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Sports Section 2

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Sports Section 2

  1. 1. After a strong season of placing 4th in the na- tion, the EWU men’s hockey team is eager for a new challenge. As of May 1, 2011, the team will leave the American College Hockey Association. The Eagles will now play in the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League. Costs for the players will significantly decrease after joining the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League simply because of travel costs. Regarding the American College Hockey Associa- tion, assistant coach Bill Shaw said “travel costs were becoming extremely high. Our travel budget this year was higher than our entire budget for next year in the [British Columbia] league.” The longest road trip in the Brisitsh Columbia League is to Victoria, British Columbia, a mere nine hours away. This is far shorter than last year’s trips, where the shortest was to Utah and took 11 hours. Most eligibility requirements will remain the same for the Eagles; however, Shaw is looking forward to one major change. “In the [American College Hockey Association], we were not allowed to have guys that played in Tier 1 major Junior Hockey, which is the Western Hockey league.” EWU Hockey fans may know this as the league the Spokane Chiefs belong to. This means that a player from the Chiefs and players in their league will be eli- gible to play for EWU. The Eagles will be the only American team in the league, but Shaw doesn’t foresee any problems with fairness. In fact, he thinks this will be great for the team since “[the players] get everybody’s best shot, be- cause none of the Canadian kids want to lose to the American team.” This means that fighting is allowed, to an extent. There are still rules when it comes to fighting. Shaw said one rule that the American College Hockey As- sociation did not take seriously enough is “a check from behind … where a player goes head first into the boards. In Canada, that is an automatic game miscon- duct.” The American Association treats such offences as a two minute penalty. According to freshman and defensive player Kjell Sherman, the new set of fighting rules are a great improvement. “Now fighting is allowed, so if I get slashed, I can do something about it,” he said. This will be an exciting change for the Eagles, and “if nothing else, it should make for better rivalries” Shaw agreed. The switch seems to please EWU junior and defen- seman for EWU hockey Nick Kelly. “I think it’s going to be a great opportunity, we are looking forward to playing teams that challenge us more,” he said. “Com- petition will be consistently much better compared to the teams in the [American College Hockey Associa- tion], where we only played a few good teams.” Along with a more challenging line-up of teams across the borded, Kelly looks forward to “only wear- ing half shields like you can in Juniors [since] the full coverage face masks are an [American College Hockey Association] rule.” Juniors is an amateur hockey level where a player ages out at 20 years old. A possible downfall in leaving the American As- sociation is the Eagles will no longer be eligible for a national title. That may be hard for players and fans to accept. Sherman said he will “miss the experience of getting the chance at a national title, but a seven game series will prove who the best teams really are.” And a seven game playoff series is exactly what the Eagles will get with the British Columbia Intercolle- giate Hockey League. For all EWU Hockey fans, it’s time to brush up in the Canadian National Anthem and get prepared for the 2011-12 hockey season. The Eagles will be the only American team in the British Columbia Intercollegiate League. Aaron Malmoe/Easterner Matt Olsen ONLINE EDITOR 509.359.4318 EASTERNER.ONLINE@GMAIL.COM SPORTS Adam Brown is a bril- liant man. For those of you who don’t know who Brown is, he is the producer of the Webby Award winning documentary “Sonicsgate,” a detailed story about the rise and fall of the Seattle Supersonics. Not only does his genius come from the ability to keep the Sonics’ relocation to Oklahoma City alive with help from his colleagues, but he did a great job of making Starbucks CEO and former Sonics owner How- ard Schultz look like a com- plete and utter douchebag over the weekend during a book signing at a Costco in Issaquah, Wash. Schultz was the man who sold the Sonics to Clay Bennett, and in turn, Ben- nett took the team to Okla- homa City with budding stars Kevin Durant and Rus- sell Westbrook. Last Friday, S c h u l t z was sign- ing copies of his new book when one man, not affili- ated with B r o w n , walked up to him and started yelling. “You betrayed the en- tire city of Seattle! How do you show your face around here?” The man said as he was escorted away from a laughing Schultz. Police and Costco asked Brown, who was wearing a Sonics hat and shirt, to leave. They would not tell him why he was being asked to leave, though many be- lieve it was because of his chosen apparel. He was es- corted out of the building without causing a ruckus. Costco, like any other business, has the right to refuse anyone service. With Schultz’s safety in mind, and a request from Schultz, re- moving anyone who seemed affiliated with the Sonics was a great move by Costco. It protected the big event for the semi-small town of Issaquah. What makes Brown a genius here is that he caught this whole thing on video. And the video makes Schul- tz