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Archive for September 2009

WSU’s Watson hurt during workout


On the link you’ll find a note about Washington State basketball player James Watson, who was hurt Wednesday during the team’s fall workouts. Watson is OK, but he is spending the night in the hospital.

New faces in new spots for WSU


We’ve put our story up, so I guess it’s time to get going on our practice report. We also include some more on the three defensive players. Read on.

Eags’ Johnson to miss season

Eastern Washington University football coach Beau Baldwin has learned that sophomore linebacker Zach Johnson will miss the rest of the season because of a blood clot in his left calf.

I used the status update on Johnson as the lead to the Big Sky Conference notebook that will appear in Thursday morning’s S-R and tacked on an unedited version of that notebook below.  You can also check here for details supplied by Eastern’s sports information department.

Local talent builds at WSU


We’re done with our story for tomorrow. It’s on the Spokane-area guys who stayed in the area and played at Washington State. For Friday we’ll have a story on a couple of local players who got away and are helping Oregon win. Read on for the unedited version of our story.

Panhandle Picks

Click the tab to see Greg Lee’s forecast of North Idaho football games this week.

NIC volleyball moves to No. 1

The North Idaho College volleyball team (19-3) was ranked first in the nation in the latest National Junior College Athletic Association Division I poll released Tuesday, the first time in the program’s history that the Cardinals have been ranked No. 1.

Click the tab below to read more.

Mike & Greg Show

Click the tab to see the latest spanking of Greg Lee administered by Mike Vlahovich.

WSU upbeat as practice week begins


There seemed to be a renewed energy around the Washington State practice field Tuesday afternoon. It was caused by, and get your No. 2 pencils ready because this is a multiple choice question, a) naming Jeff Tuel the starting quarterback; b) the Cougars’ play down in LA on Saturday; c) the first football-like weather of the fall, cool with a slight breeze; or d) all of the above. If I picked the answer like I did the SAT (eenie, meenie, minee …) then I might stop on any and still have a chance to be right (and somehow, I still got into a decent college – weird). But the mature adult in me tells me to logically pick one. So we’ll go with “d” and hope that’s right. Read on for links from around the West.

Key Vandals sit out; Vobora suspended

It looked to be a pretty productive, crisp practice session this afternoon at the Kibbie Dome for the Idaho Vandals. But there were a couple big names not in pads or in red, protective jerseys. Read on for details and other notes.

Also check below for more on the suspension of former Vandal linebacker David Vobora, now with the St. Louis Rams.

Tuel takes over at WSU


It’s Tuesday and the Cougars are back to practice. We have our report on the link, followed by our Pac-10 notebook. Read on.

Chief gets suspended

Spokane Chiefs forward T.C. Cratsenberg, who received a match penalty against Tri-City in Saturday’s home opener, has been suspended for one game by the Western Hockey League.

Cratsenberg receives the suspension because of the match penalty, which was the result of pulling an opponents helmet off during a fight. The 17-year old forward got into a fight Tyler Schmidt in the third period. Both received 5-minute fighting majors but the Americans got a 5-minute power play out of the exchange.

It should also be noted that 16-year old rookie forward Mike Aviani was reassigned by the Chiefs. His No. 21 was given to newcomer Kyle Beach. For a few more notes, involving trades by U.S. Division teams and ex-Chiefs, read the extended entry.

Narrows League growing

The Tacoma News-Tribune’s Doug Pacey wrote this story about the changing face of the Narrows League. Four teams are moving in, increasing the numbers to 15. But the story points to a larger issue, state re-classification as a whole.

More on WSU’s interesting day

COUGARS • UPDATED: 10:30 A.M.; 11:20 A.M.

It’s an interesting morning in Pullman but also around the Pac-10. Besides the Cougars turning to a true freshman at quarterback, there was also a freak injury of a USC runningback and some of the more typical occurrences. Read on.

EWU’s Jones earns national honor

Eastern Washington’s football team picked up a few individual awards following Saturday’s Big Sky Conference road win over Sacramento State.  You can read more details here and here.  Then you might want to consider how it is that the Eagles’ Taiwan Jones can be named the national co-offensive player of the week, but still has to share the Big Sky Conference play of the week award with two other players.

Also, you can get an early look at the EWU-ISU game notes supplied by Eastern’s sports information department here, and you  can read Idaho State’s press release on the upcoming game here.


Arena Football 1 opens for business

The long-awaited news that Spokane has joined Arena Football 1 came down Monday, but not much else.

Here’s a recap of the conference call — with Shock owner Brady Nelson helping fill in some of the gaps left from today’s announcement.

Read on below.

Tuel will start for WSU


A quick note to share something we’ve learned: The identity of WSU’s new starting quarterback. True freshman Jeff Tuel will start Saturday against the Oregon Ducks in Eugene. We have more on the link.

UI’s Enderle earns kudos from WAC

Idaho QB Nathan Enderle has been named the WAC offensive player of the week, after his very solid performance in Saturday’s 34-31 win over Northern Illinois. Enderle threw for three touchdown passes in the first half and finished with 270 passing yards.

Robb Akey’s morning teleconference has been interrupted by a power outage at the Kibbie Dome, but we’ll be back later with more.

More from Chiefs impressive home opener

Blame Mother Nature. The follow-up on the Spokane Chiefs home opener, a solid 5-2 win over Western Hockey League rival Tri-City before a good crowd of 9,500, should have been done on Sunday. But a check of the 5-day weather indicated that getting outside for work and play, seemed like the best play for an official day off. There’s a long, cold winter ahead for Sunday morning computer work. Anyway, in addition to the game story, columnist John Blanchette had a column on newcomer Kyle Beach (above in Dan Pelle’s picture from Saturday night). There are also some leftover comments below.

WSU’s task doesn’t get easier this week


The sunlight is starting to spread across the sky, which means it’s time to start the day, right? Well, we’ll help. We’ve got links and notes for you. Just click the link and read on.

WSU toughens up


We’ve had a chance to talk with Paul Wulff and get his read on yesterday’s defeat. On the link is our follow story and our look back. Read on.

Vandals off to best start since ‘94

That headline says it all, really. It’s been 15 years since Idaho had as good a start as this one. The  Vandals are 3-1 after salting away a 34-31 win over Northern Illinois yesterday. 

Click below for some thoughts, links, and my first-ever WAC power rankings.

More from Pac-10, WSU


We’re back in Seattle, waiting to catch the next flight. On the link is out notebook from last night. We follow that with some more links from around the Pac-10. But there’s more coming later in the day. Read on.

Eags’ offense has its way with Hornets

Taiwan Jones and Matt Nichols had big offensive nights for Eastern Washington University Saturday and Eagles’ linebacker J.C. Sherritt was a monster on defense once again as the Eagles rolled to a 56-30 Big Sky Conference win over Sacramento State.

Follow the links below for day-after reports on the game.

A quick look back at WSU’s loss


I got to the airport a few minutes early, so I decided to quickly peruse the web for stories. Read on for what I found in the time available.

WSU loses, 27-6, as Tuel shines


It’s late and I have a 6:30 a.m. flight back to Spokane, so this will be quick. We are posting our unedited game story on the link. Read on.

Chiefs impressive in home opener

The Spokane Chiefs had it all, or most of it all, in a 5-2 home opening win over the Tri-City Americans. The No. 1 line of Mitch Wahl, Levko Koper and newcomer Kyle Beach produced three goals (and so many chances it was scary) and veteran defensemen Brett Bartman and newly-named captain Jared Cowen whistled in a pair of big goals. The Americans did score on two of five power play chances, the first and last goals of the game.

