August 2011 Archives
Wednesday morning on ABC's morning show, Good Morning America, the celebrity-professional pairs were revealed for this season of Dancing with the Stars. Former Husky star, Hope Solo, will be paired with professional dancer, Maksim Chmerkovskiy.
In July, before the celebrities for this season were announced, Chmerkovskiy said that he would love for Solo to be his partner. When asked at the 2011 ESPY Awards who his dream partner would be, he exclaimed, "Hope Solo!" He continued, "Let's do it! I want somebody hot, I want somebody exciting, somebody passionate, and I'll do the rest." He admitted to watching "every second" of the recent Women's World Cup, during which Solo was paramount in helping the US Women's National team reach the championship game.
Solo hopes to become Chmerkovskiy's first partner to win the competition, as he has finished as a runner-up twice, including last season with partner Kirstie Alley. He and past partners have had great overall success, however, as they have finished in the top four in five of the 10 seasons in which he's appeared.
The other celebrity-professional pairings are as follows: Chaz Bono and Lacey Schwimmer, J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff, Nancy Grace and Tristan MacManus, Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke, Ron Artest and Peta Murgatroyd, Ricki Lake and Derek Hough, Elisabetta Canalis and Maksim's brother, Val Chmerovskiy, Carson Kressley and Anna Trebunskaya, Chynna Phillips and Tony Dovolani, David Arquette and Kym Johnson, and Kristin Cavallari and Mark Ballas.
Fans can start watching Solo and Chmerkovskiy in action on Monday, Sept. 19 in the season premiere of Dancing with the Stars at 8 p.m. on ABC. The first couple, the pair with the lowest combined judges scores and fan votes, will be sent home the following night. The couples will perform each Monday and the results show will occur each Tuesday until the season finale on Nov. 22.
After weeks of rumors that former Husky men's soccer great George John would be traded from Dallas FC to Blackburn in the English Premire League, it was announced yesterday that John will in fact stay in Dallas.
The 24-year-old, who can also play in midfield, had been identified as a possible transfer target by Rovers manager Steve Kean.
But FC Dallas
FC Dallas president and chief executive Doug Quinn told the club's official website: "Despite mutual interest, Blackburn Rovers
"Blackburn had significant interest in acquiring George, however, for the time being, they decided not to finalise the deal.
"We are excited to have a player of George's calibre back at FC Dallas."
Socceramerica.com recently listed it's top 36 transfers of 2011 which includes Husky senior Jacob Hustedt. Former Husky Zac Portillos made the list as well as he transferred to Akron.
View the complete list here: http://www.socceramerica.com/article/43477/transfers-are-rage-at-top-programs.html.
I know. I know. I'm not exactly known for my unhealthy desserts, but I baked a couple of batches of brownies so that I could bring some up to Vancouver, BC for my dad last weekend. No one believed that I hadn't added anything nutritious to them as they expected me to slide some bean or vegetable in there or maybe to "healthify" them (reasonably so as that's what I do). While I did add some extra flavorings, I would not consider these brownies anywhere close to being defined as healthy. They were meant solely to taste good, and they did not disappoint. These make a great every now and again dessert and will freeze well if they're not all gone by nightfall. If you're looking for health benefits, I guess the addition of walnuts would provide some Omega 3 fatty acids, but that's stretching it.
I often find myself struggling to describe the differences between Vancouver and Seattle as they seem to have so much in common: climate, outdoor activities (mountain and water sports), and a culture that even seems to be quite similar. Thus, aside from the astronomical real estate prices in Vancouver and Canadian taxes, how are they really different? I finally figured it out while biking along the Vancouver waterfront. We started at Kitsilano Beach, went through Granville Island, by Science World, around Stanley Park, and back again. Here, the difference became obvious. While Seattle and Pike's Place Market are more historical, Vancouver and Granville Island are more glitzy and modern. It was hard not to want to live there on the perfect 80 degree day that we were there. Apparently, hundreds of other people felt the same way.
While definitely a tourist activity (as many locals have never been there), the Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver offers great scenic views from above the trees. The new Cliffwalk area that recently opened was perhaps just as, if not more, impressive than the suspension bridge itself. Don't forget to check out the Grouse Grind as well if you're there and up for something active (to put it mildly). You'll never want to walk up another set of stairs again.
Who doesn't like brownies? They're chocolaty, soft and delicious. The only debate centers on simple versus adventurous. This recipe gives a solid base and provides options for add-ins for those who wish to experiment more with flavor and texture. The sole challenge to me was determining when they were done. As I am not a brownie connoisseur, and they do not turn golden brown and delicious, the knife inserted into the center test seemed to be insufficient. It came out dry far earlier than when the edges had stopped bubbling, leaving me to wonder if this meant that the cooking time should be increased. Complicating this fact was the consideration that I had doubled the recipe and whether or not that would affect the cooking time. So, when baking, use your best instincts, and remember that experience is the best teacher. I don't think my taste testers had any complaints.
Adapted from the Moosewood Cookbook
Butter a 9x13 baking pan (use wrappers from butter sticks). Preheat oven to 350 deg F.
Gently melt the chocolate (double broiler or microwave). Let it cool about 10 minutes.
Cream the butter and sugar in a medium sized bowl (electric beaters or stand mixer) until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Stir in the vanilla.
Stir constantly while drizzling in the melted chocolate. After all the chocolate has been added, continue to beat for 1-2 additional minutes.
Stir in the flour (by hand with spatula), and the embellishments you're using, if any (I added orange zest, cinnamon, walnuts and chocolate chips.). Mix just enough to blend well.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 20-25 minutes (mine took much longer), or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean (look for no bubbling around edges).
Eat right out of the pan or cut into squares while hot. Allow to cool completely (or at least 10 minutes - use the refrigerator to help facilitate this process and decrease the time you have to wait) before removing from pan. Compliment with Fluff (marshmallow cream), whip cream, ice cream or a large glass of milk.
One of these things is not like the other...
One of the all-time great Husky sluggers, Kyle Conley, sent us this report from his summer in the Minor Leagues. Here's what he had to say:
Kyle Conley here checking in from Palm Beach, Fla., where I'm fortunate enough to be playing for the Palm Beach Cardinals (St. Louis Cardinals). We're on game 125 down here, and are in the playoff hunt chasing former UW pitcher Jason Erickson's Bradenton Marauders team (Pittsburgh Pirates). We're looking at a season within a season as the next 15 games have the ability to erase memories of a tough first half for us, and hopefully we can make a run at the Florida State League Championship.
Palm Beach has been a great place to play baseball. The nice ballpark, sunny warm weather, and great group of teammates and coaches has made it a fun and positive experience. Our pitching coach is Dennis "El Presidente" Martinez, who had a 23-year MLB career, threw a perfect game, and is regarded as one of the best Latin players ever to play the game right up there with the likes of Roberto Clemente. In Spring Training I got to work with Mark McGwire a bit on my swing and hitting approach. It's been a fun experience just being around people who were so successful in their careers at the game everyday and picking up on the little things.
Our team has been comprised of guys from all over the US, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Panama, Cuba, and Colombia. It's fun to practice and play with guys from different places and really has shown me the game of baseball is universal and made me realize how special of a game it is and can be. My understanding and appreciation of Latin America and its different cultures has grown exponentially from my experience here and building great friendships with teammates.
