Posts Tagged ‘Jay Roberts’

Fathers and sons (who became fathers). Top (l to r): Tony, Larrie and David Ford.

   Fathers and sons (who became fathers). Top (l to r): Tony, Larrie, David Ford. Bottom, Sandy Roberts, Jay Roberts and family, Jon Roberts and daughter Lindsey.

So, today is Father’s Day.

It’s also the 52nd consecutive Sunday I’ve inducted a class into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame, which is kind of amazing in itself. So yay, me.

How to tie together these two milestones, you ask?

With a six-pack of honorees, as we present a unique class — two longtime, influential local coaches and the athletic sons they guided into manhood, where the sons have returned the favor to the next generation.

Today, two families, fathers and sons, as these hallowed digital walls welcome Sandy, Jon and Jay Roberts and Larrie, David and Tony Ford.

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

The four sons are part of a golden age for Wolf male athletes, guys who played three sports a year in the ’80s while also putting in time in the classroom and in the community.

They were among the leaders (along with classmates like Mitch and Marc Aparicio) during the Reagan years, a time when CHS routinely went to state in almost every core sport on a yearly basis.

Jon Roberts is the only one of the four to bag a Male Athlete of the Year Award, but the competition was cutthroat those years.

Or he’s just the best athlete of the bunch…

Let the family fightin’ begin!!

While Jon has his best in class award, it’s Jay’s name that sits up on the big board in the entrance way to the CHS gym.

Part of a quartet that set a school record in the 4 x 100 in ’86, he, along with Bill Carstensen, Tony Killgo and Rick Alexander, own the longest-standing track record in CHS history.

Both Roberts boys are matched by the Fords, who could grow better mustaches back in the day (though maybe not as lush as the Aparicios) and were rock-solid athletes in every sport.

Adding to their legends, three of the four (Jon, Jay and David) have gifted their alma mater with athletically-gifted children, as well.

David’s youngest, Jordan, shattered the school record in the pole vault this spring and was a three-sport letterman who played like his dad and uncle, with grit and determination.

Jay’s progeny, former softball slugger Madeline and current volleyball spiker/horse ridin’ sensation Ally, have carved a super-successful path, while Jon’s oldest, Lindsey, is the next great Wolf superstar.

As a freshman, she lettered in soccer, basketball and track, going to state in the latter two sports.

And, oh yeah, became the first female athlete in school history to win three medals at one state track meet, though the question remains — is Lindsey’s speed from dad, who loathed cross country during his one season as a runner, or from mom Sherry, who beat her husband into the Hall?

A lot of the success enjoyed by the Roberts and Ford boys, and their children, started with the guys they called dad.

Sandy Roberts and Larrie Ford might not be in the state record books like former Wolf football coach Sid Otton, but they are the very personification of what small town sports coaches should be.

They were there, always, wherever someone was needed, to guide, to inspire, to teach, to pat you on the back or kick you in the butt, depending on what the situation called for at the moment.

Larrie Ford’s greatest work might have come on the track oval, where he put in many years working with Wolf athletes, many of whom speak of him with deep respect, admiration and love.

A quality guy through and through, who always had time to talk to the press (he’s a personable guy with many a story to tell), he laid the groundwork for successful seasons, and, more importantly, successful lives.

He may have retired from working for CHS a few years back, but his impact will continue to be felt for decades.

And you can easily say the same for Sandy Roberts, who coached a ton of basketball (both at the junior high and high school levels) and who, to this day, continues to sprinkle wisdom onto current little league sluggers like grandson Landon.

Like papa Ford, papa Roberts is one of the nicest guys you could hope to meet, a huge smile and a firm handshake always waiting for everyone in his path.

And I’m not just saying that because he gave me a cushion to ease the agony of sitting through multiple games every week on the horrifyingly rock-hard bleachers in the CHS gym.

Though that certainly didn’t hurt his cause.

As we celebrate another Father’s Day, it just feels right to do it by honoring these six, sons and fathers all rolled into one.

May they, and their proud family legacies, continue to soar high as honored members of Wolf Nation.

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   Jay Roberts (top) and his 4 x 100 mates from ’86 are joined by (l to r) Joli (Smith) Bartell, Greg White and Linde Maertens. (Photos courtesy Konni Smith, Ally Roberts and John Fisken)

When they set records, they SET records.