Quickly, the story on Cowen being named captain, a look from afar at the Chiefs picking up Beach and the unedited story that will appear in Sunday’s paper.

Jones leads Eagles to rout of Sac State

Sophomore running back Taiwan Jones accounted for for 279 yards and Eastern Washington University kept its record at Hornet Stadium unblemished with a 56-30 rout of Big Sky Conference rival Sacramento State on Saturday night.

You get more details, supplied by the EWU sports information office here.  And check back on Sunday for additional stories on the game.

WSU behind 20-0


Had some trouble getting up. Here’s the pregame post early in the second quarter and WSU trailing 20-0. As I type this, 12:48 left before halftime, WSU has minus-10 yards rushing thanks to four sacks of Marshall Lobbestael. With the deadlines tonight, this might be the last post. Jeff Tuel is warming up on the sidelines. UPDATE: Tuel is playing. He came in on the USC 25 after WSU had five possessions.

Idaho comes up with ‘signature’ win

It looked like disaster would strike late in the fourth quarter. Yet the Idaho Vandals held off pesky Northern Illinois for a 34-31 win in Dekalb, Ill. DeMaundray Wooldridge was huge in the fourth quarter, helping the Vandals chew up the last few minutes of the clock and avoid the embarrassment of blowing a 18-point lead. Afterward, Idaho A.D. Rob Spear called it a signature victory for the long-struggling program.

We’ll be back later for more analysis, but for now here’s the game story from the AP and UI sports information.

Things shaping up well for Idaho

It wasn’t a perfect first 30 minutes, but the Vandals have to be thrilled to be leading 21-13 at halftime against a Northern Illinois club coming off an upset of Purdue. Nathan Enderle had perhaps his finest half of football as UI quarterback, completing 11 of 13 passes for 190 yards and three touchdowns. The smoking start was aided by great protection from the offensive line and huge gains after catches, specifically on a 58-yard TD toss to Princeton McCarty.

Back-to-back touchdown drives capped by Enderle passes to Daniel Hardy and Deonte Jackson staked UI to a 14-3 lead. After NIU responded, the Vandals came back with the Enderle-to-McCarty connection.

The Vandal defense has kept the Huskies’ prime running threats, Me’co Brown and Chad Spann, in check. They’ve combined for nine carries for 37 yards. 

The Huskies tacked on a 50-yard field goal with time expiring before halftime after officials put extra time on the click twice. I’m guessing Robb Akey wasn’t too pleased about that.

WSU faces a hot, bothered USC team


It’s hot here. Real hot. With a dry wind. No wonder the hills look like the bottom of the Weber after the steaks are done. And the Trojans are hot. Real hot. With a bad taste in their mouths. No wonder the Cougars are a 45-point underdog. Read on.

West Valley earns major win

To a trip outside the Greater Spokane League to watch West Valley against Clarkston. The Eagles hadn’t beaten the Bantams since 1998 in the second of two games between them that season, coaches said. So the 24-6 WV win keeping them undefeated and 2-0 in the GNL was huge.

G-Prep runs over Lake City

Gonzaga Prep rolled to a 42-12 win over Lake City in which talented running back Bishop Sankey rushed for 243 yards before being ejected early in the third quarter for allegedly throwing  a punch.

Click the tab below to read my unedited story.

Key test awaits Vandals

Life on the road — the Vandals must be used to it by now. Tomorrow will be their third road game in four weeks to start the season, and it will arguably be the biggest test to date. As Robb Akey pointed out this week, Northern Illinois is 1-1 in the Big Ten. And the Dekalb, Ill., club easily could be 2-0.

Keep reading for things to watch in Idaho’s thorny non-conference matchup in the Midwest.

Looking forward to Saturday’s WSU game


Got some time in the Seattle airport, so I’m going to post our game day items and our advance story. That will be it for today unless something big happens. Read on.

Game not quite as envisioned

Ferris’ victory over Mt. Spokane wasn’t unexpected, but the 31-14 differential, in all likelihood, wasn’t quite what fans envisioned either. May force me to rethink things for post-season. Let’s just put it this way, Central Valley could be undefeated (will be in league) heading into its season-ending gantlet with Gonzaga Prep, Ferris and Mead. And all six 4A teams are playoff viable, in control of their destinies from here on out.

Hot Koper, Chiefs set for opener

The Spokane Chiefs home opener - and third game of the Western Hockey League season - is Saturday but below we’ve got our unedited version of the advance story/Levko Koper feature that will run in tomorrow’s paper. There is also this Tri-City Herald story on the Americans’ weekend, which starts with a home game against Portland tonight.

The Chiefs could name their captain today - expected to be Jared Cowen, and it sounds like newcomer Kyle Beach has No. 21, which means 16-year old forward Mike Aviani has been reassigned.

Mike & Greg Show

The latest edition of the Mike & Greg Show

Long day, short WSU post


Early post because it is travel day. The nice part about living in the Inland Northwest is you always have to go somewhere (in this case, Seattle) before you go somewhere else (in this case, LA). Makes the day just a tad bit longer. Read on.

Montgomery visits WSU’s practice


We’re headed out of Pullman right now, en route to Spokane for tomorrow’s flight to Los Angeles. But we’re not leaving until we post the unedited version of our story for tomorrow, on running back Dwight Tardy’s final trip home. We also have some notes from coach Paul Wulff’s press conference and practice. Read on.

Prep page

Here are the Washington prep column and the Idaho prep column. Here’s a feature on seniors Christina Johnson, Koko James, Piper Wahlin and Kaiti Lunde (left to right, picture above) on the tradition-rich Sandpoint volleyball team.

Idaho’s big-play receiver

Coming into the year, Max Komar might have been a tad overlooked in Idaho’s receiving corps. But the senior has been an explosive playmaker so far — particulary on third downs last week vs. San Diego State.

Click below to read more about Komar, Idaho’s thriving passing game, and notes from around the WAC.

Panhandle picks

Click below to see Greg Lee’s picks for North Idaho football games.


Chiefs swing for the fence

Not that the Spokane Chiefs’ home opener needs any hype, not with Western Hockey League rival Tri-City as the opposition, but the game certainly has an interesting sub-plot.

The Chiefs traded two defensemen for the player it seems every one loves to hate, Lethbridge forward Kyle Beach. (Here is our story, which was posted on the blog last night.)

Beach has a history with the Chiefs - and if you read the other blog posts on the trade you’ll see the famous punchout.

This trade is akin to swinging for the fence. It could be a home run - the Chiefs’ need for a big, scoring forward is well known. But it could be a whiff if it disrupts the lockerroom. However, Spokane management is convinced there is enough leadership on the team to make this trade a winner. It remains to be seen.

But what is going to be interesting Saturday night is how fans react to Beach. The punch-out was in Spokane, so fans are well aware of Beach. The guess is there may be some negative reaction that will turn around as soon as Beach contributes to a win.

There is this reaction on the Silvertips’ blog from Nick Patterson and his story in the Everett Herald. From Lethbridge, Pat Diedlecki’s blog and his story in the Lethbridge Herald. And then there is the take from Tri-City on Annie Fowler’s blog.

Heat is on around Pac-10, WSU


Watching practice yesterday I was hit by a revelation. Or maybe it was heat stroke. I’m not sure which. But anyway, it struck me that football season here runs through, basically, three seasons. There’s the incredible heat of summer – and early fall, because it was hotter than Hades on that field yesterday – gives way to the cool nip of autumn and, though the calendar won’t say it, winter makes an appearance for a week or two at the end as well. I have to remember how much I was bitching this time of year about the heat during those final weeks, when I start complaining I can’t feel my toes and fingers. Let’s move on. The junk for today is on the link. Read on.

