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Posts Tagged ‘CHS Wolves’

That moment when you realize the only sports available to write about this fall will be slug races.

Counting today, there are 130 days left in 2020.

And that’s going to be a long, looooooong time with next to nothing to write about.

Which is why, effective early tomorrow morning (Tuesday, Aug. 25), I’m leaving social media and taking a sabbatical from Coupeville Sports.

I’m not removing the blog – all 7,898 articles I’ve published between Aug. 15, 2012 and now will still be here to read.

I’m just not going to add anything new, at least for awhile.

Mainly because there just isn’t going to be much to talk about.

With the COVID-19 pandemic rollin’ on, one of the few guarantees we have is that there won’t be any prep sports played until Jan., 2021.

And even that comes with a really big caveat.

We know there won’t be a fall sports season.

Though, unlike last spring, there still is a chance those teams will play, just not until sometime in March.

Maybe…

If things go perfectly, high school basketball will lead the return, with the start of practice the final week of Dec., and the opening games of a pared-down season dropping the first week of Jan.

Unless the influenza season gets nasty and combines with COVID to create a less-than-perfect storm, at which point we may be on hold for some time.

Basketball may get shoved back.

The season may get bumped.

Or we may just not see prep sports at all during the entire 2020-2021 school year.

No one knows. And if they tell you they do, they really don’t.

So, for someone who writes a blog focused largely on high school and middle school sports in a small town, the future looks increasingly barren.

Tack on the fact I have always lived by the credo of “Publish Every Day,” having averaged 3+ articles a day for the last eight years, and life will be extremely frustrating for me.

Case in point, this weekend.

I published four articles Thursday — two about sports, one about our ferry system, and one extremely well-read one about murder most foul — then had nothing to write about Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

Or today, for that matter.

There is nothing ahead on the schedule. Nothing.

No games. No practices. No new hires. Nothing. Nada. Less than zilch.

I can spend a lot of time being frustrated, and resort to sprinkling in non-sports stories, then spend more time marinating in the soul-sucking hell that is social media, or I can take a break.

I have other writing projects I can go work on, and freed from having to be on Facebook and Twitter, I can get away from the cesspool.

So, I’m out.

Like I said, the blog will still be here, and we’ll see how things play out.

If prep sports return in 2021, I may be back. Or not.

Place your bets accordingly.

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Andrew Martin, destroyer of worlds. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

One giant walking, talking bruise with an undying love for IHop pancakes.

Some football players try and do things with finesse, try and run away from their rivals, try to keep their uniforms clean.

Andrew Martin was never, ever one of those players.

“Hambone” is what you get if you build a time machine, go back to the ’50s, grab the guy who’s covered in mud and grass chunks, the guy everyone else is trying not to be hit by, then bring that dude back to modern times.

In other words, a new-school player with an old-school mind set.

Martin rarely dodged, always choosing to run right through fools instead, whether he was playing offense or defense for the Coupeville High School football team.

Hand him the ball, and the human battering ram often ran over the top of his own blockers, surging into the crowd, tearing off chunks of yardage (and sometimes ripping off opponent’s arms and legs in the process).

Martin bulldozes a would-be tackler.

Even in the open field, with no one in front of him, Martin sometimes pivoted backwards, seemingly just so he could feel the thwack one more time as he obliterated a would-be tackler.

He got in the end zone a fair amount of times, especially in big games, but all his best runs, all the plays which linger after his prep career has ended, involved slo-mo destruction.

The same was true on the defensive side of the ball, where Martin recorded tackles at a much more impressive pace than stat guys often recorded.

Rumbling from his linebacker position, or anywhere Wolf coaches plugged him into to as they employed various schemes, he was a wall of bricks.

Few got past him, no one got through him, and virtually everyone who wandered through Martin’s air space paid for it with a deep, aching burn down in their nether regions the next day.

He was a wrecker, a rumbler, a glorious throwback to a time when football players knew only one way to play the game — all-out, aggressive, and loaded for bear on every play.

Martin rose to the occasion, never more than on the night last fall when CHS football sealed the deal on its first winning season in 13 years.

Playing against 2A Anacortes, the Wolf senior rumbled for all three Coupeville touchdowns during a 27-carry, 137-yard swan song in front of his home fans.

