Posts Tagged ‘Northwest League’

Scott Hilborn scored four touchdowns Friday, all on plays of 48+ yards, as Coupeville demolished La Conner. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

These are dark days in La Conner.

A football program which has been the pride of the Northwest 2B/1B League for decades is seemingly in shambles after being blasted in back-to-back weeks.

First Friday Harbor slammed the Braves 63-0, then Friday night it was Coupeville’s turn, as the Wolves defended their home turf with a blistering 51-0 triumph.

The convincing win, in which five different players scored a touchdown, lifts CHS to 1-0 in league play, 1-2 overall.

It also sets up a showdown next Friday, Oct. 1, when Coupeville travels to Friday Harbor to face a Wolverines team which is 1-0 in league, 2-2 overall.

CHS, chasing its first football league title since 1990, has a rematch with La Conner Oct. 15, and closes the regular season at home Oct. 28 against Friday Harbor.

Mixed in there is Homecoming Oct. 22, with non-league foe Cascade (Leavenworth) the featured foe.

Friday night’s one-sided showdown with La Conner featured a lot of penalties from both sides — Coupeville twice had touchdowns waved off thanks to flags — but it wasn’t enough to derail the Wolves.

CHS scored six touchdowns in its season opener, coming within one play of upending Klahowya.

Week two brought a matchup with next door neighbor South Whidbey which was tied until a fateful series of errors right before halftime.

After getting an unexpected bye week last Friday when a storm prevented them from making it to Port Townsend, a well-rested Coupeville squad finally put it all all together against La Conner.

There were stars everywhere, with sophomore quarterback Logan Downes passing for a touchdown, running for another, and picking off two passes while playing defense.

Or take a gander at Daylon Houston, who took a pick-six in for a touchdown and still found time to kick three PAT’s which sailed far into the inky blackness of the night.

Or youngsters like Mikey Robinett and Johnny Porter, making names for themselves, or grizzled veterans like Brian Casey, William Davidson, and Jonathan Valenzuela, delivering ear-ringing licks on defense.

William Davidson delivers big hits, and big life messages. (Submitted photo)

All worthy of praise, and all deserving to celebrate their win as some of their classmates sprinted by, waving flags and poppin’ bottles.

But on this night, on this patch of turf, one young man towered above them all.

Scott Hilborn is a successful baseball and football player, a guy, who like older brother Matt, is the kind of low-key, rock-solid dude every coach appreciates.

The younger of the brothers is a lot like mom Wendi, as both are hard workers who get the job done day in and day out, quietly going about their business without feeling a need to break their hand patting themselves on the back.

Friday night, Scott was about as good as any Wolf gridiron star has been on a given night since back in the days when Ian Barron made rival players soil their pants trying to tackle him.

Six times Hilborn plunged into the end zone, and four of them were upheld by the refs, with penalties by other Wolves erasing scores twice in a three-play span.

What should have been a pick-six became just a pick, then two plays later an 18-yard ramble to the end zone was also wiped out by an unwelcome flash of yellow.

If he was frustrated by the occasional confusion around him, Hilborn never showed it, remaining content to score four times — with each of those touchdowns covering about half the field.

He busted out a 48-yard run off a pitch in the first quarter, took a punt back 51 yards in the second frame, then tacked on two more scores in the third.

First Hilborn reeled in a pass from Downes before shredding multiple defenders while covering a solid 48 yards to the end zone.

Then he capped his night with a 50-yard scoring run in which he simply pivoted left, before imitating an 18-wheeler turning everything in its path into roadkill.

In between the Scott Show, Coupeville got a short touchdown run from Downes, stretching a 6-0 first quarter lead to 18-0 at the half, then 32-0 through three quarters.

After Wolf fans serenaded assistant coach Bennet Richter with an off-key, but enthusiastic rendition of “Happy Birthday,” Coupeville made sure La Conner felt the full sting.

Dominic Coffman, who handed out bruises all night long, crashed in for a 12-yard TD run, before Robinett’s power running pushed the ball right on top of the goal line.

Making his varsity debut along with twin brother Jack, freshman Johnny Porter covered the final two yards on the drive for a touchdown which caused dad Jeff to pop every last button on his shirt.

Johnny Porter acts like he’s been there before after scoring his first high school touchdown. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Houston delivered the final dagger, grabbing Coupeville’s fourth interception of the night — Robinett also recovered a fumble — and zipping in for a crowd-approved pick-six.

Even playing without leading rusher Tim Ursu, who is recovering from an injury, Coupeville dominated on the ground all night long.

Whether it was Hilborn, Coffman, Downes, Valenzuela, or the young guns, everyone in a Wolf uniform who took a handoff got the job done.

“We’re trying to be more explosive, and everyone ran hard tonight,” Coupeville coach Marcus Carr said.

