Posts Tagged ‘Sofia Peters’

CHS seniors (l to r) Maya Lucero, Gwen Gustafson, Melanie Navarro, Sofia Peters, and Allie Lucero join coach Kevin McGranahan on their prairie field of dreams. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Sports are weird sometimes.

Take this spring, where a winless Concrete baseball team is playoff eligible, while the Coupeville High School softball squad is not.

The Wolf sluggers can finish 14-6 with a win in their season finale against South Whidbey — a team they beat 20-2 the first time around.

But they won’t go to the postseason, because only one 2B softball program advances from District 1, and, this year, that’s Friday Harbor, thanks to a pair of one-run victories over CHS.

Meanwhile, all four 1B schools in the Northwest 2B/1B League make the baseball playoffs, regardless of record.

That’s because a much-larger pool of 1B schools in our district and District 2 makes it possible for a full-scale, 12-team bi-district tourney to be played.

A Wolf softball team which was truly dominant at times, a squad which held its own with big-timers like Forks, Onalaska, and Meridian, stays home.

While Concrete baseball, which is 0-14 and forfeited three games this season, may take the field this Saturday to face Pope John Paul II in a playoff rumble.

Emphasis on may, as two of those forfeits came in Concrete’s final two games.

Sports are weird sometimes.

But we’re not here to disparage the Lions. They are building for the future, and anything can happen in the playoffs.

Case in point, the 2011 edition of the Coupeville Wolves, who had six freshmen in the lineup while going 0-17 as the only 1A school playing softball in the 1A/2A Cascade Conference.

That team shocked the world in the playoffs, however, eliminating Meridian 5-1 behind Alexis Trumbull, Bessie Walstad, and Breeanna Messner.

Coached by Jackie (Calkins) Saia, mom of current Wolf freshman phenom Teagan Calkins, that squad launched the rebirth of Wolf softball, and now the program is a consistent winner, year in, year out.

So good luck, Concrete baseball — if you take the field Saturday — and go open a can of whup ass on the private school dandies.

But this blog isn’t called the Concrete Clarion, so let’s swing the focus back to Cow Town.

Coming off of an emotional 3-2 loss in extra innings Thursday at Friday Harbor, the Wolves mood probably resembles the weather outside – gray and gloomy.

But it shouldn’t. At least not completely.

As one fan said, “There’s always next year!” and it’s true, the Wolf roster is chock full of star players with multiple years left to play.

Madison McMillan, Mia Farris, Taylor Brotemarkle, Jada Heaton, and Chloe Marzocca? All sophomores.

Calkins, the team’s starting catcher and leadoff hitter, has three years left, while Haylee Armstrong, who lashed a laser of a triple against the Wolverines?

She just an 8th grader, which means she’s been launching moon shots and chasing down balls in the outfield while still attending middle school classes.

Those core players, and others, should have many more chances to conduct group sing-a-longs on the prairie after wins in the future.

But, for Coupeville’s five seniors — Melanie Navarro, Allie Lucero, Sofia Peters, Maya Lucero, and Gwen Gustafson — next week’s clash with South Whidbey marks their final moments in a Wolf jersey.

They are an amazingly resilient bunch of young women, bright, outgoing, dedicated — and we can’t put enough emphasis on that last word.

These five are the last group which took a hit when the world shut down over the pandemic.

Just as they were about to make the jump from little league to high school games, Covid-19 restrictions erased all spring sports in 2020.

When they returned as sophomores, games were played again, but only against league rivals, which limited Coupeville to 12 games, instead of the normal 20, with no playoffs.

It wasn’t until their junior campaign that the Wolves played a full schedule, and, through no fault of their own, the seniors exit having played just 2.5 of the four, or five, seasons many others are given.

Through it all, they remained dedicated.

They found ways to work on their skills when government officials shoved them apart, and they proudly returned to the prairie diamond the first chance they got.

With one game left to play, this five-pack has led Wolf softball to a 41-9 record in their time on the field, a superior winning percentage in any world.

They are a group, and yet each one brings a unique skill set to the game.

Navarro, beloved by CHS football coaches for her stellar four-year run as that team’s manager, brings power to each swing, sending tremors down the spine of rival pitchers as she blasts home runs over far-flung fences.

Seeing her team pour out of the dugout to swarm Melanie after each tater, while her parents proudly beam from behind the fence, has been one of the true feel-good stories of this school year.

Gustafson, the third Wolf from her family I have written about, after older siblings Amanda Fabrizi and Clay Reilly, remains as happy an athlete as any I have witnessed.

