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Your bookshelf won’t be complete without copies of all three of my books.

Don’t call it a comeback, cause I didn’t go anywhere.

As I begin to emerge from the haze of pain after dental surgery (otherwise known as The Great Whining of 2018), I am preparing to fully launch into the next phase of “Coupeville Sports.

But nope, while you’re reading this here on the blog, that does NOT mean the blog is returning on a daily basis.

As I mentioned before, I’m taking a break from that 24/7/365 world, which resulted in 6,200 articles in six years.

Instead, my plan is to spend the next year writing my third (and hopefully most in-depth) book, “A Year on the Prairie.”

Having refined my original concept, I’m here on this lazy Sunday to lay out what it will (hopefully) be and how you, my readers, can (hopefully) help me get to the finish line.

My original thought was to simply document a year in the world of Coupeville sports, specifically the upcoming 2018-2019 school year, but in book format, instead of a blog format.

That would allow me to focus less on the immediate, day-to-day, who-won, who-lost, who-scored and spend more time chasing down the stories behind and beyond the games.

More “Sports Illustrated” and less “USA Today.”

That’s still the driving idea, but after a lot of thought, I have refined my focus.

Going forward, my plan with “A Year on the Prairie,” is to concentrate solely on female athletics in Coupeville, with an eye on combining past, present and future.

When the school sports year plays out, I’ll track whether CHS volleyball returns to state, Kalia Littlejohn’s pursuit of the school soccer scoring records and Lindsey Roberts‘ bid to unseat Makana Stone as the Wolf girl with the most career state track meet medals.

As well as everything else which happens in, and around, female athletics in Coupeville, such as the 45th anniversary celebration being planned for CHS girls basketball.

At the same time, I will be delving into the past, with the goal of documenting the stories of women who have left an impact on our community.

I want to hear stories from the early days of Title IX, but also the stories of the female athletes who fought for their right to play long before then.

For a sports writer who started in newspapers in the early ’90s, it boggles my mind when I see the coverage the Whidbey News-Times gave the first school-sanctioned CHS girls basketball team in the modern-era, the 1974-1975 squad.

As in, not one word.

That season simply doesn’t exist in the newspaper that is supposed to be our document of history.

The young women on that team, now likely grandmothers, deserve to tell their story. And so do a lot of others.

Whether they were playing tennis in 1925 or running cross country in 1985, Coupeville’s female athletes, and their families, deserve to read their stories.

Young women playing today deserve to know the full extent of their heritage, that when they pull on a Wolf uniform they play both for themselves and all the women who blazed the trail.

If we do this project justice, it will be a living history, shining a light on the past, celebrating the present and hailing a bright future.

And you might notice I said WE, and not I, because I need your help.

Do you have photos, programs, yearbooks, newspaper clippings, diaries, videos, etc.? Anything which would help to tell the tale of female athletics in Coupeville?

Do you have a story to tell, or know someone with a story to tell?

I want, I need, to see and hear it all, whether it’s from the 1920’s or the 2000’s.

No story is too big, no story is too small. A thousand small strands come together to form a complete web.

You can email me at davidsvien@hotmail.com, snail mail me at 165 Sherman, Coupeville, WA 98239 or catch me at a game.

Also, if you so desire, you can join those who are the wind beneath my wings, by slipping me a buck or two to help keep my computer humming as I write, interview and research.

Do so, and your name will appear on a thank you page in the printed book (and you can snag a signed copy, as well). So there’s that, if you pop over to:

https://www.gofundme.com/help-me-write-a-year-on-the-prairie

Can we do this? Yes, we can.

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   Coupeville’s athletic future, like this basketball, is up for grabs. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

First, the bomb hit. Now, the hot takes are raining down, as everyone and their mother chimes in with an opinion.

If you were asleep at the wheel Wednesday, here’s the break-down:

Coupeville High School is leaving the 1A Olympic League at the end of the school year. Come next fall, Wolf athletes will have a new batch of rivals.

Washington state divides athletics into six classifications (4A, 3A, 2A, 1A, 2B and 1B), and, moving forward, CHS has two primary options.

One, which is ongoing, is a bid to move back down to 2B, where Coupeville lived and prospered for decades.

CHS has always been one of the smallest 1A schools in the state, and, currently, its student body numbers for grades 9-11 fit nicely into 2B parameters.

But, Washington Interscholastic Activities Association classification counts last for four years. With the last one in 2016, Coupeville is locked-in as a 1A school until 2020 … unless the WIAA grants a reprieve.

That decision arrives Jan. 28.

If CHS gets approval, it’s likely bound for its old time stomping grounds, the Northwest League, which currently houses 2B schools La Conner, Concrete, Darrington, Orcas Island and Friday Harbor and 1B Mount Vernon Christian.

Instead of giving up 75-250 students to almost all of our main rivals, we would be facing schools which are mirror images of Coupeville. Or, in a lot of cases, smaller.

Plus, it would reignite long-time rivalries with schools that current Wolf athlete’s parents and grandparents once faced on a regular basis.

