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Archive for October 2009

Notre Dame runs over WSU


COUGARS

You saw it. This wasn’t pretty, in the sense Washington State just got manhandled by Notre Dame. There’s no other way to put it. The Irish dominated both lines of scrimmage, ran mostly within the tackles, put pressure on Jeff Tuel most every play and, to add salt to the wounds, made one heck of play on the Hail Mary. Read on for the unedited versions of the game story and the notebook. I love Jason Stripling’s description of Notre Dame’s offensive line.

Chiefs strong effort goes for naught

Spokane Chiefs coach Hardy Sauter said his postgame talk to his team on Saturday was short and sweet.

“The guys played well, outcome wasn’t the way we wanted it,” he said after the 2-0 home loss to Portland.

The difference was 20-year old goalie Kurtis Mucha, who made 35 saves, allowing the Winterhawks to steal a win at the Arena.

“You have the sense he’s playing well for sure … I don’t know if you ever have the sense (all the bounces go against you),” Sauter said. “He must have done something right this week because he got the bounces.”

No doubt it will be Mucha in goal tonight for the return game in Portland. Continue reading for the unedit game story I filed for the Sunday paper.

 

St. Maries vball returns to top

The proud St. Maries volleyball program broke through Saturday after a 16-year state title drought.

Read my story by clicking the tab.

Vandals craft memorable rally

Another crazy afternoon/evening at the Kibbie Dome. The Vandals looked to be in a bad spot late against Louisiana Tech, but they came roaring back to win 35-34 for their seventh win of the season.

Read on for my unedited game story.

CdA’s Gomez wins again

Coeur d’Alene’s long-distance ace Kinsey Gomez returned to the top of the state championship podium at the State 5A cross country meet Saturday.

Click the tab below to read my story.

Eastern runs over Portland State in Seattle

Eastern Washington used Matt Johnson’s four interceptions and another ultra-productive performace by quarterback Matt Nichols to trash Portland state 47-10 at Qwest Field in Seattle on Saturday.

I’ve attached an unedited version of the game story that will appear in Sunday morning’s S-R below. And don’t forget to check back later tomorrow for some additional post-game comments and links to related stories.

Chiefs win, set for Portland

No doubt hockey fans know the Chiefs picked up a big road win on Friday against defending Western Hockey League champion Kelowna. However, for your added enjoyment is the story from my friend Doyle Potenteau of the Okanagan. It focuses on Kelowna native Kyle Beach. Keep reading for the story.

WSU trails 30-7 at the half


COUGARS

Notre Dame had its way with Washington State in the first half. But the way the Irish built the big halftime edge in a different manner than most teams this year. Read on.

Lethargic Vandals down by 14

It’s Louisiana Tech 28, Idaho 14 at halftime in the Kibbie Dome — and it feels like the Vandals could be down by a lot more. The Bulldogs have abused Idaho’s secondary, especially on corner routes into the end zone. LTU quarterback Ross Jenkins has lofted three easy touchdown passes and the Bulldogs have had lots of success on quick screen passes to their shifty wideouts and backs.

Perhaps the most surprising development here in Moscow is the sputtering offensive attack for the Vandals. Nathan Enderle is just 10 of 22 for 124 yards and one interception. He’s overshot receivers on deep balls and been hurt by a couple drops.

Some pregame thoughts from San Antonio


COUGARS • UPDATED: 3:50 P.M.; 4:30 P.M.

We’re in the Alamodome and you know, it doesn’t feel that big. But my guess is it will seem a lot bigger, and a lot louder, when the 55,000 that are expected file in. We’ve got some pregame notes and thoughts. Read on.

Homecoming hits Moscow

The season’s stretch drive has arrived, and luckily for Idaho, it gets to play three of the last four games at the Kibbie Dome. First up: This afternoon against Louisiana Tech for a homecoming tilt. Keep reading for more about the game (2 p.m., ESPN Regional).

A busy Saturday of WSU football


COUGARS

With USC and Oregon facing off, all Pac-10 eyes will probably be on Eugene tonight. And that makes sense. Especially considering there are three teams not playing this week: Washington, Stanford and Arizona. So there is less to link to and to read about. But what’s there, we have. Read on.

Crazy GSL plays wildly to the end

In my 33 years of watching Greater Spokane League football, I don’t think I’ve seen a season quite like this with six teams, maybe seven if you include champion and 3A top seed Mt. Spokane in the mix, so even. Any of the six 4A squads could have made the playoffs if not for a missed extra point here, a turnover there. So it was probably to be expected that it would end the way it did tonight with Gonzaga Prep just 12 yards away from clinching the No. 2 seed, only to be relegated to a three-team playoff for the third spot; or that University would come up one-inch away from the third playoff spot (I wasn’t there, but a source told me the Titans might have been in) and now in that playoff; or that Ferris, left for dead, now has a chance in that playoff to return to state. Weird.

That begs the question: Are the teams good enough to advance in the playoffs? Once there you have to take care of business better than this league has done.

Here’s my story from LC’s win at G-Prep to finish the season with back-to-back victories over its rivals, the Bullpups and Saxons.

Lake City captures 5A IEL title

The Lake City football team captured the 5A IEL title with a convincing 49-19 win at Lewiston.

Lake City advances to the state playoffs for the 13th straight year.

Hit the tab below to read Josh Wright’s unedited game story.

WSU, Irish match up


COUGARS

After a very long day, we are in San Antonio. I don’t think it took Santa Anna as long to get in the Alamo as it took me to get from Austin to here. Anyhow, we have our game day items and our advance on the link. By the way, listened to an hour-and-a-half high school football show on the radio on the way here. It was kind of fun in a really-over-the-top sort of way. Read on.

The Mark Few shows

Gonzaga and IMG College, the school’s multi-media rights holder, have announced expanded offerings on TV, including the Mark Few Show, and radio, including the Mark Few Show.

Details here

Remaining football playoff scenarios

After last night’s Mead victory over Central Valley, here are the four remaining playoff possibilities from tonight’s games. If there’s a three-team mini-playoff it will be Tuesday, 6 p.m. at Albi Stadium:

If Ferris and Gonzaga Prep win: 1, Mead (7-2). 2, Gonzaga (6-2). 3, CV (6-2). (Mead beat both teams, Prep beat the Bears).

If University and Lewis and Clark win: 1, Mead (7-2). 2, CV (6-2). 3, U-Hi (6-3). (Mead beat both, Bears beat the Titans, U-Hi beat Gonzaga Prep (5-3).

If Ferris and LC win: 1, Mead (7-2). 2, CV (6-2), 3. playoff Tuesday among Gonzaga (5-3), Ferris (5-3) and U-Hi (5-4) (Prep beat Ferris, Ferris beat U-Hi, U-Hi beat Prep in league).

If U-Hi and G-Prep win: 1, Mead (7-2). 2-3 playoff among Prep (6-2), CV (6-2) and U-Hi (6-3) (CV beat U-Hi, U-Hi beat Prep, Prep beat CV in league).

 Mead and University for the two-year scheduling cycle played the extra league game based on a desire for all 3A teams to have a full eight-game league schedule in lieu of divisions. That led to this playoff formula that incorporates both wins and losses as tiebreaker criteria.

WSU from the road


COUGARS

A real quick blog post this morning as we are in Seattle waiting for our flight to Texas. We’ve got our stories on the link. Read on.

Panthers come all the way back

Three weeks into the season the Mead Panthers were 1-2 and facing an uphill GSL football slog. They ran the table and with Thursday’s convincing 31-12 win over Central Valley are No. 1 among 4A teams. They proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that defense more than offense wins games, stifling the Bears in all facets except the kicking game. But they showed their offensive versatilty with a big passing night from sophomore Andy Wetzel and huge receiving night by Mitch Kayser whose early layout catch set the tone against CV’s suspect secondary, just as they ran their way to victory the week before.

With the triumph, and anticipating Mt. Spokane’s win over Rogers Friday, it’s a one-two finish for the Mead district (in volleyball and soccer as well, (the Wildcats and Panthers tied in the latter) in league. Mt. Spokane won two out of three head-to-head tests winning in football and soccer this year and the volleyball team tested Mead in their league match.

Should be a big crowd at Albi when the two host a doubleheader 4A-3A state play-in doubleheader next Friday. 

Here’s the post of my story for tomorrow’s Spokesman-Review:

Post Falls knocks off CdA

Post Falls stayed in the playoff hunt with a big 13-7 win over Coeur d’Alene.

Zags-Sun Devils next season

Gonzaga will play Arizona State at the John Wooden Classic in Anaheim next season, according to an Arizona newspaper. More here.

The history of this WSU, Notre Dame game


COUGARS

If you’re interested, we have an unedited version of our story about how this game with Notre Dame came about. It’s on the link. Read on.

Shock can ink players Nov. 1

The fledgling Arena Football 1 has made its first official announcement since the league’s initial press conference in late September. Teams can sign coaches and players beginning Nov. 1.

 

It sounds like several teams (not among the original 16) are still working on final details before the league releases more details on the upcoming season.

 

A press release from the league can be found below.

 

Tackling a key issue for Vandals

For several weeks now, the Idaho football team has been plagued by poor tackling. If that issue pops up again, Louisiana Tech tailback Daniel Porter could have a field day on Saturday at the Kibbie Dome. Click below to read my story on Idaho’s tackling — and concerns about facing Porter.

