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Archive for August 2010

Zags welcome addition of BYU to WCC

The conference shuffle reached the WCC on Tuesday with BYU announcing it will join the conference in basketball and many of its other sports. Gonzaga applauded the addition of BYU, a traditional power in basketball. The Cougars will become independent in football.

More on GU’s reaction to BYU’s decision here and here. There’s much more on BYU from the Deseret News here and here. The Salt Lake Tribune surely has a number of articles, but I can’t access the site (it’s probably being deluged by visitors).

Meanwhile, Gonzaga’s Kelly Olynyk came off the bench to score 13 points, but Canada lost to France at the FIBA world championships. Robert Sacre had two rebounds in eight minutes for Canada.

Showers, cool conditions don’t slow WSU


Today’s practice was cold. No, the players had their usual intensity – though a new defensive drill went a session longer than it was scheduled for because the coaches weren’t happy with the execution – but the weather was damp and a little cold. That weather didn’t hamper the return of a couple key contributors, however, so read on.

Paul Wulff talks about WSU’s opener


Just got down with Paul Wulff’s weekly Tuesday press conference. We have a summary of what he had to say on the link. As promised, here’s a link to the video.

Geathers signs with CFL team

Defensive lineman Jeremy Geathers has become the third Shock player to sign with an outdoor league since Spokane thumped Tampa Bay in ArenaBowl XXIII on Aug. 20.

Seattle, Tacoma football

Mason Kelley at the Seattle Times has posted several previews of Seattle-area football teams. Check it out here.

Doug Pacey is doing likewise in Tacoma at the Tacoma News Tribune. Check it out here.

As August leaves, WSU’s prep for opener increases


As I sat here trying to come to grips with this being the final day of August for the year – really, where did the summer go? – I also was able to run down plenty of news about Washington State, Oklahoma State and the Pac-10. It’s called multi-tasking, and the fruits of that labor is on the link – really, where did the summer go? – so read on.

Schedule change for Shock, AFL

As mentioned in a previous post, the AFL has adopted an 18-game schedule for the 2011 season. In an article posted below, find out when the games will fall on the calendar and how the longer season will impact bye weeks and player rosters.

Read on for my article, which will run in Tuesday’s S-R. Also, there are more details on Raul Vijil, who faces surgery to repair a torn ACL on Wednesday.

Andrei Lintz follows own path to WSU


A quick post before we hit practice later tonight. We have two items for tomorrow’s S-R, a feature on a player we believe will have a breakout season for Washington State, sophomore tight end Andrei Lintz, and our first look at the Oklahoma State opener. You can read them on the links. … UPDATE: We’re back from practice, which lasted about an hour and a half under the lights at Rogers Field. For more, read on …

Nevada QB could be handful for Eags

Eastern Washington’s defensive coordinator, John Graham, admitted recently that his team faces a difficult challenge in trying to deal with Nevada’s starting quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, a 6-foot-6, 225-pound senior.

Kaepernick is one of two 1,000-yard rushers returning for the Wolfpack this fall, and has somehow managed to fly under the national radar, despite his running ability and the fact that he also completed 58.9 percent of his passes (166-282) for 2,052 yards and 20 touchdowns as a freshman last fall.

I’ve included some of Graham’s comments on Kaepernick below, along with this link to an entertaining story on the adopted QB that ran recently in the New York Times.

WSU announce Saturday’s lineup


OK, it’s time for my Navin R. Johnson imitation – and if you don’t know who that is, look it up – though it’s just a paraphrase. “The new two-deep is here, the new two-deep is here.” For some thoughts on that, read on.

AFL adopts 18-game schedule

The Arena Football League will play an 18-game regular-season schedule in 2011.

The move likely means some changes in the number of players on each teams’ rosters. The AFL season will get underway earlier and teams will have two bye weeks during the season.

We’ll touch on the schedule change as update Raul Vijil’s knee injury — he has a torn ACL and will have surgery on Wednesday — with a later post.

Meanwhile, here’s more on the 18-game schedule.

TNT’s preseason grid rankings

The Tacoma News Tribune’s prep guru, Doug Pacey, posted his preseason football rankings.

Click here to see them.

Gonzaga Prep is ranked fourth and Central Valley seventh in 4A; Mt. Spokane is ranked ninth in 3A; Clarkston is tabbed second in 2A and West Valley is fifth; Colfax is ranked No. 1 in 2B; and Cusick is ranked No. 1 in 1B.

Akey: Vandals as healthy as ever

Robb Akey addressed the media this morning, and we’ve got notes on injuries, redshirts and more below. The Vandals open the season Thursday against North Dakota in the Kibbie Dome.

Preps ready for official kickoff

A handful of North Idaho football teams got the jump on the area last weekend, but this week marks the official start of the fall season.

Click the tab below for more.

Pictured above is University coach Bill Diedrick, whose Titans open at home Friday against Ferris.

Idaho: Football kicks off


Here’s a look at 5A and 4A Inland Empire League football.

Here’s a link to the league glance and predicted order of finish.

Monday morning WSU, Pac-10 links


It’s Monday morning and I am waiting to do an Oklahoma City radio show, so, as I wait for the phone to ring, it seemed like a good time to get to the links. If you are so inclined, read on.

Chiefs win, lose in shoot-out

Returning players make a good showing as the Spokane Chiefs wrapped up training camp with their Red-White scrimmage. All six goals were scored by veterans before the Western Hockey League team decided the game, played before more than 2,600 fans, at the Arena Sunday afternoon. Click here for the story.

WSU rests up for the week ahead


Saturday was fan appreciation day in Pullman (if you weren’t there, you can experience it vicariously here and here) and photo day for the Washington State football team. Today is a day of rest for the players. But not here at SportsLink. We have some notes and links, so read on.

Tough day for Zags at world championships

Canada lost to Lebanon and Germany fell to Argentina on Saturday at the FIBA world championships. Gonzaga’s Robert Sacre and Kelly Olynyk are playing for Canada. In limited playing time, Sacre had 2 points and Olynyk had a rebound. Elias Harris had six points, one rebound and two assists in 18 minutes for Germany.

Ex-Bulldog J.P. Batista had two points and five rebounds in 16 minutes in Brazil’s 81-65 win over Iran.

FBS College Football Schedule

The 2010 FBS (once known as Division I) team-by-team college football schedule is in the Aug. 29 sports section. Or you can download it here.

2010 NFL schedule

This season’s NFL team-by-team, regular-season schedule appears in the Aug. 29 sports section. But you can get a copy of it here.

Vandal linebackers mesh well

Our Idaho football season preview will run in the paper tomorrow, highlighted by a lengthy profile piece of the Vandals’ new-look linebacker corps — JoJo Dickson in the middle and Robert Siavii and Homer Mauga on the outside.

Read on for the feature and Idaho’s depth chart as it stands now.

