The long distance phone bill got to be too much.
So East Valley teacher and wrestling coach Mark Perry is headed back from where he came.
Less than a year after he resigned the head wrestling position at Snohomish High School to become EV’s coach, Perry accepted the football position at his former school.
“It’s not so much we missed the area,” said Perry, who had moved to Spokane to be closer to family, “as it was the friends we’ve had for the last 15 years. We just had a big phone bill.”
Perry continues to follow coaching legends. First it was EV wrestling coach Charlie Miller and now it’s Dick Armstrong, the state’s alltime winningest football coach.
It was under Armstrong at Snohomish that Perry learned football, serving 11 years as Armstrong’s assistant. Last year his Knights won the Frontier League in wrestling.
“I don’t know if football is a priority over wrestling so much as it is a challenge for me,” said Perry of his decision to switch sports. “It’s a difference in strategy being in a situation where you’re putting 11 guys together rather than it being an individual sport.”
Perry said he enjoyed his one-year stay at East Valley. With six to seven freshmen starting in the Knight lineup, he said that his successor will have a good team that can only get better.
His family made the move to Spokane and back to Snohomish knowing it had two years before the children were in school.
“I will be back sometime,” he said. “But we have to plant somewhere.”
The Heat is on
The Spokane Heat, a hand-picked 14-year-old all-star baseball team, is making its second bid to qualify for national competition.
The Heat will host a six-team AAU Junior Olympics World Series qualifier beginning Friday through Sunday at Central Valley High School. The National Junior Olympics are in Orlando, Fla., Aug. 4-11.
Teams entered are from Wenatchee, Lewiston, Pasco, Kennewick and the Spokane Valley Baseball Pony League all-stars.
All six teams will play three games with the four best records advancing to single-elimination play for the championship.
The Heat open at 8:30 p.m. Friday. Gonzaga University coach Steve Hertz will throw out the first ball delivered to him by four in-coming skydivers.
Championship game is at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.
The bulk of the team is from the Spokane Valley with six players coming from Evergreen Junior High, one from Greenacres, another from Centennial and one from East Valley Middle School.
Centennial’s Chris Hilsabeck is currently hitting .441 with four home runs, two of them grand slams. Evergreen’s Justin Folkins is batting .412.
The Spokane Heat has a 14-4 record, recently finishing second in a Continental Amateur Baseball Association tournament in Bellevue. All told, the team plans to play from between 50 and 60 games and in six tournaments, three of them World Series qualifiers in various associations.
The team is hitting .340 overall and averaging just under 10 runs per game. Other players come from Spokane and Moses Lake.
Express-way to first place
The Spokane Valley Express, a girls U-16 team, recently won first place in the Spokane Spring Classic.
The Express, coached by Tom Hill, shut out out Vancouver, B.C., 8-0, Cranbrook, B.C., 5-0, tied Kelowna, B.C., 2-2, beat the Spokane Sabers 7-1 and the Spokane Valley Falcons 3-1 in the title game.
Tami Hill scored eight goals, including all three in the championship game. Alishia Smith also scored eight goals and Malea Schumacher seven.
Other team members are Anita Heaton, Kisia Agee, Rachel Anderson, Michelle Farren, Katie Foster, Kayla Hill, Cherne Martinez, Carrie Numata, Rachel Rapp, Lily Schirakh, Elisha Stickel, Anette Thomas and Sh’Nell Wright.