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ATHLETE OF THE YEAR | Broome leaves his mark in three sports
2012: Eddie Meisner
2011: Conner Hartmann
2010: Gordy Anderson
2009: Leon La Deaux
2008: Matt Foxworthy
2007: Renard Williams
2006: Brent Chriswell, Josiah Kipperberg
2005: Brent Chriswell
2004: Pat Kelly
An all-state selection in football. A ribbon around his neck at Mat Classic XXV. And a second-place trophy in the Class 4A state baseball tournament.
For those reasons, South Kitsap senior Bryce Broome was selected as the Port Orchard Independent’s Male Athlete of the Year.
While Broome did not have an official nickname during football season, “big play” aptly would describe his presence on the gridiron. The 5-foot-10 Broome, who signed to play football next season at Minot State University in North Dakota, finished with eight interceptions. None were more memorable than one during the Wolves’ 33-27 win Sept. 7 at Newport.
“Definitely the Newport game,” Broome said. “Ending it with the interception and having the guys carry me off the field was really cool.”
During the fourth quarter, Broome appeared to have broken a 27-all tie when he took a pass from senior Kevin Whatley 63 yards into the end zone. But an illegal block in the back penalty negated the touchdown.
That is when Broome responded — again.
Two plays later, Broome broke right and then cut back inside past a defender whom he stiff-armed en route to the end zone for a 54-yard touchdown. Broome then intercepted quarterback Isaac Dotson with about 30 seconds remaining to secure the victory.
South coach Eric Canton praised Broome’s instinctive play in September.
“It’s something you can’t really coach,” he said. “You either have it or you don’t. He’s got it.”
Broome’s success did not end with football. In wrestling, he defeated Kentwood’s Josh Boekelman at state to place fifth in the 170-pound weight class. He credits his teammates for helping him achieve his goals through intense practices along with the coaching staff.
“Coach (Chad) Nass has always been there throughout all of these years,” said Broome, adding that the coaches helped him mentally after he suffered torn cartilage in his ribs early in the season. “It was really awesome to do that for him, Coach (Josiah) Kipperberg and Coach (Steve) Hoyt — finally place at state.”
Nass is competitive himself. After winning the state championship at 141 for the Wolves in 1992, he succeeded Ron Hudiburg as coach a dozen years later. Nass still runs and wrestlers with his team daily. At times, he has been pitted against Broome.
“Bryce is one of my all-time favorites,” Nass said. “He’s just a ferocious competitor. If I was going to take a wad of paper and throw it in the trash can, he would want to beat me every single time.”
As a sophomore and junior, Broome focused on football and wrestling. But at the behest of teammates, he joined a senior-laden baseball team that advanced to the state championship before losing 8-5 against Kentwood on May 25. Unlike football and wrestling, Broome was more of a role player on the baseball team, but he enjoyed the experience nonetheless.
“It turned out to be a great time,” Broome said. “I loved playing. I missed the game.”
While Broome won’t play baseball next season, he will not miss out on sports altogether. Broome, who maintained a 3.0 grade-point average at South, will study criminal justice next year at Minot State, where he will be roommates with high-school teammate Damien Medeiros.
“It’s going to be a little cold,” said Broome, who began playing flag football when he was 5 years old. “It’s going to be freezing. I’ve heard all about it. But it’s still going to be a great experience for me to get on with my life, pick a major and play the game I love for four more years.”
While Broome is excited for his future, he will not forget elements of his hometown.
“I’ll miss Friday nights most,” Broome said. “Just walking out there, seeing all of the fans and the lights go on. All of the work you’ve put in during the week — to see the outcome on that night.”