Posts Tagged ‘Maya Lucero’

CHS seniors (l to r) Maya Lucero, Gwen Gustafson, Melanie Navarro, Sofia Peters, and Allie Lucero join coach Kevin McGranahan on their prairie field of dreams. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Sports are weird sometimes.

Take this spring, where a winless Concrete baseball team is playoff eligible, while the Coupeville High School softball squad is not.

The Wolf sluggers can finish 14-6 with a win in their season finale against South Whidbey — a team they beat 20-2 the first time around.

But they won’t go to the postseason, because only one 2B softball program advances from District 1, and, this year, that’s Friday Harbor, thanks to a pair of one-run victories over CHS.

Meanwhile, all four 1B schools in the Northwest 2B/1B League make the baseball playoffs, regardless of record.

That’s because a much-larger pool of 1B schools in our district and District 2 makes it possible for a full-scale, 12-team bi-district tourney to be played.

A Wolf softball team which was truly dominant at times, a squad which held its own with big-timers like Forks, Onalaska, and Meridian, stays home.

While Concrete baseball, which is 0-14 and forfeited three games this season, may take the field this Saturday to face Pope John Paul II in a playoff rumble.

Emphasis on may, as two of those forfeits came in Concrete’s final two games.

Sports are weird sometimes.

But we’re not here to disparage the Lions. They are building for the future, and anything can happen in the playoffs.

Case in point, the 2011 edition of the Coupeville Wolves, who had six freshmen in the lineup while going 0-17 as the only 1A school playing softball in the 1A/2A Cascade Conference.

That team shocked the world in the playoffs, however, eliminating Meridian 5-1 behind Alexis Trumbull, Bessie Walstad, and Breeanna Messner.

Coached by Jackie (Calkins) Saia, mom of current Wolf freshman phenom Teagan Calkins, that squad launched the rebirth of Wolf softball, and now the program is a consistent winner, year in, year out.

So good luck, Concrete baseball — if you take the field Saturday — and go open a can of whup ass on the private school dandies.

But this blog isn’t called the Concrete Clarion, so let’s swing the focus back to Cow Town.

Coming off of an emotional 3-2 loss in extra innings Thursday at Friday Harbor, the Wolves mood probably resembles the weather outside – gray and gloomy.

But it shouldn’t. At least not completely.

As one fan said, “There’s always next year!” and it’s true, the Wolf roster is chock full of star players with multiple years left to play.

Madison McMillan, Mia Farris, Taylor Brotemarkle, Jada Heaton, and Chloe Marzocca? All sophomores.

Calkins, the team’s starting catcher and leadoff hitter, has three years left, while Haylee Armstrong, who lashed a laser of a triple against the Wolverines?

She just an 8th grader, which means she’s been launching moon shots and chasing down balls in the outfield while still attending middle school classes.

Those core players, and others, should have many more chances to conduct group sing-a-longs on the prairie after wins in the future.

But, for Coupeville’s five seniors — Melanie Navarro, Allie Lucero, Sofia Peters, Maya Lucero, and Gwen Gustafson — next week’s clash with South Whidbey marks their final moments in a Wolf jersey.

They are an amazingly resilient bunch of young women, bright, outgoing, dedicated — and we can’t put enough emphasis on that last word.

These five are the last group which took a hit when the world shut down over the pandemic.

Just as they were about to make the jump from little league to high school games, Covid-19 restrictions erased all spring sports in 2020.

When they returned as sophomores, games were played again, but only against league rivals, which limited Coupeville to 12 games, instead of the normal 20, with no playoffs.

It wasn’t until their junior campaign that the Wolves played a full schedule, and, through no fault of their own, the seniors exit having played just 2.5 of the four, or five, seasons many others are given.

Through it all, they remained dedicated.

They found ways to work on their skills when government officials shoved them apart, and they proudly returned to the prairie diamond the first chance they got.

With one game left to play, this five-pack has led Wolf softball to a 41-9 record in their time on the field, a superior winning percentage in any world.

They are a group, and yet each one brings a unique skill set to the game.

Navarro, beloved by CHS football coaches for her stellar four-year run as that team’s manager, brings power to each swing, sending tremors down the spine of rival pitchers as she blasts home runs over far-flung fences.

Seeing her team pour out of the dugout to swarm Melanie after each tater, while her parents proudly beam from behind the fence, has been one of the true feel-good stories of this school year.

Gustafson, the third Wolf from her family I have written about, after older siblings Amanda Fabrizi and Clay Reilly, remains as happy an athlete as any I have witnessed.

Her smile carrying from one end of the prairie to the other, Gwen truly seems to enjoy every moment she is given on a court or diamond, an admirable trait.

Peters, the daughter of a coach, like Gustafson and the Lucero twins, is a two-way winner.

She can lash hits and knock down grounders and has shown an ability to pass on her knowledge to the next generation, joining dad Mike in guiding little league girls who will one day inherit her place on the CHS diamond.

