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Locally: Former commissioner Jack Friel and Idaho QB John Friesz to be inducted into Big Sky Hall of Fame

July 5, 2022 Updated Tue., July 5, 2022 at 3:54 p.m.

Former Idaho quarterback John Friesz to be inducted into Big Sky Hall of Fame.  (Cowles Publishing)
Former Idaho quarterback John Friesz to be inducted into Big Sky Hall of Fame. (Cowles Publishing)
From staff and news services

From staff and news services

A date, time and place have been set for the long-delayed inaugural Big Sky Conference Hall of Fame induction. It’ll be July 23, 6:30 p.m., at the Davenport Grand Hotel in Spokane.

The induction, 28 months in the making, was originally scheduled for March 14, 2020, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tickets are $80 and can be purchased through the Big Sky website,

The 14-member class includes the late former Washington State University men’s basketball coach, Jack Friel, who followed a 30-year career leading the Cougars by becoming the Big Sky’s first commissioner (1963-71), and former University of Idaho football quarterback John Friesz from Coeur d’Alene (1986-89), the Big Sky’s first Walter Payton Award winner.

Others in the inaugural class:

Jared Allen, Idaho State, football (2000-03); Shannon (Cate) Schweyen, Montana women’s basketball (1988-92); Angela Chalmers, Northern Arizona, women’s track & field (1982-87); Dave Dickenson, Montana, football (1992-95); Stacy Dragila, Idaho State, women’s track & field (1993-96);

Milton “Dubby” Holt, Idaho State, track & field/administrator (1963-79); Damian Lillard, Weber State, men’s basketball (2008-12); Lopez Lomong, Northern Arizona, men’s cross country/track & field (2005-07); Ron Mann, Northern Arizona, cross country/track & field coach (1980-04);

Ellie (Rudy) Vanswearingen, Montana State, women’s track & field (2004-08); Robin Selvig, Montana, men’s basketball (1970-74)/women’s basketball coach (1978-2016); Jan Stenerud, Montana State, football (1964-66)/skiing (1962-64).

College scene

Post-season baseball honors continue to come in for Gonzaga sophomore starting right-handed pitcher Gabriel Hughes.

Last week, Hughes was named to the second All-America teams by Baseball America magazine and following selection to the first All-America team by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and first-team All-West Region by America Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings.

He’s also a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award that yearly goes to the player considered the top amateur in the country. A Freshman All-American in 2021, Hughes had an 8-3 record, 3.21 ERA and 138 strike outs in 98 innings, which ranks ninth nationally, in 2022.

• The West Coast Conference All-Academic team in baseball included two Gonzaga Prep graduates at GU with GPAs of 3.2 or above, Connor Doballes, a junior, and redshirt senior Jack Machtolf.

• Led by junior Jeremiah Guest, who was honored a second straight year, six members of the Gonzaga men’s crew were named Intercollegiate Rowing Coaches Association Scholar Athletes with GPAs of 3.50 or better.

The others: Jack Githens, sophomore; Nicholas Kittleman, so.; Joey Moore, junior; Aidan Smith, so.; and Anders Svenningsen, jr.

• Washington State and Idaho were named College Swimming Coaches Association of America Scholar All-America Teams for the spring 2022 semester with GPAs of 3.3 or higher.

It is the 12th straight semester the Cougars have earned the honor, the eighth under head coach Matt Leach, and 22nd in program history. WSU’s 3.58 team GPA, third highest in the Pac-12, featured eight with a perfect 4.0.

WSU had five CSCAA Scholar All-Americans, including senior Taylor McCoy (Pullman), named to the second team for a program-record fifth CSCAA honor. She had a 4.0 working on a master’s degree. Also honored were seniors Chloe Larson (first team, 3.88) and Lauren Burckel (second team, 3.91) and freshmen Noelle Harvey (second team, 3.64) and Sophie Macy (second team, 3.67).

Idaho swimming and diving was recognized for the second-consecutive semester and 12th time since 2015. Coach Mark Sowa‘s Vandals had a 3.34 GPA that also included eight with a 4.0.

High school scene

Carmen Kiewert of Deer Park and Magdalyn Ogden of Clarkston were named 2021-22 winners of WIAA, Gesa Credit Union, the Dairy Farmers of Washington and Les Schwab Tires’ 10th annual Smart Choices Scholarships.

They received $5,000 scholarships to the schools of their choice. In addition, Alice Groza of Lewis and Clark and Kenzi Pedersen of Garfield-Palouse, among finalists for the Smart Choices award, received $1,000 scholarships.

Kiewert, a three-sport athlete with a 4.0 GPA, will attend Park University in Parkville, Missouri, where she will play soccer. She was Deer Park senior class president and DECA president the last two years.

She helped lead the Stags to the 1A State soccer championship in 2021 after they finished fourth in 2018 and was All-Northeast A League first team in soccer and second-team All-State as a senior, and was the NEA girls’ tennis singles MVP this spring.

Ogden, who will attend Grand Canyon University, was also a three-sport athlete with a 4.0 GPA. She earned 11 letters, graduated as class valedictorian, was captain of her basketball, volleyball and archery teams, and was a member of the WIAA LEAP Committee.

At Clarkston, she participated in volleyball, basketball and tennis, highlighted by a third-place State 2A finish in basketball in 2019. Ogden was All-GSL 2A in basketball as a senior, all-state in volleyball and was a state champion archer through the National Archer in Schools program.

Track & field

CJ Allen, a former Washington State University All-American (2017), placed fourth in the 400m hurdles at the USTAF National Championships last week in Eugene, Oregon, with a PR 48.17 seconds, and is the first Team USA alternate for next month’s World Championships in Eugene.

Three other former Cougars had top-10 finishes: Brock Eager (2019), 7th, men’s hammer (242 feet, 11 inches); Paul Ryan of Moscow (2021), 9th, men’s 1.500 (3:46.60); and Kiana Davis (2017), 9th, women’s triple jump, with a season-best 42-11¾.


Caleb Heim has been hired as the University of Idaho’s director of strength and conditioning after serving as assistant strength and conditioning coach at the University of South Dakota since early 2018, Vandals athletics director Terry Gawlik announced.

She also announced that Jack Rinzel, a graduate assistant at South Dakota, was hired as Idaho’s assistant strength coach.

At South Dakota, Heim worked with the football, women’s basketball and softball teams. The football team earned a trip to the 2021 FCS playoffs and the women’s basketball team won three consecutive Summit league championships, had four NCAA Tournament appearances and advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2022.

Rinzel played lacrosse at Division III Stevenson University in Maryland and is a national-level powerlifter.

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