Personally this season has been very challenging after missing all of last year with an injury. I started in the Low A Midwest League in Davenport, Iowa, and had to battle through inconsistencies in performance which were not unreasonable to expect. The organization showed faith in me with a move to High A Palm Beach in April and I'm trying to get back on track with my career and progression through Cardinals the minor league system. With baseball being a finesse game based on failure, it's easy for guys to get discouraged, frustrated, down, up, and everywhere in between, but I've committed myself to just giving it my best honest effort and dealing with the results, positive or negative.
I'm looking forward to the off season here soon in the Northwest and watching the Huskies ball club come together this fall, but still have 15 games left to win or lose here. That's kind of the theme in pro baseball: always another game tomorrow. Hopefully will have another update for y'all here soon with good news about the playoff run, and always...GO DAWGS!!!!!
Three former Huskies played in the NPF Championship Series this past weekend for the USSSA Florida Pride. Ashley Charters, a three-time All-American and Washington's career leader in stolen bases, was selected All-NPF at second base. Danielle Lawrie, a two-time National Player of the Year during her career at Washington, was also selected All-NPF. Lawrie helped the USSSA Pride win the 2010 Championship her rookie season. Jenn Salling was the third overall pick in the first round in the NPF draft. Salling was a four-year member of the Canadian National team and named First team All-Pac-10, First-Team All-Pacific and Outstanding Athlete of the Year as a Husky. The Pride, the defending and regular season champions, lost to the Chicago Bandits 10-3, capturing the championship in two games.
Picture Day brought thousands of fans to Husky Stadium on Sunday, and allowed Washington's passionate fan base to meet the 2011 Huskies. The entire football team, plus coaches, signed autographs and took photos with fans for almost two hours. There will be a full photo gallery later on GoHuskies.com, but we wanted to offer a few select shots from Picture Day.
Before meeting with fans, the Huskies had their head shots taken. Those will be used by TV graphic crews. Then the Huskies went behind a green screen to have their introductions taped, which will appear on the HuskyTron.
Less than two weeks until the Huskies take on Eastern Washington at Husky Stadium. If you haven't been out to Husky Stadium to check this team out, make sure you do. The Huskies return to practice on Monday afternoon at 3:15 p.m.
The Huskies held a spirited scrimmage on Saturday in Montlake, which also marked the halfway point of fall camp. And while coach Steve Sarkisian would like his squad a little healthier at this point of the season, he's pleased with how everything has transpired so far. On Seattle's hottest day of the year, the Huskies made the most of the 90-minute workout. Fans took advantage of the weather as well, with plenty of Dawg fans making the trip over to Husky Stadium.
Defense Had The Edge
There were no turnovers during the scrimmage, but there were plenty of hits. Greg Walker created a stir with his leveling of a Huskies wide receiver, preventing an easy completion. There were plenty of quarterback pressures from the defensive line, which kept Keith Price and Nick Montana out of the pocket and on the move. Will Shamburger had the best chance at an interception, but dropped a gift-wrapped pass, earning him a little razzing from teammates on the sideline.
The Offensive Standouts
Evan Hudson had the first touchdown, finding a soft spot in the end zone to come down with a 3-yard pass from Montana. Price scored the other touchdown, scrambling for 10 yards down the right sideline and diving into the end zone, a play that earned kudos from Sarkisian afterward. Austin Sefarian-Jenkins would have scored a 20-yard touchdown, but the play was waived off after an offensive penalty.
Don't Forget Special Teams
Kevin Smith leads the way with his kickoff return for a touchdown. The play was blocked so well that the sophomore wide receiver wasn't touched en route to the score. Sarkisian also had plenty of compliments for Erik Folk, particularly his distance on kickoffs.
Odds & Ends
After practice, the team had the typical routine of ice baths and media obligations. Then they boarded a bus and headed over to a local movie theater to watch "Conan" as a group ... ESPN personality Kenny Mayne was at practice and filmed a small segment with the Huskies, which he said would air Sept. 11 on "NFL Countdown." Mayne, we should point out, was a member of the Husky football team for a brief moment before transferring to UNLV. Mayne was assisted, btw, by former UW softball player Bailey Stenson ... The post-practice routine was briefly interrupted by a former Huskies player taking his new bride on the field for some wedding photos. Coach Sark joined the couples on the W logo for a few portraits as well.
Come Saturday morning, there will be just two weeks remaining before the Huskies take the field against Eastern Washington on Sept. 3. With time dwindling down before the season begins in earnest, Coach Steve Sarkisian told reporters the position battles are beginning to cement.
The Huskies will scrimmage at Saturday afternoon's practice, which begins at 3:15 p.m. Sark acknowledged this would be the last chance for Huskies further down the depth chart to state their case. On Friday night, the Huskies were in full pads but tackling was not emphasized. Instead, the team did a lot of work within position groups and on special teams before finishing the evening with 11-on-11 action.
Playmakers At Linebacker
Garrett Gilliland had another interception in practice, this one during the 7-on-7 drills. The sophomore linebacker from Orange County has continued to make plays in practice, attracting the attention of the Huskies coaches. When asked about the linebackers by the media, Sarkisian said the team has a nice rotation going now heading towards the season.
Once Again, Kasen Williams
This seems redundant on the Dawg Blawg, but the frosh WR made another terrific play in simulated game action Friday. Williams snared a difficult ball in traffic, and then split the safeties to score what would have been a 70-yard touchdown. Kevin Smith also had a standout reception, tip-toeing the sideline to haul in a bullet from QB Keith Price. But it should be noted the wide receivers as a whole have been one of the top position groups in camp. One of the best catches of the night, though, came via the tight ends. Marlion Barnett secured a ball between two defenders, increasing the degree-of-difficulty by absorbing a pair of hits as well.
Dawgs Doing Just Fine At Next Level
One of the top plays from NFL action on Thursday night came when Tampa Bay rookie Mason Foster put a charge into boisterous Patriots WR Chad Ochocinco. The hit was instant highlight fodder, although Foster was flagged on the play. Should he be fined as well, his bank account will be unscathed. That's because Ochocinco was so impressed by the former Washington star that he offered to pay the fine. This, of course, all transpired over Twitter.
More Photos Available
Make sure you check out CoachSark.com each day for additional photos from practice. Great roundup tonight posted on their photo blog.
Men's soccer seniors Brent Richards and Jacob Hustedt were recently listed by Topdrawersoccer.com as two of the top 100 pro prospects. View the complete list here: http://www.topdrawersoccer.com/college-soccer/college-soccer-archives/nid-20160/Joes-Big-Board-Complete.
Read the women's soccer preview by Scott Johnson in the Everett Herald.
The goal during an unforgettable two-week stretch last November was to survive and advance, no matter what it took, and the University of Washington women's soccer team did that in three remarkable performances on the way to to the NCAA quarterfinals.
The Times-Standard newspaper, located in Eureka, Calif., wrapped up the Humboldt Crabs' season, in which the Crabs won the inaugural Far West League title, with a story on the amazing, season-long performance of Husky pitcher Aaron West. His numbers were truly remarkable.
Here's a link to the story.
The reason Steve Sarkisian stresses competition in camp is to make sure all his troops are ready to step up on a moment's notice. So when a situation arises like today, when the Huskies announced Chris Polk had his knee scoped, the program can plug in a capable replacement.
Polk is expected to miss between 2-4 weeks, meaning there is a small chance he will not play in the team's opener on Sept. 3 against Eastern Washington. Sarkisian told media members he wanted to take care of Polk's knee issue "right away."
