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Archive for April 2010

Shock entertain winless Gladiators

After a bye week, Spokane (2-1) will try to pick up where it left off. The Shock put a two-game winning streak on the line when Cleveland (0-3) visits for a 7 p.m. kickoff Saturday at the Arena.

My unedited preview is below.

Whitworth to honor 1960 team

Whitworth University will mark the 50th anniversary of the first national championship team in school history with a reunion of the 1960 NAIA champion baseball team during Saturday’s Northwest Conference baseball doubleheader between the Pirates and the Whitman Missionaries.

The 1960 team went 20-8, sweeping Pacific Lutheran in the NAIA District playoffs before going 4-1 at the NAIA Championship in Sioux City, Iowa. During the double-elimination national tournament Whitworth defeated host-school Morningside College (10-4), Georgia Southern College (1-0) and Southern University (7-0) to reach the championship round. After falling to Georgia Southern to force an ultimate championship game, the Pirates defeated the Eagles 4-0 to win the title. The championship was the first national title for any four-year school in Spokane.

Saturday’s first game begins at noon.

Mitchell gets nod as EWU’s No. 1 QB

Eastern Washington football coach Beau Baldwin made it official on Thursday, by saying Bo Levi Mitchell will be the Eagles’ starting quarterback heading into fall camp.  You can read an unedited version of the story that will appear in Friday morning’s S-R below.

Thursday Prep Page

Here’s a feature on Mead softball standouts Jill Pecka and Alisha Meade.

Here’s a notebook with an item on the Jack Blair Memorial Girls Basketball All-Star game.

Here’s a column by Greg Lee.

Here’s a roundup of Wednesday’s prep results.

More on Hyland

I touched base with newest Zag commitment Keegan Hyland, his father, Tom, and Phil Conley, the head coach at South Portland High. (Side note: I’m pretty sure Hyland is the first Red Riots product to join Gonzaga’s program. That’s South Portland’s nickname. I asked Hyland about it but he wasn’t sure of the origin. He said their logo is a red fireball.)

There’s more below in an unedited article that will run in Thursday’s S-R, but here are a few things that didn’t make the story.

—Hyland described his strengths/weaknesses this way: “My strongest attibute is my ability to shoot from the perimeter. I have the ability to handle the ball pretty well and get by guys and see the floor. One of the biggest things I have to work on for the next level is my quickness and strength. I have to put some weight on. I was about 180 pounds, but I’ve put on about 10 pounds.”

—The injury that sidelined him most of his senior year (stress fracture in his pelvis) is more common in soccer players, rare in basketball players, according to his doctors. ”It was pretty achy,” he said. “When I tried to play on it, it wasn’t agreeing with me. My (stress fracture) came about from a groin injury.”

—Hyland played point guard as a junior and ‘2’, or shooting guard, in limited duty as a senior.

Read on.

DB Todd back in Shock uniform

With a couple of defensive backs hurting and on the injured-reserve list, Spokane signed DB James Todd on Wednesday. He played in two games for the Shock in 2007, registering one interception and 8.5 tackles. He was second-team All-af2 with Texas in 2008 and Arkansas in 2009.

The addition of Todd gives Spokane four DBs (Travis Williams, William Mulder and Alex Teems, who came off I-R earlier this week). Todd is eligible to play in Saturday’s home game against Cleveland. DBs Al Phillips and Rod Mosley were injured in an April 17th win over Bossier-Shreveport and both are on I-R.

More below.


Shock this and that

A couple of Shock notes this morning. Spokane (2-1) moved up to No. 3 in the coaches’ and writers’ polls. Chicago and Milwaukee, the AFL’s only unbeatens, are ranked first and second, respectively. Arizona (2-1), tied with Spokane for the West Division lead, is No. 4 in one poll, No. 5 in the other.

—Spokane activated WR Shaun Kauleinamoku, DB Alex Teems and OL Chris Pino from injured-reserve. OL Ed Ta’amu remains on IR and it looks like he’ll miss Saturday’s game against Cleveland.

—Former Shock defensive back Nygel Rogers, now with Chicago, was the AFL defensive player of the week. Rogers intercepted a Brett Elliot pass in a win over Utah. He has a league-leading five picks on the season. 

GU adds another guard

Gonzaga is certainly keeping its guards up.

A few weeks ago J.C. guard Marquise Carter signed with Gonzaga. On Monday Kentridge High (Kent, Wash.) guard Gary Bell Jr. committed to GU’s 2011 class. Now the Bulldogs have another commitment, from South Portland (Maine) High School guard Keegan Hyland.

Read on for more.

GSL baseball statistics

Click the tab below to see the updated Greater Spokane League baseball statistics. A glitch in the system didn’t allow us to post these last night.

A bit more on Bell

Back with a slightly expanded article on Gary Bell Jr., who committed to Gonzaga on Monday. I wasn’t able to get in touch with Gary or his prep coach. If that changes, I’ll post their thoughts tomorrow.

Meanwhile, read on for the unedited article that will run in Tuesday’s S-R.

Bell Jr. verbally commits to Gonzaga

Gary Bell Jr., regarded as one of the top players in the 2011 class, has verbally committed to the Gonzaga men’s basketball program, his father said Monday night.

More below and check back later for additional details.


Shock get back to work

I attended Shock practice (more like a conditioning session) today and filed a notebook. After the bye week, the biggest questions were who is healthy or hurt and who will play or watch. I tried to answer a few of those questions in the unedited notebook below.

North Idaho track honor roll

Click the tab below to see the updated North Idaho track and field honor roll through last weekend.

GSL soccer statistics

Click the tab below to see updated Greater Spokane League boys soccer statistics.

GSL softball statistics

Click the tab below to see the updated Greater Spokane League softball statistics through last week.

