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Jason McFadyen, shooting during an alumni game, made an auspicious debut for CHS basketball during the 1988-89 season. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It was the season after THE season.

The 1987-1988 Coupeville High School boys basketball team finished 19-6, won 12 straight games at one point, and went to the state tourney.

Then, everyone graduated.

Well, not totally everyone, but close.

When the 1988-1989 hoops season rolled around, there were only three returning players from the 13 who had scored a season before.

Tony Ford, who was the #6 scorer for the state-bound team, was back for his senior year, while Chad Nixon and Jason Legat, who each banked home a single bucket in 87-88, were also still around.

While the latter duo only combined for 16 points in 88-89, Ford seized his opportunity and scored much of his team’s buckets during his final go-round.

In fact, his 276 points, which gave him 432 for his prep career, was more than the next three Wolves combined to score that season.

Sophomore Jason McFadyen rattled home his first 122 varsity points in 88-89, the start of a 654-point career which has him sitting at #24 all-time in Wolf boys history.

But he was the only other CHS player to top 70 points that season, as the new-look Wolves struggled at times on the offensive end of the floor.

So, why is this all important?

For several reasons — the biggest being I have the scorebook from that 88-89 season, followed by we’re in a pandemic that has shut down games for nine months, and I need stuff to write about.

Plus, in the middle of an otherwise so-so season, Ford delivered one of the great single-game performances in program history.

So, let’s flip open the book and go back to a time when Wolf coach Ron Bagby still prowled the sidelines.

 

Sultan 37, Coupeville 16

Game one didn’t get off to a great start, as the Wolves were blanked 12-0 through the first eight minutes.

Improbably, CHS actually was within striking distance after three quarters of play, using a defensive lockdown to carve the deficit (slightly) back to 19-10.

But it wasn’t to be, as Sultan nearly doubled its point total with an 18-point eruption in the final frame, with six players scoring.

Coupeville’s leading scorer on opening night? Dean Grasser with a fairly-quiet six points.

 

Lopez 51, Coupeville 34

An improvement, with the Wolves down just 19-16 at the half.

Lopez had three guys finish with double-digit scoring, though, and that trio combined to score 30 of their 45 after the break, busting things open.

Ford did his best to counter, dropping in 10 of his team-high 13 in the second half, but his teammates only combined for eight points during the same time frame.

 

La Conner 52, Coupeville 17

Yep, not much to say about this one.

 

Darrington 64, Coupeville 30

Well, Ford banged home 18 points, so there was that, but the Wolves fell to 0-4.

 

Coupeville 56, Concrete 44

Best game of the season, and the best half Ford played in a CHS uniform.

When the teams went to the break, Coupeville held a 22-15 advantage, with Jesse Smith and Wayne Hardie each having tallied four points.

After halftime, it was Ford time, as the lanky gunner went off for 22 of his 28 points down the stretch.

All of his scoring came off of old-school two-point buckets, as he missed the one and only free throw attempt he had that night, and Coupeville went without a three-point bomb for the fourth time in five games.

 

Orcas Island 54, Coupeville 38

This one was knotted 31-31 heading into the fourth quarter, then the roof caved in on the Wolves.

Seven different Orcas players scored during a 23-7 run across the final eight minutes, putting a damper on a 25-point performance from Ford.

Having ended the previous game on a tear, he picked right back up, notching 15 of those points in the first half.

 

Friday Harbor 57, Coupeville 39

Fun fact – McFadyen, who, remember, would finish as this team’s #2 scorer, didn’t get his first points until game #7 of the season.

This was his fourth appearance, and, like the other three games, the young gun played in just the fourth quarter.

But this time he went off, dropping a pair of three-balls en route to an eight-point quarter, making him Coupeville’s leading scorer for the night.

Entering this game, CHS had connected on just one three-point shot all season, but with McFadyen’s two-fer and a deep bomb by Frank Marti, things were changing.

At least a bit.

 

Coupeville 38, Crescent 36

McFadyen played in two quarters this time, but didn’t score.

Ford, after tallying nine points in the first quarter, was held to a single bucket over the next 24 minutes.

The Wolves went back to hitting no three-balls.

