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Archive for September 2010

WSU done in Pullman, heads for LA tomorrow


COUGARS

Washington State is off the practice field for a Thursday and there was less hitting than I expected. But there is other news, so read on.

Eags in ESPN’s BracketBusters mix

All nine Big Sky Conference men’s basketball teams are part of the 114-team pool from which ESPN will pick to decide which matchups will be televised as part of its annual BracketBusters weekend that will play out Feb. 18-20.

Eastern Washington will host Big Sky rival Montana that weekend, but ESPN will not announced with 11 games it will televise until Jan. 31.

You can read more here.

 

 

Chiefs get after it

After a less than stellar effort in their Western Hockey League opener, the Spokane Chiefs, who named their captain on Wednesday, got after it in practice this week. Click here for the story.

Clinesmith now assistant at Central

Former Mead standout Stacy Clinesmith has been hired as an assistant with the Central Washington women’s basketball program. The information is below, but it doesn’t say what the former pro did in the last year … which I believe was coaching high school in the northeast. Hopefully a reader can help us out. … What really hurts is Clinesmith is now 32 - and I didn’t think I was that old since it was only yesterday she led the Panthers to a state title.

Women’s practice starts over the weekend, but all I know so far is Gonzaga is having a function at 5 p.m. Saturday at McCarthey.

A conversation with WSU’s DeAngelo Casto


COUGARS

We’re back with the second in our series of preseason basketball Q&As. Today’s subject is Washington State center DeAngelo Casto, one of the leaders of a team that has no seniors. Read on.

Thursday Prep Page

Another Prep Page another menu of items to choose from.

Click the tab below.

The heat’s been on at WSU practice


COUGARS

It’s a busy morning so let’s not waste a bunch of time with chitchat. Let’s get right to the meat of the day, the news about Washington State football and the rest of the Pac-10. Read on.

UI’s Axman comes out unscathed

Vandals offensive coordinator Steve Axman would much rather talk about Idaho’s offense than this health. But he did oblige when we asked about his time away from the program this spring when battling cancer in his jaw. You can read our story here. And check below for more from Axman.

More hitting in store for WSU tomorrow


COUGARS

Washington State’s football team is off the practice field. We’ve talked with Paul Wulff and a couple players. We have some notes. Read on.

Leyritz, Clebert sign with Shock

Spokane now has 12 players back from last year’s ArenaBowl championship squad. OL Brandon Leyritz and DL Richard Clebert (No. 77 pictured above with Kyle Rowley) are the latest returners. Their signings were announced by the Shock on Tuesday.

More below.

Johnson named Chiefs’ captain

Tyler Johnson, a Spokane native, was named captain of the Spokane Chiefs on Wednesday. Fellow 20-year old Levko Koper is an alternate - he was the captain in the season opener when Johnson was sidelined with an injury.

The other two A’s are going to rotate on a game-by-game basis.

This might be the final signal that last year’s captain, defenseman Jared Cowen, won’t be returning. The 2009 No. 1 draft pick of Ottawa is in the Senators’ camp battling for a roster spot. The only option for Cowen,19, is Ottawa or Spokane, with the Senators having to make the decision before the 10th regular-season game.

Regional state sites selected

The WIAA has announced first-round sites for the new regional state tournaments in basketball.

Click the tab below for more.

Wednesday morning WSU links


COUGARS

By definition this isn’t an Indian summer, because we never really had a freeze. But it is summer in early fall, which might be the best time of the year in the Palouse. The days are warm, the nights cool and football is being played. Pretty much Camelot without the singing. Anyhow, we have Washington State news and notes, plus our usual collection of morning links, so read on.

WSU turns up the hitting at practice


COUGARS

Earlier today we summarized Paul Wulff’s conference calls, as is our wont on Tuesdays. Now we will summarize practice for you. It’s on the link, so read on.

WR Guice joins Shock

Spokane has added WR Dudley Guice to its roster.

Guice played at Northwestern State University, where he finished with 78 career catches for 1,213 yards. He also returned kicks and had 11 rushing attempts for 84 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Guice was with Indianapolis Colts in training camp before being released.

More on Guice here.

WSU’s Wulff talks UCLA, Cougars


COUGARS

Paul Wulff had his usual Tuesday Pac-10 call and local media teleconference calls today, which means we have our usual summary of said calls. Read on.

Career over for Grizzlies QB Selle

Sad news out Missoula.

The college career Montana’s senior quaterback  Andrew Selle, who threw for 204 yards and a touchdown in the Grizzlies’ 36-27 loss to the Eastern Washington University Eagles earlier this fall, is over.  You can read more here.

 

 

Boise State on SI cover

The “firsts” keep coming for the Boise State football team.

The Broncos will be featured on the national cover of Sports Illustrated magazine this week.

The Idaho Statesman reports that SI writer Austin Murphy spent much of last week in Boise to report and write the story, while two photographers shot the Boise State-Oregon State game on Saturday night. The magazine hits news stands Wednesday.

Boise State was on a regional cover of Sports Illustrated’s college football preview in August, but this is the school’s first national cover.

Boise State’s game against Oregon State also drew ESPN’s “College GameDay” show to Boise for the first time on Saturday. And the game against Oregon State was the first regular-season Boise State game to air nationally on network television.

— Associated Press

EWU expects to have Jones ready by Saturday

There is encouraging news for Eastern Washington’s football team concerning the health status of junior running back Taiwan Jones, who was injured in last weekend’s 30-7 loss at Montana State

You can read more here.

Felt a little like the Scarecrow yesterday


COUGARS • UPDATED: 9:45 A.M.

Being without a computer for a day is like being without your hair – no, I’m used to that. So it’s more like making do without your brain, and all evidence to the contrary, I’m not used to that. Yesterday was hard, almost like withdrawing from caffeine or something, with the headaches included. But I got it back now, all fixed up and loaded with memories, so we’re able to get back to doing what we do best, filling your mind with way too many words and links, so read on.

• UPDATE: The Pac-10 announced the FSN portion of the basketball schedule this morning and Washington State is assured of at least six appearances on the network. The non-conference home games against Kansas State (Dec. 3) and Gonzaga (Dec. 8) will be broadcast by FSN, along with conference games at UCLA (Dec. 29), Washington (Jan. 30), at Arizona (Feb. 17) and at Washington (Feb. 27). And two games from the Diamond Head Classic will be on an ESPN channel. There should be more games on TV, of course. But that’s for later.

Final version of Spangler article

I was able to get a few minutes on the phone with Ryan Spangler after his football practice Monday afternoon. Read on for the revised article on Spangler, who committed to GU over the weekend. (A shortened version will probably appear in tomorrow’s S-R.)

A few items from Seattle Times

Click the tab below to link to a few prep items from the Seattle Times.

Shock sign six more, including Marsh and Rogers

Spokane announced the signing of six players, including linebacker Antwan Marsh and ex-Shock DB Nygel Rogers. Marsh is the eighth player from Spokane’s 2010 AFL championship team to resign. Rogers was with the Shock in af2 in 2007-08.

Standout Milwaukee defensive lineman Khreem Smith, Chicago Rush DB Josh Ferguson, DB Rucshard Dodd-Masters and IFL product Francis Maka also signed.

Several other AFL signings of interest: Arizona signed LB/FB Kevin McCullough, who was with the Shock for 2 1/2 seasons until being replaced by Marsh midway through the 2010 campaign. DL Jerry Turner is leaving Spokane for Georgia and former Shockie Justin Warren has resigned with Dallas.

Spokane has 18 players on its roster. More below.

Preps this week

PREPS

Here’s a quick early look at what’s on tap in the area this week.

Click the tab below.

Sankey on pace for state record

Mason Kelley of the Seattle Times has unearthed another record that Gonzaga Prep senior running back Bishop Sankey is on pace to break.

Click the tab below for more.

More on Spangler

OK, I see the rest of my post on Ryan Spangler didn’t make it below, so here’s a link that should provide the entire article on the 6-foot-8 forward committing to Gonzaga. Click here. I’ll update if I’m able to connect with Spangler later today.

There’s a thorough scouting report on Spangler on ESPN.com’s college basketball recruiting site that I believe requires an insider’s account. Spangler is described as a hard-working, glue-type player that knows how to compete and win. He’s not the flashiest player, but he understands the game and projects as a solid power forward.

