Posts Tagged ‘Kyle King’

   Coupeville junior Danny Conlisk (left) hangs out with Wolf legend Kyle King. (Dawnelle Conlisk photo)

It was the “home meet” before the home meet.

While Coupeville High School will host a real, honest-to-goodness track meet at its facility Mar. 28, the Wolves tested out timing equipment and such Friday during a practice meet.

While most of the races featured CHS athletes competing against each other, there was one ringer in the bunch.

Former Wolf supernova Kyle King, a man who won five state track and field titles during his heyday, was there to help out dad Randy, the CHS coach.

The younger King, who went on to run at Eastern Washington University and the University of Oklahoma after his high school days, went toe-to-toe with current Wolves like Danny Conlisk, passing on knowledge and encourgement.

Then he went out and beat them in a race, just to make sure they still knew who the Alpha Wolf was.

Having a rare opportunity to work with one of the most accomplished athletes in school history was a major score for the current generation of track stars.

“So thankful,” said Wolf mom Dawnelle Conlisk. “Danny walked away with priceless knowledge.”

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A small smidgen of those whose athletic accomplishments will be honored when our title board project is a success.

   A small smidgen of those Wolves whose athletic accomplishments will be honored when our title board project is a success.

We can see the goal line approaching.

A project which has taken months of effort and the combined talents of many is about to come to fruition, but it just needs one more little push.

No, I’m not talking about the new track oval being installed for Coupeville High School, but nice thought.

What I am talking about is my great white whale, the idea to slap 116 years of athletic success up on the CHS gym wall in time for the start of a new school year.

As you may know, there are currently just a handful of title banners hanging in a corner of our gym, and the oldest one is from 1990.

Which means every time a Wolf alumni who played on the ’69 Northwest League champion baseball squad (coached by future football legend Sid Otton) or ran with the ’81 girls cross country squad that finished fourth at state enters the gym, there is no acknowledgement of what they accomplished.

But that’s changing.

Having obtained rare access to the Whidbey News-Times archives, thanks to Keven R. Graves and Jim Waller, I combed through history and came up with a list of 109 titles which should be hanging on the wall.

This includes all team league and district titles, top 10 team finishes at state and individual state titles (there’s 17 of those).

School officials have signed off on the project, Whidbey Signs has been selected to produce and install the signs and the Coupeville Booster Club ponied up the first $2,500.

The club also agreed to set aside funds for adding new title boards in the coming years.

Which won’t be too much of an issue, as once we get past that first 116-year step, it’ll be fairly inexpensive and the boards, while looking all glossy and historical on the wall, require little to no upkeep.

But, that first step is a big one, and I need to come up with $3,000 to add to the Booster Club’s outlay to make this a reality.

To get there I launched a GoFundMe Sunday night and we’ve already cleared 70%, sitting at $2,125 this morning.

All we need to is one final push to get over the top.

Whether you skip a day at Starbucks and give that $5 to honor your Pop-Pop’s legacy instead or come in big-time, every dollar truly counts.

The link to our fundraiser:


PS — There are some who can’t or won’t use GoFundMe, but still want to contribute.

If so, I can be reached at 165 N. Sherman, Coupeville, WA 98239 or at davidsvien@hotmail.com.

I am a beach bum these days and have no phone of any kind, but don’t let that stop you.

Onward to the top, Wolf Nation!

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In 116 years, no Coupeville High School student has won as many state titles as this guy -- five-time champ Kyle King.

The most decorated male athlete in CHS history — five-time state champ Kyle King.

(Jim Waller photo)

If CHS were to adopt the style used by Oak Harbor High School, with its own color scheme, white could be for league titles, black for district titles and red for state accomplishments. (Jim Waller photo)

Natasha Bamberger, holder of four of the 17 state titles won by CHS athletes all-time.

Natasha Bamberger, the only Wolf to win five state titles completely on her own.

116 years. 113 titles.

That’s what I’ve come up with. So far.

