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Posts Tagged ‘Brad Haslam’

Jason McFadyen, back in his homer-hittin' CHS baseball days. (Photos courtesy the Carmen McFadyen Archives)

   Jason McFadyen, back in his homer-hittin’ CHS baseball days. (Photos courtesy the Carmen McFadyen Archives)

The end of the road for the '91 Wolf baseball squad.

The end of the road for the ’91 Wolf baseball squad.

What a difference 25 years makes.

In the gap that exists between this year’s Coupeville High School baseball squad winning a league title and the last Wolf diamond squad to do so, technology has exploded, countries have fallen (and risen), the Cold War ended and baseball players started looking like they were wearing pajamas.

But fashion trends aside (modern-day players need to pull their pants up and start showing their socks again, and that’s my rant for the day…), how do these two squads compare?

Well, from looking at score-books, the ’91 squad was a heck of a lot more dominant, for sure. At least in terms of inflicting beat-downs.

Record-wise, they’re kind of similar.

Playing in the six-team Northwest B Conference at the time, the old school Wolves went 9-1 in league play, losing only to Darrington in their finale.

By comparison, today’s squad, competing in a four-team 1A Olympic League, sits at 7-1 with one game left.

But the ’91 squad won 12 of 13 at one point, slicing through opponents on their way to finishing 13-6 after a remarkably tough playoff loss (more on that in a bit).

The current squad is 10-9 and guaranteed at least three more games, two in the playoffs, so they can tie the win total, but have already lost more games and haven’t been able to put together a streak to match the ’91ers.

What really sets the two teams apart is their offense.

While today’s team has outscored opponents 106-90, the ’91 team bopped foes to a 145-79 tune, and that’s skewed a bit by the 16 runs they gave up in their playoff loss.

The modern-day Wolves have poked out a fair amount of singles, but their big blows have been limited to doubles and an occasional triple.

In ’91, Coupeville hit the long-ball, and they hit it regularly.

As I deciphered the book and newspaper clippings from the time, I found at least four Wolves — Brad Haslam, Jason McFadyen, Matt Cross and Frank Marti — who went yard that season.

After being shut-out twice by Sequim on Opening Day, Coupeville only scored fewer than four runs in a game once the remainder of the year.

Along the way, they carved up Grace Academy for 16 runs, La Conner for 14 and 13, Winlock for 13, Sultan and Concrete for 12 apiece and Friday Harbor, Concrete and Orcas for nine in separate games.

In those 10 league games (two each against Darrington, Friday Harbor, La Conner, Orcas and Concrete) they outscored their foes by an 84-25 count.

So, through 19 games, the ’91 squad averaged 7.63 runs per game (while giving up 4.16), while the ’16 team sits at 5.58/4.74.

The two teams also differ in their pitching styles.

Senior CJ Smith is the epitome of calm, cool and collected as the staff ace this year.

The ’91 team featured some Marti and a lot of Haslam, who was a raging inferno on the hill, a scary, scary giant who flung a no-hitter and topped double digits in strikeouts in more than two-thirds of his starts.

Where this year’s team would like to differ the most from the ’91 squad, though, is in playoff success.

Back then, the Wolves were primed to make a long run, only to fall a strike short.

Coupeville opened the regional playoffs at Marysville, playing a Winlock team which carried a 9-9 mark into the game, but had won its final six games.

The Wolves, getting a big day at the plate from seniors McFadyen and Chris Frey, who combined for seven hits, charged out to a 13-6 lead heading into the seventh and final inning.

Faced with the possibility they would be playing a second game in the same day if they won the opener, Coupeville’s coaches had juggled their pitching staff to deal with inning restrictions then in force.

That kept Haslam off the mound until the team fell apart in the seventh, and, by the time he took the ball, things were getting out of control.

Having surrendered four runs thanks to a run of errors (the Wolves had nine miscues on the day), CHS clung to a 13-11 lead with two outs and two strikes.

Not yet in a flow, Haslam missed on a pitch and Winlock took advantage, hammering a two-run single up the middle to send the game to extra innings.

Once there, the Wolves bats utterly deserted them for one of the few times in their miracle run, and they fell 16-13 in 10 innings.

