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Whitworth’s Merkel Given National Honor

Sun., Jan. 26, 1997

They’ve rearranged the mantle in the Paul Merkel home. There’s another trophy to display.

Merkel, 74, the longtime Whitworth College athletic official and booster, received the first Robert E. Smith Achievement Award last weekend at the American Baseball Coaches Association convention.

The award, in the name of the longtime president of Greenville (Ill.) College and former president of the International Baseball Association, is designed to honor an individual who has given in an unselfish manner to promote NAIA baseball and distinguished himself in baseball as a coach or administrator.

He has been enshrined in four halls of fame, including the school’s and Inland Empire’s, for his accomplishments. His 1960 Pirates won the NAIA national championship. He retired in 1990 after 36 years of service to Whitworth, but remains active at the school.


Wendy’s International, the hamburger chain, has selected Wilbur senior Mindy Bandy as a recipient of the Wendy’s High School Heisman.

The award, given in conjunction with the Downtown Athletic Club of New York, honors students for athletics, academics and community service. Two students are selected per state.

Bandy has averaged 14.6 points per league game for the second-ranked Wilbur-Creston Wildcats girls basketball team, which has won 12 straight.

Former North Idaho College women’s basketball player Shelley Emerson was inducted into the Montana State-Billings Hall of Fame on Friday.

Emerson, whose maiden name was Steigleman at NIC, helped the Cardinals to two NJCAA tournaments in the late 1980s. She went on to Eastern Montana College, recently renamed MSU-Billings, where she earned All-America honors.

During the fall semester, 32 Gonzaga University student-athletes were named to the Dean’s List (minimum 3.5 grade-point average) and 41 to the President’s List (3.7 GPA or better).

Departmentally, the Bulldogs’ 274 student-athletes posted a 3.14 GPA for the fall semester and have a 3.13 cumulative GPA.

Women’s cross country led the way with a 3.45 GPA for the semester, giving the squad a cumulative mark of 3.39. Thirteen varsity teams had a fall semester and cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.


Officials are needed for AAU tournaments to be held in Chewelah this winter and spring. Housing is provided.

Info: Chewelah Basketball Club, (509) 935-8472.


Justin Kostick and Jeremy Fishel saved their best for last to win the Junior Bowlers Tour doubles tournament last Sunday at North Bowl.

Kostick and Fishel, who came into the TV-style rolloffs ranked second, knocked off top qualifiers Brian Aylesworth and Brett Rayner 490-387 for the title. Aylesworth and Rayner had dominated the qualifying, but obviously cooled off waiting for the finals.

It capped a two-match domination in which the champs combined for a 963. Fishel had games of 256 and 269.

David Miller and Cory Hultquist finished third, Jason Daniels and Jeremy Allen fourth and Tarra Borden and Kim Howerton fifth.

Allen had high game for the boys, a 274. Danielle Shurbutt was high for the girls with a 268.

Next JBT is Feb. 2 at Silver Lanes.


Terrance Alli, a former world junior middleweight champion, will take on Tim Shocks for the intercontinental junior middleweight title on Feb. 12 at the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Bingo/Casino in Worley, Idaho.

Fan favorite Helga Risoy meets Andrea DeShong for the women’s WBF junior welterweight title. Spokane’s Frank Vassar is also on the card.

College scene

Ericka Harrison of Spokane (Central Valley) is one of 11 freshmen on the youth-dominated Southwest Missouri State women’s gymnastics team.


Whitworth College will be the site of the Lilac Cup Invitational that is expected to attract more than 470 male and female gymnasts Feb. 14-16.

Sanctioned by USA Gymnastics and put on by Spokane’s Lilac City Gymnastics Club, the meet will draw 22 teams from Washington, Idaho and Alaska. It’s a qualifier for the Washington sectional championships. Competition will begin at noon Feb. 14 and run through the evening of Feb. 16.

Boys will compete in levels 7 through 1. Optional girls competitive levels 7 through 10 will be featured, while compulsory levels 4 through 7 will also be contested.

Daily admission is $4 adults, $2 children 12 and under. A special family package is available.

Info: (509) 325-4274.


Lakeland, Post Falls and Sandpoint will be battling for more than personal pride when they square off on the wrestling mats in Rathdrum on Tuesday. They’ll help West Valley wrestling coach Bill Bauman in his fight against leukemia.

Lakeland athletic director Brad Murray said gate receipts from the dual matches will go to the Bill Bauman Trust Fund. Additionally, Lakeland cheerleaders will collect donations during the night for the Bauman fund at Washington Trust Bank.

Bauman is awaiting a costly bone marrow rescue procedure.

“We would hope the North Idaho wrestling community will come forth and give generously during (Bauman’s) time of need,” Murray said.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

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