Posts Tagged ‘Opening Day’

Senior goalie Sarah Wright and the CHS girls soccer team kicked off a new season Tuesday in Bellingham. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Right into the fire.

The Coupeville High School girls soccer team has no pushovers on its early-season schedule, and a Wolf team in transition will get a chance to learn quickly against tough competition.

First up was Meridian, which came within a game of making it to the state tourney last season.

The Trojans are already gelling this time around, as they rolled to a season-opening 4-0 win over Coupeville Tuesday in Bellingham.

After absorbing the shutout loss, the Wolves head back to Whidbey, where they’ll play three straight.

The home stand starts Thursday, with Friday Harbor, a 2B state quarter-finalist last year, arriving in Cow Town for a 4:30 match-up.

Then comes defending 1A state champs King’s Sept. 11 and always-tough Sultan Sept. 13, as CHS plays its first-ever games in the new North Sound Conference.

Second-year Coupeville girls coach Kyle Nelson, who led his team to a program-record eight wins last year, came away from the opening day loss with eyes set firmly on the long view.

“We lost, but it gave us a look against a good team and areas we will be looking to improve,” he said. “With many new players, and players in new positions, it was a first chance to start figuring out our system and changes that will need to be made.”

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   “He’s too fast! We need some duct tape to keep this thing on his head!!” (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

“I dare you to run! Seriously, just try me, girl! I’ll make your whole family cry!!”

Bringin’ the heat on Opening Day.

Put the ball in play and let the runs rain down.

“I’m a ballet dancer in my other life…”

Runnin’ for the spotlight.

   “It’s a deal. You hit a homerun, and we’ll use your idea and install a soft serve ice cream machine in the dugout.”

Safe at home and the celebration begins.

Ready or not, little league is back.

While some might argue the second week of April is a wee bit early for Opening Day, Central Whidbey Little League lucked out Monday, enjoying blue skies.

The league’s minors softball and baseball squads opened play at Rhododendron Park and both teams came away with fairly one-sided victories over North Whidbey teams.

Baseball zinged to a 10-1 win, while softball went wild on the base paths, racking up 17 steals in an 11-3 win.

The Hammerheads softball squad got strong work in the pitcher’s circle from Chloe Marzocca and Taylor Brotemarkle, while Teagan Calkins “was a vacuum behind the plate,” according to coach Fred Farris.

Mia Farris, Madison McMillan, Hayden Daniel, Marzocca, Brotemarkle and Brooke Van Velkinburgh all collected base-knocks, with McMillan leading the way with two hits.

Van Velkinburgh had the best play of the night, though, as she blasted a single off a pitch that bounced to the plate.

Not content to pad her ball-strike count, she stepped forward and smartly whacked the ball, serving notice that defenses better not sleep on her.

Mayleen Weatherford, Jada Heaton, Sydney Wallace, Naosha Rose, Katie Marti and Liza Zustiak all came around to score after getting on base thanks to walks.

While the Opening Day action was playing out, intrepid photo ace John Fisken bounced between diamonds to capture photos.

The pics above are courtesy him, but are just the tip of the iceberg.

To see everything he shot (and perhaps purchase some glossies for grandma) pop over to:





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   Coupeville catcher Sarah Wright opened her junior season with a single and triple Saturday as the Wolves massacred South Whidbey 12-0. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They were the last up, so they made their debut count.

With every other Coupeville High School spring sports team having played at least one contest, the Wolf varsity softball squad might have been getting a little antsy.

If the diamond sluggers were, they quickly got over any nerves, thrashing host South Whidbey 12-0 Saturday in the season opener for both teams.

The victory, called an inning early due to the 10-run mercy rule, was extra-sweet for several reasons.

One, it’s the Falcons in the other dugout, so a win is a clarion call for Island supremacy.

Also, for Coupeville, which came within a single strike of making the state tourney a year ago, it was a chance to send a message to a team which did make the trip to the big dance in 2017.

On this day the Wolves stared down Falcon ace Mackenzee Collins, who is headed to Colorado State on a D-1 scholarship, and picked her apart.

CHS sophomore Scout Smith got things going in the first inning with a one-out single, and the Wolves were off and running.

Using their speed and smarts to create havoc on the bases, the Wolves put a ton of pressure on South Whidbey’s defense and the Falcons cracked a bit.

A string of passed balls and a key error or two put Coupeville in prime spot, and its sluggers came up big when presented with a gift.

The top four hitters combined for seven hits, with Lauren Rose bashing a double and Sarah Wright crunching an epic triple.

Wolf hurler Katrina McGranahan, who scored all four times she strode to the plate, joined Rose and Wright with two base-knocks apiece, while Smith had her rally-launching single and crossed home three times.

While Coupeville’s offense was poppin’, McGranahan was lights-out in the pitcher’s circle.

A lead-off double to Collins in the second inning was the only hit she surrendered, and she whiffed three while tossing a complete-game shutout.

Coupeville coach Kevin McGranahan boarded the bus for the short ride home with a huge grin on his face.

“It was a total team win,” he said. “We jumped on their ace right away in the first inning; Katrina and Sarah had their usual good days at the plate, but Scout was pesky all day.”

The Wolf softball guru was able to use all 12 players in uniform, giving freshmen Chelsea Prescott, Mollie Bailey and Coral Caveness their varsity debuts.

Prescott started at third-base, while Bailey and Caveness came off the bench to each score a run.

Hope Lodell, Veronica Crownover, Mackenzie Davis (who walked and scored in the fourth), Nicole Laxton and Emma Mathusek rounded out a CHS roster aiming to better last year’s superb 19-5 finish.

