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Day: November 30, 2012

Celt mat men have chance to four-peat

Celt Cody Ratliff takes down a teammate in the Blue/Grey Wrestle Off held last week. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

Of the Keizertimes

Last season, the McNary High School varsity wrestling team climbed to the top of the heap and laid claim to its third consecutive regional title, only to watch the wheels come off when 13 wrestlers found a way to the state tournament.

“That Friday night in the state tournament, we had eight kids wrestling to place in the state tournament and we only won one of the matches,” said Jason Ebbs, McNary head coach.

He’s now hoping the bitter end to the that season becomes a springboard to something better.

“Last year we had a lot of talent. We don’t have quite as much talent, but we have the clay to mold into a competitive team come January and February,” Ebbs said.

Thankfully, it’s not as though the team is starting over from scratch. While 14 seniors graduated from the program, six wrestlers are returning with state tournament experience and one of them is a defending state champion.

“It’s nice to be back on the mat with all my teammates, I just need to start winning the big matches against high-ranked guys–wrestle hard and take lots of shots,” said Mason Ross, a returning senior joining Rob Phelps, Cody Ratliff, Grant Gerstner and Devin Reynolds.

Reynolds claimed the state title in the 132-pound division and added a world title to his resume at the Cliff Keen Reno World Championships

in April of this year.

His most recent accomplishment was a third-place finish at NuWay Freakshow competition last month. He was knocked out of the running early by an opponent from California, taking a 3-1 loss. Reynolds climbed back into the mix from consolation brackets to beat the same wrestler 1-0 for third place in the tournament.

Aside from trying to make a play for college scholarships, Reynolds doesn’t plan to make much of a change in his strategies for the 2012-13 season.

“I don’t think I’m approaching it that differently. People will be coming after me, but I feel like I’m still gunning for them,” Reynolds said.

As far as the team goes, Ebbs said there was a dip in registration for the support, but the 70 he got would likely be the envy of most programs in the state.

“We’re going into our second year without a solid middle school program which means some of our newer wrestlers aren’t up to the level they’ve been in the past, but we’ve got a lot of good hard-working kids that will tackle the things they know need to be done,” Ebbs said.

Ushering new faces into the McNary wrestling family is one of the things Gerstner was looking forward to most.

“It’s going to be interesting to teach the younger guys what it’s like to be part of a team like this. We want to pass our standards down to them. When I first started I was a novice and you have to be dedicated and give up some personal things, but it’s worth it in the end once you’re on the podium at any tournament,” he said.

As for whether one of those podiums will represent a fourth regional title, Ebbs is taking a wait-and-see approach.

“If we pick up this season where we left off and don’t challenge ourselves we could be a second- or third-place team. It’s not going to be quite so easy for us this year, but that doesn’t mean we’re not up to the challenge,” Ebbs said.

The Mat Men face their first test of the season beginning Friday, Nov. 30, at 2 p.m., in a tournament hosted by the high school. The returning state champs from the 4A, 5A and 6A divisions will be in attendance.

Fun Run takes place before parade Dec. 8

A Jingle Buck and Holly Doe Family Fun Run takes place 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8 in Keizer, before the start of the Festival of Lights Holiday Parade.

The run, which goes until 7 p.m., starts at the intersection of River and Weeks Road, goes to Chemawa and ends back at Weeks, at Town and Country Bowling Lanes.

The length of the run is 5K, or approximately 3.1 miles. The entry fee is $25, which includes a t-shirt. Children 12 and under walk or run for $5.

Registration and check-in begins at 3 p.m. in the upstairs part of Town and Country Lanes. Online registration and details are available at

The Jingle Buck and Holly Doe Family Bowl runs from 4 to 5:45 p.m. and again after the parade at the bowling alley.

Anyone with questions can contact Deb Wilding at 503-399-2914 or 503-932-3017.

Panera Bread set to open Dec. 22

The building for the new Panera Bread is near completion in Keizer Station. (KEIZERTIMES/Andrew Jackson)

Of the Keizertimes

Panera Bread in Keizer Station is opening earlier than expected.

The bakery-style café was originally slated to open in late January, but two people confirmed to the Keizertimes the opening date is now Dec. 22.

Angie Spinner, marketing coordinator with Panera Bread, confirmed the date in an e-mail.

“I heard back from our development department, and this café is currently scheduled to open on Dec. 22,” Spinner wrote.

