Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Boys Basketball’

Bill Baas

A throwback to Baas as a high school sophomore. (Photo courtesy Jack Sell)

He was part of the brotherhood.

Bill Baas, who passed away Aug. 10 at Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, remains part of the rich tapestry that is Coupeville High School boys basketball.

The Wolf hoops program, launched in 1917, has 105 seasons in the record books, and I’ve managed to identify 406 young men who put the ball through the net in a varsity game.

Baas, who was 72 and lived in Rochester, appears in the scoring totals for three of those seasons.

He dropped in nine points during the 1965-1966 season, then built on that, banking in 63 points in 66-67, and another 81 in 67-68.

Points were at a premium during that stretch, with Barry Brown leading the Wolves in scoring all three of those seasons — the only CHS boy to top the charts three times — and the current all-time scoring champ, Jeff Stone, debuting in 67-68.

For his varsity career Baas finished with 153 points, which puts him #164 all-time among CHS boys, nestled right between Geoff Wacker (154) and Ulrik Wells (152).

A celebration of life will be held in Rochester Aug. 27.

And when basketball games return this winter, Baas, like Brown, Utz Conard, and other now-departed Coupeville hoops stars, will continue to live large in the collective memories of Wolf Nation.

Part of the brotherhood, forever.

Read Full Post »

Logan Downes has two more years to slap home buckets. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Gaze into our cracked crystal ball.

Looking ahead at the 2022-2023 school year, we can make some educated guesses as to which storylines will dominate conversation in the prep sports world.

Then again, there’s always surprises, whether it’s a worldwide pandemic suddenly surfacing or a team (or athlete) catching fire in an unexpected manner.

You need to stay nimble, remain on your toes, and be ready to have things crash apart in unforeseen ways.

That’s life.

While we wait for those sudden veers, however, here’s some guesses on things which I think will be part of the conversation, stretching from fall out to next spring.

1 — There will be at least one new head coach at Coupeville High School, as Bennett Richter takes the reins of the Wolf football program.

The former CHS Defensive Coordinator, who’s also getting hitched to Wolf girls basketball coach Megan Smith this weekend, replaces Marcus Carr, now calling the shots at Inglemoor.

Richter is the sixth Wolf head gridiron coach in the past 13 seasons, after Ron Bagby retired in 2009 with 26 campaigns in the record book.

2 — Meanwhile Cory Whitmore enters his seventh year as CHS varsity volleyball coach.

He’s posted a winning mark each time out, and his teams have nabbed at least 11 wins in every season except 2020 — when Covid limited the schedule to just nine matches.

Whitmore can post some milestones this time around, as he’s 66-30 at the helm of the Wolves.

His 100th match on the CHS bench is all but guaranteed, a 75th win very likely, and a second trip to state the goal.

3 — Ken Stange is the current dean of Wolf coaches, with long runs with the school’s two tennis programs.

But the pandemic and Coupeville’s move from 1A to 2B, which sent boys soccer from spring to fall, has made it difficult to field a boys tennis team.

After two years of the Wolf male netters being AWOL, will the program return, or will the competition for athletes with cross country, football, and soccer remain a stumbling block?

4 — Helen Strelow, Claire Mayne, and Mitchell Hall will chase a second-straight trip to state once cross country hits the trail, while Strelow also looks to defend her individual Northwest 2B/1B League title.

As year five of the harrier rebirth dawns, what new heights will the Wolves reach?

Alex Murdy (left) and Aidan Wilson sandwich a rival. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

5 — With boys and girls soccer sharing the same field in the same season, I’ll have plenty of opportunities to watch pitch action.

Will I ever stop being a heathen and develop a greater appreciation for the “beautiful game?”

You never know…

6 — Winter means basketball, AKA God’s chosen sport, and the return to the hardwood should have storylines aplenty.

Wolf girls coach Megan Smith will be in season two at the helm of the program she once played for, and the Class of 2023 — which went undefeated as 8th grade hoops stars — get a final run.

It’s a deep, talented, tight-knit group, but point guard Maddie Georges gets an extra bit of hype since she’s got a chance to crack an elite group.

The fiery three-ball ace has tossed in 253 points in three seasons of high school ball and sits at #43 on the all-time scoring chart for a program which launched in 1974.

Depending on how much of the scoring she takes on as a senior, Georges has a solid shot at finishing in the top 20, where Maureen Wetmore (438 points) is currently holding down the final slot.

On the boys side of the court, the Wolves are coming off their best season in decades, opening 16-0, winning league and district titles, and advancing to the state tourney for two games.

Head coach Brad Sherman lost a large senior class, though young(er) gunners Logan Downes and Alex Murdy can return.

Downes (224 career points through his sophomore year) and Murdy (206 through his junior season) are #127 and #134 all-time for a program which began in 1917 and are primed to make large leaps up the scoring chart.

Will either one rise as far as the recently departed Hawthorne Wolfe (800) or Xavier Murdy (482)? Only time will tell.

Sluggers (l to r) Jada Heaton, Mia Farris, and Taylor Brotemarkle are part of a bright future for CHS softball. (Photo courtesy Jennifer Heaton)

7 — Wolf softball is the King Kong of NWL softball, but Kevin McGranahan and Co. are aiming bigger and want a return to the state tourney.

