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Posts Tagged ‘Ja’Kenya Hoskins’

Xavier Murdy and Co. will celebrate Senior Night Jan. 19. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The schedule shuffle continues.

Senior Night festivities for the Coupeville High School basketball teams have been moved to this coming week, with events set for different days.

Under the new plan, the Wolf boys will honor their 12th graders Wednesday, Jan. 19, when they host Friday Harbor.

Tip-off for the CHS varsity boys that night is 5:30 PM.

Meanwhile, Coupeville’s girls will conduct their farewells Saturday, Jan. 22, when they host South Whidbey.

Varsity tip-off against the Falcons is 2:45.

Ja’Kenya Hoskins, Izzy Wells, Audrianna Shaw, and Abby Mulholland comprise the Class of 2022 players who suit up for the Wolves.

The boys team will honor Xavier Murdy, Miles Davidson, Logan Martin, Grady Rickner, Hawthorne Wolfe, and Caleb Meyer, as well as the late Bennett Boyles, who waged a valiant battle with cancer when the group was in middle school.

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Maddie Georges eyeballs a new season of basketball. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

The countdown to opening night is underway.

The Coupeville High School girls hoops players kicked off practice this week, and photo whiz kid John Fisken ambled by the gym to snap some pics.

To see everything he shot, pop over to:

https://www.johnsphotos.net/Sports/Coupeville-Basketball-2021-2022/BBB-GBB-2021-11-17-1st-practice/

 

Gwen Gustafson

Abby Mulholland

Audrianna Shaw

Carolyn Lhamon

Ja’Kenya Hoskins

Lyla Stuurmans

Hall of Fame player turned varsity coach Megan Smith demonstrates the art of the dribble.

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Ja’Kenya Hoskins, Superstar. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Ja’Kenya Hoskins. Say her name, and write it down for good measure.

I’m calling it right now – this is her year.

When the students who form the Coupeville High School Class of 2022 head back to school for their senior year, there will be multiple athletic storylines waiting to play out.

From Hawthorne Wolfe chasing the all-time CHS boys basketball scoring record to Izzy Wells trying to become the first pitcher to lead the Wolf softball squad to state twice, potential glory is everywhere.

But, with no slight meant to any girl or boy in the Class of ’22, I’m anointing Ja’Kenya as the North star for this pack of Wolves.

It’s a testament to what she could accomplish athletically, as a key basketball and track star.

On the hardwood, Ja’Kenya is a high-energy, rebound-snatching, let’s-roll-in-the-open-court wrecking machine.

And, when next spring rolls around and brings with it the hope of a state meet for the first time in three pandemic-altered seasons, Miss Hoskins will brandish a major distinction.

She’s the only active CHS track athlete to own a state meet medal, as she was part of a 4 x 200 relay squad which finished 3rd at the big dance during her freshman season.

That also put Ja’Kenya up on the CHS track record board, where she joined older sisters Ja’Tarya and Jai’Lysa, part of record-owning 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 teams, respectively.

It was a great start, but then the pandemic took a chomp out of Ja’Kenya’s prep track career.

Covid completely wiped out her sophomore campaign, then track returned with a limited number of meets, but no postseason, during her junior year.

While nothing is guaranteed, the rise of vaccination numbers hopefully promises a more traditional final track campaign for Ja’Kenya and Co.

Breakin’ records, every day.

But the reason we’re tabbing this “The Year of Ja’Kenya” goes beyond sports.

The youngest of four children in her family (brother Will joins his three sisters), Miss Hoskins is everything you could hope for if you want someone to be the representative of your town, and its school.

Anyone who has met her can tell you she is a vibrant ray of sunshine disguised as a human being, someone whose mere presence makes everyone in the immediate area happier.

From middle school on, when rival teams arrive in Coupeville, it’s not been unusual to see most of the opposing players immediately crowd around Ja’Kenya, with her peals of laughter rising up to the ceiling as she greets everyone she knows and loves.

Which is just about everyone.

It’s the same when she hangs out with her fellow Wolves, such as close friends like Izzy Wells.

Want to find Ja’Kenya? Listen for the laughter, and look for the part of the crowd having the best time of anyone in the gym.

Ja’Kenya and Izzy Wells, possibly up to shenanigans.

Last year, during soccer season, I saw her on a fairly-regular basis in the press box, as she ran the clock and did announcements, and I pretended like I understood soccer.

I came away impressed.

Ja’Kenya is whip-smart, but not in a show-off way, very funny, remarkably-poised, and as genuinely kind and caring as any teen you’re likely to meet.

She was deeply-concerned when she thought she might have stumbled over a rival soccer player’s name during pre-game introductions (trust me: she nailed it), and had something nice to say about every single one of her classmates.

Every … single … one.

And she wasn’t being a smart-ass. Ja’Kenya is just that nice.

Now, she may have no memory of Videoville, a sad confirmation that we’ve gone far enough past my lazy, hazy video store days for that time to mean anything to the Netflix ‘n Instagram generation.

But even then, Ja’Kenya’s kindness shone through.

“Oh, I’m sure I would have liked the video store if I was there! Especially the gumball machine!!,” she assured me.

Meanwhile, I’ll just go sit over here in the corner, babbling like Grandpa Simpson, about the olden days…

But enough about me. Back to Ja’Kenya.

