SPORTS

theolympian.com/sports

Friday, January 28, 2011 • SECTION

B

Spring is in the air at Safeco
COMMENTARY: With Mariners’ first team meeting in three weeks, high-voltage Eric Wedge makes it clear few jobs safe, and there’ll be new temperature in clubhouse
BY JOHN MCGRATH Staff writer

NOT SATISFIED: At the Mariners’ annual media gathering at Safeco Field, King Felix says one Cy Young Award is not enough
BY RYAN DIVISH Staff writer

Sitting a few feet from the 500 megavolt transformer that is Eric Wedge, I am reminded of the moment in “Casablanca” when Rick is asked: “What kind of man is Captain Renault?” “Oh, he’s just like any other man,” Rick answered. “Only more so.” When Wedge was introduced at Safeco Field as the Mariners’ new manager Oct. 18, he struck me as driven, edgy, simmering with energy. Upon his return Thursday to Safeco Field, where the Mariners held their annual pre-spring training media luncheon, Wedge struck me as the same impassioned guy we met a few months ago. Only more so. “I’m more excited today than I was the day I got this job,” said Wedge, who spent the next 30 minutes
See MCGRATH, Page B6
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ELAINE THOMPSON/The Associated Press

A smiling Felix Hernandez steals a quick glance at his AL Cy Young Award at the Mariners’ annual pre-spring training media luncheon at Safeco Field.

MARINERS NOTEBOOK | B2
New Mariner Adam Kennedy takes responsibility for DUI arrest.

The glances were subtle and only momentary. But if you watched closely, you could see Felix Hernandez steal quick looks at the American League Cy Young trophy displayed to his right as he answered questions during Thursday’s pre-spring training media gathering at Safeco Field. As he answered questions about the whirlwind ride the last few months have been since he earned baseball’s top pitching honor, Hernandez flashed a smile almost as bright as the diamond encrusted watch he was wearing. “It’s been fun,” he said. And yet, the reality that he had won the prize he worked so diligently toward took some time for him to grasp. “For like two months, I was like, ‘Really? Cy Young?’ ” he said. Judging by the stolen glances at the trophy with his
See MARINERS, Page B2
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Black Hills on a roll in bowling
PREP NOTEBOOK: Wolves hope depth, talent earn Black Hills a berth in state tourney at Narrows Bowl
Without locker rooms, Pope John Paul II’s John Johnson adjusts his uniform in a hallway at St. Michael Catholic School. From left, TiAnn Fields, Marissa Allin and Mary Armstrong cheer on the Eagles against Three Rivers Christian on Thursday night.
BY MEG WOCHNICK Staff writer

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New school, new hope

MEG WOCHNICK
Prep focus

FIRST-YEAR TEAM: With seven of the 20 students playing basketball, Pope John Paul II aims for future
The seven boys on the Pope John Paul II basketball team comprise three-fourths of the male students at the first-year Catholic high school in Lacey. The players’ skill levels vary. Dakota Mello has been playing basketball since middle school. His nifty crossover moves and soft shot speak volumes about his game. Spencer Adams has never played on an organized basketball team, but turned out because of the “really cool opportunity.” “This is a new area for me,” said Adams, a sophomore. “How often do you get to start off being the first?” In a season of firsts, the Eagles’ six-game schedule came to an end Thursday night at St. Michael Catholic School. The Eagles of Pope John Paul II lost, 60-25, to the Eagles of Three Rivers Christian, and finished with an 0-6 record. The past eight weeks has been a rewarding experience for the firstyear program competing in Class 1B. The seven players are proud to be the pioneers for future Eagles who will don the navy blue and gold. “It’s really exciting to be the first basketball team,” said Mello, the sophomore point guard who scored a team-best 15 points Thursday. “It would be really cool to see teams in the future … and use us as role models.” It was uncertain if Pope John Paul II would offer sports in its first year when the school opened in September. But students’ interest made it happen. Trying to create an athletic department for a school with 20 students presented challenges. But it came with victories, too. Seven girls turned out to play volleyball. The team had a threematch independent schedule in the fall. Next came boys basketball. The team had two “home” facilities – Faith Lutheran Church and School for practices, and St. Michael

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LYMPIA –

If Matt Bell was a betting man, there’s a good chance he’d put his Black Hills bowlers up against anyone. With the season the Wolves have had – an 11-0 record and three bowlers among the top four averages in the 2A Evergreen Conference – there’s an excellent chance that the Wolves will be competitive today at the 4A/3A/2A District IV bowling tournament at Allen’s Crosley Lanes in Vancouver. The first round begins at 10:10 a.m. “Now, the real season begins,” Bell said. The Wolves have the most talented team in Bell’s six years at Black Hills, and is looking to win its second district title in four years. The Wolves’ depth will be a key. Nicole Hayes (178.4 average), Samantha McDonell (162.7) and Soren Creamer (161.2) sport three of the EvCo’s top four averages, and three others – Alex Putzier, Taylor Swick and Ashley Aarts – have averages in the top 11. “Everyone in the top seven is capable of bowling a 200 game,” Bell said. Only Tumwater’s Leea Haworth was above them all with a 183.1 average, and won the league’s MVP honor for the third year in a row. The 3A/2A combination in District IV will send three teams to state Feb. 4-5 at University Place’s Narrows Plaza Bowl, along with
See PREPS, Page B2
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IN THE NEWS
Seahawks’ Tatupu has surgery on both knees
Seahawks middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu has successful surgery on both knees. Tatupu, left, regularly sat out practices this season to rest his knees. Tatupu had surgery to repair a torn left pectoral muscle in 2009, ending his season early. In other NFL news, the Titans fire coach Jeff Fisher, and the Ravens fire former Seahawks QB Jim Zorn.
See NFL, Page B4

ABOVE: Pope John Paul II’s Radric Marapao, left, drives against Three River Christian’s Dylan Johnson at St. Michael Catholic School.
LEFT: With no locker rooms at St.

Kansas forward tries to cope with family deaths
Kansas sophomore forward Thomas Robinson laid his mother to rest after Lisa Robinson died unexpectedly of a heart attack at age 43. In a three-week span, his grandmother, grandfather and mother have died. That leaves Robinson and his 7-year-old sister, Jayla, with almost no family they have ever been close to except each other.
See COLLEGES, Page B3

Michael, co-head coach/athletic director Ron Edwards gives his halftime speech to the Eagles.
Photos by TONY OVERMAN/ Staff photographer

ONLINE
More from the Pope John Paul II’s last game of the season at theolympian.com/localgalleries

See HOOPS, Page B6

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