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Posts Tagged ‘Sebastian Davis’

John McClarin and doubles partner Joseph Wedekind worked hard over four years to become a powerful duo. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Few shots got past Sebastian Davis during his days on the court.

Grab a racket and get ready to rumble.

Part 2 of our 5-part series focusing on Coupeville coaches giving their side of the argument on the best players to wear the red and black, arrives almost as quickly as one of Aaron Curtin’s serves.

This time out, CHS tennis coach Ken Stange pops by to give the lowdown on the players he would want on his roster for a winner-take-all showdown.

With 13 years at the helm of the Wolf boys and girls net programs (26 seasons total), he’s seen more than his share of players.

But let’s have him tell us about it:

Here is my All-CHS Boys’ Tennis Team (2005-present):

#1 Singles — Aaron Curtin (Class of 2015)

Aaron was the youngest of the Curtin family. His brothers played for me, too.

Long, fast, strong, and intelligent, Aaron is far and away the best male singles player I’ve ever had the chance to coach at CHS.

In his senior year, he took 8th place at the state singles tourney. As a junior, he made it to state in doubles.

He’s the only player I’ve coached to go to state twice.

He was a quiet leader and garnered a great deal of respect from his teammates.

There haven’t been too many Wolf players that could push me around on the singles court; Aaron is one of them.

One of the things that separated Aaron from the competition was his ability to raise his game in the most crucial moments. He was never afraid of taking the risk to hit a big shot when the score was working against him.

With his quiet leadership, he inspired other great players like Joseph Wedekind, John McClarin, Joey Lippo, and William Nelson.

He came from a family of tennis players and he added a great deal to the CHS tennis family.

One of my greatest tennis memories of Aaron was when he played his qualifying match to go to state in singles.

He had already beaten his opponent from Vashon, but a rules technicality forced him to play the match again. He was not happy about having to prove it, but he went out and did just that.

It took almost three hours to win that match, but he did it.

#2 Singles — Ben Hayes (’11)

Six-feet-five of pure athleticism and love for sport. That is how I define Ben as a tennis player.

He was graceful on the soccer pitch and basketball court, but in tennis, he flat-out dominated his opponents.

He was the first CHS tennis player to take a set of singles from me.

Before Ben, I had never coached a player as talented as him. He just made it look so easy, and he frustrated his opponents to no end.

He had a huge serve, unbelievable speed, and a ton of want. That made for a deadly combination.

Back then, our district tennis tourney was the toughest in the state, but he still managed to come one match shy of qualifying for state. In most other years, he would have made it to Yakima.

I bet that even if he hasn’t picked up a racket since he graduated from high school, he would still beat the pants off of most players.

#3 Singles — (tie) — Connor Tasoff (’10) and Sebastian Davis (’16)

It was difficult to pick one player as my #3 singles guy.

Connor and Sebo had similar CHS tennis careers. Both spent time playing singles and doubles, both won league singles titles, and both fell short of making it to state.

Both were also leaders of the team, both athletically and academically.

Sebastian, despite almost always having a lead role in the fall theater production, always found a way to be the star on both the court and the stage.

What’s more, his did it while maintaining a ridiculously high academic standard.

He didn’t have the big serve and forehand that most singles players desired, but he did have amazing drive and passion for the game.

He kept focus, ran every ball down, and played every shot like it was the shot that could win the match. That kind of attitude inspired others to reach similar heights.

I credit Connor for legitimizing the boys’ tennis team during my tenure as coach.

He convinced his parents to put up a wall over their garage door. He played in the off-season. He took lessons. He went to camps. He watched tennis on television. He attended tournaments.

He and I were even lucky enough to watch the US Davis Cup Team win the title over Russia, when it was held in Portland several years ago.

He still strings our players’ rackets.

Connor cared. He cared about his school, his team, and his game.

He worked harder than any other boy that has ever played for me. No lie. He worked that hard.

He and I used to joke around about being mild to moderately athletic and how people like us had to work harder than the natural athletes.

I don’t say this to belittle him.

He just wasn’t the athlete that Jordan Lamb was. He had to work harder. And he did.

One of my favorite memories of Connor came just after he finished his final season at CHS. Having been eliminated from the district singles tourney, Connor was understandably upset.

The manager of the Nordstrom Tennis Center at the UW had taken notice of Connor’s passion and love for the game.

