Posts Tagged ‘league champs’

Abby Mulholland unleashes a blistering serve. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Helen Strelow whacks a winner.

Winning titles is kind of their thing.

Take a look at the Wall of Fame in the Coupeville High School gym, and you’ll see girls tennis has the most conference crowns of any Wolf athletic program.

Cliff Horr had a very-successful run as CHS net coach, followed by the Wolves racking up title after title during the ongoing 17-year journey of hardcourt guru Ken Stange.

Tuesday afternoon Stange’s current squad tossed another accomplishment on the pile o’ success, swatting visiting Friday Harbor 5-0 to seal the deal.

The Wolves, battling dodgy weather and a lack of foes this spring, finish 2-0 in Northwest 2B/1B League play, 4-1 overall.

Now it’s on to the postseason for Coupeville’s top girls, with two singles players and two doubles duos headed to Tumwater May 20 for the District 1/4 tourney.

Winners there advance to the state championships May 27-28 in Yakima.


Complete Tuesday results:



1st Singles — Abby Mulholland won 6-0, 6-1

2nd Singles — Helen Strelow won 6-1, 6-1

1st Doubles — Noelle Daigneault/Eryn Wood won 6-2, 6-1

2nd Doubles — Katelin McCormick/Mary Milnes won 6-1, 6-2

3rd Doubles — Hayley Fiedler/Vivian Farris won 6-0, 6-1



4th Doubles — Sophie Martin/Lucy Tenore won 6-4

5th Doubles — Skylar Parker/Karyme Castro lost 6-4

Read Full Post »

Freshman Mia Farris smacked four hits Wednesday as Coupeville beat Friday Harbor to clinch a league title. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

They’re still the gold standard.

It was a little closer than expected, but the Coupeville High School varsity softball squad kept its record perfect in Northwest 2B/1B League games, knocking off visiting Friday Harbor 6-3 Wednesday afternoon.

The victory, coming against a foe it socked 30-0 the first time around, lifts the Wolves to 6-0 in conference action, 13-2 overall.

It also clinches back-to-back league titles for Coupeville and moves Kevin McGranahan’s squad one win away from qualifying for the state tournament.

The Wolves wrap up the regular season with a home doubleheader Friday against Orcas Island on Senior Night, then a road trip May 3 to Darrington.

After that, there’s gonna be a wait.

Current plans call for Coupeville to travel to Fort Borst Park in Centralia May 21, where it will play the #5 team from District 4 in a winner-to-state, loser-out game.

The delay is because District 4, which has 20 schools playing 2B softball, will host a complete district tourney.

District 1, which Coupeville rules, will not, as the Wolves are one of just three 2B schools on the diamond.

Having thunked Friday Harbor and La Conner in regular season play, Coupeville is da champs.

The 2B state tourney, set for May 27-28 in Yakima, will be a 12-team rumble.

That’s right, it won’t be a 16-team bout as usual, because 2B softball, with 49 teams, misses the 50-team cutoff for a 16-team bracket by a single school.

That also means District 1 won’t automatically send a team to state — which it would if there were 50 schools — “requiring” the crossover with District 4.

There will be a test on all of this later…

Wolves (l to r) Teagan Calkins, Sofia Peters, Taylor Brotemarkle, and Madison McMillan are one win away from the state tourney.

Coupeville, then a 1A program, went to the big dance in 2019, the last time Washington held any state championships for spring sports.

The pandemic erased softball, baseball, track, soccer, and tennis in spring 2020, then restricted 2021 action to just league contests.

Now, Wolf seniors Izzy Wells and Audrianna Shaw, who are the only remaining active players from the 2019 squad, will try and guide their team back to state.

The duo was front and center Wednesday, as usual, with the Izzinator whipping strikes to her lil’ sis, Savina, who, clad in catcher’s gear, accepted nine strikeouts.

Shaw banged out a pair of hits and patrolled center field, meanwhile, in a game which stayed close a lot longer than McGranahan might have liked.

“We came out flat, but did enough to get the win,” he said.

“Another Coupeville fastpitch league championship. However, the work is not done, only just beginning.”

The Wolves struck first Wednesday, pushing a run across in the bottom of the first to take the early lead.

Shaw led off with a walk, with Mia Farris and Izzy Wells following with base-knocks, and the scoreboard lit up.

But then it dimmed a bit, as Friday Harbor fought back to take the lead with a three-run top of the third.

Trailing a league opponent for the first time this season, Coupeville rebounded with two runs in the bottom half of the third to knot things up, and two more in the fourth to take the lead for good.

