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Locally: Spokane Shock hire former Everett and Tri-City coach Cedric Walker for 2022 IFL season

UPDATED: Tue., Nov. 2, 2021

Spokane Shock kicker Sawyer Petre (0) launches 50-yard field goal against Northern Arizona in the second quarter of an IFL game on June 19, 2021, in the Spokane Arena.  (DAN PELLE/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
Spokane Shock kicker Sawyer Petre (0) launches 50-yard field goal against Northern Arizona in the second quarter of an IFL game on June 19, 2021, in the Spokane Arena. (DAN PELLE/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
From staff and news services

Cedric Walker, one of the more successful defensive coordinators in indoor professional football in recent years, is getting his third opportunity as a head coach.

The Spokane Shock announced on their website that they have hired the 50-year-old former head coach of the Af2’s Everett Hawks (2007) and Tri-City Fever (2008) to be their new head coach and defensive coordinator for the 2022 Indoor Football League season.

He replaces Billy Back, who guided the Shock to a 6-7 record in the 2021 season that ended with a 44-33 loss to the Frisco Fighters in the IFL playoff quarterfinals.

Walker, a two-time All-American defensive back at Stephen F. Austin, has won indoor league championships as a player and coach. He played for seven indoor teams in a 10-year career, earning an ArenaBowl title in 1997 with the Arizona Rattlers. His statistics include 614 tackles and 23 interceptions.

In seven coaching stops, he has either been a head coach or defensive coordinator. He was DC of the 2015 ArenaBowl champion San Jose SaberCats. His teams consistently showed improvement over teams from the season before he arrived, regularly finishing among the best in points allowed and sacks.

His most recent stop was with the Baltimore Brigade from 2018-19.

• Kicker Sawyer Petre and defensive back Mike Green of the Spokane Shock were 2021 All-Indoor Football League first-team selections.

Petre, the special teams player of the week twice during the season, led all IFL kickers in kick-scoring and field goals. He connected on 15 of 26 field-goal attempts, 57.7% accuracy, averaged 1.3 a game and made 58 of 67 extra points for 103 points.

That’s 10 more than the runner-up, Ernesto Lacayo of the Arizona Rattlers, who made 84 extra points, but only six field goals in 11 tries.

Green led the league in tackles with 101 and averaged 8.4 tackles a game. He also had eight pass breakups, one interception and recovered two fumbles.

In six IFL seasons, Green has 24 interceptions and been named first-team all-league five times. He was defensive rookie of the year in 2015.

• The IFL announced a 19-week, 120-game regular-season schedule for 2022 that will kick off March 12. The Shock’s first game will be in the Spokane Arena on March 18, against the defending champion Massachusetts Pirates.

Spokane’s 16-game regular-season schedule will include eight home and eight road games and be interrupted by two byes (April 9 and May 21) and will end July 16 in the Arena against the Northern Arizona Wranglers.

The IFL’s 14th season will include all 11 teams that played the pandemic-impacted 2021 season, plus two former members, the Quad Cities Steamwheelers and San Diego Strike Force, and two first-year teams, the Bay Area Panthers and Vegas Knight Hawks.

The league announced it will separate into two conferences with the top four teams in each conference qualifying for the 2022 playoffs. No breakdown was announced.

The Shock schedule (all home games in the Arena at 7:05 p.m.):

March 18, Massachusetts Pirates; March 26, at Northern Arizona Wranglers; April 2, Tucson Sugar Skulls; April 9, bye; April 18, at Bay Area Panthers; April 23, Arizona Rattlers; April 30, at Frisco Fighters; May 8, at Vegas Knight Hawks; May 14, Bay Area Panthers; May 21, bye; May 29, at Arizona Rattlers; June 4, Vegas Knight Hawks; June 11, Duke City Gladiators; June 19, at Mass. Pirates; June 24, San Diego Strike Force; July 2, at Duke City Gladiators; July 9, at Tucson Sugar Skulls; July 16, Northern Arizona Wranglers.

College scene

Max McCullough got his redshirt senior basketball season at Eastern Oregon off to a hot start. And then Gonzaga happened.

The Post Falls HS graduate, who said he likely tore his ACL while making a bank shot in Sunday’s 115-62 exhibition loss to GU, had scored 64 points in two games, getting 38 in 35 minutes in a 92-82 win over Montana Tech and 26 in a 77-74 loss to Carroll College, running his streak of double-figure games to 14 dating to last season.

