Hawks lose steam down playoff stretch

Season in Review

Some may refer to the Horizon Christian Hawks’ soccer season as a disappointment.

But be careful who you say that around, because despite a 1-4-1 finish in District 5 (5-6-3 overall), this fiery group of round-ballers believes it had more than a few positives to take away from this season.

“It was a fun year for all of us,” said senior goalkeeper Aaron Griffin, who was one of three Hawks named to the all-league first team (Brian Stenberg and Paul Rovianek were the others).

“We feel like we could have won a few more games, but I think most everyone was happy with the progress we made as a team,” he said.

Included among the team’s supporters was coach Hal Ueland, who returned to duty in 2003 after taking last year off.

Ueland said he thought his squad would perform better in league play. But even though the Hawks earned just three points against Umatilla and Grant Union (John Day), he said he was pleased with the overall effort.

“The win over Grant was no doubt the highlight for us,” said Ueland, who has chosen to retire from coaching after this season. “We were obviously pleased with the result, but also with our style of play. We were very assertive that game, and that may have been what was lacking in the others.”

The Hawks lost the other two contests with Grant — one before and one after the victory on Oct. 10. And while Horizon looked like the superior team that day, Grant won the battle of experience in the other two meetings.

“We only had four players with significant varsity experience,” Ueland said of Stenberg and the three seniors (Cheyne Swick, Rovianek and Griffin). “But on the plus-side, we had a solid group of young players who will form the nucleus here very soon.”

Freshmen Stephen Stenberg and David Rovianek jumped right in and started for the Hawks, who also had a handful of sophomore contributors, including Samuel Seal, Jon Strickland, Jared Nagreen, Josh Dunagan and Colin Swick.

Ueland said it was exciting to watch his team’s progress, but lamented that they didn’t play every game the way they did on Oct. 10.

“I really thought we would do better in league play this year,” he said. “But we took some steps, and some of the things we have to do, we’re starting to do.”

He also spoke of the growing numbers for the program — up to 24 kids this year — as well as the constantly growing group of young players joining the ranks, and the dedication of assistant coach Mark Lago, who may stay with the team next season.

“If these kids do the work and show up fit at the start of next year, they have a chance to go far,” Ueland said. “The seniors will be missed, but we have a solid foundation to build upon.”

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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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