Sports

Wulff has no impact on camping trip

The status of South Kitsap’s football camp won’t change because Paul Wulff left Eastern Washington to take the head-coaching job at Washington State.

South coach D.J. Sigurdson said the Wolves won’t follow Wulff to Pullman for camp this summer — but they might not return to Cheney, either.

“We may or may not go to Eastern,” said Sigurdson, adding that the team spent $4,000 for camp last summer. “It’s getting cost-prohibitive to go so far away.”

Sigurdson said he prefers the camp format versus the alternative of scrimmaging against local teams during the summer because “it’s a fixed amount of time.” He mentioned Washington, Western Washington, Central Washington and the University of Puget Sound as possible alternatives if the Wolves don’t camp in Cheney. Sigurdson, who replaced Ed Fisher as South’s coach in 1997, played linebacker at Eastern from 1986-89.

Even though the Wolves won’t follow Wulff to the Palouse, he said they have a good relationship with him and his staff. Wulff announced that five former Eastern assistants — Travis Niekamp, Rich Rasmussen, Malik Roberson, Jody Sears and Todd Sturdy — would move with him to Pullman.

“They’re very well-networked,” Sigurdson said. “Any time Eastern recruited a kid, they came to the school and talked with me about the kid.”

The Wolves have sent some players, including defensive tackle Renard Williams this year, to Eastern. But Sigurdson said Wulff’s move might not mean more South football players will head to WSU.

“They’re definitely going to be more picky,” he said. “He said he wanted Washington State to be the state’s school. That says to me that he wants the best players in the state to go to Washington State.

“I think the table is set for someone who wants to concentrate on Washington.”

With a dozen known commitments within the state, some might say that distinction already belongs to UW.

Sigurdson doesn’t share that sentiment.

“The University of Washington is doing a poor job of recruiting South Kitsap currently,” he said. “There isn’t any communication with the school that provided them with All-Americans.”

Sigurdson said he hasn’t talked with anyone from the UW since the Wolves hosted Lincoln on Sept. 22, 2006 and has never spoken with Tyrone Willingham, who just completed his third season as the Huskies’ coach.

He said that’s in contrast to former UW coach Rick Neuheisel, who sent three assistants to watch agility drills, and signed safety Jimmy Newell in 2000. Sigurdson said Jim Lambright, who coached the Huskies from 1993-98, would send assistant Randy Hart to South every spring. Lambright signed South offensive linemen Tony Coats and Benji Olson, who plays for the Tennessee Titans, in 1994.

“At least there was an understanding that there’s a really good pipeline of players coming out of this school,” said Sigurdson, adding that the contingent of top prospects hasn’t been as strong at South in recent years.

In contrast, Sigurdson said he regularly hears from Wulff, as well as UPS coach Phil Willenbrock. He also mentioned that WSU wide receivers coach Mike Levenseller, who was retained by Wulff, stopped by South as an assistant under former coach Bill Doba.

“Paul Wulff came to the office and asked if we had any concerns about the kid (he was recruiting),” Sigurdson said. “I’m sure he did that with every other kid he offered.

“It’s going to benefit them that they have good connections with everybody.”

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