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The M’s rallied and so did the fans

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Like a whole bunch of you, I was torn last night. Watch the end of the Mariners' game or the first part of the Seahawks, when the starters would be playing? After Yoenis Cespedes' three-run, sixth-inning home run seemed to seal the M's fate, I decided on the Hawks. But I made sure I turned back for the ninth inning. I'm sure glad I did. Read on.

Pac-12 morning links: Nugent remains undefeated

So, about that new Washington State soccer complex … the lights work, so does the drainage system. All the new equipment got a workout last night thanks to some pouring rain and lightning storms that pushed back new WSU soccer coach Steve Nugent's debut by nearly three hours.

But the Cougars ops guys really wanted to make this game against TCU happen and they pulled it off with just 10 minutes to spare before the mandatory cancellation time.

It's a good thing they did because the Cougars won handily. Here's our story in today's paper on the WSU victory.

Pac-12 links are after the jump.

No practice report, but some game notes

I wasn't able to make it out to Washington State's football practice today because lightning storms and rain delayed the start of the women's soccer game I was covering by nearly three hours. But hey, the soccer team won, so keep an eye out for that story in tomorrow's paper. 
  

The football team is less than a week away from opening up its season against Rutgers in Seattle. The game notes are after the jump.

Some things matter tonight, others don’t

A GRIP ON SPORTS

The Seahawks take to the CenturyLink turf again tonight, the third of four preseason games. As always there is one overarching goal for Pete Carroll and his team: stay healthy. Read on.

Eastern and Big Sky links

Game day is almost here, and I'm as excited as anyone. I love my job, especially when I have a chance to write feature stories on Eastern players. Ever wonder what it's like to be Vernon Adams? This morning's story offers a glimpse behind the helmet. … We had a great live chat yesterday, and here is the full transcript. … Want all the details on Saturday's EWU-Sam Houston State game? Eastern has it all right here. … The Eagles are also hosting a kickoff celebration tonight in downtown Spokane. I'll be there, but not until I interview a certain national sports radio personality (and EWU alum) who's flying into town this afternoon - look for that tomorrow, along with my game preview. Did I mention that I love this job? … Elsewhere, Montana Western has updated its football home page, but that's all for now. … The Washington Huskies get a tad more media coverage, including this Seattle Times story on the Husky freshmen. … Montana State names a kicker and punter - and it's the same guy.

Pac-12 morning links: The offensive line carries a heavy burden Edit

Mike Leach says that the offensive line is the most important offensive unit no matter what scheme you run. That's especially true for Leach's Cougars, who will rely on a young offensive line to protect Connor Halliday, the only quarterback on the roster who has ever played in a college game.

That's the story of today's position preview. More links are after the jump.

Chiefs’ camp loaded with plot lines

Who will become the No. 1 goaltender? Whose offensive game will blossom to fill the void of departed Mitch Holmberg and Mike Aviani? What defensive players will step in after Reid Gow and Jeremy McIntosh decided to step away from hockey? These and other questions are on the minds of Spokane Chiefs fans as the Western Hockey League season approaches. Thursday was the initial step, the first day of camp at the Arena. Read story

Sanders honored by AFL

Spokane's Terrance Sanders, recently selected to the All-AFL first team as a kick returner, was named playmaker of the year at the league's awards ceremony Thursday night..

More below.

Gabe Marks could redshirt

The Cougars consider today to be a Saturday – they're one week from playing a game, after all. Because there is no game today they had a contact practice, albeit a very short one.

Because practice was only about an hour, there isn't much of a report to pass along. There is some news, however, as coach Mike Leach acknowledged after practice that receiver Gabe Marks could potentially redshirt this season.

“Well we'll just look at it and see how it goes,” Leach said. “It's a possibility but nothing's been decided on it.”

Regular readers will know that Marks, who lead the team in receptions and receiving yards last season, missed spring practice and has been limited for most of the fall. Marks has been playing recently, but mostly on scout team.

