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Locally: University of Idaho to add Ray McDonald to Athletics Wall of Honor Saturday

Sept. 5, 2022 Updated Mon., Sept. 5, 2022 at 8:26 p.m.

Former Idaho running back Ray McDonald led the NCAA in rushing yards during the 1996 season with 1,329.  (Cowles Publishing)
Former Idaho running back Ray McDonald led the NCAA in rushing yards during the 1996 season with 1,329. (Cowles Publishing)
From staff and news services

Some of the University of Idaho’s greatest athletes will be back in the spotlight on the Moscow campus coming right up.

Ray McDonald, a two-time football All-American in the mid-1960s, will be inducted into the Vandal Athletics Wall of Honor on Saturday, Sept. 17, when Idaho opens its home football schedule against Drake University.

A banner with McDonald’s name and No. 32 jersey will be officially unveiled in a ceremony during the game, joining five other Vandals greats high along the west wall of the Kibbie Dome.

“Thunder Ray,” as he was dubbed while overwhelming opposing defenses, was inducted into the Vandal Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008.

On Nov. 4, as a highlight of Family Weekend, the 2022 Vandal Hall of Fame class – six individuals and one team – will be inducted during ceremonies at the Best Western Plus University Inn in Moscow.

The next day, Mike Iupati and John L. Smith (football), Haley Janicek (volleyball), Hannah Kiser (track & field/cross country), Dwight “Red” Morrison (men’s basketball), Barrie Steele (administrator) and the 2005 women’s cross country team will be recognized at the Big Sky Conference football game against Eastern Washington in the Kibbie Dome.

With McDonald’s size (6-foot-4, 240 pounds) and speed (9.9 seconds in the 100), he was bigger than most linemen and faster than most defensive backs.

He compiled 2,916 yards and 39 touchdowns in his three-year varsity career, which included an NCAA-leading 1,329 yards in 1966. His 132.9 yards-per-game average is an Idaho record that has yet to be threatened.

In track and field, he was a two-time All-American in the shot put and discus.

McDonald was selected in the first round of the 1967 NFL draft by Washington, the 13th overall pick, a personal choice by owner Edward Bennett Williams, and the highest any Vandal has been drafted. He signed a three-year guaranteed contract for $100,000, but health issues and injuries combined to curtail his career and he was out of pro football by 1969.

“When you look at what he was able to do at Idaho, both in football and track and field, it is clear he was one of the most outstanding athletes in our celebrated history,” said UI director of athletics Terry Gawlik.

Defensive back Michael Noil is wearing No. 32 this season with a patch that features McDonald’s name and the years he played at Idaho.

The 2022 Vandal Hall of Fame Class:

Iupati (2006-09), a consensus All-American guard, was the second highest draft pick in UI history behind McDonald, going 17th overall to the San Francisco 49ers in 2010. He played 11 seasons in the NFL, the last two with the Seattle Seahawks, twice earning All-Pro honors.

Smith (1989-94) is the winningest football coach in Idaho history with a 53-21 record, taking the Vandals to the 1-AA playoffs five times in his in six seasons, reaching the semifinals in 1993. He won Big Sky Conference championships in 1990 and ’92.

Janicek (2005-08) was a four-time All-Western Athletic Conference selection (twice first team) who set school records in three career kills categories and was in the top 10 in six other categories. She was a three-time WAC All-Academic selection.

Kiser (2010-14), a distance specialist, was a 20-time WAC champion, two-time Indoor All-American and one of only two women in Idaho history to qualify for the NCAA Championships in cross country (2011), indoor track and field (2012, 2013) and outdoor track and field (2011). She was also a USTFCCCA and WAC All-Academic honoree.

Morrison (1950-54), second on Idaho’s all-time single-season rebound list (333) and third in career rebounds (791), was first-team All-Pacific Coast Conference Northern Division in 1953-54. He led Idaho to three straight second-place finishes in the PCC North and was the 14th overall pick of the Boston Celtics in the 1954 NBA draft. He played three seasons in the NBA.

Steele (1986-2019) was highly regarded nationally as an athletic trainer and was selected to two halls of fame by his peers. He served the athletic health care needs of thousands of UI student-athletes and impacted countless athletic training students as a leader and mentor.

Coach Wayne Phipps’ 2005 women’s cross country team produced a team score of 30 and the individual champion in Danielle Olson in capturing the Vandals’ first WAC championship in any sport, and the first of five in cross country, which is second in WAC history.

Golf

Manito Golf & Country Club fared quite well in the inaugural Pacific Northwest PGA Callaway Golf Challenge last week at Gamble Sands Golf Course in Brewster, Washington.

Anton Rosen, first assistant pro at the Spokane course, was the individual winner in the 18-hole tournament with an 8-under-par 64; Andrew Von Lossow tied for second and shared low amateur honors at 4-under 66; and Jay Garthwaite claimed low amateur net honors, tying for fifth overall at 5-under 67.

“It’s the best round he’s ever played,” Rosen said of Garthwaite.

Von Lossow and Garthwaite joined Manito head pro Gordon Corder and amateur Jordon Piscopo to tie for second in the team competition, one stroke behind the winners. Rosen’s team finished eighth.

Corder tied 10th at 3-under 69 in the individual event.

Hockey

The Spokane Chiefs added a home exhibition game to their preseason slate.

They’ll meet the Portland Winterhawks on Sept. 15 at 5 p.m. at the ice arena inside the Eastern Washington University Recreation Center in Cheney.

Eastern students can attend for free with valid student ID. General admission tickets are $10 and available by phone (509-535-PUCK), in-person at the Chiefs’ box office at the Arena or on the Chiefs’ website.

It’s Spokane’s fifth exhibition, sandwiched between two in Everett (Sept. 9 vs. Everett and Sept.10 vs. Seattle) and two in Tri-City (Sept. 16 vs. Portland and Sept. 18 vs. Tri-City).

• The Chiefs will have an open house Wednesday (Sept. 7) from 5-7 p.m. at the Arena so fans can meet the players, take pictures and get autographs. Coaches will be cooking hot dogs, there will be fun activities for the kids and you can sign up for guided tours of the team facilities.

Fans can buy tickets for the Sept. 15 exhibition game against Portland at EWU and the Chiefs’ Oct. 1 home opener against Kamloops.

Senior games

Gayle Wyche of Nine Mile Falls has qualified for the 2023 National Senior Games.

Wyche, 56, followed up winning a silver medal in pickleball in women’s singles at the 2022 Montana Senior Games in June by capturing gold, silver and bronze medals at the Washington Senior Games Aug. 5-8 in Lacey.

In Washington, Wyche won gold in women’s singles 55-59 Division III 3.5 and under, bronze in women’s singles 50-59 Division III 3.5 and under and teamed with Margaret Berg, 61, of Litchfield, New Hampshire, for silver in women’s doubles 50-59 Division III 3.5 and under.

In Montana, Wyche was second in women’s singles 55-59 for silver.

She also teamed with husband Bill Wyche in mixed doubles in Washington.

They finished sixth in the 55-59 Division III 3.5 and under.

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