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Archive for April 2012

WSU, Idaho to renew football rivalry in 2013

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — The Battle of the Palouse will continue in 2013. The official Twitter account of University of Idaho athletics confirmed what athletic director Rob Spear told Scout.com — Idaho and Washington State will face each other at Martin Stadium in 2013, the first meeting between the schools since 2007.

So it appears WSU's 2013 non-conference schedule is set. Bill Moos has said previously that the Cougars will travel to Auburn in 2013, and Brigham Young will play a return game at Martin Stadium as part of their home-and-home deal (though official schedules have not been released yet.)

Mitchell to play for Calgary of CFL

Former Eastern Washington quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell has signed a contract to play football this year for the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League.

Mitchell, who led the Eagles to a national title in 2010 and won the Walter Payton Award last year, said he plans to sign a contract later today and report to rookie camp on May 30.

“It's a childhood dream come true,” said Mitchell from his hometown of Katy, Texas.

Two negatives make a positive, right?

A GRIP ON SPORTS

There was an old song sung by The Carpenters that included the lyrics, “Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.” So what happens when Monday is a rainy day? Do two downs make an up? All I know is I'm feeling a bit low watching it pour outside my window right now when there aren't a lot of links falling from the Internet sky. Read on.

Another morning on the Palouse

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — Stop me if you've heard this before: there's not much news out there for you. But read on anyway, because we do have a few links after the jump.

A strange and wonderful Sunday

A GRIP ON SPORTS

What a day. The alma mater is headed to the NCAA semifinals and I read a headline I thought I would never see in my lifetime. Read on.

A few Cougs heading to NFL camps

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — We're back with some links for your Sunday, including some news about a trio of former Washington State football players who signed with NFL teams after the draft ended yesterday. Read on.

Shock hold off Sharks, 56-48

Spokane snagged its second road win of the season and evened its record at 3-3 with a 56-48 victory over Jacksonville on Saturday.

Spokane led by as many as 21 points, but the Sharks rallied in the second half to close within 49-48. Beau Bell's interception, Spokane's fourth of the game, sealed the victory with 10 seconds left.

More game details below.

EWU’s Matt Johnson drafted by Dallas

Eastern Washington strong safety Matt Johnson was drafted in the fourth round of the National Football League draft by the Dallas Cowboys.

Here is Johnson's reaction to the good news: http://www.dallascowboys.com/multimedia/multimedia_center.cfm?id=FA39BF0C-A51E-FB49-370429B89D4B9678

Could WAC get plundered again?

Texas-San Antonio was set to join the WAC this summer. But the Roadrunners now appear headed to the Conference USA in 2013 — along with current WAC member Louisiana Tech. And the WAC's losses might not end there. CBSsports.com reported Saturday morning that Utah State and San Jose State are expected to move to the Mountain West Conference in 2013 as well.

Read on for more on what this means for Idaho and the WAC.

Shock face Sharks

Spokane returns from a bye week with a long road trip and a key AFL game against Jacksonville tonight. Kickoff is at 4 Pacific time.

Here's my preview that ran in today's S-R and another in the Florida Times-Union. In-game updates at twitter.com/SRjimm.

One clarification: There was a mix-up reporting the status of former WSU lineman Andrew Roxas between the Shock and the AFL office earlier this week. Roxas is on the practice squad (not released as reported earlier this week).

Seahawks take Idaho LB Toomer

Korey Toomer, one the most athletically gifted players at Idaho in recent years, was selected in the fifth round of the NFL draft today by Seattle. The Seahawks, who previously took Utah State linebacker Bobby Wagner and USU tailback Robert Turbin, wanted to get faster on defense. Toomer ran a 4.53 in the 40-yard dash and was the Vandals' most consistent defensive playmaker last year.

The outside linebacker had 10.5 tackles for loss last year and also rushed for three touchdowns as the Vandals' short-yardage back.

More on Meikle

Well, the phone rang this morning.

I wasn't able to connect with GU recruit Luke Meikle, his father Brian or his coach Bernie Salazar on Friday, but I received a call back from Brian this morning. He was en route to Portland to watch his son play in a basketball tournament this weekend.

Read on for more on Meikle's commitment to the Bulldogs.

Start your weekend here

A GRIP ON SPORTS

It's Saturday morning. There is a lot to digest and we're not talking about last night's dinner. The NFL draft went through two more rounds (when is Roger Goodell going to realize you can stretch the seven rounds through six days and rest on the seventh, just like his counterpart upstairs?) with a few more Pac-12 stars being chosen. And the Mariners rallied in the ninth (in large part to a crucial error) and defeated the Toronto Blue Jays on a Michael Saunders' 10th-inning grand slam. Read on.

Meikle commits to Gonzaga

Gonzaga picked up a Class of 2013 verbal commitment from Lucas Meikle, a 6-foot-8, 190-pound forward at Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma. Meikle's commitment was first reported by the Seattle Times.

Messages left for Meikle and Bellarmine Prep coach Bernie Salazar weren't returned. I wasn't able to find a ton of information on Meikle, but I was told he can stretch the court as a pick-and-pop '3' or '4'. 

Meikle averaged 14 points and 10 rebounds for Bellarmine Prep (24-5) as a junior last season. He had 15 points and 12 boards as the Lions lost in the 4A State Tournament semifinals to Davis. Meikle suffered a concussion early in the first quarter in Bellarmine Prep’s loss to Union in the consolation finals. He was named second-team All-Tournament.

