Sports

Sports potpourri for a new year

Happy New Year, sports fans, it's almost 2009 and many are wondering where 2008 went wrong, especially those who started the year with a lot of Microsoft stock!

The old scribe's desk is filled with stuff that probably should've been written a few weeks ago, so it's time to clear away the rubble and get ready to start anew tomorrow.



The 'slush'

One of the more fun prep basketball tournaments opens this weekend in Port Townsend. Sequim has both squads in the Crush in the Slush affair put on by Steve Wilson and the P.T. faithful. There will be some good basketball.

The Sequim girls meet Eisenhower of Yakima at 2:15 p.m. Friday, then Chimacum at 2:15 p.m. Saturday. The Sequim boys go against South Kamloops at 4 p.m. Friday, then Chimacum at 4 p.m. Saturday. All games are at Bruce Blevins Gym in P.T. Admission is $6 per day, $10 for both days.

I wonder why the Port Angeles and Sequim athletic directors don't get together and plan some sort of a boy/girl hoop tournament to be played in the two cities during the holidays?



Rainshadow

The Sequim wrestling team always gets up for the Rainshadow Tournament. All the high school grapplers like this event because it enables them to work off the Christmas turkey and get ready for the start of league season when school resumes.

It's also a lot better to wrestle someone rather than to have practice during the holidays. Plan to spend a day or two watching the kids.



Halibut gamble

The Port Angeles Salmon Club is going ahead on a $20,000 gamble in 2009. The club's directors are holding the ninth-annual Port Angeles Halibut Derby on Memorial Day weekend and they are hoping the the entry list won't be hurt by the fact that the Hood Canal bridge might not be opened by that weekend.

Last year's registration was 780 and winners came from Grape View, Kent, Des Moines, Orting, Seabeck, Chimacum, Enumclaw, Seal Rock in Oregon, Tacoma, Edmonds, Friday Harbor, Bainbridge Island, Shelton, Port Orchard, Sequim, Port Angeles and Port Townsend.

The directors hiked the entry fee to $40 for one or two days but added two extra hours of fishing on Sunday, May 24. The club is counting on a lot of Olympic Peninsula anglers to help meet the costs.

By the way, the club's salmon and halibut month derbies start in February in Area 6 - only when the season is open for one or both species. Tickets are $40 for the monthly ladders and that will include entry into the Memorial Day weekend halibut bash. Payouts are $100, $75, $50 and $25 for both salmon and halibut each month.



Pony parade

The Washington Horse Racing Commission has approved a 91-day meeting for live racing at Emerald Downs in Auburn. Opening day will be April 17 and closing day Sept. 27. Racing will be Friday through Sunday the first six weeks and then Thursday through Sunday.

The 2009 Emerald Downs stakes schedule, featuring the 74th running of the Longacres Mile, will be announced next month.



New boot team

This one is for you soccer fans. Season tickets for the Kitsap Soccer Club, a new United Soccer League team, are on sale and the Kitsap Pumas kick off the season in April. Their home base is in the Bremerton High School stadium that is undergoing a huge makeover. Go to www.kitsapsoccerclub.com for more information.



Dawg tickets

The University of Washington has announced it will hold the line on season-ticket prices for 2009 and the Husky ticket office will begin the delivery of renewal notices in January.

Huskies fans buying Tyee or public reserved season tickets pay $390 per seat. Tickets for U.W. faculty, staff and recent graduates remain $312 while season tickets in the east end bleachers stay at $198. Another option will be a value season ticket on sale for $245 for seats in the upper corners of the north and south upper decks. Bring your own oxygen tank.

The home slate for new coach Steve Sarkisian opens Sept. 5 against Louisiana State. Washington will be out to break a 14-game losing streak. Zounds!

By the way, did you notice a lot of WSU sweaters and sweat shirts and other crimson and gray stuff right after Christmas?



Free agents

The Seattle Mariners will miss outfielder Raul Ibanez when spring training opens and it's amazing the amount of money Philadelphia paid the Mariner free agent. A $2 million signing bonus?

Meanwhile, my favorite Mariner free agent Willie Bloomquist still is on the market. He figured Seattle wasn't interested in re-signing him when the new manager showed up in No. 16. That was Willie's number. Even though the skipper quickly changed into No. 22, Bloomquist figures he won't return.

In a free-ranging interview in The Sun, Bloomquist, from Port Orchard, says he might be better suited for a National League team even though he's been branded as a utility player. I think Willie can play on a regular basis for any team in either league.



Columns by KONP 1450 AM sports announcer Scooter Chapman appear weekly in the Sequim Gazette. He can be reached via e-mail at scooter@olypen.com.

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