That matches the updated timeline received recently by Nate Brown, director of Community Development for Keizer.

“It’s going to depend on when the contractor gets work done,” Brown said. “Dec. 22 is the date Donahue Schriber (Keizer Station owner) gave to us. Construction projects always depend on so many variables.”

Sam Litke, senior planner for Keizer, also heard the Dec. 22 date and said the building has been going up quickly, with actual building construction starting around Labor Day.

Panera Bread is located on Keizer Station Boulevard, across the street from Men’s Wearhouse and Old Navy.

“It looks like the exterior is complete,” Litke said last week. “There is a lot of movement. It’s going along pretty fast. Panera said they wanted to open before Christmas. A number of people have been waiting with anticipation.”

Panera Bread’s menu includes sandwiches, soups, pastries, bagels and more than a dozen fresh bread varieties.

Brown sees the early opening as a positive.

“It’s certainly not a bad sign, that’s for sure,” Brown said. “Early in a project people tend to be conservative. It’s better to underpromise and overdeliver.”

Meanwhile, Brown confirmed a permit was filed with the city Nov. 21 for an Outback Steakhouse, also slated for Keizer Station.

“We have the plans and permit applications came in,” Brown said. “The county has to do building inspection plans and we have to do a review. If all goes well, it’s about a four-week or so process. The holidays don’t help in that regard.”

Two company officials with Outback said they would not be able to comment until January. The Florida-based restaurant chain currently has a location in Salem.

According to plans submitted for review last week, the 5,133 square foot Outback would be on Keizer Station Boulevard. The valuation on the permit was more than $700,000.

“The city will do the review, compare it with the comprehensive plan and then send it to the Marion County Building Department,” Litke said. “They review it, then it will come back here. If everything is correct on it, it would be a minimum of 21 days for the review. A (permit) could probably be issued before Christmas.”

Litke and Brown both noted an Outback would be the first “sit down” type of restaurant in Keizer Station.

“No timeline has been given,” Litke said. “But a lot of people have been wanting something like that.”

A golden offer

Bronze Planet Tanning Studio co-owner Mitch Teal (right) and employee Mikayela Arendt show off the stash of Hostess products at their Keizer tanning studio. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

Of the Keizertimes

Have you been unable to find Twinkies or other Hostess products at your favorite store?

Mitch Teal could be to blame for that.

But worry not: Teal will share some of his stash.

Teal is co-owner with wife Cathy of the Bronze Planet Tanning Studio at 5159 River Road North in Keizer, as well as the two Bronze Planet locations in Salem.

Starting Dec. 1, Teal will give away a Twinkie – or any other Hostess product he has in stock – with each month of tanning purchased.

“It’s only while supplies last,” Teal emphasized. “I probably bought 30 boxes and there are 12 in a box. I had to make three trips because stores were out. I bought all they had.”

Hostess Brands Inc. products such as Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Ho-Hos and Wonder Bread are suddenly valuable commodities after the company closed and filed for bankruptcy earlier this month.

“I wanted to start this on Dec. 1 so people will have them to share as stocking stuffers,” Teal said with a grin. “I hope this will be the new Cabbage Patch Doll for 2012.”

Teal said he will be strict about the one-per-month rule. Thus, customers can’t get one for both themselves and another for someone else.

“I’m sure there will be a lot of good intentions to give Twinkies away to others, but I suspect a lot won’t make the trip home,” Teal said. “It’s only fair to all our customers to get just one. But if you sign up for two months, you get two Twinkies.”

Teal noted his wife is a big fan of another Hostess product, Suzy Q’s.

Mikayela Arendt, a tanning consultant at the Keizer Bronze Planet location, doesn’t feel customers will be enjoying their Twinkies while tanning.

“But you never know,” Arendt said. “That might be the best of both worlds.”

Softballers sign on with college teams

Paige Bouska and Jordyn Hanson pose for photos before signing their letters of intent at a ceremony Tuesday, Nov. 27. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

Of the Keizertimes

Two seniors from McNary High School’s varsity softball team signed letters of intent to play for college teams on Tuesday, Nov. 27.

Paige Bouska is headed to Seattle to play for the Seattle University Redhawks while Jordyn Hanson will play for the St. Andrews University in Laurinburg, N.C.

“The coaches were all really nice during the visit and so were the girls,” said Bouska of her new home.

Redhawk skipper Dan Powers said he’s had his eye on Bouska since she came to his attention as part of the Oregon Blaze Gold team. Her