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Posts Tagged ‘King’s’

   After this season, South Whidbey’s athletes will no longer call the 1A/2A Cascade Conference home. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

And it’s gone.

Coupeville’s old stomping grounds, the 1A/2A Cascade Conference, is no more.

The league, fractured by defections and forfeits, will cease to be at the end of the 2017-2018 school year.

In its place, the league’s (soon to be) five 1A schools are striking out on their own and forming the North Sound Conference, which begins play in fall 2018.

South Whidbey, King’s, Cedar Park Christian, Sultan and Granite Falls, which is dropping from 2A back to 1A next year, will form the new league.

Cedarcrest and Archbishop Thomas Murphy, which were the only remaining 2A schools in the Cascade Conference after Lakewood bailed, are now free agents seeking new homes.

Four years ago, the Cascade Conference was an eight-team league.

After Coupeville left to join the newly-formed 1A Olympic League, Cedar Park Christian took its slot.

Things began to fracture shortly after, though, with every league team except King’s refusing to face ATM on the football field, which generated national media attention.

When a “super” league, which would have combined the Cascade Conference, Wesco South and the Northwest Conference for football only, fell through, Lakewood took all of its programs and bounced to the 1A/2A/3A NWC.

This past season, league schools returned to playing ATM in football, with the exception of South Whidbey.

Trying to rebuild their gridiron program, the Falcons asked for permission to play a non-conference schedule against smaller schools.

After losing to fellow 1A schools Coupeville and Chimacum to open the 2017 football season, South Whidbey won seven straight games against B schools and a Canadian program new to football.

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   Coupeville vs. South Whidbey. Choose the right path, Falcons, and this could be a regular occurrence. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Boom goes the dynamite, indeed.

The 1A/2A Cascade Conference, Coupeville’s old home, is no longer dying, it’s 99.2% dead.

First, everyone refused to play ATM in football.

Then Lakewood pulled up stakes in the middle of the night and fled to the Northwest Conference.

Finally, South Whidbey asked for, and was given approval, to play football as an independent for an undetermined time in an attempt to rebuild its fractured program.

All of that mere cracks in the crust, leading up to the earthquake which erupted Thursday, when news surfaced that King’s and Cedar Park Christian applied to transfer to the Emerald City League.

What was an eight-team league, with four 1A schools and four 2A ones, is one small AD vote from being a five-team league, with just two 1A schools in South Whidbey and Sultan.

One of whom doesn’t play football against league foes.

If King’s and CPC bolt, the Cascade Conference likely splinters for good, something the league’s president, Jason Frederick, acknowledged in an interview with The South Whidbey Record.

From the outside, I see this as a huge positive, not a negative.

The Cascade Conference was always an unwieldy Frankenstein mish-mash.

You had small, rural 1A schools (Coupeville, South Whidbey, Sultan) trying to compete with ginormous 2A schools like Cedarcrest and private schools (ATM, King’s and, recently, CPC) who are allowed to operate under a different set of rules.

Private, religious-orientated King’s and CPC joining the high-end Emerald City League, which currently houses nine Seattle schools which are all, wait for it, private and religious-orientated, is tailor-made.

And the likely collapse of the Cascade Conference gives South Whidbey AD Paul Lagerstedt a perfect opportunity to do what former Coupeville AD Lori Stolee did four years ago — rewrite their school’s destiny.

I’ve said it before and I will say it a million more times (I’m obnoxious like that). The Falcons need to fly the coop and come home.

Mr. Lagerstedt,

Join Coupeville in the Olympic League starting next year and be the AD who made South Whidbey relevant again.

If the Cascade Conference doesn’t die today, it will die tomorrow. You know that deep down in your soul.

There’s a slim chance you could try to join the jump to the ECL, but that makes such little sense I’m not going to even entertain the notion.

I’ll just be back here rolling my eyes until they disappear into the back of my skull.

What you want is a stable league, one which offers SWHS a fighting chance in every sport. An opportunity to be the big dog in some and scrap in the rest. To play other similarly-sized PUBLIC schools.

The Olympic League is what you want. The Olympic League is what you need.

Heck, bring Sultan along if you like. Pounding on the Turks is always a good time.

Do it for a better playing field. Or just do it for the money.

You reinstate your greatest rivalry — Coupeville vs. South Whidbey, Cow Town vs. Hippie Land, Wolves vs. Falcons — in a meaningful fashion, with two 1A schools which sit just 25 miles apart fighting for league supremacy, you make the cash registers ring.

Rivalry games bring in the biggest bucks, and I absolutely guarantee you more cash hits ticket-taker hand for Wolves vs. Falcons than any random game you play against Granite Falls or some obscure Canadian team.

If we’re back in the same league, that’s 10 gates for the sports which charge (the annual football clash and likely three contests apiece in girls basketball, volleyball and boys basketball.)

What do you want? Four paying customers traveling here from the wilds of Granite Falls or a steady stream of cars surging up (or down) the Island?

Heck, you’ll get more fans from Port Townsend and Chimacum (whose fans travel well, and are closer) than you will from schools in Seattle and Everett.

A renewed rivalry, with more at stake. Increased money. And topping it all off? A chance to compete for league titles.

Face it, you have not been putting up championship banners in the Cascade Conference, any more than Coupeville did when we were in the same boat.

Join the Olympic League and you’ll be the second-biggest school (after Klahowya) in terms of student body size. That’s a huge boon.

And, by removing ATM and King’s, you instantly put your good programs back in the title picture and you give your weaker sports a fighting chance to rebuild.

