Posts Tagged ‘Peyton Caveness’

Wolf junior Peyton Caveness is a key returning player for CHS baseball. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

They’re chasing that state tourney dream.

The Coupeville High School baseball team came within a play here, a play there of earning the 10th trip to the big dance in program history last spring.

But it wasn’t to be, as the Wolves, coming off of a regular-season Northwest 2B/1B League title, fell 3-2 to Friday Harbor in a winner-to-state, loser-out playoff game.

Jump forward a year, flip out coaches, with former assistant Steve Hilborn taking the reins after Will Thayer’s move to Vegas, and Coupeville is back on the chase.

The Wolves lost five players to graduation, including league MVP Hawthorne Wolfe and All-League picks Xavier Murdy and Cody Roberts.

But Steve Hilborn can still put together a rock-solid lineup which is anchored by All-League players Scott Hilborn and Jonathan Valenzuela and features a wealth of talented young stars.

Some of the names may be different, but the job remains the same.

“Simple, sweep Friday Harbor, win league, go to state,” was Steve Hilborn’s reply when asked about goals.

The schools, which split two regular-season games last spring, are set to play three times this year.

Game #1, on Friday Harbor, is Mar. 28, while the Wolverines travel to Coupeville Apr. 18. Things wrap up May 4 back on Friday Harbor for the regular-season finale.

While that three-game series will likely dictate who wins the league title, Steve Hilborn is not looking past anyone in the seven-team NWL.

“Friday Harbor is the obvious one – I don’t believe they lost too many seniors from last year,” he said.

“But also Mount Vernon Christian, and Orcas had some good young talent and might surprise some teams this year.”

Steve Hilborn expects pitching to be his team’s biggest strength, with seniors Scott Hilborn and Valenzuela teaming up with freshman Chase Anderson to form the core of the staff.

While Anderson is only a fab frosh, he already has extensive varsity experience, having been a starting infielder and pitching for the Wolves as an 8th grader.

“The Magic Man” was the backup QB for the Wolf varsity football team as a freshman, leading the team in the second half of its state playoff game, and was a key member of the CHS varsity boys’ basketball squad.

“I think our pitching will be solid with our three main starters,” Steve Hilborn said. “I don’t think it’s just nepotism, but Scott was a huge part of all aspects of our game last year and we’ll need him to anchor the pitching staff this year.

“I expect Jon and Chase to be our other two main starters, with a few other players carrying the remaining load.”

First-Team All-Conference player Scott Hilborn is back for his senior season.

The team’s biggest question mark is likely behind the plate, with the team having lost the always-steady Murdy.

“Catcher is going to be a huge void to fill with Xavier gone,” Steve Hilborn said.

“We are looking at Peyton (Caveness) and Jon for that spot with Johnny (Porter) in there as well.”

The Wolves would love to see their offense kick things into gear, taking some of the pressure off of their pitching staff. Not every game has to be a low-run thriller.

“When it comes to offense you never know who might surprise you,” Steve Hilborn said. “Cole (White) and Peyton came through with some clutch hits last year and we expect more of that this year.

“Little too early to tell, but historically we haven’t hit that consistently and we want to change that,” he added. “We want every at-bat to have a plan and an approach.

“We might still strike out in a good battle, but, if we follow our approach and don’t flail away at three bad pitches, it can still be a win.”

The first day of practice attracted a solid group of young players, though the Wolves are still interested in adding bodies. At the 2B level, that can include 8th graders.

“We have quite a few freshmen, several of which played as 8th graders last year,” Steve Hilborn said. “At the first practice we had three new faces — Jayme Carranza, Parker Fuller-Hewitt, and David Dominici.

“We would like a few more players to fill out two teams, and we would love some 8th graders if any are interested.”

However the roster breaks down, the Wolves and their new head coach aim to bring a smile to the faces of old-school fans.

“We want to be the team of details,” Steve Hilborn said. “To do the little things right that add up to runs at the plate, outs on defense, and eventually wins.”

Steve Hilborn plots strategy.

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Chase Anderson mashes. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

It’s nippy, windy, and a little wet.

So, just like every other spring baseball season on the prairie.

Overcoming the weather comes with the game for the Coupeville High School baseball squad, as does the knowledge a photographer may be snapping your photo at any given moment.

The pics above and below, which hail from a win Wednesday over visiting Darrington, come from the camera of John Fisken.

To see everything he shot, and ponder the possibility of buying some glossies for the grandparents in Gladstone, pop over to:



Hawthorne Wolfe deals.

Cody Roberts awaits a throw.

Xavier Murdy gets low.

Will Thayer dreams of a warm, non-windy prairie.

Jonathan Valenzuela busts the speed gun.

Peyton Caveness provides a well-positioned target.

Pondering life.

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