Her smile carrying from one end of the prairie to the other, Gwen truly seems to enjoy every moment she is given on a court or diamond, an admirable trait.

Peters, the daughter of a coach, like Gustafson and the Lucero twins, is a two-way winner.

She can lash hits and knock down grounders and has shown an ability to pass on her knowledge to the next generation, joining dad Mike in guiding little league girls who will one day inherit her place on the CHS diamond.

A few years down the road, there will be a young woman who delivers a tear-stained Senior Night farewell in which she thanks Sofia for being her inspiration, and the circle will be complete.

And then there are the Lucero twins, who, at times seem interchangeable (thank heavens for uniform numbers…), and yet emerge as very distinct the longer I watch them play.

I mean, Allie throws and hits left-handed while Maya operates from the right side, so there’s that.

But they also have their own styles, in how they approach their time in the pitcher’s circle and at the plate, while sharing a quiet passion installed in them by being part of a diamond-mad family.

With no disrespect to the first three, it is the Lucero twins who I see as the heart and soul of this squad.

These five young women have dealt with world-shaking events and emerged stronger for it.

I have no doubt they wanted to end their runs in the playoffs — you could see that on their faces, and in the effort given.

But when they exit after next week’s finale in Langley, they should do so with heads held high.

Melanie, Maya, Gwen, Sofia, and Allie will always be remembered as one thing — winners, pure and simple.

Down the road, as they pursue excellence in other parts of their lives, they may return to the prairie diamond they once ruled.

When they do so, let them walk with pride. They earned it.

Once more, with feeling.

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Sofia Peters is ready for her senior year at Coupeville High School. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

“I’m so glad I got to grow up in an amazing school.”

When fall arrives, Sofia Peters and her fellow seniors in the Coupeville Class of 2023 will kick off their final run as high schoolers.

The annual countdown towards graduation — with big events like Homecoming, prom, and awards night scattered along the way — stretches out over nine months yet will likely seem like it’s flying by for students and parents.

For Peters, who has attended Coupeville schools since kindergarten, enjoying the time left and thanking those who have helped guide her along the path is huge.

“Something that the general public doesn’t know about me is how much I really love being a student at CHS,” Peters said. “It has given me so many amazing opportunities.

“I’ve had such a great support system and so many people who made an impact on me,” she added.

That has ranged from parents Mike and Paula Peters to CHS teachers and administration.

“My parents have always believed in me and always had my back,” Sofia said.

“And (Dean of Students) Tom Black and (teacher) Kyle Nelson — those are both people who really made school feel like a safe space.

“They always believed in me and helped me realize I didn’t need to always be so serious in school or in class.”

Peters has been a standout in both academics and athletics, earning induction into the National Honor Society and swinging a lively bat while playing second-base for the high-flying Wolf softball team.

Her freshman diamond season was swept away by the pandemic, but she stayed true to her sports calling, helping Coupeville go 12-0 and 16-3 the past two seasons.

“I hit, son. It’s my thing.”

Peters showed off a slick glove while playing in the infield and often raked at the plate.

Her best day as a junior was a five-hit performance against Sultan, with two of the base-knocks going for extra-bases.

Peters actually has pulled double duty on the diamond recently, working as a volunteer coach with Central Whidbey Little League softball teams while continuing her own playing career.

She’s following in the footsteps of her parents, both of whom have devoted countless hours to helping CWLL thrive.

“Something that drew me to help coaching was that it gave me more experience with kids, and I could see and learn how to help them,” Peters said.

The Wolf senior hopes to attend college in California, with an eye on earning a degree in elementary education.

“Some positives I’ve gotten while coaching would have to be watching the players grow and develop their softball skills,” Peters said.

“A lot of the players who I’ve helped coach hadn’t ever played before and watching them grow has been a great experience for me.”

As she looks ahead to her senior year, Peters has clear goals in mind.

“I would most like to accomplish keeping my grades up and staying strong all the way through the end,” she said.

“When I leave CHS I hope people will remember how much I’ve grown throughout school. Like how I was when I was a freshman compared to how I am as a senior.”

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Senior Audrianna Shaw slammed a home run Thursday, part of a 27-hit, 22-run performance for Coupeville. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Another day, another win over a bigger school.

Bringing out the extra-hot bats Thursday, the Coupeville High School varsity softball squad crushed host Sultan 22-0 in a game mercy-ruled after five innings.

The non-conference win lifts the Wolves to 8-1 on the season, and they’ll carry a seven-game winning streak to La Conner Friday afternoon.

