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Bret Rankin

Stories by Bret

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.

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

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

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

DeSales baseball coach is headed to the Hall

DeSales baseball and football coach Kim Cox is being inducted into the WIAA Hall of Fame tonight.

WALLA WALLA — DeSales baseball coach Kim Cox didn't know for sure if he'd be able to travel to Renton, Wash., to be inducted into the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) 2011 Hall of Fame tonight.As usual, Cox's baseball team is heade

Hisaw brings energy to Wa-Hi gridiron

WALLA WALLA — No truer statement has ever been made than when Wa-Hi track — and new head football — coach Eric Hisaw said, 'I think I have more energy than a normal person.”Hisaw is entering his 14th season as track coach at Wa-Hi; he is a collegiate bask

Huge turnout has Blue Devils sprinting into spring

The Wa-Hi track team expects to best last year's top Big Nine finishes.

WALLA WALLA — There are high expectations for the Wa-Hi track teams this season after the Blue Devil boys won their fifth straight Big Nine title and girls were second last year.Wa-Hi opens the season Saturday at the Sweeney Invite in Lewiston, and early

Waitsburg-Prescott boys ride wins to state tourney

Waitsburg-Prescott's boys have won 21 straight game after a season-opening loss, and they face Bear Creek in the 2B state tournament Thursday.

WAITSBURG — Waitsburg-Prescott's boys suffered a 47-45 season-opening loss to Oregon Class 2A foe Weston-McEwen in December, as the TigerScots hit a buzzer-beater for the victory.It was the only loss W-P has experienced this season as it's racked up 21 st

Hisaw named Wa-Hi football coach

Eric Hisaw has been involved with the Blue Devil grid program since 1997, and continues as head track coach.

WALLA WALLA — Wa-Hi's search for a new head football coach ended at Tuesday night's Walla Walla School Board meeting as Eric Hisaw was named to the position.'I'm excited about the opportunities and challenges of this position as it has been a dream of min

Richland girls pull away from Wa-Hi in second half

Richland turns a close first half into a 66-49 Big Nine victory Friday night in the Wa-Hi gym.

WALLA WALLA — The first half of the Big Nine girls matchup between Richland and Wa-Hi on the Blue Devils' court Friday night went just as the home team had hoped.'I thought we played one of our best halves of basketball in the first half,” Wa-Hi coach Jil

Gobel resigns as Wa-Hi head football coach

Mike Gobel says he looks forward to continuing as an assistant coach with the Blue Devil football program.

WALLA WALLA — Wa-Hi interim football coach Mike Gobel, who took over the Blue Devil reins late last spring after the resignation of newly named head coach Matt Hamlin, has decided not to continue as head coach at Wa-Hi.Gobel plans to continue as an assist

WWCC turf management student is working World Series

Jordan Patnaude, a sophomore in Walla Walla Community College's turf management program, interned with the Texas Rangers this season and is working with the grounds crew during this weekend's World Se

WALLA WALLA — Baseball fans watching the World Series this weekend when the Texas Rangers host the San Francisco Giants probably won't see Walla Walla Community College sophomore Jordan Patnaude on the field at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.But they will

Waitsburg-Prescott achieves goals in football rout of Pilot Rock

Waitsburg-Prescott fires on all cylinders in a 34-14 win over Pilot Rock that wasn't as close as the final score.

WAITSBURG — Waitsburg-Prescott coach Jeff Bartlow had a goal after last week's season-opening 6-0 victory at Kamiah, Idaho, headed into Friday's home opener against Pilot Rock.'We wanted to finish drives,” he said following the 34-14 victory over the Rock

Wa-Hi grad Beckett Royce plays rugby for love and desire

Royce discovers a true love for rugby and utilizes her competitive desire to be a member of the USA Women's National team playing in the World Cup in England.

WALLA WALLA — Beckett Royce's road to England as a member of the USA Women's National Rugby Team for the World Cup was a circuitous route.And plenty of adventure, she's had as well.Royce, who has been in England with the national team for a week preparing

Walla Walla All-City golf tourney seeks more participants

WALLA WALLA — If there's one thing Scott Larsen would like to see at this year's 61st All-City Championships golf tournament at Veterans Memorial and the Walla Walla Country Club, it's more participants.'If we could get it to 100 this year, that'd be grea

Blue Devil tracksters expect quite a show at state meet

Wa-Hi's Garrett Gerling, Brandon Porter, Jonah Hoe, Jamie Weisner and Rachel Adkins are joined by the girls' 1600 relay at the state meet.

WALLA WALLA — If the Washington State Class 4A Track and Field meet at Tacoma's Mount Tahoma High School plays out anything like the Regional meet last weekend in Yakima, Wa-Hi's state qualifiers are prepared to put on quite a show.'The kids that earned t

Jeff Cirillo brings words of wisdom to youth baseball, softball benefit

Former MLB player and Walla Walla Sweets part-owner Jeff Cirillo is speaker at Saturday's local youth baseball and softball benefit.

WALLA WALLA — Jeff Cirillo took a life lesson from his experiences playing youth baseball.'I have a mantra of, ‘Finish what you start,'” the former Major League All-Star and part-owner in the Walla Walla Sweets, said. 'Whether it be baseall, dinner, homew

41st College Rodeo opens spring season for local cowboys

About 200 competitors from around the Northwest Region will be in town taking on host WWCC.

WALLA WALLA — The spring college rodeo season gets underway Friday with the 41st Walla Walla Community College Rodeo at the Walla Walla Fairgrounds.About 200 cowboys from around the Northwest Region will be on hand for Friday morning's slack, and performa

Marching toward the playoffs reveals the many characters of coaching

Fans at a basketball game usually focus their attention on the court and players.But sometimes, a glance at the bench can be even more entertaining than what's playing out on the court. It's there that coaches direct their team, occasionally employing ing

Trio of regional champions leads Pirate grapplers to state tourney

Defending state champion Klyntin Bott is joined by nine other Pomeroy wrestlers as they head to Mat Classic XXII Friday and Saturday.

POMEROY — Pomeroy had three champions at the Class B regional wrestling meet at Kittitas last weekend, and the Pirates are sending 10 grapplers to Friday and Saturday's Mat Classic XXII at the Tacoma Dome.That has Pomeroy coach Derek Shawley very optimist

Wa-Hi grapplers head to regional tourney

The Blue Devils take different philosophies into Saturday's tournament as they try to advance to state.

WALLA WALLA — There are a couple different ways for Wa-Hi's four wrestlers advancing to the Region IV Class 4A wrestling championships to approach the tournament at Richland High Saturday.'I'm going in there to win it,” Eric Eastman, the state's sixth-ran

Dean Derby and Drew Bledsoe to be honored

Dean Derby's professional football career led to his being recognized by Wa-Hi's Big Blue Boosters on Friday night, but his family history in the Walla Walla Valley includes much more than athletics.

WALLA WALLA — Dean Derby and Drew Bledsoe have a lot in common.They both played athletics and graduated from Wa-Hi.The two played collegiately at the top level, followed by successful professional careers.Each now has a Walla Walla Valley winery. And, com

Wa-Hi grad, Braves reliever O'Flaherty to be honored at Wa-Hi

The Big Blue Boosters will present the Atlanta Braves reliever with the first of their new alumni awards Friday before the boys hoops game.

WALLA WALLA — Eric O'Flaherty fans have the chance to meet the Atlanta Braves reliever and get their memorabilia autographed by the left-hander at the Wa-Hi boys basketball game against Kamiakin Friday night. The event, the first of the Big Blue Boosters'

Wolves women anticipate better days ahead

Injuries and illness have led to defeats and cancellations, but coach Bill Clancy remains positive.

COLLEGE PLACE — Injuries and illness quickly sum up the Walla Walla University women’s basketball season so far.

Six games in, Wolves men still looking for an identity

Second-year WWU men's basketball coach Gerry Larson isn't sure if he wants his team to run-and-gun or take it slow.

COLLEGE PLACE — There’s one thing Walla Walla University men’s basketball coach Gerry Larson is sure of six games into the season: "Our goal is to be one of the four teams that qualify for the NAIA independent postseason tournament."

Bulldogs' fast start can't hold up against Pats

Dayton's good start quickly turns sour as Liberty Christian rallies for a 34-8 SEB-11 victory.

DAYTON — The game against Liberty Christian started as scripted by Dayton coach Tony Henderson Friday night.Henderson's Bulldogs opened with a 60-yard, 14-play drive that took 7:08 and resulted in Dain Henderson's 1-yard score. A two-point conversion late

Injuries nick Golden Eagles in 72-22 loss to Echo

Nixyaawii loses its first two quarterbacks in Friday's 72-22 loss to Echo.

PENDLETON — Injuries continued to take their toll of the Nixyaawii Golden Eagles here Friday afternoon at Sunridge Middle School and Echo took full advantage by rolling to a 72-22 victory in a prep football game.

Outmanned Bulldogs no match for Panthers

With numbers dwindling due to injuries and academic issues, the Bulldogs opt to play rather than forfeit against powerful Asotin.

DAYTON — With just 16 players in uniform due to injuries and academic ineligibility, Dayton suffers a 53-0 loss to Asotin here Friday night in a Southeast 2B-11 League football game.

Top volleyball teams to attend W-M Power Tournament Saturday

Play begins Saturday at 8 a.m. and will continue all day in the Athena and Weston gyms.

ATHENA — The Weston-McEwen Power Tournament is bringing some of the top prep volleyball teams from Oregon and Washington to Athena and Weston Saturday.TigerScots coach Shawn White said eight teams are scheduled to be on hand, including defending Oregon Cl

Country Christian too much for Nixyaawii

And not even that works in a 58-22 defeat at the hands of Country Christian Friday afternoon in Pendleton.

PENDLETON — Nixyaawii came out on the short end of a 58-22 final score as the Golden Eagles opened the 2009 prep football season against Country Christian of the Madras, Ore., area here Friday afternoon at Sunridge Middle School.