Jordan Rogers, a senior at Mead, is the Western Region and state of Washington winner of a 2012 Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Named in honor of the late Olympic and world champion, the award is presented annually to high school seniors who excel on the mat, in the classroom and as citizens in their schools and communities. Five regional winners are selected from the 50 state winners.
Rogers, a three-time state champion, was named to the 2012 USA Dapper Dan and USA Dream Team Classic. He’s earned USAW Junior and Cadet Freestyle and Greco-Roman All-America honors and claimed a silver medal at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in freestyle.
He’s a member and leader of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Mead and is an athlete representative for USA Wrestling Washington, a volunteer coach for the Big Cat Youth Wrestling Club, and an associated student body member at Mead while maintaining a 4.0 grade-point average. He will attend Oklahoma State this fall as a projected 184-pounder.
Kris Kassel, who has been general manager of Gonzaga University IMG Sports Marketing since 2008, has been named associate athletic director/external operations, GU athletic director Mike Roth announced.
Kassel replaces Dennis Kalina, who accepted the position of senior associate athletic director at Binghamton University in New York.
Kassel is no stranger to intercollegiate athletics. He served for three years as the associate athletic director for external affairs at the University of Evansville, and prior to his arrival in Spokane served as the general sales manager at the University of Arizona for IMG.
Three Spokane-based Northwest Blazers girls high school select teams went 18-0 and won championships in the Nike Tournament of Champions evaluation tournament last weekend in Phoenix.
Blazers Orange defeated the Spokane Stars in one 17-U championship game while Blazers Black beat Northwest Blazers Brooks in the other 17-U title game. Blazers Heat won the 15-U division over Blazers Tri-Cities All-Stars.
Steve Klees is head coach of the Blazers’ program that put five teams in title games in the largest evaluation tournament in the Western U.S. that drew 84 teams from around the country.
Grant Fink, a junior third baseman on the Missouri Western State baseball team from Mead, was honored as the conference offensive player of the week two weeks ago by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers of America Association and the NCAA Division II South Central regional hitter of the week after hitting hit .520 in six games.
His 13 hits included five doubles and four home runs. He scored nine runs and had 11 RBIs as his team won all six games and moved into second place in the 11-team conference.
• Ethan Vaughn, a sophomore on the Montana men’s tennis team from Mead, was named to the All-Big Sky Conference first team after compiling a 17-0 record at No. 5 in singles in league matches. He was 17-2 overall in singles and 9-5 in doubles, playing mostly at No. 2, for the Big Sky regular-season champion Grizzlies, who went 8-0 in league matches.
Vaughn had the deciding win in the final league match against rival Montana State to secure the undefeated league record and the Grizzlies’ first Big Sky title.
• Britta Stime, a Gonzaga junior from Mead, was named to the West Coast Conference All-Academic team in women’s tennis with a 3.74 GPA in international relations and Spanish.
• Chris Williams, a junior from Moscow, Idaho, on the Washington men’s golf team, has been named to the United States team for the Palmer Cup for a second straight year.
The 2012 version of the annual Ryder Cup-style competition will be played June 28-30 at The Royal County Down Golf Club in Newcastle, Northern Ireland.
It marks the third time Williams will represent the U.S. in international play. He was 2-0-2 at the 2011 Palmer Cup in which the Americans defeated the Europeans 13-11 at the Sandwich Club in Greenwich, Conn. He was 1-1 in the 2011 Walker Cup at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club, where the Great Britain and Ireland squad took home the Cup.
Williams is ranked fourth by Scratch Players Golf, sixth by World Amateur Golf Rankings and by Golfweek.com and seventh by Golfstat.com.
• Elaine Whaley, a Whitman sophomore from Gonzaga Prep, used her best collegiate round on the final day of the Northwest Conference championships last weekend, a 4-over-par 76, to help the Missionaries win the tournament title and the school’s first berth in the NCAA Division III women’s golf championships, May 8-11 in Angola, Ind.
• Three Montana athletes from the area received special scholarship recognition at the school’s 20th annual Robert O. Lindsay Scholar-Athlete Awards banquet.
Honored were Shawn Stockton, senior, Ferris, men’s basketball; Katie Baker, junior, Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy, women’s basketball; and Bo Tully, sophomore, Mead, football.
• Five Idaho athletes from the area who have at least a 3.00 cumulative GPA repeated on Western Athletic Conference All-Academic teams for the winter sports season.
The athletes by sport:
Men’s indoor track and field: Jeremy Klas, senior, Moscow, Idaho.
Women’s indoor track and field: Morgan Dunning, sr., East Valley; Sara Hemenway, sophomore, Central Valley; Kristine Leonard, junior, Rathdrum; Julia Veseth, sr., Moscow.
Will Bughi, 14, an eighth-grader at Mountainside Middle School, placed third on both the vault and parallel bars and 16th in the all-around in the Region 2 Championships recently in Boise to qualify for the Junior Olympic Men’s National Championships May 8-12 in Cincinnati.
The top 16 qualified for nationals, where the Junior Olympic National team will be selected.
Bughi, a Level 9 gymnast who competes for Dynamic Gymnastics of Spokane and is coached by Melissa Paulson, has been involved in gymnastics since he was 4. He advanced out of the state competition to earn his spot in the regionals.
Letters of intent
• Southern Methodist women’s basketball: Korina Baker, 5-foot-7 point guard from Freeman and North Idaho College. Helped lead the Cardinals to the NJCAA National Championship as a freshman and to a Scenic West regular-season title and 23-6 record as a sophomore when she averaged 12.1 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game and was a second-team NJCAA All-American. She was the Washington 1A Player of the Year after leading Freeman to its first state championship as a senior.
• Texas-San Antonio men’s basketball: Edrico McGregor, 6-8 power forward from North Idaho College. He averaged 7.2 points and 4.8 rebounds a game last season as the Cardinals went 24-8 and made it to the Region 18 championship game.
• Carroll volleyball: Jenifer Schuman, 5-10 outside hitter from Lake City. A two-time All-Inland Empire League 5A first-team selection and two-time All-North Idaho helped the Timberwolves to the 5A Region I championship and third place at state. She has a 3.87 GPA.
• North Idaho volleyball: HayleeMae Dennis, 5-10 outside hitter from Enumclaw, Wash. A two-time all-league and all-area player who helped lead her school to three State 3A appearances in four years.
• Eastern Washington hockey: Nick Redding, 5-11 forward from Spokane has committed to the Eagles. Played four seasons with the Junior B Braves, where he had 117 points and 449 penalty minutes in 196 career games, including 50 points in 52 games this past season. He was the Braves’ captain.
• Great Falls softball: Abby Ricco, infield, Mt. Spokane. A three-year starter at second base, Ricco was a second-team All-Greater Spokane League selection in 2010. She has a 3.7 GPA.
• Willamette men’s track: Nick Celebrezze, sprinter, Moscow, Idaho. Runs the 200 and 400 meters and is also on the Bears’ 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams. Celebrezze is in his first year in track after being a two-year letterman in soccer, where he was first-team All-Inland Empire League 4A as a forward.