Thursday news: Boise baseball no more despite fundraising efforts, affecting Valley player, a COVID-19 update and a diamond cut from the Deschutes!!

Good Thursday morning. We have some news updates for you on this Thursday.

We’ll get to COVID-19 in a moment but first, it is now official. North Bend’s Gavin Gorrell will need a new team to call his own if he wants to continue playing college baseball. The pitcher, a 2017 Mount Si HS grad, played the past two seasons with Boise State University’s fledgling baseball program, which as you know was cut earlier this month by the school along with its women’s swimming and diving team in an effort to resolve budget issues in the athletic program. As we have been telling you here, a fundraising effort was started by both programs to save them, with a GoFundMe account raising almost $70,000 for the baseball program’s effort. Gorrell, as you know, was a visible presence throughout that effort, doing several interviews with Boise television stations regarding it.

However, it is all now for naught. The organizer of the GoFundMe effort, Amaia Van Tol, the daughter of the Broncos’ head coach Gary Van Tol and who has spearheaded a lot of the overall efforts for both programs, announced on the GoFundMe page for the Boise baseball fundraising that the school had officially notified them that they were not going to change their decision and that the original decision to cut the teams stood. Refunds, which were promised by Van Tol at the beginning of this effort were this to have occurred, are now being processed and if you donated to the effort, which a number of people from the Valley contributed to including your editor, you will be receiving that refund by the middle of next week.

“We are incredibly grateful for everything you all have done for us. Thank you for fighting this,” Amaia Van Tol wrote. “This city deserved these programs and these programs deserved better. Unfortunately, a select few individuals have the power to make this call regardless of everyone’s efforts. We believed it was important to do everything in our power to fight this decision. With your help we were able to do so.”

It is not known what Gorrell will do. He will be a senior academically this fall at Boise but have two years of eligibility remaining if he chooses to transfer elsewhere. We’ll check and see for you later today or tomorrow.

Gorrell is playing this summer for the Willmar Stingers of the Northwoods League, one of two MSHS grads playing college summer baseball with many leagues having shut operations down due to the pandemic.

COVID-19 update
The fallout was thick yesterday from the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association’s decision to modify the 2020-21 Washington state high school sports calendar and move major fall sports to next spring Tuesday night.

There was praise from a number of folks around the state, but also disappointment as evidenced by the tweet we mentioned in our coverage of this yesterday from Seattle media personality Brock Huard. That tweet generated a lot of blowback in response. Huard discussed the decision during an appearance on the Dori Monson radio show, which you can listen to https://mynorthwest.com/category/podcast_player/?a=4453b66d-e500-42d1-88ae-ac00016d8926&sid=1004&n=The+Dori+Monson+Show (go to around the 22:00 mark to hear it). He opened his comments by offering praise to the WIAA, then followed it up with criticism of the state’s response to the pandemic and its impacts on kids. The Tweet was also discussed as part of the interview.

Speaking of the Huard’s, Brock is as many of you know related to local high school QB Sam Huard, and the Kennedy Catholic High School star announced yesterday through KOMO’s Femi Abefefe on Twitter his intention to delay early enrollment at the University of Washington to play the spring season as a senior with the Lancers. There had been rumors circulating of a possible out-of-state transfer for the star signal-caller, but the state he reportedly was interested in moving to earlier this week announced a delay in the start of their season, rendering that option not workable. The announcement is likely to quell fears of a potential mass exodus of players seeking to “double-dip”, that is go to a state and play this fall then return to their Washington high school to play the spring season in 2021.

It is possible there may still be transfers, but likely, those will fall into two main categories – one, seniors who intend on graduating high school early and enrolling at college to play spring football for their college programs (and Mount Si has at least two – Clay Millen and Andrew Edson – who likely fall into this group, and potentially a third, Cole Norah, as well, provided he commits and signs with a school during the early signing period in December), and two, players regardless of grade level who could move in with family out of state provided that state is open and is proceeding normally with a fall high school football schedule. The WIAA as we told you indicated they may address this issue later, but are likely to wait to see how much movement there is before proceeding.

Meanwhile, in other states, Florida high school officials for the second time this week will be holding a meeting regarding the status of their football season. That meeting is tonight and if the meeting earlier this week is any indication, it could be must-view material for some of you who may be looking at a transfer option for your son out of Washington to play this fall. On Monday, the association, after a lengthy four-hour meeting, voted to proceed as normal with the season start, but a number of counties yesterday, mostly in south Florida, decided on their own to delay their season starts citing increased COVID-19 cases in their region of the state.

This has forced Florida officials’ hand and it is likely they will scrap the previously agreed-to proposal and try something else, perhaps a statewide delay. YouTube is carrying the meeting here and it starts at 2:00 our time this afternoon. It will be a Zoom-based meeting and they are accepting questions via email at questions@fhsaa.org, so if you are a parent interested in having your son transfer there for this fall to play, you may want to chime in.

And if you were looking south for help, Oregon will be of no help to you. The Oregon School Activities Association announced that their state’s high school football season is on indefinte hold pending review of state regulations regarding the sport and COVID-19. They have set a September 28 deadline for the state to change those regulations in order for there to be a fall season, otherwise they are likely at a later date to move it to the spring.

Now to the sports action from last night as we hit the diamond in central Oregon.

Bend, OR, team sweeps pair from Merchants: Host Boss Baseball, based down in Bend, OR, took both ends of a doubleheader last night from the visiting Kirkland Merchants 18U Premier, sweeping a three-game set between the two teams which started with a Boss win Tuesday night. Scores last night were 2-1 in the opener, then 13-7 in the nightcap at Vince Genna Stadium in downtown Bend.

In the opener, the Merchants were held to just four hits; leading the way was Jason Murphy, who went 1-3 with an RBI. Caden McCann, the Woodinville ace pitcher, worked an inning allowing a hit and two walks while striking out two and receiving no decision.

Kirkland, whose roster consists mainly of players from Kingco 4A high schools in the Lake Washington and Northshore School Districts, was paced in the nightcap by Ethan Oxford, who had a hit, run scored and two RBI’s. McCann started this game on the mound and worked three innings allowing four runs, two earned, on four hits, striking out two. He ended up with no decision after the Merchants scored four runs in the fifth to take a 7-5 lead, but Kirkland saw the Boss respond in their half of the frame with a seven-run inning to restore their advantage.
The Merchants now are on their way back from Bend today, with the remainder of their schedule to be determined based on tournament availability and local and state COVID-19 restrictions.

Rhett Workman

About Rhett Workman

Rhett Workman is the editor of the Snoqualmie Valley Sports Journal. Workman is a veteran sports journalist, having covered Snoqualmie Valley sports for nearly a decade with the Snoqualmie Valley Record newspaper before starting up the SVSJ. Workman's coverage has earned the support and respect of Valley coaches, players, parents and fans, and the SVSJ continues the standard of coverage that Workman brought to the Valley Record.
This entry was posted in College Sports, Football, News and Comment, On the Diamond, On the Links, Soccer, Tennis, Track/XC/Running, Volleyball, Water Sports, Wrestling/Gymnastics. Bookmark the permalink.