Posts Tagged ‘Emma Smith’

Emma Smith, part of one of the prairie’s most-successful sports families, follows her grandfather and aunt into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Smith was a league, district, and bi-district champ in the shot put.

On the volleyball court, a Valkyrie unleashed.

Emma Smith was born to be good, but she made herself great.

Her grandfather, Steve, was one of the most physically-impressive athletes Coupeville has ever seen, and her aunt, Joli, remains, to this day, one of the most talented Wolves I have covered on a regular basis.

Toss in Emma’s parents, her sisters, her uncles, and her many, many relatives, and there is no question the Smith family can stand up there with the all-time success stories of prairie athletics.

So, she could have coasted. Could have let strong genes carry her to a certain point, and let it be.

But she didn’t.

Emma pushed beyond that, put in the work, year after year, practice after practice, camp after camp, road trip after road trip, and became a top-tier athlete.

She was often majestic on the volleyball court, rising up to the heavens to smash the ball, sending her rivals scrambling for cover and finding none.

Then, when spring came, you would find Emma off to the edges, lofting the shot put and letting the discus fly far away, content to bust PR’s in the relative quiet of field events.

Her track career ended, appropriately, with an especially-strong senior season, a campaign in which she torched the joint three weeks running.

Wins in the shot put at the league, district, and bi-district meet assured Emma of a trip to state (she also advanced in the discus), and gave her 10 first-place finishes during her high school days.

To that you can add five wins during her middle school career — three of those came in relays, proving she had speed to go with the upper-body strength — and you have a portrait of a track star who used her time and opportunities well.

But when we think of Emma, an intelligent, graceful young woman, what Wolf fans will remember most is her time on the volleyball court.

She is blessed with height, with reach, and with quick reflexes, and, to that, she added passion, heart, and fire.

On a volleyball court, Emma burned to be brilliant.

You could see it in how she carried herself, how she prepared, how she played.

During her junior season, Emma was an integral part of a Wolf squad which made it to the state tourney, the first CHS spiker unit to make the trek in 13 years.

Scan the stats for the past four seasons — she was the lone freshman listed on the full-time varsity roster back in 2015 — and her impact is obvious.

Playing alongside fellow big hitters like Katrina McGranahan and Maya Toomey-Stout, she rained down spikes, drilled winners, made the ball slash a chunk out of the court, then skid far, far away from the opposing team.

But while she could, and often did, fill up a stat sheet, Emma was someone you needed to see play in person to fully appreciate how good she was, and is.

She was an effective, often-dangerous, server, and someone who sold out time and again, fighting alongside long-time running mate and co-captain Ashley Menges, refusing to let plays die or big-name schools skate by on reputation alone.

The enduring image of Emma, though, will be of her elevating skyward, right arm swinging down to smash the air out of the volleyball, rival players scattering before a force of nature unleashed.

Well, that and her holding her niece after games while the lil’ girl beamed like 1,000 lights had all clicked on at once.

Emma is obviously a great aunt, and that image will endure, as well.

But, while the president of her fan club was being restrained in the stands, the image which transfixed Wolf fans, and rival coaches, who voted her as one of the league’s best, was of Emma going full-on Valkyrie.

No team felt the pain as much as South Whidbey, and the prairie terminator saved her greatest high school sports moment for the night of her 18th birthday — Sept. 25, 2018.

It was Armageddon, but bigger, with two high-flying teams going as toe-to-toe as you possibly can.

A look at the stat sheet afterwards showed the Wolves and Falcons virtually identical in every single category across five torrid sets.

The difference? Emma, having the sort of night every athlete should get at least once in their career.

I could recap it here, or you could go one better, bounce to https://coupevillesports.com/2018/09/26/there-can-only-be-one/, and marinate in the whole hyperventilating, hyperbole-filled article I wrote while the buzz of the gym was still reverberating in my ears.

It starts with “18 years to the day she was born, Emma Smith committed cold-blooded murder. And her mom loved every freakin’ second of it,” and then just keeps going bigger and bigger from there.

I like to think it’s a fitting testament to a young woman who is a great athlete, and a better person. Or, at least I hope so.

