Monthly Archives: October 2010

Dawgfather: Put the Ball in Jake’s Hands

Legendary Washington football coach Don James liked how the Huskies used quarterback Jake Locker in Saturday’s win over USC.

James and his wife, Carol, traveled to Los Angeles for the game.

“They’ve got a Heisman award candidate,” he said. “You can’t run scared. You’ve got to use him. Everybody else is (doing it). He’s such a good runner you’ve got to put the ball in his hands.”

Washington coaches rolled Locker out of the pocket and he rushed for 110 yards and passes for 310 against the Trojans.

James said Washington got off to a disappointing start. “That one loss at BYU and how we lost to Nebraska put some pressure on us,” he said. “But they got better last week. They can still have a decent year and get in a bowl.”

He said special teams needs some work, and the defensive front is “getting banged around,” but he likes the big picture.

“It’s an enthusiastic staff,” he said. “They’re better than they were last year and last year they were better than they were the year before so they’re headed in the right direction.”

James, 77, was 153-57-2 at Washington during his 18 years. His signature season was 1991, when the Huskies were 12-0 and won a national championship. He retired two years later in protest of Pac-10 sanctions against his program.

Rodeo: Silverdale’s Corley Up For Announcer of the Year

Everybody’s favorite rodeo announcer, Silverdale’s Randy Corley, is one of the finalists for the PRCA Rodeo Announcer of the Year. He’s won the honor 10 times (1984, 1990-1996, 1998, 2003). It’s about time he wins it again, but Corley will tell he’s just happy to be nominated. Others will tell you that Corley doesn’t play the political game as well as some of the announcers in the game.

The Kitsap Stampede, now in the large rodeo category, is not a finalist for rodeo of the year. The awards banquet is Dec. 1 in Las Vegas. Here’s a list of all finalists in various categories, as provided by the PRCA (I’ve bolded those who worked the Stampede):
Announcer of the Year
Wayne Brooks, Lampasas, Texas
Randy Corley, Silverdale, Wash.
Mike Mathis, Lufkin, Texas
Boyd Polhamus, Brenham, Texas
Andy Stewart, Collinston, La.
Bob Tallman, Poolville, Texas

Secretary of the Year
Linda Alsbaugh, Alamosa, Colo.
Sunni Deb Backstrom, Congress, Ariz.
Mildred Farris, Addington, Okla.
Kathy McCloy, Ottumwa, Iowa
Haley Schneeberger, Ponca City, Okla.

Stock Contracting Firm of the Year
Beutler & Son Rodeo Co., Elk City, Okla.
Classic Pro Rodeo Ltd., Waskom, Texas
Growney Bros. Rodeo Co., Red Bluff, Calif.
Harry Vold Rodeo Co., Avondale, Colo.
Stace Smith Pro Rodeos, Athens, Texas
Dress Act of the Year
Niki Cammaert, Rockyford, Alberta
Tomas Garcilazo, Oak Hills, Calif.
Jason Goodman, Mount Pleasant, Texas
Tommy Lucia, Weatherford, Texas
John Payne, Shidler, Okla.
Comedy Act of the Year
John Harrison, Soper, Okla.
Robbie Hodges, Cedartown, Ga.
Keith Isley, Goldston, N.C.
Troy Lerwill, Payson, Utah
Mark Swingler, Austin, Texas
Clown of the Year
Rudy Burns, Smithdale, Miss.
John Harrison, Soper, Okla.
Robbie Hodges, Cedartown, Ga.
Keith Isley, Goldston, N.C.
Troy Lerwill, Payson, Utah
Bullfighter of the Year
Travis Adams, Gary, Texas
Kenny Bergeron, Iota, La.
Kelly Jennings, Shoshone, Idaho
Dusty Tuckness, Meeteetse, Wyo.
Cory Wall, Burlington, Colo.
Small Rodeo of the Year
Bandera, Texas
Clear Lake, S.D.
Estes Park, Colo.
Mesquite, Texas
Monte Vista, Colo.
Winnsboro, La.
Medium Rodeo of the Year
Abilene, Kan.
Deadwood, S.D.
Lufkin, Texas
Ogden, Utah
Phillipsburg, Kan.
Large Outdoor Rodeo of the Year
Cheyenne, Wyo.
Pendleton, Ore.
Reno, Nev.
Salinas, Calif.
Springdale, Ark.
Large Indoor Rodeo of the Year
Fort Worth, Texas
Jackson, Miss.
San Antonio

Jake Was Great, Wasn’t He?

