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Spring 2003

Harris takes volleyball to heart

“I’ve always believed that size doesn’t matter…”—LaToya Harris

It’s late November. LaToya Harris’s red-knit stocking cap is pulled down tight over the tops of her ears. She’s wearing a gray 2002 Apple Cup t-shirt, blue jeans, running shoes, large gold-colored hoop earrings, and a smile.

Her classes are finished for the day. Volleyball practice begins a 2 p.m., an hour away. There’s time for an interview.

The smile? It widens when she’s asked about efforts to recruit her out of high school. Stanford, the Arizona schools, and Oregon sent inquiries. Nebraska and Wisconsin did the same. Then came a second round of letters. Politely as … » More …

Winter 2001

Regents authorize new indoor practice facility

At its August 31 meeting, the Washington State University Board of Regents approved plans to move ahead on construction of a new indoor practice facility for varsity sports on the Pullman campus. Phase I construction on the $9.7 million project began in early October, and completion is expected by summer 2002. Site preparation and infrastructure were completed last spring between Bailey-Brayton Field and Ferdinand’s Creamery.

The facility will consist of an air-inflated fabric structure over playing surfaces to support practice for 14 of the 17 Cougar varsity sports. The primary surface will be a Mondo Track for track and field practice. A roll-out Magic … » More …

Winter 2001

Basketball—Pac-10 tourney on their minds

GETTING TO THE INAUGURAL post-season Pac-10 women’s basketball tournament is not a problem. All conference teams are invited to the March 1-4 tourney in Eugene, Oregon. The challenge is to succeed.

Last year, the Cougars were 11-17 overall and ninth in the league. With eight letter-winners gone, just about every position is wide open. “Questions will be answered by how hard the players compete,” coach Jenny Przekwas says as she embarks on her third campaign in Pullman. “We have some good experience returning and a really high desire to win.”

Guard Jessica Collins, back for a fifth season after a medical hardship year, leads the … » More …

Winter 2001

Basketball—Heading in the right direction

THE WASHINGTON State men’s basketball program isn’t where Paul Graham wants it to be. But the third-year coach has it headed in the right direction.

Last year the Cougars doubled their win total to 12. Can the Cougars build on that momentum? Can they improve their sixthplace finish in the Pac-10, WSU’s best showing in six years?

WSU defeated Oregon, swept Arizona State, and won back-to-back league games— against Oregon and Oregon State— for the first time in four years. WSU’s 10 victories on Friel Court were the most since 1995.

Experience will be the team’s strength. Six-foot-10 senior center J Locklier started all 28 … » More …

Winter 2001

Mariner Mania

“You kinda have to pinch yourself every day.” —Alex Wood

EVERYONE LOVES A WINNER. Home attendance at Seattle’s 47,116-seat Safeco Field exceeded three million in 2001. Baseball fans arrived early. They came to watch batting practice, seek player autographs, and purchase souvenirs.

Mariner victories came at a pace seldom seen in the history of America’s pastime. Fifteen wins in a row at one stretch. Into September, the Mariners hadn’t lost more than two games in succession. A new hero surfaced every game. Ichiro, Bell, Boone, Martinez, McLemore, Olerud, Cameron, Garcia, Sele, and Sasaki.

Baseball All-Americans Aaron Sele and John Olerud were Washington State University … » More …

Winter 2002

Deeter recalls demise of college boxing as a sad day

More than four decades have passed since intercollegiate boxing was dropped, first at Washington State University following the 1959 season, and nationally in 1961.

Isaac “Ike” Deeter established the college boxing program at Washington State College in 1932 and coached for 24 years. He also taught men’s physical education courses until retiring in 1967.

“I hated to see boxing go, but I realize the circumstances,” he says. Competition in the Pacific Northwest was too hard to find. Idaho State, Sacramento State, and San Jose State were the nearest opponents. For other matches, WSU had to travel to the Midwest and Big Ten Conference. The cost … » More …

Winter 2002

Lone Star Dietz left a football legacy

“That was the game which was to change the face of New Year’s Day in the years to come.”—Rose Bowl historian Rube Samuelsen

In the first four decades of the 20th century, hardly a week went by during football season when the name of William H. “Lone Star” Dietz’s didn’t appear in the nation’s sports pages. Today it’s rarely heard in Pullman, or anywhere else. In spite of that near silence for 60 years now, the one-time Washington State College football coach (1915-1917, 17-2-1 record) left a legacy that could land him in the College Football Hall of Fame next year.

He began his coaching … » More …

Winter 2002

Volleyball—European tour builds lifetime memories

In August Coach Cindy Fredrick and the Washington State University volleyball team spent 12 days in Europe, sightseeing and playing eight matches. While winning all its matches was special, it wasn’t everything, Fredrick said of the tour. She agreed to keep a journal. Here’s her report.

Saturday, August 10

We arrive in Munich at 9:30 a.m. after departing Pullman Friday at 3 a.m. Our guide, Cory, meets us at the airport. Frank, our bus driver, takes us to the City Square. The first place we see is McDonald’s. We have a break, so we walk through the large shopping area. Being with 15 young women, … » More …

Winter 2004

Guiding Student-Athletes to Academic Success

Balancing academic and athletic commitments in college can be a tough. On top of classes, labs, assignments, studying, and tests, student-athletes devote an enormous amount of time to conditioning and practice, plus travel and competing. Some 450 Washington State University athletes face the challenge every year.

“If you don’t establish priorities, you may be staring at the top of the mountain and wondering how to get there,” says Adam Hawkins, captain of the 2001 Cougar football team.

Hawkins cherishes his five years on the team and his degrees in management information systems and in marketing. “I couldn’t be happier with the toolbox and the personal … » More …

Fall 2004

Big little man Bill Tomaras touched many lives

Father of Washington State High School Wrestling


Bill Tomaras discovered early there wasn’t much demand for a five-foot-three, 120-pound basketball player. So he turned to wrestling. The repercussions of that decision have been felt in Washington wrestling for more than a half-century.

World War II interrupted Tomaras’s athletic career. After fighting at Omaha Beach, he married a four-foot-11 Royal Air Force nurse. That union produced three sons. Bill and Dolly celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in January 2004 at Port Orchard.

Tomaras resumed his education at the University of Illinois (’47 Political Sci.), where he placed third in NCAA wrestling championships as … » More …