Idaho freshman Austin Rehkow, who starred at Central Valley High, was selected as a first-team punter on the Walter Camp All-America team on Thursday. Rehkow, the nation's leader in punting average this season at 47.8 yards, became just one of eight freshmen to be honored on the Camp first-team in its 124-year history.
“It’s definitely an honor to be recognized as such,” Rehkow said in an an Idaho press release. “It’s a pretty cool thing.”
Rehkow set Idaho's single-season punting record, surpassing T.J. Conley’s 2008 average of 47.4 yards per punt. Conley, a senior in 2008, also was a Camp All-American. Rehkow garnered numerous weekly national awards this fall, including the Ray Guy Award Punter of the Week.
The big man has made some big and small steps forward.
Przemek Karnowski is coming off his best game as a Zag — 19 points and 13 rebounds — and seems to be improving on several other fronts. More on PK below, also an update on the health of Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell Jr. as well as Elias Harris' next move.
Coming into the 1 p.m. Saturday showdown with No. 6 Stanford, the No. 23 Gonzaga women’s basketball team has all the marks of a good team that has yet to find it’s true identity.
Despite off nights Tuesday against Wisconsin for Haiden Palmer (6 points, 6 rebounds) and Lindsay Sherbert (9 points, 6 rebounds), the Zags got a huge lift from senior guard Jazmine Redmon. She scored 15 points on 5-of-8 from the floor and 3-for-3 from the 3-point line.
Graves sang her praises, noting that Redmon currently has 45 assists to only nine turnovers on the year.
“Both Taylor Karr and Courtney (Vandersloot) twice led the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio. For Redmon to be 5-to-1 (in the same category) is incredible,” Graves said.
Video courtesy of Tom Benjey on YouTube.
As part of the build up to Washington State's showdown with Colorado State in the New Mexico Bowl, we're going to take a brief look every day at one of the Cougars' previous bowl appearances. Today we kickoff the segment with the 1916 Rose Bowl, WSU's first-ever bowl game.
Back in 1916, the Rose Bowl was known as the Tournament East-West Football Game, and didn't officially become known as the “Rose Bow” until 1922. It was played as part of the Tournament of Roses starting in 1916. However, the 1916 game was actually the second ever East-West Football Game. The the first was played in 1902, but was so uncompetitive — Michigan beat Stanford, 49-0 — that it was dropped from the festivities. Football returned to the Tournament of Roses after the organizers decided that the chariot races that had taken its place were too dangerous.
Washington State, coached by William Henry “Lone Star” Dietz entered the game undefeated with a 6-0 record on the season. The Brown Bruins, coached by Eddie N. Robinson, entered the game 5-3 with one tie. Brown also had a running back by the name of Fritz Pollard, who was the first African-American to ever play in the Rose Bowl.
Find out what happened, after the jump.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
Will we look back on 2013 as the year everything turned around in Northwest sports? Maybe. Read on.
The Jacksonville State football coaches are trying to prepare for Eastern Washington, but it's not easy, as our story shows … We can talk about that and more in today's live chat, right here at noon. … Eagle defensive coordinator John Graham is a finalist for the head coaching job at his alma mater, Central Washington. … Back to the FCS playoffs: here's the official release from Eastern, and here's a feature on JSU's tight end, courtesy of the Birmingham News. … The Sports Network offers this preview of all four quarterfinal games.
From Pullman — Just nine more days until the Cougars take on Colorado State in the New Mexico Bowl, which means Washington State needs to make the most of its extra practice time. The upperclassmen are now spending all of practice with the younger players as the team gets ready to implement the game plan. We cover that in last night's practice report … In today's paper we have a story where some former coaches and players weigh in on WSU's return to the postseason … coach Mike Leach briefly flew down to Albuquerque yesterday for the bowl game's introductory press conference, and we've got a transcript … Yesterday we had our weekly WSU football chat and you can read the transcript here … Could the Cougars pick up a transfer at quarterback? … Both WSU and Colorado State's programs are in their formative years.
In basketball news, New Mexico State tried to knock No. 1 Arizona from its perch. It failed.
Football links from around the conference after these messages.
From Pullman — The Cougars had a 9 p.m. practice today to accomodate the players' finals schedules, and they will take tomorrow off. It was also the first bowl practice that the veteran players fully participated in, as WSU coaches devoted the first few to getting extra work for the underclassmen. The Cougars coaches said they practiced mostly 1's vs. 1's and will get into the game plan later in the week.
“It was really a chance for us to get some spring football in for the young guys,” linebackers coach Ken Wilson said. “Obviously we work with them on Thursday nights but this has been a chance for us to get them in position meetings and go over the base stuff and watch it on film, watch them get extended reps and see what we got out there.”
Wilson added that linebacker Jeremiah Allison has stood out amongst the underclassmen and has excelled at the BUCK position, a hybrid between linebacker and defensive end.
More from practice, after the jump.
