Monthly Archives: September 2014

Alyssa Nilles follows dream to become a veterinarian


Alyssa Nilles helps take care of Marshal, who is recovering from surgery.

Alyssa Nilles has spent the last week at the Medical Lake Veterinary Clinic getting herself familiar with the office and duties assigned to her. For Nilles, who is the clinic’s newest technician, this is the first step to achieving her dream of becoming a veterinarian.

With her father and grandfather being farmers, Nilles, a Medical Lake High School alumna, has spent her entire life around animals. The spark for her goal to become a veterinarian came during a moment in her childhood.

“I bottle-fed a calf when I was in elementary school and I thought ‘I ought to take care of these animals,'” Nilles said. “My grandpa asked then me if I wanted to be a veterinarian.”

Nilles added that her mother’s love and compassion for animals also inspired her.

“One time we rescued a dog from a puppy mill,” Nilles said. “When we brought it home, she sat underneath the table with that dog for two hours.”

Although nearby schools like the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University offered a good program, Nilles decided to leave Medical Lake and attend Whitman College in Walla Walla.

After she graduated college and finished her prerequisites for veterinary school, Nilles returned to Medical Lake and applied for a job at the clinic.

“I job shadowed the doctors and my family used to bring the animals to the office,” Nilles said.

“I didn’t expect to get the job right away. I would have been happy just to volunteer here.”

According to Jeanette Dutton, the clinic’s business manager, technicians rotate office positions and perform a variety of tasks every day, including preparing for surgery, dental cleaning, postoperative duties, reception, lab work and monitoring anesthesia.

“This type of model requires extra training,” Dutton said. “It can take a technician up to a year to get everything down.”

Dutton said that Nilles will work under head technician Heather Smith, though the other technicians and doctors are also taking their time to help her learn the ropes.

“We train more than other clinics and we’re extremely picky about who we hire,” Dutton said.

Nilles wants to attend WSU to receive her veterinary certification. Clinic doctors Heather O’Bannon and Trina Dutton both attended the school and Nilles hopes to learn everything she can from both of them.

“I plan on asking them so many questions,” Nilles said.

When asked if anything makes her nervous about working at the clinic, Nilles replied “the phone calls.”


Cheney swimming beats Ellensburg in home opener

Cheney sophomore Alexis Schmidt swims during the 200-yard medley relay. Schmidt, Makenzie Norman, Tenley Nelson and Brittany Meyer finished the event in 2 minutes and 2.71 seconds to qualify for state.

The Cheney high girls swimming team had a successful home opener, Sept. 20, by defeating Ellensburg 87-82.

The Blackhawks kicked off the meet with a bang as the team of Makenzie Norman, Alexis Schmidt, Tenley Nelson and Brittany Meyer took first in the 200-yard medley relay. They finished in 2 minutes and 2.71 seconds, qualifying them for state.

Cheney also did well in the other relay events. The team of Meyer, Kaylie Geschke, Melissa Johnson and Izzy Corlett came in second in the 200 freestyle relay in 2:06.78.

Norman, Schmidt, Nelson and Geschke placed first in the 400 freestyle relay in 4:02.64. In the same event, Johnson, Corlett, Sam Abbott and Marissa Hunley took third in 5:09.69.

In addition to team races, several Blackhawk swimmers shined in individual events.

Norman qualified for state in both the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle where she finished in 25.80 and 56.21, respectively. She qualified for state in the 100 backstroke at the Sept. 20 Ephrata jamboree.

Fellow sophomore Schmidt qualified for state in both the 100 butterfly and 200 individual medley where she finished in 1:03.4 and 2:23.24, respectively.

Nelson took third in the 200 individual medley in 2.35.2 and first in the 100 breaststroke in 1:21.38 and. Freshman Evarosa Perry placed second in the 100 breaststroke in 1:29.26.

Geschke placed second in the 200 freestyle in 2:20.53 while Johnson came in third in 2:29.37. Johnson also came in second in the 500 freestyle in 6:28.42 and Abbott finished third in 7:21. Meghan Krantz placed third in the 100 backstroke in 1:23.64.

Head coach Jennifer Hochwalt said the girls swam “amazingly well” for this early in the season.

