As a college football player and a student at the United States Naval Academy, linebacker Cody Peterson is used to dealing with, and tuning out, distractions.
The past two weeks have been challenging because of the partial government shutdown’s effect at the military service academies. Some classes were canceled, although some have since been restored, and sports teams have been operating in limbo since Oct. 1.
“I had more free time than I was used to,” said Peterson, a 2010 Black Hills High School graduate and senior co-captain for Navy.
The games have gone on as scheduled, which meant the first game of the Commander-in-Chief Trophy series, Navy against Air Force, was played Oct. 5. Peterson’s two brothers, Aaron and Brandon, and their grandfather Dennis Miller were part of the record crowd of 38,225 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md., to watch Navy’s 28-10 win.
“It would’ve been a big disappointment if the game didn’t go on,” Peterson said,
“but the higher-ups made it happen. There was a lot of buildup and excitement.”
Peterson, who had seven solo tackles in Navy’s 35-7 loss at Duke on Saturday, is enjoying his best season and first as a full-time starter for the Midshipmen. The senior inside linebacker leads Navy in total tackles (48), solo tackles (33) and assists (15). Last season, Peterson started the final eight games to help Navy advance to its ninth bowl game since 2003.
Peterson is on schedule to graduate this spring with a degree in English — but he’s not done with football just yet. He plans to stick around the football program and athletic department to “help out” for another year, even though this is his final year of eligibility.
“I like being around the guys,” Peterson said. “I love the game. … There’s still a lot to happen.”
COACHES CLINIC AT SPSCC
Coaches from all levels of NCAA and NAIA will be at South Puget Sound Community College on Saturday for a basketball coaches clinic, hosted by first-year Clippers men’s coach Aaron Landon.
The clinic is free to all coaches and begins at 6 p.m. at the SPSCC gymnasium, followed by a coaches social afterward.
“We want to connect with coaches around here and give something to them that they can use,” Landon said. “It’s something that’s so important.”
The clinic features Landon; first-year Saint Martin’s men’s coach Michael Ostlund; Shanan Rosenberg, men’s coach at Linfield College (McMinnville, Ore.); Colin Pfaff, men’s assistant coach at the University of Portland; and Brad Barbarick, men’s coach at Concordia University of Portland.
GEODUCKS BASKETBALL PICKED 9TH, 10TH
The 10-team Cascade Collegiate Conference on Monday released its men’s and women’s basketball preseason poll of coaches, and The Evergreen State College is picked to finish ninth (women) and 10th (men).
For women, College of Idaho and Eastern Oregon each picked up five first-place votes to share the top spot in the preseason poll.
For men, Southern Oregon, with seven first-place votes, is a heavy favorite to win the title.
Both Geoducks teams play host to their alumni Saturday; women play at 3:30 p.m. and men at 5:30 p.m.
Also Saturday will be the official dedication of the newly renamed Costantino Recreation Center, named for Art Costantino, who recently retired as Evergreen’s vice president of student affairs.
SMU’S LIEDES WINS HONOR
Olympia High graduate and Saint Martin’s sophomore Jennifer Liedes earned Great Northwest Athletic Conference athlete of the week honors after shooting a school-record 2-under-par 71 in the opening round of the Western Washington Invitational golf tournament at Bellingham Golf and Country Club last week. Liedes placed third individually (151) to lead the Saints to a fourth place team finish.
Liedes became SMU’s fifth GNAC player of the week, joining Kristyn Ross (volleyball), Joe Berger (men’s cross country), Kelli Bannerman (women’s soccer) and JJ Olson (men’s soccer).
Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473 firstname.lastname@example.org theolympian.com/southsoundsports @MegWochnick