But, they still won, thanks to a 10-8 fourth-quarter edge in which Brandy Ambrose (4), Grasser (4), and John Zimmerman (2) came up big.

 

Foster 71, Coupeville 43

Ford tossed in 20, but the other team had four guys hit for double-digits.

 

Sultan 49, Coupeville 44

Not as close as it looks, as the Wolves needed a 17-6 run in the fourth to narrow things.

Finally given the chance to play a full four quarters at the varsity level, McFadyen tossed in a team-high 17 points, including a pair of three-balls, while Ford was the perfect complement, banking home 16.

 

Watson-Groen 52, Coupeville 30

Down 17-4 at the first break, things didn’t get much better for the Wolves, who were led by Ford’s 15.

 

La Conner 59, Coupeville 31

Close first half, not so close second half.

Clinging to a 24-21 advantage at the break, La Conner went on a 35-10 run after that, negating another solid night by Ford, who filled the scorebook with 18 points.

 

Darrington 73, Coupeville 52

Trailing by 30 after three, the Wolves closed strongly with a 22-13 advantage in the final quarter.

McFadyen hit for 17, Ford 16, and, after nailing just seven three-balls on the season, Coupeville netted six in one game here.

Five of them came off of the fingertips of their hot-shooting sophomore stud.

 

Coupeville 50, Concrete 43

Back in the win column in what must have been a wild one.

Up by seven heading into the fourth, the Wolves frittered the entire lead away, then redeemed themselves in overtime.

Tied 43-43 at the end of regulation, CHS held its hosts scoreless in the extra frame, making the long bus trip home with Bagby more pleasant than it might have been with a total collapse.

McFadyen, Marti, and Ford combined for Coupeville’s final seven points, with Ford topping all scorers on the night with 18.

 

Orcas Island 54, Coupeville 47

The first time these teams met, it was tied after three quarters. This time CHS was up by a bucket headed into the fourth.

But, once again, the Wolves fell short against Orcas, despite 18 (with four treys) from McFadyen.

 

Coupeville 49, Lopez 43

Revenge, as the Wolves avenged an earlier loss to Lopez by suddenly becoming fourth-quarter aces.

Down 35-34 on the road, CHS closed on a 15-8 tear, with McFadyen scoring seven of his game-high 18 in the final frame.

He got help from Hardie (4), Marti (2), and Ford (2) down the stretch, with Ford once again busting double digits with a 15-point night.

 

Friday Harbor 67, Coupeville 41

The visitors got points from all 11 players on their roster and pulled away early.

One bright spot for Coupeville came when Sean Dillon connected on his first varsity three-ball, a precursor of what was to come as he rattled home 469 career points as a Wolf, putting him #48 in program history.

 

Watson-Groen 67, Coupeville 54

Ford pumped in 24, his third-best total on the season, and McFadyen singed the nets for three more treys, but the visitors led from start to finish.

Leading the way for Watson-Groen was Brad Francisco, who torched the joint for 26, the most scored by any Wolf rival that season.

 

And thus the campaign ended, with 4-14 a step back after a trip to state.

But, the path for future success was set.

During the 89-90 season, six Wolves scored 100 or more points, the first time the program reached that mark in a decade.

The next season, the 90-91 team had four players top 200, with a fifth missing by just six points.

McFadyen led the Wolves in scoring both those seasons, while Marti, Dillon, and Ben Biskovich, who joined the varsity in 89-90, all topped 400 career points.

 

Varsity scoring totals for the 88-89 season:

Tony Ford – 276
Jason McFadyen – 122
Dean Grasser  68
Frank Marti – 64
Brandy Ambrose – 54
Wayne Hardie – 35
John Zimmerman – 34
Jesse Smith – 18
Chad Nixon – 14
Sean Dillon – 11
Ed Cook – 6
Duane Score – 6
Jason Legat – 2

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Thanks to a time machine, Kit Manzanares (left) returns, still in his prime, to clash with Wiley Hesselgrave. (Photos by Geoff Newton (left) and JohnsPhotos.net)

Who’s ready for some holiday angina?

There are no new basketball games until Jan. 4, so perfect time for some know-it-all in the bleachers to start ranking current and former players, and debating who would be better in their prime.

