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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We’re gonna miss ya, Westy

April 6th, 2014 by cstark

NOTE: I wrote this column for The Sun’s Monday, April 7 editions. Information for Pat Westhoff’s funeral and service will be announced later this week. Look for Pat’s obit in The Sun. Wanna know what others are saying on this sad day? Go to Facebook and search Patrick Westhoff. Here’s a story Eric D. Williams wrote when Westy retired from the city in 2002.

PAT WESTHOFF WAS ONE OF A KIND

I’ve been staring at the birthday card I bought for Pat Westhoff a few months ago.

I never got a chance to give it to him. Pat would have turned 68 on Friday, but he died early Sunday morning after a brave fight against cancer. He was surrounded by his family at the home he grew up in on the corner of Fifth and Veneta, across the street from Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Bremerton.

I’d share the words on the card, but the language is a bit too much, if you know what I mean. I’m pretty sure Westy would have gotten a kick out of it.

There was always laughter when you hung with Westy. This little guy might have been 5-foot-4 in his cowboy boots, but he was larger than life. He could make an ordinary day hilarious.

Nobody was safe from Pat’s biting one-liners. Nothing was off limits. He made us laugh at ourselves. Sometimes all it took was a look, a sideways glance or roll of his eyes followed by “jeeezzzz….”

I found myself listening to a lot of Roy Orbison on Sunday. Every time I hear an Orbison song I think of Pat. Along with family, friends and fishing, Pat was definitely into his music.

There was a time when softball, and golf consumed him. I met him through softball, as a fastpitch teammate — he was a shortstop and catcher and later my manager.  He was as competitive as they come on the field and later became the face of softball in our area.

He was a protégé of Andy Pendergast, the late Bremerton Parks and Rec superintendent. Westhoff was the recreation coordinator, the guy who operated all of the softball and basketball leagues in town. He was the district Amateur Softball Association commissioner for years, and represented the area and the state at national meetings.

When he was named rec coordinator in 1969, Bremerton had 20 men’s softball teams. By 1980, he’d turned the program into one of the state’s biggest with 400 registered teams, counting women and youth leagues. Westhoff ruled those leagues with an iron fist.

When the city got more heavily into the golf business, adding the championship Olympic Course to the existing Cascade Course at Gold Mountain, Westhoff was in the middle of it. He was park and rec’s liaison to the project manager and design team during the building of the Olympic Course that opened in 1996 as well as the $3.5 million clubhouse that opened six years later.

Westy had the ear and trust of his bosses — all the way to the mayor’s office. He was a voice of the people, a voice of reason that sometimes cut through the politics and red tape. He also had a golfer’s perspective on what made a golf course challenging and interesting, and his ideas always carried a lot of weight. They named a creek after him on the back nine of the Olympic Course.

Pat’s honesty was refreshing, and it earned him a lot of respect in the community. If he didn’t like something, he shared his opinions. Sugarcoating wasn’t part of his DNA, and he might drop an expletive or two to make his point.

Was Pat Westhoff feisty? Well, is the pope Catholic?

After arguing a call with an umpire, he sailed his bat from the softball diamond in the right-field corner of old Roosevelt Field (now an Olympic College parking lot) over the fence and against the toll-booth on the Warren Avenue Bridge. That’s not an urban tale.

And an angry Westhoff once flung his bat on top of the old wooden grandstands at Roosevelt after striking out. That’s an impressive physical feat for a guy that weighed maybe 130 pounds, but it doesn’t surprise me at all.

Westy never got cheated, whether he was swinging at a rise ball, coming out of his shoes on his tee shots or going chin-to-chest with an umpire.

He was the feistiest, funniest, ballsiest guy a lot of us ever knew, but he was more than a character. He was passionate about life, what he believed in and the people he loved.

Roy Orbison’s still playing, and I’m sneaking peaks at the birthday card I was going to give Pat. Man, he’d have loved that card.

I’m tempted to drink a Coke, his favorite beverage, and light up a cigar in his memory.

