Friday, September 23, 2005

No Respect I Tell Ya, No Respect At All

They often get the hand-me-down uniforms, play on the crap fields, scrounge for every piece of equipment and if it weren't for having parents...would only end up playing in front of the occasional flock of seagulls hanging around the field scavenging for food. These are the high school JV soccer teams across America. Maybe it's a rite of passage...working their way up to the Varisty level...paying their dues. As the "professionalism" of high school athletics continues to alter the face of Varsity programs, the JV teams are still a bastion of competition for the sport of it.

I have recently become a volunteer assistant coach for the Glencoe High School JV Soccer Team. It's a fine group of kids that play their hearts out and are learning to play a quality game. The lads are off to a good start for the season with a 3-0-1 record. Their first match of the year was a 3-1 victory over Forest Grove HS, followed by a 1-0 home victory against a physical West Linn HS side.

This week Glencoe traveled to Tigard HS where they saw their 1-0 lead evaporate to a 1-2 deficit. The boys won the battle of the midfield in the second half and tied the match late in the game for a 2-2 draw. Today it was another away match with Newberg HS. On a rough and narrow football field, the lads played a magical first half and jumped out to a 4-0 lead. The second half was a more balanced affair as each team scored a goal resulting in a 5-1 victory for Glencoe. Respect may be tough to attain off the field, but if the lads continue their winning ways, they will earn a fair amount of respect on the field.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Get On Board! Tigard Skate Park

"If we had the money, I would start construction tomorrow," stated Tigard Mayor Craig Dirkson. He is speaking of the proposed Jim Griffith Memorial Skate Park he and a group of committed Skate Park Task Force volunteers are in the midst of raising funds in order to bring this dream to reality. Dirkson is so supportive of the project, he is even providing a portion of the City Hall parking lot as the prime location for the 25,000 sq ft park.

The Task Force has tirelessly been soliciting contributions from the community and businesses, applying for grants and putting on fund raising activities. Over 100 skaters and their parents have supported the efforts, including participating in the design of the park. There still is a long way to go until a groundbreaking can be scheduled. Simply put...they need more donors! As Rich Carlson, the Task Force leader said, "If other towns in Oregon such as Donald, Aumsville and Siletz can support a park, certainly Tigard should be able to step up and do it."

Last weekend, as part of the Tigard Family Festival, a fundraising event was held at the proposed location in the City Hall parking lot. It was a carnival atmosphere for kids and skating demonstrations were held in between the rain showers. A demonstration team sponsored by Tribute Skateboards was on hand, which included Josh Beaudry, who grew up skating in Dundee, Oregon and later spent time on the pro circuit. To find out more about the park and get information about how you can Get On Board, visit the Tigard Skate Park web site.

November 2007 Update: The park is now open. Read it, see it in this blog entry > Skate On!

Friday, September 16, 2005

The Road to Williamsport

It didn't look good. At the end of the second inning, the favored Murrayhill Little League team was down 6-1 to a feisty Corvallis squad. The cheers and excitement were coming from only one side of the Alpenrose Stadium. But it was just a matter of time, and that time was the third inning. The Murrayhill bats lit up and for six runs and the knockout punch was delivered in the fourth inning as Murrayhill put the game out of reach with an eleven run inning. The victory sent Murrayhill on to the regional tournament in San Bernardino the following week. But their dreams of a trip to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania were dashed as the eventual World Series Championship Team from Hawaii proved to be too powerful for the boys from Oregon, and it was a plane ride back home; not to Williamsport.