Tag Archives: prep sports

On CHS boys tennis


It’s been almost a week since the CHS boys’ tennis team wrapped up their season. This year the Blackhawks (3-5 league, 5-6 overall), who had run the GNL for the last couple of years, finished third in the league standings. It might seem like a downer since the team didn’t get to add another league title to its resume, but considering the lack of experience – only one varsity returner among a team of former JV players and first-year athletes – they did well.

There were a couple of high points this season. In singles play, athletes like Eric Van Wig, Hunter Pohl, Aaron Fillmore and Dixon Gerber contributed to team wins. Several players also shined on doubles – including Logan Ray, Jesse Black and Saul Bautista, who will be graduating this year.

As a doubles team, Gerber and Fillmore picked up wins and finished third in the District 7 tournament.

While it’s a little bittersweet that my coverage of the boys tennis team is done this year, I’m looking forward to next season. The team potentially has a lot of returning players next year who are – to borrow a phrase from Cheney football head coach Bobby Byrd – “battle tested.”

Coach Jesse Erickson said he feels like his guys could win the league next year and he might be right.


VanWormer committs to Shoreline


Another Cheney High School athlete will get an opportunity to take the next step in competition.

Senior Cade VanWormer signed his letter of intent to play baseball for Shoreline Community College.

Aside from this being the first Cheney baseball player to commit to a college in some time, it’s cool to see VanWormer get this opportunity. He’s a pretty good catcher but can also play outfield and pitch.

VanWormer was also someone you could count on in the batter’s box to get on base or bring guys home.

VanWormer was also a good football player, especially on defense. He was named to this year’s All-Great Northern League first team on defense.

Last year Shoreline was 11-13 in conference play and 17-25 overall.

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

Alman on CHS Football 2016

Again, this is going to be short and to the point. There’s no easy way to say it – it was a rough year for the Cheney football team.

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The Blackhawks (2-6 overall, 0-4 Great Northern League) finished the year last Friday with a 15-0 loss to Pullman.

Fresh off a year where they won a share of the GNL title, Cheney came into the season with only one returning starter on offense. Cole Hinrichs took up the quarterback mantle while the offensive line had several new faces. The defense had some returning starters – including Andrew Witt and Cam Hardt.

Cheney went 2-2 in the nonleague portion of their season, defeating Greater Spokane League’s North Central and 4A Eisenhower. Things kind of fell a part when they entered league play.

The Blackhawks played solid defense throughout the year. Their last couple of games came down to a couple of big plays that could have turned the tide for the team, but that’s high school sports for ya.

The entire season wasn’t all dismal. Tailback Charles Johnson made several trips to the end zone. Receiver Luke Martin also made some big plays. Logan Kendall made a couple of really great catches during the North Central game.

While the Blackhawks’ offense struggled, many players racked up some experience heading into next year. By fall 2017, Hinrichs will have hopefully gotten comfortable in his QB role with a healthy O-line to guard him.

The Blackhawks will also have several returning players to defense, which is good.

Cheney will enter next season battle-tested and ready to ascend back to the top of the GNL mountain.

Photography: Volleyball vs. Clarkston III

Last Saturday the Cheney High volleyball team captured their second Great Northern League title with a 3-0 sweep over Clarkston. It was one of the best performances I’ve seen from the group.

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Photography: CHS volleyball vs. NC

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Last Saturday I managed to catch the Cheney volleyball team sweep North Central in a nonleague match.

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CHS soccer, volleyball continue winning streaks


CHS soccer shuts out Pullman, Clarkston

The Lady Blackhawks soccer team returned in full force this past week with back-to-back 2-0 shutouts over Pullman (Sept. 27) and Clarkston (Sept. 29).

Madison O’Callaghan scored a goal in the 35th minute to give Cheney a 1-0 lead heading into halftime.

Gabby Nguyen, with an assist from Lelie Holland, added an insurance goal at the 41st minute.
Cheney outshot Pullman 10-3 with Nicole Rowley making three saves.

At Clarkston, Emma Scott’s goal in the first half gave Cheney a 1-0 lead. Kailey Estrellado’s goal in the second half ensured the Lady Blackhawks’ win.

Clarkston outshot Cheney 15-6 with Melissa Aris making 12 saves. Aris had sole goal keeping duties while Rowley was having her wisdom teeth pulled.

Cheney (5-1 GNL, 15 points, 9-1 overall) are half a game behind first-place East Valley (5-0, 15 points, 6-2) in the league standings.

The Lady Blackhawks hosted fourth-place West Valley (1-4, 3 points, 1-6), Oct. 4. The Eagles are coming off a 1-0 loss against Clarkston (4-3, 12 points, 4-3).

Cheney shutout West Valley, 3-0, in their first game (Sept. 15).

Blackhawks volleyball goes 3-0

The Cheney High volleyball team ran a gauntlet this week with a 3-0 win over Pullman, 3-1 victory against Clarkston and a 3-0 sweep 3A Greater Spokane League’s North Central.

The Blackhawks fired on all cylinders in the Pullman match (25-22, 25-16 and 25-17). Cheney led across the board in offense with Rylie Pease recording 17 kills, Peyton Stark having 31 assists and four aces. On defense, Ally Jones had 14 digs and KD Skillingstad notched four blocks.

Against Clarkston (25-17, 25-13, 20-25 and 25-19), Cheney came out strong, dominating the first two sets before they dropped the third. The Bantams led for most of the fourth set until Cheney rebounded to take the set and win the match.

Pease had double kills for the second-straight match with 13 while Stark led the match with 33 assists while Gould notched four aces. On defense, Jones had 13 digs and Skillingstad had four blocks.

The Blackhawks dominated North Central in an early game (25-16, 25-9 and 25-19), winning the first two sets. The Indians were on the verge of a comeback, leading for most of the third frame, until Cheney came back.

Stats from the North Central game were unavailable.

Cheney hosted West Valley (4-2, 4-3), Oct. 4. The Eagles, who are tied for second with Pullman (4-2, 6-3), swept the Blackhawks on Sept. 15.

They will take a break from league matches and compete in the Linda Sheridan volleyball tournament, played at Ferris High School, Oct. 7-8.

Cheney football falls to East Valley

While the Cheney High football team has found success on the road, they cannot seem to get a win at home. The Blackhawks opened Great Northern League play with a 47-34 loss to East Valley, Sept. 30. This year, Cheney (0-1 GNL, 2-3 overall) has lost three straight at home.

With East Valley leading 20-0, Cheney finally got on the scoreboard in the second quarter on Charles Johnson’s 4-yard scoring run, followed by a successful PAT.
Colin Spendlove returned a 75-yard interception for a touchdown to boost East Valley’s lead, 27-7.

Chris Fuentes’ 7-yard rushing touchdown closed the gap to 27-14 heading into halftime.
Fuentes had a highlight game with a 5-yard scoring touchdown in the third quarter and a 7-yard rushing TD in the fourth, which was followed by a successful two-point conversion.

Down 47-26, the Blackhawks capped their scoring on Cole Hinrichs’ 85-yard scoring touchdown to Johnson, followed by a successful two-point conversion.

Individual stats were unavailable as of press time.

The Blackhawks travel to Clarkston (0-1, 3-2) to take on the Bantams, Oct. 7. Last year Clarkston handed Cheney a 52-25 loss in their final home game of the 2015 season.

The Bantams opened league play with a 43-16 loss to Pullman last Friday.