Posts Tagged ‘Anthony Smith’

   CHS will have three new head coaches next school year, after changes in the boys basketball, cheer and girls soccer programs. (John Fisken photo)

Coupeville High School has three open head coaching positions, though only one job has been officially posted.

The agenda for this Monday’s school board meeting, which is now available to the public, includes a request to not renew the supplemental contract of girls soccer coach Troy Cowan.

That job is expected to be posted shortly.

The school board already voted to not renew cheer coach Cheridan Eck’s contract at its Nov. 28 meeting, and the job was posted Dec. 12.

The position remains unfilled.

A third coach, Anthony Smith, confirmed he has been told he will not be returning to the boys basketball program.

Action on his contract is expected to happen at the school board’s April meeting, and the job would be posted afterwards.

Soccer and basketball hiring decisions are made by the school’s Athletic Director, Willie Smith, while cheer is an activity at CHS and falls under the purview of Principal Duane Baumann.

School officials declined to issue any public statements on any of the coaching changes.

Anthony Smith coached basketball for six seasons, while Eck ran the cheer program for five and Cowan headed the pitch squad for the last four years.

“I was given a great opportunity,” Anthony Smith said.

His words were echoed by Cowan, who released the following statement:

I was surprised, but the decision wasn’t mine.

I had a fantastic four-year run and am very thankful to Mrs. (Lori) Stolee for the opportunity and Mr. Baumann, who supported me and all of the staff at CHS.

I am extremely thankful for the wonderful relationships I developed with the players and the best fans on the Island!

I tried to change the culture and bring a new and positive approach to the program.

I’m proud of the accomplishments and the growth that I saw in the program, but unfortunately, I came up a bit short.

I honestly enjoyed every minute I spent with the Lady Wolves and will cherish them dearly.

I hope this new direction the school wants to take the program helps them put that first banner in the rafters.

I honestly wish the girls all the luck and hope they achieve their full potential.

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Dante Mitchell was one of nine Wolves to score Friday in a 66-60 win over Concrete. (John Fisken photo)

   Dante Mitchell, back from an injury, was one of nine Wolves to score Friday in a 66-60 win over Concrete. (John Fisken photo)

In the end, no matter how you got there, a win is a win.

And Friday night’s victory for the Coupeville High School boys’ basketball squad, whether it was perfect or not, was a huge milestone of a win.

You can dwell on how the Wolves almost gave away a 19-point lead in the fourth quarter, or you can focus on the fact they held on to nip visiting Concrete 66-60.

In that scenario, Coupeville is currently celebrating a third straight win and, at 4-3, is over .500 for the first time ever under fifth-year coach Anthony Smith.

Plus, with the return of injured players Hunter Smith and Dante Mitchell and the debut of transfer JJ Johnson, the Wolves finally have a full, healthy 11-player roster and nearly two weeks to work on closing out games before they take the court again.

With winter break, Coupeville doesn’t return to action until Dec. 30, when it hosts La Conner.

After that, eight of their final 11 regular season games will be against 1A Olympic League teams.

The Wolves, at 1-0, are currently tied with Port Townsend atop the league standings.

Facing off with a non-conference foe in Concrete which had no players over six-foot-tall, Coupeville came out aggressively and took control of the game in the early going.

A trey from the left side off the fingertips of junior guard Gabe Wynn staked the Wolves to their first lead at 5-4, and they controlled the flow.

With seven different players getting into the scoring column in the opening quarter, led by Wynn with five, Coupeville bolted out to a 17-10 lead that could have been much larger.

Despite missing a flurry of shots, the Wolves dominated the boards and continued to fire away, closing the quarter on a 10-4 run in which five different players banged home a bucket.

Their early shooting woes finally hurt them to start the second, as Concrete opened the quarter on a 9-0 tear to reclaim the lead at 19-17.

That seemed to flip a switch down deep in the Wolves, as they responded immediately and with great fury.

Hunter Smith, playing in only his second game of the season after missing the last five with a back injury, dropped a dagger of a three-ball to snatch the lead right back.

With their sophomore sensation pouring in eight in the quarter, Coupeville closed the half on a 19-10 surge.

Up 36-29 at the break, the Wolves erupted out of the locker room seemingly intent on thoroughly crushing Concrete.

With Wiley Hesselgrave hitting from everywhere — he knocked down two treys en route to 10 in the third — and Risen Johnson dishing the ball left and right, always finding the open man at the very last second, Coupeville blew the lead out to 21 late in the quarter.

But just as the Lions seemed done, they began to creep back into the game.

And I do mean creep, as they used eight consecutive free throws to start a “run” that slowly, ever so slowly, drew them back into the contest.

Coupeville got just enough down the stretch — a hard charge down the sideline from Hesselgrave, who spun his defender around as he zipped past him for a layup and a soft, sweet turnaround jumper from DeAndre Mitchell — to keep the lead from totally evaporating.

Still, there were times when they gave their coach more angina than expected, as the lead dropped from 19 to five in the waning seconds.

Finally, after Jordan Ford slid a final free-throw through the twine to set the final score, Anthony Smith could fully relax and enjoy the moment.

“A win is a win is a win. I’ll take it,” he said with a huge smile. “Now we’ve got some time to clean things up, fix what’s not working and continue doing what is working.”

