powered diamond aces.

Unfortunately, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, spring sports fell by the wayside, and the Wolf sluggers never got a chance to make it back to Richland this spring.

But while they never saw the field (in a live game vs. an opponent, at least), we can still take a moment to hail them for the work they put in while practice was still in session.

The 2020 CHS softball squad would have been…

 

Varsity:

Mollie Bailey
Coral Caveness
Mackenzie Davis
Maddie Georges
Gwen Gustafson
Emma Mathusek
Sofia Peters
Chelsea Prescott
Jill Prince
Marenna Rebischke-Smith
Audrianna Shaw
Scout Smith
Kylie Van Velkinburgh
Izzy Wells
Isabelle Whalen
Chloe Wheeler

Kevin McGranahan (Head Coach)
Justine McGranahan (Assistant Coach)
Ron Wright (Assistant Coach)

 

JV:

Savana Allen
Adrian Burrows
Karyme Castro
Vivian Farris
Elizabeth Hummel
Ivy Leedy
Lily Leedy
Allie Lucero
Maya Lucero
Lacy McCraw-Shirron
Heidi Meyers
Melanie Navarro
Mckenna Somes
Morgan Stevens
Samantha Streitler
Lily-Ann Tornensis

Will Thayer (Head Coach)
Lark Gustafson (Assistant Coach)
Aaron Lucero (Assistant Coach)

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If Coupeville track stars like Raven Vick (left) and Ja’Tarya Hoskins get the chance to compete this spring, they will face a shortened season. (Brian Vick photo)

If there is a spring high school sports season, teams can play shortened games in an effort to complete as much of the schedule as possible in a very short time.

That recommendation was offered Wednesday by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association.

Currently, all schools in the state are shut down through April 24 on the orders of Governor Jay Inslee, as the fight to blunt the spread of coronavirus continues.

If students return to school at the end of the six-week shutdown, with the first classes April 27, they will have to put in 10 practices and then can begin games.

The WIAA previously announced it would offer a waiver, allowing schools to conduct 10 practices in five days time.

It also stated state championships will not be played later than Saturday, May 30, so as not to conflict with graduations in June.

That means if the six-week shutdown is lengthened at all, spring sports could be in jeopardy.

If Washington goes the route of states such as Kansas and cancels classes through the end of the 2019-2020 school year, there would definitely be no spring athletic season.

But, under a best-case scenario, with schools reopening April 27, games could begin as early as May 2.

The WIAA has directed each league and district to determine its own means of qualifying teams for the postseason, and has said it will allow teams which are not in the playoffs to continue regular season games through May 30.

While it’s highly-doubtful schools could play, say, an entire 20-game baseball season in four weeks time, shortened games and multiple contests on the same day will be allowed.

WIAA guidelines for each sport Coupeville High School plays:

 

Baseball:

*Pitch count, which is a daily limit and not a game limit, will still be enforced.

“Care should be taken to insure that pitchers are not exceeding their arm strength and conditioning during this shortened season,” the WIAA said. “Coaches have an obligation to take care of their pitchers.”

*Teams will be allowed to play shortened games, with five innings being a complete game.

*May 19 is the final day for teams to qualify for regionals, with state championships May 29-30.

 

Boys Soccer:

*Teams will be allowed to play shortened games, with one half of play constituting a complete game.

*May 19 is the final day for teams to qualify for state. The tourney will be played May 23, 26, 29, and 30.

 

Girls Tennis:

*Athletes will be allowed to play multiple matches in the same day, but can not exceed nine sets per day.

*May 24 is the final day for individuals to qualify for state.

 

Softball:

*Teams will be allowed to play shortened games, with five innings constituting a complete game.

*May 24 is the final day for teams to qualify for state.

 

Track and Field:

*If an athlete competes on their own at an invitational during the shut down, their marks don’t count toward automatic qualifying standards for state. These standards must be met during school-sponsored meets.

*Athletes will still be restricted to competing in a maximum of four events during school-sponsored meets.

*May 24 is the final day for qualifier meets, with the state meet set for May 28-30.

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CHS varsity softball leads off a group of pics shot earlier this spring. (Photos by JohnPhotos.net)

Wolf track and field fills up the bleachers.

Varsity soccer takes the field.

Baseball claims the diamond.

JV softball, ready to pile up the runs.

JV soccer defends its net.

Tennis is on point.

The season is on hiatus, but the photos have been snapped.

With the coronavirus pandemic having forced the closure of Washington state schools, Coupeville athletes sit and wait to see if they will get to chase their spring dreams.

But back before the shutdown, wanderin’ paparazzi John Fisken bounced from field to field and captured the team pics seen above.

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CHS grad Sarah Wright was off to a strong start as a college softball player.

Their seasons have ended too soon.

Seven Coupeville High School grads (and one Oak Harbor alumni whose mom is my former co-worker) saw spring college sports seasons prematurely end.