She asked him about his plans for the following year and when he told her he’d be attending the UW, she offered him a job on the spot. He ended up working there and stringing rackets for the UW tennis team.

#1 Doubles — Ben Etzell (’14)/Aaron Curtin (’15)

Aaron is the only boy to be on both the singles and doubles lists.

I’ll speak a little about Aaron, seeing that I shared some thoughts about him in the singles portion of this list.

In his doubles duo, Aaron represented experience and quiet leadership. He’d played a bunch of doubles during his ninth grade year, and I charged him with bringing Ben (who had only turned out as a junior) up to speed.

Aaron originally didn’t want to play doubles, instead hoping to make a run in singles.

I’m glad I was able to convince him to partner up with Ben. They made a fabulous duo, going all the way to state and winning a match before being eliminated.

Ben was the kid I tried and tried to convince to play tennis. Luckily, as a junior, he finally gave in.

Working with Ben was easy. He loved the work, he loved the teammates, and he loved the game.

What’s more, he was one of the most talented athletes I’ve ever worked with.

To begin tennis as a junior and qualify for state as a senior is, for most people, a fantasy at best. Ben made it a reality.

I remember his very first day of practice. I was trying to get him to slow down his swing, to no avail.

By the end of the day, he was hitting 90 MPH serves.

He played tennis with the unbridled joy of a little league baseball player and the heart of a mercenary.

Following his collegiate baseball career has been a pleasure.

I hope that as an educator, he decides to coach tennis as well as baseball. His energy would benefit tons of young athletes.

#2 Doubles — Joey Lippo (’18)/William Nelson (’18)

Joey and Will played doubles together for all four of their years at CHS.

In their senior season, they came up one point shy of making it to the state tourney. Had they won that point, they would be sharing the #1 spot with Aaron and Ben.

That said, they are one of the best doubles teams I’ve ever coached. Silky smooth William and big banging Joey.

Their evolution was a beautiful thing to watch. From skinny ninth graders to fully grown seniors, each year showed massive growth in their skills.

They were also, in the words of Stuart Scott, “cooler than the other side of the pillow.”

They were pretty unflappable and rarely showed emotion on the court.

They played so many big matches through the years, and they often drew a crowd when they played, which says a lot because tennis usually does not draw a crowd.

Much like Ben and Aaron, tennis was their alternate sport, with William excelling in soccer and Joey finding success in baseball.

Watching them blend their main sport skills into tennis was interesting.

William had instant top tennis footwork, while Joey could hit the fuzz off the ball from day one. It didn’t take long for them to round into a top-flight doubles team.

#3 Doubles — (tie) — John McClarin (’17)/ Joseph Wedekind (’17) and Jordan Lamb (’10)/Nathan Lamb (’13)

Both duos won league championships, with Joseph and John playing together for three years and the Lamb brothers playing together during Jordan’s senior and Nathan’s freshman year.

All four of them were influential leaders of their teams.

Over the course of 13 years, there have been quite a few sets of siblings that have played tennis.

For me, it was always all the more enjoyable to have siblings, either on the team at the same time or stretching out over several years.

Lamb, Knoll, Curtin, Etzell, Nelson, Weaver, Monroe/Wright, Aparicio, Renninger, Akins, Ginnings, and a few more that don’t come to mind at this moment, are the families that have served CHS tennis well.

The Lambs were a dynamic duo.

Jordan, with his instructional video quality swing and his high level of consistency and Nathan, the aggressive and free-swinging gunslinger of a tennis player, made for some exciting tennis.

They didn’t possess the 12+ combined feet of length that most of my other teams flaunted, but they played big nonetheless.

There was a yin/yang quality about their playing styles.

Jordan has previous success with classmate Connor Tasoff and Nathan went on to play big at #1 singles.

I’m hoping for the Lamb kids to one day bring their children home to CHS so the tennis team can have some more of that Lamb athleticism.

Joseph and John. Where do I start?

They began as a couple of clumsy freshmen. However, they worked very diligently during the season. More importantly, they worked even harder during the off-season, and not just during the summer.

They played in the cold, wind, and even the rain. They played almost every day.

In an effort to gain court time during the spring, they signed up as managers for the girls’ team. They ended up becoming assistant coaches, so to speak.

From the bottom of the ladder as freshmen to the top of the ladder and league doubles champs as seniors is an impressive arc.

