Posts Tagged ‘anniversary’

   The late, great Mike Criscuola, AKA “Strong Mike,” who scored 979 points between 1956-1960, fifth-most by a Wolf boys basketball player.

   A who’s-who of guys who could singe a net. Clockwise, from top left, Jeff Stone, Michael Bagby, Randy Keefe, Jeff Rhubottom, Bill Riley, Pete Petrov, Brad Sherman, Denny Clark, Arik Garthwaite, Bill Jarell.

Did I mention there will be cake?

One week from today — Friday, Jan. 19 — Coupeville High School celebrates the 101st anniversary of boys basketball, and everyone associated with the program is invited to return.

The Wolves host Chimacum in an Olympic League clash that night (JV 3:30, varsity 5:15), and the date is the same one on which the first hoops game in school history was played.

That happened way back on Jan. 19, 1917, when CHS pounded Langley 29-7 (forever giving the South End an inferiority complex).

This time around, every former and current Wolf boys basketball player, coach, manager, stats keeper, ticket taker, cheerleader and fan can (and should) join the festivities.

When you show up, there will be commemorative ID stickers for everyone to write their names on, reunion-style, so everyone can more easily pretend that yes, they really did recognize all their former teammates.

The game program is going far beyond the normal rosters, schedule and school fight song.

It will feature info on that first game in 1917, the immortal 1969-1970 squad which was the first Whidbey Island basketball team to win a district title (and still holds all the school scoring records), and a look at the top 15 career scorers.

While current Wolf senior Hunter Smith is at #17 (695 points) and climbing fast, the 15 in the program will be:

Jeff Stone (1137)
Mike Bagby
Randy Keefe
Jeff Rhubottom
Mike Criscuola
Bill Riley
Pete Petrov
Brad Sherman
Denny Clark
Arik Garthwaite
Bill Jarrell
Corey Cross
Barry Brown
Hunter Hammer
Steve Whitney

Halftime will feature recognition of the ’69-’70 team and the Top 15, and things really get hoppin’ post-game.

Eagle-eyed photographer John Fisken will attempt to capture the ultimate “team” photo, with every former Wolf in attendance gathered down on the hardwood, then current basketball moms will host a reception in the health room.

That’s just a few steps outside the gym doors, on your right as you head to the exit inside the facility.

It’s easy to find, as it’s right across from the ticket table.

If nothing else, you can follow the smell of cake. I know I always do.

And the most important thing to remember is this — it doesn’t matter if you were All-League or a bench warmer, if you filled up the stat sheet or can count the number of minutes you played on one hand.

If you were involved with Wolf boys basketball in any way, you are part of the history of the program, and we want to see you at the CHS gym next Friday.

It’s a night to honor those who came before, to show them they are not forgotten and their accomplishments still mean something. And it’s a night to honor the present and future.

Yesterday, today and tomorrow, you are all brothers of the round-ball. Never forget that.

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   The high-flying ’77-’78 CHS boys basketball squad. Jeff Rhubottom (44) scored 459 points that season, second-best in program history. (Photos courtesy Renae Mulholland and Brad Sherman)

   Ron Bagby and his ’87-’88 squad, the last Wolf boys hoops team to make it to the state tourney.

   Coupeville’s ’84-’85 hoops stars, back when high school basketball players (or some of them, at least) knew how to rock the ‘stache.

10 days and counting.

Coupeville High School’s boys basketball anniversary shindig goes down Jan. 19, and we’re putting the call out for people to cram the stands.

The Wolves play Chimacum that night (3:30 JV, 5:15 varsity) and it’s the exact 101st anniversary of the first hoops game in school history (a 29-7 win over Langley in 1917).

Are you a former CHS player, coach, manager, stat keeper, ticket taker? Did you cheer at the games, either in an official capacity or as a fan?

Be there!

Whether you scored one point or 1,000, you are a part of the history of Wolf boys basketball, and this is your night.

There’ll be a special game program, honoring the first game, the immortal ’69-’70 team that still holds all the school records, and the Top 15 individual career scorers.

Toss in halftime festivities and an epic “team” photo after the game — when all former Wolves will be asked to take part — and things will be hoppin’.

