Posts Tagged ‘Lauren Grove’

(Amy King photo)

   Tiffany Briscoe (left) and Lauren Grove both played a sport in all 12 seasons of their high school career. (Amy King photo)

The three-sport athlete is not dead.

In the five years Coupeville Sports has existed, the number of Wolves upholding the old-school tradition of playing something every season has fluctuated.

And this year, that number is trending upwards.

One week into spring sports practices, it appears 23 CHS students — 13 girls and 10 boys — will pull off the feat in 2016-2017.

That’s a nice bounce from last year, when only 17 reached the mark.

It also stops a downward spiral.

After 18 athletes hit the mark in 2012-2013, we hit a high-water mark of 23 in ’13-’14.

But then the numbers started to slip, from 20 in ’14-’15 to last year’s low of 17.

Now, we’ve rebounded to tie our best mark.

Why the increase this year?

In two words, fresh blood, as 10 freshmen (five girls, five boys) took advantage of all of their opportunities.

In fact, the frosh nipped the juniors, who fielded seven iron men/women, while the sophomores had four and the seniors just a piddly two.

But those two seniors, Lauren Grove and Tiffany Briscoe, are true believers, having played a sport in all 12 seasons of their high school careers.

That tops last year, when just one ’16 grad, Jared Helmstadter, achieved the perfecto.

Barring injury or distractions, we could have as many as four athletes pull off a 12-for-12 run in ’18, as juniors Lauren Rose, Allison Wenzel, Cameron Toomey-Stout and Hunter Smith are flawless to this point at 9-for-9.

Why does any of this matter?

For a lot of reasons, with the first being the simple fact Coupeville is a small school, even by 1A standards, and needs bodies in uniforms.

Also, the age of specialization is a crock, unless you’re in the top .001% of your sport nationally (and no one in Cow Town fits that bill these days).

College coaches repeatedly say the same thing — they want athletes who have played more than one sport. You may have a specialty, or a favorite, but try pushing yourself.

The proof is right before our eyes.

When we look at CHS grads who have gone on to successfully play college sports in recent years, whether it’s Tyler King at U-Dub, Kyle King at Oklahoma, Makana Stone at Whitman or Ben Etzell at Saint John’s, one fact remains — they all played 2-3 sports every year in high school.

Whether you want to move on to the next level or high school is the end of the road for you athletically, push yourself. Try something new.

It’s good for the school. It’s better for you.

3-sport athletes in 2016-2017:

Tiffany Briscoe – senior (volleyball, basketball, softball)
Hunter Downes – junior (football, basketball, track)
Mikayla Elfrank – junior (volleyball, basketball, softball)
Lauren Grove – senior (soccer, basketball, track)
Mason Grove – freshman (tennis, basketball, soccer)
Elliott Johnson – freshman (tennis, basketball, baseball)
Gavin Knoblich – freshman (football, basketball, baseball)
Nicole Lester – sophomore (volleyball, basketball, softball)
Joey Lippo – junior (tennis, basketball, baseball)
Emma Mathusek  – freshman (volleyball, basketball, softball)
Avalon Renninger – freshman (soccer, basketball, tennis)
Lindsey Roberts – sophomore (soccer, basketball, track)
Lauren Rose – junior (volleyball, basketball, softball)
Ema Smith – sophomore (soccer, basketball, track)
Hunter Smith – junior (football, basketball, baseball)
Scout Smith – freshman (volleyball, basketball, softball)
Cameron Toomey-Stout – junior (football, basketball, track)
Maya Toomey-Stout – freshman (volleyball, basketball, track)
Sean Toomey-Stout – freshman (football, basketball, track)
Ulrik Wells – freshman (football, basketball, baseball)
Allison Wenzel – junior (volleyball, basketball, track)
Sarah Wright – sophomore (volleyball, basketball, softball)
Tia Wurzrainer – freshman (soccer, basketball, tennis)

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Lauren and Lauren (Sylvia Hurlburt photos)

   When a Lauren (Rose), on left, meets a Lauren (Grove) in the paint. (Sylvia Hurlburt photos)

Tiffany Briscoe

Senior co-captain Tiffany Briscoe (second from right) and family.


Grove gets a shout-out from her rabid fan club.

Kaela Hollrigel

  Senior cheer captain Kaela Hollrigel (left) hangs out with mom and lil’ sis Natalie.


Kailey Kellner gets mobbed.


One of the hand-crafted signs which welcomed fans to the gym Saturday night.

Lauren Grove

   Lauren Grove with (most of) her family. Younger brother Mason was on the road with the CHS boys’ hoops squad.

Skyler Lawrence

Skyler Lawrence (left) caps a 4-year CHS hoops career alongside her sister.

First came the sniffles and photos, then another win.

The Coupeville High School girls’ basketball squad thumped Port Townsend Saturday, meaning all four players honored on Senior Night will graduate having never lost a varsity league game.

