Posts Tagged ‘home opener’

Coupeville Middle School 6th grader Liam Lawson is here to singe the basketball nets, just like mom Kassie and aunts Kayla and Katie did back in the day. (Photo courtesy Kassie O’Neil)

Use every step to build for the future.

There will be stumbles along the way, but the key is to focus on the positives, while being mentally strong enough to identify and work on correcting the negatives.

That’s the mission for this year’s batch of Coupeville Middle School boys’ basketball players, a collection of hoops stars who don’t have much on-court experience as a group but do have a burning desire to keep on growing.

Some days, like Tuesday’s home opener against visiting Lakewood, are bound to be rough.

The Cougars funnel players to a 2A high school, while the Wolves will be competing two rungs below that — at the 2B level — when they cross the gym hallway and become high school athletes.

That means Lakewood has a lot more bodies at its disposal, and a lot more players with prior hoops experience.

As a group, the Cougars are currently faster, tougher, more tenacious, and more skilled at things like snatching rebounds, running offensive sets, and playing heads-up defense than the still-developing Wolves.

But this is how you learn.

So, while Coupeville lost all three games Tuesday, and by fairly large margins, you hope once the lopsided scores vanish from the scoreboard, they partially fade from memory.

All I’m going to say here is that all three tilts went to a running clock, which happens in middle school basketball when you trail by 30 points,

But otherwise, I’m choosing to redact the final tallies.

Instead of dwelling on the score, we’ll focus on the moments players and coaches should remember.

Like when Wyatt Fitch-Marron went sliding across the floor, face-first, surfing the hardwood as he and a rival player fought for a loose ball.

The young Wolf bounced back to his feet, brushed off any pain from bouncing across the floor, and charged right back into the fray, even as mom and grandma (and a few other fans) gasped and winced.

Or we can stop to appreciate a solid move for a bucket in the day’s opening game from Joshua Stockdale.

Taking the ball down low and rolling through the paint for a layup to (momentarily) halt the Lakewood scoring express, it bodes well for the future.

The same with Cyrus Sparacio drilling the bottom of the net out with a three-ball from the top, then flexing for his fan club, or Riley Lawless swishing a sweet pull-up jumper in the paint while surrounded by defenders.

Young Coupeville players like Liam Lawson and Chayse Van Velkinburgh played with passion, driving the ball again and again into the heart of the storm, even while being smacked by a forest of Lakewood arms.

And shine a light on the Joltin’ Jacobsen brothers, as both Kenneth and Johnathan brought maximum effort to the floor, chasing after rebounds and poking balls away from the Cougar sharpshooters.

From Charles Hart to Hunter Atteberry, from Zach Blitch to Jacobs Meadors and Khanor Jump, the Wolves couldn’t be faulted for their effort, their hustle, and their desire.

The heart is there, and the skill will follow.

Tuesday also saw two more Wolves net their first points of the season, as Nic Laska and Stockdale each banked home a bucket.

That puts 14 Coupeville players in the scoring column two games into an eight-game season.

Games pick back up after the Thanksgiving break, with the Wolves heading to the wilds of Sultan Nov. 29, before hosting King’s Dec. 1.


Season scoring stats:

Cyrus Sparacio – 13
Carson Grove – 10
Jayden McManus – 10
Riley Lawless – 6
Chayse Van Velkinburgh – 5
Jacob Barajas – 4
Brantley Campbell – 4
Davin Houston – 3
Sage Arends – 2
Nic Laska – 2
Liam Lawson – 2
Nathan Niewald – 2
Joshua Stockdale – 2
Dylan Robinett – 1

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Caleb Meyer roars to the finish line. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

It was a long, but very successful day.

Hosting their first home meet of the season Wednesday, the Coupeville High School track and field team outdueled 12 other schools to claim seven individual titles and 39 PR’s.

Not bad for a day full of rain spatters, and one in which everyone raced the setting of the sun.

“They ran/jumped/threw amazingly!” said CHS girls coach Elizabeth Bitting.

“The races in the twilight and into the dark were the most fun,” she added. “Seeing them come out of the darkness was very cool.”

The La Conner girls and Mount Vernon Christian boys notched team titles, with the Wolf squads claiming third and second, respectively.

Senior thrower Logan Martin paced Coupeville, earning titles in both the shot put and discus.

