Posts Tagged ‘in memory’

Noel Criscuola, frozen in time, forever a Wolf hoops legend. (Photo courtesy Sharon Franzen)

The past, present, and future, all linked together.

Our ongoing efforts to track individual scoring totals for Coupeville High School basketball players pulls together multiple generations of Wolf hoops stars.

Once you’re in the fraternity, whether you played back in the program’s first season in 1917, or are suiting up for CHS this year, you’re part of something larger than yourself.

So, a day before the 2022-2023 season tips off, we pause to remember one of the greats.

Noel Criscuola, CHS Class of 1961, passed away at age 79 on Thanksgiving Day.

The younger brother of “Big” Mike Criscuola, the program’s first true superstar, Noel made his own strong impact for the Wolves.

He played, and scored, for the varsity team all four years of his high school run, compiling 298 career points in a Wolf uniform.

More than 60 years after his graduation, Noel still sits among the top 100 scorers all-time, currently residing at #97 among the 406 Wolf boys who I have been able to document rippling the nets at the varsity level.

After tossing in 20 points as a freshman, Noel added 46 as a sophomore, 70 as a junior, and 162 as a senior.

It’s very likely he would have scored more, except for playing alongside some of the program’s best bucket-makers.

Noel played three seasons with his brother Mike, #4 all-time in CHS boys history with 1,031 points, while also teaming with luminaries such as Denny Clark, Utz Conard, Gary Hammons, Denny Zylstra, and Sandy Roberts.

When he graduated in 1961, Noel was part of a 32-student group, the largest class to come through Coupeville High School in its first six decades.

In death, he will return to the prairie, and will be buried next to his father at Sunnyside Cemetary in a private ceremony.

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Sean Toomey-Stout pauses to remember fellow Coupeville grad Lathom Kelley before Saturday’s University of Washington football game. (Photo courtesy Raven Vick)

Lathom’s memorial service. (Ben Smith photo)

It was a life well-lived.

Lathom Kelley, who died in a kayak accident in September, was a unique human being — large in personality, and always surprising.

He was a rugged athlete, a slick ladies’ man, a mama’s boy, rough and tough, but kind and caring.

Lathom loved his family and treated virtually everyone he met as his family.

He could crack heads (often his own), but also sweep others up with a kind gesture and a smile which lit up the prairie.

From the first moments of Coupeville Sports a decade ago, when he was a cartwheeling freshman and I was just exploring this transition to blogging, Lathom was The Dude.

Your dude. My dude. The dude each and every one of us needed in our lives.

He will be greatly missed, but he will never be forgotten.


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Lathom Kelley’s jersey, and the prairie where he spent many a day. (Bennett Richter photo)

Wolf Nation is embracing one of its families.

Coupeville High School coaches, administrators, athletes, students, teachers, and fans will unite this Friday, Sept. 16 to honor Lathom Kelley and his family at halftime of a football game with Sultan.

Lathom, who graduated with the CHS Class of 2016, is believed to have died after a kayak accident Saturday between Guemes Island and Jack Island.

A search involving multiple police and fire departments and the U.S. Coast Guard recovered the kayak and an oar, which were stuck under the water’s surface in a kelp bed.

Lathom’s backpack was separately recovered, and it was confirmed he had not been wearing a life jacket.

A local diver with experience in operating in kelp braved the strong currents and high tide to lead a two-day search but a body has not been recovered.

After consultation with Lathom’s family, Coupeville High School Athletic Director Willie Smith issued the following statement Wednesday morning:


As you all know, CSD lost one of our own last weekend.

For those of you that didn’t know Lathom, he was one of those students that tested every ounce of one’s patience with his, at once crazy and limit-pushing behavior and in the next moment his positive and embracing behavior.

His father, Lincoln, worked for our district in the maintenance department for many years and was also part of our high school track program, coaching with Randy King for many years.

Brandon, his brother, also graduated from CHS and was an amazingly positive and quiet leader in his own right while at CHS.

Our football team (along with Ryan King, a former CMS/CHS coach), upon hearing of Lathom’s passing, immediately reached out to their coach with the idea of honoring Lathom with a presentation of his jersey, number #44, to his parents and family at halftime of our home game this Friday night.

They will also be wearing a #44 sticker on their helmets the remainder of the season in his honor.

The Kelleys are overwhelmed with this gesture by our football team, and it would go a long way in helping them deal with this unbelievable loss if we had a full showing of support for them at the game. 

Please join us this Friday at 7:00 PM as we come together and wrap a grieving family in the arms of our Wolf family. 

Lathom Kelley poses with parents Lincoln and Shawna, during Senior Night football festivities in 2015. (Gabe Wynn photo)

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Bill Baas

A throwback to Baas as a high school sophomore. (Photo courtesy Jack Sell)

He was part of the brotherhood.

Bill Baas, who passed away Aug. 10 at Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, remains part of the rich tapestry that is Coupeville High School boys basketball.

The Wolf hoops program, launched in 1917, has 105 seasons in the record books, and I’ve managed to identify 406 young men who put the ball through the net in a varsity game.

Baas, who was 72 and lived in Rochester, appears in the scoring totals for three of those seasons.

He dropped in nine points during the 1965-1966 season, then built on that, banking in 63 points in 66-67, and another 81 in 67-68.

Points were at a premium during that stretch, with Barry Brown leading the Wolves in scoring all three of those seasons — the only CHS boy to top the charts three times — and the current all-time scoring champ, Jeff Stone, debuting in 67-68.

For his varsity career Baas finished with 153 points, which puts him #164 all-time among CHS boys, nestled right between Geoff Wacker (154) and Ulrik Wells (152).

A celebration of life will be held in Rochester Aug. 27.

And when basketball games return this winter, Baas, like Brown, Utz Conard, and other now-departed Coupeville hoops stars, will continue to live large in the collective memories of Wolf Nation.

Part of the brotherhood, forever.

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Kathleen Anderson’s legacy will live on at her old stomping grounds.

The Coupeville School District is naming its board room in honor of the late school board president, a decision approved at Monday night’s meeting.

Anderson, who died in September 2021, “was a pillar in the local and state education system for over 40 years,” said Coupeville Superintendent Steve King.

She began her life in education as a teacher, before serving twice on the Coupeville School Board.

Anderson’s first run was from 1980-1989, then she returned to serve from 2004 until her passing.

She was also on the State Board of Education for 15 years, while becoming that board’s first female president.

“As a school district and state board member, Director Anderson was known as someone who always prioritized what was best for students,” King said.

He hailed Anderson’s expertise in capital projects and her advocacy for “educating the whole child through career and technical education, athletics and activities.”

Along with her time on various school boards, Anderson also served on state-level committees and was involved in collective bargaining which “improved working conditions for staff.”

Coupeville School Board Director Nancy Conard, who made the motion on Monday’s vote, was a student in Anderson’s first class as a teacher.

The school district plans to purchase a memorial plaque in Anderson’s honor and will hold a celebration at a later date.

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