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Posts Tagged ‘freshman’

Taygin Jump, who will be a CHS freshman in the fall, fires up a serve during a middle school match. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Jump, always right in the middle of the action.

And willing to sell out for the good of her team.

Every team needs a Taygin Jump.

The ultimate scrapper and hustler, she always has something positive to say to her teammates, and was seemingly born to collect Most Inspirational awards.

As she heads to Coupeville High School for her freshman year this fall, Jump will be a busy bee, flying right into volleyball before having to decide between track and tennis in the spring.

The exuberant young woman isn’t a one-dimensional athlete, however.

She looks forward to her language arts classes, enjoys writing and reading non-fiction, and is a huge fan of animals.

“I love animals, especially cats,” Jump said. “Though I do not have a cat of my own, because my two malamutes would eat a cat…”

She bops through a wide variety of music, depending on her mood, and is an equal opportunity film fan, watching the best of both Marvel and DC superhero films.

Most of all, Jump remains outgoing, the type of person who brings others together.

“I love hanging out with all of my friends and having a good laugh.”

That extends to her time on the court, where Jump can always be found at the heart of the action, usually providing a steady stream of chatter and vocal support to her fellow players.

“I enjoy being part of a team,” she said. “I enjoy learning and building on the skills and knowledge coaches teach me.

“I enjoy the challenges of the games and becoming a stronger person on and off the court,” Jump added. “My strengths as an athlete are team work and building the team’s spirit.”

While she enjoys every sport she’s involved in, the lure of racking up digs and spikes is irresistible.

“100% volleyball! I enjoy volleyball because there are a variety of skills and plays in each and every moment in the game,” Jump said.

“I feel each position is absolutely necessary to execute each play,” she added. “The challenge of watching the opposing team to determine what their play is and how I will help and guide my team to defend against it, is truly inspiring.”

Jump credits those who have worked to shape her game with providing a positive influence.

“Mainly my club volleyball coaches and (CHS) Coach Cory (Whitmore),” she said. “My club coaches had a huge impact on my skills. They helped me develop the skills I needed to work better as a team and individual player.

“Coach Cory lets me stay after practices and skills camps to work on my technique and encourages me to keep working hard.”

As she progresses in the game she loves, Jump continues to refine her skills, always looking to reach new levels of success.

“I would like to work on balancing academics with practices and games,” she said.

“Also, I struggle with being a stronger player; for example if someone on the court is louder than me, I won’t be as loud as I normally would.”

Jump is in it for the long haul however, and, as her career soars, so should her confidence.

Ask me what former CHS volleyball star she reminds me of, and I will say Valen Trujillo, who holds the CHS volleyball career record for digs and was a multiple All-Conference selection.

Jump, like Trujillo before her, provides a beautiful combination of hustle, passion for the sport, positive mind-set, and an unflagging ability to elevate the play of those around her.

“I believe I am a great team player, and I plan to be a CHS volleyball player my entire high school career,” Jump said.

Will the sport lead her to new heights? She hopes so, and plans to put in the necessary work to make a run at big-time success.

“It would be ideal to receive a volleyball scholarship and continue to play through college,” Jump said. “I’m also considering becoming a coach for volleyball or work my way up to playing professional volleyball.”

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Trinity McGee, who will be a freshman at Coupeville High School in the fall, is a three-sport athlete. (Photos courtesy Angela McGee)

McGee (4), here playing club volleyball, is “very passionate” about her favorite sport.

With one eye on the future, and one eye on improving daily, she’s a young woman who wants to make history.

Trinity McGee doesn’t back down.

The three-sport athlete, who will be a freshman at Coupeville High School in the fall, approaches each game, each practice, ready to rock the joint.

Whether she’s playing volleyball or basketball, or competing in track and field, McGee is fully committed.

“A strength I have in my sports is my aggressiveness,” she said. “When I go to hit the ball in volleyball I gather all my anger and just slam the ball down.

“When in a basketball game I use my aggressiveness to get me to the other side of the court and push myself to the extreme.”

As she transitions to high school, McGee plans to continue with all three of her sports, enjoying the chance to stay active and involved all year long.

“Doing three sports keeps me busy,” she said. “And I get more exercise and stay healthy while moving and practicing.”

But, while McGee enjoys all three, volleyball is nearest and dearest to her heart.

“I feel very passionate about it,” she said. “I would definitely say that volleyball is my favorite sport because of the strategic system.

