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Allie Lucero will join twin sister Maya as freshmen at Coupeville High School this fall. (Photos courtesy Jess Lucero)

In between playing three sports, Lucero finds time to hang out with a wide variety of animals.

You name it, Allie Lucero is likely involved in it.

Much like twin sister Maya, she plays three sports, while also pursuing a wide range of activities from band to Girls Scouts and way beyond.

Which doesn’t mean Lucero can’t also find time to tend to a menagerie of animals.

She has her dog, Yadi, to play with, while also commanding an army of chickens and ducks the family raises.

Lucero, who will be a freshman at Coupeville High School in the fall, tabs language arts as her favorite class, and likes to “read, hang out with friends and family, paint, watch Netflix, cook, and garden.”

And, somehow, in the middle of all that, she finds the time to also be one of the town’s most-promising young athletes.

During her middle school days, Lucero played SWISH and school basketball, club and school volleyball, and little league softball.

She plans to stay true to all three sports as she hits the high school stage, which is great news for local fans, as she and Maya bring skill, determination, and a love of the game to everything they do.

Following in the footsteps of older brother Dane, who just graduated from CHS after playing football, basketball, and baseball, Allie is out to make a name for herself.

“It would be pretty memorable and awesome if I had a chance to go to state for any sport,” Lucero said.

“I would also like to make varsity on one or all of these sports throughout high school,” she added. “And, finally, I want to improve and succeed.”

Lucero, who springs from a family with a deep sports background, embraces the chance to be an athlete.

“I enjoy staying active and always learning new things as an athlete,” she said.

Turning lessons into improvement on the field or court is huge for Lucero.

“Some (of my) strengths as an athlete are staying positive and enthusiastic, and my level of commitment,” she said.

“My best skills are serving and setting in volleyball, and fielding and hitting in softball,” Lucero added. “Yet, there is always more that I can learn and improve on with these sports.”

She’s picked up these lessons from many people along the way, and approaches each practice, each game, eager to soak up knowledge.

“There are many people who have helped me become the athlete that I am today,” Lucero said. “My coaches, who have always helped me improve on what I needed work on.

“This includes my mom and dad, who have supported me ever since I started sports,” she added. “My dad has always given great advice, and something he says that I will always remember, is to become successful by doing the things that others aren’t willing to do.”

Being a twin, Lucero always has someone else close by who’s playing at the same level as she is, which is a nice built-in advantage.

Maya has also supported me and has practiced with me in our yard countless times.”

While she approaches all of her sports with an open heart and a gung-ho attitude, Lucero is most at home in the fall and spring.

“My favorite sports are softball and volleyball,” she said. “I love softball because I have played it since I was seven. I love the game, and I always have the best time hitting or fielding.

“Volleyball is also a favorite, because even though I haven’t played it for very long, it always excites me, and it never gets old or boring!,” Lucero added. “I love these sports because I can always explore improvements to make, and I find them super fun.”

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If you can ID all of these movie scenes, you may officially have movie mania.

   If you can ID these eight films (which are all on my Top 1,000), you may officially have movie mania.

Was it a waste of time? Possibly.

The gauntlet was laid down, though, and I had to respond.

Let’s jump back here for a moment and set the scene.

For those who don’t know, I spent 15 years being paid to watch movies as a small town video store manager.

I miss it, every freakin’ day.

Before that, and after that, I have watched a few films.

And by few, I mean I stopped counting at 10,000, and that was a long, loooooong time ago.

I killed many a brave VCR and DVD player in their day and am in a constant battle with Netflix, as its algorithms try (and fail) to pin down my movie tastes.

There are certainly some folks out there who have seen more movies than I have, or who have more film knowledge, or better taste.

Or who at least THINK they have better taste.

But I’ll take my movie mania and put it up against just about anyone and feel like I have at least a shot.

No “could of been” here. I am a contender.

So, last week, when director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) announced his picks for his favorite 1,000 films of all time, I was intrigued.

I agreed with a lot, I disagreed with some, and, while I’ve seen most of his picks, there were some gaps for me. Something to work on.

But first, I took the challenge. The implied one, at least.

It wasn’t as if Wright leaned out across the internet and smacked me in the face with a dueling glove. Yet…

But the challenge was there. Could I go through my movie history and pull together my own Top 1,000 list?

Of course I could. I live for such meaningless challenges.

Later, after much mind-numbing work, a lot of knockdown drag-out brawls with myself (I, apparently, can be a pain in the rear at times … who knew?) and a stubborn refusal to let go of The Cat in the Hat (there is no rational defense), I arrived at the finish line.

They’re my favorite 1,000 films (for today at least), if not necessarily the 1,000 greatest films of all time. Everything is subjective.

So, take a moment, pop over and look at my list (it’s alphabetic, not ranked #1-#1,000, cause that would be insane), see how many you’ve seen, marinate in my obsession and then, maybe, go create your own list.

Or go outside and get some fresh air. That works, too.

http://letterboxd.com/davidsvien/list/1000-or-bust/

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Katherine Morales

Katherine Morales

Coupeville High School cheer embraces the theory of Ohana, building a family as the season progresses.

It’s a concept Wolf freshman Katherine Morales is very happy to be associated with.

“I’ve been cheering for three months and I started because it looked super fun and I’ve always wanted to try it out,” she said. “I enjoy everything about cheer, but especially stunting and cheering with my cheer sisters!”

A huge fan of watching favorite shows such as Pretty Little Liars and The Vampire Diaries on Netflix, Morales also enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and speaking Spanish.

Having played volleyball and basketball in middle school, she is considering picking up a tennis racket for the Wolves this spring.

“I’m still not sure if I will be doing tennis this year, but sure would love to try it out,” Morales said.

She credits her family with being her biggest support, whether in sports or real life.

“My mom has a really big impact on me and she definitely helped make me the person that I am now,” Morales said. “She always encourages me to be me and practice really hard to get better at things.”

That mentality helps her get through the intensive practices run by the Wolf cheer squad.

And, while school officials still insist on officially referring to cheer as an activity and not a sport, Morales thinks otherwise.

“What I would tell the CHS officials (and anyone else that doesn’t think cheer-leading is sport) to change their mind, would be that cheer-leading is a sport because we cheerleaders and athletes work and practice really hard to get better at routines, stunting, flexibility, etc.”

“We go to camp, compete at camp, train to get stronger … so yet why don’t you consider cheer-leading a sport?”

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This is our cultural heritage. Especially "Croczilla." Do not let them go quietly into that good night.

   This is our cultural heritage. Especially “Croczilla.” Do not let them go quietly into that good night.

There is a time in all of our lives that has a special glow in our memories.

For me, it is the 12+ years (Oct. 4, 1994-Dec. 31, 2006) I spent as manager at Videoville, the Coupeville video store that held its own against Blockbuster as countless other Whidbey movie outlets fell under less-than-friendly fire.

Top of the Hill Video (1 and 2). Quality In-House Video. Crazy Mike’s Video. Sunset Home Video. Coupeville Video.

At some point, I had a rental card for you all (and so many more).

But, like a good independent video store champion, I can state that not once did I ever rent a movie from Blockbuster. NEVER. EVER.

Videoville survived and thrived for longer than most for many reasons.

Being connected to Miriam’s Espresso helped.

Having a strong employee base and an owner (Miriam Meyer) who basically let us run wild as long as we didn’t burn the joint down or kill too many customers was huge, as well.

We couldn’t match Blockbuster’s new release wall in sheer numbers, but we beat them in selection.

Our foreign and documentary sections — my children — were the best on the Island. There is no doubt about that.

Blockbuster moved product.

We cared about movies and we made people watch Bottle Rocket and The Young Poisoner’s Handbook and The Limey and Box of Moonlight and Ichi the Killer (whether they wanted to or not).

Now, of course, video stores are all but dead, and it is a tragedy, one of the greatest of our lives.

You can argue that people have more choices than ever before, more access to films than at any point in the history of the motion picture, and that is true.

But it is impersonal, it is cold and removed and, frankly, Netflix and its computers do a terrible job of recommending movies for people to see.

It is super easy for them to say “Hey, Guardians of the Galaxy is fun!,” (it is — I saw it six times in the theater) but the next time their algorithm points you to Margaret’s Musuem or Rover Dangerfield or Samurai Fiction will be … never gonna happen.

In the years since Videoville, I have bounced through a number of jobs, all of which pay the bills but do little to stoke the inner fire.

It’s not their fault. They’re … jobs.

Videoville was a once-in-a-lifetime experience where I was paid to goof off for 12 mostly-transcendent years. It is, and probably will always be, my gold standard (especially since I am a lifelong movie fanatic).

Back in real life, I went a number of years without owning any DVDs, until, recently, a friend cleaning out her house suddenly gifted me with 150+ of them.

Since that point, realizing more and more people are throwing their movies away (I recently pulled 67 out of a dumpster at my aunt’s apartment complex) as they fully commit to a digital world, I have put the call out.

I want to retain a piece of my past. I want to build a secret, underground Videoville (I still have the original store sign in the weeds behind my duplex), a solid testament to what once was.

It’ll never be a store again, but it will endure. In some fashion.

Currently the collection sits at 667 DVDs and is growing.

Which is where you, the ones who are still reading at this point (even if you are rolling your eyes), come in.

Do you want to reclaim space in your house again? Have you been enslaved by Netflix and downloads?

Send your movies (rom coms to ’80s slashers, I want ’em all) my way (no VHS, sorry, my duplex is, after all, a duplex and not a 30-room mansion) and I will give them a retirement home with a view of Penn Cove.

Help me honor the past and keep the memory of it alive into the future.

Entrust me with the task of keeping a golden age alive. It is my one true destiny.

DVDs can be dropped any day of the week at Christopher’s on Whidbey (103 NW Coveland in Coupeville, next to the Post Office). Help keep the dream alive!!

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Kameryn St Onge

Kameryn St Onge

Kameryn St Onge comes alive in art class.

“I love art class. I love creating colorful new dreams.”

On the volleyball court, the Coupeville High School freshman is just starting to paint her own dreams, as well.

After picking up the sport in middle school, she’s moved up a level and hoping to take huge strides in her game.

“I want to do club volleyball,” St Onge said. “And hopefully get a scholarship to the University of Washington.”

Volleyball is her lone sport right now (“So, for the rest of the year I can just focus on school work”), and she’s hard at work refining her skill set.

“I just love playing and spiking and all my fabulous team mates,” St Onge said. “My fellow players have helped me stay positive when I’m down.”

She’s fairly confident in her hitting, but, like any other young, developing player, knows she still has areas to work on.

“I would say spiking (is a strength),” St Onge said. “I need to work on ball control more.”

Off the court, the younger sister of Wolf cheerleader Ciera St Onge is a music fan (“I love rock music!”) and has a serious relationship with the online leader in entertainment.

“Netflix is my life!”

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