Three-sport stars shine in Coupeville

Brad Sherman and Ashley Ellsworth-Bagby were named Coupeville High School’s athletes of the year at a school assembly recently. Each played three sports during the school year. - Matt Moss
Brad Sherman and Ashley Ellsworth-Bagby were named Coupeville High School’s athletes of the year at a school assembly recently. Each played three sports during the school year.
— image credit: Matt Moss

Three was the lucky number for Coupeville High School’s athletes of the year for 2001-02. Senior Ashley Ellsworth-Bagby and junior Brad Sherman, each three-sport athletes for the Wolves, earned the award at a school assembly last week.

“It’s unusual for kids to be out for three sports during the year,” said boys basketball coach Randy King. “It’s a major commitment, not just for the kids but for the families as well.”

For Ellsworth-Bagby and Sherman, the two students wouldn’t have it any other way. Sherman might enjoy a short break after baseball is done, but after a few weeks he is ready for action.

“For the first couple of weeks after the season it’s okay,” he said. “But then I get bored pretty quickly and I’m ready for things to start up again.”

Ellsworth-Bagby, who won the award last year as a junior, has balanced athletics and school since middle school. She credits discipline and time management as key reasons for getting everything done.

“I’ve done it all my life, since I started playing basketball in seventh grade,” she said. “I just got used to how it works either studying or being at practice. I’m always used to doing something and I don’t watch much TV.”

Both might be natural athletes but according to their coaches, each puts in a tremendous amount of work to improve.

“When she decides that she wants to do something she doesn’t talk a lot, she just goes out and does it,” said Coupeville fastpitch head coach Randy Dickson. “She shows a lot of grit and determination, and everything that Ashley does she does well.”

“Brad has worked hard at acquiring skills and shooting the ball,” King said about Sherman. “He goes to open gyms, he goes to summer camps. He has worked hard at football too.”

Ellsworth-Bagby and Sherman not only participated in three sports, they played all three well.

Ellsworth-Bagby earned Northwest A League first-team honors in volleyball, basketball and softball this year. She lettered in each sport in all four of her years at Coupeville and was a key reason that the Lady Wolves won three Northwest A League titles and made it to a hat trick of 1A state tournaments this season.

“It was an amazing year,” Ellsworth-Bagby said. “It was such a great feeling. We just took each season at a time and worked really hard. It was really rewarding.”

The Lady Wolves took sixth at state in basketball and capped the school year with a third-place finish in fastpitch softball. It was the first season that the Wolves program participate in fastpitch and to take make the transition and place at state was an amazing accomplishment. Ellsworth-Bagby relished the challenge.

“Fastpitch was a big change, you had to change your whole batting stance and approach,” she said. “You got to steal, that made the game more exciting. It was hard but our coaches were really good. It was tougher and it took a lot of concentration but I liked it better.”

It’s not over for her yet. Ellsworth-Bagby will be taking part in the All-State basketball competition as well as the All-State volleyball tour this summer. Both competitions will match up the top athletes from the west side of the state against the east.

“Ashley is one of those girls that speaks with her actions,” said Coupeville head volleyball coach Kim Meche. “She’s a hard worker and she’s very capable, very determined. Ashley is a role model for everyone else. She raises the bar for everyone.”

Sherman took All-League first team honors in basketball, second-team honors in football, and was the Wolves’ starting leftfielder on the diamond. One of the highlights of his year came up on Orcas Island when the Wolves defeated the Vikings to capture the Northwest A basketball title.

“Up at Orcas during the basketball season when we took the league title, that or getting first-team all-league in basketball,” he said. “Those were two highlights for me.”

With the loss of nine seniors off the boys basketball team, Sherman will be called on to lead the Wolves on the court next season.

“I think he is relishing that role,” King said. “He has been the main promoter in getting kids to playing basketball this spring.”

The Coupeville High coaching staff voted on the awards and took not only athletic ability into account, but also school, extracurricular activities and character.

Not only are both students tough on the field or on the court, they’re solid in the classroom as well. Ellsworth-Bagby was one of two Washington State students who earned the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award which takes into account not just athletic ability but scholarship, leadership and citizenship. Sherman was named the student representative on the Coupeville School Board in January. According to Coupeville High School principal Phyllis Textor both are role models for the younger students in Coupeville.

“Their leadership abilities are outstanding,” she said. “They each work with younger kids either coaching basketball or tutoring. They always take the time to talk to younger kids and they’re excellent role models - something that they take very seriously.”

Both are currently in Washington D.C. taking part in the Nationals History Day program, Ellsworth-Bagby in the group performance category and Sherman in the group documentary program.

“You can’t imagine the work load that comes with History Day,” Textor said. “There is an incredible amount of work and research involved with that experience.”

What’s in store for the two athletes next? Sherman will return for his senior year and will be a key if the Wolves athletic squads are to have success in 2002-03. Ellsworth-Bagby will attend Pacific Lutheran beginning next fall, where she hopes to play basketball for the Lutes.

“I’m going to try,” she said.

Is anyone going to bet against her?

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