This article, the one you’re currently reading, is, probably quite obviously, a build-up to inducting Emma into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame, the third entry from her immediate family.

After this you’ll find her at the top of the blog, under the Legends tab, right where she belongs, having earned her spot based on her play, her work, and her attitude.

I hope, as she goes forward and kills it in real life, she will occasionally look back and remember her prep sports days and nights.

I hope the good memories never fade for her, and that she will always take happiness in knowing how highly she was thought of by Wolf Nation.

And, one day, maybe when her own daughter takes the volleyball court for the first time, I hope Emma leans forward and whispers, “It’s going to be great. Your mom was a freakin’ Valkyrie, and you will be, too.”

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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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CHS seniors Lindsey Roberts (left) and Emma Smith each collected scholarship money financed by photo sales. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They chose different sports paths, but were remarkably similar in many other ways.

Coupeville High School seniors Lindsey Roberts and Emma Smith are standout athletes, stellar students, fond of posing for photos, and graceful, strong young women.

Now, they’re each $300 richer, thanks to receiving scholarship money from JohnsPhotos.net.

John Fisken hit the stage Tuesday during the CHS awards night to hand out the moola.

His awards, which are largely funded by photo sales, honor student/athletes at each of the schools he and his cameras haunt – CHS and Oak Harbor High School.

To be eligible, athletes had to play two sports during each of their four years of school, while maintaining a 3.0 GPA.

The winners, who wrote essays and were interviewed by Fisken, also couldn’t receive any athletic scholarship money from a college.

Smith competed in volleyball and track and field during her prep career, finishing as a team captain and First-Team All-Conference selection while unleashing knee-buckling spikes.

She helped lead Coupeville volleyball back to state during her junior season, breaking a 13-year drought, and grew into one of the most fearsome hitters to ever wear a Wolf uniform.

During her final track campaign, Smith won league, district, and bi-district titles in the shot put, and advanced to state in both the shot put and discus.

She plans to attend Montana State University in the fall and study marine biology and environmental science.

Roberts is a rare 12-time letter winner, with impressive runs in soccer, basketball, and track.

On the pitch, she smacked in 17 goals, third-best in program history, while playing primarily on the defensive side of the ball.

Lou also finished as the #18 scorer in Wolf girls basketball history, and captured eight state track meet medals, most-ever by a female CHS athlete.

She holds school records in the 100 hurdles, 4 x 100, and 4 x 200.

Roberts will attend Washington State University in the fall, majoring in design/architecture, with an emphasis on interior design and layout.

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Julie Bucio is a member of the Coupeville High School Class of 2019. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Nikolai Lyngra and 63 others will join her Friday night for graduation.

Can’t tell the players without a scorecard, and even then you might get thrown a bit.

Three days out from graduation for the Coupeville High School Class of 2019, I have the official list of who should be headed to the podium Friday to receive their diplomas, though not all the names ring a bell.

That’s mainly because when you graduate they use your legal name, and, often, when I write about sports, the athletes are operating under a long-held nickname or different variation on their moniker.

So, while Danny Conlisk just won two state titles in track, when he picks up his diploma, the name called will be James Conlisk.

Or, how I just figured out the Jonathan Johnson graduating is the tennis/track/drama star I knew as Tiger Johnson.

And then, after years of referring to Maddy Hilkey or Gaby Halpin during their sports days, it’s back to the more proper Madeline and Gabriella for this one night.

Anyways, enough about that, and on to the “I was told it was official” list of the 65 members of the CHS Class of ’19:


