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Posts Tagged ‘Ema Smith’

Ema Smith fires up the offense during a senior-season game. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Sister Ciara is part of a large fan club for the ever-outgoing star.

Ema in her natural environment, entertaining everyone around her.

“I’m kind of a big deal, you know.”

Ema Smith is one cool cat.

In a sea of high school athletes, she stood out for many reasons, but the biggest was her attitude.

Nothing seemed to ruffle her all that much, even when she was down on the floor rippin’ arms off as she came away with every loose ball, every wayward rebound.

Ema played with intensity, fought with passion, always showed great heart and a willingness to step up in the big moment, regardless of the sport, but she never lost the grin.

The half-smirk, the wink and a nod to her coach, the whispered one-liner, complete with arched eyebrow, that made a tense teammate relax.

She is the closest thing Coupeville has to having its own Matthew McConaughey.

Talent carries you a certain distance, hard work takes you the rest of the way, but attitude – how you conduct yourself, how you handle your business – is what sets true legends apart from the crowd.

It’s what makes the people in the stands remember you always.

And no one is going to forget Ema anytime soon.

She arrived in town as a middle schooler, red hair flashing in the sun as she leaned out the passenger window of the family car, firing off finger guns at passerby and intoning “Alright, alright, alright.”

OK, maybe not, but Ema did become part of the fabric of Wolf athletics in less than 2.1 seconds, immediately contributing to every team she played on.

From the softball diamond, where she was a hard-hitting warrior until injuries slowed her roll (but just a bit), to the soccer pitch, the track oval, and the basketball hard-court, she was a star who soared even higher by being willing to accept her role.

That carried over off the field, where Ema has been one of the quickest to embrace younger athletes coming up behind her.

When she couldn’t take the softball field herself, she stepped into the dugout and worked as a volunteer with little league squads.

During her own basketball season, Ema worked the scorer’s table at middle school games, offering advice and (frequent) hugs to the girls who would one day replace her in the CHS lineup.

Theses days she’s the swim instructor with the biggest fan club, spreading the love some more in the weeks leading up to her departure to college.

Of course, there’s her photo game, as well, where Ema excelled as both a subject and the person operating the camera.

She shot a ton of photos across several Booster Club Crab Feeds, and they showcased an already-assured eye.

Some people just point and click, but Ema is already telling stories with her camera. She knows how to draw out her subjects, and captures images which captivate the viewer.

Put her in front of the camera, and she rivaled all-time greats like the “Photo Bomb Queens” themselves, McKayla, McKenzie and Mollie Bailey.

Ema never met a photo she couldn’t be a part of, on or off the field, and losing her to college is a major blow for Coupeville Sports as it hunts for those sweet, sweet page views.

Of course, at the top of all of this, is her performance while in uniform.

If her body had held up, Ema could have played a crucial role for a CHS softball program which has reached new heights in recent years.

But, while that wasn’t meant to be, her impact on the Wolf basketball squad can’t be denied.

A deft passer, a strong rebounder, and a defender with a nice little chip on her shoulder, Ema could also put the ball in the basket on a regular basis.

While playing with top-notch scorers like Lindsey Roberts and Mikayla Elfrank limited her touches at times, she always stepped up and took advantage of her opportunities.

A deadly threat from behind the three-point arc, Ema carried the team for a stretch during her senior season, especially when a crunched finger sent Roberts to the ER.

That injury came in a game down in the wilds of Sultan, a contest Coupeville desperately needed to win, to snap a losing skid and hold on to a top playoff slot.

Roberts was hospital-bound, the Turk fans were shaking the roof of the gym, the Wolves needed a spark, and whammo, Miss Cool Cat picked up the ball and went to work.

Scoring six of her game-high 14 in the fourth, Ema drilled a jumper, flipped a running layup through a maze of defenders, then banked home another bucket while three Turks hung all over her.

A big-time performance delivered under the blazing glare of the spotlight, it lifted CHS to a season-defining win.

By the time she finished, Ema retired with 228 career points, making her the #48 all-time scorer in modern Wolf girls hoops history, a period which stretches from 1974-2019.

But, as shown in the Sultan game, it wasn’t how many points she scored, but when she scored them.

And that we know, that, after that game, she probably fist-bumped every single person in the Sultan gym, including the locals, as she exited, mega-grin on her face, enjoying every last moment.

Ema is truly a one-of-a-kind person, both as an athlete and a young woman, and she will go far in life.

