Shooting from the hip

Some quick hitters on a Thursday morning:

I can feel Dick Ostrander’s pain and understand why he would want American Legion Post 68 to continue to operate Legion Field in Bremerton, but it is Bremerton School District property and if they want control on the field, it’s their prerogative. Effective today, the district is in charge of that facility. Here’s hoping they step up to the plate and make the necessary improvments to turn it into a first-class facility and I hope the district is fair when it comes to making it available to youth groups who need a field to play on. And, ah, wouldn’t it be nice to get a bathrooms/concession facility?  The sani-can experience has worn out its welcome.

While on the subject of baseball fields in this part of the county, and I’ve harped on this before, but FieldTurf would sure solve a lot of problems when it comes to maintenance and scheduling. There’s a reason why the University of Washington, Lower Columbia CC and Seattle and Tacoma school districts have installed artificial-turf in fields to go with natural grass in the outfield on their baseball fields.

Speaking of facilities, I wonder if I will still be alive when the South Kitsap School District builds a new football /soccer field in Port Orchard?

Good luck to Jeff Weible, who’s now the football and baseball coach at North Kitsap. And best wishes to Steve Frease, a first-class guy who deserves some credit for standing up to an administrator who was clearly out of line during an incident last fall that appears to have greased the skids for his firing. At least that’s the story I hear.

NBA or college basketball? What do you prefer? The players in the NBA are freaks and what they do on a routine basis is absolutely amazing, but give me college basketball. I watched the entire Ohio State-Wisconsin game on Sunday. As much fun as it is to watch a high-flying, athletic bunch like Washington, I enjoyed that Ohio State-Wisconsin game as much as any game I’ve watched in a while. The Buckeyes and Badgers were just sound at both ends of the court. They defended like it mattered, blocked out for rebounds and were patient on offense;  neither team  forced shots or flung up threes.  I tip my cap to the coaches, Thad Motta (Ohio State) and Bo Ryan (Wisconsin) and won’t be surprised to find either one in the Final Four.

It’s Mat Classic weekend and I always think of Ty Smith this timeo year. The former Olympic wrestler who was 98-1 for his career heading into the tournament his senior year. Ty didn’t get his threepeat at state, but he’s still the best wrestler the area has produced. Here’s a profile I wrote about Smith during the week before Mat Classic VII his senior year.

If Washington quarterback Jake Locker was a safety, he might be a top-3 pick in the NFL draft.  I really believe that.

I’m sure there’s an M’s player that will have a break-out year. Isn’t there? First baseman Justin Smoak is the likely candidate. And Brendan Ryan’s supposed to be a defensive wizard. Beyond that, I don’t have confidence in any new players on the current roster that will blow anyone away. Do you?

This story caught my eye because Jake Plummer’s a handball player, and I’m a handball player. At least, I pretend to be when by body’s says it’s OK to play. But you gotta like Jake Plummer, the former NFL QB who walked away from millions to return to his roots in Idaho. Check out this story in Sports Illustrated about the Sandpoint, Idaho, native.

The Kitsap Athletic Roundtable’s trying to line up a meeting that will feature a member or members of the University of Washington football coaching staff.  Read the print edition of The Sun or this blog to stay informed. We’ll let you know when (or if) it’s going to happen. The KAR (formerly Bremerton Athletic Roundtable), meanwhile, is in the process of re-inventing itself. The club’s been around since 1967 and it’s looking for new members who want to help promote youth and amateur athletics in the region. If you have ideas or want to help, give me a call at 360-792-9231 or e-mail cstark@kitsapsun.com and I’ll get you connected.

The Kitsap BlueJackets are holding their Fan Fest on Monday (11 a.m.-2 p.m.) at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds and Events Center. Stop by the Eagle’s Nest and bring your kids. BlueJackets assistant coach Ryan Parker, the head coach at Olympic College, will conduct a free clinic at noon. The BlueJackets will are entering their seventh season in the wood-bat West Coast League, a summer college circuit. I get out there as much as can. It’s quality baseball, and you can’t beat the prices in the beer garden on a nice summer night.

Have a good day and check out The Weekly Sports Paper. That’s a new product The Sun started publishing in February. Terry Mosher’s the executive editor.

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