Anthony Smith praised the play of Mitchell (“he gave us hustle and energy and was a true spark for us at different times”), Ford (“played tenacious, as always”) and Hunter Smith (“played well, good to get him back.”)

As they have done in almost every game this season, the Wolves had a very balanced scoring attack.

Hesselgrave regained the season scoring lead with a 16-point night, while Ford banged away for 13 and Wynn and Hunter Smith each hit for 10.

DeAndre Mitchell added seven, while Dante Mitchell (4), Jared Helmstadter (2), Ryan Griggs (2) and Risen Johnson (2) rounded out the scorers.

Desmond Bell and JJ Johnson didn’t score, but both brought high energy to the floor during their shifts.

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Call ’em undefeated. Call ’em best in tourney. Call ’em (l to r) Kaci French, Kayleigh Bungard, Malaysia Smith and Kylie Van Velkinburgh. (Dawn Bungard photos)


The champs celebrate with CHS boys’ hoop coach (and proud dad) Anthony Smith.

Like father, like daughter.

Sparked by the offspring of two Coupeville High School basketball coaches, a group of sixth grade girls swept to an undefeated record and a championship at a tourney in Arlington this weekend.

The four-player squad rolled through the 3-on-3 tourney like pros and left their papas with huge grins.

“Loving some summer hoops and watching my little one grow,” said CHS boys’ JV hoops coach Dustin Van Velkinburgh. “Very proud of this group of girls and the way they battled.”

Dustin’s daughter Kylie, who will be moving up to Coupeville Middle School in a few weeks, was joined by Malaysia Smith, Kayleigh Bungard and Kaci French.

Those three are from Ferndale, with Malaysia being the daughter of Wolf boys’ varsity coach Anthony Smith.

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Dalton Martin is back, but he's keeping an eye on the cameraman. (John Fisken photos)

Dalton Martin, always keeping one eye on the cameraman. (John Fisken photos)

Luke "Shake 'n Bake" Merriman, preparing to break Ben Olsen's legs.

Luke “Shake ‘n Bake” Merriman, preparing to break Ben Olson’s ankles.

Fresh off clinching a trip to the state tennis tourney, Aaron Curtin (center) returns to the art of pouring in buckets.

   Fresh off clinching a trip to the state tennis tourney, Aaron Curtin (center) returns to the art of pouring in buckets.

CJ Smith works on his already-formidable dribbling skills.

CJ Smith works on his already-formidable dribbling skills.

Dante Mitchell drives on James Vidoni during a drill.

Dante Mitchell drives on James Vidoni during a drill.

Martin drives the baseline looking for two, while Matt Shank prepares to unleash a little blocked shot special he likes to call "Make Your Mama Cry."

   Martin drives the baseline looking for two, while Matt Shank prepares to unleash a little blocked shot special he likes to call “Make Your Mama Cry.”

That moment (maybe the only one) when you DON'T have to run on Day #1 of practice.

That moment (maybe the only one) when you DON’T have to run on Day #1 of practice.

That moment when CHS coach Anthony Smith realizes his players are NOT running.

   That moment when CHS coach Anthony Smith realizes his players are NOT running.

The gym is alive with the sound of squeaking shoes again.

Basketball officially returned to Coupeville High School Monday with the first day of practice for the Wolf boys’ and girls’ hoops squads.

Hanging around on the sideline was ace photo whiz John Fisken, who snapped the pics above.

I now owe him at least one Diet Pepsi when the season starts. Maybe two. Maybe…

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Anthony Bergeron (John Fisken photos)

Anthony Bergeron (John Fisken photos)

Gavin O'Keefe

Gavin O’Keefe

It was a season of improvement.

The Coupeville High School boys’ basketball squad jumped from one win a year ago (and zero the season before) to three victories in 2013-2014.

The Wolves knocked off Mount Vernon Christian, Orcas Island and 2A league foe Lakewood, while coming close in a string of other games.

Now, as CHS, the smallest 1A school in the state, prepares to leave the 1A/2A Cascade Conference and join a four-team 1A-only division in the Olympic League next year, the seniors who led them through their final battles against ATM and King’s are looking back.

Coupeville had four twelfth graders this year (Nick Streubel, Gavin O’Keefe, Morgan Payne and Anthony Bergeron) and two of them have put their thoughts down.

The other two may follow (depending on their schedules).

Sweet-shooting guard O’Keefe missed part of the season (on top of 99% of his junior year) while fighting back from two broken legs, but, once back, was a whirlwind on the floor.

High-flying Bergeron, who has only played organized ball for two seasons, took huge strides as a senior, becoming a dangerous scorer capable of dunking in the open floor.


Even though my season didn’t go as as well as I hoped it would, I really enjoyed it and am very thankful that I got to come back for the second half of the season.

My favorite moment came when we beat Lakewood for our first conference win in three years.

One thing I will remember, is Coach (Anthony) Smith pushing me hard every day in practice; that’s something that I really appreciate and it definitely made me a lot better.


Of my two basketball seasons this has been my favorite.

This year we really competed in just about every game.

The highlight of the year to me would have to be when we won our first conference game against Lakewood — that game I scored my career high of 23 points.

I will never forget my teammates and coaches.

Big thanks to Coach Smith. From day one he has always coached me hard to make me a better player.

I am really going to miss playing for Coupeville.

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