Posts Tagged ‘Mount Baker’

Coupeville 8th grader Camden Glover made an impressive high school baseball debut. (Photo courtesy Stevie Glover)

Welcome to the Camden Glover Experience.

Making his high school baseball debut while still attending middle school, the burly right-hander had an immediate impact Saturday as a pitcher, hitter, and fielder.

Five strikeouts in four innings of work on the mound. Two hits and four RBI at the plate. A perfect read on a bunt back to him.

Toss it all together, liberally season with strong work from his teammates, and it’s not a surprise Glover paced the Coupeville High School JV baseball team to an 8-5 win over visiting Mount Baker on opening day.

The victory, coming as a few fat rain drops mixed with gusts of prairie wind, gave the Wolves hardball program a split on the afternoon and offers the promise of good days ahead for Central Whidbey baseball.

Glover — giving mom Stevie, aunt Alexa, Grandma Tammy, and all of his lil’ family fan club members plenty of opportunities to cheer — didn’t pitch like an 8th grader.

Or at least he didn’t show off any of the butterflies one might expect, as he picked up exactly where he left off after dominating little league play.

Camden busted through the first two innings, notching three strikeouts while getting an assist from Cole Hutchinson, who made a pretty snag on a fly to right.

With their ace throwing liquid heat, the Wolves jumped on Mount Baker, rolling up three runs in the bottom of the first, then sending another three runners across in the third inning.

Cole White stroked a leadoff single to center to get the opening rally going, followed by another base-knock off the bat of Seth Woollet.

That set up Glover, who promptly mashed a two-run double to straight-away center in his first high school at-bat, providing the answer for a trivia question which will likely be asked one day.

A balk by the Baker pitcher sent a third run home for the Wolves, who came back around to match the run total two innings later.

Cole White? He can beat you with his bat, and his arm. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The third inning started off with back-to-back walks for White and Woollet — though the latter had to wear a ball as he was plunked.

Glover punched an RBI single to keep the good times rolling, while Coop Cooper and Marcelo Gebhard brought runs home with a fielder’s choice and an infield single, respectively.

Coupeville’s only stumble on defense came in the top of the fourth in a five-inning game.

Putting together a string of singles, while also taking advantage of a couple of Wolf miscues, Mount Baker shaved the lead all the way down to 6-5.

That was when Glover seized the moment, punching out the final batter he would face on this day, stranding the tying run on base.

Coupeville made up for its defensive letdown by tacking on a pair of insurance runs in its half of the fourth, with Woollet and Glover picking up RBIs.

Up 8-5, three outs away from the win, the Wolves needed their version of Mariano Rivera, and they found him in the lanky (and lethal) Cole White.

He may not have entered the game to the strains of Enter Sandman, like the greatest relief pitcher in Major League Baseball history always did, but Riley White’s big bro proved to be just as devastating with the ball in his mitt.

Making his first-ever pitching appearance, Cole walked his first opponent — on a questionable call — then dropped the hammer.

A strikeout, with the batter catching nothing but the last gusts of prairie wind as he swung, then a force-out at second, and a soft fly ball to center.

Save #1 for White, win #1 for the Wolf JV.

The legend begins.

Glover (2), Woollet (2), White (2), and Gebhard (1) rapped hits for CHS, with Zane Oldenstadt, Hutchinson, Johnny Porter, Woollet, and White eking out walks.

Kai Wong and Cooper rounded out the opening day lineup for the JV, which returns to action Mar. 16 with a game at Lynden Christian.

Wolf football star Kai Wong, making his baseball debut, helped spark his team to a season-opening victory. (Photo courtesy Becky Terry)

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Hawthorne Wolfe reached base three times Saturday in Coupeville’s season opener. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

They dug themselves a deep hole, then almost dug all the way back out.

But a rough start Saturday ultimately overcame a splendid finish for the Coupeville High School varsity baseball team.

Trailing 6-0 after an inning-and-a-half, haunted by defensive miscues, the Wolves roared back to life before falling 6-4 to visiting Mount Baker in the season opener for both teams.

The non-conference defeat, while not what Coupeville wanted, offers some key lessons for the hardball sluggers.

Lesson #1? Hold on to the ball.

Playing on a cold day, with an even colder prairie wind offering all sorts of trouble, the Wolves committed five errors in the early going — then settled down and made some superb defensive plays after that.

The errors, coming on booted balls and dropped fly balls, made life tough for Coupeville starting pitcher Cody Roberts.

The senior fireballer pitched strongly and held Mount Baker at bay through the game’s final five innings.

But the visitors, given second, third, and sometimes fourth chances, stung the Wolves for three runs in the top of the first inning, and another three in the second.

