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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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High school season at crunch time

Another of my favorite Greater Spokane League coaches, one highly respected by his peers, is calling it quits. Mike Haugen, who coached Gonzaga Prep boys basketball to fourth place in state, is stepping down to concentrate on his passion for history.

I respect both Haugen and Lewis and Clark's Tom Yearout, a state title football winner who resigned his post earlier, for their candor and introspective analysis during post-game interviews. If things went wrong, they pulled no punches. When things went right, they had a way of explaining why that cut to the heart of the outcome. There were never excuses, both men comfortable in their coaching approach that they seemingly accepted both wins and losses with equal aplomb. There was no bluster, no hyperbole.

The late Dave Holmes once told me he was a boring quote, partly why he was not popular, although immensely successful at the University of Hawaii. When I sat down to discus football with him, I found him fascinating. That is the same with Mike and Tom. They were not only winners, but are good persons. They will be sorely missed.

Also in my Prep Notebook this week: 

As spring seasons race ever faster to their conclusion, games and matches increase in importance. Some were addressed in The Spokesman-Review today.

District playoffs begin May 11 and run through May 16 in the Greater Spokane League. Then its regional and state competiton and the year is over. Soccer ends this week with league-leading Lewis and Clark facing title challengers Ferris and Central Valley. Mead softball and baseball also take on contenders - CV and University in the former case, CV in home-and-home baseball games. The Panthers are on track (pardon the pun) for league titles before the post-season begins for track and field athletes. NC boys will likely contend for another 3A state title.

Great Northern League baseball ends with a May 16 doubleheader between league leader Cheney and contender Pullman, with some other positional games in between. Colville is chasing another softball title with doubleheaders left against once-beaten West Valley and Pullman. The Blackhawks cling to the soccer lead. Playoffs, which seem to be rushing toward us faster than ever (in part, I suspect, because of so many weekends spent traveling to watch my daughter's final college softball season) should be interesting.

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Looking for a Grip on Sports?

Vince Grippi's daily take on all things regional sports has been moved to our main sports section online. You can find a collection of these columns here.