Category Archives: Ryan Villopoto

Harvin, Ducks, Dawgs, Villopoto & more

Links, notes, thoughts:

There were warning signs: Don’t know for sure, but it sure seems like Doug Baldwin’s post-game rant after the Seattle Seahawks’ loss against Dallas might have been aimed at Percy Harvin. You might have read or heard about the trade that sent Harvin to the Jets on Friday. Sounds like Harvin was a pain in the you-know-what. Remember the stories when the Seahawks gave him a guaranteed $25.5 million after acquiring him from the Vikings? Harvin, according to some in the media, was described as a head case, a time bomb, and a diva. One report coming out Friday had Harvin punching former teammate Golden Tate, now a Detroit Lion, in the week leading up to the Super Bowl. He also, reportedly, had an altercations with Baldwin in the preseason and refused to re-enter the Dallas game late in the fourth quarter, according to a Seattle Times report.

More Harvin: Despite modest statistics (he caught just 27 passes in eight games during his Seahawks’ career), everyone was singing Harvin’s praises after the Monday night game at Washington less than three weeks ago. Harvin had three TDs called back in that one. That was a strange game, but Friday’s trade trumped that for strangeness.

What’s a conditional mid-round draft pick? it depends on how Harvin plays with the Jets. If he plays a certain number of games, the mid-round pick (fourth, fifth) could turn into a second rounder, according to an NFL.com report.

The Ducks, the Ducks, the Ducks: Washington has lost 10 straight to Oregon, and the Huskies are 20.5-point underdogs on Saturday. I was in the stands at Berkeley last week, and the UW defense was impressive against a pretty good Cal offensive, good enough to give Husky fans hope that maybe, just maybe, this could be the year Washington upsets the Ducks. Danny Shelton and Shaq Thompson are part of a front seven that could be really nasty by the end of the season. The secondary has come a long way in a short amount of time. Prediction: Marcus Mariota is the difference and the losing streak reaches 11, but it won’t be a double-digit victory, and that’s an upset in itself since Washington has never kept it close in the last 10 years. The closest margin of defeat has been 17 points.

Did you know? Mariota and Washington QB Cyler Miles have not thrown an interception.

Did you know II? Chris Petersen, coach of the Huskies, was 2-0 against Oregon when he was at Boise State.

Saturday night plans: Dylan. Bob Dylan. Never seen the man live. I’ve been told not to hear or expect the Dylan I think I’m going to hear at the Paramount. Doesn’t matter. I can’t wait.

Marvin update: Bremerton’s Marvin Williams is five games into the preseason with the Charlotte Hornets. Here’s the average line for the starting power forward: 5.0 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.6 steals while playing an average of 26 minutes. Charlotte likes his ability to hit threes, although he’s made just 6 of 19 attempts thus far.

Historic decision for RV2: Poulsbo’s Ryan Villopoto talks with Transworld Motocross about his decision to race in Europe for a world championship instead of going for a fifth straight Supercross championship. For Villopoto, 26, this will be his last year as a competitive racer.

Wild Series: It’s the Giants and Royals in the World Series. Two exciting wild-card teams. The Royals are 8-0 in the postseason and the darlings of baseball. The Giants are the Giants. A different players seems to step up every game. Travis Ishikawa of Federal Way is the latest hero after hitting a walk-off home run to clinch the NLCS against St. Louis. They’ve been here before, winning it all in 2010 and 2012. If they can do it again, manager Bruce Bochy should be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

Speaking of Giants: If San Francisco prevails, does Todd Linden get a World Series ring? The Central Kitsap grad, a one-time Giants’ prospect, was the hitting coach for San Francisco’s Class A team in the South Atlantic League — the Augusta GreenJackets.

Elton Goodwin Foundation: The foundation is holding a spaghetti dinner fundraiser for the late South Kitsap coach on Friday, No. 7, at the Port Orchard Eagles. Tickets are ($20 single/$35 couple) are available at Cruise-N Car Wash and Espresso through Oct. 31. Tickets at the door will be $25 single/$40 couple. All Profits will benefit the foundation for scholarships and/or facilities at South Kitsap High School.

