The Crossover Classic volleyball tournament is Sweet 16 this year.
It seems with every year the 64-team tourney is better, and this year will be no different. From 4A to the smallest classifications, some of the top teams across the state will be in one of the 16 pools playing Friday and Saturday at Ferris, Rogers, Shadle Park and Lewis and Clark.
The tourney is billed as the largest of its kind on the West Coast. There will be a team from California and a first-time entrant from Montana.
Richland is the defending champ. The Bombers topped Mt. Spokane last year in the final. Jackson, the defending State 4A champ, lost to Mead in the quarterfinals.
Jackson, which is ranked No. 2 in the Seattle Times’ rankings, returns. Mead is ranked No. 1. The Panthers, along with all the Greater Spokane League schools, will be in the tourney. Several North Idaho schools are entered.
The title match is at Ferris, beginning at approximately 6:30. The semifinals are scheduled for 5:30.
Admission is a bargain price. There’s no cost to attend the opening matches Friday. Admission Saturday is $5 for adults and $3 for students all day.
One and done
In his first year as Central Valley’s wrestling coach, Tommy Owen took the Bears to a fourth-place finish at state.
The Bears had an outstanding offseason, and Owen was looking forward to challenging for a state title this year.
But then an opportunity toward fulfilling a long-term goal came up and Owen couldn’t turn it down. He accepted a position as head assistant coach at George Mason University. He signed his contract Monday and officially began his job Wednesday.
Joe Russell, a long-time assistant coach at Minnesota, took over at George Mason in early August. Owen wrestled at Minnesota.
“I really bonded with Joe when I was at Minnesota,” Owen, 28, said. “Ever since I was little I always wanted to be a college coach.”
Owen didn’t want to leave CV, but he also couldn’t pass up the opportunity at George Mason.
“I felt I left CV better than I found it,” Owen said. “I felt we were building a great program. I left a pretty good team.”
Now CV must find its third coach in three years.
“It’s a great opportunity for Tommy,” CV athletic director Butch Walter said. “We had a very successful year last year. He kind of re-established a lot of pride in the program again.”
Walter said the position is open for applications until Oct. 14. He hopes to name a replacement by the end of the month – about two weeks before practices begin.
Tommy’s father, John Owen, 64, who recently resigned at West Valley and coached six years at CV, said he plans to apply at CV.