George Lynn had the best seat in the house. Unfortunately, he was roughly 5,900 miles away.
Lynn was one of four men, three from the Spokane-North Idaho area, inducted into the Amateur Softball Association Northwest Region 15 Hall of Fame on Saturday night in Spokane. But he was in Guam, deployed with the Air Force.
So to enable him to watch and participate, officials used a Skype hookup, setting up an 8x8-foot screen adjacent to the head table.
While daughters Kirsten, Ashley and Danielle, who all played for their father, gave a touching tribute to Lynn, he was looking over their shoulder, visibly moved by their words. “I did my best to keep the tears in,” he said, but acknowledged some came out anyway. Wife Karen accepted the award as he looked on.
Idaho ASA commissioner Steve Anthony of Coeur d’Alene and former Spokane modified fastpitch player Mike Peterson, along with Alaska commissioner Rod Hill, who went in as an umpire for his service in that area, also were inducted in the Class of 2012.
Lynn started coaching while stationed with the Air Force in Iceland in 1988 when oldest daughter Kirsten was 7 years old. Twenty-two years later, following the 2009 season, he stepped aside. He had accumulated more than 700 victories with his Spokane Sliders program, from 8-U through 18-U Gold, for which he was honored by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. His Sliders teams made 10 national tournament appearances.
Lynn was also head coach for 10 years at Shadle Park, where his teams were perennial state contenders, winning one title, and he won more than 200 games.
Anthony, who is also the Region 15 director, has been involved in ASA softball for more than 42 years as a player, coach and administrator. His first position was as a player representative for Idaho. In 1983 he became a district commissioner and in 1986 was elected president of Idaho ASA. He became state commissioner in 2002 and is chairman of the ASA Seniors Committee.
Anthony, director of the Coeur d’Alene Parks and Recreation Department for 29 years, was inducted into the Idaho ASA Hall of Fame in 2005.
Peterson, an all-around athlete who was a football wide receiver at Washington State, started his softball career in the summer of 1982 when a friend invited him to join his team. During that first season, Peterson got a glimpse of the men’s major modified game and joined that program the following summer.
He helped that first team qualify for the ASA men’s major modified national, the first of his 15 national championship appearances, where it finished fifth. His teams had 12 top-10 finishes, winning two national championships, one capping an undefeated season in 1987. He was an All-American center fielder eight times, four on the first team.
Retired Spokane umpire in chief Chuck Stewart is one of four people the Region 15 council elected to its Hall of Fame for induction in January 2013.
Cory Porter, who finished second in six games of qualify, went 4-0 in match play to collect 120 bonus points en route to winning the MOTIV Eastern Washington Bowlers Association tournament at Valley Bowl on Jan. 15.
Porter had a 118-point margin over runner-up Ryon Cline, 2,324-2,206. Cline had a 2-2 record in match play. Rich Broderhausen, one of five players with a 3-1 record in the 14-player finals, was third with 2,202 points.
Jason Miller led the qualifying, finishing 251 pins over a 200 average for the six qualifying games, but wound up eighth.
The event attracted 46 bowlers and paid 15 places.
Cash Ulrich, a sophomore goaltender from Spokane on the Eastern Washington hockey team, shared in a milestone and an award from the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League.
Ulrich and Tim Zwiers of Trinithy Western each posted a shutout when the teams played on Jan. 20 in the league’s first 0-0 draw and shared the BCIHL Goalie of the Month award.
They combined for 52 saves in the rarest of rare nights in the usually offense- dominated league. Teams averaged more than eight goals a game in 13 contests in January.
Ulrich has a 3-3-2 record and 2.96 goals-against average for the Eagles. His sophomore goaltending partner, Jason Greenwell, also from Spokane, received the BCIHL monthy award in October.
Eastern forward Bret Kellogg, a senior from Spokane, was named the BCIHL Player of the Week for the week ending Jan. 29. He collected four points – one goal and three assists – as the Eagles played to 3-3 and 2-2 ties at Thompson Rivers. Through 18 games, Kellogg leads the Eagles with eight goals and 20 points, which ranks ninth in BCIHL scoring. He also received a weekly award in October following a six-point weekend.
• Whitworth men’s basketball stars Felix Friedt and Wade Gebbers have been named to the Capital One Academic All-District 8 Division III team.
Friedt, a senior from Germany and a two-time all-district academic selection, has 3.97 grade-point average in international business. Gebbers, a junior from Brewster, Wash., is a business management major with a 3.78 GPA.
• Alyssa Charlston, a sophomore at Idaho, is one of six women’s basketball players named to the Capital One Academic All-District 7 first team.
She has a 4.00 GPA as a broadcasting and digital media major, and is the only sophomore selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
• Senior Darriell Beaumonte was a repeat selection and joined senior defensive tackle Charles “Dexter” Moetului and junior wide receiver Nicholas Edwards as Eastern Washington players of the year from the 2011 football season.
Beaumonte received the Special Teams Player of the Year award for a second straight year at the Eagles’ awards banquet.
Moetului was honored on defense and Edwards on offense.
Other player of the year awards went to freshman quarterback Vernon Adams, offensive scout team; sophomore linebacker Jakob Pugsley of East Valley, defensive scout team. Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell, center Chris Powers, offensive tackle Gabriel Jackson, safety Matt Johnson and linebacker Zach Johnson, all seniors, were honored as captains. The Pat Roberts Memorial Award went to senior tight end David Miles for academic and athletic excellence.
• Twelve Eastern Washington athletes from the Spokane area have been named to Big Sky Conference All-Academic teams for fall quarter 2011.
To qualify, a student-athlete must have at least a 3.20 GPA and participate in at least half the team’s competitions.
Area athletes by sport, with year in school, high school and major:
Football – J.C. Agen, sophomore, Central Valley, interdisciplinary studies; Jake Miller, freshman, CV/Washington State, undeclared major; Jeff Minnerly, junior, Ferris, finance.
Volleyball – Lindsay Niemeier, so., Shadle Park, special education/elementary education; Lindsey Petroni, sr., Mead, human resource management; Shelby Puckett, jr., Tekoa-Oakesdale, visual communication design.
Men’s cross country – Nathan Fall, fr., North Central, undeclared.
Women’s cross country – Stephanie Dye, sr., Riverside, exercise science; Jessi Johnson, jr., Clarkston, applied developmental psychology; Acacia Smith, fr., CV, undeclared; Tonya Turner, sr., Mead/Whitworth, physical therapy.
Soccer – Tanya Baker, so., Cheney, undeclared.
• A dozen area athletes at other Big Sky schools also earned All-Academic honors. The athletes by sport and school:
Football: Idaho State – Ethan Monroe, junior, Lewiston, exercise science; Austin Graves, freshman, Washington State, undecided major;
Cody Sorensen, fr., Ferris, undecided. Montana – Alex Shaw, senior, Lewis and Clark, finance; Bo Tully, sophomore, Mead, management.
Volleyball: Montana – Kortney James, sr., Sandpoint, biology. Sacramento State – Jessie Genger, jr., Gonzaga University, communication studies.
Men’s cross country: Montana – David Norris, fr., Coeur d’Alene HS, health and human performance.
Women’s cross country: Portland State – Erica Contos, fr., Mead, undecided.
Soccer: Montana – Shannon Lindsay, fr., Gonzaga Prep, undeclared. Portland State – Lexi Greenwood, fr., LC, health science.
• Seven area athletes were selected to Frontier Conference All-Academic teams in men’s and women’s cross country. To be eligible, a student-athlete must be at least a sophomore, maintain a 3.0 GPA and participate in half their team’s competitions.
Area athletes by sport, with college, year in school, high school and major:
Men’s cross country – Ryan Utsey, Carroll College, senior, Lewis and Clark, biology; Ryan Rojeski, Rocky Mountain, sophomore, Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls), aeronautical science;
Women’s cross country – Rhianna Grossman, Carroll so., Lake City, nursing; Ashley Barnes, Lewis-Clark State, so., Moscow, Idaho, kinesiology; Chelsey Leighton, L-C State, junior, Lapwai, Idaho, elementary education; Whitlee Young, L-C State, jr., Quincy, education; Brandi Eloff, Great Falls, senior, Ephrata, biology.
Letters of intent
• Gonzaga baseball: Will Abram, LHP, sophomore JC transfer, Phoenix; Nelson Benjamin, CF, Surprise, Ariz.; Taylor Jones, RHP/1B, Kentwood, Wash.; Brandon Mahovlich, RHP/OF, Issaquah, Wash.; Cabe Reiten, SS, Olympia.; Michael Rucker, RHP, Auburn, Wash.; Jimmy Sinatro, C, Sammamish, Wash.; Andrew Sopko, RHP, Missoula; and Caleb Wood, SS, Surprise, Ariz.
• Gonzaga women’s soccer: Jessica Bennett, D, Gonzaga Prep; Christie Tombari, GK, Gonzaga Prep; Lexi Clark, MF/D, University; Heather Johnson, F, Kennewick; Rebecca Lentz, D, Marysville, Wash.; Lauren Luke, F/MF, Mukilteo, Wash.; Kellyn Nelson, MF, Corvallis, Ore.; Sila Tuiofea, F, Las Vegas.
• Washington State women’s soccer: Kourtney Guetlein, F, Monument, Colo.; Susie White, D, Highlands Ranch, Colo.
• Idaho women’s soccer: Josie Greenwood, D, Lewis and Clark; Reagan Quigley, F, Woodinville, Wash.; and Jocelyn “JP” Burgess, MF, La Center, Wash.
Ron Burke, the Spokane Amateur Softball Association Junior Olympic commissioner for 29 years, has retired because of health issues, commissioner Fuzzy Buckenberger announced.
“He’s been there since 1983,” Buckenberger said. “He’s made our JO a real successful program. He worked hard and went above-and-beyond. And personally, he’s a very special and real good friend.”
“There was a lot of stress sometimes,” Burke said of administrating the youth game in the area, “but I enjoyed it.”
Randy Hastings, who has been coaching girls softball for five years and is vice president on the board of the Spokane Girls Fastpitch Softball Association, was appointed by Buckenberger to succeed Burke.
Buckenberger also appointed Ken Mathia, a 20-year umpire, as a deputy umpire in chief on the staff of third-year Spokane ASA UIC Randy Harnasch. Mathia is president of the Spokane Softball Umpires Association and is a youth sports director with the YMCA in Spokane.
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