They were universally respected by every CHS player, male and female.

They made my life a great deal easier by being trustworthy leaders, and their imprint will last for a couple of more years, even though they have graduated.

#4 Doubles — Brian Miller (’08)/Jake Weaver (’07)

Brian and Jake were a combined 12′ 10″ tall. Lobbing over them was a no-go.

They were my first legitimate boys’ doubles team. They led by setting a quality example, and they were ferocious on the court.

Unfortunately for them, Friday Harbor had a state doubles team during that time, and that kept Brian and Jake from picking up some hardware.

Brian was one of the fastest 6′ 6″ kids I’d ever seen and he had the power to match his frame.

Jake was long and lean, and he could run fast all day long. He got to balls that I couldn’t dream of chasing down.

Brian and Jake were the pair that originally set the bar for the guys’ team after I took over as coach. The younger kids saw the bar and surpassed it.

 

Return Thursday for part 3 of our five-part series, as Stange reveals his all-time girls tennis lineup.

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Sebastian Davis celebrates a goal during his junior soccer season. (John Fisken photos)

   Sebastian Davis celebrates a goal during his junior soccer season. (John Fisken photos)

Jared Helmstadter goes strong to the hoop.

Jared Helmstadter goes strong to the hoop.

Davis and teammate Loren Nelson enjoy the fruits of their labors at a tennis banquet. (Wendy McCormick photo)

   Davis and teammate Loren Nelson enjoy the fruits of their labors at a tennis banquet. (Wendy McCormick photo)

Helmstadter leads the cheers for his teammates.

Helmstadter leads the cheers for his teammates. (Fisken photo)

The circle is complete.

All school year John Fisken snapped photos, he was nice enough to send a ton my way, I directed readers to where he sold his pics and, when they bought some, a portion of the money was stashed away.

Tuesday night, as Coupeville High School held its senior awards night, that money came back out, with Fisken handing $250 apiece in scholarship money to two Wolves who appeared in a fair amount of photos.

Walking off with the cold, hard cash, winners of the Olympicleague.com Scholar Athlete Award were CHS seniors Jared Helmstadter and Sebastian Davis.

They join previous honorees Breeanna Messner, Brandon Kelley, Aaron Trumbull and Julia Myers.

The award honors student/athletes who played at least two sports for all four years of high school, while maintaining a 3.0 or better GPA.

To be eligible, athletes couldn’t receive an athletic scholarship from a college, and they needed to submit a 500-word essay, “How Sports Made Me A Better Person,” and take part in 1-on-1 interviews with the prolific camera clicker.

The duo emerged from an especially strong final five this year, making the decision the hardest he’s faced in the three years he’s bestowed money to Coupeville athletes, Fisken said.

Helmstadter, who plans to be an electrician, is the lone member of the CHS Class of 2016 to play a sport in all 12 of his high school seasons.

He was a four-year participant in tennis, basketball and track and capped his final moments as a high school athlete by competing in the 4 x 400 relay at the state track meet.

During his time on the tennis court, Helmstadter often had the chance to play as a doubles team with younger brother Grey Rische.

Davis was also a four-year tennis player, finishing as the Olympic League singles champion as a senior.

Having inherited the mantle from graduated teammate Aaron Curtin, he also put in a considerable amount of time as an unpaid assistant coach, working with younger players on their games.

A veteran of the theatrical stage and a gold medalist in Science Olympiad, Davis split time between track and soccer as well.

During their sophomore track season, Helmstadter and Davis ran on 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 relay teams together.

Another teammate on those relay units? Fellow award winner Brandon Kelley, then a senior.

Davis will attend the University of Washington in the fall.

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Loren Nelson (John Fisken photos)

   Eyes scanning the possibilities, Loren Nelson prepares to drop a pass into the fray. (John Fisken photos)

Ethan Kedrowski

Ethan Kedrowski charges into action, fist cocked … just in case.

Jaschon Baumann

   Wolf freshman Jaschon Baumann slides in front of a foe as both try and catch a runaway ball intent on making a bid for freedom.

Jakobi

   Meanwhile brother Jakobi enjoys the action while camped out in the comfort of the press box.

Sebastian

   “So, we meet again.” Sebastian Davis, using just the power of his mind, freezes the ball in mid-air.

Jose

Jose Marcos is ready to get feisty.

