fishing for words

(and tossing out random thoughts)

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last game of the ’06-’07 season

Sean in the All-Star Game

Sean in the All-Star Game

I’m pretty sure football wasn’t meant to be played during the summer.  It just doesn’t seem right.

And if football is to be played during the summer, it seems that (1) it must be played in an arena or (2) must be of the European variety.

I can’t figure out if it is a good thing that neither the East nor the West dominated the 2007 East-West High School Football All-Star Classic. Both teams put forth strong defensive efforts. However, both teams shared in a number of penalties — with a few unnecessary roughness penalties called after the half — and these penalties added a considerable number of minutes to the game.  And during the first 30-plus minutes of the game, it was a matter of three-and-out almost everytime the offense was on the field.

With the West’s two defensive teams, Sean’s playing time was limited, but he nailed at least one tackle and was in on a few plays. (There were murmurs in the stands that “He [another player] probably didn’t even see number forty-one [Sean] flatten him…”) So I can guarantee that Sean had fun.

You can read more about the game at the Vallejo Times Heard or The Napa Valley Register.

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fish early, fish often

Call it luck or whatever you want, but it looks like Christopher and I will be hitting the waters of the Eastern Sierra none too soon. I booked our trip for next week — our first guided trip — back in January, and even then I was worried that the lack of rain. Drought conditions and high temperatures have fisheries mangers taking measures to protect trout in fly fishing waters across the country. Trout are dying in the Yellowstone Basin’s Firehole River, prompting Yellowstone National Park to ask anglers to cut back on afternoon fishing on some creeks and rivers. Low water has guides in the Smoky Mountains focusing on higher elevation streams where the water temperatures are consistently cooler. Mandatory closures have hit some Montana rivers.

As for our trip to the Rock Creek area, where Tom Loe plans to guide us on Crowley Lake and McGee Creek, Mr. Loe wrote in last week’s FishingReport:

Anticipate some very low fall flows in the rivers and creeks with some fisheries not forecast to be at “the top of their game” so to speak in late fall. I suggest if you enjoy moving freestone creek water like the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin, the West Walker River, Rock Creek, Lee Vining Creek, Bishop Creek, Robinson Creek, McGee Creek, etc…you should plan on a trip before Labor Day.

Here’s to hoping for tight lines!

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Sean in the paper, part two

They got the name spelled right this time…

Tandem Still Going Strong
Former Panther linebackers preparing for football at Solano
By Brian Bainum/Times-Herald Correspondent
July 6, 2007

     Former Benicia High linebackers Sean Konoske, left, and Justin Ponder get ready to hit the field during practice Thursday evening, in preparation for the East-West All-Star Football Classic on July 14. (Mike Jory/Times-Herald) 
     Sean Konoske throws himself down on the grass and closes his eyes, his head resting against his shoulder pads.
     A couple of yards away, Justin Ponder gives a big yawn while walking slowly toward practice at Morton Field.
     Close friends and teammates at Benicia High last season, Ponder and Konoske have found rest and relaxation hard to come by this summer. The linebackers have spent their summer working out in preparation for the fall season at Solano College, while also practicing with the West team leading up to the East-West High School Football Classic on July 14 at Napa Memorial Stadium.
     “We go to Solano, have an hour of class, an hour on the field and an hour in the weight room, and then we come here and practice for a full two hours,” Ponder said. “It’s tiring, but it’s football. That’s all the motivation I need.”
     Ponder and Konoske played key roles on the Panthers defense in the fall. Now the pair is hoping to find themselves in a similar role at Solano, with the prospect of a transfer to a Division I program looming two years down the line.
     “We feed off each other,” Konoske said. “We keep each other going.”
     It is encouragement both of them need as they transition from playing at the high school level to coach Floyd Burnsed’s Solano program.
     “I walked in the first day and I see some guy benching 405, and I’m only (doing) 250,” Konoske said. “It makes you realize that it’s a whole new level.”
     Said Ponder: “Next year, we’ll be the returning guys intimidating the new kids.”
     Both players play a similar style (it is no surprise that they share a favorite NFL player: John Lynch of the Denver Broncos). Konoske and Ponder hit hard and are quick to the ball, and by all accounts have played with a high intensity level even in practices for the East-West game, which often fosters a more laid-back attitude among players who are trying to enjoy their last game against high school players.
     Konoske admitted he needs to work on his tackling to succeed at the collegiate level.
“I can see the difference from high school already,” he said. “Everyone is faster on the field.”
     But in preparation for next week’s game, Konoske and Ponder will play alongside many familiar opponents from high school.
     “It’s cool to team up with everybody,” said Ponder, looking over toward a group of St. Patrick’s/St. Vincent’s players. “I heard their game plan was to hurt me when we played them, but it’s all good, because it didn’t work.”
     St. Pats’ Alexander Wong, who also plays linebacker and will play at San Jose State in the fall, acts as though all the high school rivalries are a thing of the past.
     “(Konoske and Ponder) are going to prove something this game,” Wong said.
     It is a competitive drive that West coach Richard Eaton certainly appreciates, as he attempts to mesh together a cohesive unit leading up to the game in eight days.
     “They are positive and upbeat, they’re competitors and they love the game of football,” Eaton said.