I’m back to work after a little hiatus took me south of the
border for a little rest and relaxation.
Our staff’s working hard on our special prep football section,
which will publish Thursday, Sept. 1. You’ll find previews of all
our local teams plus a cover story about Friday Night’s Unsung
Heroes. You will find the standard info about the top returners and
top newcomers, but also items on each team’s Game Changer and
Hardest Hitter. We’ll also name the 5 All-Time Greatest players
from each school. We know that will stir up some debates.
While I was gone, we also finalized a parternership with West
Sound TV to live stream our football game of the week this season.
We’ll have more details on that as we get closer to the season
Got back just in time for one of my favorite events, the Kitsap
County Fair & Stampede, which begins Wednesday night at
Thunderbird Stadium. Four nights of rodeo are followed by the
Xtreme Bulls event on Sunday afternoon. Looking forward to seeing
stock contractor John Growney, annnouncer Randy Corley and all of
the other regulars. The rodeo clan’s a fun bunch; the athletes
among the toughest in any sport, and they’ll give you some of the
best interviews around. Here’s a quote, courtesy of the PRCA:
“You learn how to live broke. I’m living a nightmare,
chasing a dream.” — Third-year PRCA saddle bronc rider John Redig
of Gavotia, Calif., telling the East Oregonian about his life on
the rodeo trail.
I’m hoping to catch up with three-time world bareback champion
Bobby Mote of Bend, Ore., during the Stampede. His mentor and
former traveling partner was Clint Corey, the former world champ
from Silverdale. See ya at the rodeo. I will be the one
that’s not wearing a cowboy hat or boots.
Congrats to Olympic College baseball coach Ryan Parker, who was
named coach of the Kitsap BlueJackets while I was on vacation. If
Parker can have some success in the West Coast League’s summer
wood-bat circuit, that could turn into a major recruiting tool for
Good luck to the Kitsap Bears, who leave for Lake Tahoe later
this week. The 13-1 Bears will be playing for a national minor
league football championship
on Saturday. The opponent is the Pacifica (Calif.)
Washington vs. Eastern Washington on Sept. 3 at Husky Stadium.
Interesting opener. I think it’s gonna be closer than most people
think. The Huskies are coming off a 7-6 season, its first winning
campaign since 2002. The Dawgs are heading in the right direction,
but aren’t there yet. Defending FSC champion and preseason No. 1
Eastern returns 15 starters, including senior defensive lineman and
preseason All-American Rinard Williams from South Kitsap.
Charlie Whitehurst doesn’t have the mobility of Tarvaris
Jackson, but he’s mobile, accurate and playing with a lot of
confidence. I might be wrong, but I think he should be the Seahawks
starting quarterback. Yeah, I know he’s only played against the
second-stringers so far in exhibitions, while Tarvaris Jackson’s
been facing the opposition’s No. 1 defense. I think Pete Carroll
erred when he annointed Jackson as the No. 1 QB. What happened to
the “always compete” part of Carroll’s philosophy?
The NFL lockout is over. Now, can we please skip the final two
preseason games and start the real season.
Here’s hoping Jason Hammels, the South Kitsap product, gets
things figured out on the mound. The right-hander had two solid
seasons in Colorado, but has struggled mightily the second half of
the season and was recently demoted to the bullpen by the Rockies.
talk he might be traded in the offseason.
And here’s hoping the oft-criticized Willie Bloomquist, another
South Kitsap grad, gets an opportunity to make his postseason debut
with the Arizoan Diamondbacks, who are clinging to first place in
the NL West. The Diamondbacks have reportedly discussed trading for
Edgar Renteria, but Bloomquist has been more than adequate at
shortstop since losing starter Stephen Drew to injury.
I’m planning to show up at an Oldtimers Fastpitch Reunion on
Sunday in Lacey. It’ll be just like the old days when we car-pooled
on Tuesday and Thursday nights to play doubleheaders in the old
Puget Sound League. Only this time, a bunch of grayhairs who used
to play the greatest game around are going to show up and share
some stories and barbeque some chicken and drink some beverages. I
wonder how many (any?) of us will be crazy enough to pick up a
glove and bat and slap a few balls around the field?
A side note on the fastpitch reunion: I think I’m
forgetting one, but here’s a list of the teams I played for in
B-town: Pay ‘N Pak, Warehouse Freight Sales (we wore the ugliest
uniforms ever in ’76, red, white and blue with stars and stripes in
honor of the 200th anniversary), Gene Lobe, Lakeshore Inn,
Retreats, Kash-N-Dash, Pop’s Inn, Perry Avenue Sports Pub. Thanks
to all the sponsors, especially the late Red Brown and Don Krick,
and to John Pederson, the guy who recruited me and countless others
to the sport.
I wish I could fit the Boeing Classic into my schedule this
week, but it’s not going to happen. Look for Fred Couples to win
the Champions Tour event at the TPC Snoqualmie Ridge. Here’s the entire
While golf’s the subject, the Husky Invitational returns to Gold
Mountain on Sept. 25-27. Some of the best college players around,
including Washington’s Chris Williams, will be on display. Williams
will play for the U.S. in the Walker Cup competition in Scotland,
I was lucky to be part of an exclusive club: The Chuck Semanick
Fullback Club. So here’s a quick plug for the Semanick Bremerton
Alumni Golf Tournament, Sept, 17, at Rolling Hills. Shotgun start
at 8 a.m. Cost $80 or $300 for a foursome (includes cart). All
proceeds go toward the Semancik Foundation,
which provides scholarships for Bremerton High student athletes.
The non-profit awarded 11 $2,000 scholarships in 2011.