Shocker: Keefe in, Shackleford out

On the team’s Web site, the first line in the bio of Adam Shackleford reads: 2010 will be Shackleford’s fourth season as head coach of the Spokane Shock.

Turns out, it won’t. The Shock decided not to retain Shackleford, who was wildly successful in three years, and picked Rob Keefe as the new head coach. (Shackleford is pictured above, with Keefe to the right).

I’ve posted an unedited article below on the change.

Lopina doesn’t finish WSU’s practice


Practice is over tonight and we’ve got some news to share. It’s not the best if you are a Cougar fan. Read on.

Pencer newest WSU tackle


The guys up front on offense really don’t get enough credit or pub for what they do. They may function anonymously, but if they don’t function at a high level, an offense just isn’t going to work. No matter how impressive the scheme. Anyhow, we’re highlighting the newest member of Washington State’s starting offensive line, left tackle Tyson Pencer. He’s starting this week after injuries to guards Zack Williams and B.J. Guerra. After that, who knows? But to get to know him a little, read on.

Chiefs trade D for O

The Spokane Chiefs have traded two defensemen for offense.

Below is our unedited story, which leads off the notebook that will appear in tomorrow’s newspaper and then there are some addition comments on the trade.   We posted the initial news earlier, which also includes a history lesson - Chiefs Chris Bruton KO’d new Chief Kyle Beach a few years back. There is also more information on the Hurricanes’ blog. And there’s this quick note calling the trade a win-win.


ESPN to air Idaho basketball games

We’ve got plenty of football-related stories in progress, but here’s a brief note about Idaho men’s basketball. Six UI games this season will be on one of the ESPN networks, including three home games. The Idaho-Nevada matchup at Cowan Spectrum will be on ESPN2, as will the Idaho-Utah State game in Logan. That’s a big-time upgrade from previous years for the Vandals.

Click below for the official Idaho release.

Shock fire Shackleford, hire Keefe

Adam Shackleford is out as head coach of the Spokane Shock and he will be replaced by  former Shock standout Rob Keefe, The Spokesman-Review has learned.


Chiefs pick up Beach

The Spokane Chiefs have acquired forward Kyle Beach from the Lethbridge Hurricanes in exchange for defensemen Mike Reddington and Landon Oslanski. Beach was the Chicago Blackhawks first round draft selection, 11th overall, in 2008.

Lots of WSU, Pac-10 news


Just another simple day yesterday. Right. Well that means lots of reading for you. We’ve got it all on the link. Read on.

WSU stadium news and practice notes


OK, we’re done with our stories for tomorrow. On the link is the unedited version of the Martin Stadium expansion story. And below that are some notes from today’s practice. Read on.

More on Montgomery’s loss for WSU


We’re still working on another story – this one about the revitalization of the Martin Stadium Phase III project – but we thought we might as well pass on two other stories we’ve done today. They concern the injury suffered by James Montgomery and our Pac-10 notebook. Read on for the unedited versions of those two stories.

WSU’s Montgomery out for year


Just a quick note and link to a story we put up on the website about an hour ago – had a news conference to attend, sorry – about James Montgomery’s injury. Here’s the link. We will be back with more after practice, including news on the Phase III for Martin Stadium.

Cowen coming back

After the Ottawa Senators beat Tampa Bay 3-1 in a NHL exhibition game in Regina Monday night, the Sens announced they were returning their first-round draft pick - ninth overall - Jared Cowen back to his junior team, which is the Spokane Chiefs. Cowen should be in the lineup on Saturday when the Chiefs (1-0-0-1) play their home opener against the Tri-City Americans (1-0-0-0). Cowen last played for the Chiefs in January when he suffered a serious knee injury that required major reconstructive surgery. The final phase of his rehab was done in Ottawa, which played him in two exhibition games and deemed him healthy enough to return to action.

Looking into the crystal ball

Greater Spokane League football approaches the mid-point of the season (for some teams) which led me to project out the remainder of the season and predict an outcome. Several key games remain that will determine the fortunes of league teams - for Lewis and Clark, Mead and University in particular.

Lots to talk about in So Cal


Another short and quick Tuesday morning post, and that’s after running down all the USC stories I could find in Southern California. Read on.

Vital to redshirt, other Idaho notes

Not a whole lot of time, but a few items of note from Robb Akey’s morning teleconference. The coach is planning on redshirting sophomore tailback Troy Vital. He was a nice addition to last year’s team, but with the glut of running backs — and DeMaundray’s Woolridge’s emergence — this seems to be a wise move. Akey reiterated that Woolridge will get more carries after his breakout game last week — and that he expects Vital to have a tremendous Vandal career.

Also, linebacker JoJo Dickson has been named WAC defensive player of the week after his 74-yard interception return in the win over San Diego State. He had a nice game for sure, but I honestly thought this award could have gone to Jonah Sataraka as well.

One last thing: The UI-Colorado State game on Oct. 3 at the Kibbie Dome has been moved to ESPNU and a new time slot — 7:30 p.m. Pacific. So much for that natural light from the new panels.

Chiefs weekend roundup

The Spokane Chiefs split a pair of games in Prince George over the weekend - which prompted Gregg Drinnan to ask: Is it a split when the Chiefs picked up three points to the Cougars two?

Spokane won the season-opener Friday 6-3 (the Prince George Citizen had this report) but lost the Saturday game 2-1 in overtime.

The Chiefs have their home opener on Satuday against Tri-City, which romped in its opener.

 Spokane defenseman Jared Cowen plays his second game with Ottawa tonight in Regina. The Ottawa Citizen had the reaction to Cowen’s first game on Friday night (he sat out the Saturday game).

Time to start looking ahead for WSU, Pac-10


There is actually a little frost on the roofs across the way, which scares me just a little. How much longer until snow starts dropping from the sky? Is it too early to put on the snow tires? Of course it is. But it’s never too early to start thinking about Saturday’s football games. We’ll help, with stories and notes on the link.

WSU looks back, ahead


We have yet to have dinner, so this will be quick. You don’t want to get between me and food. On the link you’ll find the unedited versions of our look back at the SMU game and our follow story. Read on.

Eagles far from perfect in victory

Eastern Washington’s 16-0 win over Big Sky Conference rival Northern Colorado on Saturday, while satisfying to most of those watching from the Woodward Field stands, was far from a masterpiece in the minds of the Eagles’ players and coaches.

Granted, the defensive effort was as good as I can recall. But Eastern’s offense looked lost, at times, in sputtering its way to a mere 13 first downs and 292 total yards.  There were also some obvious problems with the kicking game — problems that could undoubtedly cost the Eagles’a  game down the line.

Read on for more on what was behind EWU’s lack of offensive production and several links to related stories about Saturday’s game.


A crazy day at WSU, in Pac-10


Another interesting Saturday in Pullman and the rest of the Pac-10. Is there any other kind during football season? On a day when Washington State found a way to win, USC found a way to lose in the Northwest – again. By the way, how bad is the Big Ten when one of its best teams can’t defeat USC at home and a Pac-10 school that was winless last season can turn the trick a week later? But that was just one part of a newsy day in the conference no one east of the Rockies cares about. Hit the link for the rest.

WSU rallies for win over SMU


We are not only going to give you the unedited versions of our game story and notebook, but we have some thoughts as well. Read on.