Sadly, I was too young to experience the glory days of Coupeville boys basketball in the ’70s, and I spent 1994-2009 marinating in video store life, thereby missing another pretty good run of hoops highlights.

What that leaves us is a showdown between two time periods when I was actively invested in following CHS basketball, game by game, player by player.

My first run, from Jan. 1990 through the end of the 93-94 hoops season, is my Whidbey News-Times days.

My second run covers the 2012-2013 season to today, and is my Coupeville Sports days.

With that in mind, my picks for 10-man teams (delivered in alphabetic order), plus a wild card for each squad.

And, of course, since we’re in the business of creating arguments, my prediction for who would win if both teams, in their primes, met on the hardwood.

 

1990-1994:

Ben Biskovich – The Scottie Pippen of his generation, a star willing to do all the little things to make everyone around him better.

Ross Buckner – Would run through a wall for you, and tried, more than once.

Sean Dillon – Could get you buckets any time, any place, any way.

Frank Marti – Hard-nosed defender who could go off on offense at will.

Jason McFadyen – Cerebral floor leader who was one of the best pure shooters in program history.

Brad Haslam – The most imposing player I have seen in a CHS uniform, ever. A man, never a boy.

Kit Manzanares – Confounding and electrifying. Often came close to giving his coach a stroke, but could bring the heat like few others.

Gabe McMurray – A genuine superstar who could control a game like few other Wolves, before or after.

Brad Miller – Big, bad and bald (thanks to a shaved head) – a scary man to run into down in the paint.

Virgil Roehl – A rock, an absolute rock. Pulled the Wolves through a down period by putting them on his muscular shoulders.

Wild Card: Pete Petrov

Now, we know he became one of the most dynamic players in CHS hoops history – an explosive scorer and world-class physical specimen.

But, if we’re playing fair, he only saw the floor in a handful of varsity games during his freshman season in ’93-’94.

If I stay at the News-Times another year, Petrov is a slam dunk to make the team. But I didn’t, so he didn’t.

 

2012-2018:

Anthony Bergeron – He blossomed from a quiet bystander to being his team’s leading scorer, and dunker, by his senior year.

Aaron Curtin – Sweet shooter, quality passer, hard worker. Baseball and tennis were his calling cards, but don’t underestimate his hoops skills.

Ben Etzell – An epic collector of bruises, gashes and black eyes, as he hurtled around the gym, refusing to believe he couldn’t catch up to every single loose ball and wayward rebound.

Jordan Ford – Blue collar warrior who got most of his points off of rebounds and hustle plays. Old school work ethic in a new school player.

Wiley Hesselgrave – Tough as they came; played like a bull careening through the streets of Pamplona, goring all the idiots who dared get in his way.

Risen Johnson – Electrifying barely begins to describe his floor style, where he was always one step away from disaster, one step away from nirvana.

Gavin O’Keefe – Injuries decimated huge chunks of his career, but when he was healthy, he was a gunner who hustled on every play.

Hunter Smith – A killer in every aspect, his game would work in any era. Made everyone around him better, every night.

Ethan Spark – One of the most dangerous shooters in program history, a guy who could knife you from any angle at any time.

Nick Streubel – Football big man who cleared a path of destruction in the paint while showing a deceptively soft touch on his shots.

Wild Card: Hawthorne Wolfe

A mere freshman, he leads Coupeville’s varsity in scoring, explodes with potential while redefining laid-back cool, and I could easily see him ending his career camped among the legends.

He also has yet to play 10 games of high school ball.

Come back in three years and we’ll have this conversation again.

 

Who wins:

OK, this is not played today. Instead, this is a mythical game, where, thanks to time travel, all players are in their high school primes and step on the court at 17 or 18 years old.

And…

Old school beats the crud out of new school, and I mean that in two ways.

The ’90s guys were just far more physical, top to bottom, and the modern-day guys would have major trouble dealing with big, bad brutes like Brad Haslam, Brad Miller and Virgil Roehl.

Nick Streubel would not be easily moved, Jordan Ford is severely underrated for how effective he was in the paint, and Wiley Hesselgrave is as tough as any player, ever, but I saw the Brads play live.

