Posts Tagged ‘Ben Smith’

Jaylen Nitta flies high enough to singe his hair on the gym ceiling lights. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Brayden Coatney fires a pass under the hawk-like gaze of clock guru Joel Norris.

Tony Garcia would just like you to get open, now.

CHS senior sports stars (clockwise, from bottom left) Lindsey Roberts, Emma Smith, Ashley Menges and Ema Smith show their support for Coupeville’s boys basketball C-Team.

Chris Cernick towers over the competition.

Nitta gets his team running, while Cernick and Jonathan Partida (right) give chase.

“And just where do you think you’re going?!?!”

Ben Smith gets down ‘n dirty.

It’s their turn in the spotlight.

The Coupeville High School boys basketball C-Team had sole possession of the big gym Thursday, hosting Mount Vernon and attracting wandering paparazzi.

The action photos seen above, with a cameo from Wolf female athletic stars in the crowd, come to us courtesy John Fisken.

To see everything he shot, and possibly purchase some glossies for the grandparents (or for yourself) pop over to:


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Ben Smith scored four points and played aggressive defense Thursday as the CHS basketball C-Team played in prime time. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It’s an uphill battle.

When the Coupeville High School boys basketball program unexpectedly ended up with enough players to field a C-Team this year, in addition to varsity and JV, the powers that be had to do a last-minute scramble.

And while they did pull together an eight-game schedule against all odds, they also had to nab whatever was available.

Which is why a very raw Wolf hoops squad, repping one of the smallest 1A schools in the land, faces a formidable road.

We’re talking two games against 4A Mount Vernon, two against 3A Oak Harbor, three against private schools King’s and Cedar Park Christian and one against Granite Falls, a 1A school which used to be 2A until a moment ago.

But, while the win-loss record may not end up looking spectacular, the chance for growth, and the response of the players involved, warm the heart of coach Scott Fox.

“The guys show up excited for practice every day, ready to get after it,” he said. “Can’t ask for better attitudes.”

Thursday night the Wolves, an eight-man team heavy in players with limited or no prior hoops experience, squared off with Mount Vernon, and it went about how you would think.

Given the chance to play in prime time on their home court, in front of a nice smattering of their fellow basketball players, other CHS athletes, family and friends, they looked tentative at times, and inspired at others.

The final score — 51-19 in favor of the visiting Bulldogs — was lopsided, but the Wolves made a sustained offensive run in the first half, and clamped down on defense after halftime, holding Mount Vernon to just 12 points in the final 16 minutes.

The visitors bolted out to an 18-2 lead in the first, but Coupeville changed the tone of the game with one play.

It came at the very end of the first quarter, with the clock madly racing and the ball loose on the floor.

Plucking it from between the legs of two rival players, Wolf guard Jaylen Nitta, the team’s most-experienced player, whirled, bumped a defender backwards, then arced a three-ball high into the air.

The orb flew to the ceiling, the buzzer sounded, the ball snapped through the net with a pleasing “splat!” and the crowd of CHS varsity players went bonkers.

More than just three points, it sent a jolt of electricity through the Wolves, and they sprang out of the huddle to begin the second quarter with a new look of confidence in all of their eyes.

And it immediately paid off.

Nitta slapped home a breakaway layup, hauling in a long pass from Andrew Aparicio and beating the Bulldogs to the glass by a step-and-a-half, and Coupeville was off on a 10-6 run.

The surge, which lasted through the midway point of the second quarter, included a fall-away jumper from the right side from a fist-pumping Ben Smith and a put-back off of an offensive rebound by Chris Cernick.

The lanky soccer ace, a relative newcomer to the hoops world, began to assert himself on the boards more and more as the game played out, something his coach took note of with a nod of approval.

For a brief, shining second, Coupeville had the deficit down to 12, had the Bulldogs on their heels, and were flying high.

And then reality stepped in for a bit.

The much-more polished Mount Vernon squad, which featured a group of freshmen who looked like they had all been ballers for multiple seasons, ripped off the game’s next 21 points.

Not that Coupeville didn’t get its licks in, though.

Both Cernick and Smith added put-backs for buckets late in the game, Damon Stadler scored the game’s final basket by muscling his way through the paint, and the young Wolves had a few defensive gems.

