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Tuesday, October 22, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports in brief: Big Sky suspends Eastern’s Wilkins

Football: The Big Sky Conference announced Wednesday that it has suspended Eastern Washington University senior linebacker Kyle Wilkins for a late hit in last Saturday’s 31-13 loss to Weber State.

Wilkins, the Eagles’ fourth-leading tackler with 33, will serve a one-game suspension for the above-the-shoulders hit he put on a WSU receiver with just more than 3 minutes left in the second quarter.

Big Sky commissioner Doug Fullerton, noting that such hits have become a “point of emphasis” with the NCAA this year, said the conference asked for an additional review of the play by David Parry, the NCAA’s coordinator of football officials, who “concurred with our decision.”

Eagles coach Beau Baldwin would not comment on his interpretation of Wilkins’ hit. Baldwin said Wilkins’ absence will have an effect, especially with Zach Johnson, the projected starter at that position, sidelined for the year with a blood clot in his leg.

“We’re talking about going three deep (into the depth chart) now,” said Baldwin, who added that redshirt freshman Tyler Washburn will probably start against Montana on Saturday. “But most of all, I feel bad for Kyle, being a senior and all, because the Montana game is always a big deal.”

Saturday’s game will be televised in Spokane on SWX.

Also, Montana has made another 400 tickets available for the game.

Steve Bergum

Shock hire two assistants

Football: The Spokane Shock announced that Steve Emtman will return as defensive line coach and Travis Crusenberry, a member of the 2006 staff, will coach the offensive line on Rob Keefe’s staff.

Crusenberry replaces Tom Ackerman.

In 1992, Emtman was selected first overall in the NFL draft after he completed a decorated college career at the University of Washington that included a national championship.

Crusenberry was a member of the ArenaCup Championship coaching staff in 2006 under Chris Siegfried.

Athlete, coach Mataya dies

College sports: Former decorated Washington State University athlete and longtime Wenatchee Valley College coach Frank Mataya died Oct. 7 in East Wenatchee, Wash. He was 80.

Mataya earned 13 letters at WSU in basketball, baseball, football and track and field.

Mataya spent 25 years at Wenatchee Valley, coaching basketball and track and field. He had two stints as basketball coach and compiled a record of 153-284.

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