Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Dream Season

After loosing in the quarter-finals of the OSAA 5A High School Soccer Championships in 2006, the fourteen seniors on the 2007 Glencoe Crimson Tide team knew this had to be "the season." The side rolled through the regular season undefeated with a 14-0-1 record. And during the playoffs, Glencoe scored twelve goals for with only one against in three games to land a spot in the state championship final against returning finalist Bend High School.

Coach Tom Stephens knew this year's team was special. The staff and the players often referred to atmosphere on the team as a family. The school had never made it to the state finals and Stephens wanted it so bad...for his players...for his seniors. After falling behind 0-1 early in the second half, the Tide actually became energized and began backing Bend up against its own goal. A goal off a corner kick by Nolan Dempster to equalize was followed by a driving far post shot by Wil Hiles beating the keeper with eight minutes remaining to push Glencoe ahead 2-1. The final whistle at the end of regulation set off an emotional celebration as players and fans cherished the special moments of winning the school's first state championship title.

It was a special was a special was a family celebration.

Also view a photo video honoring Glencoe's 2007 OSAA 5A High School Soccer Championship season on

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Fall Season Winds Down

At the beginning of the Fall high school sports season in Oregon, the weather is warm and wearing jeans and a t-shirt can even be over-dressed at times. At the end of the season, it's three layers of clothing, gloves and cups of hot tea. I covered the OSAA Cross Country Championships at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon for four Pamplin Media Group newspapers. The day was a mix of cold and crisp in the morning and warm and sunny in the afternoon; a testament to the mix of weather experienced during the Fall in Oregon.

The Jesuit High School (Beaverton, OR) girls kept their string of championships running as they took home their sixth straight 6A first place trophy. The Jesuit boys took second seating to the kings of the 6A boys harriers, their rivals Central Catholic (Portland, OR) who won their third consecutive title. Other schools I was covering in the 3A, 4A and 5A divisions had great individual accomplishments, but team results were not honored with hardware.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Skate On!

Finally! Five years after Tigard youth suggested to then Mayor Jim Griffith that a skatepark be added to the city's park system, the dream has been realized. After Griffith's death in 2003, members of the Skatepark Taskforce asked that the proposed park be named in honor of Griffith because of his strong advocacy of the park and youth activities in Tigard. Current Mayor Craig Dirksen blessed the request and led the charge to secure funding for the Jim Griffith Memorial Skate Park.

The 15,000 square foot in-ground facility opened in October, much to the delight of the local thrashers. The design includes three bowls, along with common street features. Located in the northeast portion of the City of Tigard City Hall parking lot, the park, needless to say, is packed with skaters of all abilities who give it a big "thumbs up."

Good Lord, What a Gourd

The West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta held in Tualatin, Oregon in late October is an event that words alone fall miles short of providing one with a perspective of the event. Think about it. If you read that well bread, educated adults carve out pumpkins ranging between 500 and 1,200 pounds, then drop them into a lake, climb inside the gourd and proceed to paddle around a buoyed course all in the name of fun; do you think you would really "get it" without seeing it?

A few thousand people showed up at the Lake at Tualatin Commons to witness the event for themselves. For a fourth year, the Pacific Giant Vegetable Growers Association hosted the giant pumpkin regatta, which has become a popular Fall event in Tualatin. The growers donated the pumpkins and the community joined in the fun as event spectators were welcome, and encouraged, to don a life vest and kayak paddle. You can read about the event in the Tigard-Tualatin-Sherwod Times pre-race feature and post-race feature, but the pictures will surely complete the scene.

Friday, November 23, 2007

How Ironic

Pre-season assessments of Oregon's back-to-back state championship football team didn't have them as a clear favorite to three-peat, but as the Jesuit Crusaders started off their season by demolishing early foes, people began to think that Jesuit will surely be in the thick of the playoff race in late November.

Well, fate has its cruel side. During season play, Jesuit stomped on its Holy War rival Central Catholic with 60-0 drubbing in the second week of the 2007 season. It was an embarrassingly sad showing for the Rams. Then, a 27-13 win over Westview set up the Crusaders for its fourth Metro League crown and top seeding in the playoffs. But on the final week of the season, Jesuit dropped a contest against Southridge 28-27 in overtime, ending its Metro League season sharing the title with Southridge and Westview.

How could fate be even more cruel for the Crusaders? An uncharacteristic early dismissal from the playoffs in the first round with a 47-35 loss to Canby...this hasn't happened to them in 20 years. And cruelest fate? Central Catholic and Westview are both playing in the quarter-finals tonight for the OSAA Championship while the Crusaders are likely at home helping clean up after the Thanksgiving holiday. Talk about winning the battles and losing with war.

Jesuit 60 vs Central Catholic 0

Jesuit 27 vs Westview 13

Friday, November 09, 2007

Where Did The Summer Go?

I am supposed to be blogging weekly. Well, that hasn't happened for a while. Shooting...I've been doing. Writing took a back seat. So let's give you a quick highlight blog of some Summer assignments.

Little League Softball World Series
Umpires dancing to "The Chicken Dance" can only mean one thing. It's the Little League Softball World Series held at Alpenrose Dairy in Portland, Oregon. Teams were treated to beautiful weather, great softball competition, a first-class venue and a fabulous host...Alpenrose. The South team from Morristown, Tennessee edged out the Southwest 3-2 to claim the 2007 title.

