Posts Tagged ‘track and field’

Ryan Griggs (left) and Lathom Kelley, living large. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

“Yes, I’m planning shenanigans. My name is Lathom, isn’t it??”

A celebration of Lathom Kelley’s life is set for Saturday, Oct. 22.

The event starts at 1:00 PM at the Coupeville Recreation Hall, which is at 901 NW Alexander St.

Anyone who has special photos, videos, or stories about Lathom is asked to submit them to the Kelley family for inclusion in the memorial.

They ran, yes, but they looked cool doing it. L to r: Jacob Smith, Dalton Martin, Jared Helmstadter, Lathom.


From Lathom’s family:


Lathom McCrae Kelley, 25, died unexpectedly on September 10th, 2022, in a kayaking accident just off the coast of Guemes Island, WA.

He was born September 7, 1997, in Honolulu, HI, the son of Lincoln Kelley and Shawna Hunsaker Kelley.

Lathom graduated from Coupeville High School, class of 2016.

Following graduation, he earned an Auto and Diesel Technology II Associates Degree from Universal Technical Institute in Avondale, AZ.

He served as a lead technician at Halterman’s on a team repairing RVs.

He, Ashley Barbour, and her son, Beau, formed a beautiful, young family until the time of the accident.

If you knew Lathom, you knew he enjoyed life and, in his presence, you probably did too!

His strength and energy exceeded the confines of every space he occupied.

His ability to conjure up some kind of crazy stunt or be encouraged to follow through kept the Kelley household on the edge of our seats.

We know this is a shock to you all, as it is for us.

He will always resonate in our hearts and minds and will be dearly missed.

He was predeceased by grandmother Kathy Hohnstein, grandfather Bobby Mitchael Kelley, and Uncle Wesley Hammer.

He is survived by immediate family Ashley and Beau Barbour, parents Shawna Kelley, Lincoln Kelley, Brad Barbour, Janet Barbour, brother Brandon Kelley, Grandmother Thelma Kelley, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.


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Lathom Kelley, quality dude. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net, Shawna Kelley, and Sylvia Arnold)

Lathom Kelley was my dude.

In 10+ years of writing this blog, I’ve witnessed a ton of Coupeville High School athletes come and go.

Some were amazingly talented.

Some had huge hearts.

Some lived life to their own song, bounding through each day, mischievous grin lighting up the prairie as they did.

Few have put all of that together like Lathom did.

The news that he is believed to have died after a kayak accident Saturday is a punch through our souls.

Sunday night his parents, Lincoln and Shawna, released the following statement:

It is with heavy hearts that we are informing Lathom’s friends, our friends, our families and extended families, we have lost our son, Lathom McCrae Kelley.

He is now a “missing person” after a tragic kayaking incident which occurred on Saturday, September 10th.

We believe he perished after his kayak capsized in the Sound’s 58-degree water and high current flow.

He was rowing from Guemes Island to Jack Island and his remains have yet to be located.

If you knew Lathom, you knew he enjoyed life and, in his presence, you probably did too!

His strength and energy exceeded the confines of every space he occupied.

His ability to conjure up some kind of crazy stunt or be encouraged to follow through kept the Kelley household on the edge of our seats.

We know this is a shock to you all, as it is for us.

He will always resonate in our hearts and minds and will be dearly missed.

The short story is that Lathom graduated with the CHS Class of 2016, a vital part of a group of student/athletes who entered high school in August 2012, right as I launched Coupeville Sports.

He was an absolute terror on the football field, a wild beast careening from side to side, blowing up opposing runners on defense and crashing through the line for big gains when the Wolves had the ball.

A broken hand? Slap a cast on that baby, cause Lathom wasn’t fond of sitting on the bench.

When track and field season rolled around, he was the kind of guy who would decide on a whim to pick up a new event, then dominate without a single day of practice.

Over the course of four seasons Lathom competed in an astonishing 14 different events.

Pretty much the only thing he didn’t try was the pole vault, and that was likely only because Wolf coach Randy King probably looked at Lathom, looked at the pole, and was like, “Hell no, dude will use it to jump onto the school roof.”

At which point Lathom would have grinned from ear to ear and said, “Damn straight, Skippy!”

My enduring image of Lathom was a moment when he came flying through the CHS gym, literally ran up the wall, and did a back flip, sticking the landing before bowing and exiting while declaring “No autographs, my hands are tired folks.”

A smaller, quieter moment came during Senior Night for Wolf boys basketball.

One of the players stood alone, the only soon-to-be graduate whose parents weren’t in the gym, for whatever reason.

Tributes were being delivered, roses were handed out, and things moved towards the lone Wolf.

At which point there was a scream from the top of the stands, and Lathom came flying down, screaming “My boy! This is my boy! I am so proud of him!!”

