Former SK star Olson retires from NFL

South Kitsap High School’s last link to the NFL ended on Thursday when Tennessee Titans guard Benji Olson announced his retirement.

A 1994 South graduate, Olson signed with then-University of Washington coach Jim Lambright.

He generally was regarded as one of the best offensive lineman in UW history — Olson earned All-American honors in 1996 and ’97 — before declaring for the NFL draft after his redshirt junior season and was selected in the fifth round in 1998 by Tennessee.

Olson’s 140 starters, including nine playoff games, are more than any Titans player since 1999.

Mike Munchak, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Tennessee’s offensive line coach, lauded Olson in a story Thursday in the (Nashville) Tennessean.

“In 25 years as a coach and player, Benji is one of the best pros I’ve ever been around,” he told the newspaper. “No alibis, no excuses.”

The 6-foot-4, 320-pound Olson was plagued by back problems since his time at UW, but his 85-game starting streak didn’t end until he sustained a groin injury in 2004, according to the Tennessean.

He missed a game in 2006 with back problems and four more with similar complications last season, including a 17-6 playoff loss at San Diego.

Olson didn’t make the trip for that game.

His departure means punter Craig Hentrich and defensive end Jevon Kearse, who re-signed with the Titans after four seasons with Philadelphia, are the only remaining players from Tennessee’s 1999 AFC Championship team that lost Super Bowl XXXIV to the St. Louis Rams.

“It’s definitely a hard decision to step down and let go, but there are so many great friendships and so many great memories I’ve made over the years,” Olson told the Tennessean. “It’s been real fun, a great ride.”


South Kitsap High School graduate Jason Ellison has been told he won’t make the Texas Rangers’ opening-day roster, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Ellison, who turns 30 on April 4, hit .375 with a double and eight runs in 32 at-bats this spring.

He split last season between Seattle and Cincinnati and hit .231 with one home run and 2 RBI in 94 at-bats.

In parts of five seasons, he has a .251 average, eight home runs and 33 RBI in 541 at-bats.

He played his first four seasons with the San Francisco Giants.


The South Kitsap baseball team earned a pair of Narrows League high-school wins this week.

The Wolves, who now are 6-1 overall and 3-1 in league, scored 10 runs in the final two innings to earn a 12-10 win Monday against Central Kitsap.

South took a 10-8 lead into the seventh inning, but Caleb Brown had a two-out, 2-RBI hit to tie the game.

But Todd Dalrymple, who went 2 for 4 with 3 RBI, hit a 1-1 pitch off Brown in the bottom of the inning over the left-field wall to win the game.

Charlie Hough went 2 for 3 with 2 RBI on Tuesday as the Wolves swept their season series against Lincoln with a 9-3 victory in five innings. Kyle Kemper earned his first win of the season.

Wednesday’s game against league rival Gig Harbor was canceled because of rain.


At South Kitsap 9, Lincoln 3

Lincoln 002 10 — 3 6 1

South Kitsap 531 00 — 9 8 0

Franklin and Robinson. Kyle Kemper, Shawn Stayton (4) and Todd Dalrymple.

W-Kemper. L-Franklin.

Leading hitters — SK: Charlie Hough 2-3 2 RBI, Brady Steiger 1-2 3B RBI, Ghryn Hobson 1-2 2B, Tyler Sartor 1-2 2B.


At South Kitsap 12, Central Kitsap 10

Central Kitsap 032 102 2 — 10 9 1

South Kitsap 011 008 2 — 12 9 4

Vettleson, Henry (3), McDonald (6), Brown (7) and Adams. Scottie McGallian, Ricky Johnson (4), Michael Brian (5), Chris Sizemore (7) and Todd Dalrymple.

W-Sizemore. L-Brown.

Leading hitters — SK: Charlie Hough 2-5, Dalrymple 2-4 HR 3 RBI, Brady Steiger 1-3 2B, Chris Sizemore 1-3 2B 2 RBI.

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