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Alex Murdy is a dynamo on both ends of the floor. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Coming off the program’s best campaign in decades, Coupeville High School boys’ basketball wants to keep the good times rolling.

Last season the Wolves, led by a stellar group of seniors, won their first 16 games, captured league and bi-district titles, and advanced to the state tourney.

That had been a long time coming, with the program’s last league title in 2002, when current head coach Brad Sherman was still nailing three-balls as a player.

It had been even longer since the Wolf boys went to state (1988) or won a district crown (1970), but everything clicked during a season in which a different player seemingly carried the team each night.

Gone are those seniors — Logan Martin, Hawthorne Wolfe, Caleb Meyer, Grady Rickner, Xavier Murdy, and Miles Davidson — but the cupboard isn’t bare for Sherman as he enters his sixth season in the lead chair.

Junior Logan Downes was the team’s #3 scorer a year ago, while senior Alex Murdy is a defensive demon who can also torch the net, finishing #4 in buckets on last year’s stacked roster.

They’re joined by five other players with previous varsity experience — seniors Jonathan Valenzuela and Dominic Coffman, and juniors Cole WhiteNick Guay, and Zane Oldenstadt.

All five offer big positives.

Logan is really developing as a complete guard with the ability to score inside and out,” Sherman said. “Had some big games last season and played really well over the summer. He’s going to be tough.

Alex is a force on defense. He gave teams a hard time at the top of our press and pressuring the ball last year,” Sherman added.

“Offensively he handles the ball well and is really strong around the rim – looking for a big senior year from him.”

Cole White, whose dad Greg joins Hunter Smith and Randy Bottorff on the coaching staff, is a co-captain with Downes.

Cole is just a smart player who does a nice job finding the right spots on offense, and he’s a really solid defender for us,” Sherman said.

“He was able to step in and give us big minutes last year and has looked really good stepping into a bigger role over the summer and these first two weeks.”

Cole White sets up the play.

Valenzuela and Coffman were major contributors this fall for a CHS football team which won a league title and advanced to state, and both are expected to bring that same electricity to the floor.

Jon had a great first couple of weeks and is executing a lot of the little things we’ve been emphasizing really well,” Sherman said. “We love the way he’s crashing the boards and getting us second effort shots.

Dom is a football player on the basketball court – and I mean that in the best way possible.  He’s physical, he flies around, and brings a great energy.”

Oldenstadt and Guay were swing players last season, and the duo make the jump to full-time varsity guys this time around.

Joining them will be a trio of JV vets — juniors Ryan Blouin, William Davidson, and Quinten Simpson-Pilgrim — as well as one newcomer in senior Jermiah Copeland.

Freshman Chase Anderson and sophomores Hunter and Hurlee Bronec are also in the mix to swing between JV and varsity, depending on how things play out.

It’s a group Sherman looks forward to working with.

Zane, Nick, and Will are doing a nice job battling in the paint playing our four and five spots right now,” Sherman said. “We are looking for them to be physical and win the rebounding battle every night, play strong around the rim, and get after it on defense.

Ryan worked hard this off-season and gives us another shooting threat on the outside, while Q makes the jump up to varsity because of his defensive presence.

“We are really excited to have Jermiah join us. He’s fitting in well with the team and the system.”

Quinten Simpson-Pilgrim rumbles in the paint.

While players may have changed, team goals have not.

“We want to work really hard with a focus on getting better a day at a time,” Sherman said. “Hit our stride and be playing strong fundamental basketball by the time we hit our league schedule in January.

“Obviously we hope to be right in the mix for a league and district title and be one of those final teams moving on to the state tournament at the end of the season.

“But there’s a lot of work to do between now and then for any team with those goals.”

Coupeville prides itself on its defense, harassing rival ballhandlers and hitting the boards with intensity. That’s a big key going forward.

“Defensively we need to be tough, especially in our ability to pressure the ball, and I certainly think we have that ability,” Sherman said.

“I foresee that being something we do really well,” he added. “The guys returning in our backcourt are going to be a strong group – we could be really tough up top and at our wings, especially in our ability to attack the rim.”

