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Andrew Martin, destroyer of worlds. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

One giant walking, talking bruise with an undying love for IHop pancakes.

Some football players try and do things with finesse, try and run away from their rivals, try to keep their uniforms clean.

Andrew Martin was never, ever one of those players.

“Hambone” is what you get if you build a time machine, go back to the ’50s, grab the guy who’s covered in mud and grass chunks, the guy everyone else is trying not to be hit by, then bring that dude back to modern times.

In other words, a new-school player with an old-school mind set.

Martin rarely dodged, always choosing to run right through fools instead, whether he was playing offense or defense for the Coupeville High School football team.

Hand him the ball, and the human battering ram often ran over the top of his own blockers, surging into the crowd, tearing off chunks of yardage (and sometimes ripping off opponent’s arms and legs in the process).

Martin bulldozes a would-be tackler.

Even in the open field, with no one in front of him, Martin sometimes pivoted backwards, seemingly just so he could feel the thwack one more time as he obliterated a would-be tackler.

He got in the end zone a fair amount of times, especially in big games, but all his best runs, all the plays which linger after his prep career has ended, involved slo-mo destruction.

The same was true on the defensive side of the ball, where Martin recorded tackles at a much more impressive pace than stat guys often recorded.

Rumbling from his linebacker position, or anywhere Wolf coaches plugged him into to as they employed various schemes, he was a wall of bricks.

Few got past him, no one got through him, and virtually everyone who wandered through Martin’s air space paid for it with a deep, aching burn down in their nether regions the next day.

He was a wrecker, a rumbler, a glorious throwback to a time when football players knew only one way to play the game — all-out, aggressive, and loaded for bear on every play.

Martin rose to the occasion, never more than on the night last fall when CHS football sealed the deal on its first winning season in 13 years.

Playing against 2A Anacortes, the Wolf senior rumbled for all three Coupeville touchdowns during a 27-carry, 137-yard swan song in front of his home fans.

Want to marinate in the moment one more time? Pop over to:

https://coupevillesports.com/2019/10/25/long-time-coming/

During Martin’s final season, I travelled to the team’s road games with Andy’s parents, and saw a different side to him than I might otherwise have.

After the Friday Night Lights had dimmed, after the roar of the crowd had receded, Andy would hobble back to the car, the effects of his playing style evident in how he moved, and in his good-natured description of all his various aches, pains, and injuries.

Yet, he never stopped moving forward. On the field, and in life.

Whether he was arguing for why he deserved post-game KFC, even if the nearest chicken outlet was way off the highway, breaking down every play from the game just ended, or trash-talking (in private) an opposing team player who tried (and failed) to intimidate him, Andy was a quality traveling companion.

I respect his game, appreciate the passion and grit he played with, and always found him to be quietly hilarious.

“Rest easy, little guy. Daddy will get you to the end zone and won’t let those bad men touch you.”

Off the field, the youngest member of the Martin clan was a strong student, and a talented member of the CHS band.

He also had some quality moments for the Wolf track and field squad, and could have been a beast on the basketball court like dad Jonathan, if he hadn’t needed downtime to heal his myriad football injuries.

But Andy made his mark on the gridiron, and jammed into the back of a car on the way home from games in some far-flung outpost, and that’s more than enough.

Today, his exploits, his fire, the way he lived, breathed, and (sometimes) suffered for football carry him into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

After this, you’ll find him, along with older brother Jacob, hanging out at the top of the blog, up under the Legends tab.

Bring him some KFC, sit back, and let him tell you in vivid detail what REALLY happened down there on the field, under the dog pile, away from the eyes of the ref.

Can’t write about it all, maybe, but it still makes for a heck of a story.

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Uriel Liquidano sacrifices his head for the team. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

He was a new-school kid who played like an old-school athlete.

Uriel “Woody” Liquidano may have graduated in 2017, but his playing style would have made him a perfect fit back in the ’60s and ’70s.

Whether on the football field or the soccer pitch, the middle of three children (he followed big bro Oscar and preceded lil’ sis Estefanny) never left any doubt.

Uriel played hard, he played with passion, and he excelled as both an individual athlete and as a valuable link holding his team together.

Liquidano was joined by sister Estefanny, his parents, and one of his nieces on Senior Night.

The last time he walked off the Coupeville High School football field, I shook his hand and said something about how impressed I was with how he handled himself during his prep career.

Today, on his birthday, we’re following that up with something which should have happened a long time ago – we’re inducting him into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame, where he will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Oscar.

After this, you’ll find the brothers up at the top of the blog, living large under the Legends tab.

And why not?

Uriel played like a legend, while rarely being one to beat his own chest and scream about his greatness.

