Monthly Archives: April 2016

Blackhawks baseball goes 0-3 in league play


The road to the Great Northern League postseason continues to be a rocky one for the Cheney High baseball team, who went 0-3 in league play last week, bringing their losing streak to four games.

The Blackhawks lost to first-place Clarkston (9-1 GNL, 10-1 overall), 8-2, April 19, then dropped both games of an April 22 doubleheader to second-place West Valley (5-6, 9-6), losing 4-2 in the opener and 3-1 in game two. Cheney (5-8, 7-10) is currently fourth in the GNL standings, one half game behind East Valley (5-7, 7-11).

Clarkston took an early lead with three runs in the first inning. After the Blackhawks scored a run in the bottom of the first, the Bantams boosted their lead with runs in the second, third, fifth (two) and sixth innings. Cheney scored their final run in the seventh.

“Clarkston pretty much handed it to us, they hit the ball really well,” head coach Mike Cagle said. “We can’t seem to get that one hit to get us going. The kids have been working hard and the effort is there.”

Riley Jones and Chance Gleave both had two hits and one double each. Cameron Wiseman added one hit.

Gleave (2-2) took the loss on the mound after he shared pitching duties with Jackson Shaw.

In game one against West Valley, Cheney scored two runs in the sixth inning to take a 2-1 lead. The Eagles answered with three runs in the bottom of the sixth to secure the win.

Gleave had two hits while Jones, Wiseman and Andrew Witt added one each.

Dylan Arthur (1-1) took the loss on the mound after he threw a complete game.

“We made some good plays defensively, but offensively we just popped the ball in the air too much,” Cagle said.

In game two, Cheney scored their only run in the seventh inning after Shaw hit a single to bring in Gleave. Gleave had two doubles in the game.

“Chance has been hitting well against the better pitchers of the league, he does a pretty good job of driving the baseball,” Cagle said.

Jacob Lauber (0-1) took the loss in game two after he and Ty Graham, who took over in the fifth, threw a combined three-hitter.

“We brought Jacob up from JV and he threw a lot of strikes for us,” Cagle said. “We also played really good defense behind him.”

Cheney began their final round of GNL play with a road game against East Valley, April 26. They play their final two regular season home games against West Valley, May 3, and Pullman (4-6, 4-8), May 5.

“We’ve just got to work through this offensive funk,” Cagle said. “It’s a matter of us getting everything together at the right time. I’ll say this, I think we’ve earned our stripes. We’ve had some tough games.”


Blackhawks tennis blazes through GNL competition

Tennis Axtell 5

The Cheney High boys’ tennis team continued its path to a second Great Northern League regular season title with wins over Pullman, 4-3, April 19, and West Valley, 6-1, April 21.

Ryan Axtell, No. 1 singles, came back to defeat Marcello Scudiero, 2-6, 6-2, 6-4. After Axtell dropped the first set, head coach Jesse Erickson suggested he “be a little more patient” and “let his opponent’s shots come to him.”

“In those second and third sets, Ryan picked his moments and capitalized when he had an opening,” Erickson said.

Mason Van Stone, No. 2, defeated Jake Pru (6-1, 6-2) and Shogo Starr, No. 4, won his match against Sam Lindstrom (6-3, 6-0).

“Mason has been super aggressive, and he’s been working on attacking the net and putting the ball away,” Erickson said. “Shogo was solid for us once again.”

Dirk Ray and Alex Chernega, No. 3 doubles, capped the winning point for Cheney after they won a close match against Dalton Bankhead and Quinn Bankhead, 7-5, 6-7 (7-9 tiebreaker), 7-6 (8-6 tiebreaker). Chernega scored the winning point after he hit the ball with a strong forehand shot.

Erickson, who called the Pullman match “the most intense one” he’s been a part of, “commended both Ray and Chernega for playing so well under a lot of pressure.”

“They passed the test with flying colors,” he added.

Erickson called the West Valley match a “more a decisive win” for Cheney.

No. 1 Axtell defeated Spencer Glass (6-1, 6-2) while Van Stone, No. 2, shut out Troy Cleaver (6-0, 6-0). Brandon Foster, No. 3, rebounded from his loss at Pullman to defeat Dylan Almeida (6-1, 6-2) while No. 4 Starr kept his undefeated season alive after his win over Hunter Dean (6-1, 6-0).

In doubles, No. 2 Hayden Bennett and Aaron Fillmore defeated Jake Boles and Collin Boucher (6-0, 6-1). No. 3 Chernega and Dixon Gerber, playing together in their first match, won a close match against Nick Crane and Matteo Nunziatti (6-3, 7-5).

“Alex came out with some big serves in that match,” Erickson said. “It was also Dixon’s first varsity match. They hadn’t played together before but they were communicating well and that was good to see.”

The Blackhawks (4-0 GNL, 10-0 overall) begin the second round of GNL play today (April 28) at home against fourth-place East Valley (0-2, 1-5). They’ll compete in the Inland Empire Tournament (location to be determined), April 29-30, then travel to Clarkston to play the second-place Bantams (2-1, 2-1), May 3.

“I couldn’t be happier with how my guys are playing,” Erickson said. “We’ve come though on the close matches. When our singles struggle, our doubles step up and vice versa. It shows how cohesive we are as a unit.”

Bridget Calvert goes 2-0 in league play

Tennis - Bridget Calvert 4 - 04282016

The Cheney High girls’ tennis team hit a rough spot during Great Northern League play after a 6-1 loss to Pullman, April 19, then rebounded to defeat West Valley, 6-1, April 21.

Bridget Calvert, No. 1 singles, went 2-0 after wins over Pullman’s Alexa Yadoma (6-3, 4-6, 7-5) and West Valley’s Ava Raney (6-4, 6-1).

