KENNEWICK -- There's a big football game set to be played in Dallas today, but Tri-Cities Fever fans need to know that the 2011 Indoor Football League begins in earnest next Sunday when the team's first practice will be held in the Toyota Center.
Players begin arriving in town Friday and Saturday.
Coach Adam Shackleford has 41 players on his roster, and the team will spend most of the week working out in the building -- including an exhibition game with the Wenatchee Venom on Feb. 17.
The team's season opener will be at home, Feb. 26, against the expansion Arizona Adrenaline.
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Sonderland hits milestone
I remember as a teenager watching Roger Sonderland play basketball for the Richland Bombers.
Time apparently is flying by. Sonderland finished coaching another season of the River View boys basketball team Friday night.
He told me it was his 600th career game as a coach. I asked him what his record was, and he thought it was 350-250. Congrats on the milestone Roger.
NWAACC needs some help
The Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges is looking for help for the upcoming basketball championships, set for March 5-8 in the Toyota Center.
With 16 men's teams, 16 women's teams, and 52 total games, there's a need for a lot of help.
The tournament directors are looking for scoreboard and shot clock operators, scorebook help, announcing and cybersports inputter/spotter positions, pass gate check-in, hospitality room help and merchandise sales people.
Contact Charlie Warner at 360-992-2792 if you're interested.
Didier on NFL labor relations
Clint Didier, the Eltopia farmer who also played in the NFL, isn't sure the players association is doing the right thing holding out for more of the monetary pie.
"I was part of the NFLPA, and when we struck in 1982 we had 55 percent of the revenues," said Didier. "Now it's 60 percent, and the owners have to stretch themselves to make a profit."
Didier said he made $35,000 in his first season, 1981. He made $42,000 in his second season.
"Now the minimum is $400,000," he said. "That's a huge jump. I know you have to account for inflation. But it's not that much."
As for today's game? "I think Green Bay is gonna win this one," he said.
Wilson done at N.C. State
This one comes from my boss, Publisher Rufus M. Friday, who played tight end on North Carolina State's last ACC championship team. He sadly tipped me off that N.C. State quarterback Russell Wilson will not be back for his senior season.
Wilson, you may remember, spent last summer playing for the Tri-City Dust Devils. He's going to concentrate on his baseball career.
Wolfpack coach Tom O'Brien needed Wilson to be at spring football practice because the team is going to have a bunch of young receivers.
Around the horn
Fred Ocasio is returning again this summer to manage the Tri-City Dust Devils. But there will be two more former Tri-City skippers in the Northwest League this season. Tom Trebelhorn, who coached the Tri-City Posse in the now-defunct Western Baseball League in 1995, will once again be the manager at Salem-Keizer. Pat Murphy, who managed the Tri-City Triplets back in the late 1980s, is the new manager for the Eugene Emeralds. ... Best T-shirt that our wrestling writer, Kevin Anthony, saw at the CBBN 3A district tournament this weekend at Pasco High: "Jesus never tapped out." ... Former Pasco standout Stacey Edwards is still playing indoor football. The defensive back just signed to play with the Wyoming Cavalry in the IFL. ... Former-NFL defensive lineman Kimo von Oelhoffen is working towards becoming an NFL assistant coach. He's already done a stint in preseason with the Cleveland Browns and a shorter camp with the Arizona Cardinals. Now the Richland resident is considering internships with five teams who have offered him one -- among them the Ravens, Steelers and Eagles. ... The Columbia Basin College women are still the top-ranked basketball team in the latest NWAACC poll -- although the Hawks did suffer their first loss this week (to Walla Walla). Tacoma is No. 1 in the men's poll.
* Jeff Morrow: 509-582-1507; firstname.lastname@example.org