Here’s what we think we learned about Washington quarterback Jake Locker during Saturday’s 32-31 victory over USC.

1) He’s still not a great pocket passer. The Huskies’ coaching staff put together a great game plan by moving the pocket and letting Locker throw on the move. OK, I don’t have the numbers to back this up, but when the UW reverted back to a straight drop-back, it was pretty obviousLocker wasn’t nearly as accurate.

2) Locker’s as good a competitor as you’ll find in college football. Considering his awful Nebraska performance, how many passes his receivers dropped (Jermaine Kearse, what happened?) and a couple of his own bad throws against USC, he didn’t let it bother him. He had to leave the game after taking a knee to the head at the goalline, and when he returned he just kept making plays. The completion to D’Andre Goodwin on 4th-and-18, where he scrambled away from pressure and seemed to throw while jumping forward, was as big a play as he’s made during his Husky career. He followed that with an 8-yard run on 3rd-and-5 from the USC 25, setting up the game-winning field. There was no panic during that drive. Locker seemed to be smiling all night long, even after have the ball punched loose from behind on a long run in the first half.

3) It’s just one game, but it was a pretty good indicator that maybe Locker’s finally put the pressure of being a Heisman candidate, and the pressure of trying too hard to make plays in his rear-view mirror. If he can just let the plays come to him without forcing them to happen, he’s going to have more games like Saturday. You could tell he was having a blast playing the game, and it was pretty obvious that wasn’t the case in the previous three games.

4) All of that aside, I’m not ready to call it a “legendary” performance as his coach Steve Sarkisian said, As the season wears on, I think we’ll discover that USC, once again, isn’t going to be a Pac-10 power, let alone a national power. And I don’t want to knock Locker for missing throws because he made so many good throws, but he’s got to be able to make a short toss to a wide-open Chris Polk that would have gone for a touchdown. And he missed another gimme for a TD later in the game.

5) Is he a future NFL star? It’s still too early to say. He’ll be among the first selections, but it might take a year or two or three of holding clipboards before he gets the chance. He might turn out to be another Marques Tuiasosopo, a former Husky QB with similar skills who never won a starting job in the NFL. Tuiasosopo led the Huskies to an 11-1 record in 2000, beat No. 2 Miami, lost to No. 7 Oregon and beat Drew Brees and Purdue in the Rose Bowl. Tuiasosopo, currently a Husky strength coach, was never more than a backup during eight NFL seasons after being the 59th overall pick in the draft by the Raiders.


Ichiro’s Record Tied: An American baseball player you’ve never heard of tied Ichiro Suzuki’s record for hits in a season in Japan. Matt Murton  collected his 210th hit on Sunday. Murton’s hitting .349 with 17 home runs for the Hanshin Tigers.

Amazing golf photo: Here’s one of the coolest golf pictures ever taken. Tiger Woods’ shot from the rough at the Ryder Cup heads straight for the photographer’s camera. Check it out  here.

Huskies No. 6: Washington’s moved up to No. 6 in Ted Miller’s ESPN Pac-10 Power Poll.

Kitsap’s Pros: Cunningham, Hammel, Bloomquist, Linden, Prince and Vettleson

Another season is in the books for Kitsap’s professional baseball players. Here’s a brief recap of their seasons:

Aaron Cunningham

Team: San Diego Padres

Position: OF

High School: South Kitsap, 2004

College: Everett CC

Drafted: White Sox, sixth round, 2005

The skinny: Sure, he’d have liked a better finish — he was 1-for-15 in his final six games and the Padres missed the playoffs by one game — but this was a posititive season for Cunningham, who has shown promise in every organization (White Sox, Diamondbacks, A’s, Padres) he’s been with. He was called up from Triple-A Portland three times this season, and wound up starting 30 games and appearing in 59 overall for San Diego. He hit over .300 until the final week, when his average dropped to .288.  He hit his first grand slam early in the year, made a couple starts as the leadoff hitter late in the season and played all three outfield positions. Overall, his numbers were pretty good, and he did it in the heat of a pennant race. He seems like a good fit for the Padres, either as an everyday player or a fourth outfielder in 2011.

