Posts Tagged ‘Jack Porter’

Freshman Jack Porter delivered a walk-off RBI single Tuesday, lifting Coupeville to an extra-innings win over South Whidbey. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

“This was a momentum game!”

Coupeville High School varsity baseball coach Will Thayer was a happy man Tuesday as he headed home for dinner.

His Wolves had just upended visiting South Whidbey 3-2 in extra innings, getting the game-winner on a walk-off RBI single from freshman Jack Porter in the bottom of the ninth inning.

The non-conference win evens Coupeville’s early-season record at 1-1, with a big trip to Lynden Christian on the schedule for Wednesday.

Even better for the Wolves, it’s a rivalry win over their next-door neighbors, and a bit of payback for a “loss” to the Falcons in a three-inning game at a jamboree last week.

“This was a game that sets the tone for us for the rest of the season,” Thayer said. “It gets us heading in the right direction.”

The game threatened to be an offensive bonanza in the early going, then turned into a pitcher’s duel.

Scott Hilborn whiffed seven hitters in seven innings of work.

South Whidbey jumped out to a 1-0 lead after the top of the first inning, but Coupeville responded immediately.

Xavier Murdy and Scott Hilborn punched back-to-back one-out singles to set the scene in the bottom half of the first frame, before Peyton Caveness brought out the big lumber.

The sophomore first-baseman bopped a two-run double to put the Wolves in front 2-1, a lead they would hold until the fifth inning.

While South Whidbey garnered that game-tying run, Coupeville put runners on base almost every inning, but couldn’t break through.

CHS had two guys sitting on bags in the second, fourth, and seventh innings, and loaded the bases in the sixth, but time and again the Falcons found a way to fly free.

Hilborn did his job for the Wolves, whiffing seven through seven innings of work on the pitcher’s mound, but left with the game knotted at 2-2.

Heading into extra innings, Thayer handed the ball to senior Hawthorne Wolfe, and the wily one was nearly perfect coming out of the bullpen.

The senior slinger retired the Falcons 1-2-3 in the eighth, then surrendered a lone walk in the ninth.

Coupeville catcher Xavier Murdy erased that Falcon baserunner, throwing him out on a stolen base attempt, before Wolfe reared back and punched out what would be South Whidbey’s final hitter.

After going seven long innings without a runner tapping home plate, the Wolves found some magic in the bottom of the ninth.

With two outs and no one aboard, CHS took advantage of Hilborn reaching on an error.

Jonathan Valenzuela and Caveness eked out walks to juice the bags, setting up Porter for his game-winning swat.

The walk-off hit capped a day in which the Wolves collected nine hits and five walks.

Caveness (1B, 2B), Sage Sharp (1B, 1B), and Porter (1B, 1B) paced the attack, with Murdy, Valenzuela, and Hilborn chipping in with singles.

Cole White walked twice, while Chase Anderson, Valenzuela, and Caveness each got aboard once thanks to showcasing eagle eyes.

Peyton Caveness reached base three times in the rivalry win.

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Coupeville’s high-flying SWISH basketball squad knocked off a major foe Saturday. (Photo courtesy Jon Roberts)

It’s been a long time coming.

Jump back somewhere around 15 months ago — “whatever the day was the world was shut down” — and Coupeville’s SWISH boys basketball team was ready to put its #1 seed on the line in a championship game rumble with big, bad Stanwood.

Enter the pandemic, exit any chance of playing the game.

Now jump forward to May 15, 2021, and the Wolves hardwood squad — comprised of 7th and 8th graders — finally got their showdown.

And it went perfectly.

“Today was a great day,” said Coupeville coach Jon Roberts. “We didn’t get a chance to prove we were #1. Until today.

“Revenge is sweet!”

Playing scrappy, defensive-minded ball, the Wolves chopped the tall Spartans down, pulling away for a 26-21 win to run their record to a crisp 4-1 on the new season.

Having split with always-tough Orcas Island, and taken wins against two squads from Mount Vernon, the Wolves entered play Saturday with a confident spring to their steps.

Even down a man, with Camden Glover out for a game, Coupeville struck quickly and never let up.

Landon Roberts, playing like his grandpa Sandy did back in the day, opened the game with a quick bucket, then the Wolves spread the offensive love around.

Chase Anderson, the Magic Man, led Coupeville with nine points, including draining a pair of game-clinching free throws in the final seconds.

Aiden O’Neill and Hunter Bronec were hot on his heels with six points apiece, with Jack Porter (2), Roberts (2), and Hurlee Bronec (1) also scoring.

While the rim was unforgiving to Johnny Porter on this day, the tall baller made a sizable impact, “collecting numerous rebounds with elbow waving arms, ruling the paint.”

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Dylan Robinett was one of 13 Coupeville Middle School athletes to participate in an intramural cross country season. (Jackie Saia photo)

Ayden Wyman slashes through the woods. (Teagan Calkins photo)

Solomon Rudat is ready to run. (Saia photo)

Cross country is booming in Coupeville.

And a large part of that success comes from having a go-get-’em coach running things.

