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Kyle Rockwell sails in and snags a rebound during his days as a three-sport athlete at Coupeville High School. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Rockwell, seen here with Wolf baseball coach Chris Smith, joins older sister Maria as a member of the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

Kyle Rockwell had a senior season for the ages.

Before he graduated back in 2018, the one-time Wolf achieved a rare trifecta, pulling off the signature play of his team’s season, and doing it not once, not twice, but three times.

When you look back at Coupeville High School male athletics during the 2017-2018 season, the school’s final in the Olympic League, it would be hard to argue anyone made more of an impact than Rockwell did.

Now, I’m not saying Kyle was the best athlete in a CHS uniform. That was Hunter Smith, absolutely.

But Rockwell was a superb complementary player, the kind of durable, high-achieving support crew you need, and want.

And, given the chance, he stepped up three times, once each in the fall, winter, and spring, and made a play which will linger for a long time in the minds of Wolf fans.

For that, for overcoming every obstacle which has come his way, and for being the dude everyone cheered for thanks to his eternally positive attitude and easy-going nature, we’re rewarding him.

Mr. Rockwell joins his older sister, softball supernova Maria, in the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame, and, after this, will be found at the top of the blog under the Legends tab.

Part of this honor stems from Kyle’s resiliency, as he has been blind in one eye since childhood, yet never let that slow his roll.

Rockwell has been an athlete since day one, though it took awhile for his parents, understandably, to let him enter certain arenas.

He finally got the OK to play football as a senior, and it was there he made his first big-time play.

All season long he was a … rock … on the line, but in the home finale, he grabbed the spotlight, reflected it up at himself, and sang a few bars of My Way.

Ripping through would-be blockers like a (very large) knife slicin’ ‘n dicin’ walking, talking, non-blocking pats of butter, Rockwell destroyed a rival running back as he tried to come around the edge.

Shoulder met stomach, ball flipped free.

Then, staying as calm and cool as you can after you’ve just knocked a fool out of his cleats, the guy in the Wolf uniform lunged forward and scooped the now-free football into his chest before half of the other team landed on his head.

It was a beautiful play, full of precision and fury, and yet just the start for Rockwell during his year of glory and achievement.

Skip forward to basketball season, and Coupeville pulls off the biggest upset of the season, again in the home finale.

Facing first-place Klahowya, Rockwell and Co. pull off a 59-54 thriller on Senior Night that reignites memories of former Wolf basketball glory.

Hunter Smith goes off for a career-high 35 to spark CHS, but it’s Rockwell with the clincher.

Caught in a traffic jam in the paint, surrounded by three KSS players, he flexes his biceps to create a shock wave, then rips the ball free from an Eagle, spins and powers back up for the game-clinching layup.

The Klahowya players, sprawled on the court, can do little more than bow their heads to their conqueror, as Smith, Joey Lippo, Hunter Downes, and Cameron Toomey-Stout come charging in to group hug all the air out of Rockwell’s body.

And yet, there’s more.

Spring brings with it baseball, Rockwell’s longest-running sport, and our urban legend caps his prep career with one more play, his best yet.

Coupeville, trying to win its second league crown in three seasons, spends much of the campaign in a stare-down with Chimacum.

The Cowboys win the opener of the team’s three-game season series, taking advantage of a ridiculously muddy field on the mainland.

But the Wolves hold strong, and given a rematch on the prairie, they come up with a 1-0 victory which all but clinches the title.

Rockwell, who normally operates at first base, is lurking in right field when destiny comes calling, and I’ll direct you to the game story from that day, which captures his insane, game-clinching throw in all its Spielbergian glory.

You can find it at https://coupevillesports.com/2018/04/23/magic-on-the-prairie/.

And, just to prove it wasn’t a one-time thing, Rockwell came back later in the week, playing in the third game of the Chimacum series, and laid down the RBI bunt which provided the only run Coupeville needed to win again, and make everything official.

Cause that’s what you do when you’re the author of “I Rock: The Kyle Rockwell Story.”

Which is now, and forever, the autobiography of a certified Hall o’ Famer.

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Nicholas Armstrong will be a freshman at Coupeville High School this fall. (Photos courtesy Tara Armstrong)

He plans to play football and basketball for the Wolves.

Nicholas Armstrong arrived just in time.

A recent newcomer to the Coupeville School district — he wrapped up the last month of his middle school days at CMS — he’s eager to provide depth to the high school football program.

Armstrong makes the jump to freshman status at CHS this fall, and has already been on the field, putting in time with the Wolves during spring practice.

A big fan of the TV show The Office, he has his heart set on one day winning a college football or basketball scholarship.

He’ll be adding hoops to his resume in Coupeville, as it’s one of the few 1A schools in the state not to offer wrestling, which he competed in prior to arriving in Cow Town.

Armstrong is an equal opportunity athlete, one who competes hard in any sport he plays, but football will always be his go-to favorite.

“(I like it) because it’s a team and contact sport,” he said.

Whether on the field, the mat, or the hardwood, Armstrong enjoys “being able to do any sport and being good at it.”

When looking at his strengths and areas he’d like to improve on, he hails “being able to run for a long time” as one of his best traits.

Armstrong would like to “build a little more muscle,” and, with the support of his parents and friends, plans to continue to chase his sports dreams.

And for a Wolf football program in need of every player it can find, consider his arrival a blessing.

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Tim Ursu has a bright future as he heads into his freshman year at Coupeville High School. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Plus, he’s a snappy dresser. (Photo courtesy Kathy Ursu)

Tim Ursu is coming to shake things up.

With spring practice in the books, the Coupeville High School freshman-to-be has already made a positive impression on his coaches, teammates, and fans.

Ursu, who was one of his team’s best defenders during a shortened middle school season last fall, could make an impact on both sides of the ball.

While CMS was limited to just three games before the program was shut down due to a lack of numbers, Ursu was praised by coach Brett Casey for his play at free safety.

Now, having made the jump to the high school program, #3 has already netted his first varsity touchdown as a running back.

It came in a spring scrimmage against 4A Mount Vernon, so it won’t count in the official record books, but crashing through traffic to reach the end zone showcased Ursu’s grit and desire.

Back in his middle school days, he competed in track and field as well as football, throwing the javelin and running on relay teams, but it’s the gridiron which has his loyalty.

“It lets me be free on a field without restrictions, and I’m able to hit people,” Ursu said. “It gives me something to do and gives me a reason to try harder in the things I do.”

While still a relatively young player, he is smart and tenacious, and knows putting in work today will help him refine his skills for tomorrow.

“My strength is definitely my ability to be able to listen and understand very quick and learn it very fast,” Ursu said.

“Another strength would be my speed and agility,” he added. “I want to work on my strength and get stronger in the weight room.”

Off the field, he’s a fan of country, hip hop, and rap music, who “loves science class labs” and the chance “to adventure and go outdoors in the woods or on mountains.”

When he’s not practicing or playing a game, he enjoys hanging out with friends and works out in his spare time.

As he heads towards high school, with practice for football season set to kick-off in August, Ursu has set goals for himself, and is pushing towards making them a reality.

“I want to be starting on offense for sure,” he said. “And defense, if possible, but mainly offense.”

Given the chance to shine, Ursu should see his fan club continue to grow.

But there will always be room on the ground floor of that group for the woman who has been there for him every step of the way.

“My mom always helped me and bought me things I needed to help me succeed, and become better than I was before.”

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Former Coupeville lineman Ryan Labrador will play in an all-star game Saturday in Yakima. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Ryan Labrador is playing with the big boys.

The recent Coupeville High School graduate was selected to play in this Saturday’s 25th annual Earl Barden Classic.

The all-star football game, which brings together many of the best seniors from the state, is open to players in 2A, 1A, and 2B.

Kickoff is 1 PM at Zaepfel Stadium at Eisenhower High School in Yakima.

Labrador, a stellar two-way lineman for CHS, is the first Wolf to play in the game since Josh Bayne went East in 2015.

The West team in this year’s game features three players from the North Sound Conference – Labrador and Cedar Park Christian teammates Dawson Drews and Epic Csigi.

Rosters for the game:

 

West:

Head coach: Jon Randall — Clover Park

Carter Trammell (QB-DB) Sedro-Woolley
Kieran Hunkin (RB-LB) River Ridge
Axel Wilhonen (RB-LB) Burlington-Edison
Dawson Stanley (QB-LB) Napavine
Isaac Hoidal (TE-LB) Stevenson
Aidan Allsop (TE-LB) North Kitsap
Dawson Drews (TE-LB) Cedar Park Christian
Logan Storm (RB-LB) Chimacum
Drew Rose (TE-LB) South Bend
J.J. Lemming (QB) Steilacoom
Tyler Nevin (WR-DB) Concrete
Riley Cowan (QB) Sequim
Tyler Gray (RB-DB) Cedarcrest
Jared McCollum (RB-LB) Napavine
Robert Comstock (TE-DE) Quilcene
Taitum Brumfield (RB-DE) Elma
Luke Riojas (LB) Archbishop Murphy
Herb Polu (OL-DL) River Ridge
Cade Cochran (OL-LB) Charles Wright
Chase Campbell (OL-DL) Port Townsend
Tristan Lawrence (OL-DL) Onalaska
Caleb Larson (OL-DL) Hoquiam
Christian Butenschoen (OL-DL) Bellingham
Sven Lukner (OL-DL) Sedro-Woolley
Ryan Labrador (OL-DL) Coupeville
Epic Csigi (OL-DL) Cedar Park Christian
Hunter Eaton (OL-DL) Toledo
Jason Chilcoate (OL-DL) Adna
Adam Kruzich (OL-DL) Meridian
Dylan Mabry (WR-LB) Clover Park

 

East:

Head coach: Scott Ditter — Selah

Kasen Hunsaker (WR-DB) Lakeside
Tug Smith (WR-DB) Newport
Dawson Fritz (WR-DB) Mark Morris
Angel Farias (WR-DB) Royal
Kanen Ables (QB) Omak
Justin King (RB-DB) Liberty
Sawyer Jenks (QB-DB) Royal
Jordan Thrasher (WR-DB) Tonasket
Steven Flowers (QB-LB) Lake Roosevelt
Mason Knode (WR-DB) Liberty Christian
Cameron Ditter (WR-DB) Selah
Troy Yarter (WR-DB) W.F. West
Tyler Flanagan (QB-RB) Woodland
Jake Weber (RB-LB) Selah
Alonso Hernandez (RB-LB) Royal
Marshall Meleney (RB-LB) West Valley-Spokane
Danny Bradbury (RB-LB) Newport
Jon Denny (OL-DL) Liberty
Caden Hicks (OL-LB) Tumwater
Alfredo Nila (OL-DL) Brewster
Jordan Claridge (OL-LB) Black Hills
Jacob Newsom (OL-DL) Colville
Dakota Hibbs (OL-DL) Zillah
Ben Cunningham (OL-DL) Clarkston
Navarro Nanpuya (OL-DL) Omak
Leo Schroeder (OL-DL) Tri-Cities Prep
Bailey Sparks (OL-DL) Zillah
Skylar Rayburn (OL-DL) Selah
Chet Craigen (OL-DL) Okanogan
Zach Holt (OL-DL) East Valley-Spokane
Jacob McGourin (TE-DE) Cheney

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Sean Toomey-Stout pulls in a pass Thursday as Coupeville High School football hosts Concrete in a spring scrimmage. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Carolyn Lhamon (left) and Melanie Navarro swing by to support their classmates.

Gabe Shaw (65) holds off the pass rush.

Sun’s out, guns out for Wolf mom Deb Smith.

CHS quarterback Dawson Houston limbers up his throwin’ arm.

Miles Davidson enjoys a refreshing drink on the sidelines.

Wolf head coach Marcus Carr likes what he sees.

Small in numbers, strong in heart.

G3 on the move. Gavin Straub takes the hand-off from Houston and gets ready to rumble.

Two sets of uniforms on the field is always better than one.

As Coupeville High School football plows through spring practices, the chance to scrimmage with other teams mixes things up a bit.

After playing at Mount Vernon earlier, the Wolves welcomed Concrete to Whidbey Thursday for a final inter-squad fling.

Along for the ride was photographer John Fisken, who snapped the pics seen above.

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