Vandals, Woolridge shine in opener

Maybe things are going to be different this year for the Vandals. Heck, they already are. Idaho seized upon all sorts of San Diego State mistakes early and rode DeMaundray Woolridge in the fourth quarter in a 34-20 win at the Kibbie Dome. The only disappointing note for UI? There were just 10,324 fans on hand to watch the win.

Keep reading for my game story for tomorrow’s S-R, and a few other notes.

Eagles open Big Sky play with win over UNC

Eastern Washington opened Big Sky Conference football play on Saturday with a 16-0 win over Northern Colorado at Woodward Field.

You can read an unedited version of the game story that will appear in Sunday’s S-R below, and be sure to check back tomorrow for additional thoughts and post-game comments on the Eagles’ first home-field shutout in 26 years.

We have us a horse race

Three weeks into the season and Greater Spokane League football is a horse race with seven teams very much in the title race. Even Mead (1-2) and Lewis and Clark (0-2) are not out of the playoff picture, although the Tigers face a difficult road.

WSU trails 17-7 at half


The crowd is sparse at Martin Stadium and with no TV, not many of you are seeing this. But we have some thoughts. Read on.

Kickoff coming up for WSU, SMU


We don’t have a lot more to share at this late time, but we will get you up to date on some last minutes things. Read on.

Game day in the Palouse


Once again it’s game day. We’ll start by asking a question: Do you think this is the day Washington State breaks through with a win? If you’re sitting at home, or reading on your Blackberry, or in the RV shaking your head up and down or side to side, let us know. I’m kinda wondering what the consensus is out there. Now on to the today’s stories. Hit the link and read on.

Vandals’ home opener arrives

During trips to Lac Cruces and Seattle, they’ve looked much-improved at times and much the same at others. For sure, the verdict is still out on the Idaho Vandals. But you could call today a measuring-stick type of game. 

Read on for more about UI-San Diego State non-conference tilt at the new-look Kibbie Dome.

EWU, UNC kick off Big Sky play

Eastern Washington opens the Big Sky Conference portion of its 2009 football schedule against visiting Northern Colorado on Saturday.  Kickoff is set for 1:05 p.m. at Woodward Field, and we’ve got some links below to more information on the game.

WSU, SMU game day nears


Well, we’ve finally got our information about SMU culled down to the 20 or so items we run every game day (that’s why the page is called Game Day I guess). We kept getting derailed by phone calls and e-mails – and our own inability to focus. Got thinking about the season-long ramifications of tomorrow’s outcome, the type and size of crowd that will show up, the weather, all that mundane stuff. And, I was just wondering. How high is a cliff? Ten feet? Fifteen? Just another of those random thoughts running through my head for no reason, like whether or not everyone has a sense of humor. Anyhow, you can read the unedited version of our game-day stuff and our short advance on the link.

Cowen plays - and much more

Jared Cowen, the Spokane Chiefs’ star defensemen and first-round NHL draft pick of Ottawa, gets his first taste of the big time tonight in the Senators’ exhibition game with Montreal. It is rumored according to The Ottawa Citizen he could be back in Spokane for the Chiefs, who open tonight at Prince George, in time for next week’s home opener. (The season opened Thursday with Vancouver winning 6-5 at Kelowna on a penalty shot in OT.)

Today we ran our season preview for the Chiefs. Eight rookies made the trip to PG and we talked with some of them prior to their departure, as well as a couple of vets. Coach Hardy Sauter was OK with the 13-hour trip to kick off the season because it provides ample opportunity for team bonding and a chance for the kids to deal with nerves prior to their home debut before what should be a big crowd at the Arena.

Your Friday morning WSU, Pac-10 stories


We spent an inordinate amount of time this morning reading. All the stories on the link? Of course we read those. But there were a lot of other headlines that made us pause, some on subjects unrelated to football and games this Saturday. In other words, we lost focus. But we’re back and we have your links. Read on.

Freshmen LBs making mark at UI

Conrad Scheidt and Jared Heston, a Lake City product, have opened eyes in their first year with the Idaho football program. Scheidt has already seen playing time at linebacker — and is expected to get a lot more — and Heston is one injury away from being in the top six at LB.

Keep reading for more about the newbies — including the similarities between Heston and former LC teammate Byron Hout of Boise State.

Our late Thursday WSU post


A quick evening post, as WSU’s Thursday practices don’t have any hitting and are mostly spent getting the game plan down pat. Besides, the players and coaches are off limits. But we have a couple things to share.

Kong, Harris join GU fold

Back with the unedited article on Bol Kong’s arrival, soon to be followed into Spokane by Elias Harris. Read on for more.

Tuel may be next WSU quarterback


As part of the quarterback shakeup this week, WSU coach Paul Wulff announced freshman Jeff Tuel will play, if not this week, then sometime. So just who is this quarterback that was expected to redshirt and be ready for the future? Though we couldn’t talk to him this week, we put together the following story, the unedited version you can read on the link.

Mike & Greg Show

The latest high school football predictions from Mike and Greg.

GU releases schedule

Gonzaga has released its 2009-10 schedule and it’s another demanding slate (Michigan State, the Maui Invitational, WSU, Wake Forest, Duke, Oklahoma and Illinois in the non-conference). Read on.

Chiefs ready for opener

The Spokane Chiefs opened the 2009-10 Western Hockey League season - their 25th - Friday night in Prince George.

Below is the unedited copy of the story that will appear in Friday’s paper. 

Official: Kong is a Zag

Bol Kong is finally a Zag.


Kong, a Sudanese native who has lived in Canada since the age of 7, has enrolled for classes at Gonzaga after obtaining Canadian citizenship recently and his student visa earlier this week. The talented, 6-foot-7 forward verbally committed to the Bulldogs’ basketball program in May, 2008, roughly at the same time as fellow Zag Mangisto Arop, a native of Sudan who also settled in Canada at a young age.


But Kong’s status was in doubt – and the subject of endless Internet debate – as he worked through the immigration process for roughly the last 16 months. Arop’s paperwork apparently was already in order. Kong arrived in Spokane late Wednesday night, his first time on U.S. soil, and was on campus for classes Thursday, Gonzaga athletic director Mike Roth said.

Elias Harris, a 6-7 forward who just finished playing for Germany in the European Championships, is expected to arrive in Spokane on Saturday, which would complete GU’s roster for the upcoming season.

More in the next hour or so, including the release of the schedule.

Eagles move Brown to defense

Brynsen Brown, a three-year letterwinner as a wide receiver on Eastern Washington University’s football team, has been moved to the Eagles’ defensive line.


I didn’t get a chance to talk to Brown about the position change, but Eastern coach Beau Baldwin said he is catching on quickly.

You can check below for an unedited version of the short story that will appear in Friday morning’s S-R, along with a feature on the strong friendship that has been formed between Eagles quarterback Matt Nichols and his favorite target, wideout Aaron Boyce.

WHL west, team-by-team

The Western Hockey League Western Conference capsules, from Cory Flett at the WHL office. Later today we’ll have our Spokane Chiefs’ preview that will run in Friday’s paper. The Chiefs open at Prince George on Friday. After two games on the road, the Chiefs return home to face Tri-Cites a week from Saturday.

Thoughts on “running it up”

Last week bloggers complained about teams running up the score and and Al Loysius took me to task for not being critical enough on the former. Here are my thoughts in my weekly Prep Page column.

The trouble with predictions

The trouble with having your pre-season preview and predicted standings come out after the first game, meet or match, you don’t have the advantage of passing time allowing people to forget before you prove yourself the fool.