“The more experienced swimmers got back into shape quickly and the new swimmers are building aerobic capacity,” Hochwalt said. “They’re way ahead of schedule.”

For their next meet, Cheney travels to Clarkston, Sept. 25. Hochwalt said she and the team are looking forward to facing the Bantams.

“We’re hoping we can make the state cut for the 400 relay,” Hochwalt said. “We also might have some of the swimmers try some secondary events.”

Update – Makenzie Norman won her first state swimming title at the end of the season. 

Volleyball drops matches to Clarkston, N.W. Christian

The Cheney High volleyball team continued to experience some hardships on the road after they dropped a Great Northern League (GNL) match to Clarkston 3-1, Sept. 16, and then lost a nonleague contest against Northwest Christian 3-1, two days later.

The game scores of the Clarkston match were 25-20, 25-20, 20-25 and 25-22.

Although the Blackhawks lost to the Bantams, head coach Courtney Webb said her team played one of its best matches of the season.

“They were aggressive and willing to hustle,” Webb said. “Every set was close, but we just couldn’t pull off the win. We need to prepare for those unexpected shots from the other side of the net.”

Senior Kimber Case led the team with 12 digs. Freshman setter Peyton Stark had 14 assists. Sophomore Rylie Pease and junior Ariana Rich had six kills each. Pease also had two aces.

Cheney fared no better against Northwest Christian. The game scores were 25-13, 25-20, 16-25 and 25-14.

Webb said Cheney came out ready to play, however they were not as aggressive as they were in previous matches. Although she did see some areas where her team continues to improve.

“We’re starting to move our feet more, and we’re getting better at our serve-receive game,” Webb said.

Stark added 12 more assists, totaling 26 for the season. Case had two aces while Katie McGourin led the team with five kills and two blocks. Senior Katelynn Smedley led the team with 12 digs.

Cheney, (0-2 GNL, 0-3) sits in fourth place in the GNL standings. After they host fifth-place West Valley (0-3, 0-4), Sept. 23, the Blackhawks hit the road to Pullman to take on the Greyhounds (1-2, 1-2), Sept. 25, then travel to play first-place East Valley (3-0, 3-1).

Webb said the team is working on serve receive and passing. She added that the team discussed their goals for the season.

“We are good attackers, we just need to work on coming out mentally prepared,” Webb said.

Update, Sept. 18, 2017 – Webb did a good job as a coach for Cheney, though she wouldn’t be with the team for the next season. Webb’s Cheney coaching career is still going. She was an assistant girls’ tennis coach in 2016 and was promoted to the head coach’s spot in 2017. 

Fantasy football combines strategy and love for the game


For the first time in years, I rooted for the Green Bay Packers as they played the Detroit Lions on Sunday. After the Lions beat the Packers, 19-7, I shared my angst with the rest of the Cheeseheads across the country.

No, I haven’t joined the Packer Nation, my loyalty lies with the Minnesota Vikings — though Adrian Peterson’s actions don’t sit well with me, but that is a conversation for another day.

Actually, my support for Green Bay revolves around Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who is not only the star of his team, but also the star of the Detroit Direwolves, my first fantasy football team.

I’ll admit I was a little hesitant to sign up for fantasy football at first. Over the years, I’ve watched some friends obsess over their teams. They would jump for joy when a particular player had a great performance or curse because they drafted someone who they thought was going to have a great season, only to get injured halfway through.

Earlier this summer my friend Xopher invited me to join his league, The Continental Gridiron Alliance, which is composed of teams like the Empire State Gargoyles, the Toronto Tops and the Mexico City Aztecs.

The concept was simple enough. You create a team and draft a certain number of players, depending on your leagues’ rules. In my case, I drafted a quarterback, a tight end, a placekicker, two running backs, three wide receivers and eight players for bench slots — it was originally six slots but we added two because some of the players we picked were suspended before the season started.

Every week you set up your roster to go against your opponent’s team. Your teams’ points for that week are based on the statistics of real players that week. On Sunday, Rodgers completed 16 of 27 passes for 162 yards and one touchdown, which earned my team 13.68 fantasy points.

