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The South gives college football two thumbs up

A GRIP ON SPORTS

You like watching college football on TV? Me too. But we don't seem to like to watch it as much as those folks south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Read on.

Chiefs reach break on hot streak

The Spokane Chiefs head for home on a nine-day holiday break after Wednesday's shutout at Prince George gave them a fourth straight win. Read story

Four WHL teams hold down spots

The Western Hockey League's Kelowna, Brandon, Medicine Hat and Everett have all been ranked among the CHL's Top 10 for 11 weeks or more. Read story

WSU says “Shalom” to Luani

WSU added its second junior college signee on Wednesday afternoon when Shalom Luani sent in his letter of intent.

More on Luani, after the jump.

 

Jeremiah Mitchell signs with WSU

Today is the first day that WSU can sign junior college football recruits, and Jeremiah Mitchell is the first to sign. 

More on the newest Cougar, after the jump.

Idaho adds 10 JUCO players during mid-year signing period

Idaho football coach Paul Petrino announced the signing of 10 junior college football players during the mid-year National letter-of-intent day today. 

The class includes four defensive backs, three offensive linemen, two defensive linemen and a running back. 

Petrino expects many of them to contribute immediately. 

Read on for details and comments from Petrino. 

Live WSU chat

On Wednesday we held a live chat to discuss WSU athletics. A transcription of the chat is available after the jump.

 

‘Twas the week before Christmas …

A GRIP ON SPORTS

This is a public service announcement. There is only a week until Christmas. Forget shopping days. There is only a week until Christmas. Where the heck did December go? Read on.

Morning links: trading cleats for high-tops

On Sunday the Washington State basketball team will take the court against some football players.

San Jose State has indefinitely suspended five players for violating a team rule. The benched players include the team's four leading scorers and since the suspensions are expected to last through Sunday, it's probably fair to chalk up this game as a win.

But there will be plenty of intrigue in the matchup. From Jimmy Durkin's article in the San Jose Mercury News:

The Spartans suited up just eight players in Saturday’s loss and that included two newcomers that came over from the football team to make their college basketball debut.

“I met with coach (Ron) Caragher because we were so thin and had to go get a couple football guys,” Wojcik said.

Tyler Winston is a second team All-Mountain West selection at wide receiver, while Andrew Vollert is a redshirt freshman tight end that actually ended up playing 30 minutes in the depleted team's 54-38 loss to Seattle University.

Yesterday was a big day for the WSU football team and we've got more on that, as well as some links, after the jump.

*And don't forget we'll be holding our weekly WSU football chat here on SportsLink at 11 a.m.

WHL notes: Chiefs trade rights to respected goalie

In the long run, it will probably mean nothing. But some people in the hockey world took notice Tuesday when the Spokane Chiefs traded their WHL rights to a top collegiate goalie to the Calgary Hitmen. Read story

Chiefs streak toward break

The Spokane Chiefs have followed a five-game winning streak with a five-game losing streak and three-game winning streak. They can make it four straight wins on Wednesday, their last game before the holiday break. Read story

Don Verlin Tuesday notes and quotes, Dec. 16

Idaho encountered nothing but heartbreak on its road trip through the states of Illinois and South Dakota last week.

The Vandals blew a 17-point lead in the second half at Western Illinois, losing 78-75. Two days later at South Dakota State, senior point guard Mike Scott missed a game-winning 3-point attempt with three seconds remaining. The buzzer sounded with an 87-85 win for the Jackrabbits, and back-to-back road losses for the Vandals. 

The theme of both games was Idaho's inability to get stops.

The WSU recruits just keep coming

Since Dillon Faamatau added his name to the 2015 WSU recruiting class, four more prospects have pledged their services.

Cougfan.com is reporting that linebacker Kyahva Tezino has decided to play for WSU over reported scholarship offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Miami, UCLA, Washington and other schools. The linebacker from Salesian High in Los Angeles, California is regarded as a four-star recruit and will immediately become one of WSU's most anticipated February signings.

Britton Ransford of WazzuWatch.com reported this morning that linebacker Logan Tago and offensive tackle Amosa Sakaria from Pago Pago in American Samoa have been planning on playing football at WSU for a while now, but have made their decisions public after visiting the school last weekend.

Additionally, safety Shalom Luani announced for WSU. Luani is considered the No. 19 junior college prospect in the country by Scout.com, and is a four-star prospect.

The Cougars may not have publicly announced a defensive coordinator hire yet but whatever they're telling recruits, it's working.

Day after Texas Southern

Back with more, but frankly not much more, from Gonzaga’s 94-54 runaway over Texas Southern last night.

Here’s my game story and Dan Pelle’s photos.

Read on.

 

Have basketball, will travel

A GRIP ON SPORTS

If you were looking for a taut, tightly contested college basketball game to watch last night, turning on the Gonzaga game would not have satisfied you. But I'm sure you knew that going in. Everyone did. Read on.

Morning links: Dillon Faamatau to WSU

The lack of a defensive coordinator does not appear to be hurting Washington State on the recruiting front. 

Dillon Faamatau has decided to play for WSU, according to Britton Ransford. The 6-foot-4, 280-pound defensive tackle from Norwalk, California chose WSU over reported scholarship offers from Arizona State, Colorado, Utah and others.

He is the seventh player that is expected to play defense to declare for WSU while the Cougars have been searching for a defensive coordinator, although one player, DeVante Wilson, now says that he will attend California instead.

Faamatu visited Pullman in early October and will sign on February 4, with the rest of the class of 2015.

We've got some links to pass along as well, after the jump.

EWU basketball, day after: No time to sulk

Eastern Washington basketball coach Jim Hayford spent part of Monday afternoon at a J.C. Penney store in Huntsville, Texas, doing some Christmas shopping for his assistants.  “And if they don’t work out, they can always return them in Spokane,” said Hayford, dispensing the kind of practicality that’s served the Eagles quite well so far. Read on . . . 

Ernie Kent Q&A: getting their legs back

Ernie Kent addressed the media today while his team takes what is, in his opinion, a much-needed break to focus on finals.

The Cougars played three games last week, but will have eight days off following their loss at Santa Clara before hosting San Jose State on Sunday.

“We knew right away (at SCU) that our legs weren't moving as good and everything else,” Kent said. “You try to fight through it and we just didn't shoot the ball well, again.”

A full transcription of Kent's remarks is after the jump.

 

 

1925 City BB

As with football, Spokane high school basketball teams played in no organized league until the Spokane City League was formed in 1925. Prior to that, the results of the annual games between the schools resulted in a “City Champion”.

On Jan. 7, 1926, 200 fans at LC witnessed Gonzaga High and Lewis and Clark meet for the first league game in history.  LC came away with a 23-18 win in the first of thousands of league games to follow, which continue to the present day.

Four teams made up the City League in the first year, and for many years to come. Gonzaga was coached by Maurice “Clipper” Smith, who also served as the Gonzaga University coach. LC was mentored by a man who was to become legendary, Elra “Squinty “ Hunter. The other two coaches that season were Milt Benjamin at Hillyard and Jack Friel at North Central.

The league didn’t have a true round robin style of play in the first years. LC and NC played a series calling for the best 3 out of 4, while Hillyard and Gonzaga met the other schools twice each, making for a different number of league contests for each school.  That discrepancy, in one form or another, was to last until the 1932-33 season when a true round robin schedule was devised.

Lewis and Clark won the first league title with a 7-1 record, with only a 20-12 loss to NC to mar its record.  That league title was the first of many to come for the Tigers, who eventually became the dominant program in the years that followed. 

The top three scorers in the league were all from LC.  Pierce Campbell topped the list with an 8.8 average per game. George McNeil and Harvey Nelson followed with 6.0 and 5.6 averages. Obviously, it was an era of low scoring games.

Campbell was chosen the captain of the all-league team that year. Nelson joined him on the squad, as did Ralph Hallett of Hillyard, Einar Hove of NC, and Francis Kelly from Gonzaga.

Lewis and Clark represented the City League at the State Tournament in Seattle and won the first state basketball championship for Spokane, defeating Yakima in the title game, 20-17, after trailing 11-6 at halftime. Both Campbell and Nelson were selected for the all-state team. 

It was a very good first season, not only for Lewis and Clark, but for the league as well.

               

The rise-from-the-ashes Seahawks are almost to their goal

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Did you watch the Seahawks end the 49ers' postseason hopes yesterday? Methodical might be an understatement. Read on.

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

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