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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Day 29° Partly Cloudy


The sun has made this year’s spring sports season much more enjoyable, though not everywhere

A GRIP ON SPORTS • So what should we cover today? Another starting pitcher struggling with his control, leading to an M’s defeat? The Cougars? The Eagles? A vacated road in Seattle? Wait, I got it. Read on.


• How about the NFL draft? Just kidding. That’s for Mel Kiper Jr., and Todd McShay – and just about every die-hard Seahawks fan in Spokane. We’ll go the other way today. To non-professional sports. High school sports. First off, I’ve lived in the Inland Northwest since, well, since “The Land Before Time” was even a movie. So prehistory then. And, search my memory as I might, I can’t remember a nicer spring for spring sports. (As an aside, looking at the weekend forecast, it may rain here Saturday – after a week of mid-to-high 70s and sun. Just in time for Washington State’s Crimson and Gray Game at Joe Albi. Talk about bad luck.) Sure, there have been days of wind and cold and precipitation, but overall, it’s been pretty darn nice. As a dad who had two boys play prep baseball, I wonder why we couldn’t have had a spring like this in, say 2001 or so. Instead, I’ll I ever remember is sitting in my lawn chair down the left-field line (I always avoided crowds at high school games because the last thing I wanted to hear was a gaggle of fans voicing their opinions, but we’ll get to that in just a second), bundled up, trying to keep score (keeping a book ensured that my mind was focused on something other than the urge to voice my opinion) and wondering if my left ear was going to freeze and break off. This year, those days have been few and far between. Thankfully.

• Speaking of cold – and opinions – there’s a freeze over in Bellevue right now. I spent some time over the weekend at Bellevue High and it didn’t seem as if it was about to fall into a crevasse or anything. But that seemed to be the opinion of a bunch of parents and fans that spoke at last night's school district meeting. In case you missed it, the Wolverines, Washington high schools’ version of the mid-‘60s Green Bay Packers, were accused of academic and recruiting violations last year, much of it brought to light through a series of Seattle Times stories. The school district investigated. A summary of that investigation was released last week. It was pretty damning. According to the summary – the full report has yet to be released – almost all of the accusations seemed to be rooted in the truth. That isn’t sitting well with Bellevue High football supporters, a group of which packed the school board meeting last night. The board was accused of everything from incompetence to myopia to prejudice, all over a football program. Not whether there are enough desks or teachers have too many students or the curriculum. Nope, football. And cheating to keep football players eligible. The folks who packed the room have their priorities in order, don’t they?


• WSU: It was back to work in Pullman yesterday for the football team and Jacob Thorpe was there. (He was also at the baseball field but you’ll have to check the next paragraph to find that story.) Jacob has a summary of yesterday’s practice on the blog. ... He also has a story on the recent transfers from the basketball program and some of the minutiae behind them. ... John Blanchette caught up with Cougar great Eric Coleman recently – Coleman will be back in his hometown this weekend to provided commentary for the spring game – and has this column. ... Missed this yesterday but thought I would still pass along this story on Tavares Martin.

• Gonzaga: As promised, here is Jacob’s story on the Zags’ 7-4, non-conference baseball win at Washington State last night. ... We’ve said it before, but Gonzaga is competing at the WCC golf championships this week.

• EWU: Jim Allen continues his journey through the Eastern football team this spring with today’s look at the linebackers. ... An Eastern track athlete was honored by the Big Sky.

• Idaho: The Vandals are competing in the Big Sky golf tournament and the women are leading it.

• Preps: The warm weather means baseball is at its best. Tom Clouse covered the game at Avista yesterday, where Shadle Park outslugged Lewis and Clark 12-8. ... Greg Lee covered the Highlanders’ softball win yesterday as well as adding some notes from around the area.

• Mariners: As we mentioned at the start, Wade Miley had trouble finding the plate yesterday. Lacking Felix Hernandez’s stuff, he wasn’t able to overcome it. That and the M’s offense was held down by Cleveland. The Indians won, 3-2. ... The M’s of 2001 may hold a lesson or two for the Golden State Warriors. ... Mike Zunino is finding his stroke in Tacoma. What does that mean for the future?

• Seahawks: The Hawks have the 26th pick in next week's draft. How have 26th picks done in the past? ... This administration has a great draft track record, especially in the later rounds, and that needs to continue. Maybe this is the guy that will help that happen.


• Let’s see. Will it hit 80 today? The weatherman says yes. Better walk early. Until later ...

Vince Grippi
Vince Grippi is a freelance local sports blogger for He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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