It's important to know the Huskies have plenty of depth at the position, with Jesse Callier now expected to take a bulk of the carries in practice going forward. The sophomore from Downey, Calif., has put in a lot of hard work over the summer to add muscle to his frame, hoping to make the transition from fly sweep specialist to all-around back. During practice, Callier had several nice runs between the tackles. For more of Callier's interview with the media, check out the video at the bottom of the blog.
"I felt like (strength coach) Ivan (Lewis) got me right," Callier said, who noted he's up to 205 from 195. "I've been lifting hard every day, running, just eating right."
In addition, the Huskies have Johri Fogerson and Bishop Sankey in the wings, both of whom have had outstanding fall camps.
Sarkisian Makes Trip To California
The Huskies coach made a trip to California earlier in the morning to mourn the passing of his long-time mentor mentor in Torrance - Fred Petersen. Sarkisian was back at Husky Stadium about halfway through practice.
Evaluations Go On
Everything is beginning to build toward the Huskies' scrimmage on Saturday. The team worked out in shells on Thursday afternoon. The UW coaches are looking at the scrimmage as a final audition of sorts, before moving forward with plans for the opener against EWU. During practice, several young players continued to make an impact. Austin Sefarian-Jenkins and Kasen Williams both caught TD passes in 11-on-11 situations. Travis Feeney was a ball-hawk during drills as well, showcasing plenty of range in coverage. Anthony Gobern continued to play with the Huskies' top defense.
Come Out To Picture Day
A friendly reminder that the team's annual picture day is this Sunday at Husky Stadium, beginning at 11:30 a.m. This is an opportunity for fans to come meet the 2011-12 team, all of whom will be in uniform and signing autographs.
Video Of The Day
Callier talks about his progression as a tailback, and some of the issues that cropped up last season. The sophomore is ready and capable to assume the starting job should Polk have to miss any regular-season action.
Time is beginning to run out for Huskies still looking to make their case for position battles. While evaluations are still ongoing, the football staff would like to make headway on preparations for the regular season. But as Week 2 begins to wind down, there is still an ample amount of competition in a number of spots.
Running With The Ones
No better chance for an audition than playing time with the starters. This was the opportunity afforded to Anthony Gobern on Wednesday night, and the junior performed up to expectations. Gobern handled himself well in 1-on-1 drills with receivers, and then made some nice plays during 11-on-11s. With Desmond Trufant entrenched at one cornerback position, and Quinton Richardson fighting an ankle injury, this is the time for defensive backs to stand out. For Gobern, this was a reward for playing well throughout fall camp.
Play Of The Night
Justin Glenn with an interception on a deep pass during 11-on-11 action. The junior from Mukilteo, Wash., has been performing well in camp, so much so that Coach Steve Sarkisian said the opportunity is there to win a job at free safety. Sark added that Glenn is finally playing unhindered by the broken ankle that shut down his freshman season in 2009 ... DiAndre Campbell earns runner-up honors for his 77-yard catch-and-run touchdown.
Taking Time For What Matters
Practice on Thursday has been moved to 4:30 p.m. so that Sarkisian and his family can attend the funeral of his mentor and high school football coach Fred Peterson. The long-time Torrance coach was a father figure to Sarkisian, and the Huskies coach wants to pay his respects.
An area Sarkisian is still assessing is the backup tailback situation. Johri Fogerson, Jesse Callier and Bishop Sankey have all played well, and Sarkisian playfully shrugged his shoulders when asked by reporters how that situation plans to shake out. The third-year coach did say Fogerson has improved drastically from a health standpoint, and that both he and Callier will be significant factors in special teams.
Huskies PK Erik Folk chats about what he's been working on in practice in regards to his field goal preparation.
Well-known sports writer Jenna Pel recently posted a Q&A with women's head soccer coach Lesle Gallimore. Read the entire interview here: http://www.allwhitekit.com/?p=7336.
Lesle Gallimore has been head coach of the University of Washington's women's soccer team for nearly two decades. In that time, she's coached and developed the likes of Hope Solo, Tina Ellertson and Veronica Perez. She has also experienced the peaks and valleys that come with a long tenure.
Coach Gallimore caught up with AWK about the new season, the Huskies' current crop of talent, the World Cup, and getting a good start against BYU this Friday.
Washington made a deep run in the 2010 NCAA Tournament and progressed to the Elite Eight. Has the team elevated its expectations going into this year?
I don't know that we've elevated our expectations, we always have high expectations. If anything we want to improve from where we were on the whole last season. There are things each game that we can do better and learn from and that's how we'll approach this year. At the end of 2011 we'll look back and hopefully be really proud of how we played and what we achieved.
Washington has experienced a major turnaround as of late. The team went winless in 2005 and reached the Elite Eight five years later. What's been behind the recent success?
I've been here 18 years and all-in-all the majority of those years has been relatively successful. 2005 was a product of a perfect storm: 2004 Elite Eight Team graduate nine starters (85% of our point getters) and we had two highly touted freshmen that year medically disqualify. In 2005 we had 15 new players and played a brutal schedule...including opening on the road vs. the then #1 team in the country Penn State. We lost by a goal in overtime! It set the tone for a very, very young team, we had a difficult time holding leads, scoring goals and believing in ourselves..we lost 14 games by one goal...it was no easy task : ) We then built on that team for two more years before we could get back into the tournament...it was some of the toughest and best work we've done as coaches and I'm proud we're here to have seen it through to our recent success. The lesson was "don't ever graduate a group that big!" You really do need balance on your team, carry over from year-to-year, and a great blend of veteran and young players. We've become very particular about the type of player, student and person we recruit and it suits us and helps us be successful.
The Huskies made progressive steps towards the regular season on Tuesday, holding a spirited scrimmage at Husky Stadium. Didn't hurt that Seattle provided a near-perfect August afternoon, giving fans plenty of incentive to make the trip over to Montlake.
Chris Polk opened the scrimmage with a TD on 4th-and-1, churning through a pair of tackles for the score ... Jamaal Kearse returned a fumble for a touchdown after a botched center-QB exchange. Nick Montana led an impressive second drive for a TD. The RS sophomore hooked up with WR James Johnson for a big gain to move his squad into the red zone. Montana then hit fullback Travon Brooks on a play action pass for the touchdown ... Danny Shelton continues to wreck havoc on the defensive line, pushing back two linemen to tackle a running back behind the line of scrimmage.
Playing freshmen was a priority for coach Steve Sarkisian, who went exclusively with young players toward the end of scrimmage.
"I kept thinking, man, we have an athletic group," Sarkisian said.
Good news for the Huskies in that Quinton Richardson's scans revealed no serious injuries. The senior CB was diagnosed with a high-ankle sprain, and Sark said the team would not try and rush him back for the Sept. 3 opener against Eastern Washington.
More Guests At Husky Stadium
Fox play-by-play voice Gus Johnson took in practice with the rest of his broadcast crew, which included ex-Minnesota Golden Gophers coach Tim Brewster. Johnson, as many Huskies fans know, had the tremendous end-of-game call of the Pac-10 MBB Championship game between Washington & Arizona.
If only Isaiah Thomas could have been out at practice. Turns out the Sacramento Kings PG was pretty bummed about it.
The 2011 USA Softball Junior Women's National Team will open the 2011 International Softball Federation (ISF) Junior Women's World Championship (19-Under) in Cape Town, South Africa, on Dec. 8 against Canada. The schedule for the tournament, Dec. 7-17, was released August 10 by host organization Softball South Africa.