Bouldin on Naismith watch list

Gonzaga senior guard Matt Bouldin is one of 50 players on the preseason watch list for the Naismith Trophy. The Naismith Web site didn’t have a press release, but I found this list on several other sites.

The 50 players are listed below.

Basketball gets closer for WSU, Pac-10


COUGARS

We have our story on Ken Bone’s appearance at the Pac-10’s media day, even though we weren’t in Los Angeles. You can read the unedited version on the link. We also add a few nuggets from each of the schools. Read on.

Four rounds of 2011 women’s tournament here

The NCAA Women’s Basketball Committee has selected Gonzaga to host the first two rounds of the 2011 tournament at McCarthey Athletic Center with the regional finals the next weekend at the Arena, hosted by Washington State.

Cowen, Koper to face Russians

Spokane Chiefs Jared Cowen and Levko Koper have been selected to represent the Western Hockey League in the Subway Series against Russia.

Each of the three leagues that comprise the Canadian Hockey League plays two games against the Russians. For the WHL its Nov. 25 in Victoria and Nov. 26 at Kelowna.

The two Chiefs are skating in the first game. They will be joined by three players from the Brandon team that upended them 5-4 Wednesday night, forwards Brayden Schenn and Scott Glennie and defenseman Colby Robak. All five players have been drafted by NHL teams with Cowen and the forwards all top 10 picks in June.

The series starts with games Nov. 16 and 18 at Quebec league sites and Nov. 19 and 23 in Ontario.


Complete rosters on the extended entry.

Zags not in coaches’ top 25

Gonzaga came in 34th, receiving 24 votes, in the ESPN/USA Today (coaches) preseason Top 25. Kansas is No. 1, followed by Michigan State (Gonzaga visits East Lansing on Nov. 17th).

Of the eight schools in the Maui Invitational, No. 26 Maryland, No. 30 Vanderbilt and GU were in the receiving votes category. Arizona, Wisconsin and Cincinnati didn’t receive one vote. Gonzaga also faces No. 8 Duke and No. 16 Oklahoma, as well as three other teams receiving votes (No. 27 Illinois, Wake Forest and Memphis).

Find the rankings here.

 

 

A full Thursday around WSU


COUGARS • UPDATED: 9:30 A.M.

This is going to be a full post, so let’s get right to it. With all that’s going on right now between basketball and football, our days are pretty full. My guess, with Halloween around the corner, so are yours. Read on.

• UPDATED: The Pac-10 basketball media poll is out. The Cougars are picked to finish eighth. We’ll have more later.

Watch the Pac-10 media day


COUGARS

Want to watch the Pac-10 basketball media day? Well you can right here. The show starts at 10 a.m., with WSU coach Ken Bone scheduled for 10:45 a.m. Enjoy.

Chiefs drop another

The defensive-minded Spokane Chiefs had their worst defensive effort of the season and wasted a hat trick by Kyle Beach in a 5-4 loss to Brandon at the Arena.

Keep reading for the unedited game story that I filed for Thursday’s paper.

Battle in Seattle moved to 4 p.m.

Game time for the Battle in Seattle has been moved from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., according to event organizers. GU will take on Davidson in the Dec. 12th contest at KeyArena.

The game will be televised on KHQ-TV and FSN.

Tickets can be purchased at www.battleinseattle.com, www.ticketmaster.com and at all Ticketmaster locations.

Forzani gives WSU a deep threat


COUGARS

Nothing better than watching a baseball game played in a steady rain. Wonder when we will start calling it the Winter Classic? Soon. Anyhow, we have the unedited version of our feature on Johnny Forzani, the speed threat on WSU’s offense, on the link. Read on.

Panhandle Picks

We’ve reached the final week of the high school football regular season in North Idaho.

Click below to see this week’s predictions.

QUESTION: Who do you think will win this week?

In the picture above, Lake City quarterback Mark Smyly scores against Coeur d’Alene last week.

More ESPN exposure for Vandals

The Idaho-Boise State matchup on Nov. 14 will be televised by ESPNU, the Broncos announced this morning. It will be the third ESPNU telecast of the Vandals — the Colorado State game was also on the network and next week’s Fresno State game in Moscow is set to be on ESPNU as well.

Kickoff for the game at BSU has been moved to 12:30 Pacific. It was set for noon before this latest news. You can read more here.

An early morning WSU post


COUGARS• UPDATED: 12:40 P.M.

Up early this morning to catch WSU’s basketball workout. Coach Ken Bone has to catch a plane to Los Angeles this afternoon for Pac-10 media day, so the Cougars are going at 6. With football and basketball practices conflicting, thought this would be a good day to watch. Now wondering what I was thinking. But I’m up, so I’m headed out the door. Read on.

Franks signs with CFL team

Defensive back Stanley Franks, a key component on Spokane’s 2009 ArenaCup championship team, has signed with the B.C. Lions practice squad. The Lions have two games remaining and are in the CFL playoff hunt. Franks isn’t expected to play in the team’s next game.

Franks, a former Idaho Vandal, had a team-high 97.5 tackles, 18 pass break-ups and eight interceptions during the regular season. He also picked off a pass and returned it 48 yards for a touchdown in the Shock’s 74-27 rout of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the title game.

More here.

 

Summing up WSU’s Tuesday


COUGARS

We have our Pac-10 notes on the link, but we also have a few WSU notes from coach Paul Wulff’s teleconferences today but mostly from practice. Read on.

Reactions vary on decision to lift EWU’s postseason ban

I’ve been chasing comments on the NCAA’s decision to lift its postseason ban on Eastern Washington University’s football program all day and, for the most part, fans seemed jazzed.

But coaches and players have taken a much more subdued approach to the news, realizing there is a lot of work still left to do on the football field in order to make the NCAA’s latest ruling meaningful.

I’ve included an unedited version of the sidebar story on their reaction that will appear in Wednesday morning’s S-R, along with some links to related stories.

Read on, and please feel free to leave any thoughts you might have on the NCAA’s decision, or the players’ reactions, right here.

 

 

NCAA lifts postseason ban on EWU

The NCAA has overturned its original decision to ban Eastern Washington University’s football team from post-season play, making the Eagles eligible for the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs, should they qualify. Click here for the updated story.

GSL post-season grid picture clears

If there’s been a common thread to this year’s Greater Spokane League football season, it’s been how quickly the fortunes of war change. A turnover here, a missed kick there have determined the outcome of numerous games. Ferris made mistakes that hurt in three contests. Two untimely fumbles coming close together cost Gonzaga Prep against Mead. But the Bullpups were on the other end at Central Valley Friday when the contest swung on the final 20 seconds of the first half.

At least, following a breakfast meeting this morning, the playoff picture has cleared up. Mead is a lock for the playoffs and Central Valley is close.

 

Another Tuesday with WSU


COUGARS

Tuesdays are always busy, from the numerous media availability sessions to practice to the unexpected that always seems to come up. So far today is following that same path, with a couple of stories available with a subject matter that isn’t all that usual here. They’re about money. And that’s a subject we’re not real familiar with. Read on.

Morning Vandal notes, links

We’ve got an interesting blend of notes and articles to highlight on the Idaho footbal team, including accolades for Robb Akey and possible big-time ESPN exposure for Boise State and Idaho. Click below for more.

Former Cougar Haskins dies suddenly

In an email from Cheryl Haskins to the church about the sudden passing of her husband and pastor Aaron Haskins Monday morning.

The former Washington State basketball player was the subject of a Then and Now in the Spokesman-Review Dec. 23, 2008.

Keep reading for the note from Cheryl Haskins.

Notre Dame next up for WSU


COUGARS

Almost forgot to post this. Had it put together early this afternoon, was running around – snow tires anyone? – and forgot to hit the button. But here is our first look at Notre Dame. Read on.

Forfeiture issue moot

The question that was to be addressed today about whether Mt. Spokane would have to forfeit a football game because of an ineligible player was laid to rest before Distict 8 adminitrators tested the new WIAA oversight rule.

Turns out the player in question was academically eligible after all. In an e-mail, Central Valley principal and this year’s Greater Spokane League president Mike Hittle explained that the youngster gained eligibility Sept. 28.

The Wildcats 56-0 victory at East Valley, the game in which he played, was Oct. 16, rendering the issue irrelevant.

Mt. Spokane finishes up its regular season Friday against Rogers with a chance for its first eight-win season.

Chiefs assign goalie, player suspended

The Spokane Chiefs have reassigned goaltender Chase Martin to the Calgary Canucks of the AJHL.  Martin made two appearances, including one start, for the Chiefs this season and is 0-1-0-0 with a 3.61 goals against average.  The move leaves the Chiefs with two goaltenders, James Reid and Michael Tadjdeh.

The Western Hockey League has issued a one game suspension to Chiefs forward T.C. Cratsenberg for receiving a major penalty and a game misconduct versus the Tri-City Americans on Saturday.  Cratsenberg will serve his suspension on Wednesday night when the Chiefs host the Brandon Wheat Kings.

The Brandon game begins four games in five nights. Firday the Chiefs go to Kelowna and then have a home-and-home with Portland, with Saturday’s game in Spokane, Sunday’s ‘in the Rose City.

In a WHL note, Kamloops fired its coach. Keep reading for the story.

