Posts Tagged ‘Soccer’

   Derek Leyva knocked in two goals Saturday in a season-opening win. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Too early? Of course, it’s too early.

You don’t run league standings two days into a new season and … every Wolf varsity team is in first-place? Run that sucker!!!

So sure, maybe we’re jumping the gun just a bit, but what the hey, it’s not like we have a lot of rules here at Coupeville Sports World Headquarters.

Plus, this way, you can start to get used to the weirdness of seeing only two softball teams listed in the standings, since Port Townsend and Chimacum have bailed on their seasons.

Anyway, a look at some very, very, VERY early standings, reflecting Coupeville’s opening day sweep in baseball (7-3 over Lynden Christian) and soccer (4-1 over Olympic) and Chimacum’s 6-5 baseball loss to South Whidbey.

Olympic League baseball:

School League Overall
Klahowya 0-0 0-0
Port Townsend 0-0 0-0
Chimacum 0-0 0-1

Olympic League boys soccer:

School League Overall
Chimacum 0-0 0-0
Klahowya 0-0 0-0
Port Townsend 0-0 0-0

Olympic League girls tennis:

School League Overall
Chimacum 0-0 0-0
Klahowya 0-0 0-0

Olympic League softball:

School League Overall
Klahowya 0-0 0-0

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Axel Partida gets his head into the game. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

   The very first fans in the stands at the very first game played in front of Coupeville High School’s new stadium.

Zach Ginnings (and his toasty warm fingers) are ready to rumble.

   Wolf superstars (l to r) Kylie Chernikoff, Genna Wright and Catherine Lhamon enjoy a rare sunny spring day on the prairie.

Hunter Downes sets up the defense…

then goalie Dewitt Cole does all the work.

Two high-flying soccer fans find a comfy perch.

Ben Smith get the ball the heck away from his goal.

The sun was out, soccer balls were bouncing and cameras were clicking.

It was a busy time at the new Coupeville High School Stadium on Saturday, with the Wolves thrashing Olympic in their season opener and wanderin’ photo bug John Fisken clicking away.

To see everything the erstwhile snapper collected, pop over to:


And, when you do, remember, purchases help fund college scholarships for CHS student/athletes.

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   Coupeville sophomore James Wood knocked in a gorgeous header Saturday, providing the game-busting goal in a 4-1 win over visiting Olympic. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

James Wood will be denied once, maybe twice, but certainly not three times.

After barely missing on back-to-back golden scoring opportunities Saturday, the Coupeville High School sophomore hit pay dirt on set-up #3, and that was all the Wolves needed.

Sparked by Wood’s game-breaking header late in the first half, the CHS boys soccer squad busted open a tight game and rolled to a 4-1 non-conference win over visiting Olympic.

The opening-day victory, coming against a large 2A school, came in the first game played in front of Coupeville’s shiny new stadium.

With Peytin Vondrak on the announcer’s mic, a tasty cake prepared by local baker (and CHS cheer coach) Emily Stevens waiting to be cut, and the new stands jammed with boisterous fans, it was a fairly perfect opener for the Wolves.

Coupeville dominated play from beginning to finish, in a game which was closer to 10-1 than to being a nail-biter.

The Wolves, who tied with Olympic last year, came out aggressively this time around.

With the Leyva cousins, sophomores Aram and Derek, on the field together in CHS uniforms for the first time, things were electric from the opening tip.

Barely five minutes into the contest, Derek Leyva beat the defense on a run down the right side, popped the ball on to Aram Leyva’s leg and waited for the magic to happen.

For one of the few times all night, though, the Wolves were denied, as Aram’s shot went slightly off to the left, sliding right past an already-rattled Trojan goaltender.

And he had reason to fear, as the cousins pulled off virtually the same play in the game’s 19th minute, only this time Aram Leyva lured the goalie out of the net, then abused him 12 different ways while scoring the first goal of the season.

Olympic had few legitimate scoring opportunities, as a Wolf defense anchored by seniors Axel Partida and Hunter Downes was in lock-down mode, but the Trojans did get one ball past CHS goalie Dewitt Cole.

That knotted things up at 1-1 in the 26th minute, but it was also the last time the visitors looked like even a minor threat.

