July 22, 2012 in Sports

Eastern will honor four individuals, 1997 football


Four individuals will join the 1997 Eastern Washington University football team as the 12th class of inductees in the EWU Athletics Hall of Fame and will be honored on Oct. 6.

The induction breakfast and ceremony will start at 9:30 a.m. at the Pence Union Building.

The public is invited to attend and the cost is $15 per person.

Guests must RSVP to 509-359-2463 or 1-800-648-7697. Inductees will also be honored at halftime of EWU’s football game against North Dakota that begins at 5:05 p.m.

Scott Garske, an All-America football player for Eastern in 1973, will be inducted, creating a family event for him. His son, Griffin, was a backup quarterback on the 1997 Eastern team, which finished 12-2 and advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs (then known as I-AA).

Record-breaking sprinter Joyce Rainwater Blount will be inducted after a remarkable career that saw her win eight Big Sky Conference titles and appear at the NCAA Division I Championships twice. She still owns four school records and three conference marks after a career from 1990-95 that included time off to have a baby.

Don Kallem, who spent 17 seasons as Eastern’s golf coach and 13 as an assistant football coach, will be inducted posthumously. His golf teams won eight NAIA District titles and advanced to the NAIA Championships nine times. A three-time district coach of the year, he spent 31 years in the Eastern physical education department. He died on July 10, 1997.

The EWU Athletics Hall of Fame Service and Contribution Award will be presented to 1970 Eastern graduate Jon Heimbigner for his contributions to the sports community in the Inland Northwest. Already a member of four halls of fame, he has served for more than 30 years on four organizations, as well as serving on the EWU Athletics Hall of Fame committee since its inception in 1996. He stepped down recently as a board member for the Spokane Regional Sports Commission after 34 years of service (1978-2012).

It was announced previously that the 1997 football team will be inducted on the 15th anniversary of its playoff run, and a large group of former players, coaches and support staff are expected to attend.

After winning the Big Sky Conference title, the ’97 squad advanced in the playoffs by defeating Northwestern State (40-10) and Western Kentucky (38-21), then fell to Youngstown State 25-14 in the semifinals. The Eagles also won the outright Big Sky Conference title.

This year’s inductees will bring the number of individuals in the Hall of Fame, established in 1996, to 61. Nine teams will have also been inducted, as well as 12 recipients of the EWU Athletics Hall of Fame Service and Contribution Award.


For the 10th time in coach Wendy Schuller’s 11-year tenure and 11th time overall, the EWU women’s basketball team earned a spot on the 2012 Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Academic Top 25 Honor Roll.

The annual award recognizes NCAA Divisions I, II and II, NAIA and junior/community college women’s basketball teams across the nation that carry the highest combined grade-point averages inclusive of all student-athletes on their rosters for the entire season.

EWU has been on the list 11 of 17 years, including nine straight from 2001-2010.

The Eagles posted a team GPA of 3.337 to rank 25th this year.

• Five University of Idaho women’s golfers were honored as All-American Scholars by the National Golf Coaches Association.

Graduating seniors Kayla Mortellaro, who leaves as one of the most honored student-athletes in Vandals history, and Teo Poplawski are joined in earning the recognition along with sophomore Rachel Choi and freshmen Mary Sweeney and Kaitlyn Oster.

• Mortellaro and Vandals men’s golfer Markus Geiger were honored as recipients of the Western Athletic Conference’s Stan Bates Awards, which annually are awarded to the league’s top male and female scholar-athletes.

It marks the second time in three years that Idaho student-athletes have swept the awards, which are named in honor of former WAC commissioner Stan Bates.

The awards also include a $2,000 postgraduate scholarship.


Lewis-Clark State College men’s basketball coach Brandon Rinta announced the signing of seven players. The new recruits include one area high school standout and six junior college transfers.

Forrest Baker, a 6-foot-6 forward, comes to the Warriors after earning first-team all-Greater Spokane League honors at Mead High School last season. He averaged 15.5 points and six rebounds per game.

“Forrest is a very skilled forward who can post up inside and step out and play on the perimeter,” Rinta said. “We look forward to him being able to stretch defenses out with his ability to step outside and shoot the 3.” 

Alongside Baker, the recruiting class includes juniors Jon Humphrie of Seattle, Derrick Wofford of Stockton, Calif., Petar Joksimovic of Coeur d’Alene, Jacob Champoux of Seattle, Joseph Moquino of Albuquerque, N.M., and Travis Van Diest of Boise.

A 6-5 wing, Joksimovic played two seasons at North Idaho College. He averaged 7.5 points and 3.6 rebounds per game to help the team finish at 24-8 last year.

The seventh recruit is Van Diest, a 6-7 center from Wenatchee Valley College.

Track and field

The University of Idaho women’s team signed three throwers.

They are Adara Winder of Bonney Lake, Wash., and teammates Tayler Feinauer and Kaylie Van Loo of Hillsboro, Ore. (Glenco High School).

Winder was a three-time State 3A champ in shot put.


Former Gonzaga University player and recent graduate Denise Van de Mortel will play overseas for Frederiksberg Volley in Copenhagen, Denmark, this fall.

• For the second straight year, the University of Idaho team earned the American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Award.


Spokane Chiefs prospect Tyson Verhelst is one of 42 bantam-aged players who is participating in the second annual Allstate All-Canadians Mentorship Camp.

Verhelst, a goaltender from Brandon, Manitoba, was Spokane’s third-round pick in this spring’s WHL Bantam Draft.

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