They were scary dudes in a way no modern Wolf player approaches. When they walked on the court, rival players started wincing before tip-off.

Also, while Hunter Smith is the top scorer in this scenario – finishing 12th all-time among Wolf boys in career points — the older crew has far more genuine scoring threats.

Gabe McMurray was a beast, Jason McFadyen could torch you from any place on the floor and Roehl was a tower of power who dominated on the offensive glass.

The young guys have Hesselgrave, but he was more a grinder than a streak scorer, and Ethan Spark, while a great shooter, would be catching elbows to the chin all game from the ’90s guys.

I don’t think it would necessarily be a blowout, but if I’m betting a crisp fiver on the result, I know where my money goes.

It goes on the old school bruisers.

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   A few years have passed since his high school glory days, but Jason McFadyen can still shoot the rock with the best of them. (John Fisken photo)

First things first, it’s McFadyen, not McFayden.

You would think if a guy played varsity basketball for three solid seasons, and that guy led the team in scoring back-to-back years to cap his career, they would know how to spell his name.

But, you would be wrong.

During his run on the court at Coupeville High School from 1987-1991, McFadyen, who also was the starting QB on the undefeated ’90 Wolf football squad, had his last name misspelled 43 out of 61 times.

By the HOME team’s scorekeeper.

A lesser player would have been stung by the indignity. Maybe even stopped in their tracks.

McFadyen, if he even knew about it at the time, paid no heed, and worked his way into becoming one of the best, and possibly, most underrated, players the Wolf hoops program has ever seen.

As I work my way through CHS basketball history, I have compiled scoring stats for 37 of the 100 Wolf boys teams.

While there’s still a lot to be unearthed, and many hours in the archives ahead, many of the teams still left will undoubtedly be lower-scoring ones based on the pace of the game during the early decades in which they played.

So, while McFadyen’s place among the best scorers of all time may shift a bit as I go forward, I doubt he’ll tumble very far.

As of the moment, out of all the Wolf gunners whose stats I have, he is the #12 scorer all-time, having rattled home 654 points from the seventh game of his sophomore season to the final game of his senior campaign.

To put that in perspective, the all-time CHS leader is Jeff Stone, who knocked down 1,137 points in three seasons (1967-1970) and the current #10 on my list, Virgil Roehl (1990-1994), tallied 674.

As I continue to dig, there are a couple of old-school legends whose stats I expect to be strong, but I can’t see any way McFadyen isn’t in the top 20 when I’m done.

His place among the greats is a testament to his hard work, his sweet shot and not giving up.

During his freshman season in ’87-’88, McFadyen was busy shooting out the lights for the JV team, while that year’s varsity squad was on its way to qualifying for the state tourney, the last Wolf boys hoops squad to make the trip.

Twice that season CHS coach Ron Bagby brought his frosh phenom up to the varsity bench (where his name was misspelled both times in the book), but neither time did the wily round-ball guru send McFadyen into the game.

Either playing the long game (or not realizing what he had), Bagby started off the next year by giving the now-sophomore gunner exactly three fourth-quarter appearances in the season’s first six games.

Having lost most of their state team to graduation, the Wolves were struggling in ’88-’89, with Tony Ford often left high and dry as the team’s lone scoring weapon.

Until game #7 — Dec. 17, 1988 — when Bagby finally unleashed the beast.

McFadyen entered the game, another double-digit CHS loss, in the fourth quarter. This time he made his mark.

Coupeville had hit exactly one three-point shot all season up to that moment, but McFadyen drained two treys in the final quarter, part of an eight-point explosion which left him as the leading scorer on the night.

And then nothing. Or almost nothing. Two points in a little bit of playing time over the next two games.

Welcome to Dec. 29, 1988, the first time Bagby allowed McFadyen to play all four quarters in a varsity game.

It was the tenth game of the season, Sultan was the foe, and McFadyen took control, raining down 17 points, with two three-balls and a flawless 5-5 performance at the free-throw line.

CHS lost 49-44 (it was a rough rebuilding season), but suddenly there was a new sheriff in town, and he had a license to shoot.