Also, here are those updates that got zapped from the previous post: I’ve received a couple of e-mails regarding Gonzaga Prep’s Chris Sarbaugh’s status. To clarify, he will receive a tuition waiver because his late father was a professor at Gonzaga. And 6-foot-7 German wing Mathis Monninghoff officially was cleared by the NCAA eligibility center late last week. He’s an athletic, bouncy wing in the mold of ex-Zag Micah Downs.

Akey: Vandals were supposed to beat CSU

Idaho football coach Robb Akey met with the media twice this morning, and he was clearly frustrated. “We were supposed to win that ballgame,” he said, referring to the Vandals’ 36-34 loss to Colorado State on a last-second field goal.

Read on for notes and comments from Akey’s media sessions.

Spangler commits to Gonzaga

Gonzaga picked up another 2011 commitment over the weekend.

Ryan Spangler, a 6-foot-8, 220-pound forward from Bridge Creek High in Blanchard, Okla., has verbally committed to GU, according to his prep coach, Jason Sanders. Spangler joins Kent, Wash., guard Gary Bell (No. 65 on ESPNU’s top 100), Nampa, Idaho, guard Kyle Dranginis and G-Prep guard Chris Sarbaugh in Gonzaga’s 2011 class.

Spangler, who plays quarterback on Bridge Creek’s football team, is rated No. 51 among 2011 power forwards, according to ESPN.com.

“He’s a fabulous athlete,” Sanders said. “He kind of flew under the radar mostly because everyone assumed he was going to play football.”

More on Spangler below as well as a couple of other notes.

A long, long Monday WSU post


COUGARS

We’re having some Internet problems at Casa Grippi, so the usual (virtual) trip around the West Coast is taking almost as long as a real one. So our morning post is not going to be filled with as many nuggets as usual. What the heck, it’s Monday, so you can’t see anyway. The eyes are too bloodshot. We’ll just run the post in bigger type, it will seem as long and you’ll thank us tomorrow. Read on.

Eaton leaves WSU football


COUGARS • UPDATED: 8:25 P.M.

A quick post on the departure of graduate assistant Chad Eaton from the Washington State program. Read on for an unedited version of our story.

UPDATE: We also have our follow on the USC game on the link.

A look back at Eags’ loss to MSU

I’m about to load up the company rig and set out on the six-hour drive back from Bozeman to Spokane, so any definitive word on the health status of Eastern Washington running back Taiwan Jones probably won’t come until Monday.

Stay turned, and read on for more about the Eagles’ 30-7 Big Sky Conference loss to Montana State in which Jones sustained a still-undiagnosed injury to his midsection and played only one down in the second half.

WSU’s loss to USC, the day after


COUGARS

Get a cup of coffee. Grab a Danish. Strap yourself to your chair. There’s a lot to cover this morning, and we’re not just talking about the rest of the Pac-10. We’re talking about Washington State’s debacle yesterday against USC and the rest of the conference season. It’s all on the link, so read on.

Chiefs lose 6-3

It wasn’t pretty but then again, there are 71 games to go and after listening to Don Nachbaur after the Spokane Chiefs fell to the Tri-City Americans 6-3 in the Western Hockey League opener, it will get better. Can’t guarantee the results, but I think he just guranteed a better effort.

The story should be here shortly.

USC thunders WSU


COUGARS

Early in the week, it was hard to see this one coming. But as the day dawned today it finally hit me that Washington State was playing a team with a bunch of horses up front, horses that haven’t played all that well. Well they did today, and WSU’s defenders just didn’t tackle worth dog spit. Which adds up to a 50-16 blitz. We have a couple more things on the link, so read on.

CSU hands Idaho crushing loss

UPDATED

Idaho blew two double-digit leads and fell to Colorado State 36-34 after the Rams hit a 35-yard field goal as time expired. We’ve got our story for tomorrow’s paper here.

Chiefs pre-game

The Tri-City Americans are just about through with the pre-game ceremonies for the season-opening Western Hockey League game.

Needless to say this will be a huge test for the young Spokane Chiefs as the sell-out crowd is pretty amped up with a third-straight Western Division and first-ever Western Conference champion banners being lifted to the rafters.

Though logic says the Chiefs, especially with Tyler Johnson and Brenden Kichton watching from just below me as they sit out with injuries, are out-gunned, the key is going to see the “compete” in the team. We’ll let you know.

Eags’ Jones injured in 30-7 loss to MSU

Eastern Washington’s offense, playing without injured running back Taiwan Jones for all but one play in the second half, got roughed up in a big way in Saturday’s 30-7 Big Sky Conference loss to Montana State in Bozeman.

You can check out the game story here.  And check back on Sunday morning for more details, comments and thoughts on the defeat.

Vandals trail 14-13 at half

Idaho dominanated much of the first half, but a disastrous last few minutes of the second quarter led to a 14-13 deficit at halftime at Colorado State. The Vandals led 13-0 after a Trey Farquhar field goal with 4:32 left in the half. The Rams, 0-3, were helped by an Isaac Butts’ pass interference call — his second of the game — and drove down for a touchdown from Raymond Carter with :39 seconds left. Two plays later, Nate Enderle fumbled and CSU responded with another Carter touchdown to take the lead.

The Vandals have had the ball 7 more minutes than the Rams and outgained CSU 261-142. Still, they trail again on the road because of costly mistakes and an inefficient offense. They’ve settled for two field goals and couldn’t convert a 4th-and-1 on their first possession.

Check for in-game updates on my Twitter feed here.

USC leads WSU 28-13 at half


COUGARS

A quick halftime post, with WSU trailing USC 28-13. The Trojans have 312 yards of total offense in the first half despite trailing by 5 minutes in time of possession. USC has 11 plays of more than 10 yards. The Cougars are moving the ball through the air – 171 passing yards – but Jeff Tuel’s three interceptions – one a pick six – have killed them. USC has 14 points off the turnovers and leads by 15. To be fair, WSU has seven points following Barkley’s interceptions. We’ll be back afterward, but you can follow us at vinceg55 on Twitter. Use this post for comments.

Some pregame thoughts from WSU


COUGARS

There is a crowd gathering, sort of like on the interstate when a truck leaves the pavement and rolls into a lentil field. And that might be an apt metaphor on what could happen today, so read on.

CV holds off University

The Central Valley football team allowed University to hang around long enough to make a game of their Spokane Valley showdown Friday. Here’s our game story.

Nobody wanted to ring the Bell in the first half, but Mt. Spokane found another way to win - defense - as the Wildcats held off rival Mead. Here’s our game story.

Here’s a roundup of other area games including a score of the Coeur d’Alene-Sandpoint game won by the Vikings 55-7. We didn’t receive a call from CdA.

There’s not a lot of time before WSU’s game with USC


COUGARS

It’s your typical Saturday morning with one huge exception. It’s typical in that there are enough previews, notebooks and features available from around the conference to keep you busy until game time. It’s atypical because the Washington State game time is noon, so you have to rush to plow your way through everything. So get right to it and read on.

Vandals eyeing more success vs. MWC

The Idaho football team has done well against Mountain West teams in the past year-plus — three straight wins — and it’s looking for another victory tomorrow at Colorado State. You can check out our preview of the game after the link.

Sarbaugh will be a Bulldog

Gonzaga Prep guard Chris Sarbaugh has decided to continue his basketball career at Gonzaga University.

 

Sarbaugh earned All-Greater Spokane League honors as a junior last season. He averaged 9 points for the Bullpups, who finished 24-4 and advanced to the state tournament.

 

“He was getting a lot of interest after the summer AAU circuit: Denver, Lehigh, Seattle,” Gonzaga Prep coach Matty McIntyre said. “Montana was really high on him. It was totally Chris’s decision but I think it’s a smart move. He’s obviously going to a great program with a lot of tradition.”

 

McIntyre anticipates Sarbaugh assuming more of the scoring burden this season with the departure of GSL MVP Ryan Nicholas, who is playing at Portland.

 

“Chris is probably one of the best on-ball defenders and overall defenders that I’ve seen,” McIntyre said. “Very athletic, jumps well. Offensively, he’s probably a pass-first guy, likes to get others involved, but I think he’s developing more into a scorer.”

Look at WHL’s BC Division

Just in time for tonight’s Western Hockey League openers: The final installment of division capsules with the B.C. Division up today.

The first edition of the WHL radio show is up and includes an interview with the Portland coach.

Our advance to the Spokane Chiefs’ season-opener at Tri-City Saturday night is here

Mt. Spokane prevails in showdown

Wow, the Mt. Spokane/Mead volleyball match last night turned out to be everything as advertised between the two top-ranked 3A and 4A teams in the state.