Taco Tuesdays, among other days, will never be the same.

We’re going to miss his spirit, his stories, his sense of humor.

Lord, you don’t make ‘em like Pat Westhoff anymore.

 

 


Seahawks and DeSean Jackson? Read the latest buzz

March 28th, 2014 by cstark

The Jared Allen watch has ended for Seahawks’ fans, but it’s time to start a DeSean Jackson watch.

The Eagles released the star wide receiver on Friday, and it didn’t take long for everybody to start speculating on Seattle’s chances of signing him.

Here’s some of the buzz:

Here’s what Doug Farrar of SI.com wrote about the Seahawks’ possible interest in Jackson:

There are two things we know about Seahawks general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll — they’ll turn every stone to improve their team, and they will take risks on players with “interesting” pasts. They took a shot on Marshawn Lynch in 2010, and Lynch rewarded the team by becoming the heart of the franchise. Lynch played with Jackson at Cal, and defensive tackle Brandon Mebane has Cal ties as well. The Seahawks need a speed receiver with Golden Tate moving on to the Lions and Percy Harvin’s injury status as a constant variable. This is a team with a fairly strong locker room, which could help. And if Jackson is looking to sign with a winner and will take a “prove-it” deal to do so, there are few better options.”

Farrar also lists some other possible landing spots for Jackson.

Here’s what USA Today had to say why Seattle might be interested in Jackson:

They have to replace Golden Tate. The combination of DeSean Jackson and Percy Harvin would be both scary for opponents and scary for the Seahawks. It would be must see TV.”

Thirty minutes after the Eagles released him, Jackson’ spokesperson told USA Today that six teams had called inquiring about his services. Jackson also released a statement denying any involvement with gangs.

From RantSports.com:

“If signed with the Seahawks, Jackson would immediately take over as Seattle’s top receiver. While they have Percey Harvin, he’s an injury waiting to happen and can’t be relied upon. Doug Baldwin showed some promise during their run to the Super Bowl, but is best suited as a No. 3 receiver. After that, the amount of talent is questionable at best. Jackson would bring legitimate No. 1 receiver ability to the Seahawks.

“The only issue standing in the way of a dealis Jackson’s alleged ties to a Los Angeles area gang, which are believed to have played a role in the Eagles’ decision to release him. The Cal product has vehemently denied such ties, but concerns will obviously linger. Before they get seriously involved in talks, expect the Seahawks to do their due diligence.

“Having Jackson in their offense would certainly make things easier for Russell Wilson moving forward, but off-field concerns must be alleviated first. Assuming there’s little to the gang ties story, expect the Seahawks to be big players in signing Jackson.”

More links:

Danny Kelly of fieldgulls.com wraps it up pretty good in this piece. It even includes a photo of Carroll and Jackson in Jackson’s living room when he was a high school all-american. Jackson originally posted the photo on Instagram.

Brady Henderson of 710 ESPN Seattle writes, among other things, about Jackson’s connection to Seahawks’ coach Pete Carroll — he recruited Jackson when he was at USC — and to former Cal teammates Marshawn Lynch and Brandon Mebane.

Five days ago, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.nbc.com reported that the Seahawks had no interest in Jackson. Friday, after Jackson was released, Florio had changed his tune, writing that the Seahawks were one of the teams previously interested.


Jared Allen takes the money, and who can blame him?

March 26th, 2014 by cstark

Let’s see, Super Bowl or a four-year, $32 million deal with $15.5 million of it guaranteed?

You can’t blame defensive end Jared Allen for taking the money the Chicago Bears threw at him. That’s a lot of dough.

Besides — and you might not want to hear this — there’s no guarantee the Seattle Seahawks are going to win the Super Bowl next year? The New England Patriots (2004 and 2005) are the last team to repeat. The Hawks might be the favorite going in, and deservedly so, but repeating will not be easy.

