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Matt Hilborn was named team MVP for his senior season on the baseball diamond. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Jake Pease won the team’s “Dirt Bag Award” for plays like this.

A late-season run carried the Coupeville High School baseball squad to the playoffs, and won the Wolves some fans among league coaches.

When All-Conference balloting was finished, four CHS diamond men landed North Sound Conference Second-Team honors.

Seniors Matt Hilborn, Jake Pease, and Dane Lucero were tabbed, while junior catcher Gavin Knoblich also got the call.

Those awards were just the start of what Coupeville coach Chris Smith doled out Tuesday, as he and his staff held a season-ending awards banquet.

Hilborn, who led the team on the mound and at the plate, was named the MVP, while Lucero was tabbed as Offensive Player of the Year and Knoblich as Defensive Player of the Year.

Pease claimed the “Dirt Bag Award,” Gavin Straub was handed the “Aiden Award,” named after former CHS player Aiden Crimmins, and Lucero and Pease were honored as captains.

Seniors Lucero, Pease, Hilborn, and Shane Losey notched Four-Year awards for playing their entire high school career.

 

Varsity letter winners:

Mason Grove
Matt Hilborn
Gavin Knoblich
Shane Losey
Dane Lucero
Daniel Olson
Bryce Payne
Jake Pease
Cody Roberts
Ulrik Wells
Hawthorne Wolfe

 

Participation Awards:

Jonny Carlson
Sage Sharp
Gavin Straub
Seth Weatherford

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Central Whidbey sluggers celebrate a win Monday. L to r, it’s John Rachal, Alex Smith, Aiden O’Neill, Landon Roberts, Jacob Schooley, Camden Glover, Chase Anderson, and Jordan Bradford. (Carron Chernobieff photo)

They’ve got the bounce-back perfected.

Rebounding from a close loss Thursday, the Central Whidbey Little League Majors baseball team returned to their home field Tuesday and promptly drilled the North Whidbey Diamondbacks 9-4.

The win at Rhododendron Park lifts the Wolves to 7-2 on the season.

After surrendering a run in the top of the first Tuesday, Central Whidbey immediately responded, throwing down a five-run rally in the bottom half of the frame.

Aiden O’Neill ripped a lead-off triple, then, with the rival pitcher dazed and confused, the Wolves added singles off the bats of Chase Anderson, Camden Glover, Jordan Bradford, and Jacob Schooley.

From there, Central Whidbey added a run in the fourth, thanks to a single from Landon Roberts and an RBI double launched by Glover, before putting the game on ice with a three-run fifth.

Eagle eyes helped in the fifth, as John Rachal, Anderson, Glover and Marcelo Gebhard eked out walks, while Roberts and Bradford plunked singles.

The Wolves used three pitchers to stifle their Island rivals, with Bradford getting the start and tossing four solid innings.

After whiffing five, he handed the ball to Glover, who struck out two more batters.

From there, Anderson came in to close things out, also K’ing up another two North Whidbey sluggers.

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“Peace out, man.” (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It’s a wrap.

The postseason continues to play out, but the final North Sound Conference regular-season title was decided last week, as softball came to a hotly-contested end.

When the dust had settled, and the last home run had cleared the fence, Granite Falls managed to blow what seemed like a pretty solid lead, with back-to-back losses throwing things asunder.

The Tigers ended up in a three-way tie with Coupeville and Cedar Park Christian, and, thanks to the magic of the tiebreaker, it’s your Wolves who will carry a #1 seed into the district playoffs.

That royal rumble goes down in Sedro-Woolley May 16 and 18, while back on Whidbey, CHS track hosts bi-districts the same days.

The other Wolves still fighting are Tia Wurzainer and Avalon Renninger, who finished second at the league tourney, and open bi-districts Tuesday. Win there and the duo return to the courts May 17.

While Coupeville baseball and boys soccer reached the end of their roads this past week, being bounced from bi-district and district tournaments, respectively, there is some consolation.

Mainly that South Whidbey also went down in both sports, falling shy of a state berth.

That had to particularly sting for the Falcon booters, who at 13-1, were shocked in back-to-back one-goal games by King’s and The Bush School.

