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Posts Tagged ‘Bennett Richter’

Mia Littlejohn

Bennett Richter

There’s a new duo in the gym.

Coupeville High School head football coach Bennett Richter and former Wolf hoops star Mia Littlejohn are taking over the town’s middle school girls’ basketball program.

The hires will be official after the school board approves the move at its next meeting.

Richter and Littlejohn replace Kassie O’Neil, now coaching the high school’s JV girls’ team, and Kristina Forbes, who resigned due to other obligations.

The CMS girls hit the court this Monday, Jan. 23 for the first day of practice, with the eight-game season running Feb. 9-Mar. 9.

Bennett Richter, who led CHS football to its first league title and state playoff berth since 1990 during the fall, is the husband of high school girls’ varsity basketball coach Megan Richter.

He’s also proven to be quite handy with a floor mop, dazzling Wolf fans with his work during timeouts at high school hoops games this winter.

Littlejohn was a standout two-sport athlete during a three-year run at CHS, before transferring to Oak Harbor High School, where she graduated in 2018.

Mia owns both the season (27) and career (35) scoring records for Wolf girls’ soccer players, and currently sits #36 all-time on the CHS girls’ basketball career scoring chart with 317 points.

She has been working as an assistant coach with the high school girls’ basketball team this winter.

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After busting big plays all season, Coupeville senior Dominic Coffman is the Offensive MVP of the Northwest 2B/1B League. (Renae Mulholland photo)

The Wolves ruled both sides of the ball.

Fresh off winning its first league title in 32 seasons, and just days before opening the state playoffs, the Coupeville High School football team dominated All-League selections.

Northwest 2B/1B League coaches selected CHS seniors Dominic Coffman (offense) and Scott Hilborn (defense) as conference MVPs, while Benett Richter was tabbed as Coach of the Year.

Coupeville finished the regular season 4-0 in NWL play, clinching the program’s first title since 1990, and 7-1 overall.

The Wolves open the 12-team 2B state tourney Saturday in Oak Harbor, when they host Onalaska in a loser-out game.

The winner advances to the state quarterfinals to face Okanogan.

Richter, in his first year as CHS head coach after several seasons as an assistant, offered thanks to everyone involved in the Wolf program.

“Coach of the year was made possible by the hard work of my dedicated and passionate staff and the unbelievable buy in and hard work of the kids who truly do the heavy lifting,” he said.

“Without these guys, I’m just another Joe Schmo with a whistle! Love this team! Love this town!!”

Josh Upchurch, a huge key to Coupeville’s impressive play on both sides of the line. (Brittany Kolbet photo)

 

Coupeville’s honorees:

 

OFFENSE:

 

MVP:

Dominic Coffman (RB)

 

First-Team:

Logan Downes (QB)
Scott Hilborn (RB)
Tim Ursu (WR)
Kai Wong (OL)
William Davidson (OL)
Zane Oldenstadt (OL)

 

Honorable Mention:

Daylon Houston (WR/K)

 

DEFENSE:

 

MVP:

Scott Hilborn (LB)

 

First Team:

Dominic Coffman (LB)
Tim Ursu (DB)
Logan Downes (DB)
Josh Upchurch (DL)
William Davidson (DL)

 

Honorable Mention:

Jonathan Valenzuela (LB)
Kevin Partida (LB)

Wolf juniors (left to right) William Davidson, Zane Oldenstadt, and Logan Downes all earned All-League honors. (Michelle Glass photo)

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Josh Upchurch went out a winner on Senior Night. (Brittany Kolbet photo)

Everything’s coming up roses for Bennett Richter.

The first-year Coupeville High School head football coach got married to Wolf basketball guru Megan Smith over the summer, uniting two empires.

The agenda for Monday’s school board meeting includes approval of Richter’s hire as a paraeducator for the school district.

