Posts Tagged ‘Chris Smith’

Four-year starter Matt Hilborn is one of five returning letter winners for Coupeville High School baseball. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

The Wolves enjoy rare blue skies as they prep for their season opener.

Let’s shake things up.

Coupeville High School baseball soared through much of the 2018 season, winning its second Olympic League title in three years and falling a single win shy of advancing to the state tourney.

Jump forward to this spring, and many things have changed for third-year head coach Chris Smith.

He needs to replace an especially strong group of seniors from last year’s 15-6 squad, having lost eight to graduation, including league MVP Hunter Smith.

And, while doing so, the Wolves are bouncing into the new North Sound Conference, a league headed up by Cedar Park Christian, which has finished 2nd and 4th at state the past two seasons.

After playing a scattershot schedule during their four-year run in the Olympic League, Coupeville returns to a more traditional schedule in their new surroundings.

Much like the Wolves did in their old stomping grounds in the Cascade Conference, NSC teams will play three-game series in a single week.

Instead of a game here, a game a month later, and then a final match-up sometime after that, the new league operates with a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule.

So, when the Wolves open their league schedule, against the aforementioned CPC, they’ll go to Bothell Monday, host the Eagles Wednesday, then travel back to Bothell Friday.

The new schedule more closely replicates what college and pro teams play, while giving coaches more of a chance to use strategy as they set up their pitching and adjust to changes as each week plays out.

While he won’t have his son ready to take the mound this year, Smith can lean on a pair of veteran hurlers.

Seniors Matt Hilborn and Dane Lucero top the mound rotation, and are joined by three other returning lettermen, seniors Jake Pease and Shane Losey and junior Gavin Knoblich.

“All are expected to start this year and make a strong impact,” Smith said. “We have strong returning pitching and a strong senior core, but we will be a very young team.”

Among the younger players expected to play key roles include juniors Ulrik Wells and Mason Grove, sophomore Daniel Olson, who got the strikeout to clinch last year’s league title, and freshman Hawthorne Wolfe.

The roster will lean towards players making their varsity debuts this time around.

“(There are) some other up and coming players that will definitely have the opportunity to help out when called upon,” Smith said.

While his team may not be the most-experienced, the eternally-upbeat Wolf coach is aiming for success, as always.

With the season opener at home Mar. 12, against non-conference foe Friday Harbor, Smith is rarin’ to get going.

“Our number one goal is to make a run at the league title; our number two goal is to qualify for the state tournament,” he said.

“It will be a successful season if we play good baseball, and maintain a high level of motivation, energy and effort regardless of the outcome.”

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Coupeville High School baseball coach Chris Smith with the first of eight seniors, Joey Lippo. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Julian Welling

Hunter Smith

James Vidoni

Jacob Zettle

Jake Hoagland

Nick Etzell

Kyle Rockwell

If you thought we were done with baseball, you were wrong.

When Senior Night went down two weeks back, I ran portraits of all eight Wolves who are moving on, but neglected to showcase pics that each player took with CHS coach Chris Smith.

So, here ya go.

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Chris Smith fires up his squad during baseball season. (Sylvia Hurlburt photo)

Wolf fans will be seeing a lot of Chris Smith this year.

After making the jump to varsity coach with the Coupeville High School baseball team last spring, he has picked up two new gigs this off-season.

First came the boys basketball JV job, where he will assist new varsity coach Brad Sherman.

And now he’s stepping in as JV volleyball coach, joining second-year varsity coach Cory Whitmore’s staff.

Smith replaces Kristin Bridges, who left the job to welcome her new son.

CHS Athletic Director Willie Smith confirmed the job offer, which should be officially approved at the next school board meeting.

“I’m extremely grateful to Chris and his willingness to step up when our program needed it,” Cory Whitmore said. “He also brings a ton of experience as a coach and a role model.

“He sure will be busy this year!”

