Category Archives: Uncategorized

Haas going into Salukis Hall of Fame this weekend

Former Olympic High standout Lauren (Haas) Peters, daughter of Patti and Dan Haas, is being inducted into the Southern Illinois Hall of Fame this weekend.

Haas played softball for the Salukis from 2005-08 and left the Missouri Valley Conference school as one of the top hitters in school history. Haas was the MVP of the conference her senior year after hitting .388 wit 39 RBI. She hit .320 for her career with 24 home runs (fourth all-time at SIU).

Haas was discovered by coaches while recruiting at the annual Colorado Fireworks tournament.

Her former head coach, Kerri Blaylock, said this about the 2008 Olympic High grad:  “You look back in the record books, and she kind of did it quietly. You look back now and you go ‘Wow, she’s in all these categories,’ but I don’t think this was this flashy player. She just did it very quietly. I knew she had a Hall of Fame career, and I’m really pleased that she’s able to make it in. She was one of the grittiest, toughest kids that I ever coached.”

Haas works for the Navy in foreign military sales. She and her husband, Ryan Peters, have a 2-year-old son, Camden, and are expecting their second child in May.

Hass started out as a shortstop and ended up playing first base her senior year.

Her father, Dan, is in his fourth season as the head softball coach at Olympic College.

 

 

Too much hype about signing day

I get the fact that national letter of intent day is a big deal, but well, why is it such a big deal?

I remember attending a Scripps Howard (the newspaper group that owned the Kitsap Sun in the early 1990s) sports editor meeting one year and talk shifted to national letter of intent day and  how it should be covered etc. I voiced my opinion, wondering if giving 17- and 18-year-olds so much attention was a good idea. The whole recruiting process seemed a bit slimey at the time.

My opinion didn’t go over well. Most of the other sports editors, many of them from newspapers that covered SEC football, looked at me like I had three eyeballs.

Now, it’s become a big business. Fans get all giddy when their favorite universities sign a 4-star running back they’ve never seen play. I don’t fault the kid who are given scholarships, but I don’t see a need to call a press conferences and pull hats out of the air like a magician before announcing their picks. That’s a little overboard don’t you think?

But I guess it is the world we live in. As Georgia Tech athletic director Mike Bobinski accurately summarized, “We are a society of gross overstatement and exaggeration,” and that’s no more evident than in recruiting.

I love it how all of the “experts” rank the recruiting classes. It’s like preseason polls. They don’t mean a thing. It takes two, maybe three years to figure out how good your recruiting class really is.

That said, I did a little (and I mean a little) research about this year’s national letter of intent day as it pertains to the Pac-12.

I discovered that Washington out-recruited Washington State big-time in our state. The Huskie signed eight state players; WSU got just one (safety Deion Singleton from Chiawana High in Pasco).

Washington also signed one player from Oregon, which is more than Oregon signed.

The Ducks did sign three kids from our state: OT Shane Lemieux (West Valley-Yakima), OT Calvin Throckmorton (Bellevue) and OLB Foto Leiato (Steilacoom).

WSU also signed five junior college players, same as Arizona. Nobody in the Pac-12 signed more JCs. Washington signed one. The only Pac-10 school that didn’t sign a JC player was Stanford.

USC and UCLA graded out tops in the recruiting game. Washington ranked No. 6 in the Pac-12 by ESPN (No. 28 nationally). WSU was No. 9/No. 57.

Rivals.com had USC No. 1 nationally. UCLA was No. 13, Oregon No. 17, Stanford No. 18, Arizona State No. 20, California No. 29, Washington No. 30, Arizona and Utah tied at No. 41, WSU No. 56,  Oregon State and Colorado tied at No. 70.

One more thing: Snoop Dogg’s been a longtime USC fan, but his son, Cordell Broadus, signed  with UCLA.

And here’s a fun recruiting story from athlon.com: The 2015 Recruiting All-Name Team. 

You’ll have to go elsewhere for the in-depth analysis. And, a day after signing day 2015, you can find several stories about the what colleges need for 2016.

C’mon, man.

 

 

Charlie Pierce writes about the Deflatriots

Charlie Pierce might be my favorite writer.

He writes about politics and other issues for Esquire.com.

He also writes for Grantland.com, a popular sports and pop-culture blog.

I’m as tired as the next guy about this story about deflating footballs, but this story by Pierce is worth reading.

