Monthly Archives: August 2011

Emerald Downs down to final 13 days of meeting

Still a few days left to go watch the ponies and enjoy a fun day at Emerald Downs in Auburn. Here’s the schedule for the final 13 days of the 2011 meeting:

Friday, Sept 2., 6 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 3, 2 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 4, 2 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 5, 2 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 9, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 10, 2 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 11, 2 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 16, 5 p.m. (Fireworks)
Saturday, Sept. 17, 2 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 18, 2 p.m. (Washington Cup IX)
Friday, Sept. 23, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 24, 2 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 25, 2 p.m.

Kitsap’s D1 football players

Congrats to Brett McDonald for making the Washington State football team as a walk-on.

Here’s a list of Kitsap-area players who are playing NCAA Division I football:
Washington: Tight end Cameron Salley, walk-on transfer from Central Kitsap and University of Puget Sound
Washington State: Starting offensive lineman John Fullington, sophomore from North Mason; former quarterback-turned-tight end Gordy Anderson, walk-on redshirt freshman from South Kitsap; safety Brett McDonald, walk-on freshman from Central Kitsap
Army: Fullback Larry Dixon, freshman from Olympic High who has been impressive and is reportedly pushing for playing time
USC: Tight end Michael Cox, walk-on redshirt freshman from Bainbridge High was on the Trojans’ spring roster
Eastern Washington: Preseason All-American defensive tackle Renard Williams, senior from South Kitsap; cornerback Isaiah Davis, freshman from South Kitsap; cornerback Tevin Williams, freshman from North Mason

If we’re missing anyone, please let us know.


Farewell to the King and His Court

Came across this story about the King and His Court, the touring four-man softball team that the late Eddie Feigner made famous. In the early 1990s the men’s fastpitch team I played on — Pop’s Inn — got a chance to play the legends.

We played at Thunderbird Arena at the fairgrounds. Lots of fun. Lots and lots and lots of fun after we moved over to the old tavern after the game. Those boys could drink.

Anyway, here’s the story:

WALLA WALLA, Wash. — The four-man softball exhibition team called The King and His Court plans its final appearance Saturday evening in the town where it all started — Walla Walla, Wash.

The team’s founder, the late Eddie Feigner, was from Walla Walla. Since he started the squad in 1946, they’ve toured the country, taking on full teams and entertaining crowds with their skills, stunt pitches and comedy routines. The team features a pitcher, catcher, first baseman and a shortstop.

Now the team wants to honor Feigner by closing its run in his old hometown. Current pitcher Rich Hoppe told KNDU radio  that it’s sad to end the fun but it’s the end of an era.

The final show is scheduled for Borleske Stadium.


<p>Information from: KNDU-TV, <a href=””></a>/</p></story>

Back in the saddle again

I’m back to work after a little hiatus took me south of the border for a little rest and relaxation.

Our staff’s working hard on our special prep football section, which will publish Thursday, Sept. 1. You’ll find previews of all our local teams plus a cover story about Friday Night’s Unsung Heroes. You will find the standard info about the top returners and top newcomers, but also items on each team’s Game Changer and Hardest Hitter. We’ll also name the 5 All-Time Greatest players from each school. We know that will stir up some debates.

While I was gone, we also finalized a parternership with West Sound TV to live stream our football game of the week this season. We’ll have more details on that as we get closer to the season opener.

Got back just in time for one of my favorite events, the Kitsap County Fair & Stampede, which begins Wednesday night at Thunderbird Stadium. Four nights of rodeo are followed by the Xtreme Bulls event on Sunday afternoon. Looking forward to seeing stock contractor John Growney, annnouncer Randy Corley and all of the other regulars. The rodeo clan’s a fun bunch; the athletes among the toughest in any sport, and they’ll give you some of the best interviews around. Here’s a quote, courtesy of the PRCA:

“You learn how to live broke. I’m living a nightmare, chasing a dream.” — Third-year PRCA saddle bronc rider John Redig of Gavotia, Calif., telling the East Oregonian about his life on the rodeo trail.

I’m hoping to catch up with three-time world bareback champion Bobby Mote of Bend, Ore., during the Stampede. His mentor and former traveling partner was Clint Corey, the former world champ from Silverdale. See ya at the rodeo. I will be  the one that’s not wearing a cowboy hat or boots.

Quick Hits

Congrats to Olympic College baseball coach Ryan Parker, who was named coach of the Kitsap BlueJackets while I was on vacation. If Parker can have some success in the West Coast League’s summer wood-bat circuit, that could turn into a major recruiting tool for the Rangers.

Good luck to the Kitsap Bears, who leave for Lake Tahoe later this week. The 13-1 Bears will be playing for a national minor league football championship on Saturday. The opponent is the Pacifica (Calif.) Islanders.

Washington vs. Eastern Washington on Sept. 3 at Husky Stadium. Interesting opener. I think it’s gonna be closer than most people think. The Huskies are coming off a 7-6 season, its first winning campaign since 2002. The Dawgs are heading in the right direction, but aren’t there yet. Defending FSC champion and preseason No. 1 Eastern returns 15 starters, including senior defensive lineman and preseason All-American Rinard Williams from South Kitsap.

Charlie Whitehurst doesn’t have the mobility of Tarvaris Jackson, but he’s mobile, accurate and playing with a lot of confidence. I might be wrong, but I think he should be the Seahawks starting quarterback. Yeah, I know he’s only played against the second-stringers so far in exhibitions, while Tarvaris Jackson’s been facing the opposition’s No. 1 defense. I think Pete Carroll erred when he annointed Jackson as the No. 1 QB. What happened to the “always compete” part of Carroll’s philosophy?

The NFL lockout is over. Now, can we please skip the final two preseason games and start the real season.

Here’s hoping Jason Hammels, the South Kitsap product, gets things figured out on the mound. The right-hander had two solid seasons in Colorado, but has struggled mightily the second half of the season and was recently demoted to the bullpen by the Rockies. And there’s talk he might be traded in the offseason.

And here’s hoping the oft-criticized Willie Bloomquist, another South Kitsap grad, gets an opportunity to make his postseason debut with the Arizoan Diamondbacks, who are clinging to first place in the NL West. The Diamondbacks have reportedly discussed trading for Edgar Renteria, but Bloomquist has been more than adequate at shortstop since losing starter Stephen Drew to injury.

I’m planning to show up at an Oldtimers Fastpitch Reunion on Sunday in Lacey. It’ll be just like the old days when we car-pooled on Tuesday and Thursday nights to play doubleheaders in the old Puget Sound League. Only this time, a bunch of grayhairs who used to play the greatest game around are going to show up and share some stories and barbeque some chicken and drink some beverages. I wonder how many (any?) of us will be crazy enough to pick up a glove and bat and slap a few balls around the field?

A side note on the fastpitch reunion:  I think I’m forgetting one, but here’s a list of the teams I played for in B-town: Pay ‘N Pak, Warehouse Freight Sales (we wore the ugliest uniforms ever in ’76, red, white and blue with stars and stripes in honor of the 200th anniversary), Gene Lobe, Lakeshore Inn, Retreats, Kash-N-Dash, Pop’s Inn, Perry Avenue Sports Pub. Thanks to all the sponsors, especially the late Red Brown and Don Krick, and to John Pederson, the guy who recruited me and countless others to the sport.

I wish I could fit the Boeing Classic into my schedule this week, but it’s not going to happen. Look for Fred Couples to win the Champions Tour event at the TPC Snoqualmie Ridge. Here’s the entire field.

While golf’s the subject, the Husky Invitational returns to Gold Mountain on Sept. 25-27. Some of the best college players around, including Washington’s Chris Williams, will be on display. Williams will play for the U.S. in the Walker Cup competition in Scotland, Sept. 10-11.

I was lucky to be part of an exclusive club: The Chuck Semanick Fullback Club. So here’s a quick plug for the Semanick Bremerton Alumni Golf Tournament, Sept, 17, at Rolling Hills. Shotgun start at 8 a.m. Cost $80 or $300 for a foursome (includes cart). All proceeds go toward the Semancik Foundation, which provides scholarships for Bremerton High student athletes. The non-profit awarded 11 $2,000 scholarships in 2011.







Tuesday linkage

The top 40 storylines in Major League Baseball since the SABR era, according to SABR, which celebrates its 40th anniversary on Wednesday. The No. 1 story? The introduction of free agency.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll tells Mike Silver of Yahoo! Sports that quarterback Tarvaris Jackson was “jerked around,” in Minnesota. Pretty enlighting and candid stuff.

Paul Wulff’s on the proverbial hot seat, as he should be after going 5-23 in his first three seasons at Washington State, writes Bud Withers of the Seattle Times.

The University of Washington’s football roster and schedule can be found at the Huskies online site.

Check out Pumas PDL championship celebration

If you were unable to take in Saturday’s Premier Development League championship game at Bremerton Memorial Stadium or didn’t watch it on TV, check out this You Tube video to get a flavor of what it was like when the Kitsap Pumas beat the Laredo Heat 1-0 on a gorgeous afternoon in B-town.

Somewhere in the middle of that celebration, you’ll see the Pumas hoisting big Rob Shauger, head of security for the Pumas, on their shoulders. That might have been their biggest achievement of the season.

