Posts Tagged ‘Forks’

“So, anything else you want to tell us, coach?” “Nope.” (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Well, it hasn’t been a full five months…

I swear, the next time Ron Bagby tells me he won an award will be the first.

The former Coupeville High School coach still wanders the hallways and gyms at the school, fulfilling his teacherly duties, and I’ve run into him on numerous occasions as winter turned into spring.

Yet, in typical low-key Bags style, he never once mentioned he was inducted into another Hall of Fame back in January.

I mean, once you’re in the totally made-up Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame, as he is, probably everything else kind of pales in comparison. I get it.

But, thanks to a tip from Carmen McFadyen, who got the news from her son Jason, who starred for football and basketball teams coached by Bags back in the day, who got the info from former teammate Dan Neider, I’m on top of things.

Five months late…

So, back in Jan., Bags snuck out of town, headed down the road to his former home, the far-flung outpost of Forks, and was inducted into the Spartan Basketball Hall of Fame.

And I’m gonna stop you right there.

Forks High School has a freakin’ REAL Hall of Fame for basketball and we here in Coupeville DO NOT.

Come on, people.

We have Jeff Stone, and Bill Riley, and Jeff Rhubottom, and the ’69-’70 Team o’ Death and Destruction, and 10,000 Keefe brothers, and Jack “The Zinger” Elzinga.

Then there’s Hawthorne Wolfe, the floppy-haired reincarnation of Pistol Pete, coming for all their scoring records, and on and on it goes.

And that’s only half the story, with the girls game giving us Makana Stone, and Novi Barron, and Marlene Grasser, with Maddie Big Time droppin’ half-court bombs and Julia Myers droppin’ forearm shivers.

I want a frickin’ real Hall of Fame!

But anyways.

Back in reality, or Forks at least, Bags was always kind of a big deal in the town long before the sparkly vampires brought in all the tourists.

In his younger days, he won a state track title in 1978, blistering the oval in the 100, and this on the heels of being a First-Team All-State running back for a team he helped propel deep into the playoffs.

So they know his name, and his game, in Forks.

During a doubleheader against Tenino this winter, the laconic one was immortalized again, this time for his play on the hardwood.

And for any of his students who watch him amble by, and think to themselves, “I could beat Bags,” no, you can’t, and yes, you’re an idiot.

Time may have (slightly) tamped down his hops, but he’d still annihilate you on the court … then never tell me about it.

Back when he was wearing the Forks shorty shorts, Bags tossed in 52 points against Tenino, setting a Far West League single-game record which stands to this day.

Just to put the cherry on top, his final bucket, coming in a game before the three-point line, came off of a steal, and the ensuing layup capped a 79-77 win for the Spartans.

At which point he exited the court, looked around at all the fans, and said, “Let us never speak of this again.”

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Owen Barenburg and his Coupeville High School soccer mates have 10 days off before their next game. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

You go to bat country, sometimes you get bitten.

Missing a substantial number of players, the Coupeville High School boys soccer team got roughed up good Monday, falling 9-0 at Forks.

The non-conference loss drops the Wolves to 4-5 on the season, and they now have a 10-day break between games thanks to spring break.

The lopsided score came thanks to a solid foe, a long road trip, and, most importantly, a severely depleted roster thanks to injuries, illness and vacations.

“I only had 12 players make the trip, about half of them JV,” said Coupeville coach Kyle Nelson. “Not much else to say…”

When CHS returns to action Apr. 12, it jumps back into North Sound Conference play, hopefully with a full roster once again.

The Wolves sit at 2-2 in league play, holding on to third-place in their five-team conference.

With road games against King’s and Sultan, then home clashes with Cedar Park Christian and South Whidbey left to play, the Wolves are chasing a “home” playoff game.

Coupeville can’t host a district playoff game on its own field, as postseason clashes have to go down on turf.

But, if the Wolves hold on to that #3 seed, they would most likely get to host their playoff opener just up the road in Oak Harbor.

When it has been at full power, Coupeville has been competitive in every match.

