Posts Tagged ‘Alumni’

Former Wolf Mike Duke is the new girls soccer head coach at 3A Rogers High School in Spokane. His nattily-dressed son approves. (Photos courtesy Duke)

Duke, up to shenanigans with fellow CHS alumni Will Butela.

“I claim this soccer pitch as my own!”

One of Coupeville’s best and brightest is hitting the big time in Spokane.

Mike Duke, a 2006 CHS grad who played five sports for the Wolves and helped turn the student section into the loudest in the land for several years, has been tabbed as the new girls soccer head coach for Rogers High School.

The Pirates are a 3A team which plays its games out of the 3A/4A Greater Spokane League, a top-level conference which includes big-timers like Central Valley, Shadle Park, Mead, and Gonzaga Prep.

While it’s his first varsity head coaching gig, Duke is no stranger to imparting wisdom or to the Pirates players he inherits.

He’s spent the past two seasons as a varsity assistant with the Rogers girls squad, while also being the boys JV head coach.

Along with his jump to the top of the girls soccer program, Duke is also moving up a rung with the boys, and will be a varsity assistant this season.

Toss in his role as co-coach with the school’s unified basketball and soccer teams, time spent with special needs athletes, and working as a para educator in the behavior intervention program, and the former Wolf ace knows his current school inside out.

Duke is taking online classes and working towards getting his teaching degree, with the goal of working full-time at the Spokane school.

Part of the reason for accepting the new soccer jobs is a desire to make an impact in both education and sports.

“I really didn’t want to have these girls have to go through another coaching regime change,” he said. “If they had hired another person it would have been the third total overhaul in the past four years. Which is just crazy to think about.

“So establishing some structure as well as providing these girls with the reassurance that someone taking this job cares about them and building this program (is big),” Duke added.

“Which at this school (very diverse, very low income) is something these kids don’t get a lot of at home.”

Back in his high school days, Duke bounced from sport to sport, and found success at every stop.

After opening with a season of high school football, he departed the gridiron.

Despite being the rare freshman to get an interception in a varsity game, being moved from his middle school slots on the offensive line and at linebacker to playing wide receiver and defensive back just “didn’t agree with me.”

Duke played four seasons of basketball and two seasons of baseball, before hopping over to join the school’s inaugural boys soccer team as a junior.

While on the pitch, he was a team captain, garnered First-Team All-League honors and led the conference in goals both years.

And, just to shake things up, he also ran track during his senior year, “for funsies.”

Both during their time at CHS, and afterwards, Duke and platonic life mate Will Butela set a standard yet to matched for creating fun, whether on the soccer pitch or bouncing in the stands at Wolf volleyball games.

Since graduation, the duo has appeared in several commercials together, at one point being the face(s) of a long-running Major League Baseball promotion, while also operating a podcast as The Fun Brothers.

Starting families, and the fact they no longer live in the same town, has made it a bit tougher to create good-natured havoc, but both vow not to let the good times totally die out.

“My goal is that it (the new job) will affect it in a positive way. More content,” Duke said. “We have been on a bit of a hiatus since my fellow fun brother has a family of five and I just had a son about 10 months ago, so it’s hard to find time (and space).

“But we will ride again, I can promise that.”

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The shooting shirts for Friday’s Coupeville High School boys basketball anniversary game. (Brad Sherman photo)

One night only. Friday! Friday!! Friday!!!

Tomorrow — Friday, Jan. 19, 2018 — marks the biggest moment in Coupeville High School boys basketball history since, well, probably forever.

Or, at least since the Wolves, playing in front of 2000+ fans in 1970, became the first Whidbey Island hoops team to win a district title.

That’s kind of the defining moment for the program right there.

But this Friday, when Coupeville plays host to Chimacum (JV 3:30, varsity 5:15), will be the culmination of 101 years of Wolf hoops.

The date marks the exact anniversary of the first basketball game in CHS history, a 29-7 shredding of Langley in 1917, and the school is throwing a huge party.

