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Avalon Renninger is a vital part of Wolf girls tennis and basketball, the two most-successful CHS athletic programs during the Coupeville Sports days. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The girls rule Coupeville High School.

And before you offer an argument, it’s right there in black and white.

This blog launched August 15, 2012, which means it’s been in place for seven complete school years at this point.

In that time, the 10 CHS athletic teams which keep win/loss records have combined to post 19 winning seasons, with 14 of those coming from female athletes.

That’s 73.6%, so the argument is more than done (at least at this moment in time).

Those 10 sports (we’re not counting track or cross country, which operate in their own world of score-keeping) include five girls teams and five boys squads.

On the girls side, all five sports have at least one winning season during the run of Coupeville Sports, while three of the five boys teams have yet to break .500 between 2012-2013 and 2018-2019.

The last seven years have seen Coupeville compete in three different leagues.

Two final years in the 1A/2A Cascade Conference were followed by four years in the Olympic League, then the 2018-2019 school year kicked off the 1A North Sound Conference.

The years spent with Klahowya, Port Townsend, and Chimacum in the Olympic League were the sweet spot, as CHS captured the most league wins of any of the four schools, while claiming 14 of its 19 winning seasons.

Back in the company of private schools like King’s and Cedar Park Christian this past year, the Wolves took a step back, percentage-wise, but still claimed three winning campaigns.

That was one more than CHS totaled across its final two years of being hammered by Archbishop Thomas Murphy and Co. in the old Cascade Conference.

Looking at the results, there are several things which emerge.

The two CHS programs with the highest winning percentages from 2012-2013 to 2018-2019 — girls tennis and girls basketball — only had one coach during that time period.

Ken Stange, who has also guided boys tennis to the fifth-best mark, was already in place long before I left the Coupeville Examiner to start this blog, while girls hoop guru David King was hired right as it began.

Girls tennis holds down the #1 slot, despite taking a step back the past two seasons, while volleyball and softball are rising up the rankings, with each having posted three-straight winning seasons.

Overall, counting league and non-league clashes, Coupeville has compiled a 482-667 record during my blogging days. That’s a .419 winning percentage.

Better than a lot of schools, but no one is going to call us a state powerhouse anytime soon.

As we head into a second season in the North Sound Conference, with the possible promise of a long-anticipated return to 2B a year from now, my hope is for the wins to keep trending upward.

If nothing else, that makes my job easier, and making my job easier is priority #1.

It’s not? Well, it should be.

 

Breakdown by sport:

 

Girls Tennis:

School Year: W/L:
2012-2013 9-3
2013-2014 6-7
2014-2015 11-3
2015-2016 10-3
2016-2017 6-3
2017-2018 7-8
2018-2019 2-7
(51-34) .600

 

Girls Basketball:

School Year: W/L:
2012-2013 6-16
2013-2014 10-13
2014-2015 15-7
2015-2016 16-6
2016-2017 15-6
2017-2018 8-14
2018-2019 9-10
(79-72) .523

 

Baseball:

School Year: W/L:
2012-2013 10-12
2013-2014 14-11
2014-2015 9-10
2015-2016 10-12
2016-2017 11-9
2017-2018 15-6
2018-2019 7-14
(76-74) .507

 

Softball:

School Year: W/L:
2012-2013 6-16
2013-2014 8-20
2014-2015 7-12
2015-2016 9-11
2016-2017 19-5
2017-2018 12-9
2018-2019 15-10
(76-83) .478

 

Boys Tennis:

School Year: W/L:
2012-2013 4-4
2013-2014 0-7
2014-2015 4-5
2015-2016 5-3
2016-2017 5-8
2017-2018 6-7
2018-2019 8-6
(32-40) .444

 

Volleyball:

School Year: W/L:
2012-2013 4-13
2013-2014 3-12
2014-2015 1-11
2015-2016 6-10
2016-2017 11-6
2017-2018 13-5
2018-2019 11-5
(49-62) .441

 

Girls Soccer:

School Year: W/L:
2012-2013 1-16-0
2013-2014 2-14-0
2014-2015 6-7-1
2015-2016 6-7-3
2016-2017 8-7-1
2017-2018 8-9-0
2018-2019 2-12-1
(33-72-6) .324

 

Boys Soccer:

School Year: W/L:
2012-2013 3-14-0
2013-2014 5-10-2
2014-2015 3-11-0
2015-2016 5-9-1
2016-2017 4-11-1
2017-2018 7-9-2
2018-2019 6-10-0
(33-74-6) .319

 

Football:

School Year: W/L:
2012-2013 2-9
2013-2014 4-5
2014-2015 5-5
2015-2016 1-9
2016-2017 3-7
2017-2018 3-7
2018-2019 3-6
(21-48) .304

 

Boys Basketball:

School Year: W/L:
2012-2013 1-21
2013-2014 3-17
2014-2015 7-13
2015-2016 9-11
2016-2017 3-17
2017-2018 7-13
2018-2019 2-16
(32-108) .229

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Scott Fox has been tabbed as the new Coupeville High School girls basketball varsity head coach. (Photos courtesy Fox)

A flashback to Fox during his playing days.