There’s a few other things in the works, which will be announced in the next few days, and, as we count down, I am in the market for any and all Wolf basketball pics you might have.

Send them to me at davidsvien@hotmail.com, then rearrange your calendar and make sure you have Jan. 19 circled in red.

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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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This photo of Wolf cheerleaders Emily Clay (left) and Katie Kiel, taken after a paint war, was one of the first I ever ran on this blog. (Pam Headridge photo)

   One of the first photos I published featured Wolf cheerleaders Emily Clay (left) and Katie Kiel in the aftermath of a team paint war. (Pam Headridge photo)


   The most popular pic in blog history — Wolf hoops players celebrating the win which sent them to state last season. (John Fisken photo)

Coupeville Sports started in anger.

And, while a bit of that still lingers — though it’s more mild frustration than outright anger these days — I’d like to think things have largely changed for the better.

When I launched this blog Aug. 15, 2012, I really didn’t know I’d churn out 4,497 articles in the next four years.

That my readership numbers would vastly top what I anticipated and continue to grow each year.

Most of all, I didn’t realize it would offer me a chance to make a real, hopefully lasting, impact on a community in which I’ve lived for the past two decades-plus.

Back then, I was just peeved. Seriously peeved.

The Whidbey Examiner, a proudly independent paper I had written for on a consistent basis for 15+ years, had been sold to the same Canadian kajillionaire who already owned all the other publications on the Island.

One moment, we were “fighting the good fight against the Evil Empire,” and the next we were just another minor line item on a business report produced by that same “Evil Empire.”

Which might have been OK, if all my bylines (way too often the only “payment” I received) hadn’t promptly vanished, never to be seen again, erased by a giant corporation that couldn’t have given less of a crap if it tried.

So, I was mad.

When I kick-started my blog, I set out to be a major pain in the ass to the Whidbey papers.

If you look back at some of the early days, when I frequently ridiculed Canada and picked fights with South Whidbey, King’s and ATM fans, I was a bit of a turd.

A partially-justified turd, but still a turd.

Aggrieved South Whidbey fans even launched their own rival sports blog, which sputtered and died after a mere two articles.

But then things changed, not 100% (losing hundreds of by-lined stories forever still chafes me), but a good, let’s say, 83.2%.

Little bits and pieces of change came from a lot of people, though Kim Andrews probably deserves the most credit.

She was the sports scheduling magician at CHS in the early days of Coupeville Sports, and more than once she gave me good-natured grief about some of my choices.

“You can do better. You could make a real impact if you’d stop being such a butt-head all the time,” she’d say, and I’d roll my eyes.

But, over time, I began to realize how right she was, and I began to (slowly) change.

Four years later, I still tweak South Whidbey from time to time (King’s and ATM moved out of my line of fire when Coupeville changed leagues) and I’m still not totally copacetic with Canada.

But Coupeville Sports, by and large, has gone in a much more positive direction, and both my readership numbers, and what I personally get out of running the blog, have benefited.

When I look back on nearly 4,500 articles, there are some that really worked, a few that probably didn’t, and a lot in the middle.

Hearing a story made an impact on someone, getting positive feedback, in person or through the internet, has driven me more than money (though every last donation is immensely appreciated).

As we take that first step into year five, there are two areas, both still works in progress, of which I am most proud.

When I started my own Hall of Fame, which lives at the top of the blog under the Legends tab, it was a way to give myself something to write about on Sundays.

Now, 60 induction ceremonies later, it’s become something much larger, in spirit at least.

It’s a way to remember the people who have come along and left a mark, who have made Wolf Nation bigger, brighter and better, whether as athletes, coaches or contributors.

To tell them, at least for a moment, “We remember what you did. We will not forget you.”

And now, any day, a more concrete version of that sentiment will rise on the CHS gym wall.

It’s taken a good year, of research (which gave me an opportunity to forge an alliance with the Whidbey papers, thanks to the generosity of Keven R. Graves and Jim Waller), of fundraising, of fast-talking and cajoling, of believing deeply, but my title board project is almost reality.

When it goes up, the handful of banners in the gym will be replaced by a display which recognizes 112 titles won over the past 56 years in 11 different sports at our high school.

