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If games are played this school year, Coupeville and Chimacum will not meet on the gridiron as originally planned. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

One less rival.

If games are played this school year, Chimacum will not join Coupeville in the Northwest 2B/1B League.

Instead, the Cowboys plan to unite with next-door neighbor Port Townsend, and the two schools will remain in the 1A/2A Olympic League, perhaps playing as “East Jefferson County.”

That’s according to a report Friday by The Peninsula Daily News.

When the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association conducted reclassification counts, Chimacum, like Coupeville, dropped from 1A to 2B.

The two schools were approved to join fellow 2B schools La Conner and Friday Harbor in the NWL, a league which also includes 1B schools Orcas Island, Mount Vernon Christian, Darrington, and Concrete.

Port Townsend was to join the 1A Nisqually League

But then COVID-19 threw everything all higgedly-piggedly.

Washington state schools haven’t competed in nearly a year thanks to the pandemic, and both the Chimacum and Port Townsend school districts have seen reduced enrollments.

The WIAA is currently proposing a plan in which fall sports would be played first, followed by spring sports, before winter sports cap the 2020-2021 school year.

The athletic governing body is allowing leagues to break free of that plan, however, and the NWL has applied to play spring-fall-winter.

Port Townsend and Chimacum, which already unite to field cooperative teams for cross country, girls swim, tennis, and wrestling, will add football and volleyball to that list.

They had already planned to also unite for girls soccer, and have been trying to resurrect a combined softball program.

Even with two schools, “East Jefferson County” sits at just 437 students, according to Port Townsend Athletic Director Patrick Gaffney.

That number keeps the combined program under the 1A cutoff, and it would actually have less students than Klahowya, the only other 1A school left in the Olympic League.

That conference, where Coupeville played from 2014-2018, includes seven 2A schools, headlined by North Kitsap and Sequim.

Post-pandemic, there are many options available.

Port Townsend and Chimacum could further unite, combining programs for all sports.

They could stay as is, with both schools having their own programs for sports such as basketball, boys soccer, golf, and track.

Or they could totally split apart, likely bringing Chimacum back to the NWL.

Like everything else in the Age of Coronavirus, nobody knows nothing for sure right now.

“If the two schools want to provide a broad range of sports, this might be the direction we have to look at,” Gaffney was quoted in the Daily News.

“If we don’t go that direction and Chimacum is a 2B and PT is 1A, you may have to cut sports offerings, and I think both communities don’t want to see that.

“To be able to offer swimming and tennis and other sports that some small schools don’t provide is good for our athletes.”

Like all AD’s in a frustrating time, Gaffney and Chimacum’s Carrie Beebe will try to balance what’s best for all involved.

“At some point this year, we will have an idea of how it is going, any issues that arise or don’t arise, and I think those will be minimal,” Gaffney said in the Daily News article.

“We are all trying to do what’s best for kids, PT and Chimacum, and when you frame it that way, it’s hard to come up with an argument against doing this.”

 

For the complete Daily News article, pop over to:

PREP SPORTS: Jefferson County high school rivals set for merger | Peninsula Daily News

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Football action like this may rule the gridiron again soon. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Back to the gridiron. Maybe.

The Oak Harbor Football and Cheer League, which draws players from across Whidbey Island, plans to play a spring season.

If COVID-19 cooperates, that is, and Island County can get to Phase 2 in Governor Jay Inslee’s Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery plan.

League President Eric Marshall announced a plan Monday in which football will play, but cheer will not.

“Unfortunately we will NOT be offering cheerleading this spring,” he said.

“Due to the short window for ordering uniforms, and the uncertainty of the season, we do not feel we can offer a quality cheer experience at this time.”

The current plan:

Jan. 18 — Registration opens, with a reduced cost of $100 per player due to “the shortened season and uncertainty of being able to play games.”

Feb. 15 — Registration closes, and league officials will determine if they have enough players to form teams. If not, full refunds will be issued.

Mar. 1 — First practice. No refunds after this point.

There will be three practices per week, at two hours each, with all practices closed to spectators.

Mar. 13 — Jamboree played.

Mar. 20 — First game — if Island County has advanced to Phase 2.

May 1 — Playoffs (semifinals).

May 8 — Super Saturday (championships)

“Our player’s safety always comes first,” Marshall said. “The league will be following ALL safe return to play guidelines and WIAA regulations, including facemasks, temperature checks, and social distancing.

“We hope you have all been staying safe and healthy during this past year,” he added. “We look forward to seeing you all again real soon.”

 

To register, pop over to:

www.ohfcl.org/home.php?layout=878060

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Traditional fall high school sports such as football may be the first to return to play. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Everything changes. Again.

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Executive Board voted Wednesday to redo its planned 2020-2021 school athletic schedule, moving traditional fall sports back in front.

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there have been no prep games in the state played in nearly 11 months, in any sport, and the plans to return to play have been constantly-changing.

Up until Wednesday night, winter sports such as basketball were set to possibly be the first ones back.

But, after new guidelines were set in place earlier this week by Governor Jay Inslee and the state Health Department, the WIAA opted to flip things.

Again.

“The change in guidelines allow all traditional fall sports to be played while we still do not have a clear pathway to the high-risk indoor activities of basketball, competitive cheer and dance, and wrestling,” said WIAA Executive Director Mick Hoffman.

