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   Allison Wenzel is one of four Wolf seniors who played a sport in all 12 seasons of high school. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Missed it … by that much.

As we head towards the first official games of spring, preliminary reports have 22 of the 29 Coupeville High School athletes who played a fall and winter sport completing the trifecta and earning status as three-sport athletes.

While that’s an impressive number for a very small student body, it narrowly misses tying the best performance in the six-year history of Coupeville Sports.

The numbers:

2012-2013 — (18 three-sport athletes)
2013-2014 — (23)
2014-2015 — (20)
2015-2016 — (17)
2016-2017 — (23)
2017-2018 — (22)

That includes four Wolf seniors — Allison Wenzel, Hunter Downes, Cameron Toomey-Stout and Hunter Smith — who made it a flawless 12-for-12, playing a sport in every season of their prep careers.

Certainly nothing to sneeze at, as only three CHS athletes — Lauren Grove, Jared Helmstadter and Tiffany Briscoe — accomplished the feat in the last two years combined.

It was almost more than four, as well, as Lauren Rose and Joey Lippo each missed perfection by just a single season, opting to sit out their senior and sophomore basketball seasons respectively.

Of the 22 who are minting themselves as three-sport athletes in 2017-2018, there’s a good balance.

The breakdown shows 12 boys and 10 girls, with seven seniors, six sophomores, five juniors and four freshmen.

Wolf girls were ahead going into spring, but five of the seven who are declining to play this season, for various reasons, are female athletes.

The spotlight will swing back on the girls next year, though, as the only CHS juniors who have a shot to pull off a 12-for-12 career are Lindsey Roberts and Sarah Wright.

Coupeville’s three-sport athletes in 2017-2018:

Mollie Bailey (frosh) (soccer, basketball, softball)
Kylie Chernikoff (frosh) (volleyball, basketball, track)
Hunter Downes (sr) (football, basketball, soccer)
Mason Grove (soph) (tennis, basketball, baseball)
Gavin Knoblich (soph) (football, basketball, baseball)
Ryan Labrador (jr) (football, basketball, track)
Joey Lippo 
(sr) (tennis, basketball, baseball)
Dane Lucero 
(jr) (football, basketball, baseball)
Jean Lund-Olsen
 (soph) (football, basketball, track)
Jake Pease 
(jr) (football, basketball, baseball)
Chelsea Prescott 
(frosh) (volleyball, basketball, softball)
Avalon Renninger 
(soph) (soccer, basketball, tennis)
Lindsey Roberts (jr) (soccer, basketball, track)
Kyle Rockwell 
(sr) (football, basketball, baseball)
Hunter Smith (sr) (football, basketball, baseball)
Scout Smith
 (soph) (volleyball, basketball, softball)
Cameron Toomey-Stout 
(sr) (football, basketball, track)
James Vidoni
 (sr) (football, basketball, baseball)
Allison Wenzel 
(sr) (volleyball, basketball, track)
Genna Wright
 (frosh) (soccer, basketball, tennis)
Sarah Wright
 (jr) (soccer, basketball, softball)
Tia Wurzrainer 
(soph) (soccer, basketball, tennis)

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   Avalon Renninger is one of 29 Wolves who could stick the landing and be three-sport athletes in 2017-2018. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Commitment seems to be at an all-time high.

Two-thirds of the way through the 2017-2018 school year, we are on target for the most three-sport athletes in one year at Coupeville High School in the six years of this blog.

From 2012-2013 until 2016-2017, CHS twice topped out at 23 iron men (and women), but this year the Wolves could hit as high as 29.

Now, that comes with a very big “if.”

If everyone on this list turns out for a spring sport. If no one gets lured away by school work, or a job, or driver’s education or spring fever or injuries.

And, because of that last word, we know, barring a miracle, the target number is really 28 and not 29.

Mikayla Elfrank’s badly-injured ankle, which shut her down midway through basketball season, is all but certain to keep her out of action through the spring, which is too bad.

But, if softball, baseball, girls tennis, boys soccer and track provide enough of a lure to keep most of the rest of this list in action, CHS will be blessed.

Three-sport athletes are huge, especially at a small school, where every body counts.

I would also add this — if you want to play college sports, at any level, playing multiple sports is a huge plus.

If you look at former Wolves who have competed for collegiate programs in recent years, or are currently active, almost every single one was a three-sport athlete during their days in Coupeville.

Tyler King, Makana Stone, Nick Streubel, Hailey Hammer, Ben Etzell, Monica Vidoni, Mitch Pelroy, and the list goes on and on.

Among the athletes on that list, King soared the highest, achieving NCAA D-1 All-American status as a cross country and track runner while on scholarship at the University of Washington.

Running was his forte, but he didn’t obsessively limit himself, playing basketball as well, where he was a starter and key contributor on the last great Wolf boys team, the 2009-2010 team which went 16-5.

Playing other sports provided King a chance to grow as an athlete and competitor.

College coaches, at every level, from D-1 to community college, are vocal about their preference for athletes who stretched themselves and tried multiple sports, over those who obsess (and often burn out) as a one-sport specialist.

And if you’re not going to play college sports? Take full advantage of your high school days.