A new chapter begins.

Girls basketball has been one of the most successful sports programs at Coupeville High School over the past 45 years, and everyone involved is confident of a smooth transition as a new head coach arrives.

The new face of the program will be Scott Fox, who was tabbed this week to replace David King.

The hire will be official after the school board approves it.

King retired after seven seasons at the helm of the program, a run in which he won three Olympic League titles and took the Wolves to the state tourney in 2016.

His teams made the playoffs every season, continuing a run of success which stretches back to the mid-’90s, when Willie Smith arrived from Sequim.

The year before the current Coupeville Athletic Director became head coach, the Wolf girls went 1-19.

Smith transformed the program into a contender, leading it to its first-ever win at the state tourney in 2000.

After that came a run of state appearances, with the Wolves bringing home a 6th place banner and two 8th place banners between 2002-2005 under the guidance of Greg Oldham.

Now, with girls hoops firmly established as one of the school’s best, Fox will get a chance to continue the success.

Finding a coach with a plan for the future, a solid teaching style, and an ability to interact well with players, fellow coaches, and parents was important to the hiring board, which included CHS administrators, coaches, teachers, and student/athletes.

Smith released the following statement Friday afternoon:

CHS is pleased to announce the hiring of Scott Fox as our new high school girls basketball head coach.

Scott brings over 12 years of experience as a basketball coach, as well as being our boys C-Team basketball coach this past year.

He was a collegiate basketball player at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and is a recently retired Captain in the Anaheim City Fire Department.

His experience, leadership qualities, sense of community, and basketball knowledge were all attributes which made Scott stand out, and we are very excited to have him as part of our staff.

King, who was one of the longest-tenured coaches in program history, praised his successor and looks forward to seeing what he will accomplish.

“It was bittersweet with retiring, but hearing the news of Scott getting the job softens the blow,” he said. “You get attached to the players and it’s hard to let go; but knowing Scott will be at the helm eases any concerns on how a new coach will treat the players and program. They are in good hands.

Amy and I got to know Scott this past summer and season and we are excited to see what he can do with the program.” he added. “The players are going to like him and through his knowledge and preparation, he will get the most out of the players.”

Fox tore up the hardwood for Millikan High School in Long Beach, CA, back in the day, before moving on to play basketball at Long Beach City College, then on scholarship at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.

While putting in 30 years with the Anaheim Fire Department, first as a paramedic, then 12 years as a Captain, he also worked as a hoops coach, first at his alma mater, then later at Orange Lutheran.

Upon retiring, Fox and wife Susan purchased a house in Coupeville, and he joined Brad Sherman’s CHS boys basketball staff this past season.

When I first interviewed him last year, the newest Wolf coach stressed the importance of helping his players on and off the floor, something he demonstrated as the season played out.

“Coaches have a huge impact on student’s lives and I would like to be part of their development into adulthood,” Fox said. “We prioritize in helping develop the total student, which includes being a responsible person first, student second, and athlete last.

“We hold our athletes accountable for their behavior and academic success prior to ever being allowed onto the basketball court,” he added. “We feel this will benefit them as they develop habits for success past high school.”

Being a winning program is huge, but having one which the community can look to proudly off the floor is the ultimate goal.

“Beyond the wins and losses I want to instill a work ethic of accountability, responsibility and teamwork in these athletes,” Fox said. “I would like to see us improve after every game and learn what it means to be part of a team.

“This is a truly special place and we are glad to be part of it.”

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Seven weeks from today, junior Hannah Davidson will likely help Coupeville kick off a new basketball season. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Seven weeks.

It’s both an eternity and a quick flick of the calendar.

And, as of today, seven weeks is exactly how long until the first official high school basketball game tips off.

Coupeville’s squads, led by David and Amy King (girls) and Brad Sherman and Chris Smith (boys) hit the courts Nov. 12 for the first day of practice, while the Wolf girls host Meridian Nov. 27 to start the 2018-19 season.

In preparation of that, CHS Athletic Director Willie Smith officially released the buffed, shined and (hopefully) final version of the schedules Tuesday afternoon.

As Wolf hoops kicks off its first voyage through the North Sound Conference, the two squads sit with 10 league games and eight non-league games apiece.

The girls get a true split schedule, with nine at home and nine on the road, while the boys will spend a bit more time on the bus, with a 10-8 split in favor of off-Island match-ups.

The most intriguing game on the schedule for either teams might be the opener for the CHS boys.