A father of three star CHS three-sport athletes (2016 grad CJ, senior Hunter and sophomore Scout), Chris Smith is a 1989 graduate of Brookwood High School in Snellville, Georgia.

He holds a BA in Exercise Science/Physical Therapy from Western Washington University and a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Andrews University.

Chris Smith also served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1989-1993.

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   CHS head baseball coach Chris Smith is taking on a second job at the school, as boys basketball JV coach. (Sylvia Hurlburt photo)

Chris Smith is going to pull double duty.

The popular Coupeville High School head baseball coach has been offered the assistant boys basketball job at the school, Athletic Director Willie Smith confirmed Sunday night.

The hire is not official until approved by the school board at its June 26 meeting.

As the new JV hoops guru, Chris Smith joins Brad Sherman, who was recently hired as the program’s head coach.

After working as a baseball assistant, Smith moved into the head coaching position early this spring when Marc Aparicio resigned.

He guided the Wolf hardball squad to a 7-6 mark, going a crisp 6-2 in Olympic League play.

A father of three star CHS three-sport athletes (2016 grad CJ, senior-to-be Hunter and sophomore-to-be Scout), Smith is a 1989 graduate of Brookwood High School in Snellville, Georgia.

He holds a BA in Exercise Science/Physical Therapy from Western Washington University and a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Andrews University.

Smith also served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1989-1993.

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   As he preps for Tuesday’s home playoff game, CHS hardball guru Chris Smith is fired up. (John Fisken photo)

One game to rule the world, or at least the prairie.

Postseason fever comes to Cow Town early next week, as the Coupeville High School baseball squad begins its pursuit of a state title.

Will the Wolves kick off a joy-ride or go one and done? I’m not a time traveler, so check back in a few days.

Until then, all the details worth printing:

What: West Central District 3 baseball playoff game

Who: Coupeville hosts Bellevue Christian

When: Tuesday, May 9 (first pitch 4 PM)

Weather forecast: The Weather Channel is predicting “mostly sunny,” with a high of 60, low of 48, and a nine-mile wind from the Northwest. Translation: it’ll be 32 degrees with rain and snow coming sideways. It’s the prairie…

Stakes: It’s a loser-out game. Win and you advance to the double-elimination portion of districts, where three of four teams will punch a trip to state.

The bracket: http://www.olympicleague.com/tournament.php?tournament_id=2268&sport=6

Ticket prices: It’s the playoffs, so you have to pay. Adult/students w/out ASB — $8, students w/ASB and senior citizens — $5, elementary students — $4.

And, how do the teams compare?

Records: CHS is 11-8, BC 7-10

League results: CHS #2 in Olympic League, BC #3 in Nisqually League

Current streak: CHS won four of final five games, while BC lost four straight to end regular season.

Last time they faced: Good question. While the two schools have clashed repeatedly in other sports recently, they haven’t met in baseball between 2010-2017 (the time frame the Olympic League web site documents).

Coaches: Chris Smith (1st season) for CHS, Blane Berry (4th season) for BC.

Seniors: CHS has six (Taylor Consford, Aiden Crimmins, Ethan Marx, Clay Reilly, Kory Score, Jonathan Thurston). BC has four (Peter Besel, Matthew Lew, Luke Miller, Kyle Sickles).

Mascots: Wolves for CHS, Vikings for BC.

Run differential: CHS outscored foes 133-104, while BC was outscored 112-91.

Best win/worst loss: CHS beat Port Townsend 22-0 and lost to Klahowya 15-4. BC beat Vashon Island 12-3 and lost 13-2 to Charles Wright Academy (which did not make the playoffs).

Foes in common: Vashon Island. CHS beat them 8-2, while BC swept three games from their league rivals.

State tourney history: CHS has been to state nine times, most recently in 2014. Its best showing came in 1987, when it finished 3rd. BC has been 10 times, most recently in 2011. The Vikings finished 2nd in 2002.

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