The Spokane Shadow are still trying to get to the USISL playoff finals, but they’ve been recognized as one of the top organizations in minor league soccer.
The Shadow, who lost in the western finals for a second straight year, were presented with the USISL Premier League’s regular-season championship trophy at the league’s annual meetings in Tampa, Fla.
Spokane, the two-time Northwest Division champion, had the best record in the nation (14-2) for a second straight year.
Additionally, forward Dave Berto, who led the Shadow in scoring with 12 goals and seven assists, was named to the All-Premier League team, one of just 11 players selected from 30 teams.
And Jeff Robbins, recently promoted to general manager of the Shadow, was named USISL Premier League executive of the year.
Commissioner Francisco Marcos said Robbins is “an example of the young soccer executives within the USISL structure we believe will go very far.”
“The award came as a pleasant surprise,” said Robbins, sharing credit with Brett Sports, which runs the Shadow. “It’s always nice to be recognized by your peers.”
Of Berto, he said, “it speaks of the quality of the players we put on the field in Spokane. Dave scored the big goals for us this season.”
Gonzaga University placed nine student-athletes on West Coast Conference all-academic teams for volleyball, soccer and cross country.
They had to have at least a 3.2 cumulative grade-point average and be either a starter or key reserve to qualify. The athletes by sport:
Cross country - Carrie Lemieux, junior, 3.53 GPA in exercise science; Robin Meguire, jr., 3.44, pre-med; Beth Mulligan, senior, 3.62, biology; Garrett Call, jr., 3.88, accounting; and Shane Litzenberger, jr., 3.69, finance.
Volleyball - Nora Grasham, sr., 3.71, history.
Soccer - Sara Kinsky, sr., 3.31, exercise science; Shannon Stanford, jr., 3.62, business; and Simeon Enemuo, sr., 3.80, philosophy.
Two former Spokane Indians pitchers have died this fall.
Connie Grob, a right-handed starter, who toiled for Spokane during the city’s first two seasons in the Pacific Coast League, succumbed Sept. 28 in Madison, Wis., at age 64.
Grob posted a 9-13 record for the Indians in 1958 and was 12-11 in 1959.
Right-hander Brian “Butch” McKeon, 28, died in a Sept. 11 farming accident at Blanchardville, Wis. A 14th-round draft pick of the San Diego Padres in 1989, McKeon made two relief appearances for the Indians that summer. He later pitched in the Milwaukee organization in a five-year pro career and had been a high school head coach and pitching coach for University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
Gonzaga University will hold a “Little Zags” camp for boys and girls in grades 1-8 this Saturday and Sunday at Martin Center.
The camp, which features instruction from GU men’s coach Dan Monson, his staff and players, will focus on fundamentals.
Participants and their parents will receive tickets to the Bulldogs’ Jan. 3 home game against Boise State and each camper will receive a pass to all remaining GU home games.
Sessions will be from 9 a.m.-noon Saturday and 2-5 p.m. Sunday. Cost is $60. The camp is limited to 100.
Info: Scott Didrickson, (509) 323-4215.
Shadle Park High School’s annual alumni men’s tournament runs Saturday at the school from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. A social get together will follow at Heroes restaurant in the NorthTown Mall.
Lewis-Clark State College will conduct a mini-camp for boys and girls in grades 1-8 on Dec. 29-30 from 9 a.m.-noon at the LCSC Warrior Gymnasium. Cost is $20.
Info: George Pfeifer, LCSC Athletic Dept., 500 8th Ave., Lewiston, Idaho 83501.
The Spokane St. Luke’s Cyclones wheelchair basketball team leads the National Wheelchair Basketball Association’s Northwest Conference with a 16-0 record.
The Cyclones, ranked 20th nationally, average 70.2 points a game while allowing just 37.8. Paul Hill leads the Cyclones with a 23.4 scoring average while Lew Tomlinson averages 21.2.
The Cyclones, who will play host to the first round of the national tournament Feb. 21-22, are next at home Jan. 17-18 against the Rose City Rebels.
Top-seeded Ricky Brown emerged victorious from a high-scoring Junior Bowlers Tour tournament last Sunday at Colonial Bowl.