All things baseball

Did you see …

that catch by the M’s Trayvon Robinson? Wow. I think Franklin Gutierrez’s days could be numbered. There’s not room for a good-glove, .197-hitting center fielder in the major leagues.

that South Kitsap grad Aaron Cunningham hit a pinch-hit home run for the Padres, his first since being called up from Tucson, on Friday.

that Willie Bloomquist, another South Kitsap grad, was 3 for 5 with an RBI for the Diamondbacks. He’s batting leadoff, starting at shortstop and hitting .280 for a team that’s 1/2 game out of first place in the NL West.

that the Milwaukee Brewers are three games ahead of St. Louis in the NL Central on Aug. 6.

that Brett Lawrie, better known as Danielle Lawrie’s older brother, had two hits and drove in a run in his big-league debut with Toronto on Friday. Danielle, of course, was a two-time national softball player of the year at the University of Washington.

that Joe Posnanski recently wrote about the art of pitching inside and how hitter’s now react to it. It used to be bush league to show up a hitter, but not anymore. Here’s Posnanski’s take on it.

that former Mariner reserve Mike Morse, now with the Washington Nationals, is fourth in the NL in hitting (.320) and has 19 home runs and 64 RBI.

that former Mariner first baseman Kasey Kotchman, now with the Tampa Rays, is third in the AL in hitting (.332).

that the Mariners are 48-63, which means they would be 56-55 if they had won eight games during their recent 17-game losing streak.

Kelly shoots 62 on Nationwide Tour

Troy Kelly moved back into contention at the Cox Classic in Omaha, Neb., by firing a 9-under 62 on Saturday. He shot 29 on the front nine: six birdies, no bogeys. The golfer raised in Kitsap County finished with 10 birdies and one bogey. He’s five  back as I post this, but the leader, J.J. Killeen, is still out on the course.

I think Troy’s gone lower than 62 before, but not sure if he’s done it in a competitive round. His best previous round on the Nationwide Tour was 63 athe Rex Hospital Open.

Bet the guys at Kelly’s 19th Hole in Chico are smiling today.

Check out my tweets @cstarkkitsapsun from the PDL championship game at Bremerton Memorial Stadium later today. Pumas vs. Laredo Heat, 4:30 p.m.

Good time to catch a Pumas game and more: Ackley, Charlie, Jackets etc.

* Pumas need you: I know there are a lot of folks out there who have had the itch, but for whatever reason haven’t been to a Pumas’ game yet. Now’s the time to go. It’s a great intimate setting at Memorial Stadium, the weather is supposed to be gorgeous and the hometown guys would really appreciate your support as they try to win a national PDL championship. Yeah, a national championship.

Kitasp plays the Thunder Bay Chill at 7:30 p.m on Friday. The Laredo Heat and Long Island Rough Riders play the 4:30 p.m. semifinals. The championship game is Saturday at 4:30 p.m. These are the best four teams in the 64-team league. Tickets are reasonable: $10 for adults, $5 for youth 4-15.  And you can get a weekend pass for $15 (adults) and $10 (youth) for all three games by going online at

* Happy birthday Troy: Troy Kelly turned 33 on Tuesday. Born in Tacoma, but raised in Kitsap County, Kelly is playing in the Nationwide Tour’s Cox Classic in Omaha this week. He’s still seeking his first win on that tour, but is No. 4 in earnings with $208,559. He’s had two seconds and a third and two other top 25 finishes in 10 events.
* Sorry Charlie: I’m been a supporter of Charlie Whitehurst, but if there’s a knock against Whitehurst it’s his ability to be a leader. He doesn’t come across as a charasmatic player, someone that can rally the troops. I like his arm, and his coolness and all of that, but, as a source close to the team told me, Whitehurst could be released. Paying $4 million for a backup might be a little steep and the Hawks seem committed to Tarvaris Jackson. So don’t be surprised if they bring in a J.P. Losman or another veteran to serve as the backup.

* Ackley looking good: Terry Benish, a contributing blogger (Peabody) about all things baseball, especially the Mariners, had an interesting post about Dustin Ackley. His OPS (on-base plus slugging)  percentage is .942. How’s it compare to the other top second baseman in the AL?

 1. Ackley .942
2. Pedroia .893
3. Zobrist .873
4. Cano .844
5. Kendrick .807
6. Kinsler .780

I’m not a big numbers guy, but Ackley’s numbers don’t lie. The kid can play. Like I said the other day, as bad as the M’s have been, you gotta like what they’ve got going up the middle with Ackley at second and Dustin Ryan at shortstop. What Ryan did the other day, going to third on an infield single, doesn’t show up in the stat sheets, but heads-up plays like that win games.

* New course: Salish Cliffs Golf Club at Little Creek Casino in Shelton is scheduled to open next month. The exact date hasn’t been announced. The par-72 layout will play at 7,264 yards, longer than the Olympic Course at Gold Mountain.

* Tripleheader Friday: Did you see where the Central Kitsap School District has scheduled a tripleheader for football’s opening day on Sept. 2? Olympic plays Fife at 1 p.m., Klahowya takes on Steilacoom at 4 p.m. and Central Kitsap and Eastlake play at 7 p.m. Good move. Spokane used to do it all of the time at Joe Albi Stadium.

* BlueJackets winding down: Only three more chances to watch the Kitsap BlueJackets at home this summer. They play Klamath Falls Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. There’s gonna be a surprise at Monday night’s game. If you’ve been a fan of BlueJackets’ baseball the last seven years, you might want to show up. Sorry, I can’t elaborate.