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Archive for May 2011

Shock acquire Meyer, trade Smith, Narcisse

It sounds like it's going to be another interesting week in Shockville.

I spoke with head coach Rob Keefe earlier tonight about the trade of Khreem Smith and Antonio Narcisse to Utah for QB Erik Meyer and Raymond McNeil. The coach indicated it was the first of a series of moves that should be announced over the next few days that should explain the reasons behind dealing Smith, one of the AFL's best defensive players.

Remember, the trade deadline was supposed to be May 16th, a couple of days after quarterbacks Bill Stull and Kyle Rowley suffered injuries against Dallas. However, the league decided to extend the deadline to May 30th, which opened the door to numerous transactions reported on the AFL website, including DB Rod Mosley being traded from Utah to San Jose. I'm guessing Spokane might have another move or two show up on transactions in the next 48 hours.

Read on for an unedited article that will run in Tuesday's S-R.

Report: Goodson joining Baylor football

Ex-Zag Demetri Goodson is transferring to Baylor to play football, according to a Houston television station report.

Goodson announced earlier this month he was bypassing his senior season at Gonzaga to pursue football. The TV station's report doesn't indicate if Goodson is receiving a scholarship. Here's a story link.

Read on below for a short article on Goodson that will run in Tuesday's S-R.

Shock trade for Meyer, give up Smith

Spokane has made a trade it hopes will solve its quarterback issues, but it came at a hefty price.

The Shock dealt standout defensive end Khreem Smith and starting center Antonio Narcisse to Utah for quarterback Erik Meyer and starting center Raymond McNeil. Meyer, the former Eastern Washington Eagle, was Kyle Rowley's backup in Spokane last season.

“I love and respect every player that has played for me. This is very bittersweet, but it will help us more as a team. Right now we are 1.5 games out of the playoffs and with seven games to go, we have our sights set on making a playoff run,” Shock coach Rob Keefe said. “In the postseason, it’s important not to have the best individuals, but the best team. These moves make our team better and that is what’s important right now.”

Spokane (4-7) dropped its second straight game without Rowley (shoulder) and Bill Stull (knee) on Saturday, falling to Kansas City. Casey Hansen, the starter the last two games, led Spokane to just one offense-generated touchdown in the first half. 

The Shock have a bye week and then entertain Philadelphia. Rowley and Stull are both on injured reserve and will miss at least one more game.

Meyer was 18 of 28 for 274 yards and five touchdowns in two games last season. His season was cut short by injury and Spokane eventually brought in Brian Zbydniewski to back up Rowley. Meyer hasn't attempted a pass this season as the backup to starter Tommy Grady.

McNeil was with the Milwaukee Iron last season and previously played for Green Bay in arenafootball2.

Smith is regarded as one of the top defensive lineman in the AFL. He was tied for third in the league in sacks (7), and third in tackles for loss (9.5). He also had three forced fumbles and five blocked kicks. Narcisse has started most of the last two seasons.

More here.

Final numbers & final word on DQ’s

So, after filing three track stories from Tacoma, I did the only logical thing, put my feet up, quenched my thirst and took a little deeper look at the results. Keep reading for the final post from D on all the D's.

More DQ’s at state, including wheelchair

So, after a certain reporter had a little rant on Friday about theThursday  DQ's at the State track and field meet in Tacoma, it turns out two Spokane 400 runners suffered the same fate. One was from Mt. Spokane, who was on the relay team that get zapped. So a senior, who is down to his swan song in high school, never gets a chance to run.

Now rules are rules, again. But by all accounts, not just from a grumpy reporter, there are just some trigger happy officials who want to show off their knowledge of the rules and they would rather add a notch to the handle of their flag than give an athlete the benefit of the doubt. I think the real problem is the Pac-10 meet only comes to Seattle every 10 years or so so these folks have nothing better to do.

