Monthly Archives: January 2009

Dave Wortman, Steve Okoniewski Going Into SPU, Montana Hall of Fames

Dave Wortman, one of three basketball-playing brothers who played at West High in Bremerton (West and East merged into Bremerton High in 1978) will be inducted into Seattle Pacific’s Falcon Legends Hall of Fame on Friday.

And Central Kitsap grad Steve Okoniewski, a former NFL lineman, will go into the University of Montana’s Hall of Fame on Feb. 6. Oke was inducted into the Kitsap Sports Hall of Fame in 2006. Here’s a column I wrote at that time.

Oke was a two-time All-American and the Grizzlies’ highest ever National Football League draft pick (41st overall in 1972). He started numerous games with stints at Buffalo and Green Bay, and was a back-up at St. Louis and Cleveland over a six-year NFL career.

Okoniewski played for the Grizzlies in 1970 and 1971. He was named an Associated Press and Kodak first team All-American in 1970 and Associated Press and United Press International All-American first-teamer in 1971. “Oke” was a first team All-Big
Sky Conference pick in 1970 and 1971, and was named to the Big Sky’s 25-year Silver Anniversary Team in 1988.

Wortman led the Falcons in scoring three straight seasons and was a UPI (United Press International for those of you who don’t go back that far) honorable mention All-American his senior year in 1962 after averaging 16.7 ppg and 8.0 rpg. Wortman led the Falcons to a 20-7 record and berth in the west regionals. He averaged 13.9 ppg as a sophomore and 17.6 his junior year. He still ranks among the top 10 in scoring and rebounding in SPU history.

Dave’s dad, Mel, one of the nicest guys alive, still lives in Bremerton. His late brother, Gary, was a former scout and assistant coach with the Sonics and later a scout with the Atlanta Hawks. Both Wortmans played for Les Habegger, former head coach at SPU and later an assistant with the Sonics under Lenny Wilkens.

Dave lives in Idaho. His younger brother, Steve, who also played at West High, lives in Tacoma.

Here’s what the SPU press release had to say about Dave Wortman:

“Before the term “go-to guy” even existed, Dave Wortman played that role for the Seattle Pacific men’s basketball team. He knew how to fill up the basket, and for three straight seasons, he did exactly that, leading the Falcons in scoring and earning All-American status as a senior.”

On Friday, that “go-to guy” will be going into the Falcon Legends Hall of Fame. Wortman is one of 10 former Seattle Pacific standouts to be inducted during a ceremony and luncheon that begins at 11:45 a.m. at Upper Gwinn Commons.

Lots of News: Kirk Retires, Pumas Schedule, BK at the BAR, Heilman Traded

Just got in the office and its a newsy day. This just in:

Bremerton’s Tara Kirk, a silver medalist at the 2004 OIympics, is retiring from competitive swimming. She hinted at it in a story I wrote earlier this month, but she told Ron Judd of the Seattle Times that she planned to make it official this week. Read Judd’s blog here.

The United Soccer Leagues (USL) released its official league schedule today. The Kitsap Pumas will play 16 games at Bremerton’s Memorial Stadium. Here’s the press release from the Pumas, a professional team aligned in the Northwest Division of the PDL.

I learned earlier today that Bob Kelly, a local teaching pro, will stop by the Kitsap County Bremerton Athletic Roundtable meeting tonight at Gold Mountain Golf Club. Bob will share some insights about his son, Troy Kelly, a PGA Tour rookie, Tonight’s featured speaker, O.D. Vincent, a senior associated athletic director at the University of Washington, was Troy’s college golf coach at the UW. Troy, by the way, entered Monday’s qualifier for the FBR Open in Phoenix, but his even-par round (3 birdies, 3 bogeys) wasn’t good enough to  make the main draw. The meeting gets going with a 6 p.m. social hour.

Aaron Heilman didn’t last long with the Seattle Mariners. The M’s acquired the right-hander from the Mets in the trade for reliever J.J. Putz and they’ve already traded him. Two days after Heilman was at Safeco Field for Fanfest he was sent packing to the Cubs for versatile infielder Ronny Cedeno and lefty pitcher Garrett Olson. Here’s the story at MLB.com.

Latest News on Rays’ Hammel

Until we get people used to going to Wide World of Kitsap Sports, a relatively new blog on this site that follows the careers of Kitsap athletes like Marvin Williams, Willie Bloomquist, Ryan Villopoto, Aaron Cunningham, Todd Linden and others, you’ll probably find some duplication on this blog.

So what you’re about to read about Jason Hammel, the South Kitsap grad and pitcher for the Tampa Rays, is also on the WWKS site.

MLB.com reported that Hammel could be in the starting rotation at the start of the season for the defending American League champion  Rays. There’s also a chance the team could trade him. Hammel, a right-hander who was left off the postseason roster, would prefer to start.

After starting 2008 as a starter, the 26-year-old  wound up being used in long relief. Manager Joe Maddon has some good things to say about Hammel, who sounds like he wants to stay in the Tampa organization.

Dawgs No. 23; Zags No. 20; Who’s Better?

Washington’s won 13 of 14 games and now its back in the Top 25, another sign that the men’s basketball program is headed in the right direction. The Huskies are No. 23 in the AP poll released earlier today. Here’s a link to the UW press release.

Gonzaga’s moved up three spots to No. 20 in the AP poll and cracked the ESPN/USA Today coaches’ poll, moving into the No. 25 spot. Washington’s 30th in the coaches’ poll.

Too bad Washington and Gonzaga don’t play. Who’d win this year’s matchup? Earlier in the season, I’d have said Gonzaga would have easily handled the Huskies. Now I’m not so sure. Washington’s a far more physical team and if the refs let ‘em play, I think the Huskies would have an advantage. Washington’s got a lot of options to guard Gonzaga’s Austin Daye and Micah Downs, although Gonzaga’s guards could neutralize Washington’s backcourt. Too bad these teams don’t play each other.

During an interview on KJR 950 radtio recently, UW AD Scott Woodward said rumors about the teams renewing the series are just that — rumors. They haven’t played since the 2006-07 season and Woodward said there’s been no discussion with Gonzaga about scheduling a game between the two. I don’t know why they can’t agree to a yearly game. Rotate the site: One year in Spokane, the next at the UW and the next at KeyArena.

UW’s O.D. Vincent Speaks at BAR on Wednesday

Washington senior associate athletic director O.D. Vincent will feel right at home Wednesday night at Gold Mountain Golf Club when he speaks at Kitsap County’s Bremerton Athletic Roundtable dinner meeting, which starts with a 6 p.m. social hour.

Vincent is a former Washington golfer (1991 grad) and Husky golf coach (1995-2001) and has played professionally. He arrived at the UW in December, lured away from Duke, where he was the golf coach, by Washington athletic director Scott Woodward. It was viewed as an unconventional move because Vincent has not been an administrator at any of his previous stops.

Now he’s the No. 2 administrator in Husky athletics. You think your plate is full? Check out O.D.’s responsibilities.

Vincent oversees the day-to-day operations of the Huskies football program, as well as the tennis, rowing and swim teams. And there’s more. He’s also oversees marketing and sports information.

He’s only been on the job a little over a month, but he’ll give you some insight about the new football coaching staff and likely talk about Washington’s plans to renovate Husky Stadium. That’s becoming a hot topic. There’s a faction out there suggesting that the Huskies shouldn’t ask the state for money to fix Husky Stadium and that they should play all of their home games at Qwest Field. Check out Nick Daschel’s column in Buster Sports here.

And here’s a followup to that story.

Anyway, I think there’s a lot of interesting questions that people can throw Vincent’s way on Wednesday night. Ask him about Woodward, the new AD.

Ask him about Andrew Guiliani, the son of former New York City major Rudy. Guiliani, the son, sued Duke and Vincent last year after Guiliani was kicked off the team. Duke defended Vincent and filed to have the suit dismissed.

Ask him about Troy Kelly. Vincent was the Husky golf coach who recruited Kelly, the Central Kitsap grad who placed second at the NCAA Championships as a freshman and is now a PGA Tour rookie.

Ask him about his wife? He’s married to the former UW All-America swimmer Jana Ellis, whose father, Earl, was a UW swim coach.

Ask him about his father. Orrin Vincent, is the founder of OB Sports. His company built Trophy Lake Golf & Casting in Port Orchard and Washington National in Auburn.

I’m sure you’ve got your own questions. Stop by Gold Mountain Wednesday night. If you’re not a member, it doesn’t matter. You’re welcome. Dinner’s $25 ($20 for members) and the KCBAR pours all of the money it makes back into the community, supporting youth and amateur athletics.

In fact, local scholar athletes from two area high schools — South Kitsap and North Mason — will be recognized on Wednesday.

Pumas, School District Finalize Deal; Seattle Wolves Join USL PDL

The Bremerton School Board has been preoccupied with issues about superintendent Betty Hyde of late, but it found time at a recent meeting to finalize the deal that will allow Robin Waite’s Kitsap Pumas to play soccer at Memorial Stadium.

Waite, in turn, can now finalize a deal with Daktronics for the video scoreboard that he will provide for the stadium. Waite said it’ll be the only one in the state of Washington.

Bremerton High will be able to use it for football, track and field, its own soccer games and create some income with flash ads, said Waite. It’ll be installed before the Pumas first USL Professional Developmental League game, sometime in May, and sit atop the existing scoreboard located

Meanwhile, the Pumas continue to search for a coach and have a line on a couple of players from the United Kingdom: One Scottish lad and one English, said Waite.

Waite said he interviewed a couple of coaching candidates, but they couldn’t “make it work from a logistics standpoint,” he said. One was from Federal Way, the other the eastside. Sounds like they were a couple of high-level ex-Sounders.

The Pumas also plan to hold a public tryout in early February, so it’s important to get a coach, and a couple of assistants on board. They’ll also hold closed tryouts for invitees

On the season ticket front, Waite said the club’s sold about 100 and he’s OK with that figure. In fact, he’s pleased. “We’ve sold a bunch of season tickets and that’s without a bunch of publicity and we don’t have any players yet.”

Season tickets, by the way, are going for $90 (covered grandstand), $75 (open grandstand) and $45 (end zones and family seating).

Call 360-377-6008 for your Pumas tickets.

The USL is suppose to release its PDL schedule on Wednesday. The identity of the new Seattle franchise that will be included in the Northwest division with the Pumas will be officially released at that time. Some think the Seattle Wolves, regarded as one of the top semi-pro outfits in North America, is the newest PDL franchise.

UPDATE: The Wolves made an announcement on Tuesday that they, indeed, are joining the USL. Its a joint venture with the Crossfire Premier Soccer Club. You can read about it here.

The Pumas and Vancouver Whitecaps Residency are the only professional teams in the PDL. The rest of the division includes the Seattle Wolves, Tacoma Tides, Victoria Highlanders, Yakima Reds, Spokane Spiders, Portland TImbers, Cascade Surge (Salem, Ore.) and Abbotsford (B.C.) Mariners

Five Good Reads

Rick Reilly of ESPN.com writes about a father, Larry Fitzgerald Sr., who happens to be a sportswriter who will be covering his son, Larry Fitzgerald Jr. of the Arizona Cardinals, in the Super Bowl. Read it here. 

Andy Staples of SI.com breaks down college football recruiting for BCS schools from 2004-2008. Interesting stuff. Read it here.  

In case you missed it, last week the NCAA declared seventh-graders officially as prospects. Here’s Bob Molinar’s take on that decision. . He writes for the Virginian Pilot.

 The American Sportscasters Association recently announced its list of the top 50 announcers of all time. Vin Skully tops the list. Check out the list and let the debates begin.

Michael Silver of Yahoo.com doesn’t think Ken Whisenhunt’s inside knowledge of the Steelers will work to the Cardinals’ advantage in Super Bowl XLIII. Read hit take on it here.  

 

 

 

 

 

Obama: The Audacity of Sports

Here’s a few links to help get you through inauguration day.

Basketball has been a big part of President Barack Obama’s life and the President has said he plans to replace the White House bowling alley with a basketball court. Alexander Wolf writes in SI.com that Obama is expected to put in a fullcourt at the White House. Want to learn a little more about what our 44th president? Read Wolf’s story on SI.com: The Audacity of Hoops: Basketball Shaped Obama’s life.

Of the past 18 presidents, 15 have been golfers. Obama is among ‘em. Where does he rank among the golfing presidents? Check out Golf Digest’s story here. Vice president Joe Biden, by the way, has a handicap index of 8.2.

In good times and bad, sports always has served as escapism in America. Under Barack Obama, sports will be a little bigger than that, writes Jay Mariotti. You can read his column here.

What do NBA players think about our President? This New York Times article addresses that.

Here’s some thoughts on Obama from several historic black pioneers and luminaries that was published by The Sporting News.

And here’s a story in the Boston Herald about how sports helped open the door for Obama.

Willie B. Will Wear No. 2 in Kansas City

Noticed that Port Orchard native Willie Bloomquist has switched numbers. He’ll wear jersey No. 2 with the Royals. He wore No. 16 with the Mariners. DH Billy Butler wears No. 16 for the Royals.

Willie created a little bit of a buzz at the Royals’ fanfest when he told the crowd that the goal is to go to the playoffs. You can read that story here.

And here’s a story about the player Willie will be competing against for a starting position at second base. The story says shortstop, but Albert Collaspo is a second baseman.

And if you want to makes plans to watch Bloomquist when he comes back to Seattle, Kansas City visits Safeco Field for a four-game series on Aug. 27-28-29-30.

It’s Over: Kelly Even Par on Final Day

Troy Kelly shot an even par 70 in the fourth and final round of the Sony Open in Honolulu on Sunday. He’s currently 65th (71-66-75-70–282), but could move up a few spots, depending how the guys out on the course play today.

I’m sure he was hoping for a better finish, especially after putting himself in contention to make some serious cash after shooting his second-round 66 on Friday. But it’s still a successful debut for the PGA Tour rookie. He survived the cut and will get his first PGA paycheck (still to be determined) and has to have a good feeling about next week’s Bob Hope Classic in La Quinta, Calif., his new hometown.

We’ll try to run Troy down later today and get his reaction to how the week went.

Here’s a statistical breakdown of his four rounds, courtesy of PGATour.com.

STATS Rnd1 Rnd2 Rnd3 Rnd4 TOT RANK*
EAGLES 1 1 T7
BIRDIES 4 5 2 2 13 T10
PARS 9 12 9 11 41 T35
BOGEYS 5 1 7 4 17 T1
DOUBLE BOGEYS 0 N/A
OTHER 0 N/A
DRIVING ACCURACY 36 21 21 64 35.7 T75
DRIVING DISTANCE 308.0 285.0 296.0 302.0 297.8 8
PUTTS PER ROUND 31 30 29 27 29.3 T69
PUTTS PER GIR 1.818 1.688 1.714 1.667 1.721 11
GREENS IN REG 61 89 39 50 59.7 T60
SAND SAVES 100 100 33 43 53.8 41
* Ranks are computed at the end of each round