Every couple of days I find myself walking down the hall to the closet, turning on the light to see my golf clubs sitting in the corner all warm and fuzzy. The eyes on the bison and wolf wood covers look up at me like a young pup ready for the nightly walk.
Then the fog and slog rolls in and I have to remind myself that even though the sun out, it’s just an optical illusion because the thermometer still reads 38 degrees. I’m going to have to wait before I take the boys out for a loop around the course. But we have had some pretty cool things going on this winter.
Our resident 2018 Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award national runner-up Wiley Allred finally went into the Washington Football Coaches Hall of Fame last weekend. He’d actually been selected for the Class of 2018, but had a scheduling conflict.
It was either go down to the Pro Bowl in Orlando and participate in the NFL’s week-long celebration, taking in a special coaches’ clinic to go along with a VIP visit to Pro Bowl practices and attend the USA Football National Conference or go over to the coast in water-slogged Seattle in the middle of winter. Yep, no brainer.
Momma Allred didn’t raise no fool, and Wiley chose Option A and the chance of a lifetime to mix with some of the best high school coaches in the country where he was named the national runner-up to Los Angeles Chargers nominee Robert Garrett from Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles.
“It’s an honor for not just me, but the kids and the community,” said Allred. “I’m grateful for the chance to go to Orlando and the exposure to all the great coaches. I went to a great clinic by Mike Singletary. It was pretty impressive,” Allred said.
I told Wiley, “Dude if there were a picture next to the word humility in the ol’ Funk and Wagnalls, it would be yours,” I said. The fact he knew Funk and Wagnalls was a dictionary and not a search engine tells me he truly is a hall of fame coach.
Daddy’s little girl has been shooting the rock lights out this basketball season. Othello senior Macy Hampton joined the Huskies’ 1,000-point club with a big night against Grandview. She needed 14 points to cross the threshold and the Greyhounds had held her to 13 in the previous meeting. The Othello shooting guard put up 24 to usher in the newest Huskies’ shooter.
Up the road in Warden, Cougars senior Bailey Whitney hit the 1,000-point mark Dec. 28, 2018 against Omak. She’s scored 271 points as a freshman, 305 as a sophomore and 293 as a junior. The 5-foot-8 guard is currently at 227 points this season as of the Connell game, bringing her total to 1,096 and running. She joins Heather Ortiz and Lyndsey Brandt on the Cougars’ elite list.
Up the Coulee Corridor, Gabi Isaak surpassed the 1,500-point, 900-rebound mark in school history with big games against Odessa and Cusick. She’s currently averaging 19.5 points and 10.5 boards a game for the Warriors, who are on their way back to the Spokane Arena again this year.
I had the privilege of seeing the next great Moses Lake swimming phenom Zach Washburn become the only two-time Iron Man in Chiefs boys swimming history. He met the state qualifying standard in all eight individual events last season as a freshman and repeated that feat again in 2019.
Washburn put up his sixth individual school record with a 4 minute, 46.88 second swim in the 500-yard freestyle at the Columbia Basin Big Nine qualifier. He just might own all the school records by the time he’s done, but for now he holds records in the 100 freestyle (46.48), 200 freestyle (1:42.30), 500 freestyle (4:46.88), 100 butterfly (52.11), 200 IM (1:54.85) and the 100 backstroke (52.77).
I passed that bit of information along to Nick Jarman, the only other Chiefs swimmer to earn Iron Man status. Here’s what he had to say.
“Wow! I am so excited to hear that Zach continues to make his mark on Moses Lake’s swim program,” Jarman said in his email. “Records are made to be broken and I am so glad he is doing it in spectacular fashion. It makes me happy to see this level of talent come out of Moses Lake,
“Thanks so much for the update. I will be following Zach as we get closer to state ... I have a feeling we are all going to see something special from this young man!”
Rodney Harwood is a sports writer for the Columbia Basin Herald and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org