Posts Tagged ‘Sultan’

Nathan Ginnings (1) and Nicholas Guay are ready for kick-off. (Charlotte Young photo)

Scott Hilborn (7) streaks for yardage. (Gary Shelly photo)

Your 2018 Coupeville Middle School football squad. (Michael Davidson photo)

One step at a time.

With a roster low in numbers and jam-packed with 7th graders making their gridiron debut, new Coupeville Middle School football coach Brett Casey is operating very much in teaching mode right now.

While Wednesday’s home opener against Sultan was a bit rough at times — with the Turks using a considerable size advantage to run their way through the Wolf line en route to a 41-0 win — progress was made.

“It was the first game our kids got to hit someone else besides their teammates,” Casey said. “First time we’ve gotten to play 11-on-11 as well, after practicing mostly 6-on-6, or 7-on-7.

“You can see them starting to come together, which is what we want to see.”

Coupeville has 14 players, and all but one were able to play Wednesday, with a couple making a sizable impact.

Scott Hilborn, younger brother of CHS standout Matt, was the primary offensive weapon for the Wolves, and he did his best to slash through the Sultan defense.

His best run came on Coupeville’s first offensive play, as Hilborn cut back, then shot down the right sideline, popping a couple of defenders in the mouth as he rambled for 26 yards.

While the opening drive failed to get into the end zone, it was the longest, most consistent stretch the Wolves put together on offense, with Hilborn and Dominic Coffman sharing running duties.

CMS stayed mostly on the ground, though Alex Murdy snagged a second-half screen pass under great duress, pulling the ball in while he had two defenders draped all over him.

Nathan Ginnings and Hilborn rotated behind center, keeping Sultan guessing as to who would take the snap.

While Sultan pounded away for six touchdowns, the Turk scores came courtesy of their strong play, and not Wolf errors.

The Coupeville defense, other than one play in which Sultan pulled off a 60-yard catch-and-run for a score on the final play of the first half, did a decent job of tracking down the guy with the ball and laying down some hits.

The best stand by the Wolves came on Sultan’s second possession, when they forced the Turks to turn over the ball on downs.

Owen Shelly got things started when he obliterated the hapless soul who was supposed to be blocking him.

Roaring up on the Turk QB like a freight train going downhill with no brakes, Shelly pounced on the rival gunslinger, flinging him to the turf for a solid five-yard loss.

Sparked by his play, his teammates pulled off back-to-back sweet take-downs.

Coffman, tabbed “The Dominator” by CMS Athletic Director Willie Smith, flattened a Turk runner several steps behind the line, before Murdy chased down the QB for a sack.

The game’s biggest pop might have come courtesy Mike Robinett, however.

The second-generation Wolf gridiron star caught a Turk runner in mid-stride, lowered his shoulder and sent him halfway back to Sultan, without the use of a bus.

While the final score on the board wasn’t quite what the Wolves might have wanted, plays like Robinett’s KO softened the loss.

The future of Coupeville football is coming, and while there is much work left to be done, there is also much cause for hope.

Read Full Post »

Maddie Georges, seen here during basketball season last year, had an impressive volleyball debut Tuesday afternoon. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Everything is a little crazy on opening day.

That first game of the season offers a heady mix of emotions for young players, and Tuesday was all that and more for the Coupeville Middle School volleyball squads.

Playing visiting Sultan in a CMS gym packed to the rafters, the Wolf spikers picked up some valuable lessons, introduced the world to some new stars and got their first taste of action against someone wearing a different uniform.

While the Turks ultimately won three of four matches, dropping only the 8th grade JV tilt, the day was an important step forward on the way to future success for the Wolves.


8th grade varsity:

Coupeville led in two of three sets, but couldn’t keep its momentum going and fell 25-17, 25-12, 15-12.

The Wolves jumped out to a 5-2 lead in the opening frame, behind a pair of superb tips from Vivian Farris and a thunderous ace off the hand of Lucy Tenore.

But Sultan got lucky on the next play, when a return of another Tenore missile blooped over the heads of all six Wolves and bit the very last flake of paint off the back line.

That unexpected winner seemed to immediately change the flow of play, with the Turks taking advantage and rolling all the way out to a 22-12 lead before Tenore made it back to the service stripe.

