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Former Kitsap Sun sports editor Chuck Stark shares insight, laughter, news, views and analysis of Kitsap sports and beyond.
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Archive for October, 2011

UW’s Black Saturday and a reminder of the ‘Are You Kidding Me Game’

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

Washington decked out in black unis, the end zone’s are black, and the student’s are wearing black along with most of the fans at Husky Stadium.

The opponent: the Arizona Wildcats. Kickoff’s about 20 minutes away, and my mind just wondered back to the last Washington-Arizona game I saw. It was October, 2009. I was in the stands as a fan on the night Washington pulled off an incredible comeback to beat the Wildcats. Of course, I missed the ending, opting to leave early to beat the traffic.

Click here to to read what I wrote about that night.

Back to Black Saturday. Glad I brougth the binoculars because the UW’s purple numbers are hard to read on those black jerseys.

Just wondering: Wonder how much money it costs to outfit a college football team in a different uniforms? I know it would feed a lot of homeless people. I hope the UW and college’s across the land don’t have to pay additional money for all of those new looks. They’re probaby built into the contracts, right? If not, they should be.

Notes

Chris Polk needs 128 yards rushing to go over 1,000 yards for a third season. Only Napoleon Kaufman has accomplished that for the Huskies. Polk’s second on the UW career rushing list with 3,433 yards.

UW QB Keith Price is on pace to top Brock Hueard’s pass efficiency rating for a single season (Price is at 168.7; Huard was 153.8 in 1997) and his 22 TD passes already ranks No. 4 in UW single-season history.

Washington beat UCLA and beat Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl wearing those black uniforms.

Washington has played six true freshmen this season: S James Sample, TB Bishop Sankey, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, DT Danny Shelton, OLB John Timu and WR Kasen Williams.

Utah beat Oregon State, UCLA beat Cal and USC is leading Stanford. Hmmm, do you smell an upset tonight? Arizona’s offensive should give the UW pass defense fits. Washignton’s offense should do the same to Arizona. Could be a 4-hour offensive show. Prediction: UW 43, Arizona 35.

 

 


UW football season ticket info for 2012 released

Friday, October 28th, 2011

UW Announces 2012 Football Season Ticket Information

Here’s the press release:

SEATTLE – Taking the next step in the Drive For Husky Stadium campaign, UW department officials announced the release of ticket information for the 2012 football season at CenturyLink Field.  General season-ticket pricing is set at $399, with value reserved tickets available for $250.  Tyee Club donation levels range from $250 to $950.  A 360-degree Virtual Venue tool containing a map of season-ticket inventory, pricing and donation levels is available at HuskyStadium.com.

Current season-ticket holders have until Dec. 1 to renew their tickets by making a $100 deposit per seat.  After renewing, fans will select their ticket locations through a seat selection process beginning in February and ending in April.  New season-ticket holders can also make deposits now through the online ticket office at GoHuskies.com.

“CenturyLink Field is a premier professional stadium, and we are excited to call it our home for the 2012 season,”  head football coach Steve Sarkisian said.  “Playing in a first-class N.F.L. stadium excites and energizes our players and staff, and allows our fans to see a glimpse of the type of game day experience they can expect in the renovated Husky Stadium in 2013.”

The Huskies host Pac-12 rival Oregon on Saturday, Nov. 5, in the final game in the current configuration of Husky Stadium.


KAR needs new blood; Congrats to Dean Scherer, SK-CK rivalry & more

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Quick hits on a Friday afternoon:

You might have heard that the Kitsap Athletic Roundtable, a service group that’s been around since 1967, is struggling to be the active, viable organization it once was. It was originally called the Bremerton Athletic Roundtable and it’s raised thousands of dollars for local athletes and teams over the years.

But times have changed, and there’s not a lot of new blood in the group. It’s tough getting people interested in helping run the organization, and it’s just as tough to get folks out for programs. It’s too bad because a community as large as ours needs a non-profit club to support youth and amateur athletics. I’ve been on the board for a while now, and I’m not ready to give up the ship, but I must admit that it’s becoming more and more difficult to get fired up about the club.

If anybody has any ideas out there on how to revive the KAR, email me at cstark@kitsapsun.com and I’ll be happy to pass along your ideas and thoughts. There’s going to be a meeting next month where new officer’s will be elected. If you’re interested in helping out, let me know. For the KAR to survive, it needs some new members with new ideas.

Dean Scherer, the retired Bainbridge basketball coach and teacher now living at LakeLand Village, shot a 75 on Generations 2 & 3 nines today at the Allyn golf course. Scherer is 76 years old.

Central Kitsap and South Kitsap renew their football rivalry tonight in Port Orchard (we are streaming the game live online). These might not be the best teams either school has produced, but they’re pretty good. The Narrows League is tougher than it’s been in a while (Bellarmine Prep will probably be ranked No. 1 in the state next week; Olympia’s No. 7).

All four of us on our staff at The Sun picked SK to win. All four of us also picked North Kitsap to beat Kingston on Thursday night and you know how that one turned out.

Tonight’s game is a tossup, just as the series has been of late. CK and SK have split their past 10 games with no school winning more than  two in a row. CK won 31-16 a year ago in a game that also had playoff implications. The Wolves lead the all-time series 42-26-4, but that’s counting games when CK was called Silverdale High. Take away those games (from 1925 to 1944) and CK leads the series 23-22-2.

Happy birthday to former Sonics coach Lenny Wilkens, who turned 74 today. Others born on this day include Joaquin Phoenix (37), Julia Roberts (44), Bill Gates (56), Charlie Daniels (75) and Mike Moore, The Sun’s always entertaining entertainment reporter. Won’t reveal Mike’s age, nor mine. Yes, it’s also my birthday. As Seabury Blair Jr., likes to say, “I’m older than dirt.” Here’s a birthday toast to Jack Daniels, ah,  Charlie, and my fellow Scorpions.

Remember Oct. 10, 1968? Roger Underwood, the former Sun staffer now working at the Yakima Herald-Republic does. It was the day the St. Louis Cardinals lost Game 7 of the World Series to Mickey Lolich and the Detroit Tigers. For what it’s worth,  I think the Cardinals, still riding the high of winning an incredible Game 6, win Game 7 tonight against Texas.

More predictions: Washington 37, Arizona 35; Seahawks 23, Bengals 20.

 

 


Husky linkage and a prediction

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Former Washington Husky football great Don McKeta was asked at Wednesday’s Kitsap Athletic Roundtable meeting how good the current Huskies are?

“We’ll find out on Saturday,” was McKeta’s succinct answer.

He’s right.

Other than Nebraska, which hasn’t turned out to be the powerhouse many thought it would be, the Huskies haven’t played any one of note.

But they will on Saturday.

Unbeaten and No. 7 Stanford’s the real deal. There’s a reason why the Cardinal is favored by 20.5 points. His name is Andrew Luck.

Here’s some linkage on the Huskies to help get you primed for Saturday’s Pac-12 game (5 p.m., ABC).:

Andrew Luck’s growing legend not lost on Huskies. The story by Scott M. Johnson of the Everett Herald ran in our paper today, but in case you missed it, here it is.

Here’s CBSSports.com’s video preview of the Stanford-Washington game. Spencer Tillman says Stanford’s still under the radar because the Cardinal hasn’t played anybody. “They’re still not tested,” Tillman said. Hmm, sounds like Washington in that regard.

As 20-point underdogs, Dawgs task is formidable, according to this take at sportspressnw.com. UW’s record as an underdog on the road against top-10 teams isn’t good.

Art Thiel of sportspressnw.com poses this question: What if UW’s Keith Price outplays Andrew Luck?

Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times writes about an interesting battle of the beef: Washington defensive tackle Ta’ama vs. Stanford guard DeCastro, who is from Bellevue. Both are considered possible first-round NFL draft picks.

Can Washington’s offense keep up with Stanford’s offense. That’s the focus of this story by Ryan Divish of the Tacoma News Tribune.

John McGrath of the Tacoma News Tribune breaks down the rich QB history at both Washington and Stanford. Combined, they’ve sent 24 quarterbacks to the NFL.

Want to buy a piece of Husky Stadium?

Finally, UWTV is airing another episode in its 10-part series “on the history, games and personalities that make Husky Stadium a landmark in the Northwest. “Greatest Moments at Husky Stadium” airs Fridays at 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. All past episodes are archived online at: uwtv.org/greatestmoments

The Prediction

As far as the Dawgs have come, as good as they have looked the past two games, I don’t think they’re ready to take down Stanford. Both teams have a lot of weapons, but Stanford’s defense will be the difference in this one, not Andrew Luck.

The pick: Cardinal 37, Huskies 23.

 


Ex-Pumas’ keeper Bryan Meredith makes first appearance for Sounders

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Bryan Meredith’s goalkeeping was instrumental in helping the Kitsap Pumas win the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League championship this summer. Tuesday night, he made his debut with the Seattle Sounders. Meredith was in goal during the Sounders’ 2-1 Champions League loss to Monterrey. Defensive mistakes led to both goals. Here’s a story from Mike Allende of the Everett Herald.

By Mike Allende
Herald Writer
SEATTLE – Tuesday’s CONCACAF Champions League game wasn’t vitally important to the Seattle Sounders. But that doesn’t mean the 2-1 loss to Mexico’s Monterrey was any less disappointing.
A 61st-minute goal by Cesar Delgado past backup Sounders keeper Bryan Meredith put Monterrey up for good and the Rayados held on in front of 15,866 fans at CenturyLink Field.
Monterrey, the defending tournament champion, wins Group D with a 4-2 record and Seattle finishes second at 3-2-1. Both teams advance to the knockout stage to begin in March.
“It matters in terms of pairings because you look at most of the group winners, they’re going to be Mexican teams,” Seattle coach Sigi Schmid said. “So the chances are we’re going to match up with a Mexican team, and that’s a little bit harder.”
Coming off of an emotional win Saturday in Kasey Keller’s final regular-season home match, the Sounders used a combination of reserves and starters against Monterrey, which needed at least a tie to advance out of the group stage. Among the reserves was Meredith, Seattle’s second-round pick of the 2011 SuperDraft before being cut in the preseason. Meredith went on to lead the Kitsap Pumas to the Premier Development League title (the same league the North Sound SeaWolves play in) and trained with the Sounders throughout the season. He was even in net when Seattle beat Kitsap in the U.S. Open Cup this year.
But Tuesday was the first game that Meredith actually played in for the Sounders, as Schmid gave Keller a rare night off. Meredith made one save and gave up two goals that Schmid described as “soft.”
“Meredith played well for a guy in his first game, a fairly big game,” Schmid said. “He was composed. He couldn’t have done much on either goal.”
Meredith found out Monday after practice that he would be starting. That didn’t leave much time to prepare, and when Monterrey went on the attack, he didn’t have much time, either.
In the third minute, the Seattle defense went for an offside trap but Dario Carreno beat it, collecting a well-placed pass from Humberto Suazo and easily beating Meredith 1-on-1 for an early 1-0 lead.
“You’re going to give up goals as a goal keeper,” Meredith said. “To get one out of the way that early, it’s tough obviously, but it kind of shook the nerves right out of me. After that, I felt fine.”
From that point, the teams played evenly, which could be expected from foes who have played four times in the last two years. Monterrey defeated Seattle twice in group stage play last season. But on Aug. 23 of this year, the Sounders shocked Monterrey 1-0 on the road, just the second time a MLS team won a match in Mexico.
“We know they’re a great team that plays well together,” Monterrey coach Victor Vucetich said. “The game was even and well disputed from beginning to end, just like the previous games.”
Seattle had its chances to score. Sammy Ochoa sent a header over the crossbar in the 10th minute and Fredy Montero shot high in the 33rd. Three minutes before halftime, Montero tied it. After being taken down just outside the goal box, Montero sent a free kick just inside the left post for a goal. It was the fourth-straight match he scored a goal in, his 11th goal in 11 games and his 18th goal of the season.
A tie would have been good enough for Seattle to claim the top spot in the group, but it wasn’t to be. Seattle failed to clear a Monterrey shot and instead sent the ball to a wide-open Delgado who had little trouble beating Meredith for the eventual game-winner.
“We put (Meredith) in bad spots,” defender Jeff Parke said. “None of it was his fault. We made two bad mistakes and it cost us the game.”
“You can’t give up soft goals because you’re not always going to be able to resurrect yourself and score goals at the end of the game and win.”
While the loss hurt, there were positives. No Seattle player was injured. Some key players got to rest. And now, with the U.S. Open Cup over and the Champions League on hold until March, the Sounders can concentrate on finishing the season strong Saturday at Chivas USA and then focus on winning their first MLS Cup.
“They know that now we can concentrate on one thing,” Schmid said. “But I’m not happy with the goals we gave up, and they heard that as well.”


Thought you might be interested in reading …

Monday, October 17th, 2011

About Jim Harbaugh. Did you see The Handshake and all of that emotion spilling from the 49ers’ coach after knocking off Detroit on Sunday? It carried over to the lockerroom to. “We won a bar fight,” he kept yelling. Here’s the Yahoo! Sports version of it.

About Nelson Cruz. Who is this guy anyway? Six home runs, 13 runs batted in during the ALCS. Where’d he come from? Find out with this USA Today story.

About soccer. Yeah, soccer. Futbol, Seattle style. Times columnist Steve Kelly really captured the feel of Saturday’s game at the CLink. I wasn’t there, but I could feel the excitement. The hum, the drums etc. All of you soccer haters out there, you have to admit that the Sounders have got it going on.

About Austin Seferian-Jenkins, the Husky tight end from Gig Harbor. It didn’t take long for the freshman to become an impact player at Washington. This  was written before Saturday’s win at Colorado, a game in which Jenkins laid out for one incredible catch and made another nice grab over the middle before bouncing off a defender and picking up extra yardage. Anyway, the blog post I’ve linked t is kind of technical, but it gives you an idea of how the Dawgs are using Seferian-Jenkins.

About Don McKeta. I encourage all of you to come out to the Kitsap Athletic Roundtable meeting on Wednesday at the Kitsap Golf & Country Club to listen to the former Husky legend. He’s got an interesting story to tell. I visited with him last week. Here’s my story.


The more we know, the less we know

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

The unpredictability is the best part about sports.

Everybody says Tim Tebow can’t play in the NFL,  and the quarterback/evangelist/right winger proves everybody wrong, nearly leading Denver to a comeback, upset victory over the Chargers on Sunday. You don’t have to agree with his politics or like his passing technique to appreciate what he brings to the football field — the guy’s a winner. It’ll be interesting to see if his role will increase after what he did on Sunday.

Everybody buried the Seahawks weeks ago. But Tarvaris Jackson shows he can play when he gets a little protection, and when he goes down, maligned Charlie Whitehurst comes off the bench to lead the Hawks over the New York Giants. The 10.5-point underdogs thrive in a no-huddle offense, the defense makes a lot of big plays and they shock the world. If not the world, the bookies in Vegas and all of those football know-it-all analysts.

The Yankees, the Phillies, the Red Sox are done, but the Brewers, Tigers, Cardinals and Rangers play on. And the Diamondbacks came thisclose to advancing to the baseball’s Final Four. You can’t figure this stuff out, which is the way it should be.

And how about those San Francisco 49ers? The mild, mild NFC West might have a legitimate contender after all. Jim Harbaugh can coach and QB Alex Smith, the Bremerton-born player and former No. 1 pick who has been labeled a bust, isn’t a such a schmuck after all.

How many of you gave Olympic High a chance to beat North Kitsap in football on Friday night?

How many of you thought Washington’s Keith Price was going to be this good? Steve Sarkisian will never come out and say that Price is flat-out a better college QB than Jake Locker, but he is.

Just when you think you’ve got it figured out, remember that you don’t.

There’s always going to be a Buster Douglas come along to knock out a Mike Tyson.

There’s always going to be some shocking surprises along the way; there always are and it’s a big reason why the games we like to watch and play are so much fun.


Renard, Bobo, Links & More

Friday, October 7th, 2011

Don’t know why, but I couldn’t get to sleep last Saturday night. Ended up watching the replay of the Eastern Washington-Weber State football game around 2 a.m..

It was no coincidence that EWU won its first game on the day defensive tackle Renard Williams had his best game of the season. The final numbers didn’t tell the story – the former South Kitsap star had four tackles, two for loss, a half-sack and two quarterback hurries – in EWU’s 27-21 victory. The 300-pound consensus preseason All-American seemed to be everywhere, and his signature salute after tackles was a welcome sight for the home fans.

He was flagged for excessive celebrating on one play. In a Spokesman Review story this week, the future NFL draft pick said he and the ref had words on the previous play.

Reilly makes pro debut: This nugget courtesy of former Sun staffer Roger Underwood, now working at the Yakima Herald-Republic. Did you know that Mike Reilly remains the only college player – at any level – to start every game at one institution for four years and to have thrown at least one touchdown pass in each game? Think about that for a second. That’s a truly remarkable feat. Reilly, who ended his CWU career in 2008, recently made his first professional appearance for the BC Lions in a 42-5 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

The Not For Long League: Sad news about former Seattle Seahawks lineman Joe Tofflemire passing away at age 46. Howie Stalwick touched on this earlier in the week in his weekly Behind the 8-Ball column, but in case you missed it. In 2006, the St. Petersburg Times reported that the average life expectancy for NFL players was 55 – 52 for linemen. “The NFL stands for ‘Not For Long,’” Paul Tofflemire, Joe’s younger brother, told John Blanchette of The Spokesman Review. “It’s a violent game with a cost.”

Bobo’s out of the hospital: I once had a dream of playing baseball for Washington State’s Bobo Brayton. I probably wasn’t good enough, but the military draft (I like to tell people I was a 10th-round pick) kinda put an end to that dream in 1972. Anyway, I’ve always admired Bobo from afair, and it’s good to hear that the 85-year-old is back home after a two-month stay in the hospital.  Brayton suffered various injuries when his ATV collided with a tree on his ranch outside Pullman on Aug. 9.  “I can’t believe I did that,” Brayton told Howie Stalwick on Friday morning. “There’s only one tree in the whole damn place!” We’ll have Howie’s story posted online later today.

Links

Here’s my column on Willie Bloomquist and the Diamondbacks, which is in today’s paper.

And here’s an MLB.com story and video on the Port Orchard native, who has had three leadoff singles in four at-bats during the National League Division Series against Milwaukee. The D-backs and Brewers play the deciding fifth game today (TBS, 2:07 p.m. first pitch). Willie will be leading it off.

If you haven’t read “The Soul of Baseball: A Road Trip Through Buck O’Neil’s America” I highly recommend it. O’Neil died five years ago on Oct. 6, which prompted Joe Posnanski, the author of the book, to publish O’Neil’s all-time baseball team. There’s some interesting names, names a lot of you have probably never heard of. Read it here.

Paul Daugherty of the Cincinnati Enquirer and a contributor for SI.com pretty much captured my feelings about the NFL with this column. I don’t dislike it, but it’s hard to get revved up about a product that seems … ah, the same week after week. The way the league controls its players, even for interviews … the lack of innovation on the field … the mediocrity of so many teams. Unless you’re a jersey-wearing, paint-your-face fan who turns every Sunday into a holiday, I just don’t get the obsession about the NFL.

Just the stats

Rick Neuheisel is 8-0 against Washington State while coaching at Colorado, Washington and UCLA. I think he’ll be 8-1 after Saturday’s game in Los Angeles.

WSU averages 44.5 points per game after averaging 19.6 a year ago.

WSU has won three straight road games since 2006 and is looking for its first 4-1 start since 2003.

Thoughts

As good as Washington played against Utah last week, after watching Oregon slice up California 43-15 on Thursday night, I’m not sure the Huskies can hang with the Ducks. But a lot can change between now and Nov. 5, when the two rivals play in Seattle.

 

 


Wednesday links: 18 ex-M’s on postseason rosters; Kevin Van Hook video and more

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Sportspressnw.com says there are 18 former Mariners, including “Kitsap” Willie Bloomquist and Tigers’ pitcher Doug Fister, on the rosters of the eight teams that qualified for MLB’s postseason. The story breaks down what the M’s got in return for those players.

Here’s a YouTube video of former Central Kitsap/Olympic College basketball player Kevin Van Hook playing in the 2011 Thailand Open. He earned All-Star honors. Van Hook was MVP of the 2009 tournament and played in Korea last year.  A couple other local products, Bainbridge’s Steven Gray and Bremerton’s Miah Davis are just getting their European seasons under way. Gray, the former Gonzaga star, is coming off the bench for BK Ventsils of Latvia’s top league. Davis is starting for the Leuven Bears in Belgium’s top league.

Don’t know when the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement will be resolved, but there’s been talk about an Amnesty clause being included which would allow teams to waive one player and not have that contract count against the salary cap. If it happens, it’s been suggested that the Atlanta Hawks might waive Bremerton’s Marvin Williams, who’s owed $24.9 million through 2014.

NBA apathy? ESPN’s conducting a poll today on whether people cared if the NBA season started on time and 74% of those who voted said no.

Percy Allen of the Seattle Times writes that Washington State has received a verbal commit from 3-star basketball recruit Richard Peters, a 6-10 inside force who was recruited by the Huskies among others.

Seahawks’ run defense shouldn’t get run over this time against the Giants, who hammered Seattle 41-7 a year ago. ESPN’s Mike Sando notes that Seattle could have as many as 15 different starters in the lineup this time around.

Check out Keith Price’s NCAA QB ranking and compare the UW sophomore’s numbers to other QBs like Stanford’s Andrew Luck and Boise State’s Kellen Moore, who are both completing better than 70 percent of their passes. Price is at 68.23 percent. The Pac-12 has five of the top-20 ranked QBs: Luck is No. 7, Price No. 10, WSU’s Marshall Lobbestael No. 13, USC’s Matt Barkley No. 16 and Oregon’s Darron Thomas No. 17.

Here’s a look at the throwback uniforms the Oregon Ducks will wear against California on Thursday night. It’s the first of three straight Thursday night Pac-12 games being carried by ESPN. USC is at Cal on Oct. 13 and UCLA is at Arizona on Oct. 20. All start at 6 p.m.

Ooops: The South Kitsap-Bellarmine Prep game will be live streamed at prepzone.kitsapsun.com (not Thursday’s Central Kitsap-Gig Harbor game; we got that one wrong in the print edition earlier this week).

 

 


Bloomquist getting it done in postseason

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Willie Bloomquist is 2 for 3 and has scored two runs for the Arizona Diamondbacks, who look like they’re going to extend the NLDS series to a Game 4.

The shortstop from Port Orchard stole second in the first inning after a leadoff single and scored.

He singled again in the fifth and scored on a home run by somebody named Paul Goldschmidt. Diamondbacks leading Brewers 7-1.

Bloomquist is hitting .364 with three stolen bases.

He played in 845 Major League Baseball games and has 2,226 career at bats. He’s been a utility player his whole career, and now at age 33 and in his 10th big-league season, he’s getting a taste of what postseason baseball is all about.

UPDATE: Bloomquist singles again; he’s now 3 for 4 and hitting .417 in the three playoff games.

 

 


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