Right before segueing into her new job running the CHS harrier program, Elizabeth Bitting wrapped up an intramural season for Wolf middle school athletes.

While the pandemic is preventing CMS from competing against other rivals this school year, that hasn’t stopped Bitting from preaching the love of getting off your duff and moving those legs.

Under her tutelage, 13 CMS runners participated in part or all of a race series she set up.

The goal was to count the best three times for each athlete over the course of four races.

The race circuit, dubbed “Kemmer’s Course,” started near the CHS baseball field parking lot, then wound its way down the Kettles trail, before finishing its 1.4-mile length over by the football field scoreboard.

Nine of 13 Wolves ran in the final race, with six of them setting PR’s.

Whether they ran in one race, or all four, all 13 Wolves drew praise from their coach.

“Thank you all for participating during this intramural cross-country season,” Bitting said. “It wasn’t ideal, but you sure did make the best of it!

“I am so proud of each and every one of you. The support, encouragement and unity you gave one another showed so much maturity.

“I hope you all continue to participate in sports with the enthusiasm and passion you’ve shown during this time.”


Wolves who completed the series:
(First time is for series, second time for final race; * = PR)


1st – Ayden Wyman – 35:48 (11:36*)
2nd – Gabby Gebhard – 36:02
3rd – Bryley Gilbert – 40:13 (12:43*)
4th – Ivy Rudat – 46:33


1st – Carson Field – 30:04 (9:12*)
2nd – Nic Wasik – 30:59 (10:15)
3rd – Thomas Strelow – 32:47 (10:09*)
4th – Solomon Rudat – 35:57
5th – Dylan Robinett – 40:33 (14:38)


Others who ran in the final race:

Jack Porter – 9:56*
Johnny Porter – 10:33*
Matthew Gilbert – 14:48


Savina Wells also participated, but due to an injury could not complete the series or final race.

Her best time was 12:50, an improvement of 46 seconds from her first race.

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Gabriella Gebhard leads off a collection of Coupeville Middle School cross country pics. (Photos by Jackie Saia and Teagan Calkins)

They’re still running.

While Coupeville Middle School students aren’t competing against other schools during this pandemic-shortened athletic year, they’re still getting a chance to stay active.

CMS Athletic Director Willie Smith, in tandem with his coaches, has arranged for intramural activities, keeping the Wolves in stride.

Cross country has a booming program, pandemic or not, and coach Elizabeth Bitting is putting on a four-race campaign.

Race #3 went down Thursday, and photo bugs Jackie Saia and Teagan Calkins were on hand to capture pics for us.

The portraits are by mom, the action shots by Teagan, a very-talented athlete in her own right.

Nic Wasik

Jack Porter

Bryley Gilbert

Ayden Wyman

Thomas Strelow

Matthew Gilbert

Ivy Rudat

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Helen Strelow is a key member of a pack of young, talented Coupeville cross country runners. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Wolf harriers put in summer work on Coupeville’s trails. (Photos courtesy Araceley, Strelow, and Wasik families)

They ran strong until the end.

Coupeville cross country runners have been pounding the trails all summer, piling up mileage under the watchful (virtual) eye of CMS coach Elizabeth Bitting.

Wrapping up the final week in which they can work with coaches — the WIAA’s no-contact period kicks in between Aug. 18-Sept. 27 — 11 Wolf runners combined to put in 87.96 miles.

That ran the final summer total out to an impressive 891.96 miles put into the books.

“Great job! We didn’t hit the 1,000-mile mark but you all came SO CLOSE!,” Bitting said. “It’s amazing to see the miles add up from week to week and you all put in that hard work! Good job!!!”

Coupeville runners capped their official summer workouts with another virtual meet, this one the 1.98-mile “Pretty Pratt Run.”



High School:

Reiley Araceley (1st) 14:03
Tate Wyman (2nd) 15:59
Helen Strelow (3rd) 16:09


Middle School:

Jack Porter (1st) 15:37
Thomas Strelow (2nd) 16:33
Ayden Wyman (3rd-tie) 18:38
Johnny Porter (3rd-tie) 18:38


“In true (virtual) running suspense we had ourselves a pretty awesome race for 3rd place!,” Bitting said. “That race ended in a tie!!! A VIRTUAL TIE. These runners amaze me!”

While Coupeville runners can’t work with coaches again until the end of September, that doesn’t stop the Wolves from continuing to work on their own.

As the world deals with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the normal fall sports season has been bumped, with activities such as cross country moving from a September start to March.

As she departed into the official “cone of silence,” Bitting offered her runners a final challenge, with a suggested run complete with hill repeats, and some words of wisdom.

“Thank you to all who participated in any or all of the virtual races!,” she said. “I know this isn’t how you were hoping our Summer Fun Runs would look like, but you continued the hard work, enjoyed some virtual runs and stayed active.

“We are in unprecedented times right now. Be sure you continue to do things that give you peace and happiness.

“I am hoping when we reconnect, in about six weeks, things will look a little different and we could get together for some small group runs.

“In the meantime be safe, stay healthy, and ‘Be Polite & Run On’!!!”

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