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Coupeville senior Andrew Martin was named to the All-Conference team, despite not playing any league games. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Hard-hitting, fumble-causing Sean Toomey-Stout, a contender to play in the All-State game, was also honored by North Sound Conference coaches.

Well, this is a nice bonus.

Despite not playing a single league game this season, the Coupeville High School football squad still landed two players on the All-Conference team.

The Wolves chose to step away from the North Sound Conference for a year, to give a young, inexperienced team time to build and mature.

It worked out nicely, as CHS went 5-4, claiming the program’s first winning record since 2005, but the decision seemed to deny any of the Wolves a chance to be honored by league coaches.

But not so fast.

Hoping to get his seniors consideration for the All-State game, Coupeville Athletic Director Willie Smith approached his league counterparts and hit pay-dirt.

Not only were the AD’s in support of making sure the Wolves remained viable in the All-State process, but they turned around and voted two of them onto the All-Conference team.

Sean Toomey-Stout was named to the First Team as a Specialist, while also being honored as a Second Team pick for his play in the secondary.

Fellow senior Andrew Martin was tabbed as a Second Team player as both a running back and linebacker.

Selections to the 2A/1A/B All-State game, known as the Earl Barden Classic, will be announced later.

The All-Conference honors topped Coupeville’s season-ending football banquet Wednesday night, as Wolf coach Marcus Carr and staff honored their team.

Dawson Houston, Martin, Gavin Straub, Toomey-Stout, and Gavin Knoblich received four-year awards for playing every season of their high school career, while 25 players and two managers lettered.

 

Varsity letter winners:

Nick Armstrong
Isaiah Bittner
Brian Casey
Dominic Coffman
Sage Downes
Dakota Eck
Scott Hilborn
Dawson Houston
Daylon Houston
Cole Hutchinson
Alex Jimenez
Gavin Knoblich
Joven Light
Andrew Martin
Melanie Navarro
(Manager)
Jonathan Partida
Kevin Partida
Gabe Shaw
Breanna Silveira
(Manager)
Ben Smith
DJ Stadler
Gavin St Onge
Gavin Straub
Sean Toomey-Stout
Josh Upchurch
Tim Ursu
Kai Wong

 

Participation certificates (8th grade practice squad):

Cameron Breaux
JP Edoukou

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“Rest easy, little guy. Daddy will get you to the end zone and won’t let those bad men touch you.” (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Sean “The Torpedo” Toomey-Stout explodes, sending a fumble flying to the skies.

Dakota Eck slices through the defense.

Gavin Knoblich wrestles down the Anacortes QB before he can get his pass off.

No one escapes from Gavin St Onge. No one.

Andrew Martin fights through the defense on his way to a 137-yard, three-touchdown night.

Toomey-Stout climbs the ladder to pull in a catch.

Wolf managers Brenna Silveira (left) and Melanie Navarro get photo-bombed by head coach Marcus Carr.

Friday Night Lights shine, and the cameras pop.

Visiting Cow Town for an evening, John Fisken was on hand Friday for Coupeville’s 18-6 waxing of visiting Anacortes, and the pics above are courtesy him.

To see everything he shot, and maybe get an early Christmas present for Gram and Gramps, pop over to:

https://www.johnsphotos.net/Sports/Coupeville-Football-2019-2020/FB-2019-10-25-vs-Anacortes/

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Gavin St Onge leads off a look at Coupeville High School football Senior Night portraits. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Jonathan Partida (24)

Dawson Houston (12)

Sean Toomey-Stout

Gavin Straub

Andrew Martin

Gavin Knoblich

The Magnificent Seven

Tis the season for senior salutes.

Friday night brought farewells for Coupeville High School football players and cheerleaders, followed by an 18-6 Wolf win over Anacortes.

That allowed the seven Class of 2020 gridiron giants to accomplish what so many seniors before them had missed out on – bringing home a winning season.

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Gavin St Onge is a key part of the first Coupeville High School football team to post a winning record since 2005. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It is done.

All the big plays on the turf, all the work off the field, all the blood, sweat, and tears in the locker room, the weight room, and on the practice field, paid off Friday night.