Alannah Lewis, No. 2, picked up a win at West Valley (6-2, 6-2) as did No. 3 Emily Howard (6-1, 6-0) and No. 4 Caitlyn Strong (6-3, 7-5).

No. 2 doubles Danica Gary and Amparo Contreras finished the week with a win against West Valley (6-4, 6-4) as did No. 3 Taylor Gould and Zeb Potter (6-0, 6-1).

Cheney (3-1 GNL, 8-2 overall) is second in the league standings, one match behind first-place Pullman (3-0, 8-2). They travel to East Valley (0-3, 3-4) tonight (April 28), then compete in the Inland Empire tennis tournament, April 29-30.

The Blackhawks will have their final home match of the season against Clarkston (1-2, 1-2), May 3.

Blackhawks golfers take second in GNL tournament

Golf Bag

Golf Bag

The Cheney High boys’ and girls’ golf teams returned to Great Northern League competition in the league tournament at Hangman Valley Golf Course, April 19.

The girls finished second with 137 points, six strokes ahead of East Valley (131). Team scores in the girls’ tournament were calculated via the modified Stableford Scoring system where the highest total of points wins instead of the lowest.

Cheyenne Marchand finished second overall after shooting a 59, which is 34 higher than her score in the March 22 GNL tournament.

Other top finishers for Cheney include Kelsey Smith (26) and Hannah Lemelin (17), who improved their scores from the last tournament, Katarina Ljubisic (20) and Riley Klauss (15), who played in their first GNL event of the season, and Evie Rowe (1).

Head coach Gerald Morton said he “couldn’t be more proud of the girls who stepped up to recapture the second-place spot” in the league. He also commended the strides Marchand is making in her golf game.

“If you look at her score card you can see that on the rare occasion she takes a double- or a triple-bogey, then she follows it up with a string of pars and even throws in a birdie here and there,” Morton said. “Being able to have what (Seattle Seahawks quarterback) Russell Wilson calls ‘athletic amnesia’ and focus on one play or one shot at a time and forget about the previous one is huge and a must in this game.”

Morton also noted Ljubisic, a freshman, was a “big surprise” in the tournament.

“But in reality, her success was not a huge surprise as her work ethic, love of the game and desire to get better resembles that of Marchand’s when she was a freshman,” he added.

The girls also took fifth in the Chewelah Invite April 22 with 417 points.

Gabby Nguyen led Cheney with 133 points, Sierra O’Neill scored 140 and Melissa Aris had 144.

On the boys’ side, the Blackhawks took fourth in the GNL tournament with 494 points. Tyler Koohns finished second overall after shooting an 81.

The boys’ also finished 18th out of 21 teams at the East Valley Invite with 402 points, April 21. Individual scores from the tournament were not available as of press time.

Both golf teams played in the GNL match at the Fairways Golf Course, April 26. The girls are scheduled to play in the Post Falls Invite, April 28.

Snowdon hosts literacy camp night


Imagine a place where you can meet characters like Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz,” Smokey the Bear and Eastern Washington University mascot Swoop while acquiring new books at the same time.

Students and their parents experienced that at Snowdon Elementary School’s “Camp Read-a-Lot” literacy night, April 14, presented by the school’s Curriculum Night Committee.

Once students received their stamp card and bag containing two books, they went around to several rooms that housed a variety of activities. Some activities such as knot tying, charades, sewing and beading bookmarks played off the evening’s camping theme. Other activities like book bag decorating, fishing for books and the book fair focused more on the literacy aspect of the event.

Principal Shawna Fraser said the event was a way for families to come together at the school and connect with teachers, organizations and volunteers.

“It’s also a good way to get books into kids’ hands,” she added.

Organizations such as Spokane County Fire District 3, along with Sparky the Fire Dog, Smokey the Bear and the American Red Cross presented information to families about safety.

Students also met with personnel from Spokane Tribal Fisheries, who demonstrated how their research vessels work and presented information on its sturgeon research project. Program manager Brent Nichols said the organization came to Snowdon’s science night last year and the school invited them to the literacy event.

“We love doing stuff like this,” Nichols said. “We’ll do some events each year and go wherever we are invited. We give people an idea of what we do and the importance of our research at Lake Roosevelt and ancient sturgeon.”

Stacey Smith, whose daughter Chloe met Dorothy and her dog Toto, said the event also gave her child a chance to “mix learning, reading and fun, and integrate it with everyday life.”

“And she got to enjoy it with her friends,” Smith added.

Update Sept. 21, 2017 – It’s always fun to attend and cover events like this. A literacy fair is a great way to get children excited to read books, especially in an age where the Internet dominates everything. I like video games, but I’ll read a book as well.

Eric Young comes to NXT

It looks like WWE has scooped up another former TNA world champion. WWE announced that Eric Young made his NXT debut at last night’s tapings.

Some folks are saying this is the end of TNA, but I think this has more to do with WWE – specifically Triple H – seeing potential in wrestlers outside of the company. It will be interesting to see where Young goes from here.

Poke Post: Ash’s original team in action

Every once in a while I’ll go on the Internet and watch Pokemon battles. This one features Youtuber Pimpnite using Ash Ketchum’s original team: Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Squirrtle, Charmander, Butterfree and Pidgeotto.

Pimpnite likes to make videos and battle with certain themes, which is an interesting concept, especially since you can come up with some creative ideas for lineups.

This particular video strikes a couple of chords with me, one being that I used to watch the “Pokemon” anime growing up and Ash’s original team is one of my favorite lineups of his. Another reason is this team was similar to the one I used for “Pokemon Yellow” when I first played it, though I would evolve Bulbsaur, Charmander, Squirrtle and Pidgeotto.