Posts Tagged ‘Boys Tennis’

Coupeville High School tennis coach Ken Stange abides. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Ken Stange’s fall schedule just got less cluttered.

That’s not necessarily a good thing, however, as the longtime Coupeville High School tennis coach will see a second-straight boys net campaign fall by the wayside.

During the 2020-2021 school year, the Wolves lost out when Friday Harbor, the only other school in the Northwest 2B/1B League to play tennis, cancelled all of its fall sports programs due to Covid concerns.

With NWL schools not playing non-conference games in any sport during the height of the pandemic, that left Coupeville up a creek without a tennis racket.

This time around, things were looking up, with Friday Harbor back in action.

The two NWL schools were set to join South Whidbey this fall in playing Seattle-based private schools from the Emerald Sound Conference.

Unfortunately, things won’t go as planned, as the Wolf tennis program, which is competing against football, cross country, and soccer for male athletes, wasn’t able to draw enough players.

CHS Athletic Director Willie Smith confirmed Monday the season had been cancelled.

Stange, who will return to the courts next spring with the Wolf girl netters, remains deeply-committed to both Coupeville tennis programs.

“We will try again next year,” he said.

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The senior leaders from the 1964 Coupeville High School boys tennis team, which won league and sub-district titles. (Photo courtesy Jack Sell)

Another tile (or two) on the wall.

Five years ago, almost to the day, the Wall of Fame in the Coupeville High School gym was installed.

Since then, current teams and athletes have added themselves to the collection, headlined by Danny Conlisk winning a pair of state titles in track and field.

But the work to fully uncover what is now 121 years of CHS sports history is never-ending, especially in sports such as tennis, which often went largely unwritten about in old-school newspapers.

Something I fully appreciate, as I haunted the hardcourts for three years in the late ’80s at Tumwater High School.

I played as high as #1 singles for a 2A school, yet never once saw anyone massacre my name while trying to spell it in The Daily Olympian.

But enough about me and my teenage angst.

Back to Coupeville, and my discovery today of two titles missing from our Wall of Fame.

Flipping through the 1964 Leloo Cly yearbook (from my landlord’s sophomore year), I found a (fairly astonishing for the time period) two-page layout on the Wolf netters.

And lo and behold, concrete proof of Coupeville winning both Northwest League and Sub-District titles!

The Wall of Fame documents three league titles from the ’60s — 1961, 1967, and 1968 — but not ’64, and the earliest district title under the boys tennis banner is 2009.

History reclaimed!

The 12-man ’64 Wolf tennis squad had an impressive campaign all around, beating Friday Harbor in the regular-season finale to clinch the league title.

Dave Lortz, playing with two different Edwards boys, then went on a tear through the postseason as a doubles player.

After teaming up with Henry Edwards to win league and sub-district titles, Lortz paired off with Ron Edwards, the sub-district singles champ, to head to the state tourney.

The duo were one of 32 pairs to make the trek to Bremerton, and were one of the last eight undefeated tandems standing.


The ’64 CHS boys tennis team:

Bill Bainbridge
Henry Edwards
Ron Edwards
Jim Henry
Denny Keith
Jim Keith
Dave Lortz
Lee Milheim
Bruce Seiger
Mike Syreen
Stan Willhight
Steve Wilson

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Gwen Gustafson and Co. have full schedules this year. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

The Wolf booters jump from a six-game schedule to a 16-game one.

The schedules are back to normal.

Or, at least a lot closer than they were a year ago.

While some restrictions — like spectators needing to wear masks — are still in place, high school sports schedules have largely reverted to pre-pandemic normalcy.

After playing out of order during the 2020-2021 school year, fall sports are back to the front of the pack, with winter, then spring competitions planned to follow.

Non-conference bouts are back in vogue, which means Coupeville returns to playing next-door rival South Whidbey.

Also, both the Bucket Game and Homecoming live again for football, and almost all CHS teams will play a double-digit number of games.


As everyone who has lived through the Age of Coronavirus knows, nothing is set in stone. Things can, and may, still change.

But for now, here’s where we sit, sport by sport.

PS — An * indicates a league contest.



It’s a 16-game schedule, eight at home, eight on the road, with every tilt a conference showdown.

While just five of seven Northwest 2B/1B League schools play boys soccer — Coupeville, La Conner, Orcas Island, Mount Vernon Christian, and Friday Harbor — they’re joined for this one sport by four other squads.

While Concrete and Darrington avoid the pitch, Grace Academy, Providence Classical Christian, Cedar Park Christian-Lynnwood, and Lopez Island take their places.


