Posts Tagged ‘freshman’

Kierra Thayer strolls to the hoop during a middle school game. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

She lights up the gym.

Kierra Thayer, an incoming freshman at Coupeville High School, had an immediate impact when she stepped on the basketball court last winter.

Making her debut in a Wolf uniform as an 8th grader, she threw down a game-high eight points against Langley in a tense middle school hoops rumble.

There was plenty more where that came from, with Thayer leading all CMS players in the season scoring stats, while also providing often-explosive defense while denying rivals access to the paint.

Now, as she rumbles into high school, she plans to add volleyball to her to-do list, before returning to the hardwood.

While Thayer is a promising talent in multiple sports, basketball owns her heart at the moment.

“My favorite sport would have to be basketball,” she said. “Because I love the competitive side of it; but I also love team bonding.”

Her goal for high school “would have to be to make varsity,” but Thayer is willing to put in the work to get there.

“If I don’t (make varsity) then (my goal) would have to be to just do my best,” she said.

“This is my court!” (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Thayer embraces the athletic life and carries a positive attitude into everything she does.

“What I enjoy about being an athlete is the competitiveness, the team dynamic, and the traveling that goes along with it,” she said.

“I always love getting to meet new people and seeing what the competition is like.”

Away from sports Thayer enjoys baking and music, with science and math topping her classroom interests.

As she transitions from middle school to high school, she is already planning for the increased workload, both on the playing field and in the classroom.

“My strength that I have as an athlete would have to be that I pick up drills pretty easily,” Thayer said.

“But my weakness would have to be juggling schoolwork, along with the dedication requirement of being an athlete.”

Thayer is not alone, however, and is quick to praise those who are actively helping her reach her potential.

“There are two people that have impacted me,” Thayer said. “My mom and my science teacher, Ms. Berg.

“My mom always encourages me and taught me how to play the game of basketball correctly and how to take the game seriously while still having fun,” she added.

“Ms. Berg always pushed me to do better on my schoolwork, and she always saw potential in me and knew I could do better.”

Keeping both eyes on a bright future. (Photo courtesy Will Thayer)

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Camden Glover and his #1 fan, mom Stevie. (Photo courtesy Glover family)

He’s a young guy, but also a veteran.

When Camden Glover hits high school this fall, the Coupeville freshman will do so having already picked up playing experience at CHS.

He was a key part of the Wolf JV baseball team during his 8th grade season, flinging liquid heat as a pitcher and punching hits at the plate.

Glover whiffed five Mount Baker batters — and collected four RBI as a slugger — in an opening day win and remained one of the most reliable players CHS coach Jon Roberts had on his roster.

That topped off a rock-solid final year as a middle school student, following on the heels of a standout basketball season when he banged down low to pace the Wolf attack.

Glover had a stretch where he topped 20 points in multiple games, proving a deadly touch with the ball around the hoop and in the open floor.

Add it all together, and Tammy Glover’s oldest grandson is ready to have a huge impact at the high school level, with one of the more-enthusiastic rooting sections rockin’ the joint in support.

Camden celebrates his 8th grade graduation with his brothers. (Photo courtesy Glover family)

“The best part is our community,” Camden said. “And all the support from all our families.”

Glover plans to keep on playing basketball and baseball during his CHS days and finds something to enjoy in both sports.

“I like them equally,” he said.

“They are very different, but with basketball there is a lot more going on and it’s fast paced,” Glover added.

“It’s a great feeling when we do one of our plays smoothly and score a basket.”

Glover powers to the hoop for another bucket. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

When he’s not playing on the hardwood or diamond, Glover enjoys “hanging out with friends, riding my bike, (and) video games” and hails the Will Ferrell modern-classic Step Brothers as his favorite film.

The rising star relies on his large support crew, which is anchored by his family.

“Probably my mom (has had the biggest impact on me), because she has always pushed me to be the best I can be,” Glover said.

“All my coaches have been great so far,” he added. “Each of them have helped me grow in many different ways.”

Glover credits a large part of his success to “being able to remain calm under pressure,” while wanting “to work on my endurance and cardio.”

As he looks ahead to a bright future playing alongside fellow Wolf freshmen such as Aiden O’Neill and Chase Anderson, he has a clear vision of his athletic future.

“I would like to continue to be a reliable team player,” Glover said.

“And work on gaining confidence in my abilities and being a positive and encouraging role model.”

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Coupeville High School freshman Gabriella Gebhard and a canine companion pose with some of her many awards. (Photos courtesy Stephanie Gebhard)

On point, always.

She’s at the front of the pack.

A talented group of freshmen athletes will enter the hallways of Coupeville High School this fall, with one already flying high on a national level.

Gabriella Gebhard, who also ran cross country at the middle school level, has been blazing a bright path at dog shows, and is just a step or two away from hitting the really big stage.

Coupeville’s ace is currently the second-ranked juniors English Setter handler in the entire nation, trailing just Jessica Braatz of Fort Myers, Florida.