Mike Vlahovich was there for us to file a story, and he said it was a packed house at Mead. Too bad these teams just play once in league. I suspect they could face off at the Crossover tourney next month. A team that could still have a say in the crowing of a league champ is Central Valley.

Pictured above is Annie Arnzen of Mt. Spokane hitting through a Mead block.

Shock add a couple more

Busy week at Shock headquarters where the team has announced two more signings.

DB Rod Mosley, who started the first two games of the 2010 season before he was injured and ultimately released by the Shock, is returning. He had six tackles and an interception return for a touchdown in his two games. Former Eastern Washington Eagle Lance Witherspoon, who had 3.5 sacks and two forced fumbles as a defensive end for AFL Cleveland last season, also has joined the team. (DB Al Phillips, who was on Spokane’s team last season, has signed with Utah).

Elsewhere, there’s a TV report out of Oklahoma City that says the Yard Dawgz won’t be relocating to Seattle and probably won’t have a franchise next season. More here. The Daily Oklahoman, reporting on QB Tommy Grady’s exit to Utah, touches on Oklahoma City’s unsettled situation here.

Quick roundup of WHL news.

The Western Hockey League season opens tonight and here are a few tidbits for you until we finish our advance and the B.C. Division capsules.

Another outlet to check up on the Tri-City Americans. Gregg Drinnan’s Western Conference predicitions. Dubnation, a site for serious fans. The WHL launches WHL Live.  The league also provided a Western and Eastern conference preview. Former Chief Mike Reddington has been named captain in Lethbridge.

I’ve seen plenty of stories from around the league. The best place to quickly get to each newspaper is through Alan Caldwell’s blog, Small Thoughts at Large.

Despite travails, USC is still USC


COUGARS

You know, even though the last six months haven’t been kind to the University of Southern California football program, in a lot of ways USC is still USC. There is a cachet to the name, a ring to it. Say it just right and images of O.J. weaving through the UCLA defense, Sam Cunningham jumping over Alabama, Ricky Bell in the Kingdome, Marcus Allen playing fullback, Carson Palmer’s bullets, Reggie Bush, Rey Maualuga still dance in the memory. That’s what makes this weekend so much fun. What will Saturday’s game be like? In a little more than 24 hours, everyone will find out. Read on.

Rain pelts WSU as it gets ready for USC


COUGARS

Washington State is off the field from Thursday’s practice, a workout held in a steady drizzle. But as one of the coaches said afterward, it was the best Thursday of the year. There’s more on the link, so read on.

New look for Americans

The Tri-City Americans debut their new third jersey on Saturday when the Spokane Chiefs visit to open the Western Hockey League season.Tri-City Americans third jersey         In other news, recently graduated Chiefs’ D-man Jared Spurgeon signed a three-year contract with Minnesota. He should end up in Houston of the AHL. Also, Tyler Johnson is on his way home from the Wild’s camp. That only leaves captain Jared Cowen at a NHL camp and he isn’t expected back for a couple weeks, if at all. Ottawa, a day after thumping Toronto in a preason game, got the tables turned but couldn’t find a story that mentioned Cowen.

Rowley returns

Kyle Rowley made it official Thursday. More below on his decision to return to the Shock and how he hopes to supplement his income.

UPDATE: Here’s a Shock release that details the return of Rowley and another on the addition of  DB Terrance Sanders.

Rowley back with the Shock

Kyle Rowley has decided to return to the Spokane Shock for the 2011 season. He’s in the process of signing his contract at present. Rowley helped Spokane to arena football titles in 2006 and 2010.

More within the hour.

A conversation with WSU’s Ken Bone

COUGARS


With Washington State’s basketball practice starting in less than a month, we decided to try something new this season, with today’s installment the first step on that path. We’re planning on putting together a weekly Q&A with a member of the basketball team prior to the opening game in early November. We’ll publish it here on SportsLink mainly on Thursdays. We start with this week’s conversation – over lunch, actually – with coach Ken Bone.

Americans or Winterhawks?

The U.S. Division was the toughest in the Western Hockey League last season and there is no reason to think it won’t be difficult again this season.

Tri-City won its third straight title in a tie-breaker with Everett with Spokane in the chase until the final weekend - but it was Portland that led the way most of the season and is getting the most love in preseason polls. The Winterhawks had eight players drafted, two in the top five, and have 10 overall on their roster (to Spokane’s one).

That quartet all finished with more points than B.C. champion Vancouver, although the Giants earned the second seed for the Western Conference playoffs for winning its division.

How will it turn out this season, which gets underway Friday (with the Chiefs opening Saturday at Tri-City)? Check the predicted order of finish below. The story that goes with this is available here.

Chiefs have holes to fill

We ran a story on the Spokane Chiefs’ new look for the Western Hockey League season today (computer issues made it impossible to link yesterday). We’re currently working on a preview of the U.S. Division as well as on-line capsules for each team.

 

Thursday Prep Page


PREPS

Click the tab below to see today’s menu for the Prep Page.

Pictured above is Gonzaga Prep senior Bishop Sankey, who we featured in a story this week.

WSU winds down prep for USC


COUGARS

The hitting at practice is over for another week as Washington State will spend the next couple days fine-tuning the game plan for Southern California on Saturday. It’s a game that should be quite a bit different than the one between the schools here two years ago. Read on for more.

Whole new world for Idaho defense

In tomorrow’s paper, we take a look at the resurgence of the Vandals’ defense. You can read the story here. Idaho, 2-1, and Colorado State, 0-3, square off Saturday at 1 p.m. PST. We’ll have more about the matchup as the week progresses.

WSU in high spirits at practice


COUGARS

As the time winds down to Saturday’s home game with USC, the Washington State Cougars put together a spirited practice Wednesday, staying on the practice field about 20 minutes shorter than the previous day. For what they accomplished, read on.

Meyer to Utah, Brookins to San Jose

Erik Meyer, who backed up Shock starting quarterback Kyle Rowley last season, has signed with the Utah Blaze. The former Eastern Washington Eagle will be reunited with ex-Shock offensive coordinator Matt Sauk, who accepted a similar position with the Blaze. Meyer will compete with former Oklahoma City starting QB Tommy Grady, who recently signed with Utah.

More here (Oops: Blaze press release incorrectly spells his name ‘Eric.’).

Former Shock DB Mervin Brookins, who had an interception in the ArenaBowl, has signed with San Jose. Brookins is a Sacramento native and played at Sacramento City College. More here.

Ex-Shock lineman Brenden Hall, who was traded by Spokane early on last season, has signed with Georgia and LB Kelvin Morris (Shock 2007) has signed with Chicago. He played for Arizona last season.

A look at WHL’s Central Division

Continuing the team-by-team look at the Western Hockey League, which begins play on Friday, we check out the Central Division, courtesy of the beat reporters (except Edmonton). The Central Division visits the U.S. Division this year, meaning Spokane Chiefs fans can see what remains of Calgary’s championship team (and early visit, Wednesday, Oct. 20).

Wednesday morning links from WSU


COUGARS

Every Wednesday morning is like this. A day with so many stories to read, the eyes start hurting before 8 a.m. Today is no different. More crowded, actually, with the news yesterday afternoon Colorado was able to play a $6.863 million get out of jail card. We have it all, so read on.

Cowen, Senators win big

Spokane Chiefs captain Jared Cowen wasn’t mentioned individually but everyone got a pat on the back after Ottawa opened the NHL exhibition season with a 5-0 thrashing of Toronto. There is this Ottawa Citizen blog comment - and by the way, Cowen is wearing No. 2.

Hopefully today there will be some information on the other two Chiefs who have not returned from pro camps, Tyler Johnson (Minnesota) and Blake Gal (Philadelphia). Otherwise, check back for our Central Division capsules later today and our first story on the Chiefs building up to Saturday’s opener at Tri-City.

And an FYI - Spokane is the only team that will not appear on one of the WHL-Shaw TV broadcasts, as broken down on Alan Caldwell’s blog, which, by the way, points out the league’s website, and therefore the teams’ websites, a new look rolled out recently, is woefully lacking at the moment.

Preps this week

UPDATED: Wednesday

Got an e-mail from a follower over the weekend who wondered why there doesn’t seem to be as much conversation this fall on the prep posts. I suggested the interest is there - if not increasing by what I can determine - but fewer people are talking. It appears the cat has Big Al’s tongue, too.

Anyway, click the tab below to see perhaps some conversation starters about what’s going on this week.

