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Former Kitsap Sun sports editor Chuck Stark shares insight, laughter, news, views and analysis of Kitsap sports and beyond.
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2013 Kitsap Sports Hall of Fame class a diverse bunch

Saturday, October 5th, 2013

This is a story about the Kitsap Sports Hall of Fame’s 2013 Hall of Fame inductees. You’ll be reading more about these folks as the event draws closer. And in the interests of full disclosure, I am on the Kitsap Athletic Roundtable’s Hall of Fame selection committed. My opinions and suggestions have been sought in the past, but this is the first year I’ve actually had a vote in the process. If you would like to nominate someone for consideration, email me at chuckstark00@gmail.com and I’ll make sure that we discuss it at a future meeting.

In the meantime, here’s the Class of 2013 (which won’t be honored until 2014):

 The Kitsap Sports Hall of Fame’s latest class includes the winningest unlimited hydroplane driver in the history of the sport, the first athlete from Kitsap County to compete in the Olympics, an outdoorsman who is a noted mountain climber, author and artist, the voice of the Kitsap Stampede and a highly-successful men’s soccer team that paved the way for so many others to enjoy the sport in our area.

The Kitsap Athletic Roundtable’s induction banquet will take place on Jan. 25, 2014, at Kiana Lodge in Poulsbo. The event will start at 11 a.m. Ticket information will be released at a later date.

This will be the 26th Hall of Fame ceremony, but only the ninth year that it has been staged in its present form. Before the Kitsap Oldtimers had been inducting deserving baseball and softball players, coaches, sponsors and umpires. When the Oldtimers disbanded and merged with the KAR, the Hall of fame was expanded to include all sports.

This year’s class is among the most diverse in history.

The hydroplane driver is Dave Villwock, the South Kitsap grad who announced his retirement in May after a legendary career that included 67 victories, 10 of them Gold Cup wins.

Ed Eliason grew up in Poulsbo and became one of the nation’s top archers. He won seven national titles and placed fifth at the Munich Olympics in 1972.

Burley’s Dee Molenaar, 95, is the author of The Challenge of Rainier, considered the definite work on the climbing history of Mount Rainier, where he worked as a park ranger and mountain guide. He climbed Rainier over 50 times and was involved in several other mountaineering expeditions. He was inducted into the American Alpine Club’s Hall of Mountaineering Excellence in 2012.

Randy Corley, who moved to Silverdale from North Platte, Neb., 12 years ago, has been voted the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s Announcer of the year 11 times and he has been a fixture at the Kitsap Stampede for over 30 years.

The Bremerton Chuggers — a men’s soccer team — formed in 1974 and played at a very high level until 2000. They made a major impact on the local soccer scene, and Lance McCoy, one of the founding players and primary coach over those years, said the Chuggers are thrilled to be going into Kitsap’s Hall of Fame.

“We’re the first soccer group to ever go in,” McCoy said. “It’s a sport we all cherish and love, and you can’t know what an honor it is to be inducted into this group of incredible athletes. For us, it’s kind of a culmination of 27 years of work.

“… There wasn’t a lot of soccer in this area when we started and to see where it is now, it’s rewarding. So many of our players have given back and are now in the coaching ranks.”

In addition to the Chuggers, two other teams will be inducted: the 1951 Bremerton High football team, which was unbeaten and ranked No. 1 in the state before losing 14-13 to Ballard in the annual Thanksgiving Day game in Seattle and the 1984 Suquamish slowpitch team that won a national championship.

Other athletes and coaches voted in include:

Mark Rill: Former South Kitsap star played on Ed Fisher’s first state playoff team in 1980 and helped the Wolves reach the semifinals in his senior year in 1981. He went on to have a standout career at Pacific Lutheran as an offensive tackle (brother David, already in the Kitsap HOF, was a linebacker at Washington).

Gary Rouse: The Bremerton drag racer made a name for himself in the National Hod Rod Association as one of the top competitors in super stock class, competing in four decades. He was a seven-time world record holder and two-time NHRA Division 6 champion who won the 1987 California Nationals.

Allison Eoff: One of the top competitive female bowlers in Kitsap County history, she’s also been a good ambassador for the sport and handled various administrative roles over the years.

Kerry Keefe: The former Bainbridge basketball star — she averaged 18.6 points her senior year and is the career leader in rebounds for the Spartans — started two  years at Georgetown University.