“You have to communicate with your team on a good strategy that will get the ball over the net and have the rivals speechless,” McGee added. “I also love diving and digging the rivals serves.

“When I get a good dig in, I feel accomplished and proud.”

Whether it’s playing club volleyball or working on her shot in basketball, McGee is always looking to improve.

“I would like to work on my form for shooting and my footwork for hitting,” she said. “But I know that if I work hard enough I can accomplish things I thought I’d never be able to in the past.”

McGee has a vision of future success, and is striving to get herself there.

“My goal is to get better and better and work harder at my sports so that I can have a good chance at getting a scholarship or breaking a record,” she said.

“I have always looked up at the record boards and imagined what it would be like to have my name up there,” McGee added. “Then I decided to try my hardest to make it happen.”

As she has progressed through middle school sports, her coaches and teammates have proved to be invaluable for a young woman on the rise in the classroom and athletic arena.

“In any sport, (teammate) Maddie Georges has always lifted me up when I am down,” McGee said. “Telling me everyone makes mistakes and it’s okay.

“She is the reason that I don’t get down on myself like I used to; she has brought me a long way into the game.”

While playing multiple sports, both in the school system and outside, McGee has had numerous coaches already, and she credits them for helping with her growth.

“Most of all, I would like to thank my coaches for teaching me everything I know from this day on,” she said. “If they were not as caring and determined as they were, I wouldn’t be here today, playing and enjoying sports.”

During her brief down time, McGee enjoys “reading a good book or spending class in Language Arts with Mrs. (Casie) Greve,” woodworking with her dad and baking with her mom.

“Spending time with the people I care about makes life better when I’m not practicing,” she said. “I’d also like to thank my parents for supporting me through everything that happens with my sports and being by my side.”

While the fast-rising young star dreams of big accomplishments, and works to make them a reality, her love of sports ultimately comes down to one thing – happiness.

“Being an athlete is enjoyable because I get to be recognized for something I’m good at and passionate about,” McGee said.

“Also, you get to play with a team and know you’re not alone,” she added. “All the pep talks and the cheers get your adrenaline running and that’s what makes the game fun!”

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Gwen Gustafson is bringing her athletic skills to Coupeville High School in the fall, following in the footsteps of successful older siblings. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Gwen Gustafson has the pedigree.

Both of her older siblings, Amanda Fabrizi and Clay Reilly, had standout careers at Coupeville High School, and both now sit in the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

But just wait, because the lil’ sis has game too, and is already a well-established three-sport star in her own right as high school beckons.

Gustafson, who will be a freshman at CHS this fall, has been playing almost since she could walk, and has been a key part of successful teams in volleyball, basketball, and softball.

Her last two teams went a combined 22-1, in fact.

First, Gustafson was a starter on a Coupeville Middle School 8th grade hoops squad which polished off everyone on its schedule, rolling to a flawless 9-0 record.

Then she capped that by pulling double duty as a flame-throwing pitcher and a hit-happy batter for a Central Whidbey Little League Juniors softball team which outscored foes 245-101 while romping to a 13-1 mark.

While Gustafson plans to stay with all three of her sports in high school, the siren call of the hardwood is a powerful one.

“I like the competitiveness, and the teamwork,” she said. “I can compete with my teammates, stay healthy, and have fun.”

Away from the court, Gustafson enjoys gym and math class, listening to rap and pop music and spending time with friends and family.

But when she’s practicing, or playing in a game, regardless of the sport, she does so with deep commitment.

“I have confidence, trust in my teammates, I don’t give up, and I can pick skills up quickly,” Gustafson said. “(My goals are) to work hard and improve my team.”

While her older siblings have shown her the path to success, Gwen also looks to her parents, Lark and Fawn Gustafson, for support and encouragement as an athlete, student, and human being.

“My dad has inspired me and really helped me grow as a person and as an athlete,” she said. “He has been my coach and a loving father for my whole life.

“My mom has also supported me,” Gustafson added. “Helping me be aware of my health and well-being, and she has inspired me to be a better person.”

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Daylon Houston, who will be a freshman at Coupeville High School in the fall, plans to play soccer, football, and possibly basketball. (Photo courtesy Houston)

Daylon Houston doesn’t hesitate.

While he plans to play two, and possibly three, sports next year as a freshman at Coupeville High School, the lure of the pitch is something he embraces.