WSU starts preparing for OSU


Washington State had a short practice this morning, with the emphasis on the mental more than the physical. The Cougars were in shorts, T-shirts and helmets and worked on, for some of the time, the game plan for Oklahoma State. For more on the day’s workout and our defensive line preview, read on.

A face-saving catch by WSU receiver


It was a somber Washington State football team that took the practice field yesterday afternoon after being told the news concerning teammate LeAndre Daniels. But football being football and young men being young men, the attitude didn’t last long. After a quick, light practice, the day ended with many of the Cougars laughing and one saving a sportswriter from a Stuart Scott situation. Read on.

Lake City starts well

The Lake City football team got out to a nice start, topping Lakeland 41-7 in a season opener.

Here’s a link to our game story.

In other scores Friday:

Coeur d’Alene 42, Moscow 19; Wallace 60, Clark Fork 12; Kootenai 48, Mullan 0.

Eags hold first workout on red turf

Eastern Washington practiced on the new red artificial turn in soon-to-be-renamed Woodward Field on Friday, and The Spokesman-Review will run a story on the reactions of players and coaches — complete with photographs, the Eagles’ two-deep roster and the 2009 schedule — as the sports section’s centerpiece in Sunday morning’s editions.

Until then, you can read what EWU’s sports information department posted about the practice, here.


A lot from WSU tonight


This is going to be a long post, so grab a Coke, a coffee, an adult beverage or something. We have more on the LeAndre Daniels situation and our preview of the linebackers. Plus we have notes on today’s practice, so read on. By the way, tomorrow is Fan Appreciation Day at WSU. If you want to know what that means, click here. Me, I appreciate this blog’s fans everyday.

Zag trio playing in world championships

Gonzaga is well represented at the FIBA world championships, which are being held in Turkey.

Robert Sacre and Kelly Olynyk are playing for their native Canada while Elias Harris is on Germany’s team.. Ex-Zag J.P. Batista is playing for Brazil.

Saturday’s schedule includes Canada facing Lebanon, Germany taking on Argentina and Brazil versus Iran.

More on Sacre, Olynyk and the Canadian team here.  Find the FIBA schedule here and more on the tourney here.

The tourney runs from Aug. 28-Sept. 12.

Career over for WSU’s Daniels


Some news on the LeAndre Daniels front and it’s not good. The sophomore defensive back has a C1 neck fracture and is not only done for the season, his football career is over. According to the school, Daniels’ injury, while it won’t interfere with his normal day-to-day life, makes it unsafe for him to play football anymore. He will wear a halo collar, like former quarterback Gary Rogers wore, for 8 to 10 weeks, then a decision will be made on any possible surgery. Daniels redshirted as a freshman and started the first two games of 2009 before suffering a broken leg and missing the rest of the season. WSU coach Paul Wulff seemed heartbroken when I talked with him a few minutes ago, saying “my heart goes out to LeAndre.” Daniels was hurt during practice last week, but the injury didn’t seem all that serious. He was x-rayed and nothing was found. He seemed to be getting better at first, then, after a day of exercise, his neck hurt again. More tests were done and the fracture discovered. After long discussions with spine specialists, the decision was made to terminate his career. Daniels will remain on scholarship throughout his stay at WSU.

Lessons from WSU’s final scrimmage


The smoke has cleared – literally and figuratively – around the Washington State football program after last night’s final scrimmage of the fall. What have the Cougars learned? And what have we learned about the Cougars? Read on.

WSU hits goals in scrimmage


The last dress rehearsal before Washington State starts getting ready for its opener at Oklahoma State went pretty much as coach Paul Wulff hoped. Some starters played, some rested, some plays were made on both sides of the ball and no one was seriously hurt. We have more, including our story, so read on.

WSU secondary young but experienced


Before we head out to the Washington State scrimmage – 7 p.m. in Martin Stadium – we wanted to pass on our preview of the secondary. Read on.

Chief veterans ready to step up

A couple of Spokane Chiefs veterans know there are opportunities to play a big role in the upcoming Western Hockey League season but they also know they have to earn the opportunity. The story is here.


EWU starters held out of final scrimmage

Eastern Washington University staged its final scrimmage of fall camp Wednesday after, and head coach Beau Baldwin opted to rest most of his starters.  You can read the short scrimmage story that appeared in Thursday morning’s S-R here, and you read the report that was posted on EWU’s website here.

I’ve included some additional thoughts and comments about the scrimmage below, so read on.  Also, you might find this article that ran in the Missoulian Thursday morning of interest, considering how upset Montana fans are with the ticketing policy in place at EWU.

Scrimmage may be wind-aided


What’s left to say? It’s going to be hot today, with a Sahara-like wind expected to be blowing. Those things usually pick up right around sundown, right? Well that’s about when Washington State should be finishing up its full-contact scrimmage in Martin Stadium, its last before next week’s opener. Wonder if the wind will play havoc with the ball? Read on for notes and links.

Slide show: Shock celebration

Here is a slide show with photos from Wednesday evening’s Spokane Shock championship celebration held outside the Spokane Arena.

WSU will hold late scrimmage


A quick post for tonight, but it is filled with notes and news. And our look at the special teams. Read on.

Nachbaur ready for first Chiefs’ camp

Don Nachbaur has many years of service in the Western Hockey League as a player and coach but heading into his first training camp as coach of the Spokane Chiefs he’s wiping the slate clean for all players. Here is the story.

Morning links, morning thoughts from WSU


As the days melt away before Washington State’s Sept. 4 opener at Oklahoma State, the position battles begin to work themselves out. We finished up our offensive previews today with a look at the running backs and it seems the 11 starters on that side of the ball are pretty set. For more on that, and our links, read on.

• UPDATE: Expect the basketball schedule to be officially released soon. The Cougars open with Southern University in Pullman Nov. 13, then host Idaho on Nov. 16. … The Seattle game is Nov. 23 vs. the University of Portland, followed by a trip to Fresno State on Nov. 26. … No game in the Tri-Cities this year, but there is a non-conference game with Texas Pan American in Spokane Dec. 10. … The Kansas State game is Dec. 3 in Pullman (the Apple Cup is Dec. 4), the Gonzaga game will be the next week, Dec. 8, in Pullman. … The Cougars will also be gone for a few weeks over Christmas, playing at Santa Clara Dec. 19, then heading over to Hawaii for the Diamond Head Classic on Dec. 22, 23 and 25 before jetting to LA for the opening of the Pac-10 season Dec. 29 and 31 against UCLA and USC, respectively. Both games against the Huskies, Jan. 30 and Feb. 27, are on Sundays. We’ll have more later.

After short break, WSU back at it


An interesting day at Washington State’s football practice. Not much was what I expected. It was hotter than, well, hotter than it’s been the past couple days. And there was some heat on the field. After a slow start, the intensity picked up and the practice featured some hard hits and fast-paced action. Read on for more and our preview of the running backs.

Rose happy to assist in fight against cancer

Mark and Marcy Few’s Coaches vs. Cancer event is this weekend and one of the guest speakers is BYU coach Dave Rose, who has a personal connection in the fight against cancer. Read more about Rose’s story here.