Chris Thorsen: The Central Kitsap grad was one of the best athletes to come out of the area in the mid-1960s, starring in football, basketball and track and field, where he ran a sub-two-minute half-mile.Thorsen earned All-Evergreen Conference honors as a  wide receiver at Central Washington, where he was also recruited to play basketball. He was also part of Olympic High’s football coaching staff that helped the Trojans to a 35-1 record and four league titles from 1983-86.

Ernie Hahn: Longtime junior high coach — baseball, football and wrestling — in Port Orchard impacted a lot of lives during his career. He also worked as an assistant football coach at South Kitsap when Ed Fisher was the head man.

Mike Welch: Bainbridge girls’ basketball coach was guy who started the winning tradition for the Spartans. In his first three seasons, Bainbridge placed second, sixth and third at the state tournament.

John Ross: Smart, quick and aggressive, “Rocket” Ross was the leading rusher at West Bremerton High, Olympic College, where he earned honorable mention All-American honors, and at Central Washington, where he rushed for 1,119 yards in two seasons.

Jerome Walker: A state sprint champion in the 100 and 200, the 1978 Bremerton High grad went on to a successful career at one of the elite track and field programs in the country — the University of Oregon. His all-area record in the 200 (21.6 second hand-timed which converts to 21.9) lasted for 35 years.

Bonnie Burmaster: The respected former Olympic Aquatic Club coached worked with youth swimmers in the area for 27 years before retiring in 2009. Among her students: Olympians Tara and Dana Kirk, and Nathan Adrian.

Frankie Lee: One of the top roller hockey players and coaches in U.S. history, Lee was on the U.S. National team from 1984-99, and still coaches the USA Ladies National team that usually includes a handful of players from his Bremerton Hurricanes team.

The Rex Brown Distinguished Service Award will be awarded to the Carlson family, which has owned and operated Minder Meats for 70 years and been huge contributors to the community. The KAR, Special Olympics and Kitsap Stampede are among the organizations they’ve supported for years. Jim Carlson Sr. was among the founding members of the roundtable and is past president. He was an all-state lineman and was a sophomore on the ’51 Bremerton High football team. He played basketball for legendary Hall of Fame coaches Ken Wills (Bremerton) and Phil Pesco (Olympic College). His wife, Maryln (Minder) Carlson was among the first females to join the KAR and remains one of the biggest sports boosters around. Siblings are Jim Carlson, Jr., a past president of the roundtable, Kris (Carlson) Tweten and Steve Carlson.

The Dick Todd Award goes to a sports official and this year’s honoree is Jim Lamont, who got into officiating basketball because of Todd.

 

 


East High’s magical 1965 football season

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

Terry Mosher wrote a story in the sportspaper.org about the 1965 East High football team, the first one in school history to beat rival West High.

The Knights, coached by Dave Enslow, ended the season ranked No. 4 in the state.

If you’re a Bremerton guy, it’s an interesting look back at one of those teams that nobody ever talks about.


‘Cool’ Seahawks getting some national love; Willie B rips Dodgers

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Coolest teams in the NFL? The Seahawks, according to this Grantland.com story by Robert Mays, who took in the Hawks-Niners game on Sunday.

Mays writes:

Ever since the Patriots won their first Super Bowl in 2001, even the NFL’s best have never been particularly cool. When New England rejected the individual pregame introductions before that win, it rejected a decade of personality-driven identity in the NFL. The league’s premier franchises were led by a pair of quarterback robots and a couple of coaches who seemed locked in a competition for who could be most benign. In football, every champion was the San Antonio Spurs.

Consciously or not, the Seahawks have spent much of the past three seasons deviating from that model. Everything about the team — from their coach, to their quarterback, to where they play, to what they wear — somehow seems different. In a league where teams often seem interchangeable, the Seahawks have made people take notice. And in doing so, they’ve become the coolest team in the NFL.

 

Art Thiel of Sportspressnw.com writes that Seattle’s fans are doing their part to see that their town won’t be considered the most miserable sports city in America, as ranked by Forbes Magazine earlier in the year. His column was sparked by a letter to the editor from San Francisco fans who think the NFL should do something about the Seahawks’ home-field advantage. Thiel ended his column with these thoughts:

“Nothing has been won, of course, except a Guinness decibel award and some hearts. But it cannot be said that lack of support is any factor in a subsequent failure to reward constituencies with some long-overdue hardware. No wonder Chris Hansen is willing to roll with a billion dollars — and break a few laws — to make the NBA and NHL happen here.

“Good luck, San Franciscans, with the campaign for golf-gallery applause at football games. Keep us informed by letter, email and text, but please don’t call. We can’t hear you.”

