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Dominic Coffman (left) and Jonathan Valenzuela could be celebrating again, if our computer overlords are correct. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Make it so.

Our computer overlords have spoken, and they have an early fondness for Coupeville High School boys’ basketball.

Evan Rankings went down to the basement, fired up its seer of seers, Newman, asked the computer to spit out which teams it projects to make the 2023 state tournament fields, and the Wolves made the list.

Now, not a single game has been played, with practice having only just started, something website guru Matt Evans acknowledges.

Plus, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association has yet to officially release state allocations for each district, so there could be some movement on how many spots are available in each area.

But worry not about that.

Evans and Newman are “experimenting with an algorithm to see how well the computer can use some data from the previous season along with returning player data to see if it can project success.”

Or, as the human in the room sagely says, “If this works, cool. If not, whatever.”

At any case, we can all come back in late February to see how the projections held up.

Newman’s projected state tourney fields:

 

2B boys:

 

District 1 (one projected berth):

Coupeville

 

District 4 (six projected berths):

Adna
Chief Leschi
Ilwaco
Kalama
Morton/White Pass
Wahkiakum

 

District 5 (four projected berths):

Cle Elum/Roslyn
Columbia (Burbank)
Tri-Cities Prep
White Swan

 

District 6 (two projected berths):

Brewster
Lake Roosevelt

 

District 7 (three projected berths):

Colfax
Davenport
Liberty (Spangle)

 

2B girls:

 

District 1 (one projected berth):

La Conner

 

District 4 (six projected berths):

Adna
Chief Leschi
Onalaska
Rainier
Raymond
Wahkiakum

 

District 5 (four projected berths):

Granger
Mabton
Tri-Cities Prep
Warden

 

District 6 (two projected berths):

Lake Roosevelt
Okanogan

 

District 7 (three projected berths):

Colfax
Liberty (Spangle)
St. George’s

 

P.S. — On the 1B side of things, Districts 1, 2, and 3 combine in the postseason and are projected to net six state slots for the boys and five for the girls.

Newman likes three of Coupeville’s Northwest 2B/1B League rivals to make the big dance — both Mount Vernon Christian teams and the Orcas Island boys.

 

To see Newman’s complete projections, pop over to:

https://evansrankings.wordpress.com/2022/11/16/ers-way-too-early-2023-wiaa-prep-basketball-tournament-fields/

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Coupeville football is one of nine NWL fall sports teams still chasing state title dreams. (Bailey Thule photo)

Support your school, but also support your league.

While most of the readers of this blog want Coupeville High School sports teams to whomp on their rivals, there is some small satisfaction in seeing fellow Northwest 2B/1B League schools do well when they play outsiders.

Listen, all the titles should be hanging in the CHS gym, end of story.

But, if they can’t, when La Conner wins a state volleyball crown, or Orcas Island captures a boys soccer title, or Mount Vernon Christian girls’ basketball rules the hardwood, it helps builds a rep for the NWL.

We want people from far-flung locales to stop chattering about their own leagues and realize, “Hey, maybe we should learn some facts about the upper left corner of the state, cause those teams are kickin’ our sweet fannies.”

Coupeville comes first, but every time a fan from say, Kalama or Liberty (Spangle) goes quiet as their team loses to someone from our league, it’s a win for all of us in this region.

With that in mind, there are nine teams from six NWL schools still in there swinging for a state title.

Mount Vernon Christian (girls’ soccer, volleyball, boys’ soccer) tops the list, while Concrete is the lone league school with no shot left at hanging a new banner this fall.

Where NWL teams stand heading into this weekend:

 

BOYS SOCCER:

The NWL has three of the eight teams in the 2B/1B state tourney, with Friday Harbor seeded #1, defending state champ Orcas at #3, and Mount Vernon Christian at #7.

Orcas won the regular-season league crown, but Friday Harbor toppled the Vikings 2-1 in the bi-district championship game to claim front-runner status.

Fun fact – the top-seeded Wolverines have lost twice this season, and one of those was a 3-1 defeat while visiting Coupeville in late September.

Our seven-team league expands to nine schools for boys’ soccer, with Concrete and Darrington avoiding the pitch, while Grace Academy, Providence Classical Christian, Lopez Island, and Cedar Park Christian-Lynnwood join the party.

Grace almost gave the NWL a fourth team at the season-ending tourney, but the Eagles were nipped 2-1 by Puget Sound Adventist in a loser-out, winner-to-state clash.

 

FOOTBALL:

Coupeville stands alone, the league champs and seeded #7 in the 12-team 2B tourney.

