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Andrew Ottoson

Stories by Andrew

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One after another: Pirates capture second ’ship this month

No 1AD1 tourney foe stood toe-to-toe with Prairie’s big boys

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Set of four: Savages extend football-basketball title run

Vander Esch – 93 points – sets scoring mark, powers Salmon River’s championship drive

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Grangeville’s title defense continues

As five early lead changes would suggest, St. Maries put Grangeville into a bit of a wobble during the first quarter of the 2A District I-II title game last Thursday night, Feb. 27. But as the big run the Bulldogs delivered with a state berth at stake would suggest, the reigning state champions are capable of strong defense when they play balanced basketball.

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Ultimate Over-Lap : Doubling down with two powerful posts played out perfectly for PHS

Call these Prairie Pirates champions once again, and count coach Lori Mader’s pressure defenses and post offenses among the level’s most potent powerplays. Lapwai — second-best among the 1AD1 girls for the second straight season — fell into early foul trouble and soon proved prone to attack by PHS forwards Kayla Schumacher and Kyndahl Ulmer, who scored 17 points apiece to lift Prairie’s second girls basketball title in three seasons, 56-40. As the fouls piled up during the championship game last Saturday, Feb. 22, at the Idaho Center, the Wildcats’ ability to counter Prairie’s effort dwindled as each half progressed.

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2A girls basketball

Despite early stumble, Grangeville finishes 2014 on a winning note

Last Friday morning, Feb. 21, the Grangeville girls awoke from a nightmare start to their season-ending tournament and finished off their final 2014 games in a fashion befitting a proud basketball tradition. Their consolation bracket foes, perhaps energized by knowing Melba held one of the state’s higher-scoring teams to just 27 in a first-round upset last Thursday night, Feb. 20, did not fall easily.

1AD1 District II tournament matchups: Prairie pops CV, Kamiah in post-season preppers

In their final regular season games, Prairie had no trouble with two of the teams the Pirates may encounter during the upcoming 1AD1 District II tournament.

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Slate Creek, Joseph Plains subject of travel planning

42 years ago this month, on Feb. 8, 1972, then-President Richard Nixon signed Executive Order 11644, which directed executive branch departments to start managing vehicle use on public lands – and that order has rippled through time to compel the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to start regulating routes on its lands throughout North Central Idaho, soon to include part of BLM’s acreage in Clearwater, Nez Perce, Lewis and Latah counties as well as the agency’s Slate Creek holdings in the Lower Salmon River.

Bulldogs vs. Bulldogs: Genesee edges Grangeville

Genesee rallied back from a slow start and a 25-17 halftime deficit to defeat host Grangeville in a Wednesday night boys basketball battle.

Shepherd to push EPA nullification

Eight months after the Riggins-area suction dredge mining community put its case to U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo, suction dredgers packed a joint hearing of the Idaho Legislature’s natural resources committees last Monday, Feb. 3. An hour of testimony – including speeches from two Idaho County elected officials – led to the Feb. 6 introduction of a bill by Rep. Paul Shepherd of Riggins to declare Environmental Protection Agency regulations “null and void.”

Ranchers, hunters to fund wolf control proposal

In his January “state of the state” address, Gov. Otter proposed $2 million in seed money the state would provide to establish and fund a new wolf control board.

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Put Me In, Coach

Lawson Roberg, having fun on the GHS basketball court.

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Bulldogs run down Charter

The Bulldogs made short work of a Central Idaho League foe with a 19-0 start en route to a 53-19 win over Charter last Saturday, Jan. 25, leaving only Orofino to stand between Grangeville and the CIL title.

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Bulldogs clock Maniacs, lock up league title

With just one Central Idaho League game remaining after Grangeville thumped Orofino, the CIL's unbeaten leaders pulled two games ahead of second place Tuesday night.

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Two wins from league title, Grangeville preps for CDA

A dozen and one days after playing a double-overtime thriller at Colton, the Bulldogs made swift work of the Wildcats on Monday night, Jan. 20.

County takes on bridge maintenance

The Salmon River Road’s blacktop leads to the Manning Crevice Bridge, where construction of a new span is anticipated this fall. Idaho County has reached an agreement with federal agencies on maintenance, county commissioner Jim Chmelik said, under which the county has “reluctantly agreed to take over maintenance on the old bridge.”

