Before we get to talking about prep events on the schedule for this week, it's time to clean out the mailbox and pass along some news items that got lost in the hustle and bustle of the holidays.
• J.T. Kaul, a pitcher for the Mountain View High School baseball team, signed a letter of intent to play for Lewis-Clark State, an NAIA powerhouse in Idaho that has produced several big-league players.
Kaul, who also plays for Showtime Baseball, inked his commitment on Dec. 28 at The Stadium batting cage facility in Vancouver.
"JT has been a strong force in our program," said Billy Hayes, Showtime's president. "Starting in the program when he was (2011), I have had the opportunity to watch JT grow and develop his skills over the years. He is a fine athlete and an outstanding individual. JT has incredible work ethic and is a joy to coach. I have no doubt he will excel on and off the field at Lewis-Clark State."
• Heritage's Tim Hergert was selected as the WIAA athlete of the week for Class 4A boys last week. Hergert scored 25 and 39 points in wins over Hermiston (Ore.) during the break. Hergert is second in Clark County is scoring, averaging 23.8 points a game.
• Cal Szueber, former football coach at Fort Vancouver and current coach at Portland Christian, reports that two Vancouver athletes played big roles in the Royals' 12-2 season that ended with a loss in the Oregon Class 2A championship game.
Curtis Farmer earned all-state honors as a first-team punter and second-team running back. Farmer averaged 34.7 yards a punt. He also rushed for 854 yards and 10 touchdowns, while catching 24 passes for 260 yards and 2 TDs.
Austin Wisenbaker was a second-team all-state defensive end after recording 100 tackles, 11 sacks and two fumble recoveries.
Two signature events of the winter prep season in Clark County are this week. That's the good news. The bad news is that they are on the same day (not good for those trying to cover each event).
• Most gymnastics teams in the area will take part in the Winterfest meet Saturday at Naydenov gymnastics. It will give athletes as opportunity to compete in a similar to what they will experiences at districts next month.
• The Clark County Wrestling Championships will be held Friday and Saturday at Skyview High School. It's another prime event in which the best wrestlers in the county get to compete for bragging rights and school classifications won't matter. It's always fun to see a wrestler from 1A school take a home a title or two. And the girls tournament this year expects to be bigger than ever as the part of the sport grows.
• Even though both teams have only had two league dual matches each, Wednesday's wrestling match between Mountain View and Hudson's Bay could determine the regular-season champion. Both squads are 2-0, and the winner of this match at Mountain View will be the last unbeaten team in the 3A Greater St. Helens League.
• Skyview plays at Evergreen on Friday in a girls-boys doubleheader. But if you plan on going, be sure to arrive early for the girls game at 6 p.m. Both teams won their league opener, and winner figures to be the team that will challenge Union for the crown in the 4A Greater St. Helens League.
• The Washougal boys basketball team survived a scare against Ridgefield in their 2A GSHL opener. On Thursday, the Panthers face a bigger test when they host Mark Morris. A win for the Monarchs will give them early control in the league, while the Panthers hope to add some drama to the league schedule.
• The Union and Fort Vancouver boys teams will get a rare treat on Saturday, when both teams will play games at the Rose Garden in Portland. Union will face Central Catholic of Portland at 6 p.m., followed by Fort against Mark Morris in non-league matchups.