Posts Tagged ‘Kyle Nelson’

No more endless bus rides to Forks for Kyle Nelson. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

After 15 seasons, two teams, an estimated 100+ bus rides, not to mention a few ferry trips, Kyle Nelson has reached his limit.

The Coupeville High School girls’ soccer coach is stepping down from the position, following on the heels of the recent announcement Wolf cross country guru Paige Spangler is moving to the East Coast.

Nelson is not planning to leave town, or his job as a CHS teacher, but the father of former Wolf booters Loren and William decided this was a good time to step away from his pitch duties.

After stepping in to cover for current Coupeville boys’ soccer coach Robert Wood at a three-team tiebreaker Saturday in Oak Harbor, he pondered the upcoming change.

“My wife would like to see more of me,” Nelson said. “I’ll still show up at some games and make that transition to just being a fan.

“If every game was played in 65-degree weather, and all the road trips didn’t go any further than Oak Harbor, maybe I’d hang on,” he added with a smile.

“But that’s not going to happen, so…”

Nelson, who previously coached swim in Seattle, joined the Coupeville boys soccer program as an assistant to Paul Mendes, serving two seasons in that capacity.

When the former Seattle Sounder retired, his right-hand man inherited the head coaching job, later making it a two-fer when he also took over the Wolf girls’ program.

Nelson led both programs until Coupeville moved from 1A to 2B, where boys’ and girls’ soccer play in the same season.

In all, he coached nine seasons with the CHS boys, seven as head coach, and six with the girls.

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Coupeville High School girls soccer coach Kyle Nelson will not be patrolling the sideline Thursday night after all. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Mickey Clark Field will be silent Thursday night.

A scheduled home game for the Coupeville High School girls soccer squad against La Conner has been cancelled.

The official cause is “a lack of healthy players for La Conner,” said CHS Athletic Director Willie Smith.

With the game being a Northwest 2B/1B League game, the schools will try to reschedule the game before the end of the season.

Barring any more twists and turns, Coupeville will be back on its home pitch this Saturday, Oct. 16 to face Sultan in a non-league game.

That will be Senior Night for the Wolves and their seven 12th graders.

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Kyle Nelson is stepping down as CHS boys soccer coach, but will continue to coach the Wolf girls squad. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Everything is in flux.

When Coupeville High School drops classifications, moving from 1A to 2B starting with the 2020-2021 school year, soccer will be in transition.

At the 1A level, girls soccer plays in the fall, and the boys take the field in the spring.

That’s not true at 2B, however, where all soccer is played in the fall.

With the teams now sharing a season, Kyle Nelson, who previously coached both CHS squads, has decided to step away from the boys program.

He will remain as the Wolf girls coach as the team joins the Northwest 2B/1B League, while the school will hire a new boys head coach.

“We looked at the schedule and we both thought that it just wouldn’t be fair to either program to have him try to coach both at the same time,” said CHS Athletic Director Willie Smith.

There were several dates on the schedule where both the Wolf boys and girls had games, with one squad on the road and one at home.

Add in the crush of running practices for two programs at the same time, and doing a twofer in the same season is a lot to ask of anyone.

Kyle is really excited about the girls program and wants to build it,” Smith said. “Obviously, he was very disappointed in not being able to finish this (boys) season (because of COVID-19), as he was very excited and optimistic about the team this year.

“Both he and I felt that this boys team would have competed at a very high level within the league and could have made some definite headway into the playoffs.”

Nelson started as an assistant coach with the CHS boys program, then moved up to head coach in 2014 after Paul Mendes retired.

He added the girls head coaching job in 2017.

“It’s been amazing having Kyle coach both programs over the past few years,” Smith said. “I couldn’t have asked for a more steady, level-headed, character-driven coach who has a passion for teaching his teams to play the correct way.”

Once he got done blushing, Nelson chimed in, offering his perspective on the change.

“There was just no way to continue to do both with games on different days and different places; there really is no choice but to have two head coaches,” he said. “That meant I had to make the “choice”.

“I have enjoyed my time coaching the boys fully. I originally went into coaching soccer to be involved in the program with my two sons (Loren and William) as they went through high school,” Nelson added.

“I was lucky enough to start by being an assistant with Coach Mendes, who I was able to learn so much from.

“So, at this point nine years later, I feel I have run my course with the boys program and they are ready for a new coach.

“The girls, on the other hand, I have only had three years with.

“I feel like we are just getting started, and I am looking forward to continuing our work.”

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Thanks to a strong turnout, Coupeville High School girls soccer coach Kyle Nelson will have both a varsity and JV this fall. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

If you wanted more soccer, you’re in luck.

The turnout for Coupeville High School’s girls program was strong enough that the Wolves will have a full-time JV squad this fall.

It’s the first time in many years the CHS female booters have been able to field two teams.

That’s a huge boon for the program, as it allows the Wolves to get substantial playing time for everyone on the roster, something which wasn’t always possible the past season or two.

While Coupeville’s varsity has a 15-game schedule, the JV is set to take the pitch 10 times.

The second squad gets home and away games with four of the five other schools in the North Sound Conference, with Granite Falls the only league school not fielding a JV team.

CHS also gets JV games against non-conference foes Port Townsend and Friday Harbor, though the length of both of those road rumbles may be affected by the need to catch certain ferries.


The JV girls soccer schedule:

Thur-Sept. 12 — @Friday Harbor (after varsity)
Tues-Sept. 17 — @King’s (4:00)
Thur-Sept. 19 — @Sultan (5:00)
Tues-Sept. 24 — Cedar Park Christian (4:00)
Tues-Oct. 1 — South Whidbey (4:00)
Tues-Oct. 8 — King’s (4:00)
Thur-Oct. 10 — @Port Townsend (after varsity)
Tues-Oct. 15 — Sultan (4:00)
Thur-Oct. 17 — @Cedar Park Christian (4:00)
Mon-Oct. 21 — @South Whidbey (4:00)

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Star player turned assistant coach Luke Pelant “brought a quiet calm to the back line” during his days on the soccer pitch. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

William Nelson was a four-time First-Team All-Conference player.

Kyle Nelson has seen some stuff on the soccer pitch.

He began his run at Coupeville High School as an assistant coach, helping guide several teams to the state tourney.

Then, after Paul Mendes retired, Nelson stepped up to take over the Wolf boys program, before also adding the CHS girls coaching gig last season.

Calm, cool, composed, understated, and a natty dresser to boot, he likes to let his player’s actions speak largely for themselves.

But today, as we publish Part 4 in our five-part series on Coupeville coaches discussing the best players they’ve worked with, Nelson lets loose like never before.

So, let me get out of the way and give the man the mic.

Best female athlete – With only a year as the girl’s soccer coach this is a little harder, but the best athlete would be Lindsey RobertsShe brings speed and agility like no other to the field.

Looking a little further and including those soccer skills, Kalia Littlejohn brings a ton of ball skills and field smarts to the team.

Best male athlete – For pure athleticism, a couple stand out.

Nathan Lamb had that quick burst and lateral movement none could keep up with, and William Nelson (and yes, maybe a little father bias) brought agility and silky smoothness bigger guys don’t usually posses.

Will also brought ball skill and soccer talent that few others in our program have had.

Which brings me to some of those other talented players — all of the Leyva boys.

Abraham Leyva, Aram Leyva and Derek Leyva have brought huge amounts of soccer skill to our field; each, in their own unique way, have been hugely instrumental to our program’s success.

CHS athlete I wish I coached – For the girls that is easy – Makana Stone.

She played for a couple of years, but then focused on her other sports.

She brought speed and athleticism to the field. Having that kind of talent to work with would be very fun.

Though I know he would have never played soccer, having the multi-talented Hunter Smith on the soccer field would have been fun to see what could have happened.

Underrated athletes – for the girls, Sage Renninger.

She really was the heart and soul of the team last year, bringing a leadership and talent that was vital to the team.

For the boys, Luke Pelant.

Was one of the best defenders here at Coupeville; he brought a quiet calm to the back line that made that group responsible for the best defensive team we have had.

Best role model – William Nelson has brought the whole package to the soccer field.

Talented player that became that way through years of hard work, through his playing off-season on various select teams, just going to the field to play, or going to the gym to workout.

One of the few players selected two years team captain; really developed into the team leader both at practice and on the field at game time.

At practice he was always one of the hardest workers, always pushing himself and leading by example. He also always kept his cool on the field, helping calm players down when needed.

Really represented CHS with great sportsmanship and class.

And lastly, but most importantly he excelled as a student athlete, balancing sport and academics very successfully.

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