Some Memorable Quotes From 2008

It’s the end of the year, and a time for reflection on what happened over the past 12 months. We’re in the process of putting together a list of the Top 10 local sports stories of 2008. You can find it online and in our printed editions next week. In the meantime, here’s a few quotes to chew on:


“It’s shocking. Out of 27 kids in one small town club team, there’s going to be three Olympians (Tara Kirk, Dana Kirk, Nathan Adrian) and one dumb Polack.”

Gabe Mazurkiewicz, former club swimming coach in Bremerton who remained blown away by the success of the Bremerton swimmers he helped develop. Mazurkiewicz, now coaching in Roseburg, Ore., was interviewed prior to the U.S. Olympic Trials in July. Adrian would go on to win a gold medal as part of the 400 medley relay and Bainbridge’s Emily Silver would win a silver medal in Beijing as part of the 400 freestyle relay.



“When I announced my retirement (March 27) I didn’t cry like some guys do even thought I wanted to. On Opening Day when the planes start flying overhead and that ball’s kicked off and I’m actually sitting in the stands and not on the field, which is where I’ve been the last 20 years, it’s going to be emotional for me for sure.

“All that hard work that it takes to be out there, I’m not going to miss. But all that hard work was for one reason – it was to be out there on game day, performing and getting the job done and I’m going to miss that. I’m going to miss the games.”

Benji Olson, former South Kitsap star and UW All-American offensive guard who started and ended his 10-year NFL career with the Tennessee Titans. We caught up with Olson in June at the Detlef Schremf Celebrity Golf Classic at McCormick Woods.


He’s destined to be in the NFL Hall of Fame. Although it’s his last year and there’s a little uncertainty about next year, it’s a real treat. I can’t wait to get into the season. He’s really a special coach. He just has this aura. I’ve sat down at the table with some high-powered football coaches, but there’s something about the guy. You walk in staff meetings and everybody’s on edge, not just me.”

Seahawks first-year running backs coach Kasey Dunn, former North Kitsap great, on Mike Holmgren. Dunn was interviewed at a Kitsap County Bremerton Athletic Roundtable meeting before the start of fall camp.


“She’s an inspiration to a lot of people in the community and in our church. She’s touched a lot of lives, including mine. I call her a hero. She says a hero is somebody who runs into a burning building and saves a life. She says she has no choice in this matter.

“But that’s not the way the public and people who know her feel. She’s a pretty amazing person.”


Mark Smaha, the former Washington State University athletic trainer, on his wife, Jackie, a survivor of ovarian cancer. Jackie spoke at the sixth annual Kitsap Cancer Services Celebrity Golf Benefit at the Kitsap Golf & Country Club, a fund-raising event started by the Smahas, who live in Poulsbo.


“You never feel like you’ve made it until you get out on that huge level you see everybody playing on. Hopefully, I’ll be out there someday. I know there’s a lot of good players, but I feel I’m still getting better. I’ve still got dreams.”

Golfer Troy Kelly, on his goal of earning his PGA Tour card. The Central Kitsap grad was in Modesto, Calif., preparing for a mini-tour event in mid-April at the time.


“I really have no idea where I’ll be playing next. I’ll find out. I’m just happy. I’ve been doing this for so long. It’s your goal and to finally get to do it, it’s nice. It might not all sink in until later. It’s happened so fast and there’s so much stuff going on.

“I’ll tell you this, it’s a great feeling. I’ve worked so hard to get here. It’s not like I didn’t put my time in.”

Kelly, shortly after earning his PGA Tour card by tying for 11th in at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif., on Dec. 8. His first tournament will be the Jan. 12-18 Sony Open in Honolulu, which kicks off the 2009 PGA season. 


“It’s a lot like life. I used to tell my players, the game is a series of problem-solving opportunities. You solve one, there’s immediately another one to solve.”

Cliff McCrath, former Seattle Pacific coach, on soccer. The Hall of Famer conducted an Olympic College Soccer Camp at The Zone Sportsplex in April.


“If in fact I have played my last game there, I’m thankful for what I did in Seattle. I’m thankful for six years in the big leagues. It was a great place to get my feet wet and a chance to play at home in front of family and friends.

“That being said, I hit my ceiling in Seattle. They view me as a utility guy, a backup guy. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I’m still not satisfied with that. Whether I get an opportunity to play more or not, I’ll wake up every day and keep working. I’ve never been satisfied. The day I’m satisfied, I’ll take my spikes off. Inside of me, I feel I haven’t scratched the surface of what I can do in my career.”


Willie Bloomquist, during a mid-November interview. The native of Port Orchard is still available on baseball’s free-agent market.

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