That we here in Central Whidbey got to experience a slice of her story was sweet. As she gets ready to go write the next chapter, we want to take a moment to honor her.

Her induction into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame today is based on many things.

Ema has stats, she has talent, she has fight and desire, but, most of all, she’s got that elusive quality that makes someone truly memorable.

After this, when you look at the top of the blog, under the Legends tab, she’ll be easy to find.

She’ll be the one everyone else gravitates toward, cause she’s a star, baby. Now and forever.

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Valedictorian Sarah Wright is on hand Friday to rock the mic at the Coupeville High School graduation. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Madison Krieg gets congrats from Coupeville Schools Superintendent Steve King.

CHS Principal Duane Baumann had a prime seat to see sons Jakobi (left) and Jaschon graduate.

Ema Smith gets mobbed by big sisters Jesi (left) and Ciara.

Citlalli Montiel and Jasmine Nastali enjoy the festivities.

Dewitt Cole (left) and Greg Villarreal strike a pose.

Katherine Morales (left) and Tomi Herrera are off to new adventures.

Kyle Burnett gets the spotlight.

Coupeville’s best and brightest include, left to right, Peytin Vondrak, Lindsey Roberts, Ema Smith, and Emma Smith.

Josh Robinson and Chris Battaglia reach the end of their high school days.

It’s a wrap.

The Coupeville High School Class of 2019 has left the building and is on to new adventures.

But, before they could exit the gym on graduation night, photographer John Fisken was there to snap pics of both the diploma exchanges and the after party.

To see everything he shot, pop over to:

https://www.johnsphotos.net/Events/Coupeville-graduation-2019

This time out, all photos are free to download.

But, if you want a high-grade, glossy version, you can purchase prints through Fisken as well.

And, if you do, a percentage of each sale will go to help kick off the fundraising drive for the scholarships he’ll give out next year to two graduating CHS student/athletes.

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Coupeville High School senior Ryan Labrador received the US Marine Corp Athletic Achievement award Tuesday night. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Emma Smith spent much of her senior year collecting achievements and awards, and Tuesday was no different, as she was honored by the WIAA. (Konni Smith photo)

Dane Lucero joined Emma Smith in receiving the Cliff Gillies award. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Like Labrador, Ema Smith was honored by the Marines.

The awards flew fast and furious at Coupeville High School Tuesday night.

Along with the Male and Female Athlete of the Year winners being announced at the annual pre-graduation awards night, four other athletic honors were bestowed.

Ryan Labrador and Ema Smith received the U.S. Marine Corps Athletic Achievement award, while Dane Lucero and Emma Smith took home the Cliff Gillies Award.

The Marine Corps award recognizes athletes who are “exemplary young citizens and role models for younger students,” while having “exhibited the personal traits of courage, poise, self-confidence, and leadership while performing as a varsity athlete.”

The Gillies award is issued to a male and female athlete at each school in District 1, named in honor of the former Executive Director of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association.

Gillies was the head honcho at the WIAA from 1982-93.

A longtime teacher, coach and administrator, he had a sizable impact during his time as Executive Director.

While Gillies fronted the association, it restructured the state football playoff system, developed a drug education program, and started a student scholarship/participation recognition award.

Lucero and Emma Smith were recognized for “their participation in student activities, academic achievement, sportsmanship and citizenship.”

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Ema Smith scored 10 points Wednesday, including hitting a pair of three-balls, as Coupeville knocked off Sultan in its playoff opener. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Seize the moment.

Handed an unexpected home playoff game Wednesday, thanks to snow and ice derailing the first two days of the district playoffs, the Coupeville High School girls basketball team rose to the occasion.

Using a third-quarter that was filled with equal parts offensive fire and defensive grit, the Wolves blew open a close game with Sultan, eventually strolling home with a 48-37 win in front of their enthusiastic home fans.

The victory, the fifth in the last seven games for Coupeville, evens its record at 9-9, heading into a second loser-out playoff game.

That bout, tentatively set for Friday, sends the Wolves to Shoreline to play North Sound Conference champ King’s. The Knights are 16-5 after being bopped 65-48 by Lynden Christian, the #2 seed from the Northwest Conference.

With another snow storm expected to arrive Friday night, there is a chance the game will be moved to Thursday.

Whichever day it’s played, the winner punches their ticket to bi-districts, while the loser packs up their stuff and heads for the season-ending banquet.

The weather has put a crimp in how the postseason is proceeding, but hasn’t seemed to faze the Wolves.

