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Hawthorne Wolfe glides in for a bucket. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Wolfe, here streaking for home, was a key player on a Babe Ruth team which finished 2nd at state and advanced to regionals this summer.

Talent? Check.

Hard work and commitment? Check and check.

Hawthorne Wolfe is that rare young athlete who checks all the boxes, and his appearance in a Coupeville High School uniform this coming year is highly-anticipated.

On the basketball court, he’s a three ball-droppin’ terror who can also wheel and deal with the ball, while on the baseball diamond, Wolfe brings a slick glove, hot bat and fleet feet to the lineup.

During his middle school days, Wolfe also played football, but, for the moment at least, he’s stepping off the gridiron to focus on his other two sports.

While he shines in all his sporting endeavors, the fast-rising young star hails hoops as his favorite pastime.

“It’s a team sport and at times can be individual,” Wolfe explained. “It’s also fast-paced, as well as fun.”

On a CMS team where all five starters felt comfortable firing up balls from behind the three-point arc, Wolfe was the deadliest last season.

Operating like NBA stars such as Steph Curry, or future CHS teammate Mason Grove, Wolfe has already showcased an often uncanny ability to get his shot off quickly, and from any angle.

Shooting on the move, while going either direction, he often proved deadliest when putting up balls in the flow of action.

Give him time to spot up and it was even more likely to result in a taste of splash city.

The commitment factor came into play vividly after one game, when, unhappy with his performance (despite leading Coupeville to a win), he ran laps around the gym.

A slight chuckle came from one of his coaches as Wolfe, not satisfied with his initial self-administered punishment, decided to double his running.

Commitment like that carried over to many of his teammates, and the middle school hoops team was a tightly-knit, successful squad.

Now, as Wolfe and most of his teammates prepare to swap out CMS uniforms for ones which read CHS, that sense of commitment continues to burn brightly.

“I want to hopefully go to state in all sports,” Wolfe said. “And, if possible, which I think it is, win state and so on.”

Away from the court or diamond, he’s fond of playing video games and spends a fair amount of time “watching sports or going to sporting events with my dad or family.”

When he’s in uniform himself, or working to get ready, Wolfe strives to mesh his skills with his teammates, well aware a solid team can go further than just a single athlete.

“It shows that you can work with others well and you get to have fun playing sports competitively,” he said. “I think I’m a good teammate; I mean, I recommend asking some of my teammates first.”

While he always wants to keep the competitive fires raging, Wolfe is also on a mission to find proper balance.

“I would like to work on not getting frustrated at things I shouldn’t get frustrated at,” he said with a small smile.

Whether dropping in treys from long distance, or slaving away over school work, Wolfe has a deep appreciation for his support crew.

“Well, obviously my parents and grandparents and all my coaches have been great on helping me,” he said. “I can’t think of one who hasn’t.

“But when it comes to teammates, I would say Caleb Meyer, just cause me and him are always competitive,” Wolfe added. “He helps me, I help him, and we strive to be great together, whether it’s in the gym or outside.”

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Amy King first coached Makana Stone in middle school volleyball. “She was all about team and doing her best, even then.” (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Mckenzie Meyer (front) played many sports, but unfortunately never landed on a high school team coached by King.

I’ve worked with a lot of coaches, but found only one thinking of doing a post-game write-up in poetry form.

Amy King, who has worked with the Wolf volleyball, softball and basketball programs, could be doing a bang-up job writing her own blog.

You know, if she wasn’t already busy with coaching, her real-world job, family life and the million other things she accomplishes while I’m still trying to wake up.

On the road or at home, win or loss, she always delivers crisp info, filled with insight, and this time is no different.

Coupeville’s third-longest tenured coach (trailing just Randy King and Ken Stange), she arrives today to break down the best Wolf players she’s worked with.

So, let me step away and give her the floor.

Aside from being a little busy, I’ve been mulling things over in my head – so many players!

Plus it’s tough coming in from the JV side of things too – many of my people and thoughts matched (husband) David’s.

Best player I’ve coached is, of course, Makana Stone. I echo everything David said about her.

Of course my first experience was the one year she played 8th grade volleyball.

She and Miranda Engle went to camp and when she hit the floor it was all so natural that it was like she had played her whole life.

Great attitude and all about team and doing her best even then.

Which athlete do I wish I could have coached? This is a tough one; I’m thinking McKenzie Meyer.

She ended up being our manager in middle school volleyball, but helped out when we had odd numbers.

She studied what was being shown and just came out and performed during practices. She is very athletic and had better skills than some of the girls who were out there playing.

When it came to high school I had high hopes she would join a team I was coaching.

Most underrated athlete I’ve coached – I have two on this one.

A lot of this comes from who you are playing with — you have those athletes like Lexie or Brittany Black, who stand out, so others are important to the success of a team, but did not always get the glory.

These two didn’t really care about the glory though.

Shawna West and Vanessa Davis are my two.