Tues-Sept. 7 — @ Mount Vernon Christian — (4:00) *
Fri-Sept. 10 — Cedar Park Christian-Lynnwood — (6:00) *
Fri-Sept. 17 — Orcas Island — (4:00) *
Tues-Sept. 21 — Grace Academy — (6:00) *
Fri-Sept. 24 — @ Friday Harbor — (4:30) *
Tues-Sept. 28 — @ La Conner — (TBA) *
Fri-Oct. 1 — @ Grace Academy — (3:30) *
Tues-Oct. 5 — La Conner — (6:00) *
Thur-Oct. 7 — Mount Vernon Christian — (6:00) *
Sat-Oct. 9 — Providence Classical Christian — (1:00) *
Fri-Oct. 15 — @ Lopez Island — (TBA) *
Tues-Oct. 19 — Friday Harbor — (4:00) *
Thur-Oct. 21 — @ Cedar Park Christian-Lynnwood — (4:00) *
Sat-Oct. 23 — Lopez Island — (12:30) * — SENIOR NIGHT
Tues-Oct. 26 — @ Orcas Island — (TBA) *
Thur-Oct. 28 — @ Providence Classical Christian — (TBA) *



Only two NWL schools play boys tennis, which is why there was no season last year.

While Coupeville was ready and rarin’, Friday Harbor shut down all fall sports after Covid cases spiked in the San Juans.

Now, the Wolverines are back in action, and the two schools will link up, in some fashion, to play tennis against South Whidbey and its (mostly private school) rivals in the Emerald Sound League.

A schedule is still being worked out.



Coupeville, Orcas Island, and Mount Vernon Christian once again vie for NWL harrier supremacy, but this season schools also return to competing at invitationals.

The Wolves host one of three league meets, as well as the league championship races.


Sat-Sept. 11 — @ Sehome Invitational — (TBD)
Sat-Sept. 18 — @ Westling Invitational (South Whidbey) — (10:00)
Fri-Sept. 24 — HOME meet (Fort Casey) — (3:30) *
Sat-Sept. 25 — @ King’s Invite — (12:00)
Fri-Oct. 1 — @ Mount Vernon Christian — (3:30) *
Fri-Oct. 8 — @ Orcas Island — (TBD) *
Sat-Oct. 9 — @ Hole in the Wall (Lakewood) — (9:00)
Thur-Oct. 21 — Northwest 2B/1B League Championships (Fort Casey) — (3:30)



Homecoming is back, with the Eastern Washington opponent traveling 142 miles to face off with CHS, while the Bucket Game against South Whidbey goes down in Langley.

Other non-conference games, featuring Klahowya and East Jefferson, are against familiar foes from Coupeville’s time in the Olympic League.

And what is an East Jefferson, you ask?

It’s the name being used by Port Townsend and Chimacum, which combined for all sports after both schools struggled to field teams due to declining student counts.

With Friday Harbor football back in action, Coupeville plays four league games — two each against the Wolverines and La Conner, the only other 2B schools in the NWL.

Currently, there are eight games on the schedule, but the Wolves continue to look for a week six opponent.


Sat-Aug. 28 — @ Sultan Jamboree — (11:00)
Fri-Sept. 3 — Klahowya — (5:00)
Fri-Sept. 10 — @ South Whidbey — (7:00) — BUCKET GAME
Fri-Sept. 17 — @ East Jefferson — (6:00)
Fri-Sept. 24 — La Conner — (7:00) *
Fri-Oct. 1 — @ Friday Harbor — (6:00) *
Fri-Oct. 8 — ?
Fri-Oct. 15 — @ La Conner — (7:00) *
Fri-Oct. 22 — Cascade Leavenworth — (7:00) — HOMECOMING
Fri-Oct. 29 — Friday Harbor — (6:00) * — SENIOR NIGHT



Last year, Mount Vernon Christian, La Conner, and Coupeville played this sport, and now Friday Harbor rejoins the battle.

Unlike other sports, where CHS plays two league games against other schools, here it will play three.

Non-conference games against former league rivals Sultan and Granite Falls, and a home-and-away series with East Jefferson round out the schedule.


Sat-Sept. 4 — @ Oak Harbor Jamboree — (TBD)
Thur-Sept. 16 — La Conner — (6:00) *
Sat-Sept. 18 — @ East Jefferson — (1:00)
Tues-Sept. 21 — @ Mount Vernon Christian — (4:00) *
Thur-Sept. 23 — Granite Falls — (6:00)
Tues-Sept. 28 — @ Friday Harbor — (4:00) *
Thur-Sept. 30 — @ La Conner — (TBA) *
Thur-Oct. 7 — Mount Vernon Christian — (4:00) *
Tues-Oct. 12 — Friday Harbor — (4:00) *
Thur-Oct. 14 — La Conner — (6:00) *
Sat-Oct. 16 — Sultan — (1:00)
Thur-Oct. 21 — @ Mount Vernon Christian — (4:00) *
Sat-Oct. 23 — East Jefferson — (11:00) — SENIOR NIGHT
Tues-Oct 26 — @ Friday Harbor (4:00) *



With Friday Harbor’s return, the only fall sport where all seven NWL schools face off.

A couple of tournaments, and a home-and-away with arch-rival South Whidbey highlight a very-full schedule.


