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Minutes from the Tri-City Sports Council meeting

One of the biggest advocate groups for Mid-Columbia sports is the Tri-City Sports Council, a collection of movers and shakers from our area devoted to bringing sports events to our area.

There always is interesting news to emerge from the monthly meetings. Here's what happened at last week's June meeting:

1. Mike Guajardo and Santos Ortega, two former Tri-City basketball coaches, are taking over running the annual Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges men's and women's basketball tournaments, scheduled next year for March 6-9.

Fritz Strankman, who oversaw the tournament the past few years, is stepping aside. The Toyota Center has the tournament at least for the next three years.

One key aside: the tournament will run from Saturday through Tuesday next year, avoiding a lot of conflict with then high school postseason.

Guajardo and Ortega say they will be looking for 200 volunteers for the event, and there will be an NWAACC golf tournament fundraiser set for Aug. 8.

2. The second annual Sacagawea Adventure Challenge is set for Sept. 12 along the 23-mile Sacagawea Heritage Trail. People can run, walk and bike on the trail, checking in at 15 to 20 checkpoints along the way. It's a good way to get the family out doing something healthy.

3. The Dust Devils season is almost upon us. The team opens June 20 in Boise for a three-game set, then returns home for the opener June 23 against Vancouver.

4. The second annual Tri-City high school football camp runs June 15-19 at Hanford and Walla Walla high schools. On June 19 from 3 to 10 p.m. at Lampson Stadiium in Kennewick, the week's final scrimmages will be run. It's a great opportunity to get a look at next season's talent, all in one location.

5. Bad news at Pasco High. A sprinkler apparantly was accidentally broken in the school's gymnasium last week. Before the water line could get shut off, the floor was flooded and damaged beyond repair. So a new floor must be out in, and it's likely no one may use the gym all summer until it's fixed.

6. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Gene Carlson family. The long-time Pasco fixture passed away June 1. A former head football coach at the University of Montana, Carlson came to Pasco in 1980 to lead the Pasco program. He ended up staying in Pasco until his death.

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