Posts Tagged ‘Jared Helmstadter’

Mason Grove (bottom, left) is joined by, clockwise, Ashley (Manker) Bailey, Jared Helmstadter and Paul Mendes, the coach of the 2010 CHS boys soccer team.

   Mason Grove (bottom, left) is joined by, clockwise, Ashley (Manker) Bailey, Jared Helmstadter and Paul Mendes, the coach of the 2010 CHS boys soccer team.

There’s a little something for everyone today.

As we prepare to induct the 77th class into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame, we’re hitting a lot of bases, with an emphasis on basketball and soccer.

Two athletes, one stellar team and a moment which happened less than 24 hours ago (an “instant” Hall o’ Fame induction) come together as we fling open the door to these hallowed digital halls.

So, with that, we welcome Ashley (Manker) Bailey, Jared Helmstadter, Mason Grove and the 2010 Coupeville High School boys’ soccer squad.

After this, you’ll find them up at the top of the blog, camped out under the Legends tab.

Our first inductee, Bailey, was a standout athlete in two sports, patrolling the goalie’s box on the pitch and defending the paint on the hardwood.

The best goaltender the CHS girls soccer program has had in its relatively short run, she used her height and knowledge picked up from coach/dad Gary to thoroughly frustrate opposing teams.

Put her on the hardwood, when her body would cooperate, and Bailey was a consistent scoring threat (the perfect #2 option to high-scoring teammate Megan Smith) who cleaned the glass like few other Wolves.

And when I say consistent, I mean it, as she scored in 42 of the 44 games she played as a sophomore and senior, breaking double digits 16 times.

Bailey went out battling, dropping a game-high 16 against King’s in a four-point playoff loss during her senior season in 2010, then went on to play both her sports at the collegiate level.

Our second inductee, Grove, is just starting his run. With a season of tennis tucked under one arm, the CHS freshman is now five games into his first basketball season.

And yet he may have already done something no other Wolf has ever accomplished.

As far as I can tell, Brad Sherman and Brian Fakkema, who both hit six three-pointers in a varsity game in the early 2000s, are the gold standard for long-range bombers.

Enter Grove, who nailed seven treys, including three in the fourth quarter, last night, part of a 24-point rampage that lifted the Coupeville JV to a roof-rattling 55-51 win over a South Whidbey squad that had two freshmen 6-foot-4 or taller.

Grove is listed at 5’4 on the CHS roster, but put a ball in his hands and he’s a giant. And now, an instant Hall o’ Famer.

Our third inductee, the 2010 Wolf boys’ soccer squad, stands as the best team in the history of the program.

Playing for legendary coach/original Seattle Sounder Paul Mendes, whose own induction into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame was maybe about #347 on his list of soccer accomplishments, the Wolves won a program-record 12 games that year.

Four of those victories came during a six-game playoff run, in which Coupeville toppled Lynden Christian, Nooksack Valley, Orting and Meridian before falling to Overlake at the state tourney.

Led by a very strong pack of seniors (including five who netted All-Conference honors —  Spencer Tack, Justin Adams, Travis Curtin, Jordan Lamb and Evan Ameluxen-Coleman), the Wolves survived a brutal schedule that season.

Playing in the 1A/2A Cascade Conference, they faced King’s (4th in 1A) and ATM (which lost 1-0 to eventual 2A state champ Bellingham in the quarterfinals), while Overlake went on to finish second in 1A.

Through it all, they relied on an aggressive defense and the goal-tending of Ameluxen-Coleman to reach heights never seen before or since by a Coupeville soccer team.

Our final inductee, Helmstadter, may not have the same numbers as some of his fellow Hall o’ Famers, but he fully deserves his spot as one of the hardest workers I have witnessed in the prep sports world.

Few athletes got as much enjoyment out of their high school sports career as he did, a time when he was the only student in the CHS Class of 2016 to play all 12 seasons.

Through four years of tennis, basketball and track (which ended with a trip to state in the 4 x 400), there was never a moment when Helmstadter didn’t seize whatever opportunity was given him.

