Monthly Archives: February 2013

KnowMads and the Good Husbands bring rhythm and good vibes to students


Al Stover/Reporting and Photography

The sounds of rap music, claps and cheers echoed from the PUB MPR.

Eagle Entertainment presented hip-hop groups the KnowMads and The Good Husbands, who performed on campus, Feb. 1.

The KnowMads, who formed in 2006, are from Seattle and have released six albums and three mixtapes and have performed at over 200 shows, according to their Facebook page. They have also performed with musicians like Macklemore and Nappy Roots.

The Good Husbands, founded in 2010, are from Friday Harbor, Wash., and are looking to represent the Northwest.

According to event coordinator Nick Barr, Eagle Entertainment brought both groups to Eastern after receiving many requests by students. Despite the short amount of time for advertising, Barr was glad to see the excitement from the crowd.

“There’s a lot of things to do on a Friday night, but to come on campus and come to a concert shows great pride,” Barr said.

The Good Husbands opened the show and received an ovation from the group. During their last song, Tyler Hart, one of the group members and a former EWU football player, jumped off of the stage and was caught by the audience.

The Good Husbands enjoyed the energy from the group. According to band member Tyler Roberts, the group has been trying to come perform at Eastern because of Hart’s affiliation with the campus.

“We talked about doing this show for a while and, as we expected, it was an awesome turnout [and] great energy,” Roberts said.

Despite some of the audience leaving after The Good Husbands finished their performance, the KnowMads continued to entertain the crowd. Some of the audience who stayed were given CDs by the group.

The KnowMads ended the concert with their song,“ River Runs Deep,” with fans singing along. For fan Hanna Fleming, whose brother opened for the KnowMads in October 2012, the highlight of the concert was getting a free CD and meeting the group.

“He signed it and asked for my full name,” Fleming said. “It was [great].”

After the show was finished, the KnowMads signed CDs and posters and took pictures with the audience.

For KnowMads members “Pepe” and Tom Wilson, it was a chance to meet some die-hard fans.

“It was a good show,” said Wilson. “The Good Husbands, they killed it too. I guess we’ll have to come back now.”

Upcoming  Eagle Entertainment  events

Coffee House Series: Nick Howard at PUB Lounge on Feb. 7 at noon

Steve Hofstetter, comedian, at PUB MPR on Feb. 7 at 7 p.m.

Coffee House Series: Katy McAllister at PUB on Feb. 14 at noon

Beat-A-Maxx Video DJ Dance Party at PUB MPR on Feb. 21 at 9 p.m.

Drag Show at PUB MPR on Feb. 28 at 7 p.m.

Tall Heights in PUB MPR on March 7 at noon


Kick heard ‘round Cheney


Evan Sykes/The Easterner

By Al Stover
sports editor

Caleb Sherman stood across the cage from Charlie Shultz, who had beaten him 71 days ago. Sherman awaited the sound of the bell before the fight began.

In the beginning of the rematch, Sherman and Shultz exchanged some punches before they took the fight to the ground with Sherman grabbing Shultz’s heel. After a quick battle on the ground, both fighters stood up and Sherman landed a head kick that stunned the crowd and sent Shultz to the ground with a broken jaw.

Sherman and Schultz were just two of many fighters who competed in the King of Cheney 3 event, presented by the Ironfist Fighting Championship at the Cheney plaza, May 12. The event featured 14 fights.

The first match between Shultz and Sherman had taken place at King of Cheney 2.It had ended after Shultz, who has over 20 fights on his record, busted Sherman open in the first round, then scored a submission on Sherman in the second round.

Several seconds after the referee stopped the fight, Sherman waited across the cage and talked with his corner and watched the medical personnel check on Shultz.

Although he was excited for his victory, Sherman also felt guilty for injuring Shultz.
“I just want to get out of here,” Sherman said. “I feel trapped with my guilt.”

As Shultz was carried out of the plaza on a stretcher, the crowd applauded, which Shultz responded to by giving them a thumbs up. Moments later, Sherman was officially declared the winner, which also received an applause from the crowd. While Sherman was concerned for Shultz, he was also glad to have avenged his loss.

