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Archive for the ‘Volleyball’ Category

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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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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Emma Mathusek, serene superstar. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Emma Mathusek was a quiet superstar.

I’m not talking about her personality — she has always been outgoing, full of rah-rah spirit, and an exuberant, entertaining presence  — but how she approached her sports.

Whether it was volleyball or softball, or basketball back in her younger days, Emma was the kind of athlete every coach wants and hopes will land on their team.

She had skills for days, but always seemed content to fit her strengths into whatever her teammates and coaches needed.

Others chafe if they’re not looked at as the star.

Emma, who is straight laid-back chill, bopped along to a different rhythm than most, always seeming far more interested in team success than piling up personal stats.

Already ready to rule the world. (Photo courtesy Erin Martin)

You saw it on the volleyball court, where she anchored the Wolves while playing libero, sacrificing her body to scrape balls off the floor, time and again, and then some more.

The big hitters up front get the gaudy stats, and a lot of the buzz, but they never get the chance to go airborne if Emma isn’t holding down the last line of defense.

I don’t know as much about volleyball as some, but I’ve watched enough matches to appreciate an unsung warrior when I see one.

And that’s what Emma has been for the past six years – a warrior.

She sold out every dang time, every play, every moment she was on the floor, and very few balls got past her during that time.

The harder other teams hit, the harder she played.

Her team might win — and she was part of a very-successful run by the Wolf spikers in recent years — or they might lose, but Emma played with the same conviction, the same intensity, regardless of whether her team was two sets up or two sets down.

I always thought it was too bad she gave up basketball midway through her prep career, but that could be because it’s my favorite sport, and she was my favorite kind of player – a fighter and a scrapper.

But, you have to do what makes you happy, and know the fans will survive either way. If she was happier not playing, so be it.

And anyway, we still had her for one more sport, and she sparkled on the softball field.

A dynamic softball player from the very beginning. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Put Emma on the diamond, and she gave you speed, a soft glove, a slammin’ bat, and, once again, the willingness to adapt to whatever role she was asked to play.

She patrolled centerfield in her prime, and frankly, at times, there was little need for Coupeville coaches to put players in right and left, as she sprinted from foul line to foul line to snag rapidly-falling balls.

At the plate, Emma was a contact hitter who sprayed the ball in all directions, while often showing a surprising amount of pop.

While it wasn’t unexpected that homer-happy teammates like Veronica Crownover and Sarah Wright terrorized opposing pitchers with frequent round-trippers, Emma rocked one of the most-impressive home runs I have seen a Wolf hit.

The tater was delivered May 1, 2019, and it will live in Wolf lore for a long time, for how far away it sailed, when it was hit, and what it meant.

Emma’s shot, which cleared the fence like a 747 taking off, was a game-tying two-run blast which fueled what would turn into a wild, come-from-behind, 20-18 win over visiting Granite Falls.

The Tigers had come to Cow Town struttin’ and full of swagger, seemingly on the brink of clinching the North Sound Conference title.

Then Emma, with some help from her teammates, knocked Granite Falls to the canvas – she also had a long two-run single to go with her home run – and dared the Tigers to get back up.

They did not. Ever.

Jacked up after delivering a KO, one in which freshman hurler Izzy Wells whiffed the most-dangerous hitter in the league to slam the door shut, Coupeville stormed all the way back to win the league title.

After that came a great postseason run in which the Wolves finished 2nd at districts, advanced to state for the third time in program history, then drilled big baddie Deer Park while there.

Granite? They never made it out of districts, the back half of their tail-spinning season including a second loss to Coupeville, this one a killer in the playoffs.

The Wolves, however, made it to the premier event for Washington state high school softball sluggers, and it was Emma – the unsung star – who ruled the big stage.

Playing three games in one day in Richland, she ripped off six hits, including three doubles, putting a remarkable cap on her junior season.

While the COVID-19 pandemic stole her senior softball campaign, the legend Emma quietly built can’t be diminished.

You can talk about stats. You can talk about big hits and big catches on the diamond, or big dives and big hustle plays on the court.

Or you can just stand back and appreciate a young woman who every single moment she was in a Wolf uniform looked like she was having the time of her life.

She played her heart out, and her joy, the way she embraced her teammates and sacrificed for them, won’t be forgotten.

Today we induct Emma Mathusek into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame, and, after this, she’ll live up at the top of the blog, under the Legends tab.

Want to find her? She’ll be the one high-fiving all the other inductees, a perfect teammate to the end.