WSU’s penultimate spring event its biggest


Spring football is over. Well, almost. Nearly. Just-one-more-early-morning-practice-to-go over. The last major event, heck, the only major event of the spring practices, occurred yesterday with Washington State’s spring game. We have our report, along with links to others, so read on.

Starters dominate WSU spring game


We’ve finally put together our story concerning Washington State’s spring football game, won by the first-string groups on both sides of the ball, 21-0, an outcome that shouldn’t be a surprise. For the unedited version of our story, and some notes, read on.

Red team pitches shutout in EWU’s annual Red-White Game

Eastern Washington University’s football team held its annual Red-White Game 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.

A busy Saturday at WSU


There is a lot going on in Pullman today and we’ve got new about most of it. The capper, of course, is tonight’s spring game. We’ll be there. Right now we, like you, should read on.

All B’s Spokane bound

It’s all but official, all State B basketball will be in Spokane. Although sites haven’t been settled, the WIAA executive board voted Friday to drastically alter the look of the state high school tournaments beginning next school year.

Instead of six - or 12 if you count boys and girls - 16-team tournaments and different sites there will be two (or four) eight-team tournaments at three different sites, all on the same weekend. It appears as if Spokane gets 1B and 2B, Tacoma 3A and 4A with the 1A and 2A in Yakima.

The story I filed fo Saturday’s paper is below.

Vandals’ spring comes to close

The evening started with a video replay of former Idaho lineman Mike Iupati going 17th overall in the NFL draft. Before the 49ers plucked the left guard, the Vandals knew they were going to miss the All-American — along with three other departed seniors on the offensive line. But their absence was especially noticeable Friday in the Silver and Gold game.

Read on for my story from Moscow.

Eags are back in the ‘Game’

Eastern Washington University will cap spring football practice this afternoon with its annual Red-White Game, and Eagles coach Beau Baldwin plans to make it as game-like as possible.

You can read an unedited version of the Red-White advance that will appear in Saturday morning’s S-R below, and you can check out what EWU’s sports information department posted about the game here.  I’ve also included this link to a Q&A the Eagles’ sports info folks did on starting quarterback favorite Bo Levi Mitchell.

A look ahead to WSU spring game


Washington State will basically close out spring practice tomorrow - there is a practice scheduled for early Monday morning – with an intrasquad scrimmage featuring a modified game format. We have an unedited version of our story about said scrimmage on the link, so read on.

WSU nearly ready to head into summer


It’s funny. During the Washington State football practice yesterday, the No. 1 topic of conversation wasn’t who was winning the quarterback battle, who was hurt and who was healthy, or about the Cougar chances in the opener against Oklahoma State. No, the main topic was the NFL draft. Yes, a non-event (OK, I know that will rile some of you up, but so be it) that has brought the world Mel Kiper Jr.’s hair and Rich Eisen’s droll humor – not to mention about 100 guys-that-everyone-thought-would-be-stars-but-weren’t. So be it. We don’t care. We have WSU news. College stuff. Read on.

Mosley goes on I-R

Spokane put defensive back Rod Mosley on injured-reserve, according to Thursday’s transactions on the AFL website. Cleveland (0-3), Spokane’s opponent next week, has been busy on the player personnel front if you check out the past few days of transactions.

Mosley, who solidified Spokane’s secondary the last two games, has one of the Shock’s two interceptions. He returned the pick for a touchdown against Bossier-Shreveport. Mosley (No. 23 pictured above) hurt his ankle in the fourth quarter of Spokane’s 78-70 win. He’ll likely be replaced by Alex Teems, who is expected to come off I-R for next week’s game.

Iupati goes No. 17 to 49ers


Well, all those phone calls came for a reason. San Francisco called Robb Akey at least three times leading up to the NFL draft about Idaho guad Mike Iupati, and the 49ers wound up taking the Samoan with the 17th pick.

Iupati is Idaho’s highest draft pick from UI since Ray McDonald went 13th in 1967, and the first Vandal taken since Eddie Williams in 2008 (a seventh-rounder). Click below for more.

Also, a reminder: I’ll be back tomorrow night to recap the Vandals’ Silver and Gold game.

Rested WSU winding down spring


We have a short story for you tonight for a couple reasons. One is the printed paper has only a little space for all the news tonight and the other is John Blanchette has a Cougar-related column for tomorrow, which we’ll link in the morning (UPDATE: Sorry, I was misinformed. The column is running Saturday, so no link tomorrow). But after the story, we do have a few notes for you, including a former Cougar star making an appearance at practice.

GSL baseball: Mt. Spokane tops U-Hi

Click the tab below to read our Greater Spokane League baseball roundup, featuring the Mt. Spokane/Univeristy game.

Shock bye-week notes

Spokane doesn’t play a game this week, but there’s still Shock news to discuss.

Read on.

Thursday Prep Page

Here’s my column about a school district that has cut half of its sports and is facing further cuts.

Prep notebook: GSL, IEL discontinue nonleague football games.

Here’s a feature story by Steve Bergum on Mead soccer standout Nick Hamer.

WSU ready to return to practice


Washington State returns to the field this afternoon for its final spring practice before Saturday’s spring game. Two things about Saturday. Once again I’ll mention the game will be televised by SWX, the digital sports station run by KHQ. I know it is available in Spokane but not sure where else it can be found. You’ll have to check with your local provider. As for the “spring game,” with all the injuries and illnesses, Saturday should be more of an intense scrimmage, with special teams play added, than a true game. For other news and notes from WSU and the Pac-10, read on.

Odds and ends on Iupati, Komar

You may have seen my story on Sunday about Mike Iupati’s NFL draft prospects. I also wanted to pass along some additional comments and thoughts on one of the most decorated players in Idaho football history. Who knows where he’ll go, but one possible hint: UI coach Robb Akey said the 49ers have called him three times about Iupati. Take that for what it’s worth.

Keep reading for more on Iupati and another Vandal hoping to land in the NFL, receiver Max Komar, on the eve of the draft.

