spt_201005_locally | SWX Right Now

Ryan Smith, whose coaching lineage includes two years under recently departed Spokane Chiefs head coach Manny Viveiros, has been hired as the organization’s new associate coach.

Smith will join Adam Maglio on the Chiefs’ bench. Maglio was promoted from associate coach to head coach this summer to replace Viveiros, who left after one season to become the first head coach of the new Henderson (Nevada) Silver Knights in the American Hockey League.

Smith, 47, has spent the past five years as an assistant in the Western Hockey League, the past two with the Medicine Hat Tigers. Prior to that, he spent three years (2015-18) as associate coach with the Swift Current Broncos, the final two under Viveiros, who was general manager and head coach, leading the Broncos to the WHL championship in 2018.

“We’re thrilled to bring Ryan on as an associate coach,” said Chiefs general manager Scott Carter in a news release. “He checks all the boxes we’re looking for in a coach and we’re confident he and Adam will continue our organization’s strong tradition of excellent coaching staffs.”

Before moving to the WHL, Smith coached extensively at the Junior A level, including stints with the Winnipeg South Blues and Selkirk Steelers in Manitoba and the Humboldt Broncos in Saskatchewan. He was the Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s coach of the year in 2013-14.

As a player, Smith was a high-scoring forward who played seven games in the WHL with the Seattle Thunderbirds in 1992-93 and was the Manitoba Junior A Most Valuable Player the next season. In 1997, he embarked on an 11-year professional career in Europe.


Chanelle Molina, a two-time All-Pac-12 honorable mention guard at Washington State, will continue her playing career in Sweden after signing with the Norrköping Dolphins in the country’s top women’s league.

“A player who is used to playing at a fast pace who can create for herself and others,” Dolphins coach Kevin Taylor Lundgren is quoted as saying in a translated team release of the 5-foot-9 Molina, who he plans to start at point guard.

The team’s third American import, “Chanelle feels just right for the team,” Lundgren added, noting the native of Hawaii “will have to adapt quickly to the Swedish league, with short preparation, but with her attitude and desire to get better, it will go well.

“She has played against the best teams in the United States for the past four years in the Pac-12.”

Norrköping, which had a 12-6 record during the 2019-20 campaign and finished fourth in the league, opened the new season Saturday with a 72-65 loss to Hogsbo. Individual statistics were not available.

Also a Pac-12 All-Defensive honorable mention as a senior, Molina led WSU in assists (125), minutes played (1,070), 3-point field goals made (59) and rebounds (183) this past season. She finished second on the team in scoring (14.6 ppg) and ranked inside the top-15 in the Pac-12 in assists, points and rebounds.

She left WSU as the only player in program history to record more than 1,000 points (1,395, ninth all-time), 400 rebounds (444) and 400 assists (429, second all-time).

Molina is the second player from the 2019-20 WSU team to sign a professional contract, joining Borislava Hristova, who signed to play in Poland, and is the eighth former Cougar playing professionally overseas.

College scene

Rory Buck, a Whitworth Heritage Gallery Hall of Fame selection in 2019 who helped usher in the decade by winning four NCAA Division III national championships his junior and senior years, heads up the Pirates’ All-Decade Swimming team for the period 2010-20.

Buck (2009-12) won back-to-back titles in both the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke, breaking a long-standing national 200 record in 2011 when he was the NCAA Division III Men’s Swimmer of the Year. He was also Academic All-America in 2011 (second team) and 2012 (first team).

He is among six men and women selected in six events to earn All-America acclaim for the 10-year period when the Pirates won eighth Northwest Conference men’s championships, two women’s titles and Steve Schadt was named NWC Coach of the Year four times.

The All-Decade Team: Butterfly – Samantha Smith (2012-14), Wes Tatum (2012-15). Backstroke – Kate Duvall (2011-14), Patrick Wilbur, (2015-18). Breaststroke – Jamie Siegler (2018-present), Buck. Sprint freestyle – Alisa Stang (2012-15), Owen Lempert (2017-20). Distance freestyle – Bridget Louis (2013-15), Brandon Smith (2013-16). Individual medley – Jackie Beal (2014-16), Wes Walton (2012, 2014-16).

• With an experienced group of freshmen, North Idaho College swept the men’s and women’s titles in the third of three NWAC fall golf tournaments, the Suncadia Invitational, hosted by Highline College in Cle Elum, Washington, last week.

NIC’s Jared Smith shot a 2-under-par 70 to edge teammate James Swan by a stroke for medalist honors with Bridger Holmes sharing third as the three-time defending NWAC men’s champion Cardinals posted a 290-310 win over Skagit Valley. With many schools impacted by COVID-19 restrictions there were only four teams in the field.

Caitlin O’Connor edged teammate Emily Elliott 82-83 for medalist honors as the Cardinals women pulled out a 257-259 victory over Bellevue in the five-team field.