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Coupeville High School spikers (l to r) Kylie Chernikoff, Maddie Vondrak, and Chelsea Prescott will be seniors this fall. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Everything is in flux, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take a look into the possible future.

If Washington state high schools return to athletic competition by the fall, we know Coupeville is moving from the 1A North Sound Conference to the Northwest 2B/1B League.

As the Wolves drop down a classification to 2B for at least the next four years, they’ll go from having the smallest student body in their league to the largest.

With new league foes, there will be new challenges, and none comes bigger than La Conner volleyball.

The Braves have won back-to-back state 2B titles, and haven’t lost a league match in at least nine years.

I say “at least” because I don’t really know the answer to that question, though I am looking.

The Northwest League site only has records back through 2011, and the La Conner spikers are 79-0 in conference play between 2011-2019.

I’ve been in contact with Braves coach Suzanne Marble, and she said she would try and get back to me at some point with a definite answer.

Though, as she said with a laugh, “I don’t want you to jinx us!”

No matter what number the streak sits at, La Conner undoubtedly is the team every other 2B volleyball program is chasing.

Fall schedules for most of Coupeville’s sports teams have been quietly landing online in recent days. I’ve already published football, and soccer is on its way, while cross country and tennis are not yet set.

Looking at the volleyball sked, it shows all eight Northwest Conference schools playing the sport, though the setup for games is a bit staggered.

Coupeville will play three matches apiece against the other 2B schools — La Conner, Friday Harbor, and Chimacum, which makes the jump from the Olympic League as it also drops from 1A to 2B.

Meanwhile, the Wolves will take to the court just once against the 1B schools — Concrete, Darrington, Orcas Island, and Mount Vernon Christian.

The schedule as it currently sits, some five months-plus ahead of the first match, has 14 bouts, with 13 of them being conference tilts.

The lone non-league matchup is against our next-door neighbor, South Whidbey, keeping alive the tradition of the Wolves and Falcons lacing up their shoes and having at it in a bid for Island supremacy.

As I mentioned, the first match isn’t until mid-September, and even that will depend on how the coronavirus pandemic has played out.

There may be tweaks, and, if I’m still doing this when the time comes, I’ll certainly re-post the schedule in late summer/early fall.

But, for now, it gives everyone something to talk about.

 

2020 CHS volleyball schedule
(* = league game):

Mon-Sept. 14 — South Whidbey (7:00)
Tues-Sept. 15 — @Concrete (6:30) *
Thur-Sept. 17 — Mount Vernon Christian (7:00) *
Tues-Sept. 22 — Darrington (7:00) *
Thur-Sept. 24 — @Orcas Island (6:30) *
Tues-Sept. 29 — @Friday Harbor (6:30) *
Thur-Oct. 1 — @Chimacum (6:15) *
Tues-Oct. 6 — La Conner (7:00) *
Thur-Oct. 8 — Friday Harbor (7:00) *
Tues-Oct. 13 — Chimacum (7:00) *
Thur-Oct. 15 — @La Conner (6:30) *
Tues-Oct. 20 — @Friday Harbor (6:30) *
Thur-Oct. 22 — @Chimacum (6:15) *
Tues-Oct. 27 — La Conner (7:00) *

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Start playing volleyball young, and you might be as good as Raven Vick when you hit high school. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Love volleyball and are currently a 4th, 5th, or 6th grader in the Coupeville School District?

Then do I have a deal for you!

Coupeville High School coaches and players are bringing back the ultra-popular Wolf Pup Volleyball program for a third go-round this spring, and they want you to join them in the gym.

The event runs across six weeks, with two-a-week practices for young athletes looking to have fun and learn the fastest-growing sport in town.

Cost is $50 per player, with payment due on the first day of practice, which breaks down to a hair over $4 a pop if you hit every day.

Though CHS varsity volleyball coach Cory Whitmore is quick to stress the number of practices each athlete attends is completely optional.

If your child is involved in other activities or sports, volleyball is flexible.

“If they’re only available for one of the two days a week, that’s perfectly fine,” Whitmore said. “We are just looking to introduce eager young players hoping to learn and play the game!”

Practices run Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-6 PM in the Coupeville Middle School gym.

Planned sessions are April 14, 16, 21, 23, 28, and 30, as well as May 5, 7, 12, 14, 19, and 21.

Each day will feature drills to teach the players various skills, followed by fun and competitive games at the end of each session.

All money raised by Wolf Pups goes to enhance the CHS volleyball program.

Players need to be registered by April 7, which you can do by popping over to https://bit.ly/3adpIuo

For any questions, contact Whitmore at cwhitmore@coupeville.k12.wa.us or (509) 347-6301.

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