Shock plan rally; White joins UFL team

The Spokane Shock will hold a championship rally Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Spokane Arena to celebrate the team’s ArenaBowl title. The public is invited. Players, coaches and front office staff will be on hand, as well as the ArenaBowl trophy. 

More here.

On the player front, standout receiver Markee White has signed with UFL Hartford. He is apparently already in Hartford. The Colonials just opened training camp. More here.

Chiefs open camp Thursday

The Spokane Chiefs veterans are in town and going through fitness testing as we write. Rookies report Wednesday and the Western Hockey League team’s training camp begins Thursday. The Red-White game is Sunday afternoon at 1. (As soon as I get the rosters I’ll post or link them.)

To celebrate the return of hockey, a couple of notes on former Chiefs are below.

Idaho starts this week

I had to interrupt my attendance at Greater Spokane League football practices this week to do my 5A and 4A Inland Empire League football preview and glance.

Lake City and Coeur d’Alene, along with a handful of other teams, open their seasons this week.

My IEL preview package is scheduled to run Thursday.

If I had to pick a favorite right now in the GSL it would be difficult. Five of the six 4A schools are in the mix and you can’t overlook 3A University and Mt. Spokane.

In the IEL, three of four 5A schools will challenge for the league title and Sandpoint and Moscow figure to battle for the 4A crown.

QUESTION: What do you see happening? In the Great Northern League, for example, Clarkston is poised to have its best season in years. In the Intermountain League, Timberlake and Bonners Ferry should challenge for the league title.

Pictured above is Lake City quarterback Mark Smyly.

Zags beef up roster

The Gonzaga Bulldogs have officially added 6-foot-5 French guard Mathis Keita and they appear close to another new addition, 6-7 German Mathis Monninghoff.

Both committed to GU months ago but had to satisy academic and eligibility requirements. Keita was cleared last week by the NCAA eligibility center and Monninghoff is believed to be nearing completion of the process.

Keita arrives in Spokane on Thursday. Monninghoff is expected in Spokane as early as today. Both were recruited by assistant coach Tommy Lloyd, who has been the primary recruiter of a number of GU’s international players through the years.

Here’s a short article that ran in this morning’s S-R.

WSU gets back at it


A good day to get back into a practice routine. With school now in full swing, Washington State will slide into its usual practice schedule this afternoon, hitting Rogers Field just before 4 p.m. for a full-pad practice. Before that happens, spend your morning catching up with what’s going on at WSU and around the Pac-10 by just clicking to the next page.

WSU’s offensive line holds the key


No notes tonight because there was no practice today. But we do have a story for tomorrow’s paper, which you can read now if you wish. Read on.

Davis cleared to play; Vandals set hoops schedule

We’ve got a few Idaho-related notes of interest for you this evening, most notably good news on the injury front for the Vandal football team and the release of the men’s basketball schedule. And speaking of scheduling, UI AD Rob Spear has talked to his counterpart at Boise State about the much-discussed Vandal-Bronco football rivalry.

Read on.

Monday morning WSU links


While the Washington State players are enjoying their day off from football – and their day on with classes, though I’m not sure “enjoying” would be the correct word here – we will enjoy a restful day of yard work. Home is where the blisters are. Anyhow, before we go there, a few links and notes, so read on.

School starts at WSU tomorrow


The morning practice wasn’t too intense as Washington State took the field on a cool, cloudy day – it actually sprinkled for a bit – in shorts, T-shirts and helmets. There were a few team drills, but no hitting. When it was over, coach Paul Wulff told the Cougars to enjoy their afternoon and start the school year off right. We have more, so read on.

Sunday morning WSU links and notes


Once more into the breach. Or at least out to the practice field. Washington State will hold its final practice of the work week at 8:30 this morning, then have time off until 4 p.m. Tuesday. It’s almost like a vacation. Of course there is little things like the first classes in between, but what the hay. They won’t be hitting each other. For more on what’s been going on in Pullman, around the Pac-10 and in Stillwater, read on.

Defense again shines for Idaho

Plenty of newsy items came out of the Vandals’ third and final scrimmage this afternoon in the Kibbie Dome. The starting offensive line is set. We have a few more injuries to report, and the defense again had the upperhand much of the time.

Read on for our report — plus a few more notes.

Saturday finally over at WSU


With school starting on Monday, a morning scrimmage already in the books, and the afternoon filled with a National Lentil Festival parade appearance, Washington State’s afternoon practice wasn’t strenuous. In fact, it was more a mental drill than a physical one. The Cougars’ 90-minute workout was filled with technique and special teams work. For more, read on.

Offense has fun in WSU scrimmage


Late this week, Washington State coach Paul Wulff decided to turn the early Saturday workout into a scrimmage. He must have known the offense was ready. Because it didn’t matter whether it was the ones or twos, in this one the Cougar offense won the day. Read on for more.

Day after ArenaBowl

I just exchanged text messages with Shock majority owner Brady Nelson, who spent the night in the hospital while his team was winning ArenaBowl XXIII. Texted Nelson: “Just heading home. A win sure helps.”

Nelson said NFL Network wasn’t available at the hospital, so he listened to the radio broadcast and got updates from his wife, who stayed in touch with general manager Adam Nebeker during the game.

On the field, Spokane dominated, 69-57. Only Milwaukee (72) and Orlando (75) scored more points against Tampa Bay this season. Spokane’s 69 points tied an ArenaBowl record (San Jose in 2004, Chicago in 2006).

Bunch of reading material this morning and an update on AFL teams that appear to be on the move. A recap of S-R coverage: Game story (nice headline - Rookies of the Year), Chris Anderson’s photos, Nelson’s surgery and John Blanchette’s column. A quick fix to my gamer: Brookins replaced Mulder (not Teems). Here’s a recap on and another here.

On the relocation front, league sources indicated that three franchises could have new addresses next season — Alabama to Atlanta, Bossier/Shreveport to New Orleans and Oklahoma City to Seattle. Atlanta seems to be a lock (more here) with the other two scenarios likely. The addition of Seattle and San Jose would give the AFL five western teams (Spokane, Utah, Arizona). San Jose, Kansas City, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are joining in 2010.

WSU ready for morning scrimmage


It is a scrimmage day in Pullman – and around the Pac-10. For Washington State, today’s 8:30 a.m. scrimmage in Martin Stadium is a change on the schedule, as this morning’s workout – the Cougars will also practice this afternoon after an appearance in the Lentil Festival parade – was originally scheduled as a practice. We have more on that and news from around the conference, so read on.

Shock leave no doubt in ArenaBowl

The Spokane Shock finished off the Arena Football League season in style Friday, thumping Tampa Bay 69-57 in ArenaBowl XXIII at the Arena.

The Shock earned the AFL title in their first season in the league, which returned from a one-year absence in 2009. Spokane did the same thing in the franchise’s inaugural arenafootball2 season, winning the 2006 ArenaCup.  

You can read my game story here and my sidebar on Shock majority owner Brady Nelson missing the game to have an emergency appendectomy. Here’s a game story I filed for the Tampa Tribune and another in the St. Petersburg Times by the S-R’s John Blanchette. 

WSU players ready for a change


It’s time to get to the games it seems. Though the opener is still two weeks away – to jog your memory, Washington State will travel to Stillwater to take on Oklahoma State on Sept. 4 – the Cougars are starting to get a little tired of hitting each other. A different jersey color would be nice. More than halfway through the designated 29 practices prior to the opener, Paul Wulff talks about where the Cougars are and where they need to be. We have that and more on the link, so read on.

Vandals’ gear goes missing

As first reported by KREM, the Idaho Vandals had almost $3,000 worth of football equipment stolen from the Kibbie Dome last weekend. The gear included helmets, pads and footballs. And went all of it went missing, coach Robb Akey said this:I’m assuming they must be out of Boise somewhere. I figure it must be somebody trying to makes some extra money to buy season tickets.”

Akey, of course, was jokingly hinting at Boise State fans as the culprit. We’ll have more on this later.

Ta’amu, Whittaker honored

If the Spokane Shock were looking for additional motivation heading into tonight’s ArenaBowl, they might find an easy source with the All-AFL awards. After getting blanked in the eight top player/coach awards released Tuesday-Thursday, the Shock had two players recognized with the release of the All-AFL first- and second-teams Friday.

Lineman Ed Ta’amu was named to the first team and receiver Huey Whittaker made second team.

Tampa Bay, Spokane’s opponent tonight, had five players selected, tying Tulsa and Chicago for the most. Four other teams had at least three players honored. Chicago and Tulsa each had three first-team seelctions. Four Tampa Bay players made second team.

More here.

—The Shock have taken their share of chances since stepping into the arena football business, John Blanchette writes.

WSU builds depth at running back


We’re back in the Northwest and ready to get back into the swing of Washington State football practice. We kept the links up through the magic of modern technology – aren’t these internet machines groovy? – but now we get to use our eyeballs again. Before we get to that point, we have a chance to catch up with yesterday’s two practices, which includes our coverage from WSU beat writer emeritus Steve Bergum. Read on.

Shock put it all on the line

All kinds of stuff to post tonight. First, here’s my game preview that will run in tomorrow’s S-R. Here’s the view from the St. Petersburg Times and Tampa Tribune, Here’s a look at the starting quarterbacks for Friday’s game.

If you have an ArenaBowl ticket, then you also have a ticket for the Washington State-Montana State season opener. More here. The Shock’s successful first season led to a couple of proclamations from Spokane and the State of Washington.

The AFL announced Rod Windsor as rookie of the year, Les Moss as coach of the year, Danny White as assistant coach of the year, Gabe Nyenhuis as defensive player of the year and Chris Greisen as offensive player of the year. If you’re scoring at home, the Shock didn’t win any of the eight player/coach awards.

WAC commish makes first comments

UPDATED — 4:28 p.m.

On Wednesday morning, WAC commissioner Karl Benson was transitioning his daughter to college life at USC. Hours later, the league he runs was in disarray.

Benson said the sudden exit of Fresno State and Nevada were “selfish actions.” Only six WAC teams remain, including the University of Idaho, and whether BYU will move to the WAC to participate in everything but football is still unknown. 

Since Benson spoke this morning, UI athletic director Rob Spear has also met with the media. We’ve got a story for you below.

CV loses quarterback

I attended three practices on the first day Greater Spokane League football teams could begin workouts - Gonzaga Prep, Central Valley and Ferris.

Click here to read a notebook I put together. CV quarterback Gaven Deyarmin is pictured above.

Marcum, ArenaBowl, expansion and lawsuits

A variety of items to pass along this morning.

Here’s a link to my article on Tampa Bay coach Tim Marcum, who was in on the AFL’s ground floor and has been winning ever since.

Not much in the way of ArenaBowl articles out of the Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg area, but there was this on a lawsuit involving Marcum and a former team owner against another former team owner. opined on the AFL old guard vs. AFL neophyte angle. Earlier in the week, had a comprehensive look at ArenaBowl facts and figures.

The AFL has plans to bring back an original AFL franchise, Pittsburgh, the Tribune-Review reported. Pittsburgh would be the fourth addtion to the 2011 season, along with San Jose, Kansas City and Philadelphia.

Wet and wild day at WSU


What a day it was in West Coast college athletics yesterday. Not a lot of it directly concerned Washington State, but, because there are always ripples when a boulder hits a pond, the Mountain West vs. Western Athletic conference spat might just have some effect around the Inland Northwest soon. Read on for more on that and the Cougars playful end to a hot practice.

WAC loses 2 more members


Fresno State and Nevada are joining Boise State in a move from the WAC to the Mountain West, leaving Idaho and the five other remaining WAC members — at this point — to pick up the pieces. The exodus of two of the league’s upper-echelon programs could lead to the eventual disintegration of the WAC, or a slew of invitations from WAC commissioner Karl Benson to lower-tier Western schools. It’s been reported that BYU will join the WAC in all sports other than football, where it will move to independent status. But that’s still up in the air.

Idaho athletic Rob Spear told the S-R this evening that he won’t comment at this time. Meanwhile, football coach Robb Akey told the Idaho Statesman: “Selfishly, I just want to see the WAC come out of it in the strongest fashion. That’s what I’m pulling for.”

I just talked to Idaho men’s basketball coach Don Verlin, who’s on vacation. His reaction is below.

Safety questions remain after Eags scrimmage

Eastern Washington staged its first scrimmage of fall camp Wednesday afternoon, and while both the offense and defense looked good at times there would seem to be reason for Eagles fans to be concerned about the situation at safety.

Click here for my story on the scrimmage and click here to access the post-scrimmage report posted by EWU’s sports information department.


AFL honors Gould, Nyenhuis

The AFL continued to hand out awards Wednesday with Tulsa’s Gabe Nyenhuis winning Lineman of the Year and Chicago’s Chris Gould winning Kicker of the Year.

More below.

Spokane Chiefs outdoor game official

The Spokane Chiefs unviel the Rockstar Outdoor Hockey Classic, a Western Hockey League game against Kootenay at Avista Stadium on Jan. 15, 2011. Click here for the story.


Another day, another WSU post


We weren’t supposed to be back on here until Friday, but, thanks to a little nudge from the guy that matters, we are. So you won’t miss your report from Washington State football practice, or your information from around the conference. Read on.

O-line looks better in UI scrimmage

The Vandals’ retooled offensive line appears to be coming together. The starting five — though no one is calling it that — protected much better, which led to some explosive plays from Nathan Enderle and Co.

We’ve got all the details below.

