Cheney Free Press -

By Lee Hughes
Staff reporter 

Medical Lake to induct three new members into athletic Hall of Fame


Last updated 10/10/2019 at 9:24am

MEDICAL LAKE — The Medical Lake High School Athletic Hall of Fame will be inducting three new members at a dinner and induction ceremony on Friday, Oct. 11 ahead of the school’s homecoming football game against Newport.

Inductees Amanda Higgins, class of 2000, Nicole Alexander (Jones) class of 2002 and Gary Reid class of 1970, will be honored in front of the Medical Lake crowd during halftime at the game.

Now its 12th year, the criteria for induction, according to John Giannandrea, Hall of Fame committee chairman and former Cardinal football coach, is three fold. First, the inductee must be a former Medical Lake High School athlete, and although they don’t have to be star athlete, they must have competed in a sport.

They must also be an alumnus who graduated no less than 10 years prior to their induction.

Finally, they must have distinguished themselves; having in some way contributed to society, but not exclusively in Medical Lake.

“It’s probably one of the most important criteria,” Giannandrea said.

Previous inductees have included NASA leaders, doctors, lawyers, politicians, generals and other military veterans, some serving as recently as the Iraq War.

The first three inductees were Vietnam veterans, and were inducted posthumously.

The induction ceremony will be preceded by a 4:30 dinner and presentation in the Medical Lake High School cafeteria, after which the inductees will tour the Hall of Fame before being escorted to the football field where they will be honored at half time.

Gary Reid

Reid was a National Honor Society member all four years at MLHS, as well as a competitive athletic participating in tennis, football, wrestling, and track. He went on win the Northeast A League doubles tennis championship and compete at state his junior year. He was a member of undefeated league-champion Cardinal football teams his junior and senior years and was voted “Best Lineman” as a senior and was named to the All Conference 1st Team.

After high school Reid went on to earn bachelor degrees in industrial technology and education, then a masters in education from Eastern Washington University.

Reid was an educator for thirty years. He taught high school math and coached a variety of sports before serving as a school administrator.

Throughout his career, Reid involved himself in service to his community, volunteering with Special Olympics, joining local service clubs like Kiwanis and Lions, and volunteering with youth church activities.

The summer of 1980 Reid returned home to spearhead three charity alumni football games between graduates of Medial Lake, Cheney and West Valley high schools.

Reid has been married to his wife, Patricia, since 1992. Their oldest son is studying engineering at Washington State University, while their two 14-year-old twins boys are seventh graders.

Nicole Alexander

Described as a top-notch 12-varsity-letter athlete in three sports while at MLHS, Nicole earned many honors for her play as an all-league volleyball player team and league champion softball player whose team made state playoffs.

She was selected to the 1st Team All-League softball team and 2nd Team All-League volleyball team, and received the coveted League Most Valuable Player award her senior year.

Nicole earned an AA from Spokane Falls Community College and played softball after graduating from MLHS in 2002.

She then transferred to EWU to earn a business marketing degree, while also maintaining steady employment and undertaking several coaching jobs with the Medical Lake School District.

After graduating from EWU, Nicole spent a decade in the business marketing field, and eventually married her high school sweetheart and fellow MLHS Hall of Famer, Alexis Alexander. They bought a house on Clear Lake and have together parented two children, Upton and Lawson, who are attending Medical Lake schools.

Nicole remains active in sports, playing recreational league softball in Medical Lake during the summer and women’s volleyball in the fall.

Amanda Higgins

Amanda attended Medical Lake schools from kindergarten to graduation, where she developed athletic skills and abilities that, along with her academic achievement and leadership qualities, made her an asset both on and off the field.

As an athlete at MLHS Amanda lettered in volleyball, basketball and softball, and earned numerous awards and honors, including Sportsmanship of the Year Award as a senior when, as team captain, she lead the Cardinal softball team to a district championship and the state playoffs. She was also named “Athlete of the Year” before graduating.

Off the field Amanda participated in choir and earned the National School Choral Award her senior year. She was also involved in student government.

After graduation in 2000, Amanda attended Grays Harbor Community College on a volleyball athletic scholarship where she earned the “All Star Award” her second year.

After returning to Medical Lake, Amanda volunteered as an assistant coach for volleyball and softball before becoming a paid volleyball coach and assistant coach of the junior varsity softball team.

Amanda had worked at ZAK Designs for 17 years, moving up in the ranks while traveling the country and the Far East. In her spare time helps friends, volunteers for the Medical Lake Cemetery, and enjoys hunting, fishing, four-wheeling, snowmobiling and camping and generally sharing adventures with her fiancé and their four-legged kids Bailey and Max.

Lee Hughes can be reached at


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