The Wolves first state playoff game in 32 years is Saturday against Onalaska at Oak Harbor’s Wildcat Memorial Stadium.

Darrington fell a game short of the big dance on the 1B side, blown out by Mossyrock in a loser-out, winner-to-state game.

 

GIRLS SOCCER:

The 2B/1B state tourney has 12 teams in the draw, with NWL champ Mount Vernon Christian seeded #2, behind just top-ranked Kalama.

Friday Harbor had a shot at joining the Hurricanes, but came up a win short, KO’d by Crosspoint Academy at bi-districts.

 

VOLLEYBALL:

Three-time defending 2B state champ La Conner heads back to Yakima, ranked #3 in a 16-team field after beating Coupeville in the bi-district final.

While there was just one ticket to state available for 2B teams in this region, it’s a far different tale over on the 1B side of things.

With a 20-team(!) state tourney, three NWL schools which were all handily beaten by Coupeville during the regular season advance to the SunDome.

MVC (#6), Orcas Island (#16), and Darrington (#19) are still alive, though the latter two teams do have to open with a loser-out match.

Win those rumbles, and the Vikings and Loggers join the double-elimination portion of the state tourney like the Hurricanes and La Conner.

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Kevin Partida and associates host Onalaska next weekend in the first round of the 2B state football playoffs. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The journey begins (almost) at home.

Making its first appearance in the state playoffs since 1990, the Coupeville High School football team was seeded #7 Sunday in a field of 12 teams chasing the 2B gridiron crown.

That means the Wolves host #10 Onalaska in a loser-out first round game.

The game will be played either Friday, Nov. 11 or Saturday, Nov. 12, with the date and kickoff time to be announced Monday.

And where will the royal rumble go down?

Barring a late plot twist, it will be at Oak Harbor’s Wildcat Memorial Stadium, which means just an 11.3-mile jaunt for the Wolves.

Onalaska’s players, meanwhile, get to enjoy a 195-mile trek. Or almost 400 miles round trip.

And why is Coupeville not hosting the game on its own home field?

Because, if I understand correctly, we’re being dinged for not having covered seating for road fans, which the 3,000-seat Wildcat Memorial Stadium offers.

CHS football managers extraordinaire Brenna Silveira (left) and Melanie Navarro — the rain never bothered them anyway. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

But hosting the game in Oak Harbor is a homecoming, of sorts, for first year Coupeville head coach Bennett Richter.

He was a sophomore on the 2006 Oak Harbor gridiron squad which won a 4A state title despite not being allowed to play postseason games at home because its World War II-vintage stadium was crumbling into dust.

I’m just saying, from my perch in the press box at the ol’ junk heap in the ’90s, I once watched a little girl bounce on the wooden bleachers, then vanish out of sight as a board broke.

Simmer down. She was only on the third row up.

She was unhappy (lord, was she unhappy), but she survived.

The stadium not so much, and by 2006, it had been condemned, before the giddiness of the state title convinced Oak Harbor to go build a brand new, swanky home roost.

Sort of the “House Bennett Built,” if you will.

What do you mean former Wildcat (and Wazzu) QB Marshall Lobbestael, he of the heavenly passes which sparked the title run, would like to have a word with me??

Anyways…

Back in 2022, the winner of the Coupeville vs. Onalaska tilt advances to the state quarterfinals to face second-seeded Okanogan, one of two undefeated teams in the field.

You can find the bracket here:

https://www.wpanetwork.com/wiaa/brackets/tournament.php?act=view&tournament_id=3666

And while you’re waiting for next weekend (or working for the weekend, if you want Loverboy’s approval), here’s how Coupeville and Onalaska stack up.

 

Records:

Coupeville (7-1)
Onalaska (5-5)

 

Leagues:

Coupeville — Northwest 2B/1B League
Onalaska — Central 2B League

 

Mascots:

Coupeville — Wolves
Onalaska — Loggers

 

Head Coaches:

Coupeville — Bennett Richter (1st year)
Onalaska — Mazen Saade (14th year)

 

Results:

Coupeville:

Beat Klahowya (41-21)
Lost to South Whidbey (44-28)
Beat Sultan (30-13)
Beat La Conner (46-0)
Beat Friday Harbor (35-3)
Beat Bellingham (48-6)
Cascade (Leavenworth) CANCELLED by smoke
Beat La Conner (78-0)
Beat Friday Harbor (43-14)

 

Onalaska:

Beat Oroville (30-0)
Lost to Napavine (68-0)
Lost to Goldendale (20-0)
Lost to Tenino (40-6)
Lost to Toledo (38-12)
Beat Kalama (48-30)
Beat Stevenson (44-14)
Lost to Adna (7-6)
Beat Wahkiakum (50-28)
Beat Morton White-Pass (26-8)

 

Last trip to state:

Coupeville — 1990
Onalaska — 2021

 

Total trips to state:

Coupeville (4) — (0-4)
Onalaska (18) — (14-16) — Two state titles (1986 and 2019)

 

Plus, we have a rock.