Grabbing his fellow student in a bear hug, he happily posed for photos, then departed, a rose clenched between his teeth.

Lathom was so many things.

Classy, yet sassy, a wild child who once popped up behind me right after a Wolf mom had given me a plate of cookies.

He had been on the opposite side of the field a moment before, and bam, there he was, vibrating in place, his entire uniform one giant stain of mashed-up grass and mud.

“Dude! You made me cookies!! I told you I was his favorite!!!”

Lathom was eternally proud of his older brother, Brandon, who he often teamed up with on relay units during track season.

“Dang it, Dave, did you see Brandon out there kickin’ ass and takin’ names?” he would holler at me.

“I gotta pick it up, man, dude’s gonna run me ragged!”

Lathom was also the rare kind of young man who refused to vote for himself or campaign for support when he appeared in my yearly polls to decide the “Athlete Supreme.”

“It’s a scam, dude! You just want more page hits!!,” he would holler at me, then he would laugh and go bounce off another wall, trying to hurt himself for my amusement.

Watching Lathom’s growth in recent years, as he found his way in life, you couldn’t help but be proud of the guy.

He amused me.

He entertained me.

He was truthful and honest, rough around the edges at times, but bursting with good will and love for all.

He was Lathom, and he was one of a kind.

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Aaron Lucero imparts wisdom to Maya Nottingham. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Just when you think you’re done, you’re not.

Sitting here in mid-July, I’ve stumbled across three photos from the spring which, for whatever reason, were never used in-season.

So, here you go, a flashback to former glory.

Tenley Stuurmans, ready to launch.

Melanie Navarro gets low to snag an incoming grounder.

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Caleb Meyer drains another bucket. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The Man came back around.

Finishing his prep school days where they began, Caleb Meyer returned to Coupeville just in time to pen the final two chapters in a tale of athletic success.

Videoville, my home away from home for 12 years, may not exist anymore, but for six months it was reborn in our memories as the last heir to Miriam Meyer’s VHS kingdom once again flourished in Cow Town.

Caleb was already a star during his days at Coupeville Middle School, when he was bounding across the basketball court and dominating on the baseball diamond.

He was part of a tight-knit group of young Wolves who were friends off the court and clicked as a unit when repping the same uniforms.

But life has its twists and turns, and Caleb — owner of the curliest locks in Wolf Nation since his uncle Mike kept the shampoo companies flush with cash during his own teen years — ventured away from Whidbey after 8th grade.

Caleb attended Jackson High School in Mill Creek from the first day of his freshman year until early in his senior campaign, though often came back to Coupeville to visit his friends.

And then one day early this past winter, cue his entrance music, because the gang was back together.

Caleb’s return, just in time for the start of basketball season, was like manna raining down from the heavens.

On his way to making a deposit. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

He was that last missing piece for Brad Sherman’s hoops squad — a ballhandler who didn’t flinch under pressure, a tough rebounder, a big-game scorer, and a guy who slapped every butt and bearhugged every teammate as he provided emotional leadership.

In a season where the pandemic altered the roster seemingly from quarter to quarter, much less game to game, Caleb was back with his middle school buddies.

Reunited with X, Hawk, Grady, Logan, and Miles, playing for each other and for the memory of Bennett, the friend they lost too early.

Something magical clicked from the first moment of opening night, with Caleb bringing the ball up-court against Oak Harbor, laughing at the Wildcats futile efforts to play bully ball.

The 2B Wolves stuffed their 3A next-door neighbors, flexing and popping their uniforms as the CHS gym imploded with noise, launching the best season the CHS boys hoops program has seen in decades.

Every night a different hero.

Every night a gym which got progressively more stuffed with bodies, until the rafters shook with the joy.

The first league title since 2002.

The first district crown since 1970.

The first trip to state since 1988, with the Wolves heading to the big dance boasting a 16-0 mark.

District champs! (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Through it all, Caleb was integral.

Vocal and passionate, he never left a teammate on the floor, and never missed an opportunity to lead by example and word.

Hawthorne Wolfe would drain a three-ball and Caleb was there to tousle his hair.

One of the young guns like Alex Murdy or Cole White took an elbow to the face, and Caleb was there, arm thrown around his teammate’s shoulder, simultaneously plotting revenge while also calming down the aggrieved player.

On a team where five or six guys could be the go-to scorer, Caleb finished #2 in points, while taking great delight in being the dude who made the picture-perfect dish to set up a different guy scoring.

In a season where it truly seemed to be about team over self, he walked the walk, talked the talk, and marinated in the joy.

That continued as Caleb and Co. headed outside for track and field, where he spent much of the season ranked among the best in 2B in multiple events.

“We have launch!” (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

He competed in six events as a senior — three sprints, two relays, and the high jump — and went out on an emotional high.

