Sports

Coupeville, Cascade Conference change schedule | Football

The Coupeville High School football team will see a significant change in its schedule this fall.

Coupeville administrators raised concerns about its competitiveness and the safety of its players with the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association and the Cascade Conference last year. Coupeville’s enrollment is only about half of the next smallest school in the eight-team conference.   Coupeville, therefore, has had a difficult time competing in football, a sport where the number of players is critical, against the larger schools.

Because of the physical nature of football, it is not uncommon for players to get injured. Coupeville, with its small enrollment, has been forced to play freshmen against physically more mature upperclassmen from the larger schools in the past, which puts more players at risk.

Last fall, for example, half  of Coupeville’s 35 players were hurt and the Wolves were forced to forfeit their final game. The Wolves won only one conference game in the past two years and one game overall against a non-1A school.

There were few options for Coupeville to correct this problem. Because of its geographical location, changing conferences wasn’t realistic. Coupeville considered playing football as an independent, but scheduling would be a nightmare and it would be nearly impossible to play a full schedule.

The Cascade Conference, understanding Coupeville’s plight, agreed to allow Coupeville to play a partial league schedule, skipping the larger and traditionally more powerful schools.

The 1A Wolves won’t meet up with 2A Lakewood, Cedarcrest and Archbishop Murphy, but will play the league’s other two 1A schools, South Whidbey and King’s, and the smaller 2A schools Sultan and Granite Falls.

Coupeville filled out its schedule with teams more its size, 1A teams Bellevue Christian, Port Townsend, Lynden Christian and Nooksack Valley and 2B Orcas Island.

Coupeville’s first-year head coach Tony Maggio said, “I love our new schedule, it should still be competitive but fair. We will be playing teams close to our size.”

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