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Posts Tagged ‘Hunter Smith’

   Allison Wenzel juggles academics, music and athletics, and is the one CHS senior girl still on target to play a sport in all 12 seasons. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

   Keeping limber helps Hunter Downes as he joins Wenzel in the chase of perfection.

Season after season, the Wolves have been able to rely on Hunter Smith.

   Setting a strong example for lil’ sis Maya, Cameron Toomey-Stout has tackled every challenge which has come his way. (Beth Stout photo)

The Class of 2018 is committed.

As of the first day of basketball season Monday, four Coupeville High School seniors remain on target to complete the ultimate athletic mission – play a sport in all 12 seasons of their prep careers.

If Allison Wenzel, Hunter Downes, Cameron Toomey-Stout and Hunter Smith are able to stick the landing, the Class of 2018 would beat the Class of 2016 and 2017, combined.

Last year, Tiffany Briscoe and Lauren Grove were the only Wolves to complete the journey, while, two years ago, Jared Helmstadter was a lone hero.

Now, of course, pulling off the 12-for-12 run at CHS is a mix of skill, commitment, a love of basketball and a bit of luck.

If it wasn’t for an off-season leg injury which erased her entire junior volleyball campaign, Kyla Briscoe would also be on this list.

Downes, for one, has hurt himself numerous times, but, unlike Briscoe, he has always done it DURING the season, keeping his streak alive.

And you can’t underestimate the role basketball plays in any Wolf hitting the 12-for-12 run, as that’s the only sport the school offers in the winter.

Just off the top of my head, I can name at least two current CHS seniors who miss the list only because of a decision to skip a basketball season. One did it as a sophomore, while the other is electing not to play as a senior.

For now, though, the focus is firmly on the four-pack chasing perfection.

At a small school like CHS, you need athletes to play more than one sport. It’s a matter of bodies.

Wenzel, Camtastic and the Hunters have been at the forefront, giving their time and sweat season after season while also juggling academics and extracurricular activities.

They are upholding tradition, while setting the bar for young athletes coming up behind them.

Call them iron men or iron women, they have earned our praise.

 

The breakdown for each athlete, through winter 2017:

Hunter Downes – Football (4 seasons); basketball (4 seasons); track (2 seasons); soccer (1 season)

Hunter Smith – Football (4 seasons); basketball (4 seasons); baseball (3 seasons)

Cameron Toomey-Stout – Football (4 seasons); basketball (4 seasons); baseball (2 seasons); track (1 season)

Allison Wenzel – Volleyball (4 seasons); basketball (4 seasons); track (3 seasons)

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   A back injury will likely cost Hunter Smith the final five games of his senior season, but he exits holding seven CHS football records. (David Stern photo)

He is the best I have seen play with my own eyes.

From the first moment he stepped on the field as a fab frosh, to today, where he’s a sensational senior, Hunter Smith has been the gold standard.

A back injury, aggravated on a running play at Vashon where he was sandwiched by multiple tacklers and bent in three directions at once, will likely claim his remaining days on the gridiron.

He stalked the sidelines at Port Townsend, will not play against Bellevue Christian tonight, and the chance he will see the field in his team’s final three games is slim.

As a fan, it will be a killer to see half his senior season carved away, it’s true.

But, as great as he has been, if us missing the chance to see a few more highlights means Hunter heals and is pain-free in the years to come, it’s an easy choice to make.

And, in the end, on-field greatness isn’t decided by how many games you play — but by what you did in the time you had.

Ian Barron, Coupeville’s career rushing leader and one of the few who would join Smith in the conversation for the greatest Wolf gridiron player of all time, essentially missed a complete season thanks to two different injuries.

We can take Smith’s three-and-a-half years wearing #4 and say, with absolute assurance, this young man here, he was one of the greats.

He exits holding seven different CHS football records, one more than Barron, and is the only Wolf to own season and career marks on both sides of the ball.

A silky-smooth receiver who routinely turned five-yard passes into 50-yard jaunts, he was rarely, if ever, shut down by opposing defensive backs.

Flip the tables, and Smith was Mr. Lock-down.

