Monday, October 05, 2009

I'm Blogging Again, But Not Here

OK, it's been months since my last blog entry. Without boring you all with excuses why it's been so long, I'm back on track. However, I have moved my blog to my hosting service using WordPress as the blog engine. So follow me at my Oregon Sports Photos Blog.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Night Glow

As Summer arrives in Tigard, Oregon, so do the balloons. The Allstate Festival of Balloons in Tigard is held in mid-June, attracting about twenty-five balloon entries from around the U.S.A. and this year one entry from the Czech Republic.

One of the fan favorite events is the night glow. Balloonists set up in the main launch area as the sun begins to set in the evening and as darkness settles in, the pilots periodically blast their burners which light up the balloon like a huge firefly. The unique challenge to getting good shots of the balloons fully aglow is part luck and part astute timing. You see, the pilots only blast the burners for a few short seconds and, except for one coordinated blast called out by the event announcer, the blasts are random. So trying to get a shot of multiple balloons can be a bit challenging; much like catching fireflies.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Manchester United Premier Cup U.S.A. Finals

The Memorial Day Weekend is the traditional start of Summer. In Beaverton, Oregon on the Nike World Campus the long weekend is also the annual U.S.A. finals of the Manchester United Premier Cup, a premier youth soccer tournament for U-15 boys and girls. This year the tournament was expanded to 32 teams in each the boys and girls brackets with matches hosted on the pristine fields on the Nike campus and fields of equal caliber on the Catlin Gable School campus.

The San Diego Surf defeated Pateadores S.C. of Mission Viejo, CA to earn the honors to play in the Man U Premier Cup Finals at Old Trafford in Manchester, England. The going at the finals was a bit rough for the Surf as they managed one win out of five matches. For the girls, the Dallas Texans edged out Crossfire Premier from Seattle, WA in a penalty kick shoutout to win a trip to Gothenburg, Sweden to compete in the Gothia Cup. The Texans made the best of the opportunity and won the girls U-15 championship by defeating Bele Barkarby FF of Sweden 1-0 in the final.

Photos of the Man U Premier Cup U.S.A. Finals located in the Oregon Sports Photos Gallery.

Friday, August 01, 2008

He's Still Got It!

Former President Bill Clinton swung through Oregon in April to campaign for his wife Hillary's campaign bid for the Democratic ticket against Barack Obama. In one day, Clinton visited North Bend, Monmouth, Oregon City and Portland. Clinton met with about 2,000 enthusiastic supporters at Oregon City High School after running 90 minutes late from his three previous stops. No one seamed to care as the chance to be in the presence of the former President in an intimate setting in the Oregon City High gymnasium kept the energy level high as Clinton received cheers from the crowd.

Clinton spoke for over 30 minutes, covering the various points of Hillary's campaign with substantial amounts of data backing up his rhetoric. He never missed a beat as he spoke about her plans to deal with Iraq, health care, the economy and energy issues. Clinton speaks with elements of charm, often adding humor to keep his audience engaged. He dances from topic-to-topic with smooth eloquence and his energy level totally masked any hint of fatigue from the marathon day of speaking engagements. Whether or not you agree with the Clinton's politics, its hard to deny Bill Clinton's skills as a public speaker and gift for politics.

Passing the Bar

As I catch back up once again with blogging, below are some shots from early Spring dual track meets featuring jumpers and vaulters battling against the same foe...gravity. Milwaukie High School jumpers lost out by an inch to Oregon City High School as the OC top two of Alex Humpreys and Derek Hinkle both cleared 6'-1" followed by Milwaukie's Neo Smith at 6'-0". The Lake Oswego High School girls took the top two spots in dual action against Rex Putnam High as Morgan McGuire set a school record of 9'-7" followed in second place by Gabi d'Amoto at 8'-6".

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Pacific's Field of Dreams

On a Saturday late in March, the rain stopped and the clouds parted for a very special event in Forest Grove, Oregon. On this day Pacific University held a dedication ceremony for their sparkling new baseball stadium named after the late Chuck Bafaro, Pacific's baseball coach for 31 seasons between 1964 and 1994. Bafaro's teams captured three conference championships and racked up 533 victories, as he was named the NAIA District II Coach of the Year three times, in 1968, 1972 and 1979.

The all natural grass field sports dimensions similar to major league parks with the baselines hitting the wall at 345 feet, the power alleys stretch out to 375 feet and it will take serious power to send it over the center field wall at 390 feet. The dugout and press box facilities are first class with the grandstands capable of seating 500 fans. Overall, Bafaro Stadium is a jewel of a diamond.

