Posts Tagged ‘Athlete of the Year’

Scout Smith is one of three Wolves tabbed as the CHS Athletes of the Year. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Sean Toomey-Stout is Coupeville’s top male athlete for a second-straight year.

Sean’s twin sister, Maya Toomey-Stout, shares the top female award with Smith.

Three for the win.

Coupeville High School handed out its top athletic awards Tuesday, honoring Sean Toomey-Stout, Scout Smith, and Maya Toomey-Stout as its Athletes of the Year.

All three are graduating seniors.

It was the second-straight year Sean Toomey-Stout was named the top CHS male athlete, allowing him to join previous two-timers such as Hunter Smith, otherwise known as Scout’s big bro.

Sean led the Wolf football team in virtually every stat category, then did the same for the boys basketball squad in the winter.

He was primed to end his stellar four-year run at CHS as a member of the track and field team, but was denied along with his teammates when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down schools and erased spring sports.

Scout Smith was a team captain for both the Wolf volleyball and girls basketball teams, running the offense as a setter and point guard, respectively.

She also led the hoops squad in scoring this season.

Maya Toomey-Stout finished her standout prep volleyball career by blasting shots to all corners of the court, raining down kills and terrorizing opponents who found themselves in the path of her incoming fireballs.

A First-Team All-Conference pick, she was to compete in track and field this spring, while Smith was returning to the softball field.

The trio were joined in being honored during an online awards ceremony by fellow seniors Hannah Davidson and Aram Leyva, who each received the Cliff Gillies Award.

That honor, named for the longtime Executive Director of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association, recognizes student/athletes who excel in scholarship, citizenship, and participation in activities.

Davidson was a strong contributor to Wolf volleyball and basketball teams, while Leyva was a captain and high-octane goal scorer for the CHS boys soccer squad.

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Lindsey Roberts was tabbed Tuesday as the CHS Female Athlete of the Year. She’s the third member of her family to win the school’s top athletic honor. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Sean Toomey-Stout was named the school’s Male Athlete of the Year. (Photo by Brian Vick)

Their time has come.

Lindsey Roberts and Sean Toomey-Stout walked away with the biggest athletic honors Coupeville High School bestows Tuesday night, as each was named Athlete of the Year for the 2018-2019 school year.

Roberts, a senior, becomes the third member of her family to see her portrait go up in the hallway outside the CHS gym.

She joins parents Sherry (Bonacci) and Jon Roberts, who both were honored in the ’80s.

Lindsey has been a star since day one of her freshman season, and spent every moment of her prep career on varsity teams.

A 12-time letter winner, Roberts played soccer and basketball, and blazed a path to success in the world of track and field.

She exits as the most-honored female athlete in the history of the Wolf track program, having earned eight competitive medals at the state meet.

Lou also holds three school records, appearing on the big board under the 100 hurdles, 4 x 100 relay, and 4 x 200 relay.

A defensive stopper with a cannon for a leg, Roberts scored 17 goals over four years on the pitch, which leaves her in a tie with Genna Wright for #3 on the all-time scoring chart.

On the basketball court, her 448 points carried her to #18 on the all-time scoring chart for a hoops program which has produced 45 years of basketball.

Toomey-Stout, who was slowed down by a football injury a year ago, returned to have a spectacular junior campaign.

He led Coupeville’s football team in virtually every category — offensive, defensive, and special teams — forcing opposing teams to create new schemes in an (often hopeless) effort to stymie his speed and toughness.

During the season, Toomey-Stout also became part of a viral moment, as he returned a kick 90+ yards for a touchdown while a wayward deer blocked for him.

Various videos shot of the play landed everywhere from CNN to USA Today to British television to ESPN.

Once he moved inside for the winter, “The Torpedo” won another team MVP for his play on the hardwood.

Toomey-Stout paced the boys basketball squad in steals, assists, points in the paint, and offensive rebounds, while finishing second in defensive boards and scoring.

Spring provided a nice cap to his stellar year-long run, as he advanced to the state track meet in both the 100 and long jump.

While a juggled baton hand-off at bi-districts denied Coupeville’s 4 x 100 boys relay team a trip to state, Toomey-Stout and teammates Danny Conlisk, Jean Lund-Olsen, and Tiger Johnson had the year’s fourth-fastest time among 1A schools.

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Payton Aparicio, coming to a Hall o’ Fame near you. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Maybe it was fate.

Payton Aparicio springs from a family rich in sports success, from her parents and grandparents to aunts and uncles and cousins galore.

From the Stuurmans trunk in the middle, to the Bepler and Aparicio branches folding around the base, the ol’ family tree is one of the strongest you will find in Coupeville athletics.

But, as talented as her relatives are, I’m going to go out on my own limb here and say Payton is the best the family has produced.