The 28th class inducted into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame includes four guys who have held a CHS track record for three decades and the greatest single-season player Wolf volleyball has ever seen.

Toss in two of the most talented multi-sport stars ever to rep the red and black (or red and white, if you prefer) and this is truly a class which stands tall.

With that, we welcome into these hallowed digital walls Joli (Smith) Bartell, Greg White, Linde Maertens and the 4 x 100 relay unit of Jay Roberts, Bill Carstensen, Rick Alexander and Tony Killgo.

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

Oh, and also on the leader boards of their respective sports at CHS, where they seem content to remain for quite some time.

Our first inductees go in as a team, because that’s how they made their biggest mark.

In an ever-changing world, track records are set to be broken, and yet what Carstensen, Roberts, Alexander and Killgo did back in the “olden” days hasn’t been touched.

This spring will mark the 30th anniversary of the day they teamed up to run the 4 x 100 relay in a crisp 43.9 seconds, a mark that has stood tall in the face of passing time.

Fast runners have come and gone over the past three decades — track has always been one of Coupeville’s strongest sports — and yet no quartet has toppled what currently sits as the longest-standing CHS track record in the books.

If that doesn’t make them Hall worthy, I don’t know what does.

Joining them is Smith, who was riding high at CHS in the early ’90s when I first worked as a Sports Editor at the Whidbey News-Times.

Volleyball, basketball, softball, she was as solid and dependable an athlete as I have ever covered, a true star, but one who worked hard every single day to achieve that level.

She was the glue who held her Wolf teams together, and, if you needed one hit, one basket, one dive across a volleyball floor to save a ball that seemed dead-set on going out of play, she was your woman.

Over the years since, there have been many talented CHS athletes — her niece, Emma Smith, just had a sensational freshman season on the volleyball court her aunt once owned, but Joli remains one of the best we have ever had here — as a player and as a person.

Our next inductee is sort of the male counterpart to Smith.

White was a stalwart for the Wolf football and basketball squads and a guy who has gone on to mix continued athletic success (he’s a key part of the Red Pride hoops team that owns the annual alumni tourney and runs in Ragnar events) with imparting his wisdom as a youth coach.

But to truly understand how much of an impact he made during his time at CHS, you don’t need to look at the stats (though they are super-solid).

Just talk to the guys he played with or the ones who came up right behind him, and a hush falls over the crowd.

Dustin Van Velkinburgh, himself a Hall inductee, once said:

Greg White was the man!

If he saw you in the gym, he’d come up and show you, throw like this, you’ll get a better result.

We went white water rafting with Youth Dynamics one time and Greg was back home from college.

On the trip, our boat got caught in a whirlpool and we got sucked in. We managed to help each other and came out OK.

Grabbing Greg and pulling him back in the boat, it was like saving Superman in a lot of ways for me.

Kicking in the door to join White is the most athletically successful foreign exchange student CHS ever lucked into.

Belgium’s finest, Linde Maertens, wasn’t even supposed to be a Wolf, with her host family living in Oak Harbor when she arrived in 2008.

But in a stroke of luck, OHHS was full-up on exchange students, and Coupeville volleyball coach Toni Crebbin got an incredible present out of nowhere.

Maertens, who these days is back spiking in her native country, stepped on the court and as fast as you could say “Juppa!” (a cheer from her homeland the Wolves began to use after an ace or kill) she elevated Wolf volleyball to a level it had never seen before, or since.

In her one year on the court for the Wolves, she set game and season marks in kills (21 and 167) and a season mark in digs (248), all of which still stand.

A veteran of international play, Maertens had a style that set her apart, even if provincial refs in these parts didn’t always know quite what to make of the high-flying whiz.

“She put her foot out to kick the ball, which wasn’t legal at the time,” Crebbin said with a laugh. “She also got called for illegal screening, a first for my team.

“We’ve had foreign exchange students in the past, and some have said they played, but she was the first one who exceeded our expectations.”

Crebbin and Maertens fostered a friendship that has endured after the player’s return home. While she was in Coupeville, Linde spent considerable time with her new coach’s family, including holidays and school breaks.

Having played club level volleyball in Belgium, Maertens had rarely played in front of large crowds. That changed during her time as a Wolf, and a mutual love affair played out.

“That year we had a great fan base, which she absolutely loved,” Crebbin said.

From all of those fans, and many more, you may have physically left the building, Linde, but you will always be a permanent part of Wolf Nation.