The Pacific Boxers took to the field following the dedication ceremony to play a double-header against the Whitman College Missionaries. With a rare afternoon of early Spring sunshine, the Boxers made it a perfect day by winning both games 5-3 and 7-6. The second game was a thriller come-from-behind victory in the ninth inning, as they overcame a 3-6 deficit by rallying to bringing home four runners for the win. It was a perfect day for Pacific and a perfect day for baseball.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Four-tunes of Two

In high school sports, every athlete's dream is to win a state championship. Few are able to realize such a dream during their four years of high school competition. It is actually just a select few that get a chance to play at the varsity level more than two years, so to be so fortunate to win more than one state championship is beyond most athlete's comprehension. So imagine what it is like to win four state championships during your high school career. And not just ride the pines the first couple of years, but to step on the court in year one and be an integral component your school's first championship title, and over the next three years become the team's heart and soul, team leaders and two of the top players in the state.

Meet Alex Earl and Michelle Jenkins of Southridge High School in Beaverton, Oregon.

As seniors this year Alex and Michelle tapped off their remarkable high school careers with their fourth straight OSAA 6A Basketball Championship for Southridge by defeating Oregon City 49-43. Alex is a quick play-making guard who is comfortable running the team's offense, is tenacious on defense and has no fear when it comes to putting up pressure shots from outside. Alex's talents will be very much appreciated at Arizona State University starting next Fall. The University of Southern California will be the beneficiaries of Jenkins' powerful play at the low post and seemingly never ending work rate. It was four fabulous years for two phenomenal players.

Alex Earl (left) and Michelle Jenkins (right) celebrate during the OSAA
6A Basketball Championship game against Oregon City.

Alex Earl works the ball against Central Catholic's Chelsey Christensen
during Southridge's 39-24 OSAA 6A semi-final victory.

Alex Earl takes her turn during the ceremonial cutting of the net following
her team's fourth straight OSAA 6A Championship title.

Michelle Jenkins Jenkins drives against Central Catholic's Courtney Flynn
during the OSAA 6A semi-final game.

Michelle Jenkins works the low post against Oregon City's Lindsey Shearer
during the OSAA 6A Championship game.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Check out the Les Schwab Invitational Action

I recently found the time to update my Oregon Sports Photos site with three pages of action from this year's Les Schwab Invitational High School Basketball Tournament held over the Christmas break. Once again, the Schwab brought outstanding basketball talent to the state as ten Oregon schools competed along with six visiting schools from California, Louisiana, Washington and British Columbia to the twelfth annual title.

I have shot the Schwab the past few years as I take a few vacation days and seize the opportunity to get into the flow of shooting basketball at the outset of the season. It was great to meet fellow SportsShooter Juliann Tallino as she was on site to cover the last day of the tournament for Max Preps.

To see all the action > Start by clicking here!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Meet Mr. Six

I always proclaimed myself to be open-minded, except when it came to owning a cat. I didn't have anything against cats; I just did not want to be "a cat owner." Little did I realize that my mind would be wedged wide open a couple years ago by a cute little rescue kitty.

My wife and her friend were eating out at a local restaurant and heard the whining sounds of newborn kittens in the rafters of the eave over the entrance. Without hesitation, the two summoned the manager and found out they were born to a feral cat who had not been seen in a couple days. That's all they needed to know...the two got a box, brought them home and for weeks nursed them to health.

One of the litter stood out amongst the others. First, he had an extra toe on each foot which is known as being a polydactyl cat. This type of cat is sometimes referred to as a Hemingway Cat, named after the famed Ernest Hemingway who owned and raised polydactyls after falling in love with them upon receiving his first as a gift from a ship's captain.

The second thing that made this little six-toed cutie stand out was that he was extremely social; followed my wife everywhere she went as she was sharing the nursing duties for the litter. It didn't take long for the two to fall in love and when my wife asked if we could keep him, I knew I was out-matched.

It turned out to be a great decision. Mr. Six, whose name started as just light-hearted moniker due to his extra toes, turned out to be the a great addition to the family. He acts more like a dog than a cat. He always wants to be around one of the family members, loves to drink water from the faucet and even responds to a handful of voice commands. Mr. Six certainly charmed his way into my heart and with his great personality is a constant source of entertainment around the house.