As Lauren Grove, Kailey Kellner, Tiffany Briscoe and Skyler Lawrence (plus senior cheer captain Kaela Hollrigel) received their tributes, living legend/former CHS cheer captain/school track record holder Sylvia Hurlburt clicked away.

The photos above are courtesy her.

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Lauren Grove

Lauren Grove, certified super star. (Mindy Grove photo)

Miss Intense

Miss Intense. (John Fisken photo)

Easy rider. (Tiffany Briscoe photo)

Easy rider. (Tiffany Briscoe photo)

(John Fisken photo)

Pitch queen. (Fisken photo)

The voice came from behind me, calm, composed, with not a trace of boasting, just filled with quiet confidence.

“I am going to be on that wall.”

Lauren Grove was a relative newbie at the time, barely a few days into her high school athletic career, but there was absolutely no doubt when she spoke — she was going places.

I was gazing up at the track and field record board in the Coupeville High School gym.

Grove, in her own uniquely understated way, wanted me to know she would one day be sitting up there with Natasha Bamberger, with Chad Gale, with Jennie Cross, with the best her school had ever produced.

And she was right.

Jump forward to now and Lauren, who celebrates the big 1-8 today, is up on the big board twice, part of two of the fastest relay teams ever to wear Coupeville’s uniform.

She has a season left, and thanks to a school levy, will be among the leaders of a Wolf team which will debut the school’s new track oval this spring.

As her senior year unspools, it is easy to be impressed with Miss Grove on so many levels.

One of just two Class of 2017 athletes who are still on target to play a sport in all 12 of their high school seasons (joining Tiffany Briscoe), Lauren has blazed an impressive trail.

Two seasons on the volleyball court, then a mid-career jump to soccer, where she became an award-winning goaltender seemingly overnight.

Four seasons on the basketball court, an integral part of teams which won league titles, advanced to state and staked Coupeville’s claim to being the dominant hoops power in the region.

And, of course, track.

Three seasons (so far) of busting records, piling up medals and gliding like a gazelle, albeit one whose eyes scorch foes very souls as she rips past them.

Grove is passionate, committed, relentless as an athlete, the very model to hold up to younger girls and boys who want to rise to a high level.

When she walks off the high school stage for the final time — hopefully bearing more medals at next spring’s state track meet — I feel confident she will be able to do so with a genuine sense of accomplishment.

Lauren will be able to look back and say, “I gave everything I had. I never, ever backed down or took the easy way out.”

And her parents, her family, her friends and teammates, her coaches and fans, will be justifiably proud of all she accomplished.

But, of course, it goes way beyond whatever medals she has (or will) win, whatever baskets she has hit, whatever soccer shots she has knocked away from her goal.

Lauren Grove is a truly remarkable young woman, one of the most genuinely talented I have written about.

There is a sweetness to her soul that is rare, an unswerving loyalty to her family and friends that always seems genuine, and, if we had to sum her up in one word, I would say … class.

She is successful because she works hard, and she is respected because of how she carries herself, on the field and off.

Lauren Grove, when she was younger, was sure she was going to accomplish great things.

She was right, but her greatest accomplishment is not the medals or the wins, but the confident, compassionate, loyal young woman who makes the world around her a better place for her presence.

Miss Grove, you have impressed me, and I know you will continue to do so, through these final months of high school and long after.

My birthday present to you?

Early induction into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame, effective today.

We could wait for you to graduate and all that, but we’re not going to do that.

You have earned your slot for your athletic accomplishments, and, more so, for the person you are.

From all of us who have watched your meteoric rise, as an athlete and a brilliant young woman, happy birthday and welcome to our lil’ digital hall of wonders.

You’re the best, Lauren. Always know that we all think that.

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Senior captain Lauren Grove. (John Fisken photo)

Senior captain Lauren Grove. (John Fisken photo)

It’s the Coaches Corner, with a twist.

Coupeville High School girls’ hoops guru David King is back for his weekly chat, but this time he’s brought along one of his veterans.

With the Wolves sliding through the Christmas break sitting in first-place in the 1A Olympic League, here’s what they had to talk about:

I wanted to do something a little different this week.

I randomly selected one of our senior captains (Lauren Grove) and sent her three questions for this week’s Coaches Corner blog.

I’ll turn it over to Lauren.

Thinking back, what are you most pleased about with your growth from your freshman year to your senior season?

The growth that has most pleased me from my freshman to senior year has been my ability to play good, clean defense.

As a freshman I would foul a lot; since then I have learned how to play effective defense without fouling, which has helped me a lot.

What have you learned over time about your teams or teammates? Some sort of accomplishment or maybe the bonding into a family type thing.

Over the past four years that I’ve played high school basketball I have learned that every team is different.

Everyone on the team has certain strengths and weaknesses, and as a player you must know who your teammates are.

If you know your teammates and spend time with them you make connections, and when those connections are brought onto the court the whole team prospers.