Rangers back in the hunt: Olympic College’s volleyball team is 18-5 and ranked No. 2 in the NWAC Coaches’ Poll behind Blue Mountain (34-1). Blue Mountain, from Pendleton, Oregon, beat OC in the NWAC championship match a year ago. OC handed the Timberwolves their only loss, but the defending champs hold a 2-1 advantage over the Rangers this season.

 

Links and quick hits: Villopoto to forego Supercross series to race in Europe

Links

Nobody has ever won five straight AMA Supercross Championships and Poulsbo’s Ryan Villopoto has a chance to do it, but he has decided to compete in the FIM 450 World Championships in Europe in 2015. Villopoto has reportedly signed a multi-million dealt to race in Europe. Here’s the link to the story on his own website rv2.com. A couple side notes: Villopoto, 28, was nominated for his third ESPY this year, and he also threw out the first pitch at a Padres game in late August.

Seattle Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson says he used to be a bully when he was a young kid.

“Truthfully, I used to beat people up a lot,” Wilson wrote for ThePlayersTribune.com, a new website started by Derek Jeter. “Many of you readers probably think I have been Mr. Goody Two-Shoes my whole life, but honestly, I was a bully growing up. In elementary and middle school, I threw kids against the wall. I rubbed their heads in the dirt at recess. I bit them. I even knocked teeth out.”

Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated digs into the suspension of ESPN’s Bill Simmons. Interesting stuff, indeed. Simmons was suspended for three weeks after calling NFL commissioner Roger Goodell a liar on his podcast.

Here’s a couple different takes on the Hope Solo story. Kate Fagan of ESPNw.com equates Solo’s alleged assault of her 17-year-old sister and nephew to what Ray Rice did and thinks USA Soccer should suspend her immediately. Ta-Nehisi Coates of The Atlantic has a different take on the issue. Coates writes that there is a reason why we have a “Violence Against Women Act,” not a “Brawling With Families Act.”

Nobody wants to host the Olympics, writes Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports. 

“Essentially the entire world has told the IOC it’s a corrupt joke,” he writes.

Quick hits

I’M STILL THINKING about Kansas City stealing seven (count ‘em, SEVEN) bases in its wild-card victory over Oakland. And I’m think the Seattle Mariners need to find a way to keep James Jones in the lineup. Of course, a lot of that will depend on the development of Jones. He hit .250 with 27 stolen bases in 108 games (312 at bats). He hit .292 in June and looked like he could be the Mariners’ everyday center fielder. Then he crashed. He hit .287 before the All-Star break and .114 after. The M’s traded for Austin Jackson and Jones went back to Triple-A Tacoma before being recalled in September. It’ll be interesting to see what becomes of Mr. Jones. He could become a valuable piece of Seattle’s puzzle. Speed kills. If it’s not Jones, then they need someone like him.

I’VE ALREADY GOT a lot of positive feedback about my column on the late John Jarstad and his thoughts about the late Roosevelt Field in downtown Bremerton. Roosevelt was located just off the Warren Avenue Bridge, next to Olympic College. It’s now a … parking lot. It pains me to write that. Anyway, here’s the column in case you missed it.

OLYMPIC COLLEGE VOLLEYBALL coach Beth Donnelly has put together another strong team. The Rangers were second in the NWAC (Northwest Athletic Conference) and already own a victory over North Division rival Bellevue. They play an excellent brand of volleyball. Go see it for yourself. Next home games are Oct. 10 (Shoreline) and Oct. 15 (Edmonds).

LARRY DIXON KEEPS moving up Army’s career rushing list. The senior fullback from Olympic High is currently seventh in Army history with 2,424 yards on 400 carries. He has carried 62 times for 338 yards (5.5. per carry) and four touchdowns this season for the Black Knights (1-3), who host Ball State (1-3) on Saturday at 9 a.m. PST (CBS Sports Network).

“AMERICA’S ST. ANDREWS” a book about Chambers Bay written by Blaine Newnham, is available at Chambers Bay and can be ordered online at chambersbaygolf.com. The book chronicles the story of how Chambers Bay, which opened in 2008, was selected to host the 2015 U.S. Open.Robert Trent Jones Jr., the chairman and master architect of RTJ II, has written the book’s foreword.