Here are the Seattle Times’ updated football rankings. Here are the Tacoma News Tribune’s updated football rankings.

Morrison joins Wizards for camp

Ex-Zag Adam Morrison has accepted a training camp invitation with the Washington Wizards.

Morrison has seen minimal playing time with two-time NBA champion Los Angeles the last two seasons. More here and here.

Vandal injury update

The Idaho football team appears healthier than it was last week at this time, but there are still a few injuries to mention — including a couple that popped up today during practice. Click below for details.

WSU gets back to work on USC


COUGARS

What a shock. From the visitors on the sidelines to the action on the field, Tuesday’s practice was filled with news. And notes. So read on for both.

Wulff talks with the media at WSU


COUGARS

Each Tuesday afternoon, Paul Wulff holds a press conference in which he looks forward to the next opponent, in this case USC. The Trojans will be in Martin Stadium on Saturday (noon; FS Northwest) for the first time since the 69-0 shellacking in 2008. And the first time without Pete Carroll in a long, long time. We have a summary of what Wulff had to say, along with his comments on the earlier Pac-10 call, on the link, so read on.

WHL E. Division preview

The Spokane Chiefs make the long trek through the Eastern Division of the Western Hockey League early this season - starting the last weekend of November. It could be a difficult journey with stops in Brandon and Moose Jaw - which is in the final season of its old “Crushed Can” arena, but Regina and Saskatoon aren’t expected to be very strong.

Below is the team-by-team report, as shared by WHL beat writers.

Cowen focused at Senators’ camp

It appears Jared Cowen will start the season - well, at least the Western Hockey League season - in the National Hockey League.

The Spokane Chiefs captain, Ottawa’s No. 1 draft pick in 2009, has moved up the ladder in the Senator’s training camp because of an early injury. That information comes from Greg Drinnan’s blog and is posted below. Cowen can play nine regular-season games with the Senators, who play their first preseason game tonight, before he has to stay up as a 19-year old. Cowen is expected to at least be with Ottawa for all eight of the Sens’ preseason games, which go through Oct. 2, which is the date of the Chiefs’ home-opener.

And just like that, the Chiefs are down two defensemen since Brenden Kichton was injured while in Detroit’s camp.

I am currently in the process of putting together the short scouting reports the WHL beat writers have put together. They’ll appear here this week, starting with the Eastern Division today, finishing up with the U.S. Division on Friday when the WHL opens. Check back later today.

Eags rake in honors following win over Montana

Eastern Washington University running back Taiwan Jones and strong safety Matt Johnson were honored as players of the week by the Big Sky Conference following Saturday’s 36-27 upset of Montana.

You can read the story that appeared in Tuesday morning’s S-R here, and you can access the story EWU’s sport information department posted on the awards here

Another Tuesday morning with WSU


COUGARS

Do you have a day of the week at work that is always longer and more demanding than the rest? A day you start dreading at 3 the day before? A day that seems to drag on and on? A day that, when it’s over, it seems like a steel door is slamming shut behind you and you’re free? If you answered yes to those questions, I feel your pain. Read on.

Early look at Idaho-CSU matchup

On the first weekend of October last year, Idaho rallied past Colorado State in a 31-29 thriller. Since then, the Rams have yet to bag a victory — they’ve lost 12 straight overall. The Vandals, of course, have taken a much different course.

The two programs meet again Saturday at Fort Collins, Colo, in what is, remarkably, the Rams’ first true home game of the season. We’ve got comments from UI’s Robb Akey and CSU’s Steve Fairchild below, as well as a few notes.

WSU gets back on field


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The short Monday practice is over and Washington State is off the Rogers practice field. We have a few notes for you, so read on.

Two Vandals honored by WAC

Coming off a 30-7 rout of UNLV, the University of Idaho picked up two individual WAC honors on Monday. Defensive end Aaron Lavarias was named the top defensive player in the league and place-kicker Trey Farquhar was named special teams player of the week. Colin Kaepernick of Nevada won the offensive player of the week award.

Meanwhile, Vandals coach Robb Akey said he expects to have defensive tackle Jonah Sataraka and guard Tevita Halaholo back this week at Colorado State (1 p.m. Saturday). Sataraka missed the UNLV game due to illness.

Akey, a native of Colorado Springs, will have about 40 family and friends at the game in Fort Collins. We’ll have more comments from the coach later.

Monday morning from WSU


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It’s your typical Monday morning in cyberspace (and I learned this weekend where that term came from, which is cool; life should be a continuing education class each day) with some folks looking back at Saturday and others already looking ahead. We have some links and notes, along with an apology, on the next page, so read on.

WR Sammons back with Shock

Emery Sammons has become the sixth player from Spokane’s 2010 ArenaBowl championship team to re-join the Shock.

Sammons, who had 17 catches during the regular season, stepped in at linebacker in the ArenaBowl and led the defense with nine tackles and a blocked field goal. Sammons is the third receiver to return, joining Greg Orton and Shaun Kauleinamoku.

Meanwhile, ex-Shock WRs Huey Whittaker and Markee White had winning debuts in the UFL. Whittaker had one catch for nine yards in Florida’s 27-20 win over Las Vegas. White had a four-yard touchdown reception in Hartford’s 27-10 victory over Sacramento. Ex-Shock DB Isaiah Trufant made three tackles for Las Vegas.

More here.

Red-emption: A look back at Eags’ win over Griz

Saturday’s Big Sky Conference openers between preseason favorites Montana and Eastern Washington played out in spectacular fashion in front of a record crowd at newly renamed Roos Field.

Read on for game-related links and some additional thought and comments from EWU coach Beau Baldwin.

WSU’s loss at SMU, the day after


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This is a first for me. I am in the midst of joining the blogging world’s Mile-High Club. Hey, get your mind out of the gutter. I mean I’m blogging from the Alaska flight from Dallas to Seattle. With a 7:15 departure time and a midnight bedtime, there was no way I was getting up early enough to blog before we left Dallas. So we’re up in the air. Just like Saturday’s Washington State’s game was at halftime. But not after the third quarter. For more on that, and an up-and-down day for the Pac-10, read on.

Vandals flummox UNLV

Perhaps the Idaho football team should have known it was going to be a good night after watching Nebraska rip apart Washington on the road. Sure, the Vandals got beat 38-17 at Nebraska last week — but as UNLV coach Bobby Hauck said after tonight’s game, they held up much better in Lincoln than the Huskies did in Seattle.

Much later in the day, the Vandals silenced the Rebels’ offense on their way to a 30-7 win with 15,390 watching at the Kibbie Dome. Check out below to read our game story.

Jones carries Eagles past Montana

Eastern Washington University’s Taiwan Jones has another huge game on Saturday, rushing for a career-high 221 yards and racking up 305 all-purpose yards as the Eagles christened their new red turf in recently renamed Roos Field with a 36-27 win over Montana in the Big Sky Conference opener for both teams.

Here is a link to our game story and look for additional notes, quotes and personal observations on Sunday.

Half: Idaho 24, UNLV 0

Almost everything went right for the Idaho football team, which waltzed to a 24-0 lead at halftime over UNLV at a packed Kibbie Dome. The Vandals’ defense has forced four punts and smothered UNLV quarterback Omar Clayton while the UI offense has yet to punt. Deonte Jackson has two 1-yard touchdowns, and QB Nate Enderle found Daniel Hardy for a 17-yard TD to keep things rolling for Idaho. 

The only negative was a poorly thrown interception in the end zone for Enderle, a play after a touchdown pass to Armauni Johnson was negated by a chop block on Jackson.

For in-game updates, check my Twitter page.

WSU tied at half but melts in second half


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We have to be up and out of town early tomorrow, so the post on the link will be short. But it will be filled with a lot of interesting reading, so read on.

WSU, SMU tied at 14 at half


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Halftime in Dallas and Washington State is, well, the only word for it is competing. More on the link.

GSL roundup

Gonzaga Prep’s Bishop Sankey goes off for nearly 300 yards as the Bullpups looked more like the group picked to win the Greater Spokane League championship.

Mt. Spokane, meanwhile, kept pace with Ferris as co-league leaders.

Here’s a roundup of all the other area games.

Pictured above is Post Falls running back Tyson Johnson above against East Valley.

Some early WSU pregame thoughts


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I have spent the past hour getting set up at Gerald J. Ford Stadium on the SMU campus. There are a couple of thoughts on the link, so read on.

