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Posts Tagged ‘OHHS Wildcats’

Oak Harbor grad Sarah Reinstra is back in the cheer world, but this time working with Coupeville’s athletes. (Photo courtesy Reinstra)

Cheerleading is a family affair in Coupeville.

When Wolf cheer coach BreAnna Boon is in need of help, she can turn to her sister-in-law, Sarah Reinstra, who is back in the game, sporting different school colors maybe, but still loving the gig.

Working as a volunteer assistant coach for CHS, Reinstra, a 2001 grad of Oak Harbor High School who went on to coach at her alma mater, gets to pass on her passion for the sport.

“Getting involved again with the student athletes was huge,” she said. “Being a positive influence on a child’s life is so rewarding.

“I also liked that sideline cheer has no cuts, giving all a chance to experience cheerleading,” Reinstra added. “Who wouldn’t want to be involved with teaching someone something new and watching them flourish?!”

Growing up with sister Kimberly (Boon) Schmal and brother Tyson Boon (BreAnna’s husband and a current CHS football coach), Reinstra spent much of her childhood involved in athletics.

A talented basketball and softball player, she went to the state tournament with her North Whidbey Little League diamond squad.

Reinstra’s first involvement with the cheer world came by watching her siblings and future sister-in-law “do amazing things” under the guidance of Oak Harbor coaches Pam Headridge and Robin Gohn.

Once she had her own children, she moved into cheerleading as a coach, joining her daughter and sister in the Oak Harbor Football and Cheer League.

“To this day, my sister is one of the most dedicated and amazing coaches I know,” Reinstra said. “Kim and I’s youth cheer squads flourished over our four years of youth cheer, winning the Top Bananas award in 2013.”

From there, the former Wildcat bounced up a rung, returning to Oak Harbor High School for a run as Assistant Cheer Coach from 2014-2017.

“It was an amazing and proud experience to coach at my alma mater,” Reinstra said.

As much as she enjoyed the cheer life, family comes first, causing her to step aside for at least a short breather.

Reinstra and her husband of 17 years, Mike, her high school sweetheart from her OHHS days, have three kids, operate a “little hobby farm,” and both work saving lives.

He’s a firefighter/EMT, while she’s a 911 dispatcher for Island County and a firefighter recruit.

But while home and family come first, once you have the cheer bug it’s hard to let go.

“When you have so many different coaches in the family you’re bound to bounce ideas off one another, all the time,” Reinstra said.

“Every time we’d talk cheer I’d let BreAnna know I could help sometime and every time I’d go home and tell my husband how much I missed coaching.”

The Wolf head coach always told her sister-in-law “you should come to practice sometime,” and next thing you know, Reinstra was sucked back into the life Godfather-style.

It’s a decision she doesn’t regret for a second.

“It has been a tremendous sideline season and the competition season to come is bound to impress!,” Reinstra said. “I love spending my time and knowledge to these kids.”

And for her, that’s where coaching becomes far more than just a job.

“Everyone wants to win awards, but I want to see the athlete’s eyes shine,” Reinstra said. “Shine with pride for a skill accomplished and an effort given.

“When athletes shine they participate 100% for their squad and that is gonna get them to state and NATIONALS!!,” she added.

“I hope future cheerleaders see the joy and hard work of our squads accomplishments and want to be a part of this growing program at Coupeville High School.”

The Wolves have added two males cheerleaders, CHS football players Gavin St Onge and Dawson Houston, to their roster this year, and Reinstra and Boon are always on the lookout to bring in new athletes, female or male.

“Come watch a practice and see what it’s like to be part of a family who are fully dedicated to the success of each other,” Reinstra said. “We (the squad) want to teach you all we know because it’s our passion.

“Being a part of a cheer squad is more than tossing girls above our heads and memorizing chants; it’s about our school pride and fellow athlete’s success.”

The chance to change lives, to give each Wolf an opportunity to soar, is what brings Reinstra back to the field or the gym each day.

“I hope our presence makes their day better,” she said. “That they see us teaching all levels of our athletes because everyone matters and has a role to play.

“That, like in life, if they put effort into even the smallest things, it will set up the rest for success.”

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They teach, you learn. (Photo courtesy Gerry Oliver)

One of the most-successful college softball programs in the nation is coming to Whidbey Island.

The University of Washington will hold a skills clinic October 26 at Oak Harbor High School for local softball players ages 8-17.

Cost is $75 for a 90-minute all-skills portion, or $50 for a 60-minute pitching clinic.

