Looking back at 2016 – CHS Sports

Alola, trainers.
This is a bit of an understatement, but there were many letdowns in 2016. However, this year had plenty of bright spots, such as the releases of Pokemon Sun and Moon and Pokemon Go.

Look, this is my Pokemon journal and I had to fit some Poke-references in there.

There were also many good moments in the world of sports – and no I’m not talking about the Portland Pikachus winning the fantasy consolation bracket.

At the Cheney Free Press, I share coverage of Cheney High School sports with the editor, covering football, volleyball and girls’ soccer in the fall; wrestling and gymnastics in the winter and baseball, golf and tennis in the spring. I love Pokemon, but I also love watching and writing about sports. There’s no law that says if you are a sports fan, you can’t enjoy Pokemon and vice-versa – UFC fighter Ronda Rousey, Seattle Seahawks Richard Sherman are a couple of athletes who proudly wear the title of “Pokemon Trainer” on their sleeve.  


While 2016 was a terrible year in different aspects, the Cheney High School teams I covered had several highlights in the last 12 months. There were a few times this year where teams surprised me and proved me wrong – which is always a nice thing.

Wrestling — At the 2016 Mat Classic XXVIII last February, which is the the state championships for wrestling, Cheney finished ninth as a team and had three wrestlers make it to the podium, including M. Ferguson, who finished second. This year’s team – the season started in November – has some state returners, along with some new blood, and has the potential to do really well.

Gymnastics — After a long hiatus, gymnastics returned to Cheney High School. The team finished second in the 3A Greater Spokane League and had two competitors advance to state competition. Like wrestling, this year’s gymnastics team has several promising athletes and a few returners in their ranks.

Baseball — The Blackhawks baseball team had a good crop of seniors athletes finish their last season.

Golf — Cheyenne Marchand ended her high school career after she took fourth at state while Tyler Koohns finished 33rd.

Tennis — The boys’ team won their second Great Northern League championship. Mason Van Stone and Ryan Axtell won the district doubles championship, defeating their teammates Shogo Starr and Brandon Foster in the finals. The girls’ team won their first District 7 championship under head coach Jason Overland. Bridget Calvert claimed her first singles district title and advanced to state.

Cheney Free Press (West Plains Little League) — The Free Press won its third West Plains Little League Majors baseball title.

17U Summerhawks — The Summerhawks took home a second-place trophy in the Smash N’ Splash tournament, ending their season at 13-15.

Football — The Blackhawks football team had some highlights, including a 22-21 win over GSL’s North Central. Several players also made all-GNL teams.

Volleyball — The team finished another stellar season by winning their second-consecutive GNL championship, claiming their first District 7 title and making their first state tournament appearance in years.

Girls’ soccer — The girls’ soccer team made a big turn-around from last year by having a winning record for the first time in years.   

The Blackhawks had a lot of success this year and I raise my glass to them.

Here’s to an even better 2017.

Pictures by Al Stover

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