A sufficiently special Bronco specialist

It’s been 5½ years since Kyle Brotzman’s college football career ended. Now, as voting continues for the “specialists” in Boise State’s 30-Year All-Blue team, we’ll find out how much time has passed in the minds of fans. Brotzman has lived with one gut-wrenching night in Reno in 2010 ever since missing a 26-yard field goal on the last play of regulation and a 29-yarder in overtime of a 34-31 loss at Nevada that ended the Broncos’ undefeated season. Thing is, the 2010 team is considered the best in Boise State history, better than four other Bronco teams that finished with perfect regular seasons. That night overshadowed the fact that Brotzman had become the top-scoring kicker in the history of FBS football, ending with 439 points. That should be the focus now.

If you don’t consider Brotzman clutch, then you’re basing everything on that fateful night at Mackay Stadium. Let me take one example from each of his four seasons. In 2007, Brotzman nailed a 27-yard field goal on the final play of regulation to send Boise State’s game against Nevada into overtime, tied at 44-44. That finished as a legendary 69-67 Bronco victory in four OTs. In 2008, Brotzman opened BSU’s scoring at Oregon in the second quarter after a lackluster first quarter—booting a 51-yard field goal. He hit two others in the Broncos’ 37-32 upset win at Autzen Stadium.

Brotzman’s 2009 season highlight goes without saying, the 29-yard pass to Kyle Efaw on a fake punt in the fourth quarter of the Fiesta Bowl, setting up the winning touchdown in Boise State’s 17-10 win over TCU. Then he started his senior year with 44- and 47-yard field goals against Virginia Tech with 86,587 fans in his ear at FedEx Field in Landover, MD. The Broncos beat the Hokies that night 33-30. With Brotzman, the good times certainly outweighs the bad.

It’s now being reported that it’s a torn labrum in his shoulder causing the New Orleans Saints to place Kyle Wilson on injured reserve, ending his season before training camp even arrives. Wilson had participated in offseason workouts and OTAs with the team. The former Boise State star, a first-round pick of the Jets in 2011, spent four spotty seasons in New York before signing on with the Saints last year. Wilson logged 27 tackles and an interception in 15 games last season, four of them starts. Unfortunately, a season on the IR will make it a challenge for him to reignite his career in 2017.

The Philadelphia 76ers are lacking at forward now, so former Boise State star James Webb III, who signed as a free agent Friday, will need all facets of his game to shine in order to make the roster. Webb will see plenty of No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons in practice, but another guy he goes against that may be more telling. Former UNLV Rebel and current Sixer Christian Wood has taken a path Webb would like to travel. Wood was an early NBA Draft entry a year ago and wasn’t selected, playing for Houston’s summer league squad before landing with Philly for training camp. He alternated between the Sixers and the D-League’s Delaware 87ers this past season. But the point is, Wood made it to the show. He appeared in 17 games for the struggling Sixers, averaging 3.6 points and 2.2 rebounds.

The Boise Hawks spotted Everett a 2-0 lead in the first inning yesterday—then they scored eight unanswered runs. Never mind that the AquaSox answered later with five unanswered tallies of their own. It was one run short of the equalizer, and the Hawks got a win they sorely needed, 8-7. Key hits for the Hawks: a two-run single in the second inning from Anthony Brito, and a solo home run in the fourth from Steven Linkous to close out Boise’s scoring. The Hawks had lost four games in a row—they’re now 3-8 on the young season. The Hawks play one more at Everett tonight before returning to Memorial Stadium tomorrow night to host the Eugene Emeralds.

Derek Bayley began the Idaho Men’s Amateur at BanBury Friday with a double-bogey. But the Washington State sophomore was pretty good after that, cruising to a three-stroke victory yesterday. Bayley is a rarity—a State Men’s Am champ from Northern Idaho (he hails from Rathdrum). Eagle’s Graysen Huff, now an Auburn Tiger, matched Bayley’s fabulous final round yesterday with an identical six-under-65, but he started the day three shots behind Bayley, and that’s the way he finished.

The 2016 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials began yesterday in Omaha, NE, with three Boise State Broncos competing during the week. First in the pool was junior Brittany Aoyama last night in the 100-meter butterfly, and she finished 102nd in the field, obviously not good enough to make the finals. Aoyama is also entered in the 50-meter freestyle, the 100 free and the 200 free. Sophomore Emma Chard joins Aoyama in the 200 free, while graduated senior Sam Wicks, the 2016 Mountain West Swimmer of the Year, is set to go in the 100-meter backstroke.

It took a penalty kick—a controversial one at that—to decide the Girls U-18 championship yesterday at youth soccer’s Far West Regionals at the Simplot Sports Complex. And underdog FC Nova of Meridian was on the short end of it, falling 1-0 on that PK goal by perennial Southern California power Beach FC Academy. Still, it’s been quite a 12-month run for the Treasure Valley soccer community, from the Nova Nationals’ march to the 2015 U-19 national championship game to the Basque Soccer Friendly last July to the Portland Timbers T2 match earlier this month to this Cinderella run by FC Nova. There’s a lot to build on.

This Day In Sports…June 27, 1972:

It’s a bad night for the Quarry brothers in Las Vegas. Muhammad Ali knocks out Jerry Quarry in the seventh round of their heavyweight bout, and light heavyweight champion Bob Foster knocks out Mike Quarry in the fourth round of their title fight. Ali’s victory was his sixth straight since regaining his world championship, and he’d win four more before Ken Norton temporarily dethroned him the following March.

(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.)