Work ethic key to Eagle wrestling

December 7, 2005

Taking pride and pleasure in hard work is something the Hood River Valley High School wrestling team is striving for this season.

They are getting the hard work part down, as they shape up for their first dual meet later this month. Finding pleasure in the often grueling demands of getting into wrestling condition does not come naturally, however, and Coach Rich Polkinghorn is working hard to instill a sense of satisfaction for sacrifice in his 42-man squad.

“Taking pride in working hard is something that makes kids champions,” Polkinghorn said. “We want them to feel proud of their hard work … We want them to be confident and aggressive and get after it on the mat.”

For the last few years, the Intermountain Conference (IMC) has been stacked with solid wrestling teams. This year looks to be the same, as the preseason 4A Rockwell rankings place three IMC teams in the state’s top ten (Redmond at 4th, Pendleton at 5th and Crook County at 9th). Topping the list are Crater (1st), Eagle Point (2nd) and Thurston (3rd) high schools. Last season the Eagles finished sixth in the IMC with a 2-6 league record.

“It’s early in the season and we’re in a tough conference, so it’s hard to gauge how we will fare,” said Polkinghorn. “I can say, we have kids who really want to get after it and compete. Our main goal is just to get better and better every week and to get the kids as many matches and opportunities to succeed as possible. With such a young team, we’re still looking at the big picture; we’re looking down the road to be a great team.”

With numbers up by about ten guys from last season, Polkinghorn has 14 freshman, 13 sophomores, nine juniors and six seniors to work with. Team captains this year, as voted by the team, are junior Alex Titus and seniors Jose Ramirez and Sal Ledezma.

“The kids picked wisely,” Polkinghorn said.

The boys saw their first matches of the season over the weekend, with the novice wrestlers competing at The Dalles on Friday and at the Newberg tournament on Saturday. The Varsity and JV squads wrestled in the Westview tournament.

At Westview, the varsity finished second as a team, three wrestlers finished first in their brackets and five finished third.

“I was impressed with how they wrestled,” Polkinghorn commented. “They did great with the stuff we’ve worked on in practice and we (the coaches) were really happy with how they competed.

“Every one of you that stepped onto the mat went after it and I’m proud of that,” Polkinghorn told the team at practice Monday. “But, who knows what complacency is? ... You guys did awesome and the wins this weekend were great, I don’t want to take anything away from that. But, we have a long season ahead of us and a lot of hard work to get done, so let’s come into practice every day ready to work hard and ready to get after it. I’m proud of you guys but I’m not satisfied.”

Highlights from Saturday’s varsity tournament include:

Jose Ramirez- first place, 3-0 with two pins

Sean Baker- first place, 2-0 with two pins

Leo Gonzalez- first place, 3-0

Erick Lujano- third place, 5-1 with 2 pins, 10 takedowns

John Phillips- third place, 3-1

Gage Morris- third place, 2-1

Sal Ledezma- third place, 2-1

Kevin Dye- third place, 3-1 with eight takedowns

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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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