Once she got there, the hard-hitting Wolf went back to dropping lasers, and aided by a Jordyn Rogers tip which froze the Turks on one play, ran off four straight points.

Sultan recovered, though, closing out the first set, then running away with the middle frame.

CMS fell behind early and could never get back in the set, despite the play of Taygin Jump and Alita Blouin, who both flew all around the court, trying to dig balls off the floor.

While the third set was merely for fun, with Sultan having already clinched the match, it featured strong serving from Tenore and Ryanne Knoblich.

Tenore rattled one ace off a Sultan player’s chin, while Knoblich lashed back-to-back frozen ropes for winners on her first two serves as a CMS spiker.


8th grade JV:

Coupeville’s brightest moment, as the Wolves rode wicked serving from the likes of Maddie Georges and the Battlin’ Lucero twins, Allie and Maya, and ran away with a 25-17, 25-20 victory.

Trailing 4-1 in the early going, CMS turned things around quickly after Hayley Fiedler smacked a serve which curved upward as it sailed over the net, catching a helpless Turk right under the chin.

The Sultan receiver staggered backward, almost went to the floor once, twice and then three times, but surprised the crowd (and herself) by staying on her feet.

Though, if we’re being honest, the Turks were a bit gun-shy after Fiedler’s KO, and probably more so after Georges zinged one of her serves off of the noggin of a different would-be returner.

“Mad Dog,” a standout basketball player for CMS, didn’t play volleyball as a 7th grader. One match into her first season of spikes, sets and kills, and it would be hard to picture her not playing varsity the rest of the way.

Just to make sure Sultan would be extra-twitchy on the bud ride home, Allie Lucero made it a three-pack, launching a serve off yet another Turk’s face, then bumping fists with her sister, both issuing a slight nod, one killer recognizing another.

With Coupeville’s service game clicking on all cylinders, Georges lashed an ace right down the middle of the court, to seal the deal on set one. The Turks, simply happy not to be plastered in the face again, seemed almost relieved.

They shouldn’t have been, because the beast which lurks in the heart of the easy-going Maya Lucero re-surfaced in the second set, as she tattooed a serve off of … yes, you guessed it, a rival player’s chin.

Throwing band-aids in the air for everyone to enjoy, the rabid Wolves gave Sultan no chance to get a rally going.

When the serves weren’t landing immediately for winners, and that was few and far between, CMS benefited from hustle plays from Trinity McGee and Cypress Socha.


7th grade varsity:

The day’s first match was also the most one-sided, as Sultan cruised to a 25-7, 25-6 win behind uncannily good serving for first-year middle school players.

While the Turks might be young, there is little doubt their 7th graders have been playing volleyball for some time now.

Every Sultan player who stepped to the service line did it with purpose and intent. The Turks, to a player, served overhand, and did so with speed, power, and accuracy, picking apart the Wolf receivers.

In a match with very few rallies, three Wolves did make their presence known, however.

Katie Buskala stopped one Sultan tear with a beautifully-placed return which split two Turks as it found pay-dirt, then she served up Coupeville’s lone ace a few plays later.

Grey Peabody consistently got her hands on the ball play after play, and lofted a nice hit at the net which skidded for a winner, while Ava Mitten stood tall during the longest rally of the match.

Playing in front of mom Aleshia (McFadyen) Mitten, herself a former Coupeville volleyball ace, Ava smashed one return to keep the rally alive, then lobbed a second shot over the net to win the point.


7th grade JV: 

Peabody and Mitten were again front and center, as the two teams played a close set before Sultan eked out a 25-19 win.

Other Wolves who came through with big hits for winners included Brenna Silveira and Kaitlyn Leavell, while Peabody put together two strong runs at the service line.

Read Full Post »

CHS soccer snipers (l to r) Mallory Kortuem, Lindsey Roberts and Avalon Renninger scored two goals apiece Thursday night. (Photo by CoupevillePaparazzi.com)

The first one was nice, the second one even sweeter.

Doubling their pleasure, Wolf gunners Mallory Kortuem, Avalon Renninger and Lindsey Roberts scored two goals apiece Thursday as the Coupeville High School girls soccer squad thrashed visiting Sultan 6-0.

The runaway win, coming on a night when the CHS defense never allowed the Turks to take a single meaningful shot on goal, lifts the Wolves to 1-1 in North Sound Conference play.

They sit in a tie for third place in the six-team league, just a game out of first place, with eight more conference games left on the schedule.

