Posts Tagged ‘Anacortes’

Gavin Knoblich and Coupeville football face several new opponents this fall. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

First things first.

There is one way, and one way only, that Coupeville High School football can make the playoffs this fall.

The Wolves go 9-0 for the first time since 1990, or it’s regular season and done.

When CHS opted to bounce from the North Sound Conference for a season and play an independent schedule, school officials made the decision fully aware it closed off most avenues to the postseason.

That being said, Coupeville football hasn’t posted a winning record since going 6-5 in 2005.

Since then, there’s been a 5-5 finish in 2014 and 12 losing seasons.

So, maybe we won’t worry about the playoffs right now.

The biggest stumbling blocks for the Wolf gridiron program have been a lack of numbers, a lack of big bodies among those players actually on the field, and a whole lot of churn on the coaching staff.

Current CHS head man Marcus Carr is starting his second season and seems deeply committed, with a strong staff working at his side. That’s a definite positive.

Still, Coupeville has had five head coaches in the last decade, since Ron Bagby retired after 26 years at the helm of the program.

Part of the rebuilding process for Carr and school Athletic Director Willie Smith is trying to get the Wolves back on a semi-level playing field, allowing the program to grow.

All indications are that CHS will step down to 2B starting with the 2020-2021 school year, which is when new classification counts take effect.

Until then, taking a year off from league play, skipping King’s and Cedar Park Christian and company while allowing Smith to craft a (hopefully) more-favorable schedule, should help.

Looking at what awaits the Wolves this fall, it’s a schedule with four home games and five on the road.

Four games are against 2B schools, and three versus 1A institutions, plus one game apiece against 2A and 3A foes.

Five of the opponents, including the first four, are against schools Coupeville is familiar with. Then are four match-ups which will offer the Wolves a chance to experience new things.

To get you ready, we offer up a little breakdown of the schedule, game by game:


Friday-Sept. 6 — Port Townsend

Kickoff: 6 PM

Miles to travel: None

Classification: 1A

Coach: Patrick Gaffney

Mascot: RedHawks

2018 record: 4-6

Players on preseason roster: 20

Past history: Coupeville won 28-18 in last year’s season opener in Port Townsend. The teams have played numerous times, most notably when they were both in the Olympic League between 2014-2017.

Fun fact: Port Townsend and Chimacum combined for 130 points in a FOOTBALL game last season, with the RedHawks winning 79-51.


Friday-Sept. 13 — @ Vashon Island

Kickoff: 6 PM

Miles to travel: 73.6 miles

Classification: 1A

Coach: Clay Eastly

Mascot: Pirates

2018 record: 1-9

Players on preseason roster: 21

Past history: Coupeville won 13-0 last year on Whidbey. Wolves have beaten Pirates three straight seasons.

“Fun” fact: Last time Vashon beat CHS came in 2015 … when Pirate running back Bryce Hoisington went off for a state single-game record 573 rushing yards against the Wolves. He also broke the state single-season rushing mark, and, thankfully, has since graduated.


Friday-Sept. 20 — @ Friday Harbor

Kickoff: 6:30 PM

Miles to travel: 48.4

Classification: 2B

Coach: Brock Hauck

Mascot: Wolverines

2018 record: 6-3

Players on preseason roster: 19

Past history: Coupeville lost 17-0 last year on Whidbey. First time the schools clashed in several years, but they have been on and off again rivals over the decades.

Fun fact: Friday Harbor finished in a tie with Concrete for the Northwest League title last season, but lost a mini-playoff game 7-6. With a state playoff berth on the line, the difference turned out to be a heavily-disputed two-point conversion run, with the refs ruling Friday Harbor failed to break the goal line.


Friday-Sept. 27 — La Conner

Kickoff: 7 PM

Miles to travel: None

Classification: 2B

Coach: Peter Voorhees

Mascot: Braves

2018 record: 1-8

Players on preseason roster: 37

Past history: Coupeville won 33-12 at La Conner last year. Wolves have won two straight against one of their oldest rivals.