The snow and ice which smashed Washington state delayed the start of the District 1 tourney, and what was supposed to be a double-elimination event was changed into a modified single-elimination one.

With the change, CHS went from opening on the road to hosting a game, while drawing a lesser-ranked opponent.

But, with the change, the Wolves also lost any chance to have a bad game and still be able to bounce back.

If the fact Wednesday’s game was a loser-out affair, it didn’t seem to bother Coupeville’s players, who came out looking relaxed and with a bounce in their step.

Given an extra home game, senior captains Lindsey Roberts and Ema Smith embraced the situation, combining to score 26 points while driving the Turk defenders batty.

The duo kicked off the game by hitting three-balls, with Smith drilling hers from the top of the arc, while Roberts was waiting when teammate Hannah Davidson yanked down a rebound and whirled, firing a beautifully-placed kick-out pass.

Lofting the ball almost as soon as it hit her fingertips, Roberts erased Sultan’s only lead of the game, with her trey putting the Wolves up 6-4.

A pair of free throws from Chelsea Prescott and a hustle basket from Ema Smith later, and CHS headed to the first break up 10-6.

Smith’s bucket came off of an offensive rebound which hit the hands of two players as it shot backwards, before popping straight up in the air.

Floating in the airspace above the paint, “Ema the Electrifying” speared the ball while dancing through a mass of defenders, then flipped the orb back up and in, barely ruffling the net as she did.

The second quarter was the lowest-scoring frame of the night, with both teams exchanging defensive stands more than popping buckets.

Roberts, playing on mom Sherry’s birthday, provided much of the second-quarter fireworks with a three-point play earned the hard way.

Pump-faking her defender into the still-frosty parking lot, the four-year varsity vet spun past her, crashed hard to the hoop and slapped home the bucket.

Then, grimacing slightly as she let the burn of an elbow she took to the noggin settle in, the unflappable one zipped the “and-one” free throw through the bottom of the net.

It was one of two truly standout offensive plays in the quarter, the other provided by Scout Smith and Prescott, as the former whipped a pass half the length of the court, feeding her younger teammate for a breakaway layup.

Making the play sweeter, and more highlight-reel-worthy, a lonely Sultan defender almost got back in time to stop Prescott.

Almost.

Showing composure under fire, the Wolf sophomore slowed her roll at just the right moment, let the Turk fly by out of control, then stepped strong to the glass and made dang sure the ball went down and stayed down.

As the teams went to the locker room at halftime, it felt like a game in which Coupeville was very much in control.

The scoreboard however, showing just a 17-11 Wolf lead, gave the Turks some hope.

Enter Roberts, fire shooting from her eyes, and exit Sultan, staggered, unable to slow down, much less stop, a Cow Town hoops legend who exited by reminding all of us just how good she can be.

There has never been a moment in her prep career when Lou, daughter of two CHS Athlete of the Year winners, has been anything less than a varsity player, in any of her three sports.

The rare athlete who can’t tell you what a JV game feels like, the next-to-last star in her large, extended family (lil’ bro Landon is on his way), Lindsey Roberts has been the real deal, every step of the way.

In track, her blazing feet do her talking. In soccer, her bionic kicking leg shatters the atmosphere.

But in basketball, Roberts has played many roles in the past four years, from rebounder to defensive ace to Scottie Pippen-style running mate.

Wednesday night, in her final appearance on the CHS hardwood, she truly stepped up and, without maybe saying the words out loud, screamed “Give me the dang ball if you want to live!”

It showed every time she touched the leather, especially in the third quarter, an eight-minute stand in which she, and her teammates, smacked Sultan into the bleachers.

Roberts kicked things off, taking a pass from Prescott, then going all Matrix, sliding between four defenders in the paint for an emphatic bucket.

After that came a jumper in the paint, in which she elevated, hung in the air for about 37 seconds, then spiked the ball through the net with a line-drive shot which melted the face of the Turk closest to her.

Not content to stop there, Roberts pulled off another three-point play the hard way, and doing so with the kind of power move in the paint which caused Sultan’s coach to stagger back, as if he, and not his players, had just been gut-punched.

With their fleet-footed supernova running wild, the Wolves ramped up their defense, then took turns raining down buckets from all angles.

Ema Smith let another three-ball splat, Scout Smith nailed a pull-up three-ball of her own, then Davidson pulled off her own power bucket in the paint, before Avalon Renninger got fancy.