The foe in that game, a home tilt Nov. 28, is the big school to the North, 3A Oak Harbor.

It’s the first time the two schools have faced off in a regular-season hardwood game since Coupeville stunned the Wildcats 66-61 way back on Dec. 21, 2009.

 

This winter’s schedules (times are for JV and varsity, and * = league game):

 

GIRLS:

Tue-Nov. 27 — Meridian — (5:15/7:00)
Sat-Dec. 1 — Bush — (4:45/3:00)
Mon-Dec. 3 — @Sequim — (3:45/5:30)
Wed-Dec. 5 — Friday Harbor — (5:15/3:45)
Sat-Dec. 8 — @Orcas Island — (1:00/2:30)
Fri-Dec. 14 — @Concrete — (7:30/6:00)
Tue-Dec. 18 — Sultan — (5:00/6:45) *
Thur-Dec. 20 — Port Townsend — (3:30/5:15)
Sat-Dec. 22 — @Nooksack Valley — (2:45/1:00)
Fri-Jan. 4 — @King’s — (3:30/5:00) *
Tues-Jan. 8 — @Cedar Park Christian — (5:00/6:45) *
Fri-Jan. 11 — @Sultan — (3:30/6:30) *
Tue-Jan. 15 — Granite Falls — (5:00/6:45) *
Fri-Jan. 18 — South Whidbey — (5:00/6:45) *
Tue-Jan. 22 — @South Whidbey — (5:00/6:45) *
Fri-Jan. 25 — Cedar Park Christian — (5:00/6:45) *
Tue-Jan. 29 — King’s — (5:00/6:45) *
Fri-Feb. 1 — @Granite Falls — (3:30/6:30) *

 

BOYS:

Wed-Nov. 28 — Oak Harbor — (5:15/7:00)
Sat-Dec. 1 — Bush — (3:00/4:45)
Mon-Dec. 3 — @Sequim — (5:30/3:45)
Wed-Dec. 5 — Friday Harbor — (3:45/5:15)
Sat-Dec. 8 — @Orcas Island — (2:30/1:00)
Tue-Dec. 11 — Sultan — (5:00/6:45) *
Fri-Dec. 14 — @Concrete — (6:00/7:30)
Thur-Dec. 20 — @Port Townsend — (4:30/6:00)
Sat-Dec. 22 — @Nooksack Valley — (1:00/2:45)
Fri-Jan. 4 — @King’s — (3:30/6:45) *
Tue-Jan. 8 — Granite Falls — (5:00/6:45) *
Fri-Jan. 11 — @Sultan — (5:00/8:00) *
Tue-Jan. 15 — @Cedar Park Christian — (5:00/6:45) *
Fri-Jan. 18 — South Whidbey — (5:00/6:45) *
Tue-Jan. 22 — King’s — (5:00/6:45) *
Fri-Jan. 25 — Cedar Park Christian — (5:00/6:45) *
Tue-Jan. 29 — @South Whidbey — (5:00/6:45) *
Fri-Feb. 1 — @Granite Falls — (5:00/8:00) *

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Kacie Kiel “always made us better when she was on the court.” (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Breeanna Messner “was so much more than an athlete.” (Shelli Trumbull photo)

In the six years of Coupeville Sports, David King has helped set the gold standard.

Whether coaching softball or girls basketball, or discussing other sports from the sidelines, he remains one of the best go-to guys for a quote, a hot take, or well-reasoned analysis.

I hyperventilate, while he sits there, cool as a cucumber, small smile on his face, and tells me how things really work in the prep sports world.

Now, he’s here to join in on our continuing series of articles in which CHS coaches, past and present, discuss the best players they’ve worked with.

So, away we go.

 

Who is the best female athlete you coached at CHS?

Makana Stone.

She not only is the most gifted athlete I’ve ever coached, she is as humble and team-oriented as they come. Willing to help any and all teammates and encouraging them every step of the way.

Makana is a player that didn’t settle for good enough; she pushed herself to be great. Her work ethic is second to none.

She chose basketball to play in college and has flourished. But I believe she could have gone to college and played soccer, volleyball or ran track.

Not many athletes have that kind of talent.

 

Who is the best male athlete you coached at CHS?

Jordan Wilcox.

I was a volunteer high school baseball coach and also coached him in little league. I also had the opportunity to help some with basketball before high school.

A natural athlete that made the hardest plays look easy.

Jordan put in the time during the off-season and throughout the season. A great sense of humor that kept practices light, but still worked hard.

Jordan had that killer instinct that he would tap into when he had an opponent down.

 

What CHS athlete that you did NOT coach, do you wish you could have?

Grace LaPoint and Lauren Bayne.

I coached Grace in basketball, but not in softball.

During Grace’s senior year, I became a co-coach for softball, however Grace decided to hang up her softball cleats and pursued track.