Fun fact: Has one of the best home-field National Anthem traditions in Washington state. As the singer finishes with “and the home of the brave,” La Conner football players raise their helmets and scream “Braves” in place of the final word.


Saturday-Oct. 5 — @ Kittitas

Kickoff: 3 PM

Miles to travel: 165.3

Classification: 2B

Coach: Dusty Hutchinson

Mascot: Coyotes

2018 record: 1-7

Players on preseason roster: Not available; no roster for last season listed, either.

Past history: Never played (as far as I know).

Fun fact: Won their third-straight boys basketball state title this past winter. Star guard Brock Ravet, who is headed to Gonzaga on a full-ride scholarship, finished his career as the state’s all-time leading scorer.


Friday-Oct. 11 — @ Northwest Christian

Kickoff: 7 PM

Miles to travel: 131.9 (School is in Lacey, but game at Tenino)

Classification: 2B

Coach: Mark Smith

Mascot: Wolverines

2018 record: Didn’t play

Players on preseason roster: Not available

Past history: New football program

Fun facts: Private school may not have a football history, but it’s a powerhouse in cross country, with the girls team winning nine straight state titles between 2006-2014.

School was the Navigators (with an alligator mascot known as … Navi the Gator), but are switching to Wolverines. To which I say, why, and, booooooooo.

Football coach Mark Smith is no newbie. He’s in the state hall of fame for track and field coaches, and won 174 games in 23 years as the football coach at Tacoma Baptist, taking that school to the state title game three times.


Fri-Oct. 18 — South Whidbey

Kickoff: 7 PM

Miles to travel: None

Classification: 1A

Coach: Mark Hodson

Mascot: Falcons

2018 record: 6-4

Players on preseason roster: Not available. Had 36 last season.

Past history: Coupeville lost 48-20 last year in Langley, allowing Falcons to regain possession of The Bucket. Wolves had won four of previous six clashes against their arch-rivals.

Fun fact: South Whidbey, which won just four games between 2014-2016, went the independent schedule route, and it paid off big time.

Playing 2B and Canadian schools, Falcons rebounded with a 7-2 record, then carried that over into 2018, when they joined the new North Sound Conference.


Fri-Oct. 25 — Anacortes

Kickoff: TBA

Miles to travel: None

Classification: 2A

Coach: Chris Hunter

Mascot: Seahawks

2018 record: 0-9

Players on preseason roster: Not available. Had 31 last season.

Past history: Haven’t played football against each other in decades. Used to be a rivalry back when players wore leather helmets.

Fun fact: Anacortes has lost 13 straight games. Seahawks last tasted victory the night of Sept. 29, 2017, when they beat Blaine 36-30.


Fri-Nov. 1 — @ Interlake

Kickoff: 7 PM

Miles to travel: 58.6 (Bellevue)

Classification: 3A

Coach: Shawn Hartline

Mascot: Saints

2018 record: 2-7

Players on preseason roster: 45

Past history: Have never played (as far as I know).

Fun fact: Famous alumni included baseball legend John Olerud, as well as musicians Nancy Wilson (Heart), and Chris DeGarmo (Queensrÿche).

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“Can’t talk, have to check my stats!” (Photo by Suzan Georges)

Scoring runs? Not a problem.

After sweeping a doubleheader from visiting Anacortes Saturday, the Central Whidbey Little League Juniors softball team has scored 15 or more times in every single one of its 11 games.

So little wonder that the Wolves, after grabbing 18-10 and 19-9 victories at Rhododendron Park, sit at a flawless 11-0.

They’re doing it with pitching, with defense, but most of all, with booming bats, opportunistic base-running, and a love for stamping their feet on home plate.

And how many times have their spikes slammed down, you ask?

Oh, just 209 times so far, which means the Wolves are averaging an uncanny 19 runs a game. No big deal.

How Saturday played out:


Game 1:

After throwing five runs up on the board in the bottom of the first to claim a 5-2 lead, Central Whidbey never relinquished its advantage.