It appears I gave up too early on Mead boys cross country, failing to take into consideration the power of tradition. Behind freshman phenom Andrew Gardner, the Panthers look to be in the Greater Spokane League hunt after all, behind Ferris and North Central and can contend for a state team berth as usual.

The Panthers lost 21-34 to Ferris in Wednesday’s season opener but won the others, including over Lewis and Clark who I picked ahead of them, and Gardner finished third overall at Shadle in 15:58.8, just 9.4 and .4 seconds behind state placers Adam Thorne of Ferris and Nathan Weitz of Shadle Park.

“Andrew is showing he’s going to be a great one already,” said coach Steve Kiesel following the season-opening biggie.  ”He has to learn how to race over three miles and what better way than trial under fire.”

Gardner did fine.

Girls proved truer to form. Shadle Park beat Mead and LC doing nothing to diminish their favored status.

WSU links for your Thursday


Just can’t think of anything this morning, so we almost left this short lead-in blank, knowing you folks would understand. But despite the brain lock, we battled through and came up with 52 words to get you to go to the link, where the magic of the web awaits. Read on.

WSU deals with another run-and-shoot


With SMU on the docket for Saturday, can we put all the new quarterback stuff, the Jeshua Anderson resignation (see below) and the injuries behind us for a little while? We want to see how WSU is getting ready to play the Mustangs, a spitting image of Hawaii. What’s that you say? Are there differences? Oh, sure. For that, read on.

WSU’s Anderson talks about his decision


We have our story about Jeshua Anderson deciding to quit playing football and to concentrate on track up on the link. After you read the unedited version, check back in a couple hours and you’ll find the story we had penciled in for tomorrow’s S-R: a look at the similarities and differences between SMU and Hawaii’s run-and-shoot offenses.

Panhandle Picks

Click the tab below to see my weekly North Idaho football picks.

Anderson ends WSU football career


Some more big news out of WSU. It looks like Jeshua Anderson has decided to forgo his football career to concentrate on track full-time, which means he’s made the choice, two weeks into the season, to pull away from football. After spending a couple weeks mending a hamstring strain – something that also plagued him during track season – Anderson was stepping up, having caught four passes for 66 yards, a 16.5 average. Talking with Anderson earlier in the year, he said he thought a lot over the summer about dedicating himself to track, but after talking with his family, he decided to play another season. It seems like he’s changed his mind. I’ll try to find out more, but wanted to get this out.

Puck about to drop

The Western Hockey League season starts Thursday - Friday for the Chiefs with a two-game set in Prince George.

We’ll be sitting down with the Chiefs later today to discuss their chances for a story in Friday’s paper. Resources don’t allow for a complete rundown of the league but that doesn’t mean the information isn’t out there and available for you.

Today we have a look at the Eastern Conference, courtesy of Cory Flett at the WHL.

Shock on course for new league

It’s been a while since we updated the Spokane Shock’s future plans, so here’s what we’ve learned. The Shock appear bound for a revamped arena football league that will include some af2 holdovers, several former AFL franchises and a couple of newcomers. That’s pretty much been in the rumor mill for the last six weeks, but details are becoming more concrete.

More below in an unedited article that will run in Thursday’s S-R.

Rivals show stuff in opener

The Mead and Mt. Spokane volleyball teams waged an entertaining five-game battle as the Greater Spokane League opened play Tuesday. Click here to see our game story.

WSU’s QB change a topic of discussion


For the second consecutive week, there was a lot of WSU news on a Tuesday. But Pullman isn’t the only place with such doings. There’s pretty interesting items from all over the Pac-10. Read on for your daily fix.

Idaho practice notes

The Vandals are gearing up for their home opener vs. San Diego State, and practice on Tuesday was pretty animated. Keep reading for an update on personnel issues and injuries.

A long WSU post


This is going to be one long post. So strap yourself in, or whatever you do in front of your computer, grab something to drink and click the link. We’re covering some highlights from the Pac-10 conference call, we’ve got practice notes and we’ll talk about the quarterback situation. Read on.

QB change at WSU


We usually have Pac-10 notes ready for you early Tuesday afternoon. And we were well on the way to having that done when Paul Wulff dropped the news about the quarterback change. So we’ve switched gears. On the link you will find the unedited version of our WSU quarterback story that takes the place of the Pac-10 notes. We’ll have more on this subject, and the Pac-10, on our second post this evening.

Kibbie Dome gets a fresh look

I’m about to head to the Vandals’ first practice of the week, but I thought I would provide an early look at a feature on the Kibbie Dome renovation that will run in tomorrow’s S-R.

Follow the jump for the story.

Breaks make football

When football teams are of relatively equal talent, it takes a little luck sometimes and certainly  key breaks to decide the outcome of a game. Central Valley got breaks that ultimately took them to the state’s “elite eight” and cost Gonzaga Prep a playoff berth - remember the fumbled punt and late intercepted pass in that game against CV? Or the six turnovers by Mead in its game at the Bears despite running up and down the field? Lewis and Clark came up with untimely injury that may have denied them a return to the post-season. Think about the overtime outcomes that settled the Great Northern League state qualifiers. That’s simply the reality of sport. A bleeder beats you as often as a home run.  As someone once said, “I’d rather be lucky than good.”


Lobbestael to start Saturday


Coach Paul Wulff just dropped a big bomb on the Pac-10 conference call. Marshall Lobbestael will start this week and the Cougars are getting Jeff Tuel ready to play. He said Kevin Lopina has had 11 starts at WSU and now it’s time to see what Lobbestael can do as a starter. “We do not have a solidified starting quarterback and we’re still trying to find one,” Wulff said. He also said he feels Tuel’s future is bright and it’s time to get him ready. He also said Tuel “will play” this year. We’ll have more later.

Idaho preps this week

Click the tab below to see what’s on tap this week in North Idaho.

Tuesday morning WSU, Pac-10 links


Tuesday mornings have a tendency to be light on WSU news but pretty packed with items from around the rest of the Pac-10. Today is no exception. Read on.

SMU next up for WSU


We take our first look at SMU, this week’s opponent. By the way, the USC game time is set a week from Saturday. It will be 7:15 and it will be on FSN. Read on for the unedited SMU piece.

Weekend update for WSU, Pac-10


Not only do we have our morning links today, we have some left-over thoughts from the weekend. If you’re interested, read on.

Wulff looks back at Hawaii


We’ve got the unedited version of our follow story and our looking back feature all done and ready for you. Just hit the link.

Catching up on EWU’s loss to Cal

Tenth-ranked California made Eastern Washington’s weekend swing through the Bay Area anything but pleasant on Saturday, rolling the Eagles 59-7

You can read more on the game, and catch up on what else happened around the Big Sky Conference by checking out the links below.

A look back at WSU’s Saturday


While the sun starts to bake the West Side once again, we have our links to the WSU defeat. Plus we have a little something on every Pac-10 game. Read on.

Idaho-UW analysis

The Vandals succumbed 42-23 to Washington, but they didn’t do so meekly. At least not when the offense was on the field. Keep reading for analysis of UI’s first loss of 2009.

Turnovers, poor start crush WSU


The Washington State defense was exposed early, the offense didn’t help by constantly turning over the ball and, after 20 minutes, the Cougars were done. Read on for our unedited version of the game story.

Vandals fall to Huskies, 42-23

Just filed an unedited game story from Idaho’s 42-23 loss to Washington. You can read it below in extended entry.


Poor 20 minutes bury WSU


Washington State might have played its poorest 20 minutes of the Paul Wulff era to open Saturday’s game with Hawaii, falling behind 35-0 in that stretch. Read on for more.