Meikle was a first-team All-Narrows League selection.

I'll update if the phone rings.

Even Roger Goodell looked surprised

A GRIP ON SPORTS

“With the 12th pick of the draft, the Seattle Seahawks make a trade.” Now, those exact words were never spoken by Roger Goodell last night, but something similar was. Nothing surprising, of course, about that. Teams trade draft picks all the time. “With the 15th pick of the draft, the Seattle Seahawks draft Bruce Irvin, defensive end, West Virginia.” Those words, or something really close to those words, were spoken last night and they knocked most observers' socks off. Read on.

Slowing down now

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — Aside from the Pac-12 players selected in the NFL draft, there isn't much news out there for you today. But we'll soldier on anyway, because there are at least a couple stories to link.

Geathers back for one game

Turns out defensive lineman Jeremy Geathers will wear a Spokane Shock jersey at least one more time.

Geathers will return, likely for just one game, when Spokane visits Jacksonville on Saturday, before resuming preparations for training camp with the CFL B.C. Lions.

Spokane planned on Brandon Sharpe replacing Geathers in the lineup, but Sharpe suffered an injury earlier this week. Shock officials phoned Geathers, who agreed to play Saturday. Geathers, who had six sacks in five games, will probably be placed on Other League Exempt next week.

In other moves, offensive lineman Andrew Roxas, who played at Washington State, was released and defensive back Patrick Stoudamire was placed on injured reserve. Spokane signed former Washington Husky DB Vonzell McDowell earlier this week.

Live chat on Eastern football

Live chat with Jim Allen on Eastern Washington football.

 

Make your pick tonight

A GRIP ON SPORTS

I don't know about you, but I'll be listening to the NFL draft on the radio tonight when I drive back from Moscow. It will fill in the gap between Palouse and Garfield. Read on.

A little this, a little that on Thursday

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — Our WSU coverage is a bit more diverse than usual today. And it's about to become even more so. Read on for the details.

EWU football live chat today at noon

Please join me at noon, right here, for a live chat on Eastern football. In the meantime, here are links to some recent EWU-related stories, including last night's announcement by former SMU quarterback Kyle Padron that he has been cleared to play football this fall at EWU.

Rowley busy during bye week

I went to Shock practice Tuesday, but my weekly notebook was held for a day and will run in Thursday's S-R.

 Here's a link. One item that will be in the print edition but probably not on the link: OL Ben Ossai has signed with B.C. of the CFL and has left the Shock. Cory Brandon, who was activated earlier this week, will likely replace Ossai in the lineup.

Dream matchup

UPDATED

 

The Coeur d’Alene football team’s 2012 schedule already was going to be the toughest in school history.

Now it’s been amped up another notch.

The 2011 Idaho and Washington big-school state champions will face off when the Skyline Spartans of Sammamish take on the Coeur d’Alene Vikings as part of a quadrupleheader at the Kibbie Dome on Sept. 15. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.

Skyline originally was scheduled to play host to Manatee of Bradenton, Fla., in a matchup between two of the nation’s top quarterbacks. But the game was scrapped when the marketing company that helped arrange the game couldn’t afford to fly Manatee to Washington.

CdA athletic director Todd Gilkey received an email from Skyline’s administration Wednesday confirming it planned to play CdA pending final approval from its school board.

Skyline is led by senior-to-be, 6-foot-5 Max Browne, who has given an oral commitment to the University of Southern California. Browne is rated the nation’s No. 2 recruit.

“I don’t know if it’s congratulations or condolences,” CdA coach Shawn Amos said of landing the game against Skyline. “We’re really excited about it. It’s a great opportunity for our kids to play another high-profile team.”

Skyline is grateful to find a game for Week 3.

“It couldn't have worked out better in that regard,” Skyline coach Mat Taylor said. “We were on the verge of not being able to find a game. And then, to have a showcase game at the Kibbie Dome that Coeur d'Alene didn't have an opponent for Week 3, it worked out well.”

Amos and some members of the 2011 back-to-back state champs are pictured above receiving an award at the SWABs banquet in February in Spokane as the male team of the year in the Inland Northwest.

 

 

 

WSU Live Chat at noon

Lockett no longer considering Gonzaga

Arizona State transfer Trent Lockett has ruled out Gonzaga as a potential landing spot for his final season of eligiblity, according to sources.

The 6-foot-4 Lockett, who led ASU in scoring last season at 13.0 points per game and rebounding at 5.8, has apparently trimmed his list to front-runner Marquette and Iowa State. Lockett left Arizona State to move closer to his mother, who has been diagnosed with cancer. Lockett, who played AAU ball with Gonzaga's Sam Dower, is from Golden Valley, Minn. Here's more on Lockett's recent visit to Marquette.

Meanwhile, 7-foot-1 Polish center Przemek Karnowski visited Gonzaga last weekend and spent a day or so at Cal. Karnowski called off a trip to Duke and he has returned to Poland. Most believe he'll make a decision in the next 48 hours.

No stopping this bandwagon

A GRIP ON SPORTS

What the heck? I got up this morning all ready to see how others around the country had began jumping on the Jason-Vargas-for-Cy-Young bandwagon and all I can find is stories about the Mariners' offense? Doesn't everyone realize yesterday's seven runs was a flash in the pan but Vargas – 3-1 already by the way – is the real deal? I don't get it. Read on.