Ford continued to bang away, leading the team in scoring with 276 points on the season, while McFadyen hit double digits six more times in the second half of the season.

He topped out with back-to-back 18-point games against Orcas and Lopez and finished the year second on the team in scoring, compiling his 122 points in basically half a season.

With Ford set to graduate, the torch was passed. They still couldn’t spell McFadyen’s name, but there was little doubt he was the #1 scoring option moving forward.

During his junior and senior seasons, Coupeville, having built its roster back up, made strong runs at postseason glory.

In ’88-’89 only two Wolves had cracked 100 points, but in ’89-’90, that figure shot up to six, with McFadyen raining down a team-high 271.

He was joined by Ben Biskovich (213), Sean Dillon (200), Frank Marti (177), Wayne Hardie (143) and Jesse Smith (111).

Then, during McFadyen’s senior campaign, CHS came within six points of having five different players top the 200-point mark.

McFadyen banked home 261, while Dillon (258), Brad Haslam (230) and Marti (221) were close on his heels.

Give Biskovich (194) three more baskets and the ’90-’91 team would have been just the second team in the last four decades to achieve the five-guys-with-200-points feat.

Instead, that ’87-’88 state squad, with Timm Orsborn (345), Dan Nieder (313), Joe Tessaro (260), Brad Brown (253) and Chad Gale (225) stands alone.

Though, fun side fact, even with all that firepower, the ’87-’88 team is still NOT the highest-scoring in school history, a record handily owned by Jeff Stone, Corey Cross and the immortal ’69-’70 team.

But anyway, we were talking about McFadyen, a master of consistency.

He topped double figures in scoring 29 times over his final two seasons (14 as a junior, 15 as a senior) and this is sort of uncanny — scored a career-high 21 four times.

Never 22, never 20.

But 21, a winning mark in Vegas and on the hardwood, four separate times, against Mount Vernon Christian and Snohomish County Christian as a junior and against Orcas Island and Concrete in his final season.

Scan through the books and you notice he also scored consistently, mixing in three-balls and free throws with steady and dependable two-point shots.

Three-point shooting records are hard to track, and the shot itself only hit the high school stage in the late ’80s, but McFadyen would stand somewhere around #6 or #7 all-time for CHS.

He trails just Brad Sherman, Pete Petrov, Mike Bagby, Ty Blouin and Rich Morris and is right there in a tussle with Kramer O’Keefe and Alex Evans.

Every single one of those other players benefited from the game putting a bigger emphasis on the three-ball during their playing days — the ’90s and early 2000s — proving McFadyen was ahead of his time.

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Jason McFadyen

   Wolf QB Jason McFadyen runs the offense during the last truly great CHS football season. (Photo courtesy Carmen McFadyen)

It came from the dusty "archives" -- Ron Bagby's football contract for the 1990 season.

   It came from the dusty “archives” — Ron Bagby’s football contract for his undefeated season. (Jack Sell photo)

team

The core of the 1990 Wolf gridiron squad. (Photo courtesy Noah Roehl)

Ron Bagby made $86.80 per game in 1990, while delivering arguably the best football season in Coupeville High School history.

That’s just one of the facts I discovered this morning, while digging through several boxes of long-buried, and mostly hand-written, Wolf gridiron records.

The boxes were recovered, Indiana Jones-style, after CHS Athletic Director Willie Smith led me through a maze of back rooms ripe with the smell of history (or maybe just unwashed uniforms).

“Don’t breathe through your mouth!!!” he giggled.

While the mass of paperwork stashed in the boxes should spur several stories, the one which immediately jumps forward is the tale of the ’90 football squad.

With the recent installation of the school’s new Wall of Fame in the CHS gym, current players can gaze upwards towards two football league titles — 1974 and 1990 — both won by teams which went undefeated in the regular season.

While CHS fell 34-14 in its 1990 state playoff opener, falling to visiting Rainier on a brutally windy prairie afternoon, that squad still looms large in Wolf lore.

Through the remainder of Bagby’s 26-year coaching career, and much shorter stints by his successors — Jay Silver, Tony Maggio, Brett Smedley and now first-year man Jon Atkins — Coupeville has never made it back to state in football.