If you believe what you read, Seattle offered Allen a two-year, $12 million contract — and about $8 million of it was guaranteed. Not chump change, but it’s not $32 million and the guaranteed money is the big thing. He’s getting nearly twice as much guaranteed money in Chicago.

Hey, it would have been nice to throw Allen in the mix with Michael Bennett, Brandon Mebane and the rest of Seattle’s defensive linemen, but you can’t blame the former Vikings’ star for saying, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

It’ll be interesting to hear what Allen has to say during his press conference with the Bears’ on Monday.

And it’ll be interesting to see what the Seahawks do in the draft. If they were willing to pay Allen that much, it tells me they must feel there have a need for another top defensive end. There’s also a need for another offensive lineman, and the Seahawks could use another wide receiver, too. They are reportedly still in the mix to bring back Sidney Rice, whom they released.

Here’s a look at the Seahawks free agency scorecard:

Free agents lost: Wide receiver Golden Tate (Detroit), defensive tackle Clinton McDonald (Tampa Bay), cornerbacks Brandon Browner  (New England) and Walter Thurmond (NY Giants), offensive linemen Breno Giacomino (NY Jets) and Paul McQuistan (Cleveland) and safety Chris Maragos (Philadelphia).

Players released: Defensive ends Chris Clemons and Red Bryant, wide receiver Sidney Rice.

Free agents re-signed: Defensive end Michael Bennett, quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, kicker Steven Hauschka,  defensive tackle Tony McDaniel and tight end Anthony McCoy.

Free agents signed from other teams: Former Jacksonville WR Taylor Price, CFL wide receiver Chris Matthews.

 

 


Kitsapers in college

March 26th, 2014 by cstark

GOLF

UNLV’s Carl Jonson (jr., Bainbridge) earned the first Mountain West Golfer of the Week award of his career. Jonson recorded two top-six finishes last week, tying for sixth at the National Invitational Tournament in Tucson, and he finished a career-best fourth at the Jackrabbit Invitational in Primm, Nev. He was five shots off the lead in Tucson, and three back in Primm. Jonson shot 71-69-70—210 on the par-72 Omni Tucson National Course. He carded rounds of 71-67-75 on the Desert Course in Primm. UNLV was fourth at the NIT, and won the Jackrabbit Invitational.

UCLA’s Erynne Lee (jr., Central Kitsap), recently named to the U.S. Curtis Cup team, is tied for 17th after two rounds (69-77—146, +2) at the San Diego State University Farms Invitational. No. 2 UCLA led the tournament. UPDATE: Lee shot -1 71 on Wednesday and wound up tied for fifth. UCLA tied for second.

TRACK AND FIELD

Shane Moskowitz (jr., Central Kitsap) placed second in the mile (4:16.51) at the Big 12 Indoor Track and Field Championships earlier this month in Ames, Iowa.

Ruby Roberts (sr., Kingston) was fourth in the Dempsey Indoor at Seattle in the 3,000 meters (9:16.30), and she won the 1,500 (4:26.25) and was second in the 800 (2:09.88) against UCLA in a Pac-12 outdoor meet in Los Angeles last week. … WSU’s CJ Allen (fr., North Mason) won the 400 hurdles (52.20) and ran a leg on the 4×400 relay that placed second to UCLA. … John Fullington (sr., North Mason), a starting offensive lineman on the football team, was fourth in the shot put (52-2) for the Cougars.

Reagan Colyer (fr., North Kitsap) won the 800-meter title (2:11.18) at the Big Sky Indoor Championships earlier this month for Montana. She was third in the 1,600 (4:57.94).

SOFTBALL

Haylee Baker (Sr., Bainbridge/Bellevue CC) is hitting .373 with 5 HRs and 6 doubles for Western Washington (13-8, 5-5 GNAC). The shortstop has 24 RBI, a .712 slugging percentage and .435 on-base percentage. She was recently named GNAC Player of the Week after homering in four straight games against Billings Montana.

