Posts Tagged ‘Sylvia Arnold’

Sylvia Arnold hugs husband Garrett after being gifted her grandfather’s 1949 Chevy truck, lovingly restored by local volunteers. (Photos courtesy Garrett Arnold and Jerry Helm)

Not quite road ready at this point…

Sylvia hugs Collin McGinness, who helped spearhead the project.

You would be hard-pressed to find someone in Coupeville who doesn’t like Sylvia Arnold.

She puts the friend in friendly, and has positively affected more people in our community than you can count.

Sylvia led the CHS cheer program for two decades-plus, and remains the only Wolf coach to win a team state title in any sport.

But her time on the sidelines, in the huddles, and bringing the pep 24/7/365, is most remembered for how inclusive she was.

There were years where Sylvia’s cheer squad had far more athletes than the football team did, and she welcomed girls (and boys) from all avenues of life.

There are a lot of cheerleader stereotypes, and she happily, merrily broke them all.

If you showed up and worked, you were one of her kids, and not just for that season, but for life.

Sylvia’s positivity, her love of others, and her genuine care for all she meets has colored every part of her life, from cheer to her work with her church, Living Hope on Whidbey.

Wanting to give something back, to show her a blessing for all she has done, a group of Whidbey residents, led by Collin McGinness and Darrell Jacobsen, started a seven-year project which paid off this week.

Putting together a team of workers, the duo shepherded the restoration of a 1949 Chevy truck which originally belonged to Sylvia’s Grandpa Engle.

In the words of those involved, it became “more than a renovation, it became a labor of love.

“A story that exemplifies the good in people, giving selflessly, to say “Thank you!” to someone who has given much of herself to bless others.”

“The open road is a’callin’.”

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Raven Vick lays down a funky beat. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Lindsey (left) and Sherry Roberts, the only mother/daughter combo to have both won CHS Female Athlete of the Year honors.

Gabe Shaw plays a merry tune.

Kylie Van Velkinburgh’s fan club gets ready to get loud.

Sylvia Arnold (left) and Barbi Ford, possibly up to shenanigans.

Time to blow the roof off this place.

One set of bleachers, many emotions.

Wolf cheerleaders Sofia Peters (back) and Emily Fiedler kill time before their performance.

“When we’re in high school, we’re gonna rock this joint!”

The noise shall return.

Coupeville’s ongoing battle with snow has kept its high school gym fairly quiet this week.

That will change next week, barring any surprises from Mother Nature, when live basketball returns.

The Wolf boys welcome Cedar Park Christian to town Monday, January 20, then return to their home floor Saturday, Jan. 25 to face Port Townsend.

Both affairs are reschedules of games denied by weather, the former thanks to snow, the latter to wind.

While you wait to once again camp out on the rock-hard CHS bleachers, a look at those who might be joining you.

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Coupeville High School cheer coach BreAnna Boon and senior Julie Bucio share a moment. (Photos courtesy Boon)

The Wolves are off to the state meet for the first time since 2011.

One team, one dream.

“They have far exceeded any expectations I had for them.”

When first-year Coupeville High School cheer coach BreAnna Boon decided to take the Wolves back into the world of competition events, it was a huge change.

CHS has been a sideline-only cheer squad since 2011, when it finished 4th at state, its third top-four finish in a six-year span.

That followed a state title in 2006 and a 2nd place finish a year later.

But Boon, who was a state and national champion during her cheerleading days at Oak Harbor High School, wanted to revive what longtime Wolf coach Sylvia Arnold once brought to the program.

So, ready or not, it was time to get back on the blue mats.

And the Wolves responded, claiming strong finishes at every meet, and then, Saturday at Curtis High School, punching their ticket to the 2019 state meet.

It’ll be a quick turn-around, with the state championships set for Feb. 1-2 in Battle Ground.

Coupeville’s class, Small Game Day, competes on the second day of the event.

To get to state, the Wolves put in two months of work behind the scenes, then adapted to changing up routines on nearly a weekly basis, while never knowing quite what to expect from judges.

“Judging is so opinionated when it comes to cheerleading routines,” Boon said. “You could have different judges every weekend. What one set of judges like, the others may not.

“It’s about finding that magical combination that makes the routine come to life and makes those judges want to get up out of their seats and cheer with you.”

The meet at Curtis was Coupeville’s final shot at punching a ticket to state, and it came during a week when the Wolf squad performed at two home basketball games, prepped for Senior Night festivities and battled the onslaught of cold and flu season.

“We only had two full practices this week, but man did those kids work,” Boon said. “They basically learned a whole new routine Monday and we didn’t want to leave anything on the mat that the judges could critique us for.”