Both of those mini surges featured Shaw, Farris, and fellow freshman Taylor Brotemarkle reach base twice apiece, while 9th grader Madison McMillan bopped a double to put the game on ice in the sixth.


Wednesday stats:

Taylor Brotemarkle — 2 walks
Mia Farris — 4 singles
Gwen Gustafson— 2 singles
Allie Lucero — 2 singles
Madison McMillan — 1 double
Audrianna Shaw — 2 singles, 1 walk
Izzy Wells — 1 single, 2 walks

Gwen Gustafson slaps another hit.

Read Full Post »

The senior leaders from the 1964 Coupeville High School boys tennis team, which won league and sub-district titles. (Photo courtesy Jack Sell)

Another tile (or two) on the wall.

Five years ago, almost to the day, the Wall of Fame in the Coupeville High School gym was installed.

Since then, current teams and athletes have added themselves to the collection, headlined by Danny Conlisk winning a pair of state titles in track and field.

But the work to fully uncover what is now 121 years of CHS sports history is never-ending, especially in sports such as tennis, which often went largely unwritten about in old-school newspapers.

Something I fully appreciate, as I haunted the hardcourts for three years in the late ’80s at Tumwater High School.

I played as high as #1 singles for a 2A school, yet never once saw anyone massacre my name while trying to spell it in The Daily Olympian.

But enough about me and my teenage angst.

Back to Coupeville, and my discovery today of two titles missing from our Wall of Fame.

Flipping through the 1964 Leloo Cly yearbook (from my landlord’s sophomore year), I found a (fairly astonishing for the time period) two-page layout on the Wolf netters.

And lo and behold, concrete proof of Coupeville winning both Northwest League and Sub-District titles!

The Wall of Fame documents three league titles from the ’60s — 1961, 1967, and 1968 — but not ’64, and the earliest district title under the boys tennis banner is 2009.

History reclaimed!

The 12-man ’64 Wolf tennis squad had an impressive campaign all around, beating Friday Harbor in the regular-season finale to clinch the league title.

Dave Lortz, playing with two different Edwards boys, then went on a tear through the postseason as a doubles player.

After teaming up with Henry Edwards to win league and sub-district titles, Lortz paired off with Ron Edwards, the sub-district singles champ, to head to the state tourney.

The duo were one of 32 pairs to make the trek to Bremerton, and were one of the last eight undefeated tandems standing.


The ’64 CHS boys tennis team:

Bill Bainbridge
Henry Edwards
Ron Edwards
Jim Henry
Denny Keith
Jim Keith
Dave Lortz
Lee Milheim
Bruce Seiger
Mike Syreen
Stan Willhight
Steve Wilson

Read Full Post »

River Ozturk, the pride of Turkey, slashed a gorgeous two-run single Saturday as Coupeville softball clinched a league title. (Jackie Saia photos)

Everyone plays.

Everyone contributes.

Everyone celebrates.

As the Coupeville High School softball players belted out their theme song one final time this season, serenading their home fans moments before everyone stormed the line for cupcakes, glimmers of sun poked through the cloudy prairie sky.

On a Saturday afternoon in which CHS coach Kevin McGranahan managed to get 23 girls varsity playing time, the Wolves accomplished much.

They bounced visiting Darrington 8-6 and 16-4 to claim a sweet doubleheader sweep on Senior Night.

They rolled to a 9-0 record in this pandemic-shortened season, with road trips to Friday Harbor and La Conner left on the schedule.

They gave their veterans a superb send-off, while also offering their young players — many of whom lost a season to COVID last spring — a chance to learn under fire.

And, they emphatically clinched the Northwest 2B/1B League title, meaning that McGranahan, wife Justine, and Ron Wright have led the Wolf diamond program to conference crowns in three different locations.

The NWL title joins ones the trio won in the 1A Olympic League and 1A North Sound Conference.

While the pandemic will prevent Coupeville, or any teams, from pursuing a playoff run, Wolf fans can bask in the glow of a softball program which is winning the right way now, and is set up for a bright future for years to come.

How Saturday played out:


Game 1:

Kevin McGranahan is a gamblin’ man.

With Coupeville up 6-0 after one inning, then 8-1 at the end of two, he liberally substituted, including pulling his battery — fireball-flinging pitcher Izzy Wells and rock-solid catcher Mollie Bailey — at least for awhile.

But then Darrington got really, really stingy on defense, and mounted a comeback on offense, while McGranahan gave his future stars a chance to face mounting pressure.

To a point.