The Wolves only surrendered 12 goals across their first seven games, but with starting goalie Dewitt Cole out with an injury and the defense comprised by missing players, foes have rung up 14 scores in the last two games.

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Nicole Laxton, owner of the most positive attitude in all the land, no matter how many times rival pitchers plunk her. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

As you climb the mountain to success, there will be obstacles along the way.

It’s a lesson every team has to learn, and one the Coupeville High School softball squad had reinforced Saturday afternoon in Port Angeles.

Facing their toughest test of the season, the Wolves traveled to “Billy Whiteshoes Memorial Park,” a small gem of an artificial turf-covered diamond nestled in the middle of nowhere, and fought hard through a doubleheader against big-time competition.

Falling to Fife, a 2A school with 600 more students than Coupeville, and Forks, a 1A juggernaut with a roster full of travel ball vets, the Wolves slipped to 4-5 on the season.

But while the non-conference losses sting, the first maybe more than the second, the experience helps set CHS up for the stretch run.

After a week-plus gap in the schedule thanks to spring break, the Wolves begin their pursuit of a second-straight league title in earnest.

Coupeville, which played seven of its last eight games on the road, closes with seven of 10 on Whidbey, with six on its own diamond.

Nine of those games come against North Sound Conference foes, and the Wolves currently sit in a first-place tie with Granite Falls at 2-1 in league play.


Game 1 vs. Fife:

The Trojans, who camp out in the tough 2A South Puget Sound League, are in first-place for a reason, and they showed why Saturday, sweeping to a pair of lopsided wins.

After drilling Seattle Prep 17-4, they turned around and bopped Coupeville 17-1, running their season mark to 6-1, with their only loss to big-timer Lynden.

Wolf freshman hurler Izzy Wells went down fighting, flinging heat and mixing things up, even after being drilled in the leg with a laser shot back up the middle, but a very-experienced foe had few weaknesses.

“Fife hit the ball all over the field,” said CHS coach Kevin McGranahan. “We played pretty good defense … they just hit all the gaps.”

The game was close for an inning, with a home-run to center staking Fife to an early 2-0 lead.

But the second inning, when the Trojans sent 14 hitters to the plate, and brought eight of them around, was a killer.

Tack on a 13-batter, seven-run fourth inning, and the fact Coupeville stifled Fife in the third and fifth innings, holding them scoreless, was nice, but not a game-saver.

The Wolves struggled to get their own offense going against a Trojan pitcher who had one speed – fast – and one way of throwing – scary hard.

The first CHS player to get on board was Mackenzie Davis, who led off the bottom of the third by reaching on an error, but she was quickly erased thanks to a wham-bam double play.

Emma Mathusek finally broke up the no-hitter with a one-out single to center in the fourth, only to have Fife immediately pull off another double play when its first-baseman robbed Chelsea Prescott, spearing a wicked liner headed for her chin.

Coupeville’s other two hits came in the fifth, thanks to Veronica Crownover rocketing a single off of the bag at second and one mighty swing from Sarah Wright.

The senior catcher led off the inning by taking Fife’s hurler deep, depositing her second home run of the year over the right field fence, out where a friendly pack of dogs spent a chunk of the day romping in the sunshine.

The rest of the day, the dogs camped out in the Coupeville dugout, looking for tasty treats, head rubs, and an invitation to get on the bus and go to Subway.


Game 2 vs. Forks:

No one really wants a moral victory, but this certainly falls into that category.

The Spartans come from the Evergreen League, the toughest 1A softball league in the state, and last year they savaged Coupeville, sweeping a doubleheader to the tune of 12-0 and 12-0.

This time around, after drilling Seattle Prep 11-1, Forks had a lot more trouble with the Wolves, escaping with an 8-4 win which was even closer than the score might sound.

Watching his team go toe-to-toe with their vaunted foes put a small smile, but still a smile, on McGranahan’s face.

“This year we played them tough and showed that we can play with big, bad District 4,” he said. “We had a lot of good takeaways today and are now shifting focus to the rest of our league schedule.”

After falling behind 3-0 early, the Wolves got their bats going much quicker in the nightcap, coming back to knot the game up with a run in the first, and two more in the second.

