The calendar says August, but the start of a new school year looms.

As a new school year approaches, every student in the Coupeville School District will have a list of required school supplies.

Realizing not every family can handle the financial cost, the Readiness to Learn Foundation is launching its annual “Back to School Project.”

The Foundation is offering free backpacks and supplies, based on financial need or circumstances such as job loss, illness or a recent move.

An appointment is needed. If interested, call the school’s Student Service Secretary at 360-678-2416 to set one.

Supply pick-up will be at Coupeville High School on the following days:

Monday, Aug. 28 (12:00-4:00)
Tuesday, Aug. 29 (2:00-6:00)
Wednesday, Aug. 30 (10:00-2:00)

   Brandon (left) and Lincoln Kelley use Saturday’s Race the Reserve to nab some father/son time. (Shawna Kelley photo)

   Coupeville High School’s rock was freshly-painted for the event. (Kim Bepler photo)

   Aimee Bishop and daughter Breeanna Messner hit the trail. (Photo courtesy Bishop)

   Bob and Abbie Martin hang out in the parking lot after running. (Photo courtesy the Martins)

The hometown runners held their own.

Coupeville representatives captured two of the main four events at Saturday’s Race the Reserve, with James Steller winning the marathon and Riley Borden claiming the 10K title.

Steller surged across the line in 3:19:00.39, while Borden rambled in at the 49:54.45 mark.

Andrew Harnish of Seattle won the half marathon (1:31:16.28), while Carter Eldridge of Enumclaw (17:54.22) zipped through the 5K the fastest of anyone.

The annual event, which raises money for the incoming senior class at Coupeville High School, was a booming success, drawing in 348 runners who enjoyed the opportunity to race across the prairie.

Here’s where we get territorial and list the finishers who claimed Cow Town on their registration form.

If you hail from Mill Creek or Tucson, AZ or Clarks Summit, PA, thanks for coming, but this is called Coupeville Sports, not the Roseburg Runners Gazette.

And PS, these results are as close as I can get based on what Tortoise and Hare Timing Company has posted online Sunday morning.

There seems to be some runners missing, starting with the fact three of Coupeville’s finest, seen above boasting numbers and medals, aren’t anywhere to be found in the results.

UPDATE: 10K results updated at 3:30 PM.


Henry Wynn (3rd) 19:59.19
Aidan Wilson (11th) 26:09.75
Cael Wilson (12th) 27:03.93
Claire Wilson (13th) 28:24.68
Gabe Shaw (15th) 28:43.40
Jim Shank (17th) 29:06.68
Marianne Thawley (18th) 29:18.68
Caleb Meyer (20th) 30:24.06
Rosmond Shaw (22nd) 31:26.25
Mason Scoggin (26th) 32:20.85
Sandi Farris (33rd) 35:20.41
Cody Staker (35th) 36:11.55
Eileen Stone (47th) 44:15.86
Sallie Shank (52nd) 47:03.00
Emily Staker (61st) 55:55.01


Riley Borden (1st) 49:54.45
Bob Martin (5th) 53:54.66
Helen Lhamon (6th) 54:37.63
Jennifer Kellner (16th) 1:00:39.04
Christy Marx (18th) 1:02:29.19
George Thawley (29th) 1:07:34.45
Dan Schurr (35th) 1:12:32.83
Catherine Roach (42nd) 1:14:24.94
Andrew Ziehl (43rd) 1:14:24.95
Lincoln Kelley (45th) 1:15:22.40
Brandon Kelley (46th) 1:15:22.93
Kelly McCulloch (52nd) 1:21:19.61
Reed Swanson (53rd) 1:21:50.38
Vickie McDaniel (60th) 1:36:42.11
Abbie Martin (61st) 1:38:49.98
Tammy Smith (62nd) 1:39:08.03
Irene Echenique (63rd) 1:39:08.83
Ciara Smith (64th) 1:39:10.35
Everett Winsberg (68th) 1:46:39.86
Sheryl Sato (69th) 1:46:41.87
Sheila O’Rourke (70th) 1:46:41.87

Half Marathon:

Elizabeth Bitting (20th) 1:55:26.16
Christina Jump (24th) 1:58:07.93


James Steller (1st) 3:19:00.39
Daniel Verble (23rd) 4:38:40.31

Big man, big legend!!

