Monday, August 6, 2012.
Shane Williams-Rhodes, by all accounts, is going to be an outstanding wide receiver at Boise State. Heck, maybe he’s good enough to break some of the records set by Austin Pettis and Titus Young. I just wish he wasn’t wearing No. 11. I understand the difficulty of retiring numbers. There’s only been one in Bronco history, Jim McMillan’s No. 12. You start retiring numbers, and you get a rash of duplicates, confusing fans and announcers alike. And the culture of the Boise State program dictates that all players are created equal.
But Kellen Moore was a once-in-a-lifetime player. He was historic, starting with the NCAA record 50 career victories. If Moore was the standard, Boise State likely wouldn’t have to worry about ever retiring another number. I wish BSU could have refrained from issuing No. 11 this season, to give itself a year to carefully consider retiring that number. Oh well. What’s done is done, I guess.
Friday’s Boldewijn-Yriarte bombshell out of Boise State can only be seen as a time for opportunity by certain Bronco players. Boldewijn’s four-game suspension for receiving improper benefits again last December from his high school host family means Boise State’s projected seven-receiver rotation this season is down to six, unless Aaron Burks or Troy Ware can rise to the occasion. Burks, already a junior, graduated from high school in Texas early in order to green-shirt and join the Broncos for spring football in 2009. But he has only 12 career catches for 115 yards and no touchdowns. The potential is still there, though. Ware, meanwhile, is the redshirt freshman who had a strong spring and capped it by catching Nick Patti’s 35-yard touchdown pass.
Yriarte’s third major knee injury of his career ends his college football playing days. The second one had gotten Yriarte a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA, but it was not to be. The injury had to have happened in the final week of summer conditioning, because he played in the team’s charity softball game July 21 and looked fine. Now the Boise State coaching staff will see if junior Matt Paradis can go grab the job without having to resort to help from guards Joe Kellogg and Spencer Gerke, who will be working out at the position.
As for Boldewijn, a second straight season-starting suspension is a setback in his quest to be an impact wide receiver at Boise State. The one-time Capital High star who hails from the Netherlands had one of the most significant springs of 2011 and looked primed for a breakout last season—until he got in trouble with the NCAA for driving a beater car loaned to him by his host family. Boldewijn returned to the field with a bang last October at Fresno State, with two touchdowns on three catches. It looked like he was off and running. But Boldewijn had only 16 receptions and no more TDs over the final eight games of the season. He won’t be seen this year until the Broncos’ trip to Southern Miss October 6.
One down, hopefully two to go for Bishop Kelly grad Nick Symmonds at the Summer Olympics in London. Symmonds won his heat this morning to advance to the semifinals in the 800 meters, using his patented home stretch surge to outdistance his competitors. Symmonds ran a 1:45.91, a cruiser time for him. Elsewhere, former Boise State star Jarred Rome missed qualifying for the men’s discus, throwing only 195 feet, 9 inches this morning and finishing 17th in his group. On one attempt, Rome was called for an obscure foul after exiting the throwing circle imcorrectly. Rome had high hopes after a second-place finish at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, where his top mark was 207-10.
It happens in the Northwest League, and last night it happened again to the Boise Hawks. A huge lead was blown, and a frustrating loss seemed imminent. But after watching Spokane plate six runs in the eighth inning to rally from a 9-3 deficit, the Hawks survived into extra innings and averted disaster. In the 11th, Daniel Vogelbach did what everybody likes him to do. He launched a solo home run that gave Boise a 10-9 victory and a two-game lead atop the Northwest League East Division in the second-half standings. Lance Rymel added two homers, the first multi-homer game by a Boise player in almost six years. The Hawks move on to Everett tonight, where they begin a five-game series against the AquaSox.
It looks like the Hawks may yet see their 100th alumnus make the majors after all this season. No. 98 and No. 99 happened yesterday, as two of the higher-profile Cubs draft picks of the last five years debuted for Chicago. Brett Jackson, the team’s top choice in 2009, got the start in centerfield against the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine and went 2-for-4, scoring his first big league run. Josh Vitters, a first round selection in 2007, got into the game as a pinch-hitter and flied out. L.A. won the contest, 7-6. Jackson played for Boise in 2009, hitting .330 with a homer and 15 RBI in 24 games. Vitters was a Northwest League All-Star for the Hawks in 2008, batting .328 with five homers and 37 RBI and recording a franchise record 25-game hitting streak.
What an interesting summer for Boise State basketball standout Anthony Drmic. First, the sophomore-to-be made the Australia Boomers squad, guaranteeing him a place in camp to compete for a spot on the Aussie Olympic team. At the first Olympic tryout, coaches held a three-point shooting contest—and Drmic won. Then while flying home to Victoria following the first session of practices, Drmic ruptured his appendix. That took him out of consideration for the Olympics, but he was named to an Australian national team that was set to tour China. Doctors wouldn’t clear Drmic to travel to China, though. The 6-6 swingman is working out again in Australia and is due back in Boise in two weeks. Drmic led the Broncos in scoring last season as a true freshman, averaging 12 points a game.
The fifth annual BAM Jam Boise survived a toasty weekend, drawing healthy crowds to its new setup in the area of Capitol Park. Hail to the victors, the Stadia Legends. The squad is led by Chris Allen, a former Lewis-Clark State standout, and NNU products Ryan McCarthy and Wade Joseph, who have been regulars in the BAM Jam winners’ circle. They were joined by Bryan Rabas.
This Day In Sports…August 6, 1948:
In London, 17-year-old Bob Mathias becomes the youngest decathlon winner in Olympic history just two months after graduating from high school—and only six weeks after competing in the grueling event for the first time. As a senior at Stanford in 1952, Mathias won the gold again at the Summer Olympics in Helsinki and then retired from competition, having never been defeated.
(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 93.1 The Ticket. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)