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Posts Tagged ‘Boys Basketball’

Ethan Spark celebrates a well-timed three-ball. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

A superb passer and a dangerous scorer, Spark was electrifying on the soccer pitch.

“Just give me the dang ball!”

Splash. Splash. Splash.

It’s the sound of a high-arcing three-point bomb dropping back to Earth and gently snapping the bottom of the net while knifing the collective heart of five rivals.

It’s the sound a soccer ball makes after it travels half the length of the field, exploding off the toes of a marksman, then whistling past defenders and the goalie to bury itself, improbably but wonderfully, in the back of the net.

It’s the sound Ethan Spark made when he worked.

The 2018 Coupeville High School grad was a cold-blooded killer and thriller during his time in a Wolf uniform, and it’s for that we induct him today into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

After this, when you look at the top of the blog, up under the Legends tab, you’ll find Spark hanging out with big sis Jenn, as both of Kali Barrio’s children take up residence in our little digital hall o’ wonders.

During his time on the pitch and hard-court, Ethan was Coupeville’s answer to Scottie Pippen, and I mean that with a deep amount of respect.

Michael Jordan was Michael Jordan, but never forget Pippen was an NBA Hall of Fame player, a six-time champ, and one of the best to ever pick up a basketball.

Spark played alongside Hunter Smith on the basketball court, and the Leyva cousins (Abraham, Aram, and Derek) plus Will Nelson, on the soccer pitch, some of the most electrifying athletes CHS has witnessed.

But they, like Jordan, became better because they had Pippen running alongside them.

On the basketball court, Spark was a fearless shooter, one who lived to gut other team’s with three-balls a-droppin’.

He fully believed he could hit any shot, from any angle on the floor, at any point of the game, and he backed that up more often than not.

And every time Spark elevated, slight smirk on his face, and drilled the bottom out of the net, he opened things up for Smith, and made it tougher for other teams to focus on the high-scoring rampager.

Across two varsity hoops seasons, Spark dropped in 352 points, which puts him #68 on the CHS boys career scoring list, a chart which covers 102 seasons of Wolf basketball.

He could have finished higher if he had been more selfish, but Spark was also a strong, and willing, passer who often delighted in sucking the defense to him, then dishing it to a suddenly wide-open Smith, Joey Lippo, or Gabe Wynn.

Ethan was also fond of teaming up with Hunter Downes as the duo burrowed deep into their rival’s heads.

Not afraid to exchange elbows with larger players, both played with nice lil’ chips on their shoulders, provoking their opponents into lapses in judgement, then strolling away, smirks intact, as the refs punished the other guy.

That carried onto the soccer pitch, where Spark played rough ‘n ready, while also showcasing one of the best scoring touches in the game.

Like his older sister and her bionic leg, Ethan was the guy the Wolves went to when they needed someone to crush a ball from deep in his own territory.

He could air the ball out, but also showed a sometimes uncanny touch, using his long shots as weapons, and not just as a way to clear the ball from his own side of the field.

With 17 career goals, Spark stands #5 on the CHS boys soccer career scoring chart, though he’s being a bit short-changed.

Injuries took away much of his senior season, preventing him from keeping pace with Nelson, who tallied 20 scores across four seasons.

But, when he was healthy, Spark was Pippen, fully capable of roasting teams by himself, but also a highly-efficient set-up man, his passes slicing through defenses to set up the Leyva trio for a hail of goals.

And yet, with all the three-balls and the game-busting penalty kicks, the moment I will most remember from his career didn’t involve a single point.

It came during his freshman season, when he was a fast-rising JV hoops star intent on blowing up everyone in his sight.

Sometimes literally.

Chasing a loose ball as it careened towards the sideline, Spark reached the point where 99% of players would stop, then jammed the gas pedal through the floor.

Flinging his arm out at the last millisecond to redirect the ball back onto the court, he exploded through a wall of chairs.

CHS players and coaches flew through the air like bowling pins, as Spark spun towards the locker room door and completely, absolutely destroyed a large water jug that was minding its own business.

Complete devastation ruled the land. Referees stood with their mouths agape.

Bodies and chairs were everywhere, and in the middle of where the tornado touched down stood Spark, drenched head to toe in water.

From somewhere to his left, Wolf coach Dustin Van Velkinburgh plucked himself from the floor, shaking his head.

“You crazy man! You crazy… and I like it!!”

Slight nod, slight smirk, and Spark loped away to the other end of the court, having taken the first step on a rampage which would carry him to the Hall of Fame.

Scottie Pippen would have been proud.

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Former Coupeville Middle School teammates played together again at this weekend’s Spokane Hoopfest. Left to right are Caleb Meyer, Hawthorne Wolfe, Grady Rickner, and Logan Martin. (Photo by Abbie Martin)

They got the old gang back together, and it paid off big time.

Coupeville High School basketball stars Logan Martin, Grady Rickner, and Hawthorne Wolfe reunited with former middle school hardwood teammate Caleb Meyer this weekend for the Spokane Hoopfest.

The four-pack, who will be sophomores in the fall, then went out and won the consolation bracket in the High School Male division at the world’s biggest 3-on-3 tournament.

Playing as the Coupeville Wolves, even though Meyer attends Jackson High School after transferring before his freshman year, the gunners went 2-2 on the weekend.

