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Wolf QB Jason McFadyen operates under center during a practice in 1990. (Photo courtesy Carmen McFadyen)

The past is present again.

Next Tuesday – November 10 – marks the 30th anniversary of arguably the second-biggest game in Coupeville High School athletic history.

It’s hard to top the 1970 boys basketball district title game, when the Wolves toppled Darrington in front of 2,000+ fans.

That was the game when Jeff Stone torched the nets for 48 points, without the benefit of the three-point bomb, a single-game CHS mark which hasn’t been matched in 50 years.

Even more importantly, by winning that game, Coupeville beat Oak Harbor and Langley to the promised land, becoming the first Whidbey Island hoops squad to win a district title.

But the anniversary of that titanic hardwood tilt already passed earlier this year, and was talked about back then.

Today, in the time frame when football season would normally be wrapping up, we return to 1990.

Mariah Carey topped the musical charts with Love Takes Time as the morning of Saturday, Nov. 10 dawned.

George H.W. Bush was in the White House, and, at movie theaters, Child’s Play 2 was becoming the third-straight horror thriller to top the box office charts, following hot on the heels of Graveyard Shift and Jacob’s Ladder.

But Chucky’s reign would be a short one, at just one week, as a lil’ juggernaut called Home Alone was days away from release.

America so loved seeing Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern get abused, the film stayed #1 for 12 consecutive weeks, a feat matched by only four other films.

But, while they were home Nov. 10, 1990, the members of the CHS football team were not alone.

Instead, on an especially-gusty day, head coach Ron Bagby and his crew were surrounded by fans, as they took to the turf at Mickey Clark Field to host a WIAA state quarterfinal playoff game.

A win away from a trip to the Tacoma Dome (with a journey to the Kingdome on tap if they made the state final), the ’90 Wolves were, without argument, the most-successful team in program history.

Using a pounding ground attack and a feisty defense, Coupeville was 9-0, and had outscored opponents 258-107.

The Wolves had won a league title, their first on the gridiron since 1974, and the program was making its fourth state playoff appearance, and first at home.

Coupeville had shredded its rivals all year, but the defining win was likely a 10-0 whitewashing of Concrete, which was the reigning powerhouse in the Northwest B League.

Frank Marti capped a 122-yard rushing performance with a one-yard touchdown plunge in the fourth quarter, then Brad Haslam dropped the punctuation mark with a 34-yard field goal.

The stage was set for continued success as the playoffs kicked off, but, ultimately, Coupeville had to accept the role of Child’s Play 2, and not Home Alone, as it lost 34-14 to visiting Rainier.

The Mountaineers would go on to blank Adna 16-0 in the semifinals, before falling 13-3 to Reardan in the state title game.

While it wasn’t the end Coupeville coaches, players, and fans wanted, that 1990 team still towers above any other football squad to wear the red and black.

It’s final 9-1 record remains the best in program history, and, 30 years out, Wolf football has yet to win another league title or return to the state playoffs.

As we roll up on the anniversary of their quarterfinal clash, it would be nice if CHS could do an in-person event to commemorate those players and coaches.

Of course, the ongoing pandemic makes that impossible.

But, we can run through the roll call one more time, and give them an online tribute.

So, 30 years later, still the greatest football team in Coupeville High School history is:

 

Coaches:

Ron Bagby
Brian O’Hara
Tom Roehl (RIP)
Jon Prater

 

Manager:

Brent Fitzgerald

 

Seniors:

Brian Barr
Ben Biskovich
Sean Dillon
Chris Frey
Les Hall
Mark Lester
Frank Marti
Jason McFadyen
Ryan Samplawski
Aaron Williams

 

Juniors:

Danny Bonacci
Matt Cross
Brad Haslam
Van Kellems
Ben Russell
Todd Smith
Nate Steele
Tracy Wilson

 

Sophomores:

Troy Blouin
Todd Brown
Ted Clifton
Eric Lester
Craig McGregor
Gerald McIntosh
Jason McManigle
David McMillan

 

Freshmen:

Ross Buckner
Scott Gadbois
Scott Kirkwood
Kit Manzanares
Jerimiah Prater
Virgil Roehl
Joe Staples
Kevin Steiner

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Gabe Shaw, seen last fall in Coupeville, now plays for an undefeated football team in Florida. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Shaw made the local paper, out in front on a run. (Photos courtesy Gabe Shaw, Sr.)

The former Wolf (wearing #72) takes out a would-be tackler.

Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide for anyone who gets in the way of #72.

Different state, same strong results.

Gabe Shaw spent the past two seasons wearing the red and black for Coupeville, where his play on both sides of the line last fall helped the Wolf football squad capture its first winning record since 2005.

A family move sent him across the country to Florida, however, and he’s attending school and playing ball in the deep South.

Now a junior at Clay High School in Green Cove Springs, Shaw is a vital part of an undefeated gridiron team.