Shock up to No. 4

Spokane’s win over Bossier-Shreveport vaulted the Shock up to No. 4 in the AFL writers’ and coaches’ polls. Last week, Spokane was sixth in the writers’ rankings and ninth in the coaches’ poll.

Bossier Shreveport (2-1) slipped to seventh (writers) and a tie for fifth (coaches).

Ferris completes sweep of CV

The Ferris baseball team topped Central Valley 6-3 in Greater Spokane League action Tuesday.

Click here to read our story.

Ex-Chiefs assistant loses job

Edmonton Oil Kings head coach Steve Pleau, a former assistant coach with the Spokane Chiefs (2006-07), was fired Tuesday along with assistant coach Rocky Thompson. Pleau was 67-116-12-21 in three seasons, with one playoff appearance. This year’s record was 16-43-4-9

Among the early names mentioned are former Everett coach Kevin Constantine, who was fired from his AHL job, and Ken Hitchcock, who was fired from his NHL job.

As usual, you can find more on Gregg Drinnan’s blog.

The Bantam Draft is a week from Thursday and the Chiefs pick 17th. If my information is correct the Chiefs don’t have a second-round pick and have three picks in the sixth round. The Chiefs have created a You-Tube channel.

Lots to cover from WSU, Pac-10


Despite there being no Washington State football practice yesterday, and none today, it is quite a busy day on the Web, even with WSU items. So let’s get right at it, with a quick spin around the Pac-10 after we check out what’s going on in Pullman. Read on.

WSU’s offense tries to hit benchmarks


No practice today but we still went forward with our interview of offensive coordinator Todd Sturdy for a look at the offense in the spring. Heck, we promised you a story and we had to deliver. Without practice, however, we weren’t able to get with an offensive player or two to supplement the story. Still you can read our unedited story on the link, along with a few web-only notes. Read on.

GSL baseball statistics

Click the tab below to see updated Greater Spokane League baseball statistics.

What’s next for college athletics?

COUGARS • UPDATED: 10:15 A.M.; 2:15 P.M.

It’s a big Tuesday for college athletics. Not so much for what goes on today out on the fields and the courts. No, today is big because of what might go on in Arizona. The BCS commissioners are getting together with conference expansion the No. 1 issue. Could this be the first giant step toward super conferences? For more on that, and Washington State sports, read on.

• UPDATE NO. 2: Just got word that today’s spring practice has been postponed and rescheduled for Monday morning at 6 a.m. With the number of players sick (if you read yesterday’s post you know a few linemen were out with illness) and those who miss for class, coach Paul Wulff decided to put off today’s workout and reschedule. My guess is either the weather is too nice for a spring practice (no hail in the forecast) or it’s because John Blanchette made the trip down from Spokane to watch or because, if they practice Monday, I’m on vacation. Anyhow, Thursday’s practice is still on as is Saturday’s final scrimmage. We’ll have an afternoon post later.

More on WSU’s Winston


Spent much of the afternoon trying to flesh out our story on newest Washington State basketball recruit Andre Winston, Jr., the unedited version of which is on the link. Read on.

Bowman signs with Storm

Heather Bowman, Gonzaga’s and the West Coast Conference’s all-team leading scorer, has a chance to continue her basketball career close to home. The Lewis and Clark graduate has signed a free-agent contract with the Seattle Storm.

It’s not on the WNBA team’s website but we have it from a good source.

We’ll use that as a jumping off point to catch up on women’s basketball news. Keep reading.

Defense tries to make strides at WSU


We expected to have this up quicker, but the Andre Winston news took some time away from football. But we now have our football story ready for tomorrow’s S-R, so we can post it. Read on for the unedited version along with some web-only notes.

GSL, GNL soccer leaders

The retired Mike Vlahovich, out of the goodness of his heart, has compiled statistical soccer leaders for the Greater Spokane and Great Northern leagues. Click below to see.

Stars shine in Phoenix

The Spokane Stars elite girls basketball team captured a championship in Phoenix over the weekend. Click the tab below to read more.

GSL softball statistics

Click the tab below to see the updated statistics.

Redmon MVP, Nicholas does well

Information from the Washington-Oregon basketball game, where Mead’s Jazmine Redmon was the MVP in the girls game and G-Prep’s Ryan Nicholas had a big game for the boys.

Redmon and future Gonzaga teammate Danielle Walters of Pasco made the difference down the stretch while Nicholas was playing on his future home court, Portland’s Childs Center.

North Idaho honor roll

Click the tab below to see the first North Idaho track and field honor roll.

Pasco post a little late

Early on a sun-kissed Saturday in Pasco the crowd at Edgar Brown Stadium was buzzing.

Derek Eager of Tahoma, who had set the state record in the javelin early this year, shattered his own mark by more than 10 feet with a throw of 229-feet, 5-inches, the second best throw in the nation.

That seemed to be a challenge for everyone and area athletes stepped up, winning eight individual events with eight seconds and eight thirds to go with the Mead boys’ 11th team title at the 49th Pasco Invite track meet.

As usual, the Pasco was great. This time it seemed to be a notch better than usual for local athletes because we couldn’t even mention runner-ups. Sorry I couldn’t post the story on Saturday. I kept getting a message that the site was down for maintainance and at 10:30 I still had a two hour drive in front of me. Then, with Saturday’s great weather carrying into Sunday, well … better late than never.

Additionally … The Tri-City Herald has an outstanding side show from my good buddy, photographer Paul Erickson (there are plenty of pictures of local athletes, including Chewelah shot putter Will Lohman, pix 4, and Baylee Mires of Mead, pix 14-plus). Also, reporter Rene Ferran started his coverage with a feature on Derek Eager and then had this coverage, plus this, which includes an interesting tidbit about an athlete attending a track meet instead of a club event (love it). Ferran also filed a report for The Seattle Times, which had more on Eager’s javelin record.