BASKETBALL

Former all-state guard Jarell Flora (jr., Bremerton) wound up Seattle University’s third-leading scorer (9.5 points). He’s started 25 of 30 games for the Redhawks (13-17). He averaged 28.4 minutes per game, second-high on the team, and shot .387 from the field (99-256), .367 from 3-point range (55-150) and .705 from the foul line (31-44). Flora averaged 3.2 rebounds and figures to be a key player as a senior.

Forward Jalen Carpenter (so., Bremerton) averaged 8.7points and 5.7 rebounds for Weber State (7-22).  Carpenter started 17 games, averaging 22.2 minutes per game She led the Big Sky club in offensive rebounds (87) and shot .427 from the field (97-227) and .648 from the foul line (59-91).

Guard Krista Stabler (so., Central Kitsap) averaged 7.4 points for St. Martin’s (18-11, 11-7 Great Northwest Athletic Conference). She started five games and averaged 20.9 minutes per game. Stabler shot .335 from the field (60-179), .129 from 3-point range (4-31) and .798 from the foul line (91-114).

Kelsey Callaghan (jr., South Kitsap) averaged 2.6 points and 2.2 assists for Western Montana (10-24). She started eight games and averaged 20.2 minutes per game. … Breyenne Mosey (jr., Crosspoint Academey) averaged 4.6 minutes and 1.4 rebounds.

BASEBALL

Tyler Baumgartner (sr., Central Kitsap/Bellevue) continues to swing a hot bat for Oregon (17-6, 5-1 Pac-12). The right-fielder leads the Ducks with a .378 average. He has 10 doubles, 2 triples, 18 RBI and 5 stolen bases.

Two former Olympic College players — pitcher Devin Smith (jr., West Seattle) and catcher Dustin Dhanani (jr., Blaine) — are playing at NCAA Division I Alabama A&M (10-17, 4-5). Smith is 2-3 with a 4.36 ERA after seven appearances, six starts. He has pitched 43.1 innings and has 27 strikeouts, 9 walks. Dhanani has started 17 games and is hitting .203.

Daniel Orr (jr., Kingston, Everett CC) is hitting a team-high .405 for Corban University (16-13, 7-5 NAIA West). The IB/OF has 15 doubles, four triples, one homer and 34 RBI.

Catcher Curtis Wildung (jr., North Kitsap) is hitting .210 for Pacific Lutheran (13-7, 8-3 NWC). Wildung has two HRs, six RBI and has started 17 games.

Pitcher Joe Stevick (jr., Olympic) is 1-1 with a 3.77 ERA in seven relief appearances for Linfield (18-3, 11-1 Northwest Conference). Stevick has pitched 14.1 innings and has allowed 11 hits with seven strikeouts with just one walk.

Infielder Kasey Bielec (jr., North Mason) is hitting a team-high .391 Central Washington (12-11, 5-7 GNAC). He has four HRs, 19 RBI, 12 walks, a .638 slugging percentage and a .455 on-base percentage. … CWU lefty pitcher Kurtis Pitcher (sr., Klahowya, Western Oregon, Olympic College) is 1-1 with a 4.22 ERA in five starts. He’s allowed 22 hits in 21.1 innings with 15 strikeouts and 12 walks.

Josh Sontag (so., Central Kitsap) is a pitcher/infielder for St. Martin’s (7-17, 2-11 GNAC). Sontag has started four games and relieved in two others. He’s 1-3 with a 7.09 ERA in 26.2 innings. He’s hitting .143.

Pitcher Eli Fultz (fr., Bremerton) is red-shirting at Lewis-Clark State.

If you’re aware of other local athletes competing at four-year schools this spring, please email chuckstark00@gmail.com.


Tuesday ramblings and notes: Heathcote, Hammel, TyBaum, Erynne/earthquake & more

March 18th, 2014 by cstark

MISSOURI VALLEY CONFERENCE champion Wichita State enters the NCAA Tournament unbeaten and seeded No. 1 in the Midwest region. The last time a Missouri Valley Conference team entered the tournament unbeaten was 1979, when Larry Bird and Indiana State was grabbing all of the headlines in March.  The No. 1-ranked Sycamores didn’t come away with the title, though.