McCullough was 10-of-16 shooting against Montana Tech, including 8 of 14 on 3-pointers and 10 of 10 on free throws. He scored 22 in the second half against Carroll, going 8 of 11 from the field and 8 of 9 on free throws.

• Idaho junior Beyonce Bea, a two-time All-Big Sky Conference selection, has been named the preseason most valuable player in voting by the conference women’s basketball coaches, sports information directors and select media, who also named Montana junior forward Carmen Gfeller of Colfax to the preseason all-conference team.

Bea was a unanimous first-team selection last season after averaging 16.5 ppg and shooting 42.6% from the field. She was a third-team pick as a freshman.

Gfeller was third-team All-Big Sky last season after starting all 23 games and playing 29.1 minutes a game. She led the Lady Griz with 14.3 ppg, sixth best in the Big Sky, and shot 52.9% from the field, the eighth-best single-season percentage in Montana history.

• Gonzaga junior Matthew Hollingworth and sophomore Sasha Trkulja finished second in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Northwest Super Regional Division I doubles in Seattle on Oct. 25, dropping the finals 6-1, 6-2 to a second-seeded Stanford team.

• For the third week in a row, Idaho claimed Big Sky Conference women’s golfer of the week honors when grad student Valeria Patino received the award on Oct. 28 following her sixth-place finish in the Rainbow Wahine Invitational.

Patino, who followed Vicky Tsai, who won the award the previous two weeks, shot even-par 216, closing with a 1-under 71 in the tournament that ended the Vandals’ season.

• Eight area athletes, half of them repeaters, are among the record 107 athletes named to the 2021 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Volleyball All-Academic team with GPAs of 3.2 or above.

  • Central Washington: Ashley Kaurman, so., Lake City, 3.87 GPA; Hannah Stires, fr., Lakeside-Nine Mile Falls, 3.97. Montana State Billings: Joelle Mahowald, sr., Lakeside-Nine Mile Falls, 3.63; Olivia Schwartz, fr., Ferris, 3.69. Northwest Nazarene: Mattisyn Cope, jr., Lakeside-Rathdrum, 3.44; Megan MacKinney, fr., Coeur d’Alene Charter, 3.80. Seattle Pacific: Paige Dawson, jr., Northwest Christian, 3.66. Western Oregon: Carly Cox, so., Ferris, 3.84.

• Cross country runners Erin Mullins and Kennan Schrag have been named the Washington State University Academic Services’ Student-Athletes of the Month for October.

Mullins, a senior and the women’s recipient, has a 3.57 GPA who put her multimedia journalism degree to use writing for the Daily Evergreen. Besides covering news around campus, she is the beat writer for Cougars soccer. Last season, she was 13th in the Pac-12 Cross Country Championships and qualified for the NCAA Championships.

Schrag, who will graduate this fall with a master’s in exercise physiology after earning a bachelor’s in kinesiology, spends his time away from training by helping coach the Pullman High School cross country and track teams. He has been his WSU team representative on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee the last two years.

Golf

The inaugural Symetra Tour Circling Raven Championship lived up to its billing: A showcase for the next class of graduates to the LPGA.

Eight of the 10 women who earned LPGA cards for the 2022 season appeared in the Aug. 27-29 Symetra Tour stop at the Worley, Idaho, course, five with top-12 finishes.

The 2021 Symetra Tour graduates who competed at Circling Raven with their finish on the 2021 money list and Circling Raven finish:

1, Lilia Vu, Fountain Valley, California, T12. 2, Fatima Fernandez Cano, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, T5. 3, Casey Danielson, Osceola, Wisconsin, T9. 4, Sophia Schubert, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, T5. 7, Amanda Doherty, Atlanta, missed cut. 8, Allison Emrey, Charlotte, North Carolina, T5. 9, Morgane Metraux, Lausanne, Switzerland, missed cut. 10, Rachel Rohanna, Marianna, Pennsylvania, T55.

Softball

Heather Tarr, University of Washington’s head coach since 2005 and an assistant with the USA Softball Women’s National Team since 2017, has been named the sixth female head coach of the WNT. The team’s first major competition will be the 2022 World Games.

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