SCOTT SLANT: The counselor and the kid

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Tuesday, June 1, 2021.

What did you do for Memorial Day weekend? Boise State quarterback Hank Bachmeier was a camp counselor, and one of his possible successors, Broncos commit Katin Houser, was a camper. The duo met at the prestigious Steve Clarkson Quarterback Retreat in Santa Monica. Bachmeier was one of 19 FBS QBs serving as counselors, and Houser was one of the elite attendees at the event, which is designed to mix the college and high school quarterbacks in a loose, relaxed environment while getting some quality work in.

247 Sports recruiting analyst Greg Biggins tabbed Houser as one of the top performers in the class of 2022 at the retreat. “Houser had a top five weekend in my eyes and flashed the quickest release in the camp,” writes Biggins. “He can really get the ball out quickly with plenty of heat on it. He showed accuracy down the field and his back shoulder throws were as good as anyone’s in the camp. He’s very good throwing on the run and we loved his accuracy down the field.” Houser is still being pursued by Power 5 schools despite his commitment to Boise State. We’re still 6½ months from early signing day—the Broncos just have to keep him in the fold.

BRONCOS LIGHT ON THE ATHLON LIST

We can tell that expectations for Boise State football in 2021 are going to go back and forth this summer. For example, the Broncos did not heavily populate the Athlon Preseason All-Mountain West first team last Friday, as it is accustomed to doing. Wide receiver Khalil Shakir and offensive tackle John Ojukwu were named on offense and safety Kekaula Kaniho was recognized on defense. All three players repeated from 2020. But last year Boise State had eight Athlon preseason first-teamers—Hank Bachmeier, Scale Igiehon and Riley Whimpey among them. This time Whimpey was a third-teamer, Bachmeier was a fourth-teamer, and Igiehon was nowhere to be found (which is a significant snub).

MERRITT’S MAY TO REMEMBER

Troy Merritt missed the cut at the Wells Fargo Championship a few weeks back. For that, he can be forgiven. Merritt just completed the best month of his career on the PGA Tour with his seventh-place finish at the Charles Schwab Challenge on Sunday. It was the former Boise State star’s third top-10 finish in May, giving him earnings of $718,200 for the month and pushing him over the $1 million mark for the season. Merritt made more money in August of 2015, but nearly all of it ($1,206,000) came from his first tour victory in the Quicken Loans Challenge. Start to finish, Merritt produced the best golf of his career in the month just ended. He has catapulted to No. 98 in the FedExCup standings.

NATIONAL TITLES STILL IN THEIR SIGHTS

The College of Idaho softball team hit a speed bump Monday night at the NAIA World Series in Columbus. GA. After a thrilling run to the semifinals, the Coyotes fell 4-1 to Oregon Tech. It’s a double-elimination tournament, so the Yotes are faced with surviving three straight elimination games to win the NAIA championship. C of I’s first test is this evening versus the winner of today’s game between Southern Oregon and Bethany of Kansas. It’s been equally thrilling for the Northwest Nazarene baseball team, which came back from an opening round loss to win the NCAA West Regional at Vail Field in Nampa. The Nighthawks are now headed to their first NCAA Division II World Series beginning this Saturday at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, NC.

THE HAWKS WIN A TRACK MEET

It’s been tough sleddin’ at home for the Boise Hawks, but they did snap a four-game losing streak Monday with a 10-8 win in the season finale against Grand Junction. Former Boise State Bronco Myles Harris keyed a 14-hit attack by going 2-for-4 with a solo home run and three RBIs. The Hawks’ piching is a work in progress, though. Since the 7-2 win over the Rockies in the home opener last Wednesday, the Boise staff has allowed 59 runs in five games. Former NNU pitcher Zach Penrod threw seven innings in a 5-3 loss Sunday night and allowed four earned runs, which was a step in the right direction. Penrod is 0-2 despite a 3.75 ERA and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 24-4.

MORE EXTREME HAWKS TRIVIA

For the second time in a week, we talk of a former Boise Hawk being involved in an obscure but interesting nugget in Major League Baseball history. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Josh Donaldson of the Minnesota Twins scored the two-millionth run in major league history Saturday when he touched the plate against Kansas City following a ground-rule double by Nelson Cruz. We used to talk about Donaldson a lot. The former American League MVP, now 35, is in his second season with the Twins and is batting .226 with five home runs. Donaldson had a monster year for Boise in 2007, his first as a pro.

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June 1, 1994: Film director and avid New York Knicks fan Spike Lee harasses Indiana Pacers star Reggie Miller mercilessly from his courtside seat in Madison Square Garden. It was Game 5 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals on NBC, and the Knicks were leading by 12 points after three quarters with Miller having scored a quiet 14 points. But Miller had had enough and put up 25 fourth quarter points, including five three-pointers, yelling at Lee as he ran by after every bucket. Finally, Miller infamously gave Lee the “choke” sign as the Pacers were about to win, 93-86.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 FM KTIK. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)

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