Never having been satisfied with the small amount of banners that hang in the Coupeville High School gym, I decided recently, with the help of Jim Waller, Keven R. Graves and the Whidbey News-Times archives, to see if I could get a better read on the history of Wolf sports.

What I have come away with is about 100 (give or take one or two) more titles than what currently hang in the gym.

Now, this is not meant to be a slam on anyone in the school administration.

It doesn’t matter who let the history slip away, or when it happened.

But we are the generation that can save it.

It’s that simple.

If we move forward and restore the lost accomplishments, we can honor the past and inspire the future.

As we move forward, I’ll continue to talk to those who actually make these kind of decisions (administrators, school board, Booster Club), figure out what it would cost, how we could make it happen and all that jazz.

But, for the moment, let your eyes wander down the list.

61 league titles.

14 district titles.

21 teams that placed at state (top 10), topped by three (2002 softball, 1987 baseball, 2005 girls’ tennis) who finished as high as 3rd — and yet two of those teams (baseball and tennis) do NOT have banners currently hanging.

17 state titles. 15 in track (14 individual and one relay team) and two in cross country — won by six guys and two gals.

Fact-check me. Did I miss something while going cross-eyed? It’s possible.

Or just bask in the history of our little school on the prairie.

Coupeville High School title winners 1900-2016:


1960 — “B” Northwest League
1965 — “B” Northwest League
1969 — “B” Northwest League
1973 — “B” Northwest League
1973 — “B” District
1974 — “B” Northwest League
1975 — “B” Northwest League
1976 — “B” Northwest League
1976 — “B” District
1977 — “B” Northwest League
1977 — “B” District
1978 — “A” District
1980 — “A” Cascade League
1987 — “B” District
1987 — “B” 3rd at state
1991 — “B” Northwest League
2008 — “A” District


1970 — “B” Northwest League
1970 — “B” District
1971 — “B” Northwest League
1972 — “A” Cascade League
1975 — “B” Northwest League
1979 — “A” Cascade League
1998 — “A/B” Northwest League
2002 — “A” Northwest League


1975 — “A” 9th at state
1976 — “A” 5th at state
1977 — “A” Cascade League
1977 — “A” District
1977 — “A” 5th at state
2010 — “A” Tyler King — state champion


1961 — “B” Northwest League
1967 — “B” Northwest League
1968 — “B” Northwest League
2002 — “A” Northwest League
2009 — “A” Northwest League
2009 — “A” District
2010 — “A” Northwest League
2011 — “A” Northwest League
2015 — “A” Olympic League


1979 — “A/B” Jeff Fielding — state champion (3200)
1979 — “A/B” 8th at state
1984 — “B” Northwest League
1985 — “B” District
1986 — “B” 6th at state
1987 — “B” Northwest League
1987 —  “B” District
2005 — “A” Bi-District
2005 — “A” 8th at state
2006 — “A” Bi-District
2006 — “A” Jon Chittim — state champion (200, 400)
2006 — “A” Kyle King — state champion (3200)
2006 — “A” Chris Hutchinson, Jon Chittim, Kyle King, Steven McDonald — state champion (4 x 400)
2006 — “A” 4th at state
2007 — “A” Kyle King — state champion (1600, 3200)
2008 — “A” Kyle King — state champion (3200)
2008 — “A” 4th at state
2010 — “A” Tyler King — state champion (1600, 3200)
2010 — “A” 6th at state
2011 — “A” 7th at state


1974 — “B” Northwest League
1990 — “B” Northwest League


1998 — “A” Northwest League
2002 — “A” Northwest League
2002 — “A” 6th at state
2003 — “A” 8th at state
2005 — “A” Northwest League
2005 — “A” 8th at state
2006 — “A” Northwest League
2015 — “A” Olympic League
2016 — “A” Olympic League


1981 — “A/B” 8th at state
1982 — “A” Cascade League
1982 — “A/B” 4th at state
1985 — “A/B” Natasha Bamberger — state champion


1994 — “AAA” Wesco (Coupeville/Oak Harbor)
1994 — “AAA” 4th in state (Coupeville/Oak Harbor)


