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Posts Tagged ‘volleyball’

The ever-irrepressible Ally Roberts is the seventh member of her extended family inducted into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.com)

Also inducted today – older sister Madeline, a true one-of-a-kind star on the softball diamond.

At this rate, we might want to think about adding a Sandy Roberts wing to the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

The man himself is already well-established in our lil’ digital hall of wonders, inducted for his stellar work as both a Wolf athlete and coach.

Toss in two sons (Jon and Jay Roberts), a daughter-in-law (Sherry (Bonacci) Roberts) and, as of today, three grandchildren (Lindsey, Madeline, and Ally Roberts) also camping out there, and the family is well-represented.

While we wait for the construction of that wing, though, we have a bit of business to take care of, and that’s the induction of grandchildren #2 and #3, sisters Madeline and Ally.

They went their own ways when it came to choosing their athletic pursuits, but they were similar in always shining brightly in whatever arena they participated.

Madeline made her name on the softball field, a slap-hitting speedster who anchored the top of the lineup for the CHS softball squad.

A four-year letter winner, she was a First-Team All-League pick at shortstop during her senior season in 2014, a time when Coupeville faced off with big bads like Archbishop Thomas Murphy and Lakewood in the 1A/2A Cascade Conference.

That was the season the Wolves shocked folks by putting together a late-season run which carried them all the way to Eastern Washington for the state tournament, their first return trip to the big dance in a decade-plus.

In addition to All-League honors, Madeline ran away with the team award for Best Offense when Wolf coaches David and Amy King held their annual season-ending shindig.

Not content with merely being a high school standout, Mad Dog made the jump to college ball, as well, and with a twist.

She played two seasons on the diamond for Shoreline Community College, facing off a few times against former CHS teammate Hailey Hammer, who did her college time at Everett Community College.

But Madeline also surprised everyone when, after not playing basketball in high school, she opted to play a campaign with Shoreline’s hoops squad, acquitting herself quite nicely.

Her younger, but ultimately taller, sister was also a multi-sport athlete, juggling the equestrian world with volleyball.

On the court, Rally Ally was a ferocious hitter, ripping off knee-quaking spikes and flinging her body to the floor with wild abandon to save wayward shots.

Playing for the Wolves during a time of transition, when several coaches moved through the system, Ally saw her role change often, but she always adapted and never stopped fighting during every second she was given on the floor.

When she wasn’t in the gym, Lisa Edlin’s youngest daughter could usually be found astride a horse, winning medals and ribbons while tearing up the rodeo circuit.

It was a sport which carried Ally through both high school and college, where she was the captain of Western Washington University’s equestrian team.

She won a regional championship in Advanced Western Horsemanship in what turned out to be her final time in the saddle, before being denied a crack at nationals when COVID-19 shut down college sports.

That disappointment, while sad in the moment, will ultimately be just a small footnote for Ally, who like her big sis, has much more ahead of her left to accomplish.

As they move forward, they’ll also hang around, joining their family members under the Legends tab at the top of the blog.

They were stars during their school days — two bright, shining supernovas full of talent and skill who added bold new chapters to the tale of one of Coupeville’s most-successful athletic families.

Out in the real world, Madeline and Ally will be equally unstoppable. Of that, I have no doubt.

And when they do hit it big? We can say we knew them back when.

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Ashley Menges, flying high here, is returning to the CHS volleyball program, but as a coach this time. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Menges and Emma Smith enjoy their Senior Night during the 2018 season.

Smashley returns.

After a season on the sideline, former Coupeville High School volleyball ace Ashley Menges is rejoining the Wolf volleyball program, but as a coach this time.

Menges, who graduated from CHS in 2019 after a stellar four-year run of sets, digs, and kills, has been tabbed as the school’s JV spiker coach.

Her hire will be official after the School Board approves it.

Menges joins varsity coach Cory Whitmore, who is heading into his fifth season at the helm of the CHS volleyball program.

JV coach Chris Smith and C-Team coach Krimson Rector both stepped down during the offseason with an eye on pursuing other life goals.