Already counting the hours until next week’s clash with Friday Harbor, the Wolf gridiron guru had a determined gleam in his eye.

Or maybe that was whatever he was sprayed with by the celebrating CHS students.

“Friday Harbor runs the ball well,” Carr said. “We’ll need to be physical with them. We’re looking forward to it.”

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Xavier Murdy and the CHS boys soccer squad played hard Friday on the road, but fell short in a 2-0 game. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Friday Harbor played keep-away.

Thoroughly controlling the action on their home turf Friday, the Wolverines bounced the Coupeville High School boys soccer team 2-0.

The loss drops the Whidbey pitch kings to 1-3 in Northwest 2B/1B League play, with two more games on the road before they get another chance to play in front of their home fans.

Coming off of a huge win over Grace Academy, Coupeville was hoping to build on its momentum, but it wasn’t to be.

“They handled us all night,” CHS coach Robert Wood said. “Probably 85% possession for them; 20+ shots.”

The Wolves did scramble hard on defense, allowing only two goals to find the back of the net.

Unfortunately, Coupeville wasn’t as efficient on offense.

“We had a couple or four good chances that just never panned out,” Wood said. “The team didn’t hold their positions and Friday Harbor capitalized time and again.”

The Wolves head out on the road again next week, playing at La Conner Tuesday, Sept. 28, followed by a Friday Nights Light rematch Oct. 1 with Grace Academy.

Coupeville’s next home contest is Oct. 5, and that kicks off a stretch where five of the next seven games will be at Mickey Clark Field.

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Freshman Lyla Stuurmans pounded out a career-high 10 kills Wednesday night as Coupeville won at Darrington. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

When you win, the 180-mile roundtrip seems a lot shorter.

Surviving a trek to the wilds of Darrington Wednesday, the Coupeville High School varsity volleyball players got to celebrate all the way home.

Or take a nap. Or toil away at homework.

Whatever works.

But, while they were on the court, the Wolves took care of business, and fended off a feisty Loggers squad 26-24, 20-25, 25-15, 25-15.

The win lifts Coupeville to 4-0 in Northwest 2B/1B League play, 4-1 overall.

Now, the Wolves get a little change of pace, as they head to Sultan Saturday for a tournament, before hosting next-door neighbor South Whidbey (4-1) next Monday, Sept. 27.

Facing off with the Loggers, Coupeville relied on its youngsters, with freshman Lyla Stuurmans and sophomore Olivia Schaffeld setting career highs with 10 and seven kills, respectively.

The juniors also stepped up, with Maddie Georges doling out 23 assists while Lucy Tenore and Jill Prince rang up strong hitting numbers.

As he bounced on a bus down the dark backroads of Washington state, CHS coach Cory Whitmore was reflective.

“Good to get out of Darrington with a win,” he said. “They are much improved from last season, and made us earn our points.

“It was a good thing we had our heads focused on the serving, and it paid off.”

Whitmore praised his entire team — “In the end, it was a team effort to get us there” — while noting the play of one of his rising stars.

Olivia was phenomenal tonight, especially down the stretch in the fourth set,” he said. “She also contributed six aces and a block assist, pushing her point total to 13.5 points.”

Olivia Schaffeld is a vital part of a Wolf team which is 4-0 in league play.

Without the support of their own fans, the Wolves had to rely on each other for pick-me-ups, and Whitmore was pleased with how his players responded.

“For a road game, I also thought our bench brought of a lot of energy and communication, and our JV was supporting their teammates with a lot of enthusiasm,” he said.

“Fun to work with this group when they support each other like that.”


Wednesday stats:

Alita Blouin — 19 digs
Maddie Georges — 1 kill, 3 digs, 23 assists, 6 aces
Ryanne Knoblich — 3 digs
Jill Prince — 5 kills
Olivia Schaffeld 
— 7 kills, 1 dig, 5 aces, 1 block assist
Lyla Stuurmans 
— 10 kills, 4 digs
Lucy Tenore 
— 7 kills, 2 digs, 3 aces, 1 block assist
Savina Wells 
— 2 kills, 6 digs, 2 aces

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Miguel Puente’s first goal in America was a game-winner. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Miguel Puente is a Wolf for life.

When his year as a foreign exchange student ends, he’ll likely return to Mexico, taking him with tales of a small farming town on a rock in the water up in the Pacific Northwest of the United States.

But back in Coupeville, Puente will be remembered for a balmy night in late September, 2021, when he strode into the spotlight and unleashed some magic.

With an overflow crowd of fellow CHS students chanting his name, the midfielder/defender buried a penalty kick into the left corner of the net with less than four minutes to play Tuesday, lifting the Wolves to a 2-1 victory on their home turf against Grace Academy.

The victory, capping a night of high action and nerve-rattling suspense, takes Coupeville to 1-2 in Northwest 2B/1B League play.