“I used the whole bench, so everyone got in the game to chase the jitters,” Kevin McGranahan said. “Great day for Wolf Nation.”

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Hawthorne Wolfe, seen here in his SWISH days, scored 17 in his middle school hoops debut. (Pat Kelley photo)

   Hawthorne Wolfe, seen here in his SWISH days, scored 17 in his middle school hoops debut. (Pat Kelley photo)

Aiden Burdge

   Aiden Burdge, who turned three steals into six points, poses with part of his fan club. (Photo courtesy Kiara Burdge)

The game changed in a flash.

For the first 10 minutes Thursday, Coupeville and Sequim’s 7th grade boys’ basketball squads were content to exchange body blows in a tightly-contested contest.

Then Hawthorne Wolfe, with his electric shooting touch, came off the CMS bench and the somewhat-annoying visiting fans got really, really quiet in a big hurry.

With Wolfe going off for a game-high 17, including 12 straight at one point in the third, Coupeville stretched a two-point lead to 17, then sauntered home with a 47-41 opening night victory.

CMS coach Randy King, battling illness, had virtually no voice by the end.

The Wolf fans were in a similar condition, but their vocal straining came from screaming like banshees as Wolfe slid dagger after dagger through the net.

When he first hit the court, Coupeville was clinging to a 10-8 lead, benefiting greatly from the solid inside work of Caleb Meyer and Xavier Murdy.

Meyer, who would have been the heir to the Videoville throne if video stores were still paying me to watch movies, took the ball to the hoop with polished aggression all night.

His running mate is Mr. Clean, since Murdy pulled down every last rebound within a ten-mile radius, helping CMS to get out and run and then get multiple chances on the offensive end.

Once Wolfe slipped onto the court, the flow changed, as the quicksilver one darted in front of a pass, picked it clean, then outran a pack of Sequim players for a swooping layup.

He nailed the first of his three treys two plays later, and the Wolves went to the locker room up 19-17 after Connor Barton beat the defense and the buzzer with a gorgeous drive through the paint.

Whatever the two teams drank at halftime put an extra kick in their step, as the schools combined to score 37 points in a wild third quarter.

Barton, Meyer and Grady Rickner knocked down buckets, then Wolfe hit like TNT.

He ripped off 12 straight CMS points, doubling Sequim’s output in the same time period, and his offensive show was far from one-dimensional.

A three-ball from the left, a swooping layin off a pass from Murdy, a steal that led to a breakaway bucket, a little runner in the paint and then the coup de grâce.

Coupeville beat Sequim’s full-court press as Barton heaved the ball down the line while on the move.

For a second, the ball seemed intent on flying over Wolfe’s head for a turnover, but he snagged it over his shoulder, whirled, put the ball once on the floor, then drilled a trey.

As the fans were just beginning to comprehend what they had seen, another CMS player went on his own run, as Rickner knocked down three straight shots to officially slay Sequim.

Two more buckets from Meyer to kick off the fourth stretched the lead out to 47-30, before Sequim chipped away at the deficit with a late run.

While Wolfe’s 17-point middle school debut is one for the ages, Coupeville got something from everyone on the floor.

Meyer banged home 10, Rickner hit for eight, Murdy swished six, Barton tinkled the twines for four and Cody Roberts had two on a nifty give-and-go.

Logan Martin was the lone Wolf not to score, but he hauled down a ton of rebounds, made crisp passes and was a stalwart on defense for Coupeville.

JV almost pulls off a miracle:

The CMS 7th grade JV, facing a Sequim squad that was a mix of 7th and 8th graders, scored the game’s final seven points, but time ran out on them in a 22-19 loss.

Down by 10 and dealing with a running clock, as the visitors inched closer and closer to the door with plans to dash off to the ferry, Coupeville made an inspired late stand.

Daniel Barajas, Aiden Burdge and Gabe Shaw hit back-to-back-to-back buckets, with Shaw’s coming off a steal by Jonathan Carroll, before Barajas netted a free throw.

Coupeville then forced a turnover, but the ball got loose and rolled away.

As the running clock madly ticked down, the young Wolves, not realizing how little time was left (and the reduced-to-a-whisper King being unable to scream above the crowd) never got the ball back in play in time to heave a desperation three-point shot.

Barajas paced CMS with seven, while Burdge drained six, with all three of his buckets coming off of steals.

Shaw dropped in four and Miles Davidson, the game’s leading rebounder, knocked down a basket to round out the scoring.

Carroll, Tony Garcia, Logan Wertz and Joseph Starr also saw floor time for the Wolves.

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A little rain can't deter Little League players. (Renae Mulholland photos)

A little rain can’t deter Little League players. (Renae Mulholland photos)

Makin' magic in the press box.

Makin’ magic in the press box.

The sweet taste of success.

The sweet taste of success.

South Whidbey's pitcher, a rival on this day, played all-stars with the Coupeville girls last summer.

   South Whidbey’s pitcher, a rival on this day, played all-stars with the Coupeville girls last summer.

The start of a new season.

The start of a new season.

The girls of summer are back.

Central Whidbey Little League kicked off a new season Tuesday, and the Coupeville Crush, the league’s Majors softball squad, rolled to a 9-2 win over rival South Whidbey.

Coupeville hurler Izzy Wells went the distance, fanning 12 batters.

Renae Mulholland, proud mom of Crush player Abby, was along to dodge some rain drops and capture moments from Opening Day, which she shares with us.

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