McCormick

   Future Wolf soccer star Katelin McCormick stalks the sidelines, monitoring older brother Connor’s goalkeeping skills.

Garrett

Garrett Compton sends the ball far, far away. “And never come back!!”

Everyone got home early.

Thanks to some quirky scheduling brought on by Spring Break, Coupeville and Forks played two soccer games Monday and were still home before most parents got done with their jobs.

Thanks to wanderin’ photo man John Fisken, who operates on his own clock, you can still wallow in snappy pitch pics, even if you weren’t at Mickey Clark Field.

The photos above are courtesy him.

To see more, and possibly purchase some, thereby helping fund college scholarships for CHS student/athletes, pop over to:

Varsity — http://www.1aevergreen.com/index.php?act=view_gallery&gallery=11122&league=29&page=1&page_name=photo_store&school=223&sport=0

JV — http://www.1aevergreen.com/index.php?act=view_gallery&gallery=11124&league=29&page=1&page_name=photo_store&school=223&sport=0

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Birthday boys Sebastian Davis (S) and Jacob Smith (J) team up for a collage. (John Fisken and Wendy McCormick photos)

   Birthday boys Sebastian Davis (S) and Jacob Smith (J) team up for a collage full of excitement. (John Fisken and Wendy McCormick photos)

Birthday fever is bouncing around out of control in Coupeville today.

Two of the most energetic of all Wolf athletes — CHS senior Sebastian Davis and sophomore Jacob Smith — share a cake day, and a style of attacking the day, every day.

Regardless of the sport (Davis plays tennis and soccer currently while Smith careens around the gridiron and track oval), the duo are explosive, highly entertaining hard workers.

They’re also exceptionally smart, very outgoing and primed to do big things in the outside world when they step away from Whidbey Island.

Sebastian, who I’ve known since he was a little guy hanging out at Videoville and Miriam’s Espresso, does it all.

The lead in (nearly) every school play, a Science Olympiad whiz kid who could teach the judges a few things and a video game player who ruthlessly defends his sprawling on-line empire against any who would dare to come for his crown, he puts the talent in multi-talented.

I know Jacob primarily from watching him work in the world of athletics, where he comes across as a super-friendly, dedicated guy, the kind of player who still takes the football field when his arm is encased in a cast so he won’t leave his teammates hanging.

Track is where he’s making his biggest splash, with back-to-back PRs in the 100 to kick off the new season.

Both Smith and Davis also show a noticeable flair for school spirit, playing The Joker and Captain Kirk, respectively, on their classes floats during the most recent Homecoming parade.

Jacob turned his hair green for the part, while Sebastian had every one of William Shatner’s tics down cold, and both played to the audience as the parade wound its way around the track at halftime.

As the dynamic duo celebrate their big days (no word on whether they’re sharing cake), we just want to take a moment to wish both of them well.

They are two of the brightest shining lights in this small town, as athletes, scholars and people, and they deserve a big round of applause from us all.

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Wolf sophomore Nick Etzell earned his first varsity letter. (John Fisken photos)

  Wolf sophomore Nick Etzell earned his first varsity letter. (John Fisken photos)

Joseph Wedekind

Doubles ace Joseph Wedekind shared MVP and captains honors.

Psst. Wanna know a secret?

Sure you do, and Coupeville High School boys’ tennis coach Ken Stange knows you feel that way.

So, with his team’s season-ending awards banquet not hitting until Dec. 1, he’s decided to relieve the tension and release a list of the honorees early.

Everyone goes to the tennis shindig for the food, anyways, so now they can all relax and plan their noshing without being on the edge of their seats for the next two weeks.

So, drum-roll, and our awards begin with Sebastian Davis and Joseph Wedekind sharing MVP honors, while the duo are joined by Connor McCormick and John McClarin as Captains.

Jimmy Myers snagged Most Inspirational while Jakobi Baumann and Santiago Ortiz share Most Improved in voting by their fellow teammates.

Earning varsity letters:

Sebastian Davis
Nick Etzell
Jared Helmstadter
Joey Lippo
John McClarin
Connor McCormick
Jimmy Myers
Will Nelson
Cole Payne
Grey Rische
Lilan Sekigawa
Joseph Wedekind

Certificate of participation:

Jakobi Baumann
Jaschon Baumann
Nick Blalock
Garrett Compton
Aiden Crimmins
Tiger Johnson
Nile Lockwood
Santiago Ortiz

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