Will WSU get first win?


It’s time for the pregame blog post. Do we have any words of wisdom? You’ve been reading this blog for a while, do you really think I can come up with any? Read on.

Vandal offense moving the ball, but …

Three quarters in the books, and the Vandals have had no problem picking up yards against Washington. But penalties were a huge problem in the early going, and the Huskies have run roughshod over an Idaho defense that played so well last week. 

The Huskies lead 35-16, but a second straight score by the Vandals would certainly make the UW faithful uneasy. Check back for more after the game — and as Jim Meehan posted earlier, he’ll have a game story from this one after moving to the WSU-Hawaii contest.

Stockton inducted into Hall of Fame

Got to Husky Stadium about an hour ago, got the wireless working about 40 minutes ago and just got done visiting with friends from the Seattle media. I’ll be doing a game story from UI-UW game, then heading over to Qwest Field to help with the WSU-Hawaii game coverage.

Meanwhile, here’s a rundown of stories on John Stockton’s induction into the Hall of Fame. All good stuff from John Blanchette, who attended the festivities. Find our main story here and there’s links on the right to the Stockton coverage from the last couple days.

Everything you need for a football Saturday (almost)


Another game day is upon us. And with it is the usual waiting, watching (or other games on the TV) and wondering. For everything you need to know to get through the hours until kickoff, read on.

Bad karma for South Hill

Don’t know what it was at Albi Stadium, but anything that could go wrong did so for the South Hill Greater Spokane League football schools.

Maybe it simply was that things went right for Mead and Gonzaga Prep.

The Bullpups parlayed a steamroller running game coupled with Ferris mistakes into a 38-35 thriller to the delight of SWX’s high school football scheduling. There was nearly 900 yards of offense in that game, which made up for a dearth of offense in the opener when the Panthers’ defense scored three touchdowns capitalizing on Lewis and Clark penalties and turnovers for a 28-13 victory.

Two weeks in Prep and Central Valley, which survived rival University, are 2-0 atop the league. Mt. Spokane is 1-0 (2-0 overall) and Mead, University, Rogers and East Valley are 1-1. My story is below.

WSU ready for Hawaii


The S-R jinx has hit again. It’s starting to make us a little paranoid. Read on for what happened his time.

Cal presents big challenge for Eagles

After disposing of Division II Western Oregon 35-14 last weekend, Eastern Washington University takes a dramatic step up the competitive ladded on Saturday when it goes on the road to face 10th-ranked California, an NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision power that is expected to challenge USC for supremacy in the Pacific-10 Conference this fall.

Kick off is set for 2:35 p.m. at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, Calif., and you read more details on the game and other related stories below.


Will Mead state placers be challenged?

After a third-place finish in state last year and with all but three players returned, Mead is the logical favorite in Greater Spokane League girls soccer. Cheney and Pullman will duel in the Great Northern League. Here is my pre-season preview for area teams.

Top cross country teams square off

Ferris is ranked No. 1 and North Central 14th nationally among boys cross country teams. They meet early season Saturday at Audubon Park in the annual Tracy Walters Invite. It will be a good preview of things to come.

ACL injuries and women’s sports

Volleyball teams are back in action, although league play for some, the Greater Spokane League included, won’t begin until next week. My pre-season feature focused on East Valley star Allie Riggin, who is rehabbing an anterior cruciate ligament tear.

In my years of following high school girls sports the injury has struck down more than its share of athletes. Some of it is the result of year-around play without the same strength training of their boys. Some of it is physical differences, but slowly but surely training techniques are beginning to help.

Riggin, whose dad, uncle and aunt were all EV athletes, is one of the GSL’s top individuals. Herewith is my preview and predictions for area teams. After seeing some early results, the GSL could finish entirely differently - behind Mead - than my guesses.

WSU heads to Seattle


Traveling over to Seattle today, so we’ll be quick and to the point. On the link is our usual morning post. Later today, after we reach the Emerald City, we’ll add our game day items and then our preview story. Read on.

WSU fine tunes game plan


WSU held its last practice in Pullman before busing over to Seattle tomorrow. Read on for our report.

WSU’s Kooyman loves Qwest


Kevin Kooyman has played a few games on Qwest Field in his football career. Which is a good thing, because he’s from Maple Valley and his family can watch him without traveling too far. No one is sure if Kooyman will be able to answer the bell Saturday, though, after banging his knee in practice Wednesday. He was in a brace and didn’t practice Thursday but was moving pretty well. The results of an MRI were not available and may not be until Friday. Read on for our unedited story about Kooyman’s play.

Vandals get ready for UW, Locker

Considering its performance in recent years, the Idaho defense was almost alarmingly successful against New Mexico State. But what about against much more potent Washington?

Continue on for my Idaho/WAC notebook, which details what the Vandals hope to accomplish against Jake Locker and Co.

Mike & Greg Show

Another edition of the Mike and Greg Show.

Interesting hockey note

I picked up an interesting note, via WHL guru Greg Drinnan, from the Western Hockey League. It fits right in with what Spokane Chiefs coach Hardy Sauter said when the team didn’t reassign any players between the three exhibition games in Everett last weekend and the two games at Tri-City this weekend.

(Meanwhile, check out the Chiefs’ new jerseys, along with the rest of the new WHL jerseys.)

Quarterback day in Pac-10


Want to know more about the conference’s quarterbacks? Today’s a good day for that. Read on.

WSU shores up special teams


Practices on Wednesday can be a little up and down. The players have an idea of what’s expected of them scheme-wise but it’s still being repeated over and over. The repetition, which everyone knows is necessary to make it second-nature for Saturday, can nonetheless be mentally tiring. Thus there are the inevitable flat times in practice. They showed up some today. But what made Paul Wulff the happiest was how his guys didn’t let them last. They battled through them and came out the other side. Read on for more.

WSU still on a Qwest


A few years ago, when Washington State athletic director Jim Sterk pushed through a nonconference game at Qwest Field, a lot of people in Pullman and around Cougar nation were not happy. Maybe they still aren’t, but the game has become a fixture on the early season WSU schedule. This week’s contest, however, is the last one under an expiring contract. WSU and First & Goal, the business that runs Qwest, have to reach an agreement for the series to continue. Read on for the unedited version of our story.

Panhandle picks

Click below to see my picks for North Idaho football games this week.

Super size WSU, Pac-10 morning post


Got some time this morning? Better make some. Because the link is like that bag Mary Poppins used, you know, the one the size of small dog that she pulled a lamp and a plant and junk out of? There are so many links to be found today, you’ll be checking stuff out until lunch time. Read on.

From practice to questions, WSU’s day


Talk about a busy Tuesday. Not only do we have our usual stuff, but you probably have had a chance to read the previous posts with the day’s other news. Now we will cover what coach Paul Wulff had to say today and what happened at practice. Read on.

More WSU, Pac-10 news


We’ve got a couple of stories for you. We have our Pac-10 notes and a short story on a player having a run-in with the authorities, which we updated at 7:30. Read on.

WSU player arrested


WSU is out practicing and there are a few players missing. Read on for news about one.

Handle Extra: volleyball, x-c

Here is our season preview of area 5A, 4A and 3A volleyball teams. Click here to read the story.

Here is our season preview of area 5A, 4A and 3A soccer teams. Click here to read the story.

Chiefs making progress

The Spokane Chies had a great weekend.

That may be news to some since the Chiefs opened their Western Hockey League preseason schedule with a 3-2 loss to Portland and 4-3 loss to Tri-City before blanking Seattle 3-0 in the Everett Tournament on Sunday.