Jason Hammel

Team: Colorado Rockies

Position: RHP

High School: South Kitsap, 2000

College: Treasure Valley (Ore.) CC

Drafted: Devil Rays, 10th round, 2002

The skinny: Hammel’s final numbers (10-9, 4.81 ERA, 30 starts, 177 2/3 innings) were similar to what he put up last year (10-8, 4.33, 30 starts, 176 2/3) in his first season with the Rockies. Except this year, the 6-foot-6 right-hander appeared to be on his way to a 14- or 15-win season until he arm fatigue and soreness got in the way. From Aug. 6 to Sept. 9,  Hammel was 3-1 with a 3.86 ERA. In his final five starts, however, he went 0-2 with an 8.61 ERA. After spending three weeks on the DL early in the season, Hammel consistently gave the Rockies quality starts (6 innings or more). “It’s definitely not the finish I wanted,” Hammel told “It’s not how you start. It’s how you finish. I’ve always gone by that. So this is going to bother me. Obviously, I’ve got a long time to think about it.” Despite the disappointing finish, he’s given the Rockies reason to be excited about his future.

Willie Bloomquist

Team: Cincinnati Reds

Position: INF/OF

High School: South Kitsap, 1996

College: Arizona State

Drafted: Mariners, third round, 1999

The skinny: Traded by Kansas City to Cincinnati in mid-September for that famous “player to be named later,” or cash, Bloomquist won’t be eligible for the postseason, but he’ll get to experience it from the dugout as the Reds won the NL Central. Once again, he’ll be a free agent. Look for him to land in the National League next season, but he’ll probably have to sign for less money than he got from Kansas City ($3.1 million over two years). Bloomquist was 5-for-17 for the Redlegs (.294) in 11 games and hit .265 for the Royals (45 for 170 with 3 home runs and 17 RBI).  Bloomquist just finished his eighth full-time season as a player in the big leagues. the first six were with the Mariners.

Todd Linden

Team: Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, Japanese Pacific League
Position: OF
High School: Central Kitsap, 1998
College: Washington/LSU
Drafted: San Francisco Giants, supplemental first round, 41st overall
The Skinny: Linden, 30, had his contract sold by the Yankees to Rakuten in June of 2009. He hit .292 with 12 home runs in 73 games last summer, enough to earn a guaranteed contract for 2010. During an injury-filled year, he’s hitting .185 in 53 games. He has five home runs and 64 strikeouts in 162 at bats. The 30-year-old Linden hit .231 with eight home runs in parts of five seasons with the Giants and Marlins.

Jared Prince

Team: Class A Hickey (N.C.) Crawdads, South Atlantic League

Organization: Texas Rangers

Position: OF

High School: North Kitsap, 2005

College: Washington State, 2009

Drafted: Rangers, 34th round

The skinny: Prince, one of the best all-around athletes the Kitsap area has produced, had a productive season, his second as a pro. He hit .270 with a team-high 75 RBI in 122 games to help the Crawdads reach the postseason. Prince hit eight homers and made just one error. He seems to have solidified his chances of moving up the ladder in the Rangers’ system.

Drew Vettleson

Organization: Tampa Rays

Position: OF

High School: Central Kitsap, 2010

Drafted: Rays, supplemental first round, 42nd overall, 2010

The skinny: He’s currently on the Ray’s 45-man instructional league roster. The team is based in Charlotte, Fla., and is about three weeks into its four-week session. In addition to receiving detailed individual instruction, Vettleson, an outfielder, and the Rays are also playing some games against other instructional league clubs in the area. Vettleson was drafted in June and didn’t sign until mid-August. He and Seattle’s Josh Sales, the 17th overall pick in the draft and also a corner outfielder, worked out for a week with the Gulf Coast Rays, a rookie-league club, but won’t play their first official minor-league games until next spring or summer. Sales and Vettleson are both 19.