“Somebody beat them in that championship game,” said Jud Heathcote during a conversation Monday. “It’s been so long, I can’t remember who is was.”

The 86-year-old Heathcote was joking. The South Kitsap grad who grew up in Manchester was the coach of the Michigan State Spartans that year. The Spartans, with a gangly point-guard named Magic Johnson, beat Bird and the Sycamores in the most-watched game in college basketball history.

Heathcote, who lives in Spokane and has season tickets to Gonzaga games, will be in the stands this week when Michigan State plays its first-r0und East regional game on Thursday. Sparty faces Delaware at Veteran Memorial Arena in Spokane. My weekly Thursday column will center on Heathcote, who is still funny as ever and still consumed by the college game.

JASON HAMMEL OF THE CHICAGO CUBS starts Tuesday night in Surprise, Ariz., against the Texas Rangers. It’ll be just his second Cactus League start, but the right-hander out of South Kitsap High hasn’t been inactive. He’s started a “B” game and went six innings last Thursday against Cubs minor leaguers.

“My first year with the (Orioles), because Florida Spring Training is all (American League) East, I didn’t pitch in a big league game until we’d been through two or three rounds of cuts,” Hammel told MLB.com.  “As long as I can get my work in and make sure I’m building the arm strength, I’m OK.”

WAS HOPING ONE-TIME Olympic College basketball coach Ken Bone would get over the hump at Washington State, but too many injuries and lack of depth were his undoing. Seattle U might be a good fit for Bone if Cameron Dollar gets the axe, and it’s been suggested that he might. A lot of people forget that Bone was 77-49 in four years at Portland State, taking the Vikings to the NCAA Tournament his last two years. Bone was 254-97 in 12 years at Seattle Pacific.

Also

Glad to see I didn’t jinx Tyler Baumgartner with this column. The Central Kitsap grad, a senior outfielder at Oregon, was 5-for-11 in a three-game series against USC. Baumgartner was 2-for-5 with a bases-clearing double in a 7-2 series-clinching win on Sunday. He’s now hitting .400 through 19 games. …. Former North Kitsap  and Washington State athlete and ex-professional baseball player Jared Prince is an assistant with the South Kitsap baseball team. Prince, who is living in Tacoma and working toward his masters in education at the University of Puget Sound, was also an assistant with SK’s football team. He’s doing his student teaching at South. … Bremerton’s Marvin Williams has missed 12 NBA games this season because of various injuries. The Utah Jazz are 0-12 in those games. His numbers (9.5 points, 5.1  rebounds) aren’t eye-popping, but the 27-year-old forward has become a solid all-around player and leader for the young Jazz.  … I was always impressed with Denise Baxter, who announced that she is retiring at Central Kitsap as the girls basketball coach. Her teams always played hard and she had a no-nonsense approach and she didn’t seem to let those bothersome parents (you know the ones) get in her head. Central Kitsap’s lucky to have had her around for 20 years.  … Bremerton High grad Jack Evans passed away recently in California. Evans was a member of the 1953 Bremerton High baseball team thet was inducted into the Kitsap Sports Hall of Fame. … Former Kitsap Pumas goalkeeper Liviu Bird is now writing about soccer for SI.com, among other outlets. Here’s  his story on the Toronto FC after the 2-1 win over the Sounders. … Central Kitsap grad Troy Kelly plays in the Web.com Tour’s Panama Claro Championship in Panama City this week. After a tie for 23rd in Chile, he missed the cut by two strokes in Brazil last week. He plays in the Louisiana Open in Broussard, La., next week, then returns to the PGA Tour, teeing it up in the Houston Open, April 3-6. … Central Kitsap alum Drew Vettleson got a couple more at bats in a Grapefruit League game for the Washington Nationals. He’s 0-for-3 in two appearances with the big club this spring. … UCLA junior golfer Erynne Lee, a Central Kitsap grad who was picked to play in the Curtis Cup, tweeted this from Los Angeles on Monday:  “Woke up from a nightmare by an earthquake just now. #frazzled #homesick” … Keep your eye on Ben Tamm, hard-throwing  freshman pitcher at Everet CC. The North Kitsap grad was named MVP of fall ball and has got off to a good start for the Trojans.


