Alaska Sports Briefs

Posted: Thursday, March 25, 2004

Jets sign Seahawks safety Reggie Tongue

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. - The New York Jets signed free-agent safety Reggie Tongue away from the Seattle Seahawks on Monday, hours after losing out on John Lynch.

The eight-year NFL veteran from Lathrop High School in Fairbanks takes over the strong safety spot of Sam Garnes, who was released earlier this month. New York pursued Lynch for the position when Tampa Bay announced it would let him go and had him in for a visit last week, but he agreed to terms with the Denver Broncos.

Tongue, a second-round pick of the Kansas City Chiefs in 1997 out of Oregon State University, spent the last four seasons with Seattle. Last season, he had 63 tackles, two sacks, four interceptions, eight passes defensed and two forced fumbles.

The only other Alaska player to see action in the NFL last year was Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Travis Hall, a nine-year veteran who attended Kenai Central High School and Brigham Young University. Hall had 39 tackles, five sacks and one pass defended in 2003.

Brandon Drumm, a fullback who attended Service High School in Anchorage and the University of Colorado, was drafted last year by the Detroit Lions but was cut during the preseason. Near the end of the season, Drumm was signed to a practice squad roster position on the Tennessee Titans, but never saw live NFL action.

Perry Solmonson wins Iditarod's Red Lantern

ANCHORAGE - The last musher in the 2004 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race crossed the finish line Monday in Nome, nearly a week after winner Mitch Seavey.

Perry Solmonson of Whittier finished the 1,100-mile race Monday afternoon to win the Red Lantern award. It took Solmonson 15 days, 2 hours, 50 minutes, 36 seconds to go from Anchorage to Nome. In two previous tries in 2002 and 2003, Solmonson scratched.

For the past seven years, Solmonson has trained and bred sled dogs with the goal of finishing the Iditarod. A record 77 mushers finished the 2004 Iditarod, which began with a record 87 entries on March 6.

Seavey, of Seward, crossed the finish line last Tuesday in 9 days, 12 hours, 20 minutes, 22 seconds.

UAF's Voros makes a deal with the Devils

FAIRBANKS - A University of Alaska Fairbanks junior has signed a two-year contract with the New Jersey Devils.

Aaron Voros of Whalley, British Columbia, is the third Nanook to sign with a professional club during UAF head coach Guy Gadowsky's tenure.

"It has been a whirlwind of activity over the last couple of days, but I am really excited about this new chapter in my life," Voros said.

Voros left Fairbanks on Monday to report to the New Jersey organization. He will be assigned to the Albany River Rats of the American Hockey League, New Jersey's top affiliate.

During his freshman season, Voros led the Nanooks in goals scored with 18. He was a member of the CCHA All-Rookie team and a finalist for Rookie of the Year.

Last year, Voros played in only 16 games after being diagnosed with a benign bone tumor in his leg. Surgery removed the tumor.

The 6-foot-4, 193-pound Voros battled to get back into his old playing form. He finished with a team-high 16 goals and earned the CCHA's Terry Flanagan Award for overcoming adversity.

Voros said he considered returning to UAF for his senior year.

"It was a tough decision. I knew it would be tough once the season was over. I love this place, I consider it my home, but as far as my career was concerned I thought it was the right move."

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