Here’s the ending:

And, as the sun went down on a long day’s journey into nonsense, I’m sorry, but if you can’t see the humor in this preposterous burlesque, then you’re having nowhere near enough fun in showbiz.

Some Super Bowl storylines

Coming to you live from Arizona (no, I’m not staying for the Super Bowl), where the locals seem pretty pumped up about XLIX.

This is Cardinals country, and a lot of Arizona football fans don’t like the Seattle Seahawks, but judging by the comments I heard on Monday and the tone of the reports I’m hearing on the local television stations, there seems to be a lot of respect for the Hawks.

That said here are a few storylines you’ll be reading and hearing about in the days leading up to the Feb. 1 game against New England at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale:

Tom Brady vs. Russell Wilson: The Patriots quarterback will play in a record sixth Super Bowl and will be going for his fourth ring. That’s Joe Montana (and Terry Bradshaw) territory. Wilson, meanwhile, is back for this second straight Super Bowl and has a shot to do something no quarterback has ever done: Win two Super Bowls in his first three seasons. It’s the classic drop back passer (Brady) against the elusive play-maker (Wilson) who can beat you with his arm and his legs. A story in USA Today bills it as old-school vs. new-age QBs.

Richard Sherman vs. Tom Brady: Sherman will get more than his share of news, and not all of it will revolve around the elbow injury he played with over the final minutes of Seattle’s OT win against Green Bay. Remember the “You Mad Bro” moment following Seattle’s regular-season upset victory over the Patriots in October of 2012 at CenturyLink? It was, more or less, Sherman’s coming out party as a big-time trash-talker who has shown that he can back up all of that talk.

Former Legion of Boom member Brandon Browner vs. his old team: Browner’s now a cornerback with the Patriot. He was a big part of the LOB, but had to sit out the big game a year ago because of violating the NFL’s substance abuse violation. After Sunday’s games, Browner said he felt all along that a New England-Seattle matchup in Arizona was inevitable. 

Pete Carroll vs. Bill Belichick: Carroll was fired by Patriots owner Robert Kraft in 1999 after an 8-8 record in his third season.  Kraft then hired Bill Belichick and we all know how that worked out: six Super Bowls in 14 seasons. Carroll went on to turn USC into a powerhouse and now has the Seahawks knocking on dynasty’s door. Carroll’s youthful appearance and emotional coaching style seems the opposite of the dour-looking Patriots’ boss. There’s a mutual respect between the two. “I like Pete. I like him a lot,” Belichick told ESPN.com.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski vs. Seattle safety Kam Chancellor: Everybody’s waiting for The Collision in the Desert between those two hombres. If it happens, you might feel it back in Seattle.

Finally, Marshawn Lynch vs. the media: Will he talk? You remember Lynch’s memorable Super Bowl Media Day interview with Deion Sanders a year ago in New Jersey? “I’m just about that actin boss?” Can he top that one? Here’ s what I wrote a year ago after listening to that exchange:

Marshawn Lynch lasted 6 minutes, 20 seconds at Super Bowl Media Day before escaping the big stage.

Deion “Prime Time” Sanders of NFL Network hunted Beast Mode down, and the interview with the Seattle Seahawks star was priceless. Here’s a portion of it.

“You look good,” Sanders told Lynch, who was wearing sunglasses and had the hood of his Seahawks’ jacket pulled up.

“(Bleep), so do you,” said Lynch, fingering Prime Time’s suit coat.

Sanders told Lynch it looked like he was ready to play.

Lynch: “Yep, that’s what time it is.”

Sanders then asked if Lynch was a little shy.

Lynch: “I’m just about that action boss. … I ain’t never seen no talk win ya nothing. Been like that since I was a little kid. I was raised like that.”

Asked if he was excited about the game, Lynch, wearing sunglasses, said, “Hell, yeah. … yeaaahh!”

Sanders then said some think the Seahawks will be in trouble if Lynch doesn’t get untracked.

Lynch: “They gonna have to stop all of us. I’m a beast, but we got some dogs.”

Sanders: You don’t like podiums do you? What is your thing?

Lynch: “Lay back, kick back, mind my business, stay in my own lane.”

Sanders: He told Lynch that NFL Network and former star back Marshall Faust loved him.

Lynch: “That’s huge. He’s a great.”

Sanders: “We all love you.”