Bloomquist, Schaaf headline KAR’s Goodwin fund-raiser

March 13th, 2014 by cstark

If Willie Bloomquist was a Winter Olympic athlete, he said he’d try to be a bobsledder. The event fascinates the South Kitsap grad.

Bree Schaaf, an Olympic High grad,  is a former Olympic bobsled who worked as a broadcaster for NBC at the Sochi Olympics.

Willie, a utility player for the Seattle Marners, will be able to pick Schaaf’s brain about the sport during an April 10 Kitsap Athletic Roundtable event at McCormick Woods Golf Course. The two are going to be the headline speakers.

Proceeds from the event will go toward the purchase of a new scoreboard for the baseball field at South Kitsap High. That field will be named after Elton Goodwin, the Hall of Fame coach who died of a heart attack at 63 after having hip replacement surgery. Man, that’s tough to type. My eyes still get all watery every time I think that Elton’s not around anymore.

Bloomquist played for Goodwin and is one of five of his former players to reach the majors. Jason Ellison, Jason Hammel, Sean Spencer and Aaron Cunningham are the others. Hundreds of others went on to play college baseball.

So here’s the details of the event.

Date: April 10, a Thursday.

When: social hour 6-7 p.m. with the program to follow.

Where: McCormick Woods Golf Course.

Cost: $30 ($25 for KAR members).

There will be several auction items, so bring your wallet.

It should be a fun night, and a chance to listen to two of the most driven and successful athletes to come out of the area.

Tickets are being printed and will be available in advance. We’ll let you know where you can get them as soon as they are distributed.

If you can’t make it and and want to make a donation, you can contact me at chuckstark00@gmail.com, or call Cully Ecklund at 360-470-0747. C’mon, let’s raise some money in Elton’s honor.

 


Monday musings and notes …

March 10th, 2014 by cstark

Let’s get to it …

Good news for the Seahawks and their fans: Defensive lineman Michael Bennett reportedly turned down more money to  sign a four-year deal with the Seahawks. That’s a big signing as the versatile Bennett was a big part of the NFL’s best defense. He was Seattle’s best pass rusher. What’s the next priority, wide receiver Golden Tate or defensive linemen Clinton McDaniel or Tony McDonald? Tate’s such a good fit, at receiver and as a punter returner, and I still don’t think we’ve seen the best out of him. If he’s willing to take a lesser deal to stay, why not?

34-0: Haven’t paid much attention to NCAA hoops this season, but it’s hard not to pull for unbeaten Wichita State.  They got to the Final Four as a No. 9 seed a year ago. They should be a No. 1 seed this year. If the Shockers run the table, they would be 40-0.  Talk about March Madness.

Willie Bloomquist update: Willie was 3-for-3 on Sunday and seemingly fitting in with the Mariners like a glove. The veteran utility player from South Kitsap is going to be a McCormick Woods Golf Course on April 10 to help raise money for a new scoreboard at the South Kitsap baseball field, which will be re-named for the late, great coach Elton Goodwin. The Kitsap Athletic Roundtable is hosting the event. More details — time, cost, etc. — later this week. Meanwhile, Seattle Times columnist Jerry Brewer wrote about Bloomquist on Sunday.

