Sixkiller's Legends Tournament a Big Success

Last weekend, long time Husky great, Sonny Sixkiller, held his first annual celebrity golf tournament on the Olympic Peninsula, and everyone came away both entertained and impressed. With the help of some 32 ex-Huskies in attendance, Sonny not only raised a lot of money for the Olympic Medical Center but also brought a lot of purple and gold to the greater Sequim/Port Angeles area.

The most famous number 6 to ever play for the Huskies has long been the spokesman for the Seven Cedars Casino and Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe, and he finally decided it was time to bring a little Husky support to the Olympic Peninsula area. What was a five-year plan turned into a great outing attended by players and coaches from multiple generations.

Marques Tuiasosopo brought his family back to the Sequim area where his wife, Lisa, grew up. Other local Husky products from the Peninsula showed up, including current Husky assistant coach Joel Thomas, who grew up in Port Angeles along with other past Huskies like Scott Jones and Sequim's Darrin Doty, one of the greatest baseball players ever to play for the Huskies. (Doty hit .402 in 1993).

Coaches Jim Lambright, whose 386 games as a Husky player or coach is the most ever by anyone in Husky history, and ex-Husky assistant Skip Hall lent their support, as did ex-quarterbacks like another All-American, Bob Schloredt, and Tim Cowan, who threw for 350 yards in the Huskies' 1982 Aloha Bowl win over Maryland.

Sixkiller leaned heavily on his former teammates, players like receivers Tom Scott, who is a member of the Canadian Football League Hall of Fame, and Jim Krieg, who was an All-American. Bill Cahill, a 3-year starter and a great Husky punt returner, was also there.

Don McKeta, one of the all-time toughest Huskies, also attended, but the one of the stars of the two-day event was Robb Weller who is credited for creating "The Wave", and is now a partner and executive producer for Weller/Grossman Productions, a leader in reality, documentary, and entertainment television.

Ever watch Home and Garden Television? That's one of Weller's areas, along with the various food channels. Weller himself went from leading the Husky student section to co-hosting Entertainment Tonight with Mary Hart in the mid-80's.

Weller served as master of ceremonies for Sonny's tournament, but Sonny was the star - just as he was when he played for the Dawgs back in the early 70's.

Ex-UW hoopers, like Rafael Stone and John Buller also joined in, as did one of the greatest Huskies of all time - Steve Emtman. He was, of course, the highest draft choice of any Husky ever. Duh!

The early Don James era was well represented by the likes ex-Seahawk and Colt, Nesby Glasgow, Ronnie Rowland, who in 1976 was the first 1,0000-yard gainer since the great Hugh McElhenny, and Mark Lee, who was another great punt returner and played defensive back in the NFL for 11 years.

Ex-great Husky center and Super Bowl starter, Ray Pinney, attended, as did Michael Jackson, the all-time leading tackler in Husky history. Imagine for a second a Husky linebacker having 210 tackles in a year and 569 on his career. Wow, I'm sure that record will never be broken. All of those ex-Dawgs went on to the NFL for many years each.

The players from the 90's dominated the golf, with Joe "the Toe" Jarzynka's team winning the tournament. Jason Chorak, Cam Cleeland, Pat Conniff, and Dane Looker all showed they have spent some time on the links and driving range.

Chorak, who in 1996 led the conference in sacks with 14.5 - and still holds the school record - is now a successful businessman and another of Washington's All-Americans in attendance. Cleeland had an eight-year NFL career, and Conniff was one of a handful of four-year starters at fullback in the history of the school. Looker was a great receiver under Lambright in 1998, leading the team in receptions with 72. He basically got ignored by new head coach Rick Neuheisel the following season, but ended up playing eight years in the show anyway.

Still, it was another great Husky punt returner who won the tourney, and really if the Huskies could find anyone like Jarzynka, Lee, Cahill, Nesby Glasgow, or Krieg, who returned three kickoffs for touchdowns as a returner, then they would greatly improve their team. All were fearless types who rarely used the fair catch. Unfortunately, Washington hasn't had anyone back there since Jarzynka, although this year it appears they might have some really good prospects.

The entire two days was a giant Husky-fest and featured the famous crab, oysters and shrimp of the Dungeness area, along with the wonderful hospitality of all the volunteers and corporate sponsors.

Sixkiller, who along with Jim Plunkett and Jim Thorpe, is one of the most famous Native American sports figures in our country's history. Sixkiller led the nation in total passing in 1970, when he took a team that had been 1-9 the year before to a 6-4 season. His next two seasons the Huskies went 8-3 both times, but never made it to a bowl simply because it was the Rose Bowl or bust in those days.

Sonny was inducted to the Husky Hall of Fame in 1985 and is one of a few Seattle sports personalities ever to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

He intends on making his tournament an annual charity event. If you want to play golf on a great course - The Cedars at Dungeness - have fun with lots of ex-Dawgs, and maybe even gamble a little, I encourage you to attend next year, because it was Fun with a capital F.

I am proud to report that my team scored more points than anyone in the tournament and just can't understand why we finished last. We did have more laughs than any team but it was probably directed at our play. If we could have only putted better, or maybe chipped and drove better, then maybe we would have won.

Or maybe not.


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