As the new team meshes, the Wolves will focus on winning each small battle, setting them up to triumph in the big wars as well.

“We just want to keep improving on the things we know we need to do well to be successful,” Sherman said.

“Win the rebounding battle every night, execute our defensive system with high energy, get ball reversals and paint touches on offense, communicate on the court, take care of the basketball.

“Excellence is a process, and it requires a mindset of getting better one day at a time. That’s where our focus has to be.”

After some down seasons, the Coupeville gym was crammed with fans last year, a testament to the team’s success, and how the Wolves got there.

“The support from our community was overwhelming last season,” Sherman said. “We hope to keep that same energy in the gym year in and year out through the energy we play with.”

Logan Downes denies you.

Building the culture of the program with an emphasis on “pillars” — grit, gratitude, humility, trust, and excellence — the Wolves look at every foe as a challenge.

Be careful not to overlook any rival teams, but also don’t fear the name on the front of the jersey.

“The team we are playing on any given night isn’t going to change our mindset,” Sherman said. “We need to be prepared to show up and give our best every night regardless of the opponent.

“We just need to be ready every night, work hard, and win our preparation.  If we can do that, hopefully we are in there battling for that league title again this year.”

It’s a team with great promise, ready to write the next chapter in a tale of success.

“We love this group of guys and are excited to see them continue to grow together through the season and keep building that chemistry on the floor,” Sherman said.

“It doesn’t happen overnight – but we had a really good summer through camp, league, and tournament play, and we’ve pushed hard these first two weeks of practice.

“Really looking forward to the season!”

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Alex Murdy lines up a shot. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It’s the job which will likely never be done.

Coupeville High School played its first boys basketball game Jan. 19, 1917 — drilling Langley — and kicks off a new season Nov. 30 by once again facing off with its next-door neighbors.

The job I speak of is documenting every single point scored by a Wolf in a varsity hoops contest, and it’s a tricky one.

Way too many scorebooks from the very olden days vanished long ago, and newspaper archives provide no help.

Sportswriters from the ’30s and ’40s just were not big on documenting who put the ball in the basket.

That being said, we’re sitting pretty good from the ’50s to modern times, with just a few blind spots.

Someone needs to clean out a barn and find a scorebook for Tom Sahli’s sophomore season in 1951-1952. Like today.

While we wait for that prairie miracle to occur, we can marinate in what we have — a list which reflects the scoring efforts of 406 players.

There are seven active Wolf boys on the list, with sophomore Logan Downes (224 points) and junior Alex Murdy (206) currently at #127 and #134 all-time, respectively.

With the sound of shoes squeaking on hardwood about to dominate winter nights, a look at where we stand, with active players in bold.

Nick Guay swoops to the hoop. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Jeff Stone – 1137
Mike Bagby – 1137
Randy Keefe – 1088
Mike Criscuola – 1031
Jeff Rhubottom – 1012
Bill Riley – 934
Pete Petrov – 917
Brad Sherman – 874
Denny Clark – 869
Arik Garthwaite – 867

Bill Jarrell – 855
Hunter Smith – 847
Corey Cross – 811
Hawthorne Wolfe – 800
Jack Elzinga – 770
Barry Brown – 769
Hunter Hammer – 755
Steve Whitney – 730
Dan Nieder – 729
Tom Sahli – 719 (**MISSING SEASON**)

Chris Good – 688
Gavin Keohane – 677
Virgil Roehl – 674
Foster Faris – 668
Pat Bennett – 659
Wade Ellsworth – 659
Jason McFadyen – 654
Rich Morris – 637
Kramer O’Keefe – 636
Wiley Hesselgrave – 632

John O’Grady – 611
Greg White – 604
Denny Zylstra – 602
Joe Whitney – 601
Brian Miller – 597
Mike Syreen – 594
Gabe McMurray – 592
Pat Clark – 583
Randy Duggan – 552
Roy Marti – 551

