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Locally: With Walter Payton Award announcement looming, Eastern Washington’s Eric Barriere collects more honors

UPDATED: Mon., Dec. 27, 2021

Eastern Washington quarterback Eric Barriere looks downfield against Idaho in an Oct. 16 game at Roos Field in Cheney.  (DAN PELLE/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
Eastern Washington quarterback Eric Barriere looks downfield against Idaho in an Oct. 16 game at Roos Field in Cheney. (DAN PELLE/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
From staff and wire reports

From staff and wire reports

While the Football Championship Subdivision world awaits the naming of the Walter Payton Award recipient as the division’s most outstanding offensive player ahead of the Jan. 7 FCS championship game in Frisco, Texas, FCS All-America teams keep rolling out.

Eastern Washington quarterback Eric Barriere, the Big Sky Conference Offensive Player of the Year and a Walter Payton Award finalist, and his offensive lineman teammate, Tristen Taylor, a Big Sky first-team selection, continue to collect honors.

In the most recent announcements, Barriere was selected the quarterback on the Football Championship Subdivision Athletic Directors Association team that only recognizes the top players at 11 positions across all FCS institutions.

He was also named first-team All-America by HERO Sports, Stats Perform and Athlon Sports FCS, which only names one team. Barriere was also named to the Associated Press FCS second team and he and Taylor were named to the second-team offense by the American Football Coaches Association, and Taylor was a third-team selection by HERO Sports and Stats Perform.

Barriere and Taylor were joined on HERO Sports teams by four teammates, wide receiver Talolo Limu-Jones, third-team offense; WR Efton Chism III, freshman team offense; WR Freddie Roberson, sophomore team offense; and defensive lineman Joshua Jerome, sophomore team defense.

The HERO selections also included Idaho junior linebacker Tre Walker on the second All-America team, senior fullback Logan Kendall on the third All-America team and wide receiver Terez Traynor on the sophomore team.

Barriere and Taylor were instrumental in the Eagles advancing to the FCS playoffs for the 15th time in school history, advancing to the second round, and averaging a school-record 555.7 yards of total offense per game.

Taylor played four positions on the offensive line during his final year. In Barriere’s final year, he completed 361 of 552 passes with eight interceptions for 5,070 yards and 46 touchdowns, averaging 390.0 yards per game. He added 222 net yards rushing when you subtract the 248 he lost on sacks, etc.

Limu-Jones, a redshirt junior, had the first 1,000-yard season of his career with 1,122 on 71 catches with six touchdowns. Chism led the Eagles with nine receiving touchdowns and had 735 yards on 57 receptions. Roberson had 779 yards and six touchdowns on 49 catches. Jerome, a redshirt sophomore, had 61 tackles (30 solo) with 14½ for 55 yards in losses and seven quarterback sacks.

Walker led Idaho with 105 tackles, three for losses. He had three passes defended and forced a fumble in earning first-team All-Big Sky. Kendall, a unanimous first-team All-Big Sky selection, averaged 4.43 yards per carry and scored two TDs. Traynor led UI with 50 receptions for 737 yards and three touchdowns.

• Walker, who earned five All-America honors for his performance in the shortened spring season, was named to play in the 2022 East-West Shrine Bowl Feb. 3 in Las Vegas. In its 97th year, it is the longest running college all-star football game in the country.

Basketball

Brett Sports, the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians and Numerica Credit Union announced that $15,762 was raised from the two Numerica Hooptown USA Holiday Series basketball games in the Spokane Arena this month featuring the Washington State University men’s team.

The proceeds from the fundraiser will be donated evenly – $7,881 to each – between Big Brothers and Sisters Inland Northwest and Spokane Hoopfest Foundation, the announcement said.

College scene

For the second time this season – and the second time in a month – Montana junior Carmen Gfeller from Colfax was named Big Sky Conference women’s basketball player of the week on Dec. 21 after she averaged 16 points and 4.5 rebounds while shooting 53% in two Grizzlies victories.

Gfeller ranks fourth in the conference in scoring (14.7) and is second, and 21st nationally, in field goal percentage (58.3%).

• Gonzaga, coming off a 34-19 season and West Coast Conference championship, is ranked No. 35 in Collegiate Baseball’s preseason Top 50 poll for 2022 with Zags freshman All-American Gabriel Hughes, the reigning WCC Pitcher of the Year, projected to repeat the honor.

Hughes is No. 42 in MLB.com’s 2022 Draft Prospect rankings.

Washington State, coming off a 26-23 season, is among those receiving votes in the Collegiate Baseball poll, listed at No. 53.

• Washington State announced that four of its baseball series in 2022 will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks. That includes all three games of The Boeing Apple Cup Series at Washington March 18-20, home for USC (April 29-May 1), at UCLA (May 13-15) and home against Arizona State (May 19-21) at Bailey-Brayton Field.

Football

Jack Thompson, the former Cougars quarterback great and school hall-of-famer, is the Washington State University representative on the first Pac-12 Football Alumni Council designed to advise the conference on ways to strengthen its football product.

The conference “luminaries” will focus on ways to drive up interest and attendance and identify strategies for success. The goal is to elevate the football brands of all the schools and the Pac-12, support recruiting efforts, and ultimately maximize College Football Playoff selections with the goal to win national championships.

Golf

Sean Mullan, a former University of Idaho Vandal from England, used a 5-under-par 66 in the final round to charge into a seven-way tie for 13th during the Outlaw Tour’s Wigwam (Red) Championship Dec. 13-15 in Litchfield Park, Arizona. Mullan’s first two rounds were 70-69 as he finished at 8-under 205.

• Tickets are on sale for the 2022 Spokane Golf Show, scheduled for Feb. 19-20 at the Spokane Convention Center. Show hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Feb. 19 and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Feb. 20. Find more information at spokanegolfshow.com.

Soccer

Midfielder Lindsey Turner will join Washington State in January as the second player the Cougars signed through the transfer portal in December after she played one season at UC Riverside, WSU coach Todd Shulenberger announced.

From Chino Hills, California, Turner started all 16 games she played for the Highlanders in the fall, amassing 1,038 minutes. She had one goal and one assist and was named to the Big West Conference All-Freshman Team. “She will help provide depth in our already talented midfield,” Shulenberger said in the news release.

Turner, who will have three years of eligibility at WSU, played high school varsity for two years, being named the team MVP both years, before focusing on club ball, where she helped her team her team reach the national championship semifinals in 2018.

Kellsi Parson, the Northwest Athletic Conference Eastern Region Women’s Soccer Coach of the Year in her second season as North Idaho College’s interim coach, has had the interim tag removed and has been named the women’s coach, the school announced.

The Lewiston native guided the Cardinals to a second-place finish and 8-4 record in the Eastern Region in 2021.

They finished 12-6 overall and made it to the second round of the NWAC playoffs.

Volleyball

Three members of the Spokane Area Volleyball Referees Association worked the 2021 NCAA Division I tournament. Ben Goodwin was a referee and Devin Darrough and Juli Jones were line judges during the first and second rounds at the University of Washington.

Patty Kells of SAVRA officiated at the Northwest Athletic Conference finals in Tacoma.

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