Morrison named new CHS baseball coach

Former Colville High School three-sport standout and CHS assistant baseball coach Boo Morrison has been named to succeed Mike Bestrom as the program’s head coach. Bestrom served three years as CHS head coach. In recent seasons, he has also worked as an assistant coach in the CHS and Kettle Falls baseball programs. Morrison, a 1993 CHS graduate who played football, basketball and baseball for the Indians and later played baseball at Blue Mountain Community College and for a semi-pro baseball club in Kelowna, B.C., will retain current CHS assistant coaches Erik Johansen, Monte Zema Jr., Adam Devall, Randy Frizvold and Chris Berdit. The Indians finished 18-8 last season and made the State 1A regional tournament field before losing 5-4 to Zillah. That team lost some key players off that team to graduation, but even with something of a youth movement afoot and a lot of new faces, Morrison figures Colville will be competitive in the spring of 2012. “We will be solid,” Morrison said on Sunday. “But we will be starting a lot of young kids.” The pitching staff will likely be anchored by a couple of right-handers, senior veteran Sam Sprague and lanky Austin Hegney. The Holling twins, Lukin and Tevin, will also figure into the mix, Morrison said. Morrison said his style is to play “Small Ball” whenever he can get the game in motion. “We like to get the kids moving around the bases, play solid defense and get good pitching,” Morrison said. Morrison said he didn’t want to be maudlin or cliché, but his goal has always been to someday be the head baseball coach at CHS. “It sounds kind of corny maybe, but ever since I finished playing competitive baseball, it was always my dream to coach Colville baseball,” Morrison said. Morrison is excited to continue his work with a core group of coaches that know the kids and the program. “We have a staff that relates well to the kids…we’ve been in the program long enough so they know what to expect from us…they are able to buy into what we are doing.” Morrison said that he hopes to help build the summer Legion baseball program. He’d like to see at least two Legion teams and possibly three playing in the Spokane-based summer Legion leagues. “You have to play summer ball to be competitive,” he said, adding that “we’re going to try and get some of the younger kids into Legion baseball…we need to build that part of the program up. We will definitely have at least two Legion teams (AA and A). “We need to get more kids involved in summer baseball.” Also on the front burner is the resurrection of the Colville Baseball Camp in June. Summer camp for Little League-aged players hasn’t been part of the baseball package in Colville for several years. “We have to get that summer camp back,” Morrison said. “Hopefully, we can schedule it the first week after school is out next spring. “That’s a camp that always got the younger kids excited. It’s a chance for the current players to interact with the younger kids.”