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Monday, March 30, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Locally: WSU S.I.D. Commons a hall of fame selection

WSU sports information director Rod Commons is a hall of famer. 
 (Christopher Anderson / The Spokesman-Review)
WSU sports information director Rod Commons is a hall of famer. (Christopher Anderson / The Spokesman-Review)
The Spokesman-Review

Rod Commons of Washington State, the dean of Pacific-10 Conference sports information directors, has been selected for the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Hall of Fame.

Commons will be inducted July 3 during the organization’s annual national workshop in San Diego.

Commons has been active in the profession for more than 40 years. He began at Oregon State in 1966 as a part-time assistant, then was full time from 1968-73. He changed coasts, serving as S.I.D. at Brown University for three years before joining the staff at WSU in 1976. He has been sports information director for 31 years.

He has served in many capacities on CoSIDA committees and workshop panels, including as the organization’s president in 2004-05.


Sherie Patano of Post Falls and Don Armstrong of Potlatch will be inducted into the Idaho High School Activities Association Hall of Fame during the 28th annual banquet Aug. 1 in Boise.

Additionally, distinguished service awards will be presented to Dick Harris of Post Falls for District I and the late Gary Stears of Grangeville for District II.

Tickets are $25, available in advance only from the IHSAA office. Orders are due July 27. Tickets will not be available at the door.

Patano, who spent 37 years of her 40-year career in Post Falls as a teacher, coach, activities director and principal before retiring in 2006, was instrumental in the advancement of girls athletics in Idaho. She served six years on the IHSAA board of directors and 16 years on the District I board.

Armstrong retired in 2006, having served North Idaho schools for 39 years as a principal and superintendent.


Matt Benham, 22, of Spokane, who began umpiring at the age of 13 in the local Pony League, will begin his professional career this summer in the Arizona Rookie League, his family announced.

Benham, a Gonzaga Prep grad who has worked high school and American Legion state tournaments, was selected for the Professional Baseball Umpire Corporation “finishing school” after attending the Jim Evans Academy in January. He was one of 19 out of the PBUC offered a professional contract, his father said.


The Spokane Blazers 15-U team, composed of players from Eastern Washington and North Idaho, went 6-0 to win the Arizona Elite April Jam girls evaluation tournament in mid-April in Tempe, Ariz.

The Blazers, who won the AAU 14-U Division II national championship in 2006, defeated the East Bay Explosion 53-45 in the April Jam title game.

The 15-U team has a 16-1 record, the loss coming in the finals of the high school elite division at the Las Vegas Easter Classic.


Area bowlers slipped into top-five positions in eight divisions last weekend, including first place in three, in the fifth of nine weeks of the Washington State Women’s Tournament in Mt. Vernon.

Picking off top spots were Marilee Codd and Idell Jenicek of Post Falls in B doubles (1,114), Mae Stensgar and Renee Marchand of Coulee Dam in E doubles (949) and Spring Crest No. 2 from Spokane Valley in Class B five-woman team (2,625).

Also moving into top-five positions were: Aspen Dragon, Valleyford, 5th A five-woman team (2,783); Spring Crest No. 2, 3rd A four-woman team (2,259); Kitty Burton-Judy Moore, Colville, 5th D doubles (1,001); Lacey Rich-Gail Rich, Spokane, 5th F doubles (874); and Gail Patterson, Lewiston, 4th D singles (560).

All the scores are scratch.

“Led by A-L Compressed Gases No. 2 of Colbert, which took over first place in the team handicap division with a score of 3,572, three from the area claimed top-five positions in week three of the 70th annual U.S. Bowling Congress Washington State Open in Spokane.

Joey Bell of Spokane tied for fourth in the all-events handicap division with a 2,219, and Doug Faulkner of Spokane took over fourth in all-events scratch with a 2,069.

College scene

Annie Brophy of Spokane, a Gonzaga Prep graduate and freshman at Notre Dame, earned first-team All-Big East in women’s golf after finishing third in the conference championships in Louisville, Ky.

Brophy, the top-finishing Irish player, had her best three-round score of the season, an even-par 216, on rounds of 72, 73, 71. The 1-under score in the final round was her best round of the season.

Notre Dame lost the Big East championship in a one-hole playoff to defending champion Louisville.

“Gonzaga junior Emily Anderson and junior Aglaya Kokurina received honorable mention when the All-West Coast Conference women’s tennis team was announced.

It’s a repeat honor for Anderson, also an honorable mention last season.

Nick Atwood, a 2006 East Valley graduate and freshman at Montana State, turned in a lifetime-best time of 14 minutes, 33.58 seconds in finishing sixth in the open 5,000-meter race at the Oregon Invitational last weekend.

Zach Green of Coeur d’Alene (Lake City), a junior at Puget Sound, improved his record to 2-3 by allowing just one run on four hits in 3 2/3 innings as the Loggers beat Cal State East Bay 12-6 in baseball last week. He also has one save, 23 strikeouts and an 8.01 ERA in 30 1/3 innings.

“Washington State volleyball player Brittany Johnson has been invited to participate in the 11th annual NCAA Leadership Conference May 27-31 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Johnson is one of 356 NCAA student-athletes tabbed as current or future leaders on their campuses who will get together to discuss key issues in intercollegiate athletics and enhance their leadership skills.


Rachel Sibbitt of Mint Valley, Calif., a three-time Marin County Athletic League player of the year, has signed a national letter of intent with Gonzaga University, Bulldogs coach Robert Gray announced.


Three members of Northwest Gymnastics Academy qualified for the USAG Western Championships and a fourth for the USAG Junior Olympic Nationals during the regional meet last weekend in Yakima.

Advancing to the Western Nationals, which will be held in the Spokane Convention Center May 11-13 and feature the top Level 9 gymnasts from 24 states, are Meghan Ballou, Lianne Walker and Kaylin Greene.

Kaylee Boyd qualified for the Level 10 Junior Olympic Nationals May 20 in Mason, Ohio.

Ballou, a sophomore at Mt. Spokane, tied for first place in the Senior B all-around with a score of 37.35 and placed second on beam and third on vault, bars and floor. Walker, a freshman at Lewis and Clark, was third in the Senior A all-around (36.60), second on vault, third on bars and sixth on beam and floor. Greene, a senior at Northwest Christian, was 14th in Senior D all-around (35.15) and sixth on floor.

Boyd, a senior at Ferris, placed fifth in all-around (37.025) in the Level 10 Senior C competition, fifth also on bars and beam and sixth on floor.

Mike and Nancy Armstrong are the NGA coaches.

Julien Ditto of Spokane Elite Gymnastics placed second in tumbling in the 11-12-year-old division at the combined Washington-Oregon state trampoline championships last weekend in Issaquah, Wash., to become the first Spokane competitor to qualify for nationals in that event, his coach, John Stump, reported.

Nationals will be in Memphis, Tenn., in June.

Ditto also placed second in Level 7 trampoline in his age group and third on the double mini trampoline.

Other SEG placers at the Washington-Oregon meet:

Level 4 – Courtney Smith, 2nd age 9-10 trampoline; Brianna Smith, 3rd 11-12 trampoline and 1st double mini; Ted Bickham, 1st 13-14 trampoline and 1st double mini; Steve Bickham, 2nd 13-14 trampoline and 2nd double mini.

Level 5 – JohnPaul Ditto, 1st 6 and under trampoline and 1st double mini.


Eleven Spokane-area players born in the years 1990-1993 have advanced to Pacific Division Evaluation Camps this month and next month, where they’ll try for spots in the National Select Camp this summer.

The players who advanced out of the Washington evaluation camp in January are (with birth year and position): Justin Schaffer, ‘90, forward; Paul Heiskell, ‘90, f; Ryan Hadley-Schall, ‘90, f; William Lapointe, ‘90, f/defenseman; Brent Bartel, ‘91, f; Lane Mahoney, ‘91, d; Cash Ulrich, ‘91, goalie; Mitch Fowler, ‘93, f; Tyler Alos, ‘93, f; Alex Peltram, ‘93, d; and Keifer Voshell, ‘93, g.

Tio Jones, ‘90, a defenseman, was picked as an alternate.

“Three Spokane youth players who were born in 1989 – forwards Jeremy Anderson and Shane Horlacher and defenseman Scott Birdwell – played on Team Washington in the Chicago Showcase Tournament.


James Henry from Lake City in Coeur d’Alene, a 6-foot-2 defender, has signed a letter of intent with Montana State-Billings, the Yellowjackets announced.

Henry, a four-time team captain at Lake City, was an All-Inland Empire League selection as a junior and senior. Lake City qualified for the state tournament the last three years.


Jennifer Dean from Campbell, Calif., named the most valuable swimmer at the league championship meet as a freshman, sophomore and junior, has signed a national letter of intent with Washington State, Cougars coach Erica Quam announced.


The Jaguars Gold U14 team from Spokane, which won the USA Volleyball Evergreen Region championship in its age division last weekend in Spokane, has qualified for nationals June 28-July 2 in Minneapolis, Minn.

The Jaguars, under club owner Larrisa Welch and coach Heidi Yohe, have won five tournaments and placed second in two others during the season and also placed fifth in the Pacific Northwest Qualifier.

Team members, nine of whom attend Mead Middle School and two St. Aloysius, are: Dani Gallagher, Sarah Hanson, Mary Heaton, Taylor Johnson, Alexa Kerr, Lindsay Lloyd, Megan Nelson, Nicolette Niles, Kenzie Reid, Kaylene Woodward and Courtney VanderLinden.

Edgard da Gama e Silva Filho, an assistant coach at Eastern Washington in 2005, has joined the Washington State program as a volunteer assistant, Cougars coach Brian Heffernan announced.

Filho, who goes by the name “Dega,” is originally from Curitiba, Brazil, and was an assistant coach of the Rexona Volleyball Club, a professional women’s team in Brazil, from 2001-04. He has spent the past three years as the technical director and coach of the Skagit (Wash.) Volleyball Club.

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