While the school’s basketball, track, baseball and tennis teams have continued to pile up league titles and bring home state trophies, the football program has been on a bit of a dry streak.

As they aim for their own shot of glory in 2016, they can look back to ’90 for inspiration.

It was a year when Coupeville claimed 10 of the 23 spots on the All-League team, yet somehow Bagby was passed over for Coach of the Year by the Northwest B League.

Linemen Chris Frey and Mark Lester and running back/defensive back Todd Brown were All-League on both sides of the ball, while four other Wolves got the nod at one position apiece.

Matt Cross (offensive line), Brad Haslam (kicker), Todd Smith (defensive end) and Frank Marti (linebacker) joined the two-way honorees.

Concrete, which held Coupeville to a season-low in points (while still losing to the Wolves) had seven All-League picks, with Darrington (4), Friday Harbor (2) and Orcas-Lopez (2) rounding out the rosters.

The biggest surprise in 2016 is looking at an All-League sheet and seeing Darrington’s Rob Wales listed as Coach of the Year during a season when Bagby’s marauders beat the Loggers 18-8 and went (ahem) undefeated.

Moving on, the 1990 season is one of the rare ones for which I’ve actually discovered a fully-detailed team stat chart.

No poking through piles of papers, adding things up by hand, and then discovering at the last second that yes, we are missing a stat sheet for game #4 and David can feel the brains leaking out of his ear.

Now, of course, one caveat.

While the offensive stats are all there, I could find only a smidgen of the defensive ones. So, no tackles or sacks, just interceptions.

Hey, it’s a start.

The tale of the tape:

Coupeville beats Sultan 35-6
Coupeville beats Cascade sophomores 29-22
Coupeville beats Mariner sophomores 44-22
Coupeville beats Snohomish sophomores 25-6
Coupeville beats Friday Harbor 28-21
Coupeville beats Concrete 10-0
Coupeville beats Darrington 18-8
Coupeville beats Orcas-Lopez 36-0
Coupeville beats La Conner 41-22

Team stats:

Total points: 266-107 in favor of CHS
First downs: 148-71 in favor of CHS
Passing: 61-113 for 933 yards and 8 TDs
Rushing: 359 carries for 2,340 yards and 28 TDs
Total Yards: 3,273 (364 a game)

Individual stats:

Passing:

Jason McFadyen 60-108 for 892 yards and 7 TDs
Frank Marti 1-2 for 25 yards
Brad Haslam 1-3 for 16 yards and 1 TD

Receiving:

Ben Biskovich 22 catches for 345 yards
Brian Barr 13-209
Marti 11-183
Haslam 11-62
Todd Brown 2-7

Rushing:

Brown 156 carries for 1248 yards
Marti 80-522
Haslam 45-273
Kit Manzanares 27-170
McFadyen 17-88
Jason McManigle 3-20
Les Hall 6-19

Touchdowns:

Marti 12
Brown 11
Biskovich 4
Haslam 4
McFadyen 3
Barr 1
McManigle 1

PAT:

Haslam 22

FG:

Haslam 2

INT:

Biskovich 5
Barr 2
Haslam 2
Marti 2

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Jason McFadyen, back in his homer-hittin' CHS baseball days. (Photos courtesy the Carmen McFadyen Archives)

   Jason McFadyen, back in his homer-hittin’ CHS baseball days. (Photos courtesy the Carmen McFadyen Archives)

The end of the road for the '91 Wolf baseball squad.

The end of the road for the ’91 Wolf baseball squad.

What a difference 25 years makes.

In the gap that exists between this year’s Coupeville High School baseball squad winning a league title and the last Wolf diamond squad to do so, technology has exploded, countries have fallen (and risen), the Cold War ended and baseball players started looking like they were wearing pajamas.

But fashion trends aside (modern-day players need to pull their pants up and start showing their socks again, and that’s my rant for the day…), how do these two squads compare?

Well, from looking at score-books, the ’91 squad was a heck of a lot more dominant, for sure. At least in terms of inflicting beat-downs.

Record-wise, they’re kind of similar.