With the Western Hockey League season closing in on its halfway point, the U.S. Division has proven to be, by far, the best of the four divisions. All five teams have winning records. Through Wednesday, the teams' order in the standings is: Portland, Everett, Seattle, Spokane and Tri-City. For Spokane, the division breaks down as: Portland and Seattle, which are a combined 8-0 against the Chiefs, and Everett and Tri-City, which are a combined 1-6-0-0 against the Chiefs. Everett is 0-3 after Spokane's 5-3 win on Wednesday. Read story
It's hard to win on the road when you shoot 37 percent from the field. And it's really hard to win a tight game on the road when you make just 39 percent of your free throws. Outside of solid efforts from Connor Hill and Bira Seck, the Vandals shot poorly and faltered down the stretch in a 69-58 loss at Montana on Wednesday night
Idaho, which dropped to 4-6, made just 7 of 18 free throws and struggled after forging a tie at 52-all with under 6 minutes left. Hill scored 24 points, including 19 in the second half, and Seck had 11 points and 13 rebounds. But the rest of the Vandals went 9 of 25 from the floor (25 percent) and had a mere 23 combined points.
“We just didn’t make the plays we needed to — that was the bottom line tonight,” Idaho coach Don Verlin said. “We tied it up with about six minutes to play, and just can’t finish the job. We get the game how we want it and we don’t finish it like we need to. We miss some easy inside shots. If you’re going to win on the road you can’t shoot (7-for-18) at the free throw line. The bottom line is we didn’t do what we needed to do to finish this basketball game.”
While Idaho struggled shooting, Montana was near-perfect from the free-throw line in the final minutes, going 10 of 12.
Montana makes a return trip to Idaho on Dec. 28. First, the Vandals have three more road games in succession — Portland State on Saturday; Idaho State in Boise’s CenturyLink Arena on Dec. 20; and CSU Northridge on Dec. 22.
S-R photojournalist Jesse Tinsley covered the Spokane Chiefs vs. Everett Silvertips game at the Spokane Arena. Check out this big picture gallery of photos from the game.
The Gildan New Mexico Bowl held its opening press conference today with coach Mike Leach of Washington State and Jim McElwain of Colorado State. Video and audio of the press conference were not available online, and it was not televised or on the radio, but the bowl provided transcripts of the coaches' remarks.
Transcriptions available after the jump.
FLY FISHING — Some fly fishermen briefly distracted from their sport by the Eastern Washington University football team's pursuit of the FCS championship are trying to hook even more enthusiasm with a little fly-tying incentive.
Before the third-ranked EWU Eagles take on Jacksonville State at the Inferno on Saturday, the EWU alums at the Evolution Anglers blog are continuing their tradition of wrapping up championship quality “inferno” flies.
They're teaming with blogger Big Mills and running a contest in which participants can win some fan-catching and perhaps fish catching flies tied by the talented bloggers.
Read on for the details from the bloggrs:
Eastern Washington University defensive coordinator and associate head coach John Graham is a finalist for the head coaching position at Central Washington, Graham said Wednesday.
Graham, 44, a defensive back at Central in 1990-91, graduated in 1992 and was an assistant for the Wildcats for 13 years under Mike Dunbar, Jeff Zenisek and John Zamberlin.
“It's always been a dream of mine to be a head coach,” said Graham, who applied for the position when Zamberlin was hired by Idaho State in 2006, and was a finalist at CWU before his current head coach, Beau Baldwin was hired. When Baldwin was hired a year later by Eastern Washington a year later, Graham followed him to Cheney.
There was one constant throughout the many ups and downs Gonzaga experienced before rallying for an 80-76 road win over West Virginia: Przemek Karnowski.
With Sam Dower Jr. in foul trouble and the Bulldogs' offense sputtering, the 7-foot-1 center provided scoring, rebounding, a defensive presence and stability. He also didn't commit a foul until 2:07 left in the second half.
More below in my day-after post.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
Color me impressed. With what, you may ask? With Gonzaga's win last night. Read on.
Another team, another challenge. For No. 3 Eastern Washington, it comes this week in the form of Jacksonville State running back DaMarcus James and the Gamecocks' zone-read offense. Here's our story, along with previews from Eastern and from JSU, plus JSU stats. Here's a story on JSU's defense, courtesy of the Birmingham News. … In the other quarterfinal in Eastern's half of the bracket, No. 2 Eastern Illinois faces Towson on Friday night The Panthers picked up a couple of big honors.
From Pullman — Plenty of WSU news today as we've got stories on the seniors who are continuing to add to their legacy on the football team, a notebook on why the Cougars basketball practice are extra intense this week, and blog posts looking at a pair of new offensive line commits, recapping what we saw of practice and taking a look at some extra presents WSU players will receive for the holidays.
Don't forget we'll have an 11 a.m. chat to talk football, basketball, bowls and more here on SportsLink.
Links from around the conference, after the jump.