 

 

1979 NHRA Top Fuel championship car not just a story anymore — it exists

Silverdale’s Rob Bruins and Bremerton’s Chris Horn are returning to the drag strip at Pacific Raceways (formerly Seattle International Raceway) in Kent this weekend along with the Top Fuel dragster that they helped to an NHRA championship in 1979.

Bruins drove the Gaines Markley-owned dragster and Horn, then 19, was the full-time mechanic for a team that shocked that drag racing world by winning a world championship without winning a national event.

Horn, now a Kitsap-based real estate broker, came across the car by accident on a motorcycle trip to Nevada in 1996. He bought it, later chased down the original Keith Black aluminum engine block and other parts. He sold it to the World Speed Museum in December of 2013, and the car is now restored and will be at the track this weekend.

Thirty-five years ago, I covered the Northwest Nationals and wrote a story about these guys. They lost in the first round that day, but that was not the norm. The car won every divisional race it entered, and reached the semis or finals in all of the other national events to secure the championship.

I don’t pretend to be a motorsports expert, but this is a cool story about a couple of local racers who did big things in the world of motorsports.

Rob Bruins, Dave Villwock, Ryan Villopoto. That’s some serious motorsports history that’s come out of Kitsap County.

Here’s the story about Bruins, Horn and the innovative car that changed the drag-racing landscape.

 

Wet stuff drives you crazy & links on Hammel, Willie B., T. Kelly & RV2

Spent about nine hours on the road and at the ballpark today, and what did we have to show for it?

Nothing. Such is life if you’re part of a softball or baseball team that’s trying to get in some games in the Northwest. Mother Nature comes out on top a lot and it prevailed once again.

After warming up in the rain for 90 minutes at Lacey’s Regional Athletic Complex (known as The RAC), games were cancelled and the Olympic College softball team headed to a nearby restaurant for dinner, then a drive home in the driving rain. In case you’re wondering, I’m a volunteer assistant.

It’s now closing in on 9:30 p.m. I’m home. It’s still raining and I’m watching Washington State school UCLA in basketball, and wondering if it would be better to just go to bed. We lose an hour of sleep tonight, and the vans leave at 8:30 a.m. for another trip to Lacey, where the artificial turf could be playable. Or maybe not.

In the meantime, here’s some links:

Jason Hammel pitches three shutout innings for  the Cubs in his first official spring game of the season. The South Kitsap grad walked three batters in the first inning, but got out of the jam. Afterwards, he said he might have been a bit nervous.

Willie Bloomquist, who delivered an RBI single on Saturday,  says he’s happy to be a Mariner. “Who gets to put a uniform on twice and play in your hometown?” he told Greg Johns of MLB.com.

Troy Kelly had an eagle on the par-5 14th hole and shot 2-under 70 in the third round of the Chile Classic at Santiago, Chile. The 35-year-old Central Kitsap grad is 7-under for the tournament and tied for 25th heading into Sunday’s final round of the Web-com Tour stop. He’s six strokes off the lead. Tacoma’s Andrew Putman is tied for seventh after a 4-under 68. He’s at 206 for three rounds. Putman was second in the Web.com’s season opener at Puerto Rico. His bother, Michael Putnam, was the Web.com’s Player of the Year in 2013. Ex-Husky and Canadian Nick Taylor is tied for 50th after carding a 70 on Saturday.

Supercross champ Ryan Villopoto ended his five-race winless streak with a wire-to-wire win at Daytona. The Poulsbo rider with the RV2 moniker grabbed the lead at the start and won by over 12 seconds despite a fall. “So pumped to get the win tonight! This one felt good!” he tweeted.

 

Villopoto maintains Supercross points lead

Poulsbo’s Ryan Villopoto professes “to be struggling a little bit,” but he’s still on top of the AMA Supercross standings.

The Kawasaki rider was fourth in Saturday night’s race at Indianapolis, the ninth race of the 17-race series. Villopoto has won twice this season, but not in the last five weeks. He had 10 victories a year ago when he clinched his second third straight Supercross title in the 11th week of the series at Salt Lake City.

