High school football practices began last week, and the Tri-City Herald sports staff has been out talking to coaches and players as we prepare for the season openers Sept. 3-4.
Readers will see daily football stories — starting with Sunday’s outlook by Annie Fowler on the Hermiston and Umatilla football teams — leading up to the Sept. 3 Pasco at Davis contest.
We’ll also post videos on a regular basis on our website. We’ll be tweeting and posting on Facebook, too.
We’re also teaming with the sports staff at KNDU and SWX to do a weekly TV show, as we did in 2014.
With so much going on in print, online and on TV, and having a smaller staff, we won’t be doing a football section — something that takes a tremendous amount of man-hours — this year .
But our plan is to give readers more of preps on a daily basis, starting with today’s Hermiston and Umatilla story. And for those who want the schedules, we’ll run all of them the week of the openers.
McClammer continues to dominate
Former Benton City para-athlete Chelsea McClammer dominated at the Parapan Am Games earlier this month in Toronto.
McClammer, 21, won the women’s T53 400- and 800-meter wheelchair events. She set personal records in both events, clocking 56.54 seconds in the 400 and 1 minute, 58.40 seconds in the 800.
That wasn’t her first international competition.
McClammer, a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, won five gold medals at the 2011 Parapan Am Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.
She also competed in the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing.
Howard turns pro
Marisa (Vander Malle) Howard, a 2010 Pasco High School graduate, never does anything half-speed.
Howard, competing for Boise State, was selected as one of the Mountain West Conference’s 2015 NCAA Woman of the Year honorees, and she made it to the next round in the selection process.
Howard graduated from Boise State in May with a degree in nursing after finishing her academic career with a 3.84 grade-point average. Howard also turned professional in track a few weeks ago, signing with Oiselle Haute Volee, and will run the steeplechase.
Pro baseball update
Jorge Reyes (Warden) has a 6-6 record with a 3.75 ERA for the Mississippi Braves, the Double-A team for the Atlanta Braves. He also has two saves. ... Right-hander Eric Yardley (Richland) has 16 saves and a 2.86 ERA for the Lake Elsinore Storm, the Padres’ long-season Single-A California League franchise. In a 15-inning, 8-7 win over the San Jose Giants on Aug. 6, Yardley didn’t allow any runs in the 10th and 11th innings, striking out four batters. ... Former Hanford High star Jason Repko stepped away last year from a baseball career in which he played in the outfield for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox. But he decided he missed the game too much this year and signed with the Sioux Falls Canaries of the independent American Association. In 76 games this season, Repko is hitting .276, with nine home runs and 31 RBIs. In a 5-2 win over Wichita on July 19, Repko had two hits and drove in two runs. ... Lefty Eric O’Flaherty (Walla Walla) was traded from the Oakland Athletics to the New York Mets on Aug. 4. O’Flaherty is a specialist against left-handed hitters, giving up just eight hits in 43 chances. ... Catcher Josh Rapacz (Richland) has appeared in eight games for the Hudson Valley Renegades, a short-season Single-A team in the Tampa Bay Rays’ system. In a 6-4 loss to the Staten Island Yankees in the New York-Penn League on Aug. 7, Rapacz was 2-for-4 with a double and RBI.
Jalen King, who will be a junior this fall at Chiawana High, has been offered a scholarship to play basketball at Montana State. King, a 6-foot-9 center, played exhibition basketball in China on a team put together by former NBA stars Hakeem Olajuwon and Yao Ming. The team traveled across China with coaches from the Houston area to build youth basketball relations between the two countries. King played last season at Pasco High, but he transferred to Chiawana last spring. ... The Indoor Football League’s owners agreed to expand the season for 2016 with a 16-game schedule for each team. That means one more home game for the Tri-Cities Fever. ... TopDrawerSoccer.com listed Pasco High’s Emilio Meraz-Rodriguez on its Washington High School Spring All-State team as a midfielder. ... Tri-Citians Trevor Huff and Logan Meredith finished 12th in the Costa Bassmaster High School Series National Championship on July 22-25 in Paris, Tenn. They caught nine live fish weighing a cumulative 36 pounds, 1 ounce. There were 136 two-man teams. ... The media last month picked Eastern Washington’s football team to win the Big Sky Conference title again. However, the conference’s coaches picked Montana State to win the title. Eastern is ranked sixth in the nation in the STATS FCS Top 25. Hanford High graduate Aaron Neary, a senior, was named by the conference to the preseason All-Big Sky squad as a guard. ... Sarah Adkins of Richland was awarded Washington Young Female Soccer Referee of the Year this summer by Washington Youth Soccer. Adkins has officiated matches in the Tri-Cities since she was 11. In the past year, she was invited to referee in Arizona for an Olympic Development Program tournament, to Washington Youth Soccer State Cup play in Seattle, and to Boise to participate in the US Youth Far West Regional Tournament. Stephanie Koerner of the Tri-Cities Youth Soccer Association was named Administrator of the Year by WYS.