Motivation in Phil Steele's mag

Friday, June 6, 2014.

Chip on the shoulder became part of the Boise State vernacular many years ago, and it was because of things like the new Phil Steele All-Mountain West teams released this week. Steele always stresses how accurate he is in his predictions (cue the chip expander ). There are three Broncos total on Steele s All-Mountain West first team: wide receiver Matt Miller, running back Jay Ajayi and cornerback Donte Deayon. And don t look for the second team to make up for it there are no Boise State players on offense, and only defensive lineman Tyler Horn and cornerback Bryan Douglas adorn the defense. And, hey Phil, Douglas is not assured of a starting spot with the Broncos this season.

If you dig deeper into Steele s list (he goes four teams deep, for cryin out loud), the Broncos with the biggest chips would seem to be wide receiver Shane Williams-Rhodes and safety Jeremy Ioane, both third-teamers. Williams-Rhodes is one of the Mountain West s most dynamic playmakers, coming off a season that saw 77 catches despite an injury that knocked him out of the final two games of the year. SWR did make the first-team as a kick returner, though. To Steele s credit, his college football annual is the most detailed of any publication out there. We re talking excruciating detail.

The Boise State football staff isn t just making a cameo appearance tomorrow at the Hardin-Simmons Houston Football Camp. The entire staff is going to be there, including coach Bryan Harsin. The Bronco coaches have co-billing in Hardin-Simmons promotion of the camp. Three Boise State staffers will also participate in the Northwest Elite Camp in Seattle tonight before flying to Houston in the morning. Can a Bronco Texas Blitz similar to this spring s tour of Idaho high schools be far behind? Don t laugh. Boise State coaches are also going to be featured later this month (after BSU s own camps) at the Spokane Border Camp, the All Poly camp in Layton, UT, and the SoCal Elite Camp in Los Angeles.

On and on it goes. Troubled former Boise State wide receiver Titus Young, facing four felony counts and seven other criminal charges resulting from a bizarre crime spree more than a year ago, was supposed to appear for another preliminary hearing yesterday in Newport Beach. But, according to his attorney, Young remains in a Southern California medical facility receiving treatment for an undisclosed condition. Young did not appear and was ordered to be present for the court s next attempt at a pretrial hearing on June 19.

Everybody has a tie to California Chrome it seems as he guns for the Triple Crown tomorrow at the Belmont Stakes. The Reno area claims one of his owners, the Fresno area has the stables where he was bred, and the Boise area has his dad. California Chrome s sire was Lucky Pulpit, owned by Larry and Marianne Williams (also co-owners at Les Bois Park). Lucky Pulpit, raised at Tree Top Ranches in Parma, is the grandson of Seattle Slew and the great-grandson of Secreteriat, two of the last three Triple Crown winners. Still, Lucky Pulpit's stud fee was only $2,500 in 2010 when California Chrome was bred to Love The Chase (he was foaled on February 18, 2011). California Chrome is a fantastic horse and Marianne and I feel very blessed to be associated with California Chrome connections, said Larry Williams. They are a special group of people and if anyone deserves to go further in the industry, it is them.

Candy Boy, the horse that finished 13th in the Kentucky Derby last month with Caldwell native Gary Stevens aboard, did not enter the Preakness Stakes and is absent from the Belmont Stakes as well. But there will be some Les Bois Park heritage on the Belmont track tomorrow. After Stevens left Les Bois almost 35 years ago, his brother Scott remained and was the Boise track s leading jockey for several seasons. And both brothers will be riding tomorrow. Gary has four mounts and Scott two. One of Scott s is in the next best thing to the Belmont Stakes, as he ll be aboard Broadway Empire in the G1 Metropolitan Mile, which carries a purse of $1.25 million.

