Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Hunter Downes’

Former Wolf QB Hunter Downes owns the Coupeville High School record for most touchdown passes in a career. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

His bones sometimes betrayed him, but his heart never did.

Over the course of a four-year run at Coupeville High School, Hunter Downes fought through too many injuries, many of which might have derailed someone with less drive and grit.

But, each time he snapped or bent something new, the 2018 CHS grad bounced back, his body healing (at least for a moment).

The gleam in his eye? That never vanished.

Downes always seemed to me like one of those rare athletes who really, truly lived for every moment they got on the field, the court, or the pitch.

Even wracked by more injuries than the average Wolf, he suited up for a sport in all 12 seasons he was granted.

Football and basketball were his mainstays for all four years, while a brief foray into track and field soon gave way to life on the soccer pitch.

Through it all, he was always front and center, though he brought different skill sets to each sport, and filled often vastly-different roles for his teams.

As a soccer player Downes was a rough-and-ready enforcer who also had a nimble touch around the net when needed.

Celebrating a goal on the soccer pitch.

Playing with many of the highest-powered scorers in program history, he didn’t have to carry the offensive load.

That didn’t mean he couldn’t sting an opposing goalie when the moment was right, though.

On the basketball court, Downes filled a similar complementary role.

His four seasons of high school hoops were shared with Hunter Smith, who finished as one of the most-prolific scorers in school history.

While Downes often played a set-up role, it was one he seized with wild abandon.

A smooth passer who could make the nets sing when he shot, he largely made his name as a force in the paint.

Often giving up height and weight advantages to the rival burly brawlers he faced off with, Downes lived to snatch as many rebounds as humanly possible.

Using guile, positioning, and a nice stubborn streak which kept his butt anchored down low even while being roughed up, he never backed down.

Ever.

Rumbling in the paint.

His knack for cleaning the glass, on both ends of the court, was huge.

Whether taking the ball back up strongly, or dealing it to waiting shooters, Downes was a master at giving the Wolves second (and third, and fourth) chances.

But, of all his sports, football is the one where he may have shone most brightly.

A gun-slinging quarterback who enjoyed juking would-be tacklers out of their shoes before firing balls into triple coverage, Downes rarely played it safely on the gridiron.

Named the starter as a sophomore, he saw his first season in charge of the varsity offense end prematurely, derailed by an early-season injury.

Fighting his way back, Downes popped back behind center the next season and stayed there, through bruising sacks and awkward collisions, always flinging the ball skyward on a wing and a prayer.

More often than not, it worked out, as he hooked up with Smith, Cameron Toomey-Stout and Co., ripping off big chunks of yardage and crowd-pleasing touchdowns.

When he finally limped off the field at the end of his run, Downes, even having lost out on most of his sophomore campaign, landed among the most productive QB’s in CHS history.

His 35 career touchdown passes are the most in school history, while he also shares the single-game mark of four scoring bombs with Wolf legends Corey Cross and Brad Sherman.

Downes came dangerously close to catching Sherman for the school’s career mark in passing yards, and saved one of his best moments for the very end.

Tied with Sherman at 33 career passing TD’s, Downes had watched most of his key receivers KO’d by season-ending injuries.

He had very few reliable targets left as his senior season rolled to an end, and he was getting hit at a steady rate himself, as the starters on his line also suffered through a considerable wave of injuries.

But, weaving and bobbing, Downes connected on the record-setting heave, dropping the ball onto the hands of his close childhood friend, Jake Hoagland.

In a season of pain and misery for the Wolves, the fling and catch produced not just a record, but a thin sliver of pure joy.

For a moment, all the action around them came to a screeching halt and two friends etched their names into the record books while recreating some of the magic from their backyard days.

Downes was limping as the post-touchdown celebration played out, having been blasted once again.

But he was also grinning.

Like I said, Downes, more than many, really seemed to enjoy his time as a high school athlete.

He might not have gotten all the opportunities he deserved, but he took advantage of every single one he was given.

Today we honor Hunter for his stats, but also for the way he played — attacking every day, every game, always trying to get the most out of every play.

As the newest member of the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame, he joins former teammates and the old-school giants whose records he chased.

After this, you’ll find him camped out under the Legends tab at the top of the blog.

It’s a fitting home for a guy who never let an injury slow his roll, a guy who lived to be a ballplayer, and a dude who made sure to play every game like it was the most important contest of his life.

Bring it on. (David Stern photo)

Read Full Post »

   Hunter Downes celebrates Saturday during Coupeville’s playoff win over Bellevue Christian. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

   Aram Leyva, a wizard on the soccer pitch. Seriously, he’s going all Harry Potter on us and flying.

