Other Local Sports

2 former Tri-Cities indoor football stars are nominated for the Hall of Fame

24 hours: 5 a.m. at Elite Ambitions Training

Steven Whitehead, owner and founder of Elite Ambitions Training, never thought he would stay in the area for long when he came here in 2011 to play for the Tri-Cities Fever indoor football team. Now he has found a home and a passion helping youth
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Steven Whitehead, owner and founder of Elite Ambitions Training, never thought he would stay in the area for long when he came here in 2011 to play for the Tri-Cities Fever indoor football team. Now he has found a home and a passion helping youth

Houston Lillard and Steven Whitehead were a dangerous combination during their Tri-Cities Fever days.

Both were all-star players in the Indoor Football League — Lillard as the quarterback and Whitehead as a speedy receiver.

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Former Tri-Cities Fever quarterback Houston Lillard is nominated for this year’s Indoor Football League Hall of Fame. Andrew Jansen Tri-City Herald

Now both are listed among the 10 nominees for this year’s Indoor Football League Hall of Fame.

The league will choose three of the nominees to join the hall as part of this year’s induction class.

In other local sports news:

• The Tri-Cities Fire came close again to winning on Sunday. The team led the visiting Wenatchee Valley Skyhawks 34-21 at intermission.

But Tri-Cities couldn’t score in the second half and lost 42-34. That makes the Fire 0-7 this season in the American West Football Conference.

The Fire visits Wenatchee Valley this Saturday, June 8, at 7 p.m.

• Nice to see former Tri-City American defenseman Brandon Carlo playing for the Boston Bruins in the NHL Stanley Cup Finals. Carlo had three blocks and had a plus-2 rating in the Bruins’ 7-2 win in Game 3. Heading into Monday night’s Game 4, the Bruins held a 2-1 series lead.

• There has been a couple of changes in the Mid-Columbia Conference coaching ranks this coming year in boys basketball.

Adam Berg has left his head coaching post at Pasco High, and he’ll now be the head coach for Walla Walla.

Meanwhile, Pasco did take long, elevating Jamelle Juneau from the assistant coach ranks to become the head coach for the Bulldogs.

• The Tri-Cities Alliance played the visiting Bellingham United to a 0-0 tie on Sunday at Edgar Brown Stadium. Jose Herrera was lights out at keeper for the Alliance, which is now 0-1-3 on the Evergreen Premier League season. The rough and tumble contest featured seven yellow cards. The Alliance now travels to play the Washington Premier FC at 5 p.m. Sunday.

• Congratulations to Kamiakin High School junior Neal Berkey, who placed second among 39 competitors at the Washington State Combined Events Championships this past Saturday in Lake Stevens.

It was Berkey’s first-ever decathlon competition, and it came a weekend after placing second in the State 3A boys long jump event (22 feet, 4.5 inches) and sixth in the pole vault (15-0) for the first-place Braves.

Not surprisingly, Berkey won the decathlon pole vault with a height of 14-5.25. And he placed second in the long jump with a leap of 21-9. He also placed third in the high jump at 6-2.75.

• Washington State University Athletic director Patrick Chun has hired Brian Green from New Mexico State University to be the Cougars’ next head baseball coach. Chun recently fired Marty Lees. Green has been at New Mexico State the previous five years, and he averaged 34 wins over the last four seasons.

WSU currently has three Tri-Citians on its baseball roster: Dillon Plew (Kennewick High grad), Trent Sellers (Kennewick) and Payton Flynn (Kamiakin).

• Here are the latest inductions to the Hanford High Athletic Hall of Fame, which were announced last week:

Travis Chalk, all-state football from 2008; Ryan Craig, all-state football from 2008; Mirza Gusic, all-area boys soccer player from 2009; Dave Johnson, standout wrestler from 1985-87; Jake Knox, multiple state placer in tennis; Curtis Lan, multiple state placer in tennis; Taymussa Miller, state high jump champion from 2009; Kyle Wagar, all-state football from 2008; and Kody Winsor, all-state football from 2008.

• This year’s Hanford High athletes of the year are girls track star Nyenuchi Okemgbo and boys swimmer Skyler Younkin.

Race car driver Brittany Zamora talks to the Herald about landing a new sponsorship and racing.

• Kennewick’s Brittney Zamora drove her Super Late Model in the Mark Galloway 150 at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, and she finished third overall.

MCC all-conference baseball

Kamiakin and Chiawana picked up the major awards recently in the Mid-Columbia Conference all-conference baseball team.

Kamiakin’s Trystan Vrieling, who signed with Gonzaga University, was named the conference’s Pitcher of the Year, while the Braves’ Steve Woods was named Coach of the Year.

Chiawana junior catcher Riley Cissne was named Player of the Year.

The first team was spread out among eight of the nine MCC schools.

Southridge led the way with three first-teamers: senior shortstop Nik Grade, senior outfielder Wesley Hickman, and junior second baseman Jack Sanders.

Kamiakin, Kennewick and Pasco each had two players on the first team.

For the Braves, it was Vrieling at pitcher, and senior outfielder Gavin Ayers. Kennewick had senior first baseman Tim Gee and senior DH Easton Stevens. And Pasco had junior third baseman Owen Bintorio and senior utility player Emilio Davila on the first team.

The remaining first-teamers are Chiawana’s Cissne at catcher, senior pitcher Taylor Johnson of Richland, senior outfielder Jordan Ramirez of Hermiston, and junior reliever Luke Stutesman of Hanford.

Here’s the list of the second team: Jacob Andersen, P, senior, Kennewick; Dylan Ashbeck, OF, junior, Walla Walla; Drew Daves, OF, senior, Richland; Simeon Howard, OF, freshman, Kennewick; Jeremiah Kennell, SS, junior, Kamiakin; Talon Lafontaine, 3B, senior, Kennewick; Aidan Morrison, Utility, junior, Southridge; Cooper Page, RP, sophomore, Southridge; Kirby Robertson, C, senior, Richland; Kalen Rutz, 2B, junior, Kamiakin; Tanner Sullins, DH, junior, Kamiakin; Ryan Watilo, P, senior, Walla Walla; Jackson Ziobro, 1B, senior, Kamiakin.

Jeff Morrow is former sports editor for the Tri-City Herald.
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