Catching up with WSU links


Sorry for the late post, but we were out on Rogers Field by 6:30 this morning to cover practice. The early time came about because Monday are off days in the spring so quite a few players signed up for Monday/Wednesday afternoon classes. To keep that disruption to a minimum when a Monday practice was called, the decision was made to start early enough so that everyone could get to class on time. With the early start, there was no chance for a post. We have it now, though, so read on.

• UPDATE: WSU has signed guard Andre Winston of Lakes High to a Financial Aid Agreement, which means the 6-foot-1 point guard has agreed to enter the school this fall. Winston had already signed a letter of intent (with James Madison, who let him out of it), so he could not sign another. Winston averaged 20.8 points and 3.6 assists for the Lancers, helping them to a 23-5 record and a third-place finish in the State 3A Tournament. He was named co-3A player of the year (with Enumclaw’s Riley Carel) by the Associated Press. More recently, Winston scored 24 points to lead Washington to a win over Oregon in the Northwest Shootout last Saturday. “(Andre) is a quick point guard with the ability to score baskets, but at the same time can see the floor and is unselfish,” WSU coach Ken Bone said. Winston should have a chance to play right away behind Reggie Moore as last season’s backup point guard, Xavier Thames, decided to transfer.

Shock clip BattleWings 78-70

Spokane improved to 2-1 on the season with a wild 78-70 AFL win over Bossier-Shreveport on Saturday. (Pictured above is Shock DB Rod Mosley defending the BattleWings’ Randy Hymes.) If you’re wondering if that was a franchise record for points, the answer is no. Spokane thumped Stockton 88-27 in 2009. In a five-week span in 2008, Spokane beat Quad City 78-50, then in the playoffs ripped Central Valley 83-63 and Amarillo 79-49.

Our website was down, so I wasn’t able to post my unedited game story until I arrived home. Read on for more on the Shock’s second consecutive win.

Mitchell comes up big again in EWU scrimmage

Eastern Washington University staged is second scrimmage of spring football practice at Woodward Field on Saturday, and Bo Levi Mitchell seemed to further solidify his case for becoming the Eagles’ next starting quarterback.

You can read an unedited version of the scrimmage story that will appear in Sunday morning’s S-R below, and you can check out what EWU’s sports information department has to say about the scrimmage here.

Vandals scrimmage; Iupati preps for draft

We’ve got two Idaho football-related stories to pass along. The first is a notebook I filed after the Vandals’ scrimmage heading into Friday’s Silver and Gold game. And the second is a profile of Mike Iupati, the former UI guard who looks to be a sure-fire first round pick in next week’s NFL draft.

Read on for both pieces.

WSU Saturday morning links


There’s no football this weekend on the Palouse, as Washington State spends this Saturday on a team-building exercise in the woods north of Spokane. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t any news. It was just a little harder to find. Read on for what we were able to dig out, from football and basketball.

Shock await Bossier-Shreveport

It’s a little later than usual (I was covering a well-played prep softball game this afternoon), but here’s my unedited advance for tomorrow’s Spokane-Bossier/Shreveport game.

Read on.

Lake City trips CdA

The Lake City baseball team, behind a one-hitter from lefty Ben Pharis, topped Coeur d’Alene 3-0 in a 5A Inland Empire League game Friday.

Click the tab below to read my unedited story.

Eags move Minnerly to safety

Eastern Washington’s football team will hold its second scrimmage of the spring at Woodward Field on Saturday at approximately 12:30 p.m.

And when the hitting starts, Coach Beau Baldwin’s crowded stable of quarterback candidates will be down to six, following Baldwin’s announcement on Friday that sophomore Jeff Minnerly, a former standout at Ferris, has been moved to the defensive side of the football to play safety.

You can read more details on the upcoming scrimmage and Minnerly’s position change here.

And be sure to check back here on Saturday afternoon for an early look at the scrimmage story that will run in Sunday’s S-R.


Track roundup

Here’s a roundup of track meets Thursday in the Inland Northwest.

WSU has a week left in spring practice


The weekend looms before us like a jelly doughnut, with sunshine today and Sunday supposedly covering a gooey day tomorrow. But it doesn’t matter, with no Washington State football scheduled until an early – and by that I mean before the time Captain Kangaroo used to start (I realize only a handful of you might get that reference, so I’ll explain: Bob Keeshan as the Captain used to kick off my youthful mornings in the LA area at 7 a.m.) – practice on Monday. But we do have some items to pass along, so read on.

GSL baseball roundup

Click the tab below to read my unedited Greater Spokane League baseball roundup for Thursday’s games.

Thursday Prep Page

Click here to read a feature on Central Valley ace Scott Simon (pictured above).

Click here to read Greg Lee’s column.

Click here to read a notebook feature an item on Mead standout sophomore wrestler Jordan Rogers.

ALSO: Click the tab below to read a story by Rene Ferran from the Tri-City Herald about the WIAA considering eliminating consolation basketball games at state tournaments.

WHAT DO YOU think about the possibility?

WSU sees improvement at tight end


Four weeks of spring practice are in the books – remember, Washington State won’t be holding a scrimmage this weekend, having moved the one scheduled for this Saturday’s to earlier in the spring. Today’s practice was held in bright sunshine and featured the offense putting together a couple of strong drives late in practice. Read on for more on that, the play of the tight ends this spring and a Bill Moos sighting.

Vandal men add two signees

Don Verlin has brought two more basketball players into the fold — Matt Borton from West Valley of Yakima and junior-college standout Deremy Geiger. The Vandals are expected to have one more signee, Stephen Madison of Jefferson High in Portland. His letter of intent should come in next week. Read on more for more.

Bossier-Shreveport player has Spokane ties

Bossier-Shreveport FB/LB Henry Bryant apparently won’t need a travel guide when his team visits Spokane this weekend. Find out why here. (You’ll notice the writer uses ‘Battle Wings’ while the team’s official site uses ‘BattleWings.’ It also looks like one word in photos on the team site. These are the things that reporters ponder)

Carter on his decision

Back with a bit more on Marquise Carter. You can read it below.

