Columns & Blogs

Lots of events coming to town

OK, it's cold out. But there's still a lot going on in Mid-Columbia sports during these winter months.

For example, the Tri-Cities Sports Council met last week with a number of items being discussed.

Pasco High athletic director Le Burns said that 36 high school wrestling teams are expected to compete in the annual Best of the West tournament at Pasco High, set for Dec. 22 and 23.

The first day is a dual meet tournament, and the second day will be individual competition.

Scott Rogers, athletic director for Columbia Basin College, said the school will hold its sixth Wall of Fame banquet Jan. 26. Former CBC football coach Dick Zornes will be the featured speaker.

Two former CBC athletes -- Mark Kafentzis and Dave McKay -- will be inducted that night into the Wall of Fame.

Kafentzis played football at CBC, the University of Hawaii, and in the NFL. McKay played baseball at CBC and in the major leagues, and has been an assistant coach in the big leagues the last 27 years. Most of those have been as a first base coach for Tony La Russa's teams in Oakland and St. Louis.

The Tri-City Dust Devils, Richland High School and the Tri-Cities Visitor and Convention Bureau are working together to submit a bid to host the state 4A and 3A semifinals and finals for 2012 in May.

This area already will be getting the 2012 4A and 3A state tennis championships in May, and there's a chance we could get the 1A state softball tournament.

Also, the Toyota Center and the TCVCB are working on a bid to bring back the state 4A, 3A and 2A volleyball tournaments in November 2012.

Coming up

Next week will be a busy one for our staff.

The prep guys will be running their all-area football team. They'll also vote on the all-state football team being organized by The Associated Press, and that will be released sometime next week or the week after.

For those readers looking for some winter sports previews, those will also come out next week.

Since the CBBN 4A and 3A leagues begin conference play on Friday, Dec. 16, we'll run the girls on Thursday, Dec. 15, produced by Craig Craker; and the boys on Friday, the 16th, produced by Jack Millikin.

Kevin Anthony's season outlook on wrestling, Katie Dorsey's boys swimming preview and Rocky Morrow's girls gymnastics outlook will also run next week.

On Christmas Day, Annie Fowler will put together her annual mid-season report on the Tri-City Americans.

National champs

Kamiakin grad Meagan McKinney and Southridge grad La'Quilla Upton are members of the College of St. Rose women's soccer team. St. Rose is an NCAA Division II school in upstate New York, and last week the soccer team won the national title.

McKinney started in the defensive backfield, while Upton was sidelined most of the season. But they are both national champs now from the Mid-Columbia.

They join Pasco High grad Brittany Cherry, who helped her Oregon Institute of Technology softball team win the NAIA national championship in May.

Coming up Dec. 17, three Tri-City freshmen -- Richland's Jake McKinney, Liberty Christian's Bryan Corrigan and Tri-Cities Prep's Troy Redmann -- who are redshirting for the Carroll College football team, could be part of a squad that wins the NAIA national title. If the Saints can defeat St. Xavier of Illinois, that is.

Winston in Portland

Wondered whatever happened to Walla Walla High School standout Gary Winston? Remember, a few years ago Winston was one of the best boys basketball players in ther CBBN, if not the state.

He was headed to the University of Idaho on a basketball scholarship, but some personal family problems kept him from going. At one point, he enrolled at Walla Walla Community College and was going to play for the Warriors.

But he decided against that, and now he has reappeared at Portland State University, where as a true freshman he's averaging 21.8 minutes of playing time over five games for the 5-2 Vikings. Winston is averaging 8 points a game.

This 'n' that

Tri-Citians wanting to get up close and personal with new WSU football coach Mike Leach can do so Feb. 3 at the Three Rivers Convention Center for "A Night with Cougar Football." Cost is $75, or $65 for young WSU alumni under the age of 30. ... Congratulations to Mike Reilly and Ben Archibald, members of the B.C. Lions, who won the Canadian Football League's Grey Cup last month. Reilly is a former Kamiakin quarterback who is a backup QB for the Lions, while Archibald -- who makes his offseason home in Richland -- is a starting offensive lineman for the Lions. ... The annual Cable Bridge Run is set for Dec. 17, with registration deadline Dec. 14. Of all the races run in the Tri-Cities, this one is usually the largest, sometimes with 2,000 entrants. ... The Tri-Cities Figure Skating Club will hold its Holiday recital at the Toyota Arena on Dec. 21. FYI, parking will be hard to come by that night, as Mannheim Steamroller is playing in the Toyota Center next door at the same time. ... Richard Lee, who won the Washington State Open at Moses Pointe Golf Course in Moses Lake a few years ago, earned his PGA Tour card last week after placing high enough in the Q-School Tournament. ... Richland High grad Dylan Radliff, playing for the Walla Walla Community College men's basketball team, was named tournament MVP for the Warriors at the Skagit Valley tournament on Thanksgiving weekend. Radliff scored 24 points in the title game, a 64-53 win over Clackamas.