Volleyball keeps eye on future

By BEN MCCARTY

News staff writer

November 15, 2006

Scott Walker knew that it would be a tough job when he accepted it.

The Hood River Valley volleyball team finished the season with an 0-13 record, playing in a highly competitive league, where the top two teams, Gresham and Central Catholic, dueled for the 6A state title last weekend.

Despite a downer of a season, Walker feels that the team is heading in the right direction.

“Next year I expect us to do a lot better than we did this year,” Walker said.

The team loses four seniors in Katrina Logsdon, Rachel Schlosser, Sasha McHale and Sarah Wood.

Wood was selected as the team’s MVP for her leadership from her libero position, while Schlosser won the team’s “Eagle Spirit” award.

Sophomore Amy Hobbs was named the team’s most improved player. Walker said Hobbs is highly athletic that he has high hopes for in the future.

Walker acknowledged that replacing the seniors would be hard but sees hope on the horizon in the form of some of younger players who earned experience on varsity this year and who excelled on the JV team.

“We have some young girls coming up who will help our team next year,” he said.

He pointed out Eryn Jacobsen, Bailie Hillen and Justina McCrea as three younger players who stood on the varsity team for him this year.

Walker called the JV team “the most competitive in the program” and felt that Cara Williams and Rachel Perry are two players on the rise on the team who could contribute on varsity next year.

One of the advantages of having only a handful of seniors this year is that the team will be stocked with experienced players for next season.

If this season’s juniors return next year, the squad will have nine seniors.

That experience will come in handy when the team tries to make its mark in a tough conference.

While the team may have a ways to go before it stacks up evenly against the Greshams and Central Catholics of the world, Walker wants his team to be competitive.

“In a couple of years hopefully we’ll be competing with the better teams in the conference,” he said.

The Eagles were beaten soundly by both Gresham and Central Catholic in their two meetings with each team, and Walker hopes that his team takes the losses as a learning experience for the future.

“I hope our girls got a good understanding of how competitive we have to be,” he said. “We have a good group of girls who have their eyes set on what they have to do.”

Walker himself comes away from the season with a little less hair, and some of the hair that remains is a little more gray, consequences of managing a rebuilding project.

The team has three wins in the last three seasons and Walker may find himself with a few more gray hairs before he has the team were he wants them to be.

Walker said that the team will be staying busy in the off-season, and will be running and attending volleyball camps and holding open gym workouts in the spring as they seek to improve on their first year in the Mt. Hood Conference.

Walker does have one dream that he wishes his team can achieve. Against some of the Portland area schools, his tallest players were as tall as the opposition’s shortest players.

“I told our players at the banquet that I want them to work hard and grow taller this off-season,” Walker said with a laugh.

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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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