Posts Tagged ‘Lakeside’

Valen Trujillo, seen in her playing days at Coupeville, is now a coach for a 3A volleyball powerhouse. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The student has become the master.

Coupeville High School volleyball legend Valen Trujillo is stepping to the other side of the court next year, joining the coaching staff at Seattle’s Lakeside High School.

She’ll be a JV assistant coach for the Lions, whose varsity squad finished 2nd at the 3A state tournament last fall.

The hire is pending final approval, as the school waits for her background check to be completed.

Trujillo, who is a 2017 CHS grad and was a rare solo inductee into the Coupeville Sports Hall of Fame, has been operating Valen Lee Photography.

Check it out by popping over to: https://www.valenleephoto.com/

Her work behind the camera has taken her on a journey across the United States, with stops from Georgia to an upcoming trip to Utah for a collaboration with another photographer.

While she’s greatly enjoying her business, Trujillo has frequently thought of following in the paths of her own high school volleyball coaches, Breanne Smedley and Cory Whitmore.

“They seriously changed my life,” she said. “I learned more from them in my three years with them than I have in my whole life.”

Along with her photography, Trujillo works in Everett at an athletic club and as a junior tennis assistant coach.

But volleyball has always been her dream gig.

“I have always felt like I’d wanted to be a coach,” Trujillo said. “Since leaving college and having a year of not really knowing what I want or who I was, I started feeling like coaching is what I wanted to pursue.

“I did some tennis coaching but it wasn’t satisfying my desire, so one day I decided to look at volleyball positions, and the rest is history!”

During her days as a Wolf, Trujillo was one of the most-talented athletes to ever walk the hallways of Coupeville High School.

On the volleyball court, she was the ultimate warrior, sprawling out, flipping end over end, vowing to never let a ball evade her grasp.

Trujillo was a three-time All-League player, holds the school record in digs, and, as a senior, led CHS volleyball to its first league title in 15 years.

On the tennis court, she was Coupeville’s #1 singles player, a two-time league champ, and one of the more graceful killers the court has witnessed.

With a flow of compliments and pep talk, Trujillo had an uncanny ability to savage an opponent between the lines, while making sure the girl across the net exited feeling like she had somehow also won.

And on a basketball court?

This is the point where I cry for the 10,000th time, since Trujillo gave up the sport after her middle school days, a time when she made not one, but two, players from King’s run crying from the gym.

She was a beast! A BEAST!!! And it was beautiful…

But I digress.

Suffice it to say, Valen is a rare soul, a truly special athlete, and an even better person.

The first time I met her was when she came up to me and thanked me for attending her middle school game(!!), and, while we’re not supposed to play favorites, I most certainly do.

Miss Trujillo is in the top 1% of those I have written about, and seeing her continue to soar and reach for new challenges makes me smile.

She will transform other girl’s lives, building on what her own coaches started with her. I firmly believe this.

Lakeside got itself a new coach. Its players just won the lottery.

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Topknot firmly in place, Wolf QB Hunter Downes comes out firing. (John Fisken photos)

  Topknot firmly in place, Wolf QB Hunter Downes comes out firing. (John Fisken photos)

Teo Keilwitz

Teo Keilwitz gets ready to explode.

Jacob Martin

Jacob Martin daydreams of blowing up South Whidbey.

Mitchell Carroll

Mitchell Carroll hauls in a pass under pressure.

Freshman Dawson Houston

Freshman Dawson Houston makes his debut with the big boys.

Ryan King

   CHS assistant coach Ryan King (in hat) discusses the finer points of the offense with his players.

Jacob Zettle

Jacob Zettle, ready to terminate.

Julian Welling

Downes makes a connection with center Julian Welling.

It’s still very much mid-summer, even if the Whidbey weather doesn’t always seem like it.

But, even with that said, it’s only six weeks until the Coupeville High School football squad kicks off the 2016-2017 prep sports season with a Sept. 2 home showdown versus South Whidbey.

Putting in work to get ready, the Wolves faced off with Lakeside in a 7 on 7 scrimmage at Camp Casey Friday night, and wanderin’ paparazzi John Fisken was nice enough to swing by and snap these pics for us.

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Freshman Gabe Eck is one of four Wolves vying for the team's starting QB job. (John Fisken photos)

  Freshman Gabe Eck is one of four Wolves vying for the team’s starting QB job. (John Fisken photos)

Cameron Toomey-Stout chases down an unlucky Lakeside runner.

Cameron Toomey-Stout chases down a Lakeside runner.

When the big dog says to sit down

   Brenden Gilbert (74) launches himself onto one very unlucky Lakeside ball-carrier.

Uriel Liquidano

Uriel Liquidano: “Good lord, Gilbert. You’re a freakin’ animal!”

JR Pendergrass

JR Pendergrass lowers his shoulder and prepares to drop the boom.

"Sit down and stay there!!"

“Sit down and stay there!!”

Josh Poole

Josh Poole, a moment before he took off like a bat out of Hell.

20 days.

That’s all that remains until the first day of official fall practice (Aug. 19) for the Coupeville High School football team.

As the Wolves count down the days, what better time than now to drop a few more photos from the recent summer scrimmage against Lakeside?

So, here you go.

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   Lathom Kelley, one of two Wolf seniors who could be a four-year letterman, looks for room to run. (John Fisken photos)

Josh Poole

   No many how many Lakeside tacklers come after him, none of them are getting the ball away from Josh Poole and his death grip.

Gabe Eck

Freshman QB Gabe Eck runs the offense.

Brenden Gilbert

   It takes two foes to slow down Wolf lineman Brenden Gilbert, and still he moves the line … cause he’s a beast.

JR Pendergrass

JR Pendergrass contemplates the pain he’s about to inflict.

Jacob Martin

You can run, but you can’t get away from Jacob Martin (32).

Ty Eck

Ty Eck airs one out.


A Lakeside runner finds himself the filling in a sandwich o’ pain.


Jake Hoagland keeps his eye on the play.

If it’s July 25, it’s football season.

Sort of.

With summer workouts winding down, Coupeville High School got a chance to run plays against a real foe Saturday, with Lakeside coming to town for a scrimmage.

Traveling photo man John Fisken was nice enough to grace us with his presence, and the photos above are courtesy him.

This batch focuses on Coupeville players, while the previous article put the spotlight on Wolf coaches and fans.

Oh, and if you’re curious, the first day of real practice?

Wednesday, Aug. 19 — a mere 25 days from now.

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Ryan Griggs prepares to launch himself down field. (John Fisken photos)

Ryan Griggs prepares to launch himself down field. (John Fisken photos)

Gabe Wynn (33)

Gabe Wynn (33) plants a Lakeside runner.

Two years out, former Wolf star Caleb Valko surveys the young guns. "The freshmen are getting so small!"

   Two years after his last game, former Wolf star Caleb Valko surveys the young guns. “The freshman are getting so SMALL!!”

Wiley Hesselgrave looks for running room.

Wiley Hesselgrave looks for running room.

Matt Shank prepares to defend his turf.

Matt Shank prepares to defend his turf.

A fair amount of fans turned out on a brilliantly sunny day.

A fair amount of fans turned out on a brilliantly sunny day.

Fomer Wolf QB Gunnar Langvold hangs out on crutches

Former Wolf QB Gunnar Langvold, still in need of a haircut.

Langvold's successor, Joel Walstad, rolls out to fire a pass.

Langvold’s successor, Joel Walstad, rolls out to fire a pass.

More photos? More photos.

Saturday’s spring scrimmage between Coupeville and visiting Lakeside kept photo man John Fisken hoppin’, and his camera clickin’. Enjoy a few more of his images, and, if you want to see everything he captured, head over to:


And remember, a portion of all sales goes to help fund scholarships for CHS student athletes.

This past school year, Breeanna Messner and Brandon Kelley became the first recipients. Who will be honored in 2015, and will a few of your bucks go to their cause?

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