HRVHS alum plays final year at WSU

PULLMAN, Wash. — With a new coaching staff, there’s a highly positive outlook for the Washington State Cougars football team. A group of seniors, including defensive lineman Adam Coerper, are expected to help provide the necessary leadership in what could very well be a turnaround season.

Coerper, a 2008 Hood River Valley High graduate, is a redshirt senior in his fifth year at WSU in Pullman, Wash. The 22-year-old says he’s excited to compete in another season of NCAA Division I college football.

“Since it’s my senior year, I expect to do some good things and help turn things around for our team this season,” said Coerper. “In the five years I’ve been here, I’ve never really felt that we’ve had as much excitement and such an upbeat attitude among our team that we have this year. All the new coaches have enjoyed success with other teams, so they know how to win.”

Coerper was a starting tackle in WSU’s nationally televised (ESPN) Aug. 30 season opener (a 30-6 loss) between the Cougars and the Brigham Young University Cougars in Provo, Utah, and he was in the camera spotlight often while playing nearly half the game. Unfortunately, Coerper didn’t play much last Saturday in WSU’s home opener at newly remodeled Martin Stadium, which the Cougars (1-1) won 24-20 over the Eastern Washington Eagles (1-1).WSU’s next contest is on the road Sept. 15 against the UNLV Rebels (0-2); their next home game is Sept. 22 versus Colorado.

WSU new head coach Mike Leach enjoyed tremendous success at Texas Tech (2000-2009) while leading the team to bowl games every year. With such a highly regarded coach like Leach, who was hired in November, expectations for Cougar fans have steadily increased.

The 6-foot-5, 256-pound Coerper played eight games last year, while starting in four contests, including the season opener. That was notable since it was his first time as a starter. He had a total of 16 tackles, one fumble recovery and half a sack during the season. Much like the previous two seasons, it was frustrating at times because he missed four games last year due to injuries.

“I’m not too satisfied with the way things have been going, because I’ve had kind of an injury-riddled career and I expected it to be much different,” said Coerper. “I had a good season last year because it was the first time I had a significant amount of playing time.”

Coerper participated only in practice sessions as a redshirt incoming freshman in 2008 and wasn’t eligible to play during the season. Coerper was unable to play much the next two years while recovering from a hernia surgery, shoulder surgery and an ankle injury, but he did manage to play in two games in 2010.

One of the many new members of the Cougar coaching staff includes defensive line coach Joe Salavea, who expressed positive thoughts regarding Coerper and the 14 seniors on the squad.

“In any program, you need to have seniors like Adam Coerper, to help provide stable leadership,” said Salavea, formerly an assistant coach at the University of Arizona. “Adam plays with such a high energy level and he’s always all over the field making plays. He sets a good example for the younger players and we hope they’ll respond and play with the same type of energy that he does.”

Coerper says the highlight last year was when he tackled Utah quarterback John Hays near the end zone and almost recorded a safety. There were few bright spots, though, in what was a disappointing 2011 season for the Cougars, who were 4-8 overall and 2-7 in the Pacific-12 Conference North Division.

Coerper is confident that Leach’s Air Raid offense, combined with a solid defense, will help WSU reverse its recent trend of Pac-12 last place conference finishes.

“Our team is absolutely capable of having lots of success this year and we’re hoping to win as many games as we can,” said Coerper, a communications major. “Like all college players, I hope to get an opportunity to play in the NFL, which is my ultimate goal.”

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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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