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Arizona teams grooming QBs from Oregon

Oregon-bred quarterbacks are in the mix for significant playing time at Arizona State and Arizona next fall.

Andy Goodenough, a 6-4, 215-pound junior from Corvallis High by way of Palomar (Calif.) Junior College, is one of three quarterbacks competing for the starting job in spring practice at Arizona State under new coach Dirk Koetter.

Goodenough, the nation's No. 1-rated junior college QB last season, will be working under new quarterbacks coach Mark Helfrich, a Marshfield High graduate who played and coached at Southern Oregon and spent a year as a graduate assistant for the Ducks when Koetter was offensive coordinator there. Helfrich says the Sun Devils haven't established a starter going into summer camp.

'All three guys are getting equal opportunities and have had their pluses and minuses,' Helfrich says. 'We would like to have one of them dictate to us who the man is, but up to this point, that hasn't happened.'

Goodenough worked out of a shotgun attack in JC ball.

'One of Andy's biggest adjustments is footwork,' Helfrich says. 'For a guy who has gone for two years without taking a snap from center, to take a drop and make decisions at a little different tempo É it's not easy. He is an excellent, accurate passer who gets the ball out quickly, and he is very competitive, very self-motivated. When he does know what he is doing, he is pretty dang good.'

In Tucson, Nic Costa is running as backup to senior incumbent Jason Johnson, and quarterbacks coach Rick Dykes says Costa shouldn't be sitting on the bench next season. The 5-11, 195-pound redshirt freshman from Aloha completed only 7 of 17 passes for 65 yards and was intercepted once in Arizona's spring game, but the coaches like him.

Costa is short but solid and blessed with sprinter's speed.

'Nic has outstanding quickness,' Dykes says. 'He is a threat to take it the distance any time he touches it. He moves well outside the pocket. He has a strong arm, and we have worked hard on his mechanics on the move. He has a knack for slipping around and finding lanes where he can run or throw the ball.

'Jason is the starter, but we would like to get Nic some snaps early in the year in case an injury comes up. We don't want his first action to come if Jason goes down.'

nÊWyoming assistant Heath Schroyer is the favorite to take over as Portland State men's basketball coach, but school officials are considering three other candidates before making the hire.

Athletic Director Tom Burman says he wants to hire a coach by the end of the week at the latest.

Portland State administrators and players interviewed Schroyer, 30, on campus Sunday and Monday. Schroyer met with Seamus Boxley and Aaron Fitzgerald, two players who have announced plans to transfer, and Billy Feeney. Schroyer, who also coached at Brigham Young, excels at coaching defense, which the Vikings need to improve on.

Burman traveled to interview Washington State assistant Gary Stewart and Tacoma Community College coach Carl Howell. And Burman wants to interview Pittsburgh assistant Jamie Dixon, either here or on the road.

• You won't hear much brag from Teri Mariani after the veteran Portland State softball coach notched the 600th victory in her 26-year career as the Vikings' mentor last Thursday.

'Other people put more stock in numbers than I do,' says Mariani, 602-476 in her career. 'It means you have been around a long time and fortunate enough to have some good athletes come through your program.'

Mariani, 50, isn't sure how much longer she will go.

'I've stopped promising recruits I will be here for four years,' she says. 'I may be, or I may not. I still really enjoy coaching, but it is becoming a lot more work. The travel has its wear and tear, and the recruiting is tough.'

One goal that may keep her going: Jack Dunn won 630 games in 20 years as Portland State's baseball coach. Mariani wouldn't mind surpassing that figure to become the winningest coach the school has had. Regardless, she and volleyball's Marlene Piper will be saluted as the premier coaches in PSU women's sports history.

• Several former Oregon, Oregon State and Portland State players made their mark as Arena Football League teams opened the indoor league's 16th season last weekend.

Former Portland State receivers battled, with James Hundon winning out over Orshawonte Bryant in San Jose's 52-51 victory over Arizona. Hundon caught 10 passes for 103 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winning 11-yard reception with 1:40 remaining. Bryant had four catches for 43 yards, including a 17-yard TD. Vancouver native Daron Alcorn, who kicked for the Portland Forest Dragons, was 7 for 7 on extra points and had a 29-yard field goal for San Jose.

Ex-Oregon quarterback Tony Graziani completed 26 of 39 passes for 236 yards and four TDs, and also had a 3-yard TD run in Los Angeles' 43-25 triumph over New York. Former Viking star Steve Papin had two TD receptions for New York.

Former OSU and Sprague High standout Joe Douglass caught 12 passes for 102 yards and two TDs and returned a kickoff 53 yards for another score to lead Chicago past Indiana 47-42.

Ex-Viking Hassan Probherbs had three tackles and one reception for Georgia, which beat Orlando 67-49.

Others representing Oregon in the Arena League include ex-Ducks Mike Fletcher, a receiver/linebacker for Detroit, and Desmond Byrd, a lineman for Carolina, and ex-Beavers Marc Williams, a defensive specialist for New Jersey, and Sai Poulivaati, a lineman for Tampa Bay. Ex-Viking Rashad Floyd was waived by Orlando and re-signed for its practice squad.

• Sixty-three years after signing with Boston out of Lincoln High, Johnny Pesky is still in a Red Sox uniform.

Pesky, 82, is a special assignment instructor for the club and was active during spring training, hitting groundballs to infielders, visiting with fans and signing autographs at the Florida training site. Pesky, recently rated by baseball historian Bill James as the 20th best shortstop in history, led the American League in hits his first three seasons and batted .307 for his career.

'I love having him around,' outfielder Trot Nixon told the Fort Myers (Fla.) News Press. 'I enjoy seeing him get out there and hit fungoes. He is very special to this organization. He is like a É grandfather figure to a lot of kids.'

• Dave Brundage has a way to go to reach his goal of the big leagues, but the former McKay High and Oregon State standout is doing well in his second season as manager of the San Antonio Missions of the Class AA Texas League.

Brundage, 37, was the punter on the football team and star pitcher/first baseman for the baseball Beavers in the mid-80s. He spent nine years as a minor leaguer, including six in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, finishing with Tacoma in the Seattle organization in 1994.

Brundage has stayed with the Mariners since then, working as a coach or manager, learning his trade as he hopes to move up the ladder.

'I'd love to be a (major-league) coach some day,' he says.

Contact Kerry Eggers at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..