Once scorned internet saves the day | Prep Report

When the internet train left the depot some years back, I was the guy who got to the station late but had good enough wheels to give chase. The wheels are long gone now, but I did mange to grab the back railing of the caboose.

By professional necessity, I entered into a love-hate relationship with cyberspace and it wasn’t always 50-50.

But now that the thing is saving my job, I’ve simmered down and gotten fully on board. I guess.

Also by necessity, most newspapers are reducing their number of print editions while leaning more and more on digital platforms and the Yakima Herald-Republic is joining those ranks starting today. I hope you read my column earlier this week, when I attempted to give sports readers in general an idea of what to expect as we move to three print editions a week on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

For this space, I’d like to aim more directly at our core — the local high schools with their athletes, parents, fans, coaches and administrators who have supported us so faithfully for so long.

In an effort to overcommunicate, which we’ve been told is always a good thing, our way forward starting today boils down to this: For daily scores, highlights, roundups and game coverage, check us out at www.yakimaherald.com/sports and on the YHR app throughout the evening or click into the eEdition early the next morning. For longer feature stories and other local and regional content, the three print editions will be full of it. This Valley Varsity page will always anchor the Friday print edition.

If you have a print subscription, you have access to all the digital bells and whistles. All of our coverage will be there, and I’m especially happy about the eEdition because it will allow us to produce a daily section like we used to — albeit digitally — without the earlier print deadline we wrestled with since last summer.

I hate inconveniencing anyone or forcing them into a transition they don’t want, but I’m optimistic and not just because I have to be. Every time I’ve asked coaches or athletic directors or parents for patience and understanding, they’ve been mostly great about it. Adopting this new model, while jarring to say the least, is something we can sustain.

And, as a result, keep us in the game.

As we move through the coming days with the new print schedule, please have a look at the website and the eEditions, which look real sharp on my wife’s iPad. One of these days I’ll get one, but I haven’t got a free hand yet. Still hanging on that caboose railing.

Back on track

With spring break for most schools coming next week, it’s time for our bookend invitational track meets at Zaepfel Stadium. First comes the 48th Don Holder Relays on Saturday, then a week later it’s the 97th Davis Invitational.

After skipping 2020 because of the pandemic and having just 11 local schools last year, the Holder Relays are back up to 20 schools with locals including Davis, East Valley, Ellensburg, Goldendale, Kittitas, La Salle, Naches Valley, Selah, Toppenish, Wapato, Zillah host Eisenhower.

Events get started at 10 a.m. and continue through 6 p.m.

Selah’s Cooper Quigley will run his first 1,600 of the season at 12:30 p.m., and come back in the 4×400. The Vikings have the Valley best at 3:34.32 and the local 400 leader in Shaun Salveson.

Busy on Beaudry

East Valley will be a CWAC beehive on Saturday with Selah visiting for baseball and softball doubleheaders that start at 11 a.m.

In baseball, the Vikings are 3-1 in conference, having split with Ellensburg and swept Othello. East Valley (0-2) opened with senior-laden and unbeaten Ephrata, which pitched its way to 2-1 and 3-0 wins. Selah hosts Ephrata on April 9.

Selah softball also had tough CWAC openers, dropping a pair to unbeaten Othello last Saturday. East Valley, which swept Ephrata last week, has been averaging nine runs a game with some stout nonleague competition.

The highlight of the day, however, will be at Earl Barden Stadium when East Valley hosts Othello in a clash of boys soccer teams that are both 4-0 in league. The Red Devils are 8-0 overall and have allowed just four goals, and Othello was also unbeaten at 6-0-1 heading into Thursday’s nonleague match at Moses Lake.

Some winter review

The Valley had two state academic champions for the winter season in their respective classifications — Selah girls basketball, coached by Jonathan Hubbard, and Davis boys swimming, coached by Carl Scott. The Vikings posted a 3.920 team grade-point average for 10 varsity players while the Pirates had 3.803 for a team of 15.

• In the WIAA’s Scholastic Cup standings through two seasons, Ellensburg and Selah moved up to sixth and seventh in 2A. The Bulldogs got a nice 180-point boost from girls basketball for its state title and academic achievement, and the Vikings were bolstered by the previously mentioned state academic title and their runner-up trophy at Mat Classic.

West Valley is eighth in 4A, as is Goldendale in 2B, and Toppenish is 11th in 1A as the second-highest SCAC school.

From the sideline

Through the first three weeks of spring sports, we’ve had a trio of WIAA athletes of the week – Sunnyside senior Myles Newhouse (4A boys, track), Selah junior Izzy Vick (2A girls, softball) and Zillah sophomore Mia Hicks (1A girls, track).

• Naches Valley’s baseball team knows how to win close games, starting the season 5-1 with a run differential of 27-20. The Rangers open SCAC West play on Friday at Toppenish.

• The top-heavy hybrid SCAC-EWAC boys soccer league is currently making its first run through the toughest part of the schedule. After undefeated Highland edged Wapato 1-0 on Tuesday, the Wolves hosted Toppenish on Thursday. Then the gauntlet continues Saturday when Toppenish hosts Highland.

• Washington can sure produce girls pole vaulters. West Seattle’s Chloe Cunliffe set the national high school record at 14-9 in 2019 and held it until Capital junior Amanda Moll cleared 14-9.5 last week. Amanda’s twin sister, Hana, has topped 14-8.

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