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   Ten Wolves made the trek to Ocean Shores for a four-day summer hoops camp. (Amy King photo)

Survive and thrive.

Coupeville High School girls basketball coach David King did just that last week, joining with wife Amy and #1 fan Sherry Roberts to guide 10 players through 10 games over four action-packed days at a summer hoops camp in Ocean Shores.

The annual trip offers non-stop court action (the Wolves played as early as 9 AM and tipped one game at 10:45 PM), plus a chance to work on behind the scenes bonding and learning.

It’s a trip the round-ball guru sees as invaluable for those who take advantage.

“We play to win, however we believe camp is so much more than that,” King said. “We have team bonding (beach time, in between and late night talks), new players to get up to speed, players playing in new positions, trying out new offensive and defensive sets.

“We also want the players to push themselves out of their comfort zone and expand their games,” he added. “With those being our goals and purpose for camp, we got better as individuals and as a team! A very successful camp.”

Coupeville split its ten games (nine varsity, one JV), bouncing Wahluke, Onalaska, PS Advent, Concrete and Adna’s JV squad.

In many of the wins, it was strong play after the break which tipped the scales in favor of the Wolves.

“We seemed to be a better second-half team,” King said. “We outscored the other team or played even in some of our losses. And in some of our wins we came back from a deficit to win.”

The most impressive rally came against Wahluke, with the Wolves charging from 12 points down in the game’s final four minutes to win a 28-27 thriller.

“Helped by a halftime speech from Coach Amy, the players dug deep and turned up the defensive pressure,” David King said. “We pressed, played great half-court defense and scored on our fast breaks.”

Even in tough losses to top-level teams, the CHS coaches came away happy with their player’s efforts and attitudes.

“Those games were as impressive for us as our one-point win,” King said. “The players never quit.

“We saw multiple players take huge strides in their confidence and increase their skill set.”

Coupeville ran its offense very efficiently, something King preaches.

“One of the proudest moments I had, on multiple occasions, was in our offense,” he said. “We always talk about making that one extra pass, on the fast break or in our half-court offense. Over the four days we saw this almost every game.

“We saw each player play for the other players. In the past that’s not always been the case,” King added. “Each player did step out of their comfort areas and did things that we knew they could, but they weren’t too sure about.”

Six Wolves scored in double figures during the tourney, led by Lindsey Roberts, who knocked down 45, and Kyla Briscoe, who torched the nets for 39.

Roberts led the squad with 67 rebounds, while Mikayla Elfrank paced CHS in steals (20) and blocks (five).

Some thoughts from the coach on each of the Wolves who made the trip:

Tia Wurzrainer:

Had a very successful camp that she can build off of.

We saw her diving in for rebounds, with one being an offensive rebound put-back. She also put the ball on the floor and drove for a layup attempt.

Her defense in our 1-2-2 zone was something to see!

Mikayla Elfrank:

Was unable to play on Monday (recovering from wisdom teeth being pulled). But the energy and effort she brought the other three days picked up our team.

One area Mikayla and I talk about is playing in control. This camp we saw improvement in her game in this area.

Mollie Bailey:

As each day passed became more comfortable handling the ball and improved on her defense.

Playing in a varsity setting against older girls she held down the PG position when we had her there.

She also looked for her shot; this is something I wanted her to work on.

Avalon Renninger:

Played about every position there is.

She was able to pull up and shoot her jumper off the dribble. She gained confidence in her half-court decision making abilities.

Seeing Avalon make a mistake, then quickly recognizing it on her own and making the necessary adjustments was exciting to witness.

Hannah Davidson:

After not playing since her last game in early Dec., brought energy every time she stepped on the court, along with off the court!

She fit right in, picked up our new plays and quickly had our old plays down. She just needs more court time and her game will take off.

Genna Wright:

Brought hustle and grit. Her confidence increased with each game.

During one game she had the ball on the baseline and confidently backed her defender down into the low block and got a shot off. Not many young players would do that.

Kyla Briscoe:

Helped with steady play from the point guard position. She didn’t stop there, she played in the post and on the wing.

Kyla impressed all camp with looking for her shot and actually taking it. She drove with a purpose and knocked down many outside shots.

Nicole Lester:

Coming to camp was beneficial for her. This was her first team camp and she represented Coupeville well.

Almost daily she would ask what she should work on for the upcoming game. We also talked about her playing at times with finesse on the offensive end.