Vandals get rare home game

If you’re a Vandal football fan who enjoys Saturdays in the Kibbie Dome, soak up all you can today (and I mean more than the rain that pelted Moscow all night). It’s going to be a while before Idaho plays another home game after tonight’s nonconference tilt with UNLV — Oct. 23 to be exact. 

Read below for links and more on the UNLV game (7:30 p.m., ESPNU).

WSU tries to break road losing streak


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Another game day dawns, this one in Dallas, Texas. Washington State gets ready to take on the Mustangs of SMU in about six hours or so. And if you’re wondering, there is a two-hour time difference, so that’s why this post is early. We have news and notes, so read on.

Shock re-sign five from 2010 team

The Spokane Shock have re-signed five players from their 2010 ArenaBowl championship team.

Wide receivers Greg Orton and Shaun Kauleinamoku, offensive lineman Antonio Narcisse, kicker Taylor Rowan and defensive back Alex Teems are returning to the Shock.

AFL teams have until Monday to re-sign their players. After that, players become free agents and can sign with any AFL team, including the one they played for in 2010.

More below.

Ferris, CV win

Ferris and Central Valley cruised to victories in a Greater Spokane League football doubleheader Thursday at Joe Albi Stadium.

Here’s a link to our story.

WSU has to solve SMU’s puzzling defense

Saturday Washington State kicks off its final non-conference game of the season – the next time the Cougars take the field after this will be against USC in Martin Stadium. As we do each Friday, we put together an advance for the game. Here it is.

• UPDATE: We have put together a story for tomorrow’s S-R on James Montgomery’s legal troubles. Football-wise the bottom line is, he has not been suspended and is expected to play tomorrow. Here’s the story …

• That’s all for now, except this blog post from the Daily News Christian Caple. We’ll be back if events warrant, but more than likely tomorrow morning with links to the above story and our four keys to the game for WSU. Until then …

Zags part of ESPNU’s Midnight Madness

Gonzaga will join Duke, Kentucky, Memphis and Kansas State and the UConn women’s team as programs featured on ESPNU’s four-hour Midnight Madness special on Oct. 15. All five of the men’s teams are ranked in ESPN’s Top 25 with the Zags checking in at No. 9.

More below.

UPDATE: More on GU’s Kraziness in the Kennel here.

Will WSU roast in Texas heat?


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It’s warm and humid in Dallas, which must do something for the beef, because the steak I had last night was tasty. Really wanted barbecue though, but the place recommended to me by a local closed at 8 freakin p.m. 8? What is this, Whoville? I thought Dallas was a big city. OK, enough whining, on to our morning post. Read on.

EWU Leahy fights back from gruesome off-field injury

Eastern Washington’s fifth-year offensive tackle Brice Leahy still limps noticeably at times during practice, but remains an inspiration to his coaches and teammates after battling back from a serious motor scooter accident that almost cost him his right leg.

You can read the feature story on Leahy’ remarkable comeback that will appear in Friday morning’s S-R  here.  And check back tomorrow for an early look at the advance story on Saturday’s important Big Sky Conference clash between Montana and Eastern, which kicks off at 4:05 p.m.

 

Vandals’ Elmo charged with DUI

Idaho redshirt freshman tight end Taylor Elmo, 20, was arrested and charged with drinking under the influence on Aug. 27 in Moscow, the week preceding the Vandals’ football opener against North Dakota. Details of Elmo’s incident were reported today in the Lewiston Tribune. “It has been dealt with internally, and I am disappointed that it happened,” coach Robb Akey told the Tribune.

Elmo did not play against North Dakota. He made his first collegiate catch at Nebraska.

Another freshman will play for WSU


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A quick summary of Washington State coach Paul Wulff’s Thursday afternoon press conference awaits on the link, so read on.

Thursday Prep Page

A few things to link to. Click the tab below for more.

Also, see results of early September poll.

Menegas turns to writing

Former Lewiston and Post Falls football coach Nick Menegas is writing a weekly column - Coach’s Corner - for the Lewiston Tribune.

I’m going to post those columns from time to time. Click the tab below to read about one of his former players who is a standout lineman in the NFL.

Thursday morning WSU links


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We’re starting a little late today so let’s get right to it. We linked all our stories last night on an easy-to-find post, so read on for other stuff.

Longtime Legion coach dismissed

Tom Grunenfelder, longtime Lewis-Clark Twins American Legion baseball coach, has been dismissed.

Click the tab below to read a story from the Lewiston Tribune newspaper.

Vandals want more from wideouts

What has the Idaho football team learned about itself after two weeks? Hard to say. The Vandals are 1-1 after thrashing North Dakota and faltering at Nebraska. The first opponent was vastly inferior to UI; the second was a top-10 team. But Saturday night vs. UNLV, aside from being the last home game in more than a month, should be telling.

We’ve got more after the link, including an early look at our story for tomorrow’s paper.

WSU preps for SMU


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Washington State is done hitting for the week and not a moment too soon. The number of players fighting little injuries seemed to be growing as the day went on. For more, and links to our stories, read on.

Siegfried takes over Power

As expected, Chris Siegfried (pictured above), who coached Spokane to an af2 championship in 2006, has been named head coach of the Pittsburgh Power. The Power are one of four new teams (though all have past AFL ties) beginning play in the 2011 season. Here’s more.

Elsewhere, Darren Arbet is back in the saddle with the San Jose franchise. He took the SaberCats to three AFL crowns in his previous stint.

UPDATE: Kansas City has a new coach and soon, a new nickname.

New Orleans is back in the AFL game, and the VooDoo already have a starting quarterback.

An eclectic WSU morning post


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This time of year football dominates the discussion, and information, each morning here. But today we’re going to veer off into some uncharted territory. Oh sure, we’re going to still have your football news. We never miss that. But we’re also going to discuss athletics, finance, basketball and cheating. If you’re interested, read on.

Tackling a Tuesday emphasis at WSU


COUGARS

Washington State is off the practice field and has already eaten dinner, so we better get to our practice notes. Read on for those. Earlier today, we summarized Paul Wulff’s press conferences, which you can read here. You can also watch his local one here.

New Orleans back in the game, Shack, Siegfried updates

After months of rumors, the Bossier/Shreveport franchise is relocating to New Orleans, a Louisiana newspaper is reporting.

The team will take on the logo and nickname “VooDoo” that was used by the New Orleans’ AFL franchise from 2005-08. More here.

Meanwhile, it appears ex-Shock coach Chris Siegfried is in position to take over as head coach of the Pittsburgh Power, one of four new AFL teams for 2011. An announcement could come as early as tomorrow. More here.

Finally, former Shock coach Adam Shackleford has signed on to coach the Tri-Cities Fever for three more years. Read the story here. The Fever play in the IFL, one of indoor football’s minor leagues. Shackleford’s new deal stipulates that he can leave for an NFL, CFL or college job, but not for a position in the AFL.

Kong resuming career in Canada

Former Gonzaga Bulldog forward Bol Kong has returned to Canada to continue his basketball career.

 

Kong is playing for Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton. He withdrew from GU summer school classes in July. Kong is eligible immediately at NAIT, which is roughly comparable to an NCAA Division II program, head coach Don Phillips said.

 

Phillips knew Kong, who was born in Sudan but spent most of his life in Canada, before he joined Gonzaga’s program. Kong played in 31 games, scoring in double figures six times, in his only season with the Bulldogs.

 

“There’s probably not a college in Canada that wouldn’t want him, but what I’ve tried to hammer home is the athlete-student approach is done,” Phillips said. “It has to be student-athlete.”

 

NAIT has a few exhibition games coming up, but doesn’t officially open until next month.

Wulff talks SMU, WSU


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Paul Wulff has held two conference calls already on this Tuesday, and he still has his coach’s show yet to go. We have a summary of what he’s had to say, so read on.

Tuesday mornings with WSU


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There is nothing like opening up a new computer. The fresh computer smell. The faster processor. The cool keyboard. The inability to access half your favorite websites because you can’t remember the passwords. The loss of all your macros. How fun. We have your morning links and a couple notes, so read on.

Akey on NU loss, UNLV this weekend

Robb Akey addressed the media on two occasions today, and we’ve got lots of thoughts from him below the link. As we highlighted earlier, slot receiver Marcel Posey is out for the year with a torn ACL. The loss of Posey and injuries to Preston Davis and Justin Veltung will test the Vandals’ depth at receiver.

Read on for more.

Looking ahead to SMU


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So we finally figured out how to get into our system – went out and plucked a 12-year-old off the street to hack in – and we have a post for you. It’s our first look at SMU, so read on.