Prior to the Indianapolis race, Villopoto said there were reasons why he hasn’t been Villopotoesque in recent weeks:

“There’s a combination [of factors],” Villopoto said. “One of them is the field is maybe getting closer. And on my end, I’m just struggling a little bit, maybe not having the best weekends and trying to find that sweet spot, that good setting, if you can find it, if that’s ever out there. So it’s a combination of everything. Me struggling a little bit and also, like I said, a big part of it is the competition is so close this year.”

The Supercross series moves to Daytona, Fla., next week. The Seattle race at CenturyLink Field is April 12.

Villopoto is trying to become the fourth rider to win three four consecutive  Supercross titles. The others: Bob Hannah, Jeremy McGrath and Ricky Carmichael. That’s some pretty exclusive company.

The current overall 450SX point standings:

  1. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Kawasaki, 184
  2. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM, 161
  3. Ken Roczen, Murrieta, Calif., KTM, 158
  4. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki, 154
  5. Justin Brayton, Cornelius, N.C., 143
  6. Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Kawasaki, 111
  7. Justin Barcia, Pinetta, Fla., Honda, 109
  8. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM, 109
  9. Wil Hahn, Menifee, Calif., Honda, 93
  10. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki, 93

 

Good start, tough finish for Villopoto at million-dollar supercross race

The Monster Energy Cup in Las Vegas consists of three 10-lap main events. If you win all three, as Poulsbo’s Ryan Villopoto did in 2011, you win $1 million. It’s the biggest prize in supercross.

Villopoto, the reigning supercross and motocross champion, put himself in position to win another million on Saturday when a penalty to Ryan Dungey allowed him to win the first moto. But he crashed hard in the second race and didn’t compete in the third race. Villopoto walked away from the crash, but there was no official word yet if he suffered any serious injuries.

James Stewart won the last two races and claimed the top prize of $100,000.

Here’s the story.

And here’s a Q&A with Villopoto that was conducted before the race. He talks about the offseason surgery he had to repair a nagging injury.

And here’s a photo gallery of Villopoto, racing during the 2013 season.

The 2014 AMA Supercross season starts Jan. 4 at Anaheim. The 17-race series stops at CenturyLink Field in Seattle on April 12.

 

CK grad Williams lands job at Boise State & more stuff

Isaac Williams, a highly-successful men’s basketball coach at NAIA DII Eastern Oregon, has landed at Boise State as the director of basketball operations.

I somehow missed this story about the Central Kitsap graduate.

For more background on Williams, here’s a column I wrote in February.

Everybody you talk to has nothing but good things to say about Williams. I don’t think this will be his final stop in the coaching business.

Also

Looks like Willie Bloomquist, back on the disabled list after breaking bones in his hand, spent some time in the Port Orchard area during the All-Star break. Here’s a photo of Willie’s daughters on the Puget Sound waters. The Arizona Diamondback, an avid outdoorsman, also tweeted a picture of his daughter with a nice rainbow trout.

Poulsbo’s Ryan Villopoto will be racing in Washougal on Saturday. It’s one of the oldest tracks on the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross circuit and Villopoto, who has a healthy lead in the 450cc standings, has never won on what is considered his “home” track.

The Kitsap BlueJackets open a three-game home series vs. Kelowna, B.C., Friday night at 6:35 p.m. They play Saturday at 6:35 p.m. and Sunday at 1:35 p.m. Going to stop by Saturday and chat with first baseman Daniel Orr, the Kingston High and Everett CC product. Orr’s headed to Corban University in Salem, Ore., next year. Look for the story the following weekend. Here’s a look at the BlueJackets’ hitting stats. And here’s the BJs pitching numbers.

Also working on a story about LakeLand Village Golf Course in Allyn. It’s an interesting 27-hole facility, owned and operated by Steve Anderson.  His grandfather was the original owner of the property.

Drew Vettleson, a Central Kitsap grad playing for the Charlotte Stone Crabs of the Class A Florida State League, had hit in eight of his last nine games heading into Friday’s game. He’s hitting .274 and leads the team in hits (89) and is second in doubles (20) and RBIs (41). The most puzzling statistic about Drew this season is that the strong-armed outfielder has an uncharacteristic 13 errors.