One Westsider pointed out to me there was a pretty high-profile DQ in a past meet in Pasco … which is true for those who remember Nichole Cochrane of Bellarmine Prep and Andrea Nelson of Shadle Park giving her the gold to make national headlines. The emphasis, though, is on one, not a rash year-in and year-out.

One relay team showed up at the meet today with matching T-shirts with a message on the back: State Champion Lane Team. Hopefully a judge saw it and got the point.

FYI, a red flag went up on an East Valley wheel chair athlete for being out of the proper lane. However, a check last night showed he was DQ'd. Then I heard this morning officials were searching for a CV wheelchair ahtlete who apparently scratched on Friday - scratch one event, scratch all. Fortunately that was cleared up. The girl competed yesterday, her time just went to the EV athlete, who really was DQ'd.

And to think, I was just thinking it was tacky there were only medals for first place in the wheel chair events, not 8 places (or the three or four needed). Granted, there isn't much competition, which could be considered good and bad, but it's pretty hard to encourage participation  with that kind of attitude.

Gesser takes behind-the-scenes job at WSU

COUGARS

Before I head out to cover some college baseball this evening – showers permitting – I wanted to pass along this link. We have a story for tomorrow's S-R on the newest addition to Washington State's football coaching staff. As we told you a few days ago, former quarterback Jason Gesser is returning to Pullman in a non-field coaching position. He'll start with the Cougars on Aug. 1. That's it for now.

Officials get in the way of a good meet

Spokane coaches were still fuming on Friday because both the Mt. Spokane boys and Mead girls were disqualified in the prelims of the 1,600-meter relay Thursday night.

The Wildcats are the second-fastest quartet in the state, the Panthers two-time defending champions.

Both, who easily qualified for the finals, were eliminated because a runner took more two strides stepping on the inside line of the lane.

That’s just par for the course when the state meet is on the Westside of the state, where it seems officials go out of their way to make sure everyone knows the meet is about the officials and not the kids.

Now it’s true rules are rules and cheaters should be penalized but there is a little bit more to this.

This is a rule that can have some wiggle room.

First, did the team gain a real competitive advantage? Mt. Spokane sure did, just eking out a win by a whopping 15-plus meters.

Second, think about it. Yes, the coaches teach kids not to run on the lines, but they’re never judged on that during the season. It’s close to impossible to get enough adults to help run a track meet these days, and believe me, there aren’t enough officials to cover the far corner. It’s not like the no-jewelry rule, which is old and clear – and can easily and uniformly be enforced – even if has to connection to an advantage

Third, there is an official out there, watching all eight lanes. Really, that official can see all eight lanes and still tell if there is any jostling going on at elbow height? And this is at night, in the shadows.

One coach said, “I’ve judged before, when you see a kid take two steps on the line, look at another lane. You’re not there to DQ kids. You should be looking for if runners get too close together and there’s contact.”

Put the red flag up, but then let common sense take over. How much advantage did Mt. Spokane get? The answer is none. Throw in a warning so that’s not a deciding factor in a photo finish.

And another Spokane area  person pointed that those DQ’s came from the same official, while one in another corner didn’t seem to be quite as intent on finding violations.

Track and field is a sport that is dying and as a response officials seem to go out of their way to help it along. Eliminating state contenders really helps.

And don’t get me started on the way a security person treated an overly-enthused relay member as she cheered on a teammate outside of the designated area. There is no call for that, but then again, over here it’s about the officials and not the kids.

Idaho running backs coach leaves

Jeremy Thielbahr, Idaho's running backs and co-special teams coach, has left to take the head coach and assistant athletic director position at Eastside Catholic High in Sammamish, Wash. Thiehlbahr is the second UI coach to leave during the offseason, following offensive line coach Dan Finn. Thielbahr was a full-fledged member of the Vandals' coaching staff for three years.

Read on for more.

Shock add DL, release Witherspoon

Spokane has made some changes on its defensive front, signing former Duke Blue Devil Ayanga Okpokowuruk and releasing ex-EWU Eagle Lance Witherspoon.

