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Posts Tagged ‘spring sports’

Out of 10 Wolf track stars to compete at the 2019 state meet, Ja’Kenya Hoskins is the only one still at CHS in 2021. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Chelsea Prescott is one of five current Wolf softball sluggers who was on the varsity squad when Coupeville last played — at the state tourney May 24, 2019.

650 days.

That’s the gap between May 25, 2019 and March 4, 2021.

The first date is the last time a Coupeville High School spring sports team competed, and the second is the day the Wolf track team is scheduled to host a season-opening meet, signaling the return from the COVID-19 shutdown.

Spring sports were the first major casualty when the pandemic shut down schools in 2020.

Instead of a swan song for Wolf stars such as Scout Smith, Emma Mathusek, and the Toomey-Stout twins, Maya and Sean, fields and ovals remained silent.

While fall and winter sports have not been played in their traditional spots this school year, the hope is that spring 2020 will be the only truly empty season.

Coupeville, and its new mates in the Northwest 2B/1B League, started practice Monday, and spring sports are scheduled to run, with pared-down schedules, from February 22 to April 3.

Fall sports will go from March 29 to May 8, with winter sports expected to cap the 2020-2021 school year from May 3 to June 12.

By the time fall 2021 rolls around, will we be back to “normal?”

No one knows for sure, and, if they tell you they do, they don’t.

But, hope is back, as, masks in place, Wolf athletes return to Coupeville’s ballfields, tennis courts, and track ovals.

Way back on the weekend of May 24-25, 2019, CHS was having a pretty dang good time, with its softball and track teams competing at the state championships.

The diamond dandies, making their third trip to the big dance in 41 years of competition, put together the second-best showing in program history.

The Wolves put up a strong fight against eventual state champ Montensano, came back to thrash highly-rated Deer Park, then fell in a donnybrook with Cle Elum, a play shy of advancing to day two of the tourney.

Nine Wolves collected a hit at state, with 13 girls seeing action.

Mathusek paced the squad with six base-knocks, including three doubles, with Sarah Wright (5), Chloe Wheeler (4), Smith (4), Veronica Crownover (3), Chelsea Prescott (3), Mollie Bailey (2), Nicole Laxton (1), and Coral Caveness (1) all collecting hits.

Izzy Wells, Audrianna Shaw, Mackenzie Davis, and Marenna Rebischke-Smith also played for the Wolves.

Five of those 13 are still eligible nearly two years later, with Prescott, Bailey, and Caveness now seniors, while Wells and Shaw are juniors.

While CHS softball was rockin’ in Richland, Wolf track stars were shining in Cheney.

Coupeville’s Danny Conlisk won state titles in the 200 and 400, just missing the trifecta when he finished second in the 100.

Smashing school records in both of his winning events, the then-senior became just the fifth Wolf to win multiple titles in the same season, joining Natasha Bamberger, Jon Chittim, Kyle King, and Tyler King.

Coupeville also claimed a 2nd in the 400 (Mallory Kortuem), a 3rd in the 100 Hurdles (Lindsey Roberts), and a 3rd in the 4 x 200 relay (Ja’Kenya Hoskins, Maya Toomey-Stout, Roberts, and Kortuem).

Roberts, after taking home three state meet medals in her senior campaign, closed her stellar prep career with eight, the most of any girl in program history.

Of the 10 Wolves who competed in Cheney in the spring of 2019, only one remains at CHS.

Ja’Kenya Hoskins was just a freshman that season, and the upcoming March 4 meet will officially kick off her junior year.

With no state tourney planned for 2021, though, she will have to wait until 2022 for a possible return to Cheney.

Coupeville’s other three spring sports teams fell short of state in 2019, but all had big moments along the way.

The Wolf girls tennis team wrapped things May 14, when then-juniors Avalon Renninger and Tia Wurzrainer were eliminated at the bi-district tourney.

The deadly duo were early favorites to nab a bid to state in 2020, but the pandemic had other ideas.

Wolf baseball closed its season May 4, a 3-2 loss at bi-districts to Overlake the final game (it turned out) for coach Chris Smith.

Coupeville had opened the season with a somewhat-deceptive 0-12 mark, as its hardball squad was a run here, a run there from being above .500.

Things finally clicked into place late in the season, when the Wolves stormed to seven straight wins, including handing arch-rival South Whidbey the loss which prevented the Falcons from earning a league title.

Two starters from the team are still around in 2021, with Daniel Olson now a senior, and Hawthorne Wolfe a junior.

