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Posts Tagged ‘2022-2023 school year’

Logan Downes has two more years to slap home buckets. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Gaze into our cracked crystal ball.

Looking ahead at the 2022-2023 school year, we can make some educated guesses as to which storylines will dominate conversation in the prep sports world.

Then again, there’s always surprises, whether it’s a worldwide pandemic suddenly surfacing or a team (or athlete) catching fire in an unexpected manner.

You need to stay nimble, remain on your toes, and be ready to have things crash apart in unforeseen ways.

That’s life.

While we wait for those sudden veers, however, here’s some guesses on things which I think will be part of the conversation, stretching from fall out to next spring.

1 — There will be at least one new head coach at Coupeville High School, as Bennett Richter takes the reins of the Wolf football program.

The former CHS Defensive Coordinator, who’s also getting hitched to Wolf girls basketball coach Megan Smith this weekend, replaces Marcus Carr, now calling the shots at Inglemoor.

Richter is the sixth Wolf head gridiron coach in the past 13 seasons, after Ron Bagby retired in 2009 with 26 campaigns in the record book.

2 — Meanwhile Cory Whitmore enters his seventh year as CHS varsity volleyball coach.

He’s posted a winning mark each time out, and his teams have nabbed at least 11 wins in every season except 2020 — when Covid limited the schedule to just nine matches.

Whitmore can post some milestones this time around, as he’s 66-30 at the helm of the Wolves.

His 100th match on the CHS bench is all but guaranteed, a 75th win very likely, and a second trip to state the goal.

3 — Ken Stange is the current dean of Wolf coaches, with long runs with the school’s two tennis programs.

But the pandemic and Coupeville’s move from 1A to 2B, which sent boys soccer from spring to fall, has made it difficult to field a boys tennis team.

After two years of the Wolf male netters being AWOL, will the program return, or will the competition for athletes with cross country, football, and soccer remain a stumbling block?

4 — Helen Strelow, Claire Mayne, and Mitchell Hall will chase a second-straight trip to state once cross country hits the trail, while Strelow also looks to defend her individual Northwest 2B/1B League title.

As year five of the harrier rebirth dawns, what new heights will the Wolves reach?

Alex Murdy (left) and Aidan Wilson sandwich a rival. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

5 — With boys and girls soccer sharing the same field in the same season, I’ll have plenty of opportunities to watch pitch action.

Will I ever stop being a heathen and develop a greater appreciation for the “beautiful game?”

You never know…

6 — Winter means basketball, AKA God’s chosen sport, and the return to the hardwood should have storylines aplenty.

Wolf girls coach Megan Smith will be in season two at the helm of the program she once played for, and the Class of 2023 — which went undefeated as 8th grade hoops stars — get a final run.

It’s a deep, talented, tight-knit group, but point guard Maddie Georges gets an extra bit of hype since she’s got a chance to crack an elite group.

The fiery three-ball ace has tossed in 253 points in three seasons of high school ball and sits at #43 on the all-time scoring chart for a program which launched in 1974.

Depending on how much of the scoring she takes on as a senior, Georges has a solid shot at finishing in the top 20, where Maureen Wetmore (438 points) is currently holding down the final slot.

On the boys side of the court, the Wolves are coming off their best season in decades, opening 16-0, winning league and district titles, and advancing to the state tourney for two games.

Head coach Brad Sherman lost a large senior class, though young(er) gunners Logan Downes and Alex Murdy can return.

Downes (224 career points through his sophomore year) and Murdy (206 through his junior season) are #127 and #134 all-time for a program which began in 1917 and are primed to make large leaps up the scoring chart.

Will either one rise as far as the recently departed Hawthorne Wolfe (800) or Xavier Murdy (482)? Only time will tell.

Sluggers (l to r) Jada Heaton, Mia Farris, and Taylor Brotemarkle are part of a bright future for CHS softball. (Photo courtesy Jennifer Heaton)

7 — Wolf softball is the King Kong of NWL softball, but Kevin McGranahan and Co. are aiming bigger and want a return to the state tourney.

Izzy Wells, who was the team’s #1 pitcher since her freshman season, graduated, and lil’ sis Savina moved to Florida with three years of eligibility left, so the hunt for a new hurler is job #1.

Even with the 2020 season completely erased by the pandemic, McGranahan has six years and 83 wins in the bank at CHS, and a return to state would all but guarantee lighting up the scoreboard for win #100.

8 — Baseball also won a league title this past spring, in coach Will Thayer’s second season, though the Wolves fell a hair short of earning a trip to state.

Coupeville lost a good batch of seniors, but a huge chunk of the core of the team will be back, with Scott Hilborn, Jonathan Valenzuela and friends primed for a sweet swan song.

9 — Girls tennis has the most league titles of any sports program at CHS, and Helen Strelow tops a strong group of potential returnees.

Ken Stange enjoys making trips to Eastern Washington when it sizzles, so another jaunt to state for a Wolf netter or two could put a nice cap on his 237th season as CHS net coach.

10 — Speaking of state championship events, the biggest of them all got back on track after two pandemic-marred springs, with track and field athletes making the wheels on the bus go round and round all the way to Cheney.

Coupeville’s boys claimed 7th in the team standings, while Wolf athletes earned four second-place finishes during the big show.

Several top Wolves graduated, but medal-winners Aidan Wilson (2), Reiley Araceley (1), Ryanne Knoblich (1) and Dominic Coffman (1) all can return, while young phenoms like Lyla Stuurmans are primed to break-through to glory.

Aby Wood and friends will be back for another season of track. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

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