For registration info, pop back up to the photo above.

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Orson Christensen (left) and Tony Maggio, football lifers. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The Brain Trust is back in business.

Former Coupeville High School football coaches Tony Maggio and Orson Christensen are back in the game, only at a different school.

Maggio, who was the head coach at CHS from 2012-2014, is the new Defensive Coordinator at Oak Harbor High School, while Christensen will help break down game film for his running mate.

“Like Batman and Robin!,” said Maggio, and you could hear the smile in his voice through the text message.

Oak Harbor’s coaching staff had almost a complete turnover after longtime head coach Jay Turner stepped down after last season.

The new man in charge is Marcus Hughes, who arrives on Whidbey having coached previously at both the high school and college levels.

For Maggio, it’s a return to a school where he was previously an assistant coach.

After jumping to Coupeville from Oak Harbor to work with Jay Silver, he later moved up to the head coaching gig and had a successful three-year run.

Of the five head coaches the Wolves have employed over the past decade, Maggio had the longest tenure, beat arch-rival South Whidbey twice, and improved the team’s win/loss record each season.

He capped his time on the job with a 5-5 record in 2014, the only time Coupeville football has posted a non-losing season since 2005.

Working alongside him during those Coupeville days was Christensen, who knows the game inside-out, and then some.

A 1957 graduate of Oak Harbor High School — where he was a four-sport letter winner — he went on to play both ways on the line for Pacific Lutheran University before starting a 50+ year coaching career.

CHS was the 16th stop on Christensen’s coaching journey, one on which he’s won eight titles and been named a Coach of the Year five times.

The duo were inducted together into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame in 2017, an honor they get to keep, even if they are sporting different team colors now.

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Whidbey Island baseball stars (l to r) Hunter Smith, James Besaw, and Joey Lippo will all be on the same college team next spring. (Teresa Besaw photo)

They’re getting the band back together.

Green River College is adding a fourth Whidbey Island grad to its baseball roster, with Oak Harbor’s James Besaw joining Coupeville alumni Hunter Smith, Joey Lippo, and CJ Smith.

The Smith brothers started the pipeline flowing, playing for the Gators this spring, while Lippo and Besaw, who grew up playing baseball together, will be newcomers to the Green River roster.

Besaw played this spring for the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, where he appeared in six games during his freshman season.

While he enjoyed his time on the East Coast, the first-baseman decided he wanted to play, and attend school, closer to home.

Back in town for the summer, he linked up with Lippo, who had decided to follow the Smith brothers to Green River, and the decision became an easy one.

“We checked out the campus last week and he liked it, so now we’re looking forward to these boys playing ball together again,” said very-happy mom Teresa Besaw.

Lippo and Besaw join a Green River team which went through a rebuilding season, while showing much promise for the future.

Hunter Smith started at second and short for the Gators, before a broken hand late in the year brought a premature end to his season.

Older brother CJ, who was also a college freshman, was Green River’s top relief pitcher.

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Freshman Morgan Stevens reached base four times Thursday afternoon, as Coupeville High School JV softball rallied for a wild 19-18 win over Oak Harbor. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The Wolves celebrate their big win. (Photo courtesy Greg Thomas)

Chloe Wheeler is having herself a moment.

Less than 24 hours after crunching her first-ever varsity hit, a magnificent two-run double to deep left field at Granite Falls, the softball slugger launched an even-bigger hit on her home field.

This time it was an RBI single smashed back up the middle, a walk-off bomb in the bottom of the fifth inning Thursday that lifted Coupeville’s JV squad to a wild win.

Down 11-2, the 1A Wolves came all the way back to upend their big-school neighbors, 3A Oak Harbor.

The 19-18 win, settled moments before the rain and darkness arrived on the prairie, gave Coupeville a season split in JV games with their North End foes.

Tack on a Wolf varsity win at Oak Harbor earlier this season, and CHS won two of three against the Wildcats this spring.

With the win, the Wolf JV evens its record at 3-3, heading into a Saturday doubleheader at Port Angeles.

Thursday’s game was a prime testament to a team not giving in, ever, as Coupeville only led once, when Wheeler’s hot shot bit a chunk out of the outfield grass, sending Ivy Leedy streaking home with the game’s final run.

Oak Harbor opened on fire, tossing five runs on the board in the top of the first, and another six in the second.

In between, Coupeville scraped together a pair of runs in the bottom of the first, with freshman Audrianna Shaw beginning a torrid day at the plate with a two-run triple to the wall in left field.

