Posts Tagged ‘first win’

Joey Lippo

They’re off the schneid.

It took them 18 games, but Monday, in the final rumble of the season, the University of Maine at Presque Isle baseball squad got that elusive first W.

Beating the University of Maine at Farmington 7-3, the Owls, who include Coupeville grad Joey Lippo, finished a pandemic-altered season on a high note.

It was the first win for UMPI since March 29, 2019 — breaking a 39-game losing streak.

Lippo wasn’t around for the first 22 of those losses, and he’s been one of the few bright spots for this year’s 1-17 team.

The former Wolf collected five hits across four games in a pair of season-ending doubleheaders Sunday and Monday, and finishes in the team’s top three in multiple offensive categories.

Lippo ends the season first in at-bats (57), and tied for second in hits (15), RBI (7), and stolen bases (2).

He was third in total bases (17), runs (8), and batting average (.263) among regulars.

Toss in two doubles, five walks — including being plunked once — and strong defensive play in the outfield, and Lippo’s first go-round in NCAA D-III baseball was a successful one.

Read Full Post »

Avalon Renninger scored Saturday as CHS girls soccer won for the first time in the playoffs. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Sophia Martin scored twice in a 4-0 rout of Mount Baker.

Mollie Bailey stands around like a pro.

The Coupeville High School soccer goaltender had relatively little to do Saturday, which is a great thing, indicating her teammates were dominating what would turn out to be a landmark win.

Sparked by a pair of goals from sophomore Sophia Martin, the Wolf booters filled the nets at a pace not previously seen this season, torching visiting Mount Baker 4-0 in a district playoff play-in game.

The victory, which lifts CHS to 3-12-2 on the season, is the first playoff win in program history.

It also propels the Wolves into another loser-out postseason battle, this one coming Monday, when Coupeville travels to Bothell to face Cedar Park Christian, which sits at 8-6 on the season.

Win there, and the pride of Central Whidbey moves into double-elimination territory, needing one win in two games to advance to bi-districts.

To see the district tourney bracket, pop over to:


Regardless of how Monday plays out, the Wolves made program history Saturday, and did it twice.

There was the win, yes, but Coupeville had to make a big step before getting there.

They had to score in the playoffs, something no CHS girls soccer team had done.

Over the last decade, the Wolf booters had played eight postseason bouts, three against Vashon Island, three against Meridian, and one each against Lynden Christian and Charles Wright Academy.

Along the way, while frequently forced to play on artificial turf, Coupeville had been outscored 22-0.

Jump forward to Saturday, and the Wolves were free to romp once again on the natural grass which covers Coupeville’s Mickey Clark Field.

They were still missing injured starters Genna Wright and Eryn Wood, but got Natalie Hollrigel and Sophia Martin back in uniform, and that paid dividends.

Moments after dropping a rival player on her rear on the opposite side of the field, ever-elusive Mallory Kourtuem set up a magical moment in time in front of Baker’s goal.

Sucking the defense to her, the CHS senior shielded the ball from her defender, then banged a quick shot into the middle of a mad scrum of players.

It wasn’t just a wild shot, but a pass with a purpose, as Kortuem’s laser landed exactly where she wanted it to be – on Martin’s toe.

Making a bang-bang play, the Wolf sharpshooter punched the ball into the left side of the net, burying the orb into the back of the net before the Mount Baker goalie could move.

Without probably knowing it, the CHS duo had made history, possibly bringing a sigh of sweet relief from their coach, Kyle Nelson, as he paced the sideline.

The Wolf head man had entered the afternoon well aware of Coupeville’s postseason scoring drought, something he was intent on ending.

Whether or not his players knew of their tango with history, they kept up the pressure on the field, thoroughly controlling the flow of the game.

Audrianna Shaw missed (but just barely) on a shot which slid to the left of the net, before Martin banged a shot which tore off a chunk of the cross bar but somehow refused to flop into the net.

She got her revenge a few moments later, however, connecting on her second goal of the day, spinning and chopping the ball over the goalie’s shoulder.

With the celebration in full effect, the Wolves were lights-out the rest of the way.