Coupeville’s first run came courtesy a walk to Mathusek, a single by Prescott, and a long double thumped to center by the still-sizzlin’ Wright.

The Wolves got even more creative in their half of the second, using a little bit of razzle-dazzle to plate two runs.

Walks to Audrianna Shaw and Nicole Laxton set the scene, an infield single by a hard-charging Scout Smith loaded the bags, before a Mathusek sac fly and an airmailed throw into center by the Forks catcher brought the runners around.

Laxton, the undisputed master at wearing the ball, sacrificed her body for her free pass, getting plunked, or “Nicoled,” as it’s known in the biz, for the 389,512th time this season.

The Forks pitcher, who may not have had the power of Fife’s hurler, was still hyper-efficient most of the day, and she shut down the Wolves after that, retiring seven straight while her hitters slowly chipped away.

By the time Coupeville got its next runner on, thanks to a fifth-inning lead-off Mathusek single, it trailed 7-3.

While Mathusek scampered around the bags, eventually tapping home after an RBI single by Wright, it would prove to be the final rally for the Wolves.

Shaw, a freshman who made several strong catches in the outfield, hammered a sixth-inning single, but that was it, with Forks ending the game by flinging back-to-back strikeouts in the seventh.

After compiling just three hits and no walks in the opener, Coupeville had six hits and four walks in the second game.

Smith, taking the place of Wells in the pitcher’s circle, kept Forks guessing as she mixed and matched speeds, while Prescott had a superb dig on a hard smash to short to end a rally.

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   Axel Partida flies the friendly (and super-windy) skies Saturday as Coupeville fights to a 3-3 stalemate with previously-perfect Forks. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

“You want to take our photo??!?! Well, OK, but only if you insist.”

   “This blanket is NOT helping!!!! I can feel every wind gust cutting right to my very soul, man!!!!!”

   Buffeted by some killer wind, Wolf captain William Nelson ponders the meaning of life, and why he can’t feel his arms or legs…

   “If they’re playing, we’re staying!” The most die-hard of pitch fans have found their perch.

   Derek Leyva, on the rampage and headed for his team-best 15th goal of the season.

Perfect no more.

While the Coupeville High School boys soccer squad couldn’t hang on for the knockout Saturday, the Wolves overcame vicious winds and a stellar defense to put the first ding in Forks’ armor.

Facing a team which had given up just one goal in six previous games, CHS rifled home enough scores to walk away with a hard-earned 3-3 tie on its home pitch.

Since the game was a non-conference affair, the two teams did not go to overtime or a shootout, cause … soccer.

Now 4-3-2 on the season, Coupeville drops Forks to 6-0-1.

The Spartans entered play Saturday having outscored its foes 32-1, but that was likely because they hadn’t met the free-wheeling Leyva boys yet.

The sophomore cousins each notched another goal, with Derek Leyva hitting on his 15th score and Aram Leyva netting his seventh.

While he’s not part of the family, at least by blood, senior captain Ethan Spark can score just like the cousins, and he punched home his second goal in the last three games to round out the scoring.

The Coupeville booters are wading through their toughest stretch of the schedule, and get right back at it Tuesday when they travel to Port Angeles to face a 6-2-1 squad.

JV wins:

With a little help from an outsider, the Wolf young guns erupted for a hail of goals late in the game to secure a 4-1 win.

The game was played 7-on-7 instead of the usual 11-on-11, and Forks loaned out one of their guys to give Coupeville a “full” roster.

That Spartan ended up knocking in a goal for the Wolves, who also got two scores from Chris Cernick and one from Jonathan Partida.

The game was scoreless at the break, then Forks broke the stalemate midway through the second half.

“We kept fighting,” Cernick said, and when the Wolves finally broke through, they liked it so much they didn’t stop, scoring all four of their goals during a furious final 15 minutes.

Photos abound:

While the Wolves battled Mother Nature and Forks, photo bug John Fisken snapped away and captured the pics seen above, and a whole lot more.

To take a gander at everything he shot, pop over to:


And, when you do, remember, purchases help fund college scholarships for CHS students/athletes.

