Posts Tagged ‘Arizona’

“Step to me and get pinned, son!” (Photos courtesy Sean LeVine)

The only thing keeping Izzy LeVine out of the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame is she took her wrestling mat and moved to Arizona.

Older sisters Micky and Jae, and dad Sean were all inducted into my digital shrine during their Coupeville days, while mom Joline is the true MVP.

And who knows? If Izzy keeps thrashing folks, we might have to bend the rules a bit and let her in as well.

For now, the youngest in the family is a freshman at Casteel High School in Chandler Heights, Arizona, where she’s a member of the girls’ wrestling team.

Over the weekend Izzy won three of five matches at the state championships, finishing 7th in her weight class.

Casteel’s female grapplers claimed 3rd in the team standings, while the school’s coach was tabbed as a Coach of the Year winner.

During the LeVine family’s time in Coupeville, mom and pops both worked for the hospital, dad coached successful soccer squads, and Micky and Jae both earned CHS diplomas.

Former Coupeville supernova Izzy LeVine (third from right), with her Arizona wrestling teammates.

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Step to Izzy LeVine on the mat and you’ll regret it. (Photos courtesy Sean LeVine)

Casteel High School rules the wrestling world.

The youngest is making her mark.

Former Whidbey Island resident Izzy LeVine, sister of Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Famers Micky and Jae, rules the wrestling mats in Arizona these days.

Now a freshman at Casteel High School in Chandler Heights, the young woman who told me I should write about her and not her sisters back when she was in elementary school, continues to soar.

Her latest achievement?

Winning four of five matches Wednesday to claim 2nd place in the 120-pound division at the Fierce Filly Showdown.

Izzy’s wins all came by pins, and she helped Casteel claim the team title from a field of 14 schools.

Her recent run of excellence comes on the heels of a standout performance at the Jerry Benson Tournament in Buckeye, Arizona earlier in the month.

Casteel topped 30 other teams at that event, with Izzy going 5-1, again claiming all of her wins by pins.

The LeVine family, which is headed up by parents Sean and Joline, lived in Coupeville for 14 years.

Mom and pops both worked for the hospital, dad coached highly successful girls’ soccer squads, and Micky and Jae both earned CHS diplomas.

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Emma Smith, back when she was tearing up the volleyball court at CHS. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

You can help send Emma Smith to the next level.

The Coupeville High School grad is currently playing club volleyball while attending the University of Washington.

Now the Huskies are looking to raise money to send two squads to the season-ending National Collegiate Volleyball Federation tournament in Phoenix, Arizona April 14-16.

U-Dub spikers need $15,000 to cover hotels, travel expenses, and entry fees, and have already topped $3,000 in a short time.

This will be the first NCVF tourney in three years, as the pandemic erased the last two national championships.

While the University of Washington funds its NCAA D-I volleyball program, club sports rely on the goodwill and bucks of Husky supporters who contribute to fundraisers.

The club volleyball program features two traveling teams, which compete in the Pacific Collegiate Volleyball Association, and a third squad which provides opportunities to beginners.

Smith, a four-year varsity player at Coupeville High School, is on the Husky B team, having been selected after tryouts which involved 150+ players.

During her time at CHS, she was an All-Conference pick and qualified for state tourneys in both volleyball and track and field.

A ferocious hitter from the middle blocker position, Smith was a team captain, a stat leader, and a ray of sunshine on the prairie.

An inductee into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame, Emma kept her family’s proud athletic tradition in fine form, following in the large footsteps of aunt Joli, uncle Todd, dad Jesse, and Grandpa Steve.


For more info on the U-Dub fundraiser, pop over to:


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Izzy LeVine, queen of the wrestling mat. (Photos courtesy Sean LeVine)

You can take the LeVine family out of Washington state, but you can’t stop them from being awesome athletes.

A 14-year stint in Coupeville, with both parents working for the local hospital while two of three daughters graduated from CHS, made for an impressive run.

I used to sometimes refer to big sis Micky as “Two Fists,” after she once offered to punch any fool from Tacoma who was dumb enough to try and rough up her Whidbey Islanders soccer teammates on the pitch.

And middle (wild) child Jae, who danced down court after hitting three-balls as a young hoops star, then KO’d big, bad Klahowya on the high school softball diamond, has the biggest heart of any athlete I’ve ever written about.

They, along with paramedic dad Sean, a soccer guru who led Whidbey Island girls teams which routinely walloped big city squads, are all in the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

Meanwhile, mom Joline is a shining supernova in the medical world, and one of the nicest people in the world.

Or, more appropriately, the entire universe.

A family move to Arizona a while back deprived Wolf Nation of ever inheriting Micky and Jae’s lil’ sis, the irrepressible Izzy.

She’s the one who once gave me a rock at a softball game when she was in elementary school, then told me I should write about her, and not worry about her sisters.

So, here we go.

And while Izzy won’t rep the red and black like her siblings, the youngest LeVine is making so much noise at her new home that it has echoed all the way back to Whidbey.

Hanging out with one of her biggest fans, dad Sean.

A strong soccer player when she lived on The Rock, Izzy also now throws down on the wrestling mat, beating both boys and girls.

Saturday, the Casteel Junior High School 8th grader hit the big time, winning the 115-pound weight class at the Arizona Junior High & Middle School State Championships.

Wrestling in Queen Creek, Izzy opened with a bye, thanks to her strong record in previous tournaments, then closed with a pair of wins by pin over female grapplers.

After toppling her first foe in the second round, she blitzed her rival in the championship match in a brisk 46 seconds.

Izzy is the first girl in CJHS history to win a state title for the school.

Her title continues a trend of mat dominance, as both the Casteel Junior High and High School wrestling teams are 88-0 in regular season matches since the schools opened in 2015.

Saturday’s tourney drew a large field, with a combined 57 schools and wrestling clubs participating.

Next up for Izzy, who has primarily been thumping boys during the eight tourneys she’s grappled in over the past six months, is her school’s regular season.

That’s co-ed, and LeVine, who will wrestle at 111 pounds, is on the Casteel varsity, having beaten all the boys in her weight class.

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   Ben Etzell (right) is making dad Mike (left) proud by ringing up hitters while pitching for his papa’s alma mater, Saint John’s. (Kristi Etzell photo)

Etzell brings the heat. (Photo by Libby Auger)

The weather was warm, but the pitching was hotter.

Sparked by Coupeville grad Ben Etzell, the Saint John’s University baseball squad successfully capped a four-day trip to Tucson, Arizona, and now head back to Minnesota boasting a red-hot 14-2 record.

The Johnnies went 6-1 on their Arizona trip, including a 16-7 win Tuesday over Buena Vista (Iowa).

Etzell, a senior, came on to pitch a 1-2-3 ninth inning to put a final, definitive stamp on Saint John’s warm weather jaunts.

As they wait for things to un-thaw back home, the Johnnies kicked off the season with a nine-game stand in Florida, then hit Arizona.

They’ll play for the first time in their home state Mar. 30, when the league season begins.

While SJU has been beatin’ the crud out of the ball, it has also been getting solid work from a deep pitching staff.

As he heads down the stretch run of his collegiate career, Etzell currently sits at 1-1 with a 1.93 ERA in four games this season.

That ties him for the team lead in appearances among pitchers.

He’s tossed 4.2 innings, surrendered just one hit and struck out six.

For his career, Etzell is 9-3 with seven saves over 41 appearances, which includes nine starts before the Johnnies made him their bullpen closer.

In 97.2 collegiate innings the former Cascade Conference MVP has struck out 82 hitters.

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