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Archive for July 2009

WSU’s Justin cleared


Charges against defensive back Tyrone Aire Justin were dismissed Friday by Whitman County. Click the link for more on the story.

Shock go for 11th straight vs. Stockton

Spokane opens the af2 playoffs against Stockton on Saturday night. The Shock are 10-0 all-time vs. Stockton, including 3-0 this season with two relatively easy wins and an 88-27 blowout.

Read my unedited game preview below.

Meanwhile, here’s an update on Boise losing quarterback Taylor Tharp, who was hurt against Spokane last week, for the remainder of the season. Spokane and Boise would collide next Saturday if both teams win Saturday.

Looking back at Pac-10 media day


Let’s get right to it this morning. There are lots of links available to stories concerned with the Pac-10 football media day yesterday and we want to share them. Read on.

WSU hoop recruit shooting for success


When I got to my hotel near LAX on Wednesday, I decided to take in some of the big summer high school basketball tournament being held at Loyola Marymount University. I cruised over and watched Spokane-based Eastern Washington Elite play, with an eye on seeing how Washington State recruit Patrick Simon had progressed. Anyhow, I promised to post this tonight and though I didn’t have time in Seattle, there’s time before I collapse. Read on for some thoughts.

WSU football kicks off in LA


Another Pac-10 football media day is done and the participants are en route home, wherever that may be. We have a couple of stories for tomorrow’s Spokesman-Review, the unedited versions of which can be found by simply clicking on the link. One is built around WSU player participant Kenny Alfred and the offensive line. The other centers round the media poll, which picked USC first and Washington State last. If you are interested, read on.

Will WSU surprise people?


Paul Wulff and Kenny Alfred have left the dais, giving it up to Steve Sarkisian and UW. For my thoughts on what Wulff and Alfred said, read on.

“First Family” no more

For want of a better eponym, I’ve dubbed Tom and Julie Yearout Lewis and Clark’s “First Family” of coaching. What better term to describe the only husband and wife, at least in my memory, from Spokane, and certainly the Greater Spokane League, to win State 4A titles in separate sports? And now, with the announcement of Julie’s resignation, calling it a matter of principle, both have left at the top of their games.

Her Tigers won the State 4A volleyball championship last fall after successive second place finishes to Mead the previous two seasons. Tom, who never had a losing season as LC’s football coach, had that miracle state run to the title in 2007. He’s not entirely gone. Tom will be new coach Dave Hughes’ defensive line coach.

Coaches have come and gone in my 40 years of following high school sports. This has been a tough year. It’s particularly sad to see the Yearouts sidelined. Hopefully, they’ll be back soon.

WSU picked last in media poll


Yes we have a Pac-10 football post already. Read on for the media poll.

The kickoff of WSU’s football season


The 2009 Pac-10 football season starts this morning. Well, not really. But the conference’s media day does seem like a line of demarcation. Summer is now officially over and football is on the front burner. And today’s links include some hot items, so if you are interested in those and our plans for today, read on.

Franks catches on with Shock

The boss changed the schedule so my Stanley Franks feature will run in Thursday’s S-R. Which means you can take a look at it now (Wednesday afternoon). Read the unedited version below, and keep on reading to find a feature I did on Franks when he was a standout with the Idaho Vandals. (Franks is pictured in Shock game earlier this season and from a WSU contest during his UI days).

One quick note: Stockton apparently has re-signed quarterback Jimmy Collins, who attempted just two passes in six games with the Lightning. He also played one game for Central Valley, going 25 of 51 for 228 yards with four interceptions and three touchdowns. Collins likely will back up Chad Cavender, who emerged as the starter after Andy Collins was injured in a game against the Shock on April 25.


An in-depth study of WSU football

COUGARS • UPDATED 11:20 A.M.; 3:15 P.M.

I sit here trying to figure out why the Seattle Sounders are called a football club – ya, I know the real reason, but they do play in a league called the MLS and the S does stand for soccer – and I just can’t my mind focused on Washington State athletics. Anyhow, the Pac-10 football media day is tomorrow and I have some thoughts on that and the Cougars’ depth chart, which was released yesterday. Read on.