More Mariners: I know it’s only spring training, but lots of young Mariners are having solid camps in Peoria. Cole Gillespie has caught my eye. Former Oregon State outfielder is hitting .533 (7-for-15) with a double, triple and 7 RBI. He can play left or right. Hit .300 and .308 at Triple-A Reno in 2011 and 2012 with brief MLB duty with Arizona. He spent parts of 2013 with Giants and Cubs. If Corey Hart isn’t ready to go full-time at the start of the season, or if Michael Saunders doesn’t produce, could there be room for a solid, all-around guy like Gillespie? He’s 29. Maybe it’s his time?

Hot, hot hot: Olympic College’s Greta Coleman, sophomore from Kingston, is 9-for-13 in her last three games, all OC victories. She has had four doubles and seven RBI in that stretch, including a game-winning hit in the bottom of the seventh against Southwest Oregon on Sunday when she ripped a line shot to RCF on an 0-2 count. Coleman and Alexa Eckonomakis are transfers from Shoreline, which dropped its program for a year after going through coaching changes.

Nice RAC: Olympic College’s softball had an opportunity to play at the Regional Athletic Complex in Lacey on Sunday. Four fields with turf infields and grass outfields. (There’s also six regulation soccer/football/rugby fields). Best complex around. Wonder if the Kitsap rec departments or school districts will ever get one  turfed field for baseball or softball. We’re so far behind you wonder if we can ever catch up.

Troy Kelly birdied three of his final four holes on Sunday to tied for 23rd in the PGA Tour’s Chile Classic in Santiago, Chile. Nice effort after being out of competition for a year. Kelly plays three more Web.com Tour events — in Brazil, Panama and Louisiana — before returning to the PGA Tour at the Houston Open.

Black and red and winning: Did you see who broke out his red shirt and black pants on Sunday while winning a PGA Tour event? Yeah, Patrick Reed, the latest young gun. This Reed guy might be the real thing. He’s 23 and he’s already won three tour events. And he’s pretty confident, too. Pretty confident? Hell, he’s Larry Bird/Muhammad Ali/Richard Sherman on grass. Read this New York Daily News story to get a flavor.

More golf news: UNLV’s Carl Jonson, a junior from Bainbridge, tied for eighth and helped the Rebels win the Collegiate Masters at South Highland Golf Course in Las Vegas.  Jonson shot 4-over 70-78-72—220 and tied for eighth individually in a tournament that featured the toughest field of the season.

The Fat Drug: Nothing to do with sports, but this New York Times story is pretty enlightening.

MLB at-bat: Central Kitsap grad Drew Vettleson got into a spring training game with the Washington Nationals on Saturday. He was 0-for-1 at the plate.

Interview on deck: Scheduled to talk to Central Kitsap grad and Oregon Duck outfielder Tyler Baumgartner on Tuesday. Baumgartner’s off to a great start. Hope we don’t jinx him.

 


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

March 8th, 2014 by cstark

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.

 


All Seahawks: Jersey No. 12 cracks NFL’s Top-10 list

March 7th, 2014 by cstark

The No. 12 jersey of the Seattle Seahawks, which honors its fans, is now the No. 10 selling jersey in the NFL. Russell Wilson’s No. 3 is No. 1, Marshawn’s Lynch’s No. 24 is No. 5 and Richard Sherman’s No. 25 comes in at No. 6.

Michael Bennett had a helluva year for the Seahawks and he’s going to test the free-agent market. It’ll be interesting to see how that plays out. Just gotta ask, how many of you knew who Bennett was prior to the start of the 2013 season?

The 10-best NFL free-agent bargains? This story by Chris Wesseling at NFL.com rates Golden Tate No. 1 and Walter Thurmond No. 3.

Here’s ESPN’s primer on free agency as it pertains to the Seahawks.

The New York Daily News takes a look a the top 20 free agents and predicts that Bennett will wind up in … Seattle. The paper says Golden Tate will sign with the Jets.

Quarterback Russell Wilson worked out with the Texas Rangers earlier this week. Wilson played a season of Class A ball before, and he enjoyed the day. The Rangers also enjoyed having Wilson around. “He can teach kids about attitude and commitment and work ethic and application and I think that’s what life is about. Period,” said Texas manager Ron Washington.