And they have a rock.

Time to rock ‘n roll.

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“We root for everyone!” (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Girls’ soccer, you’re on the clock.

With Coupeville High School boys’ basketball and football teams having broken 34 and 32-year dry spells in 2022, the Wolf female booters now have the longest active run without an appearance at the state tournament.

Founded in 2004, CHS girls’ soccer has never qualified for the big dance, making it 18 years and counting.

Every other active sports program at the school has been to state at least once since 2010 now that boys’ basketball (1988) and football (1990) are off the schneid.

Plus, wrestling and golf, sports where Coupeville doesn’t have its own program, but solo stars have trained and travelled with other schools, fit the criteria.

Grappler Alex Turner made it to Mat Classic in 2019, while duffer Christine Fields capped a four-year run of state tourney appearances in 2015.

But what about swim, you ask?

While Turner and Fields (plus her big brother, Austin) trained and travelled with other schools, they ultimately competed in CHS colors.

Swimmers like Amanda Streubel, Lily Doyle, and Rachel and Cole Weinstein did not, as they attended Coupeville schools but fully repped Oak Harbor High School in the pool.

So, no countee … in this exercise, at least.

 

Most-recent state tourney appearance:

2022 — Boys Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Track and Field
2019 — Softball, Wrestling
2018 — Girls Tennis
2017 — Volleyball
2016 — Girls Basketball
2015 — Boys Tennis, Girls Golf
2014 — Baseball
2013 — Boys Golf
2010 — Boys Soccer
Never — Girls Soccer

 

While tennis, cross country, and track (plus wrestling and golf) often qualify individual athletes to state, basketball, softball, football, volleyball, soccer, and baseball only advance as a full team.

How those programs compare:

 

State tourney appearances:

Baseball — 9
Girls Basketball — 7
Boys Basketball — 6
Football — 5
Volleyball — 5
Softball — 3
Boys Soccer — 2

 

State tourney wins:

Girls Basketball — 7
Softball — 5
Volleyball — 4
Baseball — 2
Boys Basketball — 2

 

And no, I don’t think baseball’s win total is correct, no matter what the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association web site says.

The Wolves hardball squad finished 3rd at state in 1987, but the WIAA’s online records only credit CHS with one win at that year’s tourney.

Something doesn’t add up.

That being said, one other thing to notice is that, at least on the WIAA website, Wolf girls have a 16-4 advantage in state tourney wins over their male counterparts, despite Title IX not kicking in until the 1970’s.

What’s up with that, Coupeville boys of every sport?

Maybe you’re the ones on the clock, after all.

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Xavier Murdy tracks a falling baseball. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Peyton Caveness tries to nab a runner at first base. (Morgan White photo)

Rain washed away Friday Harbor’s chances to retain a share of the Northwest 2B/1B League baseball title.

Mother Nature is piddling on Orcas Island Thursday, erasing the regular-season finale.

With the 1B schools from the NWL starting their own playoff runs Saturday, and more rain expected on Orcas Friday, there is no chance to reschedule.

That means Coupeville (11-1 in NWL action, 13-6 overall) finishes a half-game up on Friday Harbor (10-1, 14-2), though the teams will still clash in a winner-to-state, loser-out playoff game.

The Wolves and Wolverines face off Thursday, May 12 on a neutral field in La Conner.

First pitch is 3 PM.

Whichever team is standing at the end gets the NWL’s one berth to the 16-team 2B state tournament, which begins May 21.

Friday Harbor rallied to win the first meeting of the season 3-2 on its home diamond, while Coupeville got the bats going in an 11-8 win on Whidbey the second time around.

CHS Athletic Director Willie Smith, a longtime former hardball coach, (sort of) agrees with me that his school should get a slight advantage in the playoffs based on being league champs.

“I’ll ask to start up half a run!”, he said with a big laugh, then went back to dealing with more important things.

 

CHS hosts 1B playoff game:

A loser-out District 1/2 baseball playoff game goes down on Coupeville’s field Saturday.

Orcas Island will face Muckleshoot Tribal, with first pitch at 1 PM.

No admission is being charged.

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