Instead, he yanked his helmet down on his head, locked eyes with opposing quarterbacks, then relentlessly chased them down, usually finishing plays having wrecked anyone foolish enough to get in his way.

Plop him on the soccer pitch as well, or the basketball court during his earlier days, and Uriel was just as much of a rampaging force of nature.

Pick a sport, and he was an enforcer.

On the gridiron, Uriel was a two-way starter, anchoring the offensive line, while rumbling on defense as a linebacker.

A team captain along with fellow Hall o’ Famers Clay Reilly and Jacob Martin, he led by example, busting his tail and delivering big plays.

Of all of his games in red and black, Uriel’s biggest probably came during his senior year, when he led a fired-up Wolves squad to a 41-10 thrashing of arch-rival South Whidbey as Coupeville retained possession of The Bucket.

As I wrote in the game story that night:

Senior Uriel Liquidano was a beast unleashed, spending most of his night gently cradling frightened Falcons as he slammed them to the turf after shedding would-be blockers.

Denied!

That smash-mouth playing style carried over to the soccer pitch, where he operated primarily as a defender for the Wolves.

Bust through Coupeville’s front line and Uriel was waiting to use and abuse you, sailing into battle with a huge smile on his face and his elbows set to “Crush Mode.”

An honor student off the field, and a guy who gave you everything he had from opening whistle to final whistle, he remains one of my favorite athletes to cover from the Coupeville Sports days.

So happy cake day, Uriel, best wishes for the future, and appreciation for the past.

You are the real deal, sir. Always have been, always will be.

Liquidano, Jacob Martin (32), and Clay Reilly (2) went out as champs, thrashing South Whidbey 41-10 as seniors.

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Former South Whidbey High School football coach Mark Hodson.

A Whidbey Island gridiron legend and his family are in need.

Mark Hodson, a South Whidbey High School social studies teacher, led the Falcon football program to great success through two tours of duty.

Sunday, he and his family returned from a day at the lake to find their Freeland home a complete loss after a fire.

The Hodson home on Spinnaker Drive was fully involved when firefighters from multiple departments arrived on scene.

South Whidbey Fire/EMS reported neighbors “were actively using garden hoses to help as much as possible.”

Firefighters from South and Central Whidbey stations used interior and exterior extinguishment tactics to keep the fire from spreading to nearby houses, but the Hodson home was a complete loss.

With the family gone, no one was injured and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Friends of the Hodson’s have set up a GoFundMe to help the family of six, which has been left with little more than the clothes on their backs.

To help out, pop over to:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/m2qwt-helping-hands

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Zane Oldenstadt rumbles down low in the paint. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Oldenstadt and William Davidson pause for a photo op during track season. (Morgan White photo)

Zane Oldenstadt listens to his mom, and that may pay off as the world deals with a pandemic.

As Coupeville students prepare for a new school year, without knowing for sure how it will play out in the age of coronavirus, incoming freshmen have high hopes in an unsettled world.

For Oldenstadt, who plans to be a three-sport athlete at CHS, it’s a perfect time to reflect on words of wisdom from mom Michelle Glass.

“My mom’s had a huge impact in showing me how the only way things get done is through perseverance and work,” Oldenstadt said.

Whether his high school days start off in a classroom or at home in front of a computer, the outgoing 9th grader-to-be wants to make an impact in everything he does.

Oldenstadt is “very interested in marine biology, and I plan to go to college for it,” while in the arena he hopes to play football, basketball, and baseball, in whatever order the WIAA and CHS allow him to.

Being a three-sport athlete is something which comes naturally, as he played soccer and basketball, then wrapped up the school year competing in track and field during his middle school days.

He also played little league baseball.

While he enjoyed all of his sports, Oldenstadt felt most at home on the hardwood.

“Basketball, I have fun getting out there and battling on the court,” he said. “It’s a sport I never tire of, and I’m always ready to go and give it my all.”

As he makes the transition from CMS to CHS, Oldenstadt already has the height and strength to set him apart from other athletes his own age.

But he also realizes he needs to add other components to his game if he wants to be successful at a higher level.

“I think my athleticism at my size really stands out,” Oldenstadt said. “But I’d still like to work on overall quickness.

“My goal in high school sports is to better myself and the teams I play on through hard work and commitment.”

When he’s not playing sports, Oldenstadt enjoys listening to music.

In an uncertain world, though, athletic activity is key to his happiness.

“Sports helps me cope with stress or anything else that’s bothering me,” he said. “It’s nice just to go and focus all your energy on trying to win something.”

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Under current WIAA guidelines, Wolf basketball players like Hawthorne Wolfe will start practices Dec. 28. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The tinkering continues in the age of coronavirus.

