Whitehurst defends derby title

It was a lot less dramatic, but just as effective, as quarterback Charlie Whitehurst defended his title in the Seahawks’ second annual homerun derby after practice on Sunday.

Whitehurst hit three balls over the fence that separates the practices fields from the berm at Virginia Mason Athletic Center on five swings. Rookie free agent punter John Gold was second with two.

“Not quite as dramatic,” Whitehurst said. “But then we didn’t need the dramatics this time around.”

Last year, Whitehurst had to hit 13 homers in 17swings to outlast defensive end Ricky Foley in a slug-off to win the inaugural event. Whitehurst, Foley and linebacker Will Herring each hit three in the first round to advance to the finals. Whitehurst and Foley then went into the seventh swing of the tie-breaker before the QB prevailed, 13-12. Foley and Herring no longer are with the team.

This time, no such extra-swing heroics were needed – although Whitehurst’s third homer did come on his fifth swing.

How is it that a QB is able to dominate the event? Great genes? Superior athletic ability? Sheer power?

“Yeah,” Whitehurst said with a grin, “something like that.”

But the bonding break from training camp that was initiated by coach Pete Carroll last summer served its purpose once again, even if there were fewer homeruns and less drama.

“It’s a great thing for camaraderie,” Whitehurst said. “It’s great to get out here and just watch the other guys take their cuts. I actually enjoy seeing the guys who can’t hit more than those who are able to put it over the fence.”

Spoken like not only a true champion, but a two-time champion.

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