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Sage Sharp was among those honored at the CHS baseball banquet. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Another season in the books.

The Coupeville High School baseball program put an official stamp on things Friday night with an awards banquet, doling out honors after a very-successful campaign.

The Wolf varsity went 11-1 in Northwest 2B/1B League play, 13-7 overall, claiming a conference title and just barely missing out on a trip to state.

Meanwhile, Coupeville’s JV racked up three wins and a tie, as a roster which included several 8th graders showed great promise.

Xavier Murdy gives the ball a ride.

 

CHS coaches, led by hardball guru Will Thayer, doled out the following at their banquet:

 

Varsity awards:

Offensive MVP — Scott Hilborn

Defensive MVP — Xavier Murdy and Hawthorne Wolfe

Starting Pitching MVP — Hilborn

Relief Pitching MVP — Wolfe

Most Improved — Sage Sharp

Top Positive Influence — Cole Hutchinson

Top Program Newcomer — Chase Anderson

Wolf Pack Leader — Murdy

Four-Year Awards — Cody Roberts and Wolfe

Chase Anderson brings the heat.

Varsity letter winners:

Chase Anderson
Peyton Caveness
Scott Hilborn
Cole Hutchinson
Xavier Murdy
Jack Porter
Cody Roberts
Sage Sharp
Jonathan Valenzuela
Cole White
Hawthorne Wolfe

 

JV awards:

Offensive MVP — Cole White

Defensive MVP — Aiden O’Neill

Pitching MVP — Coop Cooper

Most Improved — Cooper

Wolf Pack Leader — Landon Roberts

Landon Roberts smacks a base-hit.

JV certificates:

Coop Cooper
Camden Glover
Aiden O’Neill
Johnny Porter
Gabe Reed
Landon Roberts
Yohannon Sandles
Alex Smith
Kai Wong
Seth Woollet

 

Manager:

Brooklyn Thayer

Brooklyn Thayer, the power behind the throne.

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Scott Hilborn ignores the screams behind him and corrals a pop-up. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

The sun was out, the ball was jumping off the bats, and the cameras were clicking.

The Coupeville High School varsity baseball squad pounded visiting Concrete in both games of a doubleheader Tuesday and photo clicker John Fisken was on hand to document the game one whuppin’.

The pics above and below are courtesy him, but there’s more.

To see everything Fisken shot, and ponder the possibility of purchasing some glossies for Gram and Gramps in Gig Harbor, pop over to:

https://www.johnsphotos.net/Sports/Coupeville-Baseball-2021-2022/BB-2022-04-19-Coupeville-vs-Concrete/

 

Peyton Caveness gets down with his bad self.

Craig Anderson remembers a time when players pulled their dang pants up and wore stirrups on the diamond.

Jack Porter watches the ball soar to the heavens.

Cody Roberts deals.

Super fan Morgan White enjoys a rare sunny spring day on the prairie.

Xavier Murdy comes in hot.

“That’s it. No more photos, you bums. The exit is that way!”

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Scott Hilborn delivered the only hit in Monday’s varsity game, but Coupeville fell at Sultan. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They’ve had better days.

Returning from spring break only to find miserable weather awaiting them in the wilds of Sultan Monday, the Coupeville High School varsity baseball squad stumbled.

Held to one hit over seven innings, while striking out a season-high 16 times, the Wolves fell 4-1 to the host Turks in a sloppy non-conference game.

The loss drops Coupeville to 5-5 on the season, but it gets a chance to bounce back with a Northwest 2B/1B League doubleheader Friday at La Conner.

For now, Monday’s clash against Sultan is one the Wolves would like to forget about quickly.

“Snow, rain, and freezing temps,” said CHS coach Will Thayer. “Just an all-around bad game.”

The Wolves fell behind 2-0 in the first inning and were never able to mount much of an offensive charge.

By the time it finally did score, pushing a run across in the top of the fifth thanks to a Sage Sharp walk, two errors and a Sultan wild pitch, Coupeville trailed 3-0.

The Wolves did mount a brief rally in the top of the seventh, putting two runners aboard after Jack Porter reached on an error and Scott Hilborn was plunked by a wayward pitch.

But that final hope died almost as quickly as it began, sending the Wolves back to the bus with their fourth non-conference defeat of the season.

Hilborn collected Coupeville’s lone hit on the afternoon, rapping a third-inning single, while Xavier Murdy and Sharp joined the Wolf junior in collecting walks.

Sultan did commit four errors in the game, but Turk pitchers TJ Hallsson and Derek Feltner were able to escape relatively unscathed thanks to frequent K’s.

Coupeville batters suffered strikeouts in every inning, with the third being the only frame in which the Wolves didn’t take at least two punch-outs.