Blue Ribbon on Zags, Monson

Blue Ribbon Yearbook’s preview of Gonzaga was posted on ESPN.com today. Here’s a link.

Also, there’s a feature on ex-Zag coach Dan Monson and his Long Beach State team.

Akey: Butts will be out for a bit

Idaho coach Robb Akey said this morning that starting CB Isaac Butts, who hurt his leg in Saturday’s loss at Nevada, will probably be “out for a bit.” TE Daniel Hardy is day-to-day after hurting his back on Saturday; his injury isn’t linked to a previous kidney problem.

I’ll be back later with more notes and comments from Akey. But I’ll leave with you this gem of a quote after the coach was asked about what bowl representatives are planning on being at the Kibbie Dome in coming weeks: “The Rose Bowl was wanting to, but we screwed it up on Saturday.”

WSU links and notes for Monday


COUGARS

It’s Monday morning. Isn’t it time for the football fans of America to play quarterback? Want backup? We’ve got links, stats and more waiting for you. Read on.

One last look at Cal game


COUGARS

We have our follow story on the Cal game for you to read along with out look back. Hope you enjoy them both. Read on.

Blanchette gets a post

Got a text from a concerned reader. Guy named Blanchette. Said thanks a lot for not posting his column. I said it’d be nice if you could post yourself.

So here it is: John’s column, posted by me.

Post Kraziness

A quick post here because, surprise, I’m heading out with one of my kids to go to another gym for another tournament! 

Read on for more from GU’s Kraziness in the Kennel. 

Looking back on EWU’s wild win

Eastern Washington’s 35-24 comeback win over Montana State on Saturday felt like a carnival ride to many of those involved. Ups and downs, huge momentum swings and another crazy ending to the first half made it seem that way.

We have additional thoughts and post-game comments from Eagles coach Beau Baldwin and some of his players below, along with links to related stories about the game.

Read on.  

Looking back at WSU’s loss to Cal


COUGARS

It’s another busy Sunday morning. I hope your Saturday was fun. But we don’t want to waste your time – actually, our goal here is to save you some – so we’ll get right to the Sunday links. Read on.

Americans sneak away with win

Hockey games are three periods and Spokane Chiefs coach Hardy Sauter saw three different games Saturday night - which ended with a disappointing 4-3 loss to the Tri-City Americans.

“It was a tale of three games,” he said. “The first portion we had to kill a whole bunch of penalties and they definitely had momentum. I thought probably 18 minutes of the second period and maybe even the first five to seven minutes of the third we did a good job of digging ourselves back out of the whole. Their their penalty kill did a great job, they got a power play goal, then the next one off the foot.”

As he said, “It’s too bad but at the same time, lots to learn from.”

Keep reading for the unedited game story for Sunday’s paper. The Chiefs return to action Wednesday when Brandon comes to town.

Fans fill MAC to watch Zags’ debut

Just filed a recap of GU’s Kraziness in the Kennel, the public’s first opportunity to watch the 2009-2010 team. The MAC was full and then some as several hundred stood in the upper concourse to view the 27-minute scrimmage.

Read on for my unedited article about the evening that will run in Sunday’s S-R. I’ll be back in the morning with more.

 

Another game, another defeat for WSU


COUGARS

We’re finally done. On the link you’ll find the long versions of the game story and the notebook. Tomorrow we’ll link the edited versions. Read on.

Second half turns ugly for Vandals

Before Saturday, the Vandals’ defensive blemishes were always masked by timely turnovers or last-gasp stands. Outside of the Washington game, the Idaho D wasn’t a huge liability. But that all changed this afternoon in Reno — in a big way.

As Robb Akey put it afterward, the Vandals made Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick look like a Heisman Trophy winner. The result: Wolf Pack 70, Idaho 45. And if that weren’t enough, another Vandal had a brush with the law in the past few days — receiver Landon Weaver. You can read more here.

And click below for more on the game.

Late comeback lifts Eagles past MSU

Eastern Washington used a big fourth-quarter comeback to post a 35-24 homecoming win over visiting Big Sky Conference rival Montana State at Woodward Field on Saturday.

I’ve attached an unedited version of the game story that will appear in Sunday morning’s S-R below, and I’ll be back with another post — containing additional thoughts and post-game comments, along with links to related stories — sometime tomorrow.

Until then . . . 

WSU trails 35-17 at half


COUGARS

A quick note here at halftime with WSU trailing 35-17. The Bears hit WSU with about three big right hands in the first quarter and knocked the Cougars to the canvas. But they got up and, with a couple good drives and one big play, cut into the Cal lead at the half. … When given time, Jeff Tuel showed he can throw an accurate, on-time ball. … The 28 points WSU gave up in the first quarter was the most it has given up to open a game in Paul Wulff’s tenure. But Nico Grasu’s 24-yard field goal with 2:20 left in that frame was also the first time this season WSU has scored in the first 15 minutes and snapped a nine-game streak dating back to last year. … We’ll be on the field doing interviews when the game ends, so you can use this post for comments. There will also be a story up on our sports page. We’ll be back after we get our stories done.

Vandals trail 28-24 at UNR

What a crazy first half in Reno. The Vandals fell behind 21-0 but three long touchdown strikes and a 55-yard field goal have sliced Nevada’s lead to 28-24. The Vandals have yielded 324 yards to the Wolf Pack and at times looked completely helpless against UNR’s pistol offense. But Nathan Enderle and receiver Maurice Shaw have connected on two touchdown passes of 73 yards. Going to be a very interesting second half. Check back later for reaction.

Some thoughts before WSU game


COUGARS

I love watching a football stadium come together before the game. That’s one reason I get to away games up to three hours early. To walk through the students getting ready outside the stadium, to sit and watch the ones inside either getting ready to play or getting the field and stands ready. It’s one of the perks of the job that never gets old. There are other parts of the work, however, that grow old fast. But we won’t bore you with that. Read on for thoughts on today’s matchup.

Another wild night of HS football

There was a lot of drama and plenty of surprises in high school football action Friday night. Gonzaga Prep kept its playoff hopes alive with the win at Central Valley and Mead also put itself in a good position for the playoffs and dashed University’s hopes. Lewis and Clark surprised South Hill-rival Ferris and West Valley needed overtime against Pullman to stay undefeated. In Idaho, Lake City shocked Coeur d’Alene. Click here for the roundup of other games.


No way to watch WSU play today


COUGARS

Hope everyone is ready for a football Saturday. Sorry, you won’t be able to watch the Washington State game today. You’ll have to listen to Bob Robertson, Jim Walden and Bud Nameck describe it. Or wait until we can tell you what happened. Your choice. Read on.

Idaho-Nevada a juicy WAC matchup

Well, the moment has arrived for Idaho football. New Mexico State, San Jose State and Hawaii were nice appetizers, but now we’re going to really find out if the Vandals can hang with one of the WAC’s top-shelf programs.

Keep reading for more on the WAC’s primo matchup of the week.

T-Wolves shock Vikings

The Lake City football team knocked off Coeur d’Alene 23-15 Friday.

Click the tab below to read my unedited game story.

Less than 20 hours to WSU, Cal kickoff


COUGARS

As usual on Friday afternoon, after we arrive in our destination (this week, the Bay Area), we post our advance and game day items. Here they are. Read on.

Drew Swank’s number being retired

Tonight is Homecoming for Valley Christian School and prior to the football game against Sprague-Harrington, Andrew (Drew) Swank’s number is being retired - temporarily - prior to the 7 p.m. start..

Don Swank said that the No. 15 his son wore will be back on the field for four more years, beginning next season. “Coach (Jim ) Puryear talked to us several weeks ago that he’d like to retire it with the option to reserve it for Timmy to wear when Tim’s a freshman,” Don said during a press conference at the school this afternoon.

Drew Swank died from brain injury sustained in a football game Sept. 25. Prior to the press conference, the family asked for no questions regarding what they termed a freak accident.

District 8 volleyball, soccer set

Greater Spokane League volleyball and soccer teams are headed to post-season with the start of district play next week.

Volleyball has a pair of four-team tournaments that will qualify a total of seven teams to regional play against the Columbia Basin Big Nine. Tournaments begin Wednesday and conclude Saturday at Mt. Spokane.

Soccer also begins next Wednesday, three 4A teams qualifying for regionals. The 3A schools have no district tournament, but four advance to regional against the CBBN.

Blanchette on UW proposal

One injury update before we post John Blanchette’s column on the UW’s proposal to renew the series with Gonzaga. Bol Kong is battling an ankle injury so we’ll have to see if he participates in Saturday’s Kraziness in the Kennel.

Blanchette leaves no doubt where he (and many in GU Nation) stand on Washington’s offer. Read it here.

Chiefs await Tri-City

Back from R&R with news from Chiefs.

(Actually I’m returning to R&R because this vacation was so good I have to do my resting and recuperating upon return).

But I digress. We are back to hockey. Keep reading for some notes, most of which should be in Saturday’s paper, serving as an advance for Saturday’s game with Tri-Cities.

WSU heads for Berkeley


COUGARS

It’s a travel day for Washington State. The Cougars will arrive in the Bay Area this afternoon, have a short practice at Memorial Stadium and then play the Cal Bears tomorrow. We have pretty much the same itinerary, without the practice or playing part. Read on.