However, fantasy football has changed the way I follow the game. I am not only watching the Vikings, but also I am keeping track of how players on other teams are performing. This has caused me to set aside my prejudice for teams. This can be a conflict to other fans. Someone loyal to the Seattle Seahawks might find themselves cheering for the San Francisco 49ers because they drafted Michael Crabtree as one of their receivers.

Another thing about fantasy football is the history behind it.

According to the How Stuff Works article “How Fantasy Football Works,” modern fantasy football can be traced back to Wilfred “Bill” Winkenbach, a businessman and a limited partner in the Oakland Raiders. During a 1962 Raiders eastern cross-country trip, Winkenbach, along with Oakland Public Relations Director Bill Tunnel and Tribune reporter Scotty Starling, developed a system and a rulebook that would be the basis of fantasy football.

Winkenbach’s system would develop into the first fantasy league — Greater Oakland Professional Pigskin Procrastinators League. Winkenbach organized eight teams for that year’s league.

According to the article, the purpose of the league was “to bring together some of Oakland’s finest Saturday morning gridiron forecasters to pit their respective brains (and cash) against each other in the hope that it would lead to closer coverage of daily happenings in professional football.”

Winkenbach became the commissioner and invited all of the owners into his basement to particulate in the league’s first draft. Nowadays, friends still get together but instead of using sheets and cards, they use their laptops and expert analysis from websites to manage their teams.

I’ll admit I’m glad I signed up for fantasy football. Sure, it’s another thing that eats up my time, but it’s also something that adds to my enjoyment of football.

West Valley’s Darby Howat

A new addition to the Cheney swimming team is Darby Howat. She actually attends West Valley High School and competes for them, but she practices for Cheney. She qualified for state this weekend.

Swimming Darby Howat 1

Darby Howat 3

Darby Howat 2

West Valley High School is a public secondary school in Spokane, Washington. It enrolls over 900 students in grades 9 through 12. The school colors are orange and black and the mascot is the eagles.

As a Gates “Washington Achievers” grant high school,[2] West Valley has started a mentor groups program. Staff members meet with small groups of students daily to discuss issues in students’ lives and connect with the students in the hopes that it will improve student experience and performance.

Student clubs at West Valley High School include band, DECA, Drama, Knowledge Bowl, choir, a robotics team, and Spanish Club. The school offers several sports such as football, basketball, tennis, soccer, track and field, baseball, wrestling, softball, cross country, and cheerleading.

Notable alumni[edit]
Trevor St. John, actor who plays Todd Manning on One Life to Live and other movies/TV shows
Gary Martz, Former MLB player (Kansas City Royals)
Debra L. Stephens, Washington Supreme Court justice
Candace Dempsey, author

Swimming is an individual or team sport that involves using arms and legs to move the body through water. Typically, the sport takes place in pools or in open water (e.g., in a sea or lake). Competitive swimming is one of the most popular Olympic sports,[1] with events in butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle, and individual medley. In addition to these individual events, swimmers take part in relays. Swimming each stroke requires specific techniques, and in competition, there are specific regulations concerning the acceptable form for different strokes.[2] There are also rules put in place to regulate what types of swimsuits are allowed at competitions. Although it is possible for competitive swimmers to incur several injuries from the sport, there are also multiple health benefits associated with the sport.

Evidence of recreational swimming in prehistoric times has been found, with the earliest evidence dating to Stone Age paintings from around 10000 years ago. Written references date from 2000 BC, with some of the earliest references to swimming including the Iliad, the Odyssey, the Bible, Beowulf, the Quran and others. In 1538, Nikolaus Wynmann, a German professor of languages, wrote the first swimming book, The Swimmer or A Dialogue on the Art of Swimming (Der Schwimmer oder ein Zweigespräch über die Schwimmkunst).

Cheney swimming photos

Here are some photos of the Cheney girls swimming team in action this weekend. Two of the girls qualified for state in events, as did the relay team.

Sports - Kaylie Geskhe swimming

Sports - Alexis Scmidt swimming

Sports - Alexis Scmidt swimming 2


Evidence of recreational swimming in prehistoric times has been found, with the earliest evidence dating to Stone Age paintings from around 10000 years ago. Written references date from 2000 BC, with some of the earliest references to swimming including the Iliad, the Odyssey, the Bible, Beowulf, the Quran and others. In 1538, Nikolaus Wynmann, a German professor of languages, wrote the first swimming book, The Swimmer or A Dialogue on the Art of Swimming (Der Schwimmer oder ein Zweigespräch über die Schwimmkunst).

