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3 Tri-Cities graduates honored for outstanding football season in the Northwest Conference

Graduate Atticus Templeton (Kennewick) was named the recipient of the Torchleader Leadership Award at the Whitworth University football team awards banquet last month.

And senior Dylan Ashbeck (Walla Walla) was named the team’s Special Teams Player of the Year.

The Pirates had a great season, winning the Northwest Conference regular season title with a 7-0 record.

Whitworth won an NCAA Division III first-round playoff game, defeating California’s Chapman 42-28.

The Pirates’ season ended the following week in the second round, when they lost at Wartburg 42-20.

But a 10-1 overall record was impressive, with several Mid-Columbia athletes having outstanding seasons.

Running back Luis Salgado (Kamiakin), a sophomore, was named first-team All-Northwest Conference.

He rushed for 717 yards to lead the Pirates’ ground game. His 37 catches for 280 yards receiving were fourth most on the team, and his 13 touchdowns were the most on the team.

Defensive lineman JT Munoz (Chiawana) was also a first-team All-NWC player. Munoz led the defense in tackles for loss with 12, and he had 6 quarterback sacks. He also had 40 tackles.

Templeton was named a second-team All-NWC selection as a defensive back. He was second on the Whitworth defense in tackles with 53. He also led the team in pass breakups with 6.

Meanwhile, defensive tackle Alex Smith contributed with 13 tackles this season.

College basketball

Ta’Veus Randle (Belgrade, Mont.) leads the Columbia Basin College men’s basketball team in scoring with 21.5 points per game through the Jan. 13 games.

Randle is also averaging 5.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists for the Hawks, who are off to a 10-5 start (2-0 in East Region play).

Other highlights include Jayden Martinez (Chiawana) averaging 11.6 points; and Latrell Barker (Phoenix-Mountain Pointe) with 11.3 points and a team-best 8.4 rebounds.

Javon Handcox (Walla Walla) has 5.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists, while Eric Woods (Little Rock-Southwest) is dishing out 2.1 assists per game.

Sophomore Keely Maves (Walla Walla CC) is averaging 10.9 points and 5.9 rebounds this season while playing for the Spokane Community College women’s basketball team.

Freshman Maggie Sharp (Stanfield) leads the Treasure Valley Community College women’s basketball team in three major categories. She leads the Chukars in rebounds (6.1), assists (3.3) and steals (2.4).

Sharp also scores 7.7 points per game.

Former Pasco High standout Diego Gutierrez has landed at Wenatchee Valley Community College, where he stars on the Knights men’s basketball team.

Gutierrez is averaging 12.5 points per game, as well as 4.5 rebounds. His 6.3 assists per game are among the best in the entire NWAC. He is also team leader in that category. His 1.1 steals per game also leads the team.

Chiawana graduate Cooper DeWitt is now a senior in college playing for the IndianaUniversity-Purdue University Indianapolis men’s basketball team.

It is an NCAA Division I school that participates in the Horizon Conference.

DeWitt – standing 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds – is a senior guard-forward who has made 11 starts for the 5-14 Jaguars.

Sophomore Paris Wilson (Sunnyside) is the leading scorer for the Yakima Valley Community College women’s basketball team with an average of 16.7 points per game. Her 2.4 assists and 2.3 steals are also team records. Wilson is also averaging 8.1 rebounds per game.

Meanwhile, teammate and sophomore Faith McCarty (Echo, Ore.) is averaging 11.9 points and 2.2 assists for the Yaks.

Boat race

H1 Unlimited held its annual awards banquet on January 6 in Arlington, and several people took home prizes.

This included Bill Cahill, who was named Sponsor of the Year as owner of Beacon Plumbing.

Jeff Campbell was named Crew Chief of the Year for his work overseeing both crews on the Strong Racing boats; while Steve Compton, a technical inspector, was named Volunteer of the Year.

U-11 owners Scott and Shannon Raney were named Owners of the Year, and their team was named Most Improved of 2023.

Finally, Kelly Stocklin’s U-40 Bucket List Racing team was named Crew of the Year.

Preparing for wrestling

Led by Jacoby Rodriguez’s pin at 120 pounds in just 1 minute, 15 seconds, the Hermiston boys wrestling team rolled over visiting Chiawana 46-14 on Thursday, Jan. 11, in a marquee Mid-Columbia Conference match.

The win puts the Bulldogs ahead for the MCC regular season title.

Hermiston had four other pins in the win: Joseph Gutierrez (215 pounds), Aidan Larson (126), Hayden Larson (150) and Jaysen Rodriguez (132).

Cross-country skiing

Walla Walla grad Cannon Angotti turned 19e at the Western Athletic Conference men’s cross country championships in November, completing the 8K course in Abilene, Texas, in 24 minutes, 41.4 seconds.

For his efforts, Angotti was named to the WAC conference team.

College volleyball

Josephine Thompson, a junior on the Whitworth University women’s volleyball team, finished second on the Pirates team in assists with 426.

Thompson, who previously played for Columbia Basin College, also placed third on the squad with 158 digs. She also had 22 service aces. Whitworth had a 15-10 overall record this fall.

Jeff Morrow is the former sports editor of the Tri-City Herald.

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