look like the sleazy busi- nessman that many people believe he is. A lot of people just want to hear Schultz come out and apologize for the move he made, because if he didn’t sell the team, it would be the Sonics in the NBA Playoffs, not the Oklahoma City Thunder. Though selling the team might have been a great business move, the Star- bucks CEO has never said that; he hasn’t so much as placed a finger on anything basketball related since the sale. But until that day hap- pens, Brown and his cronies over at Sonicsgate will con- tinue what they do best by constantly working toward a new NBA team. Maybe one day Schultz will finally drop those two words that so many fans are waiting to here — “I’m sorry.” Views expressed in this col- umn do not reflect the views of The Easterner to contact the writer e-mail easterner. sports@gmail.com. DUSTIN TOMS managing/sports editor Schultz makes himself, Costco look terrible Schultz The defense for the EWU Eagles has some big holes to fill after losing linebacker J.C. Sherritt, defensive tack- le Tyler Jolley, and defensive backs Jesse Hoffman and Dante Calcote to gradu- ation. Now the Eagles seek a new leader on the defensive side of the ball, which works out perfectly for defensive tackle Renard Williams, who has big aspira- tions for the upcoming season as one of the defense’s new leaders “Just showing up every day, helping out younger guys, giving it my all when I’m out there,” said Williams of his new leadership role. “Being consistent. That’s one thing that I definitely have to be for us. This year is a consistent force for us, not only on the defensive line, but for a defense as well. Just being an all around leader.” Last season, Williams always brought out the energy of the team and the fans, doing his now signature move, “The Salute.” “I came up with ‘The Salute’ my sophomore year, and it’s just something for me to show people that doubted me that I’m here and I’m making plays, and I’m going to continue to do that. Just something I came up with for all of the naysayers and what not,” Williams said. Williams will be expected to play big time minutes next season and will also draw a lot of attention from the op- posing team, especially those in the Big Sky Conference. He caught everyone’s attention last year by posting 54 tack- les, four forced fumbles, two fumble re- coveries and his now infamous blocked field goal returned for a touchdown in The Inferno’s inaugural game to clinch a victory over Montana. He also led the Eagles with 6.5 sacks. As the defending national cham- pions, the Eagles will be facing a new challenge they aren’t used to: having a bullseye on their back. But according to Williams, the defense is focusing more on football rather than repeating as champions. “I don’t think we are as a team thinking about it, we know we will get everyone’s best shot with us being the national champs, but we can’t let it get to us at all. We just got to go out there and treat this like a normal game. Just go out there and play our game,” Wil- liams said. One thing that is marked on Wil- liams’ calendar is Sept. 17. It will be his last chance to claim a victory playing Montana in Missoula. “I haven’t beat them over there, so that’s something I’m kind of look- ing forward to this season,” said Wil- liams. “I definitely [like] traveling to Montana. That’s always good and cool because they got a ruckus crowd over and they’re always hassling us and that’s just our rivalry, so it’s always cool to go over there.” Aaron Malmoe/Easterner Aaron Malmoe/Easterner Williamsinnewrole DEFENSEREADYTOREPEAT BY SHANE MOSES | contributing writer Some may say it’s easy to fill big shoes, but when those shoes belong to NFL-bound running back Taiwan Jones, the task seems a little more daunting. Next season that task will be in the hands of Mario Brown, the running back that replaced an injured Jones last season in the national semifinals and championship. But the pressure of re- placing the Big Sky Offensive Player of the Year isn’t affecting Brown. “There’s really no pressure of replac- ing Taiwan Jones,” said Brown. “There is only one Taiwan Jones, but there is only one Mario Brown, too. So all I can really do is be myself and give what I can to the team.” Aaron Best, offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, drew paral- lels between losing Jones last season and what the team had to do then. “I don’t know that you do [to replace him] because you don’t necessarily have the same dynamics with another body, no matter how good or different they are. It’s going to be everybody, all 11 on offense, hopefully stepping up their game.” Last season, Brown ran for 341 yards and one touchdown as a true freshman, but he had Jones there with him helping him with his game. “Taiwan Jones was one of those guys who helped me from the get go. He told me to go out there and play my game and do what I can and show what I got,” Brown said. The experience from last season’s playoff run will certainly help Brown now that he is officially the starting running back. He has already started to show improvement in spring practices. “He’s just improving in every little area. I don’t think it’s one particular area. I just think he’s going to continue to get better in all aspects,” said Head Coach Beau Baldwin. “He got thrown into the starting spot [last year]. He spent a lot of weeks out here as the No. 1 back.” Brown doesn’t want all of the atten- tion drawn on him when it comes to the Eagles’ offense. He always relates back to the play of the entire offense as a whole. When