Jeff and Cindy Rhubottom. (Contributed photos)

   A flashback to the days when Rhubottom terrorized Wolf rivals on the hardwood.

   The socks were extraordinary, and so was their ability to put the ball in the hoop.

“Respect yourself. Respect your school.”

Jeff Rhubottom was one of the best athletes to ever walk the hallways of Coupeville High School, and he lived by that credo.

A 6-foot-4 tower of power, the 1978 Wolf grad was a 12-time letter winner (four times each in football, basketball and track and field), a two-time All-Conference hoops player and the school record holder in the high jump for more than a decade.

While fellow football player Rich Wilson (6-4) nipped Rhubottom’s mark (6-2) in 2000 — and retains the school record 17 years later — Rhubottom’s legacy still looms large.

He torched the basketball nets for 459 points his senior season in 1977-1978, the second-best single-season mark ever put up a Wolf, boy or girl.

Over the course of four seasons, while sharing the ball with some of the biggest scorers and sweetest shooters in CHS hoops history, he finished with 1,012 points.

In 100 seasons of Wolf boys basketball, only Jeff Stone (1137), Mike Bagby (1104) and Rhubottom contemporary Randy Keefe (1088) have topped that.

While he enjoyed his other sports (he was a tight end/outside linebacker in football and a sprinter, relay runner and state meet-qualifying high jumper on the track oval), basketball was always Rhubottom’s favorite.

“Making the starting five on the varsity squad in basketball my sophomore year” was a particular highlight, which allowed him to “play with great athletes like Bill Jarrell, Randy Keefe, Marc Bisset and Foster Faris.”

That unit played for legendary CHS coach Bob Barker, a man who had a huge positive impact on Rhubottom.

“Coach Barker (was a favorite) for his professionalism,” Rhubottom said. “I remember him quoting as he was handing out our red blazers, ‘You’re representing yourself as an athlete and you’re representing Coupeville High School’.”

CHS football coach Pat Lippincott and track guru Craig Pedlar (“great teacher, great coach”) also helped shaped the young Rhubottom into the man he became.

“Coach Pedlar brought Michael Ellsworth, Jeff Fielding, and myself to the State A Finals in Yakima in 1978,” Rhubottom said. “It was great to be involved with great athletes of the school.

“It’s what you did on Friday nights.”

Whether it was standing tall at the state tourney or ripping through the line to block a punt against Concrete, before scooping up the loose ball and taking it to the house for a touchdown, Rhubottom played with passion, for himself and his teammates.

“I loved and respected the athletic program, playing with great athletes in a small town.”

The lessons he learned as a Wolf benefited Rhubottom as he went on to build his own family (he has a son, Jeff, Jr.) and a career in the painting business.

“Working hard and being responsible and trying to stay in the best physical shape as the years go by. Keeping active,” have been his guiding principals.

Rhubottom considers himself “totally blessed,” having been married to Cindy, “the most beautiful, loving wife, mother, and grandmother” until she lost her battle with cancer in September, 2016.

Being “surrounded by loving new and old family” has helped him greatly.

As he looks back at his own career, Rhubottom calls on today’s Wolves to seize the day.

“Respect yourself. Respect your school. Give 110%. Enjoy the experience,” he said. “Have fun, because it goes by quick.

“Keep active. Always love the sport,” Rhubottom added. “It was fun to take a trip down memory road of my athletic career at Coupeville High School. These are memories I will cherish forever.”

   Chelsea Randall, woman of 1,001 talents (and soon, some Emmy awards … or maybe a Tony. Yeah, probably a Tony). (Kelsey Simmons photo)

   Karla Crouch (center) and crew mates on the set of “The Adventures of Captain Callie.” (WhidbeyTV photo)

There are a lot of people in this world who can do one thing, and some of those have a fair amount of talent in their chosen field.

But it’s rare, truly rare, when one person can do five, six, maybe 20 different things — all at once — and excel at each and every one of them.

Chelsea Randall, who put up with me for three years back when we worked together in the restaurant biz, is flat out the most talented person I know on a personal basis.

She always deserved so much more than what she was getting, and that makes it even sweeter to see her being rewarded, finally, for her talent, her drive and her genius.