The Blue Devils sit at a crisp 5-0 after thunking Mendendez High School 49-7 Friday night.

Clay has outscored its foes 220-68 so far this season.

Shaw, who is listed at tackle and defensive end, rocks #72 for the Blue Devils.

During his time in Coupeville, the younger Shaw also played basketball for the Wolves, while dad Gabe, Sr. was a popular assistant coach for the CHS football program.

Younger brother Ben was a taekwondo champ, and mom Rosmond kept the Shaw empire firing on all cylinders.

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Chelsea Prescott and the high-flying Coupeville High School varsity volleyball squad are off to a 6-0 start after sweeping Granite Falls. (Brian Vick photo)

Is it possible to feel terrible and wonderful at the same time?

Coupeville High School volleyball coach Cory Whitmore, battling illness while enduring a long bus trip to Granite Falls, was ready to hit the hay when he got back to Whidbey Thursday night.

But while he physically felt pretty punk, spiritually he was flying sky-high.

Whitmore’s Wolves cruised to a 25-16, 25-10, 25-15 win on the road, improving to a flawless 3-0 in North Sound Conference play, 6-0 overall.

It’s the best start to a season for a CHS volleyball team since at least 2004, and maybe forever.

Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Famer Toni Crebbin, who was the Wolf coach back in those days, knows that squad finished with just one league loss, but couldn’t immediately remember Thursday at what point in the season that lone defeat occurred.

Until someone goes through old newspaper clippings (yes, yes, I’m on it), we can safely say this year’s 6-0 start eclipses last year’s CHS squad, which started 5-0.

With a trip Saturday to Orcas Island to play a 1-5 non-conference foe, Coupeville is primed to carry a 7-0 mark into next Monday’s titanic league showdown with King’s (3-0, 6-0).

That match will play out in the CHS gym, with tip-off set for 7 PM.

For the moment, the Wolves can bask in the afterglow from a prime-time hit job, one in which they whacked the Tigers thanks to strong performances across the board.

“I’m excited about the win,” Whitmore said. “We came back with a commanding message to another league match-up and it was a big team effort.”

The Wolves sent nine players onto the floor Thursday, and all returned to the bench having scratched their names on the stat sheet.

Coupeville’s spikers combined for five blocks, 18 aces, 33 digs, 37 assists, and 39 kills, stifling Granite Falls at the net, while often never giving their hosts a chance to really get going.

The stat-line:

Hannah Davidson (2 kills, 2 aces, 2 digs)
Emma Mathusek
(9 digs, 2 assists)
Chelsea Prescott
(9 kills, 4 aces, 5 digs, 1 assist)
Lucy Sandahl
(1 ace, 2 digs, 1 assist)
Scout Smith
(4 kills, 6 aces, 4 digs, 28 assists)
Maya Toomey-Stout
(10 kills, 2 aces, 10 digs, 4 assists, 2 blocks)
Zoe Trujillo
(9 kills, 1 assist, 1 block)
Raven Vick
(3 aces)
Maddie Vondrak
(5 kills, 1 dig, 2 blocks)

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Chelsea Prescott was on fire Tuesday as the undefeated Coupeville High School varsity volleyball team swatted arch-rival South Whidbey in straight sets. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Raven Vick (left) and Maddie Vondrak, key components on a 5-0 Wolf squad which sits atop the North Sound Conference standings. (Brian Vick photo)

The future is bright for South Whidbey, but the present is even brighter for Coupeville.

While the Falcon volleyball squad has tons of young talent, led by big-hitting, sweet-serving freshman Morgan Batchelor, the Wolves have earned their moment in the spotlight.

Eight of the 12 players on Coupeville’s varsity roster are seniors, with three juniors and one freshman rounding out the team.

Those veterans have gone all the way with Wolf coach Cory Whitmore, now in his fourth season at the helm of the program, and they’re primed to make a run at returning to state for the second time in three seasons.

Tuesday night Coupeville took another step down that path, sending their next-door neighbors back home after blistering them 25-16, 25-17, 25-17.

The victory lifts the Wolves to 2-0 in North Sound Conference play, 5-0 overall.

It’s the second-straight season CHS has opened with five wins in as many matches, and the Island rivalry triumph was a milestone for Whitmore, who is now 40-16 while working in Cow Town.

Coupeville sits atop the league standings, in a dead-heat with King’s (2-0, 5-0), a game up on Cedar Park Christian (1-1, 6-2) and South Whidbey (1-1, 2-3).

Granite Falls (0-2, 3-3), which hosts the Wolves Thursday, and Sultan (0-2, 3-4) are currently in the basement.

What is shaping up as a contender for match-of-the-year arrives next Monday, Oct. 7, when King’s travels to Whidbey Island to face Coupeville.

For now, though, Whitmore and his squad, having stayed perfect through the first third of the regular season, are content to remain locked in the moment.