Jim Syreen – 550
Marc Bissett – 549
Gary Hammons – 533
Jerry Zylstra – 527
Brad Miller – 526
Gary Faris – 524
JJ Marti – 520
Cody Peters – 518
David Lortz – 502
Jason Bagby – 499

Xavier Murdy – 482
Pat O’Grady – 472
Harold Buckner – 469
Sean Dillon – 469
Frank Marti – 462
Del O’Shell – 440
Tony Ford – 432
Caleb Powell – 421
Mason Grove – 414
Ben Biskovich – 407

Casey Clark – 407
Nick Sellgren – 406
Blaine Ghormley – 393
Tom Logan – 385
James Smith – 382
Don Cook – 377
Chad Gale – 373
Mike Millenbach – 373
JD Wilcox – 373
Ty Blouin – 369

Caesar Kortuem – 369
Ray Harvey – 368
Pat Brown – 355
Dick Smith – 352
Ethan Spark – 352
Glenn Losey – 350
Timm Orsborn – 345
Robin Larson – 342
Byron Fellstrom – 340
Kevin Faris – 339

Michael Vaughan – 337
Jim Yake – 331
Aaron Trumbull – 330
Brad Brown – 328
Charlie Tessaro – 328
Utz Conard – 326
Ian Smith – 324
David Ford – 323
Bob Rea – 320
Chris Marti – 319

Gabe Wynn – 316
Nick Streubel – 314
Ben Hayes – 306
Allen Black – 305
Noah Roehl – 301
Blake Day – 299
Noel Criscuola – 298
John Beasley – 293
Risen Johnson – 291
Brian Fakkema – 290

Matt Frost – 290
Mike Mallo – 282
Keith Jameson – 277
Terry Roberts – 277
Kit Manzanares – 275
Boom Phomvongkoth – 275
Zepher Loesch – 274
Alex Evans – 272
Aaron Curtin – 271
Tyler King – 270

Joe Tessaro – 270
Eric Hopkins – 265
Harvey Wainio – 265
Rick Keefe – 259
Troy Blouin – 256
Sean Callahan – 256
Greg Fellstrom – 248
Richard Hammons – 248
Casey Larson – 247
Don Schreiber – 247

Brandon Huff – 245
Grady Rickner – 245
Brad Haslam – 235
Sean Toomey-Stout – 235
Geoff Hageman – 227
Curt Youderian – 226
Logan Downes – 224
Rich Vaughan – 219
Ed Wood – 219
Joel Walstad – 217

Richard Cook – 216
Ryan Keefe – 214
Jordan Ford – 210
Alex Murdy – 206
Andrew Mouw – 204
Vance Huffman – 203
Tim Quenzer – 202
Alan Hancock – 198
Shawn Ryan – 197
Mitch Aparicio – 195

John Engstrom – 195
Trevor Tucker – 194
Roy Mattox – 191
Dale Sherman – 188
Scott Stuurmans – 188
Pat Millenbach – 181
Caleb Meyer – 179
Wayne Hardie – 178
Chris Cox – 177
Evan Tingstad – 177

Jerry VandWerfhorst – 177
Anthony Bergeron – 176
Mike Ankney – 173
Ron Naddy – 172
Dale Libbey – 169
Roger Sherman – 168
Tim Walstad – 168
Randy Blindauer – 166
Mark Bepler – 165
Chad Brookhouse – 163

Jered Brown – 156
Monty Moore – 155
Geoff Wacker – 154
Bill Baas – 153
Ulrik Wells – 152
Jim Faris – 151
Steve Konek – 149
Gavin O’Keefe – 149
Ryan McManigle – 148
Ryan Griggs – 147

Hugh Abell – 145
George Libbey – 142
Sandy Roberts – 134
Craig Anderson – 132
Scott Franzen – 129
Ben Etzell – 127
Gavin Knoblich – 126
Len Buckner – 125
Brian Shank – 125
Joey Lippo – 121

Jessie Smith – 119
Scott McGraw – 116
Christian Townsdin – 116
Mitch Pelroy – 115
Taylor Ebersole – 114
Eric Taylor – 112
Jim Casey – 111
Jacobi Pilgrim – 111
Brian Barr – 108
Joe Donellon – 101

