The Prep Blog

Covering high school sports in Tacoma, Pierce County and the South Sound

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Archives: Aug. 2008


Rain no apt foe for Rogers Rams

Midway through the Rogers Rams’ first football practice Wednesday, a dark cloud loomed over Sparks Stadium, dimming the daylight.

So much, one assistant groused, “Can’t we get the lights? I can’t almost see.”

There were low snaps and dropped passes, typical of a first day of camp. A few of the 90 players fell on the slippery turf, which was just installed a few days prior to practice.

One thing is for certain these days. These Rams are animated. Winners of their first SPSL South championship since 1982, they are also determined to prove last season was no fluke, led by all-everything quarterback Tyler Van Sligtenhorst, a senior who is being courted by a few Big Sky Conference programs.

“I love being in the position where everyone is looking at me,” Van Sligtenhorst said. “Nothing cocky. I’ve done some camps with Jason Gesser (ex-WSU quarterback), and he’s talked about that swagger you have to have, and let the (team) know … ‘Hey, I’m the guy,’ and have them believe in you.”

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Trufant leads the way at Wilson

Wilson’s Desmond Trufant outruns two defensive backs at practice on Wednesday.

I left Wilson High School looking forward to seeing exactly how coach Don Clegg plans to use the super-talented Desmond Trufant in a game.

After playing receiver, defensive back and returning kicks and punts last season, Trufant will also see time at quarterback and running back. He admitted that he’s still learning quarterback and last played the position for “a couple games” during his freshman season.

“It’s cool,” said Trufant, 5-11, 170 pounds. “I like it.”

Clegg hopes opponents

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First football reports

Here we go. Another season of high school football has arrived.

I visited Fife High School earlier this afternoon. The Trojans are coming off season that saw them advance to the Class 2A state quarterfinals for the first time since 1988. Despite losing touchdown machine Tyler Cardin — he scored 42 TDs and ran for 2,254 yards — coach Kent Nevin is confident his team will be competitive.

“Our strength is our offensive and defensive lines,” he said. “We’ve got some big kids there.”

Fife coach Kent Nevin addresses his

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High School football begins today

High school football practice begins Wednesday around the state and we’ll be out at a handful of South Sound schools to talk to coaches and players. We’ll be shooting some video and doing interviews with coaches and players that will be posted here on the blog.

Our high school football special section will be published on Thursday, Sept. 4. That’s 16 pages crammed full of South Sound football.

We’re making our picks as we prepare the special section, but what are your league champion predictions?


Bellarmine’s Bradley Brazil-bound

If Avery Bradley’s English teacher assigns him to write a what-I did-on-my-summer-vacation essay when he returns to Bellarmine Prep in a few weeks, Bradley won’t have trouble filling a few pages.

Today, Bradley flew out of Sea-Tac International Airport bound for New York City. From there, one of the nation’s top shooting guards was to board an airplane headed to Brazil where he’ll join eight American college prospects on the Nike Elite Youth Basketball team.

The team will play four games against some of South American’s best teams in three

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Bradley, Gaddy named MVPs of Nike Global Challenge tournament

Bellarmine Prep’s Avery Bradley and Abdul Gaddy were named co-MVPs, along with Serbia’s Nikola Markovic, of the Nike Global Challenge basketball tournament last weekend in Hillsboro, Ore.

The Tacoma duo led their team, USA2, to the tournament championship, beating USA1 117-104 in the final. Bradley scored a game-high 25 points in the title game, while Gaddy finished with 12 points and seven assists.

Teams from Canada, Serbia, Puerto Rico, Senegal and Lithuania competed at the event. Future college players dotted the rosters of the three American teams. Here’s a link to the USA players.

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Steilacoom hoops standout signs with PLU

Marcus Reaves has signed to play basketball at Pacific Lutheran University. The former Steilacoom star averaged 15 points, five rebounds and three assists for the Sentinels as a senior in 2007-08.

The 6-foot-2 guard was a first-team all-Nisqually League selection as a senior and junior.

Here’s what PLU coach Steve Dickerson says about Reaves:

“Marcus is a tremendous person who has a wonderful work ethic,” he said. “He had a terrific high school career and he has unquestioned leadership abilities. His athleticism allows him to be a very good defender and an excellent perimeter player.”


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Abdul Gaddy, Josh Smith to play in Rucker Park event

Abdul Gaddy and Josh Smith have been selected to play in the 2008 Boost Mobile Elite 24 basketball event. The games featuring two dozen of the country’s top high school players will be held Aug. 22 at Rucker Park in New York City.

Bellarmine Prep’s Gaddy, one of the nation’s top-rated point guards, and Kentwood’s Smith, a highly-recruited center in the class of 2010, will be joined by Garfield’s Tony Wroten, who some consider to be the nation’s best player in the 2010 class.

Here’s the full list of players:

Name, High School, Pos., Class

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