HRV fall sports teams earn 31 all-conference selections

Ponce wins soccer Player of the Year, but football team leads way with 12 all-league players

After only two years in the Intermountain Conference, the Hood River Valley High School football program has made its presence felt.

In 2002 it was the offense. This year it has been the defense. And just as last year’s voting reflected the dominant HRV offense, the 2003 all-league voting rewarded the IMC’s No. 1-ranked defense with five first-team selections.

Junior linebackers Luke McCarthy and Bryan Williams were joined by senior defensive tackles Zach Royall and Jorge Lujano, and senior safety Kyle Maurer.

Four of the five were also named to the second team on offense, while the fifth (Lujano) received the Eagles’ only offensive first-team nod. Meanwhile, senior running back Rocky Level, who finished fourth in the league in rushing with 822 yards and 13 touchdowns, was named to the second team.

In addition, Williams and his 114 tackles finished second behind Summit senior Eric Elshire (107 tackles) for Defensive Player of the Year honors — a fact that disappointed coach Mitch Sanders.

“In my mind, there is no question who the best defensive player in our league was,” he said. “Summit had a great year, but they gave up 63 points to us. That right there probably should have put Bryan first.”

However, despite the snub, Sanders was elated that his team received the recognition it deserved after a second consecutive 6-1 league season. Besides the 10 first- and second-team selections, the Eagles also received nine honorable mentions: Maurer at running back, Level at linebacker, Nigel Bond at running back and defensive end, Jason DeHart at guard, Heath Goin at tight end, Danny Newton at cornerback, Nolan Johnson at kicker, and Alex Dominguez at center.

Having 12 players honored is a tremendous accomplishment for any program. But the football team wasn’t the only HRV squad to reel in all-conference honors this week.

Both soccer teams received two first-team selections apiece, while senior Alexander Ponce was named the IMC boys Player of the Year after scoring 18 goals and leading HRV to a 12-2 record.

“It’s kind of exciting,” said Ponce, who hopes to play NCAA Division I soccer next season. “I didn’t really expect it, but I don’t think many other guys had the same numbers as me.”

Ponce was joined on the first team by junior defender Sean Rawson. Senior midfielder Jose Avila and junior striker Jorge Hernandez were named to the second team, while senior defender Miguel Najera and senior goalkeeper Julio Loza received honorable mention.

On the girls soccer team, senior midfielder Lisa Tedford made the first team for the second straight year. She was joined by senior striker Acer Lopez, who led the Eagles with 10 goals this season.

Fellow senior Anna Hidle was named to the second team, while freshman Justine Bryant and junior Emily Sager received honorable mention.

Rounding out the HRVHS all-conference selections this fall was junior volleyball standout Meghan Flink, who received honorable mention following her third season of varsity play.

“I’m really happy for her,” said HRV volleyball coach Jen Baklenko. “She really kept us together and I think the other coaches realized that.”

The HRV volleyball team will return Flink and up to 10 others to the varsity roster next year.

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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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