Wednesday, June 23, 2010.
Ah, the things Jeron Johnson has come to be known for at Boise State. As a freshman, he was the guy who ultimately replaced NFL second-round draft pick Gerald Alexander at strong safety. As a sophomore, he laid devastating hits on Idaho State quarterback Russel Hill and Oregon tight end Ed Dickson, the latter collision causing his ejection in Autzen Stadium. As a junior, Johnson settled into an emotional groove and set the tone for a Bronco defense that was just as responsible for an undefeated season as its offensive counterparts. Now, he’ll go into his senior year as a third-team Sporting News preseason All-American, tabbed as such yesterday by the magazine. Johnson has been second-team All-WAC the past two seasons and had 91 tackles and four interceptions last season.
Seems Kellen Moore is always getting his due, and he’s a second-team All-American on the Sporting News preseason list. Moore already has a bunch of this stuff in the bag—he was voted first-team All-America by ESPN.com, SI.com and CBSSports.com, and third-team by AP. Moore had already been tabbed a preseason Heisman Trophy candidate by the Sporting News and was included on the magazine’s list of the top 25 players in the nation.
One more postscript on Boise State moving to the Mountain West. There is one recruiting disadvantage, although it is far outweighed by BSU’s ability to draw players to the Mountain West level now. But the Broncos will be making only one football appearance in California every two years—and it’ll be at the bottom tip of the state. In the WAC, the road schedule alternated between San Jose State and Fresno State, giving family and friends of Boise State’s considerable stock of Californians a chance to see them annually. Fresno wasn’t terribly far from Southern California—furthermore, Nevada gave NoCal fans an additional opportunity every other year. Now it’s San Diego State or bust, with trips to Las Vegas to see the Broncos play UNLV having to suffice in alternate years.
The perception around much of the Mountain West is the same as much of the country: that Boise State sufficiently replaces Utah in football—and little else. Well, don’t tell Bronco men’s tennis coach Greg Patton that. His team has been competing with, and beating, Mountain West teams for over 15 years. “In all humility, we’re looking to be sitting at the mountaintop,” says Patton. “We’re not scrambled eggs for these guys—we’re sunny side up. I’d say they’re getting a pretty good deal with our men’s and women’s teams.”
When the Boise Hawks beat Yakima Sunday night to go 2-1 on opening weekend, it marked their first time over .500 since the end of the 2008 season. The Hawks are on the positive side of the ledger again after downing Salem-Keizer last night, 6-2. Boise got its bats going in Memorial Stadium, notching its first double-digit hit night of the season with 11. Two of them were home runs by Richard Jones and Alvaro Ramirez, and it was Ramirez’s two-run shot in the fifth inning that put the game away. You may recall that the Hawks dropped their first five games of the season last year and never recovered. This summer they’d dearly like to find themselves in a pennant race. The third game of the Hawks-Volcanoes series is coming up tonight.
There’s been another major league call-up of a former Boise Hawk. Joel Peralta, who played for the Hawks way back in 2000, the final season of Angels affiliation, is up with the Washington Nationals. Peralta saw his first action last night, pitching a scoreless two-thirds of an inning in the Nats’ 4-3 win over his former club, the Kansas City Royals. The 34-year-old righthander had a couple good years with the sorry Royals in 2006 and 2007 but never got it going with the Colorado Rockies the past two seasons.
What I did on my offseason vacation, by Idaho Olympian Erik Fisher. The downhiller from Middleton visited Armenia to pick up his sister, Carlie, from a mission trip. But Fisher ended up being a mentor to the Armenian ski team. He met with a group of coaches, athletes and students at the Armenian State Physical Education University in the country's capital city, according to a story at SkiRacing.com. "Everyone was pretty excited that I was there," said Fisher. "I pretty much spoke about what it takes to become a professional ski racer in the U.S. and then walked them through some typical workouts both in the gym and on snow."
What’s really cool about this is a push Fisher is making for the Bogus Basin Ski Education Foundation to “adopt” the Armenian ski team, with an assist from the annual Bogus Basin ski swap. "I've been involved in the Bogus Basin ski swap in the past and there's always a truckload of stuff that isn't picked up. A lot of it is great equipment and unfortunately probably ends up in a landfill," said Fisher. "I'd like to start a program where all that stuff is gathered and sent to Armenia. They have a lot of passion for skiing over there and I want to support that." Erik would like to have a program in place by this fall.
This Day In Sports…June 23, 2000, 10 years ago today:
After 19 seasons, 424 victories, and an NAIA Division II national championship, Marty Holly announces his retirement as head basketball coach at Albertson College. Holly would remain as athletic director at the Caldwell school, and his longtime assistant Mark Owen, a former player for Holly, would succeed him as coach of the Coyotes.
(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment Sunday nights at 10:30PM on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 1350 KTIK/The Ticket. He’s also handled color commentary on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football the last five seasons.)