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TJ grad Bronson earns coveted spot at 84th annual East-West Shrine Game | Federal Way sports briefs

Central Washington tight end Jared Bronson, a Thomas Jefferson product, has been selected to play in the 84th annual East-West Shrine Game in Houston on Jan. 17.

Bronson, who earned first team all-conference honors for the second consecutive season and was also a Daktronics Division II second-team All-American, will become just the second player in CWU history to participate in the senior all-star game.

L.G. Carmody, a CWU Hall-of-Famer, played in the game in 1947. Tom Parry, the winningest football coach in school history, also played in the East-West Shrine Game while representing Washington State in 1948.

Bronson had a standout senior campaign for the Wildcats despite missing nearly five full games due to injury. He ranked second on the team in receiving yards (502) and receiving touchdowns (six) while ranking fourth in pass receptions (28).

He 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.

Over the course of his two campaigns in a Wildcat uniform, Bronson helped CWU to a 20-5 record and consecutive NCAA Division II postseason appearances.

The East-West Shrine Game, which has predominantly been comprised of NCAA Division I seniors over the course of its recent history, is a prime opportunity for college seniors to showcase their talents for National Football League scouts.

More than 300 representatives from all 32 NFL teams will be present in Houston during the week of the game. The Web site www.nfldraftscout.com ranks Bronson as the 10th best tight end in the country and projects him as a sixth-round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. Bronson has the prototypical size for an NFL tight end at 6-feet-4, 255 pounds.

• Green River Community College recently honored former Gator and current major league reliever David Riske by retiring his No. 5 jersey.

The ceremony was held at the college on Dec. 6.

Riske, 32, who played at Lindbergh High School in Renton and Green River before being drafted by the Cleveland Indians in 1996, currently plays for the Milwaukee Brewers, where he compiled a 1-2 record with two saves in 42.1 innings pitched. Riske, a right-hander, also had a 5.31 ERA.

In 2007, Riske lead the Kansas City Royals bullpen to one of its best seasons.

On Oct. 31, 2007, Riske declined his $2.9 million player option. Later, on Dec. 5, he signed a three-year contract with the Brewers.

Riske also played for Boston and the Chicago White Sox in 2006.

• The Washington Horse Racing Commission approved a 91-day season of live racing for Emerald Downs in 2009.

Opening day will be Friday, April 17, with closing day on Sunday, Sept. 27. Racing will be Friday through Sunday in the first six weeks of the season, and Thursday through Sunday beginning the week of May 28. Special holiday racing will be offered Memorial Day (May 25) and Labor Day (Sept. 7).

The 2009 Emerald Downs stakes schedule, featuring the 74th running of the Longacres Mile, will be announced in January.

• The Seattle Thunderbirds professional hockey team will make their debut in the new ShoWare Center on Saturday, Jan. 3, taking on the rival Everett Silvertips at 7:05 p.m.

Single-game tickets to the first game at ShoWare will go on sale at 9 a.m. today at www.seattlethunderbirds.com only. The ShoWare Center box office is expected to open soon for additional ticket sales.

The Arizona Basketball Challenge (ABC) will once again feature the top programs throughout the state of Arizona and from around the country as it announced its field today for the second annual holiday event. Games will be held at Mountain View High School from December 26-30, 2008. Twelve Arizona high schools are included in the 16-team field, which also includes teams from four other states including California, Florida, Washington and Utah. Each team is guaranteed four games with the last day of game match ups being handpicked by event organizers to provide the top entertainment for fans.

• Federal Way will take on North High School from Phoenix at 8:30 p.m. Dec. 27 in their opening game of the tournament and will play Dobson from Mesa at 4 p.m. on Dec. 29. The Eagles will also play on Dec. 30 against an undetermined opponent.

2008 Arizona teams participating include Cesar Chavez (Phoenix), Desert Vista (Phoenix), Dobson (Mesa), Estrella Foothills (Goodyear), Hamilton (Chandler), Highland (Gilbert, AZ), Mountain View (Mesa), North (Phoenix), Pinnacle (Phoenix), Red Mountain (Mesa), Saguaro (Scottsdale) and Tucson (Tucson). 2008 out-of-state teams participating include Federal Way (Federal Way, WA), Harvard-Westlake (N. Hollywood, CA), Lone Peak (Highland, UT) and The Sagemont School (Weston, FL).