Huey Whittaker envisioned ArenaBowl matchup

Spokane Shock receiver Huey Whittaker, a former Tampa Bay Storm player, expected to see his former teammates in Friday’s ArenaBowl. Read more here.

Spokane Chiefs to play outdoor game

The Spokane Chiefs will become the second Western Hockey League team to announce an outdoor game for the 2010-11 season but it will be the first outdoor game for the league. They also made a trade on Tuesday. Read more here.

Five GU conference games on ESPN

Five of Gonzaga’s West Coast Conference games will be televised on ESPN’s family of stations. The five games are Jan. 20 at Santa Clara, Jan. 27 vs. Saint Mary’s, Feb 3 at Portland, Feb. 10 at Loyola Marymount and Feb. 24 at Saint Mary’s.The Santa Clara game will be on ESPNU and the other four on ESPN2.

GU will open WCC play with three straight home games and five of its first seven will take place at the McCarthey Athletic Center. The Zags close the conference season at Saint Mary’s and San Diego.

More on GU’s WCC schedule and the entire conference slate here.

Practices begin Wednesday

Greater Spokane League football teams begin preseason workouts Wednesday. Over in Idaho, Lake City and Coeur d’Alene, among others, have a week under their belts with Aug. 27 openers looming.

I’ll be out checking out a couple of practices Wednesday.

Here’s your chance to start talking prep pigskin ball. Let the conversation begin. Who will be in the playoff chase, who won’t?

Pictured above is Ferris wide receiver Jordan Tonani.

Whittaker, Rowley honored

Spokane’s Huey Whittaker and Kyle Rowley have been selected for weekly AFL honors.

Whittaker was named Ironman of the week. He had 165 receiving yards and assisted on one tackle in the Shock’s playoff win over Milwaukee. Rowley was named Playmaker of the week after tossing seven touchdown passes.

Tampa Bay’s Tim McGill was chosen as Defensive player of the week after making two tackles for loss in a one-point win over Orlando. Storm receiver DeAndrew Rubin was honored for the Catch of the week and center Robert Powell won the Highlight of the week. Rubin and Whittaker were teammates at the University of South Florida.

Spokane faces Tampa Bay in ArenaBowl XXIII on Friday at the Spokane Arena.

More on the awards below.

WSU ready to return to practice


Washington State gets back to work today after their first day off of the fall. The Cougars will go through another two-a-day, with practice starting at 8:30 this morning. The second will be at 3:30 this afternoon. Before they get underway, we have some news for you, so read on.

Spokane, Tampa Bay AFL opposites

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I visited Shock headquarters today and I put together a notebook that will run in Tuesday’s S-R. Topics included the gap in AFL experience between Spokane and Tampa Bay, a quick visit with Raul Vijil and several other items.

Here’s a link to the article.

GU on ESPN’s hoops marathon

The Gonzaga-San Diego State game will be part of ESPN’s College Hoops Tip-off Marathon (24 straight hours of games) on Tuesday, Nov. 16. The GU-SDSU game will air at 8 p.m. from the McCarthey Athletic Center on ESPN2 and The game is part of the CBE Classic that will conclude in Kansas City.

Read on for the entire lineup.

The start-your-week WSU links


It’s Monday morning, which means many of you are going back to work after a more-than-likely fun weekend. For the Washington State football players, it means a day off, their first since fall practice started nine days ago. For us writers, it means the same thing, though first we have to get through this morning assignment. Make one click and you’ll find the usual assortment of links, though it will be a little thinner than usual. Sunday was a day of rest among much of the Pac-10. Read on.

Sunday finally done for WSU


The second day of two-a-days is over and the Washington State Cougars are over across the road having dinner. The group seemed a little hungrier in the afternoon session then they did in the morning, especially the offensive group. We have more on that and a quick look at the cornerback position, a spot with a lot more depth this year. So, if you’re inclined, read on.

More on the incoming Storm

The ArenaBowl matchup is set: AFL neophyte Spokane vs. AFL traditional power Tampa Bay.

The Storm, seeking their sixth AFL title, beat Orlando 63-62 in a wild finish that underscored the value of accurate kickers and the nuances of the arena game (a late Predators touchdown came when a pass intended for Bobby Sippio instead hit the goal post — or the netting, according to one article — and bounced back into the arms of teammate T.T. Toliver). This will be ArenaBowl 23, and Tampa Bay will be playing in its ninth title game.

All the details of Tampa Bay’s victory can be found here, herehere, here and here. Find the Tampa Bay-Orlando game stats here. And here’s the address to a Storm blog in the St. Petersburg newspaper.

We’ll get the S-R coverage rolling with a visit to Shock headquarters Monday.

One practice down for WSU


A quick post after Washington State’s first practice today appears on the link. We have updates on injuries and other items, so read on.

Looking back at Pac-10 scrimmages


Just call Saturday “first-scrimmage day” around the Pac-10 Conference. Many of the schools held their inaugural scrimmage of the season, and everyone that did talked about how much time they had to work on the flaws before the season’s first game. But that time will pass quickly. Washington State will put away two of its remaining practices today, starting at 8:30 in the morning. We’ll be there. But before we head out, we put together a group of Sunday morning links for you, so read on.

Shock will face Tampa Bay

Spokane will face Tampa Bay in ArenaBowl XXIII at 5 p.m. Friday at the Arena.

Tampa Bay, the third seed out of the American Conference, edged visiting Orlando 63-62 on Saturday night. The Storm (13-5) built a 35-21 halftime lead, then withstood a Predators’ comeback. Orlando had a chance to win it in the closing seconds, but Carlos Martinez didn’t connect on a long field-goal attempt. Tampa Bay’s Brett Deitz had seven touchdown passes, three to Tyrone Timmons.

Find more details on Tampa Bay’s wild win here and here.

Spokane (15-3) defeated Milwaukee 60-57 on Thursday to win the National Conference championship.

Spokane and Tampa Bay didn’t play during the regular season.

Defense makes big plays in WSU scrimmage


We said this morning that today’s scrimmage was like a midterm exam. It won’t kill the final grade but it was a good way to judge what needs to be worked on. It’s over now and the film will show … well, you have to read on to find out just what, and access our story.

A look at Nate Enderle

Idaho quarterback Nathan Enderle has progressed quite a bit since his first start as a redshirt freshman at USC in 2007, and not just on the field where he’s ranked as the No. 4 QB prospect by (I had no idea he would be that high on the prospect list before I looked).

We’ve got a profile of Enderle below, plus a few additional notes.

Counting down to WSU’s first game


Three weeks from today, the Washington State Cougars will take the field against Oklahoma State to start the 2010 season. After a week of practice, the Cougars will see where they’re at today when they take the Martin Stadium field for a 2 p.m. scrimmage. We’ll be there. We’ll be here afterward. Between then and now, we have links and notes. Read on.

UI’s Verlin signs new 5-year deal

Don Verlin, 32-32 in two years as Idaho men’s basketball coach, has a new five-year contract that will keep him in Moscow through the 2014-15 season. The deal was approved this week by the State Board of Education and will pay Verlin an escalating base salary from $132,808 this season to $164,840 in ‘14-15. He’ll also get $60,000 per year in media payments, plus other incentives.

