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Indians use second half to try new looks

Admittedly, some Spokane Indians fans are concerned about the way the team has played in the last 2 1/2 weeks. Spokane owns the worst record (3-7) in the Northwest League during the early stages of the second half. The Indians have also lost 12 of their last 18 games overall and won just enough games during the end of the first half to qualify for the playoffs as North Division first-half champions. Seen another way, however, and it's not that strange that the Indians' fortunes have taken a turn. Read story

UPDATE: Drew Loftus arrested for assault

(This post was updated at 11:03 to include information from the police report.)

Washington State wide receiver Drew Loftus was arrested for assault in the fourth degree early Thursday morning, his 21st birthday. Officers responded to a call at Domino's Pizza on Northeast Monroe Street where two witnesses claimed to have been assaulted by a suspect, who was fleeing on foot, according to Sgt. Dan Dornes of the Pullman Police Department.

The victims were in Stubblefield's bar and taking video of the atmosphere. They said that Loftus and another football player were upset at being videotaped because they were not supposed to be in the bar.

Once outside a victim claims that he was punched by Loftus, who then ran off

More after the jump.

Steve Gleason will be inducted into the WSU Hall of Fame

Washington State just announced that former Cougar football and baseball player Steve Gleason will be the only 2014 inductee into the WSU Athletic Hall of Fame. Gleason, who played seven years in the NFL, was diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in 2011 has been a leader raising awareness and fighting the disease through his foundation, Team Gleason.

The release from the school is after the jump.

No. 1 Eastern opens fall camp

Eastern Washington offensive line coach Aaron Best offers pointers during the Eagles' opening football practice Thursday morning.

Mike Leach talks about the Cougars before camp

Washington State head football coach Mike Leach spoke on the phone with members of the media today to talk about the Cougars fall camp. We've put together a transcription of the call's highlights, which you can read after the jump.

… 

WSU fall practice schedule

The Cougars will head to Sacajawea middle school in Lewiston, Idaho on Saturday for their first practice of the 2014 season. These practices are open to the media and public, although WSU will not be in full pads until Aug. 6, the fourth day of practice.

The team is being more restrictive with access than in seasons past. Unlike last year, practices will be closed when the Cougars return to Pullman and players won't be made available to the media from Aug. 14 until after the Rutgers game. (Update 12:31 p.m. I should note that while the Cougars will not have any open practices in Pullman this year, that is likely due to WSU's early game. Last year the final open practice was on Aug. 18, 13 days before the season began.)

The schedule of publicly available practices is after the jump.

Is the future now?

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Today is the day. The day the Mariners let their fans know how they feel about this season. Or maybe it's just the day they decide to continue to build for the future. Read on.

Looking at the WSU pre-camp depth chart

I was handed a media guide recently and inside was an updated depth chart. I've taken the liberty of scanning that page (Thanks, Cam Scanner!) and posting it below. Here are a few items of interest I saw while perusing:

— Freshman receiver Calvin Green is now listed as the backup H receiver. The former running back enrolled early to participate in spring ball, a decision that sure seems to have paid off.

— Jamal Morrow is listed as Theron West's backup at running back.

— Jeremiah Allison has moved to MIKE linebacker from WILL.

— Seems like quite a battle at cornerback with Tracy Clark or Charleston White starting on one side and Daquawn Brown and Marcellus Pippins starting on the other.

— Apart from Darryl Monroe (who is listed as 235 but says he's actually 239) the biggest weight gainer appears to be strong safety Isaac Dotson, who is listed at 218, 12 pounds more than he was listed in the spring.

Washington works on body, mind

Shock coach Andy Olson probably has a long list of worries when it comes to his team, but Mike Washington isn't one of them.

He knows the 5-foot-8 receiver is going to eat right, take care of his body, study film, practice hard and then study more film. But there's more to Washington than just the football player. He works just as hard on his mind and has a wide range of interests. More on Washington here.

Wednesday WSU chat

 

Try Relay: the free SMS and picture text app for iPhone.

 

To paraphrase Frank, it was a very good day

A GRIP ON SPORTS

There are good days and bad days in baseball. Yesterday was a very good day. Read on.

Catching up in time for fall camp

Well, summer is almost over. What's that you say? It's still as hot as a feverish St. Bernard outside and the kids won't be out of your hair for another month? Sure, I guess it's still summer for those of you who base your seasons on the public school calendar, the life cycles of various flora or the proximity of the sun to the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.

But over here we like to align our seasons to the thumping of pads and the dribbling of basketballs. So with Washington State's fall camp set to begin on Saturday, let's consider that summer is coming to a close. I hope it was a good one.

We'll get ready for camp after the jump.