That plated Wheeler, who beat the throw to first on a dropped third strike, and Abby Meyers, who swatted a single to center.

Unfortunately for the Wolves, the rally ended as quickly as it began, with Shaw stranded at third and unable to come home.

Heading into the bottom of the second, CHS found itself mired in an 11-2 hole and looking for a spark.

And the Wolves found it.

Kylie Van Velkinburgh dropped a seeing-eye single into short right-center, Mckenna Somes beat out the first of her THREE bunt singles, and Morgan Stevens walked to juice the bags with no one out.

After poking at the Wildcats, picking up a run on a Wheeler RBI single and another on a bases-loaded walk to Heidi Meyers, the Wolves fully flexed their muscles.

The show of force came courtesy back-to-back huge base-knocks, with Izzy Wells parking a two-run double to center, followed by Shaw almost killing the OHHS pitcher.

Ripping a liner right back up the middle, she banked the ball off the girl’s face-mask with a vicious clang, sending two more runners scampering home and sending a tremor rolling across the prairie.

Back within 11-8, the stage was set not for a blowout, but for a war, and the two teams obliged.

Back and forth it went.

Oak Harbor stretched the lead out to 13-8, Coupeville cut it to 13-12 (with Wheeler crunching an RBI triple), the Wildcats stamped on the gas again to make it 18-12, then the Wolves slashed it back down to 18-17 by the end of the fourth inning.

In between, there were big hits — Van Velkinburgh whipping a two-run single to dead center that left her bat like it had bought a ticket on a jet liner.

There were big hustle plays — Leedy crashing hard down the third-base line, before ducking under the tag to score on a bunt single by Somes.

And there were big defensive moments — Wolf shortstop Abby Meyers gunning down a runner heading into third, and Leedy snagging a foul ball while threatening to crash into the first-base dugout.

Which all led us to the only way a game like this could end, or should end, with a nail-biter finish which blossomed into a home-town celebration.

Oak Harbor opened the top of the fifth inning, which was to be the final frame with the approach of darkness, by eking out a walk.

It would be the last happy moment for the Wildcats, unless they got to hit McDonald’s on the way home.

Van Velkinburgh, working strongly in the pitcher’s circle, induced an infield pop-up, at which point things got odd.

Coming from short and second, sisters Abby and Heidi Meyers almost ran into each other, the ball dropped in, the sisters started to argue, and the runner coming from first froze two steps into her journey, perhaps not wanting to get into the middle of a family spat.

Though maybe it was just a ruse, meant to throw off the runner, as Abby bellowed “Heidi, ball!!!!!” and her older sibling immediately snatched it up and calmly flipped it to her lil’ sis for the force-out.

At which point the Meyers sisters looked at each other, grinned, and slapped mitts, while the forlorn ‘Cat runner slowly, very slowly, walked off the field.

That left a runner at first (the batter who hit the pop-up), but it was nothing, as Coupeville promptly closed the inning with a double-play.

Van Velkinburgh got another pop up, this time right to third-base, where Shaw snatched it out of the air for out #2, before spinning and firing to Leedy at first to double up the straying runner for out #3.

Having held Oak Harbor scoreless for the only time in the game, Coupeville sprinted back to its dugout still down by a run, but with 99.89% of the fans convinced this was about to be a winner, winner, chicken dinner.

It wasn’t a question of if it would happen, but how, and the Wolves made quick work of the scenario.

Singles from Shaw and Van Velkinburgh, wrapped around a walk to Leedy, jammed the bases full with no outs, then the Wolves pulled off a rare play to knot the score.

Somes struck out, but when the ball skittered away from the catcher, she tore down to first base.

Since the base was occupied, she really had nowhere to go, but Oak Harbor seemed to forget that, and when they threw to first to try and get her, Shaw bolted for home, sliding in with the tying run.

Flustered and frustrated, the Wildcats were on the edge, just waiting to be pushed off.

Stevens gave them a little poke, dropping an infield single on a ball which spun about 485 times before coming to a stop right in front of the pitcher, which set up Wheeler for hero time.

Much like her varsity at-bat the night before, #2 was locked and loaded, her bat slicing downward and shooting the ball out where no one was going to catch it.

The wild finale capped a game in which CHS collected an astonishing 19 hits, at least according to my (generous) scoring.

Shaw and Van Velkinburgh each delivered four base-knocks, while Wheeler and Somes had three apiece.

Stevens reached base four times, collecting two singles and two walks, with Wells, Leedy, and Abby Meyers rounding out the hit parade.

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