He was pick-happy, could fly to the ball to deliver bone-crunching hits and rendered his side of the field a no-pass zone most nights.

But numbers are numbers, records are records, and the true greats achieve rarefied air by doing something more than just putting up stats.

Smith was a quiet leader, a guy who led by example, and someone who always put his own teammates ahead of himself.

I don’t say that lightly.

As he churned through games, piling up stats, the ONLY time I ever heard him say a word about the numbers was a moment when he thought his mate in the defensive backfield, Cameron Toomey-Stout, was being robbed.

A clerical error during their junior season awarded Smith an interception which Camtastic had snagged, and, behind the scenes, Hunter did everything in his power to get the stat properly awarded.

He was chasing the school’s career pick record at the time (and caught it during his senior year), but wanted credit only for what he had truly achieved.

More importantly, Smith had great pride in Toomey-Stout and didn’t want to deflect the spotlight from his friend.

That moment, as much as any pass he hauled in, or any time he zipped into the end zone and immediately tossed the ball to the ref, Barry Sanders-style, is why we will remember him so fondly.

Who knows? Somewhere down the road a Wolf player may show up and come gunning for Smith’s records, the way he did when he surpassed ’80s great Chad Gale.

But, whether he holds the records for a season, for decades or until high school football fades out and is replaced by Ultimate Frisbee, Hunter Smith will live large in the memory banks of Wolf football fans.

He was a class act, on and off the field — the best I have witnessed with my own eyes.

 

Smith’s career numbers:

Receiving:

102 catches
1,761 receiving yards
17.3 yards a catch
17 receiving TDs

Rushing:

33 carries for 128 yards
1 rushing TD

Passing:

1-1 for 67 yards

Defense:

105 tackles
16 interceptions
3 fumble recoveries
2 TDs on pick-sixes

Punt/kickoff returns:

17 for 351 yards
1 TD on a punt return
1 TD on a kickoff return

Scoring:

140 points
22 touchdowns
4 conversions

School records:

Receiving TDs in a game (3) – 2016 vs. Bellevue Christian

Receiving yards in a season (916) – 2016
Receiving TDs in a season (11) – 2016
Interceptions in a season (7) – 2015

Receiving yards in a career (1,761)
Receiving TDs in a career (17)
Interceptions in a career (16)

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   Tyler McCalmont has 12 tackles, three for a loss, this season. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

As milestones go, it was a fairly quiet one.

Coupeville High School senior Hunter Smith already owns or shares seven football records, but late in last Friday’s home game against Charles Wright Academy, he pulled in yet a bit more of history.

His final snag of the game, on which he was denied a touchdown by a spectacularly blind ref, was his fifth catch of the game.

More importantly, it was the 100th reception of his stellar career.

While I can’t claim with absolute certainty he is the only Wolf to break the triple-digit receptions barrier, it seems to make absolute sense.

Smith has surpassed every CHS receiver in every category which matters, making it highly unlikely any of them reached the same milestone.

As Coupeville chases numerous team and individual offensive marks — senior QB Hunter Downes is angling for a few himself — the Wolves boast the #3 scoring offense among the eight Olympic/Nisqually League teams.

That number could take a large positive bounce this week, as CHS (2-2 overall, 0-1 in league play) heads to Vashon (0-4, 0-1).

The Pirates have the worst scoring defense in the league, and it’s not close, having been outscored 206-14 this season.

As you count down the hours until that game, take a gander at the season-to-date stats, as compiled by CHS coaches and posted on MaxPreps.

Keep in mind, though, that when you look at where Wolf players are ranked, it comes with one caveat — not all teams in the state are actively reporting stats.