Unleashing a dominating defense, the Coupeville High School football squad stuffed visiting Anacortes 18-7, claiming their fourth win in their last five games and clinching the program’s first winning season since 2005.

Now 5-3, with just a trip to Bellevue to play Interlake left on the schedule, the Wolves have silenced the ghosts of the past.

There have been 13 complete seasons since the last time a Coupeville gridiron team finished on the plus side of the ledger.

Twelve losing years and one .500 mark in 2014.

Six head coaches, numerous assistants and managers and ball boys, and hundreds of players.

It’s been a lifetime.

Literally, since none of this year’s Wolf seniors were even in kindergarten in 2005.

But there they were Friday night, Coupeville’s seven seniors, Andrew Martin, Jonathan Partida, Sean Toomey-Stout, Dawson Houston and the three Gavin’s – Straub, Knoblich, and St Onge.

Each one pulling off big plays, each one writing a memory they will never forget, each one walking off Mickey Clark Field for the final time, having accomplished what so many others before them had been unable to achieve.

And, in the midst of a field full of celebrating players, family members, classmates, friends and fans, second-year Coupeville coach Marcus Carr stood off to the side, a giant, quiet smile gracing his face.

“It means a lot; I really wanted this for these seniors,” he said. “We’ve been rebuilding the program, and changing the culture, and sending them out on this high note … it means everything.

“This team as a whole has put in the work, on the field, and in the times when no one sees it,” Carr added. “I am so proud of them all.”

Coming into their home finale, the big question was how the Wolves would bounce back after a hard-fought loss last week to Island rival South Whidbey.

Anacortes was a bit of an unknown, as well.

The Seahawks rep a solidly-sized 2A school, while Coupeville is among the smallest 1A schools in the state.

With Coupeville breaking from the North Sound Conference and playing an independent schedule this season, CHS Athletic Director Willie Smith had to scramble to pull together a schedule.

With Anacortes also being in a severe rebuilding phase, the Wolf head man rolled the dice on this one, and it paid off with a very-competitive game between comparable teams.

The visitors had a 32-25 advantage in players, but have no seniors this season and just three juniors, including fleet-footed starting quarterback Joseph Cutter.

With 18 freshmen on the roster, the Seahawks scheduled three games against varsity teams such as Coupeville and six against JV squads, and entered Friday at 5-2 and on a five-game winning streak.

The Wolves, who boast 10 freshmen of their own, came out strong however, and never backed down.

On offense, Coupeville employed a ferocious running attack, with Andrew Martin putting together a career-best night under the lights to key a Wolf attack which rang up 200+ yards.

Running like equally hard-nosed older brother Jacob did before him, #42 doesn’t always get enough credit for how he has played through countless nagging injuries while wreaking havoc as a two-way warrior.

I’ve seen Andy hobble into an IHop after a game, moving like an 80-year-old man, but pity anyone who gets between “Ham-bone” and the biscuits ‘n gravy awaiting him.

When he runs, slamming at full tilt into every potential tackler, daring them to bring him to the ground, the youngest heir to the Martin football legacy defines the word “beast.”

Friday night, legs churning through the grass on his home field for the final time, he racked up an unofficial 137 rushing yards on 27 carries, scoring all three of Coupeville’s touchdowns.

Add nice runs from Dakota Eck, Scott Hilborn, and Toomey-Stout, plus big-time catches by Knoblich and Toomey-Stout and the Wolves were moving the ball.

When they had the ball, that is.

Coupeville only had a single possession in the first quarter, yet led 6-0 when the teams went to the break.

Wolf frosh Daylon Houston, showing off his big leg, mashed the opening kickoff, giving Anacortes the first crack at scoring, and the Seahawks came out with a mix of plays.

Well, that’s not entirely true.

In the early going, Anacortes had exactly one play it ran. Maybe 1.5.

Using a little razzle-dazzle and trickery to keep the Wolf defense guessing where the ball was going, the result was always the same — Cutter kept the ball and dodged would-be tacklers.

The half of a play was the Seahawks QB’s ability to use deceptive hand claps when signalling his center to hike the ball, getting Coupeville to jump off-sides several times on the opening drive.