Teaming up with Dominic Coffman, Reiley Araceley, and Aidan Wilson, Caleb closed out his high school days at the state meet in Cheney, running a leg on a 4 x 100 relay unit which claimed 2nd place.

That helped the Coupeville boys finish 7th in the overall team standings.

Kings of the oval. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

And now, the school year is done, sports are on vacation, and Caleb has made the graduation walk side-by-side with the kids he grew up with.

Like big sis McKenzie, the path to future success is wide open.

Caleb, while a splendid athlete, is a better human being — a whip-smart, kind yet strong young man.

Why, he could be the Meyer who one day brings Videoville back to its former glory!

Hello, hello, is this thing on…

But anyways, back in reality, we’re here today to induct Caleb into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame, where he’ll join McKenzie inside our hallowed digital shrine.

They’ll be up there at the top of the blog, hanging out with Uncle Mike and Aunt Megan, under the Legends tab.

Everyone has a different journey, and while Caleb ended up only putting in two seasons in a Coupeville High School uniform, it was plenty of time to have the kind of impact worth honoring.

Quality over quantity every time.

Caleb and Hawthorne Wolfe exit in style. (Morgan White photo)

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Logan Martin strikes a pose. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Hard work never scared Logan Martin.

Few Coupeville athletes put in as much time and effort as the Class of 2022 grad did.

Following in the footsteps of older brother Dalton, lil’ Logan became big Logan, achieving his own athletic and academic success, and he did so thanks to outworking everyone.

As a little kid, he and Mollie Bailey would seize every chance they had to shoot during down time at high school hoops games.

Before tipoff, at halftime, after games, the duo would be out there, putting up shots, shagging rebounds, and building their skill set.

Rumble, young man, rumble. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

That drive and commitment carried over to high school for Logan, especially when he began to pursue excellence as a track and field thrower.

No matter the weather conditions, the time of day, or the state of the world, he’d be out there with dad Bob, honing his discus and shotput skills.

Logan would whirl, the implement would explode free from his hand, arcing high into the heavens, and then he’d nod, say a word or two to pops, and get right back at it.

“Fly far away, my lil’ discus!” (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

So, it didn’t come as much of a surprise to see him soar the way he did, even in the Age of Coronavirus.

The pandemic stole away Logan’s entire sophomore season and eliminated any postseason opportunities as a junior.

But, like his fellow Wolf athletes, he endured and prospered.

Logan won 22 times in his high school career, tacking on a combined 13 victories as a senior after going undefeated in both discus (5-0) and shot put (4-0) during his shortened junior campaign.

He never stopped working, and with the annual trek to Cheney restored this spring, he capped his senior season by claiming 2nd place in both of his events at the WIAA championships.

Not content to stop there, Logan added a third runner-up finish — all to Jeremiah Nubbe, a once-in-a-lifetime chucker from Rainier — at the non-WIAA state hammer throw meet.

Medals and plaques in hand, memories carved out, hard work paid off, the road continues with Logan slated to throw for Central Washington University next year.

Signing on the dotted line to be a college athlete. (Eileen Stone photo)

While his track performance marked a personal high, spring was the cherry on an amazing senior campaign for the youngest of Abbie Martin’s two sons.

The Wolf boys basketball team, anchored by a group of seniors who grew up together on the hardwood, reached heights not seen in decades.

The program’s first league title since 2002.

Its first district crown since 1970, with the clincher coming against perennial power La Conner.

And, finally, the first trip to the state tourney since 1988, with Coupeville the only unbeaten team in the 2B field at 16-0.

Celebrating hardwood success with Dominic Coffman. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Through it all Logan was a “glue” guy for a Wolf squad which bought in to coach Brad Sherman’s team-first concept.

Everyone wants to be The Dude, hitting the game-winning shot, and Logan could score inside and outside, putting back offensive boards or pulling up to splash a three-ball.

But on a team where six to seven guys could pace the squad in scoring on any night, he accepted his role, and made the Wolves better for it.

Logan was the guy who fought for every loose ball, ripped rebounds free even while being pummeled, set his teammates up for success — and cheered their achievements — and never backed down on defense.

From day one to the final moments of his prep hoops career, he worked — relentlessly and with pride in what he was doing.

And that carried over to other sports Logan picked up along the way, whether it was wielding a tennis racket or protecting the goal on the soccer pitch.

Different sport, same work ethic. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Through six years of school sports — middle and high school — he grew in height, in strength, in maturity.

Logan has been, in everything I’ve witnessed and heard, a good guy, and he showed great resiliency in challenging times.

Today we give him some payback, welcoming the rock-solid Mr. Martin to the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame, where he joins his brother.

After this, you’ll be able to find him hanging out at the top of the blog, under the Legends tab.

How’d he punch his entry ticket to that hallowed digital destination, you ask?

He worked for it, every day, and he earned it, on every play.

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