Winning titles is huge.

Having a realistic shot, where every day every one of your programs feels genuinely competitive, is even bigger.

Now, you are guaranteed nothing.

Coupeville and Klahowya are not going to surrender without a fight (good luck trying to dethrone the state title-winning Eagle soccer dynasty), nor will Chimacum softball or Port Townsend track and field, for that matter.

But you instantly go from a constant battle for third-place to a constant battle for first-place, which builds morale, which builds numbers, which circles back around and builds pride.

You think you’re hot stuff?

Good, come prove it against schools similar in size and mentality, and stop bashing your brains out while the private schools play (legally) by their own rules.

And yes, I hear some trepidation about having to catch the Coupeville to Port Townsend ferry if you join the Olympic League.

Small potatoes.

When Coupeville catches the Clinton ferry and travels to Silverdale to play Klahowya (comparable to South Whidbey hopping over to PT or Chimacum), game times are adjusted and varsity often plays before JV.

Small ways to work around the fact we all LIVE ON AN ISLAND in the first place.

You need us. We need you.

It makes sense in every way possible.

So be brave. Be forward-thinking. Be the AD who makes South Whidbey High School sports relevant again.

We’re waiting for you (with a can of whup-ass at the ready),

Your Coupeville friends

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Henry Wynn (John Fisken photo)

   Henry Wynn (783), seen here in an earlier race, finished 23rd Thursday at the final regular-season cross country meet. (John Fisken photo)

Henry Wynn was truly the Lone Wolf Thursday.

With Coupeville High School running buddy Danny Conlisk sidelined with a hurting Achilles tendon, Wynn wrapped up cross country’s regular season with a 23rd-place finish at a four-team meet in Shoreline.

He motored across the line in 14 minutes, 50.16 seconds, while Cedarcrest junior Ben Benson won the King’s Roller Coaster Trail Run in 13:01.78.

There were 53 runners in the 2.4 mile boys race and 26 in the girls race, with Cedarcrest winning both team titles.

Wynn and Conlisk have been training and traveling with South Whidbey, since CHS doesn’t have an active cross country program.

The duo split from the Falcons now, though, and head to Sequim Oct. 20 for the Olympic League Championships.

While there, they’ll compete with runners from 1A schools Chimacum, Port Townsend and Klahowya, as well as the league’s eight 2A schools.

After that comes districts Oct. 29 and (if they qualify) state Nov. 5.

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(Amy King photo)

  Wolf hoops stars (back, l to r) Kailey Kellner, Tiffany Briscoe, Mia Littlejohn and (front, l to r) Kyla Briscoe, Kalia Littlejohn. (David King photo)

Not content to rest.

Coming off of the program’s first trip to state in a decade, the core of the Coupeville High School girls’ basketball squad has been busy this summer.

From team camps to putting in work at open gyms, the Wolves, who return all but one player from last year’s 1A Olympic League champs, have taken advantage of the opportunities which abound in the off-season.

The latest excursion brought five CHS hoops stars — seniors Kailey Kellner and Tiffany Briscoe, juniors Mia Littlejohn and Kyla Briscoe and sophomore Kalia Littlejohn — to Seattle Wednesday.

Taking part in a shooting clinic at King’s High School, the Wolves were part of a group of 60+ basketball players in attendance.

Also on hand (to observe from the cheap seats) was CHS coach David King, who sent back the photo above and some video of a drill.

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Makana Stone (Sylvia Hurlburt photo)

Makana Stone will play college ball at Whitman. (Sylvia Hurlburt photo)

It’s a reunion.

When Coupeville High School senior Makana Stone takes the floor Saturday in Seattle for the All-State basketball game, the final contest of her stellar prep career, she’ll be teaming up with the girl who knocked her out of the playoffs.

Makenna Faulkner, who paced Cashmere in scoring when the Bulldogs upended Coupeville in the regional round of the state tourney in late Feb., joins Stone as one of the 10 players on the 1A squad.

Also on the team is Shoni Pritchett of Charles Wright Academy, a player Stone went toe-to-toe with at the district tourney.

Now, Stone, Pritchett, Faulkner and seven other girls will unite to face off with the best from 2A in the middle game of the three-game event.

The action will tip off at King’s High School, with 1B vs. 2B at 2 PM, 1A vs. 2A at 4 and 3A vs. 4A at 6.

The players and coaches of the year for each classification will be honored at halftime of each game.

During halftime of the final game, Ms. Basketball 2016 (bet on Mikayla Pivec of 3A Lynnwood and thank me later) and the WSGBCA State Coach of the Year will be announced.

The 1A roster, which will be coached by Shane Wichers of Nooksack Valley:

Kendall Adams (King’s)
Makenna Faulkner (Cashmere)
Daylee Hanson (King’s)
Kassin Hopkins (Connell)
Anna Parker (King’s)
Shoni Pritchett (Charles Wright Academy)
Emma Stockholm (Chelan)
Makana Stone (Coupeville)
Shaye Swannack (Lakeside Nine Mile)
Kendra Walin (Connell)

2A roster (coached by Dori Monson of Shorecrest):

Lexie Bland (Ellensburg)
Alyssa Blankenship
(Washougal)
Edie Breckinridge
(Burlington-Edison)
Keyara Brooks
(Tyee)
Uju Chibuoghu
(Shorecrest)
Alyx Fast
(Centralia)
Jessica Flanigan
(Woodland)
Darian Gore
(White River)
Joni Lancaster
(Rochester)
Harley Vanatta
(Ephrata)

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