If the WIAA says no, you’re 1A until 2020, then CHS likely heads in the direction of its other old time stomping grounds, the Cascade Conference.

Or, more appropriately, what is rising from that league’s ashes.

King’s, Granite Falls, Sultan, South Whidbey and Granite Falls (all 1A schools if Granite Falls gets WIAA approval to drop down from 2A) have defected, shedding 2A schools Cedarcrest and Archbishop Thomas Murphy.

Next fall, those five schools (and possibly Coupeville) will launch the 1A North Sound Conference.

Reuniting with Island arch-rival South Whidbey in a league setting is the main selling point of that scenario. Also, there’s always something to be said for competing at the highest possible level.

I know what direction I hope we go in, but, since there’s a poll below, I’m staying neutral.

So, here’s where I ask you, the reader, what do you hope to see?

The decision will come down to the WIAA and Coupeville Athletic Director Willie Smith.

The former is a fickle master (witness its fleeting “punishment” of Bellevue football), but I have complete faith in the latter, so we’re good.

But, until our path is set, you can vent and dream and argue all you want. So get at it. Choose what you want Coupeville’s next athletic adventure to be.

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Who do you have?

I need a new project.

Last summer was the biggie, as we raised the Wall of Fame in the Coupeville High School gym, honoring titles across every sport from 1900-2017.

A couple of weeks ago, the football record board in the entrance way to the gym was updated, filled in and brought to full reality, and now it can stand with pride next to the volleyball and track boards.

But now I have some empty hours to fill, so my brain wanders and wonders — which sport deserves to be next as we try and get every sport at CHS its own glossy record board?

There are five active sports (baseball, softball, basketball, tennis and soccer, with the last three having both girls and boys programs) which do not have record boards.

You could make solid arguments for all of them, so I’m turning that part of the process over to you, the readers.

There’s a poll below and you have 48 hours to make your feelings felt.

Voting is open now (no restrictions, vote as many times as your heart desires) and closes 9 AM Friday.

This is the people’s project, so you choose — which sport do I research, obsess over and agitate for, next?

I await your decision.

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(Sylvia Arnold photo)

   They’re going to hold their breath until your donation helps us honor CHS cheer’s 4th place finish at state in 2011. (Sylvia Arnold photo)

OK, cheer fanatics, I’m looking at you to put us over the top.

We are in the home stretch to restore 116 years of Coupeville High School sports title history to the gym walls, but need a little push to get over that finish line.

When I started this project, which will replace the 15 or so banners currently hanging at CHS with a display which will honor 112 titles won by Wolf sports teams and individuals, it was a daunting task.

But we’ve gotten there, step by step.

The Whidbey News-Times granted me rare access to their archives to do the research, the Booster Club stepped up with a financial donation to kick off things and school officials have been extremely helpful along the way.

Having raised my portion of the cost thanks to very generous donations, we’ve been working with the Whidbey Sign Company and the plan is to begin installation next week.

But, like most projects of this breadth, there are always a few twists and turns and late plot developments.

With this one, it was a late-in-the-game request from the CHS cheer fans to see their state meet accomplishments, including a state title in 2006, be acknowledged.

There will always be an argument over whether cheer is a sport or an activity, but these titles were won when the Wolves were a competition cheer squad, and I agree they should be hailed along side cross country, softball and all the other sports.

But…

This late addition threw off our budget, and we are sitting $440 shy of what we need as I type this.

So, I’m asking the cheer fans to do what baseball fans or track aficionados have done, step up and join us.

Skip your Starbucks for one day. Pull together the loose change from the couch. Chip in to preserve the history you, or your sister, or your daughter, accomplished.

Together, as one nation, Wolf Nation, we can make the impossible happen.

For more info or to donate, pop over to:

https://www.gofundme.com/2bzt6x76

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CHS state track champs (clockwise from top left) Jeff Fielding, Kyle King, Steven McDonald, Chris Hutchinson, Jon Chittim, Amy (Mouw) Fasolo, Tyler King, Natasha Bamberger.

   CHS state track champs (clockwise from top left) Jeff Fielding, Kyle King, Steven McDonald, Chris Hutchinson, Jon Chittim, Amy (Mouw) Fasolo, Tyler King, Natasha Bamberger.

This is actually going to happen.

After a lot of work, by a lot of people, the effort to install 116 years of Coupeville High School athletic history on the school’s gym walls is heading down the backstretch.

The research has been done (though, in a second I’m going to ask for your proofreading on that), the proper authorities have signed off on the idea, most of the fundraising is accomplished, and we meet with the sign guy Friday.

The plan has always been to have this installed prior to the start of the new school year in Sept., and it seems 99.2% likely at this point.

After years of having just a handful of banners hanging in the gym, the new installation aims to honor every league and district title won by Wolf teams, as well as individual state championships (there are 17) and top 10 team finishes at state.

That entails, as far as I have been able to determine, 112 title boards.

Originally, it was 109, but supporters of CHS cheer have made a solid argument that the program’s three top-four finishes at state (including a title in 2006) deserve to be on the wall as well.

And, before you say it, this is a SPORTS installation going up.