And Friday night, having led his Wolf gridiron squad to a 78-0 shellacking of visiting La Conner at Mickey Clark Field, he accomplished something Coupeville’s previous five football coaches were unable to do — win a league title.

With the victory, the Wolves roar to 3-0 in Northwest 2B/1B League play, 6-1 overall, and clinch at least a tie for the NWL crown.

The six wins are the most for a CHS football team in one season since 2005, while the conference title is the third in program history, and first since 1990.

Back then Ron Bagby was the ol’ ball coach, and Mr. Richter was a new arrival.

The future bearded one popped into the world in September 1990, while the Wolves wrapped a 9-0 regular season before hosting, and losing, a state playoff game Nov. 10 against Rainier.

Jump forward 32 years, and Coupeville controls its own playoff destiny.

The Wolves travel to Friday Harbor Oct. 28 for the regular-season finale, where a win over the Wolverines (2-1, 3-4) gives CHS outright possession of the crown and punches their ticket to the 12-team 2B state tourney.

According to Washington Interscholastic Activities Association records, it would be the fifth time Coupeville football qualified for the big dance, following one-and-done trips in 1974, 1986, 1987, and the aforementioned 1990.

If the Wolves fall at Friday Harbor, the schools share the league title and meet in a tiebreaker game the following weekend to decide which team advances to state.

Before moving on to the Wolverines, though, Coupeville needed to take care of business against a La Conner squad which has improved since the Wolves routed them earlier this season.

The Braves snapped an eight-game losing streak — a period when the Braves failed to score a single point — beating Charles Wright Academy 30-6, then scored 18 points in a loss to Friday Harbor.

That offensive success came to a screeching halt against Coupeville, however.

Arriving in town with a very-thin roster, La Conner never came close to scoring against the Wolf defense, while Richter’s squad got touchdowns from nine different players – including five who hadn’t scored before.

Senior Tim Ursu led the way, hitting paydirt three different ways, via a touchdown catch, a pick-six, and a punt return which he took to the house.

That leaves him tied with Scott Hilborn atop the team scoring chart, as both game-busters have recorded 11 touchdowns.

Having outscored their foes 306-87 this season, Coupeville also got a school single-game record five touchdown passes from quarterback Logan Downes.

Logan Downes gets historical. (Brenn Sugatan photo)

Connecting with five different teammates on scoring strikes, the Wolf junior surpassed the previous record of four, jointly held by Corey Cross (1971), Brad Sherman (2001), and big bro Hunter Downes (2016).

With 16 TD passes through seven games, Logan Downes is two off of Coupeville’s single season record of 18, set by Joel Walstad in 2014.

The Friday night ruckus between longtime foes was actually a scoreless tie six minutes into play.

With rain cascading down, Coupeville fumbled the opening kickoff, before La Conner suffered the first of its three interceptions, with Wolf senior Jonathan Valenzuela picking off the wayward heave.

A punt from both teams followed, and we were stuck in a stalemate.

And yet … Coupeville scored 44 points in the first quarter alone. With all those points coming in a five-and-a-half-minute span.

Seriously.

The Wolves broke through on a 45-yard run to daylight from Scott Hilborn, as he shot up the middle, juked all 11 defenders out of their shoes, then hit the jets en route to the promised land.

Tack on a two-point conversion run by Ursu, who snatched a bad PAT snap off the turf and created magic out of nothing, and the scoreboard lurched to life.

Then it never stopped clicking forward.

La Conner fumbled the ensuing onside kick, and Downes immediately made the Braves pay, zipping a 25-yard scoring pass to a wide-open Ursu on the very next play.

Then came a parade of first-time scorers, with unsung defensive stars rising to the moment and unleashing pandemonium among their classmates in the stands.

William “The Show Pony” Davidson, who spent most of the night chasing down La Conner’s QB and planting him on his head, got electric.

A would-be pitch was batted upwards in the air, where the rampaging Davidson snatched the ball, cradled the pigskin and dragged most of the Braves along with him, not stopping until he crossed the plane of the end zone.

