Washington State’s ascent to the throne room in women’s soccer has brought a crowning honor to the Cougars.
The United Soccer Coaches named head coach Todd Schulenberger and his staff the 2019 NCAA Division 1 Women’s National Staff of the Year.
WSU is the only one of the 14 NSC national award recipients that did not win a national or divisional championship. The Cougars made it to their first College Cup, falling 2-1 to No. 2 North Carolina in the semifinals.
In leading WSU to new heights in 2019, Shulenberger, assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Jon Harvey and assistant coach Greg Sheen earned the ultimate recognition from their fellow coaches.
It capped a big week for Cougars women’s soccer. The day before the NSC announcement, WSU announced it extended Schulenberger’s contract through the 2025 season.
The Cougars won a program-record 16 games and rode a four-game win streak into the semifinals, three of the victories on the road. No WSU team had made it further than the third round, and that was the Cougars led by Shulenberger and Harvey in 2017.
With Sheen added to the mix, WSU ran through this postseason, defeating No. 14 Memphis (1-0) at home, then No. 3 Virginia (3-2), West Virginia (3-0) and No. 5 South Carolina (1-0 in OT) all on the road before falling to North Carolina.
The combined record of WSU’s postseason opponents was 89-17-10, with four of those losses coming to the Cougars. WSU defeated the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in their bracket.
Former Idaho women’s standout Mikayla Ferenz is having a strong start to her professional career with AB Contern of the Total League-Dames in Luxembourg. She is averaging a team-high 26.8 points per game, 8.5 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.8 steals for a team that has a 5-7 record and is seventh in the league.
In one game last week, the Big Sky Conference scoring record holder led AB Contern to an 86-76 win over second-ranked Telstar with a team-high 34 points and eight rebounds, playing all 40 minutes. It was her sixth 30-point-plus game. She is shooting nearly 50 percent from 3-point range and 54 percent from the floor.
Spencer Blackburn, Eastern Washington’s sixth-year senior offensive lineman, picked up a couple of more All-America honors.
The center on the No. 1 team in the FCS in total offense was named to the 2019 American Football Coaches Association first-team offense and the STATS FCS All-America third team after receiving Associated Press first-team honors.
• Idaho and Eastern both had two players honored on HERO Sports 2019 All-America football teams.
Tre Walker of Idaho was named to the Sophomore All-America first team as a linebacker and teammate Nick Romano received honorable mention on the Freshman All-America team as a kick returner. Walker was second in the Big Sky with 138 tackles and led the conference with 78 solo tackles. Romano was second in the Big Sky, averaging 27.0 yards per return.
Eastern kicker Seth Harrison and cornerback Tre Weed both were honorable mention on the Freshman All-America team. Harrison (Coeur d’Alene HS) took over as EWU’s kicker three games into the season and was 12 of 12 on field goals and hit 50 of 53 extra points. Weed had 44 tackles, a team-leading seven passes broken up, and two interceptions.
• Alek Jacob, a Gonzaga junior from North Central who has been one of the top relief pitchers in the West Coast Conference the last two seasons, was named to the second team on Collegiate Baseball Newspaper’s Preseason All-America team.
The right-hander, a two-time All-WCC honoree, pitched in 25 games with four starts in 2019. He compiled a 7-3 record with 12 saves and in 78 2/3 innings had a 2.17 ERA. His saves and 87 strikeouts led the team in both categories.
As a freshman, Jacob appeared in 17 games with 15 starts, a 7-5 record and a 2.88 ERA in 103 innings. He had 95 strikeouts with 30 walks and was named to the WCC All-Freshman Team and was All-WCC honorable mention.
• Sophia Braun, a Gonzaga sophomore midfielder from Beaverton, Oregon, scored the lone goal for the Argentina U20 National Team in a 3-1 loss to Uruguay recently in a friendlies match in Montgevido, Uruguay, as the countries prepare for next years’ South American Championships. Braun had two goals and two assists in 16 games for GU this past season.
• Gonzaga senior forward Madeline Gotta was named to the 2019 United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division I Women’s Scholar All-America third team with a 3.49 GPA in business administration.
Gotta was an honorable mention choice on the WCC Women’s Soccer All-Academic team in which teammates Madison Cooley (3.93), a junior, and senior India Jencks (3.93) were first-team choices.
