Articles written by Paul Delaney


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  • Play Ball!

    Paul Delaney, Cheney Free Press|Updated Apr 18, 2024

    The West Plains Little League season official kicked off Saturday, April 13, with a ceremony in Salnave Park. For more on opening day, see Page A7...

  • Blackhawks fastpitch has solid week

    PAUL DELANEY, Cheney Free Press|Updated Apr 18, 2024

    SPOKANE —A no-hitter by Maya De La Cruz and a 24-0 win over North Central on April 12 concluded a 3-1 week for Cheney fastpitch in Greater Spokane League play. While Blackhawks’ bats were silenced in an April 8 loss, 7-0, at University, they came alive to conclude the week with a 25-5 win at Central Valley on April 9 and a 17-6 victory over at Gonzaga Prep on April 11. Coupled with the North Central win, Cheney concluded the first half of the GSL schedule with a 6-3 record and in fourth place. Against North Central, Che...

  • Cheney hosts Van Kuren

    PAUL DELANEY, Cheney Free Press|Updated Apr 18, 2024

    CHENEY - Cheney track and field opened Greater Spokane League competition April 11 at Central Valley, in a meet also featuring Mount Spokane. The Blackhawks boys lost to CV, 105-40, and Mount Spokane, 107-38, while the girls faced similar results - Mount Spokane won, 105-45, and CV prevailed 85-61. On Saturday, April 13 both Blackhawks teams fared much better at home in the Van Kuren Invitational. The boys won the team title among 30 teams over GSL rival Ridgeline, 73-54, whil...

  • Monson circles back to Cheney

    PAUL DELANEY, Cheney Free Press|Updated Apr 18, 2024

    CHENEY - It's taken several decades, but Dan Monson has come very much full circle. On Friday, April 12 the former Gonzaga, Minnesota and Long Beach State coach was named Eastern Washington's 20th men's basketball coach. And on Monday, April 15, he returned to Cheney to meet with media, fans and boosters. His connections run deep in the area and that was a strong selling point for EWU athletic director Tim Collins and the selection committee composed of a variety of school...

  • Sports Briefs

    Paul Delaney, Cheney Free Press|Updated Apr 18, 2024

    Blackhawks snap losing streak CHENEY - The Blackhawks scored five runs in their opening at-bat on the way to an 11-3 Greater Spokane League win over University that snapped Cheney's six-game losing streak. Notable for the Blackhawks were Carter McPherson who smacked a triple and had a pair of RBIs, plus pitched 5 1/3 innings for the win. Miles Hoover had a pair of hits and Tate Heuschkel a hit and three RBIs. Cheney's next home game is April 19 against Ridgeline following an...

  • Young Cardinals getting their turns

    PAUL DELANEY, Cheney Free Press|Updated Apr 11, 2024

    MEDICAL LAKE - School was in for Medical Lake baseball over spring break, where the Cardinals were one of the few area teams that played during vacation. The team went 2-1 in a pair of non-league contests at Holliday Field, losing to Spirit Lake's Timberlake, 5-3, on April 2, before sweeping a doubleheader against 2B Reardan, 17-12 and 15-4. The games provided some of the younger players on the roster - of which there are many - added time to fine-tune their game, Coach...

  • Cardinals top Pirates

    Paul Delaney, Cheney Free Press|Updated Apr 11, 2024

    SPOKANE - Medical Lake got the opportunity to play on the big new stage April 8 at ONE Spokane Stadium scoring a 3-2 victory over 2A Rogers. Kaden Rudy sandwiched a pair of goals around a Mavrick Rasmussen single for the Cardinals, who went up 3-1. They held off the Pirates who scored with six minutes to play. "The stadium was awesome, and the locker room facility was great," assistant coach Dan Collins said. "What a great opportunity for our team." Medical Lake (2-3 NEA, 5-5...

  • 'Batter up' for West Plains

    PAUL DELANEY, Cheney Free Press|Updated Apr 11, 2024

    CHENEY — Batter up! A new season of the West Plains Little League will put bats on balls starting Saturday, April 13. Ceremonies begin at 9 a.m. at Salnave Park Field 3 and include opening remarks and a parade of players. There are a variety of events planned throughout the day, officials said. A full schedule of games starting at 11 a.m. are also part of the day as is a free equipment table offering gloves, cleats and bats. The 2024 season marks the 21st year the league has not only provided an entry level to the sports o...

  • Riley departs for Washington State

    PAUL DELANEY, Cheney Free Press|Updated Apr 11, 2024

    CHENEY - For the third time in the past eight seasons Eastern Washington will be looking for a new men's head basketball coach following David Riley's departure to Washington State. After three years as head coach where he won back-to-back Big Sky Conference regular-season titles - and coach-of-the-year honors as well - Riley takes over the Cougars' job left vacant by Kyle Smith's move to Stanford. "We wish the best to coach and (wife) Emily as they make their move down 195 to...