Prep football this week

So which is the real University football team? The one that handled Lewis and Clark last week or the one that Ferris topped the week before?

Click the tab below for more.

Akey: Wideout Marcel Posey out for year

Idaho football coach Robb Akey confirmed that backup wide receiver and kick returner Marcel Posey will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. He sustained the knee injury during Saturday’s 38-17 loss at Nebraska. Akey hopes to have injured starting guard Tevita Halaholo and receivers Preston Davis and Justin Veltung back against UNLV. Halaholo missed the second half of the NU game.

The Vandals and Rebels play Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on ESPNU. Check back later for more.

CdA athlete dies in accident

UPDATE: Monday a.m.

Click the tab below to read about the death of Coeur d’Alene baseball standout Devon Austin in a car accident early Sunday morning. A friend of Austin, Ryan Reinhardt, also died in the accident.

Austin is pictured above.

Here’s a link to the story about the accident in this morning’s Twin Falls newspaper.

Monday morning at WSU


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It’s Monday morning and we have some personal items to attend to today, so … a quick post and then off to see the doc, hoping to get a clean bill of health. After that, who know? Read on.

WSU’s Wulff looks back at MSU


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We’ve put together our follow story on Washington State’s 23-22 comeback win over Montana State on Saturday, which will run in Monday’s S-R. You can read it here and, if you read on, you’ll find more on what coach Paul Wulff had to say on his conference call. Also, we had a slide show from the game from Chris Anderson you can access here.

Wounded Grizzlies next up for Eastern

Montana Week is officially on for Eastern Washington University, which will dedicate its new artificial red turf and officially change the name of its home football venue to Roos Field on Saturday, when the Grizzlies come to Cheney to open Big Sky Conference football play.

UM, which was ranked No. 1 among Football Championship Subdivision schools prior to suffering a 35-33 road loss to Cal Poly on Saturday, will probably come in a bit angry — seeing red, perhaps — which should make for another interesting renewal of  what has become the BSC’s most competitive rivalry.

I’ve included links to Big Sky-related items below, along with some additional thoughts and comments from Eastern’s 35-32 win over Central Washington at Qwest Field in Seattle last night.

Read on.

 

Tight WSU takes forever to overtake MSU


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It seems all the rage on college campuses all of a sudden. Walking the football team through campus. The Huskies did it. Arizona did it. And WSU did a short version of it prior to the game against Montana State on Saturday. It will probably continue until something unforeseen happens. Which almost happened yesterday in Pullman, though it came on the field. The Cougars came this close to dropping the one game this season they were supposed to win. Those final five words, that’s the rub. For more, read on.

WSU rallies for 23-22 win over MSU


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Montana State came into Martin Stadium on Saturday and showed it is deserving of its 23rd ranking in the Football Championship Subdivision polls. Washington State, on the other hand, played better in some ways at Oklahoma State than it did against the Bobcats. We have some notes and links, so read on.

Eags hold off Central at Qwest Field

Eastern Washington’s Tyler Jolley batted down a fourth-down Central Washington pass with just a little under a minute left in the game to help preserve the Eagles’ 35-32 non-conference win at Qwest Field in Seattle.

Here is the link to are story.

Gomez sets Walters record

A great football Saturday, but maybe even a better day to run. The Tracy Walters Invitational with state cross country championship teams from Montana, Idaho and Washington, lived up to the billing with a couple of course records. North Central boys and Bozeman girls have the best teams but the records go to Kamiakin junior and Coeur d’Alene’s amazing Kinzey Gomez. There were also big meets at Mead (Meadlander) and Silverwood.

Montana State leads 13-7 at half


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A quick halftime post. I hear many of you have lost your TV feed. Well, you haven’t missed a great deal, other than James Montgomery’s electrifying 70-yard run that led to the Cougars’ lone touchdown – his 3-yard run. But he also had a key fumble that, paired with Jeff Tuel’s inexplicable interception – there was no way he could get the ball to Jared Karstetter unless he threw it through Aleksei Grosulak – killed the Cougar offense in the first half. The WSU drives in the first half ended with turnover, turnover, punt, touchdown and turnover on downs. MSU has had the ball for 17:37, running for 81 yards and passing for another 128. … WSU gets the ball to start the second half. Remember, we’re on Twitter at vinceg55.

WSU about ready for kickoff


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Not too long now. The home portion of Washington State 2010 football schedule is about to begin, with FCS power (OK, that’s stretching it a little) Montana State in Pullman. We have some thoughts, so read on.

Final: Nebraska 38, Idaho 17

It wasn’t too hard to figure out why Idaho stumbled at No. 7 Nebraska, 38-17. Six turnovers (five on Nate Enderle interceptions). Seven sacks. Way too many third-and-longs for the offense. Two back-to-back long TD runs given up by the defense.

Still, after a nightmarish second quarter, the Vandals were much sharper. We’ve got lots more below the link (and on Twitter).

Half: Nebraska 31, Idaho 3

The seventh-ranked Cornhuskers intercepted Idaho quarterback Nathan Enderle twice for touchdowns. Idaho’s defense played well early, trailing 3-0 at the end of the first quarter.

The Cornhuskers got rolling in the second quarter, though.

North Central downs Rogers

Click here to read our Greater Spokane League roundup featuring North Central’s win over Rogers.

Eagles face CWU at Qwest Field

Eastern Washington University head football coach Beau Baldwin sends his Eagles up against his alma mater, Central Washiington,  tonight at Qwest Field in Seattle.  Kickoff is set for 6:05 p.m., and we will post a link to the game story right here as soon as possible.

In the meantime, you can check out the game advance that ran in this morning’s S-R here, and see what EWU’s sports information department posted about the upcoming game here.

Game day on the Palouse: WSU vs. MSU


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It’s another game day in the Palouse, the first of the 2010 season. To open, Washington State will face Montana State, a Big Sky Conference foe that has never defeated the Cougars in seven tries. The weather is expected to be clear and cool for the 4 p.m. kickoff. We have everything else you’ll need to prepare for another football Saturday on the link, so read on.

WSU coaches know the peril of FCS schools


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We have our story on Washington State’s home opener vs. Montana State for tomorrow’s S-R available for you, along with a couple notes. Go ahead and read on.

Enderle ready for return to Lincoln

It will be a new experience for most of the Idaho football team when it heads into Nebraska’s stadium tomorrow. But not so for Nate Enderle. We’ve got an early look at our preview of tomorrow’s Vandal-Cornhusker matchup below the link.

A good morning to catch up with WSU


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Do you have to pay attention at work today? Can’t you just hide in the corner somewhere with your Droid and get your football fix? Because this is a morning to do it. There is a lot of ground to cover concerning Washington State – and the rest of the Pac-10 – so read on.

CV, Mt. Spokane win

Central Valley bounced back from a season-opening loss and defending champ Mt. Spokane stopped preseason favorite Gonzaga Prep in a Greater Spokane League doubleheader Thursday at Joe Albi Stadium.

Here’s my story.

Central Valley wins, 31-14

The Central Valley Bears bounced back in a big way Thursday after a season-opening loss, stopping the Mead Panthers 31-14.

More later.

WSU rolls on toward home opener


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It’s less than 48 hours until Washington State’s home opener against Montana State, and the RVs and fifth wheels are starting to roll into Pullman. Sitting in Martin Stadium watching the Cougars go through their game-plan work for the Bobcats, I counted nearly 10 pass through the east-end opening en route to the parking lot. Read on.

CV leads 17-7 at halftime

A 99-yard kickoff return to start the game and an 83-yard kickoff return highlighted the first half in which Central Valley opened a 17-0 lead before taking a 17-7 advantage at halftime.

More later.

Old ties will be renewed at WSU on Saturday


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What did Paul Wulff have to say on his Thursday conference call? Not a lot, actually, as he was late arriving. But there were a couple of pieces of news, and our story for tomorrow’s paper on former Cougar Jason McEndoo, so read on.

Thursday Prep Page

A full menu, click the tab below for more.

WSU home opener not too far away


COUGARS • UPDATED: 3:30 P.M.

The hitting is done. The game plan is in. All that’s left now for the Washington State Cougars is to fine-tune the mental aspect as they prepare for Saturday’s home opener against Montana State. For more, read on.

Is it worth the money for Vandals?


WSU tackles a problem


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Rain – actual rain not showers – hit the practice field for about 5 minutes Wednesday, but by the time Washington State got off the field, the sun was shining. We had a few interviews to attend to, but now we’re ready to share some practice notes, so read on.

