Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Wednesday, October 21, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Day 47° Partly Cloudy
Sports >  Area sports

Locally: Bob Castle named Whitworth’s interim softball coach for upcoming season

Whitworth has named Bob Castle the interim softball coach for this season. (Whitworth Athletics / Courtesy)
Whitworth has named Bob Castle the interim softball coach for this season. (Whitworth Athletics / Courtesy)
From staff ,news services

Bob Castle, a former Whitworth assistant softball coach, has been hired as the school’s interim head softball coach through the completion of the 2020 schedule.

Director of athletics Tim Demant moved quickly to fill the position after Cristal Brown, who had been the head coach for eight seasons, resigned last week to become head coach at Idaho State.

Demant also announced that Jamie Bruner, an All-Northwest Conference player for the Pirates from 2011-13, a graduate assistant under Brown the last two seasons, will become the primary assistant coach.

“We are excited to have people of the caliber of Bob Castle and Jamie Brunner who are willing and able to step into this leadership role on short notice and guide our team into this season,” Demant said.

Castle was an assistant for Brown from 2015-18, during which time the Pirates won three consecutive NWC championships (2015, ’16 and ’17).

A softball umpire for 14 years, including 11 years at the collegiate level, Castle has served as the general manager of the Kalispel Golf and Country Club since May 2016. He had previously been Whitworth’s assistant A.D. for corporate partnerships and sponsorships and was the radio voice of Pirates football and basketball for 18 years.

“Cristal Brown and (former assistant) Randy Clark laid a foundation for Whitworth softball and then built a winning program,” Castle said. “Not just on the field, but off the field. It was a privilege for me to be a part of the championship years.”

Whitworth will return several key starters, including 2019 NWC Freshman of the Year and Co-Pitcher of the Year Drea Schwaier-Wolf, pitcher Madelyn Carlson, catcher Maddy Thomas, first baseman Rheanne Lewis and shortstop Sara Gayer.

In her eight years leading the Pirates, Brown compiled a 221-124 record and led the school to its first NWC regular-season championship in 2015 and NCAA Division III Tournament appearances in 2016 and ’17.

“I have loved being a Pirate and think Whitworth is truly a special place,” said Brown, who had 38 players named All-NWC and 17 receive NFCA All-Region. “ ‘Bucball’ will always have a very special place in my heart.”

College scene

Daniel Roy of Spokane, one of the top 200-meter men’s swimmers in the world, had to settle for second in his premier event at the 2019 US National Championships on Thursday in Stanford, California, after taking the fastest time from the preliminaries into the A final.

The Gonzaga Prep graduate, who’ll be a sophomore at Stanford, won his preliminary heat in 2 minutes, 9.87 seconds. In the finals, he clocked 2:10.01 to the 2:09.69 for Reece Whitley of Cal, who charged from behind in the final 50 meters to win his first national title.

Whitley, who timed 2:10.18 in winning his preliminary heat, turned in a 34.17 final 50 and outtouched Roy, who had a 34.90 split.

• Two Washington State swimmers, junior-to-be Taylor McCoy of Pullman and sophomore-to-be Lauren Burckel, recorded qualifying times this summer for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

McCoy swam 2:14.56 while finishing third in the 200 backstroke at the TYR Pro Series in California in June. Burckel recorded a pair of qualifying times at the Speed Champions Series in Mount Hood in mid-July. She won the 200 breast in 2:30.80 and was second in the 100 breast at 1:09.9.

Kelcie Hedge of Post Falls, a senior at Santa Clara, and Washington State senior Morgan Weaver have been named to the 2019 Missouri Athletic Club’s Hermann Trophy watch list, an award that goes to the United Soccer Coaches National Player of the Year in NCAA Division I.

Hedge, a midfielder, was a Hermann Trophy semifinalist last year. She was also first-team All-America, first-team All-West Region and the West Coast Conference Player of the Year after leading the Broncos to their most wins since 2005.

Weaver, a forward, is coming off a junior year in which she scored a career-high 13 goals, nearly doubling her career total, and was named first-team All-West Region and All-Pac-12. Her goals and four assists accounted for 41% of the Cougars’ offense in 2018.

Jessica Mangrobang, who will be a senior at Gonzaga this fall, won the inaugural McCormick Woods Women’s Amateur golf tournament in Port Orchard, Washington, last weekend with a 36-hole score of 5-over-par 149 for a 10-stroke victory.

• Whitworth’s first-year women’s lacrosse team received academic recognition from Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association, which selected the Pirates as a 2019 Zag Sports Academic Honor Squad with a 3.15 GPA, and honored four players.

Senior Caitlin Thomas (3.616) and juniors Jordan Cain (3.92), Hannah Meador (3.726) and Lauren Taylor (Northwest Christian, 3.934) were named to the IWLCA 2019 Zag Sports Division III Academic Honor Roll.

Joey Biel from Northwest Christian, who will be a senior on the Monmouth College football team in Illinois, was named to the Midwest Conference All-Academic Team for the 2018-19 school year with a GPA of 3.33 or higher.

• For a third straight year, Gonzaga student-athletes led the West Coast Conference with 220 named to the 18th annual WCC Commissioner’s Honor Roll.

Fifty-eight Zags received Gold status with GPAs of 3.75-4.0, led by Sara Komer (women’s tennis), Morgan Greene (women’s cross country) and Toby Holstein (men’s soccer), who maintained perfect 4.0s. GU had 63 Silver recipients (3.50-3.74) and 99 Bronze (3.00-3.49).

EWU Hall of Fame

Rarely do football players, especially defensive linemen, think it’s a good idea to lose weight as their careers head into their final season.

But that’s what Eastern Washington defensive tackle Chris Scott did and it helped him have one of the best seasons in EWU history.

The Big Sky Conference Defensive MVP in 1997 and a multiple All-American will be among the 19th class of inductees into the Eastern Athletics Hall of Fame on Sept. 28.

Scott was honorable mention All-Big Sky as a sophomore and junior, then lost 20 pounds prior to his senior season. The result was impressive. His added speed and quickness helped him collect 11 sacks, at the time the fourth most in school history (still seventh), and he had a school-record 21 tackles for loss among 79 tackles in 14 games.

Scott, who earned six All-America honors that year, including three first team, helped lead the Eagles to the Big Sky title with a 7-1 record and they advanced to the semifinals of the FCS Playoffs and finished 12-2.

He finished with 236 career tackles, which remain a record for an Eagles defensive lineman, and he’s top five in fourth other categories – 25 1/2 career sacks (fourth), 47 tackles for loss (fifth), six forced fumbles (tied for second) and six fumble recoveries (fifth).

Scott will be inducted along with former teammate and fellow defensive lineman Dario Romero, former volleyball player Keva Sonderen, women’s track and field standout Lisa Sorrell and the 1980 men’s track and field team.

The induction breakfast and ceremony are set for 8 a.m. on Sept. 28 at the Pence Union Building’s Nysether Community Room on the EWU campus. The public is invited. Cost is $25 per person ($12 for children). Guests must register via a link at

The new Hall of Famers will be honored at halftime of EWU’s football game against North Dakota (kickoff is 2:05 p.m.) and recognized the night before at a home volleyball game against Portland State at 7 p.m. at Reese Court.


Pro Bill Bomar from Prairie Falls Golf Club in Post Falls tied for sixth with a 54-hole total of 5-under-par 211 for the best finish of an area golfer in the Senior Oregon Open Invitational last week at Wildhorse Resort and Casino in Pendleton, Oregon.

Bomar’s 4-under 68 on Thursday was the second-lowest score of the final round.

Pro Jeff Coston of Semiahmoo Golf & Country Club in Blaine, Washington, won his seventh Senior Oregon Open Invitational by one stroke with a 10-under 206.

Pro Mark Gardner from The Creek at Qualchan tied for 13th at 214, Qualchan amateur Kevin Braegger shot 1-over 217 and The Coeur d’Alene Resort twosome of pro Mike DeLong and amateur Bob Christensen were at 2 over 218 for the next-best scores by area entries.

High school scene

Todd Gilkey, an athletic director in North Idaho for 19 years, the last five in his second stint at St. Maries, collected a second award this year when he was named by the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association to receive its Bruce D. Whitehead Distinguished Service Award.

He and nine others will be honored at the National Athletic Directors Conference on Dec. 17 in National Harbor, Maryland.

In March, Gilkey was named the 2019 Idaho 2A Athletic Director of the Year for the second time in three years. It was his fifth A.D. of the year honor and the third at St. Maries. The school was in the 3A class when he won it the first time in 2004. He won it twice for 5A during eighth years at Coeur d’Alene, 2009 and 2014.

He also received the National Federation of High Schools Citation Award in 2014 while he was at Coeur d’Alene.


Jim Hammett, an executive and scout for various professional teams including a handful in the NHL, has been named assistant general manager of the Spokane Chiefs where he’ll oversee the team’s 50-player protected list and run the WHL Bantam and CHL Import drafts.

He will also assist with player personnel decisions from his home in Kelowna, British Columbia, and coordinate the Chiefs’ team of area scouts in western Canada and the U.S.

“He has a remarkable amount of scouting experience, which will be invaluable to the team,” Chiefs general manager Scott Carter said.

Hammett, who most recently worked with the Arizona Coyotes, was with the Colorado Avalanche as director of scouting when they won the 2001 Stanley Cup. He has also worked for the New York Rangers, Nashville Predators and Tampa Bay Lightning.

He will be in Spokane for the start of the Chiefs’ training camp on Aug. 29.

• The Chiefs, who lost their goaltending coach of eight years for the 2019-20 season, have hired Lucas Gore and Jesse Plewis as the team’s goaltending consultants. They’ll alternate spending time with the team throughout the season.

Gore, who played 141 games in the WHL with the Chilliwack Bruins from 2007-11, spent the last three seasons as a goaltending consultant for the Kamloops Blazers in his hometown. Plewis was goaltending consultant for the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL last season and was goaltending coach of the Penticton Vees of the British Columbia junior league since 2016.

Letters of intent

Whitworth men’s basketball: Hunter Thorne, G, Thousand Oaks, California; Jacob Hjort, G, Columbia River HS (Vancouver, Wash.); Cristian Colwell, P, Lynden Christian (Wash.) HS.


Pat Girtz of Spokane, a registered wrestling official for 49 years who the Washington Officials Association said in recognizing him “is the consummate official in our state,” was inducted into the WOA Hall of Fame at the organization’s awards luncheon July 27 at the Davenport Grand Hotel.

Girtz, inducted into the Washington Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame earlier this summer, “has worked tirelessly to improve the sport, improve officials and make wrestling more popular,” the WOA said in his introduction.

The WOA also noted he was instrumental in developing a girls division statewide and has helped develop a statewide training manual for wrestling. He has been honored as the WOA Wrestling Official of the Year and has worked 23 Mat Classic state tournaments.

Girtz is the president of the Inland Empire Wrestling Officials Association and is its lead trainer.

Retiring Washington Interscholastic Activities Association executive director Mike Colbrese, who was the WOA executive director from 1995-2002 before taking over the WIAA reigns, and longtime Spokane softball umpire Kathleen Burns were also inducted into the WOA hall.

• Five members of the Spokane Basketball Officials, Garret Daggett, Doug Goldsmith, Randy Harris, Tim Peterson and Dean Smith, received Meritorious Service Awards from the WOA for accomplishments that include at least 15 years as a registered official.


Allie Eaton and Sam Clifford, teammates at Indiana before graduating in 2017, have joined the Washington State rowing staff as assistant coaches, head coach Jane LaRiviere announced.

Eaton, who had a four-year career at Indiana, will work with the novice rowers. She served as an assistant masters and juniors coach and junior B women’s division head coach from April 2018-June 2019 in Victoria, B.C. Prior to that, she was a volunteer assistant novice coach at Indiana.

Clifford, who recently spent nearly two years as a girls rowing coach in Boston, rowed her freshman year at Fairfield University, then spent a summer at US Rowing’s pre-elite camp before transferring to Indiana. She rowed two seasons with the varsity, but medical issues in 2016-17 ended her career and she served as a volunteer assistant coach for the Hoosiers.

Senior Games

Papermill Printing of Spokane continues to be a force in men’s 3-on-3 basketball at the Washington State Senior Games in Olympia.

For the 22nd time in the 23 years of the Games, four Papermill teams organized by Jon Heimbigner returned with a collection of hardware – two gold medals and two silvers – and a combined 10-5 record as it improved its overall record to 122-35 with 37 gold medals, six silvers and one bronze.

Two of its players earned medals in individual competition. Jack Soliday won gold in the 65-69 age division free-throw and hot shot events and Fred Ostermeyer took bronze in 70-74 free throw.

Papermill’s No. 1 65-69-year-old team defeated its No. 2 team for the second straight year in the gold-medal game, taking this one 54-35. Papermill also won the 60-64 age division, defeating three younger teams – two 50+ and one 55+ – for the gold.

The Westsiders from Greater Seattle defeated Papermill 53-49 for the 70-74 age division gold medal. It’s the third straight year the teams met in the championship game. Papermill had won the previous two.

The teams: 60-64 – Dave Huss, Robert Jones, Bill Tri, Ron Thorvilson. 65-69 No. 1 – Jim Carkonen, Terry Souhrada, Greg Stevens, Bill Maxey. 65-69 No. 2 – K. Baumgartner, Dave Wilson, Soliday, Ostermeyer. 70-74 – Harvey DePew, Mike Etter, Heimbigner, Tedd Nealey, Terry Nealey.

Karl Thorpe of Spokane and Grant Maassen of Medical Lake won three medals each in men’s events and Monica Ray of Moscow and Sue Hinz of Pullman collected three each in women’s during the track and field portion of the Senior Games last weekend.

Thorpe won three gold in the men’s 80-84 age group, capturing the 50m, 100m and 200m. Maassen won the men’s 60-64 400m, was third in the 800m and second in the high jump.

In women’s 70-74, Ray won the javelin and shot put and was second in the discus. Hinz won the weight throw and was second in the hammer and shot. She was also fourth in the discus.

Debra Johnson of Spokane placed second in women’s 65-69 compound release in the archery competition.

John and Shirley House of Clarkston were second in 75+ shuffleboard doubles.


Idaho interim director of athletics Pete Isakson announced the addition of two new staff members, Marty Northcroft as assistant athletic director for marketing and fan engagement, and Desmond Banks as associate director for development.

Northcroft has nearly 20 years of marketing experience in collegiate and professional athletics, most recently six years as Washington State’s assistant A.D. of marketing and promotions.

Banks, a member of Idaho’s 2016 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl championship football team, will secure annual gifts for the Vandal Scholarship Fund and oversee development activities in Southern Idaho.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Subscribe to the sports newsletter

Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.

New health insurance plans available November 1 through Washington Healthplanfinder

 (Photo courtesy WAHBE)

Fall means the onset of the cold and flu season.