Cole was a vacuum cleaner the rest of the afternoon, popping high to pluck balls out of the sky, then dropping to his knees to snatch away errant balls.

With Coupeville’s defense unrelenting, its offense took charge.

Wood went over the top of the bar on a point-blank shot, then pushed one just right before finding his Moment of Zen.

Using his forehead to pluck a ball out of midair, he bashed a ball home in the game’s 32nd minute, giving CHS a lead it would never relinquish.

Up 2-1 at the half, the Wolves shredded Olympic’s soul in the second half.

Teo Keilwitz and Ethan Spark came up big on defense, blocking shots away from the mouth of their goal, while Derek Leyva put on a show on the opposite end of the field.

Playing in his first game as a Wolf, the sophomore netted two goals in an eight-minute span to put a stamp on things.

The first, in the 66th minute, came off of a penalty kick he drilled past the flailing goalie.

On the next, Derek Leyva reached up and plucked a ball sent half the length of the field air-mail-express-style by Spark, then slapped the ball into the back of the net.

Riding high off the opening-day win, the Wolves hit the road for their next three games, not returning to their new stadium until Mar. 24, when they host Klahowya.

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   Coupeville has a new stadium. We should name it in honor of the ol’ ball coach, Ron Bagby.

Coupeville High School football is in a bad place.

This is not meant as a criticism of any individual currently or previously involved in the program. But it is reality.

CHS Athletic Director Willie Smith is in the process of finding a new head coach, and that hire will be the third head coach in four years, and the fifth in the last nine seasons.

For next year’s seniors, guys like Matt Hilborn and Shane Losey, they will have spent most of their prep careers just trying to get comfortable with a coach, only to have him depart midway through the process.

The Wolves haven’t posted a winning record since they went 6-5 in 2005.

That’s 11 losing seasons in 12 years, with a 5-5 mark in 2014 the only mild bright spot.

But there is hope. Real hope.

Coupeville is not a school stuck in the midst of an epic losing skid. It is not Glascock County in Georgia, which lost 82 straight games from 1990-99.

The Wolves retain ownership of The Bucket, having drilled Island arch-rival South Whidbey in back-to-back seasons, and they have some very talented players set to return next fall.

Sean Toomey-Stout, AKA “The Torpedo,” was on his way to an All-Conference season on both sides of the ball as a sophomore before an injury against Vashon derailed him.

Ty Eck, a standout as a freshman, has returned to Cow Town after playing in Oak Harbor as a sophomore and Missouri as a junior, and is primed to have a stellar senior campaign.

Toss in Hilborn, Losey, Chris Battaglia, Andrew Martin, Dawson Houston, Ryan Labrador, Dane Lucero, Jake Pease and others, and the next CHS head coach will have plenty to work with.

But the program could use a boost, a feel-good injection, and I can think of three things to provide that.

Two are already in place, or will be.

A new coach, whether they come from the current staff or from outside the district, always provides new hope, even more so if they are someone who inspires confidence.

Willie Smith has pledged his next hire will be someone committed to CHS for the long-term, someone willing to put in not just the hours, but the years, to build the program from the ground floor.

Someone like second-year volleyball coach Cory Whitmore or first-year boys basketball coach Brad Sherman, who have both lit a fuse under their programs, and seem like they’re ready to prowl the prairie for decades.

The new football coach will start their season on the road Aug. 31 at Port Townsend, with their home debut set for Sept. 7 against Vashon Island.

That game will be the first football game played with Coupeville’s new stadium in place, which provides another jolt of energy.

Having much-larger stands, with a roof to block out the Whidbey rain and a press box to keep me snug as a bug (well, it’s important to me…), with that stadium on the same side as the parking lot, is HUGE.

And this is where I think CHS, its administration and its fans, should take advantage of the new stadium and use it to provide not one, but two, big jolts of energy to the Wolf football program.

It’s simple.

The field the Wolf gridiron giants, and soccer booters, and track and field throwers, play on, is named for Mickey Clark, a longtime local historian and all-around good guy.

It’s been that way for decades, and there is absolutely, positively, no reason to change it.


