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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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These gems belong on a mountain

Greg Lee

It’s admission time here: I listen to talk radio, particularly sports talk radio.

That includes the local boys, Patchin and friends … er, Wingwhatever.

The reason I listen to talk radio is occasionally I get an idea for a story or a column idea. It happened Wednesday morning on the drive to work as I was listening to Colin Cowherd on ESPN.

Now I made Cowherd what he is today. He was a freshman on The Easterner newspaper staff at Eastern Washington University when I was a senior and the sports editor. Cowherd sends me royalties on a weekly basis.

Anyway, he was talking with Rick Reilly, a terrifically talented writer and essayist. Reilly was giving a sneak peak to a project he’s working on – selecting the Mount Rushmores of sports for all 50 states.

That got me to thinking, of course. Here in the grand Gem State, it would be easy to put together a Mount Rushmore of sports. You have former Minnesota Twins great Harmon Killebrew of Payette for one.

And any Mount Rushmore would include Green Bay Hall of Fame offensive lineman Jerry Kramer, who got his start in Sandpoint.

Certainly you could find some candidates among the many former great athletes and coaches at the University of Idaho.

But closer to home – my home, at least, in Coeur d’Alene – I offer my Mount Rushmore of Sports.

Kramer’s mug would be carved into my mountain. Former Coeur d’Alene High and Idaho record-setting quarterback John Friesz, who went on and had a journeyman career in the NFL, would be on my hill as well.

I didn’t personally know my third candidate, but no Mount Rushmore here would be complete without Cotton Barlow, the former Sandpoint and Coeur d’Alene football coach.

Finally, the last member of my foursome would be the late Elmer Jordan, who turned boys into men in his days as a basketball coach at Coeur d’Alene. I did have the pleasure of getting to know the man whom former Idaho men’s basketball coach Don Monson called ‘Coach’ up until the day he died. Monson, you’ll recall, played for Jordan at CdA.

So there’s my Mount Rushmore. There are a number of other candidates. Who would be on your mountain? Fire off an e-mail to and let me know.

Tourney time

The 5A Region I girls basketball tournament begins Friday, and Coeur d’Alene coach Dale Poffenroth hopes he can attend.

Poffenroth spent a third day at home Wednesday and expected to be home again today after coming down with a strain of the flu Sunday while watching the Super Bowl.

He had a 103 degree temperature Monday and it cooled off three degrees Tuesday. He was hoping to at least go to practice Wednesday, but his fever spiked again.

Senior starters Kama Griffitts and Sadie Simon battled through sickness two weeks ago, and starter Dayna Drager was sick this week.

“My doctor told me to stay home because it’s contagious,” Poffenroth said. “I sat down to watch the Super Bowl with my family and by the time it was over I was wiped out and had to go to bed.”

No. 1-ranked and defending 5A state champ CdA (20-0) plays fourth-seeded Lake City (12-7) in the second of two games, Friday at 7:30 p.m. In the opener, No. 2 Post Falls (15-5) faces No. 3 Lewiston (13-6) at 5:45.

It’s the third time in 14 days that LC and CdA have played. The Vikings beat the Timberwolves three times in the regular season while Post Falls swept Lewiston in the league series.

“Playing Lake City for the fourth time will be tough,” Poffenroth said. “That concerns me a little bit, especially since we’ve been fighting illnesses.”

Friday’s winners will meet Tuesday at the site of the higher seed to determine the regional champ and automatic state qualifier. Friday’s losers square off in a loser-out game. The winner turns around to face the Tuesday loser two days later to decide which team advances to a play-in game for a state berth.

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