1981 — “A” Cascade League
1982 — “A” Cascade League
1983 — “A” Cascade League
1998 — “A” Northwest League
1999 — “A” Northwest League
2000 — “A” Northwest League
2001 — “A” Northwest League
2002 — “A” Northwest League
2003 — “A” Northwest League
2004 — “A” Northwest League
2005 — “A” Northwest League
2005 — “A” 3rd at state
2008 — “A” Northwest League
2009 — “A” Northwest League
2010 — “A” Northwest League
2011 — “A” Northwest League
2012 — “A” Northwest League
2015 — “A” Olympic League


1984 — “B” Natasha Bamberger — state champion (1600, 3200)
1984 — “B” 5th at state
1985 — “B” Natasha Bamberger — state champion (3200)
1986 — “B” Natasha Bamberger — state champion (3200)
1986 — “B” 8th at state
1989 — “B” Northwest League
1989 — “B” District
2003 — “A” Amy Mouw — state champion (800)


2002 — “A” Northwest League
2002 — “A” 3rd at state


1997 — “A/B” Northwest League
2001 — “A” Northwest League
2002 — “A” Tri-District
2004 — “A” District

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Clockwise, from left, Madeline Strasburg, Lexie Black, Kyle King and Kim Meche.

   Clockwise, from left, are Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame inductees Madeline Strasburg, Lexie Black, Kyle King and Kim Meche.

A young Willie Smith, reunited with a stat sheet from the 1999-2000 basketball season.

   A young Willie Smith, reunited with a vintage stat sheet from the 1999-2000 CHS girls’ basketball season.

I am now starting a weekly argument.

Simple as that.

If you look at the very top of this blog, there’s a tab, marked “Legends,” which sits next to “David’s Best Ever Friends” and “Who’s responsible for this.”

Under that tab, you will find the brand-new Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

Today, I induct my first class, with one female athlete, one male athlete, one coach, one team and one moment.

Every Sunday I will add a new class, publishing a story and adding the inductee(s) to the roll of honor, where they (or it) will live on as long as this blog does.

Going forward, it’s a crap shoot.

I can add one, or a bunch. No guarantee every division will have equal representation.

Like most of what’s on this blog, it’s whatever strikes my fancy that Sunday.

BUT, you, the reader, do have a huge say.

I have an idea where I’m going to go, who I’m going to induct. But I want, and need, your input.

I need you to email me (davidsvien@hotmail.com), message me on Facebook or talk to me in person at games.

Tell me who you want to be in the Hall o’ Fame. Convince me.

Anyone who has ever played or coached in Coupeville is eligible, whether they were here in the 1920s or are currently playing.

I have a pretty good feel for local sports history, but, I will be the first to admit I have huge gaps.

Think a player, a team, a coach, a moment is being snubbed or forgotten?

Lecture me. Long and loudly.

Will I agree? Maybe. Maybe not. But I will listen to you and mull it over.

And then, like usual, I’ll do whatever I dang well choose.

But, if you don’t try and convince me I’m an idiot, then you can’t complain when I am an idiot.

Spread the knowledge. Get on your soap box. Light me up. Bring it on.

And now, to our first class.

When Major League Baseball inducted its first class, it went with Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Honus Wagner and Babe Ruth, arguably the five best players in history at that time (if you ignore the fact the Negro Leagues were completely ignored).

This class is not an effort to match that. I am not claiming these are the absolute best Coupeville has ever seen in these divisions.

That’s an argument for another day.

What I am saying is these three individuals, this team and this moment are among the finest we have ever seen in Cow Town. They are a dang good place to start.

In no particular order, the first-ever class to be inducted into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame are Lexie Black, Kyle King, Kim Meche, Madeline Strasburg and the 1999-2000 CHS girls’ basketball team.


Lexie Black (Female Athlete) — The most sustained run of excellence CHS has seen in any sport came in girls’ basketball, from the late ’90s through the mid-to-late 2000’s.

Other players put up bigger offensive numbers, but Lexie is the one who, a decade later, still holds a major record, for most blocked shots (10) in a 1A state playoff game.