All former Wolf boys basketball players, coaches, managers, stat keepers, time-clock operators, trainers, cheerleaders and fans are invited to come home and cram the gym.

Doesn’t matter if you were an All-League player or support crew — we want EVERYONE to show.

The game program will be an expanded one, chock full of stories written by yours truly and tons o’ vintage photos.

At halftime, that 69-70 team and the top 15 career scorers will be recognized, and after the game the party kicks into high gear.

Local shutterbug extraordinaire John Fisken is going to take an epic “team” photo featuring all the former and current Wolves in attendance.

After that, take a few steps outside the gym doors and head to the health room down the hall (don’t even have to go outside!).

Once there, current Wolf basketball moms will have cake and everyone gets a chance to mingle, remember past glory and make up new stories about how much better the game was in their day.

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   After a trip home over the holidays, Kailey Kellner is back on the basketball court in New York. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Back at it and time to get the rust knocked off.

Coupeville grad Kailey Kellner and her D’Youville College teammates returned to the hard court Thursday, the first time they had seen action in almost a month.

The last time the Spartans took the floor was Dec. 9, and it showed a bit, as D’Youville couldn’t quite find its rhythm in a 70-48 loss to visiting Alfred State.

The non-conference defeat drops the squad to 3-7, but they sit at 2-1 in league play.

After this, the Spartans play 15 straight conference tilts, starting with a road trip Saturday to face Franciscan.

D’Youville hung tough for a quarter Thursday, trailing just 17-15 at the first break.

After that Alfred State steadily pulled away, with a 21-11 run in the fourth quarter the final huge nail in the coffin.

Kellner finished with three points, hitting a trey, and four rebounds.

She’s played in every game this season for D’Youville, starting four, and is averaging 3.3 points and 2.4 rebounds a night in her freshman campaign.

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   As the #8 scorer in school history and the current coach of the Wolves, Brad Sherman combines the past, present and future of Coupeville High School basketball. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It’s been quite the century.

Mark your calendars for Jan. 19, set aside the night and join Coupeville High School in celebrating 100 years of Wolf boys basketball.

Coupeville hosts Chimacum that night (3:30 JV/5:15 varsity) and, by pure kismet, it’s the exact date the first hoops game was played in school history.

CHS beat Langley 29-7 on Jan. 19, 1917, kicking off a 7-3 run through its inaugural season.

To mark the moment, Coupeville is inviting all former players and coaches to show up for the Chimacum game.

A special program, looking back through the program’s history, will be handed out and Wolf hardwood greats will be honored.

After the game, all former Wolf hoops players and coaches will be invited down to the court, so that local photographer John Fisken can immortalize the moment with an epic group photo.

Whether you played a hot minute or scored 1,000 points, Jan. 19 is about tying the past, present and future of Wolf basketball together.

Don’t be square, be there.

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   Mike Bagby goes up for two, while CHS football coach Jon Atkins applies some defense. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Gavin O’Keefe drives the lane.

Scott Stuurmans (with ball) and Jason Bagby tangle like it’s the old days.

“We’re gettin’ old, man…”

Joel Walstad prepares to get nasty.

Gavin Keohane flies the friendly skies.

Erik King, defensive dynamo for hire.

Ron Bagby (left) and Noah Roehl discuss the meaning of life.

You can go home again.

The annual Tom Roehl Roundball Classic, an alumni hoops tourney dedicated to the memory of a former longtime Wolf coach, played out Saturday in the CHS gym.

Those on hand were there to remember their coach, raise money for scholarships to be given out in his name, and see who still had game (and who had spent too much time on the couch).

After a year down, Red Pride rebounded to win the title, beating the Coupeville Cows 59-48 in an all-Coupeville championship.

Last year’s tourney winners, Prestige World Wide, fell in the semifinals this time around.

Photographer John Fisken wandered by the gym and delivers the photos seen above.

To see everything he shot (all pics can be downloaded for free), pop over to:


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