Port Orchard’s Willie Bloomquist didn’t like the way the Dodgers celebrated after clinching the NL West title with a victory over the Diamondbacks at Chase Field in Phoenix. The Dodgers took over the Diamondbacks swimming pool that sits outside of the right-centerfield fence.

“… There’s not much we can do about it now,” Bloomquist said. “They’ve clinched the division this year, but if that’s how they’re going to act and be classless, that’s their gig, that’s their clubhouse. I just think it’s disrespectful and classless.”

Bloomquist, by the way, is hitting .336 in 40 games for the Diamondbacks.

Seattle reliever Charlie Furbush got the loss in relief and Detroit starter Doug Fister, who was traded to the Tigers for Furbush and a three other players (outfielder Casper Wells, closer Doug Ruffin and third baseman Francisco Martinez) who never panned out, got his 13th win of the season. Boy, that was a lousy trade. Fister was 8-1 for the Tigers with a 1.79 ERA in 2011, was 10-10 with a 3.45 ERA while battling some injuries and is 13-9 with a 3.71 ERA. The M’s also gave up reliever David Pauley in that trade. Pauley didn’t work for Detroit. Wells, Ruffin and Martinez (the M’s traded him back to Detroit) never worked out for the Mariners.

Furbush struggled as a starter, but has been pretty good out of the bullpen the last two years. He appeared in 48 games with a 2.72 ERA a year ago, and he’s worked in 67 games this year and has a 3.48 ERA. The trade never made sense when it was made because Fister, despite a 3-13 record at the time, was clearly a quality starter and he didn’t command a lot of money (he’s making $4 million this year after being eligible for salary arbitration). He won’t be eligible for free agency until 2015. It made sense to hang on to Fister at least two more years, or until prospects like Taijuan Walker and James Paxton were ready to make the leap to the majors.

 


Semancik golf tournament: Chucks and a whole lot of fun

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

The weather is supposed to be glorious.

And it’s not too late to enter the 11th annual Semancik Bremerton Alumni Golf Tournament, which will be held Saturday, Sept. 14 at Rolling Hills Golf Course.

It’s a fun day. You can buy mulligans AND Chucks (it’s like a mulligan, but you throw the golf ball and there’s a lot of strategy involved while considering the best time to use your Chuck). There’s class competitions between West, East and Bremerton grads. But it’s not limited to Bremerton grads by any means.

It’s a good cause. No, it’s a great cause. Proceeds go to the Semancik Foundation, which was founded in memory of the late Hall of Fame football coach Chuck Semancik. The foundation has awarded 51 scholarships worth more than $70,000 since 2000.

Check-in is 7 a.m. with the four-man scramble to start at 8 a.m. with a shotgun start.

Cost is $300 per team, $75 per person. It includes a cart and lunch at the Fifth Quarter awards banquet, where items will be raffled off.

You’ll be off the course in plenty of time to watch the Cougars vs. Southern Utah (3 p.m., Pac-12 Network) or Huskies vs. Illinois (3 p.m., Big Ten Network/check you cable, dish listings or contact your favorite sports bar to see if they will have the game on).

Chuck Semancik, by the way, was a Cougar, but he was also a big Husky fan. During my senior year, I remember traveling to UW games with Chuck on Saturday mornings. We’d ride in his Buick Wildcat (it was the blue-and-gold West High Wildcats and black-and-white East High Knights before the schools merged to become the blue-and-gold Bremerton Knights). I remember the UW assistant coaches greeting Semancik and you could tell how much respect they had for the burly man from across the water. Semancik, naturally, never hesitated to give them his opinions on what the Huskies should or should not be doing.

Chuck taught me the “bowling ball” pass during his P.E. class. You’d take the basketball and roll it full-c0urt to someone at the other end. I never had the pleasure of seeing Chuck out on the golf course, but I’ve been told he used to hit that little while ball around once in a while. That, my friends, would have been a treat.

For more information on the golf tournament, go to Semancik.org or email semancikfoundation@gmail.com


MLB shouldn’t be surprised Dominicans are using ‘roids

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Almost all the suspended Major League Baseball players connected to the Biogenesis Clinic are from the Dominican Republic. Coincidence?

Not at all, according to Dave Zirin, a blogger for the magazine The Nation.

Zirin writes (and you can read the full post here):

“Any serious discussion about performance-enhancing drugs and baseball needs to deal with the fact of who is getting caught. Major League owners choose to invest billions of dollars in Latin America to develop talent on the cheap in the school’s baseball academies. In the Dominican Republic, where 40 percent of the country lives below the poverty line, steroids are actually legal and available over the counter.”

