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Coupeville High School athletic legend turned Wolf coach Megan Smith prepares to become Mrs. Bennett Richter. (Dina Ginn photos)

Two empires unite.

Coupeville High School girls basketball coach Megan Smith and Wolf football guru Bennett Richter were wed Saturday, and we have pics.

They’re shot by Dina Ginn, come to us courtesy of the former Ms. Smith (now Mrs. Richter), and continue a tradition started when Megan’s brother Ian wed in 2013.

That tradition?

As shown here and at https://coupevillesports.com/2013/06/29/ian-smith-weds-thousands-of-women-cry-in-the-streets/ it’s apparently my burning desire to be Coupeville’s answer to People magazine.

Coupeville’s new head football coach joins the family.

Tasty treats, artfully plated.

CHS Athletic Director (and proud papa) Willie Smith walks the bride in.

Welcome to a woodsy wonderland.

The “I do” portion of the festivities.

Smoochy-boochies makes it official.

Coupeville High School cheerleaders help a young star reach the skies back in 2019. (BreAnna Boon photo)

Junior cheer is back.

Coupeville High School is reviving its program to introduce elementary school students to the world of vocal gridiron support.

Wolves in grades K-5 are eligible, with registration set to run Aug. 20-Sept. 15.

All proceeds go to benefit the CHS cheer program.

Parents and guardians can register their young cheerleaders by going to https://coupevillesoc.com/.

Cost is $65 per student, with each young athlete receiving a sweatshirt and pom poms to keep.

Practices will be held Thursdays at the Coupeville Elementary School multipurpose room on Sep. 15, 22, and 29, as well as Oct. 6.

The young cheerleaders will join their CHS counterparts for a halftime performance Friday, Oct. 7 during a home game against Bellingham.

Coupeville’s homer-happy baseball sluggers rule the diamond in ’77. (Photos courtesy Sarah Lyngra)

It’s a lil’ slice of the “good ol’ days.”

The photos above and below, which come from a series of pics being digitized by Sarah (Powell) Lyngra, capture Coupeville’s hardball giants of 1977.

They were shot by her parents, David and Beatrice Powell.

And, thanks to former Wolf great David Ford, we can ID 10 of 12 players and half the coaching staff!

While the guy with the beard in photo one is one of our mysteries, the man in the cowboy hat is Bill Losey.

Back row (l to r):

Mystery Boy #1, Craig Anderson, Byron Fellstrom, Charlie Tessaro, Mark Smith, and Greg Fellstrom.

Front row:

Davin Bailey, Mystery Boy #2, John Beasley, Scott Losey, Rusty Bailey, and Caleb Powell.

Like a movie still from the “Bad News Bears.”

Brandon Graham

They’re turning their pain into positivity.

Friends and family of Brandon Graham want to help others in emotional need, doing everything they can to offer an alternative to suicide.

Graham, a 2007 Coupeville High School grad who died last summer, had a huge impact on those around him.

Fellow CHS grads Debbie Vescovi¬†and Michelle Armstrong launched a foundation in his honor, which will “offer support for Coupeville and Oak Harbor schools, with a focus on mental health awareness, suicide prevention, and anti-bullying efforts.”

Money raised will be used to provide resources for students and training for teachers and parents, with an emphasis on bringing together local law enforcement, chaplains, and motivational speakers.

The foundation now has an active website, and is holding a luau fundraiser this Saturday, Aug. 6.

The dinner, which will feature a silent auction, is at the Nordic Lodge in Coupeville (63 Jacobs Rd.), with things starting at 4 PM.

Tickets, which are $30 for single admission, or $50 for a couple, can be obtained at Polished Studio in Oak Harbor (861 SE Pioneer Way), by emailing thebrandongrahamfoundation@gmail.com, or on the foundation’s website.

The plan is to make the dinner a yearly fundraiser.

If they can help other families avoid the pain of a loved one’s suicide, foundation organizers will have reached their goal.

“Mental health wellness needs to be a number one priority for our children,” they said.

“We, as a community, can provide our youth with tools to be able to work through the problems they have, and know that the community has their back.”

