HRV cheer team ready for state

Cheerleading may not be a traditional winter sport, but ask any of the girls on the Hood River Valley High School competitive cheer team what they’ve been up to for the last few months and they’d be happy to tell you just how much effort they have put into the season. And as the season comes to a climax at this weekend’s OSAA State Cheerleading Championships, the team will face a bittersweet moment.

The excitement of being at the Memorial Coliseum and performing in front of thousands of screaming friends, family and fellow competitors is an experience the girls will probably never forget. But their moment in the spotlight is but a flash, and all the energy and hard work they’ve invested during the last few months — and, for the seniors, the last few years — comes down to a mere two-and-a-half-minute performance. And for the seniors, it will be their last routine wearing the Eagle uniform.

“We have bonded so much as friends and coaches because we have to work hard together to make our routine look good,” team member Cayla Concienne said this week. “It has been lot of hard work, but it is worth it.”

The team has been working on a single routine all season; increasing in point-scoring difficulty as they progress. With a need for mats to practice aerial moves, the girls have trained at 6:30 a.m. before school in the wrestling room.

“We tested our routine last weekend at the Tualatin Last Chance Invitational,” said coach Jennifer Schlosser. “We finished in second, which is an improvement from last year when we finished third. We have a very talented team but competition is tough this year so we really need to bring it all together at state.”

The HRV girls will compete Saturday against 12 other schools in the 5A small division (small division consists of teams with 12 team members or less). Last year, in HRV cheerleading’s first year entering the contest, the team finished in eighth place.

“It’s an intense experience,” Schlosser said. “The venue is huge, there are tons of people and a lot happening. It’s very exciting. I think it’s something the girls will never forget.”

“We have worked so hard this year and we are really hoping to do well at state and maybe even bring home a trophy,” teammate Ashlee Farring said.

“I know we can improve from last year,” Jesica Campos added. “We have been working extra hard this year and hopefully it will pay off Saturday.”

The girls are scheduled to perform their routine 20th, which will be shortly after a 10:15 a.m. intermission. OSAA is offering a live feed of the event for $3.92 via its network (see for details).

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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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