Smith, Holmes, O’Connor and Elliott are sophomores scholastically who played for NIC in the pandemic-abbreviated spring season and are considered freshmen in eligibility. Swan is a freshman this fall.


Victoria Fallgren, the assistant women’s coach at Gonzaga University, successfully defended her women’s division title in the 11th Washington Golf Association Champion of Champions tournament last week at The Home Course in DuPont, Washington.

The two-time Washington Mid-Amateur Player of the Year (2017, ’18) shot rounds of 68 and 72 to finish at 4-under-par 140. An eagle on the par-5 10th hole in Friday’s final round helped produce a six-stroke victory over Lily McCauley of Olympia.

There were no other area players in the women’s field, but Beth Wrigley of Spokane tied for fourth at 12-over 156 and Karen Madison of Spokane Valley was ninth at 162 in the senior women’s division won for a second time in three years by Leslie Folsom of Tukwila. Her 151 was a stroke better than Kris Adams of Lake Tapps, Wash.

Bjorn Bjorke of Port Orchard, Wash., won the men’s division in a one-hole playoff over defending champion Nathan Cogswell, a junior at Seattle University, after both shot 5-under 139s. The senior men’s division also went to a playoff, with Keith Crimp of Ellensburg defeating Craig Larson of Tacoma.

Payton Norvell of Chewelah tied for fifth in the men’s division at 2-under 142 and Reid Hatley of Hayden Lake tied for eighth at 1-under 143.


Five area men’s slowpitch teams had mixed success last month at the Senior Softball USA World Masters Championships in St. George, Utah.

One won all its games, one lost all its games, but everyone, the coaches proclaimed, had a lot of fun just being able to play during the pandemic.

“It was weird; definitely different,” said Mark Reilly, co-coach of the Brunette/Spikes team from Spokane that went 0-5 in the 70+ AAA Division, echoing comments from other coaches. “We had to wear masks and make some adjustments, but just being able to play was worth it.”

The Coeur d’Alene-based North Idaho Softball Club, with a roster that included players from Montana and North Dakota, went 7-0 and won the 17-team 65+ AAA division that also included Stor-A-Way Storage Grey Sox from Spokane, which had a 3-3 overall record.

Morris Clark Roofing & Siding from Spokane went 1-4 in the 55+ AA Division, losing its four games by a total of 10 runs, noted manager Steve Goodwin, and “the team we beat won the championship. “

Northwest Merchants of Spokane went 3-3 and finished in the top 10 of the 31-team, 55+ AAA Division, splitting two pool games and winning its first two bracket games before being eliminated.

North Idaho, coached by Jim Palombi, qualified for a return trip to the Tournament of Champions in Florida in January. In 2019, then called Northwest Softball Club with players primarily from Coeur d’Alene and Spokane, it won a 60 age-division title.

Outfielder John Walkington (.847 batting average), was named the North Idaho team Most Valuable Player and was joined on the All-Tournament team by shortstop Lee Libera (.897), outfielder Dick Stauffer (.857) and designated hitter/infielder Tim Coles (.833).

Jack Parker, who batted .820 “and played great defense,” according to Stor-A-Way Storage Grey Sox coach Ron Klawitter, was named his team’s MVP.

Steve Adams, who hit .795 with multiple extra-base hits, including a home run, was the Morris Clark MVP and the team landed two players on the 55+ AA All-Tournament team, Julian Walker (.667) and Mike Kosoff (.813).

Mike Klemke, who had a .750-plus batting average, was the Northwest Merchants’ team MVP said coach Allen Martin.

Reilly and Ken Krogh, who both batted more than .900, were named MVPs on the 70+ AAA Brunette team that ran the bases like teen-agers. Dwayne Phinney had an inside-the-park home run and a triple in the same game, Wayne Terry had three triples and Reilly and Ron Newcome both also had triples.

Other local players not mentioned above:

Stor-A-Way: Allen Arnold, Steve Bergstrom, Jerry Coulter, Donn Etherington, Doug Fredrickson, Dan Griffith, John Higgins, John Hollett, Dan Loughlin, Cam Preston, Tim Wheatley.

Morris Clark: John Herron, Phil Termath, Mike Lang, Larry Arndt, Vince Corker, Roger Hegwald.

Northwest Merchants: Scott Roberts, Don Owens, Wayne Dionne, Lynn Hargraves, Matt Seeliger, Steve Turbin, Ray Gaines, Norm Caldwell, Terry Propeck, Kerry Pease, Kris Anderson.

Brunette/Spikes: Tom Adams, Gary Blake, Tom Crouch, Roger DeShaw, Jim Hardenbrook, Grant Hodge, Jack Martin, Ron Martin, Jim O’ Hare, Mike Owen, Dwayne Phinney, Cam Preston, Kathy Smith, Steve Smith, Wayne Terry.

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