Six teams participating are ranked within their state including Federal Way (#1-4A Washington), Lone Peak (#1-5A Utah), Estrella Foothills (#1-3A Arizona), North (#1-5AII Arizona), Highland (#3-5AI Arizona) and Mountain View (#5-5AI Arizona).

“Last year our inaugural event was a great success as we had the top talent from Arizona along with teams from California, Ohio and Utah,” said Dr. Steve Hogen, Mesa Public Schools District Athletic Director & Co-Director of ABC. “This year’s event is no different as the top teams and elite players will once again visit Mesa to be a part of the Arizona Basketball Challenge experience.”

The 2008 ABC will feature numerous top tier players including Nate Austin (Lone Peak-BYU), Daniel Bejarano (North-Texas), Matt Carlino (Highland-Indiana), Corey Hawkins (Foothills-Arizona State), Tyler Haws (Lone Peak-BYU), Chris Johnson (Highland-Undecided), Nick Johnson (Highland-Undecided), Nuno Muandumbo (Pinnacle-Lamar) and Nathan Murphy (Mountain View-UC San Diego).

Recent participants of the ABC include Brendon Lavender (Arizona), Jeff Withey (Arizona), Ryan Evans (Wisconsin), Taylor Rohde (Arizona State), Nick Witherill (Washington State), Nate Van Weelden (Point Loma) and Travis Kelce (Cincinnati).

Tickets for the Arizona Basketball Challenge are $30 for a tournament pass or $8 per session at the door. For more information, please visit the official web site, www.arizonabasketballchallenge.org.

• The King Aquatic Club, based out of the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, won the team championship for club women at the 2008 USA Swimming Short Course National Championship last weekend at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center, site of the 1996 Olympic swimming competition, in Atlanta.

The King Aquatic Club women also won the 200-yard medley relay with a championship meet record time of 1:38.74. Leona Jennings (Des Moines) led off the relay in the backstroke leg, followed by Auburn’s Ariana Kukors swimming breaststroke, Lindsey Marchand (Gig Harbor) swimming butterfly, and Kim Jasmer (Seattle, Wash.) anchoring the relay in the freestyle leg. KING also placed second in the 400 medley relay, and placed third in the 400 freestyle relay.

In the individual events, Kukors took home her first win of the meet with a strong swim in the women’s 200 breaststroke.

• Sign ups for 2009 spring baseball season are running now through Jan. 31 for Federal Way National Little League. Cost for sign-up depend on age group and players from age 5 through high school may sign up. Players can sign up by mailing a registration form to 1911 SW Campus Drive, #214, Federal Way, Wash. 98023. Players can also register in person at The Commons mall on Jan. 10, 14 and 17 or online at www.eteamz/fwnll. For more information, email fwnll@comcast.net or call (253) 332.5924.

• Federal Way United soccer is offering a free soccer clinic for fall 2008 under-10 players on Dec. 20. The Winter Soccerfest is hosted by Federal Way United coaches and will include soccer skills and games. Players will also receive a free T-shirt. Sign-in will begin at 10:30 a.m. and the camp will run from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Karl Grosch Field at Steel Lake Park. Pre-registration is required and the event is limited to the first 100 participants. The registration deadline is Dec. 12 and to register send an email to fwsoccerfamily@comcast.net and include the child’s name, age and size of T-shirt.

• Apple Physical Therapy will honor one boy and one girl student athlete for Winter sport season with a $1,000 Athlete of the Quarter Scholarship.

Eligible student athletes must be high school seniors enrolled in a Western Washington high school, participating in a varsity sport and be in good-standing academically. The scholarship criteria include athlete performance, community service/involvement and other compelling personal circumstances.

Nomination forms are available to download at Apple Physical Therapy’s Web site, www.applept.com, and can be turned in to any Apple Physical Therapy clinic location or other participating private practice location. A complete list of locations is on Apple Physical Therapy’s Web site. Nomination forms are due by March 1.

Scholarship winners will be announced at the conclusion of the season on the High School GameTime television program on King 5 and Kong 6/16.

Apple Physical Therapy is also the official athletic training partner for the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) and oversees young athletes at the state football, basketball and softball tournaments each year.

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