More details can be found here.

WSU players’ thoughts on two-a-days


A long day got a bit longer after practice as we waited for some weightlifting to get done before interviews. But with the first of five two-a-days in the books, we have some more notes and our story on the link. Read on.

Notebook: Chesapeake bullish


Click here to read an American Legion World Series notebook.

Here’s a link to team-by-team capsules.

First practice over for WSU


The first of two practices today has ended and we have some notes about what occurred out at Rogers Field. Read on.

More on Shock-Iron

A quick post this morning following Spokane’s 60-57 win over Milwaukee on Thursday night. Here’s my game story, John Blanchette’s column and the Milwaukee newspaper article (that byline looks familiar). You can access Chris Anderson’s photos from the link to my game story.

Tickets for the ArenaBowl go on sale today at noon through TicketsWest and can be purchased by calling 1800 325-SEAT.

Early morning greets WSU football


So this is what 5:30 in the morning looks like now. It’s a lot darker than I remember it from just a few weeks ago. We’re up at this ungodly hour to make sure we can get through the links and notes before we head off to today’s 8:30 practice. It’s the first of two Washington State will go through today, one of five two-a-days scheduled over the next week or so. Given the early hour, and the fact WSU left the practice field just more than 12 hours ago, it will be interesting to check out the intensity level. If you want to check out the links we’ve come up with in the past hour, read on.

Idaho wraps up first full week

The Vandals completed their second and final practice of the day late this evening, putting a wrap on their first full week of fall camp. We’ve got a quick report for you after the link, if you’re interested.

Next stop: ArenaBowl

New league, same old Shock.

Spokane will play in its fourth title game in its five-year existence after knocking off Milwaukee 60-57 Thursday to advance to the ArenaBowl. The Shock played for the arenafootball2 championship three times, winning two, before moving into the reconfigured Arena Football League in 2010.

The Shock will face the winner of Saturday’s Tampa Bay-Orlando game.

Here’s a link to my game story that will run in Friday’s S-R.

WSU’s Montgomery progressing


After five practices we felt it was time to check in with James Montgomery and see how the man was recovering from his injuries. From the sidelines, it seemed like he was doing pretty well, but you never know. We also were curious on how Chantz Staden’s reconstructed knee was holding up, so we asked about that as well. For the answers to those questions and more from Washington State’s first full-pad practice of the season, read on.

Game day for Shock, Iron

Kickoff in about 5 1/2 hours for the Shock-Iron showdown at the Arena. Here’s the S-R preview, one from Milwaukee and John Blanchette’s column on Kurt Warner, who will be an analyst on NFL Network’s broadcast.

Lots on tap this morning


Wow. Talk about a full plate. There are so many Washington State – and Washington State opponent – items, it took forever this morning to get through them. But we did and now it’s your turn. Read on.

Roseburg Docs enjoying extended stay

Here’s a feature on the Roseburg (Ore.) American Legion baseball team, which is enjoying its stay in Spokane as it awaits the World Series that begins Friday at Avista Stadium. Also, check out Dan Pelle’s photos from the Docs’ practice on Wednesday.

Pictured above is Cameron Newell, one of the Docs’ top hitters, at practice Wednesday.

Intensity picks up at WSU


The real hitting wasn’t supposed to start until Thursday. That’s when Washington State will be in full pads. But some times young men have a way of altering plans. A few big plays fired up the offense. A few big hits fired up the defense. By the end of practice, the scrimmage was pretty much full go with a quick whistle and the intensity was palatable. For more, read on.

Vandal defense makes a stand

The Idaho football team held its first intrasquad scrimmage of the season this afternoon inside the Kibbie Dome, and there was a clear winner. The defense, with 10 returning starters, was the much sharper unit.

We’ve got a story after the link with all the details.

WSU’s running start


At one point in the not too distance past, the first week of fall football camp was actually spent getting players back in shape after a long winter, spring and summer away from the game. Not so much anymore. With the rise of intense summer conditioning programs, most everyone is probably in the best shape they will be in all season. Heck, there hasn’t even been an organized team sprinting session yet. (Hope that doesn’t give anyone an idea. Wouldn’t want 105 football players mad at me.) Read on for more of what has been going on.

Shock notes

Back with a Shock notebook, compiled from Monday’s visit to team headquarters in the Valley.

Read on for more on how Spokane split up the pool of money for coaches, Kyle Rowley’s Elway-esque run and updates on the health of Raul Vijil and Ben McCombs.

More pads, more hitting at WSU practice


It was only the third practice of the fall, and the first with shoulder pads, but as one assistant coach said before it got going, it seems like Washington State has been practicing for weeks. Or maybe it’s just because we’re all getting old. Whatever, we have news and notes, along with our story for tomorrow, so read on.

Williams, Ta’amu honored

Spokane’s Travis Williams (defense) and Ed Ta’amu (highlight) have been honored with weekly AFL awards.

Williams (No. 12 pictured above) had his seventh interception of the season in Friday’s win over Arizona. He also made a tackle to stop an Arizona receiver short of the goal line on fourth-and-goal in the third quarter.  

Ta’amu took a screen pass and hopped over Antonio Narcisse en route to finishing off a 6-yard touchdown in the second quarter.

More below on the AFL awards and check back later for a Shock notebook.

Looking at WSU’s camp


Two days into camp and it’s obvious this Washington State football team is better than its counterparts from the past two years. It’s bigger in spots it needs to be bigger. It’s stronger in spots it needs to be stronger. It’s faster most everywhere. But all that comes with a caveat. A big one. Read on for that and links.

Roseburg claims regional title

The Roseburg (Ore.) American Legion baseball team topped Kelso Pacific Tech 6-3 in the Northwest Regionals final Monday.

Click the tab below to read my unedited story and see the first-round matchups at Avista Stadium, site of the World Series that begins Friday.

Jones healthy as Eags open fall camp

I’ve returned from Eastern’s first fall football practice and, as promised, I have posted this link to the story that will run in Tuesday morning’s S-R.  I also got my first in-person look at the red turf that is being installed at what will soon be known as Roos Field, and I like it.

But please consider I am red-green colorblind — a condition that was first noticed when I was four years old and playing “I Spy” with a favorite aunt.  I stumped her while spying on something “red,” and after she gave up I told her it was the grass.

Film helps WSU teach


What does one day of practice do for college football coaches? It gives them film. And by breaking down the film of practice they learn what needs to be taught on the second day. Such was the case today at Washington State. The coaches saw some things on the first day’s film they didn’t like, so the second day was spent correcting them. And working on other things. To find out just what, and to read our unedited story, click the link and read on.

Eags to open fall camp this afternoon

I’ll be heading out to Cheney this afternoon to take in Eastern’s first practice of fall camp and will post a link to my pre-practice story as soon as possible.  In the meantime, you can check below for more on the Eagles and their upcoming football season..