Izzy Wells, who was the team’s #1 pitcher since her freshman season, graduated, and lil’ sis Savina moved to Florida with three years of eligibility left, so the hunt for a new hurler is job #1.

Even with the 2020 season completely erased by the pandemic, McGranahan has six years and 83 wins in the bank at CHS, and a return to state would all but guarantee lighting up the scoreboard for win #100.

8 — Baseball also won a league title this past spring, in coach Will Thayer’s second season, though the Wolves fell a hair short of earning a trip to state.

Coupeville lost a good batch of seniors, but a huge chunk of the core of the team will be back, with Scott Hilborn, Jonathan Valenzuela and friends primed for a sweet swan song.

9 — Girls tennis has the most league titles of any sports program at CHS, and Helen Strelow tops a strong group of potential returnees.

Ken Stange enjoys making trips to Eastern Washington when it sizzles, so another jaunt to state for a Wolf netter or two could put a nice cap on his 237th season as CHS net coach.

10 — Speaking of state championship events, the biggest of them all got back on track after two pandemic-marred springs, with track and field athletes making the wheels on the bus go round and round all the way to Cheney.

Coupeville’s boys claimed 7th in the team standings, while Wolf athletes earned four second-place finishes during the big show.

Several top Wolves graduated, but medal-winners Aidan Wilson (2), Reiley Araceley (1), Ryanne Knoblich (1) and Dominic Coffman (1) all can return, while young phenoms like Lyla Stuurmans are primed to break-through to glory.

Aby Wood and friends will be back for another season of track. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Read Full Post »

Camden Glover nabs a photo op with mom Stevie before heading off to basketball camp at Gonzaga University. (Photos courtesy CHS parents and coaches)

Travel as a pack, play as a pack.

Coupeville High School boys basketball coaches brought 21 players to Eastern Washington this past week, where the Wolves participated in a team camp at Gonzaga University.

The trip comes on the heels of CHS hoops stars rumbling to a title in the Skagit County Parks and Rec Summer League, where Coupeville finished 7-1.

Ready to rumble in Eastern Washington.

With the Wolf program coming off a season in which the varsity won league and district titles before advancing to the state tourney, the continued growth points to more big things on the horizon.

“(We had an) amazing experience (at Gonzaga),” said Coupeville head coach Brad Sherman.

“Saw us grow a lot as a team and we had a ton of fun together.”

Wolves (left to right) Landon Roberts, William Davidson, and Zane Oldenstadt keep a watchful eye on the action unfolding below.

 

The Gonzaga camp crew:

 

Players:

Chase Anderson
Ryan Blouin
Hunter Bronec
Hurlee Bronec
William Davidson
Logan Downes
Carson Field
Camden Glover
Nick Guay
Alex Murdy
Zane Oldenstadt
Aiden O’Neill
Jack Porter
Johnny Porter
Landon Roberts
Mikey Robinett
Yohannon Sandles
Quinten Simpson-Pilgrim
Malachi Somes
Jonathan Valenzuela
Cole White

 

Coaches:

Jon Roberts
Brad Sherman
Hunter Smith
Greg White

The big time.

But first, the thrill of their 10,000th ferry trip.

Chase Anderson triggers a play.

Leaving it all on the floor.

Dinner!

Read Full Post »

Coupeville High School hoops stars hang out between summer league games. (Brad Sherman photos)

The off-season is off to a great start.

Coming off the program’s best season in decades, Coupeville High School boys basketball players are keeping the good times rolling.

Even without their now-departed pack of seniors, the Wolves stormed through the Skagit County Parks and Rec Summer League, finishing 7-1 to claim top honors.

CHS coach Brad Sherman had a large group of players to draw on, using a mix of varsity and JV players, plus some incoming freshmen.

Most of those same players are currently camped out at Gonzaga University, where the Wolves are participating in a summer camp.

Bow Down to Cow Town.

The present and future of Wolf hoops.

Read Full Post »

Coupeville celebrates its first boys basketball district title since 1970. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They found joy in despair and made the night rock once again.

Not that many years back, the Coupeville High School boys basketball program endured a winless season-plus.

The number of fans in the stands dwindled, excitement ebbed, and that was before a worldwide pandemic crushed the life out of just about everyone.

But the Wolves endured and they rebounded.

Brad Sherman, one of the best to ever make the nets flip in the CHS gym, accepted his prairie destiny and returned to build a program which honored those who came before while looking to craft a bright future.

Brad and Abbey Sherman and their future All-Conference hoops stars. (Deb Sherman photo)

As Sherman and his fellow Wolf coaches worked tirelessly, they drew on a core of players from the Class of 2022.

Three ball-happy sniper Hawthorne Wolfe was the first to reach the varsity, a starter from day one of his 9th grade season, and he was soon followed by Xavier Murdy, the glue.

Later, Logan Martin and Grady Rickner would join, with Miles Davidson contributing while battling through extensive injuries.

Two were missing, with Bennett Boyles battling valiantly against brain cancer in middle school, and Caleb Meyer having moved to the big city before his freshman campaign.

