Archive for May 2010
We talked with some of the Washington State baseball players and coach Donnie Marbut this morning and put together a story for tomorrow’s S-R. You can read the rough draft on the link if you want.
Washington State earned a two seed and will be heading for Fayetteville, Arkansas, where the NCAA baseball tourney will start Friday. I am always astounded by the way the NCAA seeds teams, with Stanford a two seed at Cal State Fullerton. Though WSU finished ahead of Stanford, they end up with the longer trip because Fullerton is considered a higher seed than Arkansas, I’m sure. The four-team regional includes host, No. 3 seed Kansas State (WSU’s first-round opponent at 36-20) and No. 4 seed Grambling, which has a losing record. WSU played Arkansas at Norman last year in the NCAAs and lost 10-3. It was the fourth loss of the season to the Razorbacks. The Pac-10 received eight bids. We’ll have more after we talk with a couple Cougar baseball players and head coach Donnie Marbut. Until then …
We are sitting, waiting for the announcement of where Washington State and the other 47 schools will be heading in the NCAA baseball tournament (of course we know where 16 schools, the hosts, will be going). The last ESPN mock bracket has the Cougars returning to Norman but I would be astounded if that happened. We’ll see in a half hour or so. When it happens, we’ll post. Until then. …
One more item to pass along — John Blanchette’s column — on Spokane’s 67-57 win over Jacksonville on Saturday night, fueled by Raul Vijil’s seven-touchdown performance.
News out of the state high school championships events Saturday:
Mead boys and girls win 4A track titles
North Central boys win 3A track championship.
Almira/Coulee-Hartline wins 1B baseball title.
Ferris wins third-place game in 4A soccer; Cheney falls in 2A title game, 1-0.
University loses twice and is eliminated in 4A softball; Mt. Spokane wins 3A opener then loses second and third games.
Colfax loses in 2B baseball title game.
Colville loses in 2A girls softball title game.
No championships for area tennis players.
Kyle Rowley tossed seven touchdown passes to Raul Vijil as the Spokane Shock defeated Jacksonville 67-57 in an AFL thriller Saturday night.
Vijil’s seven TD receptions is one short of Antwone Savage’s franchise record, set in 2007. The two connected three times in the fourth quarter alone as Spokane erased a 50-47 deficit.
The victory, Spokane’s fourth in a row, could move the Shock into the top spot in next week’s poll. Spokane entered the game No. 3 while Jacksonville was No. 1. Milwaukee was No. 2 and the Iron routed Dallas to improve to 6-2.
You can read my unedited game story below.
Mead won both the boys and girls championships and broke some records along the way. Read below for the unedited story I filed for Sunday’s paper.
Click the tab below to read my unedited State 3A and 2A track stories.
Here are Friday’s state tournament results and Saturday’s schedule.
It was a valiant effort, but the Ferris Saxons fell 1-0 to top-ranked Stadium in the 4A state semifinals.
Click the tab below to read my unedited story.
Another great day for Spokane athletes at the State 4A/3A/2A track meet. Despite brutal weather that had reporters whining like babies, the kids came through.
There’s way too much to go into, and what you’ll read on the link below is more than is going to be in Saturday’s paper, but, that’s the way it goes and no doubt Saturday will produce many more top performances from local athletes.
University softball coach Jon Schuh enjoys coaching girls
for many reasons. One of those reasons was quite evident Friday when the State
4A softball tournament in
No. 3 Spokane entertains No. 1 Jacksonville tomorrow in an AFL showdown. Click here for the game preview.
Mead freshman Courtney Hutchinson became the third member of her family and second frosh in her family and the second Mead athlete this weekend to win a State 4A shot put with a throw of 42-6.
More to come.
The WIAA has postponed the State 4A and 3A softball tournaments at SERA Fields in Tacoma because of rain.