Her commitment to defense and team, her willingness to sell out completely and demand other teams get the heck out of HER paint marked her as a top-notch player.

That she is one of the nicest, sweetest, smartest women you will ever meet, well, that’s just a bonus.

Kyle King (Male Athlete) — Five state titles as a track star. Utter dedication to his craft, never missing a day, even when he and younger brother Tyler ran shirtless through the snow.

One of the few Wolf alumni to go on to an equally successful college career, running three years at Eastern Washington and one at Oklahoma.

Kim Meche (Coach) — A very talented volleyball player who became a very strong coach and later, administrator. Never lost her smile, or her fight, as she battled cancer for years, inspiring countless students, former players and colleagues.

A class act every step of the way, and the first inductee I chose.

Madeline Strasburg (Moment) — I have never seen anything quite like it.

Maddie Big Time, the ultimate big-game, big-moment player, stole the ball at mid-court, whirled and banked in a three-pointer from the left side that beat the third quarter buzzer by a millisecond.

OK, great play, but…

Two weeks later, coming off of Christmas break, the Wolf girls’ basketball team returns to the court.

Seconds to play in the third quarter, Strasburg, a junior at the time during the 2013-2014 season, rips the ball free, whirls, lets fly … and banks it in from mid-court, then runs off screaming as the buzzer wails.

The same incredible play. The same EXACT moment. Back-to-back games, 17 days apart.

I still don’t believe it, and I saw it happen.

1999-2000 CHS girls’ basketball (Team) — A slam dunk.

Other teams won more games. Other teams had better finishes. But this is where it started, when the Wolves refused to let it end.

March 2, 2000 they became the first team in school history to win a game at the state tourney, in any sport.

And they did it the way they had all that season, as a team of gutsy ball-hawks who attacked relentlessly, just the way coach Willie Smith drew it up.

Trailing Freeman by 11 points going into the fourth quarter, the Wolves, led by Tina Lyness, Ashley Ellsworth-Bagby and Brianne King, roared back to take the fourth quarter 20-5.

But, in the end, it wasn’t the big three, but ultimate role player Jaime Rasmussen who iced the 46-42 win, scoring the go-ahead basket before draining two free throws with five seconds to play.

A team that started the season 0-5 came back to shock Archbishop Thomas Murphy twice, then pulled off the defining win in school history in classic fashion. While having a lot of fun along the way.

Inducted, as a team:

Willie Smith (head coach)
Cherie Smith (assistant coach)
Ashley Ellsworth-Bagby
Penny Griggs
Brianne King
Yashmeen Knox
Tina Lyness
Jaime Rasmussen
Nicole Shelly
Rachelle Solomon
Tracy Taylor
Emily Young
Laura Young

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Joel Walstad

Joel Walstad

Kyle King

Kyle King

They are old school (well, not that old…) and new school, united by a love of athletics, an alma mater and a birthday.

Kyle King is the grizzled vet, a former state champ track star at Coupeville High School who went on to run, very successfully, at two D-1 colleges.

Joel Walstad is the current leader of the pack, a heat-flingin’ quarterback who’s currently putting up sweet numbers for the Wolf football squad. After that, basketball and soccer seasons beckon.

Both are part of successful athletic families, with King’s siblings Brianne and Tyler and Joel’s bro and sis Tim and Bessie forming potent trios in CHS sports history.

The two guys celebrating a joint birthday today also share a laid-back attitude (the dudes abide) and a penchant for being at the forefront of cheering on their fellow athletes.

If there’s a student section rocking the house, King is smack dab in the middle of it, a trait shared by Walstad, who’s quite fond of the face paint and screaming like a banshee.

While they’ve followed different athletic paths (though Kyle did suit up as a gridiron warrior for a bit), and only one of them has sported a spectacular porn star-style ‘stache for a bit (spoiler: it was the college guy), the duo both deserve big props.

Strong athletes and students who happen to be quality people, they give Coupeville a good name.

Let’s return the favor and wish them well on their big day.

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