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Wolves first test for Eagles

Eastern Washington University will open it’s 2009 football season against Western Oregon, an NCAA Division II school based in Monmouth, Ore., at Woodward Field on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 12:05 p.m.

Due to the shrinking news hole in The Spokesman-Review, we will not be running detailed game advances on Eastern, Idaho or Whitworth on Saturdays this fall.  Those advances will be replaced by short, overviews that will run as part of our new scaled-down GameDay page.  So, rather than give you blog readers a early read of Eastern’s overview, I will attemt to post a more in-depth weekly look at the Eagles upcoming game and opponent.

Read on, and please feel free to leave any thoughts you might have on Eastern right here.



Eagles feeling good about 2009

Eastern Washington University will open its 2009 college football season at home against Western Oregon on Saturday.

You can get a first read of the unedited version of the Eagles’ season preview that will appear in Wednesday morning’s S-R below.  And don’t be shy about leaving your thoughts on how the Eags will fare.

Eags hold final preseason scrimmage

Eastern Washington University held its final football scrimmage of fall camp on Saturday, and head coach Beau Baldwin once again used the hour-long scrimmage to get a closer look at some of the young players on his roster.

You can read an unedited version of the story that will appear in Sunday’s S-R below.  And check back on Tuesday night for a first-read of the EWU season preview that is scheduled to run in Wednesday’s S-R.


Lowdown on GSL grid stats

Got the Greater Spokane League football statistical data updated prior to the start of football play in a little over two weeks. Herewith is a recap of what transpired in 2008 where receivers secured places in league history.

Eags’ first workout sloppy, but spirited

Eastern Washington staged its first full practice of fall camp Friday afternoon, running through a two-workout without pads.  You can read the story about the practice session that ran in this morning’s S-R here.

And you can read on for additional information, including a suprise appearance by last year’s FCS Buck Buchanan Award winner Greg Peach.

Eagles will open camp, season without Leahy

Eastern Washington will open fall football practice this afternoon, and you can an early look at the unedited version of the pre-camp story that will appear in Friday’s S-R below.

The biggest news heading into the fall is the knee injury that will keep Brice Leahy, a projected returniing starter on the offensive line, out for the 2009 season.

Read on.


Eags to open football practice on Friday

Eastern Washington University will open its fall football camp on Friday in preparation for its Sept. 5 season and home opener against Western Oregon.  You can get more detail here.

I will attend Friday afternoon’s first practice, which starts at 2:15 and post a story as soon as possible.

For more links to stories about the Eagles’ upcoming season read on, and those looking for a blast from Eastern’s pass might check out this story on former EWU defensive lineman Dario Romero that ran in Tuesday morning’s S-R.


Halliday verbals

Cougfan.com has announced that Ferris quarterback Connor Halliday has made a verbal commitment to Washington State. The story indicated that he had offers from Hawaii, Idaho, Montana and EWU and had attracted interest from Boise State, Arizona State, Oregon State, Washington and Oregon. Halliday was quoted as saying WSU is where he wanted to play.

On another topic, University activities coordinator Ken VanSickle’s dad, Bud, died last week at age 81. They had a gathering and celebration for him at U-Hi on Saturday.


EWU football: Is it worth the costs?

Eastern Washington’s football team staged its annual Red-White Game at Woodward Field on Saturday.  There were several outstanding individual performances, but all came against a defense that was woefully undermanned because of injuries.

You can read the story on the game that appeared in Sunday morning’s S-R here, and check out the game notes supplied by EWU’s sports information department here.

But the Eastern story that got the biggest play in Sunday’s sports section was this one, which explores the costs EWU incurs in running a football program at the Division I level and poses the question whether it is financially feasible to do so in these difficult ecomonic times.

The S-R also ran this sidebar story on what changes have been made to Eastern’s compliance office after obvious oversights in that previously understaffed department led directly to the sanctions the NCAA slapped on the Eagles’ football program earlier this year.

Happy reading, and be sure to leave any opinions you might have on how valuable the football program at Eastern right here.



Jones shines in Eagles’ scrimmage

Taiwan Jones, a cornerback-turned-running back, staged a coming out part of sorts on Saturday during Eastern Washington University’s second spring football scrimmage.

You can read the story that appeared in Sunday’s S-R here, and check out additional details from EWU’s sports information department here.

And anyone who witnessed the scrimmage and wishes to weigh in on how Jones and EWU’s other young running backs are progressing can do so here, as well.

Serious injury mars EWU’s first spring scrimmage

Eastern Washington University’s first spring football scrimmage was cut short Saturday afternoon because of a seriouis leg injured suffered by cornerback Will Edge.

It was hard to see what happened to Edge from the sidelines, but as soon as the pile cleared away, his teammates started frantically calling for trainers while Edge was lying face down on the field in obvious pain.

You can read an early unedited version of the story that will appear in Sunday’s S-R.  I will update the post later this evening if I receive additional information on the severity of the injury.



Eastern opens spring practice with optimism

Eastern Washington University opened spring football drills on Tuesday under sunny skies in Cheney.  WIth their postseason fate still uncertain for next fall, the Eagles seem determined to not only improve on last year’s 6-5 record, but to prove to the NCAA they are worthy of posteason playoff berth whether they are eligible or not.

You can read an unedited version of the first-day-of-practice story that will appear in Wednesday morning’s S-R below. In addition, I’ve included this link to more information on EWU’s spring practices, and this link to the advance story that ran in the S-R on Sunday.



Eags have football date at Qwest Field

Eastern Washington University’s 2009 football schedule will include an Oct. 31 matchup against Big Sky Conference rival Portland State at Qwest Field in Seattle.

You can read more details here.

Is a late November road trip to watch a “home game” a good thing for Eagles fans?



Experience abounds in Shock’s training camp

The Spokane Shock opened training camp earlier this week in preparation for their upcoming arenafootball2 league season.

Coach Adam Shackleford has plenty of returning players on hand, mainly because of the Arena Football League’s decision to suspend play for the 2009 season.  And he also claims to have the most talented group of rookies he has seen since first becoming involved in the af2.

You can read an S-R story on the opening day of camp here, and access a story on former Eastern Washington standout Matt Alfred and his attempt to make the Shock’s roster here.


Eagles former OC lands at Fresno State

Joe Wade, who served as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Eastern Washington last fall, has taken a new job as running backs coach at Fresno State.

You can read an unedited version of the story — which also includes Coach Beau Baldwin’s comments about winter conditioning and a note on the start of spring practice — that  will appear in Thursday morning’ s S-R below.  And I’ve included this link to additional details on the Killin feed that annually marks the end of spring practice and the role Michael Roos is playing in this year’s event.


New football coach at U-Hi has credentials

The first of the vacant GSL football coaching positions has been filled by a high profile name. Bill Diedrick, longtime college and professional assistant coach and coordinator is coming home to take the reins at University High.

Lewis and Clark’s job will be posted soon and activities coordinator Jeff Norton said it will be opened up outside, although he anticipates interest for the position within. Process is on-going at North Central.

There’s palpable excitement at U-Hi in the hiring of the Spokane native and Rogers high coach in the late 1970s. Diedrick is a storied name in town and it sounds like a lot of former Titans assistants - dating back to the Dave Holmes era - are excited enough to want to re-up.

“I’m excited,” said U-Hi activities coordinator Ken Van Sickle. “We had a great pool of candidates. Withhis experience and backround, it is great for our community to have someone like him take over our program.”

Diedrick, during his college career mentored 12 quarterbacks who played in the NFL, helped coach a Grey Cup champion in the Canadian Football League, was part of a national champion Montana State team and worked for coaches like Tyrone Willingham, Dennis Erickson and Jim Lambright.

Viewing EWU’s woes from afar

Stuff happens.

Usually when I’m on vacation — which was the case once again last week when all hell broke loose at Eastern while I was busy carving out an 85-86 golf win over one of my closest friends on his home course in Fort Worth, Texas.  I even used his clubs.

But now I’m back, trying to catch up on the NCAA sanctions that soiled EWU’s football program while I was away.

Read on.

Numero Uno

Today is the day that either the Arizona Cardinals or the Pittsburgh Steelers will walk off the football field in Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, with pride in their hearts and victory wrapped around their fingers as Super Bowl rings.

The Steelers have a legacy already established, but that won’t stop them from achieving even more.  If the team gains a victory today, this will be their record sixth Super Bowl title.  Coming into this monumental game, the Steelers are favored to win based on their season so far.

On the flip side, the Arizona Cardinals have emerged from the shadows of past team performances to be here today.  “Dynasty vs. Doormat,” an article in today’s Spokesman-Review by Barry Wilner, labels the Cardinals “a franchise that has defined dysfunction since the 1950s.”

I just gotta ask.  Who are YOU rooting for?  Will you cheer on the favorable Steelers, or will you root for the Cardinal underdogs?

Only one team will steal the win to become numero uno 2009.

Walla Walla standout commits to Eastern

Walla Walla High School’s Spencer Hessler, a 6-foot-2, 215-pounder senior running back and linebacker, who led the Columbia Basin Big Nine Conference in rushing and scoring last fall, has made an oral commitment to play college football at Eastern Washington University next fall.


According to his father, George, Hessler will make his official recruiting visit to EWU this weekend, but he decided to become an Eagle some time back – mainly because of the family’s relationship with Eastern’s head coach Beau Baldwin, who recruited Spencer’s older brother, Chase, to Central Washington University when he was coaching the Wildcats in 2007.


The younger Hessler was named a first-team all-CBBN running back after rushing for 1,256 yards and 19 touchdowns on 189 carries last fall. He averaged 6.6 yards per carry and also caught a touchdown pass and scored on four point-after-touchdown conversion to finish the year with 124 points, which was 40 more than the next-highest total of 84, which was shared by three other players.


Hessler also led the CBBN with 1,465 all-purpose yards, but will play linebacker at Eastern, according to his father.


Monday morning Pac-10 links


So what’s on the agenda for this morning? If it’s reading a lot of stories about WSU in particular and the Pac-10 in general, you might as well put together a list of alternatives. There isn’t all that much out there. But read on for what we found.

WSU one-point win, the day after


In the clear, somewhat sunny light of day, some thoughts about Washington State’s victory last night over Stanford. And some links. Read on.

WSU still loose despite struggles


Before the Cal game Thursday night, Taylor Rochestie and Caleb Forrest – later joined by Aron Baynes – took the court a couple hours before game time, shot a while and then played a game of horse. The seniors were loose and ready, enjoying one of the last few home games of their college career. But when it came time, they turned serious and prepared to face one of the Pac-10’s hotter teams. Tonight, another one of those teams comes to Beasley, the Stanford Cardinal. And, as Rochestie said this week, it’s time for the Cougars “to start protecting our home court.” Read on.

FSN and the Holt hire - plus hoops


It was, seemingly, a huge day yesterday for Husky fans. The hiring of former Idaho head coach Nick Holt as defensive coordinator was such a big deal that Fox Sports Northwest televised the press conference – twice. Read on for more on that and some basketball notes.

WSU links drizzle out on a Tuesday


Not a lot in the way of links this morning. Now rain, that we’ve got a lot of. Piles of snow one morning, ice all afternoon and rain the next day. How fun. Anyhow, read on for the few links we do have and a couple of thoughts.

Cal atop Pac-10? OSU wins? Stay tuned for a strange Pac-10 year


What an interesting weekend in Pac-10 basketball (and you guys had a lively conversation about it, that’s for sure). UCLA and Cal (yes, Cal) emerged from the first week atop the conference standings. Oregon State earned its first Pac-10 win in more than a year – 21 games in fact – by stunning USC in overtime. Arizona, filled with talent but obviously lacking leadership, settled into the cellar after a lost weekend in the Bay Area. And of most interest to you folks, WSU started 0-1.

Let’s take a spin around the conference and see what’s being said, then we’ll wrap up with a football note. Read on.

Pac-10 football’s finish and basketball’s start


There’s about the last of the football news. And there’s basketball news. All can be found on the link. Read on.

Happy New Year Coug fans


So it’s New Year’s Day, 2009. How many of you out there wondered if you would ever see this day? No, I don’t mean at 11:23 last night when you couldn’t remember if the person you were talking with through a self-induced haze was your cousin or the receptionist. No, I mean when you were young. For a certain age, 2009 seemed like science fiction, sort of like Armageddon, something that was possible but you were sure would never come.

But it’s here, 2009 I mean, not Armageddon. And it’s filled with WSU news. OK, not filled per se, but there is more than you might expect. So read on.

Only a few hours until 2009 WSU fans


Let’s see. It’s only a couple days before the Pac-10 basketball season starts. We’ve got that covered on the link. Oregon State put up an offensive show en route to defeating Pitt. That’s covered too. Anything else? Yes, there is. Read on.

Links from there to here


A quick post this morning, with a potpourri of links, including to UW’s win last night through Oregon’s football win and on to a new job for a former Cougar, though not in that order. Read on.

From guard play to football recruits


A couple notes from Tony Bennett’s teleconference this morning, along with notes about a former Cougar football assistant and football recruiting. Read on.