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Ja’Kenya Hoskins and other CHS track stars get to compete at home during the Bi-District meet Thursday and Saturday. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Willie Smith is in the eye of the hurricane right now, with potential storms raging on all sides.

The Coupeville High School Athletic Director is being pulled in 20,000 different directions, as he and his school prepare to host two Bi-District track meets wrapped into one giant Trackageddon Thursday and Saturday.

CHS welcomes 22 other schools to Mickey Clark Field, as District 1 and 2 clash in both 1A and 2B meets.

The last stop before the state meet, it’s nirvana for track and field fans, and a chance for Coupeville to establish itself as a go-to place for big events, but also two days full of 1,001 logistical issues.

As Willie works his magic, what you need to know:

 

What:

1A and 2B Bi-District track meets.

In 1A, where Coupeville competes, District 1 is represented by the North Sound Conference and Northwest Conference, while District 2 is repped by the Emerald City League.

 

When:

May 16, 18

 

Where:

Coupeville Elementary School, located at 6 S. Main.

 

What’s at stake:

Top four finishers in each event advance to state.

 

Admission per day:

Adults and students without ASB — $7.00
Students with ASB, children and seniors — $5.00
Preschool children (with paying adult) – Free

 

Available food and drink?:

CHS concession stand, just a few steps from the track oval, will be open both days. Sales benefit the Class of 2020.

For other food stuff, the Coupeville Country Store (quickie mart) is a shot put throw away from CES, while Prairie Center Red Apple Market (grocery store) is just a couple blocks down the street.

 

Who’s coming?

According to athletic.net:

 

1B:

Crescent

 

2B:

Concrete
Crosspoint
Friday Harbor
La Conner
Seattle Lutheran

 

1A:

Bear Creek
Bush
Cedar Park Christian
Coupeville
Eastside Prep
Granite Falls
King’s
Lynden Christian
Meridian
Mount Baker
Nooksack Valley
Northwest
Seattle Academy
South Whidbey
Sultan
University Prep

 

What’s the schedule?

All events with ** after them are finals. Others are prelims. Start times may shift if things get backed-up.

 

Thursday:

3:30 – 1A – Boys – Javelin (followed by girls) **
3:30 – 1A – Boys – Triple Jump **
3:30 – 1A – Girls – Discus **
3:30 – 1A – Boys – High Jump (followed by girls) **
3:30 – 1A – Girls – Long Jump **
4:00 – 2B – Boys – 1600 **
4:10 – 2B – Girls – 1600 **
4:20 – 1A – Girls – 4 x 200 Relay
4:30 – 1A – Boys – 1600 **
4:40 – 1A – Girls – 1600 **
4:50 – 1A – Boys – 110 Hurdles
5:00 – 1A – Girls – 100 Hurdles
5:10 – 1A – Boys – 100
5:20 – 1A – Girls – 100
5:30 – 1A – Boys – 4 x 100 Relay
5:30 – 1A – Boys – Shot Put **
5:40 – 1A – Girls – 4 x 100 Relay
5:50 – 1A – Boys – 400
6:00 – 1A – Girls – 400
6:10 – 1A – Boys – 300 Hurdles
6:20 – 1A – Girls – 300 Hurdles
6:30 – 1A – Boys – 800
6:40 – 1A – Girls – 800
6:50 – 1A – Boys – 200
7:00 – 1A – Girls – 200
7:10 – 1A – Boys – 4 x 400 Relay
7:20 – 1A – Girls – 4 x 400 Relay

 

Saturday:

11:30 – 2B – Girls – Javelin (followed by boys) **
11:30 – 1A – Boys – Long Jump **
11:30 – 1A – Girls – Shot Put **
11:30 – 1A – Girls – Triple Jump **
11:30 – 1A – Girls – Pole Vault (followed by boys) **
11:30 – 1A – Boys – Discus **
11:30 – 2B – Boys – Shot Put (followed by girls) **
11:30 – 2B – Girls – Discus (followed by boys) **
11:50 – 2B – Girls – 4 x 200 Relay **
12:00 – 1A – Girls – 4 x 200 Relay **
12:05 – 2B – Boys – 110 Hurdles **
12:10 – 1A – Boys – 110 Hurdles **
12:15 – 2B – Girls – 100 Hurdles **
12:20 – 1A – Girls – 100 Hurdles **
12:25 – 2B – Boys – 100 **
12:30 – 1A – Boys – 100 **
12:35 – 2B – Girls – 100 **
12:40 – 1A – Girls – 100 **
12:45 – 2B – Boys – 800 **
12:50 – 1A – Boys – 800 **
12:55 – 2B – Girls – 800 **
1:00 – 1A – Girls – 800 **
1:05 – 2B – Boys – 4 x 100 Relay **
1:10 – 1A – Boys – 4 x 100 Relay **
1:15 – 2B – Girls – 4 x 100 Relay **
1:20 – 1A – Girls – 4 x 100 Relay **
1:25 – 2B – Boys – 400 **
1:30 – 1A – Boys – 400 **
1:30 – 2B – Boys – Long Jump (followed by girls) **
1:30 – 2B – Girls – Triple Jump (followed by boys) **
1:35 – 2B – Girls – 400 **
1:40 – 1A – Girls – 400 **
1:45 – 2B – Boys – 3200 **
2:00 – 2B – Girls – 3200 **
2:00 – 2B – Boys – High Jump (followed by girls) **
2:00 – 2B – Girls – Pole Vault (followed by boys) **
2:15 – 2B – Boys – 300 Hurdles **
2:20 – 1A – Boys – 300 Hurdles **
2:25 – 2B – Girls – 300 Hurdles **
2:30 – 1A – Girls – 300 Hurdles **
2:35 – 2B – Boys – 200 **
2:40 – 1A – Boys – 200 **
2:45 – 2B – Girls – 200 **
2:50 – 1A – Girls – 200 **
2:55 – 1A – Boys – 3200 **
3:10 – 1A – Girls – 3200 **
3:25 – 2B – Boys – 4 x 400 Relay **
3:30 – 1A – Boys – 4 x 400 Relay **
3:35 – 2B – Girls – 4 x 400 Relay **
3:40 – 1A – Girls – 4 x 400 Relay **
4:00 – Willie Smith goes and takes a nap … or has a stiff drink … or both

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Sean Toomey-Stout and teammates will play an independent, non-league schedule this fall, one of several changes for the Coupeville High School and Middle School football programs. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

There are big changes coming to Coupeville’s high school and middle school football programs.

Wolf Athletic Director Willie Smith released the following letter Thursday to address the new direction, and he and the CHS coaching staff, led by Marcus Carr, will host a public meeting to follow up.

That meeting is 6:30 PM Wednesday, May 29 in the CHS Commons.

Smith’s letter:

I would like to take this opportunity to go over the state of our middle and high school football programs and hopefully, address some concerns and questions that our students and community may have.

Our middle school football program has ended; and while many may think that’s a bad thing, I actually see it as an opportunity.

More and more, the direction that youth football is moving is in a direction we’d like to pursue as a school.

The NFL, WIAA (governing body of interscholastic activities/athletics in Washington), and many current and former football players are all moving to a new youth program which we are excited to pursue: flag football.

The beauty of flag football is that we can get all kids out, regardless of size, ability or gender.

It takes away the stigma of contact and pigeon-holing kids into positions based on size or skill level.

Each kid gets an opportunity to play every position: quarterback, receiver, lineman, etc.

We want boys and girls playing and we are looking to start this program, grades 3-8 by next fall.

It is a great lead-up game to tackle football and kids get to learn football without worrying about getting tackled or put in a position just because they are big or small.

At Coupeville High School, we have seen a dramatic decline of participation over the past 7-8 years.

While some of this can be attributed to the concussion element, I believe it is also due to the lack of a consistent football coaching staff during that time.

The constant coming and goings of our head coaches has led to an uncertainty, apathy, and non-interest in the program.

However, I truly believe that our head coach, Marcus Carr, and his staff are committed to rebuilding our program and see it come back to the healthy, strong program it once was.

In part, this is why I’m writing this article: Coach Carr and I want our community to come to meet him and his staff, learn more about them as community members as well as learn about their commitment level, philosophies, and coaching methods.

We have taken two big steps, in our minds, to help address the safety concerns of our community.

First, I appealed to and was allowed by our current league, the North Sound Conference, to pursue an independent football schedule rather than participate in our league.

I did this based on the fact that we have low numbers and a young group of returning players.

As I stated earlier, the safety of our kids is paramount in our scheduling of games and Coach Carr and I truly believe that moving to an independent schedule was vital in beginning to revitalize our program.

I have been able to create a full schedule, weeks 1-9, with teams that are going through what we are, are smaller schools (or new programs), and will provide our kids with an opportunity to be successful each and every game.

It is not an easy schedule; we are not throwing in the towel on our kids or program, and it will require our kids to work in the off-season, and be committed just like any other season.

It is a great opportunity for our kids and community to feel success in a program that needs to feel success and in spite of our low numbers and youth, has a genuine chance at being a very good football team.

Secondly, we have purchased (thanks to a generous donation by the Coupeville Booster Club) an item that we believe, will add some safety and peace of mind for our program.

It is a product called Guardian Caps and is a shell that goes over the helmet and has shown to help in the reduction of concussions.

In researching this product, and I want be completely clear, it does not, nor can any product, guarantee 100% protection against concussions or head injuries.

It does, however, offer added protection to the head, especially when hitting the ground.

We will be using these during our practices, and in discussion with Bremerton High School who used them this past fall, it did help with kids’ confidence as the season progressed.

They have been shown to reduce the number of concussions in a season, which is what drew us to the product, and they are used by a number of colleges, high schools, and youth programs throughout the nation.

Coach Carr, his staff, and I would like to invite the community, parents, students, and any other interested parties to a meeting on Wednesday May 29 at 6:30 in the High School Commons.

You will get to ask questions of our football staff and myself, learn more about how our football staff instructs tackling and blocking, as well as learn about the training they receive in order to become a football coach.

 

2019 CHS football schedule:

Friday, Sept. 6 — Port Townsend (6 PM)
Friday, Sept. 13 — @ Vashon Island (6 PM)
Friday, Sept. 20 — @ Friday Harbor (6:30 PM)
Friday, Sept. 27 — La Conner (7 PM)
Saturday, Oct. 5 — @ Kittitas (3 PM)
Friday, Oct. 11 — @ Northwest Christian (Lacey) (7 PM)
Friday, Oct. 18 — South Whidbey (7 PM)
Friday, Oct. 25 — Anacortes (TBD)
Friday, Nov. 1 — @ Interlake (7 PM)

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The middle school hoops schedule has been ripped up, leaving 8th grade players like Carolyn Lhamon with less games than expected. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Never write anything down in ink.

Exactly a week before Coupeville Middle School girls basketball players begin practice for a new season, their entire schedule has been blown up.

League athletic directors had to make the change after discovering several schools wouldn’t be able to field teams at all levels.

King’s Junior High, which CMS was originally scheduled to play twice, will not have an 8th grade team. Northshore Christian also won’t have an 8th grade squad, or a JV team for that matter.

After some fiddling, Coupeville Athletic Director Willie Smith and his compatriots have pieced together a new schedule which will work, though be unbalanced.

The Wolves plan to field a 7th grade varsity, an 8th grade varsity and one combined team for JV play.

Under the new schedule, the only CMS team to still have a complete 10-game schedule is the 7th grade varsity.

The JV will sit out against Northshore, while the 8th grade varsity is left with just eight games.

It could have gone as low as seven, but AD’s shaved off Coupeville’s second game against King’s and replaced it with a second game against Lakewood.

The new, we’re pretty sure this is real, schedule:

 

Tues-Feb. 5 — South Whidbey
Thur-Feb. 7 — @Lakewood
Tues-Feb. 12 — @Granite Falls
Thur-Feb. 14 — King’s (**No 8th grade varsity**)
Wed-Feb. 20 — @Sultan
Thur-Feb. 21 — @Northshore Christian (**7th varsity only**)
Tues-Feb. 26 — Granite Falls
Thur-Mar. 5 — @South Whidbey
Tues-Mar. 12 — Lakewood
Thur-Mar. 14 — Sultan

 

All home games tip at 3:15 PM.

Mondays and Tuesdays, the 7th grade varsity plays first, followed by a two-quarter JV game, then the 8th grade varsity.

Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8th grade varsity plays first, then JV, then 7th grade varsity.

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“Yes, David, I would love to read your zine if you fax it to me daily…” Spoiler: The fax was promptly unplugged. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Guys, guys … guys! I’m sorry, but no betting on high school golf this year.

However, every other sport appears to be, at least, technically, wide open to side wagers.

So … who’s got a few bucks to lay down on how many dingers Sarah Wright hits on the softball field this spring?

After wading through all 58 pages of the North Sound Conference handbook, one thought bubbles to the surface.

Are those country club prodigies really so quick to swap sweet moola after every putt, that the rules-makers felt it necessary to specifically prohibit gambling on golf, and just golf?

Oh yeah, and the Wild West is truly dead.

The new six-team 1A league, which claims Coupeville, Cedar Park Christian, Sultan, King’s, South Whidbey and Granite Falls, seems dead set on being all above board and proper.

Killjoys.

I mean, they’re going to insist fans wear shirts, face paint and masks are banned, and don’t even think about bringing artificial noisemakers or vintage “Free Hayley Newman” signs to games this year.

What’s next? We all have to wear pants, too?

But I digress.

Anyway, the new league’s motto is “Prepare. Compete. Respect.”

Cause “No Fun League” was already taken?

I kid. I kid. It’s not the North Sound Conference, it’s the WIAA and the whole frickin’ state clamping down on shenanigans.

The sooner I accept we’re no longer in the free-wheeling ’90s, back when student sections could get as unruly as they liked, the sooner I can assure my press pass remains in effect.

Not that I made the list of officially-sanctioned news outlets.

The South Whidbey Record, Everett Herald and Seattle Times did, with coaches instructed to relay stats and results to those papers.

And yet I can guarantee you the non-sanctioned, dare we say underground press (we dare), Coupeville Sports and Whidbey News-Times will write far more stories about the new conference this school year.

Why, now that I have the fax numbers for all six conference Athletic Directors (thanks, handbook), I might have to hit up the thrift store, get my own faxy fax and start sending out Coupeville Sports as an old-school zine, just to prove that point.

Anyway, back to the handbook.

For year one of the league, Sultan AD Scott Sifferman is league prez, while our own Willie Smith is the money man, operating as league treasurer.

A couple of other interesting tidbits:

North Sound Conference soccer games can end with a whimper, not a bang, as league contests will NOT go to shoot-outs.

Play regulation, then make it through two five-minute “golden goal” overtime periods and you’re still tied?

It’s soccer, don’t expect a resolution … and that’s 90 minutes none of us will ever get back.

Soccer will use a 0-3 point system for each league game (you get three points for a win in regulation, two for a victory in OT, etc.) and the league champ will be based on highest point total, not necessarily the best won-lost record.

All other sports will crown team champs based on regular-season won-loss record, except for cross country, track and tennis(??), which will hail the winner of the postseason league tourney.

For the running sports, that makes perfect sense, as most regular season meets feature multiple teams and win-loss records are pointless.

For tennis, that’s a bit odd, as most leagues crown regular season and postseason tourney champs separately.

Though, other than one sentence early in the handbook (the one which lumps tennis in with cross country and track) the net game is missing in action, so who knows.

Tennis is the only sanctioned league sport to not have its own section of rules and criteria, at least in this version of the book.

So, basically, that means all bets are off … or on.

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   Coupeville HS/MS Athletic Director Willie Smith has some words of wisdom for you. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Everything is in flux, with Coupeville jumping to the new North Sound Conference next school year, after being denied a chance to drop from 1A to 2B.

Into the fray wades one man, a gleam in his eyes and a deep burning commitment in his heart.

Wolf Athletic Director Willie Smith is here to kick you in the rear, pull you up by your bootstraps and calm your frazzled nerves.

A word (or three) from the big man himself:

Do what you can’t!

As we move into a new middle and high school league, together again with familiar schools such as King’s, Sultan, Granite Falls, South Whidbey, and our newest school, Cedar Park Christian, I believe this statement strikes a tone which rings very true for us.

What do we believe about Coupeville athletics?

Do we believe it’s an unfair advantage to pit public school athletes verse private school athletes?

Do we complain because we are the smallest 1A school, not only in our conference, but in the state?

Do we make excuses for not working out, attending summer camps/clinics, or not playing because (fill in the blank here)?

Is it the coach’s fault, other player’s fault, “we don’t win, so what’s the point of trying or turning out?”

What do YOU believe about Coupeville athletics?

As I’ve moved from player, coach, Athletic Director, retired coach, and back to Athletic Director, I’ve experienced possibly every league configuration, various levels of competition, equity in school size and disparity in school size.

I’ve heard every excuse in the world as to why we can’t compete, don’t win, don’t have good coaches, have poor support, yada, yada, yada…

The one thing that rings true throughout the entire span of my association with athletics is that no matter what the situation, good teams have the same intangibles: work ethic, leadership, commitment, and the ability to overcome adversity.

Do what you can’t.

1996-97 girls basketball team: lose two starters prior to districts, enter districts as #4 seed, play Lynden Christian, ranked #1 in state.

Down by two at half, they’ve taken off the press because it doesn’t work, end up losing by 12.

Play three loser-out games in a row, winning two, face King’s in loser out/winner to state, up 10-0 after 1st quarter, end up losing by 10 to eventual state champs who play Lynden Christian in championship … all with eight girls on the entire team.

Do what you can’t.

1999-2000 girls basketball team: new school in our league named Archbishop Murphy.

Playing with two seniors, one junior, a sophomore, and a freshman starter, win league, beat Murphy by 24 on home court, beat Murphy in loser-out to get to state tournament on a shot hit by 5’8” player over two 6’0 girls.

Down 15 at half in game two, loser-out, at state, storm back to win first-ever state tournament game in Coupeville girls athletics.

Do what you can’t.

2007 football team — down 12-0 in fourth quarter, score twice in last six minutes of game to win, and get to within one game of state tournament.

The 2007-08 track and field team that captured fourth as a team.

2007-08 baseball team, win-less in previous season of Cascade League play, finish third, take first in sub-districts, first in tri-districts, state appearance.

Do what you can’t.

2013-14 baseball, after going 0-fer freshman year and having the ten-run rule in effect for 10 of 16 games, finish 16-10 and a state appearance.

Do what you can’t.

I don’t mention these because I’m patting myself on the back as the coach.

I mention these teams, and I could go on with many other teams and individuals, but because I know, firsthand the work, the effort, the commitment, and their ability to handle adversity.

People will often say that those teams and individuals that won league titles, made it through districts and participated/placed at the state tournament had a lot of talent.

True, but what made them successful wasn’t the talent they had but the way they worked to raise their talent levels.

Our high-achieving teams and individuals don’t leave on vacation during the season, they don’t miss workouts in the summer or spring, they don’t make excuses as to why they aren’t being successful, they don’t take the easy road.

They work, they fight, they push themselves and others, they’re coachable and they’re committed.

They believed in what their coaches were teaching them, they trusted the process, they understood that you can’t beat somebody just because you’re more talented, and they certainly didn’t care who it was they were playing.

They were sure, they were confident, they believed, and they put the work in without question and without reserve.

Do what you can’t.

I keep repeating this and this is why — our sports programs are at a point where our community, parents, and kids need to make a choice, the same choices that our coaches have had to make.

Are we willing to commit to our programs, our coaches, and each other?

Are we excuse-makers or are do we accept accountability?

Do we work as hard as we can, every day, to push ourselves and our talent to the highest level or are we afraid of failure?

Failure isn’t a bad thing, in athletics and in life it should be accepted as a means to reach our goals.

If we choose not to fail then we choose not to excel, learn, or grow and we will never reach any height other than the one we are currently at.

Our coaches have dedicated themselves to providing opportunities throughout the spring and summer to help reach our goals.

Our current coaching staff understands commitment to our athletes, they are willing to give up time to help make our kids better people, teammates, and players.

They are determined to make an impact in our new league and beyond.

Are we ready to join them?

You will see “Do What You Can’t” on t-shirts worn by every coach and every athlete next year; it will be posted in the weight room, around the gym.

Take a risk, join a team, be part of something that is bigger than ourselves and you just may find out how rewarding, how strong you are, and how far you can actually go once you let go of all the self-imposed guards you’ve put up.

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