Coupeville is 1-2-1 heading into a non-league game Saturday at Chimacum.

That meeting with their former Olympic League rival kicks off a stretch of four straight road bouts, as the Wolves don’t play at home again until Sept. 27.

Perhaps anticipating the two-week separation from many of its fans, Coupeville put on a fireworks display before leaving town.

The Wolves controlled the flow of the game — absolutely, positively and without any doubts — firing bursts of shots at the Sultan goalkeeper.

To her credit, she knocked down several, including punching away one wicked Genna Wright sizzler from in close, but the Turks had too many holes in their defense to keep the Wolves fully at bay.

Renninger broke the seal on the goal a little over 10 minutes into the contest, turning on a dime and bashing a frozen rope while sliding between two defenders.

After that, Roberts, a senior captain making one final run on the CHS pitch, took over.

First, she notched her debut goal of the young season, lighting up the scoreboard with a eye-popping run right through the heart of the defense.

Dodging at least four rivals on her charge, she juked the Turk defenders out of their spikes.

Deftly tapping the ball between her feet as she slid through the maze like the star of the ’80s arcade game Centipede hurtling downward to rob a player of yet another quarter, Roberts finished things off by drawing the goalie out of the box, then bashing the ball under her leg.

Showing off a different side of her game, Roberts set Kortuem up on the next goal, sliding the ball between defenders, then stepping back and nodding in approval as her teammate slapped a shot into the corner of the net.

Putting a final punctuation mark on a first half to remember, Roberts pounded her second goal of the night, and 15th of her career, with a little over six minutes to go before the break.

Taking a ball from Ema Smith, Roberts faked with one foot, then dropped the hammer with the other, proving she can kill with every part of the body.

While the second half featured a little less offense, as the Wolves pulled back the reins a bit and gave younger players valuable field time, both Renninger and Kortuem found time to pop in second goals of their own.

Renninger’s came on another laser shot from the top less than two minutes into the half, while Kortuem closed out the scoring after emerging with the ball from a scrum of players in front of the net with a little under six minutes to play.

While Coupeville scored seemingly at will, the Turks were firmly held in check by the Wolf D.

CHS goalie Sarah Wright spent more time admiring the sunset than having to deflect shots, with the few times she touched the ball coming mainly when she chased down wayward shots which rolled out of bounds.

That was largely due to the efforts of her defenders, as Tia Wurzrainer, Natalie Hollrigel, Mary Milnes, Maddy Hilkey and Co. constantly frustrated Sultan’s would-be shooters, roughing them up, stripping the ball, and otherwise being very unaccommodating.

The stellar play on both sides of the field brought a smile to coach Kyle Nelson’s face.

After the game, he spent a few moments talking with former soccer manager Sebastian Wurzrainer, who was gazing a bit wistfully at the shiny new press box after years of battling rabid bees while working the mic in the old, ramshackle hut that stood atop what is now the road stands.

Once he was caught up on Wurzrainer’s college life, the Wolf pitch guru returned to marinating in the victory.

“I told the ladies, we’re new to this league, and this was a statement win,” Nelson said. “It gives us an idea of where we belong.

“It’s still early and there is always room for growth and things to work on, but we are showing great improvement.”

Read Full Post »

Gaze upon the logo for Coupeville’s new league. (Photo courtesy Scott Sifferman)

We’re going home again. In a way.

After four years in the 1A Olympic League, Coupeville High School is reuniting with four old rivals (and one new one) to launch the 1A North Sound Conference when the 2018-2019 school year begins this fall.

The new league is comprised of refugees from the imploded 1A/2A Cascade Conference, where the Wolves spent eight years from 2006-2007 to 2013-2014.

Gone are the 2A schools (Archbishop Thomas Murphy, Lakewood and Cedarcrest), so on with the (slightly) more-balanced party.

Coupeville reunites with South Whidbey, King’s, Sultan and Granite Falls, while coming face-to-face with the school which replaced it in the Cascade Conference, Cedar Park Christian-Bothell.

But, since no current Wolf athlete ever played in a Cascade Conference game, it might be a good idea to offer a refresher on just who Coupeville’s new league mates will be.