Joining him atop the victory stand were teammates Taygin Jump (javelin), Lyla Stuurmans (400), Aidan Wilson (long jump), Carolyn Lhamon (discus), and Ryanne Knoblich (long jump).

Reese Wilkinson set a PR in the discus.


Complete Wednesday results:


100 — Ava Mitten (14th) 15.19; Taygin Jump (16th) 15.39; Issabel Johnson (19th) 15.76 *PR*; Mercedes Kalwies-Anderson (29th) 16.48 *PR*; Kaitlyn Leavell (45th) 19.07 *PR*

200 — Ja’Kenya Hoskins (2nd) 29.34; Lyla Stuurmans (4th) 29.46; Mitten (8th) 32.36; Johnson (11th) 33.14 *PR*; Leavell (18th) 43.27; Samara Maund (19th) 45.48

400 — Stuurmans (1st) 1:04.73 *PR*

1600 — Ayden Wyman (7th) 6:54.27

100 Hurdles — Claire Mayne (6th) 24.63 *PR*

300 Hurdles — Mayne (9th) 1:10.67

4 x 100 Relay — Mayne, Jump, Mitten, Johnson (4th) 1:00.51; Kalwies-Anderson, Cristina McGrath, Leavell, Carolyn Lhamon (6th) 1:03.79

4 x 200 Relay — Stuurmans, A. Wyman, Ryanne Knoblich, Hoskins (3rd) 2:01.11

Shot Put — Lhamon (2nd) 27-06; Reese Wilkinson (6th) 22-09.50 *PR*; Erica McGrath (13th) 18-00

Discus — Lhamon (1st) 82-10 *PR*; Wilkinson (6th) 69-01 *PR*; Jump (11th) 53-08; E. McGrath (13th) 46-08; Aby Wood (14th) 45-08

Javelin — Jump (1st) 86-11 *PR*; A. Wyman (10th) 59-03 *PR*; Wilkinson (10th) 59-03 *PR*; E. McGrath (12th) 59-02; Mayne (19th) 44-02; Maund (30th) 27-06

High Jump — Knoblich (3rd) 4-08; Kalwies-Anderson (6th) 4-02

Long Jump — Knoblich (1st) 13-04.50; A. Wyman (4th) 12-08.50 *PR*

Triple Jump — Stuurmans (2nd) 28-00



100 — Dominic Coffman (4th) 12.09 *PR*; Cael Wilson (36th) 13.94 *PR*; Alex Bowder (52nd) 15.66 *PR*

200 — Caleb Meyer (2nd) 24.46; Nick Guay (5th) 25.87; Reiley Araceley (8th) 26.59; C. Wilson (13th) 28.06 *PR*; Mikey Robinett (17th) 29.06; Bowder (23rd) 32.58 *PR*

400 — Meyer (2nd) 53.57 *PR*

800 — Aidan Wilson (2nd) 2:18.11; Thomas Strelow (7th) 2:44.44 *PR*; Hank Milnes (9th) 2:45.97; Alex Merino-Martinez (10th) 2:46.96 *PR*

1600 — Carson Field (2nd) 5:02.23 *PR*; Mitchell Hall (5th) 5:13.65 *PR*; Strelow (10th) 5:46.74 *PR*; Merino-Martinez (16th) 6:05.34; Tate Wyman (18th) 6:27.80

110 Hurdles — Araceley (3rd) 19.42 *PR*; C. Wilson (4th) 19.91 *PR*

300 Hurdles — T. Wyman (10th) 58.00

4 x 100 Relay — Araceley, Meyer, A. Wilson, Coffman (1st) 47.01; Strelow, Milnes, N. Guay, Robinett (6th) 52.40

4 x 400 Relay — Field, Cameron Epp, Hall, A. Wilson (3rd) 4:04.06

Shot Put — Logan Martin (1st) 44-08; Zac Tackett (8th) 31-05; Josh Guay (27th) 17-03.50

Discus — Martin (1st) 148-09; Tackett (5th) 91-02 *PR*; C. Epp (11th) 69-08 *PR*; J. Guay (24th) 51-02

Javelin — Hall (4th) 104-11 *PR*; C. Epp (8th) 91-05 *PR*; Field (12th) 81-0; Preston Epp (17th) 74-10; J. Guay (29th) 50-02 *PR*

High Jump — Coffman (2nd) 5-06; N. Guay (3rd) 5-04; Meyer (4th) 5-04; C. Wilson (9th) 4-08 *PR*

Long Jump — A. Wilson (1st) 18-04.50; Coffman (3rd) 17-05 *PR*; N. Guay (8th) 16-03; Araceley (9th) 16-00 *PR*; Robinett (12th) 15-05.25 *PR*; Field (23rd) 14-01.50; Milnes (26th) 13-07.50; J. Guay (30th) 13-03 *PR*; Merino-Martinez (32nd) 13-00 *PR*; Bowder (35th) 11-04

Triple Jump — Milnes (9th) 30-09.25 *PR*; Hall (11th) 27-00 *PR*


Ryanne Knoblich flies down the backstretch.


