The Stark Truth

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 November, 2012

Bellevue is now our De La Salle

Friday, November 30th, 2012

As I type this, Bellevue’s leading Eastside Catholic 35-3 and on its way to its fifth straight Class 3A state title and 10th in the last 12 years.

Pretty impressive, huh?

It didn’t seem that long ago that Bellevue was knocking off De La Salle from Concord, Calif., back when CenturyLink was called Qwest Field. De La Salle came to Seattle with a 13-year, 151-game national record-setting winning streak and the Wolverines rolled to an eye-popping 39-20 victory.

Bellevue is now our state’s De La Salle.

For whatever high school rankings are worth, Bellevue went into the title game in Tacoma ranked No. 2 by Sports Illustrated and ESPN. It’s now won 40 straight games, the seventh-longest streak in the country.

Bellevue has legit D-1 recruits in LB/RB Myles Jack, DB/RB Budda Baker and LB Sean Constantine. Safety Michael Carlson and RB John Nguyen will likely wind up in the Big Sky and QB Jack Meggs has signed to play baseball at Washington.

Bellevue’s youth program is the best around and there’ s no sign of a let up as long as coach Butch Goncharoff stays around. Goncharoff did apply for a job at a private school in California a year ago.

 


Rougheart weighs in at 209.5 lbs.

Friday, November 30th, 2012

Joshus Beranis, our intrepid MMA blogger, gets inside the cage tonight to get feel for what it’s all about.

Beranis weighed in at 209.5 points at The Point Casino Friday night. He’ll take on Jeff Holcomb, a buddy who weighed in at 218 pounds.

“I’m ready to get a little bloody,” Beranis told me Friday night.

Let’s wish him well in this endeavor. Gates open at 3 p.m. and Beranis and Holcomb are scheduled to be the first fight at what they’re calling “Pummel at the Point.”

Let the punching and kicking begin.

Here’s the column I wrote on Beranis earlier in the week.

 


High school football replays online; basketball live streaming begins

Friday, November 30th, 2012

In case you missed it, The Sun is live streaming the Crosspoint Academy-Klahowya basketball doubleheader Friday night, girls at 5 p.m. followed by the boys game around 7. You’ll find it at kitsapsun.com/basketball/.

And if you want to watch any of the football games that were lived streamed this fall — from Week 1 through the playoffs — go to kitsapsun.com/football/

The football games should also be available to purchase at WestSoundTV, which partners with The Sun to provide live streaming coverage of high school athletics.


‘Big Marv’ Williams still working with ‘Little Marv’

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

Bremerton’s Marvin Williams has struggled to find his shot with the Utah Jazz, but he hasn’t lost his work ethic.

This story does a pretty good job of capturing what the low-key NBA player is all about.

“I like to laugh at jokes,” he said, “but very rarely will you catch me making jokes.”

However, that shouldn’t be taken as a sign that Williams is struggling to fit in with his new team.

 ”I enjoy playing with everybody,” he said. “I feel like the guys who have been here have really embraced me and accepted me.”

Williams, by the way, came off the bench, in Saturday’s win for the Jazz. He started the first nine games of the season. Williams had seven points and eight rebounds in 27 minutes.


Links & Quick Hits: Denny Strickland, Hope Solo, Knucklealls, Leach, M’s, Feuding Northenders, Turf Fields & More

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

I posted a blog earlier about Denny Strickland dying at age 73. Here’s my column on the 1956 West High grad.

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“We like our female athletes squeaky clean, like Mia Hamm, or crazy hot like Anna Kournikova. We have trouble with somebody like Solo, who has a little bit of crazy in her, a little bit of jerkhole and, yes, a little bit of hot mess. She does not fit the paradigm. She is not necessarily whom we want our little daughters emulating.”

That’s what Jen Floyd Engel of Foxsports.com has to say about Hope Solo. Read her column here. If she was willing to marry Jerramy Stevens, you know she’s got more than a little bit of crazy in her.

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Chuck Armstrong confirms that the M’s are possibly interested in signing outfielder Josh Hamilton. “We do need offense,” said the team president. Duh!

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Anybody who has played baseball has attempted to throw a knuckleball while warming up on the sidelines. When you’ve got short, stubby fingers like mind, it’s not easy. You dig your fingernails into the seams of the baseball and you let it fly, wondering if you can make it dance. It’s a wonderful feeling when it happens. You wonder if you could throw it for strikes in a game. Nah, no way. That’s why my hat goes off to R.A. Dickey, the first knuckleballer to win the Cy Young Award. And he did it when he was 38!!!

Quick hits

There’s been talk that the Bremerton School District is looking into turfing Memorial Stadium and Legion Field. The district has supposedly asked Olympic College if it would be willing to chip in any money toward the project.

Another rumor: A local soccer club has talked to the city about possibly turfing outdoor soccer fields at Pengergast Park. The kicker is the club would get preferential treatment when it comes to scheduling games. Good or bad idea?

Sources tell me some Kingston officials and parents aren’t crazy about playing all of its future home football games at North Kitsap Stadium in Poulsbo. The district had committed $30,000 to building a press box at Kingston’s field, but pulled it back.  Other districts seem OK with sharing a stadium, but there’s bad blood up north. People can deny it, but it’s true. Poulsbo and Kingston are only separated by eight miles, but they might as well be on opposite sides of the Puget Sound.

Huskies should be 8-4 going into the Kraft Hunger Bowl on Dec. 29 at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Navy (currently 6-4) is already committed to the bowl and Washington’s the projected opponent based on being the Pac-12′s No. 6 team. If the Huskies are the Pac-12 No. 12, they could wind up in Las Vegas for a Dec. 22 game against the Mountain West Conference champs, which could be Boise State. Got a preference?

Mike Leach or Marquess Wilson? Who are you siding with? Wilson quit on his teammates, walking off the field during a conditioning drill. Leach has repeatedly hurled verbal insults at his players. Doesn’t mean you have to like it or even respect it, but the Pirate of the Palouse isn’t a bad guy. He’s not politically correct at times,  but you have to like his backbone:  “We’re not changing,” he said. “This isn’t a democracy. We don’t say, ‘You 125 guys, how do you want practice to be and what direction do you want this or that to go?’ We don’t do that. Our standards are what our standards are, and we’re going to hold them to that.”

Seahawks have a bye Sunday, so why not take in this doubleheaders at Olympic College’s Student Center Gym: Olympic plays Chemeketa at 3 p.m. in the men’s season basketball opener at 3 p.m. and the Kitsap Admirals plays the Salem Sabres in a red, white and blue American Basketball Association game at 6 p.m.

Dec. 5: Save the date. The Kitsap Athletic Roundtable’s holding its version of a Hot Stove League at the Arena Sports Bar & Grille. The topic’s baseball and Ken Wilson, president of the West Coast League and former sidekick of Dave Niehaus who has broadcast Mariners’ game the past couple years, will be the featured speaker. Local minor leaguers Drew Vettleson (Rays) and Jared Pricne (Rangers) and others will be part of the program. Social hour at 6 p.m., program at 7. You don’t need to be a KAR member, although memberships are only $25 and the money goes to youth and amateur athletics in the region. Got questions. Email me: cstark@kitsapsun.com.

In case you missed it, Central Kitsap grad Todd Linden’s playing in the Dominican Winter League and have five home runs in 22 games. South Kitsap grad Aaron Cunningham was invited to spring training by the Texas Rangers.

 


Former Bremerton, Oregon hoops star Denny Strickland dies at 73

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Denny Strickland — basketball player, golfer, husband, father, grandfather, artist — died Monday.

He was 73.

Strickland was one of the many Bremerton basketball players who played for the legendary Ken Wills and went on to star in college.

Strickland was 1956 West Bremerton grad — that’s the year Bremerton merged into East and West Highs — and he started three years at Oregon. He also played golf for the Ducks. Some say Strickland could have pursued a career as a professional golfer.

Strickland, who was 6-foot-5, gained some notoriety in college for breaking a backboard while dunking a basketball.

After college, Strickland taught at the Seattle Art Institute and later became a successful graphic artist. He designed the iconic Seattle SuperSonics’ logo — not the original, but the one that had the Seattle skyline cut out inside a basketball. Of all the Sonics’ logos, it lasted the longest (1975-95) and remains, in my opinion, the best. He also designed the original Sounders logo and worked with Nike when it starting its original advertising campaign.

He’s survived by his wife Nancy, sons Jack and and Christopher, daughters Stacy and Shawn, brother Lance, sister Nancy, and six grandchildren. He was raised by his mom, Phyllis, and late stepfather Barney Kahn, in Bremerton. His daughter, Shawn, is married to Jack Sikma. Former East High/University of Puget Sound star Brant Gibler is Strickland’s cousin.

I’m working on a story about Strickland. Look for it later online or read it in the print edition Thursday.

Strickland’s service is 2 p.m., Saturday at Sahalee Country Club in Kirkland.

 

 


Friday night thoughts

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Got a few minutes before I dash out of the office to cover the Bremerton Knights-Archbishop Murphy Wildcats state playoff football game. Knights and Wildcats, that probably brings back some memories from years past when the West High Wildcats and East High Knights were the biggest game in town.

The schools merged in 1978 into Bremerton High. They kept West High’s colors and East High’s nickname. Archbishop Murphy (often referred to as ATM — Archbishop Thomas Murphy) has been to the last 2A title games and won a couple as an 1A school in 2002 and ’03. Bremerton’s making its first state appearance since 1993. If you can’t make it to the game, you can watch in live at kitsapsun.com/football.

Quick hits

Did you see the video on Sam Gordon, the 9-year-old girl whose father has turned her into a star by making a video about her football exploits? She’s been featured on ESPN and who knows where else. I don’t have a problem with the video, but  keeping stats on a 9-year old — yards rushing, TDs, tackles etc. — is a bit much, don’t ya think?

Bremerton’s Frank Horton, the point man for the highly successful USGA and NCAA golf tournaments that Gold Mountain Golf Club has hosted  over the years, is the new president of the Washington State Golf Association. The WSGA couldn’t have found a better leader.

Missing the current World Cup bobsled season has to be driving Bremerton’s Bree Schaaf crazy. The 2010 Olympian — she was fifth at the Vancouver Games — is still recovering from off-season hip surgery and wasn’t able to complete the team trials last month at Lake Placid, N.Y. I haven’t talked to her since, but I know this: Schaaf is doing everything humanly possible to get herself healthy and ready to make another run at earning a spot on the 2014 Olympic team. The odds might not be as good as they once were, but don’t bet against her.

It’s a little too early for must wins, but if the Seahawks don’t beat the Jets, they don’t make the playoffs.

Oh-oh. No, wait a minute. 1-oh. Sounders win 1-0 over Real Salt Lake and you get the feeling the most successful soccer franchise in America are gonna finally win the MLS Cup. The fans certainly deserve one for the way they’ve supported that team.

My friend the blackjack dealer, and an astute baseball fan, tells me that he thinks the Mariners should make an offer for Josh Hamilton. And while they’re at, they should put together a deal that could bring Justin Upton to the M’s. I like his thinking and Hamilton has been lined to the M’s by some. But could Seattle really figure out a way to land those two big boppers? They’ve got a lot of trade ammo. It’s going to be an interesting offseason because the fans are losing patience. They’re seeing teams just as young as Seattle — Oakland, Detroit  etc. — performing in the postseason.


WSU’s Wilson suspended (or did he quit) and Leach is out of line

Monday, November 5th, 2012

It’s been reported that Washington State receiver Marquess Wilson has been suspended, although Christian Caple of the Spokesman Review said he’s hearing that Wilson might have quit.

Wilson’s apparently had enough of Mike Leach. By now, you know how Leach brought in his offensive linemen to talk to the media following Saturday’s 49-6 drubbing at Utah. “It was one of the more heartless efforts I’ve seen,” said Leach, who is making $2.5 million to coach — and apparently humiliate — his players.

Leach took some of the blame after that game. “It starts with our coaches, with me in particular,” he said.

Mike, as bad your coaching was on the field, your behavior off of it was boorish and far worse than the performance any of  your player turned in. That’s not a good message you’re sending, especially to potential recruits.

Closer to home, it’ll be another late game for the Washington Huskies. The Pac-12 announced Monday that the Husky-Utah game on Saturday at CenturyLink will start at 7:30 p.m. and be televised by the Pac-12 Networks.

It will be the eighth game with a 6 p.m. or later start this year for Washington. The UW had just one afternoon game (Portland State) at home this year. Saturday’s game will be Washington’s finale at CenturyLink as the team returns to renovated Husky Stadium next year.

I understand how much money is involved in the new Pac-12 contracts, but does anybody like these late starts?

 

 


Gold Mountain to host another NCAA regional

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

The University of Washington announced that Gold Mountain Golf Club will be the site of the 2015 NCAA Men’s Regional Golf Championships.

This will be the third NCAA regional for the Bremerton city-owned facility. Play, once again, will be contested on the award-winning Olympic Course. Gold Mountain also hosted the 2008 and 2010 regionals, in addition to the 2006 U.S. Amateur Public Links,  2011 U.S. Junior Boys Amateur and the prestigious Ping/Golfweek Preview, one of the major events of the fall season for college golfers.

The Huskies will host a women’s regional in 2014 at Suncadia in Cle Elum.

 


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