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This and that from WSU

COUGARS

The afternoon practice is over and I'm not exaggerating by saying it certainly lacked the intensity of the morning workout. I don't know if it was because the players were in shells (helmets, shoulder pads and shorts) or if it was because coach Paul Wulff was MIA, headed to Spokane for an evening event, or if it was because of something else. Despite the lack of intensity, there is news, so read on.

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• Where to begin? Well, we'll start with football items. ... There was little in the way of team work in the afternoon. Special teams drills and individual position drills dominated. ... Offensive lineman Alex Mitchell, the freshman from Portland, was a spectator. Mitchell has been accepted into WSU as a student, but contrary to a published report, has yet to earn the NCAA Clearinghouse stamp of approval, according to Washington State's compliance office. Until that comes through, Mitchell won't be a participant at practice. No matter what, however, he can't go until schools starts Monday, as WSU is already at its limit of participants. ... Defensive end Lenard Williams tweaked his right ankle in a drill and sat out the last half of practice, ice bag over his elevated joint. He was, however, walking well after practice. ... There are a few former walk-ons who will be on scholarship this fall, including fullback Jared Byers, offensive lineman Elliott Bosch and safety Kyle McCartney. Why these guys now? Besides having earned it with their play, a player has to be in school for at least two years before they can go on scholarship or they have to be counted against that year's initial group. After the two years, all they count against is the 85 total. ... OK, that's enough football. Now some real-life stuff. I won't be at practice or on the blog the next few days. I could say it was for personal reasons, but I checked with Kim (if you're new here, Kim's my wife) and she didn't want to leave it at that. A few weeks ago Kim, a veteran nurse, noticed a slight difference in her health. She saw our family doctor, was sent to a specialist and just like that her life was thrown into a blender. Tomorrow Kim will undergo breast cancer surgery. She and her doctors feel they've caught it early enough that the prognosis is excellent, but this is uncharted territory for us. We know many readers have been touched by this disease. We know you understand the uncertainty we've faced the past few weeks. And most importantly, you understand how crucial it is to consistently check for, and not ignore, cancer's warning signs. So anyways, that's why I'll be out a few days. Any positive vibes you can send Kim's way would be appreciated.

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• That's all for this evening. We'll be back when we can. Until later ...




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Vince Grippi
Vince Grippi is a freelance local sports blogger for spokesman.com. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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