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Jazmine Franklin

End the year with a bang, start the next one even bigger.

One of Coupeville’s best and brightest, the uber-talented Jazmine Franklin, continues to kill it in the art world and you could be helping to support her fast-rising career.

When she’s not crafting eye-popping paintings, the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Famer can be found putting her designs to work on a wide variety of clothes, as well as mugs, masks, keychains, and more.

Franklin recently debuted three new designs with her “Heart and Head Collection,” devoted to highlighting positive mental health.

During her days at CHS, Jazmine showcased a variety of talents, from being a student leader to teaming up with McKenzie Bailey to form an award-winning tennis doubles duo.

A truly lovely human being, she is proof positive that you can come from a small town, and yet be a big success through hard work, talent, and being a genuinely kind, caring person.

As 2020 transforms into 2021, maybe take a few moments to bask in her awesomeness and give something back.

 

To see (and buy) Jazmine’s artwork:

JZMN Originals (myshopify.com)

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Zoe Trujillo, the newest member of the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

She made it look effortless.

Even if I know it wasn’t.

I know she worked hard behind the scenes, just like her sister. Her family has always embraced hard work, sacrifice, and commitment.

But when Zoe Trujillo played, she made it look effortless.

Sporting killer socks, a young Zoe eyeballs her rivals on the basketball court.

It’s not always easy to be the younger sister, to follow the path laid down by an older sibling, especially if that person was a one-of-a-kind athlete and human being.

But Zoe Trujillo, like big sis Valen, always rose to the moment.

Put her next to a volleyball net, place her on a tennis court, or drop her into the world of track and field, and the little sister crafted her own highlight reel, made her own memories.

Zoe was lethal when unleashed, gracefully twirling into the air, pausing for a second or two in mid-flight to survey the scene on the other side of the net, then ripping off a laser of a spike.

She was a big hitter and a big part of the success of a Coupeville High School volleyball program which never finished lower than second-place in league during her four years on campus.

Her senior season in the fall of 2019 was a particular highlight, for the Wolves and for Zoe.

Led by an eight-pack of seniors, including the younger of the Trujillo sisters, CHS opened 7-0, went 13-2 in the regular season (losing only to state power King’s) and finished 14-5.

Narrowly missing out on a trip to state, those Wolves tied the program’s record for wins.

Some of the biggest moments, the ones which provided the most bang for the ticket buyer’s buck, came when Zoe elevated and smashed.

Zoe and Maddie Vondrak get down with their bad selves.

It was there, in those displays of crackling power and shimmering intensity, where she made the gym walls rock and mom Amy bounce happily in her seat.

Dad Craig spent a lot of his time toeing a line down on the floor, and, as a properly impartial linesman, had to pretend to be impassive when his younger daughter whistled a winner past his shoe.

It was only after the set or the match was complete, and he had returned to dad status up in the bleachers, that he beamed like a lightbulb powering up, glowing with the pride which his daughters brought out in him.

Zoe played a different position than Valen on the volleyball floor, the former an outside hitter, the latter a libero.

But both always carried themselves with a quiet grace, filled with a burning intensity, but always calm, composed, and attentive to the words of their coaches and the feelings of their teammates.

That carried over to the tennis court, where Zoe swatted her shots in a manner which, and stop me if you’ve heard this before — often looked effortless.

Zoe flicks a winner on a rainy spring afternoon.

She was a nimble player, mixing power with a nice touch, and advanced to districts as a young doubles player, before stepping away from the sport.

There was also a stint with the CHS track team as a sophomore, where she threw the javelin, competed in the long jump and triple jump, and ran in both the 200 and 4 x 100 relay.

While she never played basketball in high school, much like her older sister, Zoe showed promise on the hardwood during her middle school days.

But it was volleyball which lured her in, captivated her, and let her express herself best across six seasons in a Wolf uniform.

Through some of the biggest wins and toughest losses in program history, Zoe soared and delighted.

When she left the floor after her final prep match, she was taller, stronger, more confident, more polished than she had been when she first pulled on a Coupeville uniform.

But, from the earliest days as a middle school athlete to her senior swan song, one thing remained the same — Zoe was always, without fail, a class act.

Today, we’re revisiting her days as a Wolf, because we’re about to welcome her into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

After this, you’ll find her hanging out up at the top of the blog, under the Legends tab.

Inducted for her talent, her temperament, her grace, her humility, and for her heart, Zoe joins Valen in our digital shrine — two sisters who worked their own magic, in their own way.

Each chose a path, accomplished great things along the way, and are now off to top those school-day achievements with success in the adult world.

Zoe never coasted on the value of her last name or on the talent she was born with.

She worked for everything, and she earned everything.

Even if she did made it look effortless.

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Jazmine Franklin

It’s a win for everyone.

With the holiday season bearing down fast, now is the perfect time to pick up gifts for people in your life.

Thanks to the hard work and talents of a former Wolf supernova, you can obtain unique mementos, while supporting the work of one of Coupeville’s best and brightest.

During her time at CHS, Jazmine Franklin was a student leader, formed a potent doubles duo on the tennis court with McKenzie Bailey, and was one of the loudest ‘n proudest cheerleaders ever to wear the red and black.

Franklin was later inducted into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame, a true legend among legends.

In her post-high school days, the former Wolf has expanded her art empire as she continues to produce high-quality work.

So, take my advice, and pop over to her site to see for yourself.

The gift you buy today could be a double gift – if you buy it from the right source.

 

To see Jazmine’s work:

JZMN Originals (myshopify.com)

 

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Brazilian foreign exchange student Julia Borges built a substantial fan club during her time in Coupeville. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Gone, but never forgotten.

Julia Borges was only in Coupeville for a single school year, but she made a positive impression on everyone she met.

