January 6, 2013 in Sports

EWU’s Minnerly makes cut in more ways than one

Staff And News Services

Jeff Minnerly: Before and after his haircut.
(Full-size photo)

Jeff Minnerly could be called an intellectual. After all, the Eastern Washington senior football player from Ferris continues to accumulate academic honors.

He could not, however, be described as a “longhair.” At least not any more.

Long hair had become Minnerly’s trademark the last three seasons as he patrolled the defensive secondary for the Eagles because of what started as a friendly wager between teammates. During the 2010 season, Minnerly and linebackers Ronnie Hamlin and Zach Johnson challenged each other to see who could go the longest without cutting their hair.

Johnson dropped out after Eastern won the NCAA Division I title following that 2010 season.

Minnerly finally cut his hair two days after the 2012 season concluded on Dec. 17, and donated the hair – five ponytails, 10-inches long each – to Locks of Love.

Hamlin’s hair continues to grow. “I won,” he said, although there was nothing on the wager except the competition.

Meanwhile, Minnerly, who continues to hit the books hard, has collected another national academic honor, selected for a second straight year to the Academic All-Star Team chosen by the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Athletic Directors Association.

Earlier this winter, he was named to the Capital One Academic All-American second team.

Minnerly finished the fall quarter with a perfect 4.0 grade-point average and has a 3.79 accumulative GPA at Eastern. He completed his degree in finance in the fall and will continue his studies this winter toward a second degree in electrical engineering.


Five members of the Spokane Collegiate Football Officials Association received postseason assignments, two of them working on the Pac-12 crew at the Heart of Dallas Bowl, featuring Oklahoma State and Purdue, on Jan. 1 in Dallas.

Jim Northcott was the replay official for the game while Steve Hudson was the back judge. Northcott also was selected to be the replay official for Eastern Washington’s Football Championship Subdivision quarterfinal game against Illinois State on Dec. 8 in Cheney. But he turned it down. “I told them I was an alum,” said Northcott, who was on the Eastern team that played for the NAIA championship in 1967.

Eric Crone was side judge for the FCS quarterfinal in Norfolk, Va., on Dec. 8 between Georgia Southern and Old Dominion; John Love was field judge for two Division II games, a first-rounder in Mankato, Minn., on Nov. 24 between Northwest Missouri State and Minnesota State Mankato, and a quarterfinal on Dec. 1 in Pueblo, Colo., between West Texas A&M and Colorado State-Pueblo; and Roger Stewart was the umpire for the FCS first-round game on Nov. 24 in Brookings, S.D., between Eastern Illinois and South Dakota State.


Four from Eastern Washington collected awards in the U.S. Cross Country Skiing Championships on Friday at the former Olympic course at Soldier Hollow, Utah.

Erik Bjornsen, 22, of Winthrop won gold in the men’s 15-kilometer freestyle.

His sister, Sadie Bjornsen, 24, took silver in the women’s 10k freestyle and women’s classic sprint.

Annie Pokorny, 20, of Spokane was fourth in the women’s 10k freestyle. 

Torin Koos of Wenatchee won the men’s classic sprint, his seventh U.S. Nordic title. 

Pokorny left Lewis and Clark to complete her senior year in Sun Valley, where she trained with national-class junior skiers. She’s skiing at Middlebury College and has a shot at a U.S. international team.



Kelsey Turnbow, an eighth-grader from Liberty Lake who plays for the Spokane Shadow G97-A girls team, has been selected by U.S. Youth Soccer’s Region IV Olympic Development Program to participate in a national development camp in Phoenix from Jan. 29-Feb. 3.

Turnbow, who is coached by Abbas Faridnia, is one of two players from Washington among the 18 from a 13-state area invited to the camp.

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