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Posts Tagged ‘Marcus Carr’

Sean Toomey-Stout led Coupeville football in rushing, and was among state leaders in tackles when an injury prematurely ended his sophomore season. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It’s a whole new world.

Quite a lot is radically different for Coupeville High School football, as the Wolves enter the 2018 season with a new coaching staff, a new league and new leaders on both sides of the ball.

Record busters like Hunter Smith and Hunter Downes have graduated, Marcus Carr has replaced Jon Atkins as head coach, and CHS is reuniting with former foes in the brand-new North Sound Conference.

After four years of life in the Olympic League, and two seasons of a joint venture with the Nisqually League for football, the Wolves will line up against “new” foes in King’s, Sultan, South Whidbey, Granite Falls and Cedar Park Christian.

The last one of those schools really is a new rival, as CPC joined the Cascade Conference as Coupeville’s replacement when the Wolves bolted in 2014.

The Eagles football program is run by Butch Goncharoff, who built Bellevue into a 3A powerhouse before being run out of town in the aftermath of WIAA troubles.

Carr, who takes over Coupeville’s gridiron team after two very successful seasons in Concrete, points to CPC as one of two schools who will carry the biggest rep into the new league.

“I think all the teams in our league will be tough,” he said. “But I would have to say King’s, just for the amount of bodies they can sub in and out to keep players fresh, and Cedar Park Christian, because of their head coach.

“Despite the off-the-field things, he has won 11 state championships on the field.”

Not that Coupeville’s new head man is willing to concede anything.

“No matter what, we will be ready to play and beat them all!,” Carr said. “GO WOLVES!!”

Carr, who is joined by five assistants who are new to CHS — Nathan BellamyTyson Boon, Kwamane Bowens, Robert Carr and Bennett Richter — is putting a laser-focus on his new players “becoming tougher, mentally and physically.”

The line, which includes returning players such as seniors Dane Lucero, Jake Pease and Ryan Labrador and junior Gavin Knoblich, is bolstered by the addition of senior Alex Turner.

A transfer from South Whidbey, Turner, who played for Coupeville in middle school, was a First-Team All-Conference pick by Cascade Conference coaches as a sophomore.

The Falcons played an independent schedule last season, preventing a repeat of league honors, but Turner showed a knack for catching TD passes from the tight end position.

Coupeville will have a new quarterback throwing those passes, with Downes, the school career leader in scoring strikes, having graduated.

After an injury ended his sophomore year early, he returned to lead the Wolf offense the past two seasons, firing passes primarily to Hunter Smith and Cameron Toomey-Stout, both also now departed.

Replacing Downes under center will likely be either junior Dawson Houston or senior Shane Losey, though Lucero is also in the mix in the early days of practice.

That trio has combined to throw three varsity passes entering 2018.

While Coupeville’s passing game will be new-look, its running game retains almost every contributor from last season, one reason Carr hails it as a key strength.

Junior Sean Toomey-Stout is healthy again after a devastating injury ended his breakout sophomore campaign at the halfway point, and “The Torpedo” is primed to slice through defenses.

When he went down during week #5 at Vashon, it changed the direction of the season.

Toomey-Stout was Coupeville’s top rusher and among the state leaders in tackles from his defensive back position, before taking a blow to his leg as he headed out-of-bounds.

While the Wolves hung on to beat the Pirates, improving to 3-2, CHS dropped its final five games.

Injuries tore through Coupeville’s roster in 2017, and by the season finale against Cascade Christian, almost every major offensive contributor was on the sideline in street clothes.

Seniors Matt Hilborn and Chris Battaglia (both coming off of injuries) and junior Andrew Martin also ran strong a year ago and could help Toomey-Stout.

Battaglia’s status for the season is a question mark, though, as he continues to recuperate.

As the Wolves plow through the first days of practice (the season opener, a non-conference game at Port Townsend, is Aug. 31), the lineup will shift and change.

Whomever ends up lined up for that first kickoff will carry the weight of the past, and the hope of the future, with them.

Coupeville hasn’t posted a winning record on the gridiron since 2005, but bolstered by “an ability to run the ball on offense and a swarming, ball-hawking defense,” the Wolves are ready to surprise people.

The mission? To live up to the mantra preached by their new head coach.

“Our goal is always to win league and make the playoffs,” Carr said. “Always.”

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Former D1 scholarship athlete Kwamane Bowens is part of an all-new Coupeville High School football coaching staff. (Photo courtesy Bowens)

It’s a whole new group on the sideline.

Coupeville High School football has made a major transition this year, hiring Marcus Carr as its head coach, and now bringing in five new assistants.

The hiring of Nathan Bellamy, Tyson Boon, Robert Carr and Kwamane Bowens was officially approved by the school board at its July 30 meeting.

Bennett Richter, a volunteer assistant coach, rounds out the staff.

With the start of a new season just a week away (Washington state teams can start practicing Aug. 15), the group is rarin’ to get going.

Marcus Carr replaces Jon Atkins, who stepped down after two seasons, and is Coupeville’s fifth head coach in nine years.

Prior to that, Ron Bagby coached the Wolves for 26 years.

Coupeville’s new head coach went 13-6 in two seasons at Concrete, winning a Northwest League title last fall, and is looking to bring that same success to CHS, which hasn’t finished above .500 since 2005.

To help him build the Wolf program, Marcus Carr recruited men with long-term playing and coaching experience, much of it here on Whidbey Island.

Among the new Wolf assistant coaches are a former D1 scholarship athlete and several guys who played for the 2006 Oak Harbor High School football squad which won a 4A state title.

A primer on the new assistant coaches, with commentary by Marcus Carr:

 

Nathan Bellamy (Defensive Coordinator):

Lived on the Island for 23 years, has 13 years of coaching experience. Huge fan of Buddy Ryan.

Passionate about helping the youth in our community.

Blessed to be in the position to help rebuild the Coupeville football program and bring back a standard of excellence.

 

Tyson Boon (Offensive Line):

Oak Harbor graduate 2006, where he was the varsity center.

He has played semi-pro football for the Bellingham Bulldogs.

He coaches because he wants the kids to understand that what we do is bigger than football.

When kids graduate he wants them to leave with more than just football skills. He wants them to have gained a better sense of self worth.

There are many life lessons that are taught playing football.

 

Kwamane Bowens (Receivers/Defensive backs):

23 years old. Played D1 football at Hawaii and Texas State.

He ran track as a youth for Coupeville Middle School.

Coach Bowens is ready to help the athletes succeed and to bring the football program to prominence.

 

Bobby Carr (Running back/Linebackers):

29 years old, played 13 seasons of football; WIAA state champ in ’06 with Oak Harbor.

Coached six seasons of youth football in Oak Harbor. Professional painter. 

 

Bennett Richter (Running backs/Linebackers):

Graduated from Oak Harbor 2009 and was a member of the ’06 Oak Harbor state champs.

Has been coaching youth sports for the last several years.

He looks to bring energy and teach solid football fundamentals and techniques while instilling a love and passion for the game.

Wants the players to know they are part of something bigger than themselves – a sense of community, and the idea that they are learning far more than just the principles of football, but of life.

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With a new football season on the horizon, CHS coaches are holding a parents meeting Aug. 9. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Clear your schedule.

If you have a child who wants to play football for Coupeville High School, you need to get yourself to the CHS gym next Thursday, Aug. 9 for a parent meeting.

It all goes down at 6:30 PM that night, when new head coach Marcus Carr and his staff will lay out all the important details on the upcoming season.

And a new gridiron campaign is just around the corner.

The first day Washington state high school football teams can practice is Aug. 15, and Coupeville’s opening game is Aug. 31 at Port Townsend.

After four years of being rivals in the Olympic League, the Wolves and RedHawks have reverted to non-conference foes with CHS joining the new North Sound Conference.

Coupeville’s home opener is Sept. 7 against Vashon, and its league opener is Sept. 28, when the Wolves host King’s.

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After building a winning program in Concrete, Marcus Carr has returned to Whidbey to coach the Coupeville High School football team. (Photo courtesy Carr)

Marcus Carr is ready for the challenge.

While recent history has not been kind to Coupeville High School football — Carr is the fifth head coach in nine seasons, and none of his four predecessors posted a winning record — positive change can happen quickly on the gridiron.

Having made the jump from Concrete, where he won 13 games across two seasons, the new Wolf head coach is tackling the past head-on, while aiming for future success.

“It is hard on the players with the amount of turnover,” Carr said. “I have had several meetings with the players to discuss the state of the program and my goals and their goals for our future.

“I let them know it will be a process to get where we want to be,” he added. “With hard work and dedication from myself, the assistant coaches and the players, I am confident we will turn things around!”

After playing high school football as a young man in Oklahoma, Carr joined the Navy but never strayed far from the game he loves.

“I like the competition, and teamwork. It’s truly a team sport, no one person can do it alone,” he said. “It also creates great camaraderie.”