Brown defeated third-seeded Ron Bowman 242-170 in the finals after Bowman had knocked off No. 2 David Miller. Matt Descoteaux finished fourth and Corey Thomas fifth.
Brown had high game for the boys, a 278, while Monica Cheney led the girls with a 265. During qualifying rounds, Brown had a four-game block of 992, Miller a 930 and Bowman a 906.
Next JBT is the doubles tournament Jan. 11 at Silver Lanes.
Gonzaga University senior forward Jeff McAllister, the West Coast Conference player of the year, has been selected to the NCAA Division I Far West Region first team by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Umbro All-America committee.
McAllister, who led the region and WCC in goals (19) and points (46) and the WCC in assists (eight), is the first player in GU history to be named on the Far West Region team.
“This is a great honor for Jeff,” GU coach Einar Thorarinsson said. “… It’s an honor that helps establish our program on the West Coast.”
Shad Nichols of Spokane (Ferris) has been doubly honored following his senior season on the Principia College football team in Elsah, Ill.
Nichols, a linebacker, earned All-St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference first-team honors for a second straight year, and also was selected to play in the fourth annual National All-Stars Bowl College Football Classic in Louisville, Ky., March 28, 1998.
Tyler Jordan of Spokane (Gonzaga Prep), a junior on the Whitworth College men’s basketball team, was the Northwest Conference of Independent College’s player of the week for the week ending Dec. 14.
Jordan, a guard, had his best week as a Pirate. He hit 12 of 13 shots, including eight straight from 3-point range; had 11 assists; and seven steals in two victories. He’s shooting 64 percent from 3-point range.
Ryan Monroe of Riverside High School is a freshman guard/forward on the Westmont College men’s basketball team in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Jeff Hollenbach of Spokane (University), a sophomore at the U.S. Naval Academy, won the shot put at 55 feet, 5 inches in the Navy Invitational indoor track meet last weekend.
Clarence Buckenberger Sr., active in Spokane softball for more than 50 years, will have his name attached to the diamond used for championship softball games at Franklin Park.
The fourplex will be renumbered, and the new No. 2 field, which used to be No. 5, will be known as Buckenberger Field, officials of the Spokane Parks and Recreation Department announced Saturday.
Formal dedication ceremonies will be conducted at the beginning of the softball season.
It’s the second field at Franklin to be dedicated to a man with longtime ties to softball. Field No. 1 is named in honor of the late Bud Adams.
Buckenberger is generally credited with being one of the founders of the modified pitch game now played in many parts of the country. He was director of the Spokane Metro Softball Association for 17 years, and for 15 of those years also served as Spokane Amateur Softball Association commissioner.
He currently serves on the local ASA board as commissioner emeritus, and at the national ASA convention in Nashville, Tenn., last month was honored with an award for 25 years on the national council.
Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, to meet a requirement for membership as an NCAA Division II school, will add men’s volleyball this spring.
The move is coming quickly, and athletic director Gary Picone told the Lewiston Tribune, “we’re in the process of trying to see if we can put a squad together and a schedule.”
Although there are no other schools in the area with men’s volleyball, Picone said it was the most feasible addition to fill the immediate need. He said LCSC would play club teams, many attached to area colleges, and will make a 10-game trip through the Midwest to play college teams during spring break.
Kim Yoshimura, who coaches the women’s team, will coach the men’s team this year.
The Spokane Cougar Club will hold a pre-game function before Washington State’s men’s basketball game against Arizona in the Arena on Jan. 8.
The event will begin at 5 p.m. in the Champions Room. Admission is a $10 donation to the Cougar Club. The game starts at 7.
Info: Melanie Marglous, (509) 358-7541.
The Latah County Chapter of Vandal Boosters will host the 1997 Vandal Football Awards Banquet Jan. 16 at the University Inn in Moscow.
The social hour will begin at 5:30 p.m. with dinner at 6:30 in the Convention Center. The awards program will begin at 7:30.
Craig Juntunen, a San Francisco businessman and former Vandal quarterback, will be the guest speaker. Seattle Seahawks quarterback John Friesz, also a former UI QB, will emcee the program.
Tickets are $25 and can be purchased by calling Sun Winn at 208-885-2692.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: 2 Photos
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.