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Friday, January 26, 2001 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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High School Sports

High-school notebook: Troxel, 75, dies of cancer

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Ed Troxel, former University of Idaho football coach who later turned Kennewick High School into a state power, is being remembered as "a very special man" and well as an outstanding coach.

Troxel, 75, died of cancer Monday in Kennewick. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in September. The cancer spread to his liver before his death. A memorial service will be conducted tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. at the Kennewick High School auditorium.

Troxel coached hundreds of Idaho and Washington football players during more than 40 years on the sidelines.

"It was just universal, the love for that guy," said John Yarno, former University of Idaho player and All-America center who later played for the Seattle Seahawks. "He was a very special man. The guy was amazing. There was a little bit of tough love. You knew he cared about you. It wasn't just a job."

Troxel retired from coaching at Kennewick High in 1990. He coached the Lions for 13 seasons and compiled a 104-33 record, with four Big Nine Conference championships.

He also coached high-school football in Idaho and Colorado, and also at the College of Idaho.

Troxel went to Idaho as an assistant in 1967 and became the head coach in 1974. He lasted four years, with a record of 15-25-3.

Troxel's family shared his love of the game. His sons Van and Andy are high-school football coaches. Along with his wife, Donna, survivors also include son Lon and daughter Melissa Cole.

Bothell clinches title

The numbers didn't necessarily add up to a successful wrestling season for Bothell.

The Cougars had only one state qualifier last year, and he graduated. Not a good sign for a school that has won three KingCo wrestling titles in school history.

But Bothell's victory over Woodinville on Monday clinched the KingCo 4A dual-meet title for Cougars. It's the school's first dual-meet crown since 1967 and first league title of any kind since the league-meet title won in 1991.

Those aren't the only big numbers for Bothell, which is undefeated in KingCo 4A matches. The Cougars have the potential for a strong postseason showing after dramatic improvement over the past month.

Coach Eric Wattam said there are six, seven and maybe even eight of his wrestlers with the potential to qualify for state.

Oregon - all along

A.J. Mitz says Oregon has been his first choice all along.

When the Kentwood senior announced last week he had made an oral commitment to play football for the Ducks, he implied the decision came after he was told the University of Washington no longer had a scholarship available for him. But Mitz maintains he chose Oregon "two or three weeks ago."

"It was way before Coach (Randy) Hart told me they (Washington) didn't have a scholarship," Mitz said.

The 6-foot-5, 265-pound defensive lineman who helped Kentwood reach the Class 4A state semifinals said he had left an earlier phone message for Oregon Coach Mike Bellotti, telling him of his decision. But he said Bellotti didn't get back to him until early last week.

"He was too busy running around," Mitz said. "He didn't call me back right away. But it was pretty much a done deal."

Notes

** Unbeaten Mount Vernon (14-0), top-ranked in Class 3A, will host Olympia (10-5) of the Class 4A Narrows League tomorrow at 7 p.m. in a nonleague boys basketball game to be televised by KONG-TV. A notebook item in Tuesday's Times incorrectly identified the opponent as Capital.

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