The way the calendar falls this year, the Spokane/Coeur d’Alene Wood Bat Classic American Legion tournament begins on Wednesday, the 4th of July, and concludes Saturday.
Chino Red out of Chino, Calif., returns to defend its championship in the Senior division. Chino defeated the Eagle Vipers (Meridian, Idaho) in the final last year.
Chino, Eagle, the Northeast 49ers, the Billings (Mont.) Royals, Bellingham and the Coeur d’Alene Lumbermen are considered among the favorites, tournament director Mike Padden said.
Bellingham is the defending Washington AAA state champ. Billings leads Montana’s Eastern Division.
The Regina Athletics out of Saskatchewan are the defending champs in the Junior division.
The Senior final is Saturday afternoon at 4 at Avista Stadium. The semifinals are earlier at 11 and 1:30.
The Junior title game is Saturday afternoon at 2 at McEuen Field in Coeur d’Alene.
Moscow High graduate Phil Helbling has been named head coach at his alma mater. Helbling replaces John Sheaff.
Helbling was an assistant coach for three years under Sheaff, coaching wide receivers, running backs and linebackers.
A pair of local basketball standouts – Austin Damon of Lewis and Clark and Derek Isaak of Almira/Coulee-Hartline – have signed to play at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho.
The 6-foot-6 Damon was a first team all-Greater Spokane League selection last season, averaging 12.6 points per game.
Isaak, who was a four-time Washington 1B all-state selection, was named the 2012 Washington 1B player of the year and was a McDonald’s All-American nominee. He scored 2,390 points, averaging 28.5, 8.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists leading the Warriors to the state title his senior year. He was the starting quarterback on ACH’s state runner-up team last fall.
Lauren McCluskey of Pullman placed second in the heptathlon at the USA Track and Field Youth Outdoor championships in Arlington, Texas in late June.
The sophomore to be, 15, scored 4,211 points competing in the 15-16 year age group (intermediate girls). Shaina Burns, 16, of Minnesota, took first (4,486).
McCluskey ran 15.45 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles, threw the shot put 29 feet, 7 inches, vaulted 5-3 in the high jump, posted 27.16 in the 200, leaped 15-11 in the long jump, threw 72-0 in the javelin and ran 2:30.68 in the 800.
Six area players were named to Washington State Soccer Coaches Association boys All-State teams.
Three Cheney players were named to the 2A team. Evan Cook was named first team defender and C.J. Skillingstad (midfielder) and Forester Seipp (forward) were named second team.
Cook, a four-year starter, started in all 80 games during his career. He finished with nine goals, three last season.
Skillingstad, a three-year starter and four-year letterman, finished with 33 goals and 17 assists in his career.
Seipp, a two-year starter and three-year letterman, finished with 28 goals and 20 assists in his career.
Cheney, a three-time state runner-up, went 66-14 the last three years overall and 48-4 in the Great Northern League with 43 shutouts.
Corey Taisey of Mead (midfielder) and Chris Stokesbary (defender) of Central Valley were named second team in 4A and Nevin Thompson (goalkeeper) of Colville was named second team in 1A.
• The Washington East Soccer Club and Seely Soccer Academy boys 14 and under team advanced through state competition in May and will compete in the United States Youth Region IV Far West Presidents Cup in Arvada, Colo. later this month.
Players on the team include Cole Anderson (Cheney), Ethan Arpin (Spokane Valley), Braiden Coston (Spokane), Alex Foust (Mead), Austin Garitone (Rathdrum, Idaho), Joseph Gresch (Otis Orchards), Trestan Gresch (Otis Orchards), Kelby Holland (Cheney), Eric Hollenbaugh (Spokane), Chase Howat (Spokane), Josh Henstine (Greenacres), Chris Lucas (Spokane Valley), Tristin Payne (Spokane Valley), Noah Prophet (Cheney), Justen Sather (Spokane Valley), Tor Saunders (Snohomish), Tyler Smith (Mead) and Noah Whitman (Spokane Valley). They’re coached by Timothy Seely, Thomas Gresch and Cassandra Lucas.