"We are incredibly excited to start the tournament against one of the most competitive countries in our sport. To be the best, you have to play against the best," Head Coach Karen Johns (Whippany, N.J.) said. "If our team wants to take home a Gold Medal from Cape Town, they have to be ready from the first pitch of the tournament through the last out in the Championship Game. I am confident that this group of young women has everything it takes to continue the great tradition of the USA Softball program."
Following the contest with Canada, the U.S. is scheduled to play six other Pool A opponents: China on Dec. 9; New Zealand on Dec. 10; South Africa on Dec. 11; Botswana on Dec. 12; Czech Republic on Dec. 13; and Puerto Rico on Dec. 14. Playoffs are Dec. 15-16 with the Gold Medal Game scheduled for Dec. 17. The schedule is subject to change.
Tickets for the event are now on sale through Computicket.
Team USA enters the competition as the defending Junior Women's World Champions, having went 10-0 at the 2007 tournament in Enschede, The Netherlands. In the Championship Game, the U.S. topped Japan 3-1. Team USA has played in each of the six previous Championship Games held, defeating China for the inaugural title in 1987, losing to Japan in 1991, defeating Japan in 1995 and losing to Japan in 1999 and 2003 before reclaiming the top spot from Japan in 2007.
Japan plays in Pool B with Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chinese Taipei, Germany, Russia and Zimbabwe. The Aussies won the Bronze Medal at the 2007, 2003 and 1995 ISF Junior Women's Worlds.
The U.S. qualified for the upcoming Junior Women's World Championship in August 2010 by winning the III Pan American Championships (18-Under) in Bogota, Colombia, with a 9-0 record that included two wins against Canada and another against Puerto Rico. In the Championship Game, Team USA defeated Canada 3-1. The two teams also met in pool play during that event with the U.S. claiming a 3-0 victory. In the semi-final, the Americans defeated Puerto Rico 6-1.
Since competing in Bogota, the USA Softball Junior Women's National Team competed in exhibitions against the 2011 USA Softball Women's National Team earlier this summer in Tampa, Salem, Va., and Bowie, Md. The juniors will rejoin in Cape Town a week prior to the Junior Women's Worlds for training.
Sixteen athletes have been named to the 17-member USA Softball Junior Women's National Team, which currently has representatives from six states and 11 universities. Team members are Ally Carda (Elk Grove, Calif./UCLA freshman), Lauren Chamberlain (Trabuco Canyon, Calif./Oklahoma freshman), Cheyenne Cordes (Fairfield, Calif./California freshman), Cheyenne Coyle (West Hills, Calif./Florida sophomore), Dallas Escobedo (Glendale, Ariz./Arizona State sophomore), Amber Freeman (Lakewood, Calif./Arizona State freshman), Erin Gabriel (Poland, Ohio/Poland Seminary High School senior), Chelsea Goodacre (Temecula, Calif./Arizona freshman), Lauren Haeger (Phoenix, Ariz./Florida freshman), Kylee Lahners (Laguna Hills, Calif./Washington freshman), Destinee Martinez (Corona, Calif./Oklahoma sophomore), Kourtney Salvarola (Arnold, Md./South Florida sophomore), Cheyanne Tarango (Anaheim Hills, Calif./Tennessee freshman), Nyree White (Eugene, Ore./Stanford freshman), Hallie Wilson (North Tustin, Calif./Arizona freshman) and Chelsea Zgrabik (Nokomis, Fla./Florida Gulf Coast freshman).
Coyle was named to the roster in late July by the USA Softball Women's National Team Selection Committee (WNTSC) after Shelby Pendley (Albuquerque, N.M./Arizona freshman) withdrew from the team due to injury. Madison Shipman (Valencia, Calif./Tennessee sophomore) has also withdrawn from the team due to injury. The WNTSC has not announced a replacement.
TopDrawerSoccer.com released it's top 100 upperclassmen of 2011 and Washington's senior co-captain Kate Deines is ranked No. 34.
View the complete list here: http://www.topdrawersoccer.com/college-soccer/college-national-top-100/women.
It was another primetime practice for the the Washington football program on Monday night, as the team moved to build on a solid first week of work. The Huskies began the workout with a heavy emphasis on special teams before a segue to live action.
Stepping Into The Spotlight
The interest throughout practice was in DB Greg Ducre, who filled in as a starter with Quinton Richardson out with an ankle injury. The sophomore from Los Angeles filled in capably, earning plenty of praise from Coach Steve Sarkisian after practice.
"I was encouraged by what Ducre brought tonight," Sarkisian said.
Injuries occur regularly in football, and Sark wants his reserves ready to step up on a moment's notice.
Defense Wins ... This Round
During the near 40 plays run by the Huskies, the clear victor was the defense. Josh Shirley was a monster off the edge, racking up a safety, a sack, a forced fumble and numerous QB pressures. Danny Shelton caused a stir when he pushed two offensive linemen into the backfield to help stop a running play dead in its tracks.
After practice, the defensive line gathered as a unit to go over specific aspects of their technique and alignment. Not satisfied with just having a good night, this unit has aspirations on doing much more this season.
Play Of The Day
Austin Sefarian-Jenkins had Husky Stadium buzzing after his one-handed catch over the middle of the field. The frosh TE then outraced defenders for a score. ASJ also made another impressive catch over the middle, and shrugged off two crushing hits from Husky DBs in the process.
The Huskies closed out the season with a heavy emphasis on defense and a power running game. Both aspects look to be in sync as the UW tailbacks had another excellent practice. Chris Polk bowled over a would-be tackler for a 20-yard gain. Johri Fogerson made several tacklers miss and Bishop Sankey continued to pick up yardage in key spots.
Check out the Husky tailbacks at work from their night practice on Saturday. The emphasis is, of course, on work, but the group also knows how to have a little fun as well.
On August 13 & 14, current Huskies Hooch Fagaly, Shawna Wright, and Whitney Jones and incoming freshman Kimberlee Souza competed in a six-team tournament and won the 23U Women's Major National Championship. All four athletes competed for the Cobras in the 23U "A" Western Nationals in the tournament at Marine Park in Salem, Ore. The Cobras won four games to take the title, beating West Coast Angels 11-3 in game one, Hardball in game two, Oregon Rampage 6-4 in game three, and Oregon Reign for the Championship. All four Huskies made the All-Tournament team and Whitney Jones won batting champion and was named MVP for the tournament.
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- The Pac-12 Conference has five players on the 42-athlete watch list for the Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy, the highest individual award in collegiate soccer.
The first official weekend of the NFL has come and gone, and we wanted to take a look at how the Huskies fared in the opening round of preseason games.
We'll start in Tennessee, where Jake Locker opened some eyes with a compelling performance against the Minnesota Vikings. And accuracy was clearly no concern on his first NFL touchdown pass, a 45-yard bomb that came on a somewhat busted play. Locker finished 7-of-10 for 89 yards, posting a QB rating of 130.8. Of course, this created a few rumblings about whether the Titans have a QB controversy on their hands.
You can see Jake discuss his performance on the Tennessee Titans website.
Going around the league, here is how a few other Huskies performed.
Husky Football shifted to prime time on Saturday night, with the Dawgs holding the first two-a-day workouts of Fall Camp. A crowd of several hundred fans came out as well, and the Huskies did not disappoint with their effort. For two hours, Washington practiced with full pads, with particular emphasis on special situations. During the morning workout, the Huskies were in shorts and helmets, with focus primarily on two-minute drills.
