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Archive for the ‘Wolves in college’ Category

Coupeville grad Makana Stone was honored by Whitman College for her athletic and academic performance. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Coupeville’s Makana Stone was one of six student/athletes honored recently by Whitman College.

The former Wolf, who is headed into her senior year at the Walla Walla school, and her compatriots were hailed at the fourth annual fall awards picnic.

Whitman’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, which is made up of current athletes, chose two top performers each from last year’s freshman, sophomore, and junior classes.

The picnic was a way to bring together athletes from all 15 Blues varsity sports programs, while also including the incoming freshmen recruiting classes.

A barbecue was served and Whitman’s new Athletic Director, Kim Chandler, made her debut at the event.

The winners from the 2018-2019 school year:

Freshmen:

Bella White (swim)

Michael Chang (swim)

Sophomores:

Sage Ali (lacrosse)

Peter Sephens (soccer)

Juniors:

Makana Stone (basketball)

Travis Craven (baseball)

Whitman women’s basketball kicks off a new season with an exhibition game Nov. 2 in Ellensburg against Central Washington University.

The first game to count in the win/loss standings arrives Nov. 15 when the Blues host Concordia University during the 2019 Whit Classic.

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After four seasons of blasting dingers for Coupeville, Veronica Crownover (and her boomin’ bat) will play for the Washington State University softball team. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Good-bye, softball.

Veronica Crownover isn’t ready to retire just yet.

The 2019 Coupeville High School grad, who launched towering home-runs to all fields and made opposing pitchers cry sweet, sweet tears during her time as a prep softball slugger, has officially made the team at Washington State University.

Tryouts were this week, and the former Wolf first-baseman impressed with both her glove and bat. The Wazzu freshman is in the mix for a starting position, as well.

Washington State competes as an NCAA D-I school in 11 sports, and supplements those varsity programs with 27 club sports teams.

Softball, which has been active at WSU since 1996, is part of the club system, along with sports such as wrestling, ice hockey, bowling, cricket, rugby, and lacrosse.

The Cougar softball team is a member of the National Club Softball Association, which boasts 143 colleges.

Wazzu plays out of the Pacific – North division, which also includes club teams from the University of Oregon, Eastern Washington University, Boise State University, and Gonzaga University.

Games begin in October, and Crownover and her new teammates play in both the fall and spring.

The former Wolf will have a busy schedule, as she’s also pulling a double major, studying Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Sciences along with Zoology, while being on a pre-vet track.

While that makes for a lot of class time, mixed with life on the diamond, it’s something Crownover has handled before.

She graduated twice this spring, earning degrees from both CHS and Skagit Valley College.

Her softball roots go back to little league, when she and future high school teammates like Sarah Wright, who will play for Sewanee: The University of the South this year, tore up the diamond.

Once she hit high school, Crownover made an immediate impact, earning All-League honors as a freshman, then adding enough awards over the next three years to build her own shrine.

She was a nimble defensive player at first base, providing a soft mitt for her fellow infielders to aim for, while pulling in just about any throw which came within 10 feet of her.

But it was Crownover’s bat, “Thunder,” which made her reputation.

The sultan of swat carved up pitcher after pitcher, from future D1 hurlers like Klahowya’s Amber Bumbalough and South Whidbey’s Mackenzee Collins, to the best playoff rivals could throw her way.

She crashed a home run deep over a very tall left-field fence at Oak Harbor to stun Coupeville’s big-city rivals, hurt South Whidbey so badly, so often that the Falcons intentionally walked her multiple times in one game, and played her best in the spotlight.

Crownover and Wright, along with fellow senior Nicole Laxton, led the Wolves to the state tourney this spring, where they won for the first time since 2002.

That victory came against Deer Park, a juggernaut which had upended the defending state champs, and CHS also came within a play of knocking off Cle Elum at the big dance.

Playing three games in one day at the state tourney in Richland (the Wolves also tangled with eventual state champ Montesano), Crownover went out in style, swinging for the fences and freakin’ out rival pitchers.