For the first time, athletes, fans and coaches will see the highly-successful Wolf teams of the ’70s remembered along side the new golden age Coupeville’s female athletic stars crafted in the early 2000’s.

A sport like cross country, no longer active at CHS but bearing a proud past, will step back into the spotlight again.

Tennis, which has never gotten its fair share of the credit, will rise up and finally be acknowledged, with track, as the most successful athletic programs in school history.

Those who came before will know “We remember what you did. We will not forget you,” and those participating today will have something to aim for, a chance to join their parents and grandparents on Coupeville’s Wall of Fame.

It’s a huge moment, for the school, for the community, as we embrace a vital part of our history, and it will mean a lot to me, to know that one idiot with a blog was able to help pull it all off.

As I head into year five of Coupeville Sports, it would be easy to slip back into poking the Falcons with cheap-shots or lament what Canada took from me.

But I’d rather look forward and try to build on what the Hall of Fame and the title board project have helped accomplished.

Somewhere, Kim Andrews is smiling.

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Wolf QB Jason McFadyen operates under center during the undefeated 1990 season.

   Wolf QB Jason McFadyen operates under center during the undefeated 1990 season. (Photo courtesy Jason McFadyen)

Artifacts from the greatest

   Artifacts from the olden days — a preseason memo from Wolf coach Ron Bagby and a program from the home state playoff game. (Courtesy Tom Roehl Archives)

It's a photo of a photo.

I took a photo of a 25-year-old photo. I got skills.

Let’s throw a party.

The greatest football team in Coupeville High School history, the undefeated 1990 squad, hits a magical milestone this year.

It will be 25 years since that Wolf squad, led by the precision passing of Jason McFadyen and an unstoppable running attack, went 9-0, outscoring its opponents 258-107.

While they fell to Rainier in a home state quarterfinal playoff game played on a windswept Mickey Clark Field Nov. 10, 1990, they remain the gold standard.

No Wolf team has come close to that win total since then, and that trip to the state playoffs, the fourth in school history, was also the last one a CHS gridiron squad has earned.

Which is why we need to take a moment this season and acknowledge that squad.

And, in a moment of perfect symmetry, I have the ideal time.

Coupeville plays four home games this coming season, all in October.

The first three are 1A Olympic League contests (Oct. 2 against Port Townsend, Oct. 9 against Klahowya and Homecoming Oct. 16 against Chimacum).

The regular-season finale, though, on Friday, Oct. 30 is a non-conference affair against Concrete.

Which would be the perfect game to honor the ’90 squad, since back then Concrete was a fellow Northwest B League opponent, and the Wolves beat Concrete 10-0 in the season’s biggest win.

Frank Marti capped a 122-yard rushing performance with a one-yard touchdown plunge in the fourth quarter, then Brad Haslam dropped the punctuation mark with a 34-yard field goal.

Wins over Darrington, Orcas Island and La Conner would cap the regular season, but win #6, coming over the power team in the league, was the one that shocked the world.

So, we need to make this happen.

Whether it’s the Coupeville Booster Club, school officials, current football coaches, the players on that team, or us, the fans, we have three months to make this a reality.

At halftime on Oct. 30, the ’90 squad should come back to claim the Cow Town field.

So, here, from that playoff roster, are the guys we’re looking to find.

If you know them, if you are them, spread the word. We’re gonna make this happen.

1990 Coupeville Wolves:


Ron Bagby
Brian O’Hara
Tom Roehl (RIP)
Jon Prater


Brent Fitzgerald


Brian Barr
Ben Biskovich
Sean Dillon
Chris Frey
Les Hall
Mark Lester
Frank Marti
Jason McFadyen
Ryan Samplawski
Aaron Williams


Danny Bonacci
Matt Cross
Brad Haslam
Van Kellems
Ben Russell
Todd Smith
Nate Steele
Tracy Wilson


Troy Blouin
Todd Brown
Ted Clifton
Eric Lester
Craig McGregor
Gerald McIntosh
Jason McManigle
David McMillan


Ross Buckner
Scott Gadbois
Scott Kirkwood
Kit Manzanares
Jerimiah Prater
Virgil Roehl
Joe Staples
Kevin Steiner

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