They will attempt to start the tournaments Saturday morning - weather permitting, of course. The forecast calls for morning rain Saturday. In the 4A, University is scheduled to play Heritage at 10 a.m. Check here for the revised 4A bracket. In the 3A, Mt. Spokane is scheduled to play Franklin Pierce at 1 p.m. Check here for the revised 3A bracket.
STATE TRACK UPDATE: The pole vault at the 4A/3A/2A state track at Mt. Tahoma High School has been postponed until later in the day Friday. WIAA officials may push it back to Saturday. The other field events and running preliminaries will go on as scheduled.
Is it dry anywhere in the state?
Looking forward to your long weekend? It starts today for the Washington State baseball team, as the Cougars try to help their NCAA seeding with wins against No. 7 UCLA at Jackie Robinson Stadium. We also have a track link for you and some news on a former WSU basketball player. Read on.
A couple wins, a couple great races and a tough loss in the pole vault were among the first day highlights at the State 4A/3A/2A track meet at Mt. Tahoma HS on Thursday.
Even with just two wins, there seemed to be more than enough to keep the interest on Greater Spokane League athletes from start to finish - and so much good stuff won’t make tomorrow’s paper. For example, Cheney freshman Sanne Holland clicked a handful of seconds off her PR in finishing fifth in the 2A 3,200.
For the unedited story for Friday’s paper, click the tab below.
Spokane receiver Huey Whittaker traveled a somewhat bumpy career path until his breakout AFL season in 2008 with Utah. He’s Spokane’s leading receiver and he’s the subject of a feature story below that will run in Friday’s S-R.
Also, here’s an update on Jacksonville, the Shock’s opponent Saturday in the Arena, from the Florida Times-Union, and a look at Sharks quarterback Aaron Garcia, who began his collegiate career at Washington State.
Dave Trimmer and Greg Lee arrived in Tacoma for state track, softball and soccer Thursday afternoon. The anticipated rain hit at about 7 p.m.
Here’s what appeared in Thursday’s newspaper:
Greg Lee salutes the North Idaho track athletes who survived winter-like conditions at state last Saturday, among other notes.
Lewis and Clark boys, Chessey Thomas of Lewis and Clark and Savannah Bezdicek of Mt. Spokane all won state golf championships.
Here’s a feature on the brother/sister combo, the Stralsers of Cheney.
North Central’s Ben Johnston seeks triple crown.
Spokane moved up one spot to No. 3 and Jacksonville took over the top spot by itself in the latest AFL coaches poll. The teams collide on Saturday at the Arena.
Spokane (5-2) was fourth a week ago, but climbed up on the strength of a 77-28 rout of Utah. Jacksonville shared No. 1 with Milwaukee, but the Sharks edged Cleveland and the Iron lost to Orlando.
Jacksonville has 138 points in the poll, Milwaukee 107 and Spokane 102. The Sharks earned 12 first-place votes, Milwaukee one and Spokane two.
Of Spokane’s five wins, four (two vs. Utah, one vs. Bossier/Shreveport, one vs. Oklahoma City) have come against teams ranked among the bottom four in the poll. Jacksonville’s wins are against No. 4 Tulsa, No. 8 Cleveland, No. 9 Tampa Bay, No. 11 Orlando and tied for No. 13 Oklahoma City and Dallas. The Sharks’ loss was vs. No. 6 Alabama.
Here’s a link to a feature on the Ferris soccer team. Saxons goalie Nick Stebbins makes a save in the photo above in the District 8 4A final against Mead.
Here’s a link to a look at state softball.
Here’s a link to a look at state tennis.
Lewis and Clark’s Chessey Thomas leads at state golf after first day. We understand it’s raining in the Tri-Cities this morning.
The area leaders for high school track are below. In sorting those out, we figure the six state meets, 12 if you separate boys and girls, is going to be quite a medal haul for area teams, which for some will translate into team trophies, even championships. That remains to be seen.
What we can tell you, if you are the kind of person that pours over these times and marks, to at least compare them with the accomplishments of your youth, is that despite the weather this spring, GSL athletes broke some amazing records.