But we’re not here to gloat at our closest rival’s misfortune (well, maybe a little bit…), but instead to close our weekly Sunday recaps of the league standings.

If you deeply care about the continued adventures of Cedar Park Christian baseball and King’s soccer, there are other media outlets sure to track their progress as they play at state.

With the remaining active Coupeville athletes, only softball will see its win/loss record change after this, and you can catch those developments in the coming game stories.

So, until fall sports arrive, a final look at league standings:

 

North Sound Conference softball:

School League Overall
Coupeville 9-3 12-7
CPC-Bothell 9-3 14-4
Granite Falls 9-3 12-7
South Whidbey 2-10 5-13
Sultan 1-11 1-14

 

North Sound Conference baseball:

School League Overall
CPC-Bothell 13-2 20-3
South Whidbey 12-3 18-5
King’s 10-5 12-11
Coupeville 7-8 7-14
Granite Falls 2-13 4-16
Sultan 1-14 1-19

 

North Sound Conference girls tennis:

School League Overall
King’s 7-1 8-1
South Whidbey 7-1 7-4
Granite Falls 4-4 5-10
Coupeville 2-6 2-7
Friday Harbor 0-8 0-8

 

North Sound Conference boys soccer:

School League Overall
South Whidbey 8-0 13-3
King’s 6-2 10-4-1
Coupeville 3-5 6-10
Sultan 3-5 4-11
CPC-Bothell 0-8 0-11

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CJ Smith tossed 4+ innings of shutout ball Saturday as he and the Green River College baseball team ended their season. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

He closed with a vengeance.

Coupeville High School grad CJ Smith pitched strongly on the final day of his freshman college baseball season, offering a glimmer of hope to a Green River team ending a tough trek.

While the Gators were swept in a doubleheader Saturday by Lower Columbia College, bringing their final mark to 4-32, CJ and younger brother Hunter Smith offer hope for the future.

Hunter was the team’s lead-off hitter until he suffered a broken hand after being plunked by a wayward pitch with eight games left on the schedule.

CJ became Green River’s #1 relief pitcher, and ended up tying for the team lead in appearances and saves.

His final game was essentially over when he entered, as Lower Columbia had shelled two Gator hurlers for 12 runs in 4.1 innings.

But, after CJ took the ball, things righted themselves.

He ripped off the final 4.2 innings, holding Lower Columbia scoreless while whiffing two and scattering three hits.

While his offense couldn’t get all the way back, Green River did scratch out three runs during CJ’s time in the game, making for a 3-0 “mini-win” and a 12-3 loss.

On the season, CJ made 13 appearances, including one start, striking out 11 over 30 innings of work.

He finished 0-1 with a save, one of two earned by Gator relievers, and was third-best in ERA among Green River hurlers who made three or more appearances.

The Green River diamond squad was one in transition this spring, with a roster full of fresh faces, and, while the record might not reflect it, it was a team which showed great promise.

Both Smith brothers are expected to return for their sophomore seasons.

Gossip bubbling around Coupeville indicates at least one, and maybe more, former Wolf teammates may seek to join them as Gators next spring.

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Maddy Andrews hearts tennis. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Dane Lucero waits for the ball to smack into his mitt.

Amanda Thomas made her high school softball debut for the Coupeville JV team this spring.

Though just a freshman, Abby Mulholland made an immediate impact as a hard-hitting netter.

Ashley Menges is there for the assist, helping volleyball teammate Lucy Sandahl land a Prom date with Daniel Olson.

Seth Weatherford stretches out, lunging for home in a late-season game.

Annika Heller was one of three foreign exchange students to join the CHS tennis team.

Fab frosh Ja’Kenya Hoskins (striped shirt) lays down the law. “OK, enough with the photos. Maybe go do some real writing now.”

There’s no real flow to this story.

Probably because it really isn’t a story at all, just a collection of spring sports photos I haven’t used, but need to get out to the public at some point.

Hopping nilly-willy between tennis, baseball, and softball, with some fan pics sprinkled over the top, it’s light, glossy, and makes for fast “reading.”

Perfect for a Wednesday.

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