From the Sidelines
The Bellevue sports blog
In Wednesday’s issue of the Bellevue Reporter, we published this story on Reece Anderson, a 2007 Newport graduate whose dream was to play for the University of Washington.
After a year in prep school back in Connecticut, not to mention much self-recruiting, Anderson secured a spot at UW. Unfortunately, we only have so much space in the paper, because Reece gave me loads of fun information. Here are some of the snippets that didn’t make it into the paper.
On the season in Connecticut: “It went really well. We didn’t win our league but won our championship game. We were selected to the Austin Bowl; only 16 teams get picked in the New England league. We had one All-American on our team, Josh Adams, who is going to North Carolina next season. Every post-graduate is playing college football next season.”
“I really enjoyed the school actually. I’ve always been a defensive player, so it was nice to come in to a team with only 27 guys and get to play some offense and special teams. It was definitely a new aspect.”
On Cheshire Academy itself: “The schooling part was really different, but it helped me academically. I got a 3.8. It was a change, but a good one.”
On the coach, Dan O’Dea, and the rest of the Cheshire staff: “The coaching we had at Cheshire was unbelievable. We had a head coach (O’Dea) that went to Florida State and was an All-American player. It was all very helpful for getting better. We were able to do a lot more things you probably couldn’t do here.”
Was it hard to communicate with the new UW staff after Tyrone Willingham was fired?: “It really wasn’t. The first time I went it, it was really cool. They were all really nice and had me out to some of the practices. The whole way through they’ve been very supportive of what I’m trying to do.”
On new UW coach Steve Sarkisian: “I’ve spoken with him a few times at spring practices and he’s really excited for me to come in.”
What did he improve on during his time back East: “Definitely my quickness and just kind of reading the field in general. I realize I’m not going to be a 4-3 safety. Having football speed is the biggest thing that I’ve gained.”
What was the level of play like?: “I would say it was probably higher than I thought it would be. Every team had Division-I prospects. You have five or 10 guys on each team that could play at the next level.”
I missed this story while on vacation, but it appears that J.R. Hasty has been kicked off the team at Central Washington University.
Hasty, a 2005 graduate from Bellevue High School, was kicked off the team due to failing his summer school courses, coach Blaine Bennett told the Ellensburg Daily Record.
Hasty was part of coach Tyrone Willingham’s prize recruiting class of 2005 (along with EJ Savannah), but left the team after the 2007 season, when he transferred to Central.
We haven’t even seen the start of fall practice, and Bellevue High School is already getting love from the national outlets.
ESPN Rise, the high school branch of ESPN, recently posted its ESPN Fab 50, the top-50 high school football teams for the 2009 season.
Bellevue’s there on the list – picked as the No. 20 team by ESPN. Here’s what the site had to say about the Wolverines:
You’ve got to love the Wolverines’ confidence. On back-to-back weekends (Sept. 12 and Sept. 19) they are taking on defending state champions from both Texas (Katy) and California (Grant).
Speaking of Katy, they’re also on the list – ranked as the No.4 team in the nation.
There’s a solid consensus among pollsters in Texas that the Tigers should start out on top in that state. They won their fourth state title of the decade last fall and figure to be better, especially with almost all the major pieces back on defense. That group is led by 2008 tackling leader Sam Holl and sacks leader Nick Narcisse.
Should be a tough task for the Wolverines, as they will play Katy at home on Sept. 12.
Bellevue isn’t the only defending state champion from Washington on the list. ESPN ranked Skyline as the No. 9 team in the nation.
The No.1 spot went to Saint Thomas Aquinas School of Fort Lauderdale Florida.
Or, more accurately, forgetting a Sox. A Chicago White Sox, that is.
Last Saturday, we ran this story on local professional baseball players . I inadvertently forgot one player; Sammamish High School’s own Lyndon Estill.
Thanks to loyal reader Charlotte Eschelman-Moore, I was informed that Estill, a centerfielder in the Chicago White Sox organization, has been out this season after a shoulder problem was discovered in spring training. The White Sox team doctor performed shoulder surgery, and Estill is home in Bellevue recuperating, and will rejoin the organization next season.
Estill, who was originally drafted by the Pirates in high school, went to Lower Columbia Community College for two seasons, where he was named the NWAACC Western Division MVP in 2006.
The 6-foot, 3-inch Estill spent the 2007 season in Great Falls rookie ball for the White Sox, before returning to that squad for 56 games last year. He moved on to Class A Kannapolis, where he hit .197 in 21 games.
Eschelman-Moore reports he should be ready to report to spring training next season; I’ll take her word for it. She’s Estill’s grandmother.
There was no need for consoling for the Newport members of the Lakeside Recovery team after this game, unlike the above photo.
With Lakeside Recovery’s 8-0 win over Yakima Pepsi Pak in the Senior Legion State Tournament sealing the team’s regional bid, you couldn’t help but feel some of the Newport players got a measure of revenge.
After all, when Lakeside thumped the Twin City Titans 12-2 in the tournament semi-finals, it ended the season for a team predominately made up of members of the Richland Bombers baseball team, who ended Newport’s high school season in the 4A state semi-finals.
Newport’s Andrew West had to feel good in particular; the Lakeside outfielder went 4 for 4 in the win over Twin City, helping get the victory over Titan’s pitcher Kyle Stumetz – who got the win in the state title game against Puyallup.
Here’s the Bombers-Knights breakdown for the game.