The Idaho Steelheads aren t in the Kelly Cup Finals, of course. Alaska leads that series two games-to-one, with the action moving to Cincinnati for Game 4 tonight. But there s plenty of former Steelheads in the American Hockey League s Calder Cup Finals, which begin Sunday with the Texas Stars facing the St. John s (Newfoundland) IceCaps. On the Texas roster are Justin Dowling, Hubert Labrie, Taylor Vause and this season s Idaho starting goalie, Josh Robinson. On St. John s roster are Tyler Beskorowany, Ketchum s Cody Lampl and Kael Mouillierat. Also, the IceCaps chief operating officer is Glenn Stanford, the former president of the Steelheads and the facility now known as CenturyLink Arena.

For the third straight year, the Chicago Cubs took a position player with their first selection in the MLB Draft last night, and the previous two ended up in Boise (Albert Almora and Kris Bryant). With the fourth overall pick, the Cubs went for Indiana catcher Kyle Schwarber, who was one of three finalists for this year s Johnny Bench Award that goes to the top Division I catcher in the country. Schwarber batted .358 with 14 home runs and 48 RBI in his junior year with the Hoosiers. Recent history would indicate Schwarber will be wearing a Boise Hawks uniform this summer.

Justin Bour became the 103rd former Hawk to make the major leagues yesterday when he debuted for Miami in its 11-6 victory at Tampa Bay. Bour also logged his first two big league hits and his first RBI. He had been tearing it up at Triple-A New Orleans, batting .330 with 36 runs batted in. Bour played in 48 games for Boise in 2009, hitting .258 with two home runs and 27 RBI. A breakdown of Boise alums to make the Show: there have been 53 during the Cubs era, 49 during the Angels era, and one from the Hawks three years as an independent in the late 1980 s (anybody remember Reggie Williams?).

Here s another event where weather is a crucial element. The 7th annual Ironman 70.3 Boise dives into Lucky Peak tomorrow at noon on a day with a forecast high of 82. In that chilly water, it wouldn t matter if it was 102 outside (even to Apolo Anton Ohno). But the temperature will matter on the 56-mile bike ride and the 13.1-mile half-marathon. Two years ago it was 44 degrees when the athletes got out of the water, and the thermometer struggled to get to 63. Throw the wind in, and the cycling portion of the race had to be reduced to 15 miles. Conversely, the high was 88 last year. Ironman 70.3 Boise is allotted 40 qualifying slots to the World Championship in Hawaii in October. There is one big change this year the finish line will held be in Julia Davis Park instead of BoDo. It will be less sardine-like for the throngs that come out to see how Ohno does.

Boise State grad Troy Merritt turned in his second-best round of the PGA Tour season yesterday when he carded a three-under 67 in the first round of the FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis. Merritt was tied for ninth when play was suspended by darkness. And to think it would have been a 65 were it not for a double-bogey on the 18th hole. Elsewhere, Eagle s Graysen Huff won the first American Junior Golf Association tournament of his career yesterday when he was victorious in the prestigious PING Phoenix Junior. Huff shot a one-under 69 in the final round to beat Sean Carlon of Albuquerque of three strokes. And Boise State s Haliee Pieper has qualified for the U.S. Women s Amateur Public Links Championship next month in DuPont, WA.

There will be football on the radio on Saturday afternoons this season. We know it won t be in the form of Boise State games, the kickoff times of which are anywhere but there. But the College of Idaho s return to the gridiron isn t bound by TV obligations, and KTIK has happily plugged the Coyotes into its AM signal for all 11 dates as they play for the first time in 37 years. The contract with Jon Carson Productions also includes pre- and post-game programming and a Monday night coach s show with Mike Moroski. Dave Tester will handle play-by-play.

This Day In Sports...June 6, 1892:

One year after planting a now-famous oak tree on the grounds of the new Idaho Statehouse rescued by Boiseans a century later, Benjamin Harrison becomes the first incumbent President to attend a major league baseball game, as he watches Cincinnati beat Washington, 7-4. Like the old water oak at the Statehouse, baseball has been recovering from a very sickly stretch known as the Steroid Era. Hopefully it doesn t lose its leaves again. The oak? It was finally taken out in 2007 when renovation of the Capitol building began.

(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.)


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