Posts Tagged ‘freshman’

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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Chloe Marzocca fires a fastball. (Jackie Saia photo)

Chloe Marzocca is a fast adapter.

While playing multiple sports, the incoming Coupeville High School freshman has shown an ability to adjust to whatever her coaches require, a trait which should pay off as she moves to another level.

“I think my strengths as an athlete are being able to play multiple positions, and play well, and absorbing information that the coaches teach me relatively fast,” Marzocca said.

“I’ve played multiple positions over a span of multiple years,” she added. “I think that makes it a lot easier to play with a bunch of new people in both sports.”

After a busy middle school career in which she played little league softball, while also suiting up for volleyball and track and field at CMS, Marzocca is focusing on the first two sports heading forward.

Fresh off a stellar season with the Central Whidbey Little League juniors softball squad, she’s now playing for a summer team led by the high school coaching staff.

Swinging a hot bat, and helping to anchor the defense with a steady supply of web gems, Marzocca is already making her mark.

Exactly as she hoped to.

“I would have to say softball is my favorite sport,” Marzocca said. “There’s no specific reason as to why it’s my favorite, but being able to get out on the field and have fun with little to no care in the world kind of fuels my love for the game.”

The joy of competing is what draws her to all of her sports.

“What I enjoy about being an athlete is getting out and seeing how other people play,” Marzocca said. “And improving myself, mentally and physically.”

Geared up to rumble on the softball field with teammate Allison Nastali. (Jennifer Marzocca photo)

When she’s not busy practicing or playing, the Wolf frosh can often be found putting the skills learned in the classroom to use.

“My favorite class has always been English,” Marzocca said. “I enjoy writing and reading, to the point where, if I’m bored, I can find myself writing a short story, or maybe reading another book, and forgetting about it for probably a week.”

She hails Stephen King’s sublime Stand by Me as a favorite movie, as it “reminds me of my friend group, and it’s just an entertaining movie to watch.”

Marzocca would like to “letter at least two to three times in both (my) sports,” and to “just improve as a player and teammate overall.”

As she’s progressed through school, sports, and life itself, having the support of family and friends, especially the tight-knit group of girls she shares the field and courts with, has been invaluable.

“I think the people who mostly impacted me to be who I am today are my parents and my close friends,” Marzocca said. “I’ve learned a lot from all of them, and they’ve done a lot for me in and out of sports.”

Marzocca, ready to mash. (Jackie Saia photo)

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Wolf freshman Cole White scored his first varsity points Tuesday at home against Concrete. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Milestones make stat geeks giddy.

Tuesday night, as the Coupeville High School boys basketball team battered visiting Concrete 71-17, there were two such moments in time.

One — Hawthorne Wolfe cracking the 500-point career scoring club — was noted in my game story last night.

Today we note the other.

When Wolf freshman Cole White scored his first varsity points, he joined an exclusive club.

With 5:13 left in the game, Jonathan Valenzuela, trapped under the basket, looped a pass to his fellow swing player, who was lurking on the left side.

White caught the ball, popped a short jumper, and the net flipped upwards as history tumbled through it.

With the bucket, Cole joined dad Greg, watching the game from the bench as a CHS assistant coach, on the school’s career scoring chart.

The elder White rippled the nets for 604 points back when he was wearing short-shorts, and still sits #31 all-time.

But the basket had another historical note to it, as Cole White became the 400th Wolf boy I’ve been able to document scoring at least one point in a varsity hoops game.

From Jeff Stone and Mike Bagby, tied with 1,137 points, to Paul Baher, Robert Engle, Bob FranzenMeryl Gordon, Oscar Liquidano, and Raleigh Sherman — who all netted a single varsity free throw — it’s a long and diverse list.

Boys basketball has been active at CHS since 1917, and my pursuit of what is now 104 years of scoring history is not a complete one.

I’m missing points for a fair amount of players from the 1930’s and 1940’s, but I do have totals for two seasons in the 1920’s(!), so we’re getting there.

If a bunch of old-timey scorebooks suddenly appeared in the blink of a time machine, we obviously would go above 400 Wolf boys having scored.

Floyd Wanamaker, Dean Edmundson, and the rest of the 1925-1926 Wolves, you will be honored, one day!

OK, probably not, but we can still hope.

But we’re pretty dang solid from the early ’50s to today, with scattered records from before, so if the 400 isn’t 100% correct, it’s getting closer and closer.

For the moment, though, don’t worry about what could be. Instead, celebrate what is known.

Valenzuela, who also scored his first varsity points Tuesday, became #399 in the third quarter, then set up White to be #400.

Milestone city, baby.

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