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Sports >  Area sports

Locally: Spokane’s Kathleen Burns set for Washington Officials Association Hall of Fame induction

UPDATED: Sat., July 20, 2019

Kathleen Burns was a coach, player and softball umpire in Spokane Valley. (Steve  Thompson / The Spokesman-Review)
Kathleen Burns was a coach, player and softball umpire in Spokane Valley. (Steve Thompson / The Spokesman-Review)

Kathleen Burns of Spokane has accumulated a mantle full of awards in 45 years of softball umpiring.

She was twice named the National Federation of Interscholastic Officials’ Washington Softball Official of the Year (1997 and 2000) and was inducted into the Inland Empire Softball Hall of Fame in 2005. And that’s not even mentioning an assortment of local awards.

She’ll have to make room for one more. The biggest honor so far.

Next Saturday, Burns will be inducted into the Washington Officials Association Hall of Fame at the Davenport Grand Hotel during the annual WOA conference.

“It’s a great honor,” she said. “It’s just something you never expect.”

Burns started umpiring in 1974 and worked her first high school game in 1977. The next year she umpired in her first of a dozen Amateur Softball Association National Championship tournaments, a men’s major modified, one of the most challenging of the ASA nationals.

“She has long been one of our most respected and well-known officials,” said Rich Hobson, one of her local umpires in chief. “She worked all levels in slowpitch, fastpitch, modified and girls fastpitch, including the men’s game.

“That led to her selection as the first woman to do a men’s major modified national.”

Burns’ ability to work with coaches and players, and her rules knowledge are highly regarded, locally and nationally.

She was appointed a Washington Interscholastic Activities Association rules clinician in the late 1980s, has served as a state tournament umpire in chief for more than 15 years and she just completed a four-year term on the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) softball rules committee.

Burns also was a state-rated volleyball official for 25 years.


Former Eastern Washington standout Jacob Wiley from Newport, who already has three stints overseas, signed a one-year deal to play with Greek champion Panathinaikos B.C. OPAP Athens of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague.

The team has won 64 titles, including 19 Greek Cups, six European Cups and one Intercontinental.

“I am very excited to be joining one of the biggest and most historic clubs in all of Europe,” said the 2017 Big Sky Conference Player of the Year, who has played in Germany, Australia and Spain. “It is a blessing to be able to continue to play professionally and pursue championships at the highest level.”

Quinton Forrest, a 6-foot-4 forward from Windermere, Florida, who played last season at Jacksonville University, will join the Idaho men’s team for the 2019-20 season as a graduate transfer.

Last season he appeared in 13 games at Jacksonville while battling injuries after playing as a freshman and sophomore at Bethune Cookman.

As a sophomore, he started 30 of the 32 games in which he played, leading the team with 36 steals and averaging 12.2 points and 5.3 rebounds. As a freshman, he averaged 4.9 points and 2.7 rebounds in 30 games with 12 starts and was conference rookie of the week three times.

College scene

Rachael Schlect of Spokane, a rising sophomore on the Point Loma University volleyball team, was named to the Academic All-PacWest team with a 3.71 GPA as a business-accounting major.

The Oaks Christian Academy graduate, who played her volleyball at University, was the PacWest Freshman of the Year and All-PacWest second team.

• A summer after helping Australia’s U18 team place third in the Asian Championships to qualify for the 2019 World Cup, Washington State sophomore Ula Motuga will play for her country’s U19 team in the women’s basketball tournament that runs next Saturday through Sunday in Bangkok, Thailand. Australia ranks No. 7 in the world.

• Seven Eastern Washington men – the most in NCAA Division I – have been honored on the 2018-19 National Association of Basketball Coaches Honors Court with GPAs of 3.2 or above.

Seniors Jesse Hunt and Ty Gibson were selected for the second straight year, and were joined by Steven Beo, Joshua Thomas, Luka Vulikic, Tyler Kidd and Mason Peatling.

The NABC list also includes Washington State rising senior Jeff Pollard.

• Ten athletes with area ties received the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Faculty Athletic Representative Scholar-Athlete Award with GPAs of 3.85 or better.

The recipients by school (*–honored for second time; **–honored for third time):

Central Washington – *Katie Collins, sr., track and field, 3.90 GPA, Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls); Gracee Dwyer, fr., softball, 3.86, University; Madison Lee, fr., volleyball, 4.0, Mead; *Kayla Wyatt, so., track and field, 3.93, Gonzaga Prep.

Northwest Nazarene – **Madi Taylor, sr., soccer, 3.91, Lewiston; Lauren Zuba, fr., soccer, 3.89, Moscow; Tyler Shea, fr., cross country/track & field, 3.93, Northwest Christian.

Seattle Pacific – *Talia Ferguson, so., rowing, 3.94, Coeur d’Alene Charter; *Travis Swallow, so., soccer, 3.98, Lake City.

Saint Martin’s – Megan Nilsson, jr., basketball, 3.96, Mt. Spokane.

Western Oregon - **Rachel Bayly, jr., cross country/track and field, 3.98, Moscow.

A.J. Block, a left-handed pitcher at Washington State who was selected in the 17th round of the MLB draft by the Detroit Tigers in June, announced he did not sign a professional contract and will return to the Cougars for his senior season.

• Six Gonzaga baseball players were named to all-star teams in their summer leagues.

Pitcher Mac Lardner, who has a 2-1 record and 1.29 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 28 innings for the Bourne Braves, was selected in the Cape Cod League.

Infielder Ryan Sullivan, pitcher Mason Wells and outfielder Isaac Barrera, all with the league-leading Anchorage Bucs, were named in the Alaska League. Sullivan leads the league with 24 RBIs and is second with five home runs.

Outfielders Guthrie Morrison and Jack Machtolf of the Bellingham Bells were honored in the West Coast League.

Talia Ferguson, a Seattle Pacific sophomore from Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy, was named a 2019 NCAA Division II National Scholar Athlete by the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association with a 3.98 GPA.

• Eastern Washington led the Big Sky Conference academic standings during the 2018-19 school year with an athletic department-wide 3.46 GPA.

Weber State, second academically at 3.34, finished atop the Presidents’ Cup standings that judge schools’ success in the classroom and in competition. Eastern had won three of the previous four President’s Cups, including 2017-18.

• The area’s four Division I schools and D-III Whitworth all came in for recognition when the Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced its All-Academic Teams and Scholar-Athlete awards.

The men’s and women’s teams from Eastern Washington, Gonzaga and Whitworth and the women’s teams from Idaho and Washington State all received ITA All-Academic Team awards with GPAs of 3.20 or higher and had individuals on the ITA Scholar-Athlete list with GPAs of 3.50 or higher.

It is the third straight year the Eastern women’s team was honored and the third in four years for the men. Women’s honors went to senior Moriah Austin, junior Marta Heinen and freshmen Louise Waite, Yasmin Mansouri and Madeline Lamoreaux.

Eagles men were senior Jeremy Field, junior Mikayel Khachatryn and freshmen Wout Doumen and Jan Lajos. It’s the second ITA award for Heinen and the first for the other Eagles women and men.

Two-time recipient seniors Sophie Whittle and Graciela Rosas and junior Kate Ketels led the seven Gonzaga women on the list as the Bulldogs were honored as a team for the second time in four years. First-time recipients were freshman Tamara Anderson, junior Katie Day and seniors Domonique Garley and Sara Komer.

The GU men were also honored for the second time in four years, led by three-time recipient junior Kyle Everly and two-time honoree junior Simon Homedes Dualde. Receiving their first awards were junior Sam Feit and sophomore Matthew Perkins.

All six of the Idaho women recipients were multiple winners as the Vandals were honored for the third consecutive year. Seniors Marianna Petrei and Maria Tavares received their fourth awards, junior Shion Watabe collected her third and junior Maggie Chen and sophomores Marta Magalhães and Laura Spataro received their second.

The Idaho men had two individual honorees, senior Lucas Coutinho receiving his third and freshman Bruno Casino-Remondo his first.

WSU women recipients were freshman Savanna Ly-Nguyn and senior Aneta Miksovska.

Whitworth had seven women and six men honored. The women: sophomores Halle Berg (Clarkston), Avery Liening and Madelyn Parkey (Lewiston); freshmen Grace Bethards, Jillian Hughes and Kyndal Locati; and senior Emma Jo Wiley. The men: juniors Benjamin Bethards and Jacob Bethards, freshmen Cameron Brewer and Jake Floyd, senior Nicholas Hughes and sophomore Kincaid Norris.


Eric Crone of Spokane, an official with nearly two decades of experience at all levels, has been hired as the commissioner of the Northwest Intercollegiate Football Officiating Association, where he will serve as the supervisor of officials for both the NCAA Division II Great Northwest Athletic Conference and Division III Northwest Conference.

Crone, who retired as an on-field official in 2016, started with the Inland Empire Football Officials Association, where he spent 20 years working high school games. The IEFOA president in 2010, he was the association Rookie of the Year in 1997, line judge of the year three times, and IEFOA Official of the Year in 2007.

He also worked 13 years as a college official for the GNAC, NWC and Big Sky Conference, and officiated multiple NCAA and NAIA playoff games. He also spent three seasons as an Arena Football official.

Since leaving on-field officiating, Crone has been a game-day observer and film reviewer for the GNAC, NWC and the Division II Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. For the last two years, he has also worked as a scout and game-day evaluator for the National Football League.


Adam Maglio, head coach of the Prince George (British Columbia) Spruce Kings the last two seasons, has been hired as an associate coach with the Spokane Chiefs.

At the same time, the Chiefs announced that Scott Burt, an assistant coach since 2013, will not return for the 2019-20 Western Hockey League season.

Maglio, 33, has five years of coaching experience, four of them with the Spruce Kings. He was an assistant for two years before taking over as head coach in 2017.

Under Maglio, the Spruce Kings won the British Columbia Hockey League Mainland Division his first season, then won the BCHL and Doyle Cup in competition against the Alberta league last season before narrowly losing in the finals of Canada’s National Junior A Championships.

“Adam has shown a very natural ability to teach the game and connect with players,” new Chiefs head coach Manny Viveiros said. “I think he’ll be an excellent addition.”

• Chiefs prospects Ben Thornton and Cam Smith have been selected to attend BC Hockey’s U16 provincial camp July 29-Aug. 3.

Thornton, a 6-2 forward selected by the Chiefs with the 15th overall pick of the 2019 WHL Bantam Draft, had 13 goals and 32 assists in 30 games with Yale Academy’s Bantam Prep team last season.

Smith, described as “a big, strong winger who likes to shoot the puck,” was chosen by the Chiefs in the 11th round after playing 2018-19 with the Victoria Racquet Club Kings Bantam T1 team.

• The Chiefs announced their 2019 training camp will take place at the Spokane Arena Aug. 22-25 with scrimmages set the first three days leading to the annual Red-White game at 1 p.m. Aug. 25. All ice sessions and scrimmages, including the Red-White game, are free and open to the public.

Letters of intent

Gonzaga men’s soccer – Michael Ambrose, D, Omaha, Nebraska; Cam Bain, F/MF, Beaverton, Oregon; Kupa’a Fernandez, Faribault, Minnesota; Johnny Hansen, D, Lincoln, Nebraska; Shaun Matney, D, Coronado, California; Cole Rovegno, D, Folsom, California.

Idaho men’s basketball – A.J. Youngman, wing, Peoria, Illinois, transfer from Otero (Colorado) Junior College.

Idaho men’s golf – TJ Patterson, Granite Bay, California.


Aaron Lewis, head men’s coach at Corban University in Salem the last six years, where he compiled a 95-23-9 record and took the Warriors to the NAIA playoffs all six years, has been named an assistant coach for the Gonzaga men’s team, Bulldogs head coach Paul Meehan announced.

Lewis, a former standout player at Corban, was an assistant under Meehan at the NAIA school in the Cascade Collegiate Conference, before Meehan joined the GU staff in 2013 and Lewis ascended to the head job.

Lewis has also worked for the Portland Timbers organization, directing the men’s U-23 team that won a Northwest Division championship in 2017.


Gabriella Rickman, the inspirational leader of the Rogers softball teams, has been selected as the 2019 recipient of the Inland Empire Softball Hall of Fame Doug “Pops” Bender Scholarship.

Rickman, who graduated with a 3.90 GPA, was a pitcher on the Pirates’ fastpitch team and a shortstop on the slowpitch team.

Six former players are slated for induction: Dave Maxwell, fastpitch and modified; Dave Blevins, fastpitch; John Rhodes, modified; Terry Koentopp, fastpitch; Jon Schuh, modified; and Greg Branum, slowpitch.

Also, a men’s modified team that had four sponsors – LB Franco, Stoneway Electric, Food Rainbow and Northwest Yankees – will be honored as the 1990s Team of the Decade.

Ticket info: Dan Fry, 624-5842.

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