Lynch then went third-person on us.

“That’s big time. Beast Mode love and appreciate that.”

 

 

Another No. 1 seed at stake for Seahawks & links

Will the road to the Super Bowl go through Seattle?

I think it will, and we’ll find out later today when the Seahawks play the Rams at CenturyLink. It’s hard to see Seattle having a letdown in this one. There’s too much at stake and they’re coming into the game on a roll, winning their last five games while giving up just 6.6 points a game.

If Seattle wins and the Green Bay-Detroit game doesn’t end in a tie, the defending Super Bowl champs will earn a bye and the home-field advantage. The home-field advantage definitely means more when you’re talking about Seattle or Green Bay. The crowd at CenturyLink makes a difference, and the Packers are a different team at Lambeau Field. Aaron Rodgers hasn’t thrown an interception at home this season.

Here’s a look at the NFL’s playoff scenarios heading into Week 17.

Some links and some thoughts

* Here’s a pretty convincing argument for why former Mariner DH Edgar Martinez should be in the Hall of Fame. 

* ICYMI, Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune addressed a lot of questions concerning the Mariners in this story.

* Former Kentridge  High and Edmonds CC star Shaquielle McKissic has had a tougher journey than most college basketball played. McKissic’s now a senior at Arizona State.

* Olympic High has won six straight and looks like the Trojans are the team to beat in the Olympic League in boys basketball. Next game: Jan. 6 at Bremerton.

* New England’s the obvious favorite to win the AFC, but I wouldn’t sleep on the Pittsburgh Steelers, which has looked pretty good in winning their last three games. Ben Roethlisberger is getting protection, Le’Veon Bell is the best multi-purpose back in the league and the defense is starting to come together. The Steelers win the AFC North and a bye with a win over Cincinnati today. If the Steelers go into the playoffs with a four-game winning streak and a bye, watch out.

Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports is among those who’s convinced Kentucky will be 34-0 when the NCAA Tournament begins in March. The No. 1 Wildcats dispatched No. 4 Louisville 58-50 in a battle of unbeatens on Saturday, and Forde said it should be smooth sailing for Kentucky in the SEC.

Forde writes: Too long. Too versatile. Too deep. Too relentless. Too athletic.

Louisville coach Rick Pintino says: “I know one thing. They’re one of the great defensive teams I’ve seen in my 40 years. They can switch and not cause a mismatch, they can move their feet, they can block the shot.”

 

 

 

Hammel thrilled to be back in the Windy City; Dunn, Haas, Locker & more

In case you missed Jason Hammel’s press conference on Friday, the 2000 South Kitsap graduate is excited to be back with the Chicago Cubs.

The right-hander, who signed a two-year, $20 million deal, called his three months with the Cubs the best three months of his career.

Hammel will be reunited with Joe Maddon, his manager at Tampa, and Chris Bosio, the former Mariner who is the Cubs’ pitching coach.

Hammel was 4-1 with a 2.35 ERA at Wrigley Field last season before being traded to Oakland. Jon Lester, who was with Hammel in Oakland, will be a teammate in Chicago as well. Jake Arrieta had 10 wins and a 2.53 ERA.

“I can’t predict the future, but it’s going to be a very dominant rotation,” Hammel, 32, said. “And you win championships with pitching. Obviously, the offense helps. But all the teams that go (to the postseason), they all have dominant, consistent pitching.”

Also

* Congratulations are in order for Lauren Haas, Olympic High grad who will be inducted into the Southern Illinois Hall of Fame in 2015. Haas, an infielder, was a four-year standout in fastpitch for the Salukis, and  the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year in 2008.

* Speaking of Hall of Fames, the 2015 Kitsap Sports Hall of Fame banquet will be held Jan. 24 at Kiana Lodge. Check out this link for a list of inductees. Tickets are $30 in advance; $35 at the door.

* North Kitsap grad Kasey Dunn joined the Oklahoma State coaching staff as receivers coach in February of 2011. Dunn and the Cowboys preparation for the Washington Huskies this week. OSU (6-6) and the UW (8-5) will play Jan. 2 in the Cactus Bowl in Tempe, Ariz. I talked to Dunn over the weekend. The well-traveled Dunn — he’s coached at nine colleges and had a two-year stint as running backs coach with the Seahawks — has been at OSU for four years, his second-longest tour of duty since getting into the business. He was at  Washington State for five years. The Huskies contacted him about a possible position when Rick Neuheisel took over from Keith Gilbertston, but the timing wasn’t right. Dunn  was happy at WSU, where Mike Price was the head coach.