Okpokowuruk was on the N.Y. Giants practice squad last year. He's an AFL rookie. Witherspoon, who fell on a fumble in the end zone for his first career touchdown in Spokane's win over Dallas two weeks ago, was claimed by Tulsa today.

More on Okpokowuruk here.

UI loses one scholarship; Siavii to redshirt

UPDATED: 5:43 p.m.

The newest four-year Academic Progress Rates have been unveiled by the NCAA, and the Idaho football team has lost one scholarship because of its multi-year APR of 923, just below the penalty threshold of 925.

That might sound like bad news — but to Robb Akey, it's not. That's because the Vandals knew this was coming and have already taken the scholarship hit. Read on for his reaction.

Also, Akey confirmed starting linebacker Robert Siavii, last year's leading tackler, will redshirt this fall after tearing his ACL during Idaho's spring game. Siavii will have one year of eligibility left after sitting out.

Shock, Hansen prepare for KC

I visited Shock practice today and checked in with Casey Hansen, who absorbed some punishment from Tampa Bay's defensive front in Friday's 51-42 loss.

More on Hansen, Markee White's health and other notes here.

One note that didn't make it: The AFL has extended the trade deadline to May 30th. It sounds like the three-team deal that involved Justin Allgood going from Philly to Tulsa was the impetus because it involved two marketing players ($1,000 per game) and one non-marketing player ($400 per game), a scenario that wasn't covered in the rules regarding marketing players. At a subsequent meeting, the rules were clarified and to give other teams an opportunity to make similar deals the deadline was extended.

APR, Bland and Gesser news from WSU

COUGARS

A busy day for those of us at Cougar Central, what with trying to sift through the debris of the APR results for the local Division I colleges as well as deal with the latest Louis Bland news. Oh, and some rumor control. For more on all that, read on.

Storm rough on Hansen, Shock

Spokane dropped to 4-6 with a 51-42 home loss to Tampa Bay, which turned its pass rush loose and overwhelmed fill-in quarterback Casey Hansen. S-R article here.

A Friday morning post from Pullman

COUGARS • UPDATED: 9:45 P.M.

It's been a couple days since we had anything substantial to pass along, but that's changed, so read on.

Shock, Storm tangle

It should be an interesting one tonight when Spokane, with Casey Hansen under center, and Tampa Bay, with Brian Zbydniewski at the controls, collide tonight at the Arena.

Hansen joined the Shock earlier this week after the team lost quarterbacks Bill Stull and Kyle Rowley to injuries last Saturday. Tampa Bay cut Mike Potts, who started in the season opener, then lost Grant Gregory to injury about a month ago. Gregory is back, but ex-Shock reserve Zbydniewski has started the last three games, including a win over Kansas City last week.

Here's my game preview.

Prep page

The Lake City and Coeur d'Alene softball teams begin State 5A tournament play Friday. Here's a feature on the LC Timberwolves.

The Idaho state track meets begin today, and here's the track notebook featuring Coeur d'Alene hurdler Morgan Struble (pictured above).

Perhaps parents' attitudes toward coaches have changed over time. At least that's what one coach/parent/administrator believes.

Hansen gets starting nod

Casey Hansen will start at quarterback when Spokane takes on Tampa Bay on Friday, head coach Rob Keefe said.

Hansen was one of three quarterbacks brought in this week as the Shock were forced to replace Bill Stull (knee) and Kyle Rowley (shoulder), both of whom were injured in Saturday's win over Dallas.

The 6-foot-5 Hansen, who backed up Nick Davila with the Shock in 2009, was the only one of the three with arena experience. Ex-Texas Tech quarterback Steven Sheffield will be backup. Former Shadle Park High standout Josh Powell also tried out.

Hansen, Sheffield added to roster

Spokane’s muddled quarterback situation is clearing up.

