Posts Tagged ‘Skagit Valley College’

CHS grad Natalie (Slater) Maneval congratulates her college softball coach, Denny Zylstra, for being inducted into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame in 2015. (Photo courtesy Maneval)

One of the true legends of Wolf Nation has passed away, but his memory and impact will last forever.

Denny Zylstra, a 1958 graduate of Coupeville High School, was a three-sport star for the Wolves (football, basketball, baseball) who continued as an active athlete into his 40’s.

He played competitive football until he was 37, basketball until he was 45, and never really gave up softball.

Zylstra made his diamond debut when he was just eight years old, and played for an adult team during his high school days.

Over the years, he played softball in Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan, Spain, Italy and across America.

This included playing in state tournaments in Virginia, California and Washington, and sponsoring and pitching one of his teams to second-place at state when he was a 41-year-old whippersnapper.

When he wasn’t playing, Zylstra and wife Marcia, his high school sweetheart, were huge Coupeville High School sports fans, attending numerous games. The duo also ran the softball concession stand.

He also took the lessons learned as a player, and used them to teach the next generations.

Following in the footsteps of Mert Waller, his high school coach, and mentor, Zylstra coached multiple sports over a 50-year span, with many of those seasons here on Whidbey.

After a stint in the Navy, Zylstra began his coaching career in Virginia Beach, running a Little League team.

From there, he moved into softball, with his first stint on Whidbey coming from 1975-1985, when he coached junior (13-15) teams.

Zylstra bounced between the college and high school game in later years, working as a coach for Skagit Valley College (1986-1997, 2004-2008), Oak Harbor High School (1999-2002) and, in his final stop, back at his alma mater.

Returning to CHS in 2009, he was head coach for two seasons, and then an assistant up through his 50th and final campaign in 2012.

Mimi (Iverson) Johnson and Natalie (Slater) Maneval were Coupeville grads who played for Zylstra at Skagit Valley College, and both remember him fondly.

Denny was such a bright light everywhere he went,” Johnson said. “He had a smile and laugh that was infectious.

“His love for his players, the game, and coaching was inspiring,” she added. “I know his legacy is huge!! He will be greatly missed.”

That’s a sentiment shared by Maneval.

“He was one of the kindest men and had a very infectious smile and laugh,” she said. “I was blessed years ago to see him being inducted into the coaches hall of fame.

Denny, you will be missed by so many and you will always leave a huge impact on so many of us softball players!”

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Samantha Shulock (John Fisken photo)

   OHHS grad Samantha Shulock has been hired as an assistant girls soccer coach at Coupeville High School. (John Fisken photo)

Coupeville High School’s newest soccer coach vividly remembers what it was like to be a player.

“I still have the players perspective fresh in my mind and can make that connection between coach and player,” said Samantha Shulock.

The 2008 Oak Harbor grad, who went on to play college ball after high school, has joined Troy Cowan’s staff as an assistant this year.

She replaces Nicholas Dziminowicz, who departed after a year in the position to focus full-time on his work with premier teams through Northwest United.

Shulock, who made her Wolf debut Thursday during a four-team jamboree on her old field at Oak Harbor’s Wildcat Memorial Stadium, played for 15 years.

After hanging up the purple and gold at OHHS, she went on to play two years at Skagit Valley College, then wrapped her career with a stint on the women’s club soccer team at Washington State University.

Back on Whidbey, she couldn’t resist the siren call of the pitch.

“I recently moved to Coupeville and saw this as the best opportunity to stay involved in soccer,” Shulock said. “Overall I’m here for the girls.

“My goal is they feel like they played the best season they could have and continue to learn about the game.”

She’ll work with the players on both sides of the ball, though says “defense has always been my comfort zone.”

One lesson she’ll try and pass on is how important it is for each Wolf to rely on the player next to them.

“This is a team sport; support is key,” Shulock said. “Any game is meant to be fun and if you want to take it to the next level you need to make sure it makes you happy every time you step onto the field with your teammates.”

As the Wolves prep for their regular-season opener (Sept. 8 at home vs. South Whidbey), their newest coach is counting down the days.

“I’m excited to be a part of it,” Shulock said. “I see myself in a lot of the girls and hope I’m a positive influence on each one.

“I’m coming in completely from the outside with no ties to this community,” she added. “My best wishes are always with the girls and their families and that every soccer experience is a positive one.”

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Morgan Payne 4 President.

Morgan Payne 4 President

Morgan Payne played his butt off.

Dude hustled every second of every day, every moment of every play.

Whether he was on the baseball diamond or the basketball court, the 2014 Coupeville High School grad, now a baseball player at Skagit Valley College, never backed down, never gave up on a play.

He let his actions speak for themselves as he was, at least in public, a young man of few words.

That didn’t stop the Bad-ass Party from stumping for him as their choice as President.

Waving signs and chanting his name for days, Brian Norris, Colin Belliveau and Co. made sure the whole world knew of their undying support for Morgan.

As he celebrates a birthday today, we also wish Mr. Payne the best.

He played the game the way it should be played, one mud-stained pair of baseball pants at a time, even if his heroic, game-saving dives sometimes made mom Joan cry when she remembered she’d have to wash those pants.

Morgan Payne for president? He has my vote.

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Even a broken hand couldn't keep Morgan Payne off the baseball field. (Shelli Trumbull photo)

  Even a broken hand couldn’t keep Morgan Payne off the baseball field. (Shelli Trumbull photos)

Payne patrols the infield.

Payne patrols the infield.

The cast is off and college ball beckons.

Former Coupeville High School baseball star Morgan Payne, having recovered from a broken hand that interrupted his senior season this spring, has been selected to take his game to the next level.

Payne will join the baseball team at Skagit Valley College, with school starting Sept. 22 and fall ball kicking off a day later.

“Just got all the paper work and will fill it out tomorrow!,” said mom Joan Payne. “He is really excited. We have lots to do in a short time.”

During his time as a Wolf, Payne was a clutch hitter and slick-fielding shortstop.

A four-year varsity player, he was also one of the key members of Central Whidbey’s Little League state champs when he was in eighth grade.

He’ll be the second recent CHS grad to play ball at Skagit, following in the tracks of softball sensation Alexis Trumbull.

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Alexis Trumbull, college softball sensation. (Shelli Trumbull photos)

Alexis Trumbull, college softball sensation. (Shelli Trumbull photos)

One of Whidbey’s best graduated today.

Alexis Trumbull, who used to rule the softball diamond at Coupeville High School, flingin’ heat from the mound, capped a two-year run as a college player when she received her diploma from Skagit Valley College.

To mark the occasion, we offer a medley of photos from her time as a Cardinal — a period documented by the lens of mom Shelli.

Congratulations, Alexis. You remain awesome, as always.

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