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Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Rhubottom’

   Jeff Rhubottom (top, left) is joined by (clockwise from top right) Bill Jarrell, Randy Keefe and Terry (Perkins) Powell (wearing blue necklace).

Better late than never.

As I’ve constructed the one-man, semi-real shrine to excellence known as the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame, I’ve zigged and I’ve zagged, plucking excellence from all decades.

And yet, I would be the first to admit, my decision-making process has always been at least slightly suspect.

Some people got in really early, and sometimes, for a thousand different reasons, some of the most qualified have been left to bide their time outside the doors of our digital hall.

Almost always it wasn’t intentional. I promise.

Today, we’re making up for that, at least a little, with the induction of four of the most talented Wolves to ever put a basketball into the bucket.

They all played multiple sports, and were standouts regardless of the season, but, with my recent deep dive into the CHS basketball records — which exist in a million little pieces — this fab four looms even larger.

So, way, way, WAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY overdue, let’s welcome Randy Keefe, Terry (Perkins) Powell, Bill Jarrell and Jeff Rhubottom to the Hall o’ Fame.

After this, you’ll find them up at the top of the blog, under the Legends tab, which is something they’ve always been, even if this writer has taken forever to get them enshrined.

Our first inductee, Powell, stands as one of the first true girls basketball stars in Central Whidbey history.

She led the Wolves in scoring for three consecutive seasons, tossing in 194 points in 1984-1985, 165 in the ’85-’86 campaign, then topping things off with a 314-point barrage in ’86-’87.

Working in tandem with fellow Hall o’ Famer Marlene Grasser (who netted 307 points that year), Powell was the leader of the first CHS girls hoops team to advance to the playoffs.

At the time of her graduation, Powell held the school single-season and career scoring marks for girls.

The increased pace of the game and addition of the three-point shot allowed a handful of other Wolves to eventually catch and pass her, but she remains #7 in career scoring with 673 points.

Her fellow inductees dominated in the ’70s, and the fact all three remain in the top 10 with both career and single-season scoring marks, is made more remarkable by two facts.

One, they all played before everyone and their brother got three points for hitting a shot behind the arc, and two, they suited up at a time when ninth graders either didn’t play high school basketball or were firmly affixed to the very end of the bench by their coaches.

That didn’t stop any of the three, though.

Keefe and Jarrell’s high school hoops careers ran from the ’73-’74 season (their sophomore campaign) through a journey to the state tourney in ’75-’76 as seniors.

One was maybe the most consistent scorer in school history, while the other caught his buddy at the end with a season for the ages.

CHS boys basketball has played 100 seasons (1917-2017), and Keefe owns two of the 10 best single season performances.

He rattled home 293 points as a sophomore, 398 as a junior (#7 all-time) and 397 as a senior (#8 all-time), leaving him with 1,088 points, third-best in program history.

Only two guys beat him, Jeff Stone (1137) and Mike Bagby (1104), and Stone had to throw down an Island-record 644 points as a senior to assure that, while Bagby, playing in the modern era, got a full four years as a varsity starter.

Jarrell didn’t come out of the gate quite as quickly as his running mate, settling for 83 points as a sophomore, fifth-best on that year’s team.

Then, something clicked and he went off for 357 points as a junior and 415 as a senior.

Snapping Keefe’s two-year run as team scoring champ, Jarrell’s senior heroics stand as the fifth-best single-season performance, and his 855 points lands him at #10 on the career list.

That ’75-’76 squad was one of the best the school ever had, and, along with the hot-shooting senior duo of Keefe and Jarrell, the Wolves got a huge contribution from a rampaging 6-foot-4 sophomore named Rhubottom.

He pounded away for 228 points as a sophomore, then took on even more of the scoring load over the next two seasons.

Rhubottom knocked down 325 as a junior (backing up Foster Faris, who went off for 348), then unleashed a beat-down as a senior.

By the time he was finished with the ’77-’78 season, Rhubottom had 459 points, which remains the second-best single season in school history, boys or girls, trailing just Stone’s once-in-a-century performance.

