Posts Tagged ‘SWHS Falcons’

Former South Whidbey High School football coach Mark Hodson.

A Whidbey Island gridiron legend and his family are in need.

Mark Hodson, a South Whidbey High School social studies teacher, led the Falcon football program to great success through two tours of duty.

Sunday, he and his family returned from a day at the lake to find their Freeland home a complete loss after a fire.

The Hodson home on Spinnaker Drive was fully involved when firefighters from multiple departments arrived on scene.

South Whidbey Fire/EMS reported neighbors “were actively using garden hoses to help as much as possible.”

Firefighters from South and Central Whidbey stations used interior and exterior extinguishment tactics to keep the fire from spreading to nearby houses, but the Hodson home was a complete loss.

With the family gone, no one was injured and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Friends of the Hodson’s have set up a GoFundMe to help the family of six, which has been left with little more than the clothes on their backs.

To help out, pop over to:


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A celebration of life has been set for South Whidbey High School senior Taylor Daniels, who died from injuries suffered in a car crash Monday in Freeland.

Daniels, 17, was a member of the Falcons soccer team.

He and older brother Nevin, 19, were turning onto Highway 525 from Honeymoon Bay Road and were hit by an oncoming truck.

The celebration of Taylor’s life is August 2 at the South Whidbey Sports Complex in Langley.

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, all attendees are asked to honor the state’s mandate to wear masks.

The event will be held outdoors, allowing for social distancing.

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Nevin (left) and Taylor Daniels.

A two-vehicle T-bone crash Monday right outside of Freeland claimed the life of a member of the South Whidbey High School Class of 2021.

Taylor Daniels, who played for the Falcon soccer team, was airlifted to Harborview, where he passed away.

Older brother Nevin Daniels was transported to Providence, where he is recovering. A pregnant passenger was taken to Whidbey Health for a precautionary evaluation.

The accident happened at the intersection of Highway 525 and Bush Point Road just after 5 PM.

Friends of the Daniels family have set up a GoFundMe to aid them.

“We know we can’t take this unimaginable pain away, but we can help take some of the financial burden away,” wrote organizer Holly Sharp-Hezel.

“This is a time when family and friends make the difference. Let’s come together and show these wonderful people how much we love them, how much we care and support them.

“Funeral costs should not be on their mind right now, especially when they have another son to take care of during his recovery.”



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South Whidbey’s Bodie Hezel runs to daylight during his senior season. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Whidbey Island would have been represented in Yakima.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic shut down prep sports this spring, and one of the bigger casualties was the loss of the Earl Barden Classic.

The annual all-star football game, played in Yakima, pits the top seniors in the state from the 2A, 1A, 2B, and 1B classifications.

Coupeville gridiron stars who have played in the event in previous years range from Josh Bayne to Ryan Labrador.

While the game, and surrounding festivities, were cancelled for 2020, Earl Barden officials went on Twitter Friday night to reveal what the rosters would have been for this year’s game.

While not all players had yet accepted their invitation to play before the game was shut down, the rosters in their original form give a pretty good indication of what might have been.

While Coupeville’s Sean Toomey-Stout was snubbed, Whidbey Island did get some respect with South Whidbey senior Bodie Hezel selected for the West team.

Hezel, listed as a 6-foot, 180-pound running back/receiver/defensive back, drew the attention of coaches for a senior season in which he was named the North Sound Conference Most Valuable Offensive Player.

The South end standout was also tabbed as a First-Team pick as a defensive back, helping lead the Falcons to a 6-4 record in his final go-around on the gridiron.

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South Whidbey Class of 2020 grad Megan Parker shows off her mask. (Photo from Whidbey DIYers Facebook page)

Rivals on the field, friends off of it.

Students at Coupeville and South Whidbey High School are next-door neighbors, their classrooms separated by about 25 miles, but united by living on the same rock in the middle of the water.

With graduation arriving Saturday for a weary Class of 2020, the seniors at those schools, whether Wolves or Falcons, benefited from the generosity of a local group of “do it yourselfers,” and one of the school’s principals.

As everyone deals with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, both area schools required face masks for their graduation ceremonies.

That’s where the Whidbey DIYers group stepped up, getting going on a project to produce masks for grads at South Whidbey High School and South Whidbey Academy.

With the crafty ones hard at work, South Whidbey High School Principal John Patton donated to the cause.

To the delight of all, his bucks gave the Whidbey DIYers enough financial aid to go beyond their original commitment and craft masks for CHS grads as well.

The project was a success on all levels.

“Whether or not they use these masks or just keep them as a keepsake memory of this crazy year, we wanted them to be able to show off their accomplishment even if they have to wear a mask for work, etc,” the Whidbey DIYers said on their Facebook page.

The project was the work of many, with several DIYers getting shout-outs.

That included Gwendine “The Machine” Norton and husband Tom “The Bomb” Norton, both of Clinton, SWHS parents Keasha Campbell and Petrena Haines, DIYer admin Kymy Johnson, Oak Harbor’s Wendy Shingleton, Coupeville School Board member Venessa Matros, and Patton.

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