OFFENSE:

Passing:

Hunter Downes 43-90 for 844 yards (#1 in 1A) with 9 TDs and 4 INTs
Shane Losey 1-2 for 16 yards

Receiving:

Hunter Smith 19 receptions for 401 yards (#1 in 1A, #9 in the state)
Cameron Toomey-Stout 16-282 (#3 in 1A)
Sean Toomey-Stout 5-120
Matt Hilborn 3-51
Losey 1-6

Rushing:

S. Toomey-Stout 30 carries for 171 yards
Chris Battaglia 24-127
Hilborn 24-75
Jean Lund-Olsen 2-5
Smith 3-5
Downes 14 (-1)

All-Purpose Yards (Rush/Rec/KR/PR/IR):

Smith 565
C. Toomey-Stout 438
S. Toomey-Stout 336
Hilborn 130
Battaglia 127
Teo Keilwitz 48
Lund-Olsen 10
Losey 6

Total Yards (Rush/Pass/Rec):

Downes 843 (#1 in 1A)
Smith 406
S. Toomey-Stout 291
C. Toomey-Stout 282
Battaglia 127
Hilborn 126
Losey 22
Lund-Olsen 5

Touchdowns:

Smith 5 (#5 in 1A)
C. Toomey-Stout 4 (#7 in 1A)
Hilborn 2
S. Toomey-Stout 2
Downes 1

PATs:

Hilborn 8 (#3 in 1A)

Points:

Smith 30 (#5 in 1A)
C. Toomey-Stout
24 (#9 in 1A)
Hilborn
20
S. Toomey-Stout
12
Downes 6

DEFENSE:

Tackles:

S. Toomey-Stout 47 (#4 in 1A, #6 in the state)
Battaglia 26
C. Toomey-Stout 26
Dane Lucero 21
Hilborn 19
Losey
17
Julian Welling
17
Jake Hoagland
15
Smith
15
James Vidoni 14
Tyler McCalmont
12
Jake Pease 12
Trevor Bell 3
Keilwitz 3
Gavin Knoblich 2
Lund-Olsen 2
Andrew Martin 2
Cameron Dahl 1
Koa Davison 1
Dawson Houston 1
Kyle Rockwell 1
Gavin Straub 1

Tackles for Loss:

Vidoni 4
Lucero 3
McCalmont 3
Hoagland 1
Knoblich 1
Pease 1

Interceptions:

Smith 3 (#1 in 1A, #6 in the state)
C. Toomey-Stout
2 (#3 in 1A)

Fumble recoveries:

Pease 2
Hoagland 1
S. Toomey-Stout 1
Welling 1

Sacks:

Losey 1.5
Lucero 1.5
Battaglia 1
Pease 1
Vidoni 1
Welling 1

SPECIAL TEAMS:

Kickoffs:

Hilborn 18 for 371 yards (#4 in 1A)

Punts:

Downes 5 for 124 yards

Kickoff/Punt returns:

C. Toomey-Stout 7 for 126 yards (#5 in 1A)
Keilwitz 4-48
S. Toomey-Stout 3-45
Smith 2-33
Lund-Olsen 1-5
Hilborn 1-4
Welling 1-0

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   Cameron Toomey-Stout picked off two passes Friday as Coupeville blanked South Whidbey 18-0. (John Fisken photo)

   Wolf fans came out in force, making the trek to Langley to cheer on their team. (Kim Bepler photos)

   Sean Toomey-Stout’s fan club responds to his game-busting fourth quarter 57-yard touchdown catch and run.

   Wolf QB Hunter Downes holds The Bucket after Coupeville beat South Whidbey for the third time in four years.

The Bucket stays in Cow Town.

Coupeville’s gridiron seniors will depart having beaten arch nemesis South Whidbey three times in four seasons after upending the Falcons 18-0 Friday night in Langley.

The season-opening non-conference win, arriving on the night SWHS renamed its football field in honor of former longtime coach Jim Leierer, gives the Wolves back-to-back victories in the clash of Island rivals.

Coming on the heels of a 41-10 win in Coupeville last year, CHS head coach Jon Atkins improved to a flawless 2-0 against the Falcons.

Overall, the Wolves have won four of the last six meetings, also winning in 2012 and 2014 under Tony Maggio.

This time around it was a tale of two defenses slugging it out, as the game went 38+ minutes without a score.

Coupeville, having held South Whidbey out of the end zone on nine consecutive possessions, finally broke the game open early in the fourth quarter.

The Wolves, with the ball in their own hands for the ninth time, struck when QB Hunter Downes dropped a gorgeous throw on a dime into the waiting hands of Hunter Smith in the left corner of the end zone.