UPDATE: Here’s GU’s release on Carter’s signing with a couple of Mark Few quotes.

Meanwhile, UW sophomore guard Elston Turner announced Thursday he’s transferring. Not sure if he’s interested in Gonzaga, but I would guess the Bulldogs are interested in Turner. GU is looking for a shooting guard and Turner certainly fits the bill. More on Turner here.

Carter officially signs with GU

Just spoke to Marquise Carter and he said after a couple of days of thinking about his situation he arrived at the same conclusion he did last week when he verbally committed to Gonzaga. Carter said Gonzaga is the right spot for him. He signed his letter of intent and sent it to Gonzaga this morning.

More later.

Warm day awaits WSU practice


Yesterday was the first day of the spring signing period, but there were few basketball signings of consequence on the West Coast, and none for the Washington State men’s program as of yet. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have news for you if you read on.

Carter having second thoughts?

Junior college point guard Marquise Carter, who verbally committed to Gonzaga last week, appears to be having second thoughts. 

“You know, I just saw him about 30 minutes ago and I told him to get his act together,” Gene Bess, who coached Carter at Three Rivers Community College (Poplar Bluff, Mo.), said Wednesday afternoon. “I don’t like that. (Gonzaga) is a top 10 program and I don’t think he can beat that. He’s real evasive, real vague and he’s kind of avoiding the coaches here.”

Wednesday was the first day of the spring signing period.

Carter, who didn’t return a phone message, helped Three Rivers to a runner-up finish at the NJCAA Tournament. He averaged 17.9 points, 5.5 assists and 4.3 rebounds.

“My thinking is once you give your word that’s it, but I don’t have control over him at this point,” Bess said. “At our banquet the other night he was going to Gonzaga, but I don’t know what’s going on now.”

—Meanwhile, as we reported a couple weeks after he left Gonzaga at the semester break, Andy Poling is continuing his playing career at Seattle Pacific. More here.

GSL softball: U-Hi stops Mead

University handed Mead its first loss in Greater Spokane League softball Tuesday. Click here to read Jim Meehan’s story. Jill Pecka of Mead is seen sliding in the picture above.

Cheney knocked off Medical Lake in Great Northern League boys soccere Tuesday. Click here to read Steve Bergum’s story.

One long Shock post

Here’s all the Shock news fit to print.

My unedited notebook and a lengthy list of former Shock players and coaches whereabouts is below. Meanwhile, the AFL coaches poll has Bossier-Shreveport No. 4 and Spokane No. 9 while the writers poll has the BattleWings No. 5 and the Shock No. 6. The BattleWings were well represented in the AFL players of the week list.

Read on.

Former WSU star Leaf gets probation


A little late putting together my post today and now I’m glad I was. We’ve got some extra news that adds some weight to it. As you all know, former Cougar quarterback Ryan Leaf has waiting for his sentence on eight felony drug charges in Texas. Well, the ruling came down today. We have that news and Leaf’s statement on the link, so read on.

Long day at WSU


So, as practice days go, Tuesday’s was the least focused of the spring. But don’t take my word for it. That was Paul Wulff’s assessment. With that as the prelude, read on for our practice report and a story on one of the spring’s biggest surprises.

GSL softball statistics

This week’s Greater Spokane League softball statistics through last week are posted below. Click the tab.

WSU returns to spring practice


Let’s see, what were we doing? Oh ya, spring football. Washington State gets back to the practice field today, for one of two workouts this week – the Cougars will also practice on Thursday. We gave some thoughts about the last couple weeks and a couple of real interesting Pac-10 stories on the link, so read on.

GSL baseball statistics

Here are the updated Greater Spokane League baseball statistics through last week’s games.

Click the tab below.

Looking back on EWU’s first scrimmage

Beau Baldwin was dealing with some mixed feelings Saturday afternoon after putting his Eastern Washington football team through its first scrimmage of spring drills.

The Eagles offense ran 55 plays, turning several into big gains, but coughed up the football four times.  You can read the scrimmage story that appeared in Sunday morning’s S-R here; you can check out what EWU’s sports information office had to say about the scrimmage here, and check out video highlights from both KREM and  KXLY.

I’ve included some personal thoughts below on Saturday’s scrimmage and EWU’s ongoing quarterback competition, along with some additional post-scrimmage comments from Baldwin and Bo Levi Mitchell.

Please read on, and feel free to leave any commments you might have on anything Eastern football right here.

Sunday links from WSU


The weather was incredible yesterday in Pullman, warm – it hit the 60s – clear and calm. It didn’t last, though, as it’s raining lightly now. It should stop and WSU should be able to get in the final game of its three-game baseball series with top-ranked Arizona State, tied at one. We have links to that story and to football news, so read on.

Mitchell masterful in EWU scrimmage

Bo Levi Mitchell, a junior to be and first-year transfer from Southern Methodist University, was the most of impressive of the five quarterbacks Eastern Washington coach Beau Baldwin used during Saturday’s first scrimmage of spring drills.

You can read an unedited version of the scrimmage story that will appear in Sunday morning’s S-R below, and be sure to check back tomorrow for additional thoughts and comments from Saturday’s scrimmage.

Defense rules 2nd Idaho scrimmage

The Vandals completed their second of three intrasquad scrimmages today before the Silver and Gold game on April 23. I wasn’t able to make it, but read on for a report from UI.

WSU pounds the ball in second scrimmage


Washington State’s second scrimmage is in the books, or on the web if you prefer. We have our story on the link and our usual web-only notes. Read on.