Wells and Bailey returned in the final moments, slamming the door shut on a game which provided valuable lessons to Coupeville’s young guns.

Things started off fully in favor of the Wolves, with seniors Chelsea Prescott, Ivy Leedy, Lacy McCraw-Shirron, Heidi Meyers, Coral Caveness, and Bailey all in the starting lineup.

After Wells set Darrington’s first three hitters down on strikeouts, Coupeville went to work, sending 12 batters to the plate in the bottom of the first.

McCraw-Shirron got things going, zipping down to first after a third strike got away from the Logger catcher, and soon came around to score.

From there, the Wolves used five walks, a Darrington error, and timely hits from Wells and Bella Whalen to blow things open.

Whalen’s base-knock was a bomb — a high, arcing two-run double which, for a hot second or two, looked like it might clear the fence for a round-tripper.

CHS tacked on two more runs in the second, courtesy an RBI double to straight-away center from Bailey, and an RBI single ripped back up the middle by Meyers.

But then the Wolf offense vanished for a bit, at least when it came to scoring.

Coupeville put runners on base in three of the next four innings, only to see Darrington escape each time.

Maya Nottingham had an eventful trip (mostly) around the bases, getting plunked on the foot by a pitch to earn a walk, then blasted by a foul ball off of Prescott’s hyper-charged bat while crouched at third.

She came out of the game after that, with pinch-runner Audrianna Shaw eventually stranded after the Loggers turned a slick double play moments later.

The Wolves had two on in the fourth, after base-knocks from Bailey and Whalen, but like Wells after she walked in the sixth, home base stayed cold and distant to them.

Which was OK, as Wells continued to blaze through Darrington’s lineup.

When Allie Lucero made her high school pitching debut in the top of the fifth, the sophomore pulled off a scoreless inning, getting three different batters to pop up to Prescott at short.

The sixth inning was the stumbling block, however, as some defensive confusion and a lil’ artful bunting from Darrington allowed the Loggers to mount a five-run rally, cutting the lead back to just two runs.

Re-enter Wells to the pitching circle, and exit her foes, as she slammed the door shut, recording the final five outs, including three strikeouts to give her 12 K’s in the game.


Game 2:

Time for a new debut.

Maya Lucero, twin sister of Allie, got the pitching start, allowing Wells some time to rest in the shade.

The fourth Wolf pitcher to see game action this season — Gwen Gustafson has also tossed four innings — Maya opened with two perfect innings, struck out three with a little heat of her own, and went the distance in a game halted after five innings.

She also got to watch as her fellow sophomore, Jill Prince, pulled off one of the best defensive plays seen on the Coupeville diamond this spring.

Bouncing on her toes at third, the granddaughter of Murph Cross reacted like a pro when a Darrington hitter lashed a wicked liner in her direction.

Throwing out her mitt, Prince caught 97% of the ball, only to have the speed and fury of the ball carry it up and off her glove.

But, as the ball shot away, headed towards the Wolf dugout, and hearts sank across the prairie, the rising star immediately flung her non-glove hand out, somehow snatching the angry ball right back out of the air before it could reach the exit.

The pretty, pretty play brought a roar of approval from Prince’s coaches, then from a pack of Wolves who stormed their young teammate, heaping praise on her.

Jill Prince, master of the web gem.

At the plate, Coupeville could do no wrong, punching in nine runs in the bottom of the first, before adding four more in the second to put the game on ice early.

Bailey, Caveness (during one of the few at-bats on which she wasn’t plunked by a wayward pitch), and Shaw all had big hits, while the Wolves took advantage of Darrington’s pitching staff losing contact with the strike zone.

On a day in which 18 of Coupeville’s 23 active players reached base, two in particular stood out.

Bailey, who is part of a farming family which stretches back through eons of prairie history, was in her final moments on her hometown field.

From the little girl with long braids who used to hang out in the stands while older sister McKayla thumped big hits, to the brilliant young woman (still with long braids) now terrorizing opposing pitchers, Mollie has always been Mollie.

There’s little doubt she’s a Bailey, with a lot of Engle tossed in for good measure, but she has always marched to her own drum beat.

Literally, as she’s a drummer.

Mollie Bailey, a bona fide prairie legend, went out like a boss, smacking four doubles in her final appearance on the CHS diamond.

Saturday, she went out the way I hoped she would — Mollie being Mollie.

That meant whacking four doubles across two games, while still finding time to lean over the fence and tell her rooting section, “Dude, I have had to like pee for the whole game.”

