Wa-Hi grad Wagner wins another title

January 27, 2013 

It was in the small type in Saturday’s paper, located on the Sports Scoreboard page.

But it showed that Walla Walla High School graduate David Wagner won two more major wheelchair tennis trophies when he earned the Australian Open quad wheelchair singles title, then teamed with Nick Taylor to win the quad doubles competition.

Wagner played basketball and golfed for the Blue Devils before graduating in 1993.

Then, down in Southern California in the summer of 1995 with his buddy, Chris Nolte, the two young men were hanging out on Redondo Beach, throwing a frisbee around. One of Nolte’s tosses went out toward the water, and Wagner went after it into a wave.

“My accident happened when I jumped over the wave,” Wagner once told me. “It clipped my feet and jacknifed my body, slamming my head into the ocean floor and breaking my neck at the C-6 (vertebrae).”

But Wagner turned this tragedy into a great story, becoming a world-class Paralympian and playing every major wheelchair tennis tournament — and winning them — around the globe.

Now 37, Wagner is not slowing down, and it’s great to see him still competing — and winning.

College news

Baseball isn’t too much farther around the corner. For example, Whitworth University will host a tournament Feb. 15-17 at Gesa Stadium in Pasco, called the Swing into Spring Classic, that will feature Lewis & Clark, Willamette, University of Puget Sound and Corban. ... Football wide receiver Luis Ortiz (Hermiston) had 26 catches for 268 yards this season at Eastern Oregon. ... Sophomore linebacker Joel Teats (Richland) had 13 tackles in 10 games this season for PLU’s 7-3 football team. ... Wide receiver Devon Lind (Othello) had 13 receptions for 163 yards for Whitworth football. ... Here are Marcus Avery’s (Pasco) Army stats at defensive back: 12 tackles and six pass breakups for the 2-10 team. ... Cameron Wagar (Hanford) third in tackles at 69 for the MIT football team (5-4) this season. He also led the team with three interceptions. ... In eight games for Idaho State’s football team this season, defensive lineman Austin Graves (Southridge) totaled 32 tackles, including one quarterback sack.

More fall sports wrapups

Kaylie Winston (Pasco, Walla Walla CC) scored three goals and two assists for the 15-4-2 women’s soccer team at Seattle Pacific. ... Erin Huisingh (Chiawana) scored three goals and three assists this season for the 17-3-2 Concordia women’s team. Teammate Samantha Johnson (Walla Walla CC) also played for the team. ... EWU’s women’s team finished with a 5-7-3 record. Brianna Brannon (Kamiakin) had the third most minutes with 1,320; Kasey McNeill (Southridge) had two goals and two assists for six points; she had the third most shots on the team at 17. ... Anna Pingree (WWCC) finished third on the Idaho State women’s soccer team in scoring with four goals and two assists. The Bengals went 11-6-3 and made the NCAA tournament. ... Sophmore Kelli Jones (Hermiston) finished third in scoring (two goals and one assist for the 1-13-2 women’s soccer team this fall at Eastern Oregon University. ... Freshman Lauren Joseph (Richland) led Gonzaga with 439 assists this season. She also had 16 aces, third best for the 9-20 volleyball Bulldogs. ... WSU’s Chelsey Bettinson (Richland) and Rachel Todorovich (Walla Walla) were both honorable mention selections to the Pac-12 All-Academic women’s volleyball team. Bettinson, a sophomore outside hitter, carries a 3.14 grade point average with an undeclared major. Todorovich, a senior right side hitter, has a 3.18 GPA majoring in communications. ... Junior Bethany Huston (Kamiakin) was No. 2 on the 20-6 PLU womens volleyball team in kills at 230 and led the squad with 124 blocks. ... Shelby Warner (Southridge) had 33 kills in her freshman season for the 6-18 volleyball team at St. Martin’s.

Winter sports

Mandy Machinal (Richland) is averaging 15.0 points a game for Montana Tech’s 5-7 women’s basketball team. ... Kennewick High grad Kaytlyn Coleman, competing for Lewis-Clark State College, qualified for the NAIA National Indoor Track and Field Championships last month in the shot put at the Jacksons Open and Multi’s in Boise. Coleman, a sophomore, set a school record of 41 feet, 7 inches.

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