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Straight Shooter

A few snowflakes fell Sunday morning, but wind made for a few more misses than usual at Grangeville Gun Club, which opened the Camas Prairie Trap Shoot in eighth place in the team standings.

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GHS girls win ‘Shootout’ rematch

Barely a minute into the varsity opener, when Prairie girls varsity coach Lori Mader called a timeout to turn a scramble for a loose ball into an extra possession for the PHS girls, it was clear the Pirates intended to try to squeeze the maximum from every slight advantage they could find.

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Prairie, Grangeville split Friday night double-header

With a GHS gym packed for four games Friday night, the Grangeville girls powered past Prairie 51-44. The Pirates claimed victory in the boys game, 54-48.

Wilson returns, but Genesee rolls

Area basketball roundup

Grangeville guard Michael Wilson returned to the lineup, but was limited to six points in his first action of the season.

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How Grangeville alum Jennifer Mills turned a passion into a career Running after life

When Jennifer Mills got serious about running as a teenager during the early 1990s, she launched herself into the routine with the relentlessness of a distance racer.

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Pirates slam reigning champ Savages; nab third win of week over area’s elite

It ended on an uncontested dunk by Salmon River’s Leighton Vander Esch, but the second half on Thursday night, Dec. 19, had already seen Prairie leading by as many as 18 points late in a 66-55 Pirates win.

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New look Bulldogs hit six three-point shots in first game

Even with one of their gunners out injured, five Bulldogs hit at least one three-point shot.

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Humbled by Colton, GHS thumps Asotin

Sullivan averages 11.3 points per game for the week as Grangeville improves to 5-1.

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Ready to defend, contend

Grangeville's basketball title defense begins Friday

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GHS grad visits old stomping grounds

Principal Ruzicka stops by with Centennial Football team

John Ruzicka, a Grangeville High School alum, was in town last week for a movie and a Friday morning walkthrough with the Capital High School football team.

Salmon River 66, Council 26: Savages claim back-to-back 1AD2 titles

Salmon River pulled ahead during the first quarter and scored relentlessly throughout its win over Council.

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1AD1 semifinal: Pirates place third as Troy rallies late to advance

Prairie's bid to upend Troy began with a brilliant offensive and defensive sequence and included a couple of magic moments near the end of the contest.

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One down, one to go: Savages move on from 1AD2 semifinal

Savages return to 1AD2 title game; they’ll face Long Pin rival Council.

Disaster ruling to expedite bridge repair

Urgently needed repairs are in progress on a bridge near milepost 33 off State Highway 14 west of Elk City, according to Idaho County officials who sought and received a disaster declaration from the county commission this month in order to streamline what is normally a complicated permit process.

Bench Press

Week 11: Thanks for playing, everyone

A thank you to all who played, plus one last pick.

GHS girls win home opener: Grangeville 77, Lapwai 65

With 28 points from Chantel Key, the Grangeville girls basketball team won its second game of the season.

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Salmon River 44, Dietrich 0: Savages reach second straight title game

Salmon River defeated Dietrich in lopsided fashion in Saturday's 1AD2 semifinal. The Savages will play for the state title at Boise State.

Trojans end Pirates season: Troy 42, Prairie 36

Troy overcame Prairie's near-perfect start by sticking with a powerful rushing attack.

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Hornets sting GHS again

No vengeance for last year’s elimination loss as Declo rallies late once again

A stinging loss to Declo one year ago introduced a vengeance factor to one of 2A Idaho’s budding playoff rivalries, but desire to wipe the grins from the Hornets’ faces was not enough to propel Grangeville past the reigning champions last Friday night, Nov. 8, at GHS. Declo again overcame a halftime deficit by shutting the Bulldogs out during the second half of what wound up a 23-17 Hornets victory.

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Salmon River 56, Kootenai 6: Warriors washed out as S.R. rolls on

Salmon River made short work of Kootenai, defeating the Warriors 56-6 during the opening round of the 1AD2 playoffs last Saturday, Nov. 9. The Savages struck first on a throw from Leighton Vander Esch, a 25-yarder, but misfired on the two-point try.

Savages advance: Salmon River 56, Kootenai 6

As they did throughout the regular season, Salmon River mercy-ruled its 1AD2 quarterfinal opponent on Saturday afternoon.

Bulldogs knocked out: Declo 23, Grangeville 17

Declo had Grangeville's number last year, and with a similar showing on Friday night, Nov. 8, the Hornets ended the Bulldogs' football season once again.

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Sacked and Burned

2A Playoffs: Grangeville 38, Nampa Christian 18

Nampa Christian couldn’t keep the Grangeville defense away from its quarterback, nor could the Trojans prevent GHS quarterback Michael Wilson from delivering deep throws to his No. 1 target last Friday night, Nov. 1.

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Grenada: The Sunday to Sunday War

Former Ranger Tells his role in 1983 Campaign

Thirty years ago last Thursday, having descended onto the Caribbean island of Grenada five days prior, Michael Peterson of Grangeville and his company of elite U.S. Army Rangers returned to the homeland, having completed a lightning-quick campaign in what became informally known as the Sunday to Sunday War.

With gratitude we thank you, veterans

The Grenada Invasion, 30 years ago Oct. 25, flexed national security muscles that had been little exercised since Vietnam and proved our nation’s martial expertise. Though marked by poor high-level planning and various mishaps, the invasion delivered the island out of Marxist control. In then Maj. Gen.

Bench Press

Week eight: Hohman, Lorentz hit again

The Bench Press (as in the column by Idaho County Free Press sports/outdoors editor Andrew Ottoson, not the workout routine) offers up an occasional take on local high school sports and should not be confused with any activity that causes a physically fit person to sweat. If reading the Bench Press causes you to sweat, it might be time to go outside or something, maybe walk the dog or ride a bike or hike in the woods or take up jogging. Speaking of which, it’s probably time for Andrew Ottoson to quit referring to himself in the third person and maybe go outside or something.

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Self destruct

Troy QB dominates Whitepine League title game rife with Pirates turnovers

The host Trojans were credited with a 53-28 win at the conclusion of the showdown between the Whitepine League’s top contenders, but the Prairie Pirates pretty well beat themselves with five turnovers.

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Well-played, barely out

“If necessary” loss ends GHS playoff run

Grangeville’s run at the 2A District II volleyball tournament had the surge and sway of an ocean during a perfect storm, which the Bulldogs weathered all the way to a fifth match in as many days.

Dame good! Grangeville clocks Gooding 24-17

Last time Grangeville met Gooding, the Bulldogs may as well have pitched a tent in the Senators’ end zone — they took a 14-0 lead and scored 48 points in a playoff rout at the Kibbie Dome in 2011.

Back to work

Shutdown disrupts some timber jobs; delays planning

While the divided U.S. Congress bickered over whether and how to fund the federal government for fiscal 2014, Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests supervisor Rick Brazell and a total of about 20 combined forests employees were “excepted” from the shutdown by the Forest Service higher ups – which is another way of saying that the agency’s central office in Washington D.C. asked a fraction of the workforce to stay on the job without pay Oct. 1-17.

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Long Pin locked up

Savages secure playoff seed

Salmon River stuffed a fake punt on fourth down early in a 56-8 victory over Garden Valley last Friday night, Oct. 18, and the Wolverines did not dare question the Savages’ dominance again during the ball game.

Week five: Roberts, Stowell win with 10

Our Week Five winners, David Stowell and Gideon Roberts, were among four who tied at ten correct picks apiece. That’s a bummer for Mike Connolley and Terry Schlieper, but no worries, fellas — we’ll be handing out gift certificates through Nov. 13. I’m glad to have another month to keep firing picks, even though I’m coming off my worst week to date with five whiffs.

Lochsa Land Exchange: After stall, trade receives congressional support

Although three members of Congress signed off on a letter last week declaring the Upper Lochsa Land Exchange essentially dead in its current form, no obituary need be written for the controversial plan to acquire approximately 60 square miles of scattered private timber holdings in north eastern Idaho County.

Week three: Roberts hits 11, nabs top prize

Week 3 football contest winners and Week 4 picks.

Prairie wins 10th, but falls to Genesee

Volleyball roundup