Coming off of shutout losses to conference heavyweights Mount Vernon Christian and Orcas Island, the Wolves needed a goal, and a spark.

They found both on a night when CHS coach Robert Wood hailed his entire team as the “player of the game.”

“They really came together and showed their talent and ability, and what happens when everyone does their job,” he said, his voice slightly choked with pride.

Alex Murdy and Co. were aggressive and played as a unit Tuesday, claiming their first victory of the season.

An early sign of what was to come was delivered by Wolf goaltender Aidan Wilson, who put together a phenomenal performance in front of his home fans.

Grace Academy unleashed the first truly great shot of the game about 11 minutes into the game.

It arrived fast and furious, but Wilson was right where he needed to be, deflecting the ball up and over the net with a nifty block which brought a roar from the partially-filled stands.

Things got progressively noisier as more CHS students arrived, coming from their own practices or games, and Wilson and his teammates rightfully earned their applause.

Several more saves from the Wolf netminder kept things scoreless, before Xavier Murdy finally broke the seal on the net.

Rampaging on the left side of the field, the Coupeville senior bashed in a ball from distance in the game’s 23rd minute, notching the fourth score of his prep career.

The Wolves carried that 1-0 lead into the halftime break, and held on to it for the first 10 minutes of the second half.

The visitors bounced one through the CHS defense however, knotting things up and, very briefly, taking a bit of wind out of the sails of the Wolves and their fans.

But it was very briefly, as Aidan Wilson and the Grace Academy goalie traded off saves, both teams looking for the tiebreaker, but unable to find it.

Until Cael Wilson — Aidan’s younger brother — went motoring down the left side of the field, his legs churning, on a breakaway.

His stride was broken by a hard-charging defender, but the game’s biggest break came out of the play, as a Grace Academy player was flagged for a very-flagrant hand ball.

Given a penalty kick, the Wolf players actually made the decision on who would take the shot, with Wood signing off on things with a slight nod like the serene soccer guru he is.

As the ref placed the ball, players fidgeted, and CHS students lost their minds, Puente sauntered to his spot like a seasoned pro.

He offered no fakes or sleight of hand, but instantly crushed a low, zippy shot which slid past the flailing goalie and kissed the back of the net in a deep, dark corner.

At which point the Wolf fans almost prematurely rushed the field, but then showed a bit of restraint.

Suddenly trailing, with each precious second flying off of the ref’s personal watch, Grace Academy came hard in the final frenzied moments.

And once again Aidan Wilson soared, deflecting several shots, including knocking a free kick up and over the bar to preserve the win.

Afterwards, as his team (and their fans) basked in the first win of the season, Wood leaned against the bench and smiled.

“So proud of these guys,” he said. “It’s a huge confidence booster.

“We did exactly what we worked on all week, and brought it to the field, everyone trusting in their teammates. Everybody played well.”

Coupeville takes the win and hits the road, with its next three games away from Whidbey.

The Wolves face Friday Harbor (Sept. 24) and La Conner (Sept. 28), then have a rematch with Grace Academy (Oct. 1), not playing in front of their home fans again until Oct. 5.

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Freshman Thomas Strelow was one of 13 Wolves to run Tuesday in a four-team cross country meet on Orcas Island. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Almost a major upset.

Placing four runners in the top eight Tuesday, the Coupeville High School boys cross country team pushed powerhouse Mount Vernon Christian hard.

While the Hurricanes, led by race winner Devin Van Zanten, escaped with a narrow team win at a four-school meet on Orcas Island, it’s a sign the Wolf roster is getting deeper, faster, and more aggressive in year four of the program’s rebirth.

MVC, which sent the first three runners across the line, led with 25 points, with Coupeville hot on its heels with 36.

Host Orcas was far back with 65 points, while Concrete did not have enough runners to score in the team standings.

On the girls side of things, MVC’s speedy Maddy Nielsen captured the individual crown, but none of the four teams had a complete lineup, so team scoring was ignored.

Coupeville, which had 13 of the 35 runners to compete Tuesday, returns to action this Friday, Sept. 24, when it hosts a home meet at Fort Casey State Park.

MVC, Concrete, and Lummi will run with the Wolves, with action set to start at 3:30 PM.


Complete Tuesday results (3.38 miles):



Helen Strelow (3rd) 30:21.20
Bryley Gilbert (5th) 32:39.70
Claire Mayne (7th) 33:38.20
Erica McGrath (8th) 38:41.20



Mitchell Hall (4th) 22:15.80
Carson Field (5th) 22:37.80
Cole White (7th) 22:52.50
Landon Roberts (8th) 22:53.50
Thomas Strelow (12th) 23:42.70
Hank Milnes (13th) 23:43.40
Reiley Araceley (16th) 25:07.00
Tate Wyman (22nd) 28:29.40
Alex Clark (24th) 31:47.00

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