Posts Tagged ‘Soccer’

Sarah Wright, softball terminator. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Get you someone who looks at you the way Wright looks at confetti.

The Wright Express comes in hot.

“You’re running … ON ME???? Oh, you foolish child!”

A prairie legend forever.

Sarah Wright is a tornado of fun.

She blows through, rips up the joint, throws the furniture up on the roof, but leaves everyone smiling afterwards.

As I have covered her exploits through the years, from youth sports, to middle school, and then on through four fast n’ furious years of high school, she was as entertaining an athlete as any I’ve ever seen.

Talented? Without a doubt.

But with Sarah, it was always about how much fun she was having out there, whether it be a pressure-packed game at the state tournament, or a random practice on a Tuesday afternoon in the middle of the season.

She worked her tail off, fought for success, screamed her lungs out, and got every last scrap of enjoyment she could from her sports.

Volleyball to soccer, basketball to her truest love of them all, softball, Wright never lost the joy little league athletes have, even when she was finally old enough to work as their hitting coach.

Whether she was threatening to eat worms while watching her JV teammates play, laughing until she could barely stand, or feeding seagulls in the parking lot in between state playoff games, running and giggling as the birds pecked at her sandwich, Sarah was, and is, pure giddy joy.

Not that she couldn’t be deadly serious, mind you.

Wright sacrificed her body, time and again, and when it was time to compete, she wanted to win as badly as she wanted to enjoy life in her down time.

As a softball catcher, she bore the brunt of long hours hunched down in the dirt.

Her hands stinging from knocking down wayward balls, her body sore from standing tall and taking the brunt of the explosion when rival players were dumb enough to try and knock her down during plays at the plate.

During her travel ball tournaments, or during Coupeville’s playoff runs, you would see Sarah walk away, looking like a (sometimes very tired) warrior.

Eye black on, smeared by sweat and dirt, her uniform streaked in dust, her mitt in one hand, her mask in the other, she resembled a gladiator coming back from the pits and you knew she left a trail of bodies behind her.

And then, two steps later, she’d suddenly start laughing, and by the time she reached the dugout she was singing in a voice which carried across the field.

I watched Sarah win big games during her career, and take some tough losses, but, in the end, whether her heart was soaring or breaking, she was happy to be in that uniform, to have that mitt and mask, to just play.

She was a solid volleyball player, a take-charge soccer goalie, a pounder in the paint on the basketball court, but she was at home on the softball diamond.

She loved it, and it loved her back.

Knowing Sarah gets to play college softball, even if it will be far away from Coupeville, makes me happy.

It means she gets to keep cracking tape-measure home runs.

Or bashing doubles that she turns into triples, legs pounding as she comes crashing into third-base in a giant cloud of dust, followed by her looking up at CHS coach Kevin McGranahan with a huge grin and saying “I told you I’d make it … Keeeeevvvvviiiiinnn.”

She’ll be zinging throws from behind the plate, sprawled out, firing off the wrong leg and, somehow, still nailing straying runners.

“Another notch on the ol’ gun belt there, Kevin, my boy!”

Sarah stepped onto the CHS softball field and was a starter at the hardest position from day one of her freshman season.

The only thing which kept her waiting that long was the silly Washington state high school rule book, which prevented her from playing varsity high school ball during her middle school days.

Swap rule books with a state like Kentucky and she would have been making rival high school coaches rip out their hair back when she was 12.

Through it all, as Wright came within a play or two of making it to state as a sophomore and junior, then got over the hump as a senior, she was a bonafide leader.

Vocal, the very definition of loud ‘n proud, whether in the dugout, face first in the prairie dust, or running through the parking lot as the Seagull Queen, she will never truly be replaced.

Yes, someone else will be behind the plate next season, and in the years to come.

Hopefully they will have strong careers, and, hopefully, they will enjoy their days on the diamond as much as Sarah did hers.

But you don’t truly replace the legends.

Whether it’s Hailey Hammer, or Breeanna Messner, or Wright, after they’re gone, you can close your eyes the next time you’re in the stands at the CHS diamond, and you will see them still out there playing.

For now, she leaves her field, her town, but she’s not truly going anywhere, because our memories of her will last.

There was never really a doubt Sarah would one day be walking (actually, sprinting while giggling and throwing sandwich bits in the air) into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

I knew it when I watched her play in middle school and little league, and nothing changed my mind as she traveled her journey.

So, after this, you’ll find her at the top of the blog, up under the Legends tab.

And, you’ll find her in the memories of Wolf fans.

Long after her last high school award, her final banquet, the last time she took off a Wolf uniform she wore with genuine pride and joy, Sarah¬†will still be out there, gunnin’ and grinnin’ as the sun sets across the prairie.

Covered in dirt from head to toe, tackling her teammates in joy, standing on the dugout bench, batting helmet jammed backwards on her head, screaming “GET OFF HER, BALL!!!,” having the time of her life.

There is only one Sarah Wright, and we were very lucky to have her.

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Teo Keilwitz clears the ball Tuesday night. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Uriah Kastner was one of three Wolves honored on Senior Night.

These are the flowers you seek.

Senior goaltender Dewitt Cole shares his moment with his family.

Derek Leyva may not be a senior yet, but he can still be festive.