No matter who is on the field for the Huskies, the aim has been to make plays. So when Justin Glenn saw a ball carrier bearing in on him during 11-on-11 drills, the junior safety threw his 206-pound frame at him, even if it meant losing his helmet in the process. This play came just after Glenn charged into the line of scrimmage to stun a running back for just a small gain.
It seems whenever the Huskies work on their goal line offensive/defensive packages, both sides of the ball amp up the intensity. After the offense scored a pair of touchdowns, including a Nick Montana to Evan Hudson connection on play-action, the defense stepped up to the challenge with several big-time stops in short-yardage situations.
Bishop Sankey has received plenty of compliments for his play in practice, and the freshman responded with another strong effort on Saturday. His best highlight came near the end of the workout, when he took a handoff and scooted 35 yards on a shifty run down field.
Play Of The Day
Austin Sefarian-Jenkins for his diving, juggling catch (in traffic, no less) on a skinny post route for a touchdown, much to the delight of the fans in attendance.
Typically after practice, the quarterbacks will line up on the 35 and heave balls at the goal posts. Coach Sark, a former college QB, is usually in the group as well. The winner on Saturday night was walk-on QB Wil Smith, a freshman from Los Altos, Calif., for hitting the bar on consecutive throws.
The first year Steve Sarkisian wanted to add speed. In his second go-round, the goal was strength. Now the third-year coach wants to ensure his Huskies are the most explosive team in the Pac-12.
A summer's worth of time well-spent in the weight room was on display at Husky Stadium on Friday, as the team put on full pads for the first time this camp. As Sark notes, this is the time when the contenders separate themselves from the pack. It was a practice Sark called "as physical as we've been."
Hits Delivered, Message Served
The play that shook up camp this week was Desmond Trufant's jarring hit on a Husky newcomer, one of those "Welcome to D-I football moments." But the junior defensive back was plenty humble about it afterward, telling media he just wanted to "make a play." But the contact drew plenty of "Oooohs" from the crowd on the sideline ... Frosh Danny Shelton was a terror on the defensive line, and he turned heads when he beat an offensive lineman to stun a ball carrier in the backfield.
Stand Up & Take Notice
Nick Holt, the son of the Huskies defensive coordinator, scored a touchdown in 11-on-11 drills after catching a pass from Nick Montana. The younger Holt, a graduate of Seattle Prep, made the move to fullback early in camp and has shown a lot of promise at the position ... Bishop Sankey once again earned plaudits for his fearless style of running between the tackles. He had a nice run at the end of practice on a toss sweep, eluding several would-be tacklers ... Derrick Brown had a couple of nice reps during 11-on-11 drills, throwing a deep completion to Josh Perkins that was called back because of a penalty.
The 'Are You Kidding Me' Moment?
That would go to Kasen Williams, who made a catch in drills that would make Larry Fitzgerald proud. The frosh wide receiver caught a ball one-handed over his shoulders, shocking a crowd of fans in the corner of the end zone.
Members of the Huskies men's basketball staff were out at practice, as were student-athletes from the UW women's basketball team.
Under The Lights
Saturday's practice is the second of two-a-days, and the lone workout of the day open to the public. Practice starts at 7 p.m., at Husky Stadium.
Video Of The Day
Trufant discusses his offseason work in the weight room, which has led to 10 additional pounds on his frame. The junior wants to move past a sophomore season that wasn't up to his standards, but is confident and has been one of the standouts of camp so far.
The setting at Husky Stadium couldn't have been better Thursday. With the sun-drenched skies offering a picturesque backdrop, the Huskies went back to work on Day 4 of Fall Camp, once again making intensity the theme of the afternoon.
When the Huskies broke off into position groups, the best theater came when the offensive line went against the D-line in drills. Both units refused to cede any ground at all, colliding into each other at full force, much to the delight of the sizable crowd gathered around the action.
Big Plays On Offense
Plenty of mentions to go around. Austin Sefarian-Jenkins caught a long touchdown pass during 11-on-11 drills, finding himself wide-open well behind the defense. Another candidate was when Kasen Williams perfectly high-pointed a ball and ripped it out of the defenders hands. The play of the day, though, went to Chris Polk, who slithered through the defensive line and linebackers before outracing the DBs to the end zone for a long TD run.
Defense Stands Out
So far this camp, the Husky defense has established itself as a swift, physical unit. The number of available jobs on that side of the ball has increased the level of competition as well. Sean Parker continued his excellent camp with an interception towards the end of practice. He wasn't the only DB to have success on Thursday, as Desmond Trufant broke up several passes during drills. Jonathan Timu, who is locked in a battle for an outside linebacker's job, picked off a tipped pass of his own.
A few members of the Husky softball team took in practice. So did Seattle Sounders FC broadcaster Arlo White, who wandered the sidelines before jumping on the radio with broadcaster Elise Woodward of KJR-AM.
Video Of The Day
Jonathan Amosa talks to reporters about asking Coach Steve Sarkisian to switch from defense to offense, a move that looks to be paying dividends. Amosa has taken a lot of reps as the No. 1 fullback. At 230 pounds, the Rainier Beach product has dished out more than a few hits as well.
Mud? Check. Mosquitoes? Check. Snow? Check. Bears? ...
I think the difference between the imitation wilderness that you experience hiking up Mount Si with everyone and their mom versus somewhere else far from the beaten path can be the knowledge that you are out there with no one else around and a recent reported bear sighting.
We drove two hours southeast of Seattle to hike the 9 mile Grand Parks trail this past weekend. If heights make you queasy, I suggest you don't look down as you make the drive up the mountain to the trail. We walked through a national forest, meadows of blooming wildflowers and our fair share of mud (Apparently, one of the joys of hiking is getting muddy. Who knew?), stopping only when absolutely necessary, as the mosquitoes would set up camp around us. With the knowledge that a bear could be close by in the back of my head, and bear scat near the path, that sense of vulnerability and truly being out in nature are different experiences. It felt like I was in The Sound of Music as I envisioned running through the fields of blooming wildflowers. Contrasting this image, I also felt slightly like Frodo, waiting for the black "bear" riders to attack if I ventured off the path. And then, all of a sudden, there was Mount Rainier. Up close and personal. We are actually considering returning in a few weeks after the wildflowers have all bloomed, deep woods mosquito repellant in full force.
Rustic Chocolate Chip Banana Oak Cakes
Adapted from eatmedelicious.com
Containing oats, bananas and dark chocolate, these bars pack the nutritional strength to help you increase your strength. Oats add fiber, control blood sugar, reduce cholesterol and provide a complex carbohydrate to fill you up and fuel you for the day. Bananas are high in potassium and magnesium, while recent research in mice has shown that a compound in dark chocolate (epicatechin) may help increase capillaries and mitochondria, making muscles more resistance to fatigue when taken prior to exercise and thus increasing endurance. Researchers say that this benefit only requires about 1/2 of a square of a typical dark chocolate bar per day. In addition, dark chocolate is high in antioxidants and is linked to improved vision immediately after eating it, and lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Spray an 8-inch square pan or cake pan with Pam.
Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl (processed oats, rolled oats, sugar, milk powder, spices, baking powder and salt).
In a medium bowl, whisk the applesauce, milk and vanilla. Slice the peeled bananas as you add them to this bowl and then mash them into the wet ingredients until smooth (a potato masher works well for this).
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and fold together until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips, walnuts and banana chunks.
Pour into your pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean, the center is set and the cake is lightly browned. Cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes before removing. Once removed, place on a cooling rack. Cut into squares or slices and store in the fridge for up to 3 days, or in the freezer until you've forgotten what they are.
Adapted from Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson
The hardest part of this recipe is finding the ingredients. I went to 3 different groceries before I located farro at Metropolitan Market. It is a cereal grain also referred to as spelt, and it's not cheap, so don't be caught off guard by sticker shock. However, a little farro goes a long way. It is high in fiber, protein, controls blood sugar levels, and also activates the immune system, helping the body cope better with stress.
The other ingredient in this recipe you may not have used or tried yet are lentils. They can be bought at pretty much every restaurant, and some places even have them in bulk. They come in a variety of colors (red, black, green, etc), but they are all nutritionally the same. You may choose other colors depending on the presentation of your recipe as well as the texture, as the red lentils cook down more and become much mushier. Lentils are gaining in popularity as they cook quickly (they do not have to be pre-soaked like beans do), and are high in protein and fiber. They are also inexpensive and very versatile (salads, soups, burgers, side dishes, cookies, etc).
Also prominent in this recipe are sweet potatoes: high in beta carotene, Vitamin E and fiber. If you follow the recipe, and compliment the soup with a homemade lemon yogurt, you also get the extra protein and calcium benefits from the yogurt.
It is important to read all of the directions ahead of time for any recipe. This is particularly important when working stovetop as vegetables, etc may need to be chopped and ready to add at a certain time of cooking. Thus, read a recipe thoroughly first so that any ingredients that need to be prepared and ready to go, are. Otherwise, you will find yourself rushing to cut ingredients up and throw them in while things may start to burn.
Over medium-high heat, heat the oil in a large pot. Add the onions and sweet potato as well as a generous pinch of salt. Sauté the onions for about a couple of minutes until they are soft. Stir in the curry powder and cook for a minute, until fragrant. (This is a typical cooking method prior to add the liquid.)
Throw in the farro, lentils and 6 cups of broth. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 50 minutes (it is more important that the farro and lentils are cooked rather than the exact time of cooking). Check occasionally to ensure your pot continues to simmer during the cooking time (It takes some experience to learn what temperature on your stove, your pot will simmer at. Typically it is medium-low or medium heat.) Taste test your soup and add more salt if necessary (If you used water rather than broth, or low-sodium broth, you will likely need to add more salt.)
To make the lemon yogurt, which can be done while the soup is cooking, use a small bowl to mix the yogurt, lemon zest and juice together with 1/4 tsp of salt. Serve the soup with a spoon full of yogurt on the side and top with a bit of olive oil if desired. (This is where it's important to have high quality olive oil for the taste. When the olive oil is cooked, it loses its flavor. Therefore, use inexpensive olive oils when they will be heated. When using directly as a salad dressing or topping, try to save the expensive oils for these uses.) Because I used green rather than black lentils, my soup looked nothing like that in the book. But sometimes that's ok. It still tasted great.
Makes 8 servings.
More picture from the Grand Parks Hike.
Former Husky great Tina (Frimpong) Ellertson has been named one of the five finalists for the WPS Defender of the Year. Ellertson currently plays for the magicJack along with Hope Solo.
Go here to vote: http://www.womensprosoccer.com/2011-doy.
The University of Washington athletic department unveiled "The Drive For Husky Stadium" on Wednesday, a campaign designed to tell the story of the stadium's renovation, scheduled to be completed for the 2013 season.
There was plenty to do behind-the-scenes as well, as all levels of the department worked to put together the presentation, press conference, etc. That's not to say there wasn't some hiccups, as evidenced by how a surge of traffic briefly shut down the HuskyStadium.com website.
The day began with a radio interview by senior associate athletic directors Jen Cohen and OD Vincent on KJR-AM with Dave "Softy" Mahler. This coincided with a press release sent from the department to the local media, detailing where the department is in relation to the stadium's fundraising goal. Also part of the launch was an extensive social media campaign, designed by UW's Daniel Hour.
Later that afternoon, a group that included AD Scott Woodward, Cohen, Vincent, associate athletic director of capital projects Chip Lydum, Bob Callier (stadium project consultant) and John Palewicz (UW capital projects) met with local media the state-of-the-art Husky Stadium presentation room. The group fielded questions about every topic imaginable related to the stadium, such as financing, seating capacity, field naming rights and game-day experiences.
One aspect that should resonate well with Huskies fans is how loud Husky Stadium will be after renovations. Already one of the most intimidating venues in college football, the remodel moves the fans closer to the field, which will only amplify crowd noise.
"I only anticipate that it's going to get louder," Lydum said.
Woodward also wanted to serve reminder that this stadium will set the standard for the collegiate game-day experience. The battle for athletic programs is HD television and leather sofas, and Washington wants to create an environment that's the best the sport offers.
In the video clip below, follow as Vincent takes media members on a brief virtual tour of the new stadium.
No matter who quarterbacks the Huskies this season, there will be weapons in the arsenal. This much was on display during 11-on-11 drills Wednesday, when a simple Keith Price to Kasen Williams connection turned into a 60-yard score. The prodigious frosh receiver out of Skyline High School snared a five-yard dig route and then raced upfield past several defenders into the end zone.
In the video clip below, Price talks about the camaraderie he's building with all the receivers, particularly Williams.
Tab Coach Steve Sarkisian as another who's excited about those possibilities in the fall.
"I like those kind of touchdowns," Sark told media members.
There were plenty of other highlights on a Day 3, with several defensive Huskies setting a tone once the players were able to put on shells. Desmond Trufant asserted himself in drills and 11-on-11 situations, establishing a ball-hawking standard from the start of practice. Defensive tackle Sione Potoa'e was back on the field after an injury slowed his ability to practice. Cort Dennison had a strong practice as well, jumping a route over the middle to make a diving interception.
Another defensive player, Sean Parker, is one more who's been top notch in camp. The sophomore safety was the subject of a Gregg Bell profile on GoHuskies.com on Wednesday, which profiled his return from a debilitating shoulder stinger.
The coaching staff is taking advantage of this camp to dole out reps to everyone on the depth chart, meaning there's plenty of opportunity for players to cement roles for the season.
Topdrawersoccer.com just released it's first Tournament of 64 field, predicting who they think will make the 2011 NCAA Tournament. The Huskies are near the top at No. 19. See the complete poll here: http://www.topdrawersoccer.com/college-soccer/college-soccer-tournament-ranking/women.
By Mike Baldwin, Woodinville Patch
Steve Sarkisian's troops have already set a physical tone this fall, and camp is just two days old. The Huskies showed some bite during a two-hour plus practice at Husky Stadium on Tuesday, despite not being in pads. The tempo was also at a rapid pace, the sure sign of a team comfortable with the head coach's practice regimen.
Early on in practice, the Huskies directed their emphasis towards special teams and individual drills. But there were plenty of standout plays once the teams moved to 11-on-11 action towards the end of practice. One of the highlights came from Nick Montana, who is battling Keith Price for the No. 1 quarterback job in camp. Montana connected with WR Kevin Smith on a deep pass over the middle of the field, drawing plenty of reaction from the Huskies on the sideline.
There were plenty of defensive standouts as well. Safety Marquis Persley picked off a pass during team drills. DE Josh Shirley displayed why he's going to be a headache for opposing QBs all season when he broke free off the edge for a sack.