Live chat today, lots of news from WSU

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — As we've said in this space recently, this time of year is typically accompanied by a dearth of college football and basketball news. Well, Tuesday was different. Read on for our daily rundown.

Jordan Railey talks about WSU commitment

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — Spoke for a bit earlier this evening with former Iowa State center Jordan Railey, who has given his commitment to transfer to Washington State next season. Here's a part of our conversation.

Day 15: Cougars put a bow on the spring

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — The next time we see Washington State on a football practice field with coaches and pads, it'll be August. Yes, the Cougars practiced for the 15th and final time on Tuesday, putting the finishing touches on the first spring of the Mike Leach era. As usual, we have some notes, though they come with a caveat.

EWU football live chat Thursday

I'll try to answer your questions on EWU football in a one-hour live chat at NOON THURSDAY on spokesman.com

Just go right here to spokesman.com, then to SportsLink, and the prompt will appear.
  

We'll see you Thursday!
  

Loyalty must have a new meaning

A GRIP ON SPORTS • UPDATED: 10:20 A.M.

While driving back from the Seattle area yesterday, the ride was accompanied by a sports soundtrack. There was the news of Seth Greenberg's firing at Virginia Tech. There was the fallout from Ron Artest's elbow to James Harden's head. And, most prominently, there was the news from Arkansas that John L. Smith was headed back to the Razorbacks to become head football coach for the next 10 months. That, by the way, is twice as long as he was head coach at Weber State, his alma mater. Read on.

One for the road

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — After beginning spring practices just over a month ago, WSU wraps up its 15-practice schedule with a final workout this afternoon. We'll be there with our usual coverage. To get your day started, have at some links.

A special Monday. Why? It’s warm

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Every Monday starts with a goal: Finding one sports-related story that's off the beaten track for you. We did that today. Read on.

Another slow Monday

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — After the frenzy of WSU's spring game, there was very little going on yesterday. Very, very little. But we did find a few links worth passing along, so let's get to it.

Palaniuk of Rathdrum hits $100,000 bass prize

TOURNAMENT FISHING  — After a trip to a hospital to have a hook removed from his pinky, Brandon Palaniuk, 24, of Rathdrum powered forward through three days of fishing to dominate and win the Bassmaster Elite Series TroKar Quest tournament at Bull Shoals Lake, Ark., this weekend.

He'll have $100,000 in the bank after today's weigh-in, but that’s not going to change his lifestyle. He planned to spend tonight sleeping in the back of his pickup, just as he has every night this week and during most other tournaments.

 “It’s just easy,” said Palaniuk, who beds down in a bed  under the canopy of his pickup near launch sites. “I’ve got power and a shower, and it’s close to the water. That’s all I need. And it’s free.

“A hundred thousand dollars doesn’t go as far as it used to,” he added.

Read on for more details on Palaniuk's big win.

A perfect Saturday

A GRIP ON SPORTS

For all of you who have been griping about the Mariners' offense, what do you want? Perfection? OK, you got it Saturday. Though not the right way. Read on.

Looking back at the spring game, plus links

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — Had a rather lengthy post written — taking a look back at Saturday's scrimmage, tons of notes, tons of links. Then my computer froze and I lost the whole thing, because I'm an idiot, mainly, and didn't save anything, and also because the universe hates me. Or it does today, anyway. Sigh. Read on.

Condensed spring game post

COUGARS

FROM SPOKANE — Albi Stadium is empty and we're leaving for fear of getting locked inside, so this post will be short for now. We'll be back later with plenty more from the scrimmage.

(Spring) pregame from Albi

COUGARS

FROM SPOKANE — We're in the press box at Albi Stadium, where fans are enjoying the various concessions available, as well as some bouncy-house type activities for the kids. Pretty laid-back feel so far. More like a carnival than a football game, for the time being.

A highly anticipated day arrives

A GRIP ON SPORTS

We're in the Seattle area this week on personal business but that doesn't stop us from filling you in on the sports happening around the Inland Northwest. Just like the dirty looks my wife Kim kept shooting me didn't stop me from saying “there's another person headed to the Cougar spring game,” every time an RV passed us headed east on Interstate 90. Read on.

The spring game has arrived

COUGARS

FROM COEUR d'ALENE — We're visiting a friend in this fine city in Idaho before heading over to Albi Stadium, but we've also got some links and news for you before the day begins in earnest. Read on.

Wulff visits Idaho spring scrimmage

About midway into Idaho's final spring scrimmage, Paull Wulff and his family sat down just below the press box at the Kibbie Dome. He was in Moscow to take in some football, and near the end he talked with the S-R about his last few months.

Read on.

Vandals cap spring with more offense

We still saw plenty of place-kicker Trey Farquhar Friday night. But the Vandals' offense showed glimpses of coming together, much to the delight of Robb Akey.

Read on for more.

Video: Anthony Carpenter

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — Our series of video interviews continues with a look at WSU safety Anthony Carpenter.

Shock LB Moore placed on injured reserve

Spokane has placed linebacker Terence Moore on injured reserve, a mandatory four-week stint.

Moore, an Arena Football League rookie from Troy University, hurt his knee during Saturday’s victory over Milwaukee. His injury won’t require surgery.