After being nipped by “Kermy’s Army” and the “Beastie Boys,” the Wolves bounced back to blast “C-Team Skills” and “We Are Inevitable.”

The Spokane Hoopfest, which began in 1989, celebrated its 30th anniversary this year.

Action, which draws thousands of teams across a staggering amount of divisions, is open to players from third grade up, and plays out on 400+ courts.

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Coupeville High School basketball players huddle during a summer hoops camp in Cheney. (Photos by Courtney Pilgrim)

With everyone from incoming freshmen to grizzled seniors, the Wolves brought 19 players to Eastern Washington University.

Packed in like sardines, but enjoying every moment.

The Wolves chomped Cheney.

Coupeville High School boys basketball coaches packed up 19 players this past week and headed to Eastern Washington University for a three-day hoops camp.

While there, the Wolves got the chance to throw down with other teams, and pick up some valuable bonding time.

Coming on the heels of a scrimmage win over Friday Harbor, the summer camp keeps momentum rolling through the offseason, something CHS coach Brad Sherman is always happy to see.

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“So, anything else you want to tell us, coach?” “Nope.” (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Well, it hasn’t been a full five months…

I swear, the next time Ron Bagby tells me he won an award will be the first.

The former Coupeville High School coach still wanders the hallways and gyms at the school, fulfilling his teacherly duties, and I’ve run into him on numerous occasions as winter turned into spring.

Yet, in typical low-key Bags style, he never once mentioned he was inducted into another Hall of Fame back in January.

I mean, once you’re in the totally made-up Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame, as he is, probably everything else kind of pales in comparison. I get it.

But, thanks to a tip from Carmen McFadyen, who got the news from her son Jason, who starred for football and basketball teams coached by Bags back in the day, who got the info from former teammate Dan Neider, I’m on top of things.

Five months late…

So, back in Jan., Bags snuck out of town, headed down the road to his former home, the far-flung outpost of Forks, and was inducted into the Spartan Basketball Hall of Fame.

And I’m gonna stop you right there.

Forks High School has a freakin’ REAL Hall of Fame for basketball and we here in Coupeville DO NOT.

Come on, people.

We have Jeff Stone, and Bill Riley, and Jeff Rhubottom, and the ’69-’70 Team o’ Death and Destruction, and 10,000 Keefe brothers, and Jack “The Zinger” Elzinga.

Then there’s Hawthorne Wolfe, the floppy-haired reincarnation of Pistol Pete, coming for all their scoring records, and on and on it goes.

And that’s only half the story, with the girls game giving us Makana Stone, and Novi Barron, and Marlene Grasser, with Maddie Big Time droppin’ half-court bombs and Julia Myers droppin’ forearm shivers.

I want a frickin’ real Hall of Fame!

But anyways.

Back in reality, or Forks at least, Bags was always kind of a big deal in the town long before the sparkly vampires brought in all the tourists.

In his younger days, he won a state track title in 1978, blistering the oval in the 100, and this on the heels of being a First-Team All-State running back for a team he helped propel deep into the playoffs.

So they know his name, and his game, in Forks.

During a doubleheader against Tenino this winter, the laconic one was immortalized again, this time for his play on the hardwood.

And for any of his students who watch him amble by, and think to themselves, “I could beat Bags,” no, you can’t, and yes, you’re an idiot.

Time may have (slightly) tamped down his hops, but he’d still annihilate you on the court … then never tell me about it.

Back when he was wearing the Forks shorty shorts, Bags tossed in 52 points against Tenino, setting a Far West League single-game record which stands to this day.

Just to put the cherry on top, his final bucket, coming in a game before the three-point line, came off of a steal, and the ensuing layup capped a 79-77 win for the Spartans.

At which point he exited the court, looked around at all the fans, and said, “Let us never speak of this again.”

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Coupeville boys basketball, which boasts nine players who will be seniors this coming season, went 5-0 this weekend, winning the Crescent Classic. (Mindy Grove photo)

The underclassmen join the action. (Photo courtesy Brad Sherman)

Right now, at this moment in time, they’re undefeated.

The high school boys basketball season is still months and months away, but that’s not stopping Coupeville from getting after it.

Prepping for an upcoming team camp, the Wolves traveled off-Island this weekend, and returned home as Crescent Classic champs.

Coupeville, facing off with Chimacum, Forks, and the host team, went 5-0 to nab the title.

Having traveled 154.8 miles round-trip to Crescent, the Wolves earned a win for every 31 miles.

CHS coach Brad Sherman had his full team at his disposal, with all nine returning full-time varsity players in attendance.

That group includes Jacobi Pilgrim, Jered Brown, Hawthorne Wolfe, Jean Lund-Olsen, Gavin Knoblich, Ulrik Wells, Mason Grove, Koa Davison, and Sean Toomey-Stout.

Also along for the trip were Daniel Olson and Xavier Murdy, who were swing players during the 2018-2019 season, and Tucker Hall.

After a season in which Coupeville had just one senior, the now-graduated Dane Lucero, the Wolves could boast nine 12th graders this winter.

The only underclassmen in the current varsity group are Olson, who will be a junior, and Wolfe and Murdy, who will be sophomores.

Their coach came away from the trip pleased with the results, and, more importantly, thrilled with the effort he saw from his players.

“Was a good opportunity for our guys to get out and play before camp,” Sherman said. “Good team basketball; really great team effort.”

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