Jason McManigle – 101
Bryan Hamilton – 99
Brian Knoll – 98
Morgan Payne – 96
Christian Lyness – 95
Koa Davison – 94
Ted Weber – 91
Hunter Downes – 89
James Meek – 89
Dan Miller – 89

Steve Bissett – 87
Andrew Cashen – 87
Carson Risner – 86
John Sinema – 86
Nick Morris – 83
Logan Martin – 81
Roy Armstrong – 80
Cameron Toomey-Stout – 80
Caleb Valko – 78
Ross Buckner – 77

Matt Shank – 77
JJ Johnson – 76
Duane Score – 76
Quinten Farmer – 75
Matt Ortega – 75
Mike Ellsworth – 74
Don Spangler – 72
John Zimmerman – 72
Joe Bruzas – 71
Jason Fisher – 71

Tony Prosser – 70
Les Jacobson – 69
Tom Conard – 68
Dean Grasser – 68
Matt Bepler – 67
Zack Swerdfeger – 66
Ron Lanphere – 65
Sage Downes – 64
Ben Hancock – 63
Randy Stone – 63

Mike Brown – 62
Jason McDavid – 62
Jeremy Staples – 62
Brian Hageman – 61
Erik King – 61
David Davis – 60
Tom Mueller – 59
Brandy Ambrose – 58
Sam Kieth – 58
Steve Smith – 58

Martin Walsh – 58
Matt Helm – 57
Dennis Terrell – 57
Drew Chan – 56
DeAndre Mitchell – 56
Daniel Olson – 56
Ellis Schultz – 56
Dave Stoddard – 56
CJ Smith – 54
Larry Zylstra – 54

Asa Owensby – 52
Marc Aparicio – 51
Chris Chan – 51
Joe Kelley – 51
Marvin Darst – 50
Troy Hurlburt – 49
Stanley Bruzas – 48
Dalton Engle – 48
Jerry Helm – 48
Dalton Martin – 47

Eddie Fasolo – 45
Doug Speers – 45
Banky Fisher – 44
Keith Dunnagan – 42
Gaylord Stidham – 41
Erick Harada – 40
James Jorgensen – 40
Nevin Miranda – 40
Jeff Thomas – 40
John Wyatt – 40

John Moskeland – 39
Cole White – 39
Danny Bonacci – 36
Chuck Ruthford – 36
Charlie Toth – 36
Jim Marti – 35
Zeb Williams – 35
Robert Cushen – 34
Dante Mitchell – 34
Sid Mudgett – 34

Dave Brandt – 33
Ryan Kelley – 33
Brian Roundy – 32
Richard Barber – 31
Joe Libbey – 31
Ray Cook – 29
Tim Leese – 29
Ralph Lindsay – 29
Kyle Rockwell – 29
Rick Marti – 28

Toby Martinez – 28
Daniel McDonald – 28
Joe Rojas – 28
Todd Smith – 28
Scott Sollars – 28
Richard Benson – 27
Mike Duke – 27
John Holmes – 26
Lewis Berry – 25
Mark Short – 25

Jonathan Valenzuela – 25
Tim Youderian – 25
Jared Helmstadter – 24
Trent Diamanti – 23
Trevor Mueller – 22
Dan Schleiffers – 22
Dominic Coffman – 21
Jay Roberts – 21
Dustin Van Velkinburgh – 21
Matt Douglas – 20

Jordan Emerson – 20
Dane Lucero – 20
Dean Strom – 20
Scott Fisher – 19
Scott Losey – 19
Bud Merryman – 19
Matt Petrich – 19
Jason Raymond – 19
Rob Blouin – 18
Rick Keith – 18

Marvin Mitchell – 18
Guy Walker – 18
Gary Boyke – 17
Jim Keith – 17
Jean Lund-Olsen – 17
Cedric McIntosh – 17
TJ Rickner – 17
Rick Frieze – 16
Chad Nixon – 16
Josh Wilsey – 16

