New school year, new playing field

One mountain down, one to go.

Having reached the pinnacle of athletic success several times during their senior year at Coupeville High School, three-sport stars Ashley Ellsworth-Bagby and Sarah Mouw now find themselves starting from the ground floor again.

With the start of a new school year, the duo, like many former Coupeville and Oak Harbor high school student-athletes, will attempt to replicate their athletic success at the college level.

Ellsworth-Bagby, a two-time Female Athlete of the Year at Coupeville, spent the waning days of summer preparing for the rigors of trying to make the basketball team as a freshman at Pacific Lutheran University.

Even though the season doesn’t start for several months, she already has a detailed workout schedule, heavy on running.

“Their coach is really hard-core,” Ellsworth-Bagby said. “That’s what I’ve heard from everybody, that he wants his team to be the best in-shape team in the whole league, so that’s going to be tough.”

A quiet but confident captain who led the Wolves to state in volleyball, basketball and softball during her senior year, Ellsworth-Bagby is opting to focus on just one sport in college.

“Basketball has always been my favorite,” she said. “I want to make the team and be able to contribute and not just sit on the bench all four years.”

Mouw, who transferred from Iowa to Coupeville before the start of her senior year, remains committed to a full slate of sports. She hopes to be a woman for all seasons at Everett Community College.

“I’ve played all three (volleyball, basketball, softball) ever since seventh grade, I guess, when you actually get to start,” Mouw said. “It’s just the way life has been.

“I think I’d really miss it if I didn’t at least try,” she added. “Whether the load gets too heavy or not, we’ll see, but we’ll give it a try.”

Both girls have also begun to plan for their post-sports lives, choosing their college options based on academics as much as athletics.

“They have really good academic programs there at PLU,” Ellsworth-Bagby said. “I’m very interested in physical therapy and possibly going into that, and they have a lot for that there.”

Mouw, who’s interested in poissibly coaching after her playing days, chose to go the community college route for greater flexibility.

“I decided to go community college because it leaves my options open to go back to Iowa if I want to,” Mouw said. “Otherwise, they’re starting two programs; their two biggest are nursing and elementary education, which I hope to pursue.”

Regardless of how their college playing days develop, both will have fond memories of their days at Coupeville High School to fall back on.

“It was really an awesome senior year,” Mouw said. “To get to go to state in all three sports, I mean, I don’t think you can beat that.

“It was so much fun,” she added. “We had mostly the same girls in all sports and we bonded so well. It was such a great, great year.”

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