A few years down the road, there will be a young woman who delivers a tear-stained Senior Night farewell in which she thanks Sofia for being her inspiration, and the circle will be complete.

And then there are the Lucero twins, who, at times seem interchangeable (thank heavens for uniform numbers…), and yet emerge as very distinct the longer I watch them play.

I mean, Allie throws and hits left-handed while Maya operates from the right side, so there’s that.

But they also have their own styles, in how they approach their time in the pitcher’s circle and at the plate, while sharing a quiet passion installed in them by being part of a diamond-mad family.

With no disrespect to the first three, it is the Lucero twins who I see as the heart and soul of this squad.

These five young women have dealt with world-shaking events and emerged stronger for it.

I have no doubt they wanted to end their runs in the playoffs — you could see that on their faces, and in the effort given.

But when they exit after next week’s finale in Langley, they should do so with heads held high.

Melanie, Maya, Gwen, Sofia, and Allie will always be remembered as one thing — winners, pure and simple.

Down the road, as they pursue excellence in other parts of their lives, they may return to the prairie diamond they once ruled.

When they do so, let them walk with pride. They earned it.

Once more, with feeling.

Read Full Post »

Maya (left) and Allie Lucero celebrated their 18th birthday Saturday with a win on the softball diamond. (Photo courtesy Jess Lucero)

The weather? Wicked.

The score? Divine.

Buffeted by goosebump-inducing prairie winds Saturday — but no rain — the Coupeville High School varsity softball squad cracked visiting Concrete.

Taking advantage of 20 walks, three well-placed hits, and several errors by the Lions, the Wolves strolled to a 20-0 win in a game called after three innings due to the mercy rule.

The victory, coming in a game which was originally supposed to be played in Concrete, lifts Coupeville to 3-1 in Northwest 2B/1B League play, 5-4 overall.

Facing a rebuilding Lions team which is led by former Wolf JV coach Stephanie Henning, CHS did everything possible to not run up the score, while trying to get off the field and escape the brutal breeze.

All 14 Wolves who picked up a bat reached base in the rout, while 8th grader Haylee Armstrong chipped in with stellar defense.

Saturday’s game started as a road affair, then turned into a homestand for Coupeville, thanks to the weather forecast being (slightly) better for Whidbey than it was for Concrete.

While the hardy Wolf fans screamed in silent agony as the prairie lived up to its reputation of often making diamond teams feel like they’re playing in the middle of a cyclone, some were happy to see the game play out.

“I can’t feel my face!” (Jennifer Marzocca photo)

CHS aces Allie and Maya Lucero celebrated their 18th birthday during the win, while fellow senior Gwen Gustafson was flawless in the pitcher’s circle.

Facing the minimum nine batters across her three-inning stint, she whiffed seven Lions and recorded one of the two other outs on a comebacker.

Gwen was on fire today, throwing BBs from the circle,” said Wolf coach Kevin McGranahan. “She was too much for the Concrete hitters.”

Coupeville put the game away quickly, tossing nine runs on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first, another eight in the second, then hitting the three-inning mercy rule when Mia Farris cranked an RBI single to score foreign exchange student Layla Heo.

That was one of three base knocks for the Wolves, with fellow sophomores Madison McMillan and Taylor Brotemarkle joining Farris on the hit parade.

Concrete, which is winless this season, is scrambling to improve, and having a former Coupeville coach in charge of the program is a big advantage.

“They are a very, very young team and inexperienced,” McGranahan said. “But I give them credit for fielding a team and never quitting, and having smiles on their faces.

“Glad to see Concrete back on the field, with a good head coach,” he added. “Stephanie will get them back on track.”

Coming off the win, the Wolves have a busy week ahead of them.

They host Darrington Tuesday, Apr. 11, then travel to La Conner Apr. 13 and Onalaska Apr. 15. That last trip will be for a doubleheader.


Saturday stats:

Capri Anter — One walk
Taylor Brotemarkle
— One single, two walks
Teagan Calkins
— Three walks
Mia Farris
— One single, two walks
Gwen Gustafson
— One walk
Jada Heaton
— One walk
Layla Heo
— One walk
Allie Lucero
— Two walks
Maya Lucero
— One walk
Chloe Marzocca
— One walk
Madison McMillan
— One single, two walks
Melanie Navarro
— One walk
Sofia Peters
— One walk
Bailey Thule
— One walk

Read Full Post »

The Battlin’ Lucero twins are back to lead Coupeville High School softball into a new season. (Photo courtesy Jess Lucero)

Spring is sprung.

The weather isn’t all that balmy, but the calendar says Feb. 27 and Washington state is famous for starting prep spring sports way too early, so here we go again.

Coupeville High School softball, baseball, track and field, and girls’ tennis are back at it, with the first games two weeks away.

Wolf track and field has a stacked roster. (Photo courtesy Bob Martin)

Read Full Post »

Senior Audrianna Shaw slammed a home run Thursday, part of a 27-hit, 22-run performance for Coupeville. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Another day, another win over a bigger school.

