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Patriot Bremerton



‘Hopefully it’s the best 60 minutes of my life’ Russell Wilson’s preparations for Sunday’s game began at last year’s Super Bowl BY RICH MYHRE EVERETT HERALD WRITER

A year ago, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was in New Orleans for Super Bowl XLVII. Unfortunately for the Seahawks and their fans, none of Wilson’s teammates joined him. The Super Bowl was played just three weeks after Seattle’s season ended with a disappointing 30-28 playoff loss to the Atlanta Falcons. But Wilson was more than an ordinary spectator at the Feb. 3, 2013, game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens. Convinced that the Seahawks were on the verge of reaching the NFL title game, Wilson wanted a firsthand sense of the entire Super Bowl experience. “I watched the whole game, and the pregame and all that, because I really wanted to get a feel for it in case we were there (someday),” Wilson said. “I believed that we would (be) and, sure enough, we are.” Wilson, Seattle’s second-year quarterback, has done everything he can to prepare himself for Super Bowl XLVIII against the Denver Broncos. In recent weeks he has sought the advice of NFL acquaintances with their own Super Bowl experiences, including New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees. Wilson even took the chance to query former Pittsburgh Steelers QB Terry Bradshaw when the latter was on hand for the trophy presentation after the Jan. 19 NFC Championship game at Seattle’s CenturyLink Field. Because the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl are unlike anything else in the NFL, as is the extraordinary fanfare on game day, Wilson thought it important to

Everett Herald photo

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who is known for his cool demeanor, hopes to lead the team to a win. learn as much as he could. “You have to understand about not getting warmed up too early and not getting too fired up,” he explained. “(It’s about) just being in the moment and relaxing as much as possible, and then going out there and playing a great game.” By the numbers, the Broncos seem to have a decided quarterback advantage in Sunday’s game. Denver QB Peyton Manning has the edge in NFL experience with 16 years compared to Wilson’s two, Super Bowl appearances with two compared to Wilson’s zero, and NFL Most Valuable Player awards with five, again compared to Wilson’s zero. Even Seahawks center Max Unger concedes, “Peyton has been the (quarterback) standard in the

NFL for years and years.” Regardless, the players in Seattle’s locker room are standing behind their teammate. “Peyton’s a great player and he’s one of the best to ever play the game, no doubt about it,” Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate said. “But No. 3 (Wilson) is a special player himself. And he’s young, so he’s going to get better every day, every game, every year. ... We’re definitely comfortable with No. 3.” “We don’t ask him to run the same offense Peyton does,” pointed out Seattle tight end Luke Willson. “We’ve got Marshawn (Lynch), so we like to run the ball. But Russ still does everything we ask him to do and more. He just makes a ton of plays.”

The question, of course, is whether the 25-year-old Wilson is ready for pro football’s biggest stage. Even Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell acknowledges that “we’re working with a second-year player. A second-year quarterback, and you have to keep that in mind.” According to Bevell, the Seahawks had some late offensive miscues in the NFC Championship game against San Francisco, and those errors were due in part to Wilson being less than flawless. “There was definitely something,” Bevell said. “I don’t know if it was (Wilson’s) nerves, but obviously we didn’t function well in those situations. We fumbled on fourth-and-one (at the 49ers’ goal line), and then we fumbled another

snap, then we came out (and ran) the wrong way. “There were a number of things in the last 10-15 plays where we didn’t function as well as we needed to. I’m not putting it all on (Wilson) because there were other things going on, too. But we’re still talking about a second-year player, and that’s the first time that he’s been in that situation. But he never flinched. He came to the sideline, I was able to talk to him ... and he got a handle on the situation. “He’s been fabulous in everything we’ve asked him to do,” Bevell said. “He does a great job of managing all the situations, and he’s come up big in just about every one of them.” And even in the emotionally packed days leading up to the Super Bowl, “I don’t know how anybody could be better prepared to handle it (than Wilson),” Seattle head coach Pete Carroll said. “That’s his preparation that came way before he ever got to us. He’s a tremendous kid, and I think he’ll be at his best, just like he has been in every other opportunity that we’ve faced.” Asked what it would mean to him to win a Super Bowl, Wilson had a ready response. “The thing I’ve thought about more than anything is what it’ll do for this organization,” he said. “We want to win a Super Bowl and be the first ones to win it in our organization, and that’s kind of our mindset. ... Obviously to win a Super Bowl, that’s the thing you want to win most. “It’s the ultimate game,” he added. “It’s the Super Bowl, and you look forward to these moments. You enjoy these moments, too, but you also keep your focus on the main thing and that’s making sure that your mindset is right and ready to go. ... I’m looking forward to that, and I’m not going to shy away from it.” As kickoff nears, “I’m excited about the game,” Wilson said. “I’m excited about the moment and about playing one play at a time, just like always, and hopefully it’s the best 60 minutes of my life.”

Go Hawks!

Get ready for the Super Bowl

Inside Kitsap Week


Pacific Avenue project to finish early, cost more BY KEVAN MOORE KMOORE@SOUNDPUBLISHING.COM

Seraine Page/staff photo

Kaitlei Vega-Gentry holds her ukulele in a resting position during a Ukulele Club lesson.

Four strings and a dream BY SERAINE PAGE


There should be a sign on the classroom door: “Free ukulele to anyone wanting to play.” But there’s four strings attached. Pam Helm, volunteer at West Hills S.T.E.M. Academy in Bremerton, wants to see her Ukulele Club students stick with it for more than one lesson. In fact, she wants to see them through the six months of lessons she plans for every Wednesday after school. At the end, if they’ve practiced enough, they will get to keep the ukulele. “I enjoy playing. I enjoy singing,” she said. “I think music is really important for community.”

She isn’t a teacher, and she isn’t a parent of a student. Helm just loves to play the ukulele and shares it with the students of the school, free of charge. She has paid for the $69 ukuleles — for eight students — out of pocket, but also seeks fundraisers to help with the cost. Helm, who also plays guitar, loves the little four-stringed instrument just as much. “It isn’t just for Hawaiian music,” Helm said of the ukulele. “It’s really got a voice of its own.” At the beginning of January, Helm had the students write down their goals and draw a picture of what they hoped to achieve by the end of the school SEE UKULELES, A9

The Pacific Avenue Project, between Sixth and 11th streets, will be done a little sooner than expected, but it will also cost a lot more than was originally anticipated. The original contract amount for the work was $3,131,378 while the latest cost projection for the project comes in at $4.1 million. The Bremerton City Council has already approved $174,834.43 in change-work orders. Last week, they were asked to sign off on another $538,000 worth of changes. In addition, if the lead contractor on the project, RV Associates, is able to substantially complete construction by April 18, more than a month ahead of schedule, the firm will earn an $18,000 bonus to cover its overtime costs. Bremerton engineer Tom Knuckey told the city council in a study session last week that most of the added cost on the project is a direct result of poor soils. He said that testing the soils ahead of time would have required closing the roadway, doing core sampling and creating big potholes. Knuckey said that process is often expensive and he described it as a “gut call” for engineers. Councilwoman Leslie Daugs seemed less than impressed, though, with the cost overruns. “I have a hard time with these projects because we put these bids out and then we get these little change orders due to something we didn’t do, whether it be a plan to test the soil or not,” she said. “And I

Kevan Moore/staff photo

Pacific Avenue construction work continued this week. have a hard time spending money on gut feelings. It’s a big chunk of money that we’re spending. We’re supposed to be representing our citizens and every time we have a big project it seems like we’re adding money to it. I just wanted to say I have a hard time with this. It’s not a good gut feeling for me.” Bremerton Public Works Director Chal Martin responded by praising the success of the project. “In the case of this project, truly, this is a success story,” Martin said. “It truly is a success story. We’ve got this wonderful new street that’s almost done and the cost overruns, in my view, are not a significant issue for a project of this

size and complexity.” Martin also noted that the city nearly lost grant funding for the project just after receiving a bid for the work. “Our mayor recovered this project, literally from the ashes, so we sit here today almost done,” Martin said. “We almost had nothing. So, the other thing I’d like to say is, this often happens with these projects.” Martin also noted t hat Washington State Department of Transportation (DOT) requirements, put in place to keep track of federal spending, aren’t always in sync with city processes. “Unfortunately the DOT contracts don’t meet most of these interSEE PAC AVE, A9

Bremerton Patriot, January 31, 2014