Friday, July 27, 2012.
Boise State athletes went through their final player-run practice yesterday and now get a short break before fall camp begins a week from tomorrow. The Broncos, who have been at it for seven weeks, have been trying to develop a new set of leaders for the 2013 season. One guy expected to take charge is senior left guard Joe Kellogg, who says it’s been a long-term project for him. “It’s a different role,” Kellogg said at Mountain West Media Days. “Last year I had to start to take that next step (as a leader). Now I’ve done it all summer, and I feel the guys respect my ability to teach and coach.” The PRP grind is old-hat to most Broncos. “We have all taken the right steps this summer,” said senior cornerback Jamar Taylor.
Believe it or not, Boise State’s season begins five weeks from tonight. And if there’s any opponent that reinforces coach Chris Petersen’s “one game at a time” mantra, it’s the one awaiting the Broncos in East Lansing. “I’ve studied Michigan State,” said Petersen. “This will be our toughest opener that we’ve ever had.” The Spartans, who could begin the season in the Top 10, come on the heels of Georgia, Virginia Tech and Oregon for Boise State the past three seasons. But the challenge this year is obvious. “We haven’t been this young in a long, long time,” Petersen said.
That means we’re also five weeks away from what will already be Boise State’s final season as a member of the Mountain West. Despite the effect the Broncos’ (and San Diego State’s) departure will have on the conference’s computer ranking, most coaches are looking to the parity on the horizon in the 2013 version of the Mountain West. “I’m worried about winning games,” said New Mexico coach Bob Davie. “I’m not worried about the national prestige of the league. The best is ahead of all of us.”
There were no pleasant surprises yesterday at WAC Media Days in Las Vegas. Interim commissioner Jeff Hurd acknowledged that WAC football is probably a goner in 2013. Hurd squashed any thoughts that a group of Southern and Eastern FCS schools may come to the rescue. “Not only is it premature, it’s not going to happen,” said Hurd on Idaho SportsTalk. “I believe our option is going to be for Idaho and New Mexico State to play as an independent,” Hurd told Jeff Caves. “We really do need time to make football work. There’s no guarantee that we can do it.”
One of the first play-by-play voices I heard when I moved to Idaho in 1968 was that of Bob Curtis. It has now been silenced, as Curtis has passed away at the age of 87 at his home in Colfax, WA. Curtis was an old-school classic as the Voice of the Vandals, making every game sound bigger than life. He announced Idaho games for half a century and at one point was on the microphone for 540 consecutive football games. One fall, he needed hip replacement surgery. What did he do? He had the operation during a bye week so he didn’t miss a game. Above all, Bob Curtis was a good, good guy.
There are seven Idaho ties as the Summer Olympics roll in London with tonight’s Opening Ceremonies. Here’s your checklist: Boise’s Kristin Armstrong (cycling), Boise’s Nick Symmonds (800-meter run), former Boise State star Jarrod Rome (discus), former Bronco Kurt Felix (decathlon for Grenada), one-time Centennial High student Breeja Larson (swimming), Ketchum’s Adrienne Lyle (equestrian), and former Ketchum resident Georgia Gould (mountain biking).
Armstrong, whose first event is the road race on Sunday, goes from pouring ice down her jersey while training in 100-degree heat in the Treasure Valley to a rush of cool air—and possible rain—in the English countryside. "If I go in with a mindset that it's going to be a wet rain day it's ok," Armstrong told National Public Radio. "I'm from Boise, Idaho. I train here. I have weather, but it always helps me to be strong in my mind, and to know what I'm up against. And then I just move forward." She has certainly done that in the two months since breaking her collarbone at the Exergy Tour.
Golf notes today: Home was not that sweet for Graham DeLaet yesterday in the first round of the Canadian Open. The Saskatchewan native and former Boise State star shot a one-under 69, but he finds himself in a 27-way tie for 39th place, seven shots behind leader Scott Piercy. And the 40th annual Junior America's Cup was captured by Northern California yesterday. NoCal won its 10th title, outdistancing British Columbia by five strokes. Rico Hoey of Southern California took individual medalist honors, coming in at nine-under-par over the three days. Idaho finished 13th, led by Boise’s David Elliott in a tie for 19th in the field of 68 golfers.
The Boise Hawks were on the short end of a rare Northwest League 1-0 game last night, the first time they’ve been shut out this year. The Hawks wasted another solid pitching performance by starter Jose Arias, who went six innings and allowed the one Yakima run on only three hits. But it was a hit-by-pitch fest, and Arias and manager Mark Johnson were both ejected in the seventh inning after Arias’ second plunking of the night. Willson Contreras, who was hit twice by pitches himself, was also tossed later in the game after throwing an elbow. The Hawks fall to 14-27 overall this season and begin a three-game series against the Tri-City Dust Devils tonight.
The national Little League organization no longer covers team expenses to Junior Regionals, so the North Boise All-Stars are left to raise a lot of money in a short period of time. The state 13-14 champions go to Vancouver Tuesday and need donations by Wednesday to cover travel, meals and other expenses for youth who might not be able to afford it. You can help with tax-deductible donations by calling 327-8409.
A KTVB.com “Mountain West Forgotten Fact of the Day”: The conference has placed multiple teams in the Top 25 for four consecutive seasons, but after this season, all the teams represented (Boise State, TCU, BYU and Utah) will be gone. Last year Boise State was No. 6 in AP and No. 8 in the Coaches Poll, and TCU was ranked 13th and 14th, respectively. The Broncos own the second-longest streak in the nation for weeks in the Top 25, appearing in both polls for 61 consecutive weeks. They were last unranked going into the contest at Oregon in 2008, Kellen Moore’s first collegiate road game.
This Day In Sports…July 27, 1946:
Rudy York drives in 10 runs and becomes the third major leaguer to belt two grand slams in one game. His homers came in the second and fifth innings against Tex Shirley as the Boston Red Sox chewed up the St. Louis Browns, 13-6. (The most amazing such feat is still Tony Cloninger’s two grand slams in a game against the San Francisco Giants in 1966. Cloninger was a…pitcher…for the Atlanta Braves. I listened to that game on the radio.)
(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.)