Not to be outdone, hard-hitting defensive ace Peyton Caveness recovered a blocked punt a few seconds later, taking it in for his first score.

Peyton Caveness, here to crush La Conner’s dreams. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Another blocked La Conner punt went through the end zone for a Wolf safety, pushing the lead to 30-0, but things were just getting started.

Downes lofted TD pass #2, connecting with senior Henry Ohme, who turned his first varsity reception into a 35-yard scoring play, before a pick-six from Ursu (and a conversion run from Hilborn) ended the first quarter carnage.

After a consultation with La Conner’s coaching staff, the refs went to a running clock at the start of the second quarter — a full quarter before it’s normally triggered — but the Wolves proved adept at beating said clock.

Three second-quarter touchdowns sent the Wolves to the locker room up 65-0, with CHS getting creative in how it scored in the second frame.

Downes dropped a gorgeous, perfectly timed 35-yard scoring pass into the arms of a leaping Daylon Houston, Ursu outran everyone on a punt return, and Dominic Coffman crushed heads on a 38-yard run to the end zone.

Dominic Coffman, hanging with #1 fan Abby Mulholland, scored his ninth touchdown. (Renae Mulholland photo)

Playing in front of their home fans for the final time this season, the Wolves made history in the late going, with Downes pegging a 40-yard TD pass to freshman Chase Anderson and a 13-yard scoring strike to Hunter Bronec.

It was the first touchdown for both receivers and came on a night when youngsters like Malachi Somes and Yohannon Sandles collected their first-ever varsity tackles.

The Wolves, playing in front of sell-out crowds, went 4-1 at home this season, and finding a way to both honor his seniors and give the next gen stars a chance to shine brought a huge smile to Bennett Richter’s face.

While they still have a way to go, every game after this will be on the road for the Wolves.

Making their final appearance on their home field were Coffman, Hilborn, Houston, Coen Killian, Ohme, Kevin Partida, Josh Upchurch, Ursu, Valenzuela, Kai Wong, and four-year managers Melanie Navarro and Brenna Silveira.

Kai Wong (left) and Aiden O’Neill, key players for the best Wolf football team in a very long time. (Becky Terry photo)

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Coupeville football is 4-1 and earning the favor of our computer overlords. (Jackie Saia photo)

Movin’ on up.

Coming off of a 35-3 dismantling of league rival Friday Harbor, the Coupeville High School football squad jumps three rungs in the latest computer rankings.

Newman, the often-diabolical computer employed by stats hound Matt Evans on his site, Evans Rankings, has bumped the Wolves from #10 among 2B schools to #7.

Coupeville is a perfect 2-0 against fellow 2B schools this season, with wins over La Conner and Friday Harbor, while going 2-1 against 1A competition.

The Wolves beat Klahowya and Sultan, with their lone defeat coming to South Whidbey, which is 5-0 and also ranked #7 in its classification by Newman.

Next up for CHS is a home non-conference game Thursday against 2A Bellingham, which sits at 2-3 on the season.

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Daylon Houston and Coupeville are getting more respect these days. (Brenn Sugatan photo)

Our computer overlords are a benevolent bunch.

At least this week.

We still need to keep an eye on Skynet, but Newman, the system employed by noted numbers cruncher Matthew Evans, likes Coupeville at the moment.

The latest tally released by Evans Rankings has Wolf football in the top 10 for the first time this season.

Sporting a record of 3-1 heading towards a Homecoming showdown with Friday Harbor, Bennett Richter’s 2B squad has wins over 1A schools Klahowya and Sultan to its credit.

The only loss on the record came to another 1A school, South Whidbey, which is 4-0 and ranked #4 in its classification by Newman.

The work of Evans Rankings doesn’t officially impact the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association and its own RPI rankings, but it should, as the former often turns out to be much more realistic than the latter.

All hail our computer overlords! Now get back to practice.

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