The scoring throw, coming at the 9:54 mark of the fourth quarter, instantly changed the flow of the game.

Three plays later Jake Pease jumped on a fumble recovery for CHS, and then Downes and his receiving corps went back to work in the blink of an eye.

On the first play after the fumble, Downes threaded a short pass into the arms of Sean Toomey-Stout, who promptly blew up the tiring Falcon defense.

Shedding would-be tacklers with every fleet-footed step, the speedy sophomore ducked, bobbed, weaved, then hit an extra gear and was off to the races, leaving everyone in his wake as he roared 57 yards to the waiting end zone.

While Coupeville’s ensuing two-point conversion failed (the Wolves were 0-2 on conversions and had an extra point attempt blocked after touchdown #3), a 12-0 lead was more than enough for the riled-up CHS defense.

After forcing another turnover on downs — Smith read a fourth down pass perfectly and knocked it away from the receiver at the last millisecond — Coupeville capped the scoring with a KO punch.

Sitting at its own 11-yard line with the clock running under three minutes, the Wolves went semi-conservative, with Downes slapping a hand-off into Smith’s never-gonna-fumble hands.

While CHS would have settled for a couple of yards, a cloud of dust and a chunk of change run off the clock, Smith had other ideas.

Spinning to the right, he hung motionless for just a second, perhaps giving older brother CJ time to cock an eyebrow in appreciation up in the stands, then bolted to daylight.

Running like the state meet-bound track sprinter he can never be (he loves baseball too much), the silky senior ripped off 89 yards in a few effortless strides, only slowing at the end as he flipped the ball to the ref a moment before he was mobbed by his teammates.

Smith, who broke Chad Gale’s school career receiving yardage record on his opening catch of the game, a 12-yard snag early in the first quarter, also busted out a 52-yard reception right before halftime.

It was a game of big plays for Coupeville, even when it was struggling to break into the scoring column.

Matt Hilborn pulled off a replay-worthy catch, hauling in a 21-yard bomb from Downes while simultaneously splitting two defenders and executing a picture-perfect slide.

Meanwhile, Sean Toomey-Stout tore off 32 yards on a reversal early in the third quarter, while big brother Cameron was lights out in the defensive backfield.

The elder Toomey-Stout made off with two third-quarter interceptions (the second eventually set up the Wolves first touchdown), while also chasing down wayward Falcons on both sides of the field.

While the picks were huge, his explosive tackle on a fourth quarter kick-off, in which he went airborne and just about ripped the cleats off the guy unlucky enough to touch the ball first, drew much hootin’ and hollerin’ from a collection of former Wolf coaches in the crowd.

And he wasn’t the only Coupeville defender to earn oohs and ahs.

Jake Hoagland shut down a Falcon drive, jumping on a fumble, while Dane Lucero ended another South Whidbey possession by chasing down the rival QB in the backfield on fourth down.

Falcon signal caller Greyson Clements was an elusive target all night, prone to scrambling away for a few yards here, a few more there.

But, when they could get their hands on him, Lucero and fellow linemen Julian Welling and Trevor Bell rode him down into the grass with a cold fury.

As his players soaked in the win, Atkins pointed to the play of his defense as key.

“Getting a shutout in the first game is big time; our defense played huge for us,” he said. “That was great to see.

“It took us a little while to get going (on offense), but once we started executing and staying with our blocks, things got better,” Atkins added. “We just need to go forward, fix the little things, and keep working.”

Coupeville returns home next Friday, Sept. 8, when it hosts La Conner, which is ranked #6 in the state among 2B schools. That game will be the season-opener for the Braves.

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   Senior Jake Hoagland will be a key target for Wolf QB Hunter Downes as he chases school passing records. (John Fisken photos)

Senior Julian Welling returns to anchor the CHS lines.

   Wolf junior Matt Hilborn will share carries with Sean Toomey-Stout and Chris Battaglia.

Play for the postseason.

That’s the goal for the Coupeville High School football team, which wants to shed recent history and make a run at the playoffs.

