Former Kennedy Catholic football Tom Merrill died Tuesday at 86.

He coached at several other schools, but Burien was where he spend the bulk of his career, coaching 23 years before leaving in 1995. At Kennedy, he had a 146-80 record. His teams won eight league championships and made 10 playoff appearances, including three trips to the state semifinals.

At Kennedy he coached future Detroit Lion offensive lineman Mike Utley and Notre Dame running back Jim Stone, among other standouts.

Merrill also had short stints coaching at Roosevelt and Tyee and he was an assistant coach to his son Mike at schools such as Auburn Riverside and Mount Rainier.

Ex-WSU WR heads to Saints

Easop Winston Jr., one of the most sure-handed receivers to come through Washington State recently, is getting another chance to establish himself in the NFL.

After working out for the New Orleans Saints Thursday morning in Louisiana, Winston Jr. will be signing a free agent deal with the NFC South organization, a source told The Spokesman-Review.

The source said the Saints were impressed with Winston Jr. right off the bat and called the receiver 10 minutes after his workout concluded. After returning home to the Bay Area, Winston Jr. plans to rejoin the team in New Orleans next week for minicamp practices.

Advertising

It marks a return to the NFL for the former WSU receiver who wasn’t selected in the 2020 NFL draft, signing an undrafted free agent deal with the Los Angeles Rams. Winston Jr. participated in training camp with the Rams, but was cut.

Winston Jr. was unable to sign on with another club and the COVID-19 pandemic meant fewer opportunities for teams to host free agents for in-house workouts.

Baseball

Julio Rodriguez hit a two-run single in an eight-run sixth inning as the visiting Everett AquaSox beat the Hilsboro Hops 12-1. Kaden Polcovich and Joseph Rosa were 3 for 4 for Everett. Four Sox pitchers held the Hops to just two hits.

Basketball

• Gonzaga standout and King’s High grad Corey Kispert was named to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District 8 team.

Kispert, who has a 3.79 grade-point average, is finishing up his master’s degree after earning his undergraduate degree in Business Administration.

Seattle Pacific’s Harry Cavell was also named to the team. He has a 3.84 GPA as he works on a master’s degree in data analytics.