Though Anacortes didn’t go down all that easily.

The visitors twice rallied to within just two runs, at 6-4 and 12-10, but both times the Wolves responded emphatically.

The first time things got momentarily tense, Central Whidbey piled up five runs in the bottom of the fourth to stretch the lead back out.

Cue Anacortes chip-chip-chippin’ away at the lead, and then the Wolves hammering their rivals one more time, with a six-run assault in the sixth sealing the win.

Wolf pitcher Gwen Gustafson held Anacortes scoreless over the game’s final two innings, with barely a flicker of danger, and it was on to game two.

Central Whidbey piled up a mountain of hits on the day, raining down 20 in just the first game.

Savina Wells and Gustafson led the way with four base-knocks apiece, with Wells collecting a pair of doubles, while Sofia Peters, Maddie Georges, and Melanie Navarro had three singles each.

Rounding out the hit parade were Vivian Farris, Jill Prince, and Cypress Socha, while Adrian Burrows and Karyme Castro saw field time as well.


Game 2:

If the opener was semi-close, the nightcap turned into a rout quickly.

Trailing 3-0 when they came up in the bottom of the first, the Wolves promptly threw down 13 runs, with the first 11 batters reaching base safely.

Given a lead, Farris took to the pitcher’s circle and held Anacortes at bay, while getting some solid work from her defense.

Georges ripped a triple, while Wells, Socha, Gustafson, and Peters all doubled.

Central Whidbey collected “only” 13 hits in the second game, with Georges rattling a pair of singles to go with her three-bagger, but also eked out eight walks.

Burrows and Gustafson both picked up two free passes, Wells, Peters, Navarro, and Gustafson each finished with two hits, and Farris aided her own cause with a sharply-smacked single.

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Sofia Peters collected three hits Saturday, as Central Whidbey Little League softball torched Anacortes 23-13. (Photo courtesy Paula Peters)

The hit machine can’t be stopped.

Rapping out 18 base-knocks Saturday, the Central Whidbey Little League Juniors softball team walloped visiting Anacortes 23-13 to remain undefeated.

Sitting at a perfect 2-0 on the still-young season, the Wolves are now off for spring break, not returning to play until April 11.

Central Whidbey headed to vacation in style, crunching Anacortes pitching every time it stepped to the plate.

Trailing 1-0 headed into the bottom of the first, the Wolves put up three runs in their half of the inning, then torched the joint for nine more in the second.

Five runs in the bottom of the third stretched the margin out to 17-2, but Anacortes finally found its own offense and rallied a bit.

A nine-run top of the fourth for the visitors closed the gap to 17-11, but Central Whidbey was having no shenanigans, quickly dropping another six-spot of its own to seal the deal.

The Wolves got hitting up and down the lineup, with eight of 11 hitters recording at least one base-knock.

The big blows came from Jill Prince and The Bash Sisters, Allie and Maya Lucero, who all connected for doubles.

Lead-off hitter Gwen Gustafson paced Central Whidbey, punching four singles, while Maddie Georges and Melanie Navarro each walked four times apiece.

Sofia Peters, Prince, and Allie Lucero collected three hits each, with Maya Lucero notching two, and Adrian Burrows, Karyme Castro, and Vivian Farris each rapping out a single.

Every Wolf scored at least once, with Castro and Hayley Fiedler coming off the bench to make it a perfect 11-for-11.

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Sophomore Maddie Vondrak was a big-hitting, point-winning terror Tuesday against Anacortes. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Tuesday’s JV volleyball match between Coupeville and visiting Anacortes was a knock-down brawl, full of big hits and wild mood swings.

And while the Wolf spikers eventually fell 25-18, 26-24, 25-19, evening their record at 1-1, the night belonged to Maddie Vondrak.

Many of her teammates had strong performances against the Seahawks, especially Zoe Trujillo and Raven Vick, but it was the Wolf sophomore who captured, and held on to the spotlight the longest.

