Coaches for prep winter sports teams just go nuts at Christmastime when school is out. Team members scatter for the holidays and then regroup to start school and, for the most part, seasons all over again.
It's especially tough for swimmers as they must get back into the flow of individual strokes even though they probably visited the pool during the break.
Wrestlers had a tournament last weekend and Sequim is ready to get on the mat with Port Angeles Thursday night, Jan. 8, in the Rick Kaps Gym. This rivalry is a good one, especially with Sequim coach Len Borchers and Rider coach Eric Gonzales being good friends.
The Sequim and Port Angeles basketball games were snowed out and they will be made up Saturday night, with the girls at 5:15 p.m. and the boys to follow. Sequim's two teams took part in the P.T. tournament to try to regain their edge, with the Wolves' boys splitting a pair and the girls taking two more losses.
The Rider girls had two games in an Auburn tournament and played Ferndale last Saturday, losing all three, so they will be after some wins at North Mason on Friday and at Sequim on Saturday.
The P.A. boys had a long stretch of inactivity, then hosted former Sequim coach Brian Roper's Lynden team last weekend. Roper's tough defensive-minded team, which finished fourth in state last year, handed the Riders a loss, but the Riders played better than they had in previous games. I look for the Sequim and P.A. boys to battle down to the end and the P.A. girls to win.
Roper, by the way, stopped off with his team Friday to have a shoot-around and enjoyed visiting with old friends. Doesn't seem like he's been gone four years.
• Bowl games - Are you sick of college football yet? The last game is Thursday night when Oklahoma takes on Florida in Miami. It's been over a month since either team played, so how sharp can they be? I still like the Sooners.
I started my bowl predictions by going 1-4 in the early rounds. Then I regrouped and won a few to improve to 17-14, so I can finish no worse than even when it's all over. How did you do?
• Something fishy - There will be bigger prizes for the 33rd Discovery Bay Salmon Derby with $8,000 in cash up for grabs when anglers hit the water Feb. 14-16. Seven Cedars Casino donated $1,000 for third prize, there will be a $500 Valentine's Day Sweetheart prize for the woman or girl who turns in the largest salmon Valentine's Day and the fishing area has been expanded from Dungeness to Whidbey Island and includes boat launches in Port Townsend, Gardiner and John Wayne Marina for a choice of conditions each day.
I'll have more information next week. Tickets are on sale at all usual outlets and at www.DiscoBaySalmonDerby.com.
• Huh? - Did I read it right? The Washington Huskies beat the WSU Cougars in basketball? And in Pullman? And is Gonzaga getting worse instead of better? Zounds!
Columns by KONP 1450 AM sports announcer Scooter Chapman appear weekly in the Sequim Gazette. He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.