*Note: We will have a live chat on the blog tomorrow at 11 a.m. to preview camp. These chats will continue every Wednesday until the end of the season.

EWU sets 2017 game at Texas Tech

In a repeat engagement of Beau Baldwin’s head coaching debut at Eastern Washington, the Eagles will play at Texas Tech on Sept. 2, 2017, the school announced Tuesday afternoon.

The game will come nine years after the Eagles lost to 49-24 in Lubbock, Texas, to current Washington State coach Mike Leach. The Eagles finished 6-5 that season, while Texas Tech finished 11-2 and shared the Big 12 title with Oklahoma and Texas.

Eastern now has games against FBS foes scheduled for every year through 2019. The Eagles will play at Washington on Sept. 6, in just the second meeting with the Huskies, then will return to Seattle on Aug. 31, 2019.

Next season, Eastern will play at Oregon on Sept. 5, 2015, in the first meeting between those two schools. The Eagles also have scheduled games against Washington State for Sept. 3, 2016 and Sept. 15, 2018.

Including a season-opening 20-3 win at Idaho in 2012 and a 33-21 loss at Toledo in 2013, Eastern is now 9-22 all-time against FBS teams.

Something just clicked last night

A GRIP ON SPORTS

It hit late last night. No, not the muscle soreness from playing golf in almost 100-degree heat. That was expected. No, it was an unexpected reaction I had while watching, of all things, a professional soccer match. Read on.

Depth gives Indians an edge

Seth Spivey was joking Monday when he said that the entire Spokane Indians lineup could have been selected to the Northwest League All-Star Game. But Spivey, one of eight Indians named to the team last week, wasn't too far off. Just about every player on the Indians' roster would be a welcome addition on any other NWL roster. Read story

Fast forward: Arizona

There was a time when the Texas coaches thought Connor Brewer could carry the Longhorn's weighty legacy. That the high school All-American had the talent and poise to start at quarterback for one of the country's most prestigious programs. So too, the LSU coaches once thought Jerrard Randall could steer the Tigers in their ongoing quest for national championships, or at least contribute as a wide receiver.

As a fresh-faced high school graduate Jesse Scroggins took his quarterbacking talents to USC, dreaming of ruling the west coast at a school where seemingly every starter is an automatic NFL draftee.

Rocky starts deferred those dreams of glory for all three signal callers, and each made their way to the University of Arizona to play for Rich Rodriguez. One of the talent quarterbacks will emerge as the starter, unless of course redshirt freshman Anu Solomon wins the job as the only quarterback on the Wildcats roster who signed with UA out of high school.

At media days Rodriguez refused to hint who was ahead in the quarterback competition, which he said could continue even past the first game of the season.

We'll take a look at the rest of the Wildcats after the jump.

Is the M’s season slipping away?

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Why do I have the feeling the best of the Mariners' season just might be over? Maybe it's because they are unable to win consistently at home. Or it may be because they can't seem to score consistently. Or because the stress of all the close games seems to be wearing on the pitching staff. Whatever, it seems ominous as July fades into August. Read on.

Indians improve to 5-2 against Vancouver

What separates the Spokane Indians from the Vancouver Canadians so far this season isn't their records. Both teams are 27-17 overall in the Northwest League, better than the league's other six teams. But Spokane is guaranteed a postseason berth because it defeated North Division rival Vancouver four out of six times during the first half of league season, when both teams finished 25-13. Make that five out of seven times after Spokane defeated Vancouver 4-2 on Sunday night to open a three-game series at Avista Stadium. Read story

A couple weeks in, everyone will be really tired

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Guess what? We're a little short on thoughts today. College football, start soon please. Read on.

Shock win fifth in a row

Spokane closed the regular season with a 45-40 road win over Portland on Saturday. The Shock (11-7) won their fifth straight. They'll visit San Jose in the first round of the playoffs next Saturday at 7.

Quarterback Brian Zbydniewski tossed five touchdown passes. Both teams committed three turnovers but Spokane's Terrance Sanders scored on a 16-yard interception return.

Spokane (Erik Meyer) and Portland (Kyle Rowley) rested their starting quarterbacks with the playoffs coming up next week.

More below.

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Jim Allen Sports reporter Jim Allen's primary coverage areas are Eastern Washington University football and men's basketball, and college and high school soccer. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Jacob Thorpe Sports reporter Jacob Thorpe covers Washington State University athletics. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Jim Meehan Jim Meehan's coverage areas include Gonzaga University men's basketball, Spokane Shock football, golf and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Josh Wright Josh Wright is a freelance correspondent who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

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Vince Grippi is the online producer for SportsLink, a product of The Spokesman-Review.

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