She impresses me, and has every day and in every way, since she was just a wee lass. The more I learn about her, the more my admiration grows.

I hope Ja’Kenya knows how highly others think of her – from the adults she interacts with to her fellow student/athletes.

The hope is for the 2021-2022 school year to play out as normal as possible, and to see a lot of really great Coupeville teens end their CHS days on a high note, athletically, scholastically, and socially.

But I’ll admit it.

I really want to see Miss Hoskins be rewarded. I want this to be “The Year of Ja’Kenya.”

She’s earned it; she deserves it.

Way back in 2013, Ja’Kenya (pink shirt) was already lovin’ the spotlight.

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After missing her sophomore season with a busted ankle, Ja’Kenya Hoskins is ready to rumble. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

It’s a whole new ballgame.

As Coupeville High School girls basketball players and coaches prep for a new season, much is different.

The Wolves are in a new classification, with the school’s student body count moving them from 1A to 2B.

With that comes a move from the 1A North Sound Conference, lorded over by state power King’s, to the much-more competitive Northwest 2B/1B League.

Then, there’s the whole ongoing pandemic thing, which moved the season from winter out to spring, with a compressed 12-game schedule set to run from May 18-June 17.

On the floor, second-year Wolf head coach Scott Fox has a roster in flux, with some unexpected losses, but also some positive gains.

The return from injury of junior forward Ja’Kenya Hoskins, who broke her ankle playing dodgeball right before her sophomore campaign, is the big headline.

She’ll be joined by fellow juniors Izzy Wells, Audrianna Shaw, Anya Leavell, and Kylie Van Velkinburgh, as well as sophomores Maddie Georges and Carolyn Lhamon, all returnees from a varsity team which went 12-7 during the 2019-2020 season.

Maddie Georges slices through the defense.

Georges, a speedy point guard who tallied 86 points as a freshman, is the leading active scorer for the Wolves, as senior Chelsea Prescott opted not to play this season.

Prescott, who sits at #44 on the CHS girls career scoring chart with 249 points, is one of three varsity players who didn’t return, along with senior Mollie Bailey and sophomore Nezi Keiper.

That leaves opportunity for JV players to move up, though one who likely would have, tough-as-nails guard Alita Blouin, will miss the season with a back injury.

With player numbers down, a new wrinkle comes into play, as 2B schools can use 8th graders to help fill out its varsity and/or JV rosters.

However his lineup works out, Fox is ready for the challenge.

“We are young and don’t have the size or senior experience we had last year, but they were playing well together in the summer and fall before Covid shut us down,” he said.

“It does feel strange to be playing in May/June and with masks on,” Fox added. “We are going to compete in every game, but we have some talented schools in this league that make regular trips to the state tournament.

“Our goal is to be one of those teams, and I don’t think we are too far off.”

While all six of their league foes will bring a strong effort each time out, two stand out in particular.

“La Conner is really good!,” Fox said. “Scott Novak does a great job over there, and they have been to the (2B) state championship game a few times.

“Not far behind is Mount Vernon Christian, which is also talented and plays extremely hard,” he added. “They also make frequent state tournament runs at the 1B level.”

Getting away from private schools which often exist as “destination schools” for athletes who live in other areas is a plus for the small-town public school Wolves.

“I’m looking forward to the new league because it puts us on par with schools our size, but is still really competitive,” Fox said.

“Travel is always an issue when you’re going to Darrington, Concrete, Orcas, and Friday Harbor, but all schools in this league have to travel long distances, so it’s an equalizer.”

While Coupeville doesn’t have a lot of tall towers to clog up the middle, it does have girls who can play multiple positions, and have shown a desire to always be competitive.

Carolyn Lhamon stays calm under pressure.

“The strength of our team is our athleticism,” Fox said. “We have some real athletes out there that I want to run the court with while playing aggressive defense.

“I’d like to press more this year, but with the kids having to wear mandatory face masks, we need to be cognizant how much to push this style of play.”

With the pandemic-altered campaign sort of like an extended summer season, the young Wolves will continue to work on the small things, which can have a big payoff down the road.

“Our backbone is our defense, and I would like to improve on our transition offense from steals or missed shots,” Fox said. “We drill on this often in practice, and so far I like what I see.

“We’re looking to improve as a team, be competitive in every game, and have fun playing basketball again!”

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Freshman Ava Mitten was one of 20 Wolves to letter in track and field. (Karen Carlson photo)

Dominic Coffman (red mask) and Reiley Aracely complete a handoff during a relay. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

One last lap around the oval.

Their season ended a couple of weeks back, but we’re headed back to spring sports to acknowledge the Coupeville High School track and field squad.

Longtime coach Randy King lettered 20 of his athletes, while also handing out three participation certificates.

The list, awaiting your eye-balling, can be found below.

 

Varsity letter winners:

Reiley Araceley
Aurora Cernick
Dominic Coffman
Dakota Eck
Mitchell Hall
Ja’Kenya Hoskins
Ryanne Knoblich
Carolyn Lhamon
Catherine Lhamon
Logan Martin
Cristina McGrath
Erica McGrath
Hank Milnes
Ava Mitten
Abigail Ramirez
Mikey Robinett
Ben Smith
Aidan Wilson
Tate Wyman
Sam Wynn

Participation certificates:

Camryn Clark
Josh Guay
Maylin Steele

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