A couple more practice notes after the jump.

Ewu sports chat Aug. 21 (noon)

Here's the transcript for Thursday's EWU chat:

Football season has officially begun

A GRIP ON SPORTS

The NFL began a while ago. Colleges started late last month. And now football season is officially here. Yep, the high schools here in Washington began practice yesterday. Read on.

Eastern football links

Warmup question: You really know it's football season when …..? For me, it's today, when we publish our annual college section. This year, it's devoted to the players and coaches who put so much into the game. At Eastern, we chose defensive lineman Dylan Zylstra, who also is on the cover. I also have a quick look at some talking points for the upcoming Eagle season. Speaking of talking points, we'll have our weekly live chat today at noon, right here on Sportslink.  In the daily section, a feature on new Sam Houston (and former Delaware) coach K.C. Keeler. Also, the Eagles will be sporting new uniforms on Saturday. … From the SHSU web site, everything you want to know about the Bearkats. … Next week's Eagle opponent, Montana Western, is a member of the NAIA Frontier Conference, which has some useful info. … Washington needs to improve its pass protection, according to this story in the Seattle Times. The Huskies have some new faces on special teams, says this article in the Tacoma News Tribune. … Montana State coach Rob Ash isn't overly concerned about his banged-up secondary. …The Montana tight ends are finding their role.

One more week

Eastern Washington kicks off the college football season in just a couple days and we're only one week away from Cougar football. So what better time to preview the college football season? Are we really starting a new season, however? Or just starting the game-playing portion of a season that never stops? In the paper today our college football preview looks at 24/7/365 enterprise that is college football.

That and more are after the jump.

To redshirt or not to redshirt

Redshirting freshmen – having them sit their first year in exchange for a fifth-year of eligibility – is often considered a sign of a healthy program. After all, you are in effect trading a player's worst season for their best one.

However, if no true freshmen play than a school probably isn't recruiting enough high-impact guys. What's the point of redshirting a guy who is going to head to the NFL before his fifth season?

Still, you'd rather redshirt more players than not, giving young guys a year in the weight room and to adjust to college life.

In Mike Leach's first season at Washington State the Cougars played nine true freshmen, and won three games. Last season they played just five first-year players and won six.

We won't know for sure how many freshmen will play this season until its conclusion, but let's take a look at the most likely candidates after the jump.

Live WSU Football Chat

 

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

 

Our allegiances are about to be stretched

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Is there anything worse than your Pop Tart breaking and half of it falling on the floor? Yes, there is. Read on.

Eastern and opponent links

College football may start in Cheney, but your Eastern links begin here. To start, here is my story on EWU practice, plus a preview from the EWU athletic site. … Gee, Sam Houston State has a preview as well, along with a retrospective on their 2004 playoff win over the Eagles. … A UW defensive end is grateful for a second chance to play, while the Husky safeties are still locked in competition for the two starting spots. … Montana State has settled on a starting quarterback.

Give the defensive line a break

Destiny Vaeao, Toni Pole and Xavier Cooper probably won't play as much for Washington State this season, and that's a good thing. Why it's a good thing is the subject for our story in today's paper.

More links after the jump.

*We'll be holding our weekly live WSU football chat today at 11 a.m.

Big plays abound at WSU practice

“Intense and sloppy … kind of an exchange of big plays,” were the words coach Mike Leach used to describe today's underclassmen scrimmage, which they're still calling Thursday Night Football.

He was absolutely right.

We'll describe those big plays and more, after the jump.

Tyler Hilinski signs with WSU

With the above tweet the Washington State football program made official the financial aid agreement signed today by prep quarterback Tyler Hilinski. The NCAA allows student athletes that are able to graduate high school early to sign with schools well before national signing day in February, and to enroll in time for spring football. 

Last spring Calvin Green and Sean Krepsz took advantage of this rule and participated in spring football after finishing up their high school careers ahead of schedule.

More on Hilinski after the jump.

 

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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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