However, coach Hardy Sauter said, “If you had to rate our weekend, and we don’t rate it on wins and losses, evaluating our progress it would be between an eight and a nine. It went good for us.”

Finally, the WSU, Pac-10 links


After battling a balky internet connection – here that Comcast? It’s been that way off and on for weeks – we finally got our links figured out. Not a lot of news this morning, but what we’ve found, we’ve passed on.

First look at Hawaii


Good evening to all. We have our first look at Hawaii, Washington State’s opponent Saturday afternoon at Qwest Field in Seattle. Read on.

Akey, Vandals not satisfied

Robb Akey just got through with his Monday morning press conference, and one thing stuck out to me: He was happy to get past New Mexico State on Saturday, but by no means was he or other members of the club as giddy as they were after last year’s breakthrough against NMSU. Perhaps it’s a sign that the Idaho football program is maturing.

Click below for some more quotes and thoughts from Akey.

Summer’s last look around Pac-10, WSU


The last day of summer. At least that’s how some people see it. It seems to me college football’s kickoff would be a better way to judge the end of summer. So that was last Thursday. But today is Labor Day, so go ahead and labor over the links.

A last look at WSU’s defeat


Hope everyone had a great Sunday. The highlight of my day? Kim and I took the dog for an hour walk, the last few steps taken in a pouring rain. A great experience enhanced when Yogi shook the water off his back and onto me on the back deck. But I’m sure you would rather here about the Cougars’ day. Well, they didn’t practice. However, Paul Wulff was available for conversation, and that led to the story on the link. We also have our usual Monday morning feature looking back on the highs and lows of Saturday’s game. Read on.

A look back at Eags’ season-opening win

Here’s hoping Eastern Washington football coach Bean Baldwin and his staff took at least a couple of hours to enjoy Saturday’s season opening 35-14 win before checking out the telecast of the abuse next Saturday’s opponent, California, put on Maryland.

52-13? Ouch!

But before we start delving into the abyss of problems the Golden Bears might present next weekend, let’s look back on Saturday’s win over the Division II Wolves.

Read on.

First sign of fall: Rain and WSU football


It’s raining in Pullman this morning. If it had only arrived a day earlier, we could have seen a reprise of last year’s Stanford game. In weather only. Because, as every player who talked after Saturday’s game insisted, this isn’t your 2008 Washington State football team. We have coverage of that game – hey Stanford is atop the Pac-10 standings and will stay there a while – and every other game involving Pac-10 teams. And, no, nobody was bopped in any of the post-game celebrations.

Big plays drop WSU


We’re done for the evening. We’ve got the unedited version of our game story on the jump. We also have added a couple of notebook items. That’s it. Read on.

Idaho makes it a memorable opener

Well, well. Some folks might have expected Idaho to fare well in its opener. But who could have guessed the Vandals would come out firing like they did at New Mexico State? A three-touchdown lead turned into a 21-6 win — and the first season-opening victory for UI in a decade.

Keep reading for more.

Jones makes impressive debut as Eagles roll

Eastern Washington’s offense opened the 2009 college football season in spectacular fashion Saturday, getting an 87-yard touchdown run from sophomore Taiwan Jones on its first play from scrimmage.

The Eagles went on to defeat NCAA Division II Western Oregon 35-14 at Woodward Field and did some other splendid things along the way.

You can read an unedited version of the game story that will appear in Sunday’s Spokesman-Review below. Feel free to leave any comments you might have on the story or the Eagles’ season-opening win, and check back on Sunday for additional post-game comments from players and coaches, along with some of my own personal observations.

Stanford stops WSU 39-13


Though it got close at times, this one was really never in doubt as WSU struggled to move the ball in key moments and Stanford made all the big plays. We’ll be back in a couple hours with our post, but until then feel free to comment.

WSU trails 22-3 at the half


Halftime and the Cougars trail by 19, if my math is right – and it better be or someone will complain. Last year at the half it was 31-0, so there has been a 12-point improvement. Read on for thoughts on the first half.

Clean slate for Vandals

All the preseason talk, the speculation, the questions — they can finally be put to rest. The first Saturday of the season is here, and the Vandals aren’t looking at just a run-of-the-mill opener. No, this one holds some weight.

Read on for thoughts on Idaho’s matchup with New Mexico State.

Pregame look at WSU and Stanford


Clouds are starting to gather around Martin Stadium. Literally, not figuratively. Hope it doesn’t rain on those folks tailgating over by Beasley. Don’t want to ruin their experience. For our thoughts on whether the game will ruin it or enhance it, read on.

Late breaking links for WSU, Pac-10


Hope you don’t mind that I took my time this morning. I read a little more than I usually do just so I would have an idea of what’s going on today around the conference. Plus I slept in a little. It can be hard to fall asleep in Pullman on football Friday night, you know? Darn kids. Anyhow, we’re ready to go. And could there be a better day in the Palouse to kick off the football season? Probably not possible. Read on for WSU and Pac-10 links.

Was Wildcats-Panthers thrilling enuff?

I don’t think even the teams figured on playing to a 0-0 standoff with three minutes remaining in the game, no matter how good Mead’s defense is or how experienced Mt. Spokane is. Did you? Was the 7-0 thriller determined on Colten Williams’ game breaking 70-plus yard run with less than 3 minutes remaining heart-stopping enough? Did you remain patient in the auto lines trying to depart Joe Albi Stadium?

Tigers too much for T-Wolves

The Lewis and Clark Tigers jumped all over the Lake City Timberwolves, winning 34-14.

Read my unedited story in the extended post here.

Game day is almost here at WSU


Our first post this afternoon is a long one. It’s our Game Day items for tomorrow’s matchup. Read on for the unedited version of our page along with the short story that runs with it.

Plenty to read about CBBN

Here is the Tri-City Herald preview of teams for its upcoming season. There is plenty to read with stories about all the teams down there. My inside source, Rene Ferran, thinks the level of the teams is about what it was last year with Wenatchee, Walla Walla and Southridge likely the best of the bunch.

Saxons too much for NC

As expected, a veteran two-time 4A state semifinalist football team proved too much for a rebuilding 3A program coming off a winless season and with a new coach. The Ferris Saxons poured in 31 first-quarter points (four on safeties) and won 59-0 in a game that implemented the state’s new running clock rule. Two Saxon quarterbacks threw for 359 yards and five touchdowns. About the only thing visibly missing was a running game which must factor over the next few weeks when the Saxons face Gonzaga Prep, Mead and Mt. Spokane in the “Murderer’s Row” portion of the GSL season. NC was mistake prone early, but moved the ball well in the second quarter and might have scored a couple times if not for some dropped passes.

Wolves first test for Eagles

Eastern Washington University will open it’s 2009 football season against Western Oregon, an NCAA Division II school based in Monmouth, Ore., at Woodward Field on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 12:05 p.m.

Due to the shrinking news hole in The Spokesman-Review, we will not be running detailed game advances on Eastern, Idaho or Whitworth on Saturdays this fall.  Those advances will be replaced by short, overviews that will run as part of our new scaled-down GameDay page.  So, rather than give you blog readers a early read of Eastern’s overview, I will attemt to post a more in-depth weekly look at the Eagles upcoming game and opponent.

Read on, and please feel free to leave any thoughts you might have on Eastern right here.



Oregon, Pac-10 reputations take a blow


Would it be too much of a cliché to say the Pac-10 football season opened with a bang? Or that the conference took a huge hit to its prestige? Wonder if new commissioner Larry Scott wishes he were at the U.S. Open watching Maria Sharapova whack forehands last night instead of in Boise watching LeGarrette Blount whack foreheads. Oh well. Read on for WSU and Pac-10 links.

