Year in review: Whidbey athletes create highlights despite coronavirus

COVID-19 cut a big chunk out of the 2020 sports schedule, but it didn’t stop local athletes from posting strong efforts during this unusual year.


Coupeville High School announced it would be joining the Northwest 2B/1B League for the 2020-21 school year.

Coupeville dropped from 1A to 2B according to the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association enrollment count conducted in the fall of 2019, paving the way for the Wolves to exit the 1A North Sound Conference.

Coupeville, along with Chimacum, which also dropped from 1A to 2B, will join Concrete, Darrington, Friday Harbor, La Conner, Mount Vernon Christian and Orcas Island in the NWL.

At the time, Athletic Director Willie Smith said Coupeville is “very excited” to join its new league.

“It’s a strong group of athletic directors, which we have maintained relationships with over the years in non-league contests,” he said. “The level of competition will be strong, requiring us to continue to work to develop our programs, and it also allows all of our programs the opportunity to have success on a nightly basis and compete for league championships throughout.”

Soon after, Oak Harbor High School announced it was leaving the Western Conference for the Northwest Conference in the fall of 2020.

The move will benefit Oak Harbor academically, financially and competitively, according to Athletic Director Jerrod Fleury.

Mount Vernon also jumped from Wesco to the Northwest Conference, which includes 14 schools (Ferndale, Squalicum, Anacortes, Bellingham, Blaine, Burlington-Edison, Lakewood, Lynden, Sedro-Woolley, Sehome, Lynden Christian, Meridian, Mount Baker and Nooksack Valley.

Oak Harbor’s Ella Erikson placed third and Maria Dailey fifth at the Sedro-Woolley Women’s Wrestling Tournament Jan. 4. Four days later Oak Harbor hosted its first-ever girls dual wrestling match, falling to Lynden 36-27 and unbeaten Burlington-Edison 66-0.

Jan. 11, Oak Harbor’s Adelina Lopez took second and Christina Frank and Adrionna Yelle fifth at the Highway 9 Girls Championship Wrestling Tournament. The same day the Wildcat boys competed in the Panther Wrestling Classic in Snohomish, where Jamal Graham placed second.

Oak Harbor’s Izzy Renn of Ground Zero snared three gold medals at the Up in the Air Tumbling and Trampoline Meet at Maple Valley Jan. 11. Tempi Troyer and Kaitlyn Rozycki also won events.

Eleven Island Flyers from Oak Harbor’s Rise Academy of Arts trampoline and tumbling team finished first in the same meet.

Samantha Martinez set the pace for the Island Flyers by taking first overall in three events.

Others earning first overall were Arabelle Brys, Catrina Ocanas, Harmony Wertz, Madison Walker, Sidney Louis, Hyley Farrell, Rebel Johnson, Maesen Calhoun, Lilyanna McFarland and Ana Froman.


The Whidbey Island Deception FC girls U13 soccer team finished first in the Washington Federation Cup Feb. 2.

The Oak Harbor High School precision rifle team finished second at the Civilian Marksmanship Program Navy JROTC National Championships Feb. 6-8 at Chandler, Ariz. James Hart finished fourth in the individual standings.

Oak Harbor’s cheer squad, coached by Jazmin Jones, won the 3A medium non-tumbling division at the state championship meet at Battle Ground High School Feb. 7. A week earlier, the Wildcats took fifth in the National Cheerleaders Association tournament in Dallas.

“Winning our state competition and qualifying for nationals was this team’s goal from the very beginning, and nothing was going to stop them from achieving that goal,” Jones said.

Whidbey Island athletes from Armstrong’s taekwondo studios won a fistful of awards at a regional tournament in Lynnwood Feb. 8 and 9.

Leading the way was Lindsey Helm, who finished first in five events. Others placing first were Findley Helm, Jerry Helm, Trevor Fleming and Ethen Miller.

Coupeville High School boys basketball season came to an end when the Wolves lost 69-48 to visiting Mount Baker in a district tournament play-in game Feb. 10.

The Coupeville girls basketball team bowed out of the district tournament with in a 52-24 loss to visiting Meridian Feb. 11. That would be the final CHS sporting event for the school year; a month later COVID-19 wiped out the spring season.

Oak Harbor’s Maria Dailey and Jamal Graham both finished second in their respective regional wrestling tournaments Saturday, Feb. 15, and qualified for the state meet. Dailey went on to take sixth at state.

OHHS freshman Jordan Fay finished 17th and sophomore John Blankman 22nd at the 3A state diving meet Feb. 21 and 22.

Coupeville High School graduate Makana Stone, a senior at Whitman College, was named the Northwest Conference’s Player of the Year in women’s basketball Feb. 25. In March she was selected to play in the second annual Beyond Sports Women’s Collegiate All-Star Game in Columbus, Ohio.