With most of the nation shutting down athletic events at every level as part of the fight to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus, it’s the new reality.

The status of each:

 

Ally Roberts – Senior
Equestrian – Western Washington University

 

After winning a regional championship in Advanced Western Horsemanship, she was set to compete in the national semifinals in West Virginia later this month.

A top-two finish there would have sent her on to nationals.

That’s no longer the case, though, with both postseason events now scrubbed from the schedule.

“Really sucks, that’s for sure,” Roberts said. “But just happy with how the season went for my team and I.”

 

Danny Conlisk – Freshman
Track and Field – South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

 

After a successful spin around the track during indoor season, the two-time state champ was on his way to the outdoor season, but it’s been cancelled.

A statement released Friday by the NCAA indicates all student/athletes competing in spring sports will be granted an additional season/semester of eligibility.

 

Sarah Wright – Freshman
Softball – Sewanee: The University of the South

 

Like Conlisk, the former Wolf star will be granted a do-over, even though she and her diamond teammates had played 40% of their schedule.

Sewanee was 2-14 on the season when the rest of its 40-game season was scrubbed.

Wright was in the top three on her team in eight offensive categories:

.244 batting average (#2)
41 at bats (#3)
10 hits (#2)
2 home runs (#1)
7 RBI (#1)
16 total bases (#2)
.390 slugging percentage (#2)
.311 on base percentage (#3)

She also had a .915 fielding percentage as Sewanee’s catcher, with 39 putouts and four assists.

 

Makana Stone – Senior
Basketball – Whitman College

 

The Blues were in Brunswick, Maine preparing to play Friday in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA national championships, but never got the chance when the tourney was cancelled.

Whitman finished a very-successful season at 26-3, with Stone, the Northwest Conference Player of the Year, having also been selected to play in the Beyond Sports Women’s Collegiate All-Star Game.

That game, featuring the best D-III players in the country, was set for March 21, but has also been cancelled.

Stone closed her senior season with 409 points, 225 rebounds, 37 assists, 26 steals, and 26 blocks, while shooting 166-316 (52.5%) from the floor and 74-96 (77.1%) from the free-throw line.

During her four years as a Blue, the former Wolf star played in 110 games, including making a program-record 92 starts.

She finishes as the #5 scorer (1,337 points) and #2 rebounder (837 caroms) in Whitman women’s basketball history.

 

CJ Smith – Sophomore
Hunter Smith – Sophomore
James Besaw – Freshman
Joey Lippo – Freshman
Baseball – Green River College

 

The one sport where some hope lingers.

The Northwest Athletic Conference has chosen, so far, to cancel all games through April 13.

Green River, which is 3-4, has had 19 games scrubbed, though 16 remain, for now, on the schedule.

At the time of the shutdown, Hunter Smith was hitting .333 with eight hits (including a pair of doubles), seven walks, five runs, and two RBI.

Besaw is also hitting at a .333 clip, with five hits, while playing error-free ball at first base for the Gators.

CJ Smith is 1-0 in two games as a relief pitcher, having tossed a team-high 7.1 innings while holding opposing batters to a .125 batting average.

The CHS grad has faced 24 batters, and the only other Green River pitcher with a better mark has only squared off with three rivals.

Lippo hasn’t been given much to do at the plate yet, but is playing error-free ball in the outfield, including a strong throw to Hunter Smith to help nail a wayward runner.

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CHS cross country coach Luke Samford, seen here with Catherine Lhamon at the state meet, has joined the school’s track and field coaching staff. (Helene Lhamon photo)

Coupeville High School has filled two of its three open coaching positions, at least unofficially.

School Athletic Director Willie Smith confirmed Thursday that he’s hired Will Thayer as the Wolf JV softball coach and Luke Samford as a CHS assistant track coach.

Both men can work with their teams when spring sports practices begin Monday, but neither hire is official until approved by the Coupeville School Board at its next meeting.

Samford now has two gigs at the school, as he is also the head coach of the Wolf cross country program.

A former NCAA D-I athlete, he coached college runners for seven years before a family move brought him to Whidbey Island.

In his first season at the helm of the harriers this fall, he helped a reborn program make great strides, with junior Catherine Lhamon qualifying for state.

Samford’s hire helps to fill a hole left by the partial departure of Lincoln Kelley, whose day job in Oak Harbor will no longer allow him to be a full-time track and field assistant.

Kelley may still help out as a volunteer, however.

Thayer, a 2002 grad of Oak Harbor High School, replaces Greg Thomas, who stepped down after last season.

He joins a Wolf staff which includes head coach Kevin McGranahan and varsity volunteer assistant Ron Wright, and will coach the JV team.

The one current open position is the Wolf JV volleyball coaching gig, after Chris Smith recently stepped down from the position.

Smith continues to hold down two other jobs at the school, as the head varsity baseball coach and assistant boys basketball coach.

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