Posts Tagged ‘football’

Coupeville gunner Ty Hamilton splashes home a jumper. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Basketball is not cancelled, just postponed.


After meeting Tuesday, the Executive Board of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association announced its latest adjustment to the 2020-2021 athletic schedule.

With COVID-19 cases spiking statewide, and Governor Jay Inslee having recently issued restrictions which include athletes not practicing inside for at least the next four weeks, a December 28 start for basketball became more unlikely.

The WIAA confirmed that, opting to delay the start of hoops season to Feb. 1, 2021.

At that point, it will be almost a year since a Coupeville High School team in any sport has played a game.

The last time a CHS squad faced off with a rival school came Feb. 11, 2020, when the Wolf girls basketball squad lost a home playoff game to Meridian.

The pandemic kicked into high gear shortly afterwards, with spring sports cancelled in 2019, and fall sports postponed in recent months.

The plan is still to have three complete sports seasons for the 2020-2021 school year, if positive COVID-19 case numbers drop.

Under the latest plan, each season will last seven weeks and end with a “regional culminating event” in place of state tournaments.

Traditional winter sports, which for Coupeville is basketball, will start February 1 and end March 20.

After that, traditional fall sports (football, volleyball, cross country, boys tennis, girls and boys soccer) will go from March 15 to May 1.

Football teams, which have to have more practices than other sports before playing, will start March 8.

The traditional spring sports (softball, track and field, baseball, girls tennis) will close the school year, with practices beginning April 26 and the season ending June 12.

Once we hit those start dates, the ability to play will be decided by whether counties are reaching goals set by state health officials.

To play basketball, which, like football, is considered a “high risk” sport, schools have to be in counties that have less than 25 new cases per 100,000 people in a 14-day period, and less than 5% positive cases overall.

Also, 50% of schools in a WIAA region (by classification) must be eligible to participate in league games.

That means at least four of eight schools in the revamped Northwest 1B/2B League will have to be ready to go for basketball to begin.

With another delay to the start of actual play, the WIAA also voted Tuesday to extend the open coaching window to January 23.

That window, which has been extended twice now, allows coaches to work with student/athletes and have practices.

CHS, under the guidance of Athletic Director Willie Smith, has been holding carefully-monitored workouts for most of its sports programs.

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Mickey Clark Field waits. (David Stern photo)

Better safe than sorry.

As the COVID-19 pandemic rolls on, Coupeville High School Athletic Director Willie Smith has been at the forefront of making sure the Wolves remain diligent in how they conduct business in the Age of Coronavirus.

When the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association opened the chance for schools to start workouts for their athletes — there will be no games until at least January — CHS took advantage.

But Smith has also been a hawk in making sure Health Department guidelines are followed by his coaches and athletes every step of the way.

So, with that in mind, he put a temporary hold on some activities starting late last week.

While there have been no positive COVID cases publicly reported among participants in the CHS practices, the start of cold and flu season has everyone looking twice as hard at every wayward sniffle.

Which is why some recent practices for sports such as football have been cancelled.

“Some of our student athletes have colds or cold-like symptoms and as an Athletic Department we have chosen to postpone the optional practices that those students participate in as a precautionary measure,” Smith said.

“As soon as we are able, we will begin offering our optional sports practices once again.”

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Wolf QB Jason McFadyen operates under center during a practice in 1990. (Photo courtesy Carmen McFadyen)

The past is present again.

Next Tuesday – November 10 – marks the 30th anniversary of arguably the second-biggest game in Coupeville High School athletic history.

It’s hard to top the 1970 boys basketball district title game, when the Wolves toppled Darrington in front of 2,000+ fans.

That was the game when Jeff Stone torched the nets for 48 points, without the benefit of the three-point bomb, a single-game CHS mark which hasn’t been matched in 50 years.

Even more importantly, by winning that game, Coupeville beat Oak Harbor and Langley to the promised land, becoming the first Whidbey Island hoops squad to win a district title.

