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Teagan Calkins zooms to the front of the pack as a cross country runner. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Teagan Calkins is ahead of the pack.

The ever-active Coupeville student/athlete, who will be an eighth-grader this fall, has spent much of her time playing ahead of her age group.

At age 12, Calkins is the youngest member of the Whidbey Island All-Star juniors softball team, which just concluded a successful four-game run at the state tourney.

While in Vancouver, she played in the outfield and caught, while being the team’s second most-productive hitter at the plate.

The youngest girl on the Whidbey Island All-Star junior softball squad, Calkins played strongly at the state tournament. (Jackie Saia photos)

It’s just the latest highlight for Calkins, who has also played soccer, cross country, basketball, and volleyball, while participating in gymnastics and taekwondo.

It’s a busy sports lifestyle, but one she plans to keep going. When she hits high school in a year, Calkins hopes to play volleyball, basketball, and softball, while also staying with taekwondo.

While she enjoys all her sports, softball and volleyball currently top the list.

“Softball because I enjoy kinda being in charge of the field, because of the positions I play, which are center field and catcher,” Calkins said. “Volleyball because I like diving and receiving a lot. I like playing libero.”

Calkins flies home with a run.

Regardless of the sport, being active and involved are big for her, and she embraces the exciting aspect of each activity.

“I like the adrenaline rush and being focused on one thing,” Calkins said. “To leave everything else behind and just focus on the sport.”

Away from competition, she enjoys math class (“I’ve just always loved math, and I’m really good at it”), and has shown a keen eye as a photographer, emulating mom Jackie Saia.

Already a star, at age six.

On the field, or court, or trail, or mat, Calkins brings energy and fearlessness to everything she does.

“My strengths are having motivation to dive to get the ball in both softball and volleyball and having good stamina,” she said.

“I’d like to work on how to play every position if I’m needed in softball, and “crashing” to stop the ball at catcher,” Calkins added. “I’d also like to work on pitching … release point, and speed, and how to do different releases for different pitches.”

To get to where she is, and to get to where she wants to be, Calkins has benefited from strong coaching, something she highly appreciates.

“Coach Fred (Farris) has coached me in softball for five years and taught me pretty much everything I know,” she said.

“When I was put in higher level volleyball camp and being the only 7th grader on an all-8th grade team, I was coached by coach Cris (Matochi).

“He was very encouraging and positive.”

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Taekwondo students claimed ownership of the CHS gym Saturday. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Basketball players aren’t the only athletes in the Coupeville High School gym these days.

Armstrong’s ATA Martial Arts held a taekwondo tourney Saturday, and wanderin’ paparazzi John Fisken swung by to nab us some fresh, action-packed pics.

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Finley (left) and Lindsey Helm both won state taekwondo titles. (Photo courtesy Jerry Helm)

We rule the dojo.

Five Coupeville taekwondo athletes, including mother/daughter and father/son combos, capped their seasons recently by winning state titles.

Lindsey and Finley Helm brought home a combined four titles, while dad Jerry won an unofficial award for best roadie.

In addition, Ben Shaw and Alan and Cameron Breaux teamed up to toss another seven titles into the pot.

The Coupeville athletes, who work with Armstrong’s ATA Martial Arts, picked up points throughout the season based on how they placed at tournaments.

The season ended April 27 in Eugene, OR.

How state titles broke down:

 

Finley Helm (Girls 1-8):

Creative Weapons
Extreme Weapons
Traditional Weapons

 

Lindsey Helm (Women 18-39):

Traditional Weapons

 

Cameron Breaux (Boys 13-14):

Creative Weapons
Extreme Weapons
Traditional Weapons

 

Alan Breaux (Men 30-39):

Combat Sparring
Forms and Weapons
Sparring

 

Ben Shaw (Boys 1-8):

Forms and Weapons

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As a master of taekwondo, Finley Helm needs a single finger to keep dad Jerry under control. (Photos courtesy Lindsey Helm)

Ben Shaw shares his medal-winning day with mom and big bro. (Photo courtesy Gabe Shaw)

Helm, sporting a nice collection of medals, hangs out with instructor Robert Armstrong.

Masters of the mat.

Coupeville sent a strong group of performers to Saturday’s “Battle on the Island” taekwondo tourney in Langley, bringing home a staggering collection of medals.

3rd grader Tenley Stuurmans claimed four titles, and she was joined on the podium by fellow CES students such as Finley Helm and Ben Shaw.

Helm, a 1st grader, was the only novice white belt in the room, but showed no fear and no desire to back off.

The six-year-old master of disaster claimed third-place in three events (Traditional Forms, Pro-Tech Weapons and One-Step sparring), with just six weeks of training under her belt.

Meanwhile, Shaw, a 2nd grader, made off with a first-place medal and a pair of second-place finishes while vying in Freestyle Form and Weapons events.

Stuurmans, Helm and Shaw were joined Saturday by fellow Coupeville warriors Marin Winger (3rd grade), Lydia Kelly (2nd grade), and Logan Kelly (Kindergarten).

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Coupeville 3rd grader Tenley Stuurmans captured four titles Saturday at her first taekwondo tourney. (Photo courtesy Scott and Sarah Stuurmans)

Don’t mess with Tenley Stuurmans.

The Coupeville Elementary School 3rd grader is only one tournament into her taekwondo career, and she’s already a four-time champ.

Stuurmans, daughter of Scott and Sarah, stepped on the mat at the Island Christian Academy in Langley Saturday, emerging with seven top-three performances.

She captured titles in Extreme Weapons, Creative Weapons, Extreme Forms, and Creative Forms.

Toss in 2nd place finishes in Traditional Forms and Traditional Sparring and a 3rd place in Combat Sparring, and Stuurmans went home covered in medals.

The younger sister of soccer sensation Lyla Stuurmans, and a cousin, niece or granddaughter to about 10,000 Coupeville legends, Tenley is creating her own niche in the sports world.

She started taekwondo last spring and trains at Armstrong’s ATA Martial Arts School.

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