The Shock, who lost quarterbacks Bill Stull and Kyle Rowley to injuries in Saturday’s win over Dallas, brought in three quarterbacks for tryouts and Casey Hansen and Steven Sheffield have been added to the roster. Hansen was Spokane’s No. 2 quarterback in 2009. Sheffield, an arena football rookie, played at Texas Tech.

Head coach Rob Keefe hasn’t announced a starter for Friday’s game against Tampa Bay.

It was initially thought Stull, who suffered a bone bruise in his left knee, might return in a week or two, but he was placed on injured reserve Wednesday. After Friday’s game, Spokane visits Kansas City (2-7) and then has a bye week before entertaining Philadelphia (3-6). Stull could return for Spokane’s home game against Chicago on June 18.

Rowley, who is on injured reserve with a sprained AC joint, hopes to return later in the regular season.

“Casey proved himself during the 2009 season and again this week in practice,” Keefe said. “On short notice, it is great to get a QB who already has arena experience. He has cannon for an arm and he is extremely accurate.”

Sheffieldcompleted 69 percent of his passes for 1,578 yards during his Texas Tech career.

“If it weren’t for the NFL lockout, a player like Steve Sheffield would not be available to us,” Keefe said. “He has a huge upside and I’m excited to teach him the arena game.”

Receiver Chas Gessner, who filled in as an emergency quarterback last Saturday, was released.

Stull gets good news, Rowley on IR

Checked in at Shock practice today where Bill Stull (pictured above) received some good news regarding his left knee and Kyle Rowley was placed on injured reserve. Three quarterbacks audtioning for the starting — and backup — job threw about a billion passes. WR Markee White ran numerous pass routes, but his status for Friday's game hasn't been determined.

Here's my article that will run Wednesday's S-R.

Some stories to pass along on a Tuesday

COUGARS

Nothing huge to pass along this morning, but enough second-level news that it's worth putting together a post, so read on.

Shock bringing in three QBs for tryouts

Spokane doesn't know the full extent of injuries to quarterbacks Bill Stull's knee and Kyle Rowley's right (throwing) shoulder.

In the meantime, the team will bring in three quarterbacks for tryouts: Casey Hansen, who backed up Nick Davila in Spokane's 2009 af2 championship season; Steven Sheffield, a former QB at Texas Tech; and Josh Powell, who played at Harding University.

Hansen was 42 of 58 for 543 yards in 11 games. He had 13 touchdown passes and no interceptions. Hansen re-signed with the Shock, but was cut prior to the 2010 season.

Sheffield passed for 359 yards and three touchdowns with the Red Raiders in 2010. He was 101 of 136 for 1,219 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2009.

Powell played at Shadle Park High and committed to Eastern Washington. He left EWU and transferred to Long Beach City College before finishing his career at Harding in Arkansas.

Spokane didn't practice Monday, but is expected to be back on the field Tuesday. Stull, in his first start with the Shock, hurt his left knee late in the first quarter and was on crutches after the game. Rowley hurt his shoulder early in the fourth quarter and wasn't able to continue. Receivers Chas Gessner and Emery Sammons filled for the last couple possessions of Spokane's 71-49 win over Dallas.

Financial windfall headed to WSU

COUGARS

We spent a little time this week looking at Washington State's financial future. The result was a couple stories and graphics we ran in today's Spokesman-Review. For that, more thoughts and some links, read on.

Shock lose two QBs, win game

I've seen my share of strange arena football games over the years, but Saturday's has to rank as one of the strangest. Spokane, which made headlines earlier in the week for changing quarterbacks with Bill Stull taking over as the starter in place of Kyle Rowley, lost both QBs to injuries in a 71-49 win over Dallas.

