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Posts Tagged ‘CMS Wolves’

   Coach Lark Gustafson (center) heads up a SWISH hoops squad featuring Coupeville players in grades 5-7. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

   One step away from high school ball, the Wolves playing for Dustin Van Velkinburgh are in 8th grade.

The little sisters are here, to lay claim to the court.

Coupeville’s girls SWISH basketball teams have been ultra-successful in recent seasons, and there seems little reason to think it won’t continue.

The young Wolves, many of whom have now been playing together for several seasons, are working their way towards the high school team, all with an eye on continuing the success those older squads have also enjoyed.

This year’s 8th grade SWISH team has already beaten Orcas Island and Friday Harbor, while losing thrillers to big-city foes from Anacortes, Blaine and Mount Vernon.

The Wolves, playing without several injured players, had late leads on two of those three teams.

“We are playing really well; just missing shots,” said coach Dustin Van Velkinburgh. “Should be a good group to watch throughout high school.”

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   Hawthorne Wolfe, here slicing to the hoop as a 7th grader, is back for a second season of middle school basketball. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They’re 18 strong in the early going.

While players may still come and go, Coupeville Middle School boys basketball coaches Bob Martin and Dante Mitchell have a pretty good idea of what they’ll have to work with.

And what that is, is a fair amount of 8th graders (13) and a bare bones amount of 7th graders (just five).

Last year, it was the other way around, as the younger team was the well-stocked one.

With most of that crew staying with the game, Mitchell will have plenty of bodies to mix and match, while Martin is hustling to try and attract some more players to turn out.

The rosters as they stand through after day one of practice:

8th grade:

Lucious Binnings
Isaiah Bittner
Aiden Burdge
Brayden Coatney
Brawn Gadberry
Tony Garcia
Logan Martin
Caleb Meyer
Xavier Murdy
Grady Rickner
Cody Roberts
Damon Stadler
Hawthorne Wolfe

7th grade:

Dominic Coffman
Alex Murdy
Kevin Partida
Levi Pulliam
Alexander Wasik

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   Xavier Murdy is one of Coupeville’s top returning 8th grade players. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

We’re going inside.

As fall sports begin to shift to winter sports, the basketball courts will light up with activity, and we’ll all get out of the rain and wind.

First up is the Coupeville Middle School boys, led by coaches Bob Martin and Dante Mitchell.

The Wolf young guns kick off practice Monday, with games set to start at the end of the month.

The 10-game CMS boys schedule, with all home games set to tip at 3:15 PM:

Thur-Nov. 30 @Sequim
Mon-Dec. 4 Stevens
Thu-Dec. 7 @ Forks
Mon-Dec. 11 Blue Heron
Thur-Dec. 14 @ Chimacum
Thur-Jan. 4 Forks
Mon-Jan. 8 @ Blue Heron
Thur-Jan. 11 Chimacum
Tue-Jan. 16 Sequim
Thur-Jan. 18 @ Stevens

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   Former Wolf hoops player Dante Mitchell has been hired to coach basketball at Coupeville Middle School. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Like mother, like son.

Former Coupeville High School basketball star Dante Mitchell is following in the coaching footsteps of mom Avis, and his first job as a head coach will come at his former stomping grounds.

Mitchell, who graduated alongside twin brother DeAndre in 2016, has been tabbed as the new 8th grade boys basketball coach for Coupeville Middle School.

He joins veteran whistle-blower Bob Martin, who will run the 7th grade program this fall.

The job opening came because longtime round-ball sage Randy King is taking a break from the bench while preparing for hip surgery.

Mitchell’s hiring, announced by CHS/CMS Athletic Director Willie Smith, needs final, official approval from the school board.

That would come at their next meeting Nov. 27.

CMS boys hoops kicks off a new season with the first day of practice Monday, Nov. 6.

The Wolves play a 10-game season, with their first battle a road game at Sequim Nov. 30. Mitchell’s home debut as a head coach is Dec. 4.

After wrapping his high school basketball playing career with the 2015-2016 season, Mitchell was an assistant coach on Anthony Smith’s staff during the 2016-2017 campaign.

Former Coupeville boys JV hoops coach Dustin Van Velkinburgh worked with Mitchell for several seasons.

Dante will bring some young energy, that will hold his kids accountable,” Van Velkinburgh said. “During his time as a player, I appreciated how hard he worked and his willingness to do the little things to help his team win.

“And he’s never been one to shy away from hard work.”

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   Angelina Gebhard and the Coupeville Middle School 8th grade JV volleyball squad rallied for an epic win Thursday afternoon. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

As comebacks go, this one was pretty dang incredible.

Rallying multiple times Thursday, the Coupeville Middle School 8th grade JV volleyball squad stormed back from an enormous first set deficit, then liked success so much it promptly rolled to a straight-sets win over visiting Sequim.

The 25-23, 26-24, 15-11 victory, in which the Wolves trailed from the first serve to the next-to-last point of the opening set, was the highlight on a day when the other three CMS teams fell to their big school rivals.

And, if you win, you get first priority in the story.

8th grade JV:

Things were not going especially well.

The JV squad, which had trailed from the first point of the match, fell behind, then watched its deficit steadily grow.

A few strong serves from Samantha Streitler aside, the Wolves were in trouble, trailing 16-8 and lacking any sort of spark.

Or maybe CMS coach Casie Greve and her team were just pulling a long con, cause things flipped and they flipped fast.

Morgan Stevens turned out to be the catalyst, and the finisher.

A pair of aces started the comeback, then Amanda Thomas, Abby Mulholland and Angelina Gebhard caught fire at the line, while Sequim suddenly went ice cold, missing four consecutive serves.

Even with all that, the Wolves didn’t take the lead until Stevens dropped in two straight aces to push CMS up 24-23.

With all the air rushing out of the bodies of the Sequim players, Stevens twirled the ball one more time, launched it skyward and sent a ball across the net which hit the receiver in the arm and bounced away for set point.

At which point the Wolves erupted like they had won the state championship, screaming loudly enough to wake up any cows still grazing out in nearby fields.

Buoyed by the improbable, heart-stopping comeback, the JV dropped the hammer after that.

Stevens continued to be on fire at the service line, while Mulholland and Chloe LaRue put together torrid runs of their own.

In between the service winners, Ella Colwell dropped in a sweet tip for a winner, while LaRue came storming down the sideline to save a runaway ball and redirect it back over the net and through a mob of Sequim players.

8th grade varsity:

The Wolves started in cruise control, then the wheels fell off the car.

After opening with a 25-16 win in the first set, Coupeville suffered through a lengthy dry spell on serve — at one point five of six servers put their first ball into the net during the second set — and things turned sour quickly.

Sequim, which benefited more from CMS errors than anything it accomplished for itself, captured the final two sets 25-18, 15-6.

Part of the visitors success on this day came from something which may trip up its players down the road.

Coupeville coaches preach overhand serving, if at all possible, while Sequim had a staggering amount of girls lofting the ball underhand.

Thursday, that worked, as it meant the visitors put just about everything into play. But it also means a lengthier adjustment for those players down the road as they try and rise through the ranks.

When CMS players hit high school, they will already be prepared to serve at that level, which is huge.

From Izzy Wells, who cracked off a nasty ace which hit the court and burrowed five feet down (part of a string of eight straight winners during the good-times first set), to Jaelyn Crebbin, who frequently unleashes bombs, one loss doesn’t tell the full tale of their potential.

During that opening set, Coupeville also benefited from strong play by Abby Meyers, Noelle Daigneault and Eryn Wood, who closed out the set with a high-flying tip which elicited a scream of approval from her dad, Robert, camped in the bleachers.

While things didn’t go as smoothly after that, the Wolves still got some big plays, such as Audrianna Shaw painting the back line with a spike.

7th grade varsity:

The match was closer than the score might sound, as the Wolves, led by the serving of Kaielle Bepler and Alita Blouin and the hustle of Jill Prince and Gwen Gustafson, fought hard in a 25-8, 25-15, 25-15 loss.

Capping their first season as co-coaches of the young guns, Sarah Lyngra and Kimberly Bepler were thrilled with the progress they saw from their often very raw players.

“Everyone worked really hard, today and all season,” Lyngra said.

Bepler agreed, saying “We saw a big development of skills from the girls as we went from match to match.”

7th grade JV:

The scores were much closer in this one, a barn-burner where a serve here, a spike there, could have flipped the match.

Sequim escaped with a 25-20, 25-18, 25-23 win, but not before Wolves Cypress Socha (nine successful serves), Vivian Farris (7) and Hayley Fiedler (5) sliced ‘n diced the visitors while at the service stripe.

Cypress was awesome today,” Lyngra said. “Her best super, duper day of the season!”

Both coaches were happy to see their player’s continued growth in getting “three hits and over,” pointing to one rally where there were five such combinations before the point was finished.

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