Monday, June 18, 2012.
It took Titus Young virtually all of the 2008 season working his way back into the good graces of the Boise State coaching staff. As a sophomore, the star wide receiver was suspended for Game No. 2—and again for the final nine games of the year. He responded rather nicely after the exile. There will be no such lengthy detention in Detroit after Young was asked to take a little time off resulting from a fight in practice with safety Louis Delmas last month. In fact, Lions coach Jim Schwartz said Young has been outstanding in minicamp. “Young has turned heads with his playmaking ability in just about every practice over the last three weeks,” wrote Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. Birkett said Schwartz was asked whether Young has looked as good to coaches as he has to reporters this spring. "You weren't seeing ghosts out there," Schwartz said.
The next step for Titus? It could be as a feature player on special teams. Young has been working with the Lions first team as a kickoff and punt returner. "Punt return is really where my heart is," Young said. "Ever since I was younger that's where I really got noticed at, just catching the ball and just making a lot of people miss. (I'd) definitely love to do it." Young returned 56 kickoffs for 1,449 yards and two touchdowns during his Boise State career. He had only 11 punt returns, though, for 76 yards.
Scout.com reports that Boise State has its sixth and seventh verbal commitments for the 2013 recruiting class. Chris Seisay of American Canyon, CA, gave the Broncos the word at conclusion BSU’s camp last Friday, and Tanner Vallejo of Grass Valley, CA, who was also camping in Boise last week, committed late last night. Seisay, a 6-2 175-pounder, was rated as a cornerback by Scout.com but said he wants to play wide receiver—and that’s where the Broncos told him he’ll be. Vallejo is a 6-2, 225-pounder who Scout calls “a pure middle linebacker.” After three Idahoans, one Arizonan and one Texan, Boise State has its first two recruits from California.
The Boise Hawks are off to one of those starts, the ones we’ve become accustomed to in recent years. The Hawks are 0-3 after blowing a 3-0 eighth inning lead last night, allowing two Salem-Keizer runs in the eighth and two more in the ninth and losing 4-3. It’s the third time since 2006 Boise has lost its first three games of the season. The Hawks wasted a sparkling performance by South African Tayler Scott, who started and threw five scoreless innings. Scott allowed just three hits and had four strikeouts.
Highlights of the Hawks’ opening weekend (beyond Scott’s start last night): Jose Arias’ five shutout innings on Opening Night and Rock Shoulders’ towering home run onto Interstate 5 Saturday night. The Cubs’ first round draft pick in 2010, Hayden Simpson, looked like he was going to be a highlight as well as he made his Hawks debut last night. Simpson retired six of the first seven Volcanoes he faced after entering the game in the sixth. But a single and two walks that included a wild pitch to start the eighth spelled the end of his night.
Maddie Sheils rode steely nerves to her second Idaho Women’s Amateur championship Friday, beating the wind and Falcon Crest with a two-over 74. Sheils, the Bishop Kelly grad who just completed a sterling career at Nebraska, won by five strokes over Caldwell’s Cali Hipp, a junior-to-be at Oregon. By the way, defending Idaho Women's Am champ Trish Gibbens of the College of Idaho was not in the field this year, as she's headed to New Jersey for the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championships this week. Gibbens earned a berth through a national qualifier in Las Vegas last month.
Kristin Armstrong had been competing with Evelyn Stevens and Amber Neben, the top two finishers in the Exergy Tour, for two spots in the U.S. cycling team’s time trial lineup at the Summer Olympics. And not only did Armstrong land the time trial spot with Neben Friday, she was named to the road race squad as well. Stevens did get a berth in the road race and is happy with that. “For me to get the TT spot would be difficult,” Stevens told Velo News. “It inspires me to become a better time trialist. Both Amber and Kristin were former world champions—four years ago, I was at the desk.” Stevens was an investment banker on Wall Street in 2008 when she followed the urge to get into competitive cycling.
Anyone who knows my radio history dating back to the old KFXD days in the 1970’s will not be surprised that I hereby observe Paul McCartney’s 70th birthday today. Now I just have to find a sports angle. Uh, McCartney played the Super Bowl halftime show eight years ago. His second solo album was titled “Ram.” McCartney also had a 1974 hit called “Jet.” The only real stadium song I can remember from his solo or Beatles days (you know, the ones they play in arenas during time-outs) was “Twist & Shout.” Oh, and there was “Help,” which used to be a staple when a manager would go out to the mound to talk to a struggling pitcher. At any rate, happy birthday to a guy who helped shape a generation.
This Day In Sports…June 18, 2010:
After five seasons, 217 wins, two Kelly Cup Finals appearances and one ECHL championship, Derek Laxdal resigns as head coach of the Idaho Steelheads to take the reins of the Western Hockey League’s Edmonton Oil Kings. Laxdal notched 40-win seasons in each of his five years in Boise. Laxdal’s team had a league-best record of 48-17-7 during his final campaign, earning him ECHL Coach of the Year honors.
(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.)