On offense, Coupeville tacked on a pair of second-half goals, with Anna Dion singing the net with her second score in as many games, before Avalon Renninger blew out the back of the net with a long bomb.

Her team-leading sixth goal of the season, it gives the exuberant Wolf senior 12 scores for her stellar career, which puts her fifth on the CHS girls career scoring list.

Plus it made Grandma and Grandpa Renninger, the most-faithful fans in town, very happy, so there’s that, too.

And Bailey?

She was content to be the loneliest girl in town, fielding just a handful of scattered shots, none of which came close to being halfway-dangerous.

Most of Bailey’s time was spent watching her defenders flex their biceps.

First exhibit: fierce frosh Nezi Keiper parking a Baker girl on her butt after administering a hip check which could be heard all the way up in the press box.

As the Wolf booters celebrated history in the moments after the game’s conclusion, Coupeville volleyball ace Maya Toomey-Stout, a big fan of big hits, wandered by, nodding her head approvingly.

“Hell yeah!!!” she said, and then she smiled.

It was a sentiment shared by one and all in Wolf Nation.

Read Full Post »

Lily Leedy scored twice Thursday as the Coupeville JV girls soccer squad beat Port Townsend, winning for the first time this season. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Lily Leedy led them to the promised land.

The sophomore rattled the net for two goals Thursday, propelling the Coupeville High School JV girls soccer squad to a 5-2 win at Port Townsend.

The non-conference victory is the first W the Wolf booters, varsity or JV, have put up on the board this fall.

Technically, since the RedHawks loaned Coupeville some of their players to make for even sides, with one of the Port Townsend players netting a goal for her “new” team, the match is probably considered as a friendly.

To which I say, tough nuts, a win is a win and we’re calling it an official win.

It’s been a rough season for CHS soccer, at both levels, with the Wolf booters suffering more than their fair share of injuries and close losses.

They need this. They get this.

Leedy was backed up by teammates Samantha Streitler and Katelin McCormick, who each banged home a goal, and the RedHawk who will have to live down scoring against her own school.

Will the mystery Port Townsend player who tallied a goal be invited to the Coupeville banquet and installed as an honorary Wolf?

You never know, but my vote is a yes.

Read Full Post »

Sean Toomey-Stout had three interceptions Friday, taking one back 65 yards for a touchdown, as Coupeville throttled Vashon 27-8. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Coupeville’s line, seen here in an earlier game, played strongly in the win.

For seven long minutes, things looked sort of bleak.

And then, in the matter of a few seconds, the entire script got flipped and what could have been a Friday the 13th horror show became a very-satisfying romp.

Dominant on defense and opportunistic on offense, the Coupeville High School football squad bounced back from an early deficit Friday to whack host Vashon Island 27-8.

The win, fueled by four interceptions and several inspired scoring plays, evens the Wolves record at 1-1 on the season.

It also gives Coupeville’s seniors a sweep of Vashon, as the Class of 2020 went 4-0 against the Pirates, outscoring their fellow islanders 145-47 over that stretch.

In the early going Friday, though, the only team to crack the scoring barrier was Vashon.

And not because it did anything special, but because the Wolves couldn’t get into gear.

While the Coupeville defense forced a three-and-out on the opening possession, with Andrew Martin body-slamming a Pirate runner halfway through the turf on one play, the Wolf offense promptly stalled out.

The first three plays CHS ran resulted in a loss of four yards, an incomplete pass, and a loss of eight yards.

Then, things went from sorta bad to stinky cheese awful, as a snap on fourth down sailed past Wolf quarterback Dawson Houston, resulting in a safety and a quick ‘n easy two points for Vashon.

That triggered the fog horn from Hell that the Pirates fire off to signal when they score, setting up the disturbing possibility the night would be full of the nerve-shredding wail.

But when the football gods give, they often quickly take.

And thus the night turned in a few plays, shutting down the fog horn almost for good, while sending a ripple of electricity through the Wolf faithful who had made the two-boat trek to get from Whidbey to the far outposts of the world.

On Vashon’s ensuing possession, Coupeville defenders Gavin Knoblich and Ben Smith both came up with nice stops for losses, forcing the Pirates to go to the punt formation.

At which point the Vashon long snapper aired the ball out.

