Wading through the wide receiver ballot

Today we broach the bevy of strong candidates at wide receiver in voting for Boise State’s 30-Year All-Blue Team. As good as this field is, though, you don’t have to go back far to get to the requisite three choices. (I’m not including Thomas Sperbeck, because he’s not done yet.). I am definitely including Matt Miller, Austin Pettis and Titus Young because of their “clutchness.” Miller showed it in his very first game in front of 73,614 fans in the Georgia Dome, catching a first-quarter touchdown from Kellen Moore against Georgia. Miller, of course, went on to become the Broncos’ career receptions leader.

Pettis’ most memorable clutch moment was in front of 86,587 fans at FedEx Field in Washington, catching the winning touchdown with 38 seconds left versus Virginia Tech (after he had started the game in similar fashion). And my clutch moment from Young was not his 53-yard grab with one second left at Nevada in 2010, but his gritty performance against TCU in the Fiesta Bowl. With Pettis injured, the load fell on Young’s shoulders, and he kept the chains moving with eight catches for 72 yards. It’s hard to ignore guys like Tyler Shoemaker, the Mountain View High grad who had a monster senior year with 16 touchdown receptions, and Jeremy Childs, who showed some “clutchness” of his own with some circus catches in the 2008 upset of Oregon at Autzen Stadium.

One of my roles (as one of the oldest guys around) is to talk about the Division I-AA representatives of the blue turf era. Eric Andrade’s final two seasons were Boise State’s first two on the blue turf. When he was a senior, the Broncos added the middle screen to their offensive repertoire, and Andrade was a master at it. Mike Wilson was a great possession receiver out of Nampa High who broke Boise State’s single-season receptions record with 76 in 1992. Wilson’s mark stood for 15 years—until Childs broke it in 2007. And Ryan Ikebe’s career coincided with that of quarterback Tony Hilde. It was one of the most productive duos in Boise State history, especially during the 1994 march to the I-AA national championship game. Ikebe had 27 career touchdown catches.

A situation we’ll be monitoring: James Webb III did not play in Philadelphia’s final NBA Summer League game due to what 76ers blogger Keith Pompey called “a non-displaced fracture of the second metacarpal in his right hand.” That is the former Boise State star’s shooting hand. The final line for Webb between the Utah and Las Vegas summer leagues included seven games played, with averages of 6.6 points and 3.4 rebounds. He shot 40 percent overall and 40 percent from three-point range. That latter number is good, considering he made six of his last 10 attempts from beyond the arc.

The Boise Hawks may be just 12-18 on the season, but Javier Medina is 5-0 after another solid start last night. Medina scattered three hits over five innings and allowed one run in keying the Hawks’ 4-3 win over Vancouver at Memorial Stadium. Julian Fernandez shut the door by striking out the side in the ninth to earn his fifth save of the year. Jacob Bosiokovic was 0-for-3, but he walked once last night and has reached base safely in all 26 games he has played. It’s now interesting to look back on Bosiokovic’s closest call—on July 6 at Spokane, the only time he made it to first was on a passed ball after he swung and missed on strike three. The Hawks go on the road tonight to start a three-game series at Salem-Keizer.

As a group, this weekend was as good as it’s ever been for the Treasure Valley’s three PGA Tour pros. Graham DeLaet started the final round of the Barbasol Championship with a bogey on the second hole, but the rest of the day was gravy in Auburn, AL. DeLaet rattled off seven birdies, plus an eagle on No. 16, and equaled the best score of the day with an eight-under 63. That catapulted him into the top 10—he finished tied for eighth. DeLaet’s check totaled $101,500. Troy Merritt carded a four-under 67 to earn a tie for 20th for the week, and Tyler Aldridge used a five-under 66 to tie for 31st.

Brooklyn Hocker of Idaho Falls, a junior on the BYU women’s golf team, ran away from the field yesterday in the final round of the 2016 Idaho Women’s Amateur Championship at Pinecrest in her hometown. Hocker led fellow Idaho Falls golfer Amanda Myers by two strokes going into the final round, but the advantage had zoomed up to 14 shots at the turn. Hocker ended up outdistancing Myers by 12 strokes and Buhl’s Sierra Harr by 15.

One thing particularly struck me about Saturday night’s Boise Twilight Criterium results. Not the fact that United Healthcare swept the men’s and women’s titles with Tyler Magner and Sam Schneider, or Kristin Armstrong’s solid sixth-place finish on her way to the Summer Olympics in an event that isn’t her specialty. What makes the Twilight Criterium so cool for the thousands of spectators in Downtown Boise is how competitive elite-level cycling is. The top 35 women and top 25 men all crossed the finish line within 10 seconds of each other. Good stuff.

“Get knocked down 9 times. Stand up 10. Gotta just keep getting back up.” That was Brian Scott’s tweet yesterday after NASCAR’s New Hampshire 301. Scott started in the No. 33 spot and finished 38th—second-to-last. The Boise High grad has been slumping. Scott is still 31st in NASCAR driver standings, but he’s now gone six consecutive races without finishing in the top 30.

The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl High School Challenge has become a checkpoint summer event for teams from the Treasure Valley and beyond. Winning the event doesn’t necessarily translate into a trophy in November, but it does mean those programs will be ready when the bell rings at the end of August. Capital won the 2016 Challenge title Saturday with a last-minute 33-31 victory over Skyview. Both will be teams to watch this fall, especially the Hawks.

This Day In Sports…July 18, 2000:

On his 34th birthday, defending Olympic decathlon champion and former University of Idaho athlete Dan O’Brien withdraws from the US Olympic Trials due to a foot injury—ending his quest for back-to-back gold medals. O’Brien was the subject of a national Reebok advertising campaign leading up to the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona—but failed to qualify for the Games at the Olympic Trials. He redeemed himself at the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta with a gold medal and had a legitimate shot at becoming the first athlete since Bob Mathias to repeat as a gold medalist in the decathlon. Dan O’Brien is 50 years old today.

(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.)