Posts Tagged ‘Jason McFadyen’

Katie Smith (top, right) with mom DeeAnna

   Katie Smith (top, right) with mom DeeAnna and fellow Hall inductees (l to r) Jason McFadyen, Ben Biskovich, Greg Oldham and (representing the 1992 CHS football team) Chris “Kit” Manzanares.

Big wins, big personalities.

The members of the 16th class to be inducted into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame all possessed the second, which helped them achieve the first.

Regardless of the sport, and most of them crossed over to multiple activities, they remain high achievers in “real” life whose impact on Wolf Nation still lingers.

So we welcome to the podium Jason McFadyen, Greg Oldham, Katie Smith, Ben Biskovich and the 1992 Homecoming Miracle.

In future days, you’ll be able to find them at the top of the blog, under the Legends tab.

McFadyen and Biskovich will always be linked by their days playing catch for the 1990 Coupeville High School football squad, the last Wolf team to go undefeated, but they both accomplished a ton in other areas.

Biskovich, who has gone on to be a partner in three physical therapy clinics with wife Karin, is a successful runner these days, keeping alive the legacy of his days as a Wolf, when he was a state finalist in the 110 high hurdles.

A captain in football and basketball, he remains one of the hardest-working players ever to grace CHS, albeit it one who did so with eyebrow firmly cocked, Fonzie-style.

“Have a great time, it goes fast,” Biskovich told me in an interview. “Train, practice and play like you’ve got something to prove, like you’re fighting for a roster spot and don’t want to be taken off the field or court, so that afterwards you have no regrets.

“Win or lose, you can look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I could not have done anything more.”

That was a philosophy shared by his quarterback.

A four-sport letter winner at CHS (football, basketball, track, baseball), McFadyen was the brains that drove the Wolf gridiron squad, but garnered much of his glory on the basketball court.

Two-time team MVP. Two-time selection to the league’s All-Defensive team. First-Team All-Conference.

And he can still bring it, as he proved by leading his squad to a title in the most recent Tom Roehl Roundball Classic, a tournament which annually brings back a who’s-who of former Wolf stars.

McFadyen, who these days runs Windermere’s property management division and is the President of the Greater Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce, was a winner back in the day, and remains a winner in the present.

Our third inductee, Oldham, put together a five-year run that few, if any, coaches at CHS, can match.

Taking over a successful Wolf girls’ basketball program — previous coach Willie Smith had led the program to the school’s first-ever win at state in any sport in 1999-2000 — Oldham went on a tear, winning nearly two-thirds of his games.

From 2000-2001 to 2004-2005, his squads went 85-43 overall and won at an even higher clip in Cascade Conference play, where they were 45-11.

Led by stars such as Brianne King, Ashley Ellsworth-Bagby and Lexie Black, the Wolves won a school-record 23 games in 2001-2002, reached the state semifinals and eventually claimed a pair of state tournament banners that grace the gym wall.

Now a college coach, Oldham’s impact during his time at Coupeville can not be denied.

The same could be said of Smith, one of the most underrated of all Wolf athletes.

Katie, a graceful young woman who has gone on to be an all-star aunt to her many nephews, was that rock-solid athlete (and person) who every team needs at its heart.

Whether she was playing basketball, volleyball, softball, or (late in her prep career) dazzling folks on the track oval, Smith was a team leader who led by example and not by screaming.

Part of a huge clan of athletic over-achievers, some of whom will probably join her in the Hall in the coming weeks and months, Katie is prairie royalty, with Sherman blood flowing through her veins.

She honored the legacy, and has always made her family and town very proud with the way she carries herself, on and off the athletic field.

A Coupeville Hall of Fame without her? Not much point.

And, as we reach the end of today’s festivities, five days before the 2015 Homecoming football game, we take a trip in the way-back machine to pay tribute to one of the greatest comebacks I have ever witnessed in person.

It was Oct. 30, 1992 and Gina (Dozier) Slowik was the senior class queen, while on the field, the Wolves trailed league rival Foster 21-6 with only a quarter to play.

Cue the fog. Cue the comeback for the ages.

Scoring three touchdowns, and then sealing the deal with an interception in the end zone at the final buzzer, Coupeville roared back for a 25-21 win that still seems amazing 23 years later.

Wolf quarterback Troy Blouin started things with a one-yard keeper, but the two-point conversion failed.

No problem, as Coupeville pulled off a trick play in which Blouin pitched the ball to running back Todd Brown, normally known for slamming face-first into would-be tacklers.

On this night, though, Brown pivoted and fired a bomb, dropping a 32-yard scoring strike into the arms of Kit Manzanares.

Nothing would be easy, however, as the Wolves promptly missed the extra point, leaving them down 21-18.

Wolf coach Ron Bagby unleashed defensive Hell in a wild bid to get the ball back, and it worked better than anticipated, as Foster fumbled the ball and it skipped into the end zone.

To this day, no one is really sure who landed on the ball, but he was wearing red and black, and the resulting touchdown sent the crowd into a tizzy.