Several of the incoming freshmen continue to draw rave reviews from Sarkisian. Bishop Sankey again showed some wiggle in traffic, making several defenders miss (albeit with no pads). Austin Seferian-Jenkins also made some nice plays, and later discussed his transition to DI football with media members, the first time the TE has been able to meet with reporters since arriving on campus last spring.
One comment that stuck out when Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian addressed the media on Monday was how much the culture has changed in his three years on the job. And it's clear to observers at practice just how much the Huskies have bought in.
Football is back on Montlake as the Dawgs began their preparations for the 2011 season with an afternoon workout at Husky Stadium. Beforehand, Sarkisian met with reporters for his first official press conference of the season. The Huskies coach talked about the expectations that come after a trip to the Holiday Bowl last season, but he likes where his team is at now.
"In all, I think we are primed for a great training camp. We still have plenty of work to do," Sarkisian said. "There's a lot to be done not only the football field but off the field. But in a nutshell I think this our most athletic team we've had in three seasons."
That much was evident during the workout. Sophomore WR Kevin Smith looked polished running routes. Defensive ends Hau'oli Jamora and Josh Shirley looked stouter after an intense offseason spent in the weight room. Several of the touted incoming freshmen also had standout practices, including WR Kasen Williams.
As usual, the practice had the look and feel of a traditional Sarkisian camp. Music blared through the stadium PA speakers, and there were several fans on hand to check out the '11 Huskies. Even ex-Guns N' Roses bassist and noted Seattle sports fan Duff McKagan (pictured above) was at Husky Stadium to check things out.
GoHuskies.com will have everything you need throughout fall camp and the regular season. Keep it tuned to the Dawg Blawg as well for plenty of behind-the-scenes surprises.
Check out pictures from men's soccer camp last week, the last camp of the summer
The final gymnastics camp of the summer took play Aug. 1-5. Watch video of the final dances and see pictures below.
Forrest Snow, the former Husky hurler from Seattle, is rapidly working his way up the ladder of the Seattle Mariners' organization. In fact, he's made it all the way up to the AAA level with the Tacoma Rainiers (he's actually played for three different teams in the Mariners' chain this summer). Forrest got in touch with the following rundown of his recent travels:
With one month left in my first full professional season, I now fully understand what the "dog days" of August truly mean (even though I think it should be spelled Dawg).
After four months and over 100 games in the books, I bring you this update from the Mariner's AAA team in Tacoma, on a road-trip in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
After a very successful mini-camp and spring training in February/March, my season started in April in Clinton, Iowa, home of our Low-A team, the Lumber Kings. To say the least, the Midwest League is one-of-a-kind. Nestled on the bank of the mighty Mississippi River, Clinton is your typical Midwest farm town, full of all the sights, sounds and smells you'd expect from the middle of nowhere. The first thing I noticed when I got off the bus was the smell. Just outside the city limits, a dog food factory emits an unmistakable odor which, when the humidity rises, makes the whole city smell like a kennel.
My favorite part of the Midwest was the crazy thunderstorms. On a long bus ride back from Appleton, Wisconsin, I was awoken from blissful slumber by a barrage of strobe-light lightning. Needless to say, my nose was pressed against the window for the rest of the ride.
After two months and 13 starts in Clinton, I was promoted to our Advanced-A team in Southern California, the High Desert Mavericks. Yet again, Adelanto, Calif., was a city in the middle of nowhere. Instead of corn and dog food, the desert landscape was littered with cacti and sagebrush. The Cal League, notorious for being a hitter's paradise, lived up to its hype. Our home field was small, the infield was hard, and the wind blew straight out to left-center, making it a pitcher's worst nightmare. I took this as an opportunity to learn how to pitch down in the zone, keeping the ball in the park, and forcing as many groundballs as I could.
The day before my seventh start in High Desert, I was called into our manager's office and told I would meet our triple-A team on the road in Salt Lake City. I made my debut that night against Salt Lake, striking out 9 in 6 innings of relief work.
Two days later, I was home. I hadn't seen my family since January and was excited to pitch in front of a Washington crowd. Needless to say, the reunion was a joyful and successful one. I've had two more outings since then, one at home in Tacoma, and one here in Albuquerque.
One of the biggest differences between the lower levels and AAA is the approach of the hitters. They swing and miss less often, and hit mistakes more often. But there's no better way to learn than the hard way, in combat. Every day is another chance to get better, to work on something that can make my arsenal more dangerous, and I intend to take my skills all the way to the top. Go Dawgs!
More updates to come...
Zach Wright sent us the following from his summer-team home in Wisconsin:
ZACH WRIGHT, La Crosse Loggers
Out in the Northwoods League, the La Crosse Loggers are a half game out of first. We still have ten games to grind out maybe more depending on whether or not we make playoffs.
We've had a crazy schedule as of late, hanging out at the park one day from 9:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. to get a doubleheader in, only to get on a bus for an eight-hour bus ride back home. The weather here is something else; I have never seen anything like it.
My pitching has gone pretty well, along with most of the guys on the Loggers. While I have been here I have met some pretty fun people and made a few friends, which I should be keeping in touch with. I would have to say that I can't wait to get back home and see my family and friends, then get started with Husky Baseball and get after it in the fall and winter.
My host family has been great. They are very warm-hearted people, and they have been very supportive throughout the season. Coming to La Crosse has been a great experience. Everything about it has made me better in some way, whether it be the schedule, the competition, or the coaches. As soon as this season's over I know I will be itching to get back at it.
Read more: Top pro prospects tracked every week | College Soccer News
Where's the best place nearby to go for English muffin inspiration? How about Victoria, British Columbia? The capital of British Columbia is rich in culture, scenery, architecture and British influence from its history. And for those of you from out of the area, it's amazingly close to Seattle as it sits on the southern tip of Vancouver Island.
We rode double decker buses, went on a horse drawn carriage ride, said "Eh" way more than necessary, and asked where the washrooms were. Instruction was also provided on the loonie and toonie (Canadian one and two dollar coins, respectively), and the diet dooming dish poutine (French fries topped with gravy and cheese curds). While our horse drawn carriage ride showed us a group playing cricket and a small random marching band parade down the city's main street, we were assured that neither of these occurrences was normal.
Most people are surprised to learn that you can make English muffins at home especially given the mystery of just how you go about creating the structure that allows you to split the muffin in the middle. Well, there are a few methods, one of which takes a lot longer as you wait for the dough to rise a great deal longer. I recently made this version, but two others can be found on the Food Network (Alton Brown) and King Arthur Flour websites.
Tasting like fresh baked bread, the greatest challenge is to eat just one. I haven't looked extensively, but I've never seen healthy English muffins in the store, or even fresh baked ones in their bakeries. This basic recipe leaves open the possibility of creating other flavors such as apple cinnamon, raisin and multigrain. Store bought muffins are typically nutritionally unsound, so these provide a much healthier version and a great portable snack or quick breakfast.
The trick to growing your yeast (and getting your bread to rise) is to place it in a warm and sweet environment. To do this, place the warm water and honey in a small bowl and stir to dissolve. Disperse the yeast over the top of the honey water and stir to mix in. Leave for about 10 minutes. The yeast should start to bubble. No bubbles=big troubles. If you fail and need to try again, make sure the water is 100-110 deg F. For people like me who don't turn their heat on in the winter, this process can become more difficult.