Football back in Northport

You don’t have to wait until Thursday morning to read my column.

For the first time since 1951, they’re going to play football in Northport.

BCS games equal big money for UI

UPDATED: 9:40 p.m.

As I hinted at yesterday, we’ve got a story on the Idaho football scheduling philosophy and what it means financially to play the likes of Nebraska. We also hit on a possible renewal of the series with Washington State. Read on.

You may have seen the poll we have up on SportsLink about the injury risk playing big-name teams like Nebraska. Well, we’ve got comments from Robb Akey and safety Shiloh Keo on how depth and injuries factor into these sort of games.

 

Chiefs off to Tri-City next

Not sure how to spell exactly what Spokane Chiefs coach Don Nachbaur said about his first trip back to Tri-City.

True, it’s only an exhibition game - or games, Thursday vs. Lethbridge, Saturday vs. the Americans - but his response was, “Arg.” Sounded a lot like a Pirate.

For the rest of his response, check out the notebook that also takes a look back at the first three exhibition games of the Nachbaur era.

I would also like to direct you to Gregg Drinnan’s blog to find out how an OHL team ended up at the Everett tournament last weekend.

GU-Illinois tickets on sale Saturday

Pre-sale tickets for the Dec. 4th Battle in Seattle featuring Gonzaga versus Illinois will go on sale Saturday in Spokane. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster at three Fred Meyer locations.

More info below.

Taking a look at WSU news


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Another week, another Wednesday of Pac-10 news. Yes, that’s what Wednesday’s are for. It’s hump day, the last time folks look over their shoulder at the weekend just past and then begin to race down the hill to the next game. Read on.

EWU brass likes Big Sky expansion plan

Is adding Cal Poly and UC Davis to the football-only mix of the Big Sky Conference a good idea?

The Big Sky brass thinks so, and so do Eastern Washington athletics director Bill Chaves and his head football coach Beau Baldwin.

You can take an early look at the reaction story that will appear in Wednesday morning’s S-R here, and feel free to leave any comments you might on the BSC’s decision to expand on this post.

Separated shoulder confirmed

Gonzaga Prep senior quarterback Shane Schmidlkofer suffered a separated shoulder in the Bullpups’ 45-21 win over Shadle Park last Friday, a doctor confirmed Tuesday.

He will be out indefinitely.

“We hope to get him back at some point this season,” G-Prep coach Dave McKenna said.

G-Prep was the preseason pick to capture the Greater Spokane League championship.

McKenna would not say on the record what the plan is for Thursday when G-Prep (1-0) takes on defending league champ Mt. Spokane (1-0) at Joe Albi Stadium at 7:15 p.m.

Another Tuesday over at WSU


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We summarized Paul Wulff’s press conferences earlier today (and you can watch his local one here) so we won’t go into that again (if you want to read what we wrote earlier, click here). But we do have some practice notes, so read on.

Summarizing Wulff’s press conferences


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Paul Wulff’s time with the media was longer than any of the other Pac-10 coaches Tuesday. And he was on his local conference call for more than 22 minutes, as far as I can remember close to a record. If you want to know what he had to say, you’ll have to read on.

Big Sky adds two schools for football

The Big Sky Conference just announced that the University of California, Davis and Cal Poly have accepted invitations to joing the league as affiliate members in football.  I am trying to track down Eastern Washington University athletics director Bill Chaves and Eagles head football coach Beau Baldwin for comments.

Until then, you can see what the Big Sky office released about the league’s decision to expand right here.

Gardner hightlights deep cross country field

Andrew Gardner (above in a great Chris Anderson photo) is one of many outstanding young distance runners in Spokane that should make for an interesting - and successful - cross country season. However, the Mead sophomore’s story is quite different from most. Gardner was the subject of our GSL cross country preview feature that ran on Tuesday.

Idaho getting $800K from Nebraska

Later this week I’ll have a story on the financial ramifications of Idaho football’s scheduling. For now, though, here are a few details: The payout for Saturday’s Nebraska game, $800,000, is the largest the Vandals have ever received, according to athletic director Rob Spear. But the high mark won’t last long. Next year, UI is getting $850,000 to play at Texas A&M. And in 2012, LSU is paying the Vandals $950,000 to come to Baton Rouge.

The previous high for a payout was $600,000 for the USC game in 2007 and Arizona in 2008, Spear said.

Tuesday morning from WSU


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Tuesday mornings are never overflowing with new and notes as most every team is getting over its weekend-game hangover. Today is a little unusual as there are some things to link, so read on.

WSU begins prep for Montana State


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Washington State’s practice schedule has them going under the lights on Monday night, wearing their shells. That means no hard pads, just soft shoulder pads, helmets, jerseys and shorts. We have a couple notes, so read on.

Labor Day preps

Click the tab below to see links around the Pacific Northwest.

Vandals’ task: Contain NU’s Martinez

From North Dakota, in just its third year removed from the Division II ranks, to playing at Nebraska. Talk about a massive step up in competition for Idaho from last Thursday to Saturday, when it will be at Lincoln’s Memorial Stadium to square off with the Cornhuskers.

We’ve got some thoughts on the matchup (the Vandals are 28.5-point underdogs), and some comments from NU coach Bo Pelini and Robb Akey.

Monday morning WSU, Pac-10 links


COUGARS

No, I’m not taking today as a holiday. But after getting in last night after midnight, drinking too much coffee on the plane and rediscovering how comfortable the Stearns and Foster is, I overslept big time. But we’re awake now and have our usual, albeit late, morning post, Call it the mid-morning Labor Day post. Read on.

WSU’s players try to make sense of loss


COUGARS

Before we got on our flight from Dallas to Seattle – a flight once again full of Oregon State fans, a little less exuberant going home than they were headed out – we put together a couple things for tomorrow’s S-R. You can read our story online, and we have a little more on the link, so read on.

Making sense of WSU’s blowout


COUGARS

It seemed like a perfect way to start a season. A beautiful day in the Midwest, an orange-hued, tailgated-up crowd ready to verbalize some, well, free-form poetry might be a nice way to put it, toward the Cougars, and the optimism only youth can exude. And then that youth showed. Showed in all the ways WSU fans have seen too often the past couple years. An early mistake, a short rally and then the roof crumbling. Boom, the game was out of hand and the Cougars were left trying to explain why. We’ll do some of the same, and give you links to the Pac-10’s Saturday, so read on.

WSU starts season with a resounding defeat


COUGARS

It’s late here in Stillwater, so we’ll just post the early versions of our game story and notebook and call it good. If you saw the game, you know the result. If you didn’t, well you can find out the details on the link. Read on.

WSU trailing 38-10 at half


COUGARS

The first play was a fumble leading to a 7-0 Oklahoma State lead. It was 17-0 at the end of the first quarter. Then a 56-yard field goal from Nico Grasu seemed to fire up WSU. Alex Hoffman-Ellis sacked Brandon Weeden to force a punt on the next possession, giving WSU its best field position of the half, midfield. The Cougars took advantage, despite a holding call, scoring in four plays, the last 48 yards on a Jeff Tuel to Marquess Wilson pass. But that was it. For WSU, not Oklahoma State. For more, read on.

Some WSU pregame thoughts


COUGARS

We’re sitting in the press box at Boone Pickens Stadium – by we, I mean John Blanchette and myself – as we await Washington State’s season opener. Keys to the game? We’ll we covered that some this morning, but we have some other thoughts as well, so read on.

It’s nearly time for WSU’s 2010 football season


COUGARS

The plane from Seattle to Dallas was filled with Oregon State fans. And, no, that wasn’t the reason why the day was so stressful. In fact, the Beaver crowd was a lot of fun. My plane from Dallas to Tulsa was filled with Oklahoma State fans. And, no, that wasn’t the reason why the day was so stressful either. It was the time in between the two flights, the late, late gate change in Dallas that made a sprint between terminals necessary. Now that was stressful – any thing that involves the word sprint is stressful to me. But you don’t want hear about the labor pains, do you? You only want to see the baby. So read on.

CdA, lightning stop Moses Lake

I thought I had difficulties Friday. In North Idaho, they had to deal with lightning, lightning delays, rain and more lightning.

Correspondent Steve Christilaw was at the Coeur d’Alene/Moses Lake game that endured a 1 hour and 10 minute lightning delay, only to restart and finally be stopped because of a second round of lightning.

Here’s a link to his story.