 

To see the foundation’s website, pop over to:

https://www.thebrandongrahamfoundation.com/

Brian Casey and the Golden Locks of Destruction. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Let’s talk about Brian Casey for a moment.

When we do, it’s not all about the gridiron stats — though those were pretty good.

Now certainly, some of our conversation will be about the hair.

Wolf Nation has rarely seen TV commercial-ready flowing golden locks like those which adorn Brian’s head.

Pouring from beneath his football helmet, they were a force of nature onto themselves, capable of making middle-aged men cry tears for the long-lost hair of their own youth.

Doff the helmet, let the man mane tumble loose, and audible gasps echoed throughout the stadium.

So maybe we just induct Brian’s hair into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame and leave it at that…

But no, because then we would be leaving his heart behind, and we can’t have that.

Because that’s what makes him truly special, makes him a player Wolf football fans will remember long after memories of the games he played in fade.

Keeping an eye on the action. (Deb Smith photo)

Those who saw Brian work, saw him fight to overcome injuries, saw him offer up every last little bit of effort, sweat, toil, and love for the game, will nod in agreement.

On the field, he was invariably to be found in the middle of the pile, straining always to move his guys forward.

Part of that was due to Brian living large as a lineman.

But a bigger part of that was his burning desire to always be in the thick of the action, to stand tall in the fiery crucible.

He seemed to treasure every moment he had on the field, likely realizing how the violent nature of football often keeps players from getting as much time as they deserve.

But when his body did betray him, Brian didn’t sulk, didn’t choose to sit far away from his teammates, didn’t act too cool for school.

Instead, he was a whirling dervish on the sideline, pounding on his friend’s shoulder pads, bear hugging them as they came off the field, his words of encouragement — raw and full of emotion — spurring them on regardless of the score.

The son of a coach, a member of a family steeped in football lore, Brian earned his shot at gridiron glory, then marinated in the moment.

Through big wins and heartbreaking losses, he always had the look of a young man who was having the time of his life, a battle-hardened gladiator who NEVER asked to come off the field.

Brian could deliver crushing hits, bodies flying in his wake, but he didn’t prance around after a tackle with his team trailing by 20, didn’t do sack dances, didn’t showboat.

Instead, he pulled his helmet back into place, dropped back into position, and hit the line one more time, relentless and committed.

A coach’s son honoring the example set by his dad Brett — one of quiet intensity and ultimate class.

Celebrating Senior Night with the parental units. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Late in his career, in what would turn out to be the next-to-last game of his senior season, Brian led the charge in a muck-encrusted three-overtime loss to Friday Harbor.

The defeat — coming on its home field in miserable weather conditions in which rain poured down like Noah was one of the refs — ended Coupeville’s playoff hopes.

Not that you would have known it from the way Wolf fans kept hollering from the opening kickoff to the moment when a final-gasp fourth-down-and-everything pass fell short.

At the center of things, Brian stood resolute, mud and grass caked from his shoes to his helmet.

By the end, he and fellow linemen like Isaiah Bittner and William Davidson were limping, ragged breath staining the night.

Yet they kept dropping into position, kept churning, kept surging forward, each small battle won another notch in the gun belt.

Brian always played for the name on the front of his uniform, for his teammates, coaches, family, and friends, and never disappointed.

Welcome to graduation city. (Photo courtesy Brett Casey)

While football was his ultimate calling card, it wasn’t his only outlet, with a season of high school track to his name, where he threw the shot put, discus, and javelin.

He was also a man of the stage, appearing in performances with the school’s drama club.

In simple, Brian was (is) a well-rounded dude, and one with a bright future ahead of him as he heads off to pursue post-high school opportunities.

Before he goes, we want to welcome him, as we hinted above, into our little digital shrine for the best and brightest to come through Cow Town.

Today, for his skill, but even more for his heart, we welcome Brian Casey to the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

After this, you’ll find him hanging out with his contemporaries at the top of the blog, under the Legends tab.

He’ll be easy to spot — just look for the guy with the best hair in town.

A man of many talents. (Photo courtesy Stefanie Ask)