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Tri-Cities schools snag preseason football honors

Chiawana Riverhawks take down the Richland Bombers

Chiawana Riverhawks take down the Richland Bombers on Friday at Edgar Brown Memorial Stadium in Pasco for the first game of the season.
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Chiawana Riverhawks take down the Richland Bombers on Friday at Edgar Brown Memorial Stadium in Pasco for the first game of the season.

With the first day of WIAA high school football practice beginning Wednesday, the Seattle Times released its preseason poll for the three largest classifications in the state.

And some Mid-Columbia teams are listed among the best.

In the Class 4A poll, the Chiawana Riverhawks are ranked No. 7.

The Riverhawks feature two returning first-team All-Mid-Columbia Conference players this season in defensive back Riley Cissne and linebacker Cameron Breier.

Lake Stevens is ranked No. 1 going into the season, while Woodinville is second and Graham-Kapowsin is third. The remaining top 10 includes No. 4 Puyallup, followed by Kennedy Catholic, Camas, Chiawana, Bothell, Skyview and Eastlake.

In the Class 3A poll, Kamiakin cracked the top 10, coming in at No. 9.

The Braves have two players back from last year’s All-MCC first team: wide receiver Messiah Jones and defensive lineman Tanner Sullins.

Eastside Catholic gets the nod as No. 1, with O’Dea right behind at No. 2 and Lincoln of Tacoma at No. 3.

Mount Spokane comes in at No. 4, followed by Bellevue, Lakes of Tacoma, Peninsula, Bethel, Kamiakin and Ferndale.

Prosser also made the top 10 in the Class 2A poll, coming in at No. 8. The Mustangs have two first-team all-Central Washington Athletic Conference South all-stars coming back in wide receiver Will Thompson and return man Logan Candanoza.

The Times selected two-time defending state champion Hockinson to repeat, giving it the No. 1 spot in the poll. Steilacoom is ranked second, while Tumwater is third.

The remainder of the poll has Lynden at No. 4, followed by Liberty of Issaquah, West Valley of Spokane, Fife, Prosser, Black Hills and Sequim.

Golf roundup

It’s been a pretty good summer for Southridge High grad Nick Mandell when it comes to the golf course.

Mandell won the Seattle Amateur Championship in early July.

Then on July 22, he won a U.S. Amateur qualifier at The Ranch Club in Missoula, scoring rounds of 67 and 69 to earn the one berth there.

A week later, the former Washington State University golfer finished seventh at the Washington State Golf Association’s Men’s Amateur at Palouse Ridge.

Finally, in early August, Mandell played at the U.S. Amateur, getting to take on the Pinehurst No. 4 and Pinehurst No. 2 courses in North Carolina.

And while Mandell missed the cut – he scored a 78 and 76 for a 14-over-par 154 – as far as we can tell, he became the first Mid-Columbian to ever qualify for the U.S. Amateur.

So, yes, a pretty good summer for him.

Brady Sharp of Wine Valley Golf Club was the highest area placer at the National Car Rental Pacific Northwest PGA Assistants Championship, held Aug. 5 at Arrowhead Golf Club in Molalla, Ore.

Sharp tied for sixth among 168 competitors with a three-round total of 202.

Derek Berg, a Sunnyside High graduate who works at the Pacific Northwest Golf Academy, tied for 15th at 207.

Mandell, based out of Canyon Lakes, was tied for 25th at 211, while Sun Willows amateur Brian Barton was tied for 42nd at 214.

Jason Aichele of Meadow Springs Country Club tied for 50th at 215.

College football

Expect Richland High grad Lakota Wills to have a good fall campaign for the Air Force Academy.

Wills, a junior for the Falcons, is getting the green light from his defensive coaches to be creative at his outside linebacker position. That includes blitzing from the inside or the outside.

“I can do whatever,” Wills told Brent Briggeman of the Colorado Springs Gazette. “I’ll keep the offensive line guessing.”

Dust Devils

The Tri-City Dust Devils began an important seven-game homestand Tuesday night at Gesa Stadium in Pasco.

Tri-City was 13-12 going into Tuesday’s game against the Vancouver Canadians – just 2 games behind first-place Spokane in the second-half division race.

Vancouver is here for games through Thursday night, then the Boise Hawks come to town for a four-game series that ends next Monday night.

All games begin each night at 7:15.

Tri-City Americans

It’s time for training camp.

The Tri-City Americans’ training camp runs Thursday through Sunday at the Toyota Center.

Head coach Kelly Buchberger is expecting 67 players to turn out.

Thursday’s first practice begins at 9 a.m., with a scrimmage set for 7 p.m., that night.

Practices and scrimmages will be held all day Friday and Saturday, and it all culminates in the annual Blue-White game at 9 a.m. Sunday.

All on-ice practices and scrimmages are free and open to the public.


Brayde Hirai, a Chiawana grad who has played for the Walla Walla Community College baseball team the past two years, led the Walla Walla Sweets of the West Coast League this summer in earned run average for pitchers with a 1.94. He also tied for second in team honors with 38 strikeouts. Hirai is headed to Central Washington University this fall to pitch for the Wildcats.

Arturo Reyes (Warden/Columbia Basin College) is second on the Durham Bulls pitching staff with victories at 7. He is also third in innings pitched (91.2) and strikeouts (79). Durham is the Triple-A affiliate for the Tampa Bay Rays.

Othello product David Garza got a promotion on Aug. 8, as he was called up from the Northwest League’s Hillsboro Hops to the Kane County Cougars of the Midwest League. Garza ended up hitting a respectable .274 for the Hops (an Arizona Diamondbacks affiliate) after a slow start. He’s played 15 games so far for Kane County, going 9-for-54 at the plate.

Columbia Basin College is looking for a new head women’s basketball coach for the coming 2019-20 season.