Posts Tagged ‘baseball’

Jim Clark rules the diamond. (Photos courtesy Renae Mulholland)

I don’t know it all.

Sometimes it probably reads like I think I do, but man, I maybe know like 7% of Coupeville’s sports history.

And yes, that’s seven, and not 70.

Every day I discover something new, it seems, and my best source of info is you, the people who have lived in this town.

The Whidbey News-Times moved their back issues off the Island a while ago, and stashed them, Raiders of the Lost Ark-style in a warehouse, never to be seen by the light of day again.

But you, my saviors, going through your attics, and basements, and barns, are sitting on a lot of history, and I appreciate it when you pass it on.

Who knows? Someday someone may find my holy grail – Tom Sahli’s basketball scoring stats for the 1951-1952 season.

Could happen…

Anyway, today’s glance at the past gives a glimpse of Jim Clark, who went from being a beautiful brawler to life as a standout diamond dandy.

And check out his opponent in the boxing ring in the third clipping – one Joe Finkbonner.

I know, kid was like nine years old, but I like to imagine a ring announcer going all Michael Buffer on his intro.

“In the left corner, wearing the blue trunks, weighing in at a titanic 68 pounds, the terror of the mainland, Joe “The Fink” … FINKBONNER!!!!”

Boo! Boo! Boo!!!!

And then Jim “The Jab” Clark defends Whidbey’s honor in a thunderous hail of, well, jabs.

Of course, right below the boxing recap is a brief note about Mr. Hilderdink’s small calf being mistaken for a deer and shot to heck by hunters who left their bifocals at home.

Probably high school basketball refs in real life…

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Joey Lippo

He’s got multiple talents.

Coupeville High School grad Joey Lippo is currently a two-sport star at the University of Maine at Presque Isle, playing both golf and baseball for the Owls.

He’s also doing pretty well in the classroom, having been named to the North Atlantic Conference Fall 2022 All-Academic team.

Lippo, who is studying agricultural science and agribusiness, is one of 408 NAC athletes to be honored.

Repping 12 different schools, that group hails from 66 unique teams across seven sports.

To be eligible, an athlete had to notch a GPA between 3.5 and 4.0.

Lippo was honored for golf season, where he played his second campaign at UMPI this past fall.

Now, with spring threatening to show up, he’ll return to the baseball diamond for a third year.

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Steve Hilborn has been tabbed as Coupeville High School’s new head baseball coach. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Steve Hilborn is stepping up.

After several seasons as an assistant coach at Coupeville High School, plus a stint with the local Babe Ruth program, Matt and Scott’s dad is the new Wolf head baseball coach.

His hiring is on the agenda for Monday’s school board meeting.

The elder Hilborn follows in the footsteps of Will Thayer, who led the CHS hardball program for two seasons before moving to Las Vegas.

Hilborn inherits a team coming off of a Northwest 2B/1B League title.

While the Wolves lost a strong group of seniors to graduation, key returners should include Scott Hilborn, Jonathan Valenzuela, Chase Anderson, Peyton Caveness, and Cole White, among others.

Baseball gets back to action with the start of practice the final week of Feb. 2023.

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CHS freshman Coop Cooper, on his way to playing four baseball games in a weekend. (Ken Cooper photos)

Baseball is taking Coop Cooper across the USA.

The Coupeville High School freshman spent Halloween weekend in Las Vegas, but never had a chance to try the blackjack table.

Instead, Cooper was busy playing in the 32nd annual Desert Fall Classic, participating with the Cascade Baseball Club — a U16 squad which pulls players from Whatcom, Skagit, and Island counties.

During his time on the Vegas diamond, the Wolf hardball ace played four different positions across four games.

Cooper brought the heat on the mound in his tourney opener, coming on in relief against a team from Minnesota.

Cascade trailed 4-0 and the bases were juiced with just one out when he took the ball, but the CHS hurler shut down the rally, and gave his team a chance to rally.

Cooper finished with three strikeouts, while scattering a trio of hits across 4.2 innings of work.

Cooper brings the high, hard cheese.

Cascade also faced off with teams from Vegas, Colorado, and Washington state, with Cooper playing second base, third base, and left field.

He smacked three hits in the tourney, with two of the base-knocks coming against Colorado.

When Cooper takes the field for Coupeville High School next spring, he’ll already be a veteran, even as a freshman.

He played high school ball as an 8th grader and was named Pitching MVP and Most Improved by Wolf JV coaches.

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Caleb Meyer rumbles during his high school days. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Hawthorne Wolfe smacks a base-hit.

Add two more to the list.

Coupeville High School Class of 2022 grads Caleb Meyer and Hawthorne Wolfe are joining the ranks of former Wolves playing college sports.

Meyer, a six-foot-two guard and the last heir to the Videoville legacy, is one of 15 players listed on the 2022-2023 men’s basketball roster at Skagit Valley College in Mount Vernon.

The Cardinals tip off Nov. 18 at the North/West Classic at Everett, with their season running through March.

A star athlete during his early days in Coupeville, Meyer attended Jackson High School from grades 9-11, before returning to his hometown for his senior year.

He was a crucial part of the most-successful Wolf boys basketball squad in decades, before advancing to the state meet in track and field.

Meyer keeps alive a Whidbey-to-Skagit tradition, with South Whidbey gunner Kody Newman the most recent alumni of The Rock to have played hoops for the Cardinals.

Wolfe, the floppy-haired Pistol Pete of Cow Town, was a four-year starter for Coupeville’s hoops squad who rained down 800 career points, even while Covid threw two of those seasons into turmoil.

But it’s baseball, where he was the Northwest 2B/1B League MVP last spring, which is drawing his early interest.

After tryouts, Wolfe made the roster for the club baseball team at Western Washington University, which plays in the spring.

The Vikings, who play at historic Joe Martin Field in Bellingham, compete in the National Club Baseball Association.

Western went all the way to the NCBA World Series in 2013, a season when one of their key players was Coupeville grad Jordan Wilcox.

The dynamic duo knocks it out of the park at graduation. (Morgan White photo)

With Meyer and Wolfe taking the next step, Coupeville currently has 13 active college athletes.

The other 11:


Ja’Tarya Hoskins 
Saint Martin’s University
Track and Field


Joey Lippo
University of Maine at Presque Isle


Logan Martin
Central Washington University
Track and Field


Lucy and Sophie Sandahl
Seattle Pacific University


Mica Shipley
Eastern Washington University


Ben Smith
Eureka College


Emma Smith
University of Washington
Club Volleyball


Sean Toomey-Stout
University of Washington


James Wood
Colorado State University
Club Co-Ed Soccer


Sarah Wright
Sewanee: University of the South

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