Monday morning WSU links


The first day of the 2010 fall camp had a different feel than the last couple of Washington State openers, and I’m not sure it was just the upgraded surroundings that provided the boost. Yes, the new turf played a part in giving the Cougars a spring in their step. But the experience gained in the last two tough seasons had a role as well. For more on that and the rest of the Pac-10, read on.

Kelso, Roseburg in Legion final

It’s Kelso and Roseburg in the Northwest Regional American Legion baseball championship, with the Washington State champion forced to win two games on Monday to advance to the World Series in Spokane next weekend.

A gutsy comeback by Kelso and a gritty pitching performance by Dakota Cavens set up the rematch of Satuday’s game, won by the Oregon state champs 8-4. The unedited game story is below.

First day in the books for WSU


You couldn’t have asked for more perfect weather to open Washington State football practice. The temperature in the mid to high 70s. Enough clouds to filter the sun. A slight breeze. And the football? Well, for a bunch of guys in helmets, T-shirts and shorts, the Cougars spent their 2-and-a-half hour workout going at it pretty hard. How hard? Read on for more.

A big Sunday for WSU


Not only is it the first day of football practice for Washington State – official start time: 2 p.m. – but it is also Sunday morning, which means there is a lot of stories to peruse. So hit the link and get right to it.

Shock will entertain Milwaukee

Spokane will face Milwaukee in the National Conference championship game Thursday at 5 p.m. at the Spokane Arena. The game will be televised live on NFL Network.

Milwaukee defeated visiting Chicago 64-54 in a first-round playoff game Saturday. Top-seeded Spokane (14-3) split two games against No. 2 Milwaukee (12-5), losing the season opener 74-62 before winning the rematch 62-48 in June.

Tickets can be purchased through TicketsWest (1-800-325-SEAT or

Tampa Bay will entertain Orlando for the American Conference championship. The third-seeded Storm thumped No. 2 Tulsa 68-38 on Saturday. No. 4 Orlando upset No. 1 Jacksonville 73-69 on Friday.

Looking ahead to WSU’s camp


With practice beginning tomorrow afternoon, we’ve put together a long piece on areas that will be key for Washington State as it tries to put together a successful season. Read on for the unedited version.

Shock, playoff roundup

Another wild game at the Arena as Spokane outlasted Arizona 57-49 on Friday. The Shock defense had four stops and it probably should have been five. Television replays appeared to show William Mulder made an acrobatic interception in the first half, but an official ruled that the ball hit the ground. Arizona went on to score a touchdown on that possession.

I posted my game story last night (see previous post). Check out Chris Anderson’s photos of the game. Here’s John Blanchette’s writeup for the Arizona Republic and an extensive blog post by Richard Obert. More on Chicago-Milwaukee here and here. The winner travels to Spokane on Thursday

American Conference No. 1 seed Jacksonville lost to No. 4-seed Orlando at home. Find recaps on the game here and here.

On the AFL website, here are recaps of Spokane-Arizona and Jacksonville-Orlando.

WSU ready to start practice


Woke up this morning to the smell of smoke wafting off the Palouse. The wind was blowing about 30 miles per hour, so the smoke could have originated south of Asotin for all I know, but the aroma of burning fields made me long for football, as the seasons coincide around here. With only a little more than 24 hours to the start of Washington State football practice, the desire will be fulfilled soon. Until then, read on.

Spokane holds off Rattlers, 57-49

Spokane made it a little tougher than it needed to be — after a trick play went south with 4:15 left in the fourth quarter — but the Shock defense came up with the last of their four stops, preserving a 57-49 playoff win over Arizona on Friday.

Read on for my unedited game story.

Roseburg, Kelso lone unbeatens

Kelso and Roseburg prevailed in Northwest Regional American Legion baseball quarterfinal action Friday at Gonzaga University’s Washington Trust Field.

Click the tab below to read my unedited story from the quarterfinal games.

Wulff talks prior to start of camp


Paul Wulff spent about 15 minutes answering questions from a few writers this afternoon and nothing he said was all that surprising. There was a little news, however, so read on.

Rattlers express confidence

Arizona dropped both games to Spokane in the regular season, but the Rattlers, particularly WR Rod Windsor, are confident going into tonight’s playoff matchup. More here.

WSU ready to kick off camp Sunday


Today is really the unofficial first day of camp, as Paul Wulff meets with the media for a quick update. The players are back on campus after a short break and getting ready for practice, which kicks off on Sunday afternoon. After that, it’s only a matter of a few hours before everyone is back in the preseason routine. We’re already there. Read on.

Spokane falls in heartbreaker

The Spokane Blue Devils fell 5-4 in their Northwest Regional American Legion baseball tournament opener late Thursday at Gonzaga University’s Washington Trust Field.

Click this link to read more.

First day in the books for Idaho

The Idaho Vandals were greeted to hot but agreeable weather and a small but loyal crowd for their first practice of fall. I’ve filed a story about the first day, centered on the rehab of receiver Preston Davis.

Roseburg shuts out Wausau

The Roseburg (Ore.) Docs jumped on the Wausau (Wis.) Bulldogs early and never let up Thursday afternoon, cruising to a 14-0 victory in a run-rule shortened game at the Northwest Regional American Legion baseball tournament.

Roseburg chased Wausau starting pitcher John Roberts after just four hitters, and reliever Austin Priebe allowed a grand slam to the first batter he faced, Josh Graham. Before the Docs knew what hit them they trailed 6-0 after one inning at Gonzaga University’s Washington Trust Field.

Graham finished with six RBI. Pitcher Brandon Jackson (9-1) went the distance, scattering seven hits in 66 pitches.

Roseburg (29-13) will meet the Boise Gems (29-12) at 4:30 on Friday. Boise thumped Dimond of Anchorage 18-3.

Wausau (30-18) meets the Missoula Mavericks (64-10) at 9:30 a.m.

Kelso dumps Missoula

Kelso coach Grady Tweit never told his baseball team what kind of offensive numbers the Missoula Mavericks put up this year.

But he knew, which his why he was a nervous wreck through most of Pacific Tech’s first-round game of the American Legion Northwest Region tournament on a sweltering Friday afternoon at Gonzaga.

Finally, the power-packed Montana state champions ran out of answers, especially against reliever Justin Gillen, and the Washington champs broke the game open for a 13-5 win.

“This dang team, they persevere,” Tweit said. “They’re going to give me 12 more heart attacks. I had about 14 that game.”

Shock, Rattlers await Round 3

Spokane and Arizona, two teams that aren’t fond of each other and staged a pair of thrillers during the regular season, hook up again Friday night in the AFL playoffs. More on the matchup here.


Blue Devils confident

Here’s a link to a feature story on the Spokane Blue Devils American Legion team as the Northwest Regional tournament began Thursday at Gonzaga University’s Washington Trust Field.

