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Prep sports activities: SHS ladies hoops, ladies soccer coaches step down

Two Sequim Excessive head coaches who led their groups to state tourney berths in recent times are stepping away from the hardcourt and pitch.

Linsay Rapelje, who in her second stint as head coach of the Wolves’ ladies basketball staff led Sequim to a state tourney look in 2018-2019, stated in late June she is stepping down from the function as properly.

The principle change is my very own youngsters are getting older — they’ll each be in center college — and I’ve restricted time with them,” Rapelje stated final week. “I need to be a part of their actions and issues.”

Derek Vander Velde, who led the SHS Wolves’ ladies soccer staff to its first state event look in 2018, resigned his place on June 21.

Vander Velde was unavailable for remark for this story.

Sequim has employed Ken Garling, who leads the SHS boys varsity soccer program, to take over the ladies’ program within the fall, whereas the district doesn’t but have a alternative introduced for Rapelje’s place.


A Spokane native who performed collegiate basketball at Western Washington College from 1996-2000, Rapelje coached at Edmonds-Woodway and Meadowdale excessive faculties after her time at Western Washington earlier than shifting to Sequim in 2002 to show English.

Rapelje coached ladies soccer and ladies basketball at Sequim Excessive; her basketball groups certified for the postseason in each of her seasons as varsity head coach, going 15-9 in 2004-2005 and 10-11 in 2005-2006 earlier than she stepped away from teaching.

Two video games into the 2018-2019 season, then head coach Larry Brown resigned and Rapelje took over.

“Once I obtained again into teaching, it was sudden … (however) I’m glad I did. It’s one thing I took yr by yr,” she stated.

The squad went on to go 8-4 in league play, win three of 4 video games at districts, upended Foster in spectacular vogue — a 26-0 second half run to shut out a 54-44 victory — at regionals to qualify for the state 2A tourney.

In 2019-2020, the Wolves went 10-2 in league play — their solely losses coming to Port Angeles — and completed 17-7 general, successful two of 4 at districts and falling wanting state by a single recreation.

In final season’s abridged 2020-2021 marketing campaign, Sequim once more received all however two video games — once more, falling solely to league powerhouse Port Angeles — as they positioned second within the Olympic League regional standings, ending 11-2.

Rapelje stated she had a powerful group of sophomores in her first yr again whom she needed to see by to commencement.

“I assumed this was in all probability the most effective time (to step down),” she stated.

“I’m not going to overlook the bus rides and lacking time with household,” Rapelje stated. “I’m undoubtedly to overlook the ladies. The strongest reference to college students is (by) teaching. You join. You study their lives; it’s simply so useful.

“I’m going to overlook these connections with the gamers … however we’ll keep in contact and I’ll assist them, see them develop.”

All informed, Rapelje’s basketball groups have a cumulative file of 68-37, together with 43-17 in her most up-to-date three-season stretch.

As for her alternative?

“My hope is that there would at all times be some sturdy feminine coach would are available,” Rapelje stated. “Ideally that’s who I’d need however, (however the brand new coach would) simply hopefully be somebody that is aware of basketball and is nice with the ladies.”

Her assistant coaches from final season — Joclin Julmist and Sven Wiker — are invested in this system, Rapelje stated.

Rapelje stated she doesn’t plan to return to teaching for a 3rd time. As her youngsters develop into their center college and highschool sports activities ages, she stated, Rapelje doesn’t need to be so tied up with teaching that she misses these experiences.

“I’m by no means going to rule it out, as a result of life occurs, as we’ve realized,” she stated.

“I believe I’ll be accomplished, however you by no means know.”


Vander Velde joined a soccer program in 2016 that hadn’t posted greater than six wins prior to now 10 years and hadn’t seen the postseason since 2012.

The Wolves in that first yr went 7-5 in league play and received considered one of three video games at districts, lacking a state berth after falling to rival Port Angeles in a penalty kick shootout. For his effort in guiding Sequim to an 11-8 general file, Vander Velde was named the league’s Coach of the 12 months.

The subsequent yr Sequim missed the playoffs however nonetheless posted an 9-7 general file, and in 2018 the Wolves began sluggish however reeled of six wins in seven video games to eke into districts, the place they swept three foes for the West Central District crown and their first state event berth. Sequim misplaced a heart-breaker to Ellensburg, falling 4-3 on penalty kicks.

The Wolves repeated their state run in 2019, utilizing one other second half season run to qualify for districts and going 2-1, shedding solely to Port Angeles within the district closing earlier than falling to Ridgefield within the state’s opening spherical.

Sequim went 4-5 within the abridged 2020-2021 season.

In his six seasons with the Wolves, Vander Velde led Sequim to a 45-36-2 mark.

Left: Sequim head coach Derek Vander Velde in a class 2A state tourney first round game against Ellensburg in November 2018. Right: Linsay Rapelje directs her team in a match-up with Port Angeles in February 2020. Sequim Gazette file photos by Michael Dashiell

Left: Sequim head coach Derek Vander Velde in a category 2A state tourney first spherical recreation in opposition to Ellensburg in November 2018. Proper: Linsay Rapelje directs her staff in a match-up with Port Angeles in February 2020. Sequim Gazette file photographs by Michael Dashiell

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