Falling by the wayside is a Gonzaga Prep girls high jump record dating to 1984, a Mead girls long jump mark from 1976, a Rogers girls javelin mark from 1978 and the Pirates’ boys sprint records, the 100 from 1985, the 200 from 1965. Obviously you’ll find the record breakers in area leaders.
Former Shock coach Chris Siegfried will be back in town Saturday, trying to help Jacksonville beat Spokane as the Sharks’ offensive coordinator. I touched base with Siegfried (that’s him and Kyle Rowley pictured above in 2006) and filed an update on him and an assortment of Shock player moves (there’s more on the latter here).
Read on for the unedited version below.
Just when you thought it was safe to say the basketball recruiting season was over, it isn’t. Washington State University has added another player to the 2010 recruiting class. Read on for details.
Click the tab below to see the final North Idaho track and field honor roll.
I know this is a little later than usual but … heck, no excuses. It’s just late. We have some links and notes so read on.
By now I would have posted the 4A and 3A state softball pairings. But the state fields haven’t been determined yet.
In fact, we won’t know who plays who at state until Wednesday - weather permitting, of course.
Click this link from the Seattle Times to see why.
Covered WSU’s 8-2 win over hapless USC on Sunday, a win that gave the Cougars a series sweep of the Trojans – their first ever – and virtually assured Washington State of an NCAA tournament spot. For the unedited version of my story, read on.
The second Spokane-Utah Arena Football League game looked just like the first. The Shock hammered the Blaze 77-28 on Saturday, roughly six weeks after routing Utah 68-34 on the road.
Spokane led 49-16 at half and cruised to victory. About the only negative was a leg injury suffered by offensive lineman Antonio Narcisse. Head coach Rob Keefe said he’ll know more on Narcisse’s status after additional testing.
Read on for my unedited game story that will run in Sunday’s S-R.
It was an amazing weekend in Yakima. Despite a cold and windy Friday and a windy Saturday, Spokane athletes came up big. Here is the story from Friday’s action and Saturday’s unedited story is below, much of which is destined for the cutting room floor.
The Post Falls softball team cruised to the 5A state championship. Click the tab below to read our unedited story.
NOTE: A parade will take place Sunday, beginning just east of the Highway 41/Seltice Way intersection and contining west on Seltice Way to Spokane Street, up to Poleline Avenue and culminating at the high school where a ceremony in the gym will take place.
Click the tab below to read our unedited story about the Idaho 3A, 2A and 1A state track.
Click the tab below to read my unedited Idaho 5A and 4A track story.
Click the tab below to read by unedited Idaho 3A, 2A and 1A track story.
Click the tab below to read my unedited Idaho 5A and 4A state track story.
Just a quick post with our short story on Logan Mayes’ commitment to Washington State for football. It’s on the link, so read on.
We’ve got a pretty packed work weekend, but only a little of it has to do with Washington State athletics. But before we kick in our other coverage, we do have some news, notes and links for you, so read on.
Click the tab below to read by unedited story from the first day of the Idaho state track meet in Boise.
Here’s a column on Lewis and Clark’s Levi Taylor.
Jim Meehan had this feature on Post Falls softball pitcher Richelle Ashburn.
Lake City freshman pitcher Casey Stangel suffers appendectomy, plans to pitch at state.
Some odds-and-ends to kick off your Thursday – it is Thursday, isn’t it? – morning, with items reaching from Pullman to Orlando. An eclectic mix if there ever was one.
DeAngelo Casto’s legal troubles are over after the Whitman County prosecutor’s office dropped the fourth degree assault charges earlier this month. We have a short story, so read on.
Heading out of town for a couple days, but I’ll be back for Saturday’s home game with Utah. Meanwhile, I put together a notebook for Thursday’s S-R that details Kyle Rowley landing a couple of stunt double quarterback roles on a TV series and in a movie. You can read the unedited version below.
—Spokane is up to fourth in the coaches’ poll.