Anacortes had the end zone in its sights, and then, whammo, one play changed everything.

Facing a third-and-two from Coupeville’s 25, the Seahawks went to their bread-and-butter play, and Martin, throwing blockers out of his way with both hands, stepped up and tried to rip Cutter in half.

Burying the Anacortes QB in the backfield, he dropped him for a five-yard loss, and effectively ended the drive on the spot.

Sure, Cutter still had one more play, but it was a wobbly fourth-down pass from a guy still trying to get the stars out of his eyes, and it fell harmlessly over the middle.

Handed the ball for the first time, Coupeville QB Dawson Houston and Co. made short work of it, piling up 69 yards on seven plays, with Martin eventually crashing in for a three-yard touchdown run.

Before we got to that point, Eck ripped off back-to-back 10-yard-plus runs, and Martin blew up the Hawk defense on a 36-yard rumble.

On that one, he went up the middle, hit a different gear, skidded to a halt midway through the run to lurch around a tackler, then carried a pack of screaming Seahawks on his back for another couple steps.

Anacortes had some fight in it, however, and actually took the lead for a short time, using a three-yard scoring run from Cutter on the first play of the second quarter.

It was a pretty, pretty play, as the Hawk gunslinger went right, skidded back to his left, dodged a potential sack, then swept around the left side and beat three Wolves to the goal line by a step.

Coupeville’s answer? A nine-play, 62-yard drive on the next possession, with Martin’s 15-yard scoring run giving the Wolves a lead they would never relinquish.

While the running game kept the Seahawks on their heels, the big play on the drive was an 18-yard pass to Knoblich, with Houston zinging the ball over the middle to his tall target as he slashed from left to right.

With the score 12-7 in favor of CHS, the two teams went into a defensive stalemate across the remainder of the second quarter.

The Wolves recovered an onside kick, with Partida flying in from the left side to snag Daylon Houston’s perfectly-placed kick, but their next drive stalled out at the Anacortes 20 thanks to a lost fumble.

Coming out of the halftime break, Coupeville put the game on ice with a nine-play, 69-yard drive which wore five minutes off the clock.

Martin was a battering ram, and ended things with a one-yard TD plunge, but it was Toomey-Stout who made the highlight reel pop with a 30-yard catch-and-run.

Dawson Houston’s pass was crisp and on the hands, but it was the work after the catch, when “The Torpedo” picked up the final 10 yards while fighting through three defenders, which made the crowd lose it.

Anacortes should have brought Toomey-Stout down, but, every muscle in his body poppin’, the Wolf senior kept on churning, each step sweet agony as he drove the Hawk trio back, step by step.

When the Seahawks get up Saturday morning, and every part of their bodies ache, they will remember that play, and they will wince. And then wince some more for years to come.

For four years, Sean, like older brother Cameron and twin sister Maya, has been a relentless worker, in the weight room, in the classroom, and on the practice field.

Plays like that, when you make dang sure they will always remember you, is why he does what he does.

From that point on, the scoring was done, but the big plays weren’t.

With Coupeville Defensive Coordinator Bennett Richter sending his guys running wild, the Wolves got savage.

Eck came flying around the side and dragged a runner down in the backfield for a big loss.

Straub hammered another Hawk, also driving him backwards when he wanted to go forward.

Ben Smith, who always brings the fire and the energy, lived out the words of Muhammad Ali, to “rumble, young man, rumble.”

Gabe Shaw and St Onge and Kai Wong and Isaiah Bittner and all the linemen stepped up and smacked people.

And then, to close out the game, the home stand, and 13 long seasons of struggle, Coupeville put the ball in the hands of Andrew Martin.

One, two, three, four, five times in a row he ran the ball, each time charging into the heart of the defense with a laugh on his lips as he crushed those who dared to step into his path.

Across the five plays, Martin picked up the final 27 yards of his night, but each play meant more than that.

Each thump, each thwack, each crunch, echoed up, through the stands, and across the prairie.

The sounds of Martin’s success, the sounds of his team’s rebirth, carried on the slight Whidbey breeze which wafted through the stadium, and the message was loud and clear.