Meanwhile, River Ozturk is a newcomer to Cow Town, USA, a foreign exchange student from Turkey who had never played softball before pulling on a Coupeville uniform.

Saturday, though, she also got her moment, coming to the plate twice, and reaching base both times.

The first trip, she got a traditional American welcome, as a wayward pitch smacked into her body, earning her a walk.

Next time up, shocking her coaches to the core, she swung like the second coming of Prescott — a lifelong diamond masher — ripping a two-run single to right field as Ron Wright punched the air in approval.

It was that kind of day, with a little something for everyone.

Bailey led the hit parade with her four two-baggers, while Whalen and Prescott added two hits apiece.

Toss in singles from Wells, Shaw, Caveness (who also had five walks), Ozturk, and Meyers, and the base-knock machine was chuggin’ along.

Also reaching base via walks were Sofia Peters, Ivy Leedy, Nottingham, Karyme Castro, Prince, Kylie Van Velkinburgh, Maya Lucero, Mckenna Somes, and Melanie Navarro.

Allison Nastali, Jackie Contreras, Lily Leedy, and Italian foreign exchange student Elisa Caroppo also saw playing time in the home finale.

And a final note of tribute to Prescott, who, along with Bailey, has the most seniority of Coupeville’s seniors.

Chelsea Prescott, enjoying every moment.

A splendid three-sport athlete who spent her little league days on the baseball diamond before transitioning to softball in high school, Chelly is as talented as any athlete to pass through CHS in recent years.

But I hope she is also remembered for the joy she takes in playing, which was never more evident than when she bounced from her home at shortstop to play catcher for a few innings.

Prescott asked her coach for the chance to try something new, and practically danced back on the field when McGranahan told her she could stay behind the plate.

Talking to herself after each pitch, sometimes laughing at her limited knowledge of the position (yet picking up a lot of the nuances super-fast), she would fire the ball back into Maya Lucero’s mitt, a huge smile visible under the mask.

Prescott’s bat, her wheels, her glove, and her fire, have assured she will be remembered as one of the best to wear the CHS softball uniform.

But Saturday, in her final moments in front of the fans who watched her develop into a star, she reverted back to just being a kid having fun.

What a nice way to exit, for her, and her sisters from other misters.

Read Full Post »

Noelle Daigneault and her Coupeville tennis teammates are the 2021 Northwest 2B/1B League champs. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Time to hoist another tile.

The Coupeville High School girls tennis team has the most league titles of any sport played at the school, and now coach Ken Stange and Co. can add a new one.

Bouncing host Friday Harbor 5-0 Monday afternoon, the Wolves improved to 4-0 during this pandemic-shortened season, officially clinching the Northwest 2B/1B League crown.

With two matches left in their six-match rumble royal, Coupeville and Friday Harbor — the only NWL schools to play the net game — meet again March 26 and 29.

The first of those remaining matches, set for this Friday on Whidbey Island, is Senior Night for the Wolves.

Monday, the highlight came courtesy of Helen Strelow, who was making her debut as a singles player.

The CHS sophomore split the first two sets of her match, before falling behind 4-1 in the deciding frame.

At that point, Strelow made Stange’s heart soar, reaching down deep to run off five straight games en route to a 6-4 win in the third set.

Also coming up big was Coupeville’s #3 doubles duo, Noelle Daigneault and Sophie Martin, who also pulled out a three-set victory to keep the Wolves flawless on the season.

On their way to 4-0 as a team, the CHS netters have combined to go 20-0 in varsity matches.


Complete Monday results:



1st Singles — Abby Mulholland beat Allie Fleming 6-3, 6-4

2nd Singles — Helen Strelow beat Lucy Martin 6-4, 1-6, 6-4

1st Doubles — Jaimee Masters/Emily Fiedler beat Liliia Gamez/Emilie Mason 6-2, 6-3

2nd Doubles — Kateline McCormick/Eryn Wood beat Amelia Eltinge/Ava Martin 6-3, 6-3

3rd Doubles — Noelle Daigneault/Sophie Martin beat Lucy Marinkovich/Eleanor Rollins 6-2, 5-7, 10-7



4th Doubles — Lucy Tenore/Hayley Fiedler beat Trinity Cullen/Isabella VanderYacht 8-1

5th Doubles — Vivian Farris/Nozomi Hagihara beat Sonora Tate/Eva Sanabria 8-3

6th Doubles — Hayley Thomas/Gwen Crowder lost to Elanor Gislason/Sidney Herda 6-3

7th Doubles — Tenore/H. Fiedler beat Lilli Turnbow/Annabelle Mountford 6-0

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »