Posts Tagged ‘brothers’

Alex (left) and Xavier Murdy are one of the most-successful brother duos in CHS basketball history. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Alex Murdy made some more history Friday night.

The high-flying Coupeville High School senior knocked down 15 points against Friday Harbor, cracking the 400-point club for his varsity career.

While that’s a nice personal accomplishment, there’s actually more to it than that.

With the help of older brother Xavier, who graduated last year, the Murdy boys become just the eighth pair of brothers to top 400 points in the 106-year history of Wolf basketball.

Of those dynamic duos, four actually went a step further, with both brothers netting 500+ points, while the Whitney boys, Steve and Joe, are the only Wolf bros to both top 600.

And they accomplished that even though Joe didn’t finish his prep career at CHS, instead transferring to Lynden for his senior season, where he led the Lions to a state title.


The great eight, in order by combined points:


Bagby – 1636

Mike – 1137
Jason – 499


Whitney -1331

Steve – 730
Joe – 601


Faris – 1192

Foster – 628
Gary – 524


Syreen – 1144

Mike – 594
Jim – 550


Zylstra -1129

Denny – 602
Jerry – 527


O’Grady – 1083

John – 611
Pat – 472


Marti – 1013

Roy – 551
Frank – 462


Murdy – 889*

Xavier – 482
Alex – 407 … and counting


PS — In the 49-year history of CHS girls basketball, there’s only one sister combo where both players topped 400 points.


Black – 1124

Lexie – 622
Brittany – 502

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Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame inductees CJ (left) and Hunter Smith, with lil’ sis, and probable future inductee, Scout. (Charlotte Young photo)

Sometimes you get lucky.

Coupeville has a history of losing great athletes in their prime thanks to family moves or other matters, from Kwamane Bowens and Jessica Riddle to Joe Whitney.

But, once in awhile, Cow Town gets to wave hello and not goodbye, hitting the jackpot when Sarah, Amy and Beth Mouw suddenly showed up, or when Jordan Ford, Amanda Allmer or Linda Cheshier popped in late in their prep careers.

The single biggest payoff, though, might have come when Chris Smith and Charlotte Young moved to Whidbey in 2014.

Both are coaches, and have gone on to work with Central Whidbey athletes, Charlotte on the little league softball diamond and Chris in high school volleyball, basketball and baseball.

But it was the fact they brought their three children, CJ, Hunter, and Scout, which really sealed the deal.

In one fell swoop, Coupeville athletics got a major injection of talent, hard work and class, and it’s been a sweet ride for local fans ever since.

While Scout is already making a name for herself, playing varsity volleyball, basketball and softball last year as a CHS sophomore, her career highlights are still being crafted.

Today, we gather to honor her older brothers, who, with their days as Wolf athletes having come to a close, gain entry into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

After this, they’ll sit up at the top of the blog, under the Legends tab, where they join other stellar Wolf brother combos such as James and Ian Smith (no relation) and Kyle and Tyler King.

With CJ and Hunter, there hasn’t been much doubt since day one that they would be entering these hallowed digital hallways.

They were transcendent stars from the moment they pulled on the Wolf uniform for the first time, and they exited the same way they entered, pulling off remarkable achievements while showing the composure of a Zen master.

CJ was the first to hit, joining the CHS basketball team midway through his sophomore year.

One moment there was a newcomer in street clothes on the bench, intently watching the floor like a hawk while the stands buzzed about his possible identity. The next, he was part of the fabric of Wolf Nation.

He was always a strong basketball player, quick and committed and always about team, but he also soared on the football field, a two-way terror who caught passes and broke them up with equal skill.

It was the baseball diamond where CJ wrote the most impressive chapter of his Wolf career, however.

We had him for three full seasons in his favorite sport, and Captain Cool was the go-to guy when you needed a win, an out or a strike.

Hand him the ball, as the Wolves did when they played for their first league title in 25 years in 2016, and CJ was money in the bank.

Try to scan his face at any one moment when he was on the diamond, and it was virtually impossible to know if he was 10 runs up or trailing 1-0. There was no bend in the steel in his spine, no way to ruffle him or make him sweat.

CJ had multiple games where he soared, but the title-clincher will live on in memory forever … and in the words of this story:


Hunter was in the starting lineup that day, as well, notching the first of his two league titles (he would pull his own CJ-style senior moment in 2018, pitching the Wolves past Chimacum).

It was part of maybe the most-consistent four-year run I have seen any Coupeville athlete put together.

There’s a reason the middle child landed at #1 among male athletes when I picked the best I’ve covered in the six-year run of Coupeville Sports.

Other than a couple of times when injuries forced him to the sidelines, Hunter was in the lineup and making plays every dang day he had in a Wolf uniform.

On the football field, he torched foes, hauling in passes and turning them into touchdown romps, then popping right back out to pick off a rival QB on the next set of downs.

By the time he was finished, even missing the final five games of his senior year after having his body twisted in 23 different directions while being gang-tackled at Vashon, Hunter finished with seven CHS football records, most of any Wolf gridiron star.

Put him on a basketball court, pop a ball in his hand, pray his sometimes-balky back wouldn’t conspire against him, and he was old-school magic in a new-school world.

Hunter finished #12 all-time on the Wolf boys hoops scoring list, and would have gone higher if not for his back, and his own humility, as he was never one to run the score up.

There were times, numerous times, when he curtailed his own scoring to feed a hot teammate.

