State omissions overshadow strong showing

Josh Van Ek had been to state in two of his first three years as a high school wrestler. All the while, his goal has been to place in the top eight.

But, due to a difficult draw at 119 pounds — regarded as the most competitive weight class in any district in the state — the senior 119-pounder won’t have a chance to realize that goal. Van Ek placed fourth in a three-horse race at the 2003 district meet, and will have to stay home this year.

“Kids like Josh Van Ek are the reason why we have high school wrestling,” HRV coach Mark Brown said. “It’s heartbreaking to see someone work so hard for so long and not get to go.”

Brown said the same thing about juniors Jason DeHart and Jorge Lujano, who placed fourth and fifth, respectively, in equally brutal draws at 160 and 275 pounds. Both will have their chance next year, however, as they lead a burly class of 2004 into battle.

“These guys are true champions, and they exemplify what this program is about,” Brown said. “Hard work, good sportsmanship and strong character.”

Despite the omissions of Van Ek, Lujano and DeHart, the Eagles still sent a healthy number of wrestlers to state (eight). They also had 14 district placers in their first year of IMC competition, matching last year’s total in the Mt. Hood Conference.

“We really picked it up as a team on the second day,” said sophomore Zach Bohince, the 103-pound district champ. “Our guys showed a lot of heart and never gave up.”

HRV, which took second in the IMC dual meet standings, finished fourth in the district behind Crook County, Hermiston and Pendleton. But the fourth-place showing didn’t have as much to do with the Eagles’ strength as it did their depth.

“What hurt us in the team standings was our lack of depth in the second lineup,” said senior Nate Dethman, who will represent HRV at state in the 189-pound class.

“But overall, we did really well as a team. Being in fifth after day one motivated us to get back to where we belong, which is among the top four teams in the IMC.”

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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 to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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