Smith rose to the ceiling to swat away one shot, Brayden Coatney ran down and utterly demolished an unlucky Bulldog while in pursuit of a steal, and budding enforcer Tony Garcia made sure the Mount Vernon players felt every foul deep in their bones.

And then there was Jonathan Partida, who became a legend with one play.

The arguably most-talented player on the Mount Vernon roster had a breakaway, with a clear path to the glass and no one in front of him.

What he didn’t see was Partida, who was flying from behind, head up, fire in his eyes and muscles bunched.

Elevating at the last second, he flung out his arm while airborne and rejected the layup attempt from behind, catching nothing but ball and hammering it off the back wall.

It was a beauty of a play, at any level, and a testament to the heart displayed by the Wolves as they scrap towards the promised land.

Nitta paced the Wolf attack, rattling home eight points, while Cernick (5), Smith (4) and Stadler (2) also etched their names in the score book kept by former Wolf hoops star Jordan Ford.

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Sean Toomey-Stout cuts up-field, looking for a hole in the defense. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

“Let’s dance!”

Shane Losey scrambles for yardage against a tough Granite Falls defense.

Alex Turner (55) and Cameron Dahl (18) wrap up a Tiger runner.

“We have a LOT of little yellow penalty flags, and we are not afraid to use them!!”

Even a person who is pure in heart and says their prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright…

Reunion time for (left to right) Chris Battaglia, Hunter Downes, Axel Partida and Gavin Knoblich.

Toomey-Stout and Ben Smith (23) rope a runaway steer.

The schedule change worked out nicely.

With the final Coupeville High School football game moved up from Friday to Thursday at the last second, it gave wanderin’ camera clicker John Fisken a rare chance to shoot Wolf gridiron action.

As the father of an Oak Harbor senior lineman, he’s normally camped out at Wildcat games on Friday nights.

But this time, as the Wolves clashed with Granite Falls, Fisken was front and center, working the sidelines and madly clicking away.

To see a lot more of what he shot, and possibly buy some glossies, thereby helping fund scholarships for CHS senior student/athletes, pop over to:


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Axel Partida gets his head into the game. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

   The very first fans in the stands at the very first game played in front of Coupeville High School’s new stadium.

Zach Ginnings (and his toasty warm fingers) are ready to rumble.

   Wolf superstars (l to r) Kylie Chernikoff, Genna Wright and Catherine Lhamon enjoy a rare sunny spring day on the prairie.

Hunter Downes sets up the defense…

then goalie Dewitt Cole does all the work.

Two high-flying soccer fans find a comfy perch.

Ben Smith get the ball the heck away from his goal.

The sun was out, soccer balls were bouncing and cameras were clicking.

It was a busy time at the new Coupeville High School Stadium on Saturday, with the Wolves thrashing Olympic in their season opener and wanderin’ photo bug John Fisken clicking away.

To see everything the erstwhile snapper collected, pop over to:


And, when you do, remember, purchases help fund college scholarships for CHS student/athletes.

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   Ben Smith charges after a loose ball during a middle school basketball game. (John Fisken photo)

There’s a second star in the family.

Jacob Smith has attracted a fair amount of attention the past two years, breaking school records and winning state meet medals in track.

But hot on his heels comes younger brother Ben, a three-sport athlete who’s making the jump to Coupeville High School in the fall.

During his middle school days, the younger Smith brother played football and basketball, while also running track like his older sibling.

“My brother has made a huge impact on me during track season,” Ben Smith said. “I may drop track (in high school), but I see it as a talent to continue, though.

“I’ve been told I should continue it.”

Football, where he’s a hard-hitting two-way player, has grown to be his favorite.

“It has become the sport I have the most talent at, out of all of them,” Smith said.

A fan of hip hop and horror and science fiction films, he looks forward to history class, as well.

“I enjoy history, as I study a lot of it,” Smith said. “It’s a very easy subject, in my opinion.”

His best middle school sports memories include “breaking the football defensive yardage record and scoring my first few points in basketball.”

While he’s excelled in the sports he’s played, he’s “always open to try new things” and may mix things up with high school offering more sports teams than middle school did.

Whatever he ends up playing, Smith will get the most he can out of every athletic opportunity.

“It gets my body going and keeps me healthy to a limit I want,” he said. “And I could use this athleticism to go somewhere I would want.

“I would like to continue my soccer career or football and continue my positions within them and use them for college sports if I make any college teams.”

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