Tualatin Crawfish Festival
The City of Tualatin has had a love affair with the crawfish for 56 years. It celebrates its anniversary every August by throwing a festival which includes a parade, live music, a crawfish cook-off and a slew of other events. Most notably is the famous crawfish eating contest. The record number eaten in the fifteen minute contest? 170...In 1970 by then 43 year old Cotton Scheckla. This year's winner was a far distance from Cotton's record, winning by downing 97 mudbugs.

Lake Oswego School District Alumni Bash
The Lake Oswego Alumni Association tried an experiment. They threw a party, inviting all alumni from the district's two high schools; Lake Oswego and Lakeridge. The first high school in the district was Oswego High (now Lake Oswego) built in 1951, followed by the addition of Lakeridge in 1971. Without knowing what to expect, organizers were pleasantly surprised when about 600 alums showed up for the bash held at Millennium Plaza Park. Event coverage was for the Lake Oswego Review.

Showing Patriotism in St. Helens
The Lions Club in St. Helens, Oregon volunteered to place flags on the town's main thoroughfares every legal holiday five years ago and, without fail, have lived up to their commitment. At dawn, club members spread throughout town and get the 218 flags set up and at sunset, the process is reversed. The South County Spotlight featured the event in their July 4th edition.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

I Don't Do Weddings

Well...that's what I keep telling folks. It's not that I am adversed to shooting a wedding...I just know that they are far from simple undertakings and I have not felt prepared to take on such a challenge at this point in time.

I was asked to help out as a second shooter for a recent wedding. I figured that it would be a good opportunity, and I was very glad I gave it a go. The setting was outdoors at the farm home of the bride's parents just outside of Scholls, Oregon. It was one of the coolest weddings I have been to. A great mix of people and a terrific atmosphere...they even served beer before the ceremony started!

I "stole with pride" a concept from Craig Mitchelldyer, who is an extremely talented wedding photographer, and put together a collage of some of the photos. Overall, I am very pleased with the results. I wouldn't call myself a wedding photographer yet...but I had my first taste and I enjoyed it.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Free Family Fun

The Tualatin Hills Parks and Recreation District hosted its second annual Party in the Park at the Howard M. Terpenning recreation complex in Beaverton, Oregon. The day-long festival included a classic car show, entertainment and lots of sports related activities for young and old. The climbing walls were extremely popular with the kids as the lines to attempt a scaling lasted throughout the day.

I shot the event last year for the Beaverton Valley Times, and my photos of that shoot were used for this year's insert to promote the event. The variety of activities provided a wealth of shooting opportunities. A couple shots were used on the front page of the Valley Times the following week and the rest were filed away for next year's insert. A crowd favorite was the Get a Life Marching Band, which consists of former high school band members that are mostly well over 40 who can't let go of marching band experience. They play great music and know how to have a good time.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Condon's Allen Hamner Memorial Cook-off

If you never have been to a BBQ all means, go! You will be treated to some of the best tasting beef, chicken and pork you have ever tasted. But don't just sample the food and walk off...take the time to chat with the participants. They are extremely passionate about their craft, or as some call it, their sport. Most travel long distances to competitions, invest hundred or thousands of dollars in equipment and work tirelessly for twenty-four hours preparing and cooking their entries for judging. They are a special breed of people. When asked why they are involved in competitive cooking, quite often the answer is, "the people" or "the community of the competitors." Despite the fact it is a competition, the camaraderie and support for fellow participants is very high.

The 2nd Annual Allen Hamner Memorial Cook-off was held in Condon, Oregon during the Fourth of July week. It's far from the largest cook-off around, but what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for it in spirit. The organizer, Kim Ryan, is the daughter of Allen Hamner, who was Condon's pharmacist until his passing in 2005, a victim of skin cancer. The cook-off was initiated in 2006 to help raise funds for the Allen Hamner Foundation, dedicated to the awareness and prevention of skin cancer. The cook-off, sanctioned by the Pacific Northwest Barbecue Association, will be back and looking to grow in size next year, as the Fourth of July falls on a Thursday and Condon's Fabulous Fourth celebration will draw a large number of visitors to town.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Intel® Rides with Orange County Choppers

In passing, it may seam like an odd pairing...The roughneck Teutuls of the famed Orange County Choppers designing and building a custom chopper for the eggheads at Intel®. But upon closer inspection, one can see how leading edge technology is the common denominator between Intel and OCC. To design their world-renown custom bikes, the Teutuls utilize Hewlett Packard xw8400 workstations powered by Intel's quad-core technology processors. OCC creates leading edge chopper designs using Intel's leading edge technology.

In April of this year, Intel and OCC unveiled a chopper designed and built for Intel in commemoration of the company's 30th year of providing embedded computing technology. The 250 horsepower bike includes a military grade ultra-mobile PC instrument panel that incorporates a fingerprint recognition ignition system, built-in GPS, Bluetooth, Internet wireless access and review-facing webcams that replace review-mirrors.

The details and superior craftsmanship, a trademark of each Teutul creation, is clearly evident when one has an opportunity to view the bike up-close and personal. The Learning Channel will be running a two-part series highlighting the Intel build July 12th through 19th. It includes scenes when Paul Senior, Junior and Mikey visit an Intel fab to gain inspiration for the design concept.