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Cougar footballers conduct final camp scrimmage

The day belonged (mostly) to the backups.

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: FEB 02 Reese’s Senior Bowl Practice Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Good morning! We did it, everyone! We made it through the final Saturday without football until 2023! Wooooooo! Next Sunday, this space will be occupied with extensive breakdowns from every angle of matchups like North Texas-UTEP and Austin Peay-Western Kentucky. Ok maybe not. Even so, football is coming!

Your Washington State Cougars conducted their final preseason camp scrimmage Saturday, in advance of school’s onset this coming week and the 2022 lid-lifter against the Idaho Vandals just 13 days (!!!) from now. And in true Pullman fashion, the Cougs started the scrimmage early in order to attend the annual Lentil Festival parade. If you aren’t familiar with this event, it’s pretty much Pullman’s version of Rio Carnaval.

Before the legume hullabaloo, WSU’s first team offense used its limited time rather effectively. The Spokesman Review’s Colton Clark reports that Cam Ward and the offense practiced two-minute drill-type situations, During those two possessions, Ward completed 14 of 15 passes (What the heck happened on the one incompletion, Cam??!!), leading WSU to two scores, a 40-yard Dean Janikowski field goal and a 15-yard scoring throw to the Nard Dog.

Those two series would provide the overarching theme of Saturday’s events, as the offense produced several chunk plays, enough to draw the defensive-minded head coach’s ire.

“I was not happy with the defensive communication today,” Dickert said. “There are some things in the back end that we gotta make sure we clean up. There were too many explosive plays.”

Cougar quarterbacks were very liberal with pass distribution, completing passes to 19 different receivers on the day, all the way from redshirt freshman Orion Peters’ six catches for 110 yards to Donovan Ollie’s one catch for three yards. As Clark reports, the vast majority of the snaps went to the depth players, and a few tried to take advantage. Running back Jouvensly Bazil got the bulk of the carries, while freshman quarterback John Mateer threw 15 passes.

Many expected 2022 contributors were notable by their absence, including offensive linemen Ma’ake Fifita ad Brock Dieu, tight end Andre Dollar, edge rushers Ron Stone, Jr. and Raam Stevenson, and defensive backs Derrick Langford Jr., Chau Smith-Wade, Armani Marsh and Armauni Archie.

In the worst bit of news, kicker Dean Janikowski missed a field goal try for the first time during the entire preseason. GET HIM OUTTA THERE! (but seriously send him to Seattle because their kicker is terrible).

Once again, the players will rest on Sunday in advance of Monday classes and practice.


Cougar Air Raid impresses in up-tempo drill, backups produce big plays: Notes from WSU's final preseason scrimmage | The Spokesman-Review
The Cougars will practice for two more weeks before opening their season Sept. 3 at home against Idaho.

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Hilinski’s Hope

The indefatigable Mark and Kym Hilinski were back in Spokane this week, continuing their life’s mission to emphasize the importance of mental health and stress management for young people. What they have done in the wake of their son’s tragic death is incredibly courageous. There is also a touching anecdote about former WSU receiver C.J. Dimry, which provides yet another example of how those of us on the outside have no idea what some of these kids are going through.

‘All we want is him back.’ Pioneers of college football’s mental health movement, Mark & Kym Hilinski continue to share son’s story | The Spokesman-Review
More than four years removed from their son’s suicide death, one of the painful questions still lingers for Mark and Kym Hilinski, who understand they may never get the answers they’re seeking: “He’s 20 feet from a door,” Mark said. “Why didn’t he ask for help?”

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Four college athletes have died by suicide since the start of 2022.

NFL Cougs

Big day for Dez Patmon, against the Hard Knocks-starring Detroit Lions. The WSU alum and current Indianapolis Colt receiver led everyone in the game, catching five passes for 103 yards and a touchdown in Indy’s 27-26 loss. Elsewhere, Kansas City Chief Jaylen Watson was credited with two tackles and one pass defensed in KC’s win over the Washington Commanders.

After the Denver Broncos cut Max Borghi, he caught on with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and registered one carry for one yard in Pittsburgh’s win over Jacksonville. River Cracraft is now playing for the Miami Dolphins, and he caught two passes for 32 yards in a 15-13 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.

There will also be a host of Cougars playing on Sunday, including Andre Dillard and Gardner Minshew facing the newest Cleveland Brown, Easop Winston. Unfortunately, Cleveland waived Travell Harris earlier this week. Also in action will be New York Jet Calvin Jackson and Arizona Cardinals Jalen Thompson and Jarrett Guarantano.

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This Week in Parenting

Big Week! The high schooler’s football team had conducted a scrimmage against another team Friday night, with the varsity playing one half, the JV one quarter and his freshman team the final quarter. Since I haven’t been to a high school football game in many moons, I learned a few things.

First, I learned that I get annoyed at events like these just as easily as I always have. In this case, it involved the sound system. Now, I’m a fan of the footballs, especially the traditions. So I’m here for the high school bands playing as much as they want. What I will never accept is this nonsensical practice of playing music over the PA system BETWEEN EVERY GODDAMN PLAY! Seriously, we don’t need to fill every effing second of time with noise. Just let things breathe.

Second, on the walk to the stadium, I saw a rather cool precursor of what I would witness throughout the evening.

I have no idea if it’s reflective of high school kids at football kids throughout the USA, and it’s a sample size of 1, but the student section at the game was a collage of jerseys. NBA, MLB, NFL, NCAA, these kids had them all. Among them were Marshawn Lynch and Ken Griffey, Jr. from their Seattle days, a Christian Pulicic Dortmund beauty, Tony Boselli, Josh Allen and Donovan Mitchell. I don’t know why, but I found it interesting. Oh, and this marked the first time that I had a lamb gyro at a high school football game, so I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.

Mrs. Kendall and I also had parents orientation night at the high school this week, and we learned the hard way that navigating the school’s hallways is not so simple. We visited each of the kiddo’s classes for 10 minutes, with five minutes in between. We got lost once because all of my navigation skills have atrophied, and thus were late to Geometry. Then, after arriving on time for the final class, we learned during the final minute that we we’d wandered into 10th-grade Biology and not 9th-grade Science. Good job, good effort, me.

On the 5th-grader front, he came home from school on Thursday and was pretty excited, because he met a new friend from the neighborhood on the bus. So, did he drop his stuff and run over to his new friend’s house to hang out? Of course not. Instead, he and his buddy debarked to their relative homes and met online in order to play Fortnite together. The times, they are a changin’. He’s happy to have a friend to “play” with here, because he’s been playing online with a buddy in Germany since he moved here, and it’s been difficult to arrange the schedules. What a time to be alive.


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