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Youth notebook: Pair of area football standouts commit early to Oregon

It will be two more years before a pair of Inland Northwest high school football players head off to college, but they have given early commitments to one of the top programs in the nation.

Devin Culp of Gonzaga Prep and Colson Yankoff of Coeur d’Alene will be juniors this fall. They gave oral commitments to the University of Oregon after a mid-June camp in Eugene.

Culp, a wide receiver, was the first commitment to Oregon’s 2018 recruiting class and Yankoff, a quarterback, was the Ducks’ second commit.

Oregon’s offer was the ninth for Yankoff (6-foot-4, 195 pounds). He received his first offer, from Texas Tech, just before his sophomore year. Washington State, Idaho, Montana State, Boise State, Duke, Utah and Iowa State also offered.

Yankoff said proximity to home and Oregon’s coaching staff were factors in his decision.

“I want to play for a really good (NCAA) Division I offense,” Yankoff said. “It’s a good place for me with their offense and their coaches.”

Yankoff split time with a senior for CdA last year.

Culp (6-4 1/2, 218) had an outstanding season last fall. He scored two touchdowns, one on a 59-yard end around, in the Bullpups’ 34-16 win over Skyline in the State 4A championship game.

He said being Oregon’s first commit in the 2018 class is special.

“I’m very proud of that,” Culp said. “They said they liked my frame and my speed. They thought I was a really good kid and down-to-earth and that I made a really good impression on them.”

Yankoff and Culp were friends before attending the camp. They knew each other from AAU basketball. Yankoff hopes he can get together with Culp this summer “and throw the ball around.”

Both athletes are likely to continue to grow the next two years.

“With my frame I’m going to get bigger,” Culp said. “If I got to 235 or 240 there’s always a chance I’d be a tight end. That would be fine.”

By NCAA rules, no schools have been allowed to contact Culp or Yankoff directly. They had to go through their coaches. NCAA schools can have contact with juniors beginning in September.

CdA coach Shawn Amos and G-Prep coach Dave McKenna are excited about the upside of their players.

“That’s a big-time offer,” Amos said. “Oregon took him through a very extensive workout. His skill set is as good as anybody obviously. He’s a hard working kid, humble kid, can throw, run, jump. And he’s a great student and great citizen. He checks all the boxes.”

“He’ll continue to grow as a player and a person, so it’s a good thing,” McKenna said. “I wasn’t surprised (by the offer). He’s extremely good. He did amazing things at their camp. His ceiling is extremely high.”

Culp entered high school not even planning on playing football. He thought his future was Division I basketball.

His development last fall changed his direction.

“I’m really excited about Oregon,” Culp said. “They made me feel like I was on the team and part of the family already. Coming from Prep that’s important to me.”

Yankoff completed 62 percent of his passes last year, finishing with 825 yards in split duty.

“I can improve in every facet of the game,” Yankoff said. “I definitely have a couple little things like mechanics and footwork that I need to improve.”

Baseball

The Washington State Baseball Coaches Association (WSBCA) has announced its 2016 All-State teams.

Twelve area athletes were named to first teams. They are: 4A – Conner DeGeest (Central Valley), Jack Machtolf (Gonzaga Prep) and Cal Webb (Lewis and Clark); 3A – Gabe Martin (Mt. Spokane); 2A – Johnny Sage (West Valley) and Colin Spendlove (East Valley); 1A – McKabe Cottrell (Freeman) and Brayden Hale (Medical Lake); 2B/1B – Brady Chadwick (Colton), Aaron Fritts (Republic), Jake Pottratz (Liberty) and Danny Robinson (Colfax).

Named to second teams were: 3A – Dalen Hainline (Shadle Park) and Justin Solt (Shadle Park), Alek Jacob (North Central) and Taylor Eskridge (University); 1A – Chase Kuhnert (Lakeside), Jake Paukert (Freeman) and Cory Wagner (Medical Lake); 2B/1B – Carter Dahmen (Colton), Brad Johnston (Odessa-Harrington), Dalton Kentner (Almira/Coulee-Hartline) and Adrian McCarthy (Republic).

Softball

North Idaho Xtreme teams won two brackets in the High School division of the 27th annual Softball Umpires Memorial 4th of July Shootout during the weekend at the Dwight Merkel Complex and Franklin Park in Spokane.

Breana Burke and Kelsey Gumm combined to pitch a three-hitter as Xtreme 18U won the top Red bracket with an 18-5 victory over Kaizen 2000 from Calgary, Alberta.

Gumm (Central Valley) pitched a no-hitter against the Coeur d’Alene Crush in the first round of bracket play and UNLV-bound Burke (Coeur d’Alene High) had a two-hitter in a semifinal win over 406 Fastpitch (Kalispell, Montana). Kylie Smith (CdA) had a 7-for-9 day at the plate for Xtreme.

Pitching was also a key in Xtreme 16U’s Consolation bracket title as Bri Baldree (Sandpoint) used her arm and bat in a 16-2 championship game win over the Reapers from Spokane Valley.

Spokane Scream combined solid defense, pitching and hitting into its second-level White bracket victory with pitcher Jaya Allen (Shadle Park) supporting herself with a home run and Brooke Olson (North Central) delivering a grand slam in a 16-5 title-game win over the Lady Osprey (Missoula, Montana).

Washington Force (Tri-Cities) won the third-tier Blue bracket, 8-3 over the Washington Rage (Moses Lake).

In Sunday’s most exciting championship game, the Chewelah Hurricanes won the high school division’s Fireworks bracket 3-2 over the Tri-City Thunder, overcoming a 2-0 deficit with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Tylee Frizzell (Chewelah) got aboard on an error to get the winning rally started and scored on a pop single by Kennedy Robison (Chewelah). Robison scored to tie the game on a double off the fence by Hayden Hartman (Colville). Yvette Sanchez (Brewster) drove a shot up the middle off the pitcher’s glove, and as Hartman rounded third hard, a Thunder throw trying to get her at third sailed wide and Hartman scored the winning run.

Erin Walls (University), Sophia Clark (Kalispell), Grace Stumbough (CV) and Mo Erickson (Deer Park) each drove in two runs as Spokane Diamonds-Butler won the 14U division with an 11-5 championship-game victory over the Spokane Crash-Kallsen.

Washington Angels (Tri-City) won the 12U division, 15-5 over the Spokane Diamonds-Wuesthoff.

The tournament drew 40 teams, 27 in the 16U-18U high school division.

Track and field

Recent Ferris graduate Kirk Unland took seventh in the hammer throw at the USATF Junior Nationals in Clovis, California, on June 24. He threw 197 feet, 5 inches.

Earlier this month, he won at the second IronWood Throwers Classic in Rathdrum with a throw of 210-7.

Unland is headed to the University of Wyoming. He plans to throw the hammer, shot put and discus.