Spokane's last couple of possessions were handled by receivers-turned-quarterbacks Chas Gessner and Emery Sammons. It'll be interesting to see what happens next: Stull hurt his left knee and though he insists he'll play next week, he had to be helped off the field and he was on crutches afterward. He said there doesn't appear to be serious damage to the major ligaments. Rowley hurt his right (throwing) shoulder. He tried to shake it off, but said it tightened up when he tried to throw passes behind Spokane's bench.

There will probably be more concrete news on the injuries Monday. Meanwhile, here's my game story, John Blanchette's column and Chris Anderson's photos.

 

Shock take on Vigilantes

Spokane, coming off a disappointing loss to Pittsburgh, tries to rebound against Dallas at the Arena on Saturday. Here's my preview that will run in Saturday's S-R.

 

Friday morning from WSU

COUGARS

We've been awake for a while and though there is little in the way of Washington State news, we thought we would share what we had found around the conference – and from Pullman.  So read on.

EWU’s Dean transferring to Utah

Despite an earlier announcement that he was staying at Eastern Washington to play basketball under new head coach Jim Hayford, Eagles sophomore guard Glen Dean has decided to transfer to the University of Utah.

You can get an early look at the story that will appear in Friday morning's S-R — along with the complete statement Dean emailed about his decision — here.

 

 

Live chat with Spokane Shock owner Brady Nelson

Spokane Shock owner Brady Nelson has had the Midas touch with Arena Football in Spokane.

The Shock won the af2 championship in its first season in 2006, captured the ArenaCup title again in 2009 and won the Arena Football League title in 2010. All three titles were won with different head coaches.

Brady was named af2 Executive of the Year twice. The Shock continue to boast strong season ticket sales and consistently sell out the Spokane Arena. All that success has created high expectations in Spokane and the current tumultuous season has drawn critics. The team is in last place in its division with a 3-5 record, four games behind division-leading Arizona.

He sat down at the computer on Thursday and the fingers were flying. He tried to get to every question. Watch the replay to read all the responses.

Vandersloot turning heads for Team USA

Courtesy of Jayda Evans and her women's basketball blog at The Seattle Times I found this report from Team USA training camp on former Gonzaga star Courtney Vandersloot.

National team coach Geno Auriemma was also asked to evaluate Vandersloot, stating, “I'll tell you what, I must have heard from five or six coaches that watched practice and I'd say 'Who is the most surprising player at practice?' and they would tell you Courtney Vandersloot, every one of them, every one of them.

“That says a lot for somebody who really doesn't play that kind of game. She's not going up and down the floor going 'I just saw Sue do this, let me try it. I just saw D do this, let me try it.' She does exactly what she's good at and she does it well.”

There is more from Slam Online about Chicago Sky players and Vandersloot, the Sky's No. 1 pick last month.

Thursday Prep Page

I posted our Prep Page feature on Ferris baseball standout Ryan Krustangel last night.

Here's a link to my column - the topic of which I could write multiple inches about. This dismissal of a coach is puzzling to say the least. Prediction: The day will come when a position is posted for applications and nobody applies because you couldn't pay a coach enough to put up with the nonstop griping.

Here's a link to Dave Trimmer's track notebook. The lead item is about North Central track coach Kelly Walters who had to have three stents near his heart.

WSU news – and a question

COUGARS

When it comes to Washington State University athletics, it is already summer time. Though today's weather says something different. But school is out and the news is slim. But not non-existent. Read on.

Krustangel delivers at plate

Here's a link to a feature that will be in Thursday's newspaper on Ferris catcher Ryan Krustangel (pictured above).

Hayford signs first EWU recruit

Eastern Washington's new head men's basketball coach Jim Hayford signed his first recruit on Wednesday, landing Collin Chiverton, a 6-foot-6 win out of City College of San Francisco.  You can read more here.

 

Plenty of positives for Spokane Chiefs

Without a Memorial Cup championship the hockey season finishes in disappointment but there was nothing disappointing about the Spokane Chiefs' season, above, in a Colin Mulvany photo, celebrating an overtime win against the Tri-City Americans.