Chayson Adams-Sorrows
Dawson Adams-Sorrows
Christopher Battaglia
Jakobi Baumann
Jaschon Baumann
Julie Bucio
Kyle Burnett
Gabriel Butchart
Jaushon Clay
Dewitt Cole
James Conlisk
Andrew Crouch
Veronica Crownover
Tomasa Cruz Herrera
Cameron Dahl
Brooke Goss
Kaley Grigsby
Phoebe Haddock
Gabriella Halpin
Seth Hedges
Matthew Hilborn
Madeline Hilkey
Tariana Hunter
Seth Jarrell
Gabriel Jensen
Jonathan Johnson
Uriah Kastner
Teo Keilwitz
Madison Krieg
Ryan Labrador
Nicole Laxton
Estefanny Liquidano
Shane Losey
Dane Lucero
Nikolai Lyngra
Luke Martin
Ashley Menges
Citlalli Montiel-Dominguez
Katherine Morales-Bernal
Bruna Moratori
Walter Mostafavinassab
Jasmine Nastali
Tamika Nastali
Melissa Otto
Bryce Payne
Jake Pease
David Prescott
Moira Reed
Michael Rice
Madison Rixe
Brian Roberts
Lindsey Roberts
Joshua Robinson
Harris Sinclair
Ema Smith
Emma Smith
Matthew Stevens
Felicity Stewart
Alejandro Tejada
Alexzander Turner
Carson Updike
Ma Angeline Viernes
Gregory Villarreal
Peytin Vondrak
Sarah Wright

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Coupeville sophomore Mikaela Labrador improved her javelin throw by 14+ feet as the 2019 season progressed. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They are often the unsung heroes of track and field.

The runners zipping around the track oval do so right in front of the stands, but the team’s throwers are usually stuck off in various corners, often far away from the main hub of action.

But today we’re here to shine a spotlight on Coupeville’s throwing crew, thanks to stats from coach Bob Martin.

This season, 20 of the 32 Wolves in the CHS program tried at least one of the three throwing events (shot put, discus, javelin), with seven competing in all three exercises.

Megan Behan, Aurora Cernick, Emma Smith, Chris Battaglia, Brian Casey, Elijah Okaruru, and Raven Vick were the ultimate throwing warriors, picking up (and flinging) each of the implements.

Overall, the javelin was the most popular, with 16 Wolves trying it, while shot put apparently was the scariest, with just 10 hefting the orb.

Discus fell somewhere in the middle, with 13 giving it a go.

The chart below tracks all 20 of the Wolves who threw, detailing their first attempt during a live meet, and the best distance they landed in competition.

And before you start using all your fingers and toes to add, the two Coupeville throwers who had the biggest in-season improvement were Logan Martin and Smith.

Logan, a freshman, is the younger brother of Dalton Martin, who holds the CHS record in the discus at 161 feet, seven inches, set in his senior season in 2016.

But, way back when Dalton was a freshman, his PR was 107-02.

Logan already has him there, improving from 80-04 in his first high school meet, to 121-11 by the district meet.

That’s an in-season jump of 41 feet, seven inches, and now he has three more full seasons left to pick up the additional 39 feet, nine inches he needs to topple big bro from the school record board.

Smith didn’t jump quite as far as her younger teammate, but she did still have a heck of a senior season.

She made it to state in both the shot put and discus, and improved 20 feet, five inches during the season in the second event.

Smith whipped it 72-03 in the season-opening Island Jamboree in mid-March, then came around to hit 92-08 at districts two months later.

And now, on to a look at how all 20 of the Wolf throwers improved during the course of the 2019 season:


Thrower Shot-First Shot-Best Discus-First Discus-Best Javelin-First Javelin-Best
C. Battaglia 38-00.5 41-00 110-00 112-06 127-06 134-01
Js. Baumann 76-09.5 92-06
M. Behan 19-02 24-01 55-02 60-02 55-02 65-04
K. Burnett 91-03 102-07
B. Casey 31-06 32-06 77-02 78-11 64-09 77-03
A. Cernick 19-09.5 21-00.5 51-02 66-05 57-11 63-09
K. Davison 82-03 100-02
L. Halstead 106-02 106-02
Jat. Hoskins 52-06 52-06
M. Labrador 38-03 52-05
R. Labrador 39-06 44-10.5 93-11 109-10
L. Martin 34-10 34-10 80-04 121-11
A. Mihill 43-08 47-09 57-11 63-09
E. Okaruru 26-05.5 27-09 77-07 77-07 68-06 71-04
T. Peterson 86-04 99-10
E. Smith 30-10 34-05 72-03 92-08 72-10 72-10
K. Sorrows 37-05 39-10.5 90-04 108-01
S. T-Stout 140-09 140-09
R. Vick 17-04 21-05.5 56-05 61-02 82-03 88-02
W. Vick 60-09 71-01 43-00 61-08

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