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Bret Rankin

Stories by Bret

A few get answers, others more grid questions

Some Walla Walla Valley football teams had questions answered after the opening week of play.

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Wa-Hi harriers strong once again

Walla Walla High’s cross country teams enjoyed successful seasons last year, the Blue Devil girls winning the Mid-Columbia Conference and district titles, finishing second at regionals and onto the state meet — not to mention their fourth straight Class 4A academic state title.

Real football season kicks off with preps games

You could say the football season’s been underway for more than a week already.

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Tracksters make bids for state

Oregon schools are at their state meets today and Saturday, while Washington 2B and 4A track and field athletes try to reach state.

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All Missionaries at sports awards

Whitman’s women’s basketball run to the national title game leads to a sweep of BMSA honors.

Clem recalls Dayton career fondly

When Jim Clem left Central Washington University with his Bachelor of Arts in history and psychology, the native of western Washington found himself heading even farther east than Ellensburg, landing in Dayton.

Warriors welcome new soccer coaches

Ben Rotert takes over the WWCC men’s program, while ex-Warrior player Jordan Hacker heads up the women’s team.

Rankin: Baseball season brings changes to sports section

The Seattle Mariners open the 2014 campaign a week from Monday against the Los Angeles Angels even as the euphoria from the Seahawks’ Super Bowl victory has yet to subside from Northwest sports fans.

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Blue Devils get glimpse of new-look track squad

Wa-Hi’s track and field team features 175 athletes that bring a little different look than last year’s squad.

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Local skier heads to Junior Olympics

Walla Walla’s Hayden White heads to the Junior Olympics to ski in Jackson Hole, Wyo., next week.

College Rodeo returns to Fairgounds

The annual ‘Ride Against Child Abuse’ runs Friday through Sunday.

Michaud tackles new game with Warriors

New WWCC softball coach Mike Michaud is having fun learning a new game, as well as getting to know his new Warrior players.

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Weston-McEwen girls advance to state

Keegan Shepard hit an early free throw to give Weston-McEwen’s girls a 1-0 lead over Union in the first game of the Blue Mountain Conference District tournament at Armand Larive Middle School here Friday.

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Wa-Hi’s Jones swims to state

Tyler Jones is the lone Blue Devil at the Class 4 state meet this weekend, where he is the top seed in the 500 Free and the 14th seed in the 200 Free.

Wa-Hi swimmers head to district

Twenty-one Blue Devil boys head to Ellensburg Friday for a shot at qualifying for state.

Orb pic sparks mystery sound story

The Union-Bulletin published a story and photo of a mysterious orb captured on a smart-phone camera by an elk hunter in southwest Oregon in the Jan. 1 Diversions section.

Blue Devil boys swim team returns to water

The Wa-Hi boys swim team open its season with the Eastern Washington Jamboree on Saturday.

It’s déjà vu for W-P against NW Christian

Last season in the Washington state 1B/2B soccer quarterfinals, Waitsburg-Prescott met up with Northwest Christian (Colbert), with the team from just north of Spokane sending W-P home with a 5-1 loss.

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Mackenzie Hale represents Wa-Hi at state swim meet

Mackenzie Hale swims in the 500 Freestyle at the state meet this weekend.

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Harriers ready for state meet

Wa-Hi and Waitsburg-Prescott runners head to Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco for the races.

Indians storm past Titans

TOUCHET — Thursday evening’s storm left the scoreboard at Touchet’s football field dark as the Indians prepared to kick off the season against Odessa-Harrington Friday afternoon.

Walla Walla-area coaches: Report your scores early, often

WALLA WALLA — After what seems to be an ever-shorter summer, the fall sports season is once again upon us

Rankin: Pacific’s ‘small world’ evident at state

“Little League baseball is a small world, as it comes around,” Ron Queen wrote me in an email Tuesday morning.

Rankin: Smiley’s legacy lives on in Prescott

Around the Prescott High community, Jack Smiley embodied Tigers athletics for years as athletic director and physical education teacher.

Wolves AD calls it quits after 30 years

After 30 years as the school’s first — and only — AD, Tim Windemuth is calling it a career this summer. He and his wife, Cheri, will soon move into a brand new house on Silver Lake, near Spokane.