Weaving with the ball, the junior guard snapped her defender’s ankles off, then pulled up on a dime and rimmed home a left-handed runner which sent the Wolf bench into a rolling wave of joy and hysteria.

Capping the quarter, freshman Ja’Kenya Hoskins sprinted up court, reversed direction, then shot into the air, and, out-leaping a Turk, picked off a long pass, preventing Sultan from getting a final shot off.

With all the buckets raining down, to the tune of a 22-11 Wolf run in the third, Hoskins play could have easily gotten lost in the noise.

But it shouldn’t, as it was the final, thrilling nail puncturing the Sultan balloon, and letting all the air spill out across the floor.

The Turks, to their credit, pulled things back together, and thanks to some seriously erratic reffing in the fourth, managed to get to the line a fair amount.

Not enough of their freebies slid through the net, though, and down the stretch, Coupeville kept things safe with some nicely-crafted buckets.

On one, Roberts drove the baseline, came out on the other side, then hopped into the air and fed Scout Smith, who drained the jumper as dad Chris screamed like a banshee.

On another, Davidson, playing as aggressive and confident in the paint as she has at any time in her Wolf career, backed down her defender and banked home a gorgeous turn-around shot.

And yes, dad Micheal was screaming like a banshee, as well.

The playoff win was a showcase in balance, with seven of 10 active players scoring, led by Roberts with 16 and Ema Smith with 10.

Both players made inroads on snagging personal achievements, as well.

Roberts, who sits with 448 points, passed Maureen Wetmore (438) and is tied with Vanessa Davis for #18 on the Wolf girls career scoring chart.

Wrapping up her second varsity season, Ema Smith made the jump into the top 50, moving past Lisa Roehl (216) and Beth Mouw (216), and into a tie at #49 with Annette Jameson (223).

The young guns also chipped in, with Scout Smith knocking down eight points, Prescott reaching 100 on the season with six, Davidson rattling home four, and Renninger notching two.

Freshman Izzy Wells rounded out the scoring attack, scoring the game’s final bucket on a nicely-executed bank shot.

Roberts paced the Wolves on the boards with seven, while Scout Smith collected five rebounds, two steals and two assists while running the point almost flawlessly.

Hoskins and Nicole Laxton combined to pull down five rebounds, with defensive hawk Tia Wurzrainer harassing Turk ball-handlers into committing countless mistakes.

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Thanks to the snow and ice, Avalon Renninger and her teammates will now open the playoffs at home, and not on the road. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Everything changes.

After two days of postponements thanks to snow and ice, the District 1 girls basketball playoffs will finally kick off Wednesday night.

Just not the way they were originally planned.

Having lost two days, and wanting to hold to the tournament’s original end date — Saturday, Feb. 9 — athletic directors from the North Sound Conference and Northwest Conference have come up with a compromise.

Instead of a double-elimination tournament in which Coupeville High School would have started on the road, we’re now looking at a modified single-elimination tourney in which the Wolves get to unexpectedly host a playoff game.

CHS, the #3 seed from the NSC, was originally set to play Lynden Christian, the #2 team from the NWC, on the road.

After that, teh Wolves would have played either King’s or Sultan, also on the road.

The new format takes the top four teams in the eight-team tourney (King’s, Meridian, Lynden Christian, and Cedar Park Christian) and pits them against each other in the first round.

Win or lose, those teams advance to play a second game.

The other four teams (Coupeville, Nooksack Valley, Granite Falls, and Sultan) are now paired off in loser-out games.

The Wolves (8-9 on the season) draw Sultan (7-13), the #5 NSC seed, and a team they have beaten 44-34 and 29-27 this season.

As the higher seed, Coupeville hosts the game Wednesday, Feb. 6, with tip-off set for 7 PM.

Ticket prices for playoff games are:

Adults / Students w/o ASB – $7.00

Students w/ ASB – $5.00

Children / Seniors – $5.00

If the Wolves win Wednesday, they advance to play a road game against the loser of King’s and Lynden Christian Friday, Feb. 8 in a second-loser out game.

Win there as well, and Coupeville clinches a trip to bi-districts. First, though, it would play one more game, Saturday, Feb. 9, to decide the #3 and #4 seeds out of District 1.

The updated bracket:

http://www.nscathletics.com/tournament.php?tournament_id=2883&sport=12

 

PS — The Coupeville Middle School girls basketball opener, which had been moved from Tuesday to Wednesday, has been cancelled, and will likely be rescheduled at a later date.

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