Against South Whidbey, that meant attacking as a unit, all players firing as one.

“I was very excited with our consistency tonight, keeping almost the same scores set to set, and staying focused start to finish,” Whitmore said.

“We had very few errors, and a balanced attack, and that goes to Scout (Smith’s) distribution and just good sets,” he added. “It was a solid team effort; we were throwing the ball around and staying ahead of the game.”

Coupeville controlled play from first serve to last smash, and only trailed by more than a single point just once during the match, at 8-6 early in the second set.

It was the smallest of burps, though, as the Wolves promptly reeled off a 10-1 surge to quell any Falcon hopes of stretching the match out.

The night’s first big blow came from junior Chelsea Prescott, who launched a titanic evening by crushing an ear-popping spike to knot the first set up at 2-2.

That launched a run of different Wolves stepping up big at the net, with Maya Toomey-Stout, Zoe Trujillo, and Hannah Davidson all connecting on ferocious putaways in the opening set.

In between, Prescott bobbed and weaved, artfully spinning little tips for winners, before flexing her guns and erupting with pure power.

Chelsea was on her game tonight,” Whitmore said as he scanned the stat sheet. “28 swings and just one error!

“Every one of our hitters came in above average, and that’s the payoff of good team passing.”

The Wolves closed the first set with two beautiful plays.

On the first, Smith won a tip war at the net, skying up, then out-muscling a rival player who made a play for the same ball.

Then Trujillo, who put an extra little zing on all of her kills Tuesday, walloped a smash that scattered a pack of Falcon players who could only watch in frustration as it ripped past.

Keeping alive the team first, team last, team always concept, the Wolves opened the second set with yet another player rising to the moment.

This time it was the Mad Masher herself, junior Maddie Vondrak, who cracked a huge spike to buckle the knees of the Falcon players.

There were longer rallies in the middle set, but almost every time Coupeville came up with something special, whether it was Davidson smoking a kill or Smith twirling like a ballerina while looking one way and dropping a tip winner the other.

Prescott was a whiz kid who couldn’t be stopped, blasting one shot with enough sizzle on it to completely bowl over a Falcon player, who tried, and failed, to stop it with her chest.

Batchelor did her best to keep South Whidbey in the mix, and made an often-impenetrable wall at the net, but the well-seasoned Wolves had too many weapons.

Whether it was Trujillo roaring up the middle of the court like a runaway freight train, Toomey-Stout trying to pop the volleyball through sheer brute strength, or Vondrak slicin’ ‘n dicin’, Coupeville had an answer for everything South Whidbey could offer this time around.

The match ended, appropriately, with one final eruption of power from Toomey-Stout, which pleased her coaches, and the rockin’, rollin’, and floor-thumpin’ CHS student section.

It also came to a close with a remarkably well-balanced stat sheet, led off by Prescott, who delivered 11 kills, seven digs and six aces.

Smith tossed in 25 assists, four kills, and nine digs, Toomey-Stout collected 10 kills, eight digs, and two aces, and that was just the start.

Trujillo (five kills), Emma Mathusek (nine digs and a million floor burns), Vondrak (four kills and a solo block), Davidson (four kills, three aces), Raven Vick (three aces), and Lucy Sandahl (three digs and an ace) all delivered strong work as well.

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Coupeville boys basketball, which boasts nine players who will be seniors this coming season, went 5-0 this weekend, winning the Crescent Classic. (Mindy Grove photo)

The underclassmen join the action. (Photo courtesy Brad Sherman)

Right now, at this moment in time, they’re undefeated.

The high school boys basketball season is still months and months away, but that’s not stopping Coupeville from getting after it.

Prepping for an upcoming team camp, the Wolves traveled off-Island this weekend, and returned home as Crescent Classic champs.

Coupeville, facing off with Chimacum, Forks, and the host team, went 5-0 to nab the title.

Having traveled 154.8 miles round-trip to Crescent, the Wolves earned a win for every 31 miles.

CHS coach Brad Sherman had his full team at his disposal, with all nine returning full-time varsity players in attendance.

That group includes Jacobi Pilgrim, Jered Brown, Hawthorne Wolfe, Jean Lund-Olsen, Gavin Knoblich, Ulrik Wells, Mason Grove, Koa Davison, and Sean Toomey-Stout.

Also along for the trip were Daniel Olson and Xavier Murdy, who were swing players during the 2018-2019 season, and Tucker Hall.

After a season in which Coupeville had just one senior, the now-graduated Dane Lucero, the Wolves could boast nine 12th graders this winter.

The only underclassmen in the current varsity group are Olson, who will be a junior, and Wolfe and Murdy, who will be sophomores.

Their coach came away from the trip pleased with the results, and, more importantly, thrilled with the effort he saw from his players.

“Was a good opportunity for our guys to get out and play before camp,” Sherman said. “Good team basketball; really great team effort.”

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