SPORTS: Washington Husky football legends tee off in Sonny Sixkiller Golf Classic

SEQUIM — Steve Emtman strolled up to the tee, kicked off his sandals and belted a drive down first fairway like he crushed opposing quarterbacks in 1991.

Emtman and 31 other Husky legends teamed up with 128 North Olympic Peninsula golfers for the inaugural Sonny Sixkiller Husky Celebrity Golf Classic on Friday at a sun-splashed Cedars at Dungeness Golf Course.

The University of Washington icons helped raise about $40,000 for the Olympic Medical Center Foundation, said Bruce Skinner, executive director of the OMC Foundation.

“Great event,” said Emtman, a College Football Hall of Fame defensive lineman who anchored the Huskies’ dominance of the early ’90s.

One Husky legend joined an area foursome in the Florida scramble. All five players hit from the tee, and the person with the best drive skipped the next shot.

Husky legend Joe Jarzynka and teammates Bill Shea, Robbie Botero, Mike DuPuis and Jan Hardin shot a 12-under 60 to win the scramble.

Jarzynka became a fan favorite in the late 1990s for his fearless punt returns — the diminutive Gig Harbor product rarely called for a fair catch.

Sid Krumpe had the shot of the tournament with an ace on the 145-yard eighth hole.

Sixkiller’s son, Tyson, hit a tee shot on the 150-yard fourth hole that landed 6 inches from the cup.

David Tye took the honors for accurate drive, and Joe Lynch had the longest drive.

Others struggled.

“I’ll keep my day job,” said Clallam County Sheriff Bill Benedict, whose team was 2-over par after seven holes.

Tales of Husky lore

Most of the players in the scramble relished the tales of Husky lore from legends like former player and coach Jim Lambright, who revolutionized the game in the late 1980s with his attacking defenses.

Lambright said he was pleased with the direction that third-year Husky coach Steve Sarkisian is taking the program.

“It’s very similar to having the beliefs that we had for so many years with [Jim] Owens and [Don] James and myself — that you do things right recruiting and you expect the most from them once they start attending school,” Lambright said.

“They have done a great job of those two things at this point. It’s a very young and aggressive and fun staff to be around.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with the way they’re going about doing their business,” Lambright added.

Raise the bar

Emtman, an Outland Trophy winner and the No. 1 pick in the 1992 NFL Draft, said the Huskies need to raise the bar.

“The expectations should be to win a national championship — should be to the win the Pac-12 — not win five, win eight,” said Emtman, who runs a successful real estate development company in the Spokane area.

The Husky program hit rock bottom in 2008 when an injury-depleted squad went 0-12 under coach Tyrone Willingham.

Since Sarkisian took over in 2009, the Huskies have gone 12-13 with an upset victory over Nebraska in last year’s Holiday Bowl.

“Wins and losses are great, but at the end of the day we’ve gotten back to where it’s at least respectful football,” Emtman said.

“You respect the Huskies when you play them. That’s key.”

Other Husky legends in the golf tournament included Bob Schloredt, Marques Tuiasosopo, Dane Looker, Nesby Glasgow, Michael Jackson, Jason Chorak and Sixkiller.

Non-celebrities

“It appears that our biggest problem is the lack of talent among the non celebrities,” said Dr. Tom Kummet, director of the OMC cancer center in Sequim.

“Our celebrity is [former Roughrider great and current Husky running backs coach] Joel Thomas, and we’d like to thank him for carrying us this far.”

“Sadly, he will have a back injury in the next few holes from the weight that’s been put on him,” Kummet joked.

“But, if you’re going to be a celebrity in a golf tournament with a bunch of hackers, I say you deserve whatever happens to you.”

Thomas, a 1993 Port Angeles High School graduate who rushed for 3,929 yards and 51 touchdowns at the University of Idaho, said he jumped at the chance to play in a charity event near his home town.

“It’s always a thrill for me to come back home, obviously for the charity that’s going on here to support the foundation, but to also be included with these Husky legends,” said Thomas, the position coach for Husky all-American candidate Chris Polk.

“I am still in awe at times to be around some of the greats that have played here and represented this university. I was a fan before I was a coach.”

Scott Jones, another former Roughrider and the only Port Angeles native to play in the NFL, was grouped in the scramble with Dan Seth, Scott Schmitz, Tim Lewis and Mark Macomber.

“We were laughing that the only thing legend about me is, nobody here would know my name,” said Jones, who was a standout tight end and offensive tackle for the Huskies from 1985 to 1988.

Clallam County Commissioner and state Representative Steve Tharinger was playing in a group with former Husky assistant coach Skip Hall.

“I think everybody’s having a really good time,” Tharinger said.

“These guys have lived that Husky football for years and they’ve got some great stories.”

Although his group had missed some key putts on the front nine, Dan Wilder Sr. of Wilder Auto Center and Wilder Toyota-Scion said he was enjoying his round with Sixkiller.

Sixkiller was a legendary Husky quarterback who graced the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1971.

“He’s a fun guy to play with,” said Wilder, the primary sponsor of the Sonny Sixkiller Husky Celebrity Golf Classic.

“We’re having fun, having a lot of fun.”

________

Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-417-3537 or at rob.ollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com

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