Born prematurely at 26 weeks (weighing just two pounds), he wasn’t expected to survive and has dealt with blindness in his left eye his entire life.

Some would give up early, others later. Not Jared.

A tremendously supportive teammate who gave every ounce of energy he had, Helmstadter is the person I would offer up to all young athletes as a role model.

Your high school days are going to be shorter than you think.

Enjoy whatever sports experience you get to have, never stop striving to be the best YOU can be, and walk away with a lot of memories.

Simply put, be like Jared.

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Jared Helmstadter drives to the hoop. (John Fisken photo)

Jared Helmstadter drives to the hoop. (John Fisken photo)

One more time. And why not?

Traditionally, if you’re an athlete, once you graduate from Coupeville High School, I stop running birthday stories for you here on the blog.

At that point, you’ve moved on, so it’s time to flip the spotlight onto the other 23,000 Wolves trying to elbow their way into the frame.

But, Jared Helmstadter, who celebrates a cake day today, only graduated a couple of weeks ago, and he’s one of the big success stories from our run here at Coupeville Sports, so we’re bending the rules.

Sometimes you need to do that for the great ones.

And Jared is, without a doubt, one of the biggies.

He first skipped into high school right after I kicked off Coupeville Sports in Aug. 2012, and, over the next four years, he was everywhere.

Even when I tried to change his last name to Helmstadler, with an L instead of a T, he never missed a beat.

The kid who shot into the world at week 26 (a modest two pounds at the time) grew up to be the only Wolf in the Class of 2016 to play a full 12 sports in his time at the school.

Four years of tennis, basketball and track later, he exited as arguably the best-liked, most-admired athlete in his class.

And I’m not saying that lightly.

His coaches adored him. His teammates raved about him.

Jared, much like classmate Makana Stone, transcended sports.

When he applied for the scholarships given out by local photographer John Fisken, one of the interview questions the paparazzi asked of each applicant was “If you don’t win, who do you want to see win?”

Every single applicant said the same name. Spoiler alert: it was Jared.

Helmstadter himself would admit he wasn’t the most talented athlete in his class, but he was justifiably proud that he put out as much effort, showed as much heart and cheered for each and every one of his teammates like no other.

When he talked about the best moments of his prep career, he always went to team moments, slices of time when he was part of something bigger than himself.

Through four years of covering Jared, I saw a young man who will not be beaten down by rough times, who will always get up and fight, who will always look for the best in everyone around him.

The guy is, was, and will always be, a true class act and it really was an honor to be a small part of telling the world about him.

Happy birthday, Mr. Helmstadter. May the best be yet to come.

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Sebastian Davis celebrates a goal during his junior soccer season. (John Fisken photos)

   Sebastian Davis celebrates a goal during his junior soccer season. (John Fisken photos)

Jared Helmstadter goes strong to the hoop.

Jared Helmstadter goes strong to the hoop.

Davis and teammate Loren Nelson enjoy the fruits of their labors at a tennis banquet. (Wendy McCormick photo)

   Davis and teammate Loren Nelson enjoy the fruits of their labors at a tennis banquet. (Wendy McCormick photo)

Helmstadter leads the cheers for his teammates.

Helmstadter leads the cheers for his teammates. (Fisken photo)

The circle is complete.

All school year John Fisken snapped photos, he was nice enough to send a ton my way, I directed readers to where he sold his pics and, when they bought some, a portion of the money was stashed away.

Tuesday night, as Coupeville High School held its senior awards night, that money came back out, with Fisken handing $250 apiece in scholarship money to two Wolves who appeared in a fair amount of photos.

Walking off with the cold, hard cash, winners of the Olympicleague.com Scholar Athlete Award were CHS seniors Jared Helmstadter and Sebastian Davis.

They join previous honorees Breeanna Messner, Brandon Kelley, Aaron Trumbull and Julia Myers.

The award honors student/athletes who played at least two sports for all four years of high school, while maintaining a 3.0 or better GPA.

To be eligible, athletes couldn’t receive an athletic scholarship from a college, and they needed to submit a 500-word essay, “How Sports Made Me A Better Person,” and take part in 1-on-1 interviews with the prolific camera clicker.

