Posts Tagged ‘’70s’

It was nothing but net for the Wolf boys basketball program in the ’70s.

Little padding on the bench seats? Just made you tougher.

   Wolf cheerleaders had plenty to yell about as CHS made four trips to state in “The Me Decade.”

And they danced all night long…

The horn section rocks the house.

Bring back the socks, and Coupeville goes back to state. Just sayin’.

Celebrating with Coach Bob Barker.

“Psst … unleash Hell on my command, boys.”

The ’70s ruled.

Coupeville High School has been playing boys basketball for 101 years — seriously, Friday is the anniversary — but one decade stands above the others.

The program has been to the state tourney five times, and four of those came during the 1970’s.

The Wolves reached the promised land in 1970, 1975, 1976 and 1979, then waited until 1988 to return.

Trip #6 has been a long while coming…

Scan both the best single-season scoring marks and career scoring totals for individual players, and more came in the ’70s than any other decade.

It’s not that there weren’t good CHS players and teams before “The Me Decade,” or after.

Mike Criscuola was a man among young boys by the time he was a mere 8th grader, and his numbers from the ’50s have rarely been equaled.

Newspaper stories and tales passed down from those who saw him in person describe him as the barrel-chested second coming of Paul Bunyan.

Hunter Smith, who is shooting up the career scoring chart during the 2017-2018 season, his senior year, is among the best I have covered in person.

A huge part of that is because he is the rare modern-day player who I think would have survived and thrived in previous decades.

Simply put, he “plays the game the right way,” and I think the older players who are returning to CHS tomorrow night will come away impressed with him.

As we count down the hours until Friday’s epic anniversary shindig (3:30 JV, 5:15 varsity, with festivities at halftime and post-game), it’s the ’70s we’re marinating in at the moment.

The photos above are courtesy Renae (Keefe) Mulholland and capture a slice of time when the Wolves owned the hardwood.

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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.”

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