Want to marinate in the moment one more time? Pop over to:

https://coupevillesports.com/2019/10/25/long-time-coming/

During Martin’s final season, I travelled to the team’s road games with Andy’s parents, and saw a different side to him than I might otherwise have.

After the Friday Night Lights had dimmed, after the roar of the crowd had receded, Andy would hobble back to the car, the effects of his playing style evident in how he moved, and in his good-natured description of all his various aches, pains, and injuries.

Yet, he never stopped moving forward. On the field, and in life.

Whether he was arguing for why he deserved post-game KFC, even if the nearest chicken outlet was way off the highway, breaking down every play from the game just ended, or trash-talking (in private) an opposing team player who tried (and failed) to intimidate him, Andy was a quality traveling companion.

I respect his game, appreciate the passion and grit he played with, and always found him to be quietly hilarious.

“Rest easy, little guy. Daddy will get you to the end zone and won’t let those bad men touch you.”

Off the field, the youngest member of the Martin clan was a strong student, and a talented member of the CHS band.

He also had some quality moments for the Wolf track and field squad, and could have been a beast on the basketball court like dad Jonathan, if he hadn’t needed downtime to heal his myriad football injuries.

But Andy made his mark on the gridiron, and jammed into the back of a car on the way home from games in some far-flung outpost, and that’s more than enough.

Today, his exploits, his fire, the way he lived, breathed, and (sometimes) suffered for football carry him into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

After this, you’ll find him, along with older brother Jacob, hanging out at the top of the blog, up under the Legends tab.

Bring him some KFC, sit back, and let him tell you in vivid detail what REALLY happened down there on the field, under the dog pile, away from the eyes of the ref.

Can’t write about it all, maybe, but it still makes for a heck of a story.

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Kylie Burdge, Hall o’ Famer. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Kiara (Burdge) Aguirre joins her big sis in being inducted.

They were born to be stars.

At least it seems that way, as, in all my seasons of watching Coupeville High School cheerleaders at work, few made the kind of memorable impact that the Burdge sisters did.

Kylie and Kiara, in seasons together and apart, embraced the cheer game, their coaches, teammates, and fellow students, and their community, with great fervor.

They weren’t just content to be cheerleaders, but were front and center all the way, thanks to a ton of hard work and naturally vibrant personalities.

The sister duo could be loud (when it mattered most), were always proud, and led by example, both rising to be captains in the Wolf program.

Away from the sidelines, they were brilliant students, both finishing their run at CHS in the top ten of their class academically.

You can also add in that they were as friendly and outgoing as any Wolf athletes I have ever written about, and passionate about their beliefs and convictions.

It’s not always easy to stand up and be publicly committed to your religion as teenagers, but Kylie and Kiara have always been open about their deep love for their Mormon faith, and I give them a lot of credit for that.

Whether you’re part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or not (and I’m not), it shouldn’t be hard to respect others for their beliefs, especially if they show a deep commitment and reverence for their faith, as the Burdge sisters always have.

But today, a couple of days after Kiara’s wedding day, we’re putting the focus primarily on their athletic achievements, since this blog is, technically at least, concerned with covering sports.

The debate over whether cheer is a sport should have ended a long time ago.

It’s a sport, and its athletes put in as much or more work than those in any other pursuit.

End of story.

And when we hail cheerleaders, especially those who have done their work while reppin’ the red and black of Coupeville, you have to include Kylie and Kiara.

Attend any game during their time in uniform, and it was obvious they loved cheer, and the chance to support their classmates.

Any awards they won — and there were more than a few — were well deserved, as the sisters brought a zing and a real sense of style to everything they did as Wolf cheerleaders.

They provided leadership and friendship to those around them, and were ideal role models for the young athletes coming up behind them on the youth cheer teams.

Want to know how high cheerleaders can soar in life, and all they can accomplish? The Burdge sisters are a great place to start.

So it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that today we induct them into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

After this, you’ll find Kylie and Kiara hanging out up at the top of the blog, gettin’ loud ‘n proud under the Legends tab.

Exactly where they belong.

Sister superstars, on the cheer sidelines and in life. (Photo courtesy Trina Burdge)

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Nick Wasik ran 134.8 miles this summer, most of any Coupeville cross country harrier. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They blazed their own trail.

Even with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Coupeville High School and Middle School cross country runners piled up the mileage this summer.

