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[12] April 25, 2009

F E D E R A L WAY

SPORTS

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Bronson’s NFL dream about to become reality Thomas Jefferson, Central tight end should hear his name called in New York at this weekend’s NFL Draft

“It’s been quite a journey. I took an unusual path. But this was my goal when I came out of TJ and I just wanted to make it and have a chance to play in the NFL.”

BY CASEY OLSON sports@federalwaymirror.com

A

SUDDEN IMPACT GIRLS FASTPITCH TEAM WINS ASA/JUNIOR OLYMPIC TOURNAMENT TITLE The Sudden Impact 12-under girls fastpitch team participated in the ASA Combat Series/Junior Olympic Tournament at Sprinker Park in Spanaway and went 6-0 to capture the championship last weekend. Teams from all over Western Washington and Canada participated in the tournament. The team averaged over 10 runs a game and outscored their opponents 61-4 over the six games. The Sudden Impact beat the NW Ladysharks in the championship game, 4-3. Sudden Impact players are Kyra Adams, Sierra Bains, Taylor Gower, Ashlie Grant, Dominique Greeno, Krista Jones, Kayla McLaughlin, Kelsey McDonnell, Maddy Roskie, Lauren Spencer, Alyssa Ubrun and Taylor Weimern-Pierce. The Sudden Impact organization has been involved with competitive fastpitch for Federal Way girls since 1990. The team is coached by Raj Bains, Travis Ubrun, Brett Adams, Pat McDonnell, Mike Jones and Kevin Spencer.

Sports contact: Casey Olson colson@federalwaymirror.com or (253) 925-5565

ll the measuring, weighing, running, jumping, lifting and Wonderlic testing has led to this weekend for Jared Bronson. Like all other football players who have ever strapped on a helmet, the 2003 Thomas Jefferson High School graduate has dreamed about having his name called from the stage at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall during the NFL Draft. Bronson’s dream is about to become reality. By all indications, the 6-foot-4, 255-pound tight end out of Central Washington University will be selected Sunday on the second day of the NFL Draft. Today’s portion of the draft will include rounds one and two, and the remaining five rounds will take place Sunday. “I’m pretty sure I won’t be going on the first day,” Bronson said. “But it can be anywhere on the second day. It’s looking really good right now. It’s not set in stone, but I’m getting good feedback. I’ll be happy to go anywhere. Even if I’m the last pick in the draft, I will still be happy.” The NFL Draft will be televised all day today and Sunday on ESPN and ESPN2. Bronson and his

Jared Bronson

Central Washington tight end Jared Bronson works out for Jacksonville Jaguars’ assistant Mike Tice last month at Federal Way Memorial Stadium. ANDY HOBBS, The Mirror

family will be watching the coverage at their home in Kent. “It’s going to be a fun weekend,” Bronson said. “It’s going to be pretty chill and we are just going to watch the draft.” Bronson isn’t your normal NFL prospect. Playing at Central, a Division II school that plays against teams like Western Oregon and Dixie State, he didn’t get a chance to showcase his talent against Pac-10 or Big 12 Conference players. But that’s what happens when you aren’t a highly-recuited player coming out of high school. “It’s been quite a journey,” Bronson said. “I took an unusual path. But this was my goal when I came out of TJ and I just wanted to make it and have a chance

to play in the NFL.” After playing quarterback at Jefferson, Bronson switched positions to tight end during his freshman season at Pima Community College in Tucson, Ariz. After a year at Pima, Bronson followed in his father Gordon’s footsteps and transferred to the University of Washington to play tight end for the Huskies. Gordon Bronson was a standout tight end for UW during the 1970s. But things didn’t work out in Seattle, and Bronson ended up transferring to Central Washington, where he played two seasons. Bronson had a standout senior campaign for the Wildcats despite missing nearly five full games due to a shoulder injury. He ranked second on the team

in receiving yards (502) and receiving touchdowns (six) and saved his best collegiate game for last, when he corralled a career-high eight receptions for 169 yards in Central Washington’s 49-42 loss at West Texas A&M in the first round of the 2008 NCAA Division II playoffs. Bronson is hoping to become the first Wildcat drafted by the NFL since 1991, when wide receiver Eric Boles was an 11thround draft pick by the New York Jets. “It’s been a fun process,” Gordon Bronson said. “It

seems like his whole career he has been under the radar. Now it’s come full circle and as a father, there have been times where I’ve had to bite my tongue a little bit and not say something. Now all the things I was thinking are being proved out.” Bronson’s senior year performance earned Bronson a coveted spot at the 84th Annual East-West Shrine Game in Houston in January and an invitation to the NFL Draft Combine in Indianapolis. [ more BRONSON page 15 ]

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Lake fishing opens today Mirror staff

Hundreds of lakes are teeming with trout as the state’s biggest annual fishing event kicks off today, which is the opening of lowland lake fishing in Washington. More than 19.8 million trout have been stocked in lakes and streams throughout the state for this year’s fishery, including those planted in waters that opened earlier this spring or are open year-round. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is expecting nearly 300,000 anglers to cast a line on opening day. All anglers, age 15 or older, must have a valid fishing license to fish in Washington. Licenses can be purchased via the Internet (www. fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov), by telephone (1-866-246-9453), or at hundreds of license dealers across the state. WDFW Inland Fish Program Manager Jim Uehara reports more than 19.8 million trout are stocked in lakes and streams throughout the state for this year’s fishery, including those planted in waters that opened earlier this spring or are open yearround. Most trout will be stocked before the lakes season gets under way today.

Visitors parking at WDFW fishing access sites are required to display a WDFW vehicle use permit on their vehicle. Every person who buys an annual fishing license receives a free vehicle use permit. The permits are transferable between two vehicles. Additional permits are available to recreational license buyers for $5 each and to other users of the areas for $10. A Washington freshwater fishing license, valid April 1, 2009, through March 31, 2010, costs $21.90 for resident adults (16-69 years old). Fifteen-year-olds and persons with disabilities can buy a license for $8.21, and seniors (70 years and older) can buy an annual fishing license for $5.48. Children 14 years and younger do not need a fishing license. This year, 94 lakes throughout the state were stocked with triploid trout averaging a pound-and-a-half each. These trout, purchased by WDFW, are sterile rainbows that are heavy eaters and have the potential to grow to trophy size. A total of 35,336 triploid trout were stocked statewide. Area lakes with the trout include SeaTac’s Angle Lake (589 total), Kent’s Lake Meridian (638) and Covington’s Lake Sawyer (687).

[ bronson from page 12 ]

He also trained at Elite Athletics, outside of Malibu, Calif., during December and January and has hired an agent from Premier Sports and Entertainment in Southern California. “It’s been interesting,” Bronson said. “The (NFL) scouts starting coming out last spring to watch film and practice and they told me that I had the ability to play in the NFL. It was kind of a snowball effect from there.” Bronson proved to be one of the better tight ends in the country at the NFL Combine in February. During the event, NFL scouts, coaches and general managers not only get to meet their prospective employees, but they measured them in every way possible. “It’s pretty much a meat market,” Bronson said. “When they get your height and weight, you have to walk up on a stage in compression shorts and then you turn around with your back to the crowd and everybody in the NFL looks at you. It’s kind of interesting. They are sitting around you like a basketball court.” ESPN.com currently has

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Bronson ranked as the 14thbest tight end in the 2009 NFL Draft. Sports Illustrated has Bronson projected as a fifth or sixth rounder and nfldraftscout.com and cbssports. com both have Bronson rated 13th at his position. “You never know what’s going to happen,” Gordon Bronson said. “But at least Jared is on the radar and he should get an opportunity.” Bronson also held a Pro Day in Ellensburg last month, along with Central Washington quarterback Mike Reilly. He has also worked out individually for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Philadelphia Eagles and Seattle Seahawks. “There is a lot of information out there and a lot of misinformation (about the draft),” Gordon Bronson said. “It’s kind of real mixed bag and there have been things that have been written that have ticked me off after reading. But it’s been fun.” The Bronsons are hoping the fun continues during this weekend’s NFL Draft. “I have done everything I can control and now it’s just where the chips fall on Sunday,” Bronson said.

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