Prep sports move indoors

November 12, 2005

In perfect synch with the weather, fall sports seasons wrapped up over the last couple of weeks for high school athletes. With little time to spare before their first competitions, winter sports started practices Monday afternoon, giving some multi-sport athletes only a weekend’s rest.

With each new sport comes new muscles to condition, old rust to polish off and teammates and coaches to get to know, so the theme for the next couple of weeks in each winter sport is going to be getting into shape, working on fundamentals and connecting with each other as a team. The fun of competition is set to start on Nov. 28 when the boys’ varsity and junior varsity basketball teams travel to Portland for the Reynolds Jamboree. Starting Dec. 1 it’s full steam ahead until the end of the winter season in February.

Boys’ basketball:

Led by head coach Phil Vesel, the varsity boys look to improve on last year’s 8-15 season (5-11 league record). After losing seven seniors, four of whom were starting varsity players, the boys will need to draw on their summer ball experience to give them an edge early in the season. With issues last year in high turnover numbers, the boys will need to work out any bad habits early, while continuing the defensive intensity they had last season.

Girls’ basketball:

Last year was a season of building for the varsity girls, who finished with a 2-14 league record. According to head coach Phil Hukari, last year’s team played with all the heart and determination as other teams, but the girls were behind in fundamentals. With five seniors graduating last season, Hukari and the girls look to draw from players who kept their skills honed with summer ball.


In his second year coaching for the Eagles, Rich Polkinghorn has a young, hard-working group of wrestlers to work with. Last year the team placed sixth at the district meet, with nine wrestlers earning a spot on the podium. Because none of those nine were seniors, the team’s season is wide open so far, with a good potential for several wrestlers to make it to the 4A state meet in February.


Last year’s varsity boys tied for second place at the district meet, second only to three-time state champions, Summit High School. Graduating four top swimmers means coach Jane Nichols will have some holes to fill this season. The girls finished fifth at districts last year, but they only graduated one varsity swimmer. With several young, year-round swimmers entering the high school program with club experience under their caps, both teams look to draw from previously rare young talents this season.


The weather played a big role in last season’s ski teams. With inconsistent training due to poor snow conditions, the teams had a disappointing showing at the state meet. Six skiers, five girls and one boy, qualified for state, which was held at Mt. Bachelor. The racers, coached by Jessica Gunesh, just couldn’t put it together, however, and their season ended with a tough last experience. On the positive side, this season’s snow conditions already look promising and, of the five girls that made it to state, none were seniors.

Horizon boys’ basketball:

With a winning 14-12 overall record and their first playoff trip in team history, last year’s team only graduated a couple of seniors, meaning the boys’ season is wide open this year. Head coach Ron Haynes and the hard-working boys look to qualify for state with the leadership of a last year’s all-conference players Jared Nagreen, Bobby Cofrances and Stephen Stenberg.

Horizon girls’ basketball:

In only their third season as a team, the Horizon girls are young and full of spirit and positive attitudes. The girls, coached by Kelly Hallyburton, look to improve on last year’s one-win season with the experience and leadership of the seven returning players.

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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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