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Posts Tagged ‘Mormons’

Jakobi Baumann flies over the hurdles during a track meet last spring. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

The first time I met Jakobi Baumann, he was a young kid hanging out in the old, cruddy wood shack masquerading as the press box at Mickey Clark Field.

Over the course of a high school soccer game, he ran the scoreboard and we talked a bit as I scribbled a few notes about a game that was playing out to a less-than-thrilling tie.

Jakobi was smart, that was already obvious, but he was also funny and well-spoken.

This was a guy going places, and not just because his dad, Duane, ran the school.

My snap judgement that day was a simple one.

One day, I would probably still be occupied with slapping attack bees with my notebook (the old press box was a death trap…), trying to figure out how to make a scoreless stalemate sound halfway exciting.

Meanwhile, the young Mr. Baumann would be out in the world, impressing people of prestige and power.

And lo and behold, I was right.

Maybe not about the bees, as the school’s current press box — a huge improvement — has so far shielded my tender vittles from any kamikaze insects.

But about Jakobi hitting grand heights? I was dead on about that.

As he and twin brother Jaschon wound their way through their years at CHS, both were top-notch students, athletes, and people.

With no disrespect meant to Schon, who is off to study at the U-Dub, this article is about Kobi, though.

As he heads to Mexico to begin a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we want to send him on his way by recognizing everything he accomplished during his time in Cow Town.

So, we’re inducting Jakobi Baumann into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame, honoring him for being a stellar tennis and track and field performer, as well as a standout in every other activity he tackled, from band to drama to Science Olympiad.

Baumann and fellow Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Famer Allison Wenzel could play a mean duet.

And, for being a really solid dude, a guy who was supportive of his teammates and classmates, and did it all with a genuine sense of class.

After this, while the real Baumann will be South of the border for awhile, he will also live on under the Legends tab at the top of the blog.

It’s a position he earned through hard work.

On the tennis court, Baumann rose from a middle-of-the-pack player in his early days to being solidly The Man, anchoring the lineup at #1 singles for the Wolves.

As he grew taller and more sure of himself, his power increased, his willingness to take the challenge directly at rival players revved up, and the wins came along with his growth as a player and person.

While his shot-making skills were strong, Baumann set himself apart from others by refusing to give in, regardless of the score.

Intensity, thy name is Jakobi.

Time and again, he fought back from deficits, pushed his rivals deep into matches, and never slowed down when chasing balls which seemed long gone.

Watching Jakobi play, it reminded me of a kid named Sonny Jelvik, who was on the Tumwater High School team when I played my own three years of high school tennis.

Time and again, I would pound shots against him in practice which had “winner” stamped on the ball (I thought), only to see Sonny run down the ball at the last second and flick it back into play.

It was frustrating beyond all belief, and made for long afternoons on the court, as we slugged away at each other for hours. But it made me better, something I see now.

Like Jelvik, Baumann had no off button, and his desire to win was matched by few.

That carried over to his time in the world of track and field, where he made it to bi-districts, a step away from the state meet, in three events as a senior.

Baumann put in a great deal of time as a distance runner, and was one of the few brave souls among the current crop of Wolf boys to attack the hurdles with great glee.

If we go back through eighth grade, he tried his hand at nearly everything, competing in 13 events during his time as a track star.

That he found the time to do two sports, when he was also occupied with so many academic activities as well, is pretty amazing.

While this is called Coupeville Sports, we have to take a second to note his single greatest accomplishment might have come in the world of music, where Baumann made the trombone thrill as he advanced to the state championships.

But, whether he was lettin’ loose with sweet sounds, flying over the hurdles, long legs churning, blinding people with science, or just goofing around with friends, he was always the real deal.

Jakobi was (and is) a genuinely nice guy, smart, witty, willing to stand up for what he believes in, but also able to do it with kindness for all.

He will go far in life, of that there is no doubt. More serious, highly-accredited Hall of Fames will be in play one day.