  • Blackhawks on four-game slide

    PAUL DELANEY, Cheney Free Press|Updated Apr 4, 2024

    SPOKANE -A pair of Greater Spokane League losses to Gonzaga Prep in back-to-back games has sent Cheney into a four-game slide. Prep scored four runs in their half of the fourth inning March 28 on the way to a 7-4 victory. Carter McPherson had three of the Blackhawks' six hits. Of note was Cheney escaping a bases-loaded, no-outs bottom the first with a rare triple play. According to coach Rob Beamer the play west like this: "Ground ball to Jace Vega at third he steps on third...

  • And still, the Jason Crawford went on

    Paul Delaney|Updated Apr 4, 2024

    It was a gorgeous morning on the last Saturday of March with the outdoors teaming with people and the occasional top down on the convertible that passed on the street. And despite what beckoned outside, thousands filled much of the Spokane Veterans’ Memorial Arena for the latest edition of the Jason Crawford Memorial wrestling tournament. The JCM officially closed out the season for Little Guy Wrestling from across the region for a 38th season. Boy what an eight months it has been for one of the key cogs behind this event, W...

  • Cardinal boys notch big baseball wins

    PAUL DELANEY, Cheney Free Press|Updated Apr 4, 2024

    MEDICAL LAKE It was about as good a week as could be leading into spring break for Medical Lake baseball. The Cardinals surpassed coach Austin Sharp's goals during arguably the most difficult stretch of the early season schedule by winning two of three games and - in dramatic fashion to boot. First on March 26 they toppled Deer Park, 7-6 on the road, holding off and beating the Stags for the first time since 2019. Then at home March 30, Medical Lake engineered a split in a...

  • Cheney win streak snapped

    PAUL DELANEY, Cheney Free Press|Updated Mar 28, 2024

    CHENEY - The Blackhawks boys soccer team saw its four-game winning streak come to an end and its Greater Spokane League record evened at 1-1 following a 2-0 loss at Ridgeline, March 25. The Blackhawks (1-1 GSL, 5-2 overall) opened the week, and GSL play, with a 3-1 win over Oprah Central at ONE Spokane Stadium, March 22. Ridgeline (2-0, 5-1) snapped a 0-0 halftime tie with an Andre Chaker goal in the 61st minute and Griffyn Rider sealed with a goal it in the 77th minute....

  • Cheney softball wins 3-of-4 games

    PAUL DELANEY, Cheney Free Press|Updated Mar 28, 2024

    CHENEY — The Blackhawks girls fastpitch softball team started out last week on the rugged side, but finished strong with three consecutive Greater Spokane League victories. The Blackhawks were beaten at home 15-0 by Mount Spokane, but turned things around to capture wins 16-6 at Ferris on March 21, 19-6 at Lewis and Clark on March 22 and 16-6 at Ridgeline on March 25. Scoring seven runs in the first and another five in their next turn at the plate, GSL power Wildcats (4-0 GSL, 5-1 overall) raced to the win. A six-run fifth in...

  • Sports Briefs

    Paul Delaney, Cheney Free Press|Updated Mar 28, 2024

    Golf Cardinals compete in scramble CLARKSTON — The Medical Lake girls golf team competed in a two-person scramble at Quail Ridge Golf Course in Clarkston on March 19. Kali Rowe and Trinity Shull scored 76 followed by Madi Griffis and Brooklynn DeVore with 83. Kristen Dickey and Madi Spring scored 92. — SOCCER Medical Lake wins two games MEDICAL LAKE — The boys soccer team collected a pair of Northeast A League victories to start the week and finished with a loss to a perennial playoff-bound opponent. The Cardinals (2-1 NEA,...

  • Blackhawks set records at Hart Field

    PAUL DELANEY, Cheney Free Press|Updated Mar 28, 2024

    CHENEY — The track and field took a slimmed-down team to Hart Field on March 23 for the Lewis and Clark Invite but still came away with some notable results. With what head coach Derek Slaughter called a “diminished squad due to 7v7 football, PNQ Volleyball and club basketball,” the Blackhawks landed both school and personal records. Calvin Hilton’s 1:59.21 was good for both a win and personal record in the 800 meters. A 10:50.03 time from Lucas Matos, Kordell Laher, Ethan Martin and Hilton meant a new school record in the...

  • Cardinals sweep Colville

    PAUL DELANEY, Cheney Free Press|Updated Mar 28, 2024

    MEDICAL LAKE - Entering what he knew was going to be the toughest part of the Northeast A League schedule, Cardinals Coach Austin Sharp set a goal of exiting a series of games with Colville, Deer Park and Freeman with three wins. Sharp's Cardinals are well on their way to satisfying that wish following a doubleheader sweep of the defending league champion, the Colville Crimson Hawks (formerly the Indians), on March 23 at Holliday Field. Medical Lake broke an eight-game losing...