CHS hurlers Jonathan Valenzuela and Hilborn countered the Turks, combining to whiff 10 Sultan hitters while tossing a no-hitter.

But the Turks used seven walks and two untimely Wolf errors to push their runs across.

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Sage Sharp reached base twice as Coupeville battled North Mason on the wind-swept prairie. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Somewhere in Coupeville people frolicked Saturday afternoon, bathed in sunshine and warmth.

Some bought ice cream at Kapaw’s, while others scampered over to watch Orcas swim by in Penn Cove.

And then there were the few, the proud, the unbreakable — the ones lost out on the open prairie, hunched over as an unforgiving wind slashed across the Coupeville High School baseball field and knifed us, one and all, right in the freakin’ kidneys.

Those folks, the ones contemplating lighting their jackets on fire for warmth — while still wearing those same coats — now know what weather conditions must have been like for soldiers fighting at Stalingrad.

Except some of those guys got shot in the first 30 seconds, while they were still halfway warm.

We were out there for two hours plus.

So basically, CHS Athletic Director Willie Smith needs to start handing out purple hearts or personal, battery-powered heaters, or convince the rest of the state to start high school baseball games in May.

While we breathlessly wait for any of that to happen, those still alive — those chipped free from the ice and revived thanks to having jumper cables attached to their chests out in the parking lot — can recount a tale of a pretty good game being played in the middle of Hell Storm ’22.

Not a great game, mind you, only because Coupeville, playing without three starters, couldn’t quite pull the win out, falling 7-5 to visiting North Mason.

Still, with two freshmen and an 8th grader in the starting lineup, the Wolves showed a lot of heart, rallying from behind twice and coming within one well-placed hit of nabbing a walk-off win.

Unfortunately for CHS, Scott Hilborn’s bash down the left field line with the bags full and two outs in the bottom of the seventh curled foul at the very last second.

When his next moon shot was tracked down along the first-base line for the game’s final out, the Wolves fell to 1-3 in non-conference play.

Next up for Coupeville, which should have a reloaded lineup after a busy weekend, is the first of seven-straight Northwest 2B/1B League games, starting with a Mar. 22 home game against La Conner.

Saturday’s battle royal on the frozen tundra started as a pitcher’s duel, with the teams swapping scoreless frames for three innings.

Hilborn was never in trouble on the mound in the early going, piling up four of his six strikeouts and keeping North Mason’s hitters guessing.

Meanwhile, Coupeville’s sluggers were getting on base, but the Wolves couldn’t find that one crucial hit to break things open.

Hilborn whacked a single to dead center, followed by a walk to Jonathan Valenzuela in the bottom of the first, but both were left stranded.

It was the same for Chase Anderson, who singled in the second, and Hilborn, who walked in the third.

But then, even as the wind stiffened, both teams started poking balls through the gusts, combining for 12 runs across the final four innings.

North Mason struck first, using a string of hits to plate three runners in the top of the fourth.

The damage could have been worse, but Coupeville recovered nicely on an aborted pickoff play at third base, with Valenzuela and Hilborn teaming up to nail a runner flying in from second.

Blowing desperately on their frozen fingers between at-bats, the Wolves finally clicked into a groove in their own half of the fourth, tying the game back up thanks to some timely hits.

And a little luck.

North Mason’s pitcher committed two errors, with one ball taking a nasty hop off of a divot in the infield, while a popup caught a gust of wind and fell the opposite direction of where the waiting mitt was.

In between those weather-induced miscues, Anderson┬álaid down a bunt which started fair, headed foul, then shot back fair at the last moment thanks to Mother Nature blowin’ like a madwoman.

Key to the play was Anderson flying down the baseline, and not waiting around to see where the ball ended up — exactly the way every coach preaches.

Eighth grader Chase Anderson has been a high school varsity starter, and major contributor, since day one.

With the bags full and two outs on the board, Coupeville got one runner home on a wild pitch, then brought two more across thanks to RBI singles from Jack Porter and Sage Sharp.

Not content to stop there, the squads tossed another three runs into the mix in the fifth inning.

North Mason pushed across a go-ahead score in the top half, before CHS came right back with a two-spot to reclaim the advantage at 5-4.

Cody Roberts eked out a walk, followed by Anderson reaching on an error, with the former coming around to tap home on a delayed double-steal and the latter scoring off a Cole White RBI groundout.

Jack Porter almost upped the ante, but his two-out smash back up the middle with runners at second and third was speared by the North Mason pitcher, who went to his knees on the play.

Neither team could score in the sixth, though Anderson came within a whisker of making the magic happen.

With two runners aboard, he launched a cannon shot to left, only to see the wind knock the ball down, allowing a fielder to track it down for the third out.

