Fall season will live in memory at HRV

Sports commentary - November 20

The fall sports season at Hood River Valley is finally in the books, but oh what a run it was.

Three teams and two individuals put HRV on the state sports map for the better part of three months, and it would be unceremonious of us to move onto the next season without recounting their achievements one by one.

No doubt that fall 2002 will go down in valley history as one of the best sports seasons of all time. Two teams (girls soccer and football) accomplished school firsts by winning in the playoffs; another team (boys soccer) matched a school best by reaching the state quarterfinals; and a certain elite runner (Christy Paul) grabbed a fifth-place medal at state.

And then there was Jacobe Krizman, the new state rushing record holder. Unbelievable. That’s the word I’d choose.

Other schools should be so lucky to have such a lengthy list of athletic feats in a single season. As I have said before, so should other small-town sports writers. I mean, what could be more fun that writing about winning, winning, winning all the time?

Unfortunately, the fun had to end somewhere. But when the final tally was made, I had written just four losing stories over the entire fall season (two for football and two for boys soccer; a freelancer assisted me on the girls’ only loss of the season).

You won’t hear a single complaint out of me, because I know how things used to be. From what I hear, the six-year transition into class 4A has been a long, winding road to say the least.

Reaching this level of excellence has been a process for the HRV athletic programs, and I feel very fortunate to have arrived right when things are starting to turn themselves around. In a way, it’s like a high-school revival for me.

Plenty of disappointments linger from my days at Roosevelt High School in Seattle. Lots of 50-point losses in football. A few 60-point losses in basketball. A wrestling team that barely had enough kids to stay afloat. A cross-country team full of names I didn’t recognize.

The soccer teams were always competitive, but I don’t recall many playoff wins. Get in, get out. That’s the RHS playoff motto even today.

In fairness to my alma mater, the Roughriders have had some success over the years. The 1988 state runners up in basketball also won the Metro Conference during my senior year (1992), and produced talented college players such as Peter Dukes (Stanford), Willie Brantley (Oregon State) and Mike Greene (Western Washington University).

But, despite a few isolated triumphs, my memories of high school sports aren’t even about the games themselves. There didn’t seem to be a whole lot to cheer about, so it was easy to relegate those memories to the backburner.

I’m sure many others harken back to their high school days, and are unable to recall the name of their school’s star running back or standout cross-country runner. They have no playoff memories to speak of, and will never recall season records like 9-2, 10-1-5, or 13-2-2.

Hood River Valley sports have taken a distinct turn for the better during this monumental fall season. I sure hope the students realize how good they’ve got it, because countless other schools and athletes never get a chance to live this kind of glory.

Winning isn’t everything, but it sure is fun.

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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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