“Our team goal is to play an 11th game,” said CHS coach Jon Atkins. “If we do that, we will have made many of our other goals on the way.”

To reach the postseason, the Wolves need to finish in the top two in the eight-team Olympic/Nisqually League.

With defending league champ Cascade Christian “returning basically every player for a team that went 10-0 last year heading into the playoffs,” it’s likely the other seven schools will be waging war for the #2 seed.

Last year that playoff berth went to Port Townsend, but the RedHawks took substantial hits in the off-season.

Quarterback Berkley Hill, the league’s top offensive player, graduated, then Detrius Kelsall, a three-year two-way starter who was expected to be the focal point of the offense in 2017, suddenly moved to California.

Still, the RedHawks have talent, especially sophomore Noa Montaya, a defensive whiz kid who inherits the QB job, and won’t go down without a fight.

Klahowya also took a big hit thanks to graduation, while Coupeville returns almost all of its primary weapons.

Last year, in the first year of a two-year trial period for mashing together the four-team Olympic and Nisqually Leagues for football, the Wolves finished 3-7 overall, 2-5 in league play.

CHS beat South Whidbey in non-conference play, whacked Vashon Island and Chimacum inside the league and came within a single play of unseating Charles Wright Academy and Bellevue Christian.

As the Wolves seek their first winning record since 2005, they have a favorable schedule.

Six of their 10 games are on Whidbey — five home games, including three of the final four, and the season opener vs. South Whidbey at Langley — and they don’t play Cascade Christian until the final game of the regular season.

With many of the league’s teams unsettled a bit, opportunity is there.

“I think that both Bellevue Christian and Charles Wright are looking to turn the corner and Port Townsend is always a tough match-up,” Atkins said. “The league is going to look very different than last year with the graduation of a lot of seniors in other programs. So it should be a fun season.”

Coupeville’s strengths should be its passing attack and defensive backfield, where the team boasts a pack of veterans with extensive varsity experience.

Senior quarterback Hunter Downes is back under center after a strong junior campaign.

Avoiding the injuries which derailed his sophomore season, Downes threw for 1,569 yards (#5 among 1A QB’s) and 17 touchdowns, one off of the school single-season mark.

Heading into his final year at the controls of the Wolf offense, he sits 1,773 yards and 16 TD’s from breaking the school career records, which are held by Coupeville’s Offensive Coordinator, Brad Sherman.

Downes top two targets in 2016 are also back, as Hunter Smith (49 receptions for school single-season records of 916 yards and 11 TD’s) and Cameron Toomey-Stout (21-441) return for their senior seasons.

Toss in speed demon sophomore Sean Toomey-Stout (2-52), steady senior Jake Hoagland (2-17) and junior Chris Battaglia (1-9), and Coupeville returns five of the eight players to have at least one catch last year.

Smith, who already owns at least a part of four CHS football game or season records, sits just 11 yards and five TD’s from moving past ’80s star Chad Gale to become the school’s career leader in those categories.

It could be a season of milestones for Smith, as he’s also just three interceptions away from passing Josh Bayne for that career mark.

When Downes isn’t pegging passes to his receivers, he’ll be handing the ball off to the three-headed beast of junior Matt Hilborn, Sean Toomey-Stout and Battaglia.

Opening holes for them will be a line anchored by senior Julian Welling and juniors Dane Lucero and Jake Pease.

Younger players who Atkins expects to step up include sophomores Trevor Bell, Gavin Knoblich and Andrew Martin, as well as junior Shane Losey, who “looks good returning from a shoulder injury on the defensive side of the ball.”

With its veteran players in place, Coupeville is primed to have a potent offense.

“Returning Hunter Downes, Cameron and Hunter Smith is going to make it difficult for teams to take just one weapon away,” Atkins said. “We just have to take care of the ball better and minimize mistakes on offense.”

The key to the team’s success and its playoff hopes will largely hinge on the defensive side of the ball, a weak point in many ways for Coupeville last season.

“Defensively we have to be better at making the first tackle and not giving opposing teams extra opportunities for yards,” Atkins said. “We gave up just over 30 points a game last year and for us to make our goals we have to improve on this area to get to an 11th game.”

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