The kid with the jokes in the broken-down press box will be a man who makes the world a better place.

When Jakobi receives other honors, when the stories written about him land in bigger outlets than my blog, it will be really easy to be happy for him and his family.

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Kiara Burdge: A cheer force of nature. (John Fisken photos)

Kiara Burdge: A cheer force of nature. (John Fisken photos)

Burdge has a big megaphone and she's not afraid to use it.

Burdge has a big megaphone and she’s not afraid to use it.

Kiara Burdge exudes cheer.

The Coupeville High School junior, who celebrates a birthday today, is among the most outgoing, full-of-life athletes to be walking (or skipping) across the campus.

Much like older sister Kylie, she is an absolute force of nature when at the forefront of the Wolf cheer squad.

Some people mouth the words and do the moves, while others believe in cheer deep down in their souls, and Kiara has always seemed like the second sort.

Her kicks are just a little crisper, her yells a little louder, her faith in the classmates she supports just a bit deeper than the average cheerleader.

There never seems to be a moment when she is anything other than sincere and committed to the cause.

Miss Burdge lights up the sidelines with her presence and it carries over into the real world, as well.

Aaron and Trina Burdge have four children who greet each new day as an adventure, and, from what I have seen, take great delight in being part of a fun-loving pack.

With Kylie off in college these days, bringing her spark and love of life to the Brigham Young University campus, Kiara has taken the helm of the younger Burdges and proven to be a worthy leader in her own right.

As fans, we only see a slice of the Wolf athletes lives, but it still allows us to get a pretty good feel for what kind of people they are.

With Kiara, as valuable to the CHS cheer squad as she is — if she’s not named a captain next year, my jaw will never reattach itself after falling off my face — she’s ten times the person.

Smart, deeply caring to her friends and siblings, committed to her Mormon faith, Burdge is a shining star in our community.

She is one of our best and brightest, and, as she celebrates her cake day today, I hope Kiara knows how highly everyone thinks of her.

Happy birthday, Miss Burdge. May your star keep twinkling for a very long time, getting brighter with each new year.

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Lainey Dickson

Lainey Dickson

A new high school sports year approaches and the Coupeville High School cheer squad is hard at work.

To get you ready, we present a series of features on Wolf cheerleaders, with the headline to each article paying tribute to 2009’s “Fired Up!,” the best cheerleader movie ever made.

Yeah, you heard me the first time, “Bring it On.” I said it and I meant it.

The proud Dickson football legacy lives on at CHS.

Older brother Jared graduated in June after a stellar gridiron career and is off on a two-year Mormon mission, but sisters Allison and Lainey are returning to the sidelines as key members of the Wolf cheer squad.

Lainey, who will be a sophomore in the fall, is entering her second year cheering for the red and black, and she remains as excited by it today as she was on the first day.

“I always wanted to be a cheerleader, and it sounded like a good opportunity to be part of a team and boost Coupeville spirit,” Dickson said. “I enjoy learning new cheers and dances.

“I also enjoy being part of a stunt group and part of a team, because we all learn how to work together and get things done.”

Dickson has played other sports along the way, participating in track and soccer when she was younger. She also hopes to join the CHS softball team in the spring.

While cheer is considered an activity, and not a sport, by CHS administrators, Lainey is content in the knowledge she and her teammates are putting in as much hard work as anyone in a Wolf uniform.

“Technically we aren’t considered a sport, but we practice just as much if not more than other sports,” Dickson said. “It takes just as much commitment and hard work as any sports team!”

When she’s not working the sidelines, Dickson enjoys playing the piano and loves to “walk around my house listening to Disney music, too!”

Like her brother before her, she is quick to praise the job her parents (Randy and Lisa Dickson) have done in raising a family that’s deeply committed to each other and their faith.

“My parents have been amazing examples of the person I want to be, and have always supported me in the decisions I make,” she said. “So I would definitely say I am the person I am because of them.”

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