The loss, while painful in the moment, capped one of the most successful school years for boys sports in the 116-year history of the school.

McFadyen had quarterbacked the Wolf football team to a 9-0 mark, a league title and a home state playoff game, then moved to the basketball court and sparked CHS to the tri-district playoffs.

Talked into joining baseball at the last second, he made it three-for-three that spring, then departed along with Frey, Marti and hot-hitting Brian Barr.

As we look back at ’91, there’s also one semi-tenuous connection between the two programs.

Jon Crimmins, who was a varsity bench player as a sophomore in ’91, is now a dad, and his son Aiden, plays for the Wolf JV in 2016.

And why do I bring that up?

Because it gives me the chance to recount this story from the ’91 playoff game.

The elder Crimmins and his teammates were all given per diem money for food when they went to regionals, but he and fellow sophomore Keith Currier opted to spend most of their money on baseball cards.

“We sat around the hotel room and opened packs of cards all day. That was my playoff payoff!,” Jon Crimmins said with a laugh.

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Julie Myers (top, right) is joined by fellow inductees (l to r) Brad Haslam, Boom Phomvongkoth and Lexie Black.

   Julie Myers (top, right) is joined by fellow inductees (l to r) Brad Haslam, Boom Phomvongkoth and Lexie Black.

Domination.

It’s the common trait when you look at the members of the 39th class to be inducted into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

Regardless of the sport, the four athletes, one who is going into the Hall for a second time, towered above their rivals on a regular basis, more than earning them enshrinement in these hallowed digital walls.

After this, when you want to find Julia Myers, Boom Phomvongkoth, Brad Haslam or two-time inductee Lexie Black, who is being honored today for putting together the ultimate block party, all you’ll have to do is look to the top of the blog and find the Legends tab.

We’re kicking things off with the Lexinator, who is already in the joint, one of the first to be inducted.

Today we’re honoring her performance on Mar. 4, 2005, when the six-foot-two enforcer extraordinaire rejected 10 shots by Zillah, helping her CHS girls’ basketball squad capture a 45-41 win at the state tourney.

Coupeville won two games at state that year, finishing 8th and bringing home the third (and so far final) banner in program history.

Black’s ten-spot, and the 14 total blocks by the Wolves in the game, remain the gold standard to this day. No player, and no team, have ever topped those marks in a 1A girls game, more than a decade later.

Now Lex Luthor is counting down the days until she’ll be a mom, and you know the child is gonna pop out and immediately slap the doctor across the room, just like their mom did to so many errant shots.

Our second inductee, Phomvongkoth, was a little lower to the ground than Black, but he was just as much of a scrapper on the hardwood.

One of the first players I covered back in my Whidbey News-Times Sports Editor days, Boom went all-out all the time, slamming to the floor, harassing rival ball-handlers and knocking down big shots of his own.

It took me a bit to get the spelling of his last name down, but I could see his talent, and his love for the game, from the first moment he strode out into the CHS gym.

When the Tom Roehl Roundball Classic brought Wolf alumni back to town in Dec., Boom was among the returning veterans.

He might be down a few hairs on the head these days (who’s not?), but the skill-set and inner fire were still there, and he still looks like he could school some young punks, if necessary.

Our third inductee, Haslam, was one of the most imposing high school athletes I ever covered.

Which is funny, because off the field, he’s a supremely nice guy, easy-going and laid-back.

But put him on the gridiron and he was an animal, de-cleating anyone who tried to get in his way as he led the blocking charge for the undefeated 1990 CHS football squad.

A superb kicker with a cannon for a leg, he knocked down field goals from uncanny range, as well, earning his keep on offense, defense and special teams.

Equally skilled as a hoops player, Haslam’s biggest impact came on the diamond, though.

A four-time All-League selection as a pitcher, the ’92 grad made batters tremble in the box. Seriously. I saw it happen.

Tall, burly and (in the moment) looking like he was going to murder you, Haslam remains the most overpowering high school pitcher I have ever witnessed on a day-to-day basis.

Our final inductee, Myers, shares a lot in common with Haslam.

