Subscribe to get tough, fair journalism seven days a week.
Subscribe today

Day: October 26, 2010

Lady Celts sweep Olys, Vikings, Titans


Of the Keizertimes

After going undefeated in their first swing through the Central Valley Conference, the new goal for the McNary High School varsity volleyball team is simple: be better.

“Be better with every touch and against every opponent. Better mentally and better disciplined,” said Dustin Walker, Celtic head coach.

The attitude was on display last week as the girls locked horns with North Salem High School. In the first round of CVC competition, the Vikings were the only team to take a game off the Celts, but McNary won handily in three sets last week, 25-14, 25-16, 25-19.

“It was like redeeming ourselves,” said Celt Simona Arnautov. “It was proof we earned that first win and it wasn’t a fluke.”

“We had to make a statement and we played our hardest the whole way through,” added Madi Cavell, a senior.

Cavell led in kills, 14, aces, 4, and blocks, 4. Deven Hunter put down 10 kills. Whittley Harrell had nine digs and four aces. Arnautov tied Harrell for most digs with nine.

Walker was also pleased with the work and effort of setter Megan Holland who had 31 assists on the night.

“Megan runs the court and distributes the ball and makes better and better decisions every day,” Walker said. “That’s a hard position to play because, like a quarterback, there’s always something that can be done better, but Megan is doing a great job for us.”

Prior to the North Salem game, the Celts donned purple uniforms for a game with Sprague High School. The special uniforms were part of a fundraiser for Sprague student Frida Salinas who is battling pancreatic cancer.

“We knew we couldn’t lose our focus even though we’re doing things a bit differently and we didn’t. We played tough and worked it out,” Cavell said.

The Celts dominated in a first match win of 25-10, but Sprague found their footing and produced a better showing in the team’s second two matches, which went to McNary with scores of 25-19 and 25-17. The games for the freshmen, junior varsity and varsity teams brought in more than $4,000 that will help pay for Salinas’s treatments.

Cavell led in kills, 16, and added four blocks. Hunter had 10 kills and put up five blocks. Holland had 27 assists and Keri Stein had 18 digs.

Many of the girls were anticipating a match with West Salem High School Tuesday, Oct. 19.

“West is still a concern,” said Averi Wing. They were picked to win league, and they’ll come back ready to play.”

Tension was high throughout the game, but McNary won in three sets, 25-11, 25-13, 25-20.

Beyond the remaining games in Central Valley Conference competition, the Lady Celts are slowly turning their focus to potential competition in the state tournament.

“We’re working on preparing ourselves for teams like Sunset and Sheldon and Central Catholic,” Arnautov said. “Basically, we’re expecting everything.”

Mental mistakes haunt Celtics’ 34-21 loss

Celt Garren Robinett struggles for an extra yard as a South Salem players wraps him up. (Keizertimes/ERIC A. HOWALD)

Of the Keizertimes

Formidable opponent aside, it was errors on the Celtic side of the football that kept the varsity team from closing the gap in the 34-21 loss to South Salem High School.

McNary allowed a touchdown with four seconds remaining in the half that permitted the Saxons a lead they would never surrender, but a blown snap in the red zone near the top of the fourth quarter and a final drive that netted McNary more than 30 yards on five consecutive penalties were nails in the coffin.

“On the last drive, we had three minutes left and plenty of time to run the ball down and go for an onside kick. That’s the mindset, and then we started taking the belly punches,” said Rick Ward, head coach.

McNary’s first big play of the game came at the hands of Garren Robinett who reeled in a pass from South Salem’s Jaylynn Bailey inside the Celtic 10-yard line. The Celts didn’t make anything of the return drive, but the Saxons scored on their next possession for a 7-0 lead. South Salem recovered a dropped snap on McNary’s next possession and Bailey rushed into the end zone from a yard out for a 13-0 lead early in the second quarter.

“It’s been a lot of the same thing all season,” said Mike Gerasimenko, a Celtic defensive back. “We weren’t wrapping up and we were getting beat by the wide receivers in the first half.”

McNary picked up a big conversion on fourth and 11 their next drive that appeared to buoy spirits. Celtic quarterback Kyle Ismay connected with James Lowells on a 25-pass for a touchdown. Gonzalo Cervantes added the extra point for a score of 13-7.

McNary forced a fumble on the Saxon return drive, but South Salem responded by picking off an Ismay pass intended for Robinett in the Saxon end zone. South scored on the return drive for a 21-7 lead and McNary plowed back down the field deep into Saxon territory. On the 20-yard line with third down with five yards to go and 42 seconds left in the half, Ismay connected with Robinett for a touchdown that closed the gap to 21-14.

The Saxons raced back down the field and added the final touchdown of the half for a 28-14 lead.

“We didn’t stop the run at all in the first half. We knew that going in that it was likely to be a problem and it proved to be true, but we did a lot better in the second half,” Ward said.

The team has trouble hitting on all cylinders at the same time, said Robinett.

“In the first half, we had a good offensive night  and weak defense, then in the second half it was the exact opposite,” he said.

Ismay connected with Robinett for a second and final time in a third quarter touchdown, but it was a fading glimpse of what the game could have become.

On the return drive, Gerasimenko came up with an interception, but the drive was marred by a blown snap that flew right past Ismay’s head as he called an audible.

“If we had scored off that drive it may have been a different story,” Gerasimenko said.

The McNary defense made big stops on the return drive, but the Saxons made an interception on McNary’s next possession that led to the final touchdown of the game and a 34-21 lead.

McNary’s penalty-plagued final drive meant the team went out with a whimper rather than a bang.

“We didn’t go hard every play,” said McNary’s Jake Short, a defensive back. “We had maybe 10 plays and then one play where we were doing it right.”

Kids put their Hands On Government

Hands on Government tiles have been installed at the Keizer Civic Center. The project gets the name and birth year of Keizer children, and puts them on tiles. They raised funds for the Making Keizer Better foundation. (KEIZERTIMES/Lyndon Zaitz)

Tiles for the Hands on Government project were installed at Keizer Civic Center on Saturday, Oct. 16.

The tiles are a project of Making Keizer Better Foundation as a fund raiser for their main event, RIVERfair.  The six-inch square tiles are painted with handprints in various colors.  Each tile has the person’s name and birth year—most tiles were completed by Keizer children over the past year at RIVERfair, the Iris Festival and other events.

Members of the board of Making Keizer Better who gathered to lay the tiles included Mary Sasaki, who led the project for the foundation, Jan Cline, Kim Beelsey, JoAnne Beilke, Jim Trett, Cathy Clark and Lyndon Zaitz.  David Brandt volunteered his time and supplies to fasten the tiles which are located on the sidewalk in to the south of the civic center entrance, in front of the offices of the Keizer Police Department.  One hundred fourteen tiles were laid.  The Foundation will offer sales and handprinting of tiles later in the winter, and at the 2011 Iris Festival and RIVERfair.

Alicia Self of Keizer, manager of the ColorTile store in Salem, donated the grout for the project. Born and raised in Keizer, she said she thought it sounded like a great project and had to help.