Eagles hope to strong arm MHC

Baseball season preview

HRV baseball coach Gerry Flink and his players couldn’t be more ready to take to the field in 2002.

The Eagles — a team that managed to survive an agonizing 0-16 league run last year — have something to prove. Not just to themselves, but to the school, the community and the rest of the Mt. Hood Conference.

“I don’t know yet what a successful year for us will be,” said the first-year head coach. “We’re going to be picked in the bottom three, but that may play to our advantage. I know the talent is there and we match up well against the middle of the league.

“By no means will it be an easy league for us, but I think we’re going to surprise some teams,” he said.

Flink, the former JV coach who took over the head-coaching duties last summer, explained that while the Eagles had a difficult regular season in the American Legion summer league, they finished the season on a high note by winning three games in the playoffs.

“Going 0-16 last season wasn’t indicative of the kind of team we have,” he said. “There were a lot of one- and two-run losses that could have easily gone the other way. A hit here, an error there realistically could have cost us six or seven wins.”

To win those close games this year, Flink said the Eagles will rely heavily upon their starting pitching staff to carry the load.

Junior John Winnett and sophomore Heath Goin will join senior Zack Lucas to make up the Big Three, while juniors Jarrod Fogle and Ryan Pratt, and seniors Jon Wall and Danny Gilkerson eat up innings along the way.

“Our success this year will depend a lot on our young pitchers,” Flink said. “But if Heath and John pitch the way I know they’re capable, we should compete most games.”

Goin and Winnett will share time at first base, with either player capable of filling the designated hitter role as well. Rounding out the starting infield will be Lucas at third, Fogle and Wall at second, and Gilkerson at shortstop.

Even as the team begins its preseason games this week, the starting catcher position is still very much up in the air. Flink said that senior Isidro Bello, junior Tony Hull and sophomore Cam Lucas all have an equal shot of playing backstop this season.

In the outfield, the team will look for production from seniors James Maher, Chris Wherry, Cole Billings and Lorin Herman, who will also compete for time at first base. Pratt and sophomore Jeremy Belcher may also be asked to step in from time to time.

“A lot of it is going to depend on who’s hitting,” Flink said. “We have a lot of strong bats in the outfield, so the guys are going to have to perform to earn time.”

Flink and the Eagles have plenty of work ahead of them this season, but as long as they stay together, good things are going to happen.

“Obviously, making the playoffs would be huge, but we’re going to take it one game at a time,” he said.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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