Both were posts and played hard. They worked hard and were no-nonsense types of players.

Shawna was our original bull in the china shop player. She rarely talked off the court, but her game said it all.

Vanessa was the same; stronger than she might have looked, shy and didn’t talk a whole lot, but without her game, the team would not have gone as far as they did.

Characteristics/intangibles/commitment is by far the easiest question, answered the same as my husband –Breeanna Messner.

She was in the first group of kids I coached in Coupeville, 7th grade volleyball.

Coached her since then in multiple sports, it was all the same. Dedication, hard working, great attitude and the kind of athlete any coach would be happy to have on their team.

Regardless of the sport or who was coaching; she would change positions without question; play where needed.

She was involved in all off-season functions she could participate in and always helped pick up gear; set up gear and never brought or fed into drama.

She had that no-quit attitude, fight and desire in everything she did.

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Early morning gym rats (l to r) Alana Mihill, Makana Stone, Ema Smith and Ja’Kenya Hoskins. (Eileen Stone photo)

The early bird gets the basket.

Former Coupeville hoops legend Makana Stone, just back from an all-star tour through Brazil and soon to head back to Whitman College for her junior season, is back on The Rock and still working hard.

She was in the CHS gym at the crack of dawn (6 AM or so) Saturday, and invited current Wolves to join her.

Three hoops stars, senior Ema Smith, and incoming freshmen Ja’Kenya Hoskins and Alana Mihill, accepted the challenge and were ruthless with their snooze buttons.

With Stone set for one more early morning workout Sunday at her alma mater, it presents an ideal opportunity for a Wolf legend to give back, and for current players to emulate the player they would all like to grow up to be.

“This is what it takes to improve your game,” said CHS coach Amy King. “Way to go, and a huge thanks to Makana for allowing them to join her.”

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Coupeville grad Makana Stone (left), on tour with an all-star basketball team in Brazil, poses with a local player. (Photos courtesy Stone)

Team USA, ready to rumble on foreign soil.

Visiting the world-famous, 125-foot high, Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio.

Stone, who will be a junior at Whitman College, reps her Team USA colors.

Basketball has been very, very good to Makana Stone.

The hoops life has taken the Coupeville grad around the world, with a big highlight being a trip to Brazil that’s just wrapping up.

Stone, a junior at Whitman College, was picked to be part of a 10-player USA D-III women’s basketball team.

She and her teammates played four games in Brazil, facing off with squads from Jundiai, Santa Andre, Queimados and Fluminese.

The second of those four rivals was a pro team.

For Stone, who was an All-League First-Team pick during her sophomore season at Whitman, the trip has been everything she expected, and more.

“It has been a once in a lifetime experience!,” she said. “I’ve gotten the opportunity to play with some of the USA and Brazil’s best players.

“The talent out here is unreal,” Stone added. “I’m thankful to have been able to have the chance to play with and against it.”

While on the trip, the Team USA players (a men’s squad joined Stone and Co. on the road) got to experience the culture and food of Brazil.

They also had an opportunity to work with the next generation of hoops stars, something Stone loved.

“One of my favorite parts of this trip was being able to hold a clinic for Brazilian kids in Rio,” she said.

The act of putting the ball in the hoop bridged any gaps between people from different countries.

“There was a bit of a language barrier and they laughed at my attempts to use Portuguese,” Stone said with a chuckle.

“But, there’s really nothing like making new friends through a little basketball on the streets of Rio!”

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Aiden Burdge heads back up court after nailing a three-point bomb in a middle school hoops game. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

When Aiden Burdge wants to see his greatest opponent, he looks in the mirror.

The Coupeville High School freshman, who follows a path carved by talented older sisters Kylie and Kiara, has a clear focus when he settles in to run a race or shoot a basketball.

Get better, every time out, and push himself to get the most he can out of his abilities.

“My strength as an athlete is my determination to push at a challenge until I overcome it,” Burdge said. “I need to work on discipline and training, because the older I get, the harder I have to push myself to get better.”

While he was a quick, three-ball-shootin’ wonder on the basketball court in middle school, it’s track and field which captivates Burdge.

“My favorite sport is track because it’s a great feeling to fly through the air and I know I can only improve,” he said. “I enjoy the challenge that’s in front of me and I want to get better.”

Track, above most other sports, is all about self-improvement — getting a PR, shaving a few seconds off your best time or picking up a few more inches on a throw.

That chance to compete against himself, and see his progress reflected back, is a big part of why Burdge enjoys the sport so much.

“My goal in my high school sports career is the same as my middle school sports career goal – to beat my own records,” he said.

Burdge is part of a large, tightly-knit family, and he appreciates the support he gets from his three sisters and parents Aaron and Trina.

Whether he’s playing a sport, knocking out tunes on the piano, or spending time with his family, the young Wolf star knows he has their full support and love.

“My parents and my siblings all pushed me to be better and to put forth my best effort,” Burdge said. “And for that I’m grateful.”

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