Chelsea’s new TV show, The Adventures of Captain Callie, a musical, nautical-themed children’s adventure which she created, wrote, choreographed and composed, hits the airwaves next Wednesday, Aug. 16.

Starring Karla Crouch as the titular character, the series follows Captain Callie and her young crew mates as they explore Whidbey Island, a song on their lips and adventure in their hearts.

The show will play at 8 AM and 4 PM on WhidbeyTV, channel 501, or if you’re not in their broadcast area, pop over and stream it at http://whidbeytv.com/

To get a feel of what the show will look and sound like, take a gander at the preview:

Teo Keilwitz (left) and Clay Reilly take down a Falcon. (John Fisken photos)

Hunter Smith dives for the end zone. Spoiler: he made it.

   Ignoring the man mountain headed his way, Wolf QB Joel Walstad prepares to fire a TD pass.

You can’t get away from Jacob Martin.

Every game matters, but one matters just a bit more.

Coupeville and South Whidbey were made to be arch-rivals, reasonably close in student body size and proximity, and their turf war has been a memorable one over the years, regardless of sport.

But when the Wolves and Falcons meet on the gridiron, there’s a little something extra at stake, as that clash is the only one which has a trophy.

“The Bucket” (literally a large bucket with each school’s logo on one side) is a fairly recent invention, a way to settle a feud which blossomed at a volleyball match about a decade back.

Coupeville Athletic Director Willie Smith hatched the idea and now, each fall, the victor claims the trophy and owns it for the next year.

Coupeville will carry The Bucket with it when it heads to Langley this year, kicking off a new school sports year Friday, Sept. 1, still basking in last year’s 41-10 rout of the Falcons.

With CHS coach Jon Atkins entering his second year at the helm, he’ll try and do something which evaded his recent predecessors — Jay Silver, Tony Maggio and Brett Smedley — and guide the Wolves to back-to-back wins in the grudge match.

After busting a five-year run of South Whidbey wins with an 18-13 victory in 2012, Coupeville fell 57-33 in 2013, won 35-28 in 2014, lost 27-14 in 2015 then romped to a win last year.

Silver (0-2) and Smedley (0-1) never beat the Falcons, while Maggio’s success (2-1) included him out-coaching former college coach Chris Tormey in 2014.

This time around, South Whidbey has turned to former long-time coach Mark Hodson, who was recruited to save a program in free-fall.

The Falcons, who lost their final seven games last season en route to a 1-8 mark, are taking a break from the 1A/2A Cascade Conference (at least for a season) and will play an independent football schedule this fall.

After opening with fellow 1A schools Coupeville and Chimacum, South Whidbey will face Valley View Secondary, a Canadian team.

Then it’s on to six straight games against 2B schools — Ocosta, Friday Harbor,  La Conner, Darrington, Concrete and Liberty Bell.

Not having to face Cascade Conference foes like ATM, Cedarcrest or King’s will give Hodson and Co. a chance to rebuild a roster which was severely depleted from previous seasons.

Regardless of record (Coupeville was 3-7 last season), the season-opening match-up of Wolves and Falcons is huge.

The winner gets bragging rights to go with possession of The Bucket, an undefeated record (for at least a week), an emotional boost and memories.

As we sit here, a mere 23 days away from this year’s clash, a handful of Coupeville players looked back at their own battles and what they remember:

JR Pendergrass:

My sophomore year, we were beating South Whidbey and we had the ball, running the clock down.

The player across from me on the line kept hitting me every time we took a knee to run the clock, because we were winning, and it took all the power in my being not to plant him in the ground.

Raymond Beiriger:

Junior year, it was my first year playing. And even though I was JV, we all went to watch the varsity play, and watching them fight for something that meant everything to them.

It really inspired me to play my senior year and try harder.

Watching them win The Bucket was amazing and I was super happy.

Uriel Liquidano:

Best memory was last year when South Whidbey was talking all this smack about how they where going to beat us and take The Bucket, that was pretty funny.

Good times, gonna miss playing on a Friday night. #OurBucket.

Jacob Martin:

Breaking a 70-yard TD and scoring the first TD of the game!

Korbin Korzan:

Sophomore year, varsity OLB, we won The Bucket. One of my best high school memories of all time.