 

Villopoto greatest pro athlete ever from Kitsap County?

Poulsbo’s Ryan Villopoto has won eight of 10 motos during the outdoor motocross season. This after winning his third straight Supercross championship.

RV2 is on the cusp of being considered one of the all-time great motocross riders of all time. A couple more championships, and he’ll be in the conversation with Roger Decoster, Bob Hannah, Ricky Carmichael and Jeremy McGrath as the greatest motocross/supercross rider of all time.

Dude might be the greatest professional athlete ever from Kitsap County. Yeah, greatest ever. Who compares?

BlueJackets get going this week; Big day for Baumgartner

The Kitsap BlueJackets jump into West Coast League baseball play this week. The Medford Rogues and Victoria HarbourCats join the college wood-bat league this summer, giving the WCL 11 teams. Yakima will make it 12 teams in 2014.

The Jackets open a three-game series at Longview against Cowlitz on Wednesday. Kitsap’s home opener is Saturday at 6:35 p.m. against Medford at Gene Lobe Fields at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds and Events Center.

I talked to outfielder Daniel Jewett and manager Ryan Parker over the weekend. Look for the story on Tuesday. Jewett’s a North Kitsap grad who spent a red-shirt season at NCAA Division I Nebraska-Omaha. He had to sit out this season after transferring from D2 Truman State in Missouri. Jewett figures to be a mainstay for the BlueJackets that Parker’s thinking about starting him in the opener because he’s familiar with the hard-throwing right-hander.

Parker, who doubles as Olympic College’s head coach, will be starting his second year as head man with the BlueJackets. He assisted Matt Acker four years previously.

Other locals who will be wearing the BlueJackets’ uniforms:

 

Daniel Orr, a Kingston grad who is coming off a very solid season for NWAACC champion Everett. Orr, a first baseman, hit .362 with 3 homers and a team-high 50 RBI for the Trojans. He was all-North Division and also made the all-tourney NWAACC team. Everett beat Pierce 4-1 in Friday’s title game.

Vince Sablan from South Kitsap, who just completed his first season at Olympic College. Sablan joined the Jackets for their final road trip a year ago and will play some shortstop and third base.

Pitchers Kyle McKay (Ferndale/Olympic College/Jamestown University), Ryan Taylor (Salt Lake City/Olympic College) and catcher Dustin Dhanani (Blaine/Olympic College) are also on the roster.

Go the BlueJackets site to see the rest of the roster and schedule.

Baumgartner delivers for Ducks

Oregon’s Tyler Baumgartner, who played for the BlueJackets last summer, was 5-for-10 with three RBI and five runs scored in two games Sunday as he helped the Ducks stay alive in NCAA regional play in Eugene. The Ducks play Rice Monday with the winner advancing to the NCAA Super Regional next weekend against North Carolina State.

Baumgartner, a Central Kitsap grad and transfer from Bellevue College,  combined to hit for the cycle in the two games with a home run, double and single against San Francisco in the early game and a triple and a double in the game against Rice. Baumgartner, who DH’d much of the season, played left field in both games.

Also

Five local baseball players were selected to play in the Washington All-State Series this coming weekend in Yakima: Michael Wood and Cody Wolfe from South Kitsap, AJ Milyard and Matt Fisher from North Kitsap and Matt Noll from Bremerton.erall

Poulsbo’s Ryan Villopoto won his fifth straight moto in the outdoor motocross season at Tennessee, but ended up fourth in the second moto after taking a spill early. He’s still got a healthy lead in the overall points chase. Check out the crash that ended his five-moto win streak.

Willie Bloomquist started at shortstop and went 3-for-4  against the Cubs on Saturday in his first game since being activated by the Diamondbacks. The Port Orchard native said the adrenalin was pumping a little more than usual.

The Bremerton City Amaterur golf tournament at Gold Mountain turned out to be quite a dog fight. Olympic College’s Kenyan Fanslow, who was three strokes back with two holes left, rolled in a 25-footer from off the green on No. 18 for a birdie to finish regulation tied with Chris Bae and Matt Hartley. Hartley won on the second hole of sudden-death playoff with a 3-foot birdie. Read my story here.