Don’t look back and say “dang, I wish I had played…”

So, with all that in mind, here’s a look at how CHS has finished in previous years:

2012-2013 — (18 three-sport athletes)
2013-2014 — (23)
2014-2015 — (20)
2015-2016 — (17)
2016-2017 — (23)

The 29 who could achieve the feat this year (still hoping Mikayla wakes up tomorrow and her leg is miraculously healed…) and what they’ve played so far:

Mollie Bailey (frosh) (soccer, basketball)
Trevor Bell
(soph) (football, BB)
Kyla Briscoe
(sr) (volleyball, BB) 
Kylie Chernikoff
(frosh) (VB, BB)
Koa Davison
(soph) (FB, BB)
Hunter Downes
(sr) (FB, BB)
Mikayla Elfrank (sr) (VB, BB)
Mason Grove
(soph) (tennis, BB)
Maddy Hilkey
(jr) (socc, BB)
Gavin Knoblich
(soph) (FB, BB)
Kalia Littlejohn
(jr) (socc, BB)
Ryan Labrador
(jr) (FB, BB)
Joey Lippo
(sr) (tenn, BB)
Dane Lucero
(jr) (FB, BB)
Jean Lund-Olsen
(soph) (FB, BB)
Jake Pease
(jr) (FB, BB)
Chelsea Prescott
(frosh) (VB, BB)
Avalon Renninger
(soph) (socc, BB)
Lindsey Roberts (jr) (socc, BB)
Kyle Rockwell
(sr) (FB, BB)
Ema Smith
(jr) (socc, BB)
Hunter Smith
(sr) (FB, BB)
Scout Smith
(soph) (VB, BB)
Cameron Toomey-Stout
(sr) (FB, BB)
James Vidoni
(sr) (FB, BB)
Allison Wenzel
(sr) (VB, BB)
Genna Wright
(frosh) (socc, BB)
Sarah Wright
(jr) (socc, BB)
Tia Wurzrainer
(soph) (socc, BB)

That breaks down to four freshmen, eight sophomores, eight juniors and nine seniors. 15 girls and 14 boys.

Four of those 12th graders — Wenzel, Downes, Toomey-Stout and Hunter Smith — can stick the landing on not just being three-sport athletes, but going a perfect 12-for-12 during their high school days.

If they do, the quartet would beat the last two years combined, when Jared Helmstadter (2015-2016), Tiffany Briscoe (2016-2017) and Lauren Grove (2016-2017) pulled off the perfecto.

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   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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Tiffany Briscoe is one of two Wolf seniors who have a shot at playing a full 12 sports during their high school career. (John Fisken photo)

   Tiffany Briscoe is one of two Wolf seniors who have a shot at playing a full 12 sports during their high school career. (John Fisken photos)

Lauren Grove

Lauren Grove is the other one.

It is the most exclusive club in Wolf sports.

Over the past four years (which is the run of Coupeville Sports, from Aug. 16, 2012 to today) 48 Coupeville High School athletes have made the ultimate commitment and played three sports in the same school year.

At smaller schools like CHS, where bodies on the bench mean so much, that’s invaluable.

Those young men and women have had to balance schoolwork, staying healthy and a life lived on buses and ferries.

Plus, they had to embrace basketball, since that’s the only sport the Wolves play in the winter.

Why do I bring this up now?

Because, as we prepare to head into a new school year, I’m challenging athletes, from green freshmen to grizzled seniors, to join the movement.

We live in an age of specialization, even while nearly every study proves most athletes getting college attention are the ones who are NOT limiting themselves to one sport.

If you’re 15 and already on a national-level team (which is NO ONE in Coupeville), maybe it makes sense to hone your skills in your chosen sport.

Otherwise, the benefits of playing multiple sports are numerous, both for the individual and their teams.

Last year, though, only 17 Wolves were three-sport athletes, the lowest total in the history of this blog.

The numbers were down from a high of 23 two years before, and not headed in the right direction.

Jared Helmstadter was the only Class of 2016 athlete who played a full 12 sports in his high school career, but there are two Wolves (Tiffany Briscoe and Lauren Grove) who are 9-for-9 entering their senior campaigns this year.

High school is your chance to dabble in multiple sports, to find which ones you like, to build as many memories as possible.

Tyler and Kyle King are the only CHS grads to receive D-1 athletic scholarships in recent memory, and while running was obviously their claim to fame, they didn’t limit themselves.

Stints as basketball and football players meshed with cross country and track and made them more complete athletes, more complete teammates.

Take a chance.

If you’re a freshman, now is a golden opportunity, especially for guys, where the number of projected returning basketball players (varsity and JV combined) can be counted on less than two full hands.

Seize the moment. Embrace the dream. Suck it up, butter cup, and add your name to the list below.

CHS athletes who played three sports in one school year between 2012-2016, with the number of times they achieved the feat:

McKayla Bailey – 2
McKenzie Bailey – 3
Kyla Briscoe – 2
Tiffany Briscoe – 3
Aura Corredor – 1
Emily Coulter – 1
Aaron Curtin – 2
Beauman Davis – 1
Hunter Downes – 1
Gabe Eck – 1
Ty Eck – 1
Miranda Engle – 1
Ben Etzell – 2
Jordan Ford – 1
Lauren Grove – 3
Hailey Hammer – 3
Jared Helmstadter – 4
Lindsey Laxton – 1
Nicole Lester – 1
Joey Lippo – 1
Oscar Liquidano – 2
Dalton Martin – 2
Samantha Martin – 1
Breeanna Messner – 2
Mattea Miller – 1
Grey Rische – 1
Carson Risner – 1
Lindsey Roberts – 1
Lauren Rose – 2
Carlie Rosenkrance – 1
Brian Shank – 1
Matt Shank – 1
CJ Smith – 1
Hunter Smith – 2
Ethan Spark – 1
Makana Stone – 2
Madeline Strasburg – 2
Nick Streubel – 2
Cameron Toomey-Stout – 2
Caleb Valko – 1
Isaac Vargas – 1
James Vidoni – 2
Monica Vidoni – 3
Bessie Walstad – 1
Joel Walstad – 2
Allison Wenzel – 2
Sarah Wright – 1
Gabe Wynn – 2

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