Young Coach Earns Some High Praise
Five years after celebrating back-to-back B Tournament titles as a player from Davenport, Stacia Marriott Soliday knows what it’s like to take home a trophy as a coach. Yes, it was a sixth-place plaque for her Sprague-Harrington team, but at age 23, who knows how much hardware Soliday will be able to bring to the Falcons?
And who knows for how long?
Soliday, who commutes to Sprague from Spokane, is studying to be a registered nurse through an Eastern Washington University program. She takes classes in the morning and bolts out to practice in the afternoon.
“I think I’m going to continue to coach,” said Soliday, who graduates next year. “I’ll see what kind of job I can get. Hopefully, I can get a day job.”
One Bi-County coach who wants to see Soliday stick around is Ritzville’s Howard Manke. And it has nothing to do with beating her twice this season.
“She’s an iron lady,” said Manke, whose Broncos completed their undefeated season with a 50-37 championship game win over Wilbur-Creston Saturday night. “She goes to nursing school and she has to commute 60 miles a day to her job in Sprague.
“She’s one of the young up-and-coming bright coaches. If she decides to stay in the coaching profession, she’ll do well at any level.”
The color of success
Most coaches offer up the shave-my-head or dye-my-hair incentive if - and only if - his or her team wins the state title. However, Waitsburg coach Jerry Baker put his scalp on the line for a lot less.
“I told them early in the season that if they play (at State B) on Saturday, I’d color my hair,” said Baker, a first-year coach who farms for a living.
The Cardinals did better than making it to the final day. They won their last game of the season, 50-33 against Tekoa-Oakesdale, to earn fifth place. It was their first trip to state. Baker was hoping his team forgot about his early-season promise. No such luck.
Said senior guard Cara Hulce: “He (Baker) said purple is OK, but he doesn’t want us to put in pink or neon green.”
Same old West Side story
If it’s Saturday at the State B Tournament, then the West Side schools must be outta here. Sticking to history, the West Siders from Districts 1-2-3, 4 and 5 did not fare well in this year’s tournament. The eight schools compiled a 1-10 record, the lone victory plucked when Shoreline Christian beat Darrington 46-43.
“I don’t think the teams play together for as long as we do,” said Tekoa-Oakesdale coach Mark Stinson, whose Nighthawks took home an eighth-place trophy. “These kids (T-O) have played together since third-grade.
“The second-biggest thing is the competition. Just to make it out of our league and the district is a battle. And when you get to state, it’s almost a relief sometimes. Unless you have to play Ritzville.” The only West Side team to win in the ‘90s was Wishkah Valley, when the Loggers beat Tekoa-Oakesdale in 1995.