Ten pounds later, we’re back on the beat

COUGARS

Where were we? Oh yeah, Pullman. Go away for a while and the whole town changes. Read on.

Rowley benched, Stull to start

Shock head coach Rob Keefe vowed to make changes after the loss to Pittsburgh and he made a big one for Saturday's home game against Dallas. Keefe has benched veteran quarterback Kyle Rowley and AFL rookie Bill Stull will start.

Rowley has been a fixture at QB the last two seasons, but he's been inconsistent this year. Still, two weeks ago, with an ailling secondary, Keefe chose not to suit up Stull as a backup quarterback in order to dress an extra defender, an unusual move in AFL. Last week, Stull suited up, but was pressed into duty on kick return coverage and he made one tackle.

Keefe made the announcement on his radio show Monday. The Shock told media that Keefe and Stull would be available at 11:15 Tuesday, but that became 12:15 when Keefe exited a long meeting with the offensive unit and said that Stull was off limits to the media.  

Asked if other changes were in the works, Keefe said it was possible. He noted that the entire offense played “terribly” in the second half and he was clearly frustrated with the receivers. Spokane signed two receivers last week — Ryan Bagley and Chas Gessner, Rowley's former teammate at Brown who was tossed out of Saturday's game for a scrap on a kick return. WR Markee White is running patterns, but probably won't play this week. LB Antwan Marsh (ankle) is day to day .

As you'll see in the Rowley story link above, we checked in with Shock majority owner Brady Nelson to discuss the speed bump on the field that was visible during the Shock-Rattlers game two weeks ago. Nelson will be available for questions on an S-R chat Thursday at noon. More here (gotta read past Ochocinco and NCAA prez to get to Nelson!).

Ugly day for GSL baseball teams

Ouch! Ughh! The Columbia Basin Big Nine baseball teams swept Ferris, Mead, Gonzaga Prep, Mt. Spokane and University in regional games Tuesday.

Click the tab below to read the roundup.

Shock fall apart in second half

An article on the Spokane Shock posted earlier today on the AFL website had the following headline: 'Are the defending champs back?' Later Saturday, the Shock took a big step backward, falling to Pittsburgh 51-41 to drop to 3-5.

You can read the S-R game recap below.

Ansett tosses no-hitter, Ferris easy winner

Spencer Ansett tossed a five-inning no-hitter as Ferris handled Mead 10-0 in the District 8 4A championship game Friday.

Click the tab below to read my story.

Shock, Keefe take on former coach

Spokane has won two straight after a 1-4 start. The Shock will try to keep their momentum going against the Pittsburgh Power, coached by ex-Shock coach Chris Siegfried. Here's my preview that will run in Saturday's S-R.

We mentioned Thursday that Pittsburgh put DL Terrence Carter on league suspension. Turns out that suspension lasted 24 hours. He's back on the active roster. 

All-Star football game in Spokane

The 4A/3A All-Star Football game returns to Spokane July 1 and will be played on the Red Turf at Eastern Washington University.

It's an East vs. West format. It's the 47th time the game has been played and the sixth time it has been played in Spokane.

Here are the scheduled participants from the Spokane area:

Kellen Clute (Mt. Spokane); Joe Dahl (University), Grant Livingston (Ferris), Paul Miller (Mead), Branson Schmidt (Central Valley), Kevin Stanley (CV) and Jordan Tonani (Ferris).

Ferris head coach Jim Sharkey will coach the East along with former Ferris head coach and current assistant Clarence Hough.

Shock sign WR Gessner

One day after signing ex-Montana Grizzly WR Ryan Bagley, the Shock added Chas Gessner, a former teammate of Kyle Rowley's at Brown. WR Adron Tennell was placed on injured reserve.

Pittsburgh, the Shock's opponent Saturday, placed DL Terrence Carter on suspension. He led the Power in tackles for loss (4) and was tied for first in sacks (3) and quarterback hurries (3).

More here.

