Thursday, December 9, 2004
There’s no denying that Hood River youth soccer has been riding a wave of success over the past three years. From the junior circuit to the high-school ranks, a tradition is being built — one that has put Hood River on the Oregon soccer map to stay.
Six college-level players from the past three graduating classes have set the bar for other aspiring young athletes.
And now that the next generation of soccer standouts has seen how far they can go, they are willing to make the same sacrifices as Jordan Thompson, Becca Meierbachtol, Matt Dallman, Lisa Tedford, Dereck Ponce and Alex Ponce before them.
“I’m going to go as far as it takes me,” said Horizon Christian eighth-grader Lexi Cook, who played in the Olympic Development Program (ODP) this spring along with fellow local standout, Jennifer Hanners. “My goal is to play college and then see what happens after that,” she said.
But before Cook and Hanners can think about college, they still have to get through high school — not to mention another series of ODP tryouts in August.
“It’s a big deal for two Hood River girls to make it in the same year,” said Hanners, a 14- year-old striker/midfielder who also plays club soccer for the Lake Oswego Havoc. “It was good to have Lexi on the team, too, because we could work out and travel together.”
ODP is a statewide selection pool that takes 32 of the best players in each age group (U-14 to U-19) and divides them into two teams. The state all-star teams then travel around the Northwest for a series of spring tournaments.
“It was such a good experience for us to play against teams from Southern California,” said Cook, a defender/ midfielder who plays club ball for the South Side Soccer Club of Tigard. “Some of the best players in the country are from there, and that helped us realize how far we have to go.”
Made up of mostly Portland-area girls, the U-14 ODP team played in Boise, Idaho (May 14-15), British Columbia (May 22-23), and then Portland (May 29-31) for the Nike Friendship Cup. Cook and Hanners both said the experience was extremely valuable, and they hope it helps take their games to the next level.
“It’s an honor to be considered among the top 32 players in the state,” said Hanners, who will be traveling to Spokane with the Havoc this weekend for the Far West Regional tournament. “There can be a lot of pressure at the tryouts, and just because you made the team once doesn’t mean you will make it again. You really have to work at it.”
Hanners hopes to make her mark at Hood River Valley High School in the fall, while Cook will play at Thacher Prep School in Ojai, Calif. Both players will also continue playing club soccer throughout the summer.
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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