Sat-Sept. 4 — @ Oak Harbor Jamboree — (TBD)
Thur-Sept. 9 — @ Concrete — (4:30/6:00) *
Tues-Sept. 14 — Mount Vernon Christian — (4:30/6:00) *
Thur-Sept. 16 — Orcas Island — (3:30/5:00) *
Mon-Sept. 20 — Cedar Park Christian-Bothell — (4:30/6:00)
Tues-Sept. 21 — @ Darrington — (4:30/6:00) *
Thur-Sept. 23 — @ La Conner — (4:30/6:00) *
Sat-Sept. 25 — @ Sultan Tournament (Varsity) — (TBD)
Sat-Sept. 25 — @ Oak Harbor Tournament (JV) — (TBD)
Mon-Sept. 27 — South Whidbey — (4:30/6:00)
Tues-Sept. 28 — @ Friday Harbor — (4:00/5:30) *
Tues-Oct. 5 — Concrete — (4:30/6:00) *
Thur-Oct. 7 — @ Mount Vernon Christian — (4:30/6:00) *
Tues-Oct. 12 — @ Orcas Island — (TBA) *
Thur-Oct. 14 — Darrington — (4:30/6:00) *
Mon-Oct. 18 — @ South Whidbey — (5:15/7:00)
Tue-Oct. 19 — La Conner — (4:30/6:00) *
Thur-Oct. 21 — Friday Harbor — (3:30/5:00) * — SENIOR NIGHT
Sat-Oct. 23 — @ South Whidbey Tournament — (TBD)

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Coupeville High School boys tennis coach Ken Stange needs players. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Step up and stand out.

Coupeville Middle School 8th graders can participate in high school sports a year early, as long as they’re interested in playing soccer or tennis this fall.

Along with other 2B or 1B schools, Coupeville High School is allowed to use 8th graders when there is a genuine need to help keep programs afloat.

Last school year, middle school students played high school girls basketball and boys soccer.

Four 8th graders — Lyla Stuurmans, Cael Wilson, Savina Wells, and Preston Epp — played on varsity teams, with another five seeing action for the Wolf JV girls hoops team.

This fall, three of six CHS programs are accepting 8th graders, with boys and girls soccer, and boys tennis all in need of extra players.

Volleyball and cross country expect to have sufficient numbers, so high school and middle school athletes will remain separate in those sports.

Football is the one fall sport where 8th graders are not eligible to play at the high school level, regardless of need.

The chance to play at the high school level as an 8th grader is an extra bonus for many Wolves, as the middle school does not have a girls soccer program, and does not offer tennis.

The first day of practice for CHS fall sports teams is Monday, August 23.

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Pedro Gamarra flies into action. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

This blog turns nine years old August 15, and to mark the occasion, I’m picking what I view as the best nine Wolf athletes from each active CHS sport.

To be eligible, you had to play for the Wolves between Aug. 2012-Aug. 2021, AKA the “Coupeville Sports” years.

So here we go. Each day between Aug. 1-15, a different sport and (probably) a different argument.


They were the shot-makers.

Whether they whacked the crud out of the fuzzy yellow ball, or sliced ‘n diced foes to death, the nine Wolf netters on my list were all highly-successful.

Often forced to face off with rivals from ultra-exclusive private schools, whose pursuit of tennis excellence played out all year, and usually on swanky indoor courts, Coupeville’s net men never flinched from a challenge.

Some made it to state tourney success, but all left a positive impact on the program.

William Nelson, natty dresser.

Jakobi Baumann — Fought like the dickens for every point, and would not back down from anyone. An underrated shot-maker whose resilience and fire in the belly were often remarkable.

Drake Borden — The pandemic robbed him of a chance to fully close his career with a bang, but he had already blazed a trail of success. Undisputed leader of his squad, and an invaluable assistant coach for the girls team, as well.

Aaron Curtin — Play him at singles or doubles, didn’t matter. Smooth, powerful, always under control, he dominated the courts like few Wolves ever have, and has the state tourney glory to show for it.

Sebastian Davis — The strategist. Always thinking, always planning your demise, zipping shots from corner to corner like he was playing three-dimensional chess on the hardcourt.

Ben Etzell — A perfect doubles partner for Curtin, he was the revved-up wild child to his partner’s clinical cool. Would launch himself across the court to get to shots, often tearing chunks out of his own body as the resulting splashdowns were far more brutal on the tennis court than they were when he did the same thing on a baseball field.

Pedro Gamarra — A foreign exchange student who frequently dazzled during his single season working the CHS courts. Could do tricks all day long, using the tennis ball like a soccer ball, flipping it from foot to foot, but was also dangerous with a racket in hand.

Nathan Lamb — Pretty, pretty strokes, and a motor which roared with life. Followed in the successful footsteps of older brother Jordan, and was the perfect weapon. Deploy him at singles? He brought it. Move him to doubles? He brought it.

Joey Lippo — Formed a formidable duo with the next guy on this list, but could have also been successful as a single player. Had some serious pop to his strokes, could run all day, and was relentless in his desire to win, a trait which carried over to his time on the basketball hardwood and baseball diamond.

William Nelson — Played tennis like he did soccer — as an ultra-smooth, cerebral assassin who could blister the ball or score with graceful moves. He and Lippo completed each other, forming a rare doubles duo where both seemed to move, and think, as one entity.

Joey Lippo, primed for action.


Up next: Back to the soccer pitch, this time to celebrate the girls.

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