Friday, July 2, 2010.
Chris Petersen hasn’t named Boise State’s captains yet for the 2010 season, and he’s in no hurry to do so. His players are immersed in summer conditioning and player-run practices. And for all we know, Pete’s in a boat on Payette Lake. It was clear the captainship wasn’t going to be decided during spring football, and it certainly didn’t have to be. There are captains under every rock.
Whenever you ask Pete about leaders, it seems he’s about ready to rattle off the entire senior class. Ryan Winterswyk is kind of the “Kellen Moore of the defense,” a tremendous talent who commands respect. Jeron Johnson, Austin Pettis, Derrell Acrey, and Winston Venable are right in there, too. Venable’s that one that’s amazing—a junior college transfer who’s been on campus just 17 months. “I shake my head that he fit in here so fast as a player, as a teammate, as a student,” said Petersen. “That’s not easy to do.”
Stewart Mandel answers a question in his College Football Mailbag at SI.com and presto—we have a Heisman Trophy hopeful update. Writes Mandel: “The guys I think you'll see mentioned most frequently as candidates to start the year will be (in no particular order): Alabama’s Mark Ingram, Washington’s Jake Locker, Oregon State’s Jacquizz Rodgers, Ohio State’s Terrelle Pryor, Boise State’s Kellen Moore, Arkansas’ Ryan Mallett, West Virginia’s Noel Devine, Oregon’s LaMichael James, Virginia Tech’s Ryan Williams, Florida State’s Christian Ponder, Miami’s Jacory Harris and Houston’s Case Keenum. These are guys who fit the traditional Heisman mold: established quarterbacks or running backs with built-in name recognition who are likely to put up big numbers.” How about Moore facing two of those guys in September?
Boise State has felt like it was part of the college football arms race for 10 years. But make no mistake: the Broncos are just gettin’ started by moving to the Mountain West next year. Take this from TCU coach Gary Patterson in the Sporting News Daily online edition: “A lot of people at our university think this program is very important. Over the last five months, we’ve raised $105 million toward stadium and facilities expansion. I don’t think they’ve announced that yet, but it’s something that’s very important for us as we continue to build our program. We’re not standing still. We’ve moved forward on both sides of the street, both athletically and academically. A different conference isn’t going to change our goals. We’ll play whoever they tell us to play.”
First we heard Utah State had some interest in banished Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, without knowing if the feeling was mutual. But if a report out of a Monroe, LA, TV station is correct, Masoli does has some interest in Louisiana Tech. It is said he visited the Bulldogs last weekend. He was booted off the Ducks squad by coach Chip Kelly last month after a running afoul of the law multiple times. Masoli would have to sit out this season, so he wouldn’t face Boise State in 2011 if he hooked up with La Tech. The station reported that Masoli is also going to visit Mississippi State.
The Boise Hawks notched their first shutout of the season last night, blanking Yakima, 7-0. It was the Hawks’ fourth victory in five games, and it snapped a four-game Bears’ winning streak. Hawks second baseman Pierre LePage’s name is becoming increasingly familiar in these parts. The Cubs’ 13th-round draft pick out of Connecticut had a four-RBI night that included a bases-clearing double in the second inning. Runey Davis also contributed with his second home run of the season. But hey, if it was a shutout, pitching had to figure into it—Austin Kirk, Carlos Rojas and Rogelio Carmona combined on a six-hitter.
Cleveland Cavaliers fans have their free agent, LeBron James. It’s all Idaho Steelheads faithful can do to follow Dan Ellis. Like LeBron, the Steelies’ 2004 Kelly Cup Finals MVP became an unrestricted NHL free agent yesterday, uh, albeit with a slightly different level of fan interest. Thing is, the Montreal Canadiens traded with the Nashville Predators Tuesday to get Ellis—the Canadiens were gambling that they’d be able to sign the 30-year-old goaltender by midnight Wednesday night. They didn’t, and Ellis was free to sign a two-year contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning yesterday. Ellis will join another prominent Steelies alum at Tampa Bay, Zenon Konopka, a teammate on that 2004 ECHL championship team.
Wesley Moodie and Dick Norman expended a lot of mental and physical energy upsetting Bob and Mike Bryan in the “Gentlemen’s Doubles” quarterfinals at Wimbledon Wednesday. Looks like Moodie and Norman were low on gas in the semis, as they fell to unseeded Jurgen Melzer of Austria and Philipp Petzschner of Germany yesterday in five sets. Moodie, the former Boise State All-American, was gunning for his second Wimbledon men’s doubles crown. He is, however, still alive in mixed doubles, playing in the semifinals with Lisa Raymond.
Troy Merritt and Graham DeLaet had their own Bronco support group going yesterday in the first round of the AT&T National in Newton Square, PA. And it worked out pretty well, as Merritt fired a one-under-69, four shots off the pace, and DeLaet carded a 70. The third member of their group was TCU product J.J. Henry. He didn’t seem to mind being outnumbered by Boise State rivals, as he shot a 70 as well. Barring a blowup in today’s second round, all three are in position to make the cut.
This Day In Sports…July 2, 1963:
San Francisco’s Willie Mays (never miss an opportunity to plug this guy) hits a home run in the 16th inning to break up an incredible scoreless pitchers’ duel between Juan Marichal of the Giants and Warren Spahn of the Milwaukee Braves. I’d call that a quality start by both Marichal and Spahn, as major league clubs are happy to get six innings out of a starter today.
(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.)