She wants to be the best she can and camp showed that she is willing to ask for help and then apply the feedback in a game.

Scout Smith:

Came in with the most experience as a point guard.

The main thing I asked of her to work on was to be a leader on the court. Be confident and a coach for the others on the court when she’s out there.

I can say, she did that and did it very well. Offensively she drove the lane with a purpose and had multiple runners that dropped.

Lindsey Roberts:

Stepped up as a leader. She like many others played multiple positions, even PG (last year I would have gotten the Lindsey stare).

As always, her defense is second to none.

Her offense took big strides for the positive. At times she slowed herself down before making a basketball play. When open she shot her jumper, and when appropriate she drove.

The drive is something that will improve her game in the long run.

Trystan Ford cuts an imposing figure while playing football for CMS last year. (Photos courtesy Lisa Ford)

Ford and teacher/mentor Terry Welch.

Hello, and goodbye.

Just as he’s about to make the jump to playing high school football, Trystan Ford is hitting the road.

He and his family are moving from Coupeville to Wisconsin, and the former CMS gridiron star, who rings in at 5-foot-9 and 190 pounds as an incoming freshman, will suit up for the Southern Door Eagles this fall.

During his time at CMS, Ford played football and was a thrower for the Wolf track team, while his parents, Bryan (football) and Lisa (cheer), coached.

He plans to stay with both sports in Wisconsin, and may add golf to his repertoire.

Gridiron life, though, is the life for him.

“I like the leadership I have learned, the grit, grind, when I think I have no more I dig deeper and find it,” Ford said. “Nobody and I mean nobody touches my quarterback!”

He enjoys “the commitment, the bonds, the learning, the teaching, the push to do better and of course the payout,” and is more likely to inspire by his play than by screaming at people.

“I’m a quiet leader I have been told,” Ford said. “I take my assignments seriously and I’m a team player, a friend and a student.”

As he moves forward into high school life, he wants to continue to get bigger for football, while also striking a nice balance in life.

“I could work on my strength,” Ford said. “Maybe be less shy, and learn to be serious when needed and a goof when needed.”

A big fan of bands like Metallica, AC/DC, Black Sabbath and Queen, he enjoys the Transformers and Marvel super hero movies and turns to Battlestar Galactica on TV.

In class, he “loves science, computers and math!” and hails CMS teacher Terry Welch for being an inspiration in his life.

“Ms. Welch is my favorite teacher. She truly cares about what happens in my life,” Ford said. “She mentored me through middle school, and even though I won’t be at CHS, Ms. Welch will always mentor me no matter where I am.

“I want to create a fusion reactor and make it more affordable so everyone can afford to run cars on clean energy,” he added. “When I accept the big science prize I want her to be there, as she is who mentored me as my best teacher!”

While he’ll be in a different part of the country from his favorite teacher, Ford has a strong support crew in his family, one he appreciates on a daily basis.

“My mom, she’s always there for me, she knows when I’m slacking and pulls me aside for a “get it together, settle down and play buddy”,” Ford said. “My dad, he teaches me so much.

“Strength, leadership, integrity; if I’m doing it right he’s my number one fan; if I’m doing it wrong, he’s my number one coach, if I’m not giving my full potential, he’s my number one butt kicker.

“I love my mom and dad, they guide me in all I do.”

That carries through to when they practice tough love, as well.

At one point Ford had a C in science and got a warning from the school.

His mom gave him three days to bring it up, and when he didn’t, she let him dress for his next game, then informed the lineman he’d be sitting for the first quarter.

“I learned to never let my team down, my coaches down, my mom and dad down and most of all it killed me not getting in there,” Ford said. “In the second quarter through the end, I was on fire!

“I learned our family motto that day,” he added. “God first, family second, school, then sports. If I stick to that order I can do anything.”

   Jack Porter exits the season sporting a rather impressive shiner. (Jeff Porter photo)

Peyton Caveness is just hanging around. (Stephanie Pulliam photos)

Jon Roberts, master of sunscreen.

Pressure, what pressure? You’re looking at the most laid-back dugout in the biz.

Alex Smith is not sure about the whole “taking my picture” thing.

Landon Roberts gets limbered up.

“I throw strikes, son. It’s kind of my thing.”

They ran into the big boys.

Central Whidbey Little League soared through the Minors baseball season in style, winning tournaments and racking up win after win.