U-Hi 3A district baseball champ

The University Titans captured the District 8 3A baseball championship Thursday, topping Mt. Spokane 11-4 at Avista Stadium.

Click the tab below to read my story.

Mead earns regional berth

The Mead Panthers held off the Gonzaga Prep Bullpups 18-17 in not a football game but a District 8 4A baseball game Wednesday at Avista Stadium.

Click the tab below to read the story and roundup of other games.

Keefe’s gamble pays off

If you attended Saturday's Shock-Rattlers game, you may have noticed No. 2 quarterback Bill Stull didn't suit up. Find out why head coach Rob Keefe chose to go without a backup quarterback and the severity of DB Josh Ferguson's knee injury in my Shock notebook that will run in Thursday's S-R. Ferguson (No. 2) is pictured above.

—The Shock have a new addition, former Montana wide receiver Ryan Bagley.

—Spokane remained No. 10 in the latest AFL poll, despite beating No. 1 Arizona. The Rattlers, who dropped to No. 2, visit No. 3 San Jose this week. Utah, the fourth West Division team, is ranked No. 9. Jacksonville is the new No. 1.

—Former Shock kicker Brian Jackson has signed with Georgia.  

Nachbaur, Johnson honored by WHL

Spokane Chiefs Don Nachbaur completed a triple play and Tyler Johnson was recognized as a class act when the Western Hockey League handed out its major awards in Calgary on Wednesday.

 

Nachbaur received the Dunc McCallum Memorial Trophy as the Coach of the Year for the third time – each with a difference team.

 

Johnson picked up the Brad Hornung Trophy for the Most Sportsmanlike Player.

 

Johnson was also runner-up for the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy, which goes to the Player of the Year. That went to Red Deer goalie Darcy Kuemper, who was a third-round draft pick of the Spokane Chiefs in the 2005 Bantam Draft, the same year they took Johnson in the 11th round. The 2011 Bantam Draft is Thursday.

 

(More below and hopefully an update later when Nachbaur and Johnson return from the awards luncheon in Calgary.)

U-Hi handles Mt. Spokane

University downed Mt. Spokane 12-6 in Game 1 of the teams' best-of-3 series to decide the District 8 3A baseball championship Tuesday at Avista Stadium.

Click the tab below to read our roundup which will be longer here than in our Wednesday newspaper because of space issues.

More on Goodson

Back with an expanded article on Demetri Goodson leaving Gonzaga basketball to pursue college football. The unedited version is in the extended tab below.

Touched base with head coach Mark Few on a couple other topics Tuesday night. He said Marquise Carter's wrist required time to heal and that he took it easy in spring conditioning and playing, but was able to hit the court last week. Carter hurt his wrist in the closing minutes of the NCAA win over St. John's. He played two days later against BYU, but was ineffective.

“It was more of a rest deal,” said Few, adding that in retrospect Carter's injury obviously impacted his play vs. BYU.

Asked about the 2011-12 schedule, Few confirmed Gonzaga likely won't be playing at a destination tournament or have a neutral-court game with a big-name opponent (other than Arizona in the Battle in Seattle). It's possible GU might hold some type of event at the MAC (outside of the RMHC Classic). Gonzaga's schedule is expected to include Xavier, Arizona, Notre Dame, WSU, Baylor, Michigan State and Illinois. 

Also, Rob Sacre and Steven Gray will graduate on Sunday.

Goodson leaving GU to play football

Just filed this for the S-R website…

By Jim Meehan

Staff writer

Gonzaga point guard Demetri Goodson, who started 68 of 69 games the last two seasons, is leaving the basketball program to play college football, Bulldogs coach Mark Few said Tuesday.

Goodson recently completed his junior season. Few said because GU doesn’t offer football, Goodson can transfer to another school and he will have two years of eligibility. Goodson is expected to return to his home state of Texas, possibly at Texas A&M, where his older brother Mike played running back, or Texas State, coached by Dennis Franchione, who was Mike’s coach at Texas A&M.

