Rex Putnam proves tough opponent in season opener

Hood River Valley High School varsity girls soccer hosted Rex Putnam Tuesday evening in the team’s season-opener. The 3-1 loss against the Kingsmen was a tough way to start their schedule; but the girls found some strong points to build on and the game will serve as a gauge of progress for the rest of the season.

After battling to keep a more cohesive Rex Putnam squad from scoring for much of the first half, the Eagles let two goals slip by in the last 11 minutes, including the second with only 10 seconds left in the half. After a quick pep talk in the shade, the girls came out for the second half visibly re-energized and with much more cohesive tactics.

Senior midfielder Kristin Lago scored the Eagles’ solo goal off a penalty kick caused by a Rex Putnam foul midway through the second half.

“We did have a couple of breakdowns which led to their goals and I am hoping that next time, we will be able to recover more quickly and contain and delay our opponents,” said coach Kevin Haspela. “I was happy with how well they rebounded mentally in the second half. We played smarter, made some better decisions with the ball and were able to generate some chances on goal.”

In his third year as head varsity coach, Haspela is taking aim at a three-peat Columbia River Conference title and is hoping to lead his squad deeper into the state playoffs than last year’s second-round overtime loss against Crescent Valley. To achieve those goals, he’s focusing with the team on keeping an organized backfield while developing a more dynamic and aggressive offensive strategy. Without any specific playmakers established yet this season, teamwork and communication are going to be a key to hanging with the state’s top teams as players find their grooves with one another and their positions through the season.

“We’re a pretty young team this year,” Haspela said. “We graduated some dominant seniors last year and are without the one or two players who want to run the show this year. That may be a blessing in disguise; it will force us to be more balanced and rely on everyone, rather than just one or two super strong players.”

Although second-half scoring Tuesday went 1-1, the Eagles controlled the pace of the period and showed great improvement over their first-half performance.

“I was pleased at their ability to dig deep in the second half and keep the match competitive,” Haspela said. “This was a positive learning experience for us and now we have more specific areas we’ll focus on.”

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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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