“Soccer is my life, soccer has always been my first choice,” Houston said. “It gives me the rush of being in nonstop play; the constant movement and aggression is awesome, and it motivates me to push myself.”

Daylon plans to join older brother Dawson, Coupeville’s starting quarterback, on the Wolf football team this fall.

After that, he may lace up his shoes with the basketball program, as well.

But when next spring rolls around, Houston is most looking forward to keeping his run as a soccer player going strong.

A veteran of four seasons of select soccer, the sport has helped him grow through elementary and middle school years.

“Being an athlete helps me stay on track; it’s a big part of me,” Houston said. “I enjoy being an athlete because when I’m out of sports I have no guidance, but in sports I have a strong sense of guidance.”

He’s looking to make an immediate impact for the Wolves on the soccer pitch, and is confident in his ever-growing skill-set.

“I have a high enough skill level to be a starting freshman on our varsity soccer team,” Houston said with conviction. “My goals are to go out on the field and push myself.”

The young booter credits the many coaches he’s worked with for helping support and guide him.

“When I was about eight, I had a soccer coach named Miguel, and he has helped me because I was going into that season saying I wanted to quit due to a bad coach from before,” Houston said. “But he guided me through a great season and put my soccer life back on track.

“Also, my current coach, Ben, who has led me and taught me the deeper concepts of the game of soccer.”

Along with his coaches, Houston praises his mom, Alia, for being the ultimate sounding board and support crew.

“She told me I should try out for select and so I did,” he said. “She helped me enter select and she was there every step of the way.

“These three people (my mom and coaches) all play a crucial role in making me the player I am today,” Houston added. “Without any of them, I probably wouldn’t be playing soccer to this day.”

When he’s not on the pitch, Houston enjoys working out, listening to music and spending time with his dog.

But, like his older brother, who will be heading into his senior season, he comes alive when playing sports.

“My strength as an athlete is that I never give up,” Houston said. “Even in the hardest of times I keep pushing myself.

“I can be in the last game of a season with absolutely no wins and go out there and give it my all,” he added. “The only thing I can think of to improve is be a part of a team and build strong chemistry with my teammates.”

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CHS freshman Eryn Wood runs during volleyball practice. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

So many sports, so little time.

Coupeville High School freshman Eryn Wood springs from an athletic family, and the middle child of three has dabbled in numerous sports over the years.

As a middle school star, she impressed on the volleyball court and shone while competing in both track and field events.

Now, as a newcomer to the world of high school sports, Wood plans to flip track for tennis, giving longtime net coach Ken Stange another talented young player to take under his wing.

This fall, she’s ignoring the possible anguish of her soccer-obsessed family and staying with volleyball.

At least for the moment.

“I have not decided if I will play soccer next fall instead of volleyball,” Wood said. “I am definitely torn between soccer and volleyball because I’ve grown up around a family that worships soccer.

“But I also really enjoy playing volleyball as an outside hitter,” she added. “I enjoy how competitive and exhilarating it can be. I also love when you receive the perfect set to just kill the ball.”

Wood, whose goal for high school is to eventually earn an athletic letter (“I think that’s a good start, given that I’m a freshman”), considers herself a work in progress on the volleyball court.

Cue hard work and constant effort to refine her skills.

“I would say that I’m a good passer and hitter,” Wood said. “Although this is a very crucial part of the game and it really helps to have this as a strong area, serving is definitely one of my weaknesses.”

When she’s away from practices and games, the young Wolf enjoys a wide range of leisure activities.

“I really enjoy reading,” Wood said. “I think it’s just a fun way to disconnect from reality and get your mind off of whatever is stressing you out.

“I also LOVE to travel. I love to experience new cultures and see new places.”

Whether she’s pounding the ball on the court or off exploring, Wood is part of a tight-knit family, and she hails her parents, Robert and Jill, as well as older brother James and lil’ sis Aby, for the joy they bring to her life.

Even when she’s not playing soccer.

“My dad is a soccer coach, so I’m pretty sure he wants me to play soccer,” Wood said. “But he also encourages me to do something different and play volleyball.

“My mom just tells me that she will support me no matter what.”

Her appreciation for family support also carries over to her siblings.

“My brother James, a junior, knows everyone on the volleyball and soccer team,” Wood said. “So he just gives me the insider information.

“I love my sister Aby; it can be tough sometimes having a little sister with such an incredible personality but she really just keeps me on my toes and she supports me just as much.”

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