Dan Philp, a longtime club coach in the Spokane Shadow organization, has been appointed the new head coach for the Shadow’s National Premier Soccer League team for the 2020 season.
He will take over for Mike Pellicio, who coached the men’s team the past two years, and will have a team that likely will feature a number of players he’s worked with the past five years at the club level as well as returning players.
Spokane is in the six-team Northwest Conference of the West Region in the far-flung NPSL that has 96 teams stretching from coast to coast. The Shadow had a 4-4-2 record and finished third in the Northwest Conference in 2019.
Philp has coached with the Shadow organization since 2007 and played with the men’s team from 2007-10. He also managed the unaffiliated Spokane Spiders of the USL Premier Development League in 2007, that team’s most successful of four seasons.
A native of London, where he played semi-professionally from 1998-2005 before moving to the United States, Philp joined the women’s soccer staff as an assistant coach for the Community Colleges of Spokane this past fall.
Bruce Johnson, the winningest women’s basketball coach at Community Colleges of Spokane, will retire following the completion of his 32nd season this month.
A special ceremony is set to honor him prior to the Sasquatch’s game Saturday (Feb. 15) against Wenatchee Valley at 2 p.m. at Spokane Falls. His last home game will be Wednesday, Feb. 19, when the Sasquatch entertain North Idaho College at SCC on the Mission Street campus.
The Sasquatch will take an 11-10 overall record, 4-8 in the East, into Wednesday’s game at Columbia Basin. They end their regular season at Blue Mountain on Feb. 26.
A Rogers High School graduate, Johnson played on SFCC men’s hall-of-fame teams in 1975 and 1976 and returned to the school in 1985 to begin a teaching and coaching career. He became head women’s coach in 1988 and has compiled more than 600 victories, won six NWAC East Region championships and the NWAC title in 2017.
Eastern Washington seniors Samantha Raines and Grant Shurtliff are Big Sky Conference leaders in their indoor track specialties. Last week they received their first conference Field Athlete of the Week honors for their performances at the UW Invitational.
Raines was the women’s recipient after clearing 13 feet, 5 1/4 inches in the pole vault. Coincidentally, that matched the height teammate Savannah Schultz cleared the day before in the Dempsey Indoor at UW. It is sixth best in history in the Big Sky and third all-time at Eastern.
Raines had led the Big Sky with a vault of 12-11 3/4. The school wanted to nominate both women for the award but said the Big Sky will accept just one nominee per category per school.
Shurtliff received the men’s award for compiling 5,166 points with a fourth-place finish in the pentathlon. He leads the Big Sky with 5,212 points, second best in school history.
• Peter Hogan led the way as Gonzaga athletes took a run at school indoor track records at the UW Invitational last weekend.
Hogan, a junior, broke the school men’s indoor 5,000-meter record that was set just last year in the same meet with a 14-second PR time, clocking 14 minutes, 13.82 seconds, placing seventh.
Sophomore James Mwaura ran the second-fastest men’s indoor 3,000 in school history, clocking 7:59.09 with a ninth-place finish.
Senior Aimee Piercy ran the third fastest women’s 3,000 with a time of 9:42.32 in her heat. She also has GU’s fourth fastest time.
• Whitworth senior guard Ben College received his third Northwest Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week award of the season after leading the Pirates to a pair of road victories by averaging 33 points and making two-thirds of his 3-point attempts.
In a Friday win at Puget Sound, he became the sixth player in school history to surpass 1,600 career points, and the next night he scored a career-high 44 points, 32 in the second half, and tied his own school record with 11 3-pointers against Pacific Lutheran. He added nine rebounds, three assists and three steals during the weekend.
• Tayler Drynan, a senior at Simon Fraser from Gonzaga Prep, and Taylor Cunningham, a Montana State Billings senior from Lewis and Clark, were named to the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball All-Academic Team for a third straight year.
Drynan has a 3.74 GPA, Cunningham a 3.66
Also named to the 2019-20 team were first-time recipients at Saint Martin’s, Megan Nilsson (3.98), a senior from Mt. Spokane, and sophomore Claire Dingus (3.25) from University.
• Tatum Sparks, a senior at the University of Providence in Great Falls, Montana, from Othello, where she was a two-time Washington state champion, was named the Women’s Wrestler of the Week in the Cascade Collegiate Conference.
“She’s very consistent,” Providence coach Carlene Sluberski said in a school release.
The nationally second-ranked women’s 155-pounder went unbeaten at the Eastern Oregon Duals, defeating two ranked opponents in the process.
“Being on the top of the podium at the end of the year (at NAIA Nationals) is one of her goals. She’s more than capable of doing that,” Sluberski added.
• Gonzaga sophomore Vlada Medvedcova was named the West Coast Conference women’s tennis Singles Player of the Week after she won both her matches in GU wins last weekend against Idaho and Eastern Washington. It was her first weekly honor.
• The Gonzaga men’s tennis doubles pair of senior Sam Feit and freshman Matthew Hollingworth is ranked No. 33 in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings, the highest for a men’s team in program history.
In the fall, they won four straight matches at the ITA Northwest Regional to make the semifinals, the deepest run in the tournament in program history, and this spring produced a win over No. 41-ranked Western Michigan.
• Gonzaga was once again tabbed the favorite to win the West Coast Conference in the baseball coaches preseason poll and landed three players on the Preseason All-WCC team.
In balloting that saw the top three schools separated by six points, GU (71) was followed by BYU (68) and Loyola Marymount (65).
Junior right-handed pitcher Alek Jacob (North Central), a 2020 Preseason All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (first team) and Collegiate Baseball Newspaper (second team), was joined as a preseason all-conference selection by infielders Brett Harris, a junior, and senior Ernie Yake.
• The 2019 regular-season champion Whitworth Pirates rank third in the Northwest Conference baseball coaches preseason poll, trailing George Fox, which tied for fourth a year ago and missed the playoffs, and Whitman, the 2019 playoff champions, which knocked off Whitworth en route to an NCAA Division III playoff berth.
Whitworth returns All-NWC first-team right-handed pitcher Matthew Young, a senior, and a trio of second-team choices – senior catcher Cody Simmons and sophomore left-handed pitchers Austin Rice, a starter, and reliever Brett Thomas.
• First-year Washington State baseball coach Brian Green, who is charged with reviving a program that won just 11 of 54 games a year ago, received little love from his fellow Pac-12 coaches in their 2020 preseason poll, which designated the Cougars to finish last.
Arizona State, coming off its first postseason appearance since 2016, was selected to finish first ahead of defending champion UCLA. Washington was sixth.
• Whitworth, which returns five All-Northwest Conference honorees, including co-Pitcher of the Year, Freshman of the Year and All-West Region selection Drea Schwaier-Wolf, has been picked to finish third in the NWC softball coaches’ preseason poll.
Defending champion Linfield was picked first with George Fox second.
The Pirates, who placed second a year ago and are led by interim first-year head coach Bob Castle, also have back two second-team All-NWC selections, sophomore catcher Maddy Thomas and junior shortstop Sara Gayer, and honorable mention junior outfielders Kaylie Lowery and Brynn Radke.
Letters of intent
Carroll College football: Liam Lynch, DL, Ferris, 2019 All-GSL honorable mention; Max Peed, OL, Lakeland (Rathdrum), 2019 All-IEL 4A first team.
Eastern Oregon football: James Gray, C/DT, Pullman, 2019 All-GNL second team offense.
Idaho women’s soccer: Margo Schoesler, MF, Mead, first team All-GSL in 2018 and 2019; Madalynn Lasher, F, Lake City, two-time 5A Idaho All-State, four-time All-IEL, IEL MVP in 2019; Milana DesRosier, MF, Tucson, Arizona; Sara Evans, MF, San Diego, California; Maya Hamilton, D, San Diego; Ariel Loften, F, Kiona Benton (Wash.) HS; Alyssa Peters, D, Bremerton, Wash.; Kaitlyn Uemoto, F, Manoa, Hawaii.
Eastern Washington alum Angela Spoja, who played for the Eagles from 1995-96 and has been head coach at Evergreen State College for seven years, has been hired as a new volleyball assistant coach at EWU.
As Angela Frederick, she graduated in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
Prior to Evergreen State, where she took over a 0-55 program and had a 68-128 record in seven seasons, Spoja coached at Tacoma Community College from 2005-12, going 155-50 with five straight Western Region championships and two undefeated teams.
Spoja received several NWAC awards and was nominated for AVCA Coach of the Year in 2011.
• Maya McClellan, a redshirt sophomore from Nevada, has transferred to Eastern Washington and will join the Eagles for the spring season.
The 5-foot-10 outside hitter redshirted her freshman year at Nevada and played in three matches for the Wolfpack in 2019. She was first-team all-league at Belmont (Calif.) High School in 2016.
Tickets for the Big Sky Conference’s inaugural Hall of Fame induction ceremony March 14 in Boise during the conference’s 2020 basketball championships are on sale through Eventbrite.com.
A VIP reception for $75 will be held from 10-11 a.m. with the Hall of Fame ceremony from 11 to 1 p.m. General Admission tickets are $30.
Among the 14 in the first Hall of Fame class are former Vandals and NFL quarterback John Friesz from Coeur d’Alene and Jack Friel, the Big Sky’s first commissioner and a former Washington State men’s basketball coach.
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