Wolf fans celebrate a game-busting goal.

In the heat of battle, William Nelson finds his moment of Zen.

Alex Jimenez dances with the ball.

Axel Partida has a meeting of the minds with the ball.

A giddy Downes (right) and Pedro Gamarra hug it out.

“Bow Down to Cow Town!”

Loud ‘n proud.

Coupeville High School shocked the soccer world Saturday, upending five-time state champ Bellevue Christian and earning the Wolf booters their first playoff win since 2012.

With the game just up the road in Oak Harbor, CHS had a sizable collection of fans on hand, plus the attention of their own personal paparazzi.

The photos above, a mix of on and off field action, come to us courtesy John Fisken.

To see everything he shot, pop over to:

https://www.johnsphotos.net/Sports/2017-2018-Coupeville-Soccer/2018-05-05-vs-Bellevue-Christian/

And, when you do, remember that purchases make it more likely he’ll shoot future Wolf sporting events.

Plus, a chunk of any proceeds go to fund college scholarships for CHS student/athletes.

Read Full Post »

   James Wood uses his noggin to redirect the ball during a “friendly” between Coupeville and Oak Harbor’s soccer squads. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

The Wolf bench sizzles in the afternoon sun.

Speedy Coupeville track star Mallory Kortuem, momentarily at rest.

“They said it was a friendly…”

Josh Robinson stalks the pitch, a man on a mission.

   Derek Leyva, having broken the CHS boys soccer single-season scoring record in his last game, takes a moment to dance with the ball.

   Wolf soccer captains Sage Renninger (left) and Lauren Bayne came out to support their male counterparts.

Hunter Downes slices ‘n dices his way through the Wildcats.

From nothing, something.

Coupeville and Oak Harbor threw together a JV soccer game at the last second, partially as a way for the Wolves to get a feel for playing on turf prior to kicking off the playoffs.

With CHS only having a handful of true second-team players, the Wolves tossed in a mix of varsity players for Wednesday’s “friendly,” and no stats were kept.

That didn’t keep ever-wandering photo whiz kid John Fisken from sliding by the pitch to fire off a few hundred shots, however, and a collection of his work can be seen above.

To see all his action pix from the afternoon, pop over to:

https://www.johnsphotos.net/Sports/2017-2018-Coupeville-Soccer/2018-04-25-JV-OH/

Read Full Post »

   Hunter Downes eyes the defense, looking for the tiniest of holes through which to slip a pass. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

A serious scorekeeper’s table for a serious game.

Gavin Knoblich stops ‘n pops.

The Joey Lippo fan club is out in force.

Cameron Toomey-Stout comes flying in hot.

   Four generations of Shermans converge in the CHS gym. The one you don’t see is Brad, the Wolf boys basketball coach.

Koa Davison has eyes only for the basket.

   Seniors, left to right, Kyle Rockwell, Lippo, Ethan Spark, Downes, Hunter Smith, James Vidoni and Toomey-Stout celebrate a final win on their home court.

The action was hot and the camera was crankin’.

The Coupeville High School boys basketball team shocked first-place Klahowya Thursday night, sending the Wolf seniors out victorious in their final home game.

Along for the ride was ace camera clicker John Fisken, who captured the shots above and a whole lot more.

To see everything he snapped, pop over to:

http://www.johnsphotos.net/Sports/Coupeville-basketball-2017-2018/2018-02-01-BBB-vs-Klahowya/

And, when you do, remember, purchases help fund college scholarships for CHS student/athletes.

Read Full Post »

   Three generations of star Wolf quarterbacks, finally caught together on film. From left to right, Brad Sherman, Hunter Downes and Corey Cross. (Lisa Jenne photo)

Three men, of different eras, all linked by the uniform they wore and the touchdowns they threw.

If you look at the Coupeville High School record board, Corey Cross, Brad Sherman and Hunter Downes share a line, tied for the most touchdown passes in a single game by a Wolf quarterback.

The magic number is four, and was first accomplished by Cross in 1971.

Three decades later, Sherman matched the mark, doing it twice during the 2001 season.

Jump forward 15 more seasons, and this time, it was Downes dropping a quartet of scoring bombs during a road game in 2016.

Sherman was on the sideline, calling the plays for Downes as the CHS Offensive Coordinator, and with his help, the young gun claimed a second mark, this one for career TD passes, during his senior season in 2017.

The holder of that career mark? Sherman … who had originally taken it away from Cross.

Three legends, forever linked.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »