101 and counting.
Coupeville High School honored its basketball history by celebrating 101 years of hoops Friday, Jan. 19.
The Wolves played their first game Jan. 19, 1917 — a 29-7 win over Langley. More than 100 years later on the same day, Coupeville thumped visiting Chimacum 81-34 as many of the school’s past hoop stars looked on.
The 101-year anniversary celebration was the brainchild of Coupeville sports historian and blogger David Svien (www.coupevillesports.com).
“I wanted to bring back all those involved with Coupeville sports,” Svien said. “I wanted to let them know they are not forgotten and that they are appreciated.
“It was also a way to give the younger guys something to look forward to.”
All former players, coaches, support personnel and cheerleaders were invited to return for the event.
The school’s top 15 scorers and the district championship team from 1969-70, considered by many as the most successful in school history, were honored at halftime of the Chimacum contest.
Svien said he received help organizing the event from a number of people, including Coupeville athletic director Willie Smith, athletic secretary Katey Wilson, head coach Brad Sherman (a 2003 Coupeville graduate) and the current players’ parents.
Wilson designed the commemorative program that was distributed to those attending Friday.
Sherman, who is in his first year coaching the Wolves, said he wants his players to understand “the proud history of Coupeville basketball.”
Playing basketball for the Wolves meant so much to the past players that many traveled “a long way to be here,” he added.
“We wanted to honor those guys that got us to this point,” he said. “They put in a lot of hard work to be successful.”
Barry Brown, a 1968 graduate, said the celebration was a opporunity to bring past friends back together.
“This is a small town and many kids grow up and stick around,” he said. “But others, even though they may be only 50 miles away, you don’t see enough. This is a great way to get together, to celebrate the spirit of Coupeville basketball.”
Brown said the greatest life lesson he learned while playing basketball at Coupeville was the importance of teamwork.
“I worked a lot of jobs, like commercial fishing, and did a lot of things, like mountaineering, where teamwork was important. The team was your life. It is about doing your best.”
Coupeville Basketball 1969-70
Coached by Bob Barker and Craig Pedlar, the Wolves put together a 20-4 record and became the first Whidbey Island high school basketball team to win a district championship.
The Wolves defeated Darrington 84-62 for the title and became the first Coupeville team to qualify for the state tournament.
The 1969-70 squad broke the 100-point barrier four times, including a school record 114 against Watson Groen (now Shoreline Christian School) and averaged over 75 points per game.
The high-powered offense also came before the three-point shot was introduced during the 1987-88 season.
(Photos of the 101-year celebration were taken by John Fisken. They can be accessed for free at http://www.johnsphotos.net/Sports/Coupeville-basketball-2017-2018/101-Years-of-Coupeville-Basketball/)
Jeff Stone (1967-70) and Mike Bagby (2002-2006) are tied for the school lead with 1,137 career points.
Stone, however, amassed his total in three seasons and when the three-point shot was not in play. During his stint at Coupeville High School, freshmen were not eligible for high school basketball.
Stone also has the record for most points in a game, 48 (in the district title win over Darrington), and the most points in a season, 644.
Other scoring leaders:
3, Randy Keefe (1973-76), 1,088.
4, Jeff Rhubottom (1975-78), 1,012.
5, Mike Criscuola (1956-60), 979.
6, Bill Riley (1970-73), 934.
7, Pete Petrov (1993-97), 917.
8, Brad Sherman (2000-03), 874.
9, Denny Clark (1960-64), 868.
10, Arik Garthwaite (1994-98), 867.
11, Bill Jarrell (1973-76), 855.
12, Corey Cross (1968-72), 811.
13, Barry Brown (1964-68), 769.
14, Hunter Hammer (2008-11), 759.
15, Steve Whitney (1975-79), 730.
(Over the weekend, current senior Hunter Smith, 2014-18, joined the list at No. 14 with 761 points.)