Lakeside’s Newport players
OF Andrew West
P/1B Jared Fisher
P/OF Colin Hering
OF Victor King
SS Trace Tam Sing
P/OF Cole Wiper
1B Kevon Zadeh
Twin City’s Richland players
SS Brett Jacobs
OF Eric Yardley
P Cody Shepard
C Josh Rapacz
OF Chris Cecil
P Stinson Ott
OF Jamison Rowe
P Kyle Stumetz
Lakeside Recovery kicks off play in the Regional Tournament next Thursday against Charter Cove, Calif., at 12 p.m. in Medford, Oregon.
Yesterday I posted up this story about NW CrossFit winning the 2009 Affiliate Cup. I ended up having lots and lots of great information leftover from my chat with NW CrossFit founder Jake Platt, part of which I’m planning on using in a future column about how I myself have actually been doing CrossFit for the past few months.
On what to expect from the CrossFit games: “It was the third year that CrossFit had an international competition like this; I hadn’t been to the games before so I did’nt know what to expect. ”
On the preparation for the event, specifically about how CrossFit doesn’t release the events until a few days before the games: “You’ve got to prepare yourself for the unknown and the unknowable. We do all of our programming here at the gym, and we made sure to do a lot of CrossFit Football, basically a heavier version of CrossFit. The workouts are a little shorter, but they are geared a little more towards sport. I wanted to make sure our guys were strong. I knew at the games they were going to be setting us up with a really heavy load.”
On one of his clients, former University of Washington football center Juan Garcia: “I just finished training Juan Garcia, getting him prepared for Minnesota Vikings training camp. We went five days a week of two-a-days. He says it changed his life. We have a lot of college players and a lot of ex-Huskies.”
On how he got into CrossFit:“I got into CrossFit in Jan. of 2007. I’d dabbled in it a couple of times. I had to get a trainer to assist me, and the guy I hired was a CrossFit coach. So when I had him training alongside me, I immediately saw his programming was superior to mine. I emptied my cup and went back to school essentially. We went and got our affiliate and went form there.”
On how he’s seen CrossFit grow in our area: “I’ve seen it explode. Last year, I had about 35 people, now we have about 500 members between both gyms. There’s no particular age group or gender that we’re training. We’ve got kids…I’ve got a 5-year-old in here doing burpies. I have a 64-year-old former Admiral…we’re looking to train everybody. We’ve really learned how to scale the workouts to fit within the scope of people’s abilities. Everyone tries to say it’s too hard, too dangerous or too extreme. The beautiful thing is that we can measure performance. We created modified workouts…90 percent of my business is based off of training the general population, from the soccer mom to the computer programmer from Microsoft. From 9 a.m. on on any given day, you’ll see about 20 soccer moms and you’d think you walked into yoga class.”
On the ability to scale workouts, and how it makes CrossFit appealing:: “The art form of training really comes from having a coach that is really capable to asses where someone’s abilities are and provide them an exercise ability that is challenging. That is what we’ve done really well. We have scalability.”
Lots of stuff going on this weekend, so we’ll jump right to it.
*The Lakeside Recovery Senior Legion baseball club plays against Centrailia Sobe-Toyota tomorrow night at 7 p.m. at Heidelberg Field in Tacoma in the first round of the Legion Ball state tournament. Lakeside has only missed the state tournament once in the last 20 years, so it will be interesting to see how they fare. They swept a pair of tuneup games against Bellevue baseball this week before heading down to the tournament, which is double elimination.
*Both of Lakeside’s American Legion teams made the state tournament as well. Lakeside Newport, playing in the University High bracket, plays the Olympic Tigers tomorrow at 9 a.m.; Lakeside Skyline, in the Cheney bracket, takes on the Ferris Saxons at 2:30 p.m.
*Be forewarned, Seattle travelers: the Emerald City Sodo district will be pure hell tomorrow. The Sounders play at noon at Qwest Field and the Mariners kick off their series with the Indians at 1 p.m. Arrive early.
*Make sure to check out our other blogs, including Bellevue Reporter political guru Josh Hicks’ blog Realpolitiks. More to come on them, including more from our staff.
Hopefully you all saw this story on Aaron Bright committing to Stanford we published last issue. I have a few more tidbits that didn’t make it into the article that I figured would be perfect for our first real blog post.
Bright told me a big reason he committed to the Cardinal came down to the relationship he built with Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins. In his first season, Dawkins led the Cardinal to a record of 20-14 last season, but he won over Bright with his personality more than his record.
“He came up to [Bellevue High School] a few couple times and I got to know him on a personal level,” Bright said. “He’s not only a great coach, but a great guy and mentor. He’ll help me achieve what I want to achieve.”
Besides the value of the Stanford education, Bright, who has family in California, said he was sold on the campus itself.
“It’s so nice,” he said. “It’s huge. I don’t know how I’m going to know where my classes are.”
Bright will also get a chance to one day play against former teammate Alex Schrempf. Schrempf, the son of former Seattle Supersonic Detlef Schrempf, will walk on next season at UCLA.
Welcome to From the Sidelines: the Bellevue Sports Blog!
I’m the beat reporter for sports at the Bellevue Reporter newspaper. On this blog you’ll find extra bits and pieces to stories I’ve written, observations on the sports in our area, and behind the scenes looks at what it takes to bring a story together. I’ll field questions here, and maybe even ask a few too.
You can follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/joelwillits or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m looking forward to interacting with all you interested in Bellevue sports.