To see more photos from this meet, and possibly purchase some glossies for the in-laws, pop over to:


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Sarah Wright, seen in earlier days, is a homer-hitting college softball star. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Not even the fog can stop her.

Playing on a day when weather first delayed her game, then shortened it, Coupeville grad Sarah Wright came up huge in the clutch Sunday in Tennessee.

Blasting a two-out, game-tying three-run homerun, the former Wolf star sparked Sewanee: The University of the South to a come-from-behind 6-5 win against the #5 ranked team in NCAA D-III softball.

Using a five-run rally to topple Birmingham-Southern in a game shortened to five innings, the Tigers won their second-straight game after dropping their first 11 contests of the season.

Sewanee was supposed to play three games this weekend, but Saturday’s doubleheader was postponed by weather.

Sunday’s twin-bill was cut down to one game, and only after the teams sat out a 30-minute fog delay midgame.

When she was on the field Sunday Wright was a holy terror.

The former CHS Valedictorian doubled, then came around to score to carry Sewanee to an early 1-0 lead.

She saved her best for last, however, crushing a ball down the left field line to knot the game at 5-5 with Sewanee down to its final out.

The Tigers won three batters later when Kendall Goodrum punched an RBI single to score Michaela Walker with the walk-off winner.

Wright, who is in her junior season at Sewanee, is finally set to play a full season on the diamond after her first two campaigns in Tennessee were shortened by the pandemic.

She’s piled up nine hits, including three doubles and Sunday’s four-bagger, to go with seven runs, seven RBI, and three walks this season.

The crunch-time home run against Birmingham-Southern was the third round-tripper of Wright’s collegiate career.

Sewanee returns to action — weather permitting — next weekend, when it squares off with Hendrix College from Arkansas.

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Rhylin Price and CMS volleyball finally got to play at home Monday, in their third try. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Third time’s the charm.

Nearly three weeks after their first scheduled home match, the Coupeville Middle School volleyball team finally got to play in their own gym against another school.

The original season opener came up empty when Langley never showed, then a second home match — this time against Granite Falls — was bumped due to bus driver issues.

But Monday everything worked, and Northshore Christian Academy arrived ready to rumble with the Wolves.

And while the visitors won both matches, there were still plenty of highlights for Coupeville fans to enjoy.

The biggest came in the final set of the day, when the Wolves top team rode some big serves to a 15-10 win.

Jordaya Dowell got CMS started, smacking several lasers from the line, while Tenley Stuurmans, Haylee Armstrong, and Teagan Calkins also came up big on their serve.

Stuurmans and Dowell also had big hustle plays in the set, with the former diving to the floor and lifting a rapidly-falling ball back up and over the net for a point.

Her teammate delivered the back-breaker to NSA, as Dowell came flying in from the side to drop a perfectly-placed bump between two defenders to stake Coupeville to a lead it wouldn’t lose.

While Coupeville’s Level 1 squad dropped the first two sets, it was competitive with the visitors, who featured a couple of heavy hitters.

Northshore also got a lot of points off of underhand “pooch” serves, while the Wolves, to a player, went overhand each time out, better preparing themselves now for playing at the high school level.

Armstrong, Stuurmans, Dowell, and Heidi Lysene all launched aces on their serve, with Armstrong also connecting on a thunderous spike for a winner.

Calkins, who was lauded by CMS coach Cris Matochi for “really being good at bringing leadership today” also climbed an invisible ladder to the sky before delivering a graceful tip winner.

In the opener, Coupeville’s Level 2 team got strong work from several players.

Capri Anter let fly with a ferocious serve or two, while Willow Leedy-Bonifas bopped a pair of returns which hopped over the net and hit pay-dirt for Wolf points.