All-Star play turned out to be a bit different, however, as Coupeville’s diamond men went two and out at the district tourney.

Facing big city squads from Burlington and Anacortes, Central Whidbey got roughed up a bit, losing 27-1 Friday and 18-5 Sunday.

CWLL put up a fight in its finale, though, rapping out 10 hits.

Landon Roberts led the way with three singles and two RBI, while Peyton Caveness and Johnny Porter added a pair of base-knocks apiece.

Chase Anderson, Seth Woollet and Jordan Bradford rounded out the hit parade, each collecting a single.

Caveness was also a force on defense against Anacortes, making a spectacular diving catch while on the run in center.

In the opening game of the double-elimination tourney, Central Whidbey had a tougher time scraping out hits, finishing with three, one each from Caveness, Roberts and Anderson.

Levi Pulliam, Mike Robinett, Alex Smith, Jack Porter, Gabe Reed and Aiden O’Neill rounded out the All-Star roster.

While the season ended prematurely, Central coach Jon Roberts sees a bright future ahead for the program.

“Coaching, we made some mistakes that we will learn from and will return next year with most of the team intact, as we were a very young 9-10-11 team.”

   “Hold this, and hold this and … yeah, hold this, too!!” The life of a basketball mom. (Photos courtesy Sherry Roberts)

   CHS hoops stars (l to r) Ema Smith, Lindsey Roberts, Kailey Kellner and Avalon Renninger beat the heat at a 3 v 3 tourney in Spokane.

Renninger locks down the ball-handler.

Roberts uses all of her impressive wingspan to deny an entry pass.

And she’s slicin’ ‘n dicin’ the defense. Kellner swoops in for a bucket.

So, more than a few teams showed up, is what they’re saying.

Reppin’ their new shirts.

No rest for the basketball mom.

Mere seconds after returning from a four-day trip to Ocean Shores, where she helped CHS coaches David and Amy King at a summer hoops camp, Sherry Roberts was right back behind the wheel.

This time, she trucked official daughter Lindsey, as well as “adopted” daughters Kailey Kellner, Ema Smith and Avalon Renninger to Spokane.

The quartet invaded the blazing heatscape of Eastern Washington to play at Hoopfest, the largest outdoor three-on-three basketball tourney “on the Earth.”

Playing as the C-Town Hoopers, the Wolves stormed back Sunday to win the consolation bracket in their division.

After opening with narrow losses to LAWPI (14-13) and Bouncer’s (14-8), Coupeville’s best drilled the Trailer Park Girls (18-7) and the Bounty Hunters (11-3).

And they weren’t the only players with a Coupeville connection, as 1991 CHS grad Sean Dillon brought his three-point shooting skills and family to the event.

Playing as Chillin Like Dillons, that squad featured Sean’s wife Becca, son Ethan and Dalton Palkovitz.

By the time things were done, Sherry Roberts had fetched drinks and food, held phones, chauffeured, hollered and screamed to support her girls and snapped a ton of pics.

“Heat was BRUTAL; so were the roads they played on,” she said. “But Hoopfest was a blast.”

   Jacobi Pacquette-Pilgrim was one of seven Wolves who attended a summer hoops camp in Bellingham. (John Fisken photo)

Put in the work in summer for success in winter.

That’s the mantra for the Coupeville High School boys basketball squad, which took the court under first-year head coach Brad Sherman at a hoops camp this weekend.

Getting maximum effort out of the seven players who attended, the Wolves played eight games in two days in Bellingham, before injuries curtailed efforts to keep playing Sunday.

Sherman, the former CHS star who is returning to lead the program he once played for, was joined by Hunter Downes, Kyle Rockwell, Ariah Bepler, Mason Grove, Jacobi Pacquette-Pilgrim, Ethan Spark and Jered Brown.

“The kids showed a tremendous amount of heart this weekend,” Sherman said.”Our final two games today (about 70 minutes of basketball), we played with five guys against schools who had a bench full of subs.

“Our guys never quit and never stopped pushing when it would have been easy to.”

Coupeville’s never-say-die attitude drew praise from other coaches and bystanders.

“Highlight of the weekend for me — against likely the best team at the camp in a lopsided game, a collegiate-level official had been sitting watching our team and made a point of telling me that several people had commented on our teams sportsmanship and attitude in the face of adversity,” Sherman said.

“There is no greater compliment and it made me proud as a coach, and should make our players and parents feel proud as well.”