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Posts Tagged ‘Jon Atkins’

Jon Atkins, seen during his days as Coupeville High School football coach. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Onward and upward.

After more than a decade teaching at Oak Harbor High School, and a two-year run coaching football in Coupeville, Jon Atkins has landed an administration job beginning next school year.

He’ll join Mariner High School in Everett as an Assistant Principal.

Atkins coached CHS football through the 2016 and 2017 seasons, becoming the first Wolf coach to beat South Whidbey in The Bucket game in back-to-back seasons.

During that time be bounced between schools, as he also coached girls basketball at OHHS.

An employee of the Oak Harbor School District since 2008, Atkins started as a coach, then went back to school to obtain his teaching certificate.

He’s taught in the Choices program at OHHS since the 2013-2014 school year.

Before accepting the Assistant Principal position at Mariner, Atkins earned an Educational Leadership administration certificate through Western Washington University.

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   CHS football coach Jon Atkins has resigned after a two-season run. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

New season, new league, new coach.

Coupeville High School leaves behind the Olympic League this fall, and it will do so with a new coach at the helm of the Wolf football program.

Jon Atkins officially tendered his resignation Monday, bringing an end to his two-year run as head coach.

He compiled a 6-14 record during his two years, and is the only CHS football coach to win back-to-back times against South Whidbey since the two schools started competing for The Bucket.

Atkins is the fourth-straight Wolf gridiron coach to leave after a relatively short stint. He follows in the footsteps of Brett Smedley (one year), Tony Maggio (three) and Jay Silver (two).

Prior to that, Ron Bagby led the program for 26 seasons.

Under Atkins guidance, the Wolves went 3-7 in back-to-back seasons. He started 3-2 this year, before a crippling wave of injuries claimed most of his play-makers.

During his two years, receiver Hunter Smith and quarterback Hunter Downes both set game, season and career records.

Atkins remains a teacher and head girls basketball coach at Oak Harbor, but the grind of balancing two schools and a home life has made life difficult for the coach.

“I have loved the last two years working with the student athletes, parents, and administration,” Atkins said. “However, it has become increasingly difficult teaching at a different school  and coaching at another.

“I have found myself with less time to accomplish the things needed to get done to be a successful head coach.”

Atkins and wife Danielle have young children, and, as they grow, their athletic endeavors are beginning to take more of his time as well.

“I have also chosen to spend more time with my children,” he said. “Both of my children play soccer in the fall and basketball or baseball in the spring and I needed more time to be there from them and watch their games.

“For me, being a father is the most important job I have and both of them would like me to attend more of their functions.”

While he won’t be on the sideline next fall, Atkins will watch from afar, and root for the Wolves.

“I truly wish the CHS program all the luck and success in the years to come.”

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Release the Kracken!

Want to play select basketball but don’t want to spend every day traveling off Whidbey for practice?

You’re in luck, at least if you’re a girl in grades 2-7 (or the parent of said girl).

Whidbey Elite, a competitive AAU program, is launching in Oak Harbor, and hopes to draw players from the entire Island.

Tryouts are Mar. 28 at Oak Harbor High School and the season runs April-August.

The squad will practice twice a week, with an optional third training day, and compete in tournaments throughout the Pacific Northwest,

For all the particulars, info registration or to contact team officials, hop over to:

http://www.whidbeyhoops.com/

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Jon Atkins (John Fisken photos)

   Jon Atkins is Coupeville’s fourth head football coach in the last seven years. (John Fisken photos)

Ryan Labrador

Sophomore Ryan Labrador (front) will help anchor the lines.

Everything’s new.

New head coach, new assistants (well, two of three), new league (sort of), a new set-up for the fans (for a season at least) and, ultimately, everyone hopes, newfound success on the field.

When the Coupeville High School football team kicks off its season at home Saturday, Sept. 3 with an Island rivalry game against non-conference foe South Whidbey (7 PM), it will be a team looking to the future, and not the past.

Intent on improving on last year’s 1-9 mark, the Wolves want to post the program’s first winning record since 2005, they want to make the playoffs, they want to put a league title on the gym wall.

To do all of that, or any of that, though, they need to build each step of the way, something preached by first-year head coach Jon Atkins.

“A successful year would be that we improve each week,” he said. “And that we stay true as a team to our core values of Competition, Leadership, Family, Commitment and Toughness.”

Atkins is the school’s fourth gridiron head coach in the last seven years, jumping from an assistant job at Oak Harbor to replace Brett Smedley, who left after one season to return home to work at Columbia River.

His staff includes one holdover in veteran assistant coach Ryan King, a former Wolf player who was on that 2005 team, and two relative newcomers in Brad Sherman and Jonathan Martin.

Both are former star prep players themselves, with Sherman a prairie legend for his career at CHS, where he still owns the school passing records.

Along with a turnover in coaching staff, Coupeville football has two new wrinkles this season.

With the home bleachers having been ripped out to make room for the installation of a brand new eight-lane track oval around the football field, temporary seating will be used this season.

Bleachers will be brought over from baseball and tennis, but fans are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and/or embrace the idea of standing for one season.

Permanent covered bleachers are planned for the 2017 season, and will spring up on what is currently the road team’s side, in front of the apartments.

While you’re lounging in your lawn chair, you’ll also get a chance to get familiar with a few new teams, as Coupeville and its three fellow 1A Olympic League rivals have merged with the Nisqually League for football.

The agreement means the Wolves will play a seven-game league schedule (after opening with three non-conference tilts) and no longer have to play schools more than once a season.