Mount Baker only had two base-hits during its six-run surge, and both were weakly-hit singles.

But the bad bounces, and too many balls touching mitt, then spinning away to freedom, were costly.

“We’ve got some things to work on,” said Coupeville coach Will Thayer. “But Cody threw an awesome game.”

Roberts helped end the bleeding with back-to-back strong defensive plays to close out the second inning.

With runners at second and third, and just one out, a pitch tore off a chunk of Wolf catcher Xavier Murdy’s glove and (briefly) squirted away.

But, just as the Mount Baker runner came crashing for home, X-Man spun to his left, snagged the wayward ball and dropped a throw to Roberts, who was flying in from the mound.

Wham, ball hit mitt.

Bam, Coupeville’s hurler slapped the tag.

Thank you, sir, as the home plate ump punched out the hapless runner, who meekly accepted his fate and crawled off to the darkest corner of the dugout.

A pitch later, it was all Roberts, as he used his throwing hand to slap a grounder into submission as it tried to skid past the mound.

Quickly recovering, he spun and lobbed the ball to Peyton Caveness at first base, beating the runner by several steps.

With both pitchers clamping down, the game zipped through a few wind-swept, but largely uneventful innings after that, until Coupeville finally found its offensive mojo in the bottom of the fourth.

The Wolves turned walks to Jonathan Valenzuela, Caveness (who was plunked), and Roberts, plus a balk, into their first run of the 2022 season.

There was more brewing, as Coupeville had the bases juiced with just one out, only to see Baker escape via back-to-back strikeouts.

Scott Hilborn delivered a pair of hits in a loss to Mount Baker.

The next time around, the Wolves didn’t let their guests off the hook quite as easily, racking up three runs in the fifth to close within 6-4.

Hawthorne Wolfe launched a leadoff single to center — one of his two hits on the day — with a walk to Murdy and an RBI single from Scott Hilborn making things interesting.

CHS cleanup hitter Jonathan Valenzuela plated a run on a fielder’s choice, while Coupeville’s final run came zipping home on a wild pitch which ended up rolling almost all the way to Deception Pass.

That set up the possibility of a wild finish, and Roberts and his defense did everything they could to get the Wolves there.

Hilborn made a nice running snag deep in the hole at shortstop, pulling in a fly ball over his shoulder, while Wolfe and Xavier Murdy teamed up for another wham-bam play.

On that highlight reel entry, a ball plopped in front of a charging Hawk in center, with the CHS outfielder appearing to bluff the Mount Baker runner headed to third by acting like he had lost the ball.

He had not.

Once the sucker … I mean runner … skittered for home, Wolfe flicked the ball skyward, launching a cannon shot, with the orb dropping with a very-satisfying little sigh into Murdy’s outstretched glove.

If this was a cartoon, that would have been the moment the Mount Baker runner’s face turned into that of a braying donkey as he realized he had been made to look like a jackass.

But we’re in the real world, so a loud “OUT!!” carrying through the gusting wind sufficed.

Down to its final at-bat, trailing by two runs with two outs and no one aboard, Coupeville almost pulled off a stunner.

Hilborn and Valenzuela punched back-to-back base-hits to bring the game-winning run to the plate, but Baker dodged a bullet, snuffing the rally by inducing a final groundout.

Roberts finished with six strikeouts while throwing a complete game for the Wolves, with Wolfe (2), Hilborn (2), and Valenzuela (1) combining for Coupeville’s five hits.

Caveness, Valenzuela, Wolfe, Roberts, and Xavier Murdy each collected a walk, while Jack Porter, Sage Sharp, Alex Murdy, and 8th grader Chase Anderson completed Coupeville’s opening day lineup.

The Wolves return to action with three more non-conference tilts next week.

Coupeville hosts South Whidbey Mar. 15, travels to Lynden Christian Mar. 16, and hosts North Mason Mar. 19.

Coupeville coaches plot strategy.

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Lucy Tenore is a heavy hitter for a high-flying Coupeville volleyball squad. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

They came, they saw, and they almost completely conquered.

The Coupeville High School varsity volleyball squad claimed second-place at a tournament in Sultan Saturday, while mixing competition with experimentation.

The Wolves opened by blitzing through pool play, winning five of six sets to claim top dog status.

Coupeville, a 2B school, gave up a single set to 2A Cedarcrest, then bounced 4A Mariner in a three-set thriller in the semifinals of the tourney.

While the Wolves “ran out of steam a bit,” falling to 1A Mount Baker in the championship match, CHS coach Cory Whitmore was pleased with the day.

