In this photo: The Washington for Wildlife Coyote Derby ended February 29 with 297 coyotes harvested. The winner of the drawing was Terry Frizzell and his grandson Stephen Beamer, winning the grand prize of $500.
Makayla Earl launched a shot put throw of 37 feet, five inches at Colville last week, adding a full two feet to her own personal-best throw to win that event in Chewelah’s first league meet against the Indians.
Earl also won the discus with a distance of 100 feet, nine inches and placed second in the javelin.
She had the only two wins of the meet as the Cougar girls were defeated by the host Indians, 99-29 in Northeast A league competition.
Likewise, the Chewelah boys won only two events at Colville, both by Zach Schneider, as they were beaten by the Indians, 113- 23.
Schneider won the 110-meter high hurdles in a season-best time of 15.74 seconds. He followed that by running the 300-meter low hurdles in 41.58 seconds, another season best.
Earl and Schneider also won both events at the Dan Birdsell Invitational Meet at Deer Park on Friday. Earl won the shot put with a toss of 35’4″ and the discus with a distance of 102’9″. Schneider ran a time of 15.80 seconds in the high hurdles and won the low hurdles in 41.50 seconds.
Adam Collins placed second in the long jump (19’4″) and the triple jump (37’9″0, and finished third in the high jump (5’4″).
Brittney Wuesthoff was second in the long jump (13’2″), third in the 100-meter (14.49), and fifth in the javelin (74’7″).
Moriah Hudson placed second in the 400-meter run and the 800-meter run. Her time in the 400-meter was 1:18.20. In the 800-meter, she ran a 6:40.00.
James Culverwell placed second in the javelin with a throw of 135’11”.
Abby Stenback finished second in the 300-meter low hurdles with a time of 1:11.09.
Mackinzie Miller was third in the low hurdles (46.50) and in the long jump (18’2″). He placed fourth in the high hurdles (17.99).
Jacob Culverwell was third in the 400-meter run (65.59) and fifth in the discus (103’8″).
Anthony Champion finished fourth in the 800-meter run (2:51.29), Bethany Rich placed fourth in the discus (64’0″), and Bradley Earl was fourth in the triple jump (24’7″).
Megan Rowe placed fourth in two events. Her time in the 200-meter run was 34.54 seconds. She had a distance of 12’3″ in the long jump.
This year’s Cougar track team is dominated by young athletes, mostly freshmen and sophomores, who are steadily improving their times and distances in the cold and rainy weather.
By Geno Ludwig, The Independent Staff
In this photo: Megan Rowe placed fourth in the long jump with a distance of 12 feet, three inches. Mara Schneider photo
As usual here in northeastern Washington, late winter weather is taking its toll on spring sports. Teams had barely gotten outside for practices for the first time late last week. Then, on Monday afternoon, a surprise snowstorm sent them all back into the gym.
The spring sports season officially opened on February 27, but an extended winter has made it nearly impossible for athletes to enjoy the first two weeks of the season.
Tennis players were out on the court early last week. They were followed a couple of days later by baseball, softball, and golf teams. Also, the discus, shot put, and javelin throwers were outdoors midway through the week.
However, Monday’s snowstorm made it unfeasible to be outdoors.
Still, despite the inclement weather, it is time to take a sneak peek at three of the five spring sports.
With six returning starters and several more players with varsity experience, the Cougar baseball team is loaded.
Only two senior ballplayers graduated last spring. In addition, a returning starter transferred out of the district. Every other player is back in uniform for Coach Luke Jeanneret.
Returning to their positions are first-baseman Brandon Smith, second-baseman Dillon Bigler, shortstops Cody Sweat and Caleb Wiebe, third-baseman Joey Baker, center-fielder Calvin Connall, and right-fielder Derek Smith. Returning to the team with varsity experience are Cordell Bean, Dustin Crowell, Russell Smith, Ty Curtis, Jake Stenback, Dustin Olson, and there may be a couple of others.
“I’ve already made some defensive changes from last year,” said Jeanneret. “Dillon Bigler is going to play shortstop this year, and Cody Sweat is going to be at second base. Derek Smith will be in left- field, and it looks like Ty Curtis will play right-field.
“And, right now, third base is up for grabs. Joey Baker, Dustin Crowell, and Dustin Olson are battling hard for that position. Josh Sulgrove is also in that mix.”
So, going into this season, it looks like there is only one empty position for Coach Jeanneret to fill. The Cougars need a catcher. They do have players who have spent time behind the plate. The three top contenders right now are Cordell Bean, Baker, and Crowell. The question is: Which one will rise to the top and be the Chewelah starter?