A speedster and a very smart athlete.

I was disappointed when she told us she was going to track over softball. It would have been great to have her patrolling the outfield and creating havoc on the bases.

Lauren it seems is one of the few athletes I didn’t coach between basketball and softball.

I tried to convince her for four years to give basketball a try.

After seeing the type of athlete she was and seeing it first hand when she played middle school basketball, I felt like she could have been a major contributor to the basketball program.

 

Who is the most underrated CHS athlete you coached?

Kacie Kiel.

Anything I threw at Kacie regarding basketball she always accepted the challenge. A great attitude and selfless.

She may not have had the highest stats from game to game, however she was a complete player.

She could handle the ball, play the wing and knock down open shots. Rebound against taller and bigger players and she was a lock-down defender.

A player that I trusted on the court and one that always made us better when she was on the court.

 

Thinking about character/intangibles/commitment, what CHS athlete you coached would be the one you want young kids to emulate?

Breeanna Messner.

Breeanna is so much more than an athlete. Plain and simple, she is a great human being!

Her character is off the charts. It’s all on her along with her very supportive family.

Breeanna has a genuine caring heart that she is willing to share with everyone she comes in contact with.

The intangibles she brought to the teams she played on helped each team have the success they did.

She played point guard and was like a coach on the floor.

She was a catcher and her willingness to learn and grow as a leader was what brought her respect.

Breeanna would put in 100% effort at every practice, then on many occasions would ask to stay late to work on her skills in both basketball and softball.

She never thought she was “owed” a position or a starting spot. She earned it based on her commitment to help the team no matter what and her actual skills she possessed.

I was lucky enough to get to coach her in basketball and softball in high school and a year each in youth sports.

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   Coupeville’s basketball players celebrated big moments, but with class, part of why both its girls and boys teams were honored for sportsmanship by Olympic League coaches. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Other coaches liked them. They really, really liked them.

Coupeville’s final season in the 1A Olympic League was capped with an unusual distinction — both the Wolf girls and boys hoops squads received the conference award for Best Sportsmanship.

Pulling off the double-win, and having their players recognized by rival coaches, brought a smile to the faces of CHS coaches David King (girls) and Brad Sherman (boys).

As the duo marinated in the moment, they took time out from their busy schedules to speak about what the award means to them as coaches, and what it means to the culture of their programs.

What does winning the award mean to you personally as a coach?

King: Being voted by the other coaches for this award validates what we are trying to do as a program.

Compete every day and no matter if we win or lose we treat the game of basketball and those involved with respect.

Sherman: It’s a nice recognition for the team.

The guys can be proud of the way they played and the class they displayed on the court this year.

To have both boys and girls recognized in the same year is really a nice testament to our Coupeville athletes and their level of character.

How is winning it a positive for your program?

King: It shows that we can be aggressive and have an attitude of playing to win or never backing down. These things are needed to develop and maintain a winning culture.

We are also able to stay true to who we are and play the game the right way.

Sherman: Sets the bar where we always want it to be in regards to sportsmanship.

Character and attitude truly matter and any time that’s recognized I think it’s a really positive thing for our athletes and our program culture.

Is sportsmanship something you have preached or encouraged?

King: The great thing about the players in Coupeville, they already come with a great attitude and we as coaches don’t have to encourage the sportsmanship side of things.

I would say the one area that we do preach about sportsmanship is not running up a score.

This is a topic that does get mentioned early on every season.

Sherman: I think we just try to set a few basic expectations of what it means to be a Wolf basketball player.

At the beginning of the year the team discussed and agreed to a few basic items – one being taking pride in the name on the front their uniform.

This just meant understanding that as a team, our actions, effort, choices and words (both on and off the basketball court) are a reflection on the team, the school, and their community.

I thought the guys did a really nice job this year in that regard, and our leaders did a wonderful job setting that example and keeping their composure no matter what the situation.

I think both programs are blessed with some great, respectful young athletes who don’t need a lot of reminders about playing with class as it’s really in their nature to do so anyhow.

How do you, as a coach, balance sportsmanship with wanting your teams to whomp on people?

King: Balancing sportsmanship and having my competitive side kick in is something I’ve had to work on as a coach.

If I wasn’t competitive I wouldn’t have played sports or coach it now.

However, there has to be a balance and teaching these athletes that it’s okay to be compassionate and at the same time having the will to win.

Sherman: I think at the end of the day the focus is to work hard and do all we can to win basketball games – but win with class, lose with class, and play with the same attitude and effort regardless.

Up by 30 or down by 30, close game, physical game … at the end of the day, you just aim to be a team that goes out there and plays hard, focuses on and respects the game of basketball, and ignores all the other stuff.

Our athletes deserve a lot of credit for that this year.

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