The smooth-hitting swing player was a veritable tower of power, ripping off frozen ropes from the front court and back court.

Not content to just deliver a tasty assortment of kills via the power game, Vondrak also proved extremely nimble around the net, elevating and stuffing Anacortes shots, one after another.

It was a star-making performance, and, coming against a larger 2A school, further proof Vondrak is more than ready for a prime time role.

While Coupeville trailed the entire first set, the Wolves rallied several times, cutting an early Anacortes lead down from seven points to three.

Vondrak delivered winners on three straight points during that run, while Trujillo cranked an especially nasty slider for another big put-away.

CHS led for a big stretch of the second set, even having set point at 24-23 after a Lucy Sandahl serve set up a rally which culminated in Vick deflating the ball with a spike which tore off a hunk of the floor.

It wasn’t to be, though, as Anacortes rallied to take the middle set before closing out the sweep with an efficient performance in set three.

Wolf freshmen Eryn Wood and Anya Leavell teamed up on a nice block at the net in the final set, while Sandahl unleashed an ace which blew past the would-be hitter like the Road Runner leaving Wile E. Coyote in the dust.

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Senior Emma Smith delivered 12 bone-rattling kills Tuesday, sparking Coupeville volleyball to a win over 2A Anacortes. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Scout Smith never stopped running.

The play was dead, it was over, it was done, it was finito, it was time to brush it off, take a deep breath and move on … except Scout Smith never stopped running.

Sprinting from one side of the court to the other, using every last stretched-out inch of her slender frame, she threw out one curled-up fist at the last millisecond and spun the volleyball over her head as she crashed through the bench on the way to the stands.

Improbably, impossibly, the ball rolled through the air, found the outstretched fingertips of one of Smith’s teammates, and flopped over the net, dropping to the floor with a soft plop which sent the Coupeville High School gym into delirium.

It was one small play, one small point, but in the blink of an eye, as a dead play turned into one more magical moment for a hyped-up Wolf volleyball squad, one thing was certain.

There was no freakin’ way Coupeville was losing Tuesday night.

Playing on coach Cory Whitmore’s birthday, the Wolf spikers put together one of the most electrifying team performances in program history, stunning 2A Anacortes 27-25, 16-25, 25-16, 25-23.

The non-conference victory, which came backed by a fan base which collectively lost its mind (and possibly, their voices) as they stamped until the bleachers cried uncle, lifts Coupeville to a pristine 2-0 on the season.

“I’m so excited to see us play this way,” Whitmore said. “We played to our strengths, rolled with every punch, and then immediately came back and won points almost every time playing the way we wanted to play.”

The key was six Wolves on the floor firing as one, “digging like crazy, serving consistently, getting on a roll, feeling it, and pouring it on.”

Whitmore ran eight players through his rotation against Anacortes, and every single one had at least one play that stands as a “that’s the way you do it” moment.

From Zoe Trujillo stepping off the bench midway through the match, and immediately getting a kill on her very first play, to Scout Smith, who doled out a team-high 22 assists (and never stopped running), the Wolves attacked from all angles.

But you have to step back, gaze in wonder at what Emma Smith accomplished, and know this match, right here, right now, is the one she could show to college coaches.

One she can tell her irrepressible niece about, again and again, as Aunt Emma’s biggest little fan gets old enough to appreciate the stories.

One she and longtime running mate Ashley Menges — seniors who have lived and breathed volleyball for half their lives and are off to a fantastic start to their swan song — will remember long after they have retired their knee pads, but are still best friends.

It was a night when Menges was on fire, when Maya Toomey-Stout was hoppin’ and poppin’, spraying daggers and takin’ names, when super sophomore Chelsea Prescott had the biggest plays of her career, when Hannah Davidson and Emma Mathusek played inspired ball.

But it was also the night Emma Smith strode into the gym a star, and exited as a legend.

It wasn’t just her 12 kills, but the fact every last one came at a major turning point.