If Ethan Spark was feeling it from three-point land, or Wiley Hesselgrave was poppin’ hanging jumpers, Hunter made sure they had the ball.

When I say he was old-school, like his siblings, I mean it.

Hunter played, always, like someone who grew up with coaches for parents, and, when the legends of Wolf basketball came back to the CHS gym for last year’s 101-year anniversary, you could see (and hear) their appreciation for how he played the game.

Baseball capped his career, as he smacked hits left and right, fired strikes, won a league MVP, helped lead two title-winning teams and, even the one day he got (somewhat unfairly) tossed by an ump, played the game with — and stop me if you’ve heard this before — class above all else.

That is the defining trait of CJ, Hunter, ScoutChris, and Charlotte – class.

All five have a competitive fire that rages unabated, all approach each season with a glint in their eyes and a (slight) smile on their lips.

Talent flows through their veins, yes, but without class, talent means little.

As fans, we may appreciate talent, but we respect class. And my respect for their family is off the charts.

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Freshman Andrew Martin has joined older brother Jacob on the Wolf roster. (John Fisken photo)

   Freshman Andrew Martin has joined older brother Jacob on the Wolf roster. (John Fisken photo)

Don’t let his age fool you.

While Andrew Martin will be starting the first day of his freshman year at Coupeville High School Tuesday, he’s already a battle-tested veteran on the gridiron.

He’s entering his eighth season in the sport, and reuniting with older brother Jacob, a senior, and dad Jonathan, a CHS assistant coach.

The trio have already been part of a landmark win, with the Wolves crushing South Whidbey 41-10 Saturday in their opener.

The youngest Martin is following in his brother’s footsteps, playing linebacker and running back.

Also, like Jacob before him, Andrew doesn’t shy away from mashing people on the field.

When asked what he enjoys the most about football, his answer is quick and to the point.

“Big hits, I love the contact.”

A two-sport star (he also plays basketball), Martin enjoys hunting and fishing and plays trumpet in the school band when he’s not in uniform.

He credits the coach who lives in the same house for his game skills, while continuing to work hard on fine-tuning those skills.

“My dad (has had the biggest impact on me), because he’s coached and developed me,” Martin said.

“I need to work on my strength, speed and explosiveness,” he added. “I want to improve my knowledge of the game and get better every day.”

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Matt Helm and fiancee Jenna Ure.

Matt Helm and fiancee Jenna Ure.

Fire Gods Jerry (left) and Matt Helm.

Fire Gods Jerry (left) and Matt Helm. (Photos courtesy Jerry Helm)

Younger days.

Younger days with sister Mollie.

Let’s mix it up and get personal.

As we send a 43rd class into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame today, it’s going to be a one-man class and I’m going to leave the heavy lifting up to someone else.

Matt Helm was (is) a superb athlete and an even better person, and older brother Jerry, already a Hall member, is stepping forward to induct his lil’ bro.

After this, you’ll find both of them sitting together atop this blog, under the Legends tab.

So, without further ado, I give up the stage to Jerry.

My brother Matthew and I were always competitive towards each other.

As hard as it is for the older brother to publicly admit, he was a much better athlete then I ever was.

I was the hot-headed older brother; he was the quiet smooth assassin.

His ability to focus on the game and shut out the noise always made me envious. He could dribble circles around me, and shoot three pointers in my face all day long.

A very unique opportunity surfaced when I started coaching the high school track and field team.

That year, his senior year, he decided to join the track team for the first time.

Track for me was the last sport where I thought I still had the upper hand on him.

Then during his first meet, he decided to show his older brother up and crush my best height in the high jump event.

As proud as I was, I secretly was still being the hot-headed older brother inside.

What took me four years of hard work, he was able to best it, at his first attempt.

My brother and I also shared a very hard lesson our senior years.

We both ended up breaking bones that sidelined us during our senior year of football.

While mine was in the beginning of the season and I was able to make it back for the final stretch of the season, Matt’s was towards the end, which forced him to miss a big portion of his final basketball season.

In the end we both ended up missing huge portions of the sport we loved the most.

Seeing the pain on his face while sitting on the sidelines, brought back a flood of memories and was a moment of déjà vu.

My heart hurt for him and I could totally understand what he was going through at the moment.

The love I have for my younger brother is laced with tremendous pride that we wore the same Coupeville uniform and shared the same playing fields.

His bravery and strength to this day is something that still inspires me.

His decision to join the US Navy to help protect our country shows his incredible strength and dedication.

Siblings often don’t tell each other often enough how much they love each other, but Matthew’s slower, less-talented, older brother loves him very much and is very proud of him.

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Oh, brother!!

The 1961 Wolf football squad featured five sets of brothers. (Photo courtesy

   The 1961 Wolf football squad featured five sets of brothers, very possibly a school record. (Photo courtesy Carolyn Hancock Brazas)

We may have a new champ.

This year’s edition of the Coupeville High School football squad boasts four sets of brothers — Gabe/Ty Eck, CJ/Hunter Smith, Jake/Josh Lord and Mitchell/Shane Losey — and that seemed like a lot for one team.

But it appears, thanks to our sleuths out there, that the 1961 Wolf gridiron squad did them one better.

That team boasted Tom and Ed Brown, Jim and Len Engle, Vin and Dale Sherman, Pat and Mike Millenbach and Roy and Gary Mattox.

A couple of those last names sound downright familiar…

Anyway, we now acknowledge the ’61ers as the gold standard … until someone else can pop up with photographic proof of six sets of brothers on a Wolf team.

I dare you.

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