— And here’s a release on Spokane placing Markee White and Jeremy Geathers on I-R. It’s believed White suffered a shoulder injury in Sunday’s win over Oklahoma City. The Shock have signed versatile WR/DB Antwan Marsh.
—UPDATE: Spokane has also signed WR Emery Sammons. More here.
A short post for you this morning, with our story on Xavier Thames’ new home and a couple of links. Read on.
The Lewis and Clark baseball team topped the Kennewick Lions 9-1 and advance to a regional matchup with defending state champ Richland.
Click the tab below to read my unedited game story.
We’re slowly rounding back into midseason form after our injury-lengthened layoff, but it’s obvious we’ve got some work to do. Too many adjectives, a misplaced modifier here and there and a little too reliant on clichés. All things that should work itself out as the rust wears off. We have some baseball news and other notes, so read on.
The Coeur d’Alene boys golf team is in third and the Vikings’ Alex Pounds shot the day’s low round in the first day of the Idaho State 5A tournament at Avondale Golf Club in Hayden.
Click the tab below to read our unedited story.
Click the tab below to see the updated North Idaho track and field honor roll.
Well, we’re back. Sure, it’s about a week later than we wanted to return, but we’re back. For the reasons behind the late arrival, and a little Washington State news, read on.
Back with a bit longer game recap from Spokane’s 68-63 win over Oklahoma City on Sunday. Read on.
Spokane hiked its road record to 3-0 with a 68-63 victory over Oklahoma City on Sunday afternoon.
The Shock went ahead for good on Brandon Hall’s 8-yard touchdown on a screen pass. The score put Spokane on top 59-56 with 4:12 left. On the ensuing kickoff, the ball took a high bounce after hitting the net and was recovered by Spokane’s Alex Teems, but the Shock offense couldn’t convert from the OKC 2-yard line.
The Yard Dawgz fumbled on first down and Ben McCombs recovered for a TD, giving Spokane a 65-56 lead with 1:13 left.
Teems intercepted a Tommy Grady pass and Spokane added a field goal. Oklahoma City scored with 22.6 seconds left, but the ensuing on-side kick didn’t travel the required 10 yards and Spokane took possession. The Shock again failed to score, this time from OKC’s 7, as Kyle Rowley’s pass was intercepted with 8.8 seconds left.
On the last play, Grady launched a long pass from the Yard Dawgz’s 3-yard line, but if fell incomplete in the end zone.
More in about an hour.
The Spokane Shock are in Oklahoma City to face the Yard Dawgz on Sunday at 12:05. The Shock made a couple of roster adjustments for this game (more on that below). Also, Spokane is 30-4 all-time in road games, including a 63-56 win last week against Arizona in Phoenix.
Read on for my unedited preview.
The Central Valley Bears edged the Ferris Saxons 6-5 in 11 innings in the District 8 4A championship baseball game.
Click the tab below to read my unedited game story.
The University softball team topped Mead 3-2 in the District 8 4A championship game Friday afternoon at Whitworth University.
Meanwhile, I’m at Avista Stadium to catch the Ferris/Central Valley District 8 4A title game. In a loser-out game earlier, Lewis and Clark downed Mead 6-4. Mead played without GSL triple crown winner Jake Schrader, who was sick.
You can read my unedited University/Mead softball story by clicking the tab below.
Here’s a feature on Mead baseball standout Jake Schrader.
My column explains the demise of the 4A and 3A regional boys and girls basketball tournaments as we know them.
The prep notebook features an item on East Valley softball pitcher Tiffany Lucas.
Mike Thacker is returning to coaching, taking over at Liberty.
OFF THE PREP PAGE
The Post Falls softball team earned its first 5A Region I championship.
Cheney swept the Great Northern League track titles.
Central Valley and Ferris will meet in the District 8 4A championship game Friday.
Click the tab below to see final the Greater Spokane League’s final regular season softball statistics.