Playing in the six-team Northwest B Conference at the time, the old school Wolves went 9-1 in league play, losing only to Darrington in their finale.

By comparison, today’s squad, competing in a four-team 1A Olympic League, sits at 7-1 with one game left.

But the ’91 squad won 12 of 13 at one point, slicing through opponents on their way to finishing 13-6 after a remarkably tough playoff loss (more on that in a bit).

The current squad is 10-9 and guaranteed at least three more games, two in the playoffs, so they can tie the win total, but have already lost more games and haven’t been able to put together a streak to match the ’91ers.

What really sets the two teams apart is their offense.

While today’s team has outscored opponents 106-90, the ’91 team bopped foes to a 145-79 tune, and that’s skewed a bit by the 16 runs they gave up in their playoff loss.

The modern-day Wolves have poked out a fair amount of singles, but their big blows have been limited to doubles and an occasional triple.

In ’91, Coupeville hit the long-ball, and they hit it regularly.

As I deciphered the book and newspaper clippings from the time, I found at least four Wolves — Brad Haslam, Jason McFadyen, Matt Cross and Frank Marti — who went yard that season.

After being shut-out twice by Sequim on Opening Day, Coupeville only scored fewer than four runs in a game once the remainder of the year.

Along the way, they carved up Grace Academy for 16 runs, La Conner for 14 and 13, Winlock for 13, Sultan and Concrete for 12 apiece and Friday Harbor, Concrete and Orcas for nine in separate games.

In those 10 league games (two each against Darrington, Friday Harbor, La Conner, Orcas and Concrete) they outscored their foes by an 84-25 count.

So, through 19 games, the ’91 squad averaged 7.63 runs per game (while giving up 4.16), while the ’16 team sits at 5.58/4.74.

The two teams also differ in their pitching styles.

Senior CJ Smith is the epitome of calm, cool and collected as the staff ace this year.

The ’91 team featured some Marti and a lot of Haslam, who was a raging inferno on the hill, a scary, scary giant who flung a no-hitter and topped double digits in strikeouts in more than two-thirds of his starts.

Where this year’s team would like to differ the most from the ’91 squad, though, is in playoff success.

Back then, the Wolves were primed to make a long run, only to fall a strike short.

Coupeville opened the regional playoffs at Marysville, playing a Winlock team which carried a 9-9 mark into the game, but had won its final six games.

The Wolves, getting a big day at the plate from seniors McFadyen and Chris Frey, who combined for seven hits, charged out to a 13-6 lead heading into the seventh and final inning.

Faced with the possibility they would be playing a second game in the same day if they won the opener, Coupeville’s coaches had juggled their pitching staff to deal with inning restrictions then in force.

That kept Haslam off the mound until the team fell apart in the seventh, and, by the time he took the ball, things were getting out of control.

Having surrendered four runs thanks to a run of errors (the Wolves had nine miscues on the day), CHS clung to a 13-11 lead with two outs and two strikes.

Not yet in a flow, Haslam missed on a pitch and Winlock took advantage, hammering a two-run single up the middle to send the game to extra innings.

Once there, the Wolves bats utterly deserted them for one of the few times in their miracle run, and they fell 16-13 in 10 innings.

The loss, while painful in the moment, capped one of the most successful school years for boys sports in the 116-year history of the school.

McFadyen had quarterbacked the Wolf football team to a 9-0 mark, a league title and a home state playoff game, then moved to the basketball court and sparked CHS to the tri-district playoffs.

Talked into joining baseball at the last second, he made it three-for-three that spring, then departed along with Frey, Marti and hot-hitting Brian Barr.

As we look back at ’91, there’s also one semi-tenuous connection between the two programs.

Jon Crimmins, who was a varsity bench player as a sophomore in ’91, is now a dad, and his son Aiden, plays for the Wolf JV in 2016.

And why do I bring that up?

Because it gives me the chance to recount this story from the ’91 playoff game.

The elder Crimmins and his teammates were all given per diem money for food when they went to regionals, but he and fellow sophomore Keith Currier opted to spend most of their money on baseball cards.

“We sat around the hotel room and opened packs of cards all day. That was my playoff payoff!,” Jon Crimmins said with a laugh.

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