Having defeated 300+ opponents (and their dogs), Gebhard is just one win away from qualifying for the Westminster Kennel Dog Club Show — the top destination in the sport.

“She needs to win Best Junior, so has to beat all other junior handlers, including seniors in high school, and kids who have won 10 best juniors (masters class),” said mom Stephanie.

As she makes a move at claiming the top spot, Gabrielle Gebhard and her talented pooch, Walker “Set’r Ridge’s Legend in the Making,” have been busy piling up awards.

The duo claimed every honor in sight at the Island County Fair, including three rally grand championships, and a grand championship for team obedience and judging.

That follows on the heels of claiming Best Junior and Best of Breed while competing at the Puyallup Kennel Club.

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Jada Heaton (left) and Mia Farris, ready to rock the softball diamond. (Jennifer Heaton photo)

“I have a great group of friends I play softball with. Every year we strive to be better.”

That’s working out quite nicely for Jada Heaton, as she and her playing companions have done exactly that — get progressively stronger and more-talented with each season.

The group has piled up wins, captured district titles, and made runs at the state tourney as little leaguers, capped by a recent fourth-place finish at the big dance in Vancouver while playing as the Whidbey Island All-Star juniors squad.

Along the way, a quick scan of photos shows Heaton almost always wearing a huge smile while in action, whether spraying hits at the plate or chasing down long bombs to the outfield.

“Get back here, you!” Heaton pulls off a Willie Mays-style catch near the outfield wall. (Jackie Saia photo)

The young star on the rise derives a great deal of joy from her time on the field, and her time spent with a close-knit group of friends.

“Softball is my favorite, because I’ve been playing since I was little,” Heaton said. “I like playing sports with my friends as a team. Win or lose. Trying to always get better.”

Now, with her little league days having come to an end after big wins at the state tourney over teams from Puyallup and Mukilteo, she’s on the path to beginning a new career as an athlete.

Heaton will be a freshman at Coupeville High School in the fall, and plans to play volleyball, basketball, and softball for the Wolves.

“I’m excited to play them all in high school,” she said. “I want to keep getting better; hopefully letter in all three of those sports.”

“Hand me my bat, ladies. Mama has to go wreck some fools!” (Jackie Saia photo)

Athletics keep Heaton hopping — “Not much time for anything besides sports,” she said with a laugh — but she did have a great time in one particular class.

“I enjoyed working on the middle school yearbook,” she said. “Hoping I will be on the yearbook staff for high school.”

In everything she does, Heaton leans on those close to her for positive reinforcement.

“My family is always supporting me,” she said. “I (also) have an amazing group of friends.

“Most of us have been together since preschool,” Heaton added. “I am thankful for their friendship.”

Regardless of which of her sports she’s playing at a given moment, she always tries to approach things with a can-do outlook.

“One of my strengths as an athlete would be my attitude,” Heaton said. “I try hard to encourage my teammates.

“I also listen to my coaches good and bad. Learn from what they are telling me,” she added. “I will work 110% and not give up. Working hard, but also having fun doing it.”

The happy warrior. (Corinn Parker photo)

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Taylor Brotemarkle, who will be a freshman at Coupeville High School in the fall, is a high-achiever with a bright future. (Jackie Saia photo)

Taylor Brotemarkle has big dreams.

The Coupeville High School freshman-to-be is coming off a very-successful trip to the state tourney with the Whidbey Island All-Star juniors softball team.

Brotemarkle and her squad, which included seven girls each from Coupeville and Oak Harbor, rolled to a district title, then split four games at the big dance, finishing fourth out of eight teams.

As the Inferno eliminated teams from Puyallup and Mukilteo, a key player, on both offense and defense, was their go-go sparkplug.

A three-sport athlete who loves the animated super hero film Incredibles 2, hanging out with her pack of close friends, and attending language arts class, she’s part of a very-promising group from the CHS Class of 2025.

Now, as Brotemarkle gets ready for the next stage of her school days, she has a bold plan in place for her high school athletic career.

“(I want) to win a state title for softball,” she said.

“I dare you to throw that ball, sister!” (Jackie Saia photo)

Don’t doubt her commitment to the cause, as Brotemarkle has already shown a strong work ethic, and a high desire to achieve.

The young star, who delights in “the memories I get to make, and the competitiveness” of being an athlete, hails a future teammate and a current coach with a close personal connection for their help along the way.

“My friend Bella (Whalen) has helped me grow so much as an athlete, as well as my mom, (Kimberly), who is one of my softball coaches,” Brotemarkle said.

Mom and daughter celebrate winning a district softball title in 2019. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

After playing volleyball, basketball, and softball through middle school, she plans to “definitely stick with softball as well as volleyball” in high school.

While she enjoys, and excels, in all of her activities, Brotemarkle would choose diamond life as her #1 path.

“Softball (is my favorite), because I have one of the most amazing groups of girls for a team,” she said. “And they make it so much fun, and we have made such great memories.”

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