Steven Cope – 15
Eric Dyer – 15
Mike Lester – 15
Brad Rogers – 15
Henry Edwards – 14
Todd Brown – 13
DJ Kim – 13
LaVerne Arnold – 12
Mike Eaton – 12
Guy George – 12

Kole Kellison – 12
Glen Lanphere – 12
Desmond Bell – 11
Bill Hamilton – 11
Ken Pickard – 11
Jon Roberts – 11
Chris Squires – 11
Ben Winkes – 11
Ron Edwards – 10
Travis Hooker – 10

Daniel Graham – 9
Kyle King – 9
Bruce Seiger – 9
Jimmy Sullivan – 9
Fred Wyatt – 9
Erik Anderson – 8
Dave Bowers – 8
Rob Fasolo – 8
Kraig Gordon – 8
Cody Roberts – 8

Robert Shafer – 8
Dave Wells – 8
Charlie Cook – 7
Bobby Engle – 7
Brian Folkestad – 7
Wayne Hesselgrave – 7
Ed Cook – 6
Nick Guay – 6
Tucker Hall – 6
Chuck Hardee – 6

Kevin King – 6
Robert Kirkwood – 6
George Smith – 6
Nic Anthony – 5
Ariah Bepler – 5
Scott Davidson – 5
JD Myers – 5
Nate Steele – 5
Andrew Bird – 4
Bill Boze – 4

Miles Davidson – 4
Ralph Engle – 4
Jason Legat – 4
Morgan Roehl – 4
Rusty Bailey – 3
Luke Currier – 3
Frank Mueller – 3
Zane Oldenstadt – 3
Tracy Wilson – 3
Teo Benson – 2

Norm Enders – 2
Chris Locke – 2
Jeremy McCormick – 2
Rich McCormick – 2
Denny Moss – 2
Tony Sherman – 2
Marion Sill – 2
Stephen Stietenroth – 2
Robbie Wanamaker – 2
Paul Baher – 1

Bill Engle – 1
Robert Engle – 1
Bob Franzen – 1
Meryl Gordon – 1
Oscar Liquidano – 1
Raleigh Sherman – 1

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Alex Murdy swatted two hits Wednesday as Coupeville baseball drilled Darrington. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Rollin’ and strollin’.

Raining down base-knocks all day Wednesday, the Coupeville High School varsity baseball squad roared to a third-straight conference win.

Thrashing visiting Darrington 10-1, the Wolves soar to 3-0 in Northwest 2B/1B League play, 4-3 overall, heading into their biggest test of the season.

Coupeville, which sits a half game up on Friday Harbor (2-0) and Orcas Island (2-0) in NWL action, travels off-Island for a doubleheader Friday afternoon.

That twin-bill will be held on Friday Harbor, where the defending league champs await.

The Wolverines were the only NWL team to beat Coupeville last year during a pandemic-altered season, so the plan is likely for some sweet, sweet revenge.

Coupeville primed the well Wednesday, with six hitters combining to collect 10 base-knocks off of Darrington’s pitching staff.

Eight of those hits came across the first two innings, as the Wolves put up four runs in the bottom of the first, then matched that with another four-spot in the second.

After that, CHS was content to tack on a run in the fourth and one more in the sixth, coming close to ten-running Darrington while still getting a chance to play a full seven innings.

Coupeville was clicking in every facet of the game, with hurlers Hawthorne Wolfe, Chase Anderson, and Jonathan Valenzuela combining to toss a one-hitter while striking out six Loggers.

At the plate, Cody Roberts (2B, 1B), Alex Murdy (1B, 1B), Valenzuela (1B, 1B), Xavier Murdy (1B, 1B), Scott Hilborn (1B), and Peyton Caveness (1B) all recorded hits for the Wolves.

“On to Friday Harbor!”

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Freshman Jada Heaton is one of 23 Wolves to play three sports during the 2021-2022 school year. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Dominic Coffman bounced from football to basketball to track.

“Everyone plays, no one quits.”

