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Coupeville senior Chelsea Prescott was tabbed as a First Team All-League pick. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Northwest 2B/1B League coaches also honored Kylie Chernikoff.

Well-respected by their rivals.

The Coupeville High School volleyball squad, which claimed second-place in the Northwest 2B/1B League, put six players on the All-League team.

Seniors Kylie Chernikoff and Chelsea Prescott landed on the First Team, with senior Maddie Vondrak and sophomore Maddie Georges earning Second Team honors.

Sophomores Alita Blouin and Jill Prince round out the Wolf honorees, named Honorable Mention.

In a move which will surprise .00001% of anyone who saw a match this season, La Conner sophomore Ellie Marble, a serene superstar with often-startling power, was tabbed as league MVP.

NWL coaches decided to share the sportsmanship award among all six schools which played, acknowledging the effort of everyone involved in getting the season played during the Age of Coronavirus.

“Best year ever, as you all were amazing!,” said the press release.

 

All-League First Team:

Kylie Chernikoff – Coupeville – Senior – Outside Hitter
Sarah Cook – La Conner – Junior – Outside Hitter
Rachel Cram – La Conner – Junior – Libero
Emma Keller – La Conner – Junior – Setter
Ellie Marble – La Conner – Sophomore – Outside Hitter
Chelsea Prescott – Coupeville – Senior – Outside Hitter
Lindsey Simpson – Orcas Island – Senior – Middle
Kassidy Smith – Concrete – Senior – Libero
Katie Watkins – La Conner – Senior – Middle
Alyvia Wright – Darrington – Junior – Setter

 

All-League Second Team:

Kylie Clark – Concrete – Senior – Right Side
Emma Droog – Mount Vernon Christian – Junior – Middle
Maddie Georges – Coupeville – Sophomore – Setter
Maya Masonholder – La Conner – Senior – Defensive Specialist
Anna Jane Thulen – La Conner – Senior – Right Side
Maddie Vondrak – Coupeville – Senior – Middle
Avery Yates – Mount Vernon Christian – Senior – Outside Hitter

 

All-League Honorable Mention:

Gena Beazer – Darrington – Sophomore – Middle
Alita Blouin – Coupeville – Sophomore – Libero
Bethany Carter – Orcas Island – Freshman – Right Side
Hannah Cook – La Conner – Junior – Middle
Kailey Faber – Mount Vernon Christian – Senior – Outside Hitter
Morgan Huizenga – La Conner – Freshman – Middle
Tayla Malo – Orcas Island – Junior – Setter
Jill Prince – Coupeville – Sophomore – Middle
Sierra Rensink – Concrete – Senior – Setter
Aubrie Sloniker – La Conner – Junior – Defensive Specalist

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Xavier Murdy charges into battle. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The fall belongs to La Conner, the school year to Coupeville.

We’ve made it through two of three seasons during this pandemic-fractured campaign, with winter sports set to kick off Monday and finish in mid-June.

Fall sports, which were played second and not first as normal, featured a very-competitive four-way battle for supremacy, with La Conner coming out with 17 varsity wins across volleyball, football, boys soccer, and girls soccer.

Cross country doesn’t have won/loss records, and boys tennis was cancelled after Friday Harbor chose not to play any sports this season.

The 17 wins was a big bounce back for the always-tough Braves, who won exactly zero games during spring sports.

But fall is La Conner’s sweet spot, thanks to a two-time defending state champ volleyball team which went 10-0 this time around, sweeping all 30 sets it played.

Mount Vernon Christian, paced by its title-winning girls soccer squad, was second with 15 fall varsity wins, followed by Orcas Island (13, with 10 from boys soccer), and Coupeville, which collected 12.

Concrete and Darrington were far back, with just two wins apiece, while Friday Harbor took the zero, cause you can’t win if you don’t play.

When we add fall and spring together, the Wolves, who went 25-3 in the spring while playing softball, baseball, and girls tennis, go back out in front, and by a lot.

With just basketball left to play — we don’t count wrestling, because CHS doesn’t wrestle, and this blog isn’t called, say, Darrington Sports — here’s the school year to date varsity win totals:

Coupeville — 37
Orcas Island — 20
La Conner — 17
Mount Vernon Christian — 16
Friday Harbor — 11
Darrington — 10
Concrete — 2

 

Final fall sports standings:

 

Northwest League boys soccer:

School League Overall
Orcas Island 10-0-0 10-0-0
MV Christian 4-2-0 4-2-0
CPC-Lynnwood 4-3-1 4-3-1
La Conner 3-4-1 3-4-1
PC Christian 3-5-1 3-5-1
Coupeville 1-5-0 1-5-0
Grace Academy 0-6-1 0-6-1

 

Northwest League football:

School League Overall
La Conner 3-1 4-1
Coupeville 2-1 3-2
Darrington 1-1 2-3
Concrete 0-3 0-5

 

Northwest League girls soccer:

School League Overall
MV Christian 6-0-0 6-0-0
Coupeville 2-3-0 2-3-0
La Conner 0-5-0 0-5-0

 

Northwest League volleyball:

School League Overall
La Conner 10-0 10-0
Coupeville 6-3 6-3
MV Christian 5-4 5-4
Orcas Island 3-7 3-7
Concrete 2-8 2-8
Darrington 0-4 0-4

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“I will devour your soul, sister!!” Sweet-natured Maddie Vondrak transforms into the volleyball wrecking machine known as The Mad Masher. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

“Wolves on three.”

