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April 2, 2015     Cheney Free Press
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April 2, 2015
 

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Thursday, April 2, 2015 Free Press Section 2 Page 5 continued from page 1 in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2012. It all began in 1981 when Rick Griffith, a stu- dent teacher at Medical Lake High School, and former wrestler, along with Jeff King, also a wres- tler, had the idea to begin a kids wrestling club in town. Former Cardinal wrestler Wayne Terry was asked to be part of the group. When the Maulers were formed there were no other teams to wrestle. "All we did was train one whole season" Terry said. The following year Chewelah started their club. "We drove to Chewelah and wrestled," Terry said. "That was our season, training and a dual meet with Chewelah." Colville followed suit in 1983 with each town hosting a tournament. Liberty and Wilbur fol- lowed forming teams in consecutive years. "We had five teams and 150 kids," Terry said. That was the start of the Washington Little Guy Wrestling League that encompasses a geo- graphical area from the Cascade Mountains into Idaho, north to Metaline and south into Lewiston/ Clarkston. "I had no idea it would become what it is," said Terry, a retired career member of the National Guard and owner of his own general contract- ing business, Whitewater Construction. "I'd like to say I had grandiose visions of how it would all work out," Terry said. "I just wanted to introduce kids to wres- tling (and) give them the opportunity we didn't have as kids." From those humble beginnings came "The Crawford," as it is often referred. Crawford, a 12-year old Mat Mauler was killed in 1988 when he was hit by a car while his family was vacationing in Kelowna, British Columbia. Dennis Crawford, Jason's dad, still travels from Georgia each year to attend the tour- nament and speak to the wrestlers and spectators. The original Crawford Memorial began as a five- team, 150-wrestler event in 1988 in Medical Lake. "This year we have 75 teams and 3,457 kids/' Terry said. The Mat Maulers pro- gram is more than just wrestling. It t ,aches numer- ous life lessons and builds a foundation for later in life. Terry said each Mat Maulers practice starts with the story of a war hero. "We talk about the importance of people in uniform," he said. The final practice of the year encourages wres- tlers to bring a member of their family who is, or has been in the miliUn'y. They are then acknowledged and honored. But the lessons go be- yond that, Terry said. The wrestlers respect edu- cation, their body, the sport, an opponent and parents. The Mat Maulers have been the starting point for some notable careers. One of those is Josh Edmonson from Medi- cal Lake who went on to attend the University of Tennessee and atone time was ranked No. 14 in the nation, Terry said. Garrett Johnson was a three-time state champion, and went on to wrestle for North Idaho College and then the University of Montana. Johnson now coaches for the Bigfoot program in the West Cen- tral Neighborhood in Spo- kane. Another grad, Ken Kruger, coaches at Lake- side, Chad Ripke, just led Freeman to a state 1A championship and Cheney head coach Brad Rasmus- Sell. "That's just the ones we know of," Terry said. The Crawford begins with matches at 9 a.m. Admission is $3 per person 12 and older. For further information on the Washington Little Guy Wrestling League visit washingtonlittleguy. 0m. Paul Delaney can be reached at pdelaney@cheneyfreepress. corn. i ii !!i!i!iii!i!ii!ii!i iiii iiiiii iiiiiii!iiiii!i!iiiiii iiii!iiiiiiiii ii iiiiiiiiiiii iiii!iiiiiiiii iiiiiii!iiiiiii iiiiiiiiii ii iiiii i iiiiiiiiii ii!i !iii iii ii i i ! ! ii i i i i i!ii ii !i !i i :!iiii iii!ii ii !i i!ii ii iii iiiii iii iiiii ii iiiiiiiiiiii i iiiii i iiiii iii iii i iii ii!ii i iii !i iii! iiiii!iiiii iiiii ii !i iiiii!i i i i iii i iii ii !ii!i ! iii !ii i!iii i!i!iii i i iii!i ! ! iiiiiiiii i ii! i i i i i i!i!i i i i ii! i i i i i i!! i!i i !ii i!iii i ii! i!iiiii iii iii!i!ii! i!! iii i iii i!!!iii i i !ii i i i !iiiii! iii!! i i i ! i continued from page 1 D vision I program history, shing 21-12. Each program's head coach, lira Hayford on the men's side and Wendy Schuller with the wom- en, were asked to offer thoughts on their respective seasons. What was their most pleasant surprise? What was something they never saw coming and what did their team's accomplish- ments mean to the future? For Hayford, there were two bolts out of the clear blue sky. "I knew we were going to need production from a couple of guys - I wasn't sure who would step up," Hayford said. "Bogdan Bliznyuk, the Big Sky Con- ference Freshman of the Year, was a player who certainly played that role." And he didn't expect Tyler Harvey to be the lead- ing scorer in the country As for the rumored pos- sib'flity of Harvey passing up his finalseason at East- em to pursue a