Intent on returning to the state tourney after Covid erased two years of potential postseason play, Coupeville has filled its non-league schedule with schools from higher classifications.

And it’s paid off, as the 2B Wolves are 4-1 against 1A schools this season, with just a narrow loss to traditional power Lynden Christian.

Still ahead are non-conference tilts with 3A Oak Harbor, 2A Lakewood, and 1A Meridian.

Thursday’s rumble with Sultan, pushed back a few days by bad weather, was bombs away for the Wolves.

Coupeville crunched a season-high 27 hits, with 12 of those base-knocks going for more than one base.

And to be truthful, there could have been more extra-base hits, had Kevin McGranahan’s squad not pulled back in the later going, trying to soften the defeat.

Sultan, a plucky team, did scratch out two hits and a walk off of Wolf ace Izzy Wells, but otherwise she was pouring straight heat on a cold day, whiffing 10 and keeping the Turks at bay.

Wells got some help as well, with her fielders playing error-free ball behind her.

Maya Lucero doin’ what she does — destroying pitcher’s dreams with each swing.

Coupeville put the game away early, erupting for eight runs in the top of the first, all with two outs.

With runners at the corners, Sultan had a chance to escape, only to see the Wolves smash six consecutive hits.

It started with Madison McMillan bashing a two-run single to left, before Sofia Peters zipped a hit off of the pitcher’s ankle.

That brought the Lucero twins to the plate, with both Maya and Allie launching run-scoring doubles, before things got really intense.

Melanie Navarro crushed the life out of the softball for an RBI triple, which made Audrianna Shaw nod and whisper, “I got this” before socking a two-run inside-the-park home run.

Sultan was set back on its heels, and never recovered, as Coupeville continued to pepper the ball, adding another four runs in the second and five in the third.

From there the Wolves pushed across four in the fourth and a solitary run in the top of the fifth, while doing their best to ease the Turk pain.

In the late going, Coupeville worked on its bunting, tried to go just station-to-station, and even had a couple players who don’t normally hit left-handed do just that.

Nine of 10 Wolves to see action collected at least one base-knock, with second-baseman Sofia Peters leading the way with a varsity career-best five-hit performance.

Now it’s off to La Conner Friday, where the Northwest 2B/1B League rivals are scheduled to play a doubleheader.

In a twist, while both games count in the overall standings, only the first game counts as a league game.

While some NWL teams are playing each other twice this season, others are clashing three times, with only the first two meetings recognized as league contests.

Coupeville already beat La Conner 18-0 in game #1 of their season series.


Thursday stats:

Violette Huegerich — 1 single, 1 walk
Allie Lucero — 1 single, 1 double, 1 walk
Maya Lucero — 2 singles, 2 doubles
Madison McMillan — 3 singles, 1 double, 1 walk
Melanie Navarro — 1 double, 1 triple
Sofia Peters — 3 singles, 2 doubles
Audrianna Shaw — 1 single, 1 double, 1 home run, 1 walk
Izzy Wells — 1 single, 2 doubles
Savina Wells — 2 singles, 1 triple

“So many runs. So many hits. My fingers are cramping … and I like it!!”

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Sofia and Mike Peters have formed a strong daughter/father coaching duo this season. (Photo courtesy Paula Peters)

Like father, like daughter.

As the Central Whidbey Little League minors softball squad has progressed this season — it started with only four girls with prior experience, yet has earned a trip to state — a unique coaching experience has played out.

The team’s coaching staff includes a father/daughter combo, with Mike and Sofia Peters working together to help shape the future of Coupeville’s diamond dandies.

The duo have worked together before, but in coach-player mode, with Mike helping shepherd Sofia and her teammates from rookie ball through juniors.

Now that his daughter is a high school player — she was a sophomore on this year’s CHS squad, which went a pristine 12-0 in Northwest 2B/1B League play — the relationship is different, yet still just as close.

“We still talk the game all the time,” Mike Peters said. “When coaching Sofia, it was more sharing the knowledge and guiding her to help herself and the team.

“Coaching with Sofia is more of a collaboration,” he added. “I enjoy listening to some of my phrases I used when I coached her, that she now tells her players.”

Coming off her first season on the high school diamond — the pandemic cancelled her freshman campaign — Sofia Peters has adapted quickly to the other side of the coach/player relationship.

It’s a natural progression for her as she follows in her father’s footsteps, and one she would like to continue.

“I love softball and I really want to go to college to be an elementary school teacher,” she said. “So I thought coaching young softball players would be a really good way for me to be involved with both.