* I always thought Jake Locker would have been an All-Pro safety if he’d played on the defensive side of the ball. He turned out to be a really good quarterback, but we’ll never know how good because of all the injuries he’s suffered. Locker dislocated his shoulder for the third time on Sunday, and his career with the Tennessee Titans is probably over.

* Jason Flora, senior form Bremerton, averages 13.0 points and 5.4 rebounds for the Seattle Redhawks (4-5), who play Northwest College on campus at Connolly Center Monday night. SU’s other home games are played at KeyArena.

* I won’t be surprised if Eastern Washington (8-2) wins the Big Sky Conference this year. I’m talking basketball, not football. The Eagles let one get away at No. 17 Washington on Sunday. They led the Huskies by 10 with 11:22 left but couldn’t hold on, losing 81-77. EWU’s not real deep, but they’ve got enough weapons to give anyone a tough time. Sophomore guard Travis Harvey (20.5 ppg) and Australian junior forward Jenky Vois (20.3 ppg) are for real. Harvey led the Big Sky in scoring a year ago. EWU beat Indiana in Bloomington earlier in the season. If the Eagles beat No. 19 California (9-1) in Berkeley on Dec. 19, they just might crack the top-25 polls.

* I still can’t get Robert Turbin’s 8-yard run out of my head. You know the one. It was 2nd-and-9 from the 12 and Turbo turned Beast Mode, running over the 49ers’ Antoine Bethea. Marshawn Lynch scored the go-ahead touchdown on the next play from the 4, and the Seahawks were in control.

 

 

Bill Simmons: Seahawks’ 12th Man MIA; Cardinals now have best home crowd

Bill Simmons of grantland.com isn’t sold on quarterback Russell Wilson, and he pretty much dissed the Seattle Seahawks crowd in this column. He might be right. What do you think?

Here’s his take on the 12th Man:

That’s right, Seattle. You know I love your city and you know I hate how OKC stole the Sonics from you. But save for opening night, your crowds have sucked this season. Peyton Manning went 80 yards in like three seconds to force OT on you. You lost to Dallas at home. You couldn’t blow out the lowly Raiders last week, for God’s sake. Are you suffering from Pink Hat Syndrome (a.k.a. too many bandwagon fans)? Are you taking this stuff for granted now? What’s up? You’re like the husband who marries his dream girl and immediately stops working out and puts on 25 pounds. Get back on the treadmill. “The 12th Man” used to mean something.

Oh, and by the way, Arizona took your “Best Crowd in the League” corner. The Cardinals fans just swooped right in and stole it from you. You’re Avon, they’re Marlo. That’s a fact. Do you care? Do you care at all? NOW GO OUT THERE ON SUNDAY AND BE THE CROWD I KNOW YOU CAN BE!

The column started with his take on quarterbacks who have won a Super Bowl in this century. This is what he had to say about Wilson:

It’s too early to have an opinion on Russell Wilson’s Super Bowl, but the “Luck or Wilson?” debate finished filming in October. (Spoiler alert: Luck won.) Is Wilson an infinitely more athletic Brad Johnson? Is his 2014 performance suffering because his offensive line collapsed and he doesn’t have enough weapons (and not because we overrated him)? Or, could you say he’s where Brady was in 2002 — one year away from jumping a level, and three years away from jumping two levels, and five years away from finishing the video game? To be continued.

Collegians: Flora back for senior year at Seattle U

BASKETBALL

Jarell Flora (sr., Bremerton) figures to play a key role for Seattle University, which was picked to finish third by the media in the Western Athletic Conference preseason poll. WAC coaches tabbed the Redhawks to finish second. Flora, a 6-3 guard, averaged 9.5 points and 3.2 assists a year ago, starting 25 of the 30 games he played in. The former Olympic League MVP and his teammates open the season Friday, Nov. 14, against Texas State at KeyArena. SU plays cross-town rival Washington on Nov. 21 at KeyArena.

Jalen Carpenter (jr., Bremerton) is a returning starter for Weber State. The 6-1 Carpenter averaged 8.7 points and 5.7 rebounds for the Big Sky Conference school a year ago and has started 43 games in two seasons.

