Season preview Youthful bunch shows good things on the Horizon

Most of the names are the same, but the Horizon Christian baseball team also has a fair dose of unfamiliarity this season.

Four freshmen join three seniors, four juniors and a sophomore to make up the 2003 roster, and both the players and the coaches are optimistic.

“Almost everyone from last year is back, which is good,” said senior pitcher/utility player John Winters. “We have a strong group of seniors and some good young players who want to show what they can do.”

Chief among them are ninth-graders Jon Strickland and Colin Swick. Both players saw their first varsity action on Monday in an 11-2 loss to Portland Lutheran, and pleased coach Jim Brown.

“Some of the new kids are showing signs that they can help us,” he said. “Jon and Colin are showing some versatility, and once they get a few games under their belt, we’ll be looking for them to contribute.”

Josh Taylor and Joel Winters are the Hawks’ other two freshmen, who also took their first cuts in Monday’s game.

“We’re trying to find a good complement from our young kids and get better play from our experienced kids,” Brown said. “We’ll need both if we’re going to be competitive.”

The Hawks finished the 2002 season with just one league victory, and hope to surpass that this year with a solid combination of pitching and power hitting.

Winters and fellow senior Sheldon Diers represent the power in both the lineup and the rotation, and are also the team’s vocal leaders, along with sophomore pitcher/outfielder Brian Stenberg and junior shortstop Cheyne Swick.

“We have a few holes, but there are some good freshmen coming up,” said Swick. “We will need to improve our outfield defense and our hitting, but the biggest thing will be to play smart.”

Joining Swick in the infield this season will be junior returning starter Aaron Griffin at catcher, senior Paul Brown at second base, Strickland, Winters or Diers at first base, and junior Neal Regentin at third base.

The outfield will consist of Stenberg in center, and two of the team’s three remaining freshmen in left or right field. The Hawks also hope to have junior Michael Stenberg back in the mix before the end of the season.

Horizon continues its busy first week this afternoon with a home game against Portland Christian. The Hawks will then host Country Christian on Thursday and Colton on Friday before a 10-day respite for Spring Break.

The conference season is set to begin April 22 at home versus Wahtonka.

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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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