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Sarah Lyngra

Stay connected through piano.

Coupeville Middle School volleyball coach Sarah Lyngra is also a piano teacher, and is sharing lessons from a book she wrote for young children.

She’s making video lessons for each chapter of the book, and is sharing them for free on the internet.

Lyngra is putting up a new story each day, as she works through the 10 lessons offered in her book.

To take a look at what she’s doing, pop over to https://vimeo.com/user18798340.

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Aiden Burdge heads back up court after nailing a three-point bomb in a middle school hoops game. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

When Aiden Burdge wants to see his greatest opponent, he looks in the mirror.

The Coupeville High School freshman, who follows a path carved by talented older sisters Kylie and Kiara, has a clear focus when he settles in to run a race or shoot a basketball.

Get better, every time out, and push himself to get the most he can out of his abilities.

“My strength as an athlete is my determination to push at a challenge until I overcome it,” Burdge said. “I need to work on discipline and training, because the older I get, the harder I have to push myself to get better.”

While he was a quick, three-ball-shootin’ wonder on the basketball court in middle school, it’s track and field which captivates Burdge.

“My favorite sport is track because it’s a great feeling to fly through the air and I know I can only improve,” he said. “I enjoy the challenge that’s in front of me and I want to get better.”

Track, above most other sports, is all about self-improvement — getting a PR, shaving a few seconds off your best time or picking up a few more inches on a throw.

That chance to compete against himself, and see his progress reflected back, is a big part of why Burdge enjoys the sport so much.

“My goal in my high school sports career is the same as my middle school sports career goal – to beat my own records,” he said.

Burdge is part of a large, tightly-knit family, and he appreciates the support he gets from his three sisters and parents Aaron and Trina.

Whether he’s playing a sport, knocking out tunes on the piano, or spending time with his family, the young Wolf star knows he has their full support and love.

“My parents and my siblings all pushed me to be better and to put forth my best effort,” Burdge said. “And for that I’m grateful.”

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Julia Borges

Julia Borges (Photo courtesy Borges)

Coupeville cheer will have a Brazilian accent this year.

This addition of foreign exchange student Julia Borges adds a big city touch to small town athletics.

The newest Wolf hails from São Paulo, the most populous city in the Western hemisphere and the 13th biggest in the entire world.

Estimates of the population run from 11-19 million (depending on whether you count the metropolitan area surrounding the city).

And now Borges will call Coupeville, with a population of less than 1,900, home for the next school year.

The quiet, and the weather, have been the biggest transitions so far.

“I was afraid to live in a town so different from Sao Paulo, but I am adjusting so well here!,” Borges said. “My host family is so nice and everyone I have already met is nice and helpful too!

“That is the biggest surprise I had and my biggest challenge here is the cold weather, which I am not used to.”

Borges has many supporters back home (“I have a big family with a lot of cousins and relatives”) and their faith in her made it easier to travel around the globe.

“I always wanted to be an exchange student and my family always supported that idea!,” Borges said. “I intend to improve my English, to be more independent, to meet new people and to have a different experience!”

Like most foreign exchange students, she had no idea where she would end up, but she’s quickly adjusting to the culture shock.

“Coupeville was a surprise destination and now I am sure it is the perfect town for my exchange!,” Borges said. “Everybody here is so friendly and nice!”

While she’s never been a cheerleader before, Borges, who hopes to also play tennis for CHS in the spring, has been a dancer for most of her life, which should help.

“It is not common to have cheer-leading team in Brazil, so that is a different experience that all the Brazilian girls would like to have,” she said. “I love dancing and I have been practicing it in Brazil since I was a child, so being a cheerleader is similar.”

Borges also plays the piano and enjoys movies and music. After her year in America, she plans to return to her home country and study architecture.

And, while her Coupeville odyssey is just beginning, she already has plans for return visits.

“I intend to come back here later and visit everyone from Coupeville that I will miss so much!”

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Sean Donley? He's like a freakin' Greek god, he is. (John Fisken photos)

Sean Donley, operating at legendary status. (John Fisken photos)

We come to remember a legend.

The scrappiest of scrappy booters, the king of hairpin moves on the pitch, a man who could steal a pass, juke a defender out of his shoes, lay in a sizzling line drive for a goal, then go play “We are the Champions” on a baby grand piano on the sidelines while his teammates celebrate.

Sean Donley may no longer be patrolling the grass field at Coupeville High School for the Wolf boys’ soccer team, or be slaving away in the dish pits at Christopher’s on Whidbey, but he left his mark before leaving both locales.

He was the smartest, the quickest and the most talented, yet retained his boyish enthusiasm and laid-back charm.

He was Mr. Donley, living (large) legend, and nothing has changed.

As he celebrates a birthday today, we just want to send him best wishes.

You haven’t been forgotten, Mr. Donley. Your shadow still looms strong over the land.

May it be ever so.

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Allison Dickson

Allison Dickson

A new high school sports year approaches and the Coupeville High School cheer squad is hard at work.

To get you ready, we present a series of features on Wolf cheerleaders, with the headline to each article paying tribute to 2009’s “Fired Up!,” the best cheerleader movie ever made.

Yeah, you heard me the first time, “Bring it On.” I said it and I meant it.

Allison Dickson does not fear hard work. In fact, she embraces it.

The CHS junior, who is entering her second season as a member of the Wolf cheer squad, knows her sport requires hours of toil and sweat, work often under-appreciated by those who think cheer is just standing on a sideline waving pom-poms.

“Cheer takes hard work,” Dickson said. “We have to practice, just like any other sport, we have to work as a team, just like any other sport, we have to be strong and we have to work hard, just like any other sport.”

She’s joined on the squad by younger sister Lainey, and family has always been an important part of her life.

“My family always supports me,” Dickson said. “They help me to be confident in myself, to know that I can do hard things.

“They help me to be the best I can be!”

When she’s not cheering, Dickson can usually be found somewhere in the vicinity of a piano (she’s been playing more more than a decade).

She also participates in Big Brothers Big Sisters, is a member of the National Honor Society, and, like her siblings, played soccer when she was younger.

“I like all my classes, but my favorite last year was weight training,” Dickson said. “I like spending time with family and friends, church, eating food, and I like photography.”

And, while there is a lot of work involved in cheer, in the end, it comes down to joy for Dickson.

“I thought it might be something I would enjoy,” she said. “I enjoy getting people excited and cheering people on.”

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