After meeting Tuesday, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Executive Board announced several tweaks to its plan for a four-season sports campaign during the 2020-21 school year.

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the state, a county has to be in Phase 3 of Governor Jay Inslee’s reopening plan to start competition in September.

But while Island County is one of the few to have reached that status, that might not be enough for Coupeville High School.

All of the Wolves new foes in the Northwest 2B/1B League are in counties currently mired in Phase 2, and a freeze on counties applying to move to the next phase has been extended “indefinitely.”

CHS also plays boys tennis in the recently renamed Emerald Sound Conference.

Every opponent there, with the exception of South Whidbey, is a ritzy private school camped out in Phase 2 King County.

Also, most large school districts, including those in the Seattle area, have made public commitments in the past week to opening the new school year 100% online.

Coupeville Schools Superintendent Steve King has set August 7 to make a decision on online vs. in-person vs. a hybrid education plan.

There has been no definitive statement on whether schools using only online teaching will allow students to compete in athletics.

While the WIAA did not issue plans Tuesday for how many schools need to be active for prep sports to start in September, it did do the following:

 

**Cross country and tennis are officially approved for play in Season 1, with postseason events set to happen at the end of Season 3 and 4, respectively.

Schools and leagues can opt to play Season 1 sports later, however.

If moved, cross country goes to Season 3, while tennis jumps to Season 4.

 

**Competitive cheer has been moved from Season 2 to Season 3.

 

**The start of football practice is moved to Feb. 17.

Gridiron players are required to have more practices than other sports, and this would allow the sport to begin playing games the same week as other Season 3 sports.

 

**Season 2 will begin and end one week earlier than originally planned, to better avoid overlap of students participating in both Seasons 2 and 3.

Basketball practices now start Dec. 28.

 

**The out-of-season period has been adjusted for sports not part of Season 1.

Coaching is not allowed between Aug. 17-Sept. 27, but teams can practice between Sept. 28-Nov. 30.

Football teams can have 20 days of contact practices during this time.

 

**Schools will be allowed to schedule 70% of typical allowable contests for all sports during the 2020-2021 school year.

Baseball (was 20 games, now 14)
Basketball (20 to 14)
Cross Country (10 to 7)
Football (10 to 7)
Soccer (16 to 11)
Softball (20 to 14)
Tennis (16 to 11)
Track and Field (10 to 7)
Volleyball (16 to 11)

 

**The plan (as of July 29):

 

Season 1:

Cross Country

Practice starts: Sept. 7
Competition starts: Sept. 14
Postseason: April 26-May 1
**Phase 3 for meets**

 

Boys Tennis

Practice starts: Sept. 7
Competition starts: Sept. 14
Postseason: June 21-27
**Phase 3 for matches**

 

Season 2:

Boys/Girls Basketball

Practice starts: Dec. 28
Competition starts: Jan. 4
Postseason: Feb. 22-28
**Phase 4 for games**

 

Season 3:

Boys/Girls Soccer

Practice starts: Mar. 1
Competition starts: Mar. 8
Postseason: Apr. 26-May 1
**Phase 3 for games (with masks) or Phase 4 (no masks)**

 

Competitive Cheer

Practice starts: Mar. 1
Competition starts: Mar. 8
Postseason: Apr. 26-May 1
**Phase 3 for competitions**

 

Football

Practice starts: Feb. 17
Competition starts: Mar. 5
Postseason: Apr. 19-May 19
**Phase 4 for games**

 

Volleyball

Practice starts: Feb. 22
Competition starts: Mar. 8
Postseason: Apr. 26-May 1
**Phase 3 for matches**

 

Season 4:

Baseball

Practice starts: Apr. 26
Competition starts: May 3
Postseason: June 21-26
**Phase 3 for games (with masks) or Phase 4 (no masks)**

 

Girls Tennis

Practice starts: Apr. 26
Competition starts: May 3
Postseason: June 21-26
**Phase 3 for matches**

 

Softball

Practice starts: Apr. 26
Competition starts: May 3
Postseason: June 21-26
**Phase 3 for games (with masks) or Phase 4 (no masks)**

 

Track and Field

Practice starts: Apr. 26
Competition starts: May 3
Postseason: June 21-26
**Phase 3 for meets**

 

PS — It appears the WIAA has recently adjusted what phase a county needs to be in for certain sports to be played.

Soccer, volleyball, baseball, competitive cheer, and softball are now in Phase 3, while they were previously listed under Phase 4, though three of those sports — all outdoor ones — will require masks if played in Phase 3.

Why are volleyball and cheer, which are held indoors and involve athlete contact and close-quarters breathing, exempt from masks?

You got me.

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