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Konni Smith (Ema Smith photos)

Konni Smith comes bearing sweet treats. (Ema Smith photos)

Cheryl Engle

Grandma-to-the-stars Cheryl Engle (right) enjoys the evening.

Sarahg Wright

  Sarah Wright (far right), noted camera enthusiast, drawn like a moth to a flame.

Kailey Kellner

Kailey Kellner sees what you did there, Wright. She approves.


   CHS moms (l to r) Robyn Myers, Kali Barrio and Charlotte Young, possibly up to shenanigans.

Mark Hesselgrave's photo game is strong.

Mark Hesselgrave’s photo game is strong.

Dawn and Kalia

   Dawn Hesselgrave (left) and Kalia Littlejohn nab a mother/daughter photo for the mantelpiece.

Jon (left) and Jay Roberts audition for "Magic Mike 3."

   Wolf dads Jon (left) and Jay Roberts ace the audition for “Magic Mike 3.” Their daughters will never, ever forgive them … and they’re fine with that.

There’s a war looming.

John Fisken has controlled the photo game in town for a bit, but every day there are new clickers looking to horn in on the biz.

The latest is CHS freshman Ema Smith, who took a short breather from being a three-sport star for the Wolves, hitting the Coupeville Booster Club’s Crab Feed and Auction Saturday night.

The pics above are courtesy her, as Miss Smith throws down the photo gauntlet.

Watch your back, Fisken, there’s a new paparazzi in town.

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Lincoln Kelley (beard)

The men with the goatees — Lincoln Kelley (tan shirt) and Jay Roberts (dark blue polo).

Together, they have yet to make me one dang cookie.

But, put that aside, and Jay Roberts and Lincoln Kelley have had a huge impact on Coupeville High School sports and my coverage of the Wolves.

The duo, who celebrate birthdays this week, have sired four children who currently wear the red and black, and all of their offspring excel at their chosen sports.

Whether it’s girls (senior Madeline Roberts is a softball sensation while freshman Ally Roberts is a state champion horse rider and both are loud and proud Wolf cheerleaders) or boys (senior Brandon Kelley and sophomore Lathom Kelley are currently tearing up the track, often together as members of various speedy relay teams), their kids are some of the best and brightest.

Not just good athletes, but good all-around people.

Like their dads.

Jay and Lincoln are the sort of parents you like to see, guys who are always in the stands, supportive and encouraging, proud of their kids in winning times and losing times.

So yes, it has been the CHS and CMS moms (and female Wolf athletes) who have led the way in making me cookies (saints, one and all), but, every once in awhile, it’s good to stop and remember the dads of Wolf Nation as well.

Now, maybe just convince them to get in the kitchen. Maybe not on your birthday, but there are 364 other days in the year…

Chop-chop, gentlemen!

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Ally Roberts, she was born awesome. (John Fisken and Jennifer Eelkema-Roberts photos)

Ally Roberts, she was born awesome.

She is heir to a pretty impressive legacy.

Her grandfather (Sandy Roberts) was a legendary Coupeville High School coach.

Her dad (Jay Roberts), aunt (Sherry (Bonacci) Roberts) and uncle (Jon Roberts) were all premier athletes during their times as Wolves.

Her older sister (Madeline Roberts) is going to play softball on scholarship in college.

So it’s a good thing Ally Roberts is pretty dang awesome herself. Otherwise, she might not have much to talk about during family get-togethers.

But the CHS freshman, who celebrates her 15th birthday today, has already accomplished much in her short time as a Wolf.

Volleyball player, and sparker of the one-woman “Ally Rally.” Irrepressible cheerleader whose smile lights up the entire gym on its own. Both nice accomplishments.

But put her on a horse, and that’s where Ally really rules.

Her collection of ribbons and trophies is building at a staggering rate, and at the top of the pile is a state championship she claimed in intermediate trail riding at the Washington State Fair in September.

That event is no walk in the park, consisting of a rider taking their horse through a course that can include gate (open and close), bridge walk-throughs (cones or poles), jog- throughs (cones or poles), jog-overs (poles on the ground), back-throughs (L’s, U’s, serpentines), loping (circles, over poles) and sidepassing (i.e. to a mailbox).

What’s next for the pint-sized spark-plug? More ribbons, more trophies, more awesomeness, and then, probably total freakin’ world dominance.

So learn her name now, cause you’ll be saying it a lot over the next few years.

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