Links, opinions and quick hits on sunny Monday while waiting for 13-year-old Babe Ruth baseball players to invade Kitsap County. Drove by the Kitsap Fairgrounds & Events Center and Silverdale Beach Hotel earlier and things are eerily quiet. Anyway, here ya go:
Don’t know about you, but I’ve seen enough to think that rookie QB Russell Wilson just might be the real deal. I know that it’s early, but he could bring some serious excitement to CenturyLink. And Matt Flynn looked pretty good too. T-Jack, it was nice to know ya.
Bremerton Olympic gold medalist Nathan Adrian was part of the closing ceremonies and is now back in the area after exploring London and, no doubt, having the time of his life. If you’re into twitter, check out his tweets here.
Bremerton’s other Olympian, bobsledder Bree Schaaf, is training in Colorado Springs, Colo., trying to regain strength following offseason hip surgery. This is a big year for Schaaf, who needs to secure the No. 2 ride in order to solidify endorsements. If she’s driving the No. 3 sled heading in to the World Cup season prior to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, she will probably have to dig into her own pockets again to pay for training, travel and equipment expenses. Yes, it’s a cruel world sometimes for athletes involved in fairly obscure sports. Nate Murphy of Kitsap Public Relations has created an online fundraising campaign for Bree at www.indiegogo.com/breeschaaf.
If you want to be reminded how serious folks in the south take their football, check out this $60 million, 18,000-seat high school stadium in Allen, Texas. It’s for a high school near Dallas with an enrollment of 3,000. A far cry from the muddy bog South Kitsap plays on in the fall, huh?
State high school football players hit the practice field on Wednesday. First games are Friday, Aug. 31. Kentridge at South Kitsap is an intriguing Week 1 matchup. Former Bremerton, OC and Central Washington QB Marty Osborn runs the show at Kentridge and is considered one of the top coaches in the state. Port Orchard native Eric Canton, a former SK QB who played at Washington, will be making his head coaching debut for the Wolves. Elsewhere that night, North Kitsap, considered by many as the team to beat in the Class 2A Olympic League, visits powerhouse Archbishop Murphy in Everett, and Central Kitsap heads to Bainbridge for an all-Kitsap County affair.
I’ve been told that Waite Park, Minn., the Midwest Plains Regional 13-year-old Babe Ruth champs, played in the Cal Ripken 12-year-old World Series a year ago. That could be an advantage during the Babe Ruth World Series at the Kitsap Fairgrounds & Events Center this week. Remember, tickets are just $5 a day and it looks like the weather is going to cooperate. It would be nice to see the stands packed during the 10-day tournament.
Ichiro’s not exactly ripping it up in New York, but he’s fitting in with the Yankees. He’s hitting .265 (he was hitting .262 this season with the Mariners). It will be interesting to see how the 38-year-old performs in the postseason. Think he raises his game? Or will he go 1-for-4 with a meaningless slap single to left field?
Congratulations to Silverdale’s Erynne Lee for another top finish at the U.S. Women’s Amateur. She’s been a quarterfinalist three times and a semifinalist once. Here’s hoping the Silverdale golfer can break through in 2013 or 2014, which will be her last chance before turning pro. She’s going to attempt to qualify for the Canadian Women’s Open in British Columbia before returning to UCLA for her sophomore year.
Kitsap’s PGA Tour golfer Troy Kelly is back in action this week, playing in the Wyndham Championship, which starts Thursday at the Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C. I was in Reno for the Reno-Tahoe Open two weekends ago. I watched Kelly bomb a couple 400-yard plus drives (consider the elevation, 5,800 feet with some steep climbs on both sides) on his way to a tie for 48th. It was a Stableford format and Kelly didn’t take advantage of his length on the par 5s, but it was a lot of fun watching from outside the ropes. And did I mention the elevation? And the heat? It was 100 every day. I thought someone was going to have to give hefty Guy Boros, Kelly’s playing partner the last day, mouth to mouth. Kelly’s currently No. 102 on the money list ($747,984) and needs to stay above 125 to keep his card for 2013. This is also the final week for players to move inside the top 125 in FedExCup points. Kelly is 117th, but starting with the No. 126 player in points (Brendan Steele) going into this week, 44 of the next 55 players in points are playing at Sedgefield. The top 125 in FedExCup points will play at The Barclays Championship the following week at Bethpage State Park in Farmington, N.Y.