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Helen Strelow returns this fall to make a run at qualifying a second time for the state cross country meet. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

We’re going to the future.

One school year is still fading away in the background, and already some of us are looking ahead at plans for another.

Coupeville High School has released schedules for five of its six fall sports programs, with boys tennis the lone exception.

That’s because the program is twisting in the wind, having failed to field a team in back-to-back seasons.

The move from 1A to 2B stung the net program, as the transition bounced boys soccer from the spring to the fall.

That means four sports — cross country, football, soccer, and tennis — are fighting for male bodies in the same season, and there are only so many athletes to be had.

If tennis is able to pull together a team, we’ll have a schedule for you closer to the fall.

But for now, you’ll have to make do with what we have.

The first day of practice for CHS football is Aug. 17, with volleyball, soccer, cross country, and (maybe) tennis starting Aug. 22.

Games start Sept. 2, and when you go to laminate the schedules, remember the words of Coupeville Athletic Director Willie Smith.

“As always, they are living, breathing, ever-slightly changing documents…”

Willie Smith scans the future, looking for schedule changes.

 

* = league games

 

BOYS SOCCER:

Tues-Sept. 6 — Auburn Adventist Academy
Tues-Sept. 13 — @ Mount Vernon Christian
Sat-Sept. 17 — Cedar Park Christian-Lynnwood
Tues-Sept. 20 — @ La Conner
Fri-Sept. 23 — Friday Harbor
Tues-Sept. 27 — Orcas Island
Tues-Oct. 4 — @ Cedar Park Christian-Lynnwood (*)
Sat-Oct. 8 — Mount Vernon Christian (*)
Tues-Oct. 11 — @ Grace Academy (*)
Fri-Oct. 14 — @ Friday Harbor (*)
Tues-Oct. 18 — Providence Classical Christian (*)
Sat-Oct. 22 — Lopez Island (*)
Tues-Oct. 25 — La Conner (*) — SENIOR NIGHT
Thur-Oct. 27 — @ Orcas Island (*)

 

CROSS COUNTRY:

Sat-Sept. 10 — @ Sehome Invitational
Sat-Sept. 17 — @ Westling Invitational (South Whidbey)
Wed-Sept. 21 — @ Orcas Island
Sat-Sept. 24 — @ King’s Invite
Tues-Sept. 27 — @ Concrete
Sat-Oct. 1 — @ Twilight Invitational (Cedarcrest)
Sat-Oct. 8 — @ Hole in the Wall Invitational (Lakewood)

 

FOOTBALL:

Fri-Sept. 2 — @ Klahowya
Fri-Sept. 9 — South Whidbey — THE BUCKET GAME
Fri-Sept. 16 — Sultan
Fri-Sept. 23 — @ La Conner (*)
Fri-Sept. 30 — Friday Harbor (*) — HOMECOMING
Fri-Oct. 7 — Bellingham
Fri-Oct. 14 — @ Cascade (Leavenworth)
Fri-Oct. 21 — La Conner (*) — SENIOR NIGHT
Fri-Oct. 28 — @ Friday Harbor (*)

 

GIRLS SOCCER:

Tues-Sept. 6 — Auburn Adventist Academy
Thur-Sept. 8 — @ Friday Harbor (*)
Tues-Sept. 13 — Oak Harbor
Thurs-Sept. 15 — @ University Prep
Sat-Sept. 17 — Ocosta
Sat-Sept. 24 — @ Forks
Tues-Sept. 27 — Mount Vernon Christian (*)
Tues-Sept. 29 — @ La Conner (*)
Tues-Oct. 4 — Friday Harbor (*)
Sat-Oct. 8 — Crosspoint
Thur-Oct. 13 — @ Mount Vernon Christian (*)
Tues-Oct. 18 — @ Granite Falls
Sat-Oct. 22 — @Sultan
Tues-Oct 25 — La Conner (*) — SENIOR NIGHT

 

VOLLEYBALL:

Tues-Sept. 6 — Auburn Adventist Academy
Thur-Sept. 8 — Friday Harbor (*)
Sat-Sept. 10 — @ South Whidbey Tournament
Mon-Sept. 12 — @ South Whidbey
Tues-Sept. 13 — @ Cedar Park Christian-Bothell
Fri-Sept. 16 — @ Sundome Tournament (Yakima)
Tues-Sept. 20 — @ Darrington (*)
Thur-Sept. 22 — Orcas Island (*)
Sat-Sept. 24 — @ Forks
Thu-Sept. 29 — @ La Conner (*)
Sat-Oct. 1 — South Whidbey
Tues-Oct. 4 — @ Friday Harbor (*)
Tues-Oct. 11 — Concrete (*)
Thur-Oct. 13 — @ Mount Vernon Christian (*)
Thur-Oct. 20 — Darrington (*)
Sat-Oct. 22 — @ Orcas Island (*)
Tues-Oct. 25 — La Conner (*) — SENIOR NIGHT

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Olivia Schaffeld delivers a kill. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Amaya Schaffeld sprints for home.

The Schaffeld sisters will shine elsewhere.

A family move will subtract two of Coupeville’s best young athletes, with Olivia and Amaya Schaffeld set to suit up in a new town this fall.

Olivia, who will be a junior, was a key player for a CHS varsity volleyball team which went 11-6 last season.

She earned Honorable Mention status when Northwest 2B/1B League coaches selected All-Conference teams, one of four Wolves honored.

Olivia racked up 69 kills, 37 digs, nine block assists, and 26 service aces during her first varsity season, finishing in a tie with Jill Prince for most block assists by a Wolf.

The elder Schaffeld was #4 on the team in kills and aces.

Her younger sister also earned a varsity letter, even before reaching high school.

Amaya was the lone 8th grader on the CHS varsity soccer squad, playing forward for the Wolf booters.

Lil’ sis wrapped things up this spring by competing in track and field, back at the middle school level.

During the season, Amaya ran the 100, did the high jump, and was part of a 4 x 100 relay team.

The Schaffeld sisters’ departure continues a recent trend of family moves trimming Coupeville rosters, with Mikey and Dylan Robinett also leaving town.

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Wolf spikers like Jill Prince (left) and Maddie Georges have a chance to participate in a skills camp. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Never stop working.

Success in volleyball, like any sport, comes with work put in on the court — in season and out.

With that in mind, Coupeville High School spiker coaches are gearing up for their annual in-house skills camps.

The sessions are split between incoming students in K-6 and grades 7-12.

The younger players go June 4-5, with the older stars on the floor June 13-16.

Elementary school students will be in action from 9 AM to noon, with middle and high school players going from 4-6 PM.

Cost is $20 and $30, respectively, and each player who registers by May 20 will receive a camp t-shirt.

For more info and QR codes to help with registration, check out the photos below.

 

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Who wants to be #28?

The Wolf Pup Volleyball program for Coupeville Elementary School students in grades 3-5 kicks back into action in mid-April, with 27 kids already signed up.

The program, run by high school coaches and players, is held every Tuesday and Thursday between April 12 and May 26.

Held at the CHS gym from 4-6 PM, the program offers a fun introduction to volleyball, with an emphasis on building skills.

“I could not be more excited to build connections with the future of the volleyball program and teach our community youth a love of the sport!” said CHS coach Cory Whitmore.

“The more the merrier, so we are happy to have more sign up if interested.”

Cost is $60, covering 14 sessions, and is due on the first day of practice.

The program is very flexible, however, so if students want to attend some sessions, but not all, no worries.

“If there is conflict in scheduling, families are welcome to adapt as needed,” Whitmore said. “This is a low-stress introduction to volleyball, and we know that spring is a very busy time.”

 

To sign up, pop over to:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSefc8-leFu_mOwWw4qCZRFwjnApo-2DfAv44auLjC2rKV37Sw/viewform

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Lanie Kiel, queen of the CHS gym. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

She could have been mean, but she wasn’t.

She could have been angry, but, if she was, she didn’t show it.

She could have been sad, but the smile, even when fighting through great tiredness and pain, never wavered.

Lanie Kiel, the ultimate Wolf Nation volleyball and basketball fan — a loving mother to her own two brilliant daughters, Katie and Kacie, and also every other young woman who shared the court with them — was joy, and happiness, and grace, and kindness, wrapped up into one transcendent soul.

A long, brutal battle with cancer weakened her body, and Tuesday she passed away in her sleep.

But I will not say she lost her fight, because Lanie will always be a winner in my eyes.

In good times and bad, her heart, her smile, the love radiating from every pore in her body, never wavered, never changed.

I knew Lanie and her husband Steve from back before I launched this blog, crossing paths with them during my time at other jobs, and then I came around to write about their daughters, sharing hard wooden bleachers with the parents during big wins and agonizing losses.

Even after the girls graduated, the Kiel family, exuding Hawaii-style laidback charm and love, were frequent fliers at Coupeville athletic events.

This year Katie stepped up and became a middle school volleyball coach, helping close the circle, while I probably drove Kacie quietly crazy by constantly asking if she might join her sister on the bench, teaching lessons to a new generation of Wolf female athletic stars.

Kacie’s basketball Senior Night brought out ma, pa, and big sis Katie.

Through it all, Lanie, her pride in her family shining brightly, even when we had to hide our faces behind masks, was there to light up the gym, night after night.

Having witnessed up close an aunt endure a similar journey with cancer as a constant companion, there were times when you could tell it was harder for her.

Times where she couldn’t make it through the entire night and had to leave a game early.

But there were other times when the pain seemed to melt away, and those nights gave me hope she would continue to grace the CHS gym for years to come.

Whether she was chuckling over Steve’s antics with the flag as he called lines at volleyball matches or giving hugs to everyone who asked — and everyone who knew Lanie was a Lanie fan — Mrs. Kiel was a burst of love in her actions and words, a balm for hurt feelings in a troubled world.

Lanie and Sylvia Arnold, enjoying life.

We spoke many times over the years, and it was always remarkable how kind she was, how genuinely caring she was.

As we camped at the top of the bleachers, leaning against the gym wall in a futile effort to make our seats feel at least slightly comfortable, she was a most-pleasant companion.

She would want to know how I was doing, if I was still enjoying writing about sports, and they weren’t just casual conversation questions.

Lanie always made you feel she cared and was really listening to your answers.

I’ve been on this beat — writing about sports in Coupeville — for 32 years now.

Sometimes on a daily basis. Sometimes in a more infrequent fashion.

Thousands upon millions of words, in newspapers — some still in business, others not — magazines, and blogs.

Athletes come and go, and now their kids are showing up to play the same sports as their parents once did.

Fans, parents, bystanders, and participants. I’ve crossed paths with a lot of people while documenting the exploits of Wolf Nation, and Lanie will always be one of the ones who endure.

She was kind and caring and she made my day better every time our paths crossed.

When I look at Katie and Kacie, I see their dad — his competitiveness, his deep love and appreciation of sports, his McConaughey-style laidback charm — but I also, very much, see their mom.

I see Lanie’s love, her kindness, her embrace of life and everyone livin’ it, and I see it reflected every time her daughters smile, every time they laugh, and in the grace with which they carry themselves.

She was so proud of them, and for good reason.

With spring sports in full stride, we’re outside now.

But there will be a moment down the road when we return to the CHS and CMS gyms, and Lanie’s memory will be there waiting for us.

The first time will undoubtedly be sad.

But, as we remember her joy, her kindness, her love and toughness and resiliency, it will be easier. Because she will never fully leave us.

Lanie Kiel will always be the best of what Wolf Nation is, and I am thankful her path crossed mine.

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