But, even as the ramshackle CHS press box (nothing has changed in 23 years) was rockin’, Foster got two more chances to rewrite the miracle.

The first failed on fourth down, but, after a Wolf fumble while trying to run the clock out (Bagby may have had a stroke at that moment…), Foster had time for a Hail Mary.

The ball went up, the crowd went eerily silent, the ball descended, confusion reigned and then Blouin shot out of the pack, holding the ball aloft, restarting his coach’s heart and igniting pandemonium.


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Wolf QB Jason McFadyen operates under center during the undefeated 1990 season.

   Wolf QB Jason McFadyen operates under center during the undefeated 1990 season. (Photo courtesy Jason McFadyen)

Artifacts from the greatest

   Artifacts from the olden days — a preseason memo from Wolf coach Ron Bagby and a program from the home state playoff game. (Courtesy Tom Roehl Archives)

It's a photo of a photo.

I took a photo of a 25-year-old photo. I got skills.

Let’s throw a party.

The greatest football team in Coupeville High School history, the undefeated 1990 squad, hits a magical milestone this year.

It will be 25 years since that Wolf squad, led by the precision passing of Jason McFadyen and an unstoppable running attack, went 9-0, outscoring its opponents 258-107.

While they fell to Rainier in a home state quarterfinal playoff game played on a windswept Mickey Clark Field Nov. 10, 1990, they remain the gold standard.

No Wolf team has come close to that win total since then, and that trip to the state playoffs, the fourth in school history, was also the last one a CHS gridiron squad has earned.

Which is why we need to take a moment this season and acknowledge that squad.

And, in a moment of perfect symmetry, I have the ideal time.

Coupeville plays four home games this coming season, all in October.

The first three are 1A Olympic League contests (Oct. 2 against Port Townsend, Oct. 9 against Klahowya and Homecoming Oct. 16 against Chimacum).

The regular-season finale, though, on Friday, Oct. 30 is a non-conference affair against Concrete.

Which would be the perfect game to honor the ’90 squad, since back then Concrete was a fellow Northwest B League opponent, and the Wolves beat Concrete 10-0 in the season’s biggest win.

Frank Marti capped a 122-yard rushing performance with a one-yard touchdown plunge in the fourth quarter, then Brad Haslam dropped the punctuation mark with a 34-yard field goal.

Wins over Darrington, Orcas Island and La Conner would cap the regular season, but win #6, coming over the power team in the league, was the one that shocked the world.

So, we need to make this happen.

Whether it’s the Coupeville Booster Club, school officials, current football coaches, the players on that team, or us, the fans, we have three months to make this a reality.

At halftime on Oct. 30, the ’90 squad should come back to claim the Cow Town field.

So, here, from that playoff roster, are the guys we’re looking to find.

If you know them, if you are them, spread the word. We’re gonna make this happen.

1990 Coupeville Wolves:


Ron Bagby
Brian O’Hara
Tom Roehl (RIP)
Jon Prater


Brent Fitzgerald


Brian Barr
Ben Biskovich
Sean Dillon
Chris Frey
Les Hall
Mark Lester
Frank Marti
Jason McFadyen
Ryan Samplawski
Aaron Williams


Danny Bonacci
Matt Cross
Brad Haslam
Van Kellems
Ben Russell
Todd Smith
Nate Steele
Tracy Wilson


Troy Blouin
Todd Brown
Ted Clifton
Eric Lester
Craig McGregor
Gerald McIntosh
Jason McManigle
David McMillan


Ross Buckner
Scott Gadbois
Scott Kirkwood
Kit Manzanares
Jerimiah Prater
Virgil Roehl
Joe Staples
Kevin Steiner

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Jason McFadyen with daughters Kate (left) and Pearl.

Jason McFadyen with daughters Kate (left) and Pearl.

The Four Amigos -- back (l to r) Ben Biskovich, Frank Marti, front (Sean Dillon, McFadyen).

The Four Amigos — back (l to r) Ben Biskovich, Frank Marti, front (Sean Dillon, McFadyen).

It is one of the most memorable images in Coupeville High School sports history.

The photo, from late 1990, shows Wolf football coach Ron Bagby tilting into the wind, watching perhaps the greatest gridiron squad in school history fall in a home playoff game.

The look on his face is one of hope fighting with resignation, and it defines what was a 20+ year career.

CHS was undefeated and ranked fifth in the state going into that playoff game, due in no small part to senior quarterback Jason McFadyen.

A captain who lettered in four sports (football, basketball, track and baseball) while winning numerous awards before graduating in 1991, he remains one of the best to ever carry the Wolf logo into battle.

25 years later, one moment remains firmly lodged in McFadyen’s memory.

“The game that stands out the most is the game at Concrete,” he said. “They were Coupeville’s biggest rival until we switched leagues in the early/mid ’90s.

“Unless I’m mistaken, until we beat them that year no Wolf team had done so — and we beat them handily.”

While he sparkled on the gridiron, the hard-court is where McFadyen’s heart has always lived.