Bringing out the extra-hot bats Thursday, the Coupeville High School varsity softball squad crushed host Sultan 22-0 in a game mercy-ruled after five innings.

The non-conference win lifts the Wolves to 8-1 on the season, and they’ll carry a seven-game winning streak to La Conner Friday afternoon.

Intent on returning to the state tourney after Covid erased two years of potential postseason play, Coupeville has filled its non-league schedule with schools from higher classifications.

And it’s paid off, as the 2B Wolves are 4-1 against 1A schools this season, with just a narrow loss to traditional power Lynden Christian.

Still ahead are non-conference tilts with 3A Oak Harbor, 2A Lakewood, and 1A Meridian.

Thursday’s rumble with Sultan, pushed back a few days by bad weather, was bombs away for the Wolves.

Coupeville crunched a season-high 27 hits, with 12 of those base-knocks going for more than one base.

And to be truthful, there could have been more extra-base hits, had Kevin McGranahan’s squad not pulled back in the later going, trying to soften the defeat.

Sultan, a plucky team, did scratch out two hits and a walk off of Wolf ace Izzy Wells, but otherwise she was pouring straight heat on a cold day, whiffing 10 and keeping the Turks at bay.

Wells got some help as well, with her fielders playing error-free ball behind her.

Maya Lucero doin’ what she does — destroying pitcher’s dreams with each swing.

Coupeville put the game away early, erupting for eight runs in the top of the first, all with two outs.

With runners at the corners, Sultan had a chance to escape, only to see the Wolves smash six consecutive hits.

It started with Madison McMillan bashing a two-run single to left, before Sofia Peters zipped a hit off of the pitcher’s ankle.

That brought the Lucero twins to the plate, with both Maya and Allie launching run-scoring doubles, before things got really intense.

Melanie Navarro crushed the life out of the softball for an RBI triple, which made Audrianna Shaw nod and whisper, “I got this” before socking a two-run inside-the-park home run.

Sultan was set back on its heels, and never recovered, as Coupeville continued to pepper the ball, adding another four runs in the second and five in the third.

From there the Wolves pushed across four in the fourth and a solitary run in the top of the fifth, while doing their best to ease the Turk pain.

In the late going, Coupeville worked on its bunting, tried to go just station-to-station, and even had a couple players who don’t normally hit left-handed do just that.

Nine of 10 Wolves to see action collected at least one base-knock, with second-baseman Sofia Peters leading the way with a varsity career-best five-hit performance.

Now it’s off to La Conner Friday, where the Northwest 2B/1B League rivals are scheduled to play a doubleheader.

In a twist, while both games count in the overall standings, only the first game counts as a league game.

While some NWL teams are playing each other twice this season, others are clashing three times, with only the first two meetings recognized as league contests.

Coupeville already beat La Conner 18-0 in game #1 of their season series.


Thursday stats:

Violette Huegerich — 1 single, 1 walk
Allie Lucero — 1 single, 1 double, 1 walk
Maya Lucero — 2 singles, 2 doubles
Madison McMillan — 3 singles, 1 double, 1 walk
Melanie Navarro — 1 double, 1 triple
Sofia Peters — 3 singles, 2 doubles
Audrianna Shaw — 1 single, 1 double, 1 home run, 1 walk
Izzy Wells — 1 single, 2 doubles
Savina Wells — 2 singles, 1 triple

“So many runs. So many hits. My fingers are cramping … and I like it!!”

Read Full Post »

Jordyn Rogers and the Coupeville JV spikers smashed Mount Vernon Christian Tuesday night. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Maya Lucero and twin sister Allie were lethal at the service stripe. And in the middle of the floor. And at the net. So, basically everywhere.

Their service game? Impeccable.

Throwing down a case of whupass with power and precision Tuesday, the Coupeville High School JV volleyball squad obliterated host Mount Vernon Christian.

Combining for 26 service aces, the Wolves gave the Hurricanes little chance to put the ball into play, then ended things viciously when they did.

The final score, a somewhat eye-popping 25-6, 25-1, 25-8, left CHS coach Ashley Menges flying high.

“Last night went great!,” she said. “Allie (Lucero) basically served the whole first set, and Maya (Lucero) basically served the whole second set!”

The Battlin’ Lucero Twins were all over the stat sheet, with Allie recording 13 aces and 20 assists, while Maya notched six kills and five aces.

All seven Wolves to see action Tuesday night were on fire, with Ryanne Knoblich smashing a team-high seven kills.

She added three digs to her work, while Jordyn Rogers (four kills, five aces, two digs) and Grey Peabody (three kills, one assist, one block) chipped in with solid efforts.

Gwen Gustafson (six digs, two aces, a kill) and Olivia Schaffeld (four kills) also sparkled for the Wolves, who sit at 5-2 on the season with two matches to play.

Coupeville hosts La Conner Friday, then closes the season at home against Orcas Island Saturday afternoon.

That second match is a restricted one, with no fans allowed, as Orcas is requiring that this season.

CHS will stream JV and varsity matches on Facebook Live that day.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »