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Locally: Whitworth men’s basketball earns national academic honors

UPDATED: Sun., July 26, 2020

From staff and news services

The Whitworth men were well represented when the National Association of Basketball Coaches released its Academic Team and Honors Court awards for Division III schools last week.

Seven Pirates were named to the NABC Honors Court with grade-point averages of 3.2 or higher and Whitworth, with a combined team GPA of 3.48, was one of three Northwest Conference schools to collect an NABC Team Academic Award.

Pirates recognized were seniors, Ben College, Garrett Hull and Sam Lees and juniors Isaiah Hernandez (Lewis and Clark), Reed Brown, Tanner Fogle and Chewy Zevenbergen. The first five comprised the Pirates’ starting lineup much of the season with Fogle and Zevenbergen key reserves.

Grant Johnson became a sixth Gonzaga men’s golfer to be named a Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-America Scholar when the organization released its second wave of 404 student-athletes honored.

The sophomore from Walnut Creek, California, had a 3.23 grade-point average and 74.75 scoring average. Five Zags were included in the first section of 614 honorees.

With those six leading the way, the GU men compiled a team GPA of 3.52 and was one of just 56 Division I programs to receive President’s Special Recognition when the Golf Coaches Association of America All-Academic teams were announced.

The Idaho men were among 86 other Division I programs with GPAs of 3.0 or higher to gain GCAA All-Academic honors.

• For the eighth-straight year, and 17th time in program history, the Eastern Washington volleyball team has earned a USMC/AVCA Team Academic Award from the American Volleyball Coaches Association for compiling an accumulative team GPA of 3.52.

Idaho was also on the list of Division I schools that received the award for the coronavirus-impacted 2019-20 school year for maintaining a team GPA of at least 3.30.

• The Eastern Washington women’s golf team tied for 15th among Division I schools with a 3.832 team GPA to earn the school’s first All-Scholar Team GPA award from the Women’s Golf Coaches Association.

Only 25 schools were recognized and Eastern was the only one from the Big Sky Conference. Earlier it was announced that five Eagles earned individual WGCA All-American Scholar Honors with GPAs of at least 3.5.

• Eastern Washington, which appeared in a third championship game in four seasons in 2019, is tabbed to finish third and Idaho seventh in a tight Big Sky Conference soccer coaches’ preseason poll.

Defending regular-season champion Montana was selected first, edging tournament champion Northern Colorado by one point. Five schools collected first-place votes – Eastern had two – with four schools within five points of the Grizzlies.

Eastern has back 10 starters, including 2019 co-Defensive Player of the Year Taylor Matheny, Newcomer of the Year Madison Kem and first-team selection Sariah Keister. Kelsee Winston, the school record holder in career shutouts, also returns. All are sophomores.

Idaho has back All-Big Sky first-team defender Taylor Brust and honorable mention midfielder Hadley Sbrega, both seniors.

• If the Big Sky Conference cross country coaches are right, everyone will again be chasing Northern Arizona’s defending champion men and women, who were unanimous choices in preseason polls to defend their titles.

The Idaho women, the conference championship runners-uplast year, were given the best chance of the two area schools, selected to finish fourth. The Idaho men were tabbed for fifth with the Eastern Washington men tying for eighth and the Eagles’ women picked 10th.

Idaho has back three of its top five scorers from the conference meet led by sophomore Kelsey Swenson, the Vandals’ top finisher in 13th as a freshman. Sophomore Tim Stevens, 30th in the conference meet, leads the Vandals’ men. Eastern’s top returners are sophomore Rees Jacot (51st) for the women and junior Carter Ledwith (29th) for the men.

• Idaho was selected to finish sixth and Eastern Washington 11th in the Big Sky Conference volleyball coaches’ preseason poll. Defending regular season and tournament champion Northern Colorado was a unanimous choice to repeat.

The Vandals have back second-team All-Big Sky selections Kennedy Warren and Nicole Ball, both junior middle blockers. Eastern returners include junior outside hitter MaKenna Davis, sophomore middle blocker Nicoletta Capizzi and senior setter Ana Paula Zandona.

• The Whitworth football team has elected receiver Taylor Kolste and left tackle Icher Pule-Annes as its offensive captains and defensive back Bryce Hornbeck and linebacker Jaylen Gonzales as defensive captains for the upcoming season, which has been postponed by the Northwest Conference until the spring of 2021.


The second edition of the Spokane Indians’ Home Base, which is designed to keep the team’s fans connected during the baseball-less summer, features a Q&A with 2019 Northwest League MVP Blaine Crim. Check it out at


Doug Novsek, who has worked alongside Idaho head men’s coach Zac Claus for 10 of his 31 years in coaching, has been promoted to associate head coach of the Vandals, Claus announced.

“Doug has been an absolutely incredible asset to our program from day one and it was a slam dunk to promote him to associate head coach,” Claus is quoted in the announcement.

Novsek joined the Vandals last season as an assistant after a year as a quality control consultant at Southern Illinois, his alma mater. He also coached for three seasons at the University of Evansville and spent nine at the University of Nevada, the last six as associate head coach, where he and Claus had worked together.


Ken Lingohr scored a hole-in-one on the 140-yard fourth hole at Chewelah on Thursday (July 23) using a 7-iron.

Ed Cassens scored his seventh hole-in-one on the 160-yard 17th hole at Manito.

David Hargreaves scored a hole-in-one on the 186-yard eighth hole at Downriver using a 5-wood.

Larry Bennett scored a hole-in-one on the 134-yard first hole at The Ranch Club (Priest River) using a 5-iron.

Guy Jorgenson scored a hole-in-one on the 13th hole at Deer Park using an 8-iron.

Dave Lafferty scored a hole-in-one on the 108-yard 11th hole at Indian Canyon using an 8-iron.

Juan Adams scored a hole-in-one on the 193-yard eighth hole at Indian Canyon using a 3-wood.

Drew McLaughlin scored a hole-in-one on the 154-yard 17th hole at Manito using a 6-iron.

Letters of intent

Eastern Washington women’s track & field: Hunter Holsten, thrower, Cheney, seventh 2019 State 2A shot put, second-team All-Great Northern League as a junior; Vatoria Keyes, thrower, Edmonds, Washington (Edmonds-Woodway HS); Emily Madura, sprinter, Vancouver, Wash. (Mountain View HS); Jasmine Tiatia, thrower, Vancouver (Evergreen HS); Emmy Engle, javelin, Okanogan, Wash./University of Washington, graduate student transfer, will have one year of eligibility.

Eastern Washington men’s track & field: Noah Cherrington, sprinter/hurdler, Lakeside-Nine Mile Falls, 2019 won State 1A 110m and 300m hurdles and ran legs on winning 4x100 and 4x400 relays for state champion Eagles; Chris Homen, sprinter/hurdler, Ferris, 2019 third in State 4A 110 hurdles, first-team All-GSL hurdles; Daniel Miller, thrower, West Valley, 2019 All-GNL shot put; Daniel Gaik, sprinter, Kent, Wash. (Kentwood HS).

Idaho women’s golf: Transfers: Jaime Bellingham, Auckland, New Zealand/UMKC New Zealand; Casey Leatherman, Huntsville, Texas/Tarleton State, both have one year of eligibility.


Spokane-based teams Morris Clark Roofing finished second in its division and Northwest Merchants were fourth in its division during the Senior Softball USA 2020 Jim Sherman Northwest Championships last week in Salem, Oregon.

Spin Tees from Seattle defeated Morris Clark 20-19, 21-18 to sweep a best-of-three championship series in the Men’s 55+ AA Silver Division. Morris Clark finished with a 1-3 record after splitting two pool games.

Northwest Merchants were 2-3 overall in the 55+ AAA Silver Division, winning its first game in bracket play 26-12 over Seattle Steelheads before losing its next two to be eliminated. It split its two pool games.

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