Coupeville High School has the smallest student body of Whidbey Island’s three high schools, but the Wolves are committed.

Coming out of the darkest days of the pandemic (knock on wood), it’s been interesting to see how prep sports are booming.

Given a chance to take the field or court again, Coupeville’s student/athletes have responded, with what feels like huge numbers this spring.

Baseball and softball have enough players to field JV squads in addition to varsity teams, which is very rare at the 2B level.

The Wolf track and field roster goes deep, and girls tennis?

Longtime net guru Ken Stange has an astonishing 23 girls out there, smacking the crud out of fuzzy yellow balls.

As CHS Athletic Director Willie Smith and his coaches have both kept the spark lit and continued to build their programs, the steel in Coupeville’s spine has been the students who have committed to playing year-round.

If my numbers are correct, there are 23 Wolves — 12 boys and 11 girls — who are wrapping up the school year as three-sport athletes.

That number ties the best single-year mark during the 10-year run of Coupeville Sports and is especially nice to see at a small school where every body in a uniform matters.

The core of the group are freshmen, who account for 11 of the 23 three-sport athletes.

The junior and sophomore classes have five iron men/women apiece, with only two seniors — Audrianna Shaw and Xavier Murdy — on the list.

There are others who might have made the list, but injuries, or jobs, or life, or an unwillingness to play basketball — Coupeville’s lone winter sport — leaves them out of this discussion.

No slander to those who didn’t, or couldn’t, make it all the way to the finish line this school year.

Just respect to those who did.

 

Coupeville’s three-sport athletes for 2021-2022, with grade and sports: 

Edie Bittner – 9 – cross country, basketball, softball
Dominic Coffman — 11 — football, basketball, track
Mia Farris — 9 — volleyball, basketball, softball
Carson Field — 9 — cross country, basketball, track
Nick Guay — 10 — soccer, basketball, track
Gwen Gustafson — 11 — volleyball, basketball, softball
Jada Heaton — 9 — volleyball, basketball, softball
Carolyn Lhamon — 11 — soccer, basketball, track
Katie Marti — 9 — volleyball, basketball, softball
Madison McMillan — 9 — volleyball, basketball, softball
Alex Murdy — 11 — soccer, basketball, baseball
Xavier Murdy — 12 — soccer, basketball, baseball
Zane Oldenstadt — 10 — football, basketball, baseball
Jack Porter — 9 — football, basketball, baseball
Johnny Porter — 9 — football, basketball, baseball
Landon Roberts — 9 — cross country, basketball, baseball
Mikey Robinett — 10 — football, basketball, track
Audrianna Shaw — 12 — soccer, basketball, softball
Lyla Stuurmans — 9 — volleyball, basketball, track
Jonathan Valenzuela — 11 — football, basketball, baseball
Savina Wells — 9 — volleyball, basketball, softball
Cole White — 10 — cross country, basketball, baseball
Reese Wilkinson — 10 — soccer, basketball, track

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Young gun Chase Anderson made an impressive high school baseball debut Friday at a jamboree. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

A little warmup before opening day.

That was what the Coupeville High School varsity baseball team was looking for Friday afternoon.

A day before kicking off the regular season with a home game against Mount Baker, the Wolves travelled to Oak Harbor for a multi-team jamboree.

While there CHS bounced their hosts 5-0 and were nipped 1-0 by South Whidbey in three-inning contests.

It was a strong start for a 2B Wolf program, with Oak Harbor and South Whidbey being 3A and 1A schools, respectively.

Making the jump from the hardwood, where he helped lead Coupeville to its first state tourney berth since 1988, junior Alex Murdy led the offensive charge.

Meanwhile 8th grader Chase Anderson made his high school diamond debut, tossing a scoreless inning on the mound.

With Mount Baker on the horizon — varsity plays at 1 PM Saturday, followed by a five-inning JV game — Coupeville coach Will Thayer was glad to see his players working out the kinks.

“We hit great against Oak Harbor, and struggled against slower pitching from South Whidbey,” he said.

Coupeville’s varsity, ready for the season.

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