“It was great experience, and we got to work with some different lineups, which was fun for the group,” he said. “I thought we served tough throughout the day and worked hard in transition — a focus of ours.

“Always fun to get some tournament experience fairly early on, and the day offered a lot of chance for touches and reps.”

Coupeville, which is 4-0 in Northwest 2B/1B League play, and 4-1 overall, has back-to-back matches to kick off next week.

The Wolves host next-door neighbor South Whidbey (5-1) Monday in a titanic non-conference rumble, before traveling Tuesday to Friday Harbor (1-2, 1-4) for a league tussle.

Maddie Georges sets up the Wolves for success.

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Avalon Renninger scored Saturday as CHS girls soccer won for the first time in the playoffs. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Sophia Martin scored twice in a 4-0 rout of Mount Baker.

Mollie Bailey stands around like a pro.

The Coupeville High School soccer goaltender had relatively little to do Saturday, which is a great thing, indicating her teammates were dominating what would turn out to be a landmark win.

Sparked by a pair of goals from sophomore Sophia Martin, the Wolf booters filled the nets at a pace not previously seen this season, torching visiting Mount Baker 4-0 in a district playoff play-in game.

The victory, which lifts CHS to 3-12-2 on the season, is the first playoff win in program history.

It also propels the Wolves into another loser-out postseason battle, this one coming Monday, when Coupeville travels to Bothell to face Cedar Park Christian, which sits at 8-6 on the season.

Win there, and the pride of Central Whidbey moves into double-elimination territory, needing one win in two games to advance to bi-districts.

To see the district tourney bracket, pop over to:


Regardless of how Monday plays out, the Wolves made program history Saturday, and did it twice.

There was the win, yes, but Coupeville had to make a big step before getting there.

They had to score in the playoffs, something no CHS girls soccer team had done.

Over the last decade, the Wolf booters had played eight postseason bouts, three against Vashon Island, three against Meridian, and one each against Lynden Christian and Charles Wright Academy.

Along the way, while frequently forced to play on artificial turf, Coupeville had been outscored 22-0.

Jump forward to Saturday, and the Wolves were free to romp once again on the natural grass which covers Coupeville’s Mickey Clark Field.

They were still missing injured starters Genna Wright and Eryn Wood, but got Natalie Hollrigel and Sophia Martin back in uniform, and that paid dividends.

Moments after dropping a rival player on her rear on the opposite side of the field, ever-elusive Mallory Kourtuem set up a magical moment in time in front of Baker’s goal.

Sucking the defense to her, the CHS senior shielded the ball from her defender, then banged a quick shot into the middle of a mad scrum of players.

It wasn’t just a wild shot, but a pass with a purpose, as Kortuem’s laser landed exactly where she wanted it to be – on Martin’s toe.

Making a bang-bang play, the Wolf sharpshooter punched the ball into the left side of the net, burying the orb into the back of the net before the Mount Baker goalie could move.

Without probably knowing it, the CHS duo had made history, possibly bringing a sigh of sweet relief from their coach, Kyle Nelson, as he paced the sideline.

The Wolf head man had entered the afternoon well aware of Coupeville’s postseason scoring drought, something he was intent on ending.

Whether or not his players knew of their tango with history, they kept up the pressure on the field, thoroughly controlling the flow of the game.

Audrianna Shaw missed (but just barely) on a shot which slid to the left of the net, before Martin banged a shot which tore off a chunk of the cross bar but somehow refused to flop into the net.

She got her revenge a few moments later, however, connecting on her second goal of the day, spinning and chopping the ball over the goalie’s shoulder.

With the celebration in full effect, the Wolves were lights-out the rest of the way.

On offense, Coupeville tacked on a pair of second-half goals, with Anna Dion singing the net with her second score in as many games, before Avalon Renninger blew out the back of the net with a long bomb.

Her team-leading sixth goal of the season, it gives the exuberant Wolf senior 12 scores for her stellar career, which puts her fifth on the CHS girls career scoring list.

Plus it made Grandma and Grandpa Renninger, the most-faithful fans in town, very happy, so there’s that, too.

And Bailey?

She was content to be the loneliest girl in town, fielding just a handful of scattered shots, none of which came close to being halfway-dangerous.

Most of Bailey’s time was spent watching her defenders flex their biceps.

First exhibit: fierce frosh Nezi Keiper parking a Baker girl on her butt after administering a hip check which could be heard all the way up in the press box.

As the Wolf booters celebrated history in the moments after the game’s conclusion, Coupeville volleyball ace Maya Toomey-Stout, a big fan of big hits, wandered by, nodding her head approvingly.

“Hell yeah!!!” she said, and then she smiled.

It was a sentiment shared by one and all in Wolf Nation.

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Despite battling illness, Coupeville High School boys soccer manager Natalie Hollrigel knocked it out of the park Monday during her first time on the stadium microphone. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

A different day, likely a different result.

Battered by a ferocious second-half wind which kept them pinned to their own side of the field Monday, the Coupeville High School boys soccer team needed a miracle.

Unfortunately, it didn’t come, as the Wolves, racked by illness and injury, lost the lead late in the game and fell 4-2 to visiting Mount Baker.

The non-league loss, coming at the hands of a tough Northwest Conference foe, drops Coupeville to 1-1 on the young season.

For a great portion of Monday’s match, it looked like the Wolves would remain undefeated.

Coupeville struck early, rattling home a pair of first-half goals, then held on to a 2-1 lead until late in the game.

But it wasn’t to be, as Baker slipped two final daggers — one off a penalty shot set up by an inadvertent hand ball — into the net in the game’s final three minutes.

The breeze ruffled the jerseys of the players, and a few flags, in the first half, when CHS had the wind at its back, and the Wolves took advantage.

After dodging a major moment of danger when the Mountaineers airmailed a penalty kick into the next town in the game’s second minute, Coupeville struck.

Derek Leyva, dancing with the ball on his toe, slid through a maze of Baker defenders, then splashed home a quick shot into the left corner of the net in the game’s ninth minute.

The second goal in as many games for the Wolf junior, it gives him 26 for his prep career.

Baker answered in less than three minutes, slipping a ball into the net after a wild scrum, but then Coupeville dominated the remainder of the half.

With veterans like Teo Keilwitz and Sam Wynn, and chippy youngsters like Tony Garcia, clamping down on defense, the visitors got zilch the rest of the way before the break.

No goals, and just one shot, on which Wolf goalie Dewitt Cole made a nice save, darting out to snatch the ball practically off of the shooter’s foot.

Looking for a game-buster, CHS found it when James Wood uncorked a long corner kick.

It left Wood’s foot looking like a set-up pass for Leyva, but then snapped like a whip (with a little help from a gust of wind), curving into the net at the last possible moment.

Up 2-1 at the break, things were looking good for Coupeville, other than the fact an already-thin roster had taken a major hit.

With illness ripping through the team, and the school, CHS coach Kyle Nelson only had a single reserve at kickoff, and that vanished when team co-captain Aram Leyva took a nasty shot to the leg shortly before the half.

Once he headed to the sideline, to be replaced by raw-but-ready freshman Andrew Aparicio, Leyva never returned.

With it being a non-conference game, Coupeville coaches made the prudent decision to keep one of their stars out of any more action while his health was in question.

That being said, losing the powerful Leyva and his ability to crash the middle hurt the Wolves.

Nothing hurt quite like the weather, however.

What had started as a brisk breeze became a wall of wind after the break, and Mother Nature made it virtually impossible for Coupeville to get the ball off its side of the field.

Even long hitters like Derek Leyva and Wood had shots muffled by the wind, the ball arcing high up into the sky, before being sucker punched and quickly returning to the turf, sometimes landing behind where it was first hit.

Forced to play all-out defense for 40 minutes straight, with the other team holding the wind advantage, proved to be a thankless task for the Wolves.

Cole made several strong saves, including one in which he went airborne and punched the ball off the crossbar.

That one drew the loudest vocal response from CHS manager/PA announcer Natalie Hollrigel.

Battling illness herself, while operating the mic for the first time, she proved to be a natural, rattling off hard-to-pronounce names during pre-game introductions, then chiming in with strong calls on scores.

She also proudly upheld her Wolf Nation credentials, whispering after one Baker goal, “They scored, I said it, eh … not going to get excited for them.”

Her color commentator, at least when the mic was off, was fellow Wolf star Hannah Davidson, who provided a nice mix of “dad jokes” and one entertaining, if hard to swallow, conspiracy theory revolving around a Coupeville coach being in the witness protection program.

The duo show promise, and now just need to be convinced to leave the mic on the whole game, much like school Athletic Director/announcing wild man Willie Smith has been known to do in the past.

Back on the field, Baker, with an extraordinary amount of help from the wind, pushed home the tying goal in the 63rd minute, the go-ahead score in the 77th, and a final tally in stoppage time after the hand ball.

It got the Mountaineers the win, maybe, but the Wolves deserve a fair amount of praise for standing tall under great duress in the second half.

Plus, when a rival team wins, it’s always best to live by the words of a raspy-voiced Hollrigel.

“Eh, not going to get excited for them.”

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