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Posts Tagged ‘Chelsi Stevens’

Chelsi Stevens, ready to unleash holy heck on a rival pitcher. (Allison Scarpo photo)

They’re the next generation of superstar softball sluggers.

Pulling together 13 girls from across the region, the Whidbey Thunder is a 12U diamond squad which plans to play in eight tournaments over the next year.

Coached by Keasha Campbell, the team will travel across Washington state, with games slated to start in late fall/early winter.

As it preps for this new adventure, the Thunder have launched a GoFundMe to give fans a chance to support their efforts.

Money raised will help with league fees — currently $900 per player — uniforms, equipment, insurance, travel expenses, and tournament fees.

Whether the Thunder players go on to suit up for Coupeville, Oak Harbor, or South Whidbey once they hit high school, the travel ball experience should be invaluable to their growth.

“Softball has always been part of our community,” Campbell said.

“It’s the basis of many young girls’ aspirations to attend college and play big, to form lifelong friendships, and to learn a skill they will love the rest of their lives.

“The goal of our team is to support our athletes not only in softball, but also in academics, school activities, and their families.”

 

The Thunder roster:

Jolene Coleman
Annika Hastings
Sophia Jennings
Gretta Jones
Charlotte Lasick
Ava Lucero
Adeline Maynes
Chelsi Stevens
Kennedy Rae Strevel
Cameron Van Dyke
Sydney Van Dyke
Abby Whitney
Sophie Zeigler

 

To support the team, pop over to:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/player-fees-for-whidbey-island-thunder-softball?qid=b1e59481aa5496815ff0c4360621c547

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Coupeville Middle School hoops star Inara Maund played in one game Tuesday and sketched her teammates in action during the other. (Photo courtesy Kristina Forbes)

“They came with a fire and a passion that I have been waiting to see this season.”

For first-year Coupeville Middle School girls basketball coaches Kassie O’Neil and Kristina Forbes, this has been a season of celebrating each milestone, as largely inexperienced players learn the game on the fly.

Instead of wins and losses, the Wolves have measured their success on lessons learned, skills picked up, and confidence built.

Which is why O’Neil exited the CMS gym Tuesday after game #7 in a eight-game season with a visible sense of pride.

“This was our best game, by far,” she said. “The girls walked away super happy and ready to play in the offseason. It was the perfect last home game.”

Coupeville closes the campaign with a road trip to Langley Thursday, and the program has taken a major leap forward since opening day.

How Tuesday played out:

 

Varsity:

Coupeville upped its point total in each quarter, and while the Wolves fell 37-19, the hot shooting of Haylee Armstrong and the team’s defense were big standouts.

“We just learned zone (defense) this week and you couldn’t even tell,” O’Neil said. “It looked like they had been playing zone all season.

“I honestly wish we had been, because they KILLED it.”

Armstrong rattled the rims for a season-high 11 points, including hitting a three-ball which further cements her status as a fast-rising, sweet-shooting star.

Haylee came out shooting amazing; she kept swishing shot after shot,” said O’Neil, who nailed her fair share of big shots during her own Coupeville hoops days.

“Our guards worked hard on driving with a purpose and dishing to the posts or wings to shoot,” she added.

“Our big thing has been “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take,” so today, whether they made them or not, I told the girls I would be proud of them just for taking the shot.

“And they did just that.”

Kierra Thayer slapped home six points in support of Armstrong, with Rhylin Price and Brynn Parker each rippling the net on a free throw.

Liza Zustiak, Tenley Stuurmans, Capri Anter, Ava Lucero, Marin Winger, Lexis Drake, and Avery Williams-Buchanan also saw floor time, with Winger getting a nice shout out from O’Neil for having “hustle every time she hit the court — executing our defense perfectly and being aggressive on offense constantly.”

The Wolf hoops guru spread love to everyone on the roster.

“The girls went out and weren’t afraid,” she said. “When the season is over, these are the games I hope they’ll walk away holding onto, pushing them into further basketball careers.

“Their excitement and pride was palpable in the locker room after the game,” O’Neil added. “Today was a day that reminded me why I love this game so much.

“Regardless of the score, we walked away knowing we won that game in all of the ways that matter.”

 

JV:

Facing a physical team, the young Wolves held up well, playing Sultan virtually even in the second half during a 25-11 loss.

Forbes and her players achieved one goal — holding the Turks to 25 or less points — while narrowly missing out on setting a season-high with their own scoring efforts.

Most importantly, the Wolves set out to play better against Sultan than they did earlier in the season, a mission you can mark as accomplished.

“The girls stayed strong throughout this game,” Forbes said. “They got beat up pretty good!”

Taylor Marrs sparked the rough-and-ready Wolf attack, using every one of her allotted fouls while clamping down on the Turk shooters.

“We had our first foul-out of the season,” Forbes said with pride. “When you think of defense, that’s Taylor all the way. She has definitely come a long way.

“I am so proud of these girls and the confidence they are starting to show on the court!”

Melanie Wolfe topped the Coupeville scorers, dropping in all five of her points in the fourth quarter, while Chelsi Stevens, Adeline Maynes, and Rhylin Price each chipped in with a bucket.

It was the first points of the season for the hard-working Stevens, who becomes the 15th CMS player to score.

Rosie Lay, Willow Leedy-Bonifas, Marrs, Laken Simpson, Elyse White, Ava Carpenter, Inara Maund, and Lexis Drake also saw floor time for the Wolves.

 

The art of the game:

Earlier this season, while I was covering a CMS hoops game in person, Inara Maund was busy working the camera, shooting the action for her coaches.

During time-outs she showed me some of her artwork and I later wrote about how I wanted to showcase some of her creations here on Coupeville Sports.

And what do you know, it’s happening!

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