Spokane’s win over Arizona moved the Shock up to No. 6 in the coaches’ poll. Arizona dropped from No. 6 to No. 7. Milwaukee moved into the top spot after knocking off previous No. 1 Chicago. I’d link to the poll, but I’m experiencing technical difficulties! You can find it at spokaneshock.com or the AFL’s site.
Spokane (3-2) is the lowest ranked of the three AFL teams that are 3-2. The Shock visit Oklahoma City on Sunday. Oklahom City (2-3) is tied with Utah for No. 14 in the rankings in the 15-team AFL.
The Mead boys blanked Ferris 1-0 in the 4A District 8 soccer final at Albi.
Mead, Ferris and Central Valley advance to regionals.
Click the tab to read my unedited story.
I put together some Shock notes with the focus on Rob Keefe’s crazy week last week. Read on for the unedited version that will run in Wednesday’s S-R.
Click the tab below to see final regular season statistics for Greater Spokane League baseball.
Here’s the updated North Idaho track and field honor roll.
Click the tab below to see.
Spring sports heat up this week. Let’s hope that is literal - at least in the heating up part!
District/regional events abound in Eastern Washington and North Idaho with state events around the corner. Take a moment here and let us know which teams look good - from baseball to soccer to softball to anything track-related and so forth.
We posted earlier this week that ex-Zag Ronny Turiaf was going to walk during Sunday’s GU commencement ceremony. Turiaf walked and then talked to Shawn Vestal in an S-R article.
Doing a little reading from the weekend, picked up these tidbits from my favorite hockey source, Gregg Drinnan:
“Also heard some speculation that Hardy Sauter, dumped as head coach of the Spokane Chiefs earlier in the week, could end up as the head coach of the Brandon Wheat Kings next season. The theory is that Kelly McCrimmon, the Wheat Kings’ owner, governor, GM and head coach, will step aside after the Memorial Cup and bring in a coach. Sauter is a former Wheat Kings defenceman (1989-92) and is from Maryfield, Sask., which is not too far west of Brandon.”
Read on for a recap of Spokane’s win over Arizona.
Spokane’s William Mulder intercepted a Nick Davila pass off the net in the end zone on the last play of the game, preserving the Shock’s 63-56 win over Arizona on Friday night.
Spokane took the lead 63-56 on Raul Vijil’s 23-yard TD catch with 1:24 remaining.
More in about 45 minutes.
Gonzaga is losing another guard. G.J. Vilarino (pictured above) has decided to transfer, a few days after Grant Gibbs was granted his release from GU.
More below in a short article that will run in Saturday’s S-R.
Mead had no trouble on the last Thursday of the Greater Spokane League track schedule, both the boys and girls finishing 10-0. The district meet starts next Thursday at SFCC at 3:30 p.m. The 3A advances 8 individuals and four relays to regional in Yakima while the 4A advances five individuals and three relays.
And Shae Carson of Coeur d’Alene avoided the jinx of being singled out and had the 10th-best discus throw in the nation at an all-star meet in Post Falls that produced a number of good marks.
If Mother Nature continues to cooperate it could be quite a run-up to the end of the season.
Columnist John Blanchette noted that coaching the Spokane Chiefs and tenure don’t go together.
Central Valley topped Mt. Spokane for a second straight day as the teams finished tied atop the Greater Spokane League baseball standings.
Click the tab below to read my unedited story and roundup, including district/subregional matchups.
A couple of items of interest tonight. Matt Bouldin was among the honorees at the Bulldog Club Senior Athletes Social on Thursday night. More on those awards here.
And ex-Zag Ronny Turiaf will be among 48 Zags student-athletes (including Bouldin, Will Foster and Chris Pontarolo-Maag) who will walk during commencement ceremonies on Sunday at the Arena. More here.
It’s going to be an interesting night in the desert tomorrow when Spokane faces Arizona. The Rattlers have six former Shock players, including 2009 standouts Nick Davila, Sergio Gilliam, Johnie Kirton, John Booker and Kyle Young, all key contributors on Spokane’s arenafootball2 championship team.