“I’m basically a ground-game guy and [Shultz] bested me there, so I worked on that kick just in case with my buddy [Josh] Strickland and my corner [Mack Zavala],” Sherman said.

Alissa McCoy, another one of Sherman’s training partners, had fought Ariel Jones earlier on the card. Although McCoy was able to exchange punches with Jones and land more kicks. She also attempted several single-leg takedowns. However Jones, who was over six feet in height, was able to control the fight and get a technical knockout in the first round. Despite being 0-2, McCoy plans on continuing to fight.

“I think I am going to cut down to 140 [pounds] because I don’t think there are many girls who are six feet tall and 140 pounds. That’s my game plan. I’m gonna fight a couple of more times and I want to get a win.”

Several fighters made their debut at the event. Nalo Leal, a boxer who had never had any MMA training, had taken a fight against Brant Raftis on three hours notice. In the opening seconds of the fight, Raftis went for the takedown. Although he was on his back, Leal was able to secure a guillotine choke to get the submission win.

“I saw a neck and I put my arm around it,” Leal said. “From playing video games that’s the only thing I knew how to do.”

The fight of the night was a heavyweight bout between Tyler Dammerman and Curtis Flett. In both the first and second round, Dammerman and Flett had back-and-forth exchanges of punches before Flett was able to get Dammeron on the ground to delivered several more punches to the body before the referee stopped the fight.

The event ended with the undefeated Christian Nibarger defeating Justen Billing for the King of Cheney 135-pound championship.

For Nickerson, the event went well overall, despite having to turn some people away because of the limited capacity in the plaza.

“There was one injury and I really hate seeing that,” Nickerson said. “I’m not here to see anyone get hurt.”

Nickerson and his staff donated $200 to help Shultz and his family with medical bills from the surgery.

Nickerson plans on holding the next King of Cheney event in June or July.

While the events will continue in Cheney, his fight with Shultz may be the last time Sherman walks into the cage.

“It was going to be this fight, or [a fight] next month was going be it because I was just in it for fun,” Sherman said. “Now that I reconciled my loss and maybe did a little bit more damage than I wanted, I think it’s time to call it. I’ll end with an exclamation point.”

Donations to Shultz and his family can be sent to: 2326 Hwy 25 N. Evans, Wash. 99126

A Fighter’s Identity

A Fighter’s Identity

Al Stover/ Reporting and Photography

Archived photos contributed by SFCC Communicator

Former pro boxer Rick “The Pitbull” Welliver is the owner and the coach of Spokane Boxing and Martial Arts. This is his transformation from a professional boxer to coaching a new generation of athletes.

The assets I used for this production were photographs, title slides and audio. The programs I used for production were Garage Band, iMovie, Photoshop. This is without a doubt one of my favorite journalism projects I’ve ever worked on and it was for a class.

But enough about me, Welliver continues to train fighters at his gym’s new location in Downtown Spokane. The gym is something straight out of “Rocky” with its character messing well with the rest of downtown Spokane.

Welliver has been the subject of numerous articles in the last few years, detailing his milestones in teaching young boxers.  have yet to visit because I’m never in Spokane when it’s opened. I know a few friends who have joined the gym and had Welliver as a teacher and they nothing but positive things about their experience.

Here’s a brief description from Spokane Boxing’s webpage. You don’t have to be the next Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Saul Alvarez to join. The gym is cool place to go if you want to get in shape.

Spokane Boxing was started in 2002 by former professional boxer Rick Welliver, who had been training others since 1994 and had always dreamed of owning his own gym.  Since then, Rick has trained hundreds of men, women, kids, and young adults who have wanted to get in shape or become competitive boxers.  Rick has trained both amateur and professional fighters in his 22 year coaching career.

Welliver’s brother, Chauncey Welliver, opened his own boxing gym as well – its location on Division Street before moving to Hillyard. Both Welliver brothers are quality guys and have always been courteous to me when I’ve talked with them. I’ve had more encounters with Chauncey, having attended of a few the fundraisers he’s hosted in Spokane. He’s got a great prospect in Patrick Ferguson, who might be Spokane’s next top boxer.

