Posts Tagged ‘SWHS Falcons’

Marina Slowik crushes a shot on the links. (Photo courtesy Gina Slowik)

One island, two state champs.

While Coupeville celebrates Alex Murdy’s triumph in the long jump, South Whidbey also had a chance to see one of its track athletes ascend the podium at the state championships.

Falcon junior Naomi Atwood hit the tape first in the 800, wearing the crown at the 1A meet.

Fleet-footed Falcon Naomi Atwood dashes to a state title. (Emmy Atwood photo)

That victory headlines our look at how Coupeville’s league rivals, past and present, and its next-door neighbors did during the final week of the spring sports season.



Mount Vernon Christian, which shared the Northwest 2B/1B League crown with Coupeville, won two of three games at state, falling 4-2 to Naselle in the 1B title game.

The Hurricanes bounced Sunnyside Christian 4-1 and Liberty Christian 9-4 to get to the finale, which, thanks to weird Eastern Washington weather, was played at two different locations.

The game started in Ephrata, before being moved to Wenatchee after rain and lightning arrived.

After a four-plus-hour break, Naselle bounced back from an early 1-0 deficit to win its second straight title.

Over in 2B, second-seeded Toutle Lake, which eliminated Coupeville in the quarterfinals, was bit by the upset bug, as was #1 Brewster.

Instead, #4 Tri-Cities Prep claimed the title, beating #11 Adna 5-4 in a game that was, wait for it, started in one location, and finished in another thanks to weather.

Others winning titles include former Coupeville Olympic League rival Klahowya in 1A, and my alma mater Tumwater in 2A.

The T-Birds have gone back-to-back with former Major League Baseball star Lyle Overbay as coach, and the winning hit came off the bat of Brayden Oram, who I assume is the son of Jon Oram, a freshman when I was a senior at THS.

The biggest bang came in 4A, however, as Eastlake rolled to a title under the direction of coach Frank Smith.

He’s an Oak Harbor grad who played high school baseball for Hall of Fame coach Jim Waller in the early ’90s.

Eastlake baseball celebrates a state title. (Photo courtesy Frank Smith)


Girls Tennis:

Coupeville’s Helen Strelow played three matches at the 2B tourney, advancing to day #2 before bowing out, but I’ve already written full stories about her.

One other note of local interest was South Whidbey sending its doubles duo of Pearl Buck and Mikaela Nelson to the 1A tourney, where they fought hard before falling 6-4, 6-3 to a pair from The Bush School.



Coupeville hasn’t had any duffers since Austin and Christine Fields graduated, but the other Whidbey schools operate full programs, and both sent players to the big dance.

South Whidbey’s Ryder Mulcahy finished 19th in the 1A boys battle, while teammate Henry Olsen and Falcon female ace Parker Forsyth both failed to make the cut after day one.

Oak Harbor’s Tobias Wood placed 31st in the 3A boys’ tourney, while Addison Nations finished 34th in the girl’s rumble.

The Wildcats qualified their entire girls’ team, with Reagan Syring, Hailey Jenzen, Scarlett Nations, Marina Slowik, and Annalise Wesley competing on day #1.

While all of the OHHS golfers contributed to a strong season, one has a Coupeville connection and gets extra props.

Slowik’s mom, Gina (Dozier) Slowik, was a Videoville employee way back in the day.

When I got hired to start my 12-year run of mainlining Reese’s Pieces and VHS tapes, it was because she was headed off to college, opening up a spot behind the counter.

Marina’s aunt, softball sensation Laura “L-Train” (Crandall) Dozier worked for Miriam’s Espresso, as well, when that business shared a storefront, and owner, with Videoville.

And Laura’s future husband, legendary Coupeville basketball hype man Steven “Cash Money” Dozier, who is also Gina’s brother and Marina’s uncle?

During his high school days, he drank so much Italian soda syrup at Miriam’s, his blood once tested out at 98.3% sugar.

True story.



Darrington, which finished 3rd in the Northwest 2B/1B League, was the lone conference school to make it to state, going two and out in the 1B tourney.

The Loggers fell 10-0 to eventual state champ Liberty Christian and 11-8 to Almira/Coulee/Hartline.

Friday Harbor, which edged Coupeville by a single run for the league title and the region’s only 2B playoff berth, lost 9-5 to Raymond in the District 1/4 crossover game, a win shy of punching its ticket to the big dance.

Forks, which features Wolf coaching legend Ron Bagby’s niece, Chloe Gaydeski, claimed a program-best 2nd place finish, falling to powerhouse Adna in the 2B title game.

The Spartan fab frosh smashed a two-run homer in the title game and pitched her team to a win in the semifinals, flinging strikes on 38 of 48 pitches.

And may I just say, maybe it’s time Ron Bagby’s whole family parts ways with always-damp Forks and decamps for frequently windswept Coupeville.

It would make family reunions super-easy; it would give the ol’ ball coach something to do with his spare time if he could watch all of his niece’s games in person, and Coupeville Sports would add to its roster of headline-worthy athletes.

It’s a win-win, if you ask me.

Not that anyone is…


Track and Field:

Alex Murdy’s state title was one of five won by NWL athletes, with La Conner and Mount Vernon Christian each picking up two.

The Hurricane girls finished 3rd in the 1B team standings — matching Coupeville’s girls, who did the same in 2B — with a pair of relay wins sparking things.

MVC hit the tape first in the 4 x 200 and 4 x 400, with Ruthie Rozema, Isabel Dowrey, and Avery McCullough running on both teams.

Caitlin VanderKooy (4 x 2) and Josephine Swinburnson (4 x 4) rounded out the roster for the private school powerhouse.

Back in the 2B tilt, La Conner’s Tommy Murdock swept the 110 and 300 hurdles, as the Braves finished 9th in the team standings to Coupeville’s 5th place finish.

One Whidbey, kickin’ fanny and takin’ names. (Emmy Atwood photo)

Over in 1A, Naomi Atwood, as mentioned above, won the 800, while also finishing 3rd in the 1600.

Other Falcons to medal included Sierra Muller (3rd in the pole vault), Cole Tschetter (3rd in the 300 hurdles), and Cole Redford, who went 3rd in the high jump and 6th in the long jump.

Finally, the 3A meet saw Oak Harbor snag three medals.

The Wildcats put Noah Turner (2nd in the discus), Karen Salinger (7th in the long jump) and its girls 4 x 2 team on the podium.

That relay unit, which finished 5th, was comprised of Tessa Hughes, Addisen Boyer, Audrey Hart, and Salinger.

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Wolf 8th grader Jack Farrell is ready for his closeup. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They’re learning under fire.

A fairly inexperienced Coupeville High School JV baseball squad shows signs of growth every time it takes the field, though that hasn’t translated to a win yet.

The young Wolves put 10 runners aboard Wednesday but were undone by 12 strikeouts in a 10-1 loss at South Whidbey.

With the non-conference defeat to its 1A neighbors, 2B Coupeville falls to 0-3-1 on the season, with all of its losses coming to larger schools.

The Wolf JV, which tied Darrington in a game called after six innings due to darkness last time out, has four games left on its schedule.

First up is a bout on Orcas Island this Saturday.

Facing off with South Whidbey, the Wolves hung tough, with four different pitchers recording two strikeouts apiece.

Landon Roberts, Jack Porter, Chase Anderson, and Aiden O’Neill each took a turn on the bump, with the game staying close until the host Falcons erupted for five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.

CHS had runners on base in six of seven innings, scoring their lone tally in the top of the fifth.

The Wolves best turn at the plate came a frame earlier, when Skylar Sand and Matthew Gilbert singled, while Myca Clarkson walked.

The game featured the stars of tomorrow, with both teams carrying an 8th grader on their roster.

Coupeville’s Jack Farrell eked out a walk, while South Whidbey’s Levi Batchelor ripped a base hit.

Wolf coach Jon Roberts juggled his roster, getting game time for 14 players, with Parker Fuller-Hewitt, Marcelo Gebhard, Jaje Drake, Johnny Porter, Aidyn McDermott, and Ethan Gill joining the previously noted players.


Wednesday stats:

Chase Anderson — One single
Myca Clarkson — Two walks
Jack Farrell — One walk
Marcelo Gebhard — Two walks
Matthew Gilbert — One single
Johnny Porter — One single
Landon Roberts — One walk
Skylar Sand — One single

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Freshman Camden Glover whacked a double Wednesday in Langley. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Missed it … by that much.

The Coupeville High School varsity baseball squad stranded too many runners Wednesday in Langley, leaving host South Whidbey a chance to rally late for a 4-2 win.

The non-conference loss snaps a five-game winning streak for the Wolves, who tumble to 9-4 on the season.

With the victory, the Falcons even their mark at 7-7 and earn a split in the season series, after Coupeville clobbered them 13-2 in the season opener.

This time around the Wolves had plenty of chances to blow the game open, but left runners aboard in each of the first five innings.

Trailing 2-0 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning, South Whidbey finally broke through thanks to Coupeville’s lone error and a two-out RBI double from Tyson Henry.

With Falcon hurlers retiring the final nine Wolf hitters, the hosts capitalized on their chances in the sixth, pushing three runners across to claim the lead for the first time.

Three walks jammed the basepaths, with a Josh Sterba sac fly knotting things up at 2-2.

Coupeville was an out away from escaping, but Grady Davis delivered the game-buster, launching a two-out, two-run double to center to knife the Wolves.

The game opened as a pitcher’s duel, with CHS hurler Coop Cooper carrying a shutout through the first four innings.

The freshman flinger whiffed six Falcons and didn’t surrender a hit until the third, but his own team struggled to provide run support.

The Wolves stranded four runners through the first three frames, before finally breaking through to score in the top of the fourth.

Starting with the bases loaded and no outs after a Camden Glover double, a Peyton Caveness single, and Cooper being plunked by a pitch, things were looking explosive.

But while CHS did score twice, forcing in a run when Aiden O’Neill was hit by another pitch, and netting another tally off of a Scott Hilborn smash to third base, the Wolves offense sputtered out after that.

Other than a Jack Porter walk to open the fifth, Coupeville came up empty across the final three innings.

While the Wolves outhit the Falcons 4-3, South Whidbey walked 10 times to Coupeville’s five free passes.

The CHS hardball squad gets an immediate chance to fix that, as it plays its third game in as many days Thursday, when it hosts Mount Vernon Christian.

That game pits the top two teams in the Northwest 2B/1B League, with MVC sitting at 9-0 in conference action, and Coupeville right behind them at 7-1.

First pitch is 4:00 PM at Robert Sherman Field.


Wednesday stats:

Peyton Caveness — Two singles
Coop Cooper — One walk
Camden Glover — One double
Scott Hilborn — One single
Aiden O’Neill — One walk
Jack Porter — Two walks
Cole White — One walk

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Emma Morano slaps a winner. (Jackie Saia photo)

The Helen Strelow express continues to rumble.

Winning a well-played bout at first singles Friday, the Coupeville High School senior netter ran her season record to 5-0, though the Wolves fell 4-1 to visiting South Whidbey.

The non-conference loss, which came on a rare sunny, non-breezy spring afternoon on the prairie, drops CHS to 1-4, though that comes with a caveat.

All four of Coupeville’s defeats have come to bigger schools, with the Wolves still primed to capture the Northwest 2B/1B League crown.

Strelow and Co. are 1-0 in conference action and close the regular season with three-straight matches against NWL rival Friday Harbor.

Coupeville is at home Apr. 21 and May 12 — which will be Senior Night — and makes the island-to-island hop May 2.

After that comes the postseason, with districts and, hopefully, the state tourney as CHS net guru Ken Stange guides his 18th Wolf girls’ tennis team along the path to serve and volley nirvana.

The Wolves had 10 active players Friday, while 1A South Whidbey brought 18 on the road trip, so many Coupeville netters played multiple times to make sure all the Falcons got court appearances.

Emma Morano and Elizabeth Lo played three matches, with Morano, a foreign exchange student, getting big congrats from fellow CHS students Kai Wong, Josh Upchurch, Maylin Steele, and others after notching her first win as a Wolf.

The doubles duos of Brynn Parker/Kaitlyn Leavell and Lucy Tenore/Skylar Parker also played twice on the afternoon.

Kaitlyn Leavell watches her serve take flight. (Jackie Saia photo)

The day’s premier match came on court #1, with Strelow and Falcon ace Catie Beech squaring off in a tense struggle.

Both players had strong runs, forcing the second set to a tiebreaker, before the Wolf captain reached down deep to pull out the victory.

Lashing an approach shot over her foe’s shoulder, the ball picking the lint off of her shirt before diving and tearing a chunk out of the court just inside the line, Strelow earned a double fist pump from her coach.

A two-time state meet qualifier as a cross country runner, and an accomplished photographer and painter, she rolls on to the next challenge.


Friday’s varsity results:


1st Singles — Helen Strelow beat Catie Beech 6-4, 7-6(7-5)

2nd Singles — Djina Radenovic lost to Katya Schiavone 6-2, 7-6(8-6)

1st Doubles — Hayley Fiedler/Vivian Farris lost to Pearl Buck/Mikaela Nelson 6-2, 6-1

2nd Doubles — Skylar Parker/Lucy Tenore lost to Carlie Kuschnereit/Baylie Kuschnereit 6-2, 6-1

3rd Doubles — Kaitlyn Leavell/Brynn Parker lost to Natalie Olson/Izzy Wood 8-0

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Skylar Parker moves in for the kill. (Jackie Saia photo)

The sun will come out tomorrow, or maybe today if you wait long enough.

Getting the better of Mother Nature and weather forecasters alike Tuesday, the Coupeville High School girls’ tennis squad managed to get its match played at South Whidbey.

And while the Wolves ultimately fell 4-1 to the perennial powerhouse Falcons, it was the first on-court action against a rival for CHS in two weeks.

Better to play the best and get tested than sit on the sidelines.

Now 1-3 on the season, with all of its losses coming to bigger schools, Coupeville will try and make it two Island rivalry duels in one week.

South Whidbey is slated to travel to Central Whidbey Friday, allowing the 2B Wolves and 1A Falcons to finish off their non-conference home-and-away clash for 2023.

After that, CHS plays Friday Harbor — the only other Northwest 2B/1B League foe which fields a tennis program — three straight times.


Tuesday’s results:


1st Singles — Helen Strelow beat Baylie Kuschnereit 6-1, 6-0

2nd Singles — Djina Radenovic lost to Carlie Kuschnereit 6-2, 6-1

1st Doubles — Hayley Fiedler/Vivian Farris lost to Pearl Buck/Mikaela Nelson 6-0, 6-0

2nd Doubles — Skylar Parker/Lucy Tenore lost to Cate Beech/Katya Schiavone 6-1, 6-4

3rd Doubles — Kaitlyn Leavell/Brynn Parker lost to Natalie Olson/Alyssa Staats 6-0, 6-0

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