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Day: September 3, 2010

Celts meet Comets in zero week

Celtic quarterback Kyle Ismay
Celtic quarterback Kyle Knight looks for a receiver during McNary’s scrimmage Saturday, Aug. 28. (Keizertimes/ERIC A. HOWALD)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

If there’s one thing senior Wes Heredia wants out of McNary High School’s gridiron clash with Crater High School Friday, Sept. 3, it’s redemption.

“I’m looking forward to proving some people wrong. I think we’re a better team than we’re being given credit for,” Heredia said.

McNary will travel to Central Point, Ore., for the game beginning at 7 p.m.

The Celtics finished last season with a whimper rather than a bang. In the season finale against North Salem only 12 of 23 seniors suited up for the game, the other fell victim to injury, illness or ended up on suspension for code of conduct violations.

Those looking for lingering portents in the Celt camp didn’t have to look long or hard as daily doubles got underway. Runningback Tim McDowell dislocated his thumb the third day of practice, but planned on playing against Crater in a splint, said Rick Ward, McNary head coach.

“Crater is a team that graduated a lot of kids, and some of their fastest, last year. They’ve got a really good quarterback and running back, but they’re a little more basic,” Ward said.

He felt McNary would have an advantage in speed over the Comets team.

“Garren Robinett and James Lowells are our fast guys and hard to cover,” Ward said.

Crater was looking particularly vulnerable this year especially for a hard-working Celtic team, said Kyle Ismay, McNary quarterback.

“We’re look crisp on offense, things look good on defense and the line is working hard. I’m really optimistic and excited to get out there and play,” Ismay, a senior, said.

On Crater’s side of the field, head coach John Beck was anticipating the debut of his offensive line, where he boasts more than a few returning players.

“We’ve been prepping a spread offense and a multi-front defense that we’ll be ironing the wrinkles out of before the game,” Beck said.

Beck’s shot caller, senior Tyler Turituri, passed for nearly 1,200 yards (70-114, with 18 TDs) last season. He also expected a big performance out of Comet kicker Austin Sigel.

Crater isn’t expected to finish in the top of Southern Sky Conference this season, but Ward isn’t taking anything for granted.

“Southern Oregon teams are tough and they get after it. Everybody is good down there,” Ward said. “We’re a little inexperienced in the line, but the kids are coming along. I like what I’m seeing and everyone’s working hard.”

The Celtics were fine tuning the details and tightening up the slack throughout practices this week. Ward was planning to pay special attention to special teams work the night before the game, Heredia said that’s one are he was eager to to begin work on.

“Our defense is going to be a big key, especially working out blitzes,” he said.

Ismay felt the team was meshing better than last season’s, but there was still some heavy lifting to be done.

“The thing we need to work on is making sure every player feels comfortable with every play,” Ismay said.

Returning athletes will be backbone of McNary girls soccer

McNary Girls Soccer
Members of the Celtic girls varsity soccer team vie for control of the ball during practice earlier this week. (Keizertimes/ERIC A. HOWALD)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

Fans will notice many of familiar faces when the Celtic girls varsity soccer team returns to the field Tuesday to host Sandy High School.

“We’ve got about 90 percent of the team from last year returning,” said Miguel Camarena, head coach of the McNary High School girls soccer program.

In practices earlier this week, the team was still figuring out the exact shape of the team that will take the field.

“We need to sharpen up our ability to position ourselves with the ball and then move with it,” said senior center Jordan Salinas.

After a tough season of difficult relationships within the team last year, Salinas is anticipating a smoother ride this season.

“It’s actually been really good. We’re all getting along and welcoming the new players. I know they’ve going to do great,” Salinas said.

In 2009, the Lady Celts finished in fourth place, just one point behind Sprague and West Salem high schools. They fell to Barlow High School in the opening round of the playoffs, but the team defeated West Salem, Sprague and Redmond on their home turf during the regular season. The OSAA dropped Redmond from the Central Valley Conference during redistricting this summer.

Sophomore Haley Scoggins was eagerly anticipating rematches with the Olympians and Titans and sizing up her new team.

“We lost some key players last year, but we’ve got some new ones up to the task of filling the spot,” Scoggins said. “It’s not the same team, but if we work hard we can, maybe, get [to the playoffs].”

Junior Casey Sidwell echoed her teammates excitement about the new team make-up, but the added that the team still has room for improvement.

“We need to mark up better on the field with more talking and less yelling,” Sidwell said.

In the remaining practices, the team will be focusing on penetration and finishing, Camarena said. He’s anxious to see how well the team performs and expects great things from senior goalkeeper Becca Aguilar.

“I think she could be the best keeper in the conference,” he said.

South Salem, a perennial powerhouse in girls soccer remains favored in the conference, but Camarena expects the remaining teams to be fairly well matched.

“It’s going to be competitive and good experience for our younger players who are moving up to varsity,” he said.

The girls varsity soccer team hosts Sandy High School Tuesday, Sept. 7. Game time is 4:30 p.m.

Signature gathering is not an election

To the Editor:

Councilor Cathy Clark’s guest column (Keizertimes, Aug. 27) was titled “A big box ban has consequences.”  Thank you, Councilor Clark, for making that point.  That’s exactly what Keep Keizer Livable (KKL) has been trying to say.  There are, indeed, consequences, and those consequences are in the best interest of Keizer neighborhoods.

However, for clarity’s sake, please know that signing an initiative does not make it so.  All one’s signature does, along with 2,799 others, is to allow the initiative to come before the voters for a community decisiion.  Even if KKL gets the required 2,800 legitimate signatures, only the voters, not one’s signature on the initiative, can determine the outcome.

What the initiative does is limit the size of a retail building to 65,000 square feet in the mixed used areas.  For instance, Safeway is a pretty good sized store.  Would you want anything larger that that in your neighborhood?  All KKL is saying is keep the big box stores in Area A of Keizer Station, not in the middle of our neighborhoods.  If you look at the mixed use areas in Keizer, most are surrounded by residential  neighborhoods.

Both Councilor Clark and Mayor Lore Chrisotpher seem to believe that banning a big box store anywhere in Keizer would stifle business growth and opportunity.  I think we have to understand that what a big box store does is provide greater revenue to the city coffers.  As far as providing jobs, most of the jobs in big box stores are mnimum wage with no benefits that could hardly support a family of four, even with both parents working.  That, in and of itself, does not sustain the livable part of what KKL advocates, not to mention the issue of traffic.  If you look across the country at small communities that have been invaded by Walmart, Kmart, or any of the marts for that matter, the downtown eventually dies and all that is left is the big box store.

Keep Keizer Livable believes strongly in the sustainability and livability of our neighborhoods.  A big box store in mixed used areas does not do that.

As Councilor Clark concluded, “I hope everyone asks many questions and considers all th consequences, intended and unintended before signing the initiative…”  I ditto that request, and once you have, I invite you to sign the initiative.

Curt McCormack
Keizer