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In brief: Spokane Chiefs release former top pick

Hockey: The Spokane Chiefs parted ways with two No. 1 draft picks on Tuesday, one for the season and one for good.

Tyler Cunningham the Chiefs’ pick in the 2010 Bantam Draft, was reassigned to Moose Jaw’s midget league team. Cunningham, a defenseman, played in the preseason tournament in Everett but 15-year-olds cannot play more than five games during the regular season.

“I think he has a good future,” coach Don Nachbaur said. “The experience he got is going to help. That was the plan. … School is starting and he had to get back.”

Mike Betz, 18, Spokane’s top pick pick three years earlier, was released. The left-winger played 30 games for Spokane as a 16-year-old but just one last season.

“We hoped things would work out differently with Michael,” general manager Tim Speltz said. “We feel this is the right move for him and our team.”

Dave Trimmer

Bullpups lose starting QB

Gonzaga Prep senior quarterback Shane Schmidlkofer separated his shoulder during the Bullpups’ 45-21 win over Shadle Park last Friday, a doctor confirmed Tuesday.

He will be out indefinitely.

“We hope to get him back at some point this season,” G-Prep coach Dave McKenna said.

The Bullpups were the preseason favorite to capture the Greater Spokane League championship.

McKenna wouldn’t say what the plan is for Thursday when the Bullpups (1-0) take on defending league champ Mt. Spokane (1-0) at Joe Albi Stadium at 7:15 p.m.

Central Valley (0-1) takes on Mead (1-0) starting at 4:45 p.m. in the first game of the Albi doubleheader.

On Friday at Albi, Rogers (0-1) takes on North Central (0-1) at 5:30 and Shadle Park (0-1) plays Ferris (1-0) at 8. Lewis and Clark (1-0) is at University (0-1) at 7.

Greg Lee

Gray adds to lead in bareback

Rodeo: Cheney bareback rider Ryan Gray didn’t win the lucrative Ellensburg rodeo but he padded his lead in the PRCA standings with a big weekend.

Gray tied for first in the first round and tied for second in the second to finish second in the average. Overall he picked up $7,320 to push his season earnings to more than $138,000, which is $31,000 clear of second place.

Oregon cowboy Steven Peebles won the rodeo thanks to an arena record 90-point ride to win the second round. Gray’s rides were 85 and 86.

Tyson Durfey of Colbert tied for second in the second round of tie-down roping, finished sixth in the third round and was fourth in the average, picking up almost $4,500. That bumped Durfey from 12th to ninth in the standings with $68,230.

Dave Trimmer

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