Now, she gets to go out and do it all again, just in a different uniform.

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Whidbey Island baseball stars (l to r) Hunter Smith, James Besaw, and Joey Lippo will all be on the same college team next spring. (Teresa Besaw photo)

They’re getting the band back together.

Green River College is adding a fourth Whidbey Island grad to its baseball roster, with Oak Harbor’s James Besaw joining Coupeville alumni Hunter Smith, Joey Lippo, and CJ Smith.

The Smith brothers started the pipeline flowing, playing for the Gators this spring, while Lippo and Besaw, who grew up playing baseball together, will be newcomers to the Green River roster.

Besaw played this spring for the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, where he appeared in six games during his freshman season.

While he enjoyed his time on the East Coast, the first-baseman decided he wanted to play, and attend school, closer to home.

Back in town for the summer, he linked up with Lippo, who had decided to follow the Smith brothers to Green River, and the decision became an easy one.

“We checked out the campus last week and he liked it, so now we’re looking forward to these boys playing ball together again,” said very-happy mom Teresa Besaw.

Lippo and Besaw join a Green River team which went through a rebuilding season, while showing much promise for the future.

Hunter Smith started at second and short for the Gators, before a broken hand late in the year brought a premature end to his season.

Older brother CJ, who was also a college freshman, was Green River’s top relief pitcher.

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Coupeville High School grad Kailey Kellner (center) is seen with college basketball teammates Danielle Hore (left), and Kelsey Carpenter. (Photo property of D’Youville College)

Kailey Kellner is hittin’ it big in New York.

The Coupeville grad was one of three D’Youville College women’s basketball players honored by the school at an awards ceremony earlier this month.

Kellner, who hit career highs in scoring and field goal percentage during her sophomore season, was tabbed for the Spartan Award by D’Youville coach Dan Glover.

Also honored were freshman Danielle Hore, named team MVP, and sophomore Kelsey Carpenter, who brought home the team’s Most Improved Player award.

Kellner was hailed for “consistently working on her game to make an impact for her team” and “being a presence in the gym working out and working on her game.”

The Spartan Award represents a player who exemplifies teamwork, passion and a dedication to their team.

During her time in Coupeville, Kellner played basketball and softball, was named as an All-Conference selection on the hard-court, and helped lead the Wolf hoops squad to the state tournament.

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CJ Smith tossed 4+ innings of shutout ball Saturday as he and the Green River College baseball team ended their season. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

He closed with a vengeance.

Coupeville High School grad CJ Smith pitched strongly on the final day of his freshman college baseball season, offering a glimmer of hope to a Green River team ending a tough trek.

While the Gators were swept in a doubleheader Saturday by Lower Columbia College, bringing their final mark to 4-32, CJ and younger brother Hunter Smith offer hope for the future.

Hunter was the team’s lead-off hitter until he suffered a broken hand after being plunked by a wayward pitch with eight games left on the schedule.

CJ became Green River’s #1 relief pitcher, and ended up tying for the team lead in appearances and saves.

His final game was essentially over when he entered, as Lower Columbia had shelled two Gator hurlers for 12 runs in 4.1 innings.

But, after CJ took the ball, things righted themselves.

He ripped off the final 4.2 innings, holding Lower Columbia scoreless while whiffing two and scattering three hits.

While his offense couldn’t get all the way back, Green River did scratch out three runs during CJ’s time in the game, making for a 3-0 “mini-win” and a 12-3 loss.

On the season, CJ made 13 appearances, including one start, striking out 11 over 30 innings of work.

He finished 0-1 with a save, one of two earned by Gator relievers, and was third-best in ERA among Green River hurlers who made three or more appearances.

The Green River diamond squad was one in transition this spring, with a roster full of fresh faces, and, while the record might not reflect it, it was a team which showed great promise.

Both Smith brothers are expected to return for their sophomore seasons.

Gossip bubbling around Coupeville indicates at least one, and maybe more, former Wolf teammates may seek to join them as Gators next spring.

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