Under the watchful eye (from a distance) of CMS coach Elizabeth Bitting, the Wolves racked up 891.96 miles on local trails.

Along the way, there were a series of virtual summer fun runs, with the fleet-footed Ayden Wyman and Hank Milnes leading the way.

“Thank you to all who participated in any or all of the virtual races!,” Bitting said. “Some were easier than others, but I hope you all enjoyed navigating them first virtually, then on foot.

“Congratulations to Hank and Ayden! You ran the miles, conquered the races and came out as our top racers!!!

“The both of you will be receiving a tennis shoe keychain as a remembrance of the races you ran. Nice job!!!”

Bitting also doled out Kapaw’s Ice Cream gift certificates to the Wolf runners who racked up the most mileage, honoring the top three at both the middle school and high school levels.

 

Summer mileage totals:

High School:

Hank Milnes – 100.5 miles
Alex Wasik – 86.0
Tate Wyman – 75.7
Reiley Araceley – 61.1
Helen Strelow – 50.5
Cristina McGrath – 22.5
Erica McGrath – 12.5
Catherine Lhamon – 11.5
James Hall – 9.3
Skylar Parker – 8.1
Josh Guay – 2.6

 

Middle School:

Nick Wasik – 134.8 miles
Ayden Wyman – 82.8
Lillian Stanwood – 59.9
Thomas Strelow – 52.5
Jack Porter – 44.48
Johnny Porter – 41.98
Jack Ferrell – 21.8
Brynn Parker – 8.1
Cody Badger – 4.0
Dian Amago – 3.1
Teagan Calkins – 3.1
Sophia Mayne – 3.0
Reilly White – 2.1

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Uriel Liquidano sacrifices his head for the team. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

He was a new-school kid who played like an old-school athlete.

Uriel “Woody” Liquidano may have graduated in 2017, but his playing style would have made him a perfect fit back in the ’60s and ’70s.

Whether on the football field or the soccer pitch, the middle of three children (he followed big bro Oscar and preceded lil’ sis Estefanny) never left any doubt.

Uriel played hard, he played with passion, and he excelled as both an individual athlete and as a valuable link holding his team together.

Liquidano was joined by sister Estefanny, his parents, and one of his nieces on Senior Night.

The last time he walked off the Coupeville High School football field, I shook his hand and said something about how impressed I was with how he handled himself during his prep career.

Today, on his birthday, we’re following that up with something which should have happened a long time ago – we’re inducting him into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame, where he will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Oscar.

After this, you’ll find the brothers up at the top of the blog, living large under the Legends tab.

And why not?

Uriel played like a legend, while rarely being one to beat his own chest and scream about his greatness.

Instead, he yanked his helmet down on his head, locked eyes with opposing quarterbacks, then relentlessly chased them down, usually finishing plays having wrecked anyone foolish enough to get in his way.

Plop him on the soccer pitch as well, or the basketball court during his earlier days, and Uriel was just as much of a rampaging force of nature.

Pick a sport, and he was an enforcer.

On the gridiron, Uriel was a two-way starter, anchoring the offensive line, while rumbling on defense as a linebacker.

A team captain along with fellow Hall o’ Famers Clay Reilly and Jacob Martin, he led by example, busting his tail and delivering big plays.

Of all of his games in red and black, Uriel’s biggest probably came during his senior year, when he led a fired-up Wolves squad to a 41-10 thrashing of arch-rival South Whidbey as Coupeville retained possession of The Bucket.

As I wrote in the game story that night:

Senior Uriel Liquidano was a beast unleashed, spending most of his night gently cradling frightened Falcons as he slammed them to the turf after shedding would-be blockers.

Denied!

That smash-mouth playing style carried over to the soccer pitch, where he operated primarily as a defender for the Wolves.

Bust through Coupeville’s front line and Uriel was waiting to use and abuse you, sailing into battle with a huge smile on his face and his elbows set to “Crush Mode.”

An honor student off the field, and a guy who gave you everything he had from opening whistle to final whistle, he remains one of my favorite athletes to cover from the Coupeville Sports days.

So happy cake day, Uriel, best wishes for the future, and appreciation for the past.

You are the real deal, sir. Always have been, always will be.

Liquidano, Jacob Martin (32), and Clay Reilly (2) went out as champs, thrashing South Whidbey 41-10 as seniors.

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