The duo emerged from an especially strong final five this year, making the decision the hardest he’s faced in the three years he’s bestowed money to Coupeville athletes, Fisken said.

Helmstadter, who plans to be an electrician, is the lone member of the CHS Class of 2016 to play a sport in all 12 of his high school seasons.

He was a four-year participant in tennis, basketball and track and capped his final moments as a high school athlete by competing in the 4 x 400 relay at the state track meet.

During his time on the tennis court, Helmstadter often had the chance to play as a doubles team with younger brother Grey Rische.

Davis was also a four-year tennis player, finishing as the Olympic League singles champion as a senior.

Having inherited the mantle from graduated teammate Aaron Curtin, he also put in a considerable amount of time as an unpaid assistant coach, working with younger players on their games.

A veteran of the theatrical stage and a gold medalist in Science Olympiad, Davis split time between track and soccer as well.

During their sophomore track season, Helmstadter and Davis ran on 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 relay teams together.

Another teammate on those relay units? Fellow award winner Brandon Kelley, then a senior.

Davis will attend the University of Washington in the fall.

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Jared Helmstadter, the only Class of 2016 athlete to play a sport in all 12 seasons of his prep career. (John Fisken photos)

   Jared Helmstadter, the only CHS Class of 2016 athlete to play a sport in all 12 seasons of his prep career. (John Fisken photos)

Wolf three-sport athletes

   Row 1 (l to r): Tiffany Briscoe, Lindsey Laxton, Gabe Eck, Nicole Lester. Row 2: Hunter Smith, Allison Wenzel, Lindsey Roberts, Ty Eck. Row 3: Lauren Grove, Cameron Toomey-Stout, Jordan Ford, Kyla Briscoe. Row 4: Hunter Downes, Lauren Rose, Sarah Wright, James Vidoni.

It takes dedication to be a three-sport athlete in high school, and a little luck.

Injuries, drivers ed, club sports, specialization, an unwillingness to play basketball (the only winter sport Coupeville High School offers) — there are a lot of things which can keep the modern athlete from living out what used to be routine.

So, we want to take a moment to honor the 17 Wolves (nine girls, eight boys) who kept the flame lit in 2015-2016.

Cause they may be a dying breed.

Of the four years Coupeville Sports has existed, that number is the smallest we’ve seen.

After we had 18 in 2012-2013, we topped out at 23 the next year, then slid to 20 and now 17.

But, maybe we’re jumping too fast to conclusions, because the core of the three-sport athlete group is young and appears to be deeply committed.

There are six freshmen and seven sophomores on the list.

Also, if you take the 9th graders out of the equation, nine of the 11 are repeat three-sport athletes.

Only two are seniors, which ties ’12-’13 and ’13-’14, while being down from a high of five 12th graders who went out strongly last year.

Jared Helmstadter exits on top, the only member of the Class of 2016 to have played a sport in all 12 seasons of his high school career.

Meanwhile, fellow senior Jordan Ford, having just arrived on the scene, went 3-for-3 in his one year at CHS.

The complete (I believe) list of Wolf three-sport athletes in 2015-2016:

*R* = repeated from 2014-2015

Kyla Briscoe (volleyball, basketball, track) *R*
Tiffany Briscoe (volleyball, basketball, softball) *R*
Hunter Downes (football, basketball, track)
Gabe Eck (football, basketball, track)
Ty Eck (football, basketball, baseball)
Jordan Ford (football, basketball, track)
Lauren Grove (soccer, basketball, track) *R*
Jared Helmstadter (tennis, basketball, track) *R*
Lindsey Laxton (soccer, basketball, softball)
Nicole Lester (volleyball, basketball, softball)
Lindsey Roberts (soccer, basketball, track)
Lauren Rose (volleyball, basketball, softball) *R*
Hunter Smith (football, basketball, baseball) *R*
Cameron Toomey-Stout (football, basketball, baseball) *R*
James Vidoni (football, basketball, baseball) *R*
Allison Wenzel (volleyball, basketball, track) *R*
Sarah Wright (volleyball, basketball, softball)

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Barring a major plot twist come track season, Jared Helmstadter will be the only CHS senior to have played 12 sports. (John Fisken photo)

   Barring a major plot twist come track season, Jared Helmstadter will be the only CHS senior to have played 12 seasons. (John Fisken photo)

I want to take a moment to tip my hat to Jared Helmstadter.