The new league:



Cedar Park Christian-Bothell

Location: Um … Bothell

Public or private: Private

Student body count (2016 WIAA counts): 249.38

Established: 1982

Mascot: Eagles

Colors: Blue and gold, purple, yellow

Team state titles: Girls Soccer – 2001, 2002, 2003; Softball – 2003

Fast facts: The main campus for a private Christian school (preschool-12th grade) which also has sites in Everett, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and Mill Creek; affiliated with the Assembly of God church; one-year tuition for high school student – $9,992; hired former Bellevue football coach Butch Goncharoff, who won 11 state titles before a Seattle Times investigation forced WIAA to (very briefly) punish Bellevue for numerous alleged improprieties.



Location: Shoreline

Public or private: Private

Student body count (2016 WIAA counts): 354.38

Established: 1950

Mascot: Knights

Colors: White, red

Team state titles: 51 spread across multiple sports. I’m not listing them all.

Fast facts: Before turning to education, site housed a tuberculosis sanitarium; rumors abound that “some of the damp tunnels connecting buildings are still haunted by the ghosts of TB victims;” was known as King’s Garden until ’79; one-year tuition for high school student – $15,950; 98% of its students go on to higher education, while other 2% are no longer welcome home for Thanksgiving.


Granite Falls:

Location: Um … Granite Falls

Public or private: Public

Student body count (2018 WIAA appeal): 367.25

Established: 1896

Mascot: Tigers

Colors: Black, orange

Team state titles: Baseball – 2006

Fast facts: Known as “The Gateway to the Mountain Loop;” originally used by Native Americans to portage their canoes between fishing grounds; had a gold rush in 1889; had runs as both a mining and logging town; celebrates Railroad Days first Saturday in Oct.; former Coupeville assistant Alex Heilig coached GF football for one season in 2015, went 1-9.


South Whidbey:

Location: Langley

Public or private: Public

Student body count (2016 WIAA counts): 358.38

Established: 1981 (*previously Langley High School)

Mascot: Falcons

Colors: Blue and white

Team state titles: Boys Cross Country – 2000; Girls Golf – 2016

Fast facts: Has lost four of last six football games to Coupeville, with one former Falcon coach (a two-time loser) purposefully denting The Bucket, the trophy which is held by the winner; the snarky chant “Drive home safely,” directed at rival fans after South Whidbey wins, is both kind of annoying and kind of funny; the part of the Island where all the weird murders happen (seriously, go do a Google search); admittedly, a pretty nice school, with several athletes and coaches who have been very generous to me — Maia Sparkman, Oliana Stange, Kody and Hayley Newman, Tom Fallon, Mark Hodson, Mary Zisette and Lewis Pope to name a few.



Location: Um … Sultan

Public or private: Public

Student body count (2016 WIAA counts): 347.13

Established: 1888

Mascot: Turks

Colors: Navy, white, Columbia blue

Team state titles: Girls Soccer – 2002

Fast facts: Town named (sorta) for Snohomish Indian chief Tseultd, whose name was changed to Sultan John by white settlers; hosted the Sky River Rock Fest and Lighter Than Air Fair in 1968, which brought Richard Pryor, The Grateful Dead, Santana and “20,000-plus hippies” to town; former Turk basketball player Cooper Beucherie, he of the white boy dreadlocks, once kicked a chair into about the 12th row of the stands after being ejected from a basketball game at Coupeville. I miss the dude – he was entertaining.

Read Full Post »

Kyle Rockwell returns to Earth, rebound in hand. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Matt Stevens lines up a shot.

Using his licence to thrill, Sage Downes slashes to the hoop.

   Wolf coaches Chris Smith (black jacket) and Brad Sherman eye the action during Coupeville’s first C-Team game of the season. Spoiler: the Wolves won.

Tucker Hall lofts a shot.

Chris Ruck can taste the excitement in the air.

James Vidoni splits the Turk defense on his way to throwing down a bucket.

They can travel near and far, but John Fisken will always find them.

Whidbey Island’s main photo bug was off to the mainland Saturday for a shopping spree, and, on the way back, he veered off to Sultan to track down Coupeville’s boys basketball squads.

Venturing to Turk territory, camera in hand, Fisken snagged pics of the Wolf varsity, JV and (in their debut) C-Team and he provides us with the photos seen above.

To peruse everything he shot on his road trip, pop over to:


And remember, purchases help fund college scholarships for CHS student/athletes, so, circle of life and everything.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »