High school athletics need a little promotion, too

Friday Night Lights

Even though I’m retired, they’re keeping me around for the high school football picks. I think the staff wants somebody they can beat up on, but I’m gonna do my homework. Check out my picks here. Better yet, check out a local game. Week 1 of the high school season is upon us.

Attendance at high school sporting events has dwindled over the years, and that’s too bad. The days are gone when the majority of students put on their letter jackets (do they still have letter jackets?) and abused their vocal cords in the name of the home team. You’d go to a game and both sides of the stands were full and people lined up around the track. A full house during the regular-season is now a rarity.

We’re now in the era of club sports, but football is the one high school sport that hasn’t changed much over the years in that regard. It’s the start of a new school year, and a successful football season can go a long ways toward having a successful school year. A football team, more than anything, can pull a school and a community together. It can be a really cool experience for everyone. There are people who support high school athletics. They go to games long after their own kids have graduated, but the majority of parents don’t do that. Schools and coaches need to promote it. Get the word out. Form a booster club. Talk to pee wee coaches and athletes. Hold a pep assembly and encourage students to show up. Blast out emails to parents and service clubs. We’re way past the era where you just turned on the lights, and people showed up to watch the game. If the schools don’t think it’s important, then why should the fans?

Olympic League and Narrows League tickets are $6 for adults, $4 for seniors (over 65) and elementary students. Students with ASB cards get free admission to home games; it’s $4 on the road with ASB card.

Baseball Numbers

.347: That’s what Willie Bloomquist was hitting going into Thursday’s  Wednesday’s game. Granted, it’s a small sample, just 30 games, because of two long stints on the disabled list. The Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop is 9-for-16 since being activated on Aug. 30. It’s the final year of Bloomquist’s contract, and manager Kirk Gibson’s a big Bloomquist fan, but the Diamondbacks are loaded at the position. Cliff Pennington’s under contract for another year, rookie Didi Gregorius has had a good year, and  Chris Owing, the 2013 PCL MVP, is waiting in the wings. Bloomquist, 35, has said he wants to play until he’s 40. UPDATE: Bloomquist was 3-for-5 with an RBI on Wednesday, pushing his average to .355.

.274: That’s what Drew Vettleson wound up hitting in the regular season for the Port Charlotte Stone Crabs of the High-A Florida State League. The Central Kitsap grad, the 42nd overall pick by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2010, was up to .284, but had 1-for-19 funk over his final five games. The Stone Crabs are currently in the postseason. The Florida State League was a pitcher’s league as only two players hit .300 or better. Vettleson, the Ray’s 10th-best prospect according to MLB.com, was 17th in the league in hitting, so his numbers weren’t bad. The right-fielder hit .228 against lefties and .295 against right-handers.

Seahawks Numbers

For my weekly Thursday column, I took a look at some Seahawks numbers. 

Drug Testing

The always-entertaining Bremerton bobsledder Bree Schaaf wrote about drug testing on her Team USA Blog and it’s an interesting look through the eyes of an Olympic athlete.



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