For Menges, a volleyball lifer, the chance to coach at her alma mater, and in her favorite sport, is a thrill.

“It’ll be nice to be back in the gym during volleyball season!,” she said. “I’m very excited to work with all the girls.”

When I inducted Menges into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame, this was part of what I wrote:

She could smoke service winners, flip end-over-end to save balls which looked like goners, soar into the heavens to smash spikes, and deliver perfect lil’ set-ups for her teammates to get the glory.

Through it all, the transcendent young woman who ended her career as a team captain, as a key player on back-to-back league title teams, as a state meet veteran who helped CHS to three straight 10+ win seasons, was pure class.

Menges is talented, is a firecracker on the floor, and worked as hard as anyone.

But it was her willingness to take on whatever role was necessary for the betterment of the team which made the biggest impression on those in the stands.

PS — If you have any doubt as to where I stand, I’ll close with this — this is a really great hire.

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Maddie Georges was third in scoring for the Wolf varsity basketball squad during her freshman season. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

A broken ankle kicks off Mad Dog’s summer. (Suzan Georges photos)

On the mend.

One of Coupeville’s most-promising young athletes will kick off summer vacation in a boot.

Maddie Georges, who was third on the Wolf varsity squad in scoring during her freshman basketball season, broke her left ankle Saturday.

Mad Dog was a top JV volleyball player right out of the gate, and is the heir apparent to the soon-to-be-graduated Scout Smith at setter for the CHS varsity volleyball program.

Georges then made a huge breakthrough on the hardwood, jumping from being a vital part of an undefeated middle school hoops team in 8th grade to becoming a starter for the Wolf varsity midway through her freshman campaign.

Coupeville’s deadliest three-ball threat, she joined Smith in running the offense, while racking up 86 points.

That left her trailing just Smith (148) and junior Chelsea Prescott (110) on the season scoring chart.

When spring came, Georges also made the CHS varsity softball roster, only to see her season end before it began thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down Washington state schools.

Now, three months ahead of a new high school volleyball season — if prep sports return on time — Mad Dog is on the mend.

The good news is the injury seems fairly uncomplicated.

“A clean break,” said mom Suzan Georges. “So much for softball and on to healing for volleyball and basketball. Girl’s got some serious PT in her future.

“Huge thanks to all the ER doctors, nurses, and X-ray tech,” she added. “We were in and out in less then an hour and a half.”

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Erin Locke is leaving Coupeville Middle School. (Photo courtesy Locke)

Coupeville Middle School is in the market for a new volleyball coach.

Erin Locke has resigned her position as a teacher at the school, and will also let go of her duties as a spiker guru.

Her departure becomes official when approved by the school board at its next meeting, set for Tuesday, May 26.

Locke shared CMS volleyball coaching duties with Sarah Lyngra, and was also an assistant wrestling coach at Oak Harbor High School.

A 2018 graduate of Eastern Washington University, Locke taught PE and English as a Second Language for Coupeville.

She came to CMS with a strong sports background, having been a championship-level wrestler and Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitor.

Vibrant and outgoing, Locke built a strong fan club among her students, and continued to provide them with leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic school shutdown, posting music-infused exercise videos to social media.

She’s leaving Whidbey to accept a position which moves her closer to family.

“I accepted a position as an ELL teacher in the Bremerton School District and will be moving there in the fall,” Locke said.

“This is one of the hardest things I have ever done, because I love Coupeville and our community so very much, but Bremerton is a few hours closer to my family and someone very special to me. So, very personal draw.

“This has been a hard decision, but I am excited for what’s to come.”

 

Locke sent out the following video to her students, which she is allowing us to share:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1NzR-5DrvJggq5tmR0YXq0YzT5ycCU_5A/view?usp=drivesdk

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Emma Mathusek, serene superstar. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Emma Mathusek was a quiet superstar.

I’m not talking about her personality — she has always been outgoing, full of rah-rah spirit, and an exuberant, entertaining presence  — but how she approached her sports.

Whether it was volleyball or softball, or basketball back in her younger days, Emma was the kind of athlete every coach wants and hopes will land on their team.

She had skills for days, but always seemed content to fit her strengths into whatever her teammates and coaches needed.

Others chafe if they’re not looked at as the star.

Emma, who is straight laid-back chill, bopped along to a different rhythm than most, always seeming far more interested in team success than piling up personal stats.

Already ready to rule the world. (Photo courtesy Erin Martin)

You saw it on the volleyball court, where she anchored the Wolves while playing libero, sacrificing her body to scrape balls off the floor, time and again, and then some more.

The big hitters up front get the gaudy stats, and a lot of the buzz, but they never get the chance to go airborne if Emma isn’t holding down the last line of defense.

I don’t know as much about volleyball as some, but I’ve watched enough matches to appreciate an unsung warrior when I see one.

And that’s what Emma has been for the past six years – a warrior.

She sold out every dang time, every play, every moment she was on the floor, and very few balls got past her during that time.

The harder other teams hit, the harder she played.

Her team might win — and she was part of a very-successful run by the Wolf spikers in recent years — or they might lose, but Emma played with the same conviction, the same intensity, regardless of whether her team was two sets up or two sets down.

I always thought it was too bad she gave up basketball midway through her prep career, but that could be because it’s my favorite sport, and she was my favorite kind of player – a fighter and a scrapper.

But, you have to do what makes you happy, and know the fans will survive either way. If she was happier not playing, so be it.

And anyway, we still had her for one more sport, and she sparkled on the softball field.

A dynamic softball player from the very beginning. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Put Emma on the diamond, and she gave you speed, a soft glove, a slammin’ bat, and, once again, the willingness to adapt to whatever role she was asked to play.

She patrolled centerfield in her prime, and frankly, at times, there was little need for Coupeville coaches to put players in right and left, as she sprinted from foul line to foul line to snag rapidly-falling balls.

At the plate, Emma was a contact hitter who sprayed the ball in all directions, while often showing a surprising amount of pop.

While it wasn’t unexpected that homer-happy teammates like Veronica Crownover and Sarah Wright terrorized opposing pitchers with frequent round-trippers, Emma rocked one of the most-impressive home runs I have seen a Wolf hit.

The tater was delivered May 1, 2019, and it will live in Wolf lore for a long time, for how far away it sailed, when it was hit, and what it meant.

Emma’s shot, which cleared the fence like a 747 taking off, was a game-tying two-run blast which fueled what would turn into a wild, come-from-behind, 20-18 win over visiting Granite Falls.

The Tigers had come to Cow Town struttin’ and full of swagger, seemingly on the brink of clinching the North Sound Conference title.

Then Emma, with some help from her teammates, knocked Granite Falls to the canvas – she also had a long two-run single to go with her home run – and dared the Tigers to get back up.

They did not. Ever.

Jacked up after delivering a KO, one in which freshman hurler Izzy Wells whiffed the most-dangerous hitter in the league to slam the door shut, Coupeville stormed all the way back to win the league title.

After that came a great postseason run in which the Wolves finished 2nd at districts, advanced to state for the third time in program history, then drilled big baddie Deer Park while there.

Granite? They never made it out of districts, the back half of their tail-spinning season including a second loss to Coupeville, this one a killer in the playoffs.

The Wolves, however, made it to the premier event for Washington state high school softball sluggers, and it was Emma – the unsung star – who ruled the big stage.

Playing three games in one day in Richland, she ripped off six hits, including three doubles, putting a remarkable cap on her junior season.

While the COVID-19 pandemic stole her senior softball campaign, the legend Emma quietly built can’t be diminished.

You can talk about stats. You can talk about big hits and big catches on the diamond, or big dives and big hustle plays on the court.

Or you can just stand back and appreciate a young woman who every single moment she was in a Wolf uniform looked like she was having the time of her life.

She played her heart out, and her joy, the way she embraced her teammates and sacrificed for them, won’t be forgotten.

Today we induct Emma Mathusek into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame, and, after this, she’ll live up at the top of the blog, under the Legends tab.

Want to find her? She’ll be the one high-fiving all the other inductees, a perfect teammate to the end.

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