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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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It’s tough to see high school end

This job is adrenalin filled, just like the competition I watched and wrote about during the year. From September through May the days are long and the weeks run six days and when it ends, as senior athletes can attest, there is a letdown as well. You thrive on the activity and can't get motivated when there's a lull.

This year was particularly eventful as I wrote in my final Tuesday Prep Notebook. I noted that we had state champions, teams and individuals, remarkable and satisfying efforts in victory and defeat such as Lewis and Clark's breakout baseball season. The only regret is that I couldn't get out and see enough of the games. For instance, I missed out on volleyball and the state champions and multiple state qualifiers. There just wasn't enough time.

Along with following the high schools, my wife and I were on the go watching our daughter LInse cap a pitching career that was remarkable in its own right. Pardon a little fatherly pride, but two years of starting at state qualifier University led to a four-year career at Central Washington with her setting virtually every season and career school record. She went 23-8 this year (the previous single season wins record was 13) had 46 wins for her career (the old was 27), was the Great Northwest Conference pitcher of the year, and one of two finalists for CWU's Female Athlete of the Year and the Wildcats had their best record in school history, 33-20, second by a game in league, but they beat champion and regional qualifier Montana State Billings 6 of 9 games.

Earlier this year I wrote about her pitching era (2004-05) as perhaps the best in Greater Spokane League history. You have to appreciate it more considering. There were those who said they doubted Linse was college material even though she led the GSL in strikeouts her senior year. Could have been the fact that she pitched against Sam Skillingstad (12-15 this year at Oregon, 170 strikeouts and a 2.36 ERA plus Pac-10 All-Freshman team member), Kim Watson (15-8 at New Mexico State and setter of four career records, including strikeouts with 659 and most wins with 64) and Kristina DeMello (9-8 this year at Central Florida with a 13-strikeout game).

 A season is ended, careers are over, others will be going on to set collegiate marks of their own. Now you suffer the letdown (or gear up with summer play) until another season roars to life in three months.

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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.