The scene was set for an emotional Wolf win, with the hometown team pulling out the victory and making their fans forget the day’s brutal weather.

Not every game gets the fairytale ending, however, and North Mason, a strong squad, found one final rally in its bats, dumping three runs on the board in the top of the seventh.

With everyone in attendance praying for three runs and the win, and not just two — which would have sent us to extra innings and an extended stay in Siberia — Coupeville came close to making it a reality.

Cole Hutchinson swatted an infield single, bustin’ his butt to first to beat the throw, before Zane Oldenstadt punched a note-perfect base-knock which dropped in front of the right fielder.

Down to their final out, the Wolves loaded the bases when Sharp drew a walk, bringing Coupeville’s most-dangerous hitter to the plate.

Hilborn gave the ball a ride, first in one direction, then the other, but ultimately couldn’t hit pay dirt this time around.

The junior still paced the Wolves, reaching base three times Saturday, once on a hit and twice on walks.

He was joined on the hit parade by Oldenstadt, Hutchinson, Roberts, Sharp, Jack Porter, and Anderson, who was credited with two base-knocks.

Valenzuela, Roberts, Sharp, and Hutchinson also walked, with Hutchinson getting big yelps from the bench after he wore a pitch, taking the wayward ball off his foot.

Alex Murdy and Johnny Porter rounded out the Wolf lineup on the day.

Johnny Porter makes contact.

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Dominic Coffman was a First-Team All-Conference pick on both offense and defense. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

The best defensive football player in the Northwest 2B/1B League wore a Coupeville uniform.

That’s the opinion of conference coaches, who tabbed junior cornerback Scott Hilborn as Defensive MVP when All-League honors were announced.

Friday Harbor running back Connor Haines, a senior, earned Offensive MVP.

La Conner claimed Best Sportsmanship, Friday Harbor’s Brock Hauck was tabbed Coach of the Year, and Haines was nominated for the All-State game.

Hilborn, Dominic Coffman, and Daylon Houston were honored as First-Team All-Conference selections on both sides of the ball, with Brian Casey, Kai Wong, William Davidson, and Tim Ursu each picked for one of the teams.

Coupeville went 2-2 in league play, coming up just short in a triple-overtime loss to Friday Harbor, which would have given them a share of the NWL title.

The Wolves closed their season by knocking off 2A Evergreen of Seattle on the road to finish at 3-5 overall.

No one got away from Scott Hilborn.

All-Conference Teams:

 

FIRST-TEAM OFFENSE:

QB — Dylan Roberson – Senior – Friday Harbor
RB — Scott Hilborn – Junior – Coupeville
RB — Dominic Coffman – Junior – Coupeville
ATH — Ivory Damien – Sophomore – La Conner
TE — Nathan Posenjak – Junior – Friday Harbor
WR — Daylon Houston – Junior – Coupeville
OL — Jahrel Cayou – Senior – La Conner
OL — Tate Geiser – Junior – Friday Harbor
OL — Jack Mason – Senior – Friday Harbor
OL — Brian Casey – Senior – Coupeville
OL — Kai Wong – Junior – Coupeville
K — Victor Valenzuela – Freshman – Friday Harbor

 

HONORABLE MENTION OFFENSE:

QB — Logan Downes – Sophomore – Coupeville
RB — Pierce Kleine – Freshman – Friday Harbor
WR — Jonathan Valenzuela – Junior – Coupeville
RB — Kalli Adams – Junior – La Conner
RB — Chris Gustufson – Sophomore – Friday Harbor
WR — Cameron Breaux – Sophomore – Coupeville

 

FIRST-TEAM DEFENSE:

DL — William Davidson – Sophomore – Coupeville
DL — Jack Mason – Senior – Friday Harbor
DL — Tate Geiser – Junior – Friday Harbor
DL — Westin Arnold – Freshman – La Conner
LB — Connor Haines – Senior – Friday Harbor
LB — Dominic Coffman – Junior – Coupeville
LB — Jahrel Cayou – Senior – La Conner
LB — Geoffry Volk – Junior – Friday Harbor
DB — Tim Ursu – Junior – Coupeville
DB — Dylan Roberson – Senior – Friday Harbor
DB — Daylon Houston – Junior – Coupeville

 

HONORABLE MENTION DEFENSE:

S — Haydin Dinuis – Senior – La Conner
DL — Kai Wong – Junior – Coupeville
DB — Ivory Damien – Sophomore – La Conner
LB — Kevin Partida – Junior – Coupeville
LB — Pierce Kleine – Freshman – Friday Harbor
DL — T.J. Ehresman – Junior – Friday Harbor

Daylon Houston was a standout on both sides of the ball.

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