Giving their all and then being rewarded was huge for Coupeville’s athletes.

“The commitment every single cheerleader put towards this team was shown out there on the mat,” said senior Julie Bucio. “We finally got what this team deserved.”

That was a sentiment echoed by junior Ashleigh Battaglia.

“We worked hard and we finally got to see it take us to where we wanted to go,” she said. “I’m so very proud of our squad, and of course, our coach.”

For her part, Coupeville’s leader didn’t realize how hard the moment might hit.

A veteran of cheer competitions who has gone to the heights of the sport herself, seeing the young women under her charge blossom has been huge for Boon.

“When the announcer said Coupeville cheer qualified, I think we all felt like it was a dream!!,” she said. “I was like, did I just imagine he said that??

“But I looked at the kids and they were all screaming, jumping, and hugging each other … annnnd … that’s when I started crying!!,” Boon added. “Who knew the hard cheer coach has a heart?!”

Coupeville had nine cheerleaders on the mat Saturday — Mica Shipley, Battaglia, Kim Castro, Ja’Tarya Hoskins, Emily Fiedler, Bucio, Melia Welling, Bella Velasco, and Coral Caveness — with two others, Marenna Rebischke-Smith and Jaden Marrs, having competed in earlier events.

For their coach, it’s been a wild thrill ride all the way.

“When I originally started this competition team, it was never a goal to go state. It was just to show these kids what competition cheer was,” Boon said. “I wanted them to hit the mat, have a good time, and show people that Coupeville High School existed. Next year we were planning on taking the competition world by storm.

“This year, we were just supposed to get our feet wet in competition. And now we’re going to state! It’s just so unbelievable!”

As the Wolves celebrated into the night (“It was literally a party that could be heard across the world! OK, maybe the parking lot, but still!”), they also took time to share their moment with Arnold, who led the CHS program for 20 years.

“One of my favorite parts of the day was when we got back on the bus, first person we wanted to inform? Sylvia of course!,” Boon said. “The girls left her a voicemail saying, guess what, we’re going to state!

Sylvia has inspired me to be a stronger, better coach and person. If I can end up even HALF as good as she is, I will consider that a huge accomplishment,” Boon added. “If you can’t learn from the best, you will never be the best!”

As the CHS bus exited the parking lot Saturday, bound for home and then even bigger things, the Wolves and two generations of coaches celebrated long into the night.

“Even our bus driver Karen (Autio) was so happy for the kids,” Boon said. “Honking, screaming, hugs, happy tears.

“It all happened!!”

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   Aimee Bishop (right) keeps a watchful eye on Jae “My middle name is Shenanigans” LeVine. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

“Let me go, woman! I’m a superhero and superheroes need to fly!!”

   Susan Rose lays down the snack smack. “If you expected some popcorn, you should have bought your own bag!”

Emma Smith walks the line.

   Having arrived from their game, Coupeville soccer players debate the best cheers to unleash.

National treasure Sylvia Arnold (center) holds court.

Jacob Zettle goes for the forearm burn.

Call the cops, cause Chris Battaglia (bottom, right) just stole the spotlight.

It’s a photo blowout.

Thanks to the madly-clicking John Fisken, we have an assortment of off-the-court pics from recent CHS volleyball matches just waiting to be used.

So here you go — not much reading, but a whole lot of glossy photo goodness.

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   Former Wolf cheerleader Emily (Norris) Stevens has been offered the head cheer coaching position at CHS. (Submitted photos)

   Stevens new assistant coach, Amanda (Streubel) Jones (far left), during her days as part of Coupeville’s competitive cheer squad.

Modern-day Jones.

Stevens flies high during her high school days.

Sylvia’s girls are coming home.

Coupeville High School Assistant Principal Melissa Rohr confirmed Thursday the school has offered coaching jobs to former Wolf cheerleaders Emily (Norris) Stevens and Amanda (Streubel) Jones.

Both hires still need to be approved by the School Board at its May 22 meeting.

Stevens, who will be head cheer coach, and Jones, who will work as her assistant, were highly-successful cheerleaders under long-time CHS coach Sylvia Arnold, who retired in 2013 after a 20-year run at the helm of the Wolf program.

The duo, who are now mothers of small children, both hold down jobs in the area.

A 2007 CHS grad, Stevens owns and operates Emily’s Sweets and Treats on Front Street with husband Bruce.

Jones, who got her diploma in 2011, is a nurse at Regency on Whidbey.

To learn a little more about each, how convenient that I have “Where Are They Now?” stories on both just sitting around.



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