Community Colleges of Spokane filled coaching vacancies in two women’s sports.
Taylor Stewart, who has been an assistant at Whitman College in Walla Walla the last three seasons, was hired as the Sasquatch’s new head volleyball coach.
Ryan Bodecker, an assistant at CCS the last five years, was promoted to head women’s basketball coach.
Both, coincidentally from Priest River, Idaho, are replacing highly successful, long-tenured coaches. Stewart takes over for Jenni Hull, who retired after 15 years. Bodecker replaces Bruce Johnson, who was on the CCS bench for 35 years, 32 as head coach.
A 2014 graduate of Eastern Oregon University, where she was a four-year starter at outside hitter, Stewart started coaching at Potlatch (Idaho) Junior-Senior High School. She followed that three-year stint as a volunteer assistant at William Jewell (Missouri) College before joining the Whitman staff in 2017.
Stewart, who also helped coach at the Washington State University summer camp in 2015 and 2017, was a three-sport, all-league selection at Priest River High School and was named a North Idaho Female Athlete of the Year in volleyball, basketball and track her senior year.
“I am extremely excited and grateful for the opportunity,” Stewart said. “Spokane volleyball is a well-respected program in the NWAC and I look forward to building on that legacy.”
Bodecker, also the school’s acting athletic director and acting sports information director, is a 2004 graduate of the University of Idaho with a degree in business education. He earned a master’s degree in athletic administration from Central Washington University in 2017.
After graduating from Idaho, he returned to Priest River to teach at the high school and become the head boys basketball coach. He led the Spartans to the 2010 Idaho 3A State championship during his eight-year tenure.
“Spokane is a great place with great traditions,” Bodecker said. “I am excited for the opportunity to take over a special program and continue to push these student-athletes to reach their full potential.”
Idaho, Gonzaga and Eastern Washington had players listed in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s final national Division I rankings for the 2019-20 fall season.
Idaho senior Esteban Santibanez and sophomore Bruno Casino tied for 50th in men’s doubles, where Gonzaga senior Sam Feit and freshman Matthew Hollingworth are 57th.
WSU senior Melisa Ates is 103rd in women’s singles.
• Taylor McCoy, a junior from Pullman, and Payton Bokowy, a sophomore from Sandpoint, members of the Washington State women’s swimming and diving team, were named to the 2020 Pac-12 Winter Academic Honor Roll with GPAs of 3.3 or above. McCoy is a repeater.
• Eastern Washington and Idaho had leaders listed when Big Sky Conference women’s and men’s golf recaps were revealed for the 2019-20 season.
Eastern senior Madalyn Ardueser led the way for the women with three victories during the abbreviated 14-week season and three golfer-of-the-week honors. She had the second-best 54-hole score, a 6-under-par 210, in winning the Battle of Old Works in Farmington, Utah, in September. That’s an EWU program record for lowest three-round score by an individual.
Idaho sophomore Joseph Glenn shot the lowest 36-hole score for Big Sky men, a 136 (69-67) at the Joust at Goose Creek in Jurupa Valley, California, in February that gave him a share of the lead. Unfortunately, his third-round score of 9-over 79 left him tied for sixth.
High school scene
The Greater Spokane League, in conjunction with the National Electrical Contractors Association and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, announced 2020 winter sports winners of the 19th annual NECA/IBEW GSL Award.
The GSL and NECA/IBEW, which encourages high school students to consider a career in the electrical construction field, select a girl and boy from each school during each sports season who demonstrate superior balance in academics, athletics and community involvement.
The 2020 winter recipients by school:
Central Valley: Victoria Axtell, gymnastics; Jayce Simmons, basketball. Ferris: Keely Hall, competitive cheer; Jadon Bowton, basketball. Gonzaga Prep: Lakin Gardner, basketball; Rigee Olavides, wrestling. Lewis and Clark: Rebecca Harper, basketball; Jordan Munir, wrestling. Mead: Alllie Wood, cheerleading; Colby Grosse, wrestling.
Mt. Spokane: Emma Main, basketball; Jacob Carr, wrestling. North Central: Alyssa Toney, dance; Steven Zaragoza, wrestling. Rogers: Autumn Grove, wrestling; Jaden Rice, wrestling. Shadle Park: Mackenzie Mortlock, cheerleader; Ryan Niles, wrestling. University: Ellie Boni, basketball; Jason Franklin, wrestling.
The Spokane Chiefs haven’t played since March 10, just before the Western Hockey League season was abruptly ended by the coronavirus pandemic, but last week was a very good one for Filip Kral.
The 20-year-old defenseman from the Czech Republic signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs and received a couple of honors when the Chiefs announced 2019-20 team award winners.
Kral, who had been drafted by Toronto in the fifth round with the 149th selection in the 2018 NHL draft, was named the Chiefs’ Most Sportsmanlike Player and shared the John “Hitman” Hern Defenseman of the Year award with team captain Ty Smith.
The Chiefs’ second-round pick in the 2017 CHL Import Draft, Kral had a career-high 49 points, which ranked 10th among WHL defensemen, and his 12 goals tied for 11th.
Although he played top minutes, the Chiefs’ alternate captain picked up just four minor penalties for 8 minutes in 53 games and had a plus-18 rating.
The defensive award is a repeat honor for Smith, who had capped his 2018-19 season by also being named the WHL and CHL Defenseman of the Year.
The New Jersey Devils prospect from Lloydminster, Alberta, who helped his native Canada win the 2020 World Junior championship, finished the season with 59 points (fourth among WHL defensemen) on 19 goals (third) and 40 assists (seventh) while registering a plus-49 (third among all WHL skaters).
• Post Falls native Bear Hughes, an 18-year-old defenseman, was named the Chiefs’ Rookie of the Year after he totaled 47 points (16 goals, 31 assists) in 61 games. He ranked seventh among WHL rookies in points, ninth in goals and tied for fourth in assists.
• Noah King, a 20-year-old defenseman and alternate captain from Winnipeg, Manitoba, the Chiefs’ main speaker at local elementary school visits and community appearances, was named Humanitarian of the Year. He also received the team’s Plus-Minus Award after leading the WHL with a plus-60 rating. The statistic is used to measure a player’s defensive skill.
• Eli Zummack, a 20-year-old center from Kelowna, British Columbia, in his fourth season with the Chiefs, was selected by his teammates to receive the Players’ Player Award. He was second on the team, and fourth in the WHL, with 86 points and his 64 assists led the league. His plus-42 rating was third on the team and seventh in the league.
Letters of intent
EWU women’s tennis: Scout Mathews, Ojai, California.
WSU women’s tennis: Jinyu Wu, Bradenton, Florida.
WSU volleyball: Juliana Dalton, OH, Parker, Colorado; Colby Gonzalez, DS/libero, Portland, Texas; Jenna Howard, S, Bothell, Washington (North Creek HS); Jasmine Martin, MB, Bend, Oregon; and Argentina Ung, S, Sonora, Mexico.
Gonzaga University hired Mitch Coughlin, who was working at Syracuse University as an academic support assistant for men’s basketball and women’s volleyball, as its new academic coordinator to provide academic and vocational advice to student-athletes.
A 2017 graduate of the University of Dayton, where he was a two-time baseball team captain and recipient of a 2017 Presidential Scholar-Athlete Award, Coughlin earned a master’s of education from Notre Dame in 2019. He was an elementary school teacher in Robstown, Texas, before taking the Syracuse position.
• The University of Idaho Vandal Athletics Hall of Fame selection committee has opened nominations for the Class of 2020. Details can be found at govandals.com/ honors/hall-of-fame. The selection committee is scheduled to meet in May.
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