“I’m proud to be associated with him,” Few said. “He’s a tough kid, a great teammate and from a coaching standpoint, day in and day out at practice he gave everything he had and in games, too. That’s a great quality.

“He gave it a good run up here, but his heart is kind of set on this. I just want him to graduate, and he’s in great shape to do that and then he’ll be in great position for the rest of his life.”

Before Goodson verbally committed to Gonzaga in Oct. 2007, Arizona State offered him a football scholarship even though he hadn’t played the sport since his sophomore year at Klein Collins High in Spring, Texas.

Smith honored, team makes moves

Khreem Smith's block of Arizona's potential game-winning field goal Saturday was named the AFL highlight of the week. More here.

Elsewhere, the Shock made several transactions Tuesday: DB Josh Ferguson (knee) and DL Jonathan Williams were put on injured-reserve, DL Lance Witherspoon has been activated from the other league exempt list (the former EWU Eagle was in the CFL) and DL Terrance Taylor has been activated from I-R.

Utah signed DB Rod Mosley, who was cut by the Shock last week, and put ex-Shock OL Ed Ta'amu on suspension. When Ta'amu signed with the Blaze a couple weeks ago, it was thought to be on a one-game basis or for a certain number of games.

More below.

Prep baseball, softball notebooks

BASEBALL: Paul Miller of Mead (pictured above trying to steal) is headed to Whitworth University like a number of Greater Spokane League athletes.

SOFTBALL: Unbeaten Lakeside leads Northeast A League.

State 1A all-tourney volleyball team

Steve Bain, head coach at King's, and Kim Grycel, Lynden Christian's coach, polled the 1A coaches whose teams were at state to select an all-tournament team. “This effort comes about because the media folks that have compiled all-state volleyball teams in the past did not do it this year,” Bain said in an email. “The 1A coaching community felt strongly that this oversight needed to be corrected.”

Two area athletes were selected. Sierra Pancho of Newport was a first team pick. Jacy Vining and Joelee Buckner of Colville were named honorable mention.

Chiefs season over

Troy Rutkowski, Ty Rattie and Nino Niederreiter scored in the third period as the Portland Winterhawks ended the Spokane Chiefs season with a 6-3 win Molnday night at the Arena, taking the Western Conference best-of-7 finals in six games.

The Chiefs jumped to a 2-0 lead in the opening minutes of the game but they couldn't hold off the Winterhawks, who face Kootenay in the Western Hockey League championship beginning this weekend in Portland.

Portland's Ryan Johansen, who scored in five of the six games, was MVP.

Long box below.

Chiefs’ Cowen wants to keep going

I slacked off Sunday, calling it a day after returning from Portland (well, I did mow the grass and attend to a few other chores). John Blanchette advanced tonight's Western Hockey League playoff Game 6 between Spokane and Portland with this column on Chiefs' captain Jared Cowen.

If the Chiefs win tonight to force a Game 7 in Portland on Tuesday it will make the fifth time in the past 6 series between these two teams Spokane won a Game 6 to force a Game 7.

Missed on deadline and travel out of Game 4: That was Levko Koper's 60th playoff game (he had a hat trick in that 8-3), a record for the Chiefs, surpassing Derek Schutz (1995-2000). Through 6 games, Koper has 293 games for Spokane, Schutz was in 411 … Matt Marantz's goal 10 seconds into the game was a Spokane record for fastest goal at the start of a game.

From Saturday's Game 6, The Oregonian story, The Portland Tribune story and Kerry Eggers column on Hawks' star of the game Sven Bartschi, The Columbian story.

For updates on tonight's game, twitter.com/SRtrim

Logie to take over Whitworth basketball program

Matt Logie, the  will be oficially introduced as Whitworth University's new men's basketball coach at a Tuesday morning press conference. You can read more here.

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

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

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

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