And news came down today that Shock offensive coordinator Matt Sauk has been suspended for one game for violating the AFL Code of Conduct policy. Spokane apparently appealed the decision, without success. Had the suspension been reversed, Sauk would have caught a later flight and joined the team in Phoenix.
My unedited game preview is below. (That’s ex-Shock QB Nick Davila, who directs Arizona’s offense, pictured above).
Click here to read Dave Trimmer’s wonderful feature story on Coeur d’Alene thrower Shae Carson (pictured above).
Click here to read my column on Central Valley senior pitcher Daniel Hammersley.
Click here to read our prep notebook.
Click here to read our Wednesday prep roundup.
Guard Grant Gibbs has decided to leave Gonzaga’s program.
More below in a short article that will run in Thursday’s S-R.
Tulsa Shock coach Nolan Richardson announced that Vivian Frieson and Juanita Ward were released from their training camp contracts on Wednesday, according to Tulsa World reporter Lynn Jacobsen, making room for Ivory Latta, who is expected to join the team on Thursday.
Frieson was a third-round draft pick last month out of Gonzaga while Ward emerged through the open tryouts the team held in April.
“At this point, the veterans are a little ahead of the players just coming out of college,” Richardson said. “They have a little maturity, a little better understanding of what the game is all about. Phoenix cut its No. 1 draft choice. So that says a lot about how hard (Frieson and Ward) worked.
“They could make a team. It’s just so sad that the numbers game got them. It was a tough decision to let them go.”
Frieson is the first Gonzaga player ever drafted. Teammate Heather Bowman is trying to make the WNBA’s Seattle Storm as a free agent but the odds are stacked against her.
Top marks from area athletes in each Washington classification and North Idaho.
Spokane wasn’t the only AFL team that felt there should have been pass interference called on a key play in the closing seconds. Seems Arizona is sending tape into the league office, questioning the lack of a P.I. call on a failed two-point conversion in the closing seconds. Arizona, which entertains Spokane on Friday, lost to Tampa Bay 62-61.
On the final play of Spokane’s 72-68 loss to Cleveland, Shock quarterback Kyle Rowley lobbed a pass toward Markee White in the end zone. The ball fell incomplete as White and a defensive back tumbled to the ground. Offensive coordinator Matt Sauk chased the exiting officials crew off the field, complaining about the no call.
I spoke with Shock coach Rob Keefe on Monday about another momentum-turning play in Saturday’s outcome. Raul Vijil lost the ball near the goal line shortly after he fielded a kickoff and Cleveland recovered at the 2. A flag was tossed, but officials collaberated and decided there was no kick-catch interference.
Replays show when Vijil first touched the ball, a Cleveland player was a couple of yards inside the 5-yard line. Opponents cannot be inside the 5 before the return man touches the ball. Cleveland eventually scored and reclaimed the lead 52-48 early in the fourth quarter.
Spokane Chiefs coach Hardy Sauter will not return for a third season as head coach in the Western Hockey League.
General manager Tim Speltz informed Sauter on Tuesday that the team would not pick up its option for a third season.
Spokane put together two solid regular seasons under Sauter, a first-time head coach who was an assistant on the Chiefs’ Memorial Cup winner in 2008, but didn’t advance as far in the playoffs as they expected, including a first-round exit this year.
Continue reading for the unedited story I filed for Wednesday’s paper.
Back with some notes after attending a short Shock practice at the Arena today. The first item concerns Cleveland’s kick return for a touchdown with 1.6 seconds left in a 72-68 win Saturday.
Read on for the unedited article that will run in Tuesday’s S-R.
Click the tab below to see the updated Greater Spokane League baseball statistics.
Click the tab below to see the updated Greater Spokane League softball statistics.
Click the tab below to see the updated North Idaho track and field honor roll.
I just filed my game story from Spokane’s 72-68 loss to Cleveland on Saturday night at the Arena. I’m not sure I’ve seen a crazier game than this one in the Shock’s five years of playing arena football.
Read on for the unedited article that will run in Sunday’s S-R.