I’ll be south of the border for nearly two weeks and don’t plan on doing any blogging, but stranger things have happened.
* I’ll be back in time to catch a couple performances of the Kitsap Stampede & Xtreme Bulls (Aug. 25-29). Sounds like they’ve got another who’s who of rodeo lined up. The world’s best cowboys and some of the top stock (possibly the bull of the year Frank Abbott tells me) will be here. Check it out. They’ve got 456 entrants. The Friday and Saturday evening performances usually pack Thunderbird Stadium. It’s a good time if you’ve never been. Xtreme Bulls will be on Sunday afternoon (the 30th).
* When I get back, Central Kitsap outfielder Drew Vettleson will have either signed a professional contract with the Tampa Rays or headed off to Oregon State. The deadline is Monday, the 16th. Vettleson was a supplemental first-round pick (42ND overall). It’s not unusual for high schoolers picked in the upper rounds to wait until the deadline before a deal is struck.
* By the time I get back, the Seahawks will have a couple preseason games under their belt. Anybody as curious as I am to see quarterback Charlie Whitehurst in action? There’s got to be a reason the Hawks signed him to a two-year, $8 million deal. That was a big gamble for a guy who’s never thrown a pass in an NFL regular-season game.
* And the Washington Huskies will be down to their final week of practice before playing Brigham Young in Provo, Utah. Jake Heaps, the Skyline star who got away, might be flinging passes at the Huskies. That’s an exciting first game for the Dawgs, who haven’t won a road game since Don James was here. Well, it feels like that. Their last road win? It was 27-9 over Stanford … on Nov. 3, 2007.
* The Huskies will also learn on Monday, Aug. 16, if they’re going to get Gig Harbor tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins. He’s making an announcement at the Gig Harbor Yacht Club that night. He’s narrowed his choices to Washington and Texas. He’s 6-foot-7 and 243 pounds and the top-rated tight end prospect in the country. And I believe he could probably play Division I basketball if he wanted to, and there’s rumblings he might want to be a two-sport guy in college. He’s only recently gotten serious about basketball, where he played for Total Package in the summer. He could be a rebounding monster, similar in style to Jon Brockman.
* Congrats to Silverdale’s Erynne Lee on another fine performance at the U.S. Women’s Amateur. A semifinalist in 2008, a quarterfinalist this year, that’s pretty impressive. And good luck to Carl Jonson, the Bainbridge golfer who will tee it up in the U.S. Amateur at The Home Course and Chambers Bay on Aug. 23. The 17-year-olds are best young golfers to come out of the area since Troy Kelly. Lee’s headed to UCLA and Jonson’s committed to UNLV.
* While I’m gone, I’ll also miss the international Pan Pacific swimming meet where Bremerton’s Nathan Adrian will be one of the stars in the pool. Adrian’s right on target to be one of the favorites in the 50 and 100 freestyles when the 2012 London Olympics roll around.
* By the time I get back to the office, we’ll be right in the middle of our high school football previews. We’ll kick off our preseason coverage with a story about another rebirth of the Olympic League by Nathan Joyce on Sunday, Aug. 22. Jeff Graham will report on the evolution of the football uniform and what it costs to outfit a player today in our Sunday, Aug. 29 editions. The daily team reports start Aug. 23. Klahowya’s on tap that day. The final preview will feature Central Kitsap, which runs Sept. 1. Week 1 games are on Friday, Sept. 4. We’re already planning our first live streaming broadcast of the season. It’ll be the Bainbridge-North Kitsap game in Poulsbo. We’ll feature the Battle of Bucklin Hill – Central Kitsap vs. Olympic – in Week 2.
Well, it’s time to go. The clock’s ticking and I’ve still got bags to pack and a deadline to meet on a story about the BlueJackets’ ownership. Damn deadlines. You can’t get away from ‘em.