Monday, June 10, 2013.
Vince Iyer of Sporting News has come up with a comprehensive list of the NFL's best young players, called “Top 25 Under 25.” And how about former Boise State star and current Tampa Bay Buccaneer Doug Martin coming in second behind Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. Writes Iyer: “Although he needs a better nickname than Muscle Hamster, Martin delivered right away in his rookie season as an explosive, versatile workhorse for the Bucs' revamped running game. The comparisons to Greg Schiano's former Rutgers back—tiny but tough Raven Ray Rice—turned out to be valid.” And to think that before Martin, only two former Bronco running backs had ever scored NFL touchdowns (Cedric Minter and Brock Forsey). NFL.com is currently unveiling its top 100 players overall for 2013, and Martin is No. 57.
For fans scouring college football recruiting websites, it’s been hard to miss the name Squally Canada. The 5-11, 180-pound running back committed to Boise State on the spot Friday when he took his campus visit. Canada might bring the Broncos the best moniker since Winky White 25 years ago. Scout.com reports that as a junior last season, Canada rushed for 1,028 yards and six touchdowns while adding 36 tackles and a sack as a defensive back. He’s the sixth commit in Boise State’s 2014 recruiting class.
Dr. John Barnes was known for his affinity for building buildings while he was president of rapidly-growing Boise State in the 1970s. And one of them was Bronco Stadium. Barnes, who died last week at the age of 89, had a complete vision of where the school needed to be, transitioning it from Boise College to Boise State College to Boise State University in less than seven years. He was as much a Silver Fox as his football coach at the time, Tony Knap. Dr. Barnes will be missed.
I can’t be the only person nervous that Titus Young is out on bail. Who’s going to watch over him and help him between now and his pretrial hearing in Orange County on June 24? (The former Boise State star also has a hearing in Riverside County Wednesday regarding the permanent restraining order requested by the mother of his young son.) Young faces four felony charges and seven misdemeanors in Orange County as well as a trespassing charge in Riverside County.
As many draft picks right out of high school do, Rocky Mountain’s Mason Smith will probably begin his pro career in the Arizona rookie league. Smith, the third-round pick of the San Diego Padres, could graduate to the Eugene Emeralds in the Northwest League should he perform well in the desert. The Boise Hawks open the season at Eugene this Friday—then the Emeralds come to Boise at the end of the month. That might be too soon for Smith. But since the Hawks are in the same division as Eugene this season, the Ems come back through Boise again in mid-August. Maybe then. Elsewhere, with Joey Martarano’s commitment to Boise State football established, the Fruitland High star did drop in the Major League draft. But not that much. Martarano was taken in the 13th round by the Philadelphia Phils.
Saturday was more like 2012 for Borah High grad Stephen Fife. It was back to run Dodger support issues as Fife suffered his first defeat of the season in a 2-1 loss to Atlanta at Dodger Stadium. He allowed two solo home runs, one to Dan Uggla and the other to Braves starting pitcher Kris Medlin. “That mis-located fastball to a pitcher is probably one I'd like to have back,” said Fife. He went 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs and nine hits with seven strikeouts in his third start of the season.
Gary Stevens almost pulled it off again. He and Oxbow had made their way to the front around the final turn in the Belmont Stakes Saturday until Palace Malice found a higher gear, winning by more than three lengths. Now that Stevens has put his stamp on a successful comeback at the age of 50, following his Preakness Stakes victory with a second-place finish at the Belmont, you wonder how long it’s going to last. Until he’s 55? Willie Shoemaker was the oldest jockey ever to win a Triple Crown race when he took the Kentucky Derby aboard Ferdinand in 1986 at age 54. Stevens’ knees were the deal-breaker in two previous retirements in 1999 and 2005. As long as the knees can hold up, so can Stevens.
There was no freaky cold weather, no shrinkage of the course, and no drama during the warmly-received sixth edition of Ironman 70.3 Boise Saturday. That set up New Zealand’s Bevan Docherty for a dominant performance in the half-marathon portion of the race and a one-minute, 41-second victory over Canadian Brett McMahon. The two guys who tied in Boise last year, American Marty Reed and New Zealander Callum Millward, finished seventh and 12th Saturday, respectively. On the women’s side, Liz Lyles of Reno rallied from a 3½-minute deficit at the end of the 56-mile bike ride to defeat fellow American Heather Jackson by five minutes, five seconds for her first Ironman 70.3 victory.
Emma Bates is looking like a Boise State track and field all-timer. She was a two-time first-team All-American at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Des Moines, IA, and she is only a sophomore. After running a school record time to finish third in the 10,000-meters last Wednesday, Bates clocked another school record in the 5,000 Friday night, finishing seventh. She becomes the first female in Bronco track and field history to earn two All-American honors in the same meet. Also at the NCAAs, Idaho’s Ugis Svazs earned first-team All-American designation with his eighth-place finish in the javelin.
Recap of Boise’s Davis Cup participants in the French Open: There was one championship, but it wasn’t Novak Djokovic. The Bryan Brothers, Bob and Mike, won the men’s doubles title in Paris Saturday, extending their record with their 14th title in a major. The Bryans had to rally in a tense third-set tiebreaker to beat Nicolas Mahut and Michael Llodra of France. And how in the world did Djokovic get that semifinal against Rafael Nadal to five sets Friday? No matter, because Nadal won and went on to capture his eighth French Open title. Nadal must have had a chip on his shoulder after Djokovic was seeded first at Roland Garros. Still can’t figure that one out.
The 46th annual John Dropping Memorial, one the most prestigious junior golf tournaments in the Northwest, has moved to BanBury after 45 years at Hillcrest Country Club. The Dropping, named after a popular Borah High golfer who died in 1967 at the age of 19, has attracted another strong regional field of high school hopefuls, with 36 holes to be played today and 18 more tomorrow. Recent Timberline graduate Mark Brassey and Vallivue senior-to-be Gabby Barker are both back to defend their 2012 titles.
This Day In Sports…June 10, 1984:
During the height of the Larry Bird-Magic Johnson rivalry, the Boston Celtics wrap up the NBA championship with a 111-102 win over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 7 of the Finals. Bird was the MVP of the series, but it was the Celtics’ Cedric Maxwell who came up big in the seventh game, scoring 24 points. Magic and the Lakers would win the NBA Finals over the Celts the following year.
(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.)