“With that in mind, moving fall sports to Season 1 will hopefully provide the most opportunities to participate.”

The new plan is for fall sports to begin practices Feb. 1, with a shortened season ending March 20.

Season 2 (March 15-May 1) and Season 3 (April 26-June 12) remain on the schedule as before, though it’s unclear if traditional winter sports will follow, or whether spring sports will leapfrog them.

Some more clarification is expected after the WIAA Executive Board meets Jan. 19.

“We are hoping to receive more details that were not included in the Governor’s announcement on Tuesday, particularly surrounding indoor sports and activities,” Hoffman said.

“As we continue to gather more information and evaluate the new metrics, the board will be able to make better decisions about the remainder of the year.”

The move to flip fall sports back in front would seem to indicate the possible return of football, cross country, volleyball, boys tennis, and boys and girls soccer for Coupeville High School.

But, and this is a huge BUT, while the WIAA is providing a “uniform season schedule concluding in regional culminating events, it has granted each league or district around the state the ability to reschedule seasons to best fit their local communities.”

Any decision from the Athletic Directors of the Northwest 2B/1B League will likely have to come soon, but no time frame for a decision has been announced.

Part of that decision hinges on implementation of the new guidelines — Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery — which divides the state into eight regions.

Island County is now linked with Whatcom, Skagit, and San Juan Counties (but not Snohomish, which includes Darrington, one of Coupeville’s league foes) in the North Region.

There will be two phases in the plan, with all regions beginning in Phase 1 next Monday, Jan. 11.

To move from Phase 1 to Phase 2, a region needs to meet four metrics:

**10-percent decline in COVID-19 case rates over the past two weeks.
**10-percent decrease in COVID-19 hospital admission over the past two weeks.
**ICU occupancy under 90 percent.
**Test positivity less than 10 percent.

If a region is in Phase 2, all outdoor sports, including “high-risk” ones such as football, can play games.

Indoor sports classified as “medium-risk,” such as volleyball, can also play, but “high-risk” indoor sports like basketball can not.

It is currently unknown what a region will have to do to reach an as-yet unknown Phase 3 under the new plan, which would allow “high-risk” indoor sports to play.

It’s also unknown if any fans will be allowed to attend games if fall sports really do start Feb. 1.

Which shouldn’t be a surprise.

In this Age of Coronavirus, just remember, with each 1% of clarification comes another 99% of “I have no freakin’ clue.”

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Former Wolf football coach Kwamane Bowens (left) just released a new eight-song EP. (Photo from Bowens Facebook page)

The days keep poppin’, the music keeps droppin’.

Former Coupeville High School football coach Kwamane Bowens, recording as Groovie Mane, released his newest batch of songs Wednesday — just in time to carry listeners through the New Years celebrations.

His EP, titled Artist, features eight songs from the man who brought his D-1 gridiron skills along with him when he worked with the Wolves as part of Marcus Carr’s coaching staff.

 

To find all the tracks, pop over to Bowens Soundcloud page at:

Groovie Mane | Free Listening on SoundCloud

 

Or check out new tracks such as Life Scars on his YouTube page:

 

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Coupeville senior Ben Smith poses during a visit to Culver-Stockton College. (Photo courtesy Deb Smith)

Ben Smith is Missouri-bound after graduation.

The Coupeville High School senior signed a letter of intent Friday to play football at Culver-Stockton College in Canton.

Repping a private Christian liberal arts college founded in 1853, the Wildcats compete in the 14-team Heart of America Athletic Conference.

Culver-Stockton is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

The Wildcats saw most of their season cancelled this fall due to COVID-19 concerns, but plan on being back on the field by the time Smith is in town.

Culver-Stockton’s defining moment this fall came in a 34-17 home win over Evangel (Mo.) in September.

Tom Sallay enters his fifth year as head coach of the ‘Cat program in 2021.

Puttin’ in work since day one. (Photo courtesy Deb Smith)

For Ben Smith, younger brother of former Coupeville track star Jacob Smith, Culver-Stockton just jumped out among the schools he had been in contact with.

“It fits my academic levels,” he said. “And the location of it is such a wonderful, beautiful state, and is a chance for me to get out and see more of the world.”

Smith plans to study Sports Management at the school, and continues to put in work preparing for the jump to another level of football.

He won’t know his spot on the roster until workouts begin, but coaches have talked to him about playing nickelback and running back.

While at CHS, Smith has been a two-way player, layin’ down licks on both sides of the ball.

He was a running back and defensive end last fall during his junior season.

Teaming up with senior Andrew Martin to form a wham-bam rushing combo, Smith had big games in wins over Vashon Island, Kittitas, and La Conner.

Now, like the rest of the Wolves, he’s hopeful the pandemic eases enough for a final high school gridiron season this spring.

Running over folks during his junior season. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Smith is headed to a college with a long, rich history.

Originally known as Christian University, it survived several occupations during the Civil War, even after federal troops seized the joint, burning down fences and gutting buildings.

Rebuilt and refurbished, the school changed its name in 1917, in tribute to big-bucks donors Mary Culver and Robert Stockton.

Notable alumni from the school include opera singer Michèle Crider, former United States Senator Edward V. Long –who wrote the final draft of the Freedom of Information Act — and several professional athletes.

Bob Hendren and Jason Kaiser both played in the National Football League, while Harold Kottman hit the hardwood with the Boston Celtics.

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