He’s led numerous youth teams in Virginia, Texas and Washington state, coaching both in Oak Harbor and Mount Vernon after he and his family arrived on Whidbey in 2005.

Carr moved into high school coaching as an assistant with Mt. Vernon, put in time as an offensive coordinator with the Arlington Grizzles semi-pro team, then took the reins as head coach in Concrete in 2016.

Under his guidance, the Lions went 6-3 in 2016 and 7-3 in 2017, winning the Northwest League title last season.

Since retiring from the Navy in 2012, Carr has balanced living in Oak Harbor with working off the Island. He’s currently doing IT for the Mount Vernon School District.

While he enjoyed his time with the Concrete football program, the chance to run a team on Whidbey had a special lure.

“I have wanted to coach high school football on the Island for several years,” Carr said. “I am excited to have the opportunity.”

With CHS assistants Brad Sherman and Jerry Helm stepping down in an effort to carve out a little more time in busy lives while balancing young children and real-world jobs, the Wolves coaching staff will have a different look this year.

But it should be one operating on the same page, as Carr will be joined by “a staff of coaches that I have coached with before.”

As Coupeville moves into the new 1A North Sound Conference this fall, joining Sultan, King’s, Granite Falls, South Whidbey and Cedar Park Christian-Bothell, the football players will be among the first Wolves to see action.

As they do, their new coach is aiming for success, both in the present and in the future.

“We want to re-energize the program,” Carr said. “Win league and make the playoffs.

“I want our team to be one of the top 10 teams in 1A year after year,” he added. “It won’t happen overnight, it’s going to take a lot of hard work and dedication.

“But, with the energy that the coaching staff has brought in and the hardworking, enthusiastic players we had in spring football, we are on our way!”

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   A Central Whidbey Little League softball player fires in a fastball, one of several events I missed by not writing for the past month. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

“I must break you!!”

“I can so hit the sun! Just watch.”

Ringin’ up runs on the board.

So, anything happen while I was gone?

Take a month off to stare into the abyss and when you come back, you find out life pretty much keeps flowing right by in your absence.

A quick look at some of the things I would have been talking about if I had been writing during June:

Cheer:

Coupeville High School assistant coach Amanda Jones resigned.

A promotion at work, and a young daughter at home, greatly reduced her availability.

Football:

CHS hired Marcus Carr as its new head coach.

A resident of Oak Harbor, he went 13-6-1 over the past two years while coaching Concrete.

Carr replaces Jon Atkins, who stepped down after two years. Also departing were assistants Jerry Helm and Brad Sherman.

At the middle school level, Brett Casey has been hired to replace Bob Martin, who stepped down after last season.

Cross Country:

The Wolves are getting back into the harrier biz full-time for the first time in two decades, and have hired Natasha Bamberger (high school) and Elizabeth Bitting (middle school) to coach.

Bamberger was a five-time state champ during her time at CHS, winning four titles in track and claiming top honors in cross country during her senior season in 1985.

Bitting, also a standout runner during her school days (just not in Coupeville), is also the track and field coach at CMS.

Soccer:

A major disaster was avoided as the Central Whidbey Soccer Club, which was down to one (departing) board member, pulled off a last-second miracle.

After months of being unable to find anyone to join its Board of Directors, CWSC hit pay-dirt after a final-ditch plea to the public.

League President Reese Cernick heads up the new seven-member board, and the fall youth season, which would have been cancelled, is back on and begins registration July 1.

Softball:

Six Wolves were tabbed as All-Conference players, with senior pitcher Katrina McGranahan honored as Olympic League MVP.

Baseball:

CHS hurler Hunter Smith was tabbed as league MVP, while also being named as a First-Team All-State player.

Smith and fellow senior Joey Lippo both made the cut for the All-State series, as well, but had to pass when the games conflicted with graduation.

One Central Whidbey Little League team is still playing, with Coupeville’s Babe Ruth squad, coached by Steve Hilborn, taking its 16-0 record to the state tourney July 11-15.

Track:

CHS senior Danny Conlisk is spending the summer running with the Kitsap Fliers, a select squad.

He competed in four events (400, 4 x 1, 4 x 4, 4 x 8) at the state meet, and now moves on to Regionals in Oregon.

Continue his winning ways and Conlisk will be North Carolina-bound for the Junior Olympics national meet.

 

To see more Fisken pics and possibly purchase some glossies for grandma, bounce over to:

https://www.johnsphotos.net/Sports/Little-League-baseball-and-softball/2018-06-18-NWLL-vs-CWLL-9-11-Softball-playoff/

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