How important is your family in supporting you through the good and bad times of a game?

Family support is very important to me.

My family is constantly supporting me even during the toughest of games, which is really helpful.

They are a constant reminder to keep trying my best, and I’m very grateful for that.

I am hoping that the current and younger players of Coupeville will read and know how important the team and teammates are.

That each of us brings different strengths that makes for a successful team.

Also, that as athletes and humans, we have to evolve and change to reach our fullest potential. Never settle!

For parents, family and friends, the support and positive words do go a LONG way to helping each player be successful no matter the outcome of a game.

Happy Holidays and looking forward to a very successful 2017.

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Kyla Briscoe has a season-high five points Tuesday, helping tip the Wolf girls over the top against Concrete. (John Fisken photo)

   Kyla Briscoe has a season-high five points Tuesday, helping tip the Wolf girls over the top against Concrete. (John Fisken photo)

Courage under fire.

The Coupeville High School girls’ basketball squad showed just that Tuesday night, overcoming three missing players, early foul trouble and a rampaging opposing player to escape with a big win on the road.

The come-from-behind 46-41 non-conference victory over Concrete came thanks to season-best performances from Wolf role players, and a deadly eye at the free throw stripe in the game’s final seconds.

Mia Littlejohn and Mikayla Elfrank combined to drain four straight free throws in the game’s final 20 seconds, silencing the pro-Concrete crowd and sealing the win, which lifts the Wolves to 5-3.

CHS is now off for nine days thanks to Christmas break, not playing again until Dec. 30, when it travels to Orcas Island.

Having rallied from an eight-point halftime deficit, the Wolves were clinging to a one-point lead in the game’s final minute, when they turned the ball over.

Concrete took immediate advantage, knocking down a bucket to reclaim the lead at 41-40.

But, if they expected Coupeville to panic, they were flat out wrong.

Instead of calling a timeout, the Wolves pushed the Lions back on their heels, immediately in-bounding the ball and quickly running a play for their leading scorer, Kailey Kellner.

The senior gunner got the ball on the wing, faked her defender into the third row of the bleachers, drove hard to her right and viciously threw down a back-breaking jumper from just inside the key.

Concrete, by contrast, did blink.

Under pressure from Wolf defenders, the Lions booted the ball on the ensuing play and were forced to foul Coupeville to keep the clock from running out.

Littlejohn, who has been battling illness (like many of her teammates), calmly dropped both ends of her 1-and-1 opportunity through the net, then the CHS defense came up epic again.

Another play under pressure, another turnover for Concrete — this time courtesy of a long pass that caught air and sailed over its intended target by several feet.

Two more free throws, this time from Elfrank, and the deed was done.

The ending was a beautiful capper to a game that wasn’t all that pretty for Coupeville in the first half.

The Wolves jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, off of a put-back from Kyla Briscoe and a jumper by Lauren Grove (set up by a cross-court pass from Kellner), but then things fell apart for awhile.

Foul trouble (Concrete was in the bonus by the end of the first quarter and shot 16 free throws in the first half) hurt Coupeville, as did the Wolves inability to stop Jaycelyn Kuipers.

The Lion post player, who finished with a game-high 26, scored inside, outside and at the line and dominated in three of four quarters of play.

The one quarter she went AWOL though was the game’s turning point.

Down 25-17 at the break, Coupeville came out of the halftime locker room in a different mindset and held Kuipers scoreless during a 15-4 Wolf run.

“We came out in the third with some fire on the defensive end and created some tough shots and turnovers for Concrete,” said CHS coach David King. “This led to some quick buckets for us.”

The Wolves got something from everyone in the quarter, with Kellner hitting for five and setting up a baseline three-ball from Kyla Briscoe with a great set-up pass.

Lauren Grove added four, while Elfrank tossed in three as Coupeville snatched control of the game back.

“We won the quarter with hustle, smart defense and making the extra pass on offense,” King said.

With Lindsey Roberts, Charlotte Langille and Allison Wenzel all missing Tuesday, sophomore Ema Smith got a chance to swing up from JV and make her varsity debut.

“As expected, she gave us some good minutes and hustle,” King said. “She keeps working like she has on the JV team, she may earn the opportunity to be a swing player down the road this year.”

Sarah Wright and Tiffany Briscoe also earned praise, with the duo snatching seven rebounds apiece. Briscoe also had a team-high five steals.

Tiffany and Sarah probably had their best games on the season. This should launch their confidence,” King said. “Kyla played well; if she keeps making strides like last night, she will be another force coming off the bench and earning more playing time.”

Grove paced CHS with 10 points (she also snagged four boards, dealt out two assists and had Coupeville’s lone block on the night), while Elfrank and Kellner dropped in nine apiece.

Wright (6), Kyla Briscoe (5), Tiffany Briscoe (3), Lauren Rose (2) and Mia Littlejohn (2) also scored, while Kalia Littlejohn chipped in with two assists.

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