Moore has three interceptions and a fumble recovery. He’s had an interception return for a touchdown in each of the last two games.

 

 

Prep page, a day late

I was at the hospital Thursday having a minor procedure done (it comes with turning 50 years old), so I wasn't able to post links to our Prep Page stories.

Here you go:

My column was about Joe Albi Stadium and the need to look at the future. A study is underway to look at options to either retrofit Albi or build a stadium elsewhere among several options. What do you think should be done with the venerable stadium?

Jim Allen had this feature on arguably the best boys soccer team in the area (clue: it's not in the GSL).

The lead item in my track notebook is about ultra talented pole vaulter Anandae Clark of Lakeside (Nine Mile).

We’re not that old

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Fenway Park is turning 100 today and I'm here to refute the nasty Internet rumor that I was at the first game. Nope, couldn't get tickets. And, besides, I wanted to wait until Buck O'Brien was on the bump. Read on.

One day til Spokane

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — We're officially one day away from the spring game, but we've got a few loose ends to tie up here in Pullman before driving to Coeur d'Alene later today. Visiting a friend there before Saturday's big scrimmage. Read on for some links, because there are a few.

Day 13 in the books as spring game awaits

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — WSU needed to go without pads either today or on Tuesday — you're only allowed 12 practices in pads and they've already had 10, with the spring game coming up Saturday — so they were in helmets and shorts this afternoon. It was a lighter workout than usual.

Akey speaks on eve of UI spring game

The Vandals' spring camp finale is tomorrow (6 p.m., Kibbie Dome), and Robb Akey ran down the highlights of spring with the media earlier today. Akey spoke about Idaho's starting quarterback battle, players who have impressed him, new offensive coaches and former players who have a chance to be drafted next week. 

We summarize his comments below.

UPDATE: Our spring game preview is now online.

If you can manage to get through today’s post …

A GRIP ON SPORTS • UPDATED 1 P.M.

While reading through items I found yesterday about the M's loss to Cleveland on Tuesday night, one line in a Geoff Baker blog post about Eric Wedge caught my eye. “Managing a baseball team is about leading people as much as it is about playing percentages and crunching numbers,” Baker wrote. Now Baker, the longtime beat writer for the Seattle Times is a numbers guy, in the sense he understands all the statistics that are in play and have become the rage in baseball. But he also understands there is more to winning at the major league level than just running numbers through a laptop. Read on.

One more practice before the real(ish) thing

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — WSU practices this afternoon for the 13th time this spring — and the final time before perhaps the most anticipated spring game in the history of the program. (The Cougars do have another practice scheduled for the following Tuesday, though I'm guessing that won't receive as much attention.)

Video: Darren Markle

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — Our series of video interviews continues with a look at WSU junior linebacker Darren Markle.

Meyer’s return on hold

Erik Meyer, sidelined since late in the season opener by an illegal hit, will remain on injured reserve. Meyer is getting better, but not to the point where he's ready to be activated. 

Head coach Andy Olson isn't sure when Meyer will be able to return. An update on Meyer and other notes in this week's Shock notebook that will run in Thursday's S-R.

WSU Live Chat, noon

EWU drills get more physical

We are halfway through spring drills at Eastern, and also with our eight-part series on the different unit. Here's a link to my story today on the offensive line . Tomorrow, space permitting, you can expect the same treatment on a defensive line that should be very strong.

Meanwhile, I spent Tuesday afternoon at practice, which everyone agreed was the most physical of the spring,

Maybe M’s need a live chicken

A GRIP ON SPORTS

When we got out of the car last night, the Mariner's had built an 8-1 lead over Cleveland. Yes, Cleveland, the poster child of ineptitude as illustrated by “Major League” (and a bunch of progressively worse sequels). Of course, the fictional Indians were the comeback kids, roaring all the way back to win the American League title. The real Indians, there is no way they could rally to overcome a seven-run deficit Tuesday night, is there? Not with all of 12,461 (yes, that was the official attendance) in the Safeco stands to cheer the home team on. Maybe one of them should have been banging on a real big drum. Read on.

Live Chat today, plus news and links

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — We bemoaned the lack of linkable content the past couple days, but fret not. There is plenty more to read today. And if you just can't get enough, you can join us on our weekly live chat later today at noon, right here on the blog. Read on for more words.

Day 12 in the books for WSU

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — Just one more practice remains now before WSU's spring game, as the Cougars went through their 12th workout of the spring on Tuesday. Not much news to pass along, though we do have some interesting notes after the jump.

Few on USA Jr. National team staff

Gonzaga's Mark Few and VCU's Shaka Smart will serve as assistant coaches under Florida head coach Billy Donovan for the USA junior national team this summer. More here and here.

A draft blows through a slow day

A GRIP ON SPORTS

If we were going to take a day off, today seems as if it would have been the day. Heck yesterday was expected to be pretty dead. No M's. No spring football. Then all heck broke loose around here. Read on.

Cougs roll on with the spring

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — With so little else going on right now, two days away from spring football almost feels like a week. But WSU is back at it today with its 12th practice of the spring, the first of two this week before Saturday's spring game. As usual, we'll be there. And as usual, we have some links and whatnot.

Video: Leon Brooks

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — Our series of video interviews continues with a look at running back Leon Brooks.

Springing into a new season

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Growing up, some of the coolest things on television were the Disney nature shows. If you are of a certain age, you know what I mean. The best part was not the hawk swooping out of the sky, wings flapping to grab the mouse in its talons – though, for a 12-year-old boy that was pretty cool and I remember it to this day – but the time-lapse photography. The Disney folks would put a film camera on a certain part of, say, the desert, and let it roll for a year. The ensuing birth, growth and, ultimately, death of the flora in the area would zoom by like something out the front window in “The Time Machine.” Why am I thinking about this? Because, since the first of the year, I've been living the same experience, albeit in slow motion. Each morning I rise out of bed, trundle to my spot downstairs and begin reading and writing. I keep the windows open to watch the neighborhood. But today I noticed the buds on the tree to my left, the one that had a single 2011 leaf clinging to it until just a couple weeks ago, really opened up yesterday. The blooming is about to begin. Read on.

Slowing toward summer

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — We're getting to that time of year when things start to slow down around the Pac-12 football and basketball landscape. Sure, the Cougars still have three more practices and a spring game to play. And there are still some basketball recruits who have yet to sign letters of intent. But the news is becoming more and more scant each day. Still, we have links, so read on.

Chiefs need to regroup in Game 6

The Spokane Chiefs are hoping Monday isn’t that dreaded night that their Western Hockey League season comes to an abrupt end, and they know what they need to do to prevent that from happening.

You can’t put it off much longer

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Everyone past a certain age – working age – knows what April 15th means. We don't have to go into it here, other than to say good luck to all you poor souls out there who have procrastinated about as long as you can. Just remember, because today is a Sunday, you have an extra day. Read on.

Another Saturday, another scrimmage

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — Saturday was a special day. It marked the final practice of Washington State's spring that began before 10:30 a.m. Not complaining. But still a positive note. Read on for more notes.

Spokane crushes Milwaukee 57-26

Spokane's defense dominated and its offense was efficient as the Shock routed visiting Milwaukee 57-26 on Saturday night at the Arena.

Here's a link to my game story.

Lintz might be grizzly, but D was bullish

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — Mike Leach liked how the offense responded at times, but Saturday's scrimmage seemed to go to the defense for most of the day. We have notes and the like — plus another quote from Leach that you're sure to get a kick out of — so read on.

Vandals’ O-line starting from scratch

Idaho's second scrimmage of spring was this morning in the Kibbie Dome, and there were several interesting nuggets that came out of it. We have a full report below.

Lucky or unlucky, you decide

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Yesterday was Friday the 13th (and just a few hours before the most inauspicious day of the year for everyone, tax day). Unlucky? Sure. If you are a pro sports fan and live in the Northwest. Read on.

An early(ish) Saturday awaits

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — Saw a funny tweet from a WSU athlete yesterday. It came from women's basketball player Sage Romberg, who said: “Whoa everyone and their mothers are in Pullman!” In case you didn't know, it's Mom's Weekend here. But there are other things going on, too, such as another football scrimmage this morning. Read on.

Mead vaulter clears 13-6

Get Adobe Flash player

I was experimenting with my Iphone at a Greater Spokane League dual Thursday. Here's Mead junior pole vaulter Blase Neumann clearing 13 feet, 6 inches to capture first.

I'm going to try to get some video at the Pasco Invite on Saturday.

Shining a light on the day’s events

A GRIP ON SPORTS

I'm starting to become a believer. A believer in the advent of spring, as the sun is shining once again this morning. And a believer in the theory there is no off-season, no dead time in the world of sports, Inland Northwest edition. Way too much to pass along on this unluckiest of days. Read on.

Heading toward the stretch run

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — If there's such a thing as a stretch run in spring practice, the Cougars are getting there. Just five more practices before they pack it up and call it a spring. We have news and notes from the latest session — as well as other places — so read on.

Chiefs look to pull even in playoff series with Americans

After a loss in Game 3, the Spokane Chiefs need a win on Friday night at home to pull even with the Tri-City Americans in their best-of-7 Western Conference semifinal series in Western Hockey League playoff action. 

Here's our game advance that is running in Friday's paper. Also, Mayor David Condon and Council President Ben Stuckart have dubbed Friday “Spokane Chiefs Hockey Day.” You can read the full release here.

Mixed bag for Cougs on Day 10

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — I swear I'm trying to be as creative as I can with these post titles and lead-ins. But when you're two-thirds of the way through spring practice and there just  isn't a whole lot going on … well, you get broad generalities. But hey, there's still plenty to discuss, so read on.

WSU’s Spencer Waseem cited for misdemeanor assault

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — We've put together a short story about WSU redshirt freshman cornerback Spencer Waseem being cited for misdemeanor assault. KXLY was the first to report the citation.

Thursday Prep Page

Here in our back yard - if you extend that yard to Newport - is one of the top high school throwers in the nation. Remember this name: Aaron Castle (pictured above) and take a look at his story.

Former teacher, highly successful soccer coach and current Mead athletic director Dick Cullen is retiring. Also, another note about Coeur d'Alene football.

Coeur d'Alene hurdler Morgan Stuble is featured in our weekly track notebook. Here's a link to our area track honor roll.

A lot happening in the sports world

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Just when you think the sports scene is winding down, some unexpected news hits Gonzaga. And other locales. Read on.

Cougars about to hit the two-thirds mark

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — Another Thursday, another spring football practice for Washington State. This one will be the Cougars' 10th of the spring, meaning they're almost two-thirds of the way done. Read on for some links.

Video: Elliott Bosch

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — Our series of video interviews continues with a brief look at WSU offensive lineman Elliott Bosch, a Spokane native who is trying his hand at center this spring.

Vandals sign JC guard from Texas

Idaho men's basketball coach Don Verlin fortified the Vandals' backcourt by bringing in 6-foot-1 junior college transfer Antwan Scott, the Vandals' third signee for 2012-13. The junior-to-be averaged 15.9 points per game last year for Ranger College in Texas.

Verlin signed two players in the fall signing period — big men Ty Egbert and Marcus Bell. We've got more below.

Gonzaga’s Standish invited to Monday’s WNBA draft

When Gonzaga women’s basketball coach Kelly Graves called Kayla Standish a week and a half ago, she thought it was an April fool’s joke.

Graves informed the Gonzaga senior that she was among the top 15 prospects invited to this year’s WNBA draft – which will be held at the ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn – and it wasn’t a joke.

More below the fold.

WSU Live Chat, 12 p.m.

Spangler leaving Gonzaga

I've spent most of my morning getting confirmation that Gonzaga men's basketball player Ryan Spangler has decided to transfer to a school closer to his home state of Oklahoma.

My short article is below. Check back later for more.

UPDATE: Back with an expanded article on Spangler's departure. Gonzaga sent out a release late this afternoon which contained quotes from Spangler and head coach Mark Few. I left a couple of messages for Spangler but I haven't heard back from him. He did speak to the Oklahoman. He reiterated that the main factor in his decision was his desire to play closer to his family in the Midwest. He also confirmed the list of four interested schools that appears in my article.

Shortly after this article was posted on the S-R Website, Few returned my earlier phone message. He declined to be quoted beyond what was in the release, but he acknowledged he was surprised when he heard Spangler was considering leaving. I also asked about Harris' situation and Few said the staff is trying to provide him with accurate information from reliable NBA sources to help Harris make a decision — similar to the process several Zags have gone through the last 3-4 years.

The NCAA has an April 10th deadline, but the NBA's April 29th deadline is the one being recognized by many prospects/coaches.

Sports is a laughing matter

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Life can be tough. No doubt about it, especially if you are a Mariners fan. But there's an easy way to make it a lot more bearable – and by it, I mean life as well as being a Mariner fan. Humor. Read on.

Live Chat, plus more WSU news on a Wednesday

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN --  Washington State is 60 percent of the way through its spring football practice schedule. We got 100 percent of the way through these links this morning. Oops. Already used that joke, and it wasn't funny the first time. Moving on.

Cougars start slow on Day 9

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — Mike Leach said his team had its slowest start of any practice yet this spring on Tuesday. No wonder things seemed quieter. We still have plenty of news and notes, so read on.

It may be all downhill from here

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Oftentimes a person can peer back over history and pinpoint a moment when the world turned. A point when events stopped going one way and pivoted another. Usually, such momentous occasions are only visible in the rear-view mirror. But not always. That's why I ask, was the top of the first inning last night the high-water mark of the Seattle Mariners' season? Read on.

Cougs continue practice today

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — Spring practice No. 9 will commence at 3:10 p.m. for Washington State this afternoon. But there are some non-football questions to tend to, as well. Read on.

Denzell Dotson arrested on suspicion of DUI

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — We've put together a short story about the arrest of WSU offensive lineman Denzell Dotson on early Sunday morning for suspicion of DUI.

A winning swing - and smile

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Late Saturday afternoon, I received a text from an old friend. My first golfing friend. It was about the Masters. Read on.

A slow Monday

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — Things seem to be moving a little slower today. Maybe that's because it's nearing mid-April and there isn't much college football or basketball news to report. Maybe it's because everyone's full from their Easter meals. Whatever the reason, we don't have much to read today. But read on anyway.

Video: Bobby Ratliff

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — Our series of video profiles continues with this conversation with redshirt sophomore receiver Bobby Ratliff, who has emerged as one of WSU's more consistent inside receivers.

It’s time to find the hidden eggs

A GRIP ON SPORTS

It's Easter Sunday, so we decided we needed to hide some brightly colored eggs for you. Yep, sprinkled through the report today are a few eggs, which indicate a special story we found just for this Easter. Read on.

Some links for your Sunday

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — It's Sunday, the sun is supposed to be shining, and the Cougars have the day off from football practice. Might head over to Moscow for a bite at the Breakfast Club to celebrate the occasion. But first, some links.

Notes from WSU’s scrimmage

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — The defense recorded 12 sacks during WSU's scrimmage of 115 plays or so on Saturday, but the offense got its licks in, too. In other words, it was standard fare for a mid-spring scrimmage. Read on for a whole bunch of words about it.

Idaho’s Siavii perseveres

The Vandals didn't scrimmage today as scheduled for one simple reason. Coach Robb Akey thought they needed more practice time, not the limited snaps that come during a scrimmage.

Still, we've got lots of notes from today's practice and an early look at a feature on linebacker Robert Siavii, who sat out last year with a knee injury.

Tiger’s tale is showing

A GRIP ON SPORTS

The sun is peaking over the house next door. Yes, we can actually see the sunrise today and, no, the surprise has nothing to do with the hour. We're up this early a lot. It's the fact there are no clouds in the way that is surprising. But clouds are on the horizon, especially around Augusta, Georgia. Read on.

Whoa, we’re halfway there

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — Anything for a Bon Jovi reference. WSU will surpass the halfway point of spring football practice with a scrimmage later this afternoon at Martin Stadium. As usual, we'll be there. For now, your daily dose of links and whatnot.

Shock give one away, 57-53

Quarterback Kyle Rowley gave the offense a boost in his first game back, but Spokane committed four turnovers, including a botched center-quarterback snap with just over 1 minute left and Arizona rallied for a 57-53 win Friday in Phoenix.

Spokane led most of the game and had several chances to put the Rattlers away, but the Shock couldn't overcome their turnovers, including two committed inside Arizona's 5-yard line.

Spokane (1-3) has dropped two in a row and is in last place in the West Division. Arizona (3-1) and San Jose (3-1) are tied for first. Utah is 2-2.

Game recap below.

Video: Drew Loftus

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — Our video spotlight feature continues today with a look at WSU redshirt freshman walk-on receiver Drew Loftus, a Kennewick native who transferred here after a brief stop at Hawaii.

Shock face No. 2 Rattlers

Game day for the Shock in Phoenix where they'll face the second-ranked Arizona Rattlers. Most consider Arizona one of the favorites to win the ArenaBowl. The Rattlers were loaded a year ago and may be even better this season, but they are missing two key linebackers — ex-Shockie Kevin McCullough (dislocated elbow) and Cliff Dukes.

Here's my game preview and the Arizona Republic's preview.

 

Time to dial in

A GRIP ON SPORTS • UPDATED: 10:30 A.M.

We're not real focused today. Don't know what it is, whether it's the looming deadline on the 15th, which seems to sneak up on me every year. Or if it's something else causing me to act like a dog cooped up in the house too long. But whatever, we know we have to get our mind right and hunker down to writing. All of you are counting on it. Look, a squirrel. Read on.

Links on the day before your weekend

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — At about 2:40 p.m. tomorrow, WSU will be exactly halfway through spring practice. But we go more than halfway with our links this morning. Read on for the whole thing.

Mike Leach and the Deathly Hallows

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — Instead of a clever lead-in to today's post, we're just going to pass along Mike Leach's statement today when asked about the health of Connor Halliday.

“Any stuff on that is so closely guarded. I don’t know if you saw Harry Potter, but in the basement of this building, it’s guarded by serpents and wild dogs and things like that, and you can go try to find the secret to that, but chances of survival — always a risk. Heck, it took until movie five before he got it done himself and he had magic powers. Anyway, he’s doing just fine and we’re excited about him.”

OK, then. Read on for more notes from Thursday's practice.

Notes from Ken Bone’s season wrap-up

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — WSU coach Ken Bone spoke with reporters for about 22 minutes this morning, putting a wrap on the 2011-12 season while looking forward a bit to next year. We've got some news and notes after the jump.

Thursday Prep Page

Love it when we have stories like we do today on Ferris/ Ben Goodwin. Mike Vlahovich did a marvelous job on the story. Here's a link. Ben is pictured above in a photo taken last spring of him and his mother, Mary, who had a double lung transplant last summer.

The first item in my column today is about the partnership the Greater Spokane League and the new Mid-Columbia Conference have struck.

Here's our first track notebook.

The best golf weekend tees off

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Over the years I've come to realize this is one of the best weekends in sports. Masters weekend. I think it really sunk in about 1986, when I was playing in a softball tournament at Franklin Park and told everyone not to mention a thing, I was taping the Masters (for you young pups, go find your Fraggle Rock collection and wander down memory lane from the time before the DVR). It was so much easier to avoid news back in the pre-smart phone days, so I had no idea how the finale was going. I also had no idea there had been a problem at home, either. Read on.

Another day, another WSU practice

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — After a day off, WSU will be back on the field this afternoon for its seventh practice of the spring. Which means it will be really nice outside. Or snowing. We'll see.

WSU Live Chat today at noon

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — Welcome to today's live chat. We'll get things rolling at about noon and go for about an hour. Please bear with me if there are any wrinkles to smooth out at first. Never done one of these before.

Better late than the other thing

A GRIP ON SPORTS

We have a goal with this feature every morning. We want it on the web by 9 a.m. But about eight, nine hours ago, we weren't even sure we would have it all this morning. Not with the way we were feeling. But like the mailman, the show must go on (mixed metaphors are useful on a snowy day and, yes, it is snowing here in Spokane and in most of the rest of the area), so here it is. Read on.

EWU begins spring drills

The Eagles opened spring drills Tuesday afternoon, and here's my story from Roos Field, where I will be again this afternoon (wearing snow boots, judging by what I see outside this morning). I will also be sending regular Tweets, so please follow me at @srjimallen.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Big Sky Conference is gearing up for spring ball…

Live chat at noon, plus some links

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — It was so nice outside yesterday, I almost thought about thinking about going for a jog. Then I wrote for three hours and ate a McChicken instead. Ah, well. At least that means we have links.

WSU notes from Day 6

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — It took until April, but the sun finally came out to stay for an entire WSU football practice. That's a first this spring. As usual, we have some notes, so read on.

Rowley officially back with Shock

Kyle Rowley is back for his third stint with the Spokane Shock.

Rowley, who helped Spokane to an arenafootball2 title in 2006 and an Arena Football League crown in 2010 before losing the starting job to Erik Meyer in 2011, officially rejoined the Shock on Tuesday. With Meyer on injured reserve and Adam Froman tossing six interceptions in two-plus games, Spokane brought back Rowley, who was released by Pittsburgh prior to the season opener.

“Kyle knows this offense and I expect him to compete for the starting job,” coach Andy Olson said. “It’s rare to have a veteran with his experience available this late in the season and so we felt like we had to jump on the opportunity.”

Rowley is Spokane’s franchise leader in passing yards (8,691), passing touchdowns (182) and rushing touchdowns (14).

 

Spokane faces Arizona in Phoenix on Friday.

 

EWU hires running backs coach

On the day of their first spring practice , the Eastern Washington Eagles completed their coaching staff Tuesday with the hiring of running backs coach Kiel McDonald.

McDonald is the third new coach Eastern has hired since last season. The Eagles earlier added cornerbacks coach Cherokee Valeria and tight ends/offensive tackles coach Brian Strandley.

Hey, we could have gone for Dylan Thomas

A GRIP ON SPORTS

I was thinking of changing the name of today's blog post to Highway 195 Revisited, but as this feature already skews really old, we skipped the Dylan reference atop the page. But we couldn't resist mixing it in somewhere. Read on.

Congrats Beiron, Kris White 1

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — This post was going to be longer, I swear. But then our system ate it. Then I wrote the entire thing again. Then the system ate it. So here it is, the third try, and if you're reading it, that means I made it through without flinging my laptop off the balcony like a frisbee. Read on.

Video: Marcus Mason

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — As promised, here's a short video interview with Washington State sophomore running back Marcus Mason.

Shock release DB Williams

The Spokane Shock on Monday released defensive back Travis Williams, who started the first three games, and put offensive lineman/fullback Shannon Tevaga on injured reserve with a hand injury.

Williams had 9.5 tackles and one pass break-up in three games, but he had a tough night in Friday’s 69-35 loss to San Jose. Spokane also activated receiver Joe Hills, who played at Tennessee State University, from injured reserve, and released defensive back Jamal Robinson and reserve quarterback Luke Collis. Robinson and Collis didn’t appear in any games.

Spokaneis finalizing the required paperwork to bring back former Shock quarterback Kyle Rowley, who led the Shock to arena football titles in 2006 and 2010.

Spokane (1-2) faces Arizona (2-1) in Phoenix on Friday night.

More here.

Idaho announces Levenseller hiring

For at least two months, Mike Levenseller — the former longtime Washington State assistant — has served as a consultant to Robb Akey at Idaho. With his contract at WSU officially expired, Levenseller was announced this afternoon as Idaho's receivers coach and passing game coordinator. 

Read on for more.

EWU spring football begins Tuesday

Eastern opens the first of 11 spring football practices Tuesday at 4 p.m. at Roos Field, and all are open to the public. For a preview of spring ball, here's my story from Sunday. I plan to attend most practices and all scrimmages, culminating in the Red-White spring game on April 28. Also, I will send tweets from practices and scrimmages, so follow me at @srjimallen on Twitter.

Chiefs sit atop Sunday’s sports fare

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Best sports moment on the first Sunday in April? It might have been I.K. Kim missing an 18-inch putt that would have sealed the deal at the Nabisco Championship, though where I was at that moment, the television was having trouble keeping the Golf Channel in focus, so I really can't be sure. What I am sure of is the best sports moment around here occurred in the Spokane Arena, where the Spokane Chiefs finished off the Vancouver Giants, bouncing back from an 0-2 hole to win the WHL first-round playoff series 4-2. Read on.

A quiet Monday on the WSU front

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — Another week, another three spring football practices. But there isn't one today, and there wasn't one yesterday, so we don't have a whole lot of WSU news for you. There are still links to pass along, though. And hey, you've got a national championship game to watch tonight.

Zags look back, move on

I wrote this season wrap-up so long ago, I'd almost forgotten it was in the S-R system for the last nine days. It finally ran in today's paper, a look back and look ahead at the Gonzaga men's basketball program.

Meanwhile, Gonzaga is on the list of a couple of high-profile players expected to transfer from their current schools: Trent Lockett, a 6-4 wing from Arizona State, and Alex Oriakhi, a 6-9 forward who is leaving Connecticut. Lockett, who is expected to visit Gonzaga, has ties to GU's Sam Dower from their younger days in Minnesota. One Minnesota writer predicts Lockett will end up at Iowa State. Both players would be eligible next season and have one season of eligibility remaining.

A shining Saturday night

A GRIP ON SPORTS

It was a pretty fun five hours or so last night, other than all the commercials and the usual over-the-top CBS promotion. But the national semifinals were once again can't-miss television, with Kansas rallying down the stretch to upset Ohio State and Kentucky winning state bragging rights by holding off Louisville. If the past is any guide, the Jayhawks just clinched the national title, as sooner or later the NCAA will find out the Wildcats did something untoward and John Calipari's team will have to vacate its 37 (or 38) wins this season. Though Calipari will probably be coaching the Los Angeles Clippers by then. Read on.

It’s April? No foolin’?

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — Can't believe April is already here. As an April Fool's joke, I'm not going to pay my rent today. Isn't that hilarious?

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Jim Allen 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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