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Sports >  Area sports

Locally: Larry Weir calls 1,000th game for EWU

UPDATED: Sat., Dec. 9, 2017

EWU Eagles broadcaster Larry Weir has called 1,000 games for the school. (Courtesy photo)
EWU Eagles broadcaster Larry Weir has called 1,000 games for the school. (Courtesy photo)

Larry Weir will probably tell you he hasn’t seen it all or done it all. But he has broadcast 1,000 Eastern Washington University men’s basketball and football games since the 1991-92 school year. And that’s a bunch.

No. 1,000 came Sunday at KeyArena in Seattle when the Eagles men’s basketball team dropped an 84-65 decision to their former coach, Jim Hayford, and his new Seattle University team.

Weir didn’t become aware of the milestone, however, until the next day. And quite by happenstance.

After returning from Seattle, he dropped into the EWU sports information office. He’d recently concluded his 27th season doing Eagles football. How many games do you suppose that is was the question thrown out. Well, conversation led to research, and research led to calculation.

There were 322 football games. But wait, you have to subtract one. Remember the playoff game in 2005 at Northern Iowa when he was broadcasting basketball in Alaska?

And basketball? Well, he’s in his 25th season – from 1991-2009 and again from 2012 to the present. Sunday’s game was No. 706.

More subtraction, though. Schedule and travel conflicts along the way because of football commitments have amounted to missing a couple dozen games or so. Twenty-seven, to be exact, they figured out. Let’s see, 706 minus 27? That’s 679.

So add the basketball total to the 321 in football and … the 2015 and 2016 State of Washington Sportscaster of the Year has done a grand total of 1,000 games for the Eagles!

Weir’s tenure has included working with five coaches in football and seven in men’s basketball, with Aaron Best (football) and Shantay Legans (basketball) joining the club this school year.

College scene

Madi Farrell from Lake City, Joellee Buckner from Colville and Alaina Gentili from Central Valley capped outstanding volleyball seasons by earning All-America honors.

Farrell, a senior middle blocker at Northwest Nazarene, was named a first-team All-American by the D2 Conference Commissioners Association and a second-team All-American by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. She was a D2CCA third-team selection in 2016 and honorable mention on the AVCA team.

The first All-American in Northwest Nazarene history, Farrell led the Crusaders with 3.90 kills and 1.36 blocks per set while ranking fourth in NCAA Division II with a .414 attack percentage.

Buckner, Western’s senior opposite, and Vikings’ junior setter Brette Boesel from Brewster were honorable mention on the AVCA All-America team. Buckner averaged 2.83 kills, 4.82 digs and 0.78 blocks for a Vikings team that finished 27-4. Boesel led the Great Northwest Athletic Conference and West Region with 11.72 assists per set.

Gentili, a senior middle blocker at Coran University in Salem, was a first-team NAIA All-American after being named both the AVCA West Region and Cascade Collegiate Conference player of the year. She had 377 kills (2.81 per set), 126 blocks (0.94 per set), and 47 digs.

“Alaina worked extremely hard in every practice and every match and is well-deserving of these honors,” said Corban coach Kim McLain of the two-year standout transfer from Community Colleges of Spokane. “Her hard work and determination were keys to our success.”

Corban won the Cascade Conference regular-season and tournament championships for the first time and made it to the NAIA National Tournament quarterfinals to cap a 27-9 season.

  • Farrell and Aubrey Buckner from Western Washington were named to the 12-player all-tournament team following the NCAA Division II West Regional last weekend in Riverside, California. Buckner, the Vikings’ junior libero from Colville, came off the bench to collect 69 digs in three matches as No. 2 seed and nationally fifth-ranked Western saw a 20-match winning streak snapped in a three-set loss to Cal State San Bernardino in the championship match. Farrell had 38 kills, four digs, 9 blocks and 11 block assists for the Nighthawks, who lost in four sets to Western in the semifinals to finish the season 25-5. Joslyn Bopray, Western’s sophomore middle blocker from Lewis and Clark who ranks second in Division II in blocks per set, had 13 kills and 13 blocks in the three matches. Senior middle Joellee Buckner had 23 kills for the Vikings.
  • Casey Schoenlein, Washington State’s senior opposite from Newport of Bellevue, has been named the Pac-12 Volleyball Scholar-Athlete of the Year. A four-year letter-winner and two-year captain with a 3.94 grade-point average in communication/journalism and media production, Schoenlein is the Cougars’ first recipient of the volleyball award since it was initiated 11 years ago. She is a three-time Pac-12 All-Academic first-team selection. Schoenlein played on the U.S. Collegiate National Team (CNT)-Minneapolis this past summer and was on the 2016 U.S. CNT-Europe Tour that won gold at the 12th Global Challenge Tournament in Pula, Croatia. She also volunteers extensively on campus and in the community. For the past two years she has provided entertaining written and video content for a biweekly blog about the volleyball team that appears on the wsucougars.com website.

    Brianna King of Spokane, a Montana Western guard, was named the Frontier Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Week for a second straight week. The North Central and Community Colleges of Spokane graduate averaged 27 points, four rebounds, two assists and 4.5 steals as the NAIA Division I 16th-ranked Bulldogs split their first two conference games. She hit 19 of 39 shots from the field (49 percent), including 4 of 11 3-pointers, and 12 of 14 free throws. The effort included 30 points in a 74-69 loss to second-ranked Lewis-Clark State.

    Madison Hovren has doubled up, too. The Army West Point junior forward from Central Valley earned a second straight Patriot League Women’s Basketball Player of the Week award with double-doubles in wins over Dartmouth and Air Force. She had a season-high 24 points and 11 rebounds against Dartmouth and 14 points and 11 rebounds against the Falcons, her seventh double-double in eight games.

  • Whitworth collected a couple of Northwest Conference student-athlete weekly awards when Ben College was honored in men’s basketball and Patrick Wilber in men’s swimming. College, a sophomore guard from Portland, scored 51 points to lead a Pirates’ road sweep, doing most of his scoring in the second half. He collected 18 of 22 points after the intermission against Puget Sound and 21 of 29 in the second half at Pacific Lutheran. Wilber, a senior from Oceanside, California, was Whitworth’s top individual scorer in the Logger Invite in Tacoma that the Pirates won by 155 points. He was part of two dominating medley relays and also posted the fastest time in the NWC this season in the 100-yard backstroke, 50.38 seconds.

Football

Jim Northcott and Dan Antonietti, two of seven members of the Spokane Collegiate Football Officials Association selected for postseason assignments, will work the College Football Playoff semifinal in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1.

Northcott will be the replay official and Antonietti the communicator when Clemson and Alabama play for a spot in the national championship game in Atlanta on Jan. 8.

Three other SCFOA members will work FBS bowls. John Love will be the center judge in the Dec. 27 Texas Bowl in Houston between Texas and Missouri, and Shane Anderson will be the side judge and Steve Hudson the back judge for the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Dec. 29 between Wake Forest and Texas A&M.

Steve Currie was the field judge for the Pac-12 championship game between USC and Stanford.

Joel Murphy was the field judge for two NAIA playoff games – a first-round game in Ashland, Oregon, between Dickinson State (North Dakota) and Southern Oregon, and a semifinal in Fort Wayne, Indiana, between Morningside (Iowa) and Saint Francis (Indiana).

Letters of intent

Northwest Nazarene volleyball - Mattisyn Cope, MB, Lakeland of Rathdrum, two-time All-IEL 4A.

WSU women’s golf – Amy Chu, Australia.

Idaho men’s golf – Colt Sherrell, Maple Valley, Washington.

Soccer

Ray Serrano of Moses Lake, who spent his U12-14 seasons playing for Spokane Shadow teams before advancing to the Sounders FC Academy in Seattle, made a strong showing playing for the U.S. Men’s U-17 National Team last weekend in the 2017 Nike International Friendlies in Lakewood Ranch, Florida.

Serrano, reportedly the first male from the Inland Northwest on a youth or senior national team, played in all three matches, starting one, and compiling 105 minutes. He played all 80 minutes of a 5-1 loss to the Netherlands, 17 minutes in a 1-0 loss to England and nine in a 1-1 tie with Brazil.

Six minutes after he entered the Brazil match in the 71st minute he took a shot that would have put the U.S. ahead. The game report said Serrano received a sharp pass from Sounders FC and U.S. teammate Adam Saldana, but Serrano’s rolling shot was “swallowed up” by the Brazil goalie.

Serrano, one of three Sounders FC Academy players in the national team camp, has scored a team-leading 12 goals, which is tied for second in U-16/17 U.S. Soccer Development League play. Sounders FC Academy is the official player development partner for Spokane Shadow and Spokane Sounders.

Wrestling

Registration for Spokane Junior Wrestling’s developmental program for youngsters from kindergarten through sixth grade – ages 5-12 – will be Jan. 16, 2018, from 6-7 p.m. at Central Valley, East Valley, Ferris, Mt. Spokane, Rogers, University and Gonzaga Prep high schools.

The season runs Feb. 14-March 31 with two practices a week, the days and times set by the coaches, with tournaments the four Saturdays in March. Cost is $50 and includes tournament fees, insurance and a club T-shirt. Cost of a singlet, the uniform required for tournaments, is additional.

Information can be obtained on the program website, sjwwrestling.com, or by calling (509) 220-2348.

  • Spokane has been awarded USA Wrestling’s Cadet National Duals, a major age-group team event for 15-16-year-olds in the Olympic styles of men’s freestyle and Greco-Roman, for 2018 and 2019. They will be held at the Spokane Convention Center June 12-16 in 2018 and June 11-15 in 2019. Spokane will be only the eighth city to host the event that was inaugurated in 2000 and the first in the western time zone. Spokane has been the site of other major wrestling events, including the 1996 U.S. Olympic freestyle team trials, the 2002 Freestyle World Cup and USA Wrestling’s 2017 Northwest Bigfoot Battle last month as part of its Folkstyle Tour of America. The Cadet Duals are expected to attract USA Wrestling state association teams from across the country competing in a dual-meet format.
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