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Posts Tagged ‘Softball’

Coupeville grad Melia Welling is working towards joining the Air Force. (Photo courtesy Charlie Welling)

Celebrating graduation with mom. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Melia Welling is on the highway to success.

The 2020 Coupeville High School grad has smartly used her time in quarantine to prepare for the next step in life.

Welling, who was a team leader for a Wolf competitive cheer squad which finished 3rd at state her junior season, then went to nationals a year later, plans to join the United States Air Force.

She’s currently studying for the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, and created an individualized workout plan to condition herself ahead of her jump into a new life.

“My workout contains a lot of cardio and lots of endurance,” Welling said. “I have currently gone from an 11-minute mile to an eight-minute mile.”

She’s always been active, playing softball in high school as well as steadily rising in the cheerleader ranks.

The latter gave her a chance to compete alongside close friends like Ja’Tarya Hoskins and Marenna Rebischke-Smith, something she treasures.

“Looking back at high school, I always just kind of go back to sports,” Welling said. “I think about going to nationals with the rest of the CHS cheer team.

“It was an awesome way to end my senior year as a cheerleader.”

While her cousin and fellow CHS grad, Mitchell Losey, went into the Army, her decision to pursue military life has been a personal one.

“I always sort of knew I wanted to do something remotely close to the military because I like structure and having a plan,” Welling said.

“I have just had my mind set on it for a while, so I have just been pushing myself forward towards the military.”

Welling plans to use her time in the military to start a law enforcement career, and has high hopes for her future.

“Looking ahead, I am hoping to be making a difference not just in my life, but in others as well,” she said.

“I am hoping to learn a lot of different things while in the Air Force, and that is what I am mostly excited about.”

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Central Whidbey’s John Rachal fires the ball back in during a playoff game. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Celebrating during a run to the state tourney are (l to r) Madison McMillan, Allison Nastali, Chloe Marzocca, and Savina Wells. (Photo by Jackie Saia)

Central Whidbey Little League finds itself at a crossroads.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic prevented any games from being played this spring, and the future is hazy.

While CWLL is moving forward with the hope of returning its players to the diamond in 2021, a looming crisis involving a lack of volunteers could become a major issue.

Despite being the smallest league in the region, with 90-100 players, Central Whidbey is required to have the same compliment of board members and volunteers as bigger leagues.

North and South Whidbey, Anacortes, La Conner, Sedro-Woolley, and Burlington have larger parent bases to draw from, while CWLL has had to scramble to fill all of its positions in recent years.

That may get harder very soon, unless a new generation steps up.

“CWLL finds itself in a very challenging position,” said President Gordon McMillan. “Probably not unlike many other non-profits and youth organizations in these unique times.

“And we are facing another huge challenge; the majority of the current board and volunteers have children (or grandchildren in my case!) that are “aging out” of little league in the next year or so,” he added.

“We have very few volunteers that have younger kids playing; with no line of succession, it is clear, in my opinion, CWLL may very well not survive.”

If Central Whidbey is unable to fully staff up, its players might have to try and latch on with North or South Whidbey in the near future, something which could prove difficult – especially if those organizations decide they can’t handle the influx.

“This would be tragic,” McMillan said.

The league president would hate to see Coupeville’s ballfields sit silent.

“CWLL has by far the most beautiful setting,” McMillan said. “I like to call Rhody Park our “Field of Dreams.”

“Island County Parks have been very accommodating and generous in their support of CWLL and it should be duly noted. Rhody belongs to all of us … and the county should be recognized!”

Baseball and softball have a place deep in McMillan’s heart, a big part of the reason he and others have worked so hard to make CWLL the success it is today.

“Little League has touched so many of our lives, the vast majority in a positive manner, I believe,” he said.

“Not every child can play football or basketball, but I venture a guess that every child has picked up a ball, a bat, a glove, and played some sort of baseball/softball/Wiffle ball … neighborhood … sandlot … school PE … or little league.”

For McMillan, little league made an impact on his life, first as a player, then as a coach and official through two generations of his offspring.

“Little League has been a passion of mine since 1956, when I first “made the team” in North Vancouver, BC,” he said.

“I have coached three of my kids and one granddaughter (Madison) and only hope they have, or will have, the same warm and wonderful memories as I have, and look back someday, not remembering the wins and losses, but the fun, camaraderie, and life lessons

“Then, and only then, did we, as coaches, umpires, administrators, concession operators, field maintenance crews, score keepers, spectators, etc. do a good job!”

 

If you’d like to become a volunteer, or have any suggestions for CWLL officials as they navigate the waters ahead, contact McMillan at centralwhidbeyll@gmail.com.