The past is dead.

It’s a new day for Wolf football.

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Andrew Martin ran for 109 yards and a touchdown Friday night, while also forcing two fumble recoveries, as CHS football won its third-straight game. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

A different far-flung outpost every week.

As it winds its way through a season of redemption and growth, the Coupeville High School football team is visiting a lot of places off the normal schedule.

The recurring theme? The Wolves are also showing a lot of first-time viewers that they are a team to fear and respect.

Surviving its fourth trip away from Whidbey in the first six weeks of the campaign, Coupeville visited the black turf of Tenino High School Friday night, returning with a gritty 32-24 victory over Northwest Christian/Life Christian Academy.

The win, the third-straight for the streaking Wolves, lifts them to 4-2.

That gives them the most wins since the 2014 CHS squad went 5-5, and puts them on the cusp of something even bigger.

With three games left on the schedule — home games the next two weeks against South Whidbey and Anacortes, then a trip to Bellevue to play Interlake — the Wolves are one slim win away from posting Coupeville football’s first winning season since 2005.

To get where they currently are, the rebuilding Wolves have endured long bus and ferry trips, while building an identity as a team that can hurt foes on both sides of the ball.

Friday’s game, played out on a cool evening in the shadow of a wall of trees, with a lonely train whistle occasionally blasting off to the side (for a nice Twin Peaks feeling) was a game of big plays, some which crippled, others which ultimately thrilled.

The night’s hosts, two private schools united for gridiron action and awkwardly referred to as the Wolverines/Eagles, came complete with a rockin’ band and a unique Homecoming halftime show which featured all the winners being ID’d by their favorite bible verses.

To keep it simple, we’ll refer to them after this as just Northwest Christian, which is how they were listed on the schedule.

A reborn football program headed up by a Hall of Fame coach, NWC entered the night looking for its first win of the season, and almost got there.

Busting out unexpected big plays, with three first-half touchdowns all going for 73+ yards apiece, the Wolverines/Eagles headed to the halftime locker room up 18-14.

Coupeville had struck first, marching 52 yards in 11 plays, with Andrew Martin carrying the ball into the heart of the defense time and again, daring his rivals to bring him down as he administered bruises left and right.

With the defense softened up, limping and saying “owie,” the Wolves put the ball in the end zone on a 27-yard pass play which started with a fourth-down gamble.

Coupeville QB Dawson Houston, scrambling away from the defense, fired a ball to the far right side, where Sean Toomey-Stout hauled in the incoming pigskin.

There was a man in front of him, but, ball now in hand, “The Torpedo” stopped on a dime, juked the defender out of his shoes, then casually strolled past him and into the end zone for an electrifying six points.

And it stayed just six points, as a trend was started when Northwest Christian blocked the PAT.

Nine touchdowns were scored between the teams on this night, yet only once did either team successfully pull off a conversion or extra point.

Coupeville entered play in Tenino coming off of back-to-back shutouts, but any chances of making it 3-for-3 quickly went out the window when Northwest Christian knotted the game up at 6-6 mere moments later.

Caleb Garrison broke free from a pack of tacklers and bolted 73 yards down the left sideline — only the third-longest scoring play of the night — and we had ourselves a game.

Things got progressively wilder once the teams entered the second quarter.

Northwest Christian forced a fumble off a bone-crunching sack, only to promptly have one of their own receivers drop a sure-thing TD pass two plays later.

That put the ball back in the hands of Houston, and he hooked up with Toomey-Stout for a second scoring strike which was a near mirror image of their first successful duet.

This catch-and-run covered 21 yards, went to the right side instead of the left, but once again featured a NWC defender blown out of his shoes after being pump-faked into the nearby woods.

Toss in a two-point conversion run from Martin (cherish it, cause this is that lone successful conversion we mentioned earlier), and we were good and …

What, we’re not good?

No, we’re not.

The ensuing kickoff went one way, then came back in a hurry, carried by Daishaun Nichols, who bolted 82 yards straight up the middle, leaving a trail of would-be tacklers in his wake as he sent a jolt of energy through the otherwise fairly placid private school fans.