WSU readies for second scrimmage


A crowded weekend in Pullman continues this morning with Washington State’s second spring scrimmage, starting a little after 10. After today’s workout, the Cougars will have five more practices, the Spring Game on April 24 and be done. That’s for next week and beyond, however. This weekend has enough, including last night’s baseball victory over top-ranked ASU. For links on that and more, read on.

WSU rallies past ASU, 6-5


We were out at the baseball game against top-ranked Arizona State tonight, and we have this story for you to read if you so desire. There is also a short basketball note on the end, so read on.

Spokane routs Utah 68-34

The Spokane Shock evened their AFL record with an impressive 68-34 road win over Utah on Friday night.

Kyle Rowley passed for six touchdowns and rushed for another score. Huey Whittaker led the Shock in receptions for the second straight week, catching 12 passes for 95 yards and two touchdowns. Markee White had eight catches for 118 yards and two TDs. Raul Vijil, bouncing back from a tough game in the season-opening loss to Milwaukee, had seven receptions for 81 yards and three TDs. Eddie Thompson added a rushing touchdown.

Spokane (1-1) led 35-14 at half. Both Utah touchdowns came on Brandon Hampton kickoff returns. After Hampton’s second TD return, Spokane intentionally kicked the ball out of bounds, giving Utah possession at its 20-yard line but keeping the ball out of Hampton’s hands.

Utah (0-1) benched starting quarterback Mike Affleck after a dismal first half. Brett Elliott connected with Aaron Boone with about three minutes left in the third quarter to give the Blaze their first offensive touchdown, but Spokane still led comfortably, 49-20.

Shock backup quarterback Erik Meyer handled a couple of series in the fourth quarter. He finished 8 of 11 for 77 yards and one touchdown.

Spokane returns home to face Bossier-Shreveport next Saturday. The Battlewings (1-0) face Orlando tonight.

Central Valley undefeated no longer

University handed Central Valley its first loss in Greater Spokane League baseball Friday.

Click the tab below to read my unedited game story and roundup.

Time to question Chiefs

We have an opportunity for Chief fans to get some questions answered.

Spoke to general manager Tim Speltz this week, hoping to wrap up the recently completed Western Hockey League season and look ahead to next year. That, however, will have to wait.

“I always want to give it a little time,” Speltz said. “You have to get over the numbness of being done before you can objectively assess the situation.”

That means next week. Since I’ll be out of town at a wedding (and hanging around to watch the Mariners’ home opener Monday afternoon), you have the opportunity to pose questions I can ask Speltz. I’ll check those out before we connect on Tuesday or Wednesday.

One more thing, the NHL season ends this weekend. I expect Drayson Bowman to get sent back to the minors for the playoffs and Jared Cowen might play Saturday with Ottawa. Any news you see, please share while I’m away.

GSL baseball, track

Hey, it may not feel like spring yet - in fact, we may be experiencing our winter weather now after having a spring-like winter - but we got out to see some Greater Spokane League baseball and track Thursday.

Here’s our GSL baseball roundup featuring league-leading Central Valley.

Here’s our GSL track roundup featuring the Central Valley/Mead/Rogers dual.

And here’s a roundup of GSL softball and everything else.

Mom’s weekend packed at WSU


No football today, but we will be out at the baseball game vs. the nation’s top-ranked team, Arizona State. The temperature should be somewhere around 43 degrees for the 5:30 start tonight, which should be somewhat of a shock to the Sun Devils’ system. But before we set our sights on baseball, let’s cover the football links and notes. We have both, so read on.

Cowen gets penalty in NHL debut

Spokane Chiefs defenseman and captain Jared Cowen played 6-minutes, 46-seconds his National Hockey League debut with the Ottawa Senators Thursday night.

The Senators’ firsts-round pick last June picked up a penalty in the 4-3 shoot-out loss at Tampa Bay.

Ottawa had Cowen join the team after the Chiefs were eliminated from the Western Hockey League playoffs last week but didn’t decide to play him in a game until Thursday.

The Senators have one more game, Saturday at home against Buffalo, before the playoffs.

Shock-Blaze preview

Caught up with Shock coach Rob Keefe just before he was boarding a morning flight to Salt Lake City. As he stated earlier in the week, Keefe made a couple of adjustments to the roster, but not wholesale changes.

Read on for my unedited advance. Also, SWX announced that it will televise the game on a tape-delayed basis at 8 p.m. (kickoff is at 6) Friday.

WSU heads indoors as spring hits midpoint


As the wind howled outside – at times making the cover of the bubble look like the waves of an ocean – WSU went through a helmet, shirt and shorts practice inside its indoor practice facility. Without pads, the practice was light on team drills, though for the first time this spring, practice ended on a 2-minute drill, with the defense getting a stop on Aire Justin’s interception. But there was a lot of technique drills, fine-tuning of plays and the type of detail work a lack of pads can lead to. Thursday’s workout was also the spring equivalent of hump day, with spring reaching the halfway point midway through the workout. On the link we have the unedited version of our S-R story, focusing on the halfway point. Then was add some notes, so read on.

Frieson drafted

Calling it more than a dream come true, Gonzaga senior Vivian Frieson was selected in the WNBA Draft Thursday afternoon.

Frieson was picked by the Tulsa Shock with the seventh pick in the third round, 31st overall. The Shock is a the highly successful (on the court) Detroit franchise that moved to Tulsa after last season.

The graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle is the first Zag to get drafted and we could say the fourth Spokane-based player, joining three GSL alumns who were drafted. Those details are in the unedited story I filed for Friday’s paper, posted below.

More on Carter

Back with more on guard Marquise Carter, who verbally committed to Gonzaga earlier today. My unedited article is below.

Thursday Prep Page

A few things to link to on the Thursday Prep Page.

Greg Lee column regarding former Lewis and Clark football coach Tom Yearout staying put and not pursuing the Shadle Park job.

A feature on Gonzaga Prep tennis standout Anna Lambert (pictured above). With this preview box.