“I’m definitely going to coach again, whether it’s after, or during my own playing career,” Sofia added. “This was so fun and I really loved being out there coaching, and helping the girls learn and succeed.”

As the CHS junior-to-be has adapted to the role, it’s made for a lot of proud papa moments.

“Watching Sofia teach other players,” has been the best part for Mike Peters as the season has progressed.

“She actually takes the time with each player, no matter their playing level,” he added.

Seeing younger players make the same progress which she has shown on the diamond is huge, Sofia Peters said.

“The best part of coaching for me has been two things. One being seeing how the girls have developed and changed from our very first practice till now.

“And two is when a player gets excited because they finally did the thing they have been working on doing,” she added. “That can be anywhere from pitching a perfect strike to remembering to creep in the infield.”

As her first season as a coach nears its end, Sofia Peters is aglow with her player’s successes, and wants her young charges to depart with more softball knowledge than they had when they arrived at the first practice.

“Honestly, I hope they learn literally anything from me,” she said. “It could be something to do with actually playing or just about life in general.

“But, if I had to be specific it would be that practicing how you play really matters.”

Coaching has given Sofia Peters a different view of the game, allowing her to better appreciate what her dad and other coaches have tried to teach her.

“There are a few differences in coaching with my dad than playing for him, but the main one that comes to mind is when I was playing for him he always told me what to do,” she said. “And told me how I should play.

“But coaching with him, that’s what he wants me to do for the girls. He wants me to be a role model and he wants me to teach them what he taught me.”

The CWLL minors squad has benefited from a deep coaching bench this season, led by Aaron Lucero and Lark Gustafson.

Sofia Peters, Ana Valencia, and Scott Maynes have also helped, with Mike Peters stepping in to help as the team heads to state.

Lucero has a prior commitment which will prevent him from accompanying his team to Auburn for the big dance, but he’s left the team in capable hands.

For Mike Peters, the goal is to continue building on what has already been accomplished.

“With a young team, to move forward in team sports it is a combination of coaching and girls who want to learn,” he said. “Aaron creates a program that is easy to follow and learn from.

“It is a consistent program. His motto is “the little things,” Mike Peters added. “The girls for the most are growing from that.

“(We just want to) play our game. Minimize little league mistakes as we call it. Make the other team beat you. Just don’t make it easy for the other team.

“Biggest message I can give the team — enjoy the moment.”

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Sofia Peters is part of a pack of very-promising athletes moving up to Coupeville High School this fall. (Photo courtesy Peters)

Sofia Peters is not afraid of new challenges.

Throughout her middle school days, the Coupeville 8th grader has happily tackled a wide range of activities, playing softball and volleyball, along with participating in glee club and theater.

In everything she does, Peters has shown a willingness to embrace the spotlight, whether as a hard-hitting diamond warrior or in the multiple times she’s played a lead role during her six-year theater career.

Now, as she prepares to move up to high school this fall, she’s ready to add yet another accomplishment to her resume, swapping volleyball for cheer.

Peters has set solid goals for her high school career, aiming to make varsity softball by her sophomore year and varsity cheer by her junior season.

While she’s looking forward to both of her sports, her new one and her old one, she can’t deny softball has her heart.

“Softball is my favorite sport because I am a very competitive player and I have been playing with my friends for about four years,” Peters said. “They are my softball family and I would never trade that for anything.”

She credits her dad, Mike, who has been one of her coaches for her entire run on the diamond, with helping her reach her potential.

While playing for the Central Whidbey Little League Juniors team this season, Peters thumped the ball aggressively, helping the Wolves cruise to a 13-1 record.

She was one of the team’s most-productive power hitters, splashing doubles to all fields, while also cracking a home run in one rumble.

“Some things I enjoy about being an athlete would have to be playing games and being the best self I can be,” Peters said. “Playing with my team is like playing with a pack full of wolves.

“We are pumped, fast, and ready to make our way to the top no matter what stands in our way.”

Peters picks her hitting, fielding, and all-around hustle as positives in her game, though, like all athletes, she knows there’s always room to improve.

“One area I would like to work on is (keeping) my head in the game,” she said. “Sometimes I would be 100% focused, but, sometimes I get completely distracted.”

Helping her stay focused and continue to work are her teammates, a band of young women with whom she has grown up playing ball, and her large support crew.

“One other group of people who impacted me would have to be my school and my friends,” Peters said. “A lot of my teachers know about my softball team, and then my friends who are not playing with me come out and see me play.

“It motivates me to do the very best I can.”

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