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John Owen spent the summer wrestling with his decision to resign at West Valley. (Dan Pelle)

Preps Notebook: Owen resigns at West Valley

John Owen has resigned as West Valley wrestling coach after three seasons.

He said he did so reluctantly.

“I thought about it all summer long and agonized over what I was going to do,” Owen, 63, said. “I felt that to take it to the next level I needed to be in the building.”

Owen teaches physical education at Otis Orchards Center.

“There was no room at the high school and it just wasn’t going to happen,” Owen said of landing a job at WV. “I kept putting off my decision and putting it off. I got caught thinking too long about it. The only thing I feel bad about is the timing.”

Prior to coaching at WV, Owen was head coach for six years at Central Valley. Prior to that he had a highly successful run as head coach at North Idaho College.

Owen, who is in his 39th year in education, said he wants to coach again.

“Coaching kids is a hands-on business and I needed to be in the building,” Owen said. “I’ve got a few things going right now, but nothing I can talk about at this point.”

Owen will be inducted next month into the Inland Northwest Hall of Fame for his accomplishments as head coach at NIC. Eight NIC teams captured National Junior College Athletic Association championships and finished in the top three 18 times. His teams compiled a dual match record of 304-23-2. Under his watch, NIC had 35 individual national champions and 102 All-Americans.

This ‘n’ that

Highland of Pocatello, historically one of the top 5A teams in Idaho, edged Vanden (Calif.) 35-34 in the Idaho Football Classic at the Kibbie Dome last weekend. Highland starts a freshman at center. His name is Tristen Hoge and he’s 6-foot-5, 236 pounds. He’s the nephew of former NFL player and ESPN analyst Merril Hoge, a Pocatello native. … You don’t see this often. Whitney (Calif.), which got whacked by Coeur d’Alene 55-6 last Saturday, was whistled for 19 penalties for 187 yards. Nine of the penalties were for 15 yards and eight were either personal fouls or unsportsmanlike conduct. Lest you think this was a home-cookin’ job, the officiating crew was from District II (Moscow/Lewiston area), not District I (Coeur d’Alene area and north).