No, she wasn’t all that tall, and no one would describe her as burly, but, like her compatriot, she was a supremely nice person off the field (and one of the best ever when it came to taking goofy photos) who played like a beast between the lines.

Whether smacking tennis balls, shutting down fools as a soccer goalie, or droppin’ elbows as a rebounding machine on the basketball court, Julia was a stone-cold killer.

Injuries were the only thing that ever slowed her down, but she fought through some horrific ones and still stalked her prey, knee brace glinting under the lights, slight smirk on her face as she watched her rivals souls shrivel up and blow away.

A vital part of the first Wolf girls’ hoops team to win a league title in 13 years during her senior campaign, “Elbows” always had the heart of a champion.

If we have to win one game to save the universe, I want Julia on our team. Cause when the final buzzer sounds, she’ll be the last one standing.

Of that I have no doubt.

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Wolf QB Jason McFadyen operates under center during the undefeated 1990 season.

   Wolf QB Jason McFadyen operates under center during the undefeated 1990 season. (Photo courtesy Jason McFadyen)

Artifacts from the greatest

   Artifacts from the olden days — a preseason memo from Wolf coach Ron Bagby and a program from the home state playoff game. (Courtesy Tom Roehl Archives)

It's a photo of a photo.

I took a photo of a 25-year-old photo. I got skills.

Let’s throw a party.

The greatest football team in Coupeville High School history, the undefeated 1990 squad, hits a magical milestone this year.

It will be 25 years since that Wolf squad, led by the precision passing of Jason McFadyen and an unstoppable running attack, went 9-0, outscoring its opponents 258-107.

While they fell to Rainier in a home state quarterfinal playoff game played on a windswept Mickey Clark Field Nov. 10, 1990, they remain the gold standard.

No Wolf team has come close to that win total since then, and that trip to the state playoffs, the fourth in school history, was also the last one a CHS gridiron squad has earned.

Which is why we need to take a moment this season and acknowledge that squad.

And, in a moment of perfect symmetry, I have the ideal time.

Coupeville plays four home games this coming season, all in October.

The first three are 1A Olympic League contests (Oct. 2 against Port Townsend, Oct. 9 against Klahowya and Homecoming Oct. 16 against Chimacum).

The regular-season finale, though, on Friday, Oct. 30 is a non-conference affair against Concrete.

Which would be the perfect game to honor the ’90 squad, since back then Concrete was a fellow Northwest B League opponent, and the Wolves beat Concrete 10-0 in the season’s biggest win.

Frank Marti capped a 122-yard rushing performance with a one-yard touchdown plunge in the fourth quarter, then Brad Haslam dropped the punctuation mark with a 34-yard field goal.

Wins over Darrington, Orcas Island and La Conner would cap the regular season, but win #6, coming over the power team in the league, was the one that shocked the world.

So, we need to make this happen.

Whether it’s the Coupeville Booster Club, school officials, current football coaches, the players on that team, or us, the fans, we have three months to make this a reality.

At halftime on Oct. 30, the ’90 squad should come back to claim the Cow Town field.

So, here, from that playoff roster, are the guys we’re looking to find.

If you know them, if you are them, spread the word. We’re gonna make this happen.

1990 Coupeville Wolves:

Coaches:

Ron Bagby
Brian O’Hara
Tom Roehl (RIP)
Jon Prater

Manager:

Brent Fitzgerald

Seniors:

Brian Barr
Ben Biskovich
Sean Dillon
Chris Frey
Les Hall
Mark Lester
Frank Marti
Jason McFadyen
Ryan Samplawski
Aaron Williams

Juniors:

Danny Bonacci
Matt Cross
Brad Haslam
Van Kellems
Ben Russell
Todd Smith
Nate Steele
Tracy Wilson

Sophomores:

Troy Blouin
Todd Brown
Ted Clifton
Eric Lester
Craig McGregor
Gerald McIntosh
Jason McManigle
David McMillan

Freshmen:

Ross Buckner
Scott Gadbois
Scott Kirkwood
Kit Manzanares
Jerimiah Prater
Virgil Roehl
Joe Staples
Kevin Steiner

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