Like really, really, really aired it out, skipping it 30 yards past his punter, who took off running, barely getting to the madly-skipping ball before a wave of Wolves rolled right over the top of his prone body.

Handed a gift, Coupeville cashed it in, and quickly.

Freshman Scott Hilborn, making his high school football debut, accepted a hand-off from Houston, cut back, spun on a dime, then bolted through a pack of hapless Pirates, shredding them for a 30-yard bolt to the end zone.

So, that’s one high school carry, and one high school touchdown. Perhaps his nickname shall be “Instant Offense.”

While the Wolves missed on a two-point conversion pass, they had the lead, and it would be one they would never relinquish.

Chalk a big assist up to the defense, which again came up big.

Martin and Gavin St Onge blew up running plays, then Hilborn, trying to do everything all in one night, snuffed out Vashon’s next drive by picking the Pirate QB on a fourth-down heave inside the 20-yard line.

Up high in the stands, proud dad Steve Hilborn, a master of remaining low-key in the heat of competition, nodded.


Ever so slightly.

And it was like another man ripping off all his clothes and running around the track screaming at the top of his lungs.

With his defense clicking, Houston took control of the Wolf offense and everything started working.

Mixing runs from Martin and Smith, plus a few nifty scrambles by the QB himself, with precision passes that started on Houston’s fingers and ended in Knoblich’s waiting hands, Coupeville slammed the pedal through the metal.

Houston and Knoblich combined for back-to-back touchdowns through the air, the first from 11 yards out, the second from four yards away, wrapped around an interception from Sean Toomey-Stout, and the rout was on.

A two-point conversion run from Houston, in which his line reared up and smacked Vashon’s defense backwards as a unit, made it 14-2.

After Knoblich’s second scoring catch, on which he out-jumped his defender to get to the ball, the Wolves knocked down their first PAT of the season.

It came on a booming kick by freshman Daylon Houston, off a hold by older brother Dawson, a senior, and ended with the two siblings pounding on each other in glee as they returned to the sideline.

“See, they can get along!” said mom Alia with a huge smile.

While the first half was full of offensive highlights, the second was more of a slug-fest, with both defenses clamping down and just a single touchdown coming for either side.

Vashon finally gave its lonely fog horn a chance to step back into the spotlight when Pirate QB William Weber dropped a really pretty 29-yard scoring bomb into the hands of Jack Cunningham.

But, before the last dying gasp of the horn had faded, Coupeville drove a final stake through the heart of the Pirates, blocking the PAT.

Half the line bent on the play, with St Onge coming in from the outside to land on the ball as it tried, unsuccessfully, to leave the ground.

Coupeville had a couple of strong offensive plays in the second half, with Martin running over would-be tacklers, and Smith slashing through open holes for yardage.

Its best play was a 31-yard throw-and-catch in which Dawson Houston nailed Gavin Straub as he ran a route down the far sideline, followed by “G3” rambling over and around would-be tacklers until enough Vashon players finally arrived on scene to gang-tackle him.

But, while it moved the chains after halftime, the Wolf offense couldn’t crack the goal line in the second half.

Not a problem, however.

Toomey-Stout, who suffered a season-ending injury at Vashon as a sophomore, capped his final game against the Pirates by picking off two more passes in the fourth quarter, giving him three for the game.

Pick #3 came when he sprinted from deep in the backfield, launched himself airborne and hauled in a dying duck of a throw as it plummeted to Earth in front of him.

He looked like a center-fielder on a baseball diamond, and a darn good one at that, robbing a batter of a hit.

But while pick #1 was technically perfect, and pick #3 was a dazzler, pick #2 was “The Torpedo” blowing up the whole stadium and laughing as it came down around him.

Vashon was driving and Weber thought he had an open man and … BAM!!!

Toomey-Stout interrupted the flight of the ball, speared it, then went on one of the wilder pick-six runs in recent memory.

Zigging back and forth, he brought the ball back 65 yards, while running about 130, slipping tackles not once, not twice, but 237 times as he caused the Coupeville coaches to collectively lose their freakin’ minds on the sideline.

There were multiple times when he should have been down, multiple times when he seemingly had nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and yet kept on churning, kept on pulling off miracle escapes.