Krista Stabler (jr., Central Kitsap), a 5-6 guard, will be a team captain for the Saints this season. She averaged 3.2 points a year ago with a high of 16.

Brittany Gray (sr., Bainbridge/Skagit Valley) and Sadee Jones (sr., North Mason) are returning starters at Evergreen State. Gray, a 5-9 forward, earned Cascade Collegiate Conference honorable mention all-league honors a year ago after averaging 13.5 points and 8.7 rebounds. Jones, a 5-8 forward, averaged 10.5 points and 6.5 rebounds for the Geoducks (14-12 in 2013-14).

Caulin Bakalarski (fr., South Kitsap) is a guard at Eastern Oregon. Bakalarski, a 6-3 wing, was an all-Narrows League pick a year ago.

Sophia Baetz (sr., Kingston/Skagit Valley) is a backup guard at Montana Tech in Butte, Montana. Baetz averaged 7.5 points as M-Tech won its first two games.

Kelsey Callaghan (sr., South Kitsap), a 5-3 guard, and 6-1 Breyenne Mosey (sr., King’s West) are back for their finals seasons at Western Montana in Dillon, Montana. Western Montana’s off to a 3-1 start. Callaghan and Mosey are both coming off the bench.

FOOTBALL

Kyle Lanoue (redshirt, so., Central Kitsap) is having a solid season for Eastern Oregon. The defensive tackle had tackles, two for a loss, and a sack in the Mountaineers 31-20 win over Montana Tech last week. Lanoue has 49 tackles, nine for losses, and is tied for the team lead with three sacks. Eastern Oregon (6-4, 5-3 Frontier) is No. 21 in the NAIA Coaches’ Poll and and hosts the College of Idaho on Nov. 8, and closes the regular season at Southern Oregon on Nov. 15. … Matt Stone (R-fr., Bainbridge) is a backup running back for the Mountaineers.

 BASEBALL

Jamestown University assistant coach Boya Quichocho, a South Kitsap grad, has established a pipeline of sorts to the NAIA school in Jamestown, North Dakota.

Quichocho, a standout infielder, played at Olympic College for two years and two more at Jamestown, where he earned honorable mention All-American honors and led the Jimmies in stolen bases both seasons.

Quichocho is in his ninth year as an assistant coach. Two former Olympic College pitchers — Chris Hackworth from Utay and Ferndale’s Kyle McKay — are also on the coaching staff.

Other current Wes Sounders on the 2015 roster: Adam Lemmon, freshman pitcher from North Kitsap; Tyler Ludlow, freshman first baseman from South Kitsap; Michael Nelson, junior first baseman/catcher from South Kitsap; Beau Rabideaux, freshman pitcher/infielder from Kingston; and Nick Torres, freshman pitcher/infielder from Bremerton.

SOFTBALL

Pitcher/outfielder Emma Keller (fr., North Kitsap) and infielder Kalea Chapman (jr., Douglas HS, Juneau, Alaska/Olympic College) are both playing at Jamestown University.

Kelsey Lucostic (jr., Big Sky HS, Missoula, Mont./Olympic College) is an infielder at the University of Montana, a first-year D1 program.

Greta Coleman (jr., Kingston/Shoreline College/Olympic College) is a utility player at Bloomfield College (New Jersey), an NCAA D2 school.

 

Linkage: Shaq, Maddon, Schilling, Couples, A-Rod & Bumgarner

Looking for some good stuff to read. Here’s a few links I’m passing along:

Washington Husky coach Chris Petersen says he’s never coached a player as good as Shaq Thompson. But this story at sportspressnw.com poses a legit question: Is Shaq a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate?

From afar, it’s real easy to like Joe Maddon, the new manager of the Chicago Cubs. This story by Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports gives you a little insight into the guy.

Never did get into dipping and chewing, but Curt Schilling did. Jackie MacMullan of ESPN.com writes the definitive story about Schilling’s addiction to the stuff and his battle with cancer.

Easy-going Fred Couples is the players choice to be the next Ryder Cup captain for the United States.

Alex Rodriguez reportedly paid off his cousin, to the tune of $900,000, to keep quiet about PEDs, according to this report in the New York Daily News.

Michael Powell of the New York Times spent some time in Madison Bumgarner’s hometown and his proud father’s home during the World Series.