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Izzy Wells snags a rebound during the last high school game played by CHS before COVID-19 shut things down. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Six months down. Five to go?

Well, it’s a yes to the former, a maybe to the latter.

Tuesday – August 11, 2020 – marks six full months since the last time a Coupeville High School athletic team played an officially sanctioned game in any sport.

Way back on Feb. 11, the Wolf girls basketball team fell beneath a hail of three-point bombs put up by visiting Meridian, and was ushered out of the district playoffs after absorbing its second loss in as many nights.

That brought a close to a strong 12-7 campaign for CHS, playing its first season under new coach Scott Fox.

With nine of 13 players who scored during the season eligible to return, plus supernova sophomore Ja’Kenya Hoskins, who was injured the whole year, the future was, and is, a bright one.

At the time, the sadness of a season ending was muted by the knowledge most of the Wolf players would roll on into spring sports, returning to softball fields, tennis courts, or track ovals.

When the last stragglers exited the gym the night of Feb. 11, they had no way of knowing what was coming, or, what was probably already lingering in the air.

The rise of COVID-19, the moment when it went from being a whisper to a full-blown pandemic, was still around the corner, and no one knew the shutdown of sports was on its way.

Now, as we sit six months down the road, we know Wolf athletes never got a chance to play that spring sports season.

And, we know that after a summer in which traditional activities like little league were left by the wayside, there will be no fall high school sports season.

The good news is that fall, unlike spring, is not being outright cancelled, but instead moved, with sports such as football and volleyball hopping from September starts to March beginnings.

The hope, put forth by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association, is that high school sports will return at the start of 2021, with basketball picking up where it left off.

Right now, practices are set to start the last week of December, with a compressed season, in which schools can play 70% of a normal schedule, beginning in January.

Then, if things hold, fall sports occupy March and April, and spring sports return in May and June.

But, as we know, COVID-19 operates as it chooses to operate, and not how we might like it to, meaning nothing is set in stone.

This week, though, we note the six-month anniversary of high school sports being AWOL in Coupeville.

I say “note,” because “celebrate” is probably not the right word.

Instead of being mad, though, we can look back to that last game and remember the highlights, of what was, and what can be again.

Facing off with an ultra-aggressive, very-successful Meridian squad which made it all the way to state, Coupeville had to dig out of a hole all night long.

Which doesn’t mean the Wolves didn’t have their spotlight moments.

Midway through the second quarter, sparked by a steal and bucket from senior Scout Smith, CHS went on a 10-4 surge.

During that run, underclassmen Anya Leavell, Carolyn Lhamon, and Maddie Georges all scored, with Smith setting up Leavell on a note-perfect pass slipped between backpedaling defenders.

Then, late in the game, popular Wolf senior Tia Wurzrainer, celebrating her birthday, pulled up on the move and hit nothing but net on the final jump shot of her stellar prep hoops career.

That sent Coupeville fans into a tizzy in what would be, for now, the final great explosion by Wolf faithful at a high school sports event.

The six months since have been far quieter, and there is no doubt, far lonelier for many.

But the future is unwritten.

Just as we didn’t know that night that things would take a turn for the worse, some day we may look back at today and say, hey, this was where it all began to turn around.

So, I say, stay positive. Look forward. Continue to work.

There will be a day where, once again, Wolf athletes will play, Coupeville fans will be in the stands, and life will be back in a more-familiar rhythm.

None of us know how many hours, days, or months that will be.

But it will be. That I know.

 

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Coupeville’s Mica Shipley (left) and Ashleigh Battaglia celebrate graduation. (Photo courtesy Amanda Rogers)

Live, on tape, it’s the 2020 Coupeville High School graduation.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic prevented CHS, or any school for that matter, from holding a normal ceremony, but everyone made do with what they had.

The diploma at the end of the 13-year school rainbow is still real, and, ultimately, that’s what matters most.

Since most people couldn’t watch graduation live, CHS taped the event and posted it online Wednesday afternoon.

To scroll through the program, or watch the ceremony itself, pop over to:

https://sites.google.com/coupeville.k12.wa.us/chs-class-of-2020-graduation/class-of-2020

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Scout Smith is one of three Wolves tabbed as the CHS Athletes of the Year. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Sean Toomey-Stout is Coupeville’s top male athlete for a second-straight year.

Sean’s twin sister, Maya Toomey-Stout, shares the top female award with Smith.

Three for the win.

Coupeville High School handed out its top athletic awards Tuesday, honoring Sean Toomey-Stout, Scout Smith, and Maya Toomey-Stout as its Athletes of the Year.

All three are graduating seniors.

It was the second-straight year Sean Toomey-Stout was named the top CHS male athlete, allowing him to join previous two-timers such as Hunter Smith, otherwise known as Scout’s big bro.

Sean led the Wolf football team in virtually every stat category, then did the same for the boys basketball squad in the winter.

He was primed to end his stellar four-year run at CHS as a member of the track and field team, but was denied along with his teammates when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down schools and erased spring sports.

Scout Smith was a team captain for both the Wolf volleyball and girls basketball teams, running the offense as a setter and point guard, respectively.

She also led the hoops squad in scoring this season.

Maya Toomey-Stout finished her standout prep volleyball career by blasting shots to all corners of the court, raining down kills and terrorizing opponents who found themselves in the path of her incoming fireballs.

A First-Team All-Conference pick, she was to compete in track and field this spring, while Smith was returning to the softball field.

The trio were joined in being honored during an online awards ceremony by fellow seniors Hannah Davidson and Aram Leyva, who each received the Cliff Gillies Award.

That honor, named for the longtime Executive Director of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association, recognizes student/athletes who excel in scholarship, citizenship, and participation in activities.

Davidson was a strong contributor to Wolf volleyball and basketball teams, while Leyva was a captain and high-octane goal scorer for the CHS boys soccer squad.

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Grady Rickner is here to teach you slick dribbling skills. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

End of the lessons, but not the work, or the fun.

The Coupeville Youth Basketball dribbling challenge returns for week six today, and it’s the final set of videos.

Current CHS hoops stars Xavier Murdy and Grady Rickner and the ready-to-graduate-this-Saturday Scout Smith are on hand to guide you through the drills.

Follow along with the action, work on your skills, and post your own response videos on social media.

Then keep at it, through the summer and beyond, as you prep for basketball glory to come.

 

Skill 17:

 

Skills 18-19:

 

Skills 20-21:

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Jacobi Pilgrim pounds the ball. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Scout Smith looks for an opening in the defense while keeping her dribble low.

The weekly skills check returns.

With guidance from former Wolf hoops stars Scout Smith, Jacobi Pilgrim, and Lindsey Roberts, week two of the Coupeville Youth Basketball dribbling challenge offers young players a chance to work on high and low dribbling skills.

Follow along with the action, work on your skills while indoor courts are shut down, and post your own response videos on social media.

Most of all, keep putting in the time to hone your handles.

Up next week: in and out dribbling and crossovers.

 

Skills 1 & 2:

 

Skills 3 & 4:

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