Ferris pulls away from U-Hi

I can’t even big to tell you about the computer issues I had tonight. First, I went to our Spokane Valley office early to set up and discovered there was something wrong with our webserver.

That was the beginning of many more hurdles. So I had to speed back to our Coeur d’Alene office to write my game story from the Ferris-University game.

More hiccups and bugs in the computer system. So here’s a link to the story and blurbs from the other GSL openers. I better link now or the computer will crash.

Pictured above is Ferris wide receiver Riley Stockton, who caught two touchdown passes.

Preps: Cleaning out the notebook

Click the tab below to link to items around the state that I meant to get to before something called WORK got in the way!

A look back at EWU’s loss

Like Eastern Washington head coach Beau Baldwin explained, in this S-R story, following Thursdays 49-24 road loss to Nevada, the Eagles have some positives to build on despite the season-opening defeat.

One of the biggest was the play of junior running back Taiwan Jones, who gets a few props in this game story that ran in the Reno Gazette-Journal this morning. I’ve also included this link to the gamer that was posted on EWU’s website, and this link to Chris Murray’s assessment of Nevada’s performance on his Wolf Pack blog.

Some additional personal thoughts and a few more postgame comments from Baldwin appear below, so read on.  And leave any comments you might want to share on the game right here.

 

A gander at prep football

UPDATED: Friday, 10:45 a.m.

Thought it would be good to refresh this and put it at the top of Sportslink with tonight being the official kickoff to the high school season.

We start our look at Greater Spokane League football with a feature on preseason favorite Gonzaga Prep and the retooling of its offensive line.

Here are some GSL notes and our predicted order of finish.

Here is our Great Northern League glance.

Here is our Intermountain League glance.

Here is my first fall column. I take a closer look at the GSL and the 5A and 4A Inland Empire League.

PLEASE FEEL free to post your thoughts.

Pictured above is a file photo of Gonzaga Prep running back Bishop Sankey.

GSL opener: Mt. Spokane wins

UPDATED, 10 a.m.

Mt. Spokane picked up where it left off in Greater Spokane League football a year ago as the defending champ topped Central Valley in a conference opener Thursday.

Click here to read the story.

ALSO, here’s a link in the Nampa newspaper about Post Falls’ 57-14 nonleague drubbing of Caldwell last night.

ALSO II: I’ve launched into the Twitter world. You can follow me at SRpreps.

WSU headed for Oklahoma


COUGARS

The road beckons. Washington State will begin the 2010 football season in less than 36 hours in Stillwater, Okla., and the Cougars leave Pullman this morning, busing to Lewiston for the charter to the plains. We’re flying commercial, making three stops and hoping for no problems. As for you, you can sit back, grab the coffee and read our Friday morning report.

Vandals waltz past UND

Robb Akey wasn’t entirely happy, and neither were Idaho players who spoke to the media after the Vandals’ 45-0 rout of North Dakota. But they couldn’t complain too much — not after collecting the program’s first shutout since 1997.

We’ve got our unedited game story below, plus an injury update and notes.

Half: Idaho 17, N. Dakota 0

It was far from a crisp first half for the Idaho football team. Nonetheless, the Vandals are up 17-0 over North Dakota, an FCS team from the Great West Conference. Idaho’s spirited defense forced two turnovers, the first a JoJo Dickson interception that was almost returned for a TD. Instead, Princeton McCarty punched in a 5-yard run.

Quarterback Nathan Enderle started 5 for 5 and ended the half 17-fof-27 passing for 218 yards and one TD. He also threw an interception on a downfield heave 22 seconds left before halftime. Enderle’s TD was a 44-yard strike to Justin Veltung down the sideline.

UI was penalized six times — three of which were procedure penalties by wideouts Eric Greenwood and Preston Davis — and gave up four sacks.

Youth will serve at WSU


COUGARS

The last Pullman practice prior to the Oklahoma State opener is over and the Cougars are ready to head out for Stillwater tomorrow morning. They’ll hold a walk through at OSU tomorrow evening, but for more on what they accomplished today and for a look at our story on the WSU freshmen, click here for my story. Also, you can read on below for some additional notes.

Chiefs reassign four players

After four days of training camp, capped by the intrasquad game on Sunday, the Spokane Chiefs sent half of the 70 players home.

After two more days of practice they reassigned four more players, which means 31 players are headed for three games in three days at Everett beginning Friday afternoon.

 

Pick your favorite for the GSL football race

Fews’ Coaches vs. Cancer raises $727,500

Mark and Marcy Fews’ Coaches vs. Cancer event in Spokane last weekend raised $727,500 toward the fight against cancer. That brings the nine-year total to nearly $5 million.

More below.

EWU, Nevada to kick it off in about eight hours

We’re in Reno and just a little over eight hours from the start of Eastern Washington’s 2010 football opener against the University of Nevada in 29,993-seat Mackay Stadium. 

According to an article that ran in this morning’s Reno Gazette-Journal, The Wolf Pack seems a bit more confident than they did heading into last year’s season opener, and for good reason. You can read more here, and for those who missed the game advance that ran in this morning S-R, I’ve included this link.

In addition, the Gazette-Journal had this video preview of the game on its website, along with this post of NFL Draft guru Mel Kiper’s opinion of Wolf Pack quarterback Colin Kaepernick.lin

 I’ve also included this link to a feature story on Eagles running back Taiwan Jones that ran in the RGJ Wedesday morning.

Tha’ts it for now, but check back later — much later — this evening for a link to the EWU-Nevada game story that will run in Friday morning’s S-R.

Games kick off tonight, though WSU has a wait ahead


COUGARS

This morning turned out to have less WSU news than we expected, being it is a couple days before the opener and all. But that doesn’t deter us, no way. We have enough to keep you busy until lunchtime if need be – and you read really, really slowly.

First kickoff approaches for Idaho

Less than 24 hours now until the Idaho Vandals launch the 2010 season against FCS foe North Dakota. We’ve got lots for you after the link, including a preview of Thursday night’s game (6 p.m., Atlitude TV) and extra notes.

Quarterbacks follow different paths to OSU, WSU


COUGARS

There is something on the field at Washington State this week that I haven’t seen in a while. If you want to know what it is, and if you want to see our story for tomorrow’s S-R, you have to read on.

Idaho football rankings

Here is Week 1 of the Idaho prep football rankings.

Click the tab below to see.

Vandals to play BYU … but not at home

Brigham Young, which is going independent in football and joining the West Coast Conference in other sports, will play Idaho next year as part of an agreement with the WAC. But unlike BYU’s other WAC opponents in 2011 and 2012, the Vandals won’t reap a home game as part of the arrangement. However, the Cougars and UI will play a home-and-home series in men’s basketball starting in 2011-12.

We’ve got more after the link, including a statement from Idaho athletic director Rob Spear.

Shock losing Sauk to Utah

The Spokane Shock are searching for a new offensive coordinator. Matt Sauk is leaving the Shock coaching staff to become offensive coordinator for the Utah Blaze. The move will allow him to be with his wife and two daughters at their Utah home without relocating during the AFL season. Read the story here.

While I was visiting with Shock head coach Rob Keefe, I asked if he’s receiving some interest from other AFL teams. Keefe said he’s received some indirect feelers, but nothing that sounded too serious. He reiterated that he is happy in Spokane and wants to try to win a second consecutive title.

Eags land safely in Reno

The charterer plane carrying Eastern Washington’s football team touched down in Reno late this morning after a smooth, uneventful flight from Spokane, and the team is scheduled to work out late afternoon in Mackay Stadium, where the Eagles will open their 2010 season with a 6:05 p.m. Thursday showdown against Nevada.

Those aboard the charter were amused when a flight attendent informed passengers that the name of the captain flying the plane was Joe Eagle.

An omen? We’ll see.

Here is my advance on the Thursday’s game.

How will WSU do this year?


COUGARS

The rain yesterday reminded me that summer is officially over, even if the calendar says we have three more weeks. Heck, little kids are headed back to school all over the Inland Northwest today, tomorrow, Friday and Tuesday. Some of my fondest memories come from those long, hot days of August; some of the worst from the first few, hot days of September. What a difference a school desk made. Anyhow, the first days of September do hold one thing, the promise of the college football season. This week, anything is possible; next week, not so much. So let’s examine that upcoming season a little bit, and catch up with football news from the West Coast. Read on.

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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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Greg Lee (@srpreps) Greg Lee covers high school sports in Eastern Washington and North Idaho. 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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