A preview informational box for track. Dave Trimmer has a feature on Shadle Park long-distance runner Andrea Nelson coming Sunday.

Guard Marquise Carter commits to GU

Three Rivers Community College guard Marquise Carter said Thursday he has verbally committed to the Gonzaga men’s basketball program.

It was no secret Gonzaga’s first priority in recruiting was a guard. The 6-foot-4 Carter, who played point guard while leading Three Rivers (Poplar Bluff, Mo.) to a runner-up finish at the national tournament in Hutchinson, Kan,, was an NJCAA first-team All-American this season and a second-team selection last season. Carter scored 35 points in Three Rivers’ overtime loss to Howard in the NJCAA title game.

Carter is the first commitment of GU’s 2010 class.

I just spoke to Carter and I’ll have a story up in about 45 minutes or so.

Cowen debuts in NHL

Spokane Chiefs’ defenseman and captain Jared Cowen (above) is making his National Hockey League debut tonight at Tampa Bay, according to the Ottawa Senators’ website.

The story is below.

Eags don pads in search of next QB

Eastern Washington University football coach Beau Baldwin put his team through its first full-pads workout of spring drills Wednesday afternoon and felt his Eagles were a little flat, at times, during a full-contact practice that ended a prolonged layoff.

You can check out the practice story that ran in Wednesday morning’s S-R here, and you can read some additional thoughts and comments from Baldwin, quarterbacks coach Zak Hill and  two of the six players competing for the starting quarterback job below.

Zags No. 9 in Goodman’s early rankings

I’m not going to post a bunch of these, but here’s an indication of where the Zags might be when more concrete rankings come out this fall. Fox Sports’ Jeff Goodman has GU at No. 9 in his aptly named Ridiculously Early pre-season Top 25. More here.

As you can see, the CBE Classic in November figures to be loaded with defending national champion and preseason No. 1 Duke, No. 6 Kansas State and No. 9 Gonzaga.


Bowman gets first NHL goals

While Mitch Wahl and Kyle Beach went off to play in the AHL after the Spokane Chiefs season ended, Jared Cowen gets a little Florida vacation. The captain is hanging with the Ottawa Senators, who drafted him in the first round last summer. A story from the Ottawa Citizen is posted below.

Meanwhile, former Chief Drayson Bowman scored his first two goals for the Carolina Hurricanes last night, both in the first period as Carolina rolled to an 5-1 lead en route to an 8-5 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.


Morning news from WSU, Pac-10


Though Washington State will not practice today – the next time the Cougars hit the spring practice field is Thursday, so plan on hail, showers and even some sun then – but there is still a lot to cover this morning, so let’s get right to it. If you’ve been following the situation at the University of Oregon, and I have, then yesterday’s developments were like the most recent episode of “Lost:” entertaining, revealing to some degree, but ultimately, hard to understand and unsatisfying. For more, read on.

Shock fall out of rankings

Spokane was ranked No. 6 in the AFL writers preseason poll, but a 74-62 loss to Milwaukee dropped the Shock out of the top 7 (there’s only 15 AFL teams). Milwaukee climbed from No. 7 to No. 2.

Chicago, which defeated Iowa, remained in the top spot. Utah, Spokane’s opponent on Friday, didn’t make the top 7.

Here’s the poll.

Also, Milwaukee landed a couple of the AFL players of the week honors: Quarterback Chris Greisen was the offensive player of the week and Nate Forse was the Ironman of the week. More here.

Vandals to host hoops tourney

The Idaho Vandals will welcome three teams to Moscow in early December for an in-season men’s basketball tournament, the Idaho Statesman reported today. Eastern Michigan, Monmouth and North Dakota will join the Vandals for the round-robin tourney from Dec. 3-5 at Memorial Gym. The Vandals play a home football game against San Jose State that weekend.

Also, if you missed it, John Blanchette has this column on UI great Gus Johnson earning a spot in the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame.

WSU practice wrap and story


Got some time? You may need it. We have a lot for you to digest on the link, what with football practice and some basketball notes. If you are so inclined, read on.

Keefe: Do your job, trust your teammates

Back with a notebook after visiting Shock practice Monday. It was supposed to run in Tuesday’s S-R, but space limitations pushed it back a day.

The Shock dropped their AFL opener to Milwaukee 74-62 last Friday. Read on to hear coach Rob Keefe’s thoughts on that game and for other Shock notes.

(The picture above, by the way, is of Shock receiver Huey Whittaker trying to make a catch along the dasherboards, but he was thwarted by a fan in the front row. Whittaker clearly thought he had a shot at the catch and had some words for the fan after the play.)

GSL softball statistics

Click the tab below to check out the first batch of Greater Spokane League softball statistics.

GSL baseball statistics

Click the tab below to see the first set of Greater Spokane League baseball statistics.

More transfer news in Pac-10


Some interesting news about basketball transfers in the Pac-10 and it’s not about Washington State. Well, in a way it is. Read on.

Some WSU spring questions


As we begin week three of Washington State spring football - the Cougars return to the practice field tomorrow afternoon - we have some questions, if not a whole bunch of answers. So we thought we would take some time this morning, a day, as I’ve written before, which should be a national holiday – baseball’s opening day, NCAA title game – and share those inquiries with you. If you are interested, read on.

Some WSU Easter nuggets


Not going to go search all over the web for stories on this fine Easter morning – my first day in weeks I can have beef, now that Lent is over – but I thought I better link a couple things, so read on.

UI’s Davis has torn ACL, Ashley adjusting


There were some notable names missing from the Vandals’ first spring scrimmage, including wideout Preston Davis. His start to the season is in serious jeopardy after tearing his ACL on Tuesday. Read on for more about Davis’ injury and Quin Ashley’s role at safety, plus more notes.

Fortier has baby

Gonzaga assistant basketball coach Lisa Mispley Fortier (above right with pregnant GU assistant Jodi Kazor Berry with players hamming it up in the background of this Dan Pelle photo) gave birth to a boy Saturday morning.