The final CHS spring sports team in ’19 was boys soccer. With the move to 2B, that program now plays during the traditional fall season.

Two years ago, the Wolf booters saw their season also end May 4, after suffering a 3-1 district playoff loss to Meridian.

Coupeville hung tough against the #1 seed from the Northwest Conference, though, especially since injuries had decimated the Wolves.

Players responsible for scoring 31 of the team’s 34 goals were sidelined against Meridian, while starting goalie Dewitt Cole was also unable to play.

The lone Wolf to hit the back of the net against Meridian that day was then-freshman Xavier Murdy, and he’s one of three goal scorers from the 2019 squad who could return in 2021.

Sage Downes and Tony Garcia are also still at CHS.

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Softball sluggers (l to r) Izzy Wells, Audrianna Shaw, and Coral Caveness are heading back to the diamond. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It’s happening.

Barring any further twists or turns in the Age of Coronavirus, Coupeville High School athletes begin spring sports this coming Monday, February 22.

The first games in a shortened season are set to begin March 4, with play ending April 3.

The last time a CHS sports team competed was Feb. 11, 2020, when the Wolf girls basketball team faced Meridian in a season-ending playoff tilt.

Several weeks later, COVID-19 shut down all Washington state schools, and spring sports were eventually cancelled.

Coupeville, and its new mates in the Northwest 2B/1B League are opening with spring sports, which are all played outdoors, with hopes of then moving to fall (March 29-May 8) and winter (May 3-June 12) seasons.

With the shortened time frame, there is some small overlap with practices for the next season beginning during the last week of the preceding season.

All CHS games will be against league foes, and, in most cases, there won’t be any sort of playoffs this school year.

One early exception to that, however, is track and field, which has a league championship meet scheduled for April 3 in Coupeville.

Looking at the schedule as it sits, Wolf softball has the most games, with 12, followed by baseball (10), girls tennis (6), and track (6).

Baseball and softball both have a pair of doubleheaders, while tennis has just one opponent — Friday Harbor — as none of the other NWL teams field a net squad.

As probably goes without saying at this point, things can and may change.

To stay on top of schedules, check out:

 

School: Calendar – Coupeville School District

League: Northwest 2B/1B Athletics, Northwest 2B/1B Home Page (nw1a2bathletics.com)

 

BASEBALL:

Sat-Mar. 6 — Friday Harbor — (11:00)
Fri-Mar. 12 — La Conner — (DH) — (3:00/4:45)
Tues-Mar. 16 — @ Darrington — (4:00)
Tues-Mar. 23 — @ Orcas Island — (3:00)
Fri-Mar. 26 — Concrete — (4:00)
Tues-Mar. 30 — Mount Vernon Christian — (4:00)
Fri-Apr. 2 — @ Friday Harbor — (DH) — (4:00/5:30)
Sat-Apr. 3 — @ La Conner — (4:00)

 

GIRLS TENNIS:

Sat-Mar. 6 — Friday Harbor — (11:00)
Wed-Mar. 10 — @ Friday Harbor — (4:00)
Wed-Mar. 17 — Friday Harbor — (3:30)
Mon-Mar. 22 — @ Friday Harbor — (4:00)
Fri-Mar. 26 — Friday Harbor — (3:30)
Fri-Apr. 2 — @ Friday Harbor — (4:00)

 

SOFTBALL:

Sat-Mar. 6 — Friday Harbor — (11:00)
Fri-Mar. 12 — La Conner — (DH) — (3:00/4:45)
Sat-Mar. 13 — Orcas Island — (11:30)
Tues-Mar. 16 — @ Darrington — (4:00)
Sat-Mar. 20 — @ Concrete — (TBD)
Tues-Mar. 23 — @ Orcas Island — (DH) — (3:00/4:45)
Fri-Mar. 26 — Concrete — (4:00)
Sat-Mar. 27 — Darrington — (1:00)
Fri-Apr. 2 — @ Friday Harbor — (4:00)
Sat-Apr. 3 — @ La Conner — (4:00)

 

TRACK:

Thur-Mar. 4 — HOME meet — (3:30)
Fri-Mar. 12 — @ Lummi — (3:30)
Thur-Mar. 18 — @ La Conner — (3:30)
Thur-Mar. 25 — @ Mount Vernon Christian — (3:30)
Wed-Mar. 31 — @ La Conner — (3:30)
Sat-Apr. 3 — Northwest 2B/1B League meet @ HOME — (11:30)

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Coupeville High School athletes such as Logan Martin (right) can return to action February 22 — a year-plus after COVID-19 shut down prep sports. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Sports are returning to Coupeville High School.