A surreal season ended on a surreal note.

Less than 24 hours after celebrating Senior Night in front of a fairly-full gym, the Coupeville High School varsity volleyball squad closed its season Saturday by thrashing visiting Orcas Island in a mostly-empty house.

No fans were allowed to attend — to honor a request by the Vikings as positive Covid cases rise in the San Juans — though rest content in the knowledge that a handful of teenage girls can make as much noise, if not more, than any group of paying customers.

And the Wolves had plenty to hoot and holler about, as they strolled to a 25-12, 25-12, 25-14 win to finish 6-3 during this pandemic-altered season.

Coupeville, which finished second in the seven-team Northwest 2B/1B League, lost only to two-time defending state champ La Conner, and they made the Braves work as hard as anyone.

While he loses seniors Maddie Vondrak, Chelsea Prescott, Jaimee Masters, and Kylie Chernikoff, Wolf coach Cory Whitmore has a roster which features one junior and six fast-rising sophomores.

In the aftermath of Saturday’s win, as his players celebrated their success and mourned the end of their time together, Whitmore had a satisfied smile peeking out from under his face mask.

“We all have a lot of love for these seniors,” he said. “They were a great support crew for the younger players, like the seniors before them were for them.

“It’s really fun to see the impact these seniors had on our sophomores, and all they passed down.”

With all the obstacles this group of Wolves faced — a new league and classification, the loss of eight seniors, the pandemic — Whitmore was thrilled to see them accept every challenge.

“They tried new things, adapted, accepted feedback, and really were peaking by the end of the season, the right time,” he said. “I’m very proud of this team, and these seniors.”

Saturday’s match was essentially over one play into things.

Orcas served, there was a brief rally, then Prescott came sliding in, dropping the hammer of the gods, her power-packed right arm spiking a winner which split a pair of Vikings and skidded away.

Game, set, match.

Almost.

The Vikings did hang around for another hour or so, but they spent much of their time admiring the Wolf big hitters at work.

Prescott, Chernikoff, and Vondrak took turns getting wicked, spraying winners to all angles and showing their young teammates the way things are done.

Toss in strong runs at the service stripe from Alita Blouin, Maddie Georges, and Abby Mulholland, quality work in the trenches from Masters, and big plays at the net from twin titans Jill Prince and Lucy Tenore, and Orcas was doomed.

The end of the match offered up a perfect mix of the present (soon to be the past), and the future, for the Wolf volleyball program.

Up 22-13 in the third set, Coupeville collected its third to last point of the season thanks to one last, blisteringly brutal spike from the college-bound Prescott.

Stalking away in triumph, the young woman who first made varsity as a freshman celebrated with her contemporaries, then, metaphorically at least, turned over the keys to the car to the next generation.

Sophomores Gwen Gustafson and Ryanne Knoblich, who were on the court at the end, are part of that rising group of sophomore stars, with Tenore, Prince, Blouin, and Georges.

The final point, appropriately, came from one of the veterans, however.

Chernikoff, a fountain of joy over the past six years, from her days as a middle school track sensation to her current status as a volleyball killing machine, strolled to the service stripe, thunked the ball off the floor, then fired a note-perfect career capper.

Her low, sinking fireball ripped off a finger or two as it turned into set point #25 and match point #75, officially ending things.

One group moves on, another moves in, and Whitmore, with 55 wins in 4.5 seasons, rolls on, building something special.

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Ben Smith rushed for two touchdowns and picked off a pair of passes Saturday as Coupeville football closed its season with a 29-0 win. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They saved their best offensive show for the finale.

Scoring a season-high four touchdowns Saturday, while also collecting their third shutout on defense, the Coupeville High School football team blasted visiting Concrete 29-0.

The win over their Northwest 2B/1B League foe gave a great sendoff to the team’s four seniors — who scored all the TD’s — while also clinching a second-straight winning season for the Wolf gridiron program.

Finishing 3-2 in a pandemic-shortened season, this year’s CHS squad follows on the heels of the 2019 group, which went 5-4.

While back-to-back campaigns in which they won one more game than they lost doesn’t guarantee any state title banners will be hung any time soon, it is a huge step forward for a program which didn’t have a winning season between 2006-2018.

Wolf coach Marcus Carr, who has been at the helm for three seasons now, paid tribute to seniors Alex Jimenez, Sage Downes, Dakota Eck, and Ben Smith for their contributions to the rebuilding.

“Very happy with the way the guys played this season,” Carr said. “Our seniors shined tonight and they set the tone for us all year.”