Oak Harbor High School’s Wildcat Battalion wrapped up its eighth consecutive JROTC division title with a strong showing at the final regular-season meet Saturday, Feb. 29, at Port Angeles High School.

Kyle King, a 2008 Coupeville High School graduate, finished 47th in the United States Olympic marathon trials Saturday, Feb. 29, in Atlanta.

Oak Harbor’s Dejon Devroe placed seventh for Mississippi State University in the 800 meters (1:51.56) at the Southeastern Conference championships Feb. 29 at College Station, Texas.


Two teams of Whidbey Island athletes medaled in the basketball skills division of the Washington State Special Olympics Winter Games March 1 in Wenatchee.

Oak Harbor swimmer Micah Franklin and Coupeville girls basketball player Scout Smith each received first-team, all-league honors. Coupeville’s Tia Wurzrainer received the North Sound Conference’s sportsmanship award.

The first delay of spring sports caused by COVID-19 was announced in early March. The start of spring sports was postponed until April 12. Later came the cancelation of the season.

Three Oak Harbor High School seniors signed letters of intent March 10 to play college athletics.

Nick Krantz committed to play golf at Fort Lewis College (Durango, Colo.), Peyton Rhyne signed to play soccer at The Evergreen State College (Olympia) and Aidan McCarthy agreed to play baseball for Grays Harbor College (Aberdeen).


Golf was one of the first sports to reopen after the coronavirus shutdown, enabling the Whidbey Golf Club the opportunity to stage its premier event, the Mountain Mist Men’s Invitational, May 23 and 24.

Bellingham’s Cody Roth finished first with a two-day 137.

Oak Harbor’s Lucas Horrobin, who won the previous five invitationals, took fourth with a 144. Oak Harbor’s Andy Wesley posted the tournament’s best net score, 131.


Horrobin teamed with his father, Mike Horrobin, to tie for first with a five-under 67 in the Whidbey Dental Two-person Best Ball Tournament June 13.

In net play, Whidbey’s Mike Falk and Jorgensen Golf Club’s Chris Degrazia tied the father-and-son team of Tim and Aiden Wyer from WGC for first in Flight 1 with 65s.

Coupeville’s Scout Smith and Maya Toomey-Stout were named co-female athletes of the year for Coupeville. Toomey-Stout’s twin brother Sean repeated as the school’s male athlete of the year.

Coupeville’s Hannah Davidson and Aram Leyva received the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association’s Cliff Gillies Award. The award is presented each year to two senior athletes at each state high school and honors Gillies’ commitment to education and student activities with criteria recognizing scholarship, citizenship and participation in student activities.

Oak Harbor’s athletes of the year were Mikhaela Cortez and Dallas Riddle-Stevens.

Ridgely Briddell and Morgan Roundy were recipients of the Gillies award, and cheer’s Jones earned coach of the year honors.

Stone was named to the all-region first team and all-American honorable mention list in collegiate basketball.

Whitman awarded Stone the school’s highest athletic honor, the Mignon Borleske Award. It is given for career athletic ability and accomplishments, leadership and sportsmanship qualities, and contributions to the campus and community as a whole.

She also earned a spot on the Northwest Conference’s first-team, scholastic-athlete list.

Coupeville’s Mallory Kortuem signed a letter of intent to run track at Western Washington University. Kortuem holds four Coupeville High School records (400 meters, 58.02; pole vault, 8-10; 4×100, 50.54; and 4×200, 1:46.13).

Kortuem finished second the 400 at the state 1A track meet in 2019.

Teammate Ja’Tarya Hoskins signed with the St. Martin’s track team, and the Wolves’ Mica Shipley will cheer for Eastern Washington University.


A team captained by Todd Melnick, who also happened to be the tournament sponsor, won the Whidbey Golf Club’s Melnick and Sons Five-person Best Ball Tournament July 25 and 26. Melnick was joined on the first-place team by Lucas Horrobin, Robert Tercero, Daniel Campbell and Jeremy Amundson. The quintet won by seven strokes, shooting a 380 (-52 score to par).


Oak Harbor High School’s Sara Rhodes and veteran local golfer Monique Franssen led the field at the Ladies’ Short and Sweet Par-3 Challenge Sept. 10 at the Whidbey Golf Club. Rhodes, a junior on the Wildcat golf team, shot a 61 to post the best gross score. Franssen’s 44 was the top net result.

At the Bennett Boyles Memorial Golf Tournament at the Whidbey Golf Club Sept. 19, event organizers Penn Cove Brewing Company received $15,000 through player fees, sponsorships and donations.

Scout Smith, left, and Maya Toomey-Stout, shown here at a volleyball match last season, were named co-female athletes of the year for Coupeville. (Photo by John Fisken)

Scout Smith, left, and Maya Toomey-Stout, shown here at a volleyball match last season, were named co-female athletes of the year for Coupeville. (Photo by John Fisken)