Thursday afternoon, on the one-year anniversary of the last time a CHS team played a game, Washington state Governor Jay Inslee announced five regions will move to Phase 2 next week in his reopening plan.

That includes the North region, which mashes Island County together with Whatcom, Skagit, and San Juan.

With that move, which goes into effect Monday, Feb. 15, all seven schools in the Northwest 2B/1B League will be eligible to play athletic contests.

The NWL plans to start with spring sports — track and field, baseball, softball, and girls tennis — Feb. 22.

A six-week season will run through April 3, with fall (March 29 to May 8) and winter (May 3 to June 12) sports scheduled to follow.

Fall sports for CHS are football, volleyball, girls and boys soccer, cross country, and boys tennis, while basketball traditionally plays in the winter.

NWL Athletic Directors are working on scheduling and transportation, and expect to release schedules for spring sports next week.

At the same time, they will also address whether fans will be allowed at games.

Under current State Department of Health guidelines, athletes in all four spring sports will be required to wear masks while playing.

Cross country and gymnastics are the only sports where athletes are currently allowed to go mask-less while competing, with harriers allowed to drop masks after leaving the starting line.

Inslee’s decision to advance five regions forward means seven of the state’s eight regions will be in Phase 2 as of Feb. 15.

The only region which will remain in Phase 1 is the South Central one, which encompasses Yakima, Kittitas, Benton, Franklin, Walla Walla, and Columbia counties.

To advance, a region needed to meet metrics showing a decreasing trend in COVID-19 case rates, coronavirus hospital admission rates, ICU occupancy, and positive tests for the virus.

As a state, Washington averaged 2,894 new cases per day as of Jan. 8.

That dropped to 1,327 new cases per day as of Jan. 30, according to figures from the State Department of Health.

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Shelton High School honored senior spring athletes in a unique way.

How do you honor a lost season?

The COVID-19 pandemic erased spring sports for high school and middle school athletes in Washington state, bringing a halt to things before a game was played.

Now, some schools are choosing to go ahead and still hand out athletic letters, even in the absence of competition.

A recent Skagit Valley Herald story by Vince Richardson found Burlington-Edison is awarding letters to all senior spring athletes.

Meanwhile, La Conner will letter athletes in grades 9-12 if they fully complete a six-week training program set up by their coaches.

Go further down the road and you’ll end up in Shelton.

Back in the late ’80s, when I was a shaggy-haired Tumwater tennis player, the Highclimbers were one of our biggest rivals in the old-school Black Hills League.

These days, Shelton’s Athletic Department is bidding for all the internet fame after posting a video in which senior athletes who would have been four-year lettermen get their moment in the quarantine spotlight.

 

 

No word yet on whether Coupeville AD Willie Smith will accept my challenge – liberate a golf cart, get a pair of long, retractable grabbers, then go door-to-door doing something similar, while never actually leaving the cart. 

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Wolf coaches (left to right, top to bottom) Michael Barenburg, Elizabeth Bitting, Drake Borden, Reese Cernick, Mike Etzell, Jon Gabelein, Lark Gustafson, Matt Hilborn, Steve Hilborn.

Lincoln Kelley, Randy King, Aaron Lucero, Bob Martin, Justine McGranahan, Kevin McGranahan, Kyle Nelson, Jaylen Nitta.

Bryce Payne (black hoodie), Neil Rixe, Luke Samford, Chris Smith, Ken Stange, Will Thayer, James Vidoni, Robert Wood, Ron Wright.

They can’t win on the field this spring, but they can win in the digital arena.

The COVID-19 pandemic shut down spring sports right as games were about to begin, leaving every Coupeville team, high school and middle school, sitting at a permanent 0-0.

But, as long as the blog is running, we can take every Wolf coach, set their fan bases at war, and sit back and watch the sweet, sweet page hits reign down.

And the votes, of course, since that will determine which spring coach is the coachiest coach of them all.

It’s simple.

There are 26 coaches, and we’re including those with paid gigs as well as volunteers, while hopefully not leaving anyone out.

You get 50 hours to vote as many times as your little heart desires, with the poll starting Saturday, April 18 at 3 PM and finishing Monday, April 20 at 5 PM.

The prize for the winner? A brief burst of internet fame and a warm glow in their chest.

Let the madness commence.

 

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