Posts Tagged ‘community’

Your pocket change can push me over the goal line. (David Stern photo)

I’m never getting that indoor/outdoor swimming pool with the waterfall in the middle.

That’s just reality.

Maybe if I was writing about food like my sister, or if I could churn out best sellers like Stephen King.

But, when I chose to focus on small town sports, I kind of knew the closest I was ever coming to a waterfall was rigging a garden hose over the back door.

So be it.

But while I’m not here for the money, I do need some pocket change to pay my (very pared-down) bills.

I’m managed to stay out of the dish pits for two-plus years now (my fingers say a silent prayer of thanks each night), and I’d like to keep it that way.

This past weekend, from Friday night to early Sunday evening, I was able to cover CHS football and girls soccer games in person and churn out 10 articles, something I couldn’t have done if I was juggling a “real world” job with Coupeville Sports.

Right there, waiting for you to marinate in while you ate breakfast Saturday, was an in-depth and first-hand account of the Wolves epic gridiron shellacking of old-school rival La Conner.

After that, the articles kept coming, from a cancer fundraiser to a feature on a Wolf cheerleader with Downs Syndrome to a look at Coleby Fleming’s aerial adventures in Norway.

Plus cross country, volleyball and soccer results (mere moments after play finished), fresh football stats, league standings for all CHS varsity teams and much, much more.

I’m not going to be modest here.

I am your fastest, most in-depth (some might say obsessively so) news source on Whidbey Island, and I give it to you without a pay wall.

Want to support me? Great. Want to read for free? Great.

As this new school year kicks into gear, I’m going to make one fundraiser plea.

I’m not a TV evangelist. I won’t be back asking for more each week.

Plus, I mean, I don’t have enough hair anymore to slick it back, Joel Osteen-style, anyway.

One request, and then we all move on with our lives.

And it’s this — if you like what I do, if you appreciate what I do, if you want to help make sure what I do continues, think about showing that support.

Your donations, whether they are one-time or repeating, are the life blood of Coupeville Sports.

Whether it’s loose pocket change or enough to build that swimming pool (I can dream…), you make all of this possible.

If you’re so inclined, there’s a donation button at the top of the blog.

If you don’t like PayPal, my mailing address is 165 N. Sherman, Coupeville, WA 98239, or you can slip something into my pocket at a game (though maybe not your discarded candy wrappers).

OK, that’s it.

I appreciate your support more than you know, and this is the last time this school year you’ll hear me asking for donations.

After this, I’ll be too busy writing real stories.

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Samantha Streitler (Photo courtesy Stephanie Streitler)

Streitler leads the break in a SWISH game. (John Fisken photo)

Samantha Streitler is seeking inner peace. Sort of.

The Coupeville Middle School 7th grader is a strong three-sport athlete, and her natural aggressiveness is a positive, but she also wants to temper that with focus in the heat of battle.

“I have great leader’s skills and I’m very competitive,” Streitler said. “I need to work on not getting frustrated and keeping calm on the court and or field.”

She plays volleyball and basketball for CMS, plus youth soccer and was a captain while she was involved in youth cheer from K-6.

Once she hits the high school hallways, she plans to add cheer back to her full schedule of sports.

“I really enjoy cheering,” Streitler said.

Regardless of the sport, she wants to “become known as a persistent, trustworthy, hard worker” by coaches and teammates.

While she enjoys all of her athletic pursuits, if Streitler had to pick one as a favorite, it would be hoops.

“Basketball, because I can use my strength and aggression on defense,” she said. “But, most of all, all my best friends play on the team.

“I love seeing the community coming together and cheering for us,” Streitler added. “Plus I love sports in general.”

On the court or off, she embraces those close to her, whether they be coaches, family, teammates or friends.

“(CMS volleyball) Coach (Alexandra) Walter believed in me and pushed me and taught me I always can get better,” Streitler said. “My parents have made a huge impact in my life and are my #1 fans.

“My friends have taught me to be a winner and we will do it together,” she added. “My family and friends are my life!”

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   We move closer and closer to making the top photo a reality, but here in Coupeville.

Legacy is huge.

Tim Duncan’s retirement from the NBA today is proof of that.

For 19 years, the Big Fundamental played the game with such precision, such honor, that his bidding farewell to the game at age 40 is like a (quiet) meteor ripping through the sports world.

The five championships, the unparalleled success (19 straight playoff berths, 18 seasons of 50+ wins) the San Antonio Spurs enjoyed with Timmmmmmaaaayyyyyy as their centerpiece, are remarkable.

But it’s the man who will be remembered, for the way he conducted himself, on the court and off. Class personified.

As I’ve pounded out 4,400+ articles here on Coupeville Sports (the four-year anniversary, Aug. 16, approaches), I’ve tried to leave some legacy behind myself.

But, a blog on the internet is not necessarily the best way to do so, as it all kind of evaporates a day or two after a particular story runs.

There is the Hall o’ Fame up at the top of the blog, but even that is a bit gossamer.

Which is why I started the project which is, against all odds, careening towards being a reality.

It’s easy to complain about the limited number of title banners which hang in the CHS gym, but replacing them with something more concrete, more complete, entailed a fair amount of work.

First I had to delve deep into the past (CHS started in 1900, or 90 years before the first banner currently gracing its gym), which required help.

The Whidbey News-Times has archives going back to the 1800’s, but those archives (bound volumes of newspapers, not microfiche or computer files) are locked down these days, in an effort to preserve crumbling, but vital history.

The paper’s head honcho, Publisher/Editor Keven R. Graves, was nice enough to overlook my past poking of his Canadian bosses, and allowed me access, probably against his better judgement.

As I spent days glazing over, flipping through pages looking for a bit of info here, a nugget of history there, News-Times Sports Editor Jim Waller (my high school journalism teacher) was always around to check on my progress, offer advice and help guide me.

Son of a legendary coach (Mert Waller) who got his start in Coupeville, Jim Waller grew up to be a standout athlete in Oak Harbor, then put in 30+ years as a Hall of Fame coach, and his guidance and knowledge of Island sports history is invaluable.

As the research came together, school officials — Superintendent Dr. Jim Shank and Principal Duane Baumann — were open to the idea of installing sports boards similar to what Oak Harbor High School has in its gym.

By doing so, we could fully honor the 109 titles I found (a figure that grows as the discussion over whether to add competition cheer is underway) lurking in the past.

The biggest stumbling block in going from essentially zero to putting 116 years of history on the wall in one fell swoop is, of course, money.

And yet that hurdle has largely fallen, with the Coupeville Booster Club pledging $2,500 and a GoFundMe I started having cleared $3,000 so far.

Now, Whidbey Signs is preparing to craft and install the signs, with a goal of having them in place prior to the start of a new school year.

It probably won’t feel real until the day arrives when the signs are unveiled and I can stand back and say, “This. As a community, as a Wolf Nation, we did this.”

I look forward to that day, because at that moment, with the help of so many, Coupeville Sports will have left something of a lasting legacy.

Something real. Something tangible.

To help us, pop over to:


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