High school fall practices begin Monday

Monday, Aug. 23, the majority of the athletic teams from Oak Harbor and Coupeville high schools begin practices for the fall season. The schools’ football teams got a jump start on the other squads when they began turnouts last Wednesday.

The Oak Harbor boys tennis team will be forced to conduct practices at North Whidbey Middle School because the new OHHS courts are still under construction. The courts should be completed in mid-September.

Coach Horace Mells said “this season should be interesting” because the NWMS courts haven’t been used for tennis in 15 years.

Mells plans to split most of his practices because NWMS has just four courts. Mells expects about 30 boys to tryout, and all will meet Monday from 3 to 5 p.m.

Starting Tuesday and until school starts, the junior varsity will meet 1 to 3 p.m. and the varsity will practice 3 to 5 p.m.

Because of the court construction, Oak Harbor will hit the road for its first five matches, beginning with a trip to Mountlake Terrace Thursday, Sept. 9. The goal is for the courts to be ready for Meadowdale Monday, Sept. 20.

The Coupeville boys tennis team also starts Monday; details of practice times were not available at press time.

The Oak Harbor volleyball team will gather around the nets for the first time Monday from 11 a.m to 2 p.m. The Wildcats will return for a second turnout from 4 to 6:30 p.m.

Coach Kerri Short’s team begins play when it hosts a jamboree Saturday, Sept. 4, at 9 a.m. The regular season matches start at Mariner Tuesday, Sept. 7, at 7 p.m.

The Coupeville volleyball team will open the first week of practices with four days of double turnouts.

Coach Toni Crebbin’s club takes to the courts Monday through Thursday from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Crebbin expects about 25 girls out for the team. She said the Wolves will open the week by reviewing basic skills, and then she plans on splitting the squad into the varsity and junior varsity teams Wednesday afternoon.

The Oak Harbor girls soccer team will begin the year with three two-a-day practices.

The Wildcats will turnout from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. Monday through Wednesday. Practices will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. beginning Thursday.

Head coach Jeff Laiblin is hoping to know who will fill out the varsity and JV rosters by the end of the two-a-days.

With about 50 girls turning out and only about 10 days to prepare for the first match, Laiblin said the team and the coaching staff will have much work to do in a short amount of time.

The Wildcats travel to Mariner Tuesday, Sept. 7, at 7:30 p.m. for the season opener. They open at home Thursday, Sept. 9, at 7:30 p.m. against Shorecrest. Marysville-Pilchuck comes to town Saturday, Sept. 11, at 1 p.m.

The Coupeville girls soccer team will meet Monday for a pair of practices. The first turnout will run from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. and the second from 3 to 4:30 p.m.

Coach Mike Thornton, who expects about 20 girls to turn out, said his club will begin its practices on the outfield of the baseball diamond.

The Wolves open their season against Concrete Tuesday, Sept. 7, at 6 p.m. at Mickey Clark Field.

The Wildcat cross country team hits the roads and trails of North Whidbey Monday to get in shape for its season opening meet.

Most of the Oak Harbor practices will originate at the OHHS fieldhouse at 3 p.m.; however the team will have some turnouts based out of the Fort Ebey Gun Battery (Aug. 27, Aug. 30 and Sept. 2). The Sept. 2 practice, which will begin at 4 p.m., will include a barbeque and parent meeting.

Head coach Eric Peterson said about 30 to 40 runners (boys and girls combined) are expected to take part in Monday’s practice.

Peterson said, “The first few days are key because we can determine our athletes’ fitness from summer training which will dictate practices and intensity. We also set a precedent for the rest of the season focused around hard work and personal achievement.”

In the past, since Coupeville High School doesn’t have a cross country program, the CHS runners ran for Oak Harbor. This year the Wolves will train and travel with Oak Harbor but compete for Coupeville.

Saturday, Sept. 11, Oak Harbor travels to the Sehome Invitational at Bellingham’s Civic Stadium at 10:25 a.m.

The Oak Harbor girls swim team jumps into the John Vanderzicht Memorial Pool Monday at 3 p.m. to begin its new season.

The Wildcats, coached by Erika Miller, are coming off a undefeated regular season and Wesco North title and return much of last year’s powerful team.

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