A soaring star in both volleyball and tennis, who could have been a basketball sensation as well if she hadn’t given up the sport after middle school, Ms. Aparicio is an extremely easy pick for induction into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

So, where that’s where we’re placing her today, as we swing open the doors and welcome her into our lil’ digital institution.

After this, you’ll find her at the top of the blog under the Legends tab, sharing space with dad Mitch.

Payton was somewhat deceptive as an athlete.

I know she worked hard, in practices and games, but she has a rare quality of making every action look effortless.

She was the very definition of smooth, regardless of the sport, almost catching you by surprise when you realized how much of an impact she was having.

And that impact was major.

When Aparicio was named Coupeville High School’s Female Athlete of the Year shortly before graduation last spring, it was a lifetime achievement prize in many ways.

Her senior athletic year had been beyond-solid, but when coaches voted, I am confident they were also looking back at the previous three years.

Remembering her precision, her power, and, this is huge, the manner in which she always carried herself.

Aparicio displayed a quiet confidence, rarely (if ever) appearing shaken by the magnitude of the moment.

Who knows if her brain was yelling madly and bouncing off the walls when she went to serve for a match. If so, she never let us see anything other than a serene, locked-in, spirit.

On the volleyball court, Aparicio could soar to the roof and smash with the best of them, while also being nimble enough to scrape dig after dig off the floor.

Her serving was impeccable, deadly and consistent, and she graduated with the school record for most aces in a single match.

From a freshman who blasted a ball into the rafters at South Whidbey, and got the ball to rest on a beam and never come back down (it may still be up there), to a senior who was team MVP on the first Coupeville squad to go to state in more than a decade, Aparicio was a quiet killer.

Her laser focus, mad skills, and assassin-like demeanor translated beautifully to the tennis court, as well.

From the moment they first stepped on the CHS court as freshmen, she and Sage Renninger were the #1 Wolf doubles duo, and they never, ever let anyone come close to taking their title.

Peppering foe after foe, they mixed precision shot-making with raw power, like when Aparicio pegged a rival with a match-winning shot, inflicting physical and emotional pain with one superbly-placed smash.

The duo ended their tennis, and high school careers, with a 4th place finish at the state tourney, winning three of four matches in the Eastern Washington heat.

Their only loss was a tough three-set affair against a private school duo who went on to win a second-straight title, and no one in the tourney came closer to upending the champs than Aparicio and Renninger.

The 4th place finish was the second-best in CHS tennis history, behind just Mindy Horr and Taniel Lamb’s 2nd place showing in 2005, and it’s fitting all four of those standout netters now share space in the Hall o’ Fame.

When I look back on Payton’s prep sports career, I see talent, I see commitment, I see accomplishment, I see a young woman who always put team first.

What do I see? I see one of the best to ever wear a Wolf uniform, that’s what I see.

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   Coupeville High School Athlete of the Year winners (clockwise from left) Hunter Smith, Katrina McGranahan and Valen Trujillo. (John Fisken photos)

Many competed, and three rose to the top.

Coupeville High School coaches honored a trio Tuesday night, naming juniors Hunter Smith and Katrina McGranahan and senior Valen Trujillo as CHS Athlete of the Year winners.

It’s the first time any of them have received the school’s highest athletic honor.

All three will see their photos go up in the hallway of the CHS gym, joining previous winners such as Corey Cross, Sherry (Bonacci) Roberts, Brad Sherman and Makana Stone.

A look at what earned them the award, in alphabetic order:

McGranahan — She started and ended the year as an MVP.

In the fall, she teamed with Trujillo to lead the CHS volleyball squad to its first league title since 2002.

The Wolves went 8-1 in Olympic League play and made a run at the program single-season record for wins (13), finishing 11-6 after two down-to-the-wire losses at districts.

Among the state leaders in kills and service aces, McGranahan was tabbed as league MVP, then took the winter “off” to get ready for her #1 sport, softball.

The spring was the season of the Kat, as she used her electric pitching arm and ferocious bat to lead the Wolves to a 19-5 record (second-best in program history) and within an out of advancing to state.

Throwing every pitch at districts, she hurled 33 innings in less than 26 hours as Coupeville split four games, two of which went to extra innings.

McGranahan, who led the Wolves in almost every offensive category and went 18-5 in the pitcher’s circle, shared Olympic League MVP honors with Shanya Nisbet of Chimacum.

Smith — A First-Team All-Conference pick in all three of his sports (football, basketball, baseball), with football coaches honoring him on both sides of the ball.

He opened the year by setting new CHS single-season records for receiving yards (916) and touchdowns (11) and sits on the threshold of owning Coupeville’s career records in both those categories, as well as interceptions.

As a defensive back who teams rarely dared to test, he recorded 49 tackles and three picks.

During the winter, Smith led the Wolf boys basketball team in scoring, dropping 332 points in 20 games, including 29 in a playoff loss to Bellevue Christian.