But the anniversary of that titanic hardwood tilt already passed earlier this year, and was talked about back then.

Today, in the time frame when football season would normally be wrapping up, we return to 1990.

Mariah Carey topped the musical charts with Love Takes Time as the morning of Saturday, Nov. 10 dawned.

George H.W. Bush was in the White House, and, at movie theaters, Child’s Play 2 was becoming the third-straight horror thriller to top the box office charts, following hot on the heels of Graveyard Shift and Jacob’s Ladder.

But Chucky’s reign would be a short one, at just one week, as a lil’ juggernaut called Home Alone was days away from release.

America so loved seeing Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern get abused, the film stayed #1 for 12 consecutive weeks, a feat matched by only four other films.

But, while they were home Nov. 10, 1990, the members of the CHS football team were not alone.

Instead, on an especially-gusty day, head coach Ron Bagby and his crew were surrounded by fans, as they took to the turf at Mickey Clark Field to host a WIAA state quarterfinal playoff game.

A win away from a trip to the Tacoma Dome (with a journey to the Kingdome on tap if they made the state final), the ’90 Wolves were, without argument, the most-successful team in program history.

Using a pounding ground attack and a feisty defense, Coupeville was 9-0, and had outscored opponents 258-107.

The Wolves had won a league title, their first on the gridiron since 1974, and the program was making its fourth state playoff appearance, and first at home.

Coupeville had shredded its rivals all year, but the defining win was likely a 10-0 whitewashing of Concrete, which was the reigning powerhouse in the Northwest B League.

Frank Marti capped a 122-yard rushing performance with a one-yard touchdown plunge in the fourth quarter, then Brad Haslam dropped the punctuation mark with a 34-yard field goal.

The stage was set for continued success as the playoffs kicked off, but, ultimately, Coupeville had to accept the role of Child’s Play 2, and not Home Alone, as it lost 34-14 to visiting Rainier.

The Mountaineers would go on to blank Adna 16-0 in the semifinals, before falling 13-3 to Reardan in the state title game.

While it wasn’t the end Coupeville coaches, players, and fans wanted, that 1990 team still towers above any other football squad to wear the red and black.

It’s final 9-1 record remains the best in program history, and, 30 years out, Wolf football has yet to win another league title or return to the state playoffs.

As we roll up on the anniversary of their quarterfinal clash, it would be nice if CHS could do an in-person event to commemorate those players and coaches.

Of course, the ongoing pandemic makes that impossible.

But, we can run through the roll call one more time, and give them an online tribute.

So, 30 years later, still the greatest football team in Coupeville High School history is:



Ron Bagby
Brian O’Hara
Tom Roehl (RIP)
Jon Prater



Brent Fitzgerald



Brian Barr
Ben Biskovich
Sean Dillon
Chris Frey
Les Hall
Mark Lester
Frank Marti
Jason McFadyen
Ryan Samplawski
Aaron Williams



Danny Bonacci
Matt Cross
Brad Haslam
Van Kellems
Ben Russell
Todd Smith
Nate Steele
Tracy Wilson



Troy Blouin
Todd Brown
Ted Clifton
Eric Lester
Craig McGregor
Gerald McIntosh
Jason McManigle
David McMillan



Ross Buckner
Scott Gadbois
Scott Kirkwood
Kit Manzanares
Jerimiah Prater
Virgil Roehl
Joe Staples
Kevin Steiner

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Coupeville High School football had a golden season in 1974, and Homecoming was a particular treat. (Photo courtesy Chuck Hardee)

Best Homecoming ever?

It’s certainly up there, as 1974 was a golden year for Coupeville High School football.

That team became the first modern-era Wolf gridiron squad to win a league title, something CHS has only repeated once since then, when 1990’s unit went undefeated through the regular season.

While Coupeville may not be a football factory, it has had its moments, as you can see in the preserved recap of that ’74 rout of Chimacum.