  • Cardinals compete at Cochram Relays in Wenatchee

    PAUL DELANEY, Cheney Free Press|Updated Mar 28, 2024

    WENATCHEE — Rain greeted the Medical Lake track and field team early, but the sun shined both literally and figuratively for the Cardinals later in the day at the Ray Cochram Relays on March 23. “We got lucky with the weather,” Coach Gene Blankenship wrote in a social media post. “It did rain a bit in the morning, but we had sunshine for the rest of the day.” Among those bright efforts was a first-place in the 4x100 Throwers Relay by Allison Appel, Chiche Okemgbo, Feodora Lalicker and Autumn Trout in a time of 56.92 sec...

  • Cheney wins pair of non-league matches

    PAUL DELANEY, Cheney Free Press|Updated Mar 25, 2024

    CHENEY — The Blackhawks boys soccer team improved its record to 3-1 with a pair of non-league wins last week that followed a loss on the neutral turf at ONE Spokane Stadium. Cheney raced past Clarkston 6-0, March 18 at home as Sam Woller had a pair of goals. Viliami Finau opened scoring early in the fourth minute and that’s the way to stayed until Peter Koster’s goal in the 45th minute opened the floodgates of a 5-0 second half. Oliver Cagle and Breckin Austin added singles wrapped around Woller’s connections. Jackson Reagan...

  • Blackhawks score track wins at Lewiston

    PAUL DELANEY, Cheney Free Press|Updated Mar 21, 2024

    CHENEY — The Cheney track team continued its warmup for Greater Spokane League competition with a jamboree at North Central High School, March 13 and a trip to Lewiston, March 15 for the Sweeney Invitational. While the NC event was mainly designed for junior varsity competitors, Cheney did send vaulters, high jumpers and pole vaulters. In the latter competition Andrew Strawn established a new school record in the pole vault where his 14-foot effort broke the former school record of 13 feet, 10 inches. At Lewiston, the B...

  • Cheney girls tennis team split matches

    PAUL DELANEY, Cheney Free Press|Updated Mar 21, 2024

    CHENEY - The girls tennis team split a pair of non-league matches last week falling to West Valley 7-0, March 12 and topping Medical Lake at home 5-0, March 14. Highlights of the meeting between West Plains rivals, Cheney's No. 1 doubles duo of Hailey Magalsky/Kylee Hahn won 7-6, 6-4 over Medical Lake. Morgan Weathers and Ellerie O'Regan won 6-2 6-1 in No. 2 doubles. Singles players Sydney Lincoln and Madison Anderson played No. 3 doubles at this match and won 6-0, 6-0....

  • Basking in a tournament glow

    Paul Delaney|Updated Mar 21, 2024

    ‘This is a treat for us to get to play on this national stage’ Eastern Washington women’s basketball head coach Joddie Gleason has a pretty vivid memory of what she was doing the last time her Eagles qualified for the NCAA Tournament. It was 37 years ago in 1987 when Eastern lost to Oregon at Eugene in a first-round game 75-56. Gleason quickly recalls she was in high school and was following her dad’s Colusa High School boys’ basketball team on the way to a state championship. Joddie Vossler, her name prior to marriage...

  • NEA League settles with 4 teams

    PAUL DELANEY, Cheney Free Press|Updated Mar 21, 2024

    MEDICAL LAKE Following a series of meetings over the past couple of months the Northeast A League has charted its path for the immediate future. "We finally know that we will still be the Northeast A League, but with just four teams total," Medical Lake athletic director Dawn Eliassen wrote in an email. Following the results of reclassification in late 2023 that sliced three teams from the 1A NEA, the surviving members include Medical Lake, Lakeside, Riverside and Colville....

  • Cardinal track opens at Eisenhower

    PAUL DELANEY, Cheney Free Press|Updated Mar 15, 2024

    YAKIMA - The Medical Lake track team kicked off the 2024 season at the Eisenhower Jamboree on Saturday, March 9. Testing out the facility that will host the state 1A track meet in May, the Cardinals got notable performances including three first places. Chiche Okemgbo was first in the shot put and third in the discus. In a jamboree, competitors a limited to entry in two events. Freshman Autumn Trout won the 300 meters and was third in the 100. The Cardinal girls 4x400 team of Hazel Grubaugh, Maryna Bell, Hannah Luzier and...

  • Young Cardinals ready for season

    PAUL DELANEY, Cheney Free Press|Updated Mar 15, 2024

    MEDICAL LAKE - Youth rarely serves a coach well at the time but tends to pay future dividends. Except, perhaps, for Medical Lake baseball Coach Austin Sharp, where the bulk of his 2024 team are young in years only. Sharp will confidently count on a collection of battle-tested underclassmen to carry a lot of the weight this year. Medical Lake finished last season as the Northeast A League's No. 6 - and last - seed in the playoffs. But behind the arm of Luke Dickey they got a...

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