Stir the lukewarm 1/2 cup water and yogurt together. Combine the yeast mixture, yogurt mixture, salt and baking soda into a large bowl. Using a hand held mixer or (preferably) stand mixer, beat in the flour 1 cup at a time. Continue to beat until a ball forms, and then for another 5 minutes. If using a hand held mixer, you will need to knead the dough on a floured surface to add in the remaining part of the flour, as the dough will be too stiff to beat with the hand held mixer. Spray another large bowl with Pam, place the ball of dough in the bowl and roll around to coat with the Pam. Cover with a dishtowel and let rise for about an hour. It should double in size, but again, lack of a warm living environment may make this more difficult. If this is the case, place the bowl in the oven (turned off), with a pan on the rack below and fill the pan with boiling water. Close oven door.
After the dough has doubled in size, use your knuckles to punch it down and then a rolling pin to roll it to about 1/4-1/2' thickness. (I'd recommend more of the 1/2" to end up with thicker muffins.). Using a (empty) tuna can, cut the dough into circles.
Disperse the cornmeal over several baking sheets (or one if that's all you have). Place the cut out dough circles on the cornmeal, 2 to a row. Disperse more cornmeal on top of the muffins and cover with a dishtowel. Let rise for another 45 minutes.
English muffins are cooked on a stovetop pan and flipped halfway to create the texture for separation. Preheat your pan to medium and spray with Pam. Cook however many muffins you can fit on your pan at a time, for about 8 minutes each side. As always, you're looking for that great golden brown color. Place on a cooling rack after done. (Try not to cover your kitchen in cornmeal. It took me about a week to clean it all up.) These store well in a Ziploc bag in the freezer.
Top with peanut butter, jelly, butter, or make yourself a sausage and egg muffin. Also taste great toasted.
To Make a Pizza
English muffins make a great crust for a quick pizza, as they are easy to find, inexpensive, provide a "pre-cooked crust," and a size that makes for easy customization. Top each muffin with sauce (I used homemade marinara), mozzarella cheese (yes, I bought this), and any pizza toppings of your choice. Bake on a cookie sheet (aluminum foil makes cleanup easier) at 425 deg F for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned.
Here are some pictures of inside the Parliament Buildings in Victoria.
WILL SPARKS, Neptune Beach Pearl
Hey Husky Fans. Heading into the last series of the regular season my team is sitting comfortably in fourth place in the Far West League with a 16-9 record in league play. The top six teams make the playoffs, so it is safe to say that we will be heading up to Humboldt next weekend to make a run at the championship.
Over the past few weeks, we've lost about one-third of our team due to early departures and injuries. It's gotten to the point where we have had to bring in a pitcher to play the outfield. We're currently on a five-game winning streak though so we're not worried about it.
We had our last home game yesterday at Alameda's prestigious Willie Stargell Field and it resulted in one of the crazier endings I've ever been a part of. Going into the nine inning, we were up 11-5. Our pitcher recorded two quick outs and then got, what seemed to be, the final batter to ground out.
Our team ran to the mound to give each other high-fives and the celebratory music started playing. Unfortunately, there was a catcher's interference call that nobody seemed to hear. After everyone awkwardly ran back to their positions, the inning continued. The next two batters reached base on errors, followed by a base hit to put the tying run on deck. Our pitcher then struck out the last batter to end the game, this time for real.
Playing for the Pearl this summer has been a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to the playoffs next weekend. That being said, I can't wait to head back up to Seattle in a few weeks and get back to work. Go Dawgs!
JEFF BRIGHAM, Bend Elks
What's up Huskies! I am Jeff Brigham, taking a break out of my ridiculously busy life down in Bend, Oregon, to write about my amazing summer experience. I was fortunate enough to be placed on the best team in West Coast League (I'm talking about the chemistry, camaraderie and fan support) and arguably the nation. Jacob Clem and Ben Guidos told me of their splendid stay here in Bend and it has lived up to and surpassed everything they had told me.
Whether you're out floating the river, golfing, going out for a little morning hot yoga (yes I tried hot yoga), or going to the versatile Bend Athletic Club, you can always find something to do.
My host family is phenomenal. I am the luckiest player on my team to have such awesome host parents. They are a retired couple from California who would break their backs to help anyone out. The wife forces the most delicious food down my throat for every meal of the day, while the husband kicks my butt at pool on a routine basis. My stay here in Bend would not be the same without them.
Currently this year we are in second place and looking to make the playoffs. Our team has a ton of talent to go along with great chemistry, which has won us a couple games by itself. It amazes me of how well our entire team has bonded over just a few short months. I am going to miss everyone a lot when this summer is over.
I personally have been throwing well. After missing three weeks due to an injury following two starts, I have assumed the role as the closer and am thoroughly enjoying the pressure that accompanies the position. I have also enjoyed watching the success of my fellow Huskies, especially the pitchers. Shout outs to Austin Voth, Tyler Kane, and Z brain who have been representing our class of pitchers very well. And of course Adam Cimber tearing up the Northwoods one softball pitch at a time :). Aaron West is dominating... need I say more. I am excited to see the improvements our team makes this year and for our pitching staff to dominate.
This summer has flown by! I am sad to see it go but looking forward to a new beginning. I hope that both the hard work I have put in as well as the work I know our team has put in will carry over to this fall, where we can begin our run at a Pac-12 title and a College World Series!
You stay classy Dawgs!
ADAM CIMBER, Green Bay Bullfrogs
Hey guys, checking in again from Green Bay. The past few weeks have been interesting. The team has been getting injured like crazy. It seems like we have somebody go home every couple of days while a new guy joins us in his place. I'm getting to meet a lot of new people.
And yet, we still have been winning a ton of games. Right now we're a half-game back of Zach Wright's team, the LaCrosse Loggers, for first place and the last playoff spot. The season is far from over. We still have 13 games left in the regular season, and if we make playoffs, possibly another six.
The weather has been crazy. A couple days ago we had a storm that I'll remember forever. It was clear skies when all of the sudden black skies were headed our way. The whole team rushed out to tarp the field because we had heard what was coming, but as soon as we started to spread it, it hit.
All of the sudden a gust of 80-plus mph wind hit us and wreaked havoc. The tarp looked like a giant was shaking the sand off of his beach blanket. People holding on were getting tossed around, while others ran to get away from the tree branches and debris flying onto the field. A couple of our cars got smashed by falling trees in the parking lot. A transformer on a power line started going haywire and sparking, while one of the stadium lights almost came down on our clubhouse. A huge tree fell and smashed the back of the press box. Really fun, but a little scary. Never seen anything like that before.
With the weather has come a lot of rainouts. With rainouts comes a lot of double headers. We've played four in the last week. There was a point a couple days ago, due to unusual start times, we played five games within 48 hours. It's definitely a grind, but this summer has been one of the best. I've met a lot of cool people, and two or three friends that I know I'll keep in touch with for a long time. I've been throwing really well this summer, and our team has been winning a lot of games. I've seen a couple ballparks, Miller Park and Wrigley Field. Rafted a river, went fishing a few times, had some fun bonfires. My family and girlfriend came to visit... A lot of good times. Definitely the best summer I can remember.
But like I said, I still have two or three weeks left. Got to keep pushing, and pushing, and pushing! Going to finish strong and then get back home to everybody. Really missing my UW family. Can't wait to see you all in a month. Here we go Dawgs!
Watch the video below that Jenn Salling did with her new team, the USSSA Pride.
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