College Update: River Ridge grad Brad Wallace trades in basketball sneakers for football cleats

Staff writerJuly 9, 2014 

As it turns out, Brad Wallace missed football too much.

It’s not that Wallace, a 2013 River Ridge High graduate, wasn’t happy playing basketball at North Idaho College — he was, in a freshman season where he shot nearly 50 percent from the field and averaged 9.2 points per game — but his urge to play college football never went away.

After a season of junior-college hoops, Wallace, who was a 12-time high school all-league honoree in three sports, is switching schools and switching sports. He’s joined Eastern Washington’s football team as a preferred walk-on with four years of football eligibility.

The football rustiness is beginning to wear off; his last high school game was on Oct. 26, 2012, against Capital.

“I still have the spark to play football,” Wallace said from Cheney, where he’s taking a summer class. “Seeing the competition, I know I can compete at this level.”

Just how did Wallace get connected with Eastern Washington? Wallace already was on Eastern Washington’s radar in high school, where, as a senior, tallied 1,299 all-purpose yards and 15 touchdowns (11 rushing). He chose to pursue basketball in college, however, but realized he wanted his future college years to be played on the gridiron instead after playing in 29 games (five starts) for the Cardinals in Coeur d’Alene.

So when he spotted Eastern head football coach Beau Baldwin at the Eastern Washington-Portland State men’s basketball game Feb. 24, Wallace approached Baldwin, which got the ball rolling on his return to football.

“I’m happy I made this decision,” he said.

Listed at 6-feet and 180 pounds and a projected defensive back and special-teams performer, Wallace joins an Eagles roster with a heavy South Sound flavor: sixth-year senior Ronnie Hamlin (Timberline High), Jordan Thompson (Timberline), Zach Wimberly (Tumwater), and incoming freshmen Asan Neil-Evergin (Timberline) and Nick Foerstel (Tumwater).

CLIPPERS’ COACHING CHANGES

South Puget Sound Community College announced two coaching changes Wednesday: women’s basketball coach Mychael Heuer has resigned after four seasons (health reasons), and former SPSCC goalkeeper Nate Salveson is the new head men’s soccer coach.

Heuer went 15-83 in four seasons on the hardwood, including a 7-19 record — the program’s best under his tenure — last season.

“In light of recent medical reports from my medical team, I need to take time to focus on my health and address lifestyle changes to address complications caused by having diabetes,” Heuer said.

Salveson played for the Clippers in 2004 and ’05 and takes over a program that went 6-10-1 overall in what’s now called the Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC).

SMU GOLF TOURNEY

Saint Martin’s annual golf tournament, which benefits Saints’ athletics, is Aug. 1 at Capitol City Golf Club. Cost is $150 (individuals) or $600 (team), which includes 18 holes of golf, cart rental, course refreshments, tee prizes, and dinner. Check www.stmartin.edu/

golftournament to register.

Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473 mwochnick@ theolympian.com theolympian.com/ southsoundsports @MegWochnick

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