It was a modern-day renaissance man painting a masterpiece and using the gridiron as his canvas.

If there was any justice, the Vashon crew would have fired off the fog horn in salute, even though Toomey-Stout doesn’t wear a Pirate uniform.

They didn’t, but, in the end, it doesn’t really matter.

“The Torpedo” and crew will happily accept the victory, with or without a fog horn salute, and move on the next challenge.

Read Full Post »

   Jonathan Thurston struck out nine in four innings Friday, leaving with a 4-2 lead in what turned into a 14-7 win. (John Fisken photo)

A whole lot of runs, a whole lot of screaming.

Playing on a windy, often very chilly Friday afternoon, the Coupeville High School JV baseball squad took advantage of an endless stream of walks and errors, drilling visiting North Mason 14-7 in their first game of the season.

With the Wolves piling up 16 walks and the Bulldogs committing 10,904 errors (give or take one or two), the game went more than three hours, eventually being called after five innings because of encroaching darkness.

Before the game ended, fans were treated to a solid pitching outing from CHS starter Jonathan Thurston, who whiffed nine and gave up just two unearned runs in four innings of work.

They were also treated to either the world’s most entertaining, or annoying (depending on your pain tolerance) rival player.

We may never know the name of North Mason’s catcher, but his voice, which ripped across the diamond on every single pitch for 180+ minutes — it was like he was channeling a young Ozzy Osbourne working as a baseball announcer when he was in the dugout — will never be forgotten.

Well played, young sir, well played.

The game he was so deeply committed to started with a quick run in the top of the first for North Mason, and it was a run which set a tone for the next 20.

A Bulldog hitter struck out, but reached base when the pitch got loose and bounced off the backstop.

A pick-off throw went wild to move him to second, then a steal of third was capped by the ensuing throw landing deep in left field while the North Mason runner skipped home.

Luckily for Coupeville, while that style of creating runs continued all afternoon, after that it was the Wolves pulling off the creative scoring.

CHS collected two of its four hits in the first — singles from Joey Lippo and Kyle Rockwell — and combined that with four Bulldog errors and two walks to retake the lead 3-1.

The Wolves added another run in the second, off of an RBI single from Lippo, and the game actually played out as a bit of a pitcher’s duel for three-and-a-half innings.

Then, with Coupeville up 4-2 headed into the bottom of the fourth, things got kooky, to the tune of 15 runs in the next inning and a half.

A whopping 12 batters strolled to the plate in the bottom of the fourth, with six different Wolves reaching on a walk.

Add in four North Mason errors — coming on four consecutive plays — and a string of stolen bases, and Coupeville threw six runs on the (non-existent) scoreboard in the inning.

Without once hitting the ball out of the infield.

Up 10-2 with the bases still juiced and just one out, CHS was rolling, but a strikeout and a force at home kept the Wolves from entering 10-run territory.

Still, they were in solid control of the game … until they weren’t.

With Thurston done for the afternoon, Coupeville hit a rough patch in the top of the fifth, suddenly committing the same kind of wild-eyed errors the Bulldogs had been in love with all game.

Taking advantage of throws sailing from the pitcher’s mound into deep right field, and a missed tag here and there, North Mason picked up a five-spot of its own, tightening things back to 10-7.

The Wolves escaped though, after relief pitcher Lippo teamed up with infielder Nick Etzell to pick two straight runners off of second base, ending the threat.

CHS padded the lead out in the bottom half of the inning, and took long enough doing it to run through the remaining daylight.

Freshman Ulrik Wells punched a single to load the bases, before the Wolves plated four more, three on walks to Elliott Johnson, Cameron Dahl and Jonathan Carlson.

For the game, 14 of the 15 Wolves to see action reached base, with Jake Pease getting on four times, thanks to three walks and a Bulldog error.

Jacob Zettle walked three times, Shane Losey turned two errors and a walk into three trips around the base-paths and Gavin Knoblich reached base twice, while spending his “down” time sprinting from the dugout like a madman every time a foul ball landed within 200 feet of him.

James Vidoni, Gavin Straub and Seth Weatherford rounded out the Wolf roster, with Vidoni and Weatherford collecting walks.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »