Posts Tagged ‘Noah Roehl’

Scott Stuurmans banks home a bucket during the 2015 Tom Roehl Roundball Classic. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

For the first time in years, there won’t be an alumni basketball tourney in Coupeville.

The Tom Roehl Roundball Classic, which grew from an all-Wolf event to a major hoops showdown pitting local teams against off-Island foes, has been called off a month before tip-off.

The 2018 tourney was originally set for Dec. 22.

Tournament organizer Noah Roehl released a statement Monday afternoon:

We are canceling the 2018 Tom Roehl Hoops tournament.

We may re-visit hosting at a later date in the spring and will re-evaluate for future years.

We are sorry to do this, but feel it’s in the best interest of folks involved in organizing the tournament and time commitments of all of us over the holidays.

The tournament is named in honor of Noah’s father, who was a highly-influential local coach for decades.

Tom Roehl was an assistant football coach for many years on Ron Bagby’s staff at Coupeville High School, while also running a very-successful youth basketball program.

After his death in 2003, the Roehl family launched football and basketball alumni games, which have generated considerable money for scholarships which are presented to local students annually.

While the football game was retired, the basketball tourney grew in popularity, as alumni teams like Red Pride and the Coupeville Cows vied with teams from Oak Harbor, South Whidbey, Seattle and beyond.

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Noah Roehl (right) swaps gossip with his former football coach, Ron Bagby. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The question seems fairly simple, but the answer can be fairly complex.

Who is the best Wolf athlete you played with and why?

I posed that query to current and former Coupeville High School athletes on Facebook and Twitter earlier this week, and the responses came from all directions.

As the tsunami ebbs, my plan is to produce an article Sunday which will encompass as many answers as possible.

But let’s toss an early grenade on the fire.

Noah Roehl grew up smack-dab in the middle of Wolf Nation, hanging out with dad Tom as he coached high school football and youth basketball.

Later, Noah went on to be an accomplished athlete in his own right, before launching successful alumni basketball and football tournaments to raise scholarship money and honor his late father.

As someone who was on the inside for three decades, he is uniquely qualified to issue his appraisals of his fellow Wolf athletes.

While he’s too young to have seen CHS greats of the past like Jeff Stone or Judy Marti, and adult life kept him from having a front-row seat to recent supernovas such as Makana Stone and Hunter Smith, Roehl comes out swinging in his appraisals.

David … how dare you ask us to comment in such a subjective way.

We hate/love following our favorite sports blog and would never dare to respond to such a arbitrary ranking.

How do you rank Jordan vs LeBron … are they going to face off in a one vs one game? I only dream of it.

I will definitely participate in your ranking, lol.

Based just on athleticism — strength, fitness, agility and the ability to synchronize movements to accomplish a feat better than others … not necessarily leadership or other aspects that can make a team player great.

From the 30+ years I was plugged in:


1) Ian Barron
2) Mike Bagby
3) Peter Petrov
4) Gavin Keohane
5) Todd Brown
6) Greg White
7) Ford brothers – Tony and David (before my time but heard stories)
8) Ian Smith
9) Tyler King
10) Rich Wilson
11) Casey Larson
12) Todd Smith


1) Novi Barron
2) Ashley Ellsworth-Bagby
3) Marlene Grasser (before my time but heard stories)
4) Yashmeen Knox
5) Tina Lyness
6) Brianne King
7) Joli Smith
8) Emily Vracin
9) Amy Mouw
10) Corinne Gaddis
11) Kara Warder
12) Megan Smith

Some athletes only played one sport, but, in my opinion, their athleticism would have transferred to other sports easily, had they chosen to play.

Sorry, not sorry, if you didn’t make my arbitrary list of the best “athletes” I might have seen or heard about in the brief time window I covered.

Plenty of great athletes have come through Coupeville High School over the years and many went on to achieve greatness in college and beyond.

I know there are a few that probably should be on the list from the past 5+ years, I just don’t know enough to make an arbitrary guess.

Dang it, I would also added Matt Helm to this. I think he was more athletic than he seemed.

As I was thinking about this, I think I probably missed Brad Sherman, too. Probably makes the cut before Helm, maybe sneaks in around 10th on my list.

DANG IT, I guess I will add (brother) Virgil (Roehl) to this list too. Going to be an awkward Thanksgiving now…

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Megan Meyer (right) is joine dby fellow Hall o' Fame inductees (top to bottom) Bob Barker, Arik Garthwaite, Corinne Gaddis and Noah Roehl.

   Megan Meyer (right) is joined by fellow Hall o’ Fame inductees (top to bottom) Bob Barker, Arik Garthwaite, Corinne Gaddis and Noah Roehl.

Old school and new school meet.

The five-person group headed into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame today, the 37th class inducted into these hallowed digital walls, is a mix of different generations.

But one thing links the three men and two women who, after this, will be found at the top of the blog under the Legends tab.

They all had a sizable impact on AND off the field. And continue to do so.

So, with that, we formally welcome Corinne Gaddis, Noah Roehl, Arik Garthwaite, Megan Meyer and Bob Barker.

We kick things off with Garthwaite, who is being honored for his play on the hardwood.

One of the most dominant scoring machines CHS has ever seen, he was a four-year varsity player, topping 100+ points in every season, capped by an eye-popping 423 as a senior.

That’s the second-best single-season mark put up by a Wolf boy in the past 25 years, and, by the time he was done, Garthwaite had scorched the nets for 867 points in his stellar career.

Not bad for a guy who actually focused more on the other side of the court.

“Defense and yelling at the refs were my strong suits,” he once told me with a laugh.

As a junior he helped the Wolves get off to a 12-0 start, then delivered even more fireworks a year later.

During Garthwaite’s senior season in 1997-1998, he blitzed Mount Vernon Christian for 32 and helped Coupeville upend powerhouse King’s in an upset he still treasures.

A gym rat during his days as a Wolf — “Pete (Petrov) had a key to the gym and he and I would play there at night quite a bit. The janitor was pretty cool about it.” — he still remembers what it was like to make the joint rock.

“That gym was electric when we played and always packed,” he said. “I talked to a few guys on each team that we played against and that was always the first thing they mentioned. It was just SO loud, they would say.”

Our second inductee, Roehl, is being honored for his play — he was a standout football and basketball player who took home a CHS Male Athlete of the Year award — but also for the work he has done since graduation.

Keeping alive the memory and work of his father, the late Tom Roehl, Noah has been the driving force behind his family’s charity work.

Through their popular football and basketball alumni games, the family has raised funds for college scholarships year after year and kept a great man’s legacy rolling.

While everyone in the Roehl family chips in, it is Noah who is the face of the franchise and makes things hum.

His dad would be very proud.

Up next are Gaddis and Meyer, two highly accomplished, supremely sweet-natured young women who continue to wow the world every day.

Injuries were the only thing which could slow the fleet-footed Gaddis down (she still finished 8th at the 1A state meet in the long jump and 6th in the 4 x 100 as a sophomore), but they also gave her a larger purpose.

Once she left Cow Town for that other rural chunk of land, Pullman, she aced her way through her days at Wazzu, becoming an athletic trainer and being chosen as a highlighted student during commencement.

These days, she’s helping athletes of all ages and talents, spreading the gospel of Gaddis everywhere she goes, epic grin greeting everyone she meets — perfect proof you can be awesome in high school and somehow find a way to still ramp it up afterwards.

Her path is sort of similar to Meyer, who, for me at least, will always be the little girl who we used to stick in the rolling cart that we parked under the drop slot at Videoville.

And yes, she would grab people’s hands as they dropped their movie in the slot, and yes, it was glorious.

Once she hit high school, Meggie Moo was a tennis player and a cheerleader, and it’s the latter, where she was a captain when CHS was a competition cheer squad, that earns her entry to the hall.

After high school, however, is where the stupendous Miss Meyer has shone most brightly, though, bopping around the globe, a world traveler who has spent most of her time abroad helping others.

I worked at Videoville for 12+ years, from Megan’s first day of preschool until her sophomore year of high school, and there has never been a moment, then or now, when she was not one of my favorite people in the universe.

She is one of the most genuinely lovable people I have ever known. Her mere presence causes the heavens to open, the sun to shine and small animals to dance with little children.


That’s sort of the reaction most of Barker’s former athletes have when you bring him up.

During his time at CHS, he put in 31+ years, working as a teacher, coach (boys and girls basketball and baseball) and athletic director.

Along the way he guided the 1969-1970 Wolf boys to the first district title ever won by a Whidbey Island hoops team, then took that team to state, another first in program history.

He coached some of the most talented athletes in school history — Jeff Stone, Corey Cross, Marlene Grasser, Sherry Bonacci and Jennie Cross just to name a few — but is revered for treating all of his players equally.

And more so, for being the kind of coach who truly impacted lives far beyond the athletic stage.

Bonacci, who grew up to marry fellow Athlete of the Year Jon Roberts and produce a daughter (Lindsey) who is right on track to duplicate her parents feat, speaks for many of Barker’s former students and players.

“He is AMAZING!! ️Neatest man ever … all-around amazing! LOVE HIM!!,” Sherry Roberts said. “He is truly one of those three or four people in my life who have had the greatest impact on me.

“I would truly not be who I am today without his help and guidance and belief in me. What a wonderful man!!”

Sounds like a Hall of Famer to me.

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It's a birthday-a-palooza!!

Clockwise from upper left: Iris Ryckaert, Cameron Boyd (center), Christy Kellison (left), Fawn Gustafson (left), Gabe and Ty Eck, Jazmine Franklin, Noah Roehl, Caleb Valko.

OK, this is out of hand.

Nine birthdays covering three days, all with solid links to Wolf Nation. I already missed two, got three today and four more hit tomorrow.

Only one way to deal with this. I’m going Oprah on you all.

You get a Happy Birthday! And you get a happy birthday!! And on and on and on…

Who we are honoring (in alphabetic order):

Cameron Boyd — Wolf grad who sacrificed part of a tooth to help beat South Whidbey in a soccer game. A freakin’ CHS legend.

Gabe Eck — Fast-rising star who will hit CHS next fall. Football, basketball, baseball — does it all and does it all well.

Ty Eck — Just re-read what I said about his twin brother.

Jazmine Franklin — Sparkling Wolf cheerleader who doubles as a net master on the tennis court.

Fawn Gustafson — One of the moms who makes things hum behind the scenes.

Also gave CHS daughter Amanda Fabrizi, a hoops/volleyball superstar, son Clay Reilly, a three-sport terror and (one day) daughter Gwen Gustafson, who could be the greatest of them all.

Christy Kellison — Indispensable member of the Coupeville Booster Club and mom of Kole Kellison (and a bunch of others), who once tackled a ref in the end zone (on purpose). Still my favorite play ever. So there’s that.

Noah Roehl — Former Wolf star who grew up at CHS. Part of one of the families who are the very foundation of Wolf sports.

Just finished running another successful alumni basketball tourney in honor of his dad, the late, revered CHS coach Tom Roehl.

Iris Ryckaert — The Belgian Queen who hit Cow Town for a year and dazzled us all. Super sweet, bright young woman who dabbled in cheer, volleyball and tennis, spreading sunshine everywhere she went, before returning to rule her native land.

Forever a Wolf, regardless of where she lives.

Caleb Valko — The one true Page Hit King. The man who made Coupeville Sports what it is.

Cheeky bastard (and I mean that with a great deal of respect) who sometimes tries to play off what a good guy he is.

Too bad. Truth is out. Everyone knows you love your family and would go to the wall (and through it) for your friends.

A rock-solid athlete and team leader who left every last thing he had on the gridiron and basketball court, and a quality dude off of them.

To all nine of you, thank you for giving Wolf Nation a slice of your life. And may the next year be your best yet.

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