Jazz festival blasts off at the speed of light


Eastern Jazz celebrates 13th annual Jazz Dialogue Festival

by Al Stover, Eagle Life Editor – Photo by Teri Simpson for The Easterner

The sound of jazz filled the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox as award-winning trombone player Robin Eubanks performed on stage with the EWU Concert Jazz Ensemble.

The concert was the final act of the 13th annual Jazz Dialogue Festival, a two-day event celebrating and educating students on the tradition of jazz, presented by EWU Jazz, on Jan. 11 and 12.

Eubanks, the featured guest artist at the festival, performed several of his own arrangements with the ensemble. Other artists who performed with the ensemble included vocalist Kate Reid, trumpet player Tito Carrillo, drummer Jeff Davis and guitarist Andrew Synowiec.

Prior to the ensemble and Eubanks taking the stage, the opening act was “Jazz At The Speed of Light.” Director of EWU Jazz Studies Phil Doyle talked about the Metropolitan Area Network Optimized Music Environment project. Created by music producer Craig Volosing and worked on by professors Jonathan Middleton and Steve Simmons, the project allows artists on stage to perform simultaneously with artists across the world via video screen and a connection speed referred to as “Internet two.”

Doyle performed a set with Chip McNeill and Jim Pugh from the University of Illinois then stepped off stage as the audience watched Ari Bragi and Eythor Gummarsson from the University of Reykjaavik, Iceland, play a tune.

In addition to allowing musicians to have a chance at a jam session with musicians across the world, the project was also presented as a teaching tool. Tim Ziler was one of 1,000 students selected to perform onstage with the EWU Faculty Jazz Combo. After Tim’s solo, McNeil and Pugh gave the student some advice to help him improve.

Although he was given a lesson in front of a large audience, Tim felt comfortable about receiving the advice from McNeil and Pugh.

“It was so precise I took it in full,” Tim said. “I’m trying to find someone who filmed it, watch it again and work on those issues.”

The first day of the festival gave hundreds of middle school, high school and college jazz band students from all over Washington state, like Tim, an opportunity to come to Eastern to meet and learn from music professors and various musical guests.

After 30 minutes of warm-up, groups would go on stage and perform a quick concert in front of staff members as well as their classmates. In some scenarios, a musician or a teacher would join the students on stage and give them tips.

Just as Enterprise Middle School’s vocal group was about to leave the stage, they were joined by Reid.

After praising their sound, Reid suggested that the students playing in the rhythm section should soften their sound, then told the vocalists not to take a breath during the “You and I are just like a couple of tots” part in Martin Young’s “You Make Me Feel So Young.”

After the performance, groups had a formal critique. Mike Saccomanno, who teaches at Mead High School and is the director of Vocal Jazz Studies at EWU, critiqued Enterprise Middle School’s vocal group, which he said was an advanced group.

“You see a wide range of people on all different paths,” Saccomanno said. “Some are really advanced and some are much more beginning,”

In addition to the performances and critiques, there were workshops presented by musicians who gave advice to the students.

Carrillo talked about the importance of improvising and challenged the students to memorize notes without looking at the book and practicing outside of the bandroom.

“I’ve been playing this trumpet for 28 years,” Carrillo said. “When you’re hearing me, you’re hearing 28 years of a commitment to practicing and to getting better.”

Nathan Fickle, a middle school student and jazz band student, enjoyed listening to other bands and learning from the instructors.

“It’s always good to know what we need to do better,” Nathan said.

Percussionist Bailey Noble has performed at the festival every year. According to Noble, the festival allows college students to network with band directors and other musicians.

“[You’re] really getting to know musicians close to you and people you can talk to about getting good information about being a musician and gigging,” Noble said.

At the end of the first day, many of the students packed the Showalter Auditorium to watch the EWU Faculty Jazz Combo and the EWU Concert Jazz Ensemble perform with Reid.

For Doyle, one difficult aspect of the festival was highlighting both the students and the artists equally. While the festival was successful, Doyle plans on taking little steps in preparing for the festival in 2014.

“[We will be] taking a look at how we can top this next year, and keep the momentum and every year getting a little bit better,” Doyle said.