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   Scout Smith had a pair of singles Saturday as Coupeville clashed with high-flying Forks in a doubleheader. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

This is not going to go the way you think.

Luke Skywalker’s words of wisdom in “The Last Jedi” were likely echoing around Coupeville Saturday, though, with all the wind, everyone could be forgiven for not hearing them.

On a day when the prairie was lashed by rolling, dirt-flinging, sustained winds that sliced through the souls of even the most die-hard of fans, the Wolf softball squad came back to Earth.

The CHS sluggers, coming off of a romp against Meridian, entered Saturday with a superb 6-1 record.

That record has now taken a ding or two, courtesy a very-impressive Forks team.

A Spartans unit that plays together as both a high school team and a travel ball squad showed what year-round commitment can inspire, as they drilled the Wolves 12-0 and 10-0 to sweep a doubleheader no one was sure would be played in the first place.

The non-conference losses drop Coupeville to 6-3, and its players, who managed just five hits on the day while battling flame-throwing Spartans and Mother Nature, will have some time to reflect on what went wrong.

CHS is off until next Saturday, Apr. 14, when it travels to Friday Harbor.

As he surveyed the damage, Wolf coach Kevin McGranahan was clear-eyed and committed to making sure his players bounce back quickly and efficiently.

“Long story short, Forks hit the ball and we didn’t,” he said. “We ran into a very good team today and we have some things to work on.”

The Spartans (7-2), who compete in the brutal Evergreen League, where they clash with fellow 1A powerhouses like Montesano, Elma and Hoquiam, are GOOD.

And yes, that word was meant to be all caps.

Forks, one through nine, hits with precision and power, it rarely make mistakes in the field and it boasts five pitchers with top-level stuff.

So, even though Wolf hurlers Katrina McGranahan and Scout Smith weren’t off by much Saturday, to beat the Spartans you would have to be close to flawless.

And Coupeville, whether bothered by the wind, the precision of their visitors, or a little jet lag from playing five games in six days, was not flawless on this day.

Game 1:

Katrina McGranahan came out all guns blazing, whiffing the side in the first, en route to nine K’s in the game.

But then things fell apart for a bit in the second, as Forks used four hits, including one greatly helped by the wind, which caused a routine fly ball to madly curve away from a CHS fielder at the last second, to bust things open.

Down 4-0 and unable to muster much offense, the Wolves went 11 batters into the game before they got their first runner aboard.

That was Smith, who ripped a one-out single to straight-away center in the fourth.

When the wind died (for at least six seconds) and McGranahan immediately followed with her own base-knock to right, the hints of a rally begin to emerge.

Only to be promptly smashed, as Forks cut down the lead runner on a grounder off the bat of Sarah Wright, then escaped the inning with a strikeout.

The game got away from CHS after that, with the Spartans plating three in the fifth (including a long two-run home-run) and five more in the sixth to enact the mercy rule.

Smith added a second single, while freshman Mollie Bailey toasted a single to center to cap Coupeville’s limited four-hit attack.

Game 2:

If the offense was blunted in the opener, it was DOA the second time around, with a Lauren Rose single and a Bailey walk accounting for the only Wolf base-runners.

Forks methodically picked away, scoring runs in small clumps, with the only bright spot for Coupeville coming from its defense.

Emma Mathusek nailed a runner coming in to third with a throw from left, Rose devoured everything which came her way in the middle of the infield and CHS turned a tricky double-play to stuff a rally.

The play of the game came from McGranahan, who was manning shortstop with Smith in the pitcher’s circle.

While Forks kept 99% of their hits on the ground Saturday, one Spartan lofted a ball high into the swirling madness in the first inning.

Breaking from short, McGranahan had to fight the wind, which caused the ball to suddenly reverse course, and an ump who couldn’t seem to get out of her way as she charged in, veered, then dove face-first.

Spearing the ball in the very tip of her glove, she snagged the orb as it dropped like an anvil, then held on through the collision with the ground, earning easily the biggest cheer of the afternoon.

Heck, even the ump who made her job harder was smiling about the play afterwards – a small victory on a rough and tumble day.

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