CV Bears win slowpitch title

Thursday afternoon’s setting was all too familiar.
The four-time regular-season champion University Titans  again played host to their Greater Spokane League rivals – the Central Valley Bears – in the  Greater Spokane League slowpitch softball title game.
But this time there was a different ending to the story as the Bears came up with timely hits and held off a late rally in a 6-1 victory over the three-time defending champion Titans (15-3).
“To have it be our crosstown rival always makes it that much more fun,” CV coach Joe Stanton said. “Every year it’s been a close game, and this year the ball bounced our way. We played a tough U-Hi team.”

Mt. Spokane waits for decision

A new Washington Interscholastic Activities Association rule regarding ineligible players and forfeits gets its first test this week and the Greater Spokane League football championship could hang in the balance.

Zags preseason WCC favorites

Gonzaga is favored to win another WCC title, according to the preseason coaches poll. The Zags were followed by Portland and Saint Mary’s. GU’s Matt Bouldin and Steven Gray (pictured above) were picked to the All-WCC team.

More details here.  

WSU will do its best to contain Best


COUGARS

The week’s preparation is over for WSU. They’ll get on their charter and head to Oakland tomorrow before going through one last workout in Berkeley. We have some notes from today’s Paul Wulff press conference and the practice. Plus we have the unedited version of our story on Cal’s star running back Jahvid Best. Read on.

An amazing era ended

It had to happen sometime. The incredible Mead boys cross country state run has ended and will likely be something never duplicated. From 1988 until this year, 21 straight seasons, the Panthers dominated like no other placing in the top four every year, winning two-thirds of those  state 4A titles, including the last two, and finishing second five other times.

Mead set a standard of excellence that has been emulated in the Greater Spokane League, and them some, and envied by all. Ferris and University winning the other seven titles, North Central adding the last three 3A titles and finishing second the previous two years.

But the Panthers based on scoring minus 3A schools in Wednesday’s district meet at Plantes Ferry Park, lost their chance to qualify for state when they lost the third GSL regional team berth to U-Hi, in a sixth-runner tiebreaker.

Mike & Greg Show

The latest high school football predictions from Mike & Greg


Prep Page Thursday

Herewith are my stories in the Thursday issue of The Spokesman-Review. The feature is on Ferris quarterback prospect Connor Halliday and column is about potential change (or not) in Greater Spokane League enrollment classifications and the advantages the 4A-3A league has seen.

Speaking of 3A tonight’s Rogers-East Valley football game will either decide the GSL’s second berth against the Columbia Basin Big Nine No. 1 play-in entry, or could even lead to the prospect of a three-way tiebreaker. If the Knights win, they’re in.

Please keep on topic. Remember, this post is for you. As parents of athletes and close followers of your favorite teams you have added knowledge, insights and opinions that create interest in and conversation about high school sports.

UI’s Hardy making impact after return

Obviously, last night was dominated by Shiloh Keo news. You can read more about that here, but I’ve also posted an early look at my WAC/Idaho notebook that will run in tomorrow’s S-R. It focuses on Daniel Hardy, who thought his season may be over after a kidney injury a few weeks ago.

Keep reading for more.

A pick-em Thursday at WSU, around Pac-10


COUGARS

Kind of a quiet Thursday in Pullman and around the Pac-10. Still, there are two decently big games this week, the one in Seattle and Oregon State playing at USC. We made our picks. What are yours? Read on.

Idaho safety Keo cited for battery

For the second time in three weeks, an Idaho football player has been cited by the Moscow Police. This time it’s starting safety and leading tackler Shiloh Keo. Keep reading for more.

Zags not big on UW’s proposal

As I suggested in an earlier post, Gonzaga wasn’t too impressed with Washington’s proposal to renew the series.

The sticking point is that UW proposed three games from 2011-2013 at KeyArena, a few miles from Washington’s campus and nearly 300 miles from GU’s. Gonzaga already plays an annual game at KeyArena and has commitments through the 2012 season.

Likewise, an arrangement that would involve KeyArena and Spokane Arena doesn’t appear to make sense for GU either. The Bulldogs play one game every season at the Spokane Arena (the Ronald McDonald House Charities Classic).

Since UW declined to extend the series after the Dec. 2006 game, Gonzaga has maintained that it wants to continue the rivalry, but for the games to be staged at campus arenas. UW apparently wants no part of that. GU’s position hasn’t changed.

Below you can find my unedited article that will run in Thursday’s S-R. 

WSU’s Montgomery speaks

COUGARS

Have we got some news for you. Intrigued? Well, don’t be. Unless of course you get excited by our usual practice report. We’ll even throw in our story for tomorrow’s S-R, the unedited version of which you can read on the link. It’s about James Montgomery, who talks for the first time since his leg injury, and Brandon Jones, two Cal transfers whose road back to Berkeley took decidedly different paths. Read on.

Another injured gridder

For those who may have missed it Colville football player Austin Pete underwent surgery after suffering a head injury.

GU-UW hoops proposal?

Washington has proposed a three-year series with Gonzaga with all three games to be played at KeyArena in Seattle, according to a Seattle Times blog.

According to the post, the teams would split ticket allotments and revenue. The series would run from 2011-2013.

Gonzaga dominated the series, winning eight of 10 games, before it ended in 2007.

My first guess — not likely. GU already plays an annual game in Seattle. If the schools really want to renew the rivalry, why not four years (or six or eight) with games alternating between the MAC and Bank of America.
I have a call into GU A.D. Mike Roth to see how UW’s proposal is being received.

Panhandle Picks

Click below to see Greg Lee’s North Idaho high school football picks for this week.

An assortment of Vandal notes

All kinds of stuff to get to regarding the Idaho football team, including some interesting comments from offensive coordinator Steve Axman, a new (and local) high school commit and thoughts on Tuesday’s practice.

A typical Wednesday WSU post


COUGARS

As per usual on a Wednesday, we have a lot to get to, so we won’t waste your time with witty comments here – as if we ever have anything witty to say. Read on.

Plenty to read about EWU, Big Sky officials

There is no shortage of midweek news concerning Eastern Washington University’s football team — which will play at Woodward Field for the final time this season on Saturday — and the Big Sky Conference, which admitted its officials did a shabby job in last weekend’s EWU-Montana game in Missoula.

But the best read is this John Blanchette column that ran in Wednesday morning’s S-R and skewers not only the striped shirts who made such a debacle of Eastern’s hard-luck 31-24 loss to the Grizzlies, but Big Sky commish Doug Fullerton, as well.

For more on EWU — including an S-R feature on the Eagles’ senior quarterback Matt Nichols — and its Big Sky showdown against Montana State on Saturday, read on.

Big Sky officials admit refs blew calls in Missoula

Think the officiating in last Saturday’s Big Sky Conference game between Eastern Washington and Montana in Missoula was bad?

So, apparently, did Big Sky officials, who issued this release, pointing out a couple of obvious mistakes — both of which went againt the Eagles.

Let us know what you think, and check back later for S-R columnist John Blanchette’s take on the revelation, in addition to a feature story on EWU’s senior quarterback Matt Nichols, who will be among the 16 seniors making their final appearance at Woodward Field on Saturday, when the Eagles take on Montana State.

WSU gets back to practice


COUGARS

Got a couple stories for you. With WSU back at practice today, we’ve updated the injury situation with the offensive line – and a little on the defense. Plus, we have our Pac-10 story. Read the unedited versions on the link.

Vandal men, women picked 4th

The Idaho men and women’s hoops teams found themselves in similar spots with the release of the WAC basketball preseason polls this morning. Both Vandal programs were picked to finish fourth — by the coaches and media. You can find the polls here.

UI guard Mac Hopson was a first-team preseason selection and Steffan Johnson was picked as preseason Newcomer of the Year. The women had two second-team selections by the coaches — Yinka Olorunnife and Derisa Taleni. Olorunnife was a first-team media pick.

Another busy Tuesday at WSU


COUGARS

We’ll hear from the Pac-10 coaches today, which is usually fun. And we also begin to find out how healthy the Cougars might be this week. But everything starts right here, with our morning post. Read on.

Akey, Spear to talk contract extension

Idaho coach Robb Akey was asked about a possible contract extension this morning, and he said he’s talked to athletic director Rob Spear about it. “We’re going to get together at the end of the season and I look forward to that conversation,” he said. Akey is in the third year of a five-year deal.

A couple weeks ago I asked Spear about this, and here’s what he said: “Coach Akey and I are focusing one game at a time and when appropriate we will have that discussion.”

Expect wild finish to GSL football

After what happened last year, you’d think I knew better. I picked Central Valley, which had a wealth of skill but dearth of line experience, to place fourth and the Bears wound up tied for first. This year I picked a team with a veteran line, but no skilled position experience sixth. Here they are in first place, two games ahead of their 4A counterparts with two games remaining following Friday’s win over Mead.

Victory has set the stage for a wild finish. CV is in the cat bird’s seat, four other teams, including the favored Saxons are scrambling for their post-season lives.

To recap: 

Another Vandal gets WAC kudos

The 6-1 Vandals (who received four points in the latest AP poll, by the way) had yet another player receive a weekly WAC award, this time defensive end Aaron Lavarias. He had four tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble on Saturday — and was quoted in Bud Withers’ column today in the Seattle Times. The Vandals have had someone on the WAC weekly award list for all but two weeks this season.

Also, coach Robb Akey said this morning that there are no major injury issues after Saturday and he expects everyone to play. The Vandals have had remarkably few injuries so far. “It’s been a very good thing for this football team,” Akey said of good health, “and I hope and pray it continues to happen,” he said.

WSU begins last half of season


COUGARS

Kind of another lean day, all around the conference. But it’s time to get back into a rhythm for the rest of the football season, so we have a morning post for you. Read on.

A late day after post on EWU’s loss to Montana

Sorry about the late post, but a late night in Missoula, followed by a leisurely drive back to Spokane put me a little behind. And by the time wrapped up some quality times with the grandkids and was finally able to acess the S-R’s website it was time for dinner.

Still, I’ve gone ahead and posted some links to stories about Eastern Washington’s hard-luck football loss to Montana on Saturday, along with some additional post-game quotes from Eagles coach Beau Baldwin and a couple of his players.

Read on.  And be sure to leave any thoughts you might have about Saturday’s game — or the guys that offciated it — right here.

After another review, football isn’t as fun anymore


COUGARS

Though there isn’t a drop of WSU news available, that doesn’t mean we shirk our responsibilities. Nope. We’ve got your Sunday morning post right here pal. The highlight of Saturday’s football watching? All the great reversals by the instant replay officials. Wow, were they exciting. (If you haven’t realized it yet, I’m being sarcastic.) Made my day. Really adds to the enjoyment – and maybe a second or two to the end of the game. … OK, that’s enough. On to the replays of Saturday’s Pac-10 games. Read on.

Feisty Chiefs beat Ice

The Spokane Chiefs haven’t tried doing things the easy way very often this year.

This time, however, it didn’t cost them. Spokane gave up the game’s first goal for the seventh time in nine games Saturday night, but the Chiefs responded with three consecutive goals to secure a 3-1 victory over Kootenay in a Western Hockey League showdown.

Click here for the game story.

Vandals bowl eligible after win

I must say I never thought I would write that headline. But yep, the Vandals are 6-1 after a 35-23 win over Hawaii at the Kibbie Dome. A pretty quiet, smallish crowd of 12,763 was on hand as Idaho ensured at least a .500 record, making a bowl bid highly likely — though not guaranteed. At this point, I can’t imagine the Humanitarian Bowl not inviting Idaho at the end of the season.

Read on for my story and other thoughts.

Third-ranked Griz hold off Eags

Third-ranked and unbeaten Montana scored a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns Saturday to beat Eastern Washington University 41-34 at Washington-Grizzly Stadium in Missoula.

Click here for my game story, and be sure to check back tomorrow for addition comments and links to other stories about the game.

Idaho leads UH 14-10 at half

The biggest shock after one half: Neither Idaho nor Hawaii scored in the second quarter. The Vandals lead 14-10, thanks to touchdowns on their first two drives. DeMaundray Woolridge had a 28-yard TD scamper, followed by Nathan Enderle’s nice 60-yard bomb to Maurice Shaw. The way things were going early, it looked like neither defense would muster a single stop.

The Warriors have passed at will in the first half, but they had to settle for a field goal after one long drive and ended another with a failed fake field goal. Linebackers Tre’Shawn Robinson and JoJo Dickson each put together nice first halves for Idaho, looking to gain bowl eligibility for the first time since 1998.

WSU says hello to hoop during bye week


COUGARS

The timing for the football bye week is perfect. Midway through a 12-game season, WSU has a chance to rest, relax and recuperate from a first half of the season that stressed the training staff as much as anyone. Plus it made my life easier, and that’s the bottom line, isn’t it? Instead of worrying about a football game this week, I could devote some time to the first few steps of the basketball team. That’s a good thing, right? Well, we have our report, and conference links, on the next page. Read on.

Magic number awaits Vandals?

The first time this year I heard Robb Akey mention the B-word, it was a few days before spring practice. For a coach with a 3-21 record after two years at Idaho, talking about a bowl berth seemed a tad silly. Now, of course, a postseason spot is oh-so-close to becoming reality with a sixth win.

Keep reading for more on the Vandals’ quest to become bowl eligible against Hawaii today. Kickoff is 2 p.m. at the Kibbie Dome.

Lewiston survies PF rally

Lewiston led 27-6 with 8:19 to go, and the Bengals held on for a 27-25 win over Post Falls at PF.

Click the tab below to read my unedited game story.

Mead stops Sankey, G-Prep

Mead’s defense shut out Gonzaga Prep in the second half, and the Panthers scored two touchdowns after halftime for a 17-13 comeback win over the Bullpups.

GU gets started

I’ve been stationed at my computer in the bowels of McCarthey Athletic Center for about an hour after the first media opportunity of the young season. I can hear the squeaking of shoes and coaches barking out instructions out on the court, so GU’s first practice rolls on.

Meanwhile, here’s our first-day practice story that will run in Saturday’s paper. The unedited version is below.

WSU opens the Bone era


COUGARS

The “Midnight Mayhem” show is still going on, but our deadlines are such I had to send my first-day-of-basketball story to the office for tomorrow’s S-R. So I decided to post the unedited version here. Read on.

Go ahead, suit up

Wanna play some football? Here’s your chance. The Shock are holding an open tryout on Nov. 21st. More details here.

 

Titans keep hopes alive

One runningback was missing providing another with opportunity and he helped keep University firmly in the Greater Spokane League state playoffs hunt.

Jory Zettle, took his first varsity carries in the absence of the league’s third-leading rusher John Wright, and gained 84 yards in 22 carries, scoring a touchdown in U-Hi’s last-ditch 30-27 victory over Lewis and Clark Thursday night

Eags set to open basketball practice

If it’s October and the college football season is almost half over, it must be time for …. college basketball!

Eastern Washigton University is scheduled to hold its first official practice in preparation for the 2009-10 season at 5 p.m. on Friday. The Eagles, hoping to improve on last year’s 12-18 record, which included a 6-10 mark and seventh-place finish in the Big Sky Conference, will then practice twice on Saturday and Sunday.

Read on for more details — many more details, as it turns out — and comments from third-year head coach Kirk Earlywine.

 

Martin to start tonight

Goaltender Chase Martin will get his first career WHL start on Friday night when the Chiefs travel to Cranbrook, BC to take on the Kootenay Ice.

EWU vs. Montana: How big is it?

Will is mean anything come November?

That remains the question on the minds of many Eastern Washington University football fans as they look toward Saturday’s 12:05 p.m.Big Sky Conference game against unbeaten and third-ranked Montana at Washington-Grizzly Stadium in Missoula.

Read on.

 

A later than expected WSU post


COUGARS

Got started this morning perusing the web and collecting links, but found there was one place I couldn’t go: The S-R site. Because this post is available, you know that changed, but for a long time there I was shut out at home. Sort of like my baseball career. Anyhow, today’s post is split between football from around the conference and basketball, which starts tonight. Read on.

WAC notes: LB Dickson stepping up

JoJo Dickson always had speed — and now he has some extra muscle to go along with it. The Idaho linebacker also has two interceptions so far this season for the first-place Idaho Vandals, who will try to become the first WAC team with three conference wins on Saturday against Hawaii.

Read on for more on Dickson, Idaho’s secondary struggles and other notes from around the WAC.

Sherritt’s name added to Buchanan Watch List

It’s Montana Week for Eastern Washington, and we have some links below to Saturday’s Big Sky showdown between the Eagles and Grizzlies in Missoula. 

But the big news of the day is that the name of Eagles linebacker J.C. Sherritt, who is leading the Big Sky in tackles after his single-game school-record effort in last Saturday’s home loss to Weber State, has been added to the Buck Buchanan Award Watch List.

You can read more on the announcement here, and you get an early read on the feature story on J.C. that will run in Friday morning’s S-R below, as well.

 

 

Zags ready for opening practice

Caught up with assistant coach Leon Rice as the Zags await their first practice Friday night.

He had a great line when I asked him about getting so many newcomers (Manny Arop, Bol Kong, Elias Harris, Kelly Olynyk, G.J. Vilarino, Sam Dower and walk-on David Stockton) up to speed.

“I told Mark (Few) that it’s like talking to the United Nations and they don’t have their headsets on,” Rice said. “They all look at you and say, ‘huh.’ ”

Much more on the Zags below.

 

Some WSU links and basketball notes


COUGARS

We have an eclectic mix of links for you this morning, ranging from football to volleyball to basketball, past and present. Read on.

Vandal reading material

All sorts of interesting links on the Vandals heading into Saturday’s game with Hawaii. At the top of list is John Blanchette’s column after talking to Robb Akey. Great stuff as usual from Blanchette. Also, here’s my feature on Mike Iupati, here’s a column from the Idaho Press-Tribune and the Lewiston Tribune’s Jesse Baumgartner has this piece on Nathan Enderle.

One last link of note: Brian Murphy has this column on Boise State’s tight victory at Tulsa last night. Decent win, but it’s doubtful the Broncos will be able to keep their lofty ranking. 

Mike & Greg Show

The latest edition of the Mike & Greg Show


Saxons edge NC for cross country title

The Ferris Saxons turned back a challenge by two time defending champion North Central today at Audubon Park, 26-29 to finish unbeaten in league. What went on in the GSL today made things a tad interesting entering next week’s district meet, Wednesday at Plante’s Ferry Park.

Behind the Saxons, three teams, University, Mead and Lewis and Clark finished tied with 6-4 records. Two of those three will advance to 4A regional from next week’s race. NC and Mt. Spokane look formidable in 3A. Regionals is at Wandermere Golf Course on Oct. 30.

Big Sky slaps EWU’s Wilkins with one-game suspension

The Big Sky Conference has suspended Eastern Washington Univeristy’s senior linebacker Kyle Wilkins for one game because of the illegal hit his put on a Weber State receiver during Saturday’s 31-13 loss to the Wildcats at Woodward Field.

I did not see a replay of the hit, but from my pressbox view, I did not think it deserved even the personal-foul penalty it drew at the time, helping set the stage for three WSU scores in the final 90 seconds of the first half.  I have a call in to EWU coach Beau Baldwin to get his take on the hit and the suspension and will update this post with whatever comments he makes.

In the meantime, I encourage anyone who saw the game and Wilkins’ hit to weigh in with their opinions.  Is the suspension warranted?

As promised, I’ve incuded these comments from Baldwin, who obviously understands the limitations on what a coach can say about Big Sky officials:

“We’re talking about going three deep (into the depth chart, now,” he said, adding that redshirt freshman Tyler Washburn will probably start against Montana on Saturday. “But most of all, I feel bad for Kyle, being and senior and all, because the Montana game is always a big deal.”

 

Panhandle Picks

Here are my North Idaho football predictions.

Feel free to chime in with your own thoughts.

Early look at Iupati, game change

Mike Iupati’s path from an American Samoan native who didn’t play football until he was 14 to a top NFL prospect is pretty remarkable. I had a chance to talk to him and others for a pretty hefty-sized feature that you can find below. It was a pleasure to research and write.

Before posting, though, I should mention that Idaho’s home game with Fresno State on Nov. 7 has been picked up by ESPNU. That means the game will start at 7:30 p.m.

Looking back at WSU first half-season


COUGARS

We talked with Paul Wulff this week concerning his feelings about the season’s first half. We have his thoughts on the link, with the unedited version of an S-R story and more information, including a player Wulff felt is helping immensely on special teams. Read on.

Shock hire assistants

The Spokane Shock announced Wednesday that Steve Emtman will return as defensive line coach and Travis Crusenberry, a member of the 2006 staff, will coach the offensive line on Rob Keefe’s staff.

Crusenberry replaces Tom Ackerman. More here.

When Arena Football 1 announced its formation in a late September teleconference call, officials said Oct. 9th was the date when concrete details (teams, divisions, playoff structure, salary structure) would be released. That deadline obviously came and went and it sounds like the new league is giving potential new franchises more time to work through the process, according to this article.

 

Locals recognized in Seattle

As my friends on this blog have pointed out, I haven’t kept close tabs on The Seattle Times prep athletes of the week. This week’s list was filled with local players.

Early morning WSU notes


COUGARS

We have a couple stories to write, including a look at WSU’s football season at the halfway point, but before we get going on those we wanted to share a few links and some notes from this morning’s practice. Read on.

Vandal practice update

Thought I would pass along a quick update after getting back from Idaho practice. Perhaps the biggest story was that middle linebacker Paul Senescall was on the sideline and not practicing. Coach Robb Akey said he expects Senescall to play Saturday and that coaches were resting him. No other details were given. Akey also said tight end Daniel Hardy, who played about 20 snaps last week after missing the Colorado State game, has recovered nicely from his kidney injury.

QB Nathan Enderle, after getting pulled late in the San Jose State game, sounded upbeat when talking to reporters. He told the Lewiston Tribune’s Jesse Baumgartner that he was angry with himself after throwing his final interception and that he considers it an ongoing battle between him and Brian Reader for who gets snaps at QB.

One last thing. Check ESPN.com’s Pat Forde weekly column. He has a nice section on the Vandals’ turnaround. I’ll be back tomorrow with an extended feature on left guard Mike Iupati.

Some WSU notes


COUGARS

As we work on our Pac-10 notebook for tomorrow’s S-R, thought I would take a little time and catch you up on a couple things, including this morning’s practice.

Akey offers joke when asked about Cable

Robb Akey’s Idaho football team just returned from the Bay Area, where former Vandal coach and current Oakland Raiders head man Tom Cable is under heat for his team’s 1-4 record and a preseason fight he had with then-assistant Randy Hanson. Akey was asked today about the validity of a report claiming Cable met with the Vandals while they were in San Jose. “No, we didn’t have any boxing matches this week,” Akey replied in jest.

Cable allegedly punched Hanson in an Aug. 5 incident, which is under review by Napa County authorities. Hanson told Yahoo! Sports this past weekend that Cable threatened his life during the incident.
 

Akey: Enderle is Idaho’s starting QB

Robb Akey didn’t hesitate this morning to proclaim Nathan Enderle as Idaho’s starting quarterback for Saturday’s home game with Hawaii. Enderle was pulled late in the fourth quarter in last week’s win at San Jose State for backup Brian Reader, who directed the Vandals to the game-clinching drive. But Enderle beat out Reader before the season and had played well before his three-interception performance. Said Akey, “Nate is our starter. Absolutely. He is our starter and we’ve got a very talented backup.”

Read on for more from Akey’s press conference.

Monday morning WSU, Pac-10 tour


COUGARS

What cartoon character hates Mondays? Whoever it is, I’m with that guy, or gal, or crocodile or whatever. Anyhow, it’s Monday morning and we have your links. Read on.

Wulff looks back at ASU


COUGARS

Want to read some more about Saturday’s loss to Arizona State? We’ve got it on the link. Then we have some news for you. Not about WSU, but our schedule for the week ahead. Read on.

Vandals receive vote in AP poll

These are heady days for the Idaho football program. Fresh off a 29-25 come-from-behind win at San Jose State, the Vandals (5-1, 2-0) made a big enough impression in the eyes of one Associated Press top 25 poll voter to earn a vote in the rankings. You can find the poll here. Scott Wolf of the L.A. Daily News was the pollster who put UI in his top 25. Also of note, ESPN projects the Vandals in the Humanitarian Bowl here.

Pretty crazy to see even a mention of the Vandals in the poll. In recent years they made plenty of appearances in ESPN’s Bottom 10 — but nothing like this of course. Next up for Idaho is a home date with Hawaii.

Three weeks of do or die in the GSL

Took a Friday away from the Greater Spokane League to watch a wild Great Northern League game in Cheney, the Blackhawks winning 39-28 featuring one of the more improbable endings to any high school game I’ve seen. Cheney, behind remarkable athletes DeAngelo Jones and Alex Adams scored 29 points in the game’s final 9 minutes after trailing Colville 21-10 through three quarters. After taking a lead with two touchdowns 30 seconds apart and having the ball, quarterback Jones was chased back to his 3-yard-line where a 2-yard snap on a punting situation, seemed to give Colville the upper hand. But, after regaining the lead, the Indians gave up a 63-yard touchdown run to Adams, his second long burst, and lost the game.

After that respite it’s back to the GSL and three weeks that will determine the league’s three 4A playoff teams. Six teams are still mathematically viable, even if Lewis and Clark is on the outside looking in.

Looking back on Eags’s first league loss

There wasn’t much to recommend — for Eagles fans, at least — about Saturday’s 31-13 Big Sky Conference football loss to Weber State.

A couple of school records were set, sure.  And some fourth-quarter offensive fireworks that fizzled out in deep in the red zone were entertaining. But the Eagles were beaten badly in the trenches on both sides of the football, which allowed Weber State to remain committed to the run, while Eastern seemed a bit scattered in its play calling afternoon.

For more details on the game, you can read this game story that appeared in Sunday’s S-R and this gamer that ran in the Ogden Standard Examiner.  I’ve also included this link to a Standard Examiner sidebar on the final minute and a half of the first half that went so bad for Eastern, along with this link to the post-game story on EWU’s webside and this link to what the sports information folks at Weber State filed on the game. 

You can check out summaries of all the Big Sky games that were played on Saturday here, and be sure to check below for additional post-game thoughts and comments on the Weber State-EWU game.

 

WSU, ASU, the day after


COUGARS

Another loss, another Sunday. Sounds a little like that old Chicago song. Heck, if it were just raining, it would fit perfectly. It isn’t. It’s just colder than Soldier Field in December. We have your links. Read on.

Vandals notch 4th straight win

Let’s see. Nathan Enderle threw three interceptions (two in the fourth quarter) and was benched before the biggest drive of the season. Idaho was penalized 11 times for 113 yards. Linebacker Treshawn Robinson was ejected in the first half. Idaho squandered a scoring opportunity with a fumble inside the 5-yard line.

And despite all that, the Vandals rallied for the second straight week to pull out a 29-25 win over San Jose State. Ho hum, right?

Click below for more on another heart-pounding Idaho victory, its fourth in a row.

Mead captures Crossover

A couple of area prep volleyball powers - Mead and Sandpoint - faced off in the Crossover Classic final Saturday with the Panthers prevailing in an entertaining match.

Click the tab below to read my unedited story.

WSU’s lost Saturday


COUGARS

This one is in the books. Pretty interesting in a stop-to-watch-the-car-crash sort of way. We have our game story and the notebook on the link, unedited versions of course. Read on.

Weber knocks Eagles out of Big Sky lead

A late first-half meltdown cost Eastern Washington dearly on Saturday as the Eagles suffered a disappointing 31-13 Big Sky loss to Weber State at Woodward Field.

You can read an unedited version fo the game story that will appear in Sunday morning’s S-R below.

Leave any thoughts you might have on the game here, and check back tomorrow for addional thoughts on the game, along with more post-game quotes from Eastern coach Beau Baldwin and his players and links to other related stories.

WSU trails by 13 at half


COUGARS

Halftime and WSU trails 13-0. Read on for our thoughts and you can add yours.

WSU and ASU take field


COUGARS

We’re back for our pregame post. It’s a tradition here at SportsLink to write a bunch of stuff an hour or so before game time, then remember something we wanted to say while the opening kickoff is in the air. We’ll try not to do that today. Read on.

WSU ready for homecoming


COUGARS

As I was driving around last night, I noticed the town was, well, rocking, if I can use a ‘70s term. And yet, as the night wore on, the number of sirens I heard were at an all-time low. Maybe the cold weather kept everyone a little saner – and indoors. Anyhow, they should all be ready for homecoming. To help you get set, everything I could find is on the link. Read on.

Idaho treks to San Jose

Nothing like a quick round of bowling before boarding a flight and starting the WAC season in earnest, right? That’s what the Vandals did yesterday in Lewiston, after their flight to San Jose was delayed.

You can read more about the little side trip to a bowling alley — and the Vandals’ game at San Jose State below the link.

Vikings top Lewiston

Coeur d’Alene opened a 28-0 lead by halftime and was threatened in a 5A Inland Empire League win over visiting Lewiston.

Read my unedited game story by hitting the tab.

Chiefs end skid with 5-2 victory

Spokane put a two-game losing streak to bed with a 5-2 victory over Prince Albert on Friday at the Arena. The Chiefs will go for their first back-to-back wins of the young season tonight when they host Seattle at 7.

Below, you can read my unedited game story as I’m pinch-hitting for beat writer Dave Trimmer.

WSU prepares for ASU


COUGARS • UPDATED: 4 P.M.

We pull together a lot of items each Friday for our Saturday morning game day, along with the advance story we run each week. We have the unedited version of both on the link. Read on.

Snarling ‘Cats next up for EWU

It could be an angry bunch of Wildcats staring Eastern Washington University’s 14th-ranked football team in the face on Saturday, when Weber State invades Woodward Field for potentially crucial Big Sky Conference game that kicks off at 12:34 p.m.

Read on for more details, as well as a few links to related stories about Saturday’s showdown.

Kraziness on Oct. 24

Gonzaga officially opens practice next week and the Bulldogs will hold their annual Kraziness in the Kennel on Saturday, Oct. 24. More on the festivities here.

A few quick notes below.

A home Friday for WSU


COUGARS

A Friday at home. What a concept. After next week’s bye, the Cougars will be on the road for three consecutive games. And they’ll see a lot of different hotels. But for now, it’s homecoming (though it would have been more appropriate to make the UCLA game Nov. 14 that event) week and we have links. Read on.

Wildcats live up to billing

Mt. Spokane enjoys living dangerously, for the second straight game they won 35-28, but this time Travis Ward, on the hands team, hauled in the on-side kick, so the victory over Lewis and Clark wasn’t quite as nail biting as last week at University.

With the win, the Wildcats beat their third 4A foe, doing a favor for playoff contenders Central Valley and Gonzaga Prep who don’t face them in the GSL. The Bullpups, easy winners tonight and welcoming the return of Bishop Sankey, who rushed for 323 yards and three long TDs, have Mead, Central Valley and LC left. The Bears face Ferris, Prep and Mead. The Panthers play Prep, University and CV. U-Hi plays LC, Mead and Ferris. LC (U-Hi, Ferris, Prep) must win out and hope.

How WSU feels about Saturday


COUGARS

What are you expect on Saturday? Tuesday, freshman quarterback Jeff Tuel said “We have a great chance to win this ballgame, and we all feel like we should win this game.” I asked Paul Wulff today what he thought of that statement and whether it was the exuberance of youth or if the team really believed it. For his answer and more, read on.

WSU players talk about practice


COUGARS

As we near the halfway point of the season, there’s one area that I’ve noticed hasn’t changed. Despite a 1-4 record this year, the Cougars still practice almost every day with passion. There just hasn’t been the going through the motions as I saw at times last season. So it seemed like something I wanted to explore further. To do so, I talked with three guys who are capable of examining such things and give reasoned answers to the questions of how and why. For the long version of the story, read on.

WAC notes: UI special teams a sore spot

After the link you can find an early look at my WAC notebook that will run in Friday’s S-R. The story focuses on Idaho’s special-teams play — which hasn’t cost the Vandals a game yet, but coaches are clearly concerned.

Click below for more.

Mike & Greg Show

Misery loves company and Mike Vlahovich stooped to Greg Lee’s bumbling, stumbling level last week as both went 2-3. This week we feature six games.

Football games important this week

Lewis and Clark’s 4A playoff hopes go through a 3A team. This afternoon, 4:45 at Joe Albi Stadium, the Tigers take on Mt. Spokane and a win in this one would be huge. This is a prelude and the final three weeks the determinant for which three teams reach the post-season.

Future games include: Oct. 15/16 - LC-University; Gonzaga Prep-Mead; Ferris-CV (plus 3A Wildcats at East Valley). Oct. 22/23 - Mead-U-Hi; GP-CV; LC-Ferris. Oct. 29/30 - Mead-CV; Ferris-U-Hi; GP-LC.

No. 1 4A and 3A teams and No. 2 4A host Big Nine foes in state play-in games, Nov. 6. No. 3 4A and No. 2 3A travel.

Prep Page Thursday

Thursday’s Prep Page in The Spokesman-Review today includes a story on soccer scoring machine Kellie Zakrzewski of Cheney, my take on polls and Greg Lee’s preview of upcoming Idaho post-season events.

Robertson a special coach

I was sitting on the Mercer Island side - and talked with Scott Poole about this earlier in the fall - when Shadle Park’s buzzer beater at state sent the ‘burb into a decades long funk. Even the Islanders fans in the stands disagreed among themselves whether the basket was good or not. The resultant drama came on the court, as John Blanchette’s well-crafted story on the death of Highlanders coach Dave Robertson noted.

WSU about ready for hoops


COUGARS

I was going to write this up last night but, to be brutally honest, was too tired. So we’ll catch you up with the Cougar men’s basketball team, eight days before practice officially starts, now. Read on.

WSU, Pac-10 links for Thursday


COUGARS

The nice part about attending a Catholic grammar school? Most of the nuns were baseball fans – and yes, when I was young, there were still a few nuns teaching. As baseball fans, they wanted to know who was winning the World Series – and yes, when I was young, there was only the World Series, no division, no league championship. So on my birthday, I was oftentimes assigned to listen to the game and report the score. It was my first true interaction with social networking. And now I blog. Wow. How times change. Read on.

QBs in flux at ASU, WSU


COUGARS

We’re going to combine our story and practice report into one big ol’ post tonight. On the link you’ll find the unedited version of my story about Arizona State quarterback Danny Sullivan and the quarterback situation in Tempe. Then I’ll fill you in on what happened on the practice field. Read on.

Panhandle Picks

Click the tab below to see Greg Lee’s North Idaho high school football picks this week.

UI’s Ashley to redshirt

A quick post here to pass along a link from the Idaho Statesman, which writes about how much success Boise State and Idaho have experienced — and how little the rest of the WAC has had. The Statesman also has a blurb about safety Quin Ashley. After battling a quad injury, he’s decided to redshirt.

We’ll be back with more later about Idaho’s special teams, cornerback Isaac Butts’ improvement, and Dick Tomey’s glowing comments on the Vandals.

Back to normal for WSU, Pac-10?


COUGARS

Let’s see. Over the weekend we had the discussion concerning the Oregon game. That seemed to draw a lot of interest. Yesterday there was the ESPN ad. That seemed to draw a lot of interest. So what can we do today? So far, got nothing other than a loaded plate of our usual items. Hope that will do. Read on.

UW adds Eags to 2011 schedule

Eastern Washington officially announced on Tuesday that it has agreed to play the University of Washington in Seattle in its 2011 season-opening football games. We have links to related stories below, along with an unedited version of the feature story on EWU’s Brynsen Brown that will appear in Wednesday morning’ s S-R.

Read on.

Thoughts about WSU’s day


COUGARS

Practice today was quite energetic, maybe a little surprising considering the outcome last Saturday. Before practice, Paul Wulff met with the media. After, it was Jeff Tuel’s turn. We’ve got both, plus some practice notes, including a starting linebacker who may be out. Read on.

Stanford sits atop Pac-10


COUGARS

We’ve got some thoughts on today’s practice … OK, most of the thoughts will be from Jeff Tuel, who stood before the television cameras today and shared his feelings about starting – and getting hurt. But before we put that up, we’re going to give you the unedited version of our Pac-10 notebook and game of the week. Read on.

WSU in the national spotlight

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COUGARS • UPDATED: 9:30 A.M.; 1:15 P.M.

Most about everybody who reads this blog, I’m sure, watches ESPN. And the same number, probably, are aware of the WSU flag’s streak on Game Day, ESPN’s college football preview program. So you might be interested to learn said flag is the punchline – in a good way – of a joke the Game Day guys make in a new ESPN commercial. We have a copy of the ad, and my boss, Joe Palmquist, is efforting – a Dan Patrick word; wait, he’s no longer on ESPN, so Joe’s trying – to get it put up here at SportsLink. UPDATE: And, as you can see above, he got it done. It is pretty funny. For our usual stuff, read on.

Vandal TE arrested for DUI

Freshman tight end Clayton Homme was arrested for driving under the influence and public urination after Idaho’s 31-29 win over Colorado State on Saturday night, the Lewiston Tribune reported Tuesday. 

Keep reading for more — plus a link to a retrospective story on former UI great Ken Hobart and other links.

First look at ASU, basketball


COUGARS

We have our first look at Arizona State and, as practice starts in a little over a week, some basketball news. Read on.

UI’s Keo, Farquhar honored by WAC

For the third consecutive week, the Idaho Vandals have had players receive weekly WAC honors. This time it’s safety Shiloh Keo and kicker Trey Farquhar. “The best thing about it is that it means we’ve got guys making plays when it counts,” Idaho coach Robb Akey said in this morning’s teleconference.

Read on more quotes and notes from Akey.

The heart of WSU’s schedule beckons


COUGARS

Saturday night was the first time this season when it really felt like football weather. There was a tinge of winter in the air. Not fall, winter. But that’s what football season is. The transition from the summer of baseball to the winter of basketball. And, with the press box windows open in Autzen, the low-40 degree weather of the second half had a bite to it. Read on for more on the weekend’s games.

Showdown with Weber State next up for Eags

As far as next weekend’s Woodward Field showdown between nationally ranked Big Sky Conference powers Weber State and Eastern Washington is concerned, EWU held up its end of the deal on Saturday by thumping Idaho State.

Weber State?

Read on.

WSU’s Oregon loss, the day after


COUGARS

We made our way up I-5 to Portland and are waiting to get back to Spokane. While we wait, we’re going to share some thoughts and links. Read on.

Vandals complete stirring comeback

What a scene at the Kibbie Dome. A wild shootout came to a riveting finish tonight, with Idaho holding off Colorado State 31-29 in front of 16,000 fans — many of whom rushed the field afterward. 

Read on my story after a very late night in Moscow.

Oregon runs over WSU, 52-6


COUGARS

It’s late here at Autzen and we’re finally down with our report. On the link you’ll find the unedited versions of our game story and the notebook. Enjoy. We’ll be back from the Portland airport with our links and such. Read on.

Disjointed Vandals trail 20-10 at half

Idaho played easily its most disjointed half the season, falling behind by two touchdowns before nailing a 47-yard field goal with 55 seconds left to close within 20-10 vs. Colorado State. Idaho’s first drive, which looked so promising, ended with a Nathan Enderle interception — and things went south from there for a long while. A 31-yard TD grab from Eric Greenwood finally gave UI new life against a CSU team that has capitalized on shaky secondary play from the Vandals.

Check back after the game for more from the jam-packed Kibbie Dome.

ISU no match for Eagles

As expected, Eastern Washington University roughed up winless Idaho State in Pocatello on Saturday.  You can read more about the Eagles’ 38-3 win in this game story, supplied by EWU’s sports information department.

And check back on Sunday for additional details.

 

WSU trails 42-0 at half


COUGARS

A quick halftime post. Oregon is gashing the WSU defense with its speed. With the way it spreads the field, the Cougars are just too slow to keep up. The Ducks have almost 400 yards in total offense, including 200 yards rushing. … Jeff Tuel will be evaluated at halftime after leaving the game in the first quarter. Tuel was sandwiched by Will Tukuafu and Casey Matthews on a sack and suffered either a back bruise or a hip pointer. They’ll try to figure out which and see if he can return. … The offense, no matter the quarterback, has been impotent, with just two first downs, both after Marshall Lobbestael came on. We’ll be back later.

WSU ready for Oregon


COUGARS

It’s quiet now in Autzen Stadium. It’s also more than two hours before game time as I write this. On the link you’ll find some thoughts and the keys to tonight’s game. Read on.

Mt. Spokane - a case of deja vu

After Friday night’s win at University, Wildcats coach Mike McLaughlin and quarterback Travis Ward agreed that the 35-28 nailbiter was reminiscent of last year’s wild and crazy playoff game against Hanford in the post-season. Mt. Spokane and the Titans traded points, the visitors rallied for a 35-21 lead on Ward’s runs, then it was pins and needles time.

Speaking of wild games, Ferris came back from a 28-7 deficit to win in overtime 41-35 in California, quarterback Connor Halliday with a passing clinic.

And in other GSL games, the 4A’s won with embarrasing easy over 3A foes setting the stage for showdowns over the next few weeks to determine which three of six worthy teams moves on to the playoffs.

Weighty game on the Palouse

It’s hard to say when the last time the Kibbie Dome staged such a meaningful Idaho football game. To put it mildly, it’s been a pretty dry last few years — or decade.

Keep reading for thoughts and links about the Vandals’ bout with Colorado State (7:30 p.m., ESPNU).

WSU, Pac-10 get ready for games


COUGARS

The number of stories today in the Oregonian about the possible reinstatement of LeGarrette Blount outnumber the game advances about three-to-one. But then again, the Ducks aren’t playing Cal this week either. Read on for more on the game and the Pac-10.

Lake City gets first win

The Lake City football team put together its best game this season, knocking off Post Falls 20-0 in a 5A Inland Empire League opener Friday.

Click the tab to read my unedited game story.

Chiefs fall at home

The Spokane Chiefs were listless Friday night, falling to Portland 5-3 at the Arena. Below is the unedited story that will appear in Saturday’s newspaper.

WSU ready to play Oregon


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We have a lot for you tonight. On the link you will find the unedited versions of our game day items for tomorrow’s paper, plus our advance story. The game starts at 6:15 tomorrow night, so my guess is the stadium will be rocking. Read on.

EWU receivers worry Zamberlin

The Big Sky Conference schedule has been one of Eastern Washington University’s best friends in the early stages of the 2009 college football season. And it serves up another highly beatable opponent on Saturday, when the Eagles (3-1 overall, 2-0 in the Big Sky) travel to Pocatello, Idaho, to take on winless Idaho State (0-4, 0-1).

Eastern’s first two opponents — Northern Colorado and Sacramento State — figure to be second-division teams this fall, and ISU could well be the league’s bottom feeder.  The Bengals are coming off a 33-22 home loss to D-II Central Washington and are struggling on both sides of the football.

I asked their coach, John Zamberlin, for his thoughts earlier this week on trying to defend EWU’s talented stable of receivers — which is so deep, it allowed Beau Baldwin to move a returning second-team all-conference wideout, Brynsen Brown, to defensive end.

You can read his comments below.

Vandals’ Hardy out against CSU

Idaho tight end and second-leading receiver Daniel Hardy will miss Saturday’s game versus Colorado State and could be sidelined even longer with a lacerated kidney, a source has confirmed. After Hardy missed practice earlier in the week, Vandals coach Robb Akey declined to elaborate on the junior’s injury. 

Hardy leads Idaho (3-1) with 14 receptions, two for touchdowns, and is second on the team with 243 receiving yards. Peter Bjorvik and Kevin Small figure to see more time in passing formations with Hardy injured, but neither are as capable as Hardy as down-field threats.

Details of how long Hardy will be out are still murky, the source said. But the injury occurred when he fell on a ball after making a catch in last Saturday’s game at Northern Illinois. 

WSU won’t have to face Blount


COUGARS • UPDATED: 4:10 P.M.

There is an incredible amount of news this morning, including more than a handful of stories out of Eugene. We’ll get right to it. Read on.

York came close to going to WSU


COUGARS

My ears are still hurting. Read the rest of the link and you’ll know why. We have some notes from today’s short practice and the unedited version of our story that will appear in tomorrow’s S-R. Read on.

Idaho O-line rounding into shape

Surprises have abounded for the Idaho football program through four games, and one of them no doubt is the play of the offensive line. You can read more about the unit below in my Idaho/WAC notebook that will run in tomorrow’s paper.

Prep Page Thursday

There was quite a bit to read about in this week’s Spokesman-Review Prep Page. I got to see the film of Bishop Sankey’s “transgression” last Friday at Lake City. The penalty seemed excessive to me.

Greg Lee previewed the approaching post season in Idaho - time goes by fast.

And I had a feature on Colten Williams, Mt. Spokane’s multi-faceted football weapon.

What are your thoughts?

A line on the Chiefs

Using the arrival of Kyle Beach as the focal point, we checked in with Spokane Chiefs coach Hardy Sauter about how he put his lines together early in the hockey season. That serves as our notebook lead prior to Friday’s Western Hocker League game with Portland Friday at the Arena. Check the extended entry for the unedited story that will appear in Friday’s paper.

A couple of quick notes, Gregg Drinnan has a piece on a WHL coach/GM and his White House connections, a fun little read; and there’s a Nick Patterson’s story in the Everett Herald about the Silvertips’ long layoff.

WSU, Pac-10 links for a Thursday


COUGARS • UPDATED: 10:26 A.M.

It’s a much-more-crowded-than-usual Thursday this week, so let’s get right to the links. If you want original thoughts, you’ve come to the wrong place. We’re fresh out this morning. Read on.

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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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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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