Altogether, 34 young men have turned out for baseball. Of which 14 are freshmen.
“All these kids are players,” said Jeanneret. “I’m keeping and playing all of them. I don’t foresee me cutting anybody.
“There is a dogfight every night at practice. These kids are motivated, highly competitive, and driven to achieve their goals for this season.”
The Cougars were supposed to play their first games this week, but they will have to be rescheduled because of the snow. A preseason tournament at Washington State University may end up being their first outing.
Track and Field
The Cougar track team has one of its largest turnouts in recent years, but without an all-weather oval, runners are practicing on roads, in parking lots, in the high school hallways, and in the gym.
“This is the biggest turnout we have had here for track in a long time,” said Coach Pat Kostecka. “We have over 50 students turning out this year. Many of them are young freshmen, but we also have some exceptionally talented state veterans who we expect to do well again this year.”
In fact, almost half of this season’s team is made up of freshmen. A total of 25 ninth graders are on the roster. They join six sophomores, 13 juniors, and eight seniors.
“This could be the best group of young throwers we have ever had here,” Kostecka said. “They seem to have a lot of natural ability and they are anxious to learn and to improve.”
Still, the strength of the team is a handful of veteran juniors and seniors who have their eyes focused on earning an entry into the state meet at the conclusion of the season.
Senior hurdler Zach Schneider has already earned two state medals. He is hoping to set school records in both hurdling events this spring. His ultimate goal is to place first in one or both hurdling events at this year’s state meet.
As a junior, Schneider placed fourth in the 110-meter high hurdles with a time of 15.79 seconds. He crossed the finish line fifth in the 300-meter low hurdles.
Makayla Earl is a senior thrower who is expected to compete in the shot put, the discus, and the javelin at this year’s state finale. Earl is a state veteran in the javelin, and her distances in both the shot put and discus could qualify her to throw at the state meet in all three events this spring.
Adam Collins is a state veteran in the high jump. He hopes to return to the state meet this spring, not only to compete in the high jump, but also in the long jump and triple jump.
The one key ingredient to the success of this year’s team is when the track will be dried out enough to run on it. Last week, it was covered with two inches of ice. The rain melted the ice and turned the track into mud.
“Every other school in our league has been out on their track for two weeks, but our track is still a mud bog,” said Coach Kostecka prior to Monday afternoon’s sudden snow storm. As it looks now, we’ll be lucky to start running on our track by spring break.”
“I took the throwers out to the field last Friday,” said Kostecka, “but the ground was still so frozen that a javelin wouldn’t stick.”
Besides having a new crop of freshmen, the track team also has a new assistant coach. Jason Tapia will be coaching the jumping events, which are his specialty, and he will also be working with the sprinters. He is a former Chewelah resident who moved away following his eighth grade year.
The Cougars are scheduled to open their season at Colville on Thursday, March 22, weather permitting.
With 25 students turning out for golf this spring, Chewelah has one of its biggest turnouts in recent years.
“We have 18 boys playing this year,” said Coach Brian Harting, “but what is exciting is that we have seven girls, so we will be able to field a team. It’s thrilling to see that we have this much interest among the girls.”
The Cougar boys return their entire team from last year, including state veterans Dylan Long, Josh Olson, and Zack Richmond. Also returning are varsity golfers Matthew Chalmers and Nic Grimm.
“I look for our boys to be very competitive in league this year,” said Harting.
“We have a couple of girls back from last year, but most of our girls are new. It’s going to take them awhile to figure this sport out.”
Because of the late winter weather, the Cougar golfers have not yet been out on the golf course.
“We hit a few balls out on the soccer field last week, but that’s the only practice time we have had so far,” said Harting. “So far, most of our time has been spent in the classroom, explaining the rules of the game to our new players.”
The girls are led by Morgan Farrington and Hannah Johnson, who are the two returning members of the girls’ team. Among those playing golf for the first time are Amanda Pugh, Savannah McMillan, and Avery Corbett.
The Cougar golfers have their first scheduled match at Pullman on March 22.
Next week, look for an introduction to Cougar tennis and softball.
By Geno Ludwig, The Independent Staff
The Chewelah tennis and softball teams were the first of the spring sports teams to open the spring sports seasons. On Monday, the Cougar tennis team hosted Medical Lake on the only dry playing surface to be found at the high school. At the same time, the Lady Cougar softball team hosted Springdale.
With 34 players turning out for tennis this spring, there is no extra space to practice on the high school courts.
“We have an even split of 17 boys and 17 girls this year,” said Coach Denise Smith, “and we are starting the season with a bang. We have six straight matches, starting with Medical Lake last Monday.
“We scheduled Medical Lake because they will be in our league next year. We also scheduled a couple of class-B teams before we begin our Northeast A League schedule, because we will be playing our post-season again with the B’s.”
The Cougar boys hope to successfully defend their district title. With league doubles MVPs Tyler Monasmith and David Vilchiz returning to the court, Chewelah will be the team to beat.
“There is currently a fight for our number two boys doubles team,” said Coach Smith. “Six boys are battling, and the way it looks right now, that battle is going to last for a long time. We haven’t been out on the court long enough to settle it yet. Most of our practice time has been up in Johnstone’s home gym.”
Jeff Peterson begins this season as Chewelah’s number one singles player. Ben Johnstone is number two, and Brady Flannigan is number three. The trio is experienced and all have the potential to be in the mix for post-season play.
The strength of the Lady Cougars will be in its doubles teams. Going into the season the number one doubles team is Becka Kenney and Bethany Kofmehl. The two will be challenged throughout the spring by the athletic duo of Ryann Richmond and Kelly Riese, who are currently the number two doubles team.
“They will have a tough road to district play, because there are a lot of good girls’ doubles teams in the league this year,” said Smith.
Chewelah’s girls’ singles players are very young, so they will have to develop as the season plays out. Currently, Naomi Miller is the number one singles player. Kayleigh Hanson is number two, and Tenika Smith is number three.
With only two seniors returning to the team this spring, the Lady Cougars are young.
“This is an interesting group,” said Coach Tom Skok. “We will be a young team. Lavonne Smith and Kathy Trudeau are the only two returning seniors out of 24 girls we have turning out. We do have several sophomores who have a year of experience, and some of them will be playing at the varsity level.”
It appears that Katelyn Garner has earned the role as the team’s starting pitcher. Hailey Carnline and Trudeau will also be pitching for the Lady Cougars, especially on days when they play a doubleheader.
Trudeau and Carnline will also be sharing time at first base when they are not pitching. Two sophomores, Hannah Grimm and Nikki Curtis, will also be playing in the infield. Grimm is Chewelah’s probable starter at second base, and Curtis is the leading candidate for third base. Curtis is also an experienced catcher and a confident hitter.
At shortstop is Mikaela Hopkins, a veteran junior with speed and mobility who should anchor the Cougar infield.
Chewelah should be solid in the outfield with Shylo Schneider in leftfield, Megan Robertson in centerfield, and Atasha Edwards in rightfield. All are veteran players.
The Cougars will play two games at home this week against Kettle Falls on Friday and Omak on Saturday. Both are single games.
While Colville, Lakeside, and Riverside were competing in the West Valley Invitational on Saturday, the Cougar track team was still waiting for their mud bog track to dry out.
“Monday was the first day the entire team got together to practice at our track,” said Coach Pat Kostecka. “It was good to finally have everyone together in the same place, but there was not much our runners and hurdlers could do out there.
“The only place dry enough to run on is the southwest corner of the track. The rest is muddy and has one and a half-inch foot prints all over it where people have walked on it. On the southeast, there is a ditch across the track that is 10 feet long, over a foot wide, and about a foot deep that was dug by runoff coming off the football field.”
“And, there is still so much water on the discus area that the throwers have to wade through two inches of water to retrieve a discus. So, the kids are out there throwing with wet feet every night.”
“Like I said earlier, we’ll be lucky to get on the track by the end of spring break. It won’t be until then that we will even get on it to drag it smooth. That will put us six weeks behind everyone else in our league.”
The Cougars open their track season on Thursday at Colville.
In the photo: Senior David Vilchiz keeps his eye on the ball against Medical Lake in a tough doubles match with partner Tyler Monasmith against Medical Lake. Kim Johnstone photo
By Geno Ludwig, The Independent Staff
Spring is upon us and that means one thing, it’s time to play ball! Little league sign-up dates are as follows: Border League March 26 for ages 7-8, Minor League March 27 for ages 9-10 and we will wrap it up with Major League sign up March 28 for ages 11-12 (ages are as of 4/30/2012).
The Border League focuses on teaching the kids how to catch, throw and bat. The players hit off of a pitching machine that is operated by a coach. This league also focuses on building team spirit, sportsmanship and making new friends. Our primary objective is for the kids to have FUN playing baseball!
Registration will begin at 5 p.m. and end at 5:30 p.m. followed by a one hour team tryout from 5:30-6:30 p.m. located at the Chewelah Little League Field. We are excited for the 2012 baseball season and hope to see everyone at sign-ups. If you have any questions or concerns please contact Little League President Shane Kubik at 936-3179.
Zach Schneider had not practiced jumping more than one hurdle prior to Colville’s Ezra Gordon Invitational track meet last Thursday. Instead, he had done all of his workouts in the hallway of the high school using only one hurdle.
“I had not gotten on our track at all before going up to Colville,” said Schneider. “It was a mud bog. So, Mackinzie Miller put up one hurdle in the hall and practiced on it. There is only room for one hurdle in the hall, so it was hard to get our steps down right. There just was not enough room to practice three-stepping the high hurdles in the hall.
“The technique is to take three steps between hurdles when I run the 110-meter high hurdles. That way, I am going over every hurdle with the same lead foot. Running in the hall was hard on Mackinzie, because he is working on three-stepping between hurdles. And there was not enough room in the hall to practice that.”
However, when Schneider stepped onto the all-weather track at Colville, instinct took over.
“I was a little nervous at first,” he admitted. “Initially, I was put in the preliminary heat with the slowest hurdlers, because I did not have any recorded times so far this season, but then I was moved up to the faster heat.”
“It took about half of the race to get my timing down, but then I pulled away to win it, although I won by only six-tenths of a second.”
Schneider won the 110-meter high hurdles in an amazing 15.84 seconds. He then won the 300-meter low hurdles in an equally incredible 42.42 seconds. Both times were good enough to be ranked fourth among state class-1A hurdlers.
Even more astounding is the performance of Adam Collins, who won the high jump at Colville at a career-best height of 6’0″. That height was good enough to win the event, and it is currently the third-best class-1A jump in the state.
Going into Thursday’s meet, Collins’ best jump was measured at 5’8″. So, on a cold day in Colville, he raised the bar by four full inches.
“I just missed at 6’3″,” said Collins. “My butt just didn’t make it over the bar. It was so cold out that I just could not stretch or stay loose. I can’t wait ’til we get some warmer weather. Then, I’m going to nail it.
“The school record is 6’2″, and I hope to beat that record this year.”
Collins then placed third in both the long jump and the triple jump. His best long jump was 17’11”. He covered 39’7″ in the triple jump.
Also winning two events on Thursday was Makayla Earl. She finished first in both the discus and the shot put. She threw a personal-best 107’8″ in the discus. Her best shot put throw of the day was measured at 34’0″.
“It was my first throw of the season,” said Earl. “All of my other throws went out of bounds. But, it is a good start for the season and I have the rest of the season to improve on it.
“I also won the shot put, but it wasn’t a personal record throw, so I’m going to have to continue to work on that.
“I don’t know if I will be able to continue throwing the javelin. I have a knee injury, so I can’t plant my foot to throw the javelin.”
Miller was fifth in the 110-meter high hurdles with a time of 18.06 seconds. He then finished sixth in the 300-meter low hurdles, timed at 47.62 seconds.
Brittney Wuesthoff placed sixth in the long jump (13’1″), ninth in the javelin (70’8″0, and eleventh in the 100-meter dash (14.72.
James Culverwell was seventh in the javelin (114’3″). Daniele Bradley was eighth in the high jump (4’2″). Stephen Zerr placed ninth in the shot put (34’7″). Moriah Hudson finished ninth in the 400-meter run (1:16.96).
Boys Results: Freeman 135, Colville 120, Medical Lake 98, Reardan 65, Cheney 58, Chewelah 54, Valley Christian 50, Kettle Falls 27, Republic 26, Northport 8, Curlew 6, Selkirk 6, Springdale 1.
Girls Results: Colville 147, Reardan 120, Freeman 80, Medical Lake 60, Cheney 50, Republic 41, Chewelah 30, Northport 30, Selkirk 28, Curlew 28, Valley Christian 25, Kettle Falls 22, Springdale 10, Inchelium 1.
In the photo: Zack Schneider running the 110 hurdles with Colville’s Kevin
Edler behind him. Mara Schneider photo
By Geno Ludwig, The Independent Staff
The Cougars are looking forward to a fantastic 2012 season and have the ability to make it happen. But the execution and mental toughness needed for the actual win are lurking in the shadows. Coach Smith commented, “Our strokes and serves look great this early in the season, but mental toughness, or lack of it, will determine our wins and losses. Consistency and attitude are unmeasureable but a must.”
In the first outing of the season, the boys played Medical Lake at home and the initial glance of the scorekeepers showed Chewelah behind on all the courts. But most of the singles players “manned up” and got serious with their games. The results were #1, Jeff Petersen losing 3-6, 3-6. #2, Ben Johnstone winning in a first set tie breaker 6-6 (8-6), and taking total control in the second set 6-1. #3, Braeton Flanagan finally “felt it” with a 7-5, 6-1 win, and #4, Collin Kirk-Patterson came from behind with a 6-6 (10-8) tie breaker in the first set, dropped the second set 5-7 and learned to never underestimate your opponent in the third set win, 6-1. #5, Brendan Retherford, had a close 9-7 pro set win with sporadic play, but enough to win. All the doubles teams lost.
Tuesday’s match against St. Georges and Thursday match against Deer Park were cancelled due to snow.
Wednesday the girl’s team hosted Colville, with all the Varsity and JV doubles teams winning and the singles losing. The big winners for the Cougars were Becka Kenney and Bethany Kofmehl at #1 doubles, 6-3, 6-0 with burning alley shots, and Ryann Richmond and Kelley Riese dominating 6-1, 6-2. Both wins are big because the girls bracket to State will be a tough one this year and only three teams will go out of this region. Coach Wulczynski said “we don’t know if Colville will send these two teams to playoffs or pair up their singles players who are much better players. The bracketing might really change, so we have to play our best every outing.”
On Friday the girls traveled to Medical Lake, who was kind enough to use their JV and Varsity players to match skill level with the Chewelah girls so everyone should have a close match. All three singles players won JV pro set matches. Naomi Miller 8-2, Kayleigh Hansen 8-3 and Tenika Smith 8-4. Kenney and Kofmehl played Varsity players and won 8-5 as did Richmond and Riese 8-2.
On Saturday the team traveled to Freeman for a league match, anticipating some tough competition. But upon receiving the Scottie roster, everyone realized two defending state players were not playing tennis this year. This made the day much easier for the Cougs. The boys won 4-1. Petersen fought a tough match and went to a third set but ran out of gas to Campbell, a state contender, 1-6, 6-6 (8-6), 3-6. Johnstone brought his big power serves for a 6-1, 6-0 trouncing and Flanagan received a forfeit but played an exhibition match against Campbell, exchanging leads many times but lost 6-8. In doubles, Tyler Monasmith and David Vilchiz had a breeze of a day compared to the match they expected to play, and had an easy 6-1, 6-0 win where they got to practice their alley shots and poaching net play. Patterson and Mason Miller played #2 doubles and thought they could win by just showing up. After a close 7-5 first set they refocused, calmed down and won 6-1. The girls lost 2-3 in a close match. The biggest win of the day, came from sophomore, Miller, who lost her first set 4-6 and came back full of heart and determination to win 7-5, 6-4. Miller showed that mental toughness and hard work can conquer a better player. Hansen had a tough day at the #2 spot and #3 Smith showed improvement as a freshman and started to play more offense but lost in a close second set, 3-6, 5-7. In doubles, Kenney and Kofmehl lacked fire and confidence and were upset 5-7, 6-1, 3-6. #2 doubles, Richmond and Riese walked on the court like they owned the place and never looked back in a convincing 6-1, 6-2 victory.
The Cougars will host Davenport this week and then enjoy Spring Break. They will host Lakeside April 10 and Riverside April 12.
In the photo: Sophomore Naomi Miller playing the #1 girls singles position for the Cougars took on and conquered Freeman’s #1 player with an impressive 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 win. Great job Naomi! Kim Johnstone photo
By Denise Smith, JHS Tennis Coach
Mar. 3, 2012
Mason Ebert – 3rd; Nolan Jeanneret – 2nd; Jared Haden – 2nd; Zeke Crockett – 2nd; Amber Glover – 3rd; Andrew Allan – 4th; James Macrae – 3rd; Levi Miller – 1st; Nicholas Skok – 4th; Blake Burya – 2nd; Joe Dreiszus – 2nd; Ryan Erickson – 3rd; Jake Jeanneret – 1st; Gage Smith – 2nd; Chad Glover – 1st; Dayton Smith – 3rd; Lucas Spencer – 2nd; Aaron Norris – 2nd; Quenton Smith – 3rd; Kaden Krouse – 3rd; Conner Krouse – 1st.
Kettle Falls Tournament
Mar. 10, 2012