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Bevy of arms lead Sweets into new season

Coaches are still getting acquainted with their 2013 Walla Walla Sweets players as the new season opens tonight against Bend.

New face at 78th Carnival of Speed

Stacie Pickler spearheads the annual track and field festival Friday as Mac-Hi’s new head coach.

Emory up next for excited Whitman

WALLA WALLA — The excitement in Michelle Ferenz’s voice was palpable.

W-P's Deal, Estes move on to college athletics

WAITSBURG — During stellar athletic careers at Waitsburg-Prescott, Seth Deal and Dalton Estes didn’t find themselves on the same fields of play too often.

Wa-Hi boys swimmers look to have a blast

WALLA WALLA — Katharine Curles leads the Wa-Hi boys swim team into another season with the Walla Walla Pentathlon Saturday at Whitman College’s Harvey Pool.

Amy, Cosdon lead WWCC volleyball team to NWAACCs

WALLA WALLA — “All for one, and one for all!” That’s the call that Walla Walla Community College volleyball team captains Reese Amy and Courtney Cosdon take to Gresham, Ore., with their Warrior teammates for the NWAACC Tournament beginning Thursday.

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Patriots defeat Touchet, 54-14

TOUCHET — Touchet football coach Gary Dorman knew what he had on his hands when Liberty Christian came to town Friday afternoon.

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Walla Walla Valley upends Centralia at state tournament

Walla Walla Valley opens its state tourney with a 14-4 win Sunday, and plays Mill Creek Tuesday.

Walla Walla Valley Majors All-Stars had a long hiatus after defeating Walla Walla Pacific to win the district championship July 6. Valley coach Sam Worth didn't know what kind of an effect that would have on his squad headed into the Washington state tournament. But it didn't take him long to find out, as Valley opened its tournament with a 14-4, mercy-rule-shortened victory over Centralia Sunday morning.

Walla Walla Valley upends Centralia at state tournament

Walla Walla Valley opens its state tourney with a 14-4 win Sunday, and plays Mill Creek Tuesday.

WALLA WALLA — Walla Walla Valley Majors All-Stars had a long hiatus after defeating Walla Walla Pacific to win the district championship July 6.Valley coach Sam Worth didn't know what kind of an effect that would have on his squad headed into the Washingt

Wa-Hi has high hopes at state meet

The state track and field meet kicked off Thursday night, and the Blue Devils have several trophy hopes remaining.

WALLA WALLA — Wa-Hi's trip to Tacoma for the Washington state Class 4A track meet brought with it high expectations for hardware this year.And in opening action Thursday night at Mount Tahoma High, Blue Devil Katarina Tondavong finished fifth in the first

Rankin: Wa-Hi track athletes outrun coach's hopes

WALLA WALLA — Enthusiastic is a word that just doesn't do justice when it comes to describing Eric Hisaw.Hisaw brings unmatched energy to coaching the Blue Devil football and track and field teams.And he was typically excited when he talked about the 82 b

WWCC rodeo team ready to ride

The Warriors host the 43rd annual WWCC College Rodeo this weekend at the Walla Walla Fairgrounds.

WALLA WALLA — If coaching a rodeo team isn't work enough, Walla Walla Community College's Buster Barton has even more on his plate this week.The Warrior rodeo team is hosting the 43rd annual WWCC College Rodeo this weekend at the Walla Walla Fairgrounds I

Warrior softball team returns plenty of talent

WWCC coach Mike Staudenmaier feels his team has what it takes to improve on last year's NWAACC tournament run.

WALLA WALLA — Walla Walla Community College's softball team has seen its share of success over coach Mike Staudenmaier's tenure with the Warriors.Staudenmaier, entering his 15th season at the WWCC helm, has a 382-238 career record with the Warriors and th

Wa-Hi girls face Chiawana in District championship

The Blue Devil girls are one win away from claiming the District title, but face first-place Chiawana Friday.

WALLA WALLA — Wa-Hi's girls are one win from the Columbia Basin Big Nine 4A District championship.The only team standing in the Blue Devils' way is regular-season league champ Chiawana.

Waitsburg-Prescott set for state title matchup with Morton-White Pass

Morton-White Pass stands in the way of W-P's undefeated season and first state football championship as they play Saturday in Tacoma.

WAITSBURG — The celebration for Waitsburg-Prescott after its 42-13 romp past previously undefeated Colfax in the state 2B football semifinals last Saturday in Pasco lasted a full day.Then, it was onto preparing for W-P's first championship game at 4 p.m.

Pomeroy takes on No. 1 A-C-H

The Pirates face top-ranked Almira-Coulee-Hartline in the State semifinals Saturday.

POMEROY — It's taken Pomeroy just one half to dispatch its foes in the last two Washington state Class 1B football playoff games.Last week in the quarterfinal against Wellpinit, Tory Knebel scored six touchdowns as the Pirates put 30 unanswered second-qu

Waitsburg-Prescott hungry for rematch with Colfax

WAITSBURG — With a little luck, Waitsburg-Prescott's football players didn't eat too much Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday.A good appetite is just what W-P coach Jeff Bartlow likes from his squad.

Pomeroy faces tougher test against Wellpinit

The Pirates face a stiffer challenge in 9-2 Wellpinit in the state Class 2B quarterfinals Saturday, but won't be changing their game plan.

POMEROY — Pomeroy put up 58 first-quarter points and cruised to a 72-28 victory — in one half of play — over Northport for the Pirates' first postseason football victory since 2003 last Friday in Pomeroy.Pomeroy coach Sanford Bates expects a little toughe

Waitsburg-Prescott brings explosive offense to bear against Lind-Ritzville

W-P features two backs with more than 1,000 rushing yards this season.

WAITSBURG — 'We're explosive. That's the best way to say it.”That's how Waitsburg-Prescott coach Jeff Bartlow summed up his undefeated football team while discussing W-P's state Class 2B-11 quarterfinal matchup with Lind-Ritzville/Sprague at noon Saturday

Sky-high hopes for area harriers at State meets

There are sky-high hopes in the Waitsburg-Prescott cross country family headed into Saturday's Washington State Cross Country Championships at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco.And for good reason.W-P junior Seth Deal is headed back to Pasco for his third

Holy Bowl a family affair

WALLA WALLA — It might be a little confusing on the sidelines of the second annual Holy Bowl football game between DeSales and Tri-Cities Prep tonight at Ty Baffney Field if you aren't familiar with the Brown and Richards families.Mark Brown, father of Ir

Swimming Full Circle

New Wa-Hi head swim coach Katharine Curles goes from swimming on Whitman's team to heading the Blue Devil program.

WALLA WALLA — Katharine Curles is excited.The new Wa-Hi swim coach has been preparing her Blue Devils girls team for its first competition for several weeks, and Curles gets to see that preparation in action Saturday when the squad heads to Prosser for t

Walla Walla Sweets clicking as Corvallis heads to town

Corvallis comes to Borleske Stadium in the first game of the West Coast League championship series at Borleske Stadium tonight.

WALLA WALLA — Walla Walla Sweets manager J.C. Biagi experienced his share of winning baseball games at DeSales' Ray Lane Field while playing for the Irish before graduating in 2000.This summer, Biagi has the Sweets doing their share of winning just over

Wild end caps Sweets' rally over Gems

The Sweets lose a 2-1 lead in the top of the eighth but rally back in the bottom for a 6-4 win.

WALLA WALLA — Ryan Richardson had Walla Walla rolling with seven strong innings on the mound and the Sweets holding a 2-1 lead against the expansion Klamath Falls Gems at Borleske Stadium Tuesday night.But as soon as Richardson left in the eighth inning,

Blue Devils softball team armed for state tourney

Wa-Hi's softball team has plenty of weapons in its arsenal as it takes a top seed to the state tournament.

WALLA WALLA — Wa-Hi's softball team makes its third straight trip to the state Class 4A tournament with the No. 1 seed out of regional when the Blue Devils open against Thomas Jefferson at Merkel Park in Spokane Friday.The difference this year, however, j