But Bennett, even after his premature passing, remains with his friends in spirit, with Wolfe writing his name on his sneakers, and the team saving a chair on the bench for their youthful companion.

Then, as the world struggled to rise from the pandemic, with masks still required, and frequent Covid tests making it a struggle to keep a roster whole, the last touchstone of my Videoville days returned.

He’s taller now, stronger now, with a lot more of the curly locks he rocked even as a lil’ kid, but Caleb Meyer’s smile still lights up the gym, and his reentry into Wolf Nation was like a lock clicking into place.

Suddenly the Wolves who ran together in middle school were back together, and, backed by a strong group of underclassmen, they were ready to rock the world.

It began with the ultimate smack upside the head, with Coupeville, a 2B school, drop-kicking 3A Oak Harbor — the Wolves proving they wouldn’t crack under pressure, wouldn’t back down against their big-city neighbors, showing a new age had arrived.

Meyer, repeatedly hit in the arms and body by feisty Wildcat defenders as he brought the ball up court, just smiled and never flinched, the ball zinging into the waiting hands of teammates.

Caleb Meyer brings the heat. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Things ended with CHS students storming the court while Wolfe flexed and popped his uniform.

Revenge for an overtime loss to OHHS as a freshman when refs swallowed their whistles as he was brutally thrashed on the final play in regulation?

Possibly, or maybe just an acknowledgment that things were going to be different this time around.

And man, were they ever.

Covid hung over everything — with Sherman often forced to juggle his lineup hours before tipoff as players were sidelined — and it didn’t matter.

Every night a different Wolf seemed to go off, and the hot hand was always fed.

Look, it’s high school ball and, down deep, every player wants to be the guy racking up points, but the 2021-2022 CHS squad did a better job than most at sharing the load — and looking happy about doing it.

They made the pass to the open guy.

They scrambled for every rebound and loose ball.

They sacrificed personal glory for the good of the whole.

A butt hit the floor and four other Wolves ran to pick up the fifth guy.

They were one of the most cohesive teams I’ve seen in my time writing about prep sports, and it paid off.

Win after win, whether it be a rout, or the occasional stunning come-from-behind victory, carried them to a promised land not seen by the boys hoops program in decades.

Team, above all else. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The first league title since 2002, when Sherman himself was still dropping three-balls from the parking lot.

The first district title since 1970, thanks to a win over eternal bogeyman La Conner on Coupeville’s home court in a gym as loud as any I have personally witnessed.

The first trip to the state championships since 1988, back when then head coach Ron Bagby was still rockin’ the ‘stache and the short shorts.

Coupeville was 16-0 when the big dance began — the only unbeaten team left in 2B — and, while the Wolves fell to established powers Kalama and Lake Roosevelt, they pushed both teams hard.

They won praise from rival coaches, media types, and state tourney broadcasters, for their defense, for their hustle, and for the way they meshed.

“Get yourself a hype man like Hawthorne Wolfe!” screamed one giddy play-by-play man, after Hawk danced in celebration when sophomore Logan Downes splashed home a long-range bomb.

It was a theme which continued as the Maraudin’ Murdy boys — Xavier and Alex — relentlessly harassed rival ballhandlers, and Meyer grabbed Rickner and Martin in bearhugs after big plays.

Xavier Murdy cuts down a memory. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Heading into the state tourney, it was obvious few outsiders had any respect for CHS basketball.

If they even knew where Whidbey Island was, they certainly had never seen the Wolf boys play at a high level in a really long time, and we were an afterthought, even at 16-0.

That changed, and now, when Coupeville next steps on a big stage, the conversation will start from a different place.

This is how you build a program, and this team, which overcame deep personal loss and troubling times, will live on as the guys who started the rebirth.

Their accomplishments will sit proudly on the Wall of Fame in the CHS gym, and, after this, they will also be a part of the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

Pop up to the top of the blog, under the Legends tab, and you’ll find them sitting side-by-side with some of the most-successful teams in school history.

But, most of all, the ’21-’22 varsity hoops team will live on in the memories of those who saw them play, those who were on the floor, and those who will follow them.

All the young boys and girls who crowded into the CHS gym game after game, the ones who whooped and hollered and high-fived Hawk and X and Co.?

They will take the next step, hit the next bucket, spread the story of Wolf basketball.

Honor the past, embrace the present, strive for the best in the future.

This is the way, the way they were taught by a team for the ages.

 

Inducted as a team:

 

The 2021-2022 CHS boys varsity basketball team:

 

Coaches:

Randy Bottorff
Arik Garthwaite
Brad Sherman
Hunter Smith
Greg White

 

Players:

Hunter Bronec
Dominic Coffman
Logan Downes
Nick Guay
Logan Martin
Caleb Meyer
Alex Murdy
Xavier Murdy
Zane Oldenstadt
Grady Rickner
Jonathan Valenzuela
Cole White
Hawthorne Wolfe

 

Managers:

Miles Davidson
David Somes

 

Team Mom:

Courtney Simpson-Pilgrim

 

In Memory:

Bennett Boyles

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »