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January 3, 2013     Cheney Free Press
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Thursday, January 3, 2013 SPORTS Free Press Section 2 Page 1 Blackhawks battle, but fall to Fife in final 3-1 2012's Cheney's fourth trip in five years to state soccer final four ends like the previous three By JOHN McCALLUM Editor You can hardly blame the Cheney boys" soccer team if they're walking around with the limp, unfocused gaze of a battle-weary warrior - the thousand-yard stare. The Blackhawks have seen some of the most intense soccer battles over File photo CO Skillingstad tries to get a kick ahead of a header by Fife defensive "stopper" Gilberto Garcia in the state title game. four years of state final four competi- tion, three years in a row between 2008-2010 and last TOP weekend's war on the pitch at Sum- SPORTS ner High School's STORIES: Sunset Chev Stadi- um. Each time the CHENEY Blackhawks out- dueled semifinalist foes to reach the state 2A title game and each time they have come home with the same result - second place. Friday night Cheney battled the talent and will of an Archbishop Mur- phy team that believed their name had already been etched on the title trophy, they just needed to pick it up. The Blackhawks rallied from a halftime deficit to take a late lead they would lose before some heroic goal work lifted them to a 4-3 shootout win over the Wildcats. But any emotional lift Cheney got from the thriller was spent the next day against a senior-laden Fife team that dominated the Blackhawks in the first half and didn't let them find a way back, downing Cheney 3-1 for the state title. Less than 24 hours prior, it was Archbishop Murphy drawing first blood with leading scorer Aidan Hug- gins goal in the sixth minute, but the Blackhawks answered quickly. Daniel Bogart's shot hit the crossbar and See CHS soccer page 3 Winning just part of Lemaster's lasting tennis legacy By PAUL DELANEY Staff Reporter Some of the tradi- tions Leroy Lemaster brought to the Medi- cal Lake boys' tennis program over the years may indeed fade away now that he's officially - and finally - fully retired. Never to be forgot- ten, however, will be the impact Lemaster made on the sport in the nearly 50 years since he first put his imprint on it. Over the past 20 years Lemaster has strung together an incredible run of tennis success. But his influ- ence has been more than wins. Lemaster officially wrapped up his third stint as the Cardinal boys" tennis coach this past spring when a reluctant principal John McSmith 'was convinced to sign Le- master's letter of resig- nation. "The principal said he wasn't going to sign it," Lemaster said with a little chuckle. "But then he started laughing and said he appreciated every- thing I'd done." The 74-year-old Le- File photo Retiring Medical Lake boys' tennis coach Leroy Lemaster (right), and grandsonl Dallon Bogart, made one final trip to visit the Wild Horse Monument at Vantage, Wash. on the way home from the state tournament in May. master had done a ton to promote and elevate the game of tennis, and influence the lives of the hundreds of athletes he's coached along the way. The Twisp, Wash. na- selor at Lakeland Vil- resign in 1968. tive actually began his lage. Lemaster was first He returned to coach- long association with hired as tennis coach at ing in 1992 and was able Medical Lake over a half- Medical Lake in 1965. His to coach his own kids, century ago in 1961 when move into a new position Ty and Tressa. Lemaster he became a tenant coun- at Lakeland forced him to also had the honor of coaching his grandson Dallon Bogart. Lemaster surrendered the job again to prot4g Justin Blayne in 2008 but returned to the racket two years ago when Blayne took a new job. Over the years Le- master's work is nothing short of amazing for a small town school play- ing a big city game. In a span from 1992 to 2008 his Medical Lake teams were represented at state every year but one. Add to that Lemas- ter's teams won two state team championships, back-to-back in fact, in 2004 and 2005. "In an eight-year span we had two firsts, four seconds, a third and a fourth in state as a team," he said. But Lemaster takes morb pride in stacking the initial building blocks for the program, and the lessons he instilled in his players about life after tennis. "We're here and we're having fun," Lemaster said. "But when you look back at it I want you to learn you have to work hard in life to get ahead." If you don't, it's going to See Lemaster page 4 I Sam Houston hol,: s off second half rally, stops EWU's Frisco quest By PAUL DELANEY Staff Reporter Another record-tying effort for touchdown passes couldn't do it. Neither could a sec- ond half offensive explo- sion that was unmatched this season, and perhaps in the history of EWU football. The 35-point hole Sam Houston State University put the Eastern Washing- ton Eagles in the first half of last Saturday's NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoff semi- final game at Roos Field proved just too deep. So following their staving off one of the most amazing rallies in 2012's File photo Not even three touchdown catches by Brandon Kaufman could rescue the Eagles against Sam Houston. FCS history, the visiting Bearkats scored a wild 45-42 win over the Eagles and will ge t their rematch in the national title game in Frisco, Texas Jan. 5 ver- sus North Dakota State. "It was obviously a tale of two halves when you 10ok at the game," Eastern head coach Beau Baldwin said. And when the clock on the new Roos' score- board finally had nothing but zeroes showing, the TOP SPORTS STORIES" reality that there was no time this time for Eastern . to stage what had become routine rallies in so many games. Like these: Being down 9 points to Montana with less than 3 minutes to play only to win 32-26 in the home opener. Or trailing 10-0 in Bozeman before special teams and defense res- cued a 27-24 win over Montana State. Eastern's redshirt freshman quarterback Vernon Adams capped a drive that took just 1:32 with his 9-yard naked bootleg to score the win- ning touchdown with 8:13 to go in a win over Cal Davis. It wasn't always the offense either. Allen Brown's knockdown of a Mason Magleby pass to Shane Harrison near the goal line as time ran out pre- served a 31-28 victory over Sacramento State. With 34 seconds remaining, Jerry Ceja sacked Weber State quar- terback Mike Hoke and forced a fumble that Will Katoa pounced on to lock up a 32-26 win. In all, five Eastern wins in Big Sky play came by a seven points or less, two by field goals. In all the Eagles' 7-1 confer- ence record was built by an average of just seven points. And on the season their average margin of victory in an 11-3 season was 8.28 points. So much for facts and figures. How about people? All-American receiver Brandon Kaufman was nothing short of stu- pendously spectacular. How's that for an ulti- See EWU football page 6 Decision was tough to pick a 'best-of' for Cheney sports in 2012 By JOHN McCALLUM Editor It s a difficult exercise making selections for a "best of" list. Even in do- ing year in review stories, some events and issues, and in this case, teams and/or individuals, are going to either get left off or won't receive enough of a write up to do justice. Instead of doing an annual, two-part year in review epic, the Cheney Free Press editorial staff instead is naming and re- running what we believe l[}il. mi are the state title and the girls' .. ii .... ? :' i t o p track team, the Black- =;:'i- 7, s t o - hawks' boys soccer squad I ries of returning to the title game 2 01 2, and the Lady Hawks soft- three from our various ball team reaching state areas of coverage. On this page, or in this section, readers will find the top three sports stories from Cheney, Medical Lake high schools and Eastern Washington University, along with maybe an- other miscellaneous story or two if space allows. The stories from Cheney, Sanne Holland's for the second time in three years when they hadn't gone in over 20 years, are all deserving of being the top stories. But there were others as well making a sort of"top-10" list that were considered, all significant achieve- ments in their own right and to be celebrated. For Starters, the Black- hawks baseball team also made a return to the state playoffs, their third ap- pearance in four years, advancing to quarterfinal action. It's a performance we're beginning to expect every year from Randy Elam's successful pro- gram. Getting out of spring and into fall we have Cheney's football and cross country programs. Jason Williams' grid iron squad surprised every- one but themselves by landing a playoff game for the second straight season, this time land- ing the Great Northern League's No. 2that un- fortunately pitted them against Central Wash- ington Athletic Confer- ence champion and top- ranked, unbeaten Othel- lo, ending in a 42-7 loss. Head coach Jay Mar- tin's runners were again a factor in the GNL cross country picture. Both the boys and girls teams ad- vanced to the state meet in Pasco, the girls getting a chance to defend their 2011 2A state crown. And while that kind of success is anticipated each year, the Cheney boys showed the value that off-season work can bring, with a young, somewhat inexperienced varsity squad surprising everyone with a No. 2 finish at district and re- gional competition and fifth in Pasco. Holland wrapped up her Cheney cross country career by finishing second individ- See Crunch Time page 2