Wilson was asked how much he wished he could have got in the spring game for an inning.

“How much did I want to play an inning? How much did I want to play the whole game is the question,” he said.

Cornerback Brandon Browner has been reinstated by the NFL and will face a four-game suspension, but somebody’s going to sign the free agent. According to this Bleacher Report, the onus is on Browner to prove that he is worthy of a multi-year contract.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Golf notes: Kelly tees it up in Chile; St. Patty’s Shootout at Rolling Hills

March 5th, 2014 by cstark

Troy Kelly is playing in the Chile Classic, a Web.com Tour event that starts Thursday in Santiago, Chile.

The CK grad is playing in his first PGA event in almost a year. Kelly’s last event was the Valero Texas Open last April. He left the tour with a knee injury that required surgery and now has five rehab starts on the Web.com Tour before heading back to the PGA Tour. He’ll play four straight Web.com events before the PGA’s Houston Open.

Kelly, a Central Kitsap grad, and his family moved from LaQuinta, Calif., to Tacoma, in the last year. His brother, Ryan, remains his caddy.

Tacoma’s Andrew Putnam, who was second in the season-opening Web.com tournament in Columbia, is entered. So is Nick Taylor, the former Husky great.

Update: Kelly shot a 1-under 71 and is tied for 54th after the first round.

Remember Russell Henley?

Former University of Georgia star Russell Henley won the PGA Tour’s Honda Classic last week. Henley, then an amateur, won the Nationwide Tour’s Stadion Classic at Athens, Ga., in 2011, beating Kelly by two strokes. Henley wasn’t eligible for the $99,000, which went to Kelly. The money helped Kelly secure his PGA Tour card for the 2012 season.

News from the NWGMA

The Northwest Golf Media Association held its first meeting of 2014 in conjunction with last weekend’s Seattle Golf Show.

I wasn’t able to make it, but here’s a bit of news that came out of the meeting, courtesy Craig Smith, the NWGMA secretary.

Gig Harbor’s Larry Gilhuly, director of the Western Region of the USGA Green Section, reviewed the “firsts” for the 2015 U.S. Open that will be held at Chambers Bay at University Point.

It will be the first time the Open will be played in the Northwest.

It will be the first time the tournament will be played on fescue grass.

It will be the first time the Open will be held on a links course.

It’ll be the first time the FOX network covers the Open.

Par will be 70 and Gilhuly repotted that the tee box on the par-4, 16th has been moved closer to Puget Sound.

More notes from the NWGMA meeting:

TheWeb.com Tour will play the WinCo Foods Portland Open on the Witch Hollow course at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club on Aug. 21-24.  The final three days overlap with the Champion Tour’s Boeing Classic in Snoqualmie. … The state’s newest course, Gamble Sands, in Brewster, will open to the public on Aug. 2. Green fees for non-residents will be $130 ($150 with cart). Gamble Sands is designed by David McLay Kidd, who designed the original Bandon Dunes course. … The USGA’s 2014 Women’s Amateur Public Links Championships will be played July 14-19 at The Home Course in Dupont. This is the final year of the championship. The USGA is replacing the men’s and women’s APL with four-ball (best ball) events. … Eric Steiner of the USGA reported that it took only 36 hours to fill the U.S. Open’s 4,500 volunteer positions. The assistant manager of the 2015 Open called it “unprecedented enthusiasm,” for the event.

Also

John Hurley’s St. Patty’s Day Shindig is Saturday, March 15, at 2:30 p.m. at Rolling Hills Golf Club. It features corned beef dinner and music by Seattle’s Phil Randoy combo. Doors open at 2:30 p.m.,dinner at 3:30 p.m. The St. Patty’s Day Shootout, a two-person scramble, tees off at Rolling Hills at 9:30 a.m. Cost is $32.50 per team. It’s $20 for non-golfers to attend the Shindig.

 


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