Keilwitz and the parental units.

Wolves (back, l to r) Drake Borden, Catherine Lhamon, and Megan Behan enjoy themselves despite the cold, windy, late-April weather.

Coupeville’s seniors catch a photo op with coach Kyle Nelson.

It’s the beginning of the end.

The Coupeville High School boys soccer team capped its regular season Tuesday with an Island rivalry rumble with South Whidbey, but first took time to honor its three seniors.

Dewitt Cole, Uriah Kastner, and Teo Keilwitz all have at least one more game to play, though, with a home playoff match Apr. 29 against Cedar Park Christian.

Win that one, and they earn at least two more district playoff games.

So, while the final exit can be seen, the road has a few more twists and turns in it before anyone gets there.

For now, we have Senior Night photos, courtesy John Fisken.

To see everything he shot, on and off field, pop over to:


A percentage of all purchases goes to help fund scholarships for CHS student/athletes, so there’s that, as well.

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After a tough 4-3 loss Tuesday at Sultan, Alex Jimenez and his CHS soccer teammates will have to fight to earn a home playoff game. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Kyle Nelson is not especially fond of making road trips to Sultan.

The Coupeville High School soccer coach has made the trek twice this school year, and both times things ended badly.

During the fall, Nelson’s girls’ squad fell 1-0 in a game which proved to be fatal to the Wolves bid for a playoff spot.

Tuesday night, it was time for the Wolf boys to head to Sultan, and, despite a late rally, they fell short on the same artificial turf field, dropping a 4-3 heartbreaker.

While this defeat won’t keep the Coupeville boys from playing in the postseason — they’ve already clinched a playoff berth — it still stings.

The biggest reason is a win would have solidified the Wolves hold on the #3 seed from the North Sound Conference.

Instead, at 2-4 in league play, 4-7 overall, CHS slips a half-game back of Sultan (2-3, 3-8).

South Whidbey (5-0, 9-1) and King’s (5-1, 6-2-1) are battling for the conference crown, while Cedar Park Christian (0-6, 0-8) sits mired in the cellar of what became a five-team league after Granite Falls was unable to field a squad this season.

The #3 NSC team gets a home district playoff opener against the #5 NSC team, while the #4 squad has to travel to play the #3 Northwest Conference squad.

Both games are loser-out affairs, but, if you win your first game, you advance to the double-elimination portion of the bracket.

Coupeville, which played five straight on the road, culminating in Tuesday’s loss, closes the regular season at home with games Apr. 19 against CPC and Apr. 23 vs. South Whidbey.

Sultan faces South Whidbey (Apr. 19), King’s (Apr. 23), and CPC (Apr. 25) for its stretch run.

While the Wolves have lost four straight, the Turks are coming on strongly, winning three straight after losing their first eight. One of those defeats, a 2-0 loss, came at Coupeville earlier in the season.

Tuesday night Sultan jumped all over the Wolves in the early going, building a 3-0 lead before the halftime break.

Aram Leyva got one goal back for Coupeville, mashing “a well-taken penalty kick” for his 10th goal of the season.

The Turks responded with the equalizer early in the second half, stretching the lead back out to 4-1, before Derek Leyva stormed the net, rattling home a pair of scores to make things tight.

The back-to-back goals gives¬†Derek Leyva 11 on the season, and 35 for his CHS career, pulling him closer to cousin Abraham Leyva’s school career record of 45 goals.

With the clock ticking down, the Wolves pushed the attack, desperate to knot things back up and force overtime, but it wasn’t to be.

“Unfortunately there seems to be a Sultan curse on me,” Nelson said. “We had a few other great attempts at goals in the closing minutes to make for an exciting game, but ultimately we paid for our slow start.”

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Time to kick some fanny on the soccer pitch. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Are you a girl, born in 2007 or 2008, and want to play soccer?

Then get your parents crackin’, cause there’s just eight days left to sign up for the Central Whidbey Soccer Club spring season.

The league wants players of all ages, and talent levels, but is especially hoping for those who could play on a U12 girls team.

To field a team, CWSC needs nine players, and, as of this moment, has just four.

“If we can’t find girls by Mar. 22, we won’t have a U12 team for girls, and that is heartbreaking,” said Michelle Cernick.

To register today, pop over to:


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Battling the wind, James Wood cranks a corner kick. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Staring down the brisk breeze, a collection of Wolf stars jam the stands.

The Leyva lads lead the charge, with Aram (front) and Derek slicin’ and dicin’ the defense.

Cruddy weather, sunny attitudes.

Derek Leyva fires the ball into play.

Ever-efficient Wolf manager Natalie Hollrigel rules the roost up in the warm, dry, non-breezy press box.

CHS goalie Dewitt Cole sprawls out to stop a shot, while Wolf defender Teo Keilwitz comes charging in to help.

“Spring? I’m going to go have words with Mother Nature…”

The weather was wild ‘n windy, but at least I didn’t have to stand out in it.

While I was smartly sequestered in the press box Monday during Coupeville’s boys soccer clash with Mount Baker, grizzled paparazzi John Fisken braved the gusts to snap the pics seen above.

To peruse everything he shot, pop over to:


And, when you wander over there, remember, a percentage of any purchases goes to help fund scholarships for CHS senior student/athletes.

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