Liking the feeling of being successful, Northwest Christian took another hit of electricity soon after, picking off a Houston pass at the two-yard line, then sending Nichols off on another long jaunt.

This one, coming on a pitch to the right, followed by a nasty cutback, went just 81 yards, leaving Nichols screaming for the oxygen and Northwest Christian holding that halftime lead we discussed before.

But, this is a resilient Wolf team, and one which got an extra-long time to receive … we’ll call it constructive criticism … during their time in the locker room as the Homecoming biblical verse-off played out.

Revved up and rarin’ to go, Coupeville’s gridiron giants came out a different team in the second half, 24 minutes of time that it dominated in every facet of play.

It began with Martin forcing a fumble, slamming into a runner and causing his spine to crumble as the ball popped free and into the waiting hands of one Mr. Toomey-Stout.

It was the first of two times the duo would pull off the same play in the second half, with “The Torpedo” adding an interception, and Gabe Shaw, Isaiah Bittner, and Kai Wong terrorizing every NWC player in their vicinity.

With a fired-up defense once again bringing a smile to assistant coach Bennett Richter’s face, the Wolf offense jacked things up as well.

Coupeville reclaimed the lead on Houston’s third touchdown pass of the night, a 14-yard zipper that hit Gavin Knoblich right on the hands as the lanky receiver crossed left to right.

Up 20-18, the Wolves clamped down, with Toomey-Stout snaring his pick in the end zone to blunt a Northwest Christian first-and-goal opportunity from the seven-yard line.

Toss in the second Martin-inflicted fumble to open the fourth, and the host team kept stalling out in its bid to delight the Homecoming crowd.

But wanting to make sure the local fans knew all their hopes and dreams were really, truly dead, Coupeville put the game on ice (almost) with a three-play combo of delight and wonder.

First, Martin crashed in from five yards out for a touchdown with 8:23 to play.

That was set up by a truly spectacular 37-yard reception by Knoblich, who went airborne and snagged the ball between two defenders while free-falling backwards through all of time and space.

Then the Wolves successfully pulled off an onside kick, with Jonathan Partida dropping like a cat on the madly-bouncing ball.

Northwest Christian was reeling, so CHS immediately went for an uppercut, with Dakota Eck capping the three-play uprising by bolting over the right side for a 47-yard scoring run, his first touchdown of the season.

Wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am, it went from 20-18 to 32-18 in 12 seconds of elapsed scoreboard time, and we were done with this thing and…

We’re not done? Sweet son of a prickly pear…

Running seven plays in less than two minutes, with a 32-yard pass to the one-yard line a killer, Northwest Christian crashed into the end zone, still hoping for a miracle.

Wolverines/Eagles QB Nathan Joslin scored on a one-yard plunge, but he couldn’t get the ensuing two-point conversion, as Coupeville stepped up and slammed the door (almost) shut.

What followed is the stuff of dreams for football coaches.

Up by a single score, with 6:21 still on the clock, Coupeville punched Northwest Christian in the kisser, methodically moving down the field, chewing up yardage, and, more importantly, time.

Mixing in runs from Eck, Martin, and birthday boy Gavin Straub, the Wolves kept the chains and the clock turning over, before Houston sealed things with an 11-yard slant pass to Toomey-Stout on third-and-seven from midfield.

As Coupeville went into victory formation, kneeling down twice as the lonely train whistle echoed through the pine trees, it felt perfect.

Well, at least for the six or seven Wolf fans who made the long trek to witness the game in person.

Probably not so much for the hometown fans, but, what doesn’t kill you just makes you stronger.

Coupeville put together its most-effective offensive night of the season, as Houston unofficially completed nine passes for 165 yards and a season-high three touchdowns.

Toomey-Stout hauled in six of those bombs, picking up 110 yards, while Knoblich (2-51) and Scott Hilborn (1-4) were also successful targets.

On the ground, the Wolves (again, unofficially) had its big two combine for 200 rushing yards, with Martin carrying the ball 25 times for 109 yards, and Eck scrambling 14 times for 91 yards.

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