Gonzaga sophomores Haley Archuleta, Sophia Braun, Gabriela Maas and Payton Stiles, and seniors Samantha Heilman, Taylor Kernion and Sophia Viviano were also honorable mention with GPAs of 3.20 or better.
Two Santa Clara players with local connections, senior Kelcie Hedge (Post Falls, 3.48) and junior Kelsey Turnbow (Central Valley as a freshman, 3.33) repeated on the honorable mention list.
• Joe Corner, a junior midfielder at Gonzaga, was named to the WCC All-Academic Team in men’s soccer. Four teammates – Nathaniel Tolton, Brady Henderson, Mark McEntosh and Quinn Liebmann – earned honorable mention.
It was the first academic honor for Corner, who has a 3.90 GPA in political science. Henderson (3.45), a junior, and Tolton (3.49), a senior, received honorable mention for the third straight season. It was the second HM for senior Liebmann (3.41) and the first for McEntosh (3.26), a sophomore.
• Eastern Oregon junior guard Max McCullough from Post Falls was named the Cascade Collegiate Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week after he scored a career-high 41 points in a 127-90 win over Pacific and had 26 more in a loss to Whitman.
He shot 20 of 38 overall and 14 of 24 from 3-point range to average 33.5 points per game during the weekend. He also had 13 rebounds and eight assists in the two games.
• Senior basketball player Ben College and junior swimmer Jamie Siegler have been selected the Whitworth men’s and women’s student-athletes of the month for November.
College led the Pirates to a 5-1 record in November, averaging 22.3 points per game, while shooting 45.3% from the floor, 39.3% from 3-point range and hitting 87.2% of his free throws.
Siegler led Whitworth to four dual-meet victories, winning six of the seven individual events she entered and having a hand in five winning relays.
• Four athletes at Washington State with area ties – two each in cross country and football – were named to the 2019 Pac-12 Fall Academic Honor Roll with GPAs of 3.3 or higher.
Seniors Cameron Dean, a men’s cross country runner from Mead, received his third such honor while women’s cross country runner Josie Brown from Coeur d’Alene HS received her first. Receiving their first were football players Lucas Bacon, a redshirt freshman from Mead, and sophomore Seth Yost from Lake City.
• Football player Travell Harris and swimming’s Taylor McCoy have been named the Washington State Academic Services Student-Athletes of the Month for December.
Harris, a junior, has been a standout kick-returner and receiver on the field while pursuing his degree in sport management with a minor in business. He has a 3.36 GPA and his many activities include the Drew Bledsoe Cougar Legends Golf Tournament and the Black Student-Athlete Summit.
A junior from Pullman, McCoy has been one of the best in the pool for the Cougars while maintaining a 3.87 GPA as a political science major with minors in sport management and history. In the pool, she has excelled in multiple events, has the second-fastest time in program history in the 200 backstroke and has twice swam Olympic Trials times.
• Eastern Washington’s 308 student-athletes concluded fall quarter with a collective 3.27 GPA, the 37th straight quarter the Eagles have combined for a 3.0 average. Eight of 10 athletic programs had at least a 3.28 GPA, led by women’s golf at 3.92, and all but football (2.93) had at least a 3.17.
Rowan Henry’s second-place finish in the boys 9-10-year-old division led the showing by more than four dozen runners from three area clubs at the 2019 USATF National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships Dec. 14 in Madison, Wisconsin.
The 10-year-old, running for Coeur d’Alene-based North Idaho XC, covered the frozen 3,000-meter course on what was described as “an icy, blustery day” in 10 minutes, 40 seconds – 3.2 seconds behind the winner.
Henry was one of 11 area runners, eight from NIXC, to earn All-America status for top-25 finishes in their age divisions. Spokane Mercury Athletics had two and Valley Flash one. NIXC had four top-10 individual finishers and two top-six team finishes.
The other All-Americans: Olivia Olson, Valley Flash, 17th, girls 8U; Quentin Enser, Spokane Mercury, 19th, boys 8U; Teagan Enser, SM, 19th, girls 9-10; Adalyn Depew, NIXC, 8th, girls 9-10; Olivia May, NIXC, 9th, girls 11-12; Cambrie Stam NIXC, 12th, girls 11-12; Helen Oyler, NIXC, 23rd, girls 11-12; Mitchell Rietze, NIXC, 21st, boys 11-12; Max Cervi-Skinner, NIXC, 7th, boys 13-14; Logan Davis, NIXC, 21st, boys 15-16 open 5K.
Results for other area runners who finished in the top one quarter of their fields or ran on age-division teams:
Valley Flash – Hannah Horsley, 32nd, girls 8U; Kaiya Weiller, 27th, girls 9-10.
Spokane Mercury Athletic – Owen Nydegger, 34th, boys 8U; Ethan Martin, 75th, boys 11-12.
North Idaho XC – Will Wood, 35th, boys 8U; Olivia Abbey, 55th, girls 9-10; Kingston Wilson, 26th, boys 9-10; Ronan Kennedy, 43rd, boys 9-10; Samuel Mandel, 63rd, boys 9-10; Alistair Smith, 253rd, boys 9-10; Parker Sterling, 79th, boys 11-12; Zara Munyer, 38th, girls 13-14; Elliana Rietze, 49th, girls 13-14; Ann Marie Dance, 102nd, girls 13-14; Natal Davis, 212th, girls13-14; Neala Hart, 295th, girls 13-14; Neil McCarthy, 33rd, boys 13-14; Zac Cervi-Skinner, 40th, boys 13-14; Nathan Russell, 81st, boys 13-14; Lachlan May, 122nd, boys 13-14; Logan Davis, 34th, boys 15-18.
Teams – NIXC boys 9-10, 6th; NIXC girls 13-14, 16th; NIXC boys 13-14, 4th.
Tickets are on sale for the 2020 Men’s and Women’s USA Curling Nationals, Feb. 8-15, at the Eastern Washington University Recreation Center. The weeklong event features the top men’s and women’s teams in the country as they vie for spots in subsequent World Championships.
For ticket prices, schedules and additional information, visit www.spokanesports.org/curling
All 10 members of the Spokane Collegiate Football Officials Association who regularly work Pac-12 games have received postseason playoff or bowl assignments.
Josh Behrens and Roger Stewart both received two assignments. Behrens was the alternate for NCAA Division II first-round and quarterfinal games, Nov. 23 in Golden, Colorado, and Nov. 30 in Mankato, Minnesota. Stewart was the umpire for an FCS second-round game in Conway, Arkansas, on Dec. 7 and a quarterfinal in Harrisonburg, Virginia, on Dec. 14.
Jared Frank was the back judge and Chad Duce the side judge for an NAIA first-round game in Caldwell, Idaho, on Nov. 23.
In FBS bowl games, John Love will be the center judge and Steve Currie the field judge for the Music City Bowl on Dec. 30 in Nashville, Tennessee, between Mississippi State and Louisville; Shane Anderson is the side judge for the Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1 in Orlando, Florida, between Michigan and Alabama; and Steve Hudson is the alternate for the Gator Bowl on Jan. 2 in Jacksonville, Florida, between Indiana and Tennessee.
Jim Northcott will be the replay official and Dan Antonietti the communicator for the Armed Forces Bowl on Jan. 4 in Fort Worth, Texas, between Southern Mississippi and Tulane.
Jack Finley, a 17-year-old forward for the Spokane Chiefs, is one of 13 Western Hockey League players selected to participate in the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on Jan. 16 in Hamilton, Ontario.
The 2017 first-round bantam draft pick, listed as a “B” prospect in the NHL Central Scouting’s 2019-20 preliminary Players to Watch rankings in October, entered the holiday break having already surpassed his goal total from last season. He has six goals and 20 assists in 33 games.
The 6-foot-5, 205-pound center from Kelowna, British Columbia, is one of 40 players from the three CHL leagues invited to the 25th annual showcase for players eligible for the NHL draft.
Letters of intent
Idaho men’s track & field – Joseph Ruddell, HJ, Morro Bay, Calif.
Zachary Pearsall led the showing by 10 Spokane Junior Rifle Club members at the 2019 Washington State Civilian Marksmanship Program Championships shot at three sites last month.
Pearsall, 18 (Mt. Spokane), placed fifth among 42 competitors in the individual competition, shooting 582 out of a possible 600 in the three-position event. His score led the SJRC’s Gold team to third place among eight teams.
Also on the Gold team were Caden Kight, Mt. Spokane; Taylor Christian, Spokane Valley Tech; and Ben Tafoya, Gonzaga Prep.
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