Marcus William, whose dad Craig is also a coach, an assistant coach at Whitworth, joined the lineup at 8:05, weighing 8 pounds, 1 ounce and 201/2-inches long.

It was big news at Gonzaga when doctors allowed Fortier to go to the Sweet 16. Turns out it wasn’t even a close call.

Also on Saturday, Gonzaga junior point guard Courtney Vandersloot earned her second All-America honor as an honorable mention for the WBCA/State Farm Coaches’ All-America team. She was the first Bulldog to earn honorable mention Associated Press honors two years in a row and now she is the first recognized by two different organizations in the same season. The coaches also named Tennessee junior Angie Bjorklund (University High School) honorable mention.

WSU has ups, downs in first scrimmage


It was raw Saturday morning at Martin Stadium and we’re not talking about the play on the field. We’re talking about the conditions, with the 36-degree weather compounded by a strong wind that cut like a machete at times. Despite that, there were some highlights from the Cougars’ first scrimmage – and a corresponding lowlight as is the case with intrasquad affairs. We have the unedited version of our story on the link, along with some more notes. At the very end is our feature for tomorrow’s S-R on incoming athletic director Bill Moos, so read on.

A quick Saturday WSU post


A short and sweet post this morning before the scrimmage. Two reasons. Not a lot to talk about, what with Washington State’s football team taking Friday off, and we’ll be back with a lot this afternoon, including our scrimmage coverage and a Sunday S-R story on incoming athletic director Bill Moos. For what we have now, read on.

• Coach Paul Wulff was informed Friday night defensive tackle Toby Turpin had been dismissed from WSU by the Student Conduct Board, we learned this morning. The 6-foot-5, 301-pound Turpin, who started six games last season and made a career-high 28 tackles despite being suspended for the final two games for an undisclosed violation of team rules, was slated to compete for a starting spot. Turpin, from Los Alamitos, Calif., was dismissed from WSU for an academic infraction, according to sources with knowledge of the situation. We’ll try to get comment from Wulff today.

Shock drop AFL opener

Spokane lost to Milwaukee 74-62 in the Arena Football League debut for both teams Friday night. Read on for my unedited game story.

And click here for John Blanchette’s column on opening night.

Prep softball preview

Click here to see our prep softball preview - brought to you by Jim Meehan.

Coeur d’Alene girls fall

The Idaho 5A state girls basketball state champ Coeur d’Alene Vikings fell to Washington state 4A champ Auburn Riverside in a virtual national tournament opener today. Click here to read more.

Catching up with WSU links


As we slowly moved around the web this morning – no caffeine yet, so everything is being done slowly – we found a bunch of interesting links, some with WSU news, others with Pac-10 implications. We have all of them, plus some more on Thursday’s workout, on the link, so read on.

WSU’s Long making more strides


Washington State is officially one-third of the way through spring. Five practices down, 10 to go. We have our story from Thursday’s workout along with some notes – schedule-change alert! – on the link, so read on.

Rowley takes AFL QB debut in stride

Kyle Rowley traveled a long road before he came to Spokane in the middle of the 2006 arenafootball2 season. He quickly took over as starting quarterback and guided the Shock to an af2 championship.

He traveled a long road over the next three seasons before his career path brought him back to Spokane. Rowley has earned the starting job and he’ll make his AFL quarterbacking debut tomorrow when Spokane entertains Milwaukee. Rowley has played in AFL games, but only as a holder.

Read on for my unedited article on Rowley’s well-traveled career and his aspirations in his second stint with the Shock.

Burgess’ memorial services set

A memorial service for Frank Burgess will be Saturday, April 10, in Tacoma. Burgess, Gonzaga’s all-time leading scorer, died last week at the age of 75.

More information below.

Prep baseball

We present our baseball package, beginning with this feature on Lewis and Clark four-year starter Sage Poland.

Click here to see our predicted order of finishes in the Greater Spokane, Great Northern and Inland Empire leagues along with some other notes.

GU’s Harris coming back next season

Forward Elias Harris, who has been listed on several NBA mock drafts as a possible first-round selection, announced Thursday that he will return to Gonzaga for his sophomore season.

When I talked to Harris during the NCAA Tournament, he said he wasn’t sure of his plans and he might seek additional evaluations regarding his draft status. However, after the tournament, several sources close to Harris indicated the freshman forward was intent on returning to GU.

With Harris coming back, Gonzaga figures to have a quality cast of players returning next season. The Bulldogs lose WCC player of the year Matt Bouldin, back-up center Will Foster and reserve guard Chris Pontarolo-Maag.

More below in a GU press release.

Chiefs let one get away

The urge is to just walk away and enjoy a couple of days off after the Spokane Chiefs ushered in the off-season a little quicker than anticipated with a 5-4 loss to Portland in overtime Wednesday night. 

However, you deserve a little more, so a couple of quick links below, and a bad memory above, photographer Colin Mulvany capturing the goal from Portland’s Ryan Johansen (19)

No fooling around at WSU


Never was a real big fan of April Fools’ Day. Maybe because I’m pretty much of a fool 365 days a year – 366 once every four, when I vote in a presidential election. So all those “funny” April Fools’ stories? They’re not getting linked here. You have to find them yourself. For real stories, read on.

Blanchette’s take on the Chiefs

John Blanchette filed a column from the Chiefs’ not-so-grand finale. It’s posted below and should be a great start for a post-mortum.

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Jim Allen (@srjimallen) Sports reporter Jim Allen's primary coverage areas are Eastern Washington University football and men's basketball, and college and high school soccer. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Jacob Thorpe (@JacobThorpe) Sports reporter Jacob Thorpe covers Washington State University athletics. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Jim Meehan (@srjimm) Jim Meehan's coverage areas include Gonzaga University men's basketball, Spokane Shock football, golf and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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

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

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

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