When the spring came, he worked both as a pitcher and infielder, while holding down lead-off duty in the lineup for a CHS squad which finished second in league play behind Klahowya.

In a quirky side note, Smith beat the odds, twice named a WIAA Athlete of the Week winner, despite the award’s rules stating an athlete can only receive it once a school year.

Trujillo — The anchor to two league-title winning teams, as she helped pace the volleyball and girls tennis teams to triumphant seasons.

On the court, she exits as the school record holder for digs in a game, season and career.

A three-year starter, the Wolf libero was a constant tumbling ball of fire, racking up more floor burns than any player in the league.

Needless to say, she was a First-Team All-Conference player three years running.

When spring rolled around, she returned to the court for another season as Coupeville’s #1 singles player and went on to win a second-straight individual league title.

She followed that up by placing third at districts, winning the final three matches of her prep career.

Led by her play, and her quiet but very effective leadership (Trujillo never left a match until all of her teammates had finished playing), the Wolves won their third consecutive regular season team title, remaining unbeaten in Olympic League action.

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Makana Stone signs to play college basketball. (John Fisken photos)

Makana Stone signs to play college basketball. (Sylvia Hurlburt photo)

Wiley Hesselgrave spins towards the basket, a second away from another bucket.

   Wiley Hesselgrave spins towards the basket, a second away from another bucket. (John Fisken photos)

The dynamic duo during their junior year.

The dynamic duo during their junior year.

Makana and Wiley.

Wiley and Makana.

For the entire run of Coupeville Sports, from Aug. 16, 2012, when they were days away from entering CHS as freshmen, until today, when they are days away from graduation, Miss Stone and Mr. Hesselgrave have been the absolute gold standard.

Stars from day one, their exploits have been stellar, and their character, even more so.

The news the duo was tabbed as the 2015-2016 CHS Athlete of the Year winners Thursday was hardly a surprise.

But it is perfectly appropriate.

Stone, a transcendent basketball and track athlete, was honored for the second consecutive year, allowing her to join a relatively short list of Wolves, male or female, who earned the award more than once.

Hesselgrave, a true four-year letter-man on the gridiron and the leading scorer two years running for the Wolf boys’ basketball squad, received the top award for the first time.

While there were several other athletes who were certainly in the conversation, rarely has the award felt more like a slam dunk.

Unlike some other years, when the winners (or non-winners) could be, and were, heavily debated, Stone and Hesselgrave are perfect fits for the honor.

I’ve known Wiley a far less time than Makana — a young woman who I’ve known virtually since birth — and we never had a sit-down interview during his time as a Wolf.

That’s on me.

I’m not the most social person, and I really don’t like butting too far into the athlete’s personal lives. Especially when they seem content having it remain that way.

Wiley always seemed like a really self-contained guy. He showed up, put the work in day after day, then went home.

Rarely on social media, and not one to goof around for the cameraman, he never sought out the spotlight, but he always deserved it.

Whether he knows it or not, I have huge respect for Hesselgrave, and how he conducted himself.

From the freshman who snatched a touchdown pass in a playoff game way down in Blaine to the relentless senior who dropped his head and hurtled time and again into the pack — in both his sports — Wiley left it all on the field.

As he heads off to the next stage in his life, on his way to being a successful businessman, I wish him nothing but the best.

It was a true pleasure to watch you play for the past four seasons, Mr. Hesselgrave.

With Makana, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — she is, without a doubt, the most impressive athlete I have covered in 26 years of writing about high school sports.

She was amazing in soccer, back when she used to play. She is phenomenal in basketball. She is other-worldly on the track oval.

We could list all the awards she’s rightfully won. The league MVP’s. The All-State games.

Or, we could dissect the extraordinary plays she made, plays which I’ve never seen any Coupeville athlete, male or female, pull off.

But, in the end, what has always set Makana apart, at the exact same time it has drawn everyone closer, is her bliss.

She is that true rarity, a stubborn, committed, break-you-in-half winner who brings out the best in her teammates and, even when they’re being thrashed, her foes.

On her Senior Night during basketball season, the entire Klahowya team, without telling their coach in advance, ran over to Stone to hug her goodbye, to wish her the best moments before she decimated them.

It was the most touching moment I have witnessed in high school sports.

As this duo, who have given me so much to write about, prepare to depart CHS, I know there are other athletes eager to move up and take their places.

There will be great performances to come, from great performers.

Some will emulate Makana and Wiley’s skills, others their class and grace.

If we’re lucky, we’ll get some who will combine it all, like this duo did.

But, if we take what Magic Johnson said about Larry Bird on the night of his retirement and tweak the words slightly, we capture my feelings at this moment.

“You only told me one lie. You said there will be another Makana, another Wiley. There will never, ever be another Makana, another Wiley.”

Thank you both, for four years worth of memories.

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