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Kylie Van Velkinburgh (with a little help from Tupac) keeps things locked down at first base. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Heidi Meyers snuffs out a potential base hit.

Wolf coach Kevin McGranahan gets his swing on.

Jill Prince tracks an incoming throw.

Chelsea Prescott prepares to unleash a laser.

“Get in my glove, ball.”

Izzy Wells hauls in a long bomb.

“Try and run, fool, I dare you!”

The girls of spring are playing this fall.

Sort of.

While there won’t be any games, in any sport, for some time thanks to an ongoing pandemic, Coupeville athletes are being allowed to participate in practices right now.

Staying off to the side at a reasonable distance, intrepid photographer John Fisken visited a recent Wolf softball event, where he snapped the pics seen above.

 

To see everything he shot, pop over to:

https://www.johnsphotos.net/Sports/2020-10-07-CHS-BT-SB-Practice/

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The ever-irrepressible Ally Roberts is the seventh member of her extended family inducted into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.com)

Also inducted today – older sister Madeline, a true one-of-a-kind star on the softball diamond.

At this rate, we might want to think about adding a Sandy Roberts wing to the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

The man himself is already well-established in our lil’ digital hall of wonders, inducted for his stellar work as both a Wolf athlete and coach.

Toss in two sons (Jon and Jay Roberts), a daughter-in-law (Sherry (Bonacci) Roberts) and, as of today, three grandchildren (Lindsey, Madeline, and Ally Roberts) also camping out there, and the family is well-represented.

While we wait for the construction of that wing, though, we have a bit of business to take care of, and that’s the induction of grandchildren #2 and #3, sisters Madeline and Ally.

They went their own ways when it came to choosing their athletic pursuits, but they were similar in always shining brightly in whatever arena they participated.

Madeline made her name on the softball field, a slap-hitting speedster who anchored the top of the lineup for the CHS softball squad.

A four-year letter winner, she was a First-Team All-League pick at shortstop during her senior season in 2014, a time when Coupeville faced off with big bads like Archbishop Thomas Murphy and Lakewood in the 1A/2A Cascade Conference.

That was the season the Wolves shocked folks by putting together a late-season run which carried them all the way to Eastern Washington for the state tournament, their first return trip to the big dance in a decade-plus.

In addition to All-League honors, Madeline ran away with the team award for Best Offense when Wolf coaches David and Amy King held their annual season-ending shindig.

Not content with merely being a high school standout, Mad Dog made the jump to college ball, as well, and with a twist.

She played two seasons on the diamond for Shoreline Community College, facing off a few times against former CHS teammate Hailey Hammer, who did her college time at Everett Community College.

But Madeline also surprised everyone when, after not playing basketball in high school, she opted to play a campaign with Shoreline’s hoops squad, acquitting herself quite nicely.

Her younger, but ultimately taller, sister was also a multi-sport athlete, juggling the equestrian world with volleyball.

On the court, Rally Ally was a ferocious hitter, ripping off knee-quaking spikes and flinging her body to the floor with wild abandon to save wayward shots.

Playing for the Wolves during a time of transition, when several coaches moved through the system, Ally saw her role change often, but she always adapted and never stopped fighting during every second she was given on the floor.

When she wasn’t in the gym, Lisa Edlin’s youngest daughter could usually be found astride a horse, winning medals and ribbons while tearing up the rodeo circuit.

It was a sport which carried Ally through both high school and college, where she was the captain of Western Washington University’s equestrian team.

She won a regional championship in Advanced Western Horsemanship in what turned out to be her final time in the saddle, before being denied a crack at nationals when COVID-19 shut down college sports.

That disappointment, while sad in the moment, will ultimately be just a small footnote for Ally, who like her big sis, has much more ahead of her left to accomplish.

As they move forward, they’ll also hang around, joining their family members under the Legends tab at the top of the blog.

They were stars during their school days — two bright, shining supernovas full of talent and skill who added bold new chapters to the tale of one of Coupeville’s most-successful athletic families.

Out in the real world, Madeline and Ally will be equally unstoppable. Of that, I have no doubt.

And when they do hit it big? We can say we knew them back when.

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Whidbey Island Little League fields will remain quiet.

North Whidbey Little League announced Wednesday it was cancelling its fall ball season due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

That follows on the heels of South Whidbey Little League cancelling its Summer Sandlot series.

Both moves come after Island County Commissioners voted to “restrict outdoor recreation events including sports in Island County to no more than 10 participants.”

That ruling went into effect July 28.

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