Hood River Valley hires new athletic director


News staff writer

July 29, 2006

The Hood River Valley High School athletic department has a new head man for next year. Brent Walsh, formerly the athletic director at Sheldon High School in Eugene, is ready to set up shop.

“I see Hood River stepping up and doing some things,” Walsh said as he prepared to head back to Eugene to sell his house.

Walsh spent seven years at Sheldon, and coached wrestling before taking on athletic director duties as well three and a half years ago. Walsh was praised by Eugene School District Athletic Director Pat Latimer for his ability to integrate coaching staffs and get them to work well together.

“He was able to meld (coaches) together,” Latimer said. “His real strength is working with people.”

Walsh will need that talent right off the bat, as Hood River Valley just completed hiring three new coaches for boys’ basketball, volleyball and baseball. (For more coverage on the coaching hiring see the next issue of the Hood River News.)

Sheldon has a strong tradition for athletics, winning a 4A state football title in 2002 and winning back-to-back girls’ soccer state titles in 2003 and 2004. Walsh wants to carry over with that tradition in Hood River.

The Southern Oregon University grad and former college wrestler believes that is certainly possible as Hood River Valley prepares to play in the newly joined Mt. Hood Conference this year.

“It looks like a pretty equal playing field,” Walsh said.

After splitting time between wrestling and athletic director duties at Sheldon, Walsh will only be wearing the athletic director’s hat at Hood River.

“He goes that extra mile and he works hard,” Latimer said.

With the start of the school year quickly approaching, Walsh will have no time to waste in getting to know his staff and the student athletes; something that a man who describes himself as “married to his school” feels he should have no problem with.

“People ask me how many kids I have and I say ‘about 1,700,’” Walsh said.

While Pat Latimer is sorry to see Walsh go, he is confident that he will find success in Hood River.

“Hood River got a really good person,” he said.

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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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