Thursday, May 17, 2012.
Loyalty doesn’t count for much in sports anymore, but sometimes it’s still part of the equation. Boise State picked up a junior college transfer earlier this week when Deontae Florence became a late addition to the 2012 recruiting class. Florence was highly-recruited out of high school in Largo, FL, but didn’t qualify academically. That led him to Butte College in Northern California, where he redshirted in 2010. Last season he transferred to College of the Desert in Southern California and was an impact player, making eight interceptions. Thing is, the Broncos had been tracking him all along. Florence said on Idaho SportsTalk yesterday he remembered that when his phone lit up again as word got out that he was a full academic qualifier. Boise State was Plan A. Florence will be a sophomore in eligibility and has three years to play three.
Florence in effect takes the cornerback roster spot of Quaylon Ewing-Burton, who was kicked off the Boise State squad in January. And that gives us cause to relive the secondary adventure of last fall. Might Florence be an upgrade? Ewing-Burton was the poster boy for the Broncos’ struggles on pass defense after injuries to Jerrell Gavins and Jamar Taylor. Ewing-Burton was burned by the 473-yard day from TCU quarterback Casey Pachall and was the one who didn’t bat down the two-point conversion that won the game 36-35 for the Horned Frogs. If Florence is as ready to play as he professes to be, he could work his way onto the two-deep that includes Gavins, Taylor, and presumably Ebo Makinde.
The Boise State-BYU game September 20 will not kick off at 6 p.m., but at 7 p.m. for its national telecast on ESPN. Kind of a late start time on a weeknight, but that shouldn’t prevent a sellout. It’s still better than that 8:30 p.m. kickoff for the game on the blue turf versus San Diego State Saturday, November 3. Things like that always remind me of Monday Night Football in the Eastern time zone. Now that’s brutal.
I talked last week about Boise State products Kyle Brotzman and Will Lawrence with the Utah Blaze of the Arena Football League. Well, a former Boise Burn star has resurfaced in the indoor game. Levi Madarieta, the one-time BYU Cougar and Weiser Wolverine, returned to the Spokane Shock last weekend after a couple years out of the game. Madarieta isn’t sure how long it will last. He flew to Spokane a week ago and wasn’t yet activated for last Friday’s 68-62 win over the New Orleans VooDoo. The Shock host the Philadelphia Soul tomorrow night.
Boise State’s Greg Patton has more hardware, as he’s been named the Mountain Region Men's Tennis Coach of the Year. It’s the fourth time Patton has captured the honor. He won this year on the merits of a Mountain West championship and the Broncos’ 15th all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Patton has one item left on this season’s agenda, as he’ll coach Boise State senior Damian Hume in the NCAA Individual Championships next week in Athens, GA.
U.S. Open Local Qualifying tees off this morning at BanBury in Eagle, with 28 players gunning for two spots in the Sectionals. The field include Boise’s Jesse Hibler, a former pro who has won on the Canadian tour, Banbury head pro Ben Bryson, who was runnerup for Player of the Year in the Rocky Mountain Section PGA last year, and 2009 Idaho Men’s Amateur champion Quinn Carbol of Pocatello. Among the up-and-comers is Eagle’s Ty Travis, currently playing for Weber State.
Kristin Armstrong’s final tune-up for the Exergy Tour next week takes place today in the Tour of California. The eight stage race started last Sunday in Santa Rosa and concludes this Sunday in Los Angeles, but Armstrong is competing only in today’s individual time trial in Bakersfield. I asked Armstrong last week if she had ever won 80 percent of an event before, like she did when she was victorious in four of the five stages in the Tour of the Gila earlier this month in New Mexico. She said, “Hmmm, I don’t think so.” Armstrong theorizes she could have won the other Gila stage, a criterium, but she found herself in a scary situation on the final turn and kept thinking to herself, “London, London, London.” Seems like Kristin’s focus is good as she targets the 2012 Summer Olympics.
“State everything” begins in earnest today, including the 5A state baseball tournament this morning at Memorial Stadium. State track is the most intruiging event—or events, with a long-standing tradition coming to an end this year. With no more track at Bronco Stadium, the meets will spread through the valley tomorrow and Saturday, with 5A at Rocky Mountain, 4A at Middleton, 3A at Eagle, 2A at Centennial, and 1A at Mountain View. Between now and next year the IHSAA will have to work on logistics to determine how many of the state track classifications can fit into the new 5,000-seat Dona Larsen Park.
This Day In Sports…May 17, 1979:
I remember running highlights of this game on my TV sportscast—it took awhile. The wind was blowing out at Wrigley Field that day, and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Chicago Cubs 23-22. Eventual Boisean Bill Buckner hit a grand slam and had seven RBIs for the Cubs, and Dave Kingman hit three home runs. Mike Schmidt hit two homers for the Phils. The two teams combined for 11 round-trippers and 97 total bases.
(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.)