describing the offense, he only needs one word. “Explosive,” said Brown. “We got a lot more weapons. Last year, everyone just thought it was Taiwan, Taiwan, Taiwan. And when Taiwan wasn’t there, the offense opened up, which is good because now we have other weapons and we’re more versatile. We have a lot more options.” According to Best, “Preparation- wise, [nothing has changed], though Coach Baldwin stresses that we are bet- ter in April 2011 as opposed to April 2010. The one thing we want to ac- complish is to be better this year than last.” Replacingthelegend BROWNGRABSTHEREIGNS BY DUSTIN TOMS | managing/sports editor Men’s hockey club set to be Canadian League members Travel costs to be cut down BY LINDSAY FERGUSON contributing writer Renard Williams Mario Brown I’mhere andI’m making plays. ‘ Thereis onlyone Mario. ‘ ’ ’
  2. 2. Aaron Malmoe PHOTO EDITOR 509.359.4318 EASTERNER.PHOTO@GMAIL.COMSPORTS The women’s golf team members had a solid showing at the Gonzaga Spring Individual on Sunday in Liberty Lake. Different from conventional golf matches, the individual competition does not keep re- cords of team scores or placements. Six golf team members competed in the 26-competitor field, which consisted of two rounds on the par 70, 6,064-yard Liberty Lake Golf Course. Each of the six teammates improved their score from the first round to second. Other schools that sent competitors to the event were Washington State University, Univer- sity of Idaho, Gonzaga University, and Universi- ty of Washington. With just a week until the Big Sky Conference Championship, the individual event granted the golfers another chance at com- petition experience before the championship. “The event this weekend was just a small event that gave us an opportunity to get a couple of practice rounds in before our conference tour- nament. There wasn’t a team competition, so I can’t even tell you where we stood as a team,” golf Head Coach Brenda Howe said. Senior Kellie Holmstedt led the Eagle team in performance, shooting 81 the first round and improving to 76 in the second on her way to ty- ing for 12th place. Her overall score of 157 was the best score for the Eagle golfers competing. Jayme Carbon ended up tied for 16th shoot- ing 158 overall. Her second round score of 78 strokes was a season low for the sophomore, who improved from her score of 80 in the first round. “Kellie Holmstedt and Jayme Carbon played well the second round, and with a solid week of practice this week, I think we’ll be prepared for a good showing at the Big Sky Conference tourna- ment next week,” Howe said. Nineteenth place went to sophomore Dana Stapleton, who shot an overall 165 for the day with rounds of 83 and 82, respectively. Fresh- man Sarah Callagy also placed, coming in at 21st and shooting rounds of 86 and 83 to bring her daily total to 169. The largest improvement between rounds went to sophomore Morgan Lee, who cut six strokes off her first round score of 89 to finish one stroke and one place behind Callagy at 22nd place. The Eagles team was rounded off with soph- omore Neddy Martinez coming in 25th with a score of 176. The winner of the individual competition was University of Washingtin’s Darcie Rich- mond, who shot 73-71 for a 4-over par 144. Second place was a tie at 146 between Gonzaga’s Victoria Fallgren and University of Washing- ton’s Kelli Bowers. Fallgren shot rounds of 70- 76, while Bowers submitted rounds of 74-72. Fallgren and Bowers were tied for the lead until Richmond finished and posted her final round score of 71. Fallgren was the only competitor to shoot an even par round during the competition. In one week’s time, the golf team will head to Chandler, Ariz., for the Big Sky Championship April 18-20. The championship will once again be held at the 5,134 yard Ocotillo Golf Resort where the Eagles finished eighth last year. With five days remaining until the champi- onship, the golf team continues to practice and prepare for their most important competition yet. Golf gets some extra practice Holmstedt, others warm up with Gonzaga Individual before the Big Sky Tournament BY DOUG AULT staff writer Kellie Holmstedt shot an 81 during round one at Gonzaga. Kayla McAllister/Easterner “The event this weekend was just a small event that gave us an opportunity to get a couple of practice rounds in before our conference tournament.” - Head Coach Brenda Howe Baseball losestwo ofthree The Eastern baseball club played a three-game series on the road against Central Or- egon Community College, winning the first game of a double-header Saturday but losing the second game. They lost their Sunday game as well. The first game saw the Eagles come away with a 10-9 victory as Logan Goulet hit 3-for-5 with two RBIs. Austin Bowman also went 3-for-5, tallying two RBIs and a stolen base. The weather took a turn for the worse in the second game as the teams played in temperatures in the mid-30s. The Bobcats won 12-3 despite a home run and two RBIs from Goulet, who hit 2-for-3. In the third game, played Sunday afternoon, the Eagles lost once again, this time 18- 10. “Our bench helped us. They scored seven runs in the seventh inning,” Club Presi- dent Zach Thibodeau said. Goulet went 3-for-4 Sun- day, knocking in two RBIs, and David Garza hit 2-for-3, collecting two RBIs as well. Adam Sadler also hit 2-for-3 with two RBIs, stealing two bases in the process. The baseball club is now 3-3 on the season. The Eagles will travel to Western Wash- ington University next week- end for a three-game series. BY KYLE HARDING staff writer