With a simple, but very powerful, gesture, we can do more.

When the Wolves take the field against Vashon, the man on the PA system, most likely the aforementioned Willie Smith, should welcome everyone to … “Ron Bagby Stadium at Mickey Clark Field.”


With one simple sentence, you honor Coupeville football’s past and you kick the future off in style.

Now, if you’re not from around here, you may be asking, “Who is this man they call Bags?”

He is Coupeville football.

Before our recent string of short-term coaches, Bagby prowled the sidelines for 26 seasons, until his retirement in 2009.

After showing up from the wilds of Forks, the man who once wore the shortest short-shorts since Larry Bird, a man who still owns records as a college football player, transformed the CHS program.

He led the Wolves to their only undefeated season in 1990, hosting a state playoff game at Mickey Clark Field with a squad boasting a 9-0 record.

Bags took numerous teams to the playoffs over the years, was in charge the last time the Wolves posted a winning record, and taught three decades worth of players how to never back down and never give in, regardless of the name on the jersey worn by the other team.

Plus, he coached track and boys basketball, where he remains the last guy to take that program to state (way back in ’88), and also did time as an Athletic Director.

While he currently declines the opportunity to coach, Bagby is still haunting Coupeville’s gyms and weight room as a teacher, which makes this even better.

It is always preferable to honor someone, to pay tribute to them for what they have accomplished and the lives they have affected, while they’re still around to blush.

You name the new stadium for Bags, hang a plaque, get wife Marie and his kids to force him to show up for a pre-game ceremony, and you make that first home game far more than just a game.

I have no doubt former players and coaches would pack the joint for that ceremony, which means we can create something similar to what happened when we did the 101-year anniversary event for boys basketball this winter.

The electricity, the joy, that flowed through our gym that night is like nothing I have ever experienced during my time covering sports here in Cow Town.

It was the past, the present and the future united, and it lit a spark under the Wolf boys basketball team like nobody’s business.

With the stands jammed, with the legends of the past transformed from names in old newsprint into living, breathing men reunited, the current Wolves fed off the energy and savaged Chimacum.

Beyond that one game, the experience continues to have an impact, and there is little doubt a similar night to honor CHS girls basketball will be on the docket for next season.

But, before we get there, we have this golden moment set for Sept. 7 — the start of a new home football season, the introduction of a new coach and a new team, and a shiny new stadium ready for the spotlight.

Bring back the greats of the past, from Ian Barron to Noah Roehl, from Casey Larson to Chad Gale and beyond, honor Bags, a man who made the Wolf football program feared and respected, and inspire the players of today.

It’s simple. It’s easy. It’s right.

“Ladies and gentlemen, and Wolf fans of all ages, welcome … to Ron Bagby Stadium at Mickey Clark Field.”

Just do it.


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   Sophomore Derek Leyva, who joins cousin Aram Leyva on the pitch, is Coupeville’s newest soccer star. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

There’s a new sharpshooter in town.

As the Coupeville High School boys soccer squad prepares for its home opener Saturday against 2A Olympic (11 AM JV, 1 PM varsity) there’s buzz over both the school’s new stadium, and its newest soccer star.

While local fans watched the stadium being slowly built, sophomore Derek Leyva is virtually popping up out of nowhere.

The cousin of current and former Wolf booters Aram and Abraham Leyva, Derek is still fairly new to the hallways of CHS.

But he’s not new to the soccer field, where his youth can’t disguise the years he’s put in perfecting his game.

“I’ve played since I was six years old,” Leyva said. “I started to play soccer because since I was a little boy I’ve liked it.

“I like soccer because I enjoy it and have fun.”

Leyva, who enjoys listening to music when he’s not playing, draws a lot of support from his family.

“My dad would have to be the biggest impact in my life,” he said.

On the pitch, Leyva will use his speed (“my strengths are running”) as he and Aram chase the goal-scoring records set by Abraham during his playing days.

The duo and their teammates also want to make a run at the top of the 1A Olympic League, with an eye on toppling three-time defending champs Klahowya.

“Some areas I’d like to work on would have to be making more goals,” Derek Leyva said. “My goal for this upcoming season is to make history.”

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