That she used her height, her jumping ability, her fast fingers on blocks and tips, and, in the end, a right hand that smote the volleyball like Thor’s hammer connecting with the heads of so many Frost Giants.

“That’s my granddaughter and don’t forget it!!” bellowed Coupeville football legend Steve Smith, his buttons popping with pride.

“The best night of my life!!!” exclaimed mom Konni Smith, as she danced out of the gym.

Emma was feeling that confidence,” Whitmore said, wearing a smile just a fraction smaller than that of his player’s mom. “Her play, both with her kills and her serving, was infectious, and everyone fed off of it.”

It was a match where both teams came full-tilt, making few errors and forcing their rivals to earn every point they won.

Anacortes, which had a size advantage, delivered heavy hits and tried to control the pace, but Coupeville was not in a mood to crack.

Almost every set featured the two squads taking turns putting together runs, and the stage was set right from the first moments.

The Seahawks jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead, only to lose the lead when Scout Smith cracked off a run of five straight points on her serve.

Once ahead, Coupeville jammed its foot through the floor boards, stretching the lead out to as far as seven points, with Emma Smith slicing off body parts with a variety of wicked shots while stalking the net.

A nice run at the service stripe from Prescott, a monster mash of a spike off the fingertips of Menges, and the first set was turning into a run-away.

Until Anacortes rediscovered its groove, turning a 19-12 deficit into a 24-23 lead.

With the ball in hand and set point on tap, the Seahawks were unbeatable and … Emma Smith just killed someone. For really real.

Rising up and over the net with a single bound, nostrils flaring, eyes full of lightning, the Wolf senior smashed a winner which tore through the heart of the Anacortes defense, slamming into the floor and leaving a permanent dent.

Pity the poor janitor who has to buff that one out.

With both teams saving a set point, the first frame was finally settled when Prescott came flying up the middle of the court, following her own serve.

Bringing a furious end to a brief rally, the future (and present) of Wolf sports walloped a winner between two Seahawk defenders, sending her teammates jumping in a team-wide display of unbridled joy.

While the second set went to Anacortes, Coupeville hung tough, peppering its share of big hits and artful tips, and very little air went out of the gym.

And why not?

Mere seconds into the third set, Emma Smith was back to going medieval on the ball, Toomey-Stout was hanging in mid-air, firing from every angle and Mathusek and Scout Smith were keeping every ball in play.

Even the ones they shouldn’t have been able to reach.

Trujillo smacked a winner from the left side on her first swing of the night to stretch Coupeville’s lead to 14-9, Anacortes fought back to within 16-15, and then the gunfighter went to work.

Returning to the service line with a vengeance, Emma Smith fired off a string of winners, with one particularly nasty serve peeling three layers of skin off the Anacortes player who tried, and failed, to return the ball.

And her running mate? Right by her side, being awesome in perfect stride.

Menges closed the third set with an emphatic spike, going airborne on the right side and lashing the ball off the line on the left side, then the two seniors combined to slam the door in the night’s final set.

Control of the fourth frame veered madly, as Coupeville went up by three, then down by five, before things got knotted up at 20-20 when Emma Smith whacked a sizzling line-drive off of someone’s scalp.

Not to be outdone, Menges and Toomey-Stout followed up with big hits of their own, before three Wolves teamed up to stuff the final shot of the night from Anacortes.

The ball started to come across the net, met the combined resistance of the Wolves, and flopped backward, hitting the ground and rolling away as the celebration rippled across the court, through the CHS bench and to every layer of the gym.

Afterwards, after the cheers had quieted and the fans had departed, the Wolf players walked out, some solo, others in groups, all bouncing, all alive with the moment, flush with new, positive memories which will stay with them for the rest of their prep careers, and far beyond.

Sitting sprawled on the floor, waiting for her dad, assistant coach Chris Smith, to finish up, Scout Smith had finally stopped running.

She looked a little tired, a little jazzed, and a lot happy.

It was a good look.

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