In addition to Port Townsend, Klahowya and Chimacum, Coupeville now faces Vashon Island, Bellevue Christian, Cascade Christian and Charles Wright Academy in league play.

Depending on how allocations break out, the combined league will either send its top two or three teams straight on to the state playoffs.

Two-time defending Olympic League champ Port Townsend, which has a new coach in former Coupeville assistant Alex Heilig, and perennial state title contender Cascade Christian are the heavyweights, while Vashon boasts the state’s top rusher in Bryce Hoisington.

As a junior, he ripped Coupeville for a state-record 573 yards and nine touchdowns in the team’s non-conference finale, capping a season in which he gained a state-record 2,929 yards.

Vashon comes to Coupeville Sept. 30.

The Wolves counter with a number of returning players, led by junior quarterback Hunter Downes.

He got off to a strong start in 2015, connecting on 26 of 47 passes for 272 yards, before injuries sidelined him for much of his sophomore campaign.

Healthy, with a stronger arm and a bigger body, and working with Sherman on a daily basis, Downes is primed for a breakout season and will have some help getting there.

Junior Hunter Smith was the second-best receiver in the Olympic League last year, hauling in 32 passes, and he could swing between receiver and running back this time around.

Seniors Jacob Martin (the team’s leading returning rusher), Clay Reilly and Mitchell Carroll and sophomores Chris Battaglia and Teo Keilwitz are all potential backfield weapons, while juniors Jacob Zettle, Cameron Toomey-Stout and Jake Hoagland will be counted on as receivers.

The lines will be anchored by senior Uriel Liquidano, juniors Julian Welling and James Vidoni and sophomores Dane Lucero, Josh Robinson, Ryan Labrador and Jake Pease.

Coupeville will count on a bevy of hard-hitting linebackers (Battaglia, Martin, Welling, Liquidano, Keilwitz) to control things on defense, with ball-hawks like Smith and Reilly holding down the corners.

Smith set a school record with seven interceptions as a sophomore, which tied him for best in the state among players from all divisions.

Reilly might have been Coupeville’s best weapon a year ago, however, as he led all 1A punters, racking up 1,156 yards on 34 boots, earning First-Team All-League honors.

While returning players are expected to lead the way, Atkins doesn’t rule out newcomers like hard-charging freshman Sean Toomey-Stout making an impact.

“We have some freshmen that should get to see the field on some special teams,” Atkins said. “I think everyone on the roster will contribute this year.”

However the roster plays out, the Wolves are hard at work, building for a competitive future.

“Our biggest strength is our players desire and work ethic to be great,” Atkins said. “Learning a new system and a new coach can be difficult, but they are flying around and learning, watching film and doing what is needed to get done to make a great team.”

At the end of the day, win or lose, the head coach wants his team to be remembered for the right reason.

“I want Coupeville football to be known as the toughest team in the Olympic/Nisqually League.”

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Julian Welling (John Fisken photos)

   Julian Welling is one of several key returning players for first-year CHS football coach Jon Atkins. (John Fisken photo)

It’s the start of a new era.

Jon Atkins is diving in feet-first as the new head football coach at Coupeville High School, with two days of practice now under his belt.

As he and the Wolves get to know each other and prepare for their opener (Sept. 3 at home against South Whidbey), Atkins will be providing us with some of his thoughts on how things are unfolding.

He’ll be delivering a weekly address this season, which will hit the blogosphere Thursday (or early Friday in this case, since I went to bed early and ignored my emails…).

Anyway, without further ado, let’s head over to the Coaches Corner and see what Atkins has to say.

Hopefully David will let me hijack his blog for one post a week.

I don’t know if I have the knack for writing or the whimsical tone that he does, but I will try my best to keep Wolf Nation informed about our football boys throughout the season in this Coach’s Corner.

This is our first Thursday.

We have only had two days of practice and no game planning for an opponent this week; the coaching staff and the players have been working hard teaching, learning and memorizing a new playbook both offensively and defensively.

Each day the players are conditioning and getting their bodies ready for our first game on Saturday 3rd. (More on that in two weeks).

We are creating a new look for the 2016 season.

In the first few days of our fall camp in addition to installing our new defense and offense we have been installing our Core Covenants that will be the pillars in our program that the coaches believe in and will install in our players.

It is my hope that the community will see these behaviors  from our players in the community. 

The first two days we have focused on Competition and Leadership.

The players know that it is the coaching staff expectation that they compete in the classroom, on the field, or even in our Day 1 thumb war tournament competition, which ended with Co-Champions Woody Liquidano and Teo Keilwitz.

The second covenant is Leadership; all of our players are expected to be Leaders, and demonstrate Leadership in their position groups, in their PE classes and in the community.

We will install the last three covenants: Family, Commitment and Toughness.

We are thrilled to have the players out; we are still missing some faces from last year and would love to have them back out this year as well.

I believe that our program is going in a great direction and would love to have them hop on this train and enjoy the ride.

One of the differences you will see, well, you will hear if you come to practice, is a bit of practice music.

If you drive by practice you might hear some different sounds as our practice playlist changes up each day. 

We expect some AC/DC, Disturbed, Drake and Jake Owens to make an appearance on tomorrow’s practice playlist.

The coaching staff likes to make sure practice stay light and fun while getting our work done.

Next Coach’s Corner I will look to take on Burlington and La Conner in the La Conner Jamboree in our first test for Wolf Nation in 2016.

I am excited to meet all the football parents at our meeting Saturday, Aug. 20 at 4:00 PM.

PS — Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter — @WolfPrideFB.

Coach Atkins

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