Facing culture shock, as the Brazilian native left São Paulo, the most populous city in the Western hemisphere, only to land smack-dab in the middle of Cow Town, USA, she responded by embracing every challenge.

During her year (2015-2016) as a foreign exchange student, Julia jumped headfirst into everything Coupeville offered.

A dancer, she joined the CHS cheer squad, taking advantage of an opportunity not generally offered in her own country.

“It is not common to have cheer-leading teams in Brazil, so that is a different experience that all the Brazilian girls would like to have,” she said back in the summer of 2015.

“I love dancing and I have been practicing it in Brazil since I was a child, so being a cheerleader is similar.”

Julia caught on so quickly, she cheered for her new classmates through both football and basketball season, and was selected as Most Improved by her coaches.

When the spring came around in 2016, she picked up a tennis racket and headed to the courts.

Along with two seasons as a cheerleader, Borges also played tennis for the Wolves.

There she proved to be a perfect doubles partner, teaming up with Julianne Sem to form a dangerous duo for a Wolf net squad which won a league title.

What always impressed me the most about Julia during her time in Coupeville was her quiet strength and how she showed kindness to all, whether they were teammates or foes.

Going from a home of 19 million people to a town of less than 1,900 had to be a huge transition.

Like all foreign exchange students, Julia would have been dealing with language barriers and perhaps some home sickness.

She responded by bringing out the best in those around her by simply being herself, a truly lovely young woman.

Julia might not have set any sports records while she wore the red and black of Coupeville, but she was a winner in every way.

She got the most out of her life-changing experience, and left behind a legion of fans.

While she might be a world away from Whidbey Island these days, Julia will always be a vital part of Wolf Nation – her serene spirit lighting up the universe.

So today we want to induct Miss Borges into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame, to insure she always knows how highly everyone here regards her.

After this, if you stroll past the Legends tab at the top of the blog, you’ll find her there, a true Wolf, now and forever.

Thank you, Julia, for visiting our lil’ chunk of the globe and making it a much-better place while you were here.

As you become a soaring success out there in the world, always know you have two hometowns – the one where you were born, and the one that has adopted you as one of our own.

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Tia Wurzrainer: three sports, 1000% effort. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Numbers don’t always tell the full story.

And that’s why, to fully appreciate what Tia Wurzrainer brought to Coupeville High School athletics the past four years, you needed to see her play in person.

From a distance, she didn’t score a staggering amount of goals on the soccer field, and didn’t net a record-busting number of baskets on the hardwood.

But watch Tia play in person, whether it was soccer, basketball, or tennis season, and you would quickly gain an appreciation of why she was so valued by coaches, and so beloved by her teammates.

The young girl who once sat quietly eating her sandwich back in a corner at her family’s restaurant, Christopher’s on Whidbey, emerged as one of the hardest-working, far-tougher-than-expected athletes to ever pull on a Wolf jersey.

Tia did the dirty work, and then asked for more, always with a smile.

On the soccer field, she sacrificed her body game after game, a defender who seemingly feared no scoring ace, and wasn’t gonna take no crap from no one, no matter how fancy the rival school might be.

She protected her side of the field with a burning intensity, slamming into frays, chasing down breakaways, fighting for every 50/50 ball, making life considerably easier for the CHS goalkeepers who camped out behind her.

Give her a chance to score, and she could, but Tia made her name holding down the backline, where she netted All-Conference honors and earned mad respect from anyone foolish enough to challenge her.

As fall faded into winter, she would move from the pitch to the basketball court, but her persona as a quietly tough-as-nails roustabout never changed.

Tia slices to the hoop for a bucket in a big win over arch-rival South Whidbey.

The kind of “glue” player every coach needs, she was that rare teen athlete who not only accepted her role, but openly embraced it.

Need a lock-down defender?

A hustler and a scrapper?

A pass-first player who could help keep her team flowing under big-time pressure?

A staunch supporter of each and every one of her teammates?

Tia was the answer for all those needs, and she always seemed to play with the same intensity and effort regardless of whether she was starting or coming off the bench.

Proving she was a true three-sport star, she never skipped a season, joining Avalon Renninger to form a deadly doubles duo on the tennis court each spring.

Always a deadly assassin on the tennis court.

The pair meshed almost flawlessly, both in playing style, and with the grace and drive they exhibited match after match.

Team leaders, captains, and stellar competitors, the duo were on the fast track to make it to the state tourney, only to see their senior season derailed by COVID-19.

While Tia and Avalon didn’t get the chance to make a run at glory in Eastern Washington, that shouldn’t detract in the slightest from what they accomplished when given a chance to play.

While reflecting on their net careers, CHS tennis guru Ken Stange marveled at what Wurzrainer had brought to his program.

Tia … calm, cool, and collected.

“She would probably argue with me, but I think Tia is perfect.

“Kind, intelligent, intuitive, and hard working. I don’t think I ever heard a single negative word pass through her lips.

“Her work ethic was second to none. Anyone would be happy to have her as a partner, me included.”

Some athletes get a chance to put up big numbers, making it easy for people in far-off states or other countries to have at least a loose idea of what they accomplished.

But it’s those like Tia, the ones you need to be camped out in the bleachers, or on the bench, or out there on the floor with her, to really appreciate, who make an impact which can’t be matched.

If you know, you know.

And, if you don’t know, you really, truly missed out.

Today, we swing open the doors at the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame and welcome Tia to our hallowed digital hideaway, where she is reunited with Avalon, her tennis doubles partner.

After this, you’ll find them at the top of the blog, hanging out under the Legends tab.

All in all, a very appropriate choice of words to describe two of the best, as athletes and as people, to ever emerge from Coupeville.

Wurzrainer and Renninger? They were kind of a big deal.

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