I am well aware the school has a strong run of accomplishments in History Day, band, Science Olympiad and the like.

Some of those are honored in other places at the school, and, to those who would like to see a more complete version, go get ’em.

I’m behind you, I support you, I would certainly write about your efforts and help drive your cause, but Indiana Jonesing 116 years of CHS sports history, on my own time, with no pay, has wiped me out.

The sports history was my crusade.

Someone else better suited to the task will have to take up the academic side of things, if that’s something you’re burning to get accomplished.

It can be done.

We’re proving that with this project, which has brought together the Whidbey newspapers (primarily Jim Waller and Keven R. Graves) with the pain in the ass blogger who you’re currently reading.

The Booster Club, bigwigs like Coupeville Schools Superintendent Dr. Jim Shank and CHS Principal Duane Baumann, and all the people who have donated money or offered research tips, are a huge part of this.

Of course, without the athletes who accomplished these feats, and the coaches who guided them, none of this would be possible in the first place.

When the display goes up, it’s all for us, Wolf Nation, near and far.

But now, as we head towards that meeting with the sign guy Friday, scan my list and see if you notice anything off. Did I miss a title somewhere in my bleary-eyed final days?

If so, let me know. You can reach me at davidsvien@hotmail.com.

And also, you can still chip in and help the fundraising efforts. Every buck counts, especially as we add cheer.

https://www.gofundme.com/2bzt6x76

 

Titles being honored:

 

BASEBALL:

1960 — Northwest League

1965 — Northwest League

1969 — Northwest League

1973 — Northwest League

1973 — District

1974 — Northwest League

1975 — Northwest League

1976 — Northwest League

1976 — District

1977 — Northwest League

1977 — District

1978 — District

1980 — Cascade League

1987 — District

1987 — 3rd at State

1991 — Northwest League

2008 — District

2016 — Olympic League

 

BOYS BASKETBALL:

1970 — Northwest League

1970 — District

1971 — Northwest League

1972 — Cascade League

1975 — Northwest League

1979 — Cascade League

1998 — Northwest League

2002 — Northwest League

 

BOYS TENNIS:

1961 — Northwest League

1967 — Northwest League

1968 — Northwest League

2002 — Northwest League

2009 — Northwest League

2009 — District

2010 — Northwest League

2011 — Northwest League

2015 — Olympic League

 

CHEER:

2006 — 1st at State

2007 — 2nd at State

2011 — 4th at State

 

CROSS COUNTRY:

1975 — Boys 9th at State

1976 — Boys 5th at State

1977 — Boys – Cascade League

1977 — Boys – District

1977 — Boys 5th at State

1981 — Girls 8th at State

1982 — Girls – Cascade League

1982 — Girls 4th at State

1985 — Natasha Bamberger – State Champ

2010 — Tyler King – State Champ

 

FOOTBALL:

1974 — Northwest League

1990 — Northwest League

 

GIRLS BASKETBALL:

1998 — Northwest League

2002 — Northwest League

2002 — 6th at State

2003 — 8th at State

2005 — Northwest League

2005 — 8th at State

2006 — Northwest League

2015 — Olympic League

2016 — Olympic League

 

GIRLS TENNIS:

1981 — Cascade League

1982 — Cascade League

1983 — Cascade League

1998 — Northwest League

1999 — Northwest League

2000 — Northwest League

2001 — Northwest League

2002 — Northwest League

2003 — Northwest League

2004 — Northwest League

2005 — Northwest League

2005 — 3rd at State

2008 — Northwest League

2009 — Northwest League

2010 — Northwest League

2011 — Northwest League

2012 — Northwest League

2015 — Olympic League

2016 — Olympic League

 

SOFTBALL:

2002 — Northwest League

2002 — 3rd at State

 

TRACK:

1979 — Jeff Fielding – State Champ (3200)

1979 — Boys 8th at State

1984 — Boys – Northwest League

1984 — Natasha Bamberger – State Champ (1600, 3200)

1984 — Girls 5th at State

1985 — Boys – District

1985 — Natasha Bamberger – State Champ (3200)

1986 — Natasha Bamberger – State Champ (3200)

1986 — Boys – 6th at State

1986 — Girls – 8th at State

1987 — Boys – Northwest League

1987 — Boys – District

1989 — Girls – Northwest League

1989 — Girls – District

2003 — Amy Mouw – State Champ (800)

2005 — Boys – Bi-District

2005 — Boys – 8th at State

2006 — Boys – Bi-District

2006 — Jon Chittim – State Champ (200, 400)

2006 — Kyle King – State Champ (3200)

2006 — Boys 4 x 400 – State Champ (Chris Hutchinson, Jon Chittim, Kyle King, Steven McDonald)

2006 — Boys – 4th at State

2007 — Kyle King – State Champ (1600, 3200)

2008 — Kyle King – State Champ (3200)

2008 — Boys – 4th at State

2010 — Tyler King – State Champ (1600, 3200)

2010 — Boys — 6th at State

2011 — Boys – 7th at State

 

VOLLEYBALL:

1997 — Northwest League

2001 — Northwest League

2002 — Tri-District

2002 — District

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