The best play in the opening match may have come courtesy the tandem of Stuurmans and Rhylin Price, who teamed up for a beauty.

Successfully holding off match point, Stuurmans went low to make a flawless set, while Price finished off the play with a nicely-angled shot.

For Matochi and fellow CMS volleyball guru Katie Kiel, seeing growth and ever-increasing confidence from their young players trumps the score on the board hanging above the floor.

“The whole team played really well today,” Matochi said. “We saw a lot of improvement, and they are understanding they can win.

“That’s what we want, is for them to show good volleyball skills, to play with solid fundamentals, and have good spirit. And that’s what we saw!”

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Nick Guay delivered a stellar defensive performance Friday while playing in a ferocious wind storm. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It was an experience.

Friday’s boys soccer clash between Coupeville High School and visiting Orcas Island was less about the final score, and more about the various feats of strength pulled off by Mother Nature.

Yes, the Vikings left Cow Town with a 3-0 win, scoring all of their goals with the wind at their back in the second half.

And yes, the loss to the defending Northwest 2B/1B League champs drops the Wolves to 0-2 on the still-young season.

But long after the game results fade from memory, everyone will still be talking about the weather, which was rough even by Whidbey standards.

Catching the brunt of a passing storm, Coupeville’s Mickey Clark Field endured 200 MPH winds all game, though not a drop of rain.

What? You say it wasn’t really 200 MPH?

OK, we’ll split the difference and settle on 197 MPH.

Cause that’s how it felt while watching the flag pole at the stadium nearly bend in half as I walked past it on the way to my truck.

It was the kind of day when it was good the game started at 4 PM, and not 6 PM, as the power went out midway through the first half, while the press box creaked like it was about to go airborne and hurtle Wizard of Oz-style across the prairie.

Down on the pitch, players from both teams spent most of the game bent over, while the refs clung to their flags for dear life.

A bird, flying low and lean, stuck his tongue out at the folks in the stands, then regretted it when a wall of wind sent him cartwheeling back towards the far end of the field.

Off in the distance, the entire infield at the CHS baseball diamond lifted up and departed for a road trip, a wall of dirt moving like a bat out of Hell.

Closer to the action, a wayward plastic bag — acting like the scene-stealer from American Beauty — danced the dance of its people, whirling and twirling a different direction with each gust.

Up in that creaking press box, the one of us who spent most Friday nights back in 1999 renting VHS tapes slowly realized no current CHS student was alive when that angsty flick won Oscars — making my shout-out to it probably pointless.

But, anyway…

The game itself, held in the middle of a cyclone gettin’ it on in a raunchy three-way with a tornado and a hurricane, was a scoreless battle for the first 40 minutes.

Coupeville opened with the wind at its back, which meant the Wolves had a much-easier time pushing the pace of play.

Unfortunately for the Wolves, while they had several decent looks at the net, nothing got past the Orcas goaltender.

The Vikings didn’t do much on offense, what with the wind straight-up brutalizing them, but the visitors did mount one fairly intense charge late in the half.

The Orcas shooter came crashing hard against Wolf goalie Aidan Wilson, but Nick Guay, hustlin’ his buns off, slid in at the last moment and used a toe to deflect the ball away and out of bounds.

Coming out of halftime, the teams switched sides, and that was enough to give Orcas a boost.

Cadence Kraayeveld got the only goal which truly mattered, on a ball which narrowly got past Coupeville goalie Alex Murdy, then the wind assisted scores #2 and #3.

With his teammates unable to get the ball past midfield more than once or twice while going against the wind, Murdy was a busy man and played much-better than the score might indicate.

“Big props to Alex on playing both attack and goal,” said CHS coach Robert Wood. “Obviously, his athleticism is going to be a huge bonus to our team no matter where he plays.

“Tough to get him not to be frustrated though … he’s a perfectionist and did not like being scored on.

“However, I’ll say it again — I don’t care about goals. I care about what you do after.”

Coupeville opened its season with games against what are likely the two best teams in the NWL, and while the resulting growing pains hurt, they will hopefully pay off down the road.

“The team played well, but it’s obvious what needs work … space, timing, shape,” Wood said.

“Shape deteriorated quickly — which kills the spacing everyone expected — which kills the timing needed to be a cohesive, functional unit.

“A frustrating loss,” he added. “We played way better than the scoreboard shows, and hopefully next game will display our abilities more directly.”

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