Zirin also writes, and I tend to agree with him, that the Major League Baseball Players Union needs to stand behind their man. It might not be the popular thing to do, but it’s the thing to do:

“A-Rod’s lack of support however is exactly what makes him such low-hanging fruit for Bud Selig. And that’s precisely why the Major League Baseball Players Association needs to be fighting his suspension tooth and nail. Unions are not supposed to be fan clubs. They are not organizations of the righteous, the pure or the politically pitch-perfect. If they are to be worth a damn, in baseball or anywhere, they need to be the broadest of broad churches: institutions that will defend their most loathsome members because they understand that “an injury to one is an injury to all” is more than a slogan on a T-shirt. If a player can no longer take the field when appealing a suspension, that also disempowers the entire point of an appeal’s process; and if Bud Selig can get away with invoking the “best interests of the game” clause on A-Rod, then a precedent has been set and no one is safe.”

 

 

 


Happy 4th, happy crabbing

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

Baseball, hot dogs and crab.

Judging by the number of crabbers I’ve seen on Port Orchard Bay today — between Illahee and Bainbridge Island — I’m thinking that’s Kitsap’s theme for July 4 this year.

Crab season in Puget Sound waters opened July 1,took a couple days off, and opened again today (the 4th). Crabbers will be out from Thursday to Monday until the season closes in September.

Check the Washington State Fish & Wildlife site for regs and other information.

Hope  you have a safe and happy fourth

And as someone once said, the best way to be safe on the fourth is to not buy a fifth on the third.

If you’re really hard up for entertainment, you can check out my column, which published in the print and online editions today.


What’s the best golf deal around?

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

I’ve got a buddy who’s been playing LakeLand Village in Allyn for $15. Says he goes to an online site and makes his reservations that way.

What are the other best golf deals out there? I’ll share some of the best deals in this post and in the print editions of The Sun.

Did you know you can play the Olympic Course for $25 Monday-Thursday after 3 p.m.? You can play the Cedars at Dungeness for $20 during super twilight hours Monday-Thursday.

There’s a lot of good twilight rates and special rates out there. Wanna share your favorites?

Just comment here or email me at chuckstark00@gmail.com.

Thanks.

 


Monday links

Monday, July 1st, 2013

A few morning links on a hot Monday:

The legend of Herschel Walker, the greatest college football player of all time. You don’t have to agree, but Joe Posnanski makes a pretty good argument in this entertaining blog post that he recently re-posted following the death of Walker’s dad.

Serena stunned at Wimbledon. What’s it mean? FOX sports columnist Gregg Couch ponders what happened to the American player, who was dispatched in the fourth round by Sabine Lisicki.

FOX columnist, Jason Whitlock, has an interesting take on Aaron Hernandez, the New England Patriots’ tight end who has been charged with murder. It’s not so much about Hernandez, but about how an athlete can be influenced by today’s society. Whitlock writes:” He is, in my eyes, a symbol that popular culture has installed Tony Soprano as America’s most celebrated and revered icon above Joe Montana.” Whitlock says Hernandez is a reflection of where we are in our society. I don’t often agree with Whitlock, but I think he nails this one. “Bad is good in today’s society,” he writes.og

Oregon got off relatively easy with the NCAA regarding infractions using a recruiting service. Check out this ESPN.com Pac-12 Blog to get up-to-date on what it all means.

Inbee Park just won the U.S. Women’s Open, her third straight major title on the LPGA Tour. Why isn’t she getting more media attention? Here’s some opinions from the Sports Illustrated golf group.

That’s all for today. Keep cool.

 


Who are the Seattle Turks?

Saturday, June 29th, 2013

The Mariners are wearing Seattle Turks throwback uniforms today against the Chicago Cubs, and thanks to Sportspressnw.com, here’s a little background on the 1909 Turks.


New Jersey bans trash-talking for prep athletes

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

Starting with the 2013 season, the governing body of high school athletics in New Jersey won’t tolerate trash-talking.

It’s a good thing the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Area didn’t have this rule when Gary Payton was a prep athlete.

Wonder if the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association would ever go this route? I’ve not witnessed a lot of smack-talk in high school sports, but you know it exists.

The problem is enforcing the rule. What one official might consider trash-talking might not be trash-talking at all. New Jersey’s putting a lot of pressure on its referees to make the right call.

What do you think?

 


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