Why, you ask?

Well, there’s a lot of reasons. The Coupeville High School senior is a hard worker, a good teammate, a solid citizen, capable of being a cut-up or serious and has always seemed like just a good dude.

But, for the moment, we want to pay tribute to him for an achievement on the horizon.

Unless Jared suddenly takes an unexpected detour on us, when he turns out for track this spring he will become the ONLY person in the CHS Class of 2016 to have played the maximum 12 seasons in his prep career.

From the moment he stepped on campus, Mr. Helmstadter has played tennis and basketball and run track, season after season, a three-sport athlete for four years.

Coupeville Sports hit the internet in August, 2012, right as Jared was about to become a freshman, and he has never let me down.

At a school as tiny as CHS (smallest 1A school in the state), extra bodies on the bench is not always a luxury.

Coupeville needs every athlete it can get, especially those who choose to commit themselves year-round.

In the first year of this blog, 18 Wolves played three sports.

That jumped to 23 in 2013-2014, then retreated a bit the next year, falling to 20.

This year, as we sit in the middle of the school year, there are currently 22 Wolves — 12 girls and 10 boys — who have played both a fall and a winter sport.

How many will add a spring sport and fully punch the clock? Always a good question.

You never know when injuries will occur, and, as they get closer to graduation, some seniors opt to let go of athletics.

Looking at the list, I see at least three athletes who did not play a spring sport last year, and you never really know which way the freshmen will go (there are eight on the list currently) until we actually get there.

In a perfect world, we would hold and have 22 three-sport athletes come spring.

Reality says we could be looking at our lowest total in the last four years.

And that would be a shame for a lot of reasons. And also even more of a reason to hail Jared for his commitment in bucking the trend and leading by example.

The biggest argument for not playing three sports these days is “we’re in an era of specialization.”

Which is a load of crap big-city select coaches use to get money from parents.

I’m going to break it to you right now — barring a miracle, there’s not a single athlete currently at CHS who will see a single day as a professional athlete. Not one.

I would love for one of you to prove me wrong, and, if you do, I will stand next to the overpass wearing a huge sign that says “I’m an idiot!!” in your honor.

But, there ARE a lot of you who could go on to play college sports at various levels.

And guess what? If we look at the former Wolves who are currently doing just that, guess what they all had in common?

Yep, they played multiple sports in high school.

Joel Walstad, Ben Etzell, Nick Streubel, Mitch Pelroy, Hailey Hammer, Monica Vidoni and the only D-1 scholarship athlete we currently have — Tyler King — all were three-sport athletes at CHS.

Jake Tumblin and Josh Bayne spent most of their high school days as two-sport athletes, while softballer Madeline Roberts, the only “specialist” in the bunch, was also a cheerleader.

Of course, when she got to college, she went and surprised everyone by picking up basketball and becoming a two-sport star again for awhile.

Whether you dream of a D1 scholarship or just hope to keep playing at a community college, coaches at every level are adamant that they seek out athletes who play multiple sports.

And you know, I have no clue if Jared plans to play any of his sports after high school.

If he does, he has established work traits a coach desires.

If not, his days as a high school athlete, a time when he showed commitment, loyalty, a willingness to work with others, a desire to participate, will help him in whatever direction he goes in.

Either way, he wins.

I hope as many Wolf athletes as possible, current and future, look to Helmstadter, and match him.

Stretch yourself. Try something new. Your future will be brighter for the effort.

And the rest of us? We’ll be over here raising our glasses to you, Jared. You make your school, your town, your family, your coaches, your fans proud.

P.S. — Don’t skip track season, man. Or else I go back to misspelling your last name again!

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