Here are brief capsule looks at all eight teams in the tourament.

Boise rips Anchorage

The Northwest Regional American Legion baseball tournament opened at Washington Trust Field at Gonzaga University with Idaho State champion Boise coasting to an 18-3 win over Alaska champion Anchorage Thursday morning.

“We’re fortunate but we thought we’d come out and hit,” Boise coach Larry Price said. “(A fast start) gave us a cushion to be able to do things … not having to leave in the arms for any amount of time.”

Gonzaga-Kansas State in CBE semi

Gonzaga will face Kansas State in a semifinal matchup on Monday, Nov. 22, at the CBE Classic in Kansas City, Mo. Defending national champion Duke takes on Marquette in an earlier semifinal. The winners collide on Nov. 23 for the championship.

The pairings were announced Thursday. More here and here.

Also, GU coaches earned high marks for their attention to academics.

WSU to meet Mississippi State in Hawaii


Washington State will open the 2010 Diamond Head Classic on Dec. 22 against a somewhat familiar foe, Mississippi State, according to an ESPN press release. The Cougars played MSU in Newark, N.J., in Nov., 2008, defeating the Bulldogs 63-52 in the semifinals of the Legends Classic. This year’s game will be televised on ESPNU and begin at noon. Depending on outcomes, WSU will play either the University of San Diego or meet Baylor (for the third consecutive year) in the next round. The other schools in the tourney are Utah, Butler, Florida State and Hawaii. … The NCAA also released its coaches’ APR database today (you can access it here). After perusing it, I don’t see any surprises. Paul Wulff’s numbers have been good, Ken Bone’s from Portland State were below average and the other sports listed (baseball, women’s basketball, women’s track, indoor and out) are as have been reported. It’s just all in one place. For more on this, check out the USA Today story.

Odds are, WSU will be underdog


USC became the first Pac-10 team to open 2010 season when the Trojans began fall camp yesterday in Los Angeles. Arizona follows suit today, then everyone else as the days roll on (Washington State starts Sunday). We have some links on that and some observations on the run-up to the season’s first week. Read on.

Football: Head injuries

The mother of Valley Christian football player Drew Swank, who died as a result of a head injury last year, spoke at a conference about head injuries last month in Seattle. Here’s a link to Seattle Times staff writer Mason Kelly’s story.

Jerry Turner finds love for Shock

Jerry Turner has worn a lot of different uniforms in his football career, but he never dreamed he’d don Spokane Shock blue and orange. Click here for more on Turner.

Shock activate Narcisse

Offensive lineman Antonio Narcisse has been activated from injured-reserve and is eligible to play in Friday’s playoff game against Arizona. OL Brandon Leyritz has been placed on IR.

More here.

Zags complete non-conference slate

Gonzaga’s basketball schedule has come out in bits and pieces over the last several months.

On Wednesday, the school announced the entire non-conference slate, highlighted by a trip to South Bend to face Notre Dame and a home date against Southern University. Why is that a big deal? Because junior center Robert Sacre’s father, Greg LaFleur, is Southern’s A.D. (Sacre is pictured above).

The WCC schedule hasn’t been released.

More below.

Shock hang on to top spot

Spokane, which dropped its regular-season finale to Jacksonville, barely hung on to the top spot in the latest AFL coaches poll. The Shock (13-3), who open the playoffs at home against Arizona at 8 p.m. Friday, received nine first-place votes and 123 points. Jacksonville (12-4) moved up one spot to No. 2. The Sharks had six first-place votes and 121 points.

Arizona (10-6) is No. 7. Friday’s game will be televised live on SWX. 

—The league handed down suspensions to a pair of Orlando players who went into the crowd during a victory over Tampa Bay. More here. The Predators will be heavy underdogs against the top-seeded Sharks on Friday.

Morning links from WSU


Only 102 hours until the Washington State football team takes the field for the first time for the 2010 season. In honor of that, I decided to find 102 items to link on today’s morning post. So read on.

Different expectations for Vandals

The Idaho football program opens fall camp on Thursday, and it doesn’t take much to realize the Vandals have a much different outlook than a year ago at this time. That’s what eight wins and a bowl victory will do for a beleaguered program.

We’ve got a preview of fall camp for you after the link. Also included is a schedule with tentative practice times.

Vijil, McCombs won’t play vs. Arizona

Back with a Shock notebook, with the first item centering on the team’s health. Ben McCombs and Raul Vijil won’t play Friday, but the rest of the injury news is more favorable. Read more here.

I just got off the phone with Arizona coach Kevin Guy and he said receiver Rod Windsor is scheduled to return to Phoenix tonight after a workout with the Miami Dolphins. The coach said Windsor might even practice, since the Rattlers train at night to beat the heat during the day. I’ll have more on Guy’s thoughts on Shock coach Rob Keefe (you’ll recall they’re not exactly Facebook friends) and the playoff game in Friday’s preview.

Tomorrow, I’ll post a feature article on Shock defensive end Jerry Turner.

Baldwin likes Eags’ early challenge

If you go by what Big Sky Conference coaches and media members think, Eastern Washington University is facing four of the league’s top five teams — the Eagles, themselves, being the fifth — in their first four conference games this fall.

Third-year head coach Beau Baldwin was asked about such a difficult schedule during Tuesday’s Big Sky coaches’ conference call. You can read his response here in my Big Sky Notebook.

In addition, I’ve included some links to other related stories, along with this one, which includes the audio from today’s conference call.

Read on.

WSU’s Montgomery has a smile on his face


It seems like we are back in the groove as far as news from around the Pac-10 is concerned. Not every team is covered, but most are, including Washington State. We have a story on James Montgomery’s comeback, so read on.

• UPDATE:Well that didn’t last long. After announcing a practice schedule for camp that included 8:30 a.m. practices nearly every day until school starts, Washington State’s football team made an abrupt turn Tuesday and changed times. Now, all days with single practices begin at 2 p.m., including Sunday, when camp kicks off. The days with 2 p.m. practices are: Aug. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14 (scrimmage), 18 and 20. Days with two practices (Aug. 13, 15, 17, 19, 21)? The first one will start at 8:30 a.m. and the second at 3:30. After school starts Aug. 23, practice time changes to 4 p.m. The Cougars also have two other scrimmages scheduled, Thursday, Aug 26 at 4 p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 28 at 10 a.m.

Monday morning WSU links


Mondays are sad not only because they are the start of the work week, but because they are bereft of college football news, Washington State-centric or otherwise. But we were able to find a few stories, including one that may have a big impact on the opener at Oklahoma State, so read on.

Players have Wulff’s back


Over the long hot summer – OK, not so hot and it didn’t seem all that long either – we kept seeing Paul Wulff’s name pop up on the Internet and television. It always had to do with his job status. It wore on us. And it got us to thinking. How does all that stuff affect the players? So we decided to ask. Which is the basis for our story this morning in the S-R. Read on for more on that and your Sunday morning links.

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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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