possible shot at the NBA? "There's a process to find out where a player might land in the NBA draft pick," Hayford said last Friday. "And if he's a first-round draft, that's a lot of money (and) l think he should take iL And if he's not I think he should come back and improve his op- portunities that way." Almost as if on cue, SchuUer's best surprise was the performance of yet an- other freshman. "In terms of our team, right off the bat, and you think of individuals, you think of Delaney Hodgins," PRAYER FOR SICK & LOVE TO HAVE YOU JOIN US THIS SUNDAY MARKET FRESH Dr. David Turner, DMD Modem Most dental dentistff insurances with oldaccepted fashioned inciudingTricare care ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS Airway Hei[bts Family Dentistry 9173 W. Sunset Hwy. 509-456-4220 Schuller said. "Coming in as a freshman, from day- one, she was willing to take and would hit big shots in big games. You don't find freshmen that will do that." Schuller singled out two players, the second at the end of her EWU "I think of Melissa Wil- liams and she just came out of the blue for a lot of people," Schuller said. "For me, it was stuff I knew she had in her." It was the kind of end- ing Schuller likes to see when thinking back to when Williams was re- cruited out of Camas High School. "She's a fun one because you always hope that when a player gets to their senior year that they've reached their potential; that they've gotten where you see them when they're a freshman and you think 'Oh, they could be this,' and it's so fun when they actually get there,'" SchuUer said. In a season of memories that included a program- defining win at Indiana for the men, and a number of dramatic comebacks that earned them their first NCAA tournament berth since 2004, what was left undone? "We met all of our goals" Hayford said. "You always want to win your last game, but there's ortly one team that get to do that and it's very unlikely that would be us." Picked anywhere from third to fifth in preseason Big Sky polls, the juries appeared out On Schuller's Eagles. "I don't think people thought we were going to be ag good as we were; I thought we were," Schul- ler said. "We had a lot of pieces in place, we had strong upperclassmen, but the team took it up another notch." Looking back at what transpired over the sea- son, Hayford said his team's season added to a foundation that's been building since he arrived at Eastern in March 2011. And gazing ahead? "There's talent in every class," Hayford said. "It's not like we just graduated everybody. We'll find ways to get better." This season more or less validated a string of success for the program, which Schuller has led for 14 years. They, too, had wins of major con- sequence at Florida and Wichita State. And it took a prayer shot for Gonzaga to take a last second win. "I don't know if we'll ever beat an SEC (SoUth- east Conference) and win a tournament at an SEC school, on a home floor," Schuller said. "Then beat a Pac-12 team who's very good (Washington State), and then beat a Mis- souri Valley Conference champion that's in the NCAA tournament by 30 in Wichita State." Those are phenom- enal wins, Schuller said. And, perhaps, it's a solid base on which to build a bright basketball future for another area college program? Pau/De/aney am be reac/rA at pdelaney@cheneyfreepress. com. l T A L 1 & N ~ill~rRANT FREE Parking 7 Nights A Week 245 W, Main, Spokane 509-624-5226 Open 7 Days A Week victories, overall: (26), in the Big (14); on the mad (9j tn:32 seasons as a member of N:CI A Division I. (1 !) and in nOn nferen : ,:Play E astern: Washington University track and field;tea had::t athletes tBig $ Standa ds at the 88th annual Nike :Clyde Li efield Texas Relays in.Austin; Mamh 26 27ii bringing.the early season total to Sixqualifi . : : :: : O1Ma Mtdl and Jordan Arakawa set tone for the E Ies o :Thu ayi : it y each hit marks;in the hammer throw which quatifled for the Big!SkyChamP hi , BothMidles and Arakawa am seniors; 0utofCapttal High;Sch:0ol::itt; ym iiW i .i n ha eimpmssivechampi0nship resumes., :. Midles had a toss= of 186 feet, 7 ;inches to place foudhovem!l and ....... 195 to ptace Oth: ; ; ; : ;. Emma Mur, lo threw the javetin a distance of 144 on Fridayto: punch i r cket;.to conference championships. The senior is= the Big Sky Conferen champion in tliat; event Murillo also competed in the hammer throwon Thursday with amark k West Plains Christian Fellowship is a place where people are: Casual in appearance...Friendly in nature,..Single-minded in devotion to Go~ 12905W. 6th Join us this coming Sunday at 10 a.m Ave., Four Lakes (Cheney SDA Building). Pastors Keith & Gall Jensen www.westplains-church.org, 509-389-4843 With Your Club Card Sweet Strawberries 2-lb. container. ea Club Price Prices effective 412115 thru 4/7115 Mc$ in *his ad arc ffaMve 7~'e, 'lh~s&}, April 2 d~ru ?o~'~-'y, Apdl 7. 2~15 :'~tcss odle~is no,e(f at your 2710 ]~t Suect. 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