The memento comes to us courtesy Chuck Hardee, who plunged into the end zone twice that night.

And now the spotlight can turn to you.

Have photos, newspaper clippings, memorabilia or such from anywhere in the history of Coupeville prep sports, which stretches back to around 1900?

Go clean your attics and your basements, or harass Grandma until she gives up the goods, then email me at davidsvien@hotmail.com.

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Dawson Houston flings it downfield. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Dawson Houston lived in every world.

The 2020 Coupeville High School grad was that rarity, an athlete who found success in vastly different environments.

On the one hand, he was a two-year starter at quarterback for the Wolf football team, the leader of a squad which broke an epic run of frustration by achieving a winning record his senior season.

Coupeville hadn’t posted a positive mark on the gridiron since back around Dawson’s kindergarten year, but led by their veteran gunslinger, they stood tall in the fall of 2019.

Winning four of five at one point, while traveling near and far, the Wolves finished 5-4.

That included road wins in far-flung outposts like Vashon Island, Kittitas, and Tenino, as well as a solid victory against 2A Anacortes.

Not bad for a 2B-sized school in its final season of being forced to play in the 1A division.

Capping his prep career in style, Dawson was the calm center for Coupeville as it flashed back to gridiron glory not seen since the olden days of 2005.

Eyes glinting behind his glasses, the kid could gun the ball downfield, breaking off several successful long bombs during the season.

But he was smart enough to know when to play it cool, when to get the ball into Sean Toomey-Stout’s hands or Andy Martin’s mitts, and let his game-busters shred the defense.

Dawson, ambling along like the small-town cowboy he is, had the drive and passion, but also a genuine calmness under fire, and it seeped out to all his teammates.

He also had a huge smile on his face most days, and a surprisingly firm handshake for a high school guy.

As he and his teammates trotted out of the locker room, Dawson always took a moment to welcome the media to his field, a low-key, friendly dude even when his emotions were likely pinging all over the place prior to kickoff.

That carried over to how he treated his teammates.

While he had some key accomplishments of his own, Dawson’s happiest moments on the football field all seemed to come when someone else achieved their dream, often with his help.

As a senior leader for the Wolves, he shared the field with younger brother Daylon, a freshman, and saved his biggest celebration for when his sibling booted an extra point after big bro had plunged into the end zone for a CHS touchdown.

As a senior, Dawson shared the field with younger brother Daylon (3), as well as Ben Smith. (Deb Smith photo)

But here’s where the story takes a somewhat unexpected turn.

Dawson, a football player through and through, also found great success as a … cheerleader.

Oh, it’s true.

After years of only being a sideline squad, the Wolves returned to the world of competitive cheer and shocked folks by immediately claiming 3rd place at the state meet in early 2019.

Skip forward a season, and Coupeville coach BreAnna Boon was looking for more.

So, she convinced Wolf football stars Gavin St Onge and our man of the moment, Dawson, to make the leap into a whole new world.

With added strength, the Wolves could increase the degree of difficulty on their stunts, and they soared.

All the way to Disneyworld.

With Dawson helping lift and fling his new teammates, the Wolves bypassed state and made it all the way to nationals.

As they did, they showcased what a mixed roster of girls and boys can accomplish on the competition cheer mats, perhaps sparking the continued evolution of the CHS cheer program.

Dawson also found success as a competitive cheerleader alongside (l to r) Ja’Tarya Hoskins, Emily Fiedler, and Melia Welling. (BreAnna Boon photo)

A trailblazer and a leader, plus a pretty talented courtesy clerk at the local grocery store, Dawson exited high school life as a genuine winner.

Today, he takes another step, entering a new dimension, one he’s fully earned.

With doors flung wide open, we welcome Dawson to the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

After this, if you wander past the Legends tab at the top of the blog, you’ll find him hanging out there, shoulder to shoulder with the great QB’s and cheerleaders of the past.

One man, two worlds, always a class act.

Senior Night with the family. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

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