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Anything But Tuckered Out Cheney Pitcher Urdahl Develops Into Dynamo On And Off Diamond

Thu., April 11, 1996

The bio on Cheney pitcher Tucker Urdahl is as follows: Three-sport letterman.

Honors student with a 3.6 grade-point average in advanced placement classes.

Member of Cheney’s “Red C” club, a service organization at the school.

Volunteer to Cheney’s DARE program.

A 17-year-old junior, Urdahl has developed a work ethic in class, in sports and in the community that is second to none.

In sports, Urdahl has lettered in football, basketball and baseball. He said his first love is baseball.

“He works hard, he understands the game and wants to get better everyday,” Cheney coach Terry Regnier said.

In a time when many athletes play just one sport, Urdahl thinks playing the other sports helps him in baseball.

“Sometimes I get tired from doing so much, but playing football and basketball keeps my mind fresh for baseball,” Urdahl said.

Last year, Urdahl had a 9-1 record and pitched a no-hitter In the summer, Urdahl and the Blackhawks’ Bryan Miller were selected by a panel of Eastern Washington coaches to play for the Columbia Basin River Dogs. The River Dogs played in the Babe Ruth Baseball League for 16-year-olds.

The River Dogs won the national title in the 16-year-old category at Jamestown, N.Y. Urdahl opened the tournament with a win for Columbia Basin and closed it with a save in the championship game.

“That was the biggest experience of my life,” Urdahl said. “It was amazing to be around that many players who are just as good as you.”

Before playing with the River Dogs, Urdahl also played for Spokane Federal Credit Union, Cheney’s American Legion team.

This season, Urdahl has a 4-0 record with two saves. He said he wants to do whatever he can to help the Blackhawks get to the state playoffs.

“I’m on a mission; we’re (the team) all on a mission - big time - to get to state,” Urdahl said.

Off the field, Urdahl participates in a Cheney High community service organization in addition to working with Cheney’s DARE program and speaks to elementary and junior high children.

“His success at this stage in his life is the accumulation of many things,” Regnier said.

Urdahl said the most significant influence in his life has been what his parents have passed on to him.

His mother Karlyn teaches at Cheney High, and his father Rick is an artist.

“I have a great family,” Tucker said. “Everybody is supportive of each other. Maybe it’s because my parents are really hard-working people.”

As far as college is concerned, Urdahl said he definitely wants to play baseball. If that option isn’t there, he will have a firm high school transcript to fall back on.

“There are more academic scholarships available to students than there are athletic scholarships,” Regnier said.

At the start of his senior year, Regnier will talk with all of his seniors about their future prospects.

“I bring them in in November and we talk about post-high school training and education,” Regnier said. “The emphasis is on academics and how to get them the financial aid packages for colleges and trying to help them in those directions.”

At the same time, though, Regnier said he won’t be surprised if Urdahl gets the opportunity to play college ball.

“He’s only a junior,” Regnier said. “He’s still a young kid, but he’s definitely pitching better all the time.”

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: 2 Photos



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