A team captain, he was named First-Team All-Conference as a senior and was the team MVP his final two seasons. His defensive prowess was legendary, twice netting him a position on the league’s All-Defensive team.

“I just always loved it, from my childhood days of shooting hoops till midnight in my backyard with my best friend, Chad, to the days when I “found” a key to the gym and was able to shoot late at night there,” McFadyen said.

And yet, as the years have passed, he has discovered that, as much as he loves basketball, football is the sport that leaves the deepest ache.

“Funny thing is, I thought I’d miss basketball the most after high school, but the sport I missed the most was football,” McFadyen said. “You can play basketball at anytime, join leagues, open gym, but you’ll probably never play full-contact football again…”

McFadyen had a chance to return to his old court this past weekend, when he played on the title-winning team in the annual Tom Roehl Roundball Classic.

Getting a chance to play in the alumni tourney, and honor one of his former coaches, is special for the former Wolf star.

“Coach Roehl was a good coach and an even better person — you can see that in the kind of kids he raised,” McFadyen said. “You don’t really appreciate people at a younger age, but looking back he was definitely someone who deserved respect and appreciation from the kids he coached.

“More speed! Anyone who played for him will recognize that classic quote and repeat it in their best Coach Roehl voice.”

All of his coaches had a big impact on his life, but maybe none more so than Bagby, who ran both the football and basketball programs at the time.

“He always pushed me to be better and work harder,” McFadyen said. “That wasn’t always something we agreed on, but he was the coach, so agree or not, he was right. To this day we remain close friends.

Not that the two didn’t have their moments. But now, years down the road, McFadyen can see what his coach was trying to accomplish.

“One day senior year I got to basketball practice and he was all over me when I didn’t dive for a ball that I could have gotten and he lost it. I mean, it was practice!,” McFadyen said. “For the next two weeks it was like I couldn’t do anything right; he was constantly riding me.

“Finally, we were at Watson Groen and he cornered me in the locker room after the rest of the team had gone out for warm-ups. He asked me what my problem was; I replied, you’re all over me for no reason! What’s YOUR problem, coach??

“He said, “I expect more from you than I do everybody else. Right then, at that moment, I got it. I have never thanked him for that, but I need to.”

But, even with strong coaches, most of life’s lessons came from home, where parents Jack and Carmen McFadyen raised Jason and big sis Aleshia (McFadyen) Mitten.

Along with his All-League honors and MVP awards, McFadyen was an Honorable Mention Academic All American, a US Army Reserve National Scholar Athlete and a member of the National Honor Society.

That dual success, mixing athletics and academics, sprang from the lessons learned from his parents.

“The real mentors in my life were my parents. They taught me responsibility, showed me love, and what it means to be a good person, and eventually a good parent,” McFadyen said. “There wasn’t one game they weren’t at; even if it meant taking off work to drive to Darrington to sit in the rain to watch me play, they were always there.

“I believe I am a good father because of my parents, because of the parents they were.”

McFadyen is now raising two young daughters of his own, eight-year-old Pearl and seven-year-old Kate, and passing on those same lessons.

A licensed Realtor for 12 years, he has worked for Windermere, first in Redmond then back on The Rock that he once fervently sought to escape.

“I was always the guy who wanted to get the Hell off the Island the day after high school and didn’t see myself ever coming back,” McFadyen said. “But, once you get off the Island, you realize there’s no better place to live and raise kids than back home … so I moved back home.”

He’s now happily entrenched on Whidbey with his daughters and “the woman who owns my heart,” Annie Cash.

McFadyen runs Windermere’s property management division, which has taken Best of Whidbey two years running.

He has also served on the Realtor board of directors and the Island County Housing Board and is in his second term as President of the Greater Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce.

When not working, he stays busy with the women in his life.

And, if his offspring choose to follow in his athletic footsteps, he will be there for them the way his parents were for him.

“We enjoy time on our boat, traveling, golf, and whatever else the girls may think up that day,” McFadyen said.

“I would support my daughters should they decide to get into sports. Both are athletic, and I have coached their T-ball teams,” he added. “But if they decide to get into something other than sports, I will support them completely.”

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(John Fisken photos)

   “Don’t mind me, nothing to see … just gonna stroll on by you for a quick layup.” (John Fisken photos)


Much respect to this unnamed female warrior — the only woman in the tournament it seems. Every other picture shows her cold-cocking folks on ‘d’, so she held her own nicely.


Jason McFadyen, slicin’ ‘n dicin’, old school style.


Jordan Schisel lets the Wolf kiss the ball for good luck as he goes in for two.


Current Wolf stars Wynter Thorne and Joel Walstad never pass up a photo op. Ever.

up strong

   Look up the phrase “going up strong in the paint” in the dictionary. This photo is there.


“Dang son, gotta be quicker than that to catch me!!”


Nick Streubel, a lineman with a soft shooting touch.

You thought we were done? You were wrong.

OK … now we’re done.

Putting the final capper on another successful Tom Roehl Roundball Classic, we present one final medley of John Fisken photos from Saturday’s hoops extravaganza.

The action was hot ‘n heavy, the camera madly clickin’.

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