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South Kitsap's winning conversation often begins with Broome | Football
The discussion almost always centers around measurable attributes.
Height. Weight. Time in the 40-yard dash.
If the conversation ended there, South Kitsap senior Bryce Broome might not enter it.
But if the Wolves defeat — or at least are competitive — tonight against Bellarmine Prep at Memorial Field, Broome almost certainly will be among the first players mentioned.
That is because the topic of Broome begins with his instincts.
“It’s something you can’t really coach,” South coach Eric Canton said. “You either have it or you don’t. He’s got it.”
Perhaps no player has been as significant to the Wolves’ 3-0 start. After scoring two touchdowns and intercepting a pass during a 37-20 season-opening win against Kentridge, Broome scored three touchdowns and intercepted Isaac Dotson with about 30 seconds remaining to secure a 33-27 victory Sept. 7 at Newport.
“I’m getting goosebumps talking about it,” said Broome, referring to the celebration, which included linebacker Michael Beard carrying him off the field, that ensued. “I’ll remember everyone on that team for the rest of my life.”
Broome then followed that up by returning a third-quarter interception for a touchdown to help South break a halftime tie en route to a 38-25 win Friday against Gig Harbor.
“I know he’s going to make a big play when we need it,” quarterback Kevin Whatley said.
Just do not suggest that Broome has done it all. While he starred at John Sedgwick Junior High, Broome never won much. He was happy to join classmates from Cedar Heights and Marcus Whitman when he entered South.
Along with Broome, running back Adam Gascoyne and offensive lineman Austin Kanouse played significant roles as sophomores in 2010 for the Wolves. That team finished with a 3-7 record — the program’s worst since 1977.
“Our senior group doesn’t want another year like that,” Broome said. “We want to be the best.”
Similar to most athletes, Broome detests losing. But the experience provided some value. Because of injuries, both he and Gascoyne, who now also plays safety, were thrust into playing linebacker. After that season, Broome said he and others knew they needed to dedicate themselves to a stringent offseason program, which mainly consisted of getting stronger.
Broome serves as a captain along with quarterback Kevin Whatley, but when the 5-foot-10, 177-pound fullback and cornerback, needs motivation on the field or during the offseason, he looks toward linebacker Michael Beard.
“On the field, Michael Beard is our defensive captain,” Broome said. “He’s our middle linebacker. If something goes wrong, he’ll tell us that we’ve got to get a stop here.”
Broome said the captain title could be given to just about any senior, though. He remembers coming out to games as a student at Sedgwick and even traveling to some away games, such as the 28-21 victory in 2009 at Gig Harbor. That senior-laden squad was the last Wolves’ football team to reach state.
After falling one game short last year, Broome said he and his teammates are more focused than ever. A three-sport athlete, Broome competes in wrestling, where he advanced to state at 152 pounds last year, and track.
But nothing quite compares with the gridiron. Broome has played the sport continuously since his father signed him up for flag football when he was 5 years old. When he is not on the field, Broome enjoys spending his weekends watching college and professional football.
“I’m sitting there all sore from Friday,” Broome said.
As are his opponents. Broome’s instincts often put him in position to punish a receiver. It is an opportunity he relishes.
“I like to hit,” he said. “I think I get it from my [five] older brothers. Them and their friends were always picking on me. I credit my toughness to them.”
While Broome did not need football to become assertive, he said the sport has helped him mature in other ways. He credits former coach D.J. Sigurdson for encouraging players to set an example for others, carry themselves in a mature manner and not being afraid to ask for forgiveness when they make a mistake.
“I think football has made me a better person,” Broome said. “I have never drank alcohol or smoked. You can’t do that if you want to be the best.”
That starts tonight and continues next week when South hosts Olympia. The Wolves have not defeated either of those teams, both of whom are considered the favorites to win the Class 4A Narrows League, since 2009.
Broome acknowledges that the Lions, who feature University of Colorado-bound quarterback Sefo Liufau, “are stacked.” That does not mean he is willing to concede anything.
“I think people will be surprised with how hard we play,” Broome said. “Heart drives us.”