Swimming emerged as a competitive recreational activity in the 1830s in England. In 1828, the first indoor swimming pool, St George’s Baths was opened to the public.[3] By 1837, the National Swimming Society was holding regular swimming competitions in six artificial swimming pools, built around London. The recreational activity grew in popularity and by 1880, when the first national governing body, the Amateur Swimming Association, was formed, there were already over 300 regional clubs in operation across the country.[4]

The routes taken by Webb and T.W. Burgess across the English Channel, in 1875 and 1911, respectively.
In 1844 two Native American participants at a swimming competition in London introduced the front crawl to a European audience. Sir John Arthur Trudgen picked up the hand-over stroke from some South American natives and successfully debuted the new stroke in 1873, winning a local competition in England. His stroke is still regarded as the most powerful to use today.[5]

Captain Matthew Webb was the first man to swim the English Channel (between England and France), in 1875. Using the breaststroke technique, he swam the channel 21.26 miles (34.21 km) in 21 hours and 45 minutes. His feat was not replicated or surpassed for the next 36 years, until T.W. Burgess made the crossing in 1911.

Other European countries also established swimming federations; Germany in 1882, France in 1890 and Hungary in 1896. The first European amateur swimming competitions were in 1889 in Vienna. The world’s first women’s swimming championship was held in Scotland in 1892.[6]

Men’s swimming became part of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 in Athens. In 1902, the Australian Richmond Cavill introduced the front crawl to the Western world. In 1908, the world swimming association, Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA), was formed. Women’s swimming was introduced into the Olympics in 1912; the first international tournament for women outside the Olympics was the 1922 Women’s Olympiad. Butterfly was developed in the 1930s and was at first a variant of breaststroke, until it was accepted as a separate style in 1952.

Yoshihiro Akiyama should get Wanderlei Silva fight

There’s no question that “Sexyama” Yoshihiro Akiyama looked great in his fight against Amir Sadollah this weekend at UFC Fight Night 52 at the Super Saitama Arena in Japan – the first time the Japanese star won in the famed venue that held some of the greatest events in mixed martial arts history. .It was easily his best performance since his UFC debut back in July 2009 when he edged Alan Belcher out of a decision.

After the fight Akiyama was asked who he’d like to face next. He spoke in Japanese and while I couldn’t understand most of what he was saying, the words “Wanderlei Silva” were clear. As soon as he said “The Axe Murderer’s” name, the Japanese crowd let out an “oh.”

Some American fans went on Twitter and jovailly said “Well I guess Akiyama got the news too late.” Silva announced his retirement before the event, stating that the UFC treated fighters poorly and took away his passion for competition. The typical speech you’d hear from UFC veterans who were happy to rake in the money they got for fighting in the promotion, yet will bash the organization if they start losing or don’t get what they want.

That said, I think Silva should come back for one more fight in the UFC. Sexyama should be the opponent and the fight needs to take place in the Saitama Arena, a place that was the house for some of the Axe Murderer’s greatest victories.

Before he retired, Silva beat Brian Stann, March 3, 2013 at Saitama. He coached against rival Chael Sonnen on “The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3“ and was set to face the self-proclaimed Oregon gangster until he fled the scene of a random drug test, followed by Sonnen failing his own pre-fight exam.

Before his departed from the sport, Silva said he wanted to fight in Japan one last time. If there is a way to bring back The Axe Murderer, a fight against Akiyama could be it.

Although both fighters aren’t high on rankings, they are skilled grapplers, durable and are two more the most popular fighters in MMA, especially in Japan. Silva may have the edge when it comes to striking, but Akiyama has better conditioning. The two were scheduled to face each other numerous times in the past, yet the bout never materialized for different reasons.

Yes, Silva has left mixed martial arts and has given fans many memories over the years. He’s one of the favorite fighters of all time. However, fighting a Japanese legend like Sexyama is a much better way to end a career than dropping video pipe bomb bashing his bosses.

As for Akiyama, beating Silva would add to his legacy as one of the greatest Japanese fighters in the sport.