Sports

"All-conference, all the time"

"Local athletes made their mark on recent all-league selection committees.After their best season since 1995, the Oak Harbor girls' soccer team was recognized on an individual basis as they captured three All-Conference first-team selections: Molly Bull, Nikki Gamble and Jaimie Armstrong.The Wildcats soccer team had the second most selections of any team in the conference. For Coupeville, Ian Barron garnered two first-team selections to the all-league football team, one at running back and the other on the defensive side of the ball for linebacker. The Wolves collected four first-team selections overall. With a record of 7-2-1 in league play and 13-3-1 overall, the Wildcats girls soccer team made it to the state playoffs for the first time in five years. The first-team selections were led by Gamble, who received more votes than any other player in the conference. They brought leadership to the table on and off the field, said head coach Guy Barber of the three first teamers, all seniors. They also continued to improve every year they were here. But they all got first team because they are great athletes and are respected by other teams. The other teams had to make their game plan around those three. Brooke Severns, who is only a sophomore, made second team and missed the first-team selections by only one vote. Katy Nydam, a junior, also made second team, and missed the first team by only two votes. They will be the players we look to for leadership, said Barber about next season. They all put out 100 percent every game. The squad had two more second-team selections, freshman Hazel Sapida and senior goal keeper Abbey Busic. Kristin Harvey received an honorable mention.Barber was pleased with the selections but would have liked to have seen Gretyl Pruss and Jenny White receive honorable mentions.Coupeville's football season came to an end against La Conner, as the Wolves came up just short of sharing the league title with Orcas Island and finished with a mark of 5-4 overall for the season. Barron was an easy choice at running back, as he led the league in rushing, including one game in which the senior racked up over 300 yards for the Wolves. Barron also had multiple games in which he scored more than two touchdowns. The prolific season for Barron would not have been possible, though, without the blocking of the offensive line. With most of the team's offensive line coming back next year, head coach Ron Bagby says that the selections and honorable mentions were good for the team. Joe Kelly Jr. made first team tight end for the Wolves. Bagby said that it was for both his receiving and blocking. Teams know that we run the ball behind our tight ends, said Bagby. And it was the combination of the two, receiving and blocking. He is pretty good all around.Defensive lineman Schuyler Porter rounded out the selections for the Wolves on the first team.Bagby said that he was surprised that Dustin Van Velkinburgh did not get an honorable mention at wide receiver.He made some big plays for us, said Bagby. He can play right with any one of them.The Oak Harbor football season didn't go quite as well as it did for Coupeville. The team ended the season with only two wins but had one first-team selection on both defense and special teams. Brian Lang was selected for defensive back and made a real impact this season, according to head coach Dave Ward. It was nice for Brian to be recognized, said Ward. Tony Hall was also selected to the first team for kick-return specialist.Anytime that we could get Tony the ball we knew something could happen, said Ward. The Wildcats also had two second-team selections for both offense and defense, along with eight honorable mentions.Special teams came up big for the Wildcats in the selections as one of the second team selections was punter Chad Riepma. Ward credits Riepma for being consistant with the height of his kicks, along with distance and placement.The Wildcats volleyball team which ended the season with a 3-7 league record and 4-11 overall, had three second team selections but no first-team selections. This season was the first year for head coach Keri Molitor, an Oak Harbor grad who came from Skagit Valley College to coach the girls. She says that she was happy with the selections, although she thinks that the selections could have been first team.It's been good and bad, said Molitor. The season didn't go exactly like we thought but I had a tremendous team. They were really supportive of each other and a tight-knit group.Valerie Hartman was one of the only juniors to be selected to a all-conference team for any sport and will be a big part of Wildcat volleyball next season. Although only two setters were selected to each team, Hartman just missed receiving first team honors. She, to me, was right up there for first team, said Molitor. It is the perfect position for a returner and I am looking forward to working with her next season. Coupeville volleyball head coach Kim Meche's girls went 7-5 in league play and 12-6 overall and she was happy with the voting in their league. I went in with three names and that was what was chosen, said Meche. Coupeville received two first team selections. Ashley Ellsworth-Bagby was one of those selections. She is an all around volleyball player, said Meche. She is an athlete and the smartest player I have had. The other players respect her on the court.Yashmeen Knox was the other first-team selection.She gave us a very strong front row, said Meche. And she gave us a lot of kills. She was the hardest hitter in the league.The Wolves had one second team selection in Emily Young, who has been on the team for three years. Meche says that it will be hard to lose her senior setter. "

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