Vandals tabbed 8th, 9th in polls

The WAC preseason football media and coaches’ polls have been unveiled, and both have Idaho and New Mexico State as the two bottom-rung teams. The Vandals were picked eighth in the media poll (ahead of only NMSU) and ninth in the coaches’ poll.

Boise State was picked to win the league in both polls, while quarterback Colin Kaepernick of Nevada was named preseason offensive player of the year (ahead of Kellen Moore) and BSU’s Kyle Wilson was voted as the top preseason defensive player.

We’ll have more on the Vandals in the coming days; fall practice begins on Aug. 8.

Shock riding momentum into playoffs

Back with a notebook that will run in Wednesday’s S-R. The unedited version is below.

You might have noticed that the American Conference playoff pairings didn’t include Florida. Here’s af2’s explanation why and here’s the Firecats’ version of situation.

(Programming note: I’ll post a feature article on Stanley Franks, probably Thursday afternoon.)

Playoff pairings

Find a rundown of the first-round playoff matchups here and a recap of Stockton’s win over Peoria on Saturday here. Spokane entertains Stockton on Saturday.


We’re back with WSU news and links


The furlough is over. Now we can get back to doing this Washington State stuff once again. Of course, a bunch of stuff happened while we were forced out of contact, so we’ll try to catch up. Read on.

Spokane holds off Burn, 56-51

Spokane (15-1) didn’t have a lot of close games in the regular season, but the Shock came through at crunch time Saturday, knocking off Boise 56-51.

Read on below for more details.

Shock gear up for Boise

As I write this, Spokane is probably on a bus somewhere in Oregon en route to Boise for Saturday’s game against the Burn. Head coach Adam Shackleford lets the players pick the movies. It usually starts with a comedy, followed by an action movie.

Below, you can read my game preview and find out more about two new Shock players at the very bottom.

Shock add another Husky

Spokane has added another ex-Washington Husky to its roster. OL/DL Casey Bulyca joins DL/FB Johnie Kirton and DE Caesar Rayford. All three have joined the Shock in the last five weeks. More on Bulyca here.

A couple other items: The Shock maintained their hold on first in the weekly af2 rankings.  Boise’s secondary might be missing a key player for Saturday’s game against the Shock. Terrance Sanders has a tryout with the St. Louis Rams this week. And Burn coach Brent Winter and his wife celebrated the birth of their first child in Los Angeles. He’s expected to be back to coach Saturday’s game.


WCC tourneys staying in Vegas

The WCC announced Wednesday morning that the next three men’s and women’s basketball tournaments will be held in Las Vegas.

Read on for more.

A couple days without WSU news


Before our part of this blog goes dark for a few days, thought it would be a good idea to get you up to speed. Read on.

Shock won’t ease across finish line

Checked in on the Shock at Tuesday’s practice and put together a notebook that will run in Wednesday’s S-R. Take a look at the unedited version below.


Shock playoff tickets on sale

Back from a week of furlough, so we’re playing catch up bigtime. Spokane’s rout of Central Valley clinched the West Division title and hosting rights through the National Conference title game.

Spokane’s first-round playoff assignment will be Stockton (5-10) on Aug. 1. Ticket information here

WSU’s Casto has surgery on knee


Let’s see what we’ve got. A quick note on DeAngelo Casto’s health – we have a short story that will be appearing in tomorrow’s paper, so the unedited version is available now – along with a link you might like. Read on.

Links for your Friday morning


A couple of links for your Friday morning, both football related. Read on.

Mayes finally gets his plaque


A quick post tonight. It features the unedited version of our story concerning Rueben Mayes’ enshrinement in college football’s Hall of Fame on Saturday night. That’s followed by a couple links. If you’re interested, read on.

Making links with WSU on a Wednesday


With the summer in full burn-the-bottom-of-your-feet mode, we’re scheduled to cover the Spokane Indians for the next five days. But that doesn’t keep us from passing on the links we’ve found. No siree. Read on.

How the WSU writer spent his summer vacation


I’ve put it off long enough. I’ve warned you almost every day. So I guess I have to give you what I promised: A summary of my month off, some of it spent traveling in the wilds of New York, New Jersey and Maryland. So here it is. If you want to read it, great. Just hit the link. If you don’t, I understand.

Arop, Olynyk help Canada take 7th

Future Zags Manny Arop scored 16 points and Kelly Olynyk had a team-high 14 points as Canada defeated France to take seventh place at the FIBA U-19 world championships. More here.

Thompson, U.S. win gold


A quick Sunday morning post before we head out to breakfast. The U.S., with Washington State’s Klay Thompson starting again and scoring 10 points and grabbing four rebounds, won the gold in the U19 World Championships thanks to a 88-80 win over Greece. Australia, with Brock Motum also scoring 10 points, finished fourth. Motum shot almost 61 percent from the floor in the tournament and led the Aussies with a 13.6 scoring average. You can read more on the U.S. win here.

Shock win a thriller, 56-52

Sometimes these type of games don’t live up to the hype, but this showdown certainly did.

No. 1 Spokane outlasted No. 2 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 56-52 Saturday night in front of a packed house of 10,561 at the Arena.

You can read my unedited game story below.


Canada falls to Puerto Rico

Manny Arop scored 20 points and Kelly Olynyk added 12 but Canada lost 67-65 to Puerto Rico at the U19 world championships. More here.

WSU makes some roster changes


Washington State released its 2009 fall roster Saturday, and of the 100-plus names you won’t find a couple who have become familiar to WSU fans the past couple years. Read on for the unedited version of our S-R story.

U.S. in final as Thompson scores five


There aren’t a lot of links for this morning, but we do have a couple things to share, with the U19 world championships tops on our list. Read on.

Daye scores 8 in debut; Morrison 24

Austin Daye scored eight points on 3 of 9 shooting in his summer league debut with the Detroit Pistons. Daye played just over 19 minutes in the Pistons’ 86-77 win over Sacramento.

Adam Morrison poured in 24 points in nearly 33 minutes of playing time to help Los Angeles edge Toronto 85-84. Ex-WSU Cougar Taylor Rochestie added eight points for the Lakers while Aron Baynes went scoreless.

Click here to keep tabs on the former Zags (Daye, Morrison, Josh Heytvelt, Jeremy Pargo, Micah Downs).

Meanwhile, former Saint Mary’s guard Patty Mills suffered a broken foot Thursday in practice and will miss summer league. More here.

Showdown at the Arena

The showdown between No. 1 Spokane and No. 2 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is just a day away. Read my unedited preview below for Saturday’s 7 p.m. contest.


U.S. crushes Canada at U19s

Canada, which features incoming GU recruits Manny Arop and Kelly Olynyk, was thumped 93-73 by the U.S. at the U19 world championships. Olynyk had 14 points and seven rebounds. Arop is quoted in this recap.


Another game article here.

Morrison set for summer league

An update on ex-Zag Adam Morrison, who is trying to carve out his spot in the NBA with the L.A. Lakers in the Las Vegas summer league. More here.

Getting back into the WSU links habit


Is there anything better than an Inland Northwest summer? No humidity, bright sunshine, cheap golf. Well, we’re taking advantage of all three of those things this morning, so this post will be short. Read on.

Budget decisions come into focus at WSU


After a month of doing no typing – or very little – we get hit with a story on our first day back. WSU’s athletic department put out a short release today concerning budget cuts made to close a revenue shortfall that was close to a million bucks. We talked with athletic director Jim Sterk this afternoon and put together a story, the unedited version of which you can read on the link.

So what happened while we were gone?


Well, I’m back. Physically, if not mentally, just yet. Still in that would-rather-be-on-vacation mindset. So where were we? Anything happen while I was playing hooky? I guess a few things. Read on.

Two Pioneers arrested

Two days before No. 2 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton takes on No. 1 Spokane, two Pioneers players were arrested in the aftermath of a bar fight. More here and here.

UPDATE: Just got off the phone with Pioneers coach Rich Ingold. He confirmed that DL Justin Parrish and FB/LB Jason Acquaye have been suspended and won’t make the trip to Spokane. Parrish is one of the best defensive players in af2 with 11 sacks and would probably be MVP of the defense if the team had a vote, Ingold said.

“It was unfortunate that last night we had a couple guys staying out late,” Ingold said. “I talked to both of them this morning. A lot of things being written about them are not true. There’s enough evidence there to grant a suspension, but I don’t want people rushing to judge them before all the facts come out.”

Ingold said he’ll probably bring in a former Pioneers player to help shore up the defense.  


Arop, Olynyk help Canadians win

GU-bound Manny Arop and Kelly Olynyk helped Canada’s U19 team knock off Argentina 67-57, a win that moved the Canadians into the quarterfinal round of the world championships. Arop had 18 points and Olynyk chipped in seven boards in the victory.

More here.

Warren helps keep Spokane on winning track

As mentioned in a previous post, I put together a feature on Justin Warren (No. 11 pictured above) for Thursday’s S-R. You can read the unedited version below.



Shock still No. 1, despite first loss

I figured Saturday’s showdown between Spokane and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton would be a battle of No. 1 and No. 2, but I expected the Pioneers to be No. 1. Turns out Spokane held the top spot in the weekly poll by a comfortable margin, despite losing to Iowa 54-48.

Spokane is 12-1 and still has af2’s best record. The Pioneers are 11-2. More here.

I’ll try to post a feature article on Shock defensive end/linebacker Justin Warren later today.


Olynyk scores 24 in Canada’s win

GU recruit Kelly Olynyk scored 24 points to help Canada to a victory at the U19 world championships. Mangisto Arop, another GU-bound player, added seven points. More here.  

Shock didn’t get a kick out of loss

The Spokane Shock returned to practice Tuesday, trying to put a 54-48 loss to Iowa in the rear-view mirror.

However, the coaching staff is seeking clarification on the rules regarding onside kicks. Spokane recovered three onside kicks, but all three were wiped out by penalties. One was because the ball didn’t travel the necessary 10 yards. The other two had coaches scratching their heads.

Read more in my unedited notebook below.

Also, read more about the Shock’s newest roster addition, Caesar Rayford, here.

More on Shock’s first setback

A couple of items from Spokane’s 54-48 loss to Iowa on Saturday — the view from the Des Moines Register and the af2 Web site.

Arop, Olynyk advance at U19 world championships

Incoming Gonzaga recruits Mangisto Arop and Kelly Olynyk helped Canada advance to the second round of the FIBA U19 championships, despite a 1-2 record. Arop scored 17 points and Olynyk added 10 points and 13 rebounds in Canada’s 82-75 loss to Spain on Saturday.

More here

Iowa hands Shock first loss

Spokane’s unbeaten run is over. The Shock were uncharacteristically mistake-prone while dropping a 54-48 decision to Iowa on Saturday. Read on for more details.


Shock spending Fourth in Iowa

Spokane has enjoyed a huge home-field advantage since the franchise’s inaugural year in 2006. Rarely have the Shock dealt with loud crowds on the road. That figures to change when they face Iowa on Saturday night in Des Moines.

Read on for an unedited game preview (and a couple of additional notes at the bottom).


Running the table?

I asked the kind of questions today at Shock practice that coaches don’t like to hear. Can you go undefeated? And, How much of a goal is it?

Coaches dread anything that requires speculating beyond the next game, but Adam Shackleford handled the topic deftly. In a nutshell, he said it would be great, but it’s not the all-consuming goal. That would be winning the ArenaCup, whether it’s achieved with a 16-0 regular season, 15-1, 14-2, whatever.

Anyway, more on Shackleford and the players’ thoughts in an unedited notebook below.


Ex-Zags line up summer jobs

Like most recent college graduates, former Gonzaga basketball players Micah Downs, Josh Heytvelt and Jeremy Pargo are looking for work. They weren’t chosen in the June 25th NBA Draft so they’re trying to carve out a spot on an NBA roster via summer league.

Click below to find out where the three are headed next.

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SportsLink is your portal into sports news around the Inland Northwest and beyond. You'll find updates, notes and opinions, and plenty of reader feedback.


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Jim Meehan (@srjimm) 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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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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Vince Grippi is the online producer for SportsLink, a product of The Spokesman-Review.

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