Seniors (l to r) Sage Downes, Smith, Dakota Eck, and Alex Jimenez spend the final moments of their prep careers with coach Marcus Carr. (Jackie Saia photo)

That four-pack of 12th graders made an impact right from the start Saturday night.

Playing in front of their home fans for the first time in a month, they forced three-and-out sequences the first two times Concrete touched the ball.

Jimenez came crashing through the line on a fourth-and-four to drag down a ball-carrier short of the line on the opening “drive,” and the mood was set.

While Coupeville’s defense has been strong all season, its offense has taken its sweet time about scoring most games.

Not so against Concrete, as the Wolves busted off a march to the promised land midway through the first quarter.

Freshman quarterback Logan Downes hit Jimenez and Daylon Houston with quicksilver passes, wrapped around a strong run up the middle by Smith.

That loosened up the Concrete defense, and Smith promptly took advantage, bursting through a mass of would-be tacklers, then outrunning the Lions to the end zone on a 20-yard scoring tear.

While the PAT refused to be converted, it didn’t really matter as the Wolves continued to jump all over their foes.

Smith pilfered a Lions pass on the next possession, his first of two picks, which set up a unique scoring play.

Getting one year together on the high school football field, the second and third of Angie Downes three sons made it count, hooking up on a 28-yard touchdown pass.

Logan, the confident young gun, lofted a pass from right to left, the ball dropping out of the sky right onto the fingertips of moderately-old Sage, who strolled in for the score.

Somewhere, Hunter, their now very-old (relatively speaking) older brother, who still holds some Coupeville QB records, probably nodded and said to anyone in ear shot, “You realize I taught them everything about football.”

Houston knocked the extra point through the goalposts, then returned shortly thereafter to do the same again, this time after Smith bolted in for a score from nine yards out early in the second quarter.

Up 20-0 at the halftime break — that time when PA announcer Willie Smith and clock operator Joel Norris go cookie-hunting — the Wolves coasted in from there, relying on a series of big defensive plays to keep Concrete at bay.

Jimenez spent much of the night harassing anyone in a Lions uniform who dared to come close to the ball, the same as Isaiah Bittner and Josh Upchurch, while Sage Downes and Scott Hilborn picked off passes.

Smith snagged his second INT, this one on an eye-popping play where he hauled in the ball with one hand while tip-toeing down the sideline, just barely staying in play.

Tim Ursu busted off a nice run to keep the Concrete defense honest, but it was Eck who tore off a 46-yard run to the end zone in the fourth quarter for the season’s final touchdown.

Before that, Houston showed off the power of his big kicking leg, absolutely crushing a 26-yard field goal.

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Coupeville girls soccer coach Kyle Nelson is already looking forward to next season — which should hopefully go down this fall. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Carolyn Lhamon is part of a talented group of underclassmen who can return.

Give credit where credit is due.

The Mount Vernon Christian girls soccer team just had a (pandemic-shortened) season for the ages.

Capping their torrid run with a 6-0 win over Coupeville Friday, the visiting Hurricanes finished with all their zeroes in the right place.

With the victory, MVC put the finishing touches on a 6-0 season in which it outscored its two foes, La Conner and Coupeville, 55-0.

That’s not a misprint.

The Hurricanes rang up 21 goals against the Wolves, winning 9-0, 6-0, and 6-0, while really reaming La Conner.

MVC thunked the Braves 9-0, 14-0, and 11-0, which is beautiful and horrifying in equal measures.

Thanks to their own 4-0 and 6-0 wins over La Conner — a third game was lost to the constant schedule shuffle of the Age of Coronavirus — Coupeville finishes 2-3 and claims second-place in the Northwest 2B/1B League.

Needless to say, La Conner, outscored 44-0 (also not a misprint) finishes last at 0-5, while Friday Harbor took a season off due to Covid concerns.

While the Wolves couldn’t stop MVC, they did slow down the fleet-footed Hurricanes for a chunk of each game.

Friday was no different, as Coupeville, celebrating Senior Night, played their phenomenal foes even for much of the first half.

“We did manage to frustrate them for the first 30 minutes, where we held them,” said CHS coach Kyle Nelson. “But, unfortunately we could not hold them off longer, and tired legs gave way.”

While he’ll lose several players to graduation, headlined by goal-scoring terror Genna Wright and dependable goalkeeper Mollie Bailey, the Wolves can return much of their roster.

“The first half gave promise to things to come in the next season with some more time to work together,” Nelson said.

While Wright’s departure takes away Coupeville’s top goal-scoring threat, the other six players to find the back of the net this season were underclassmen.

Wright, who lost her junior season to injury and saw her senior campaign greatly reduced in size by the pandemic, graduates as the program’s #3 career scorer.

Her 20 goals trails just Mia (35) and Kalia Littlejohn (33).

 

Final scoring stats:

Genna Wright 3
Eryn Wood 2
Carolyn Lhamon 1
Sophie Martin 1
Ava Mitten 1
Audrianna Shaw 1
Reese Wilkinson 1

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