Support teams: The unexpected can happen in winter sports action

Something totally unexpected happened Friday at the gym.

Those who were there got a half-hour of entertainment the likes of which even seasoned sports observers had never seen.

As described on page A10, the JV girls team pulled off a victory — despite having only two players on the floor for much of the final quarter of the game.

It deserves mention because it’s an example of how the remarkable can happen just about anywhere.

Local sports teams can provide it, and you never know when.

You don’t need to see an unprecedented situation like two players taking on five to witness something remarkable. It’s unlikely to happen again – but you never know. It might not be the oddity of going two-on-five and winning but it is worth checking out. This is especially true on these dark winter nights when you know that “must-see TV” is just hype, and a better use of your time and money can be found at the local gym.

What is almost assured is that some basketball player will score an amazing shot, a wrestler will come from behind to pin his or her opponent, or a swimmer will clip her opponents at the finish. Those who travel the extra few miles to watch skiing might see a skier fall on one run but get up and post a PR in the next.

The winter sports seasons at Hood River Valley High School and Horizon Christian School are in full swing, and the games are both a great evening of entertainment and a way to support our young people who spend many hours developing their skills.

A player may come off the bench or be inserted into a race or match for which they are not the headliner, and emerge with newfound confidence, win or lose. You might hear a young man sing the national anthem in public for the first time, and nail the tough notes. That happened Friday at an HRVHS girls basketball game. The singer, Miguel Vasquez, returned to his place in the band, which proceeded to entertain with a variety of jazz and rock numbers. Between the musicians, the athletes, and let’s not forget the rally squad there to cheer for the team, there was real skill and dedication filling the gym.

In any season, some teams, and individual athletes or performers, will struggle while others will excel. When it comes to competition, whether or not the teams come out on top is beside the point.

What counts are the moments when teams come together, or individuals shine, along with the lessons in camaraderie and teamwork. On any given night, small or large dramas might happen.

But you can’t witness it if you aren’t there.

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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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