His 1012 career points will have him sitting #4 on that list when CHS raises a basketball record board.

Now, of course, we haven’t talked about the hundreds upon hundreds of rebounds hauled down, the assists doled out, the steals made off, or all the small plays this four-pack made.

But, even just talking about their scoring ability, it’s easy to see why Powell, Keefe, Jarrell and Rhubottom remain among the biggest stars to ever grace the CHS hardwood.

Hall o’ Famers, one and all, even if they had to wait way too long for it to be “official.”

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Jeff and Cindy Rhubottom. (Contributed photos)

   A flashback to the days when Rhubottom terrorized Wolf rivals on the hardwood.

   The socks were extraordinary, and so was their ability to put the ball in the hoop.

“Respect yourself. Respect your school.”

Jeff Rhubottom was one of the best athletes to ever walk the hallways of Coupeville High School, and he lived by that credo.

A 6-foot-4 tower of power, the 1978 Wolf grad was a 12-time letter winner (four times each in football, basketball and track and field), a two-time All-Conference hoops player and the school record holder in the high jump for more than a decade.

While fellow football player Rich Wilson (6-4) nipped Rhubottom’s mark (6-2) in 2000 — and retains the school record 17 years later — Rhubottom’s legacy still looms large.

He torched the basketball nets for 459 points his senior season in 1977-1978, the second-best single-season mark ever put up a Wolf, boy or girl.

Over the course of four seasons, while sharing the ball with some of the biggest scorers and sweetest shooters in CHS hoops history, he finished with 1,012 points.

In 100 seasons of Wolf boys basketball, only Jeff Stone (1137), Mike Bagby (1104) and Rhubottom contemporary Randy Keefe (1088) have topped that.

While he enjoyed his other sports (he was a tight end/outside linebacker in football and a sprinter, relay runner and state meet-qualifying high jumper on the track oval), basketball was always Rhubottom’s favorite.

“Making the starting five on the varsity squad in basketball my sophomore year” was a particular highlight, which allowed him to “play with great athletes like Bill Jarrell, Randy Keefe, Marc Bisset and Foster Faris.”

That unit played for legendary CHS coach Bob Barker, a man who had a huge positive impact on Rhubottom.

“Coach Barker (was a favorite) for his professionalism,” Rhubottom said. “I remember him quoting as he was handing out our red blazers, ‘You’re representing yourself as an athlete and you’re representing Coupeville High School’.”

CHS football coach Pat Lippincott and track guru Craig Pedlar (“great teacher, great coach”) also helped shaped the young Rhubottom into the man he became.

“Coach Pedlar brought Michael Ellsworth, Jeff Fielding, and myself to the State A Finals in Yakima in 1978,” Rhubottom said. “It was great to be involved with great athletes of the school.

“It’s what you did on Friday nights.”

Whether it was standing tall at the state tourney or ripping through the line to block a punt against Concrete, before scooping up the loose ball and taking it to the house for a touchdown, Rhubottom played with passion, for himself and his teammates.

“I loved and respected the athletic program, playing with great athletes in a small town.”

The lessons he learned as a Wolf benefited Rhubottom as he went on to build his own family (he has a son, Jeff, Jr.) and a career in the painting business.

“Working hard and being responsible and trying to stay in the best physical shape as the years go by. Keeping active,” have been his guiding principals.

Rhubottom considers himself “totally blessed,” having been married to Cindy, “the most beautiful, loving wife, mother, and grandmother” until she lost her battle with cancer in September, 2016.

Being “surrounded by loving new and old family” has helped him greatly.

As he looks back at his own career, Rhubottom calls on today’s Wolves to seize the day.

“Respect yourself. Respect your school. Give 110%. Enjoy the experience,” he said. “Have fun, because it goes by quick.

“Keep active. Always love the sport,” Rhubottom added. “It was fun to take a trip down memory road of my athletic career at Coupeville High School. These are memories I will cherish forever.”

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