Vandals prep for NMSU

The season is barely under way and the WAC has already acquitted itself quite well. Boise State suffocated Oregon in a 19-8 win (get ready for all the talk of BSU in a BCS game), and Utah State hung with No. 19 Utah for a while before getting shut out in the second half in a 35-17 loss.

But enough about other WAC teams. Keep reading for an early preview of Idaho’s matchup with New Mexico State.

A look at WSU football - and hoops


We don’t have the opportunity to talk with the WSU players after practice on Thursdays, so our post this evening won’t include their thoughts. However, we had a chance to talk with coach Paul Wulff for a while, so we have that. And we talked with basketball coach Ken Bone this morning, so we have that as well. Read on.

Two freshmen start their WSU careers


Two true freshmen will run onto the Martin Stadium turf Saturday knowing they will play a key part in Washington State’s fortunes against Stanford. On the link you’ll find the unedited version of our story that will appear in tomorrow’s S-R. Read on.

Mike and Greg Show

The first installment of the Mike and Greg Show is here. Check it out to see who we picked - and this year it’s head-to-head against each other  - The Relic (me) and Methusula (Greg’s in his 25th year at The S-R).

Prep Page

Mike Vlahovich and Greg Lee wrote their year-opening columns today. You can read Vlahovich here and Lee here.

Vlahovich also takes a look at Great Northern League football here.

GNL football advance

Here’s a link to my preview story  For Great Northern League football on the Prep Page of today’s Spokesman-Review. I still have to chase down a couple of coaches before I can get my complete on-line preview completed for the blog. Spent half the morning filming football predictions with Greg Lee at KHQ. We’ve gone upscale. They should be up on the blog this afternoon.

Too much to do, too little time.

News from WSU, Pac-10


Another busy day of WSU news – and from around the conference. Read on for links on everything from a Cougar football recruit to the Pac-10’s best kickers.

Coaches vs. Cancer raises $481,000

Mark and Marcy Few’s eighth annual Coaches vs. Cancer event raised $481,000 more for cancer research. More details below.

Zags, WCC television schedule released

Gonzaga will be well represented on ESPN’s family of networks via the WCC schedule as well as several other non-conference showdowns. More here.

Some thoughts on WSU’s practice


Only one more day of true practice before Saturday, so what happened today on Rogers Field held increased importance for WSU. Given that, we have some comments from coach Paul Wulff on the fine-tuning that was taking place.

Gerhart a challenge for WSU defense


With Stanford coming to town Saturday, we thought we better introduce you at least a little to the Cardinal’s No. 1 offensive player, running back Toby Gerhart. Read on for the unedited version of the story that will appear in tomorrow’s S-R.

Panhandle picks

My weekly Panhandle Picks has found a new home.

For the past 14 years, you’ve been able to turn to the Prep Page for my weekly high school football predictions. But we just don’t have the space we once had, so starting this week and continuing through the playoffs, you can check them out at Sportslink.

So click the tab below and check out the picks.

Chiefs release exhibition roster

The Spokane Chiefs announced their roster for the preseason, which gets underway this weekend with three exhibition games in Everett against three of the Western Hockey League rivals. That starts Friday against Portland. They play Tri-City on Saturday and Everett on Sunday. All games begin at 3 p.m.

The lineup is a whopping 35-names long, including rookies, but that is deceiving because of injuries, two 15-years old and players headed to NHL camps. Forward Tyler Johnson is the first to leave, taking off Thursday for Minnesota. Forward Levko Koper goes to Atlanta on Friday. Goalie James Reid heads to Vancouver on Sunday. Forward Mitch Wahl is off to Calgary on Monday.

For the complete roster check the extended entry.

Cowen back on ice

There is some good news for Spokane Chiefs fans but they’ll have to be patient - star defenseman Jared Cowen is back on the ice. Of course Cowan, the 18-year old defenseman, is in Ottawa, as the Senators keep tab on their first-round draft pick, ninth overall, as he continues to recover from major knee surgery. Cowen is trying to be patient, he told The Ottawa Citizen, but it’s tough. The newspaper has a Wayne Cuddington picture to accompany the story.

No exaggeration, plenty of WSU, Pac-10 news


Hope you have, like, an hour. Maybe two. Because that’s how long it will take you to wade through all the WSU and Pac-10 news. This morning. If you want to stop after just reading the Washington State section, I truly understand. I did. But we trudged on. So you have about another – exaggeration alert – 50 stories to read. Get started on the link.

Bullseye on Colfax

Colfax is loaded for bear. The Bulldogs only had four seniors last year when they ran roughshod over their Northeast 2B football rivals in their first season since dropping down from 1A. With all those returnees, there’s no reason to think they won’t do it again - although they’re wary that the toughest top-to-bottom league in the state will be more prepared for them this year. But knowing what to do and doing it are two different things. That’s our A/B football preview focus with short capsules on the four area B leagues and the Northeast A.

Idaho football odds and ends

Less than four days now until the Idaho Vandals debut at New Mexico State (5 p.m. Pacific on Saturday), and things are pretty much settled as far as the depth chart, starters, etc. I talked to a few members of the team after this evening’s practice — read on for a few notes and quotes.

WSU’s busy Tuesday


I know you’ve been waiting all day (and I’m late from the time I said I would put up this post). But let me tell you, the wait was so worth it. We have, on this post alone, a summary of what coach Paul Wulff had to say today at his press conference, and a practice report including a list of the players missing this day due to illness. So settle in and read on.

New quarterbacks abound in Pac-10


Tomorrow’s S-R story is our Pac-10 roundup. We look at the new quarterbacks popping up all over the conference this week. Plus we have our game of the week. Read on for the unedited version.

Eagles feeling good about 2009

Eastern Washington University will open its 2009 college football season at home against Western Oregon on Saturday.

You can get a first read of the unedited version of the Eagles’ season preview that will appear in Wednesday morning’s S-R below.  And don’t be shy about leaving your thoughts on how the Eags will fare.

Early returns

What can we learn from the early high school football openers in North Idaho?

A lot I think. Click the tab below to read more.

Pictured above is Coeur d’Alene running back Zach Keiser, who had his way in the Vikings’ 57-7 win at Lakeland.

GSL Football Preview

 Here is my expanded preview of the upcoming Greater Spokane League season as promised.

The “Can’t Miss” game this week is Mt. Spokane and Mead (which fans reminded us about when we missed it last year) particularly if it as as thrillilng as last year. It will go a long way toward showing the mettle of the new look Panthers and how improved the Wildcats are.

 But it’s a shame it comes so early in the season. With the schedule essentially the same as last year, it seems once more.that all the big rivalries and matchups are lumped on the same night.

GSL football right around corner

Here’s my story that ran in today’s The Spokesman-Review about the start of Greater Spokane League football on Thursday. I’ll have expanded on-line preview up later this a.m. Coaches were tardy this year in getting me back their questionnaires, but I’m almost there. As usual predictions are for you, faithful reader, to pick apart. If I had a glimpse into the future and knew just how the leagues will finish there’d be no need to play the game. Have at it.

A busy Tuesday around Pac-10


With only a few days left until the season begins, WSU will get back at it in earnest this afternoon. We’ll do the same, with the first Pac-10 coaches conference call, a Paul Wulff press conference and then practice. But before we get to all that, here’s our morning post.

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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 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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Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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

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Vince Grippi is the online producer for SportsLink, a product of The Spokesman-Review.

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