The son of a pastor, Freeman basketball coach John Nelson was accustomed to frequent moves.
Born in Montana, he lived in the Tri-Cities, California and Salem, Ore., his wife Shari’s hometown. He taught in central Oregon and Seattle before his stay at Freeman the last seven years.
“Maybe that’s why it’s in my blood to move,” said Nelson. “After five or six years we’re always ready for something different.”
Next week the Nelsons and their three daughters are changing addresses again, returning to Salem where he will teach physical education at Western Baptist College, his alma mater.
Part of his degree is in athletic administration and he will use it in the expanding departmental program. Nelson will teach methodology to upper level P.E. majors and instruct elementary teachers in a mandatory health and P.E. curriculum.
“There was no good reason to say no,” said Nelson of his decision. “I looked at it from a professional standpoint and the move just really looked good to me.”
There’s always the possibility of his return to basketball. Nelson said there is the opportunity to assist in the women’s or men’s programs at Western Baptist.
“Basketball is in my blood enough that it’s a hobby,” said Nelson. “When I got out of college, being a basketball coach was as important as being a teacher. I’ve been at it 18 years and the goals start to change a bit. But you never say never.”
Nelson said he and his family would miss Freeman, where last year the Scotties had their best season during his tenure, sharing fourth in the Northeast A League.
“I’ll miss the kids and feel the best years for Freeman basketball are coming,” he said. “That’s one part that made it a tough decision.”
But he’s looking forward to the new position.
“Change can be good,” said Nelson. “It has always been good.”
Club champion finalists set
Finalists for the Liberty Lake Ladies 18-Hole Club championship were decided when Jean Hatcher and Diane Hicks advanced to next week’s 36-hole match.
Hatcher defeated Billie Etter and Hicks topped Louise Newtson in the match play semifinals.
Reaching their respective flight finals were Patsy Lynn and Gloria Cash in first; Nancy Montieth and Jean Fulks in second; Jody Cantrell and Coleen Wisenor in third; Myrna Neubauer and Bette Harmon in fourth; Eleanor Seefried and Barb Buteux in fifth.
Losers of previous matches in the season-ending playoff will be in a consolation round next week.
During medal play Hatcher shot 89 gross in A flight and Patsy Lynn had 74 net. Jean Fulks shot 99 in B flight and Donna Ogilvie netted 76.
C flight leader was Cantrell at 96 gross and Harmon with 71 net.
Shirley Hook had a net 77 in D flight.
Medal play at Painted Hills
A chip-in for birdie on the 11th hole highlighted Deanna Tucker’s round during medal play for Painted Hills Ladies Club golfers. Low gross was recorded in A flight by Joan McGee and Ruth Mathis had a net 36.
In B flight, Clare Herman shot 57 and Sharon Meier netted 39.
Sandee Bickelhaupt led C flight with a 60. Four golfers, Leslie Zilka, Joyce Thompson, Caryl Marcus and Idell Choate tied at 39 for net lead.
Low gross winners of D flight and no-handicap respectively were Tavi Wolff and Yvonne Eyler. Lois Wolbert had a low net score of 39.
Nine-hole group decides Liberty Cup
Two-week competition for the Liberty Lake 9-Hole Women’s Golf Club Liberty Cup ended last week.
Ellan Bohannan won A flight with a net total 77. Polly Soderquist had a net 70 in B flight, Jean Skredsvig a 76 in C and Betty Trembly an 83 in D.
During medal play Joanne Ruddell shot 52 and Bohannan had net 41 in A flight.
Soderquist shot 60 and Nancy Lamp netted 41 in B; Marian McLellan had 59 and Arolyn Rowe netted 41 in C.
Hangman golfers begin title run
First round of the Hangman Valley Ladies Club championship was conducted last week.
Championship flight winners were Billie Etter who shot low gross 89, Gloria Cash over Alice Shattuck with low net 73, Janet Lang over Dorothy Womach and Vivienne Symbol over Freda Beckman.
First flight winners were Dorothy Tormino, Carol Wieber with low gross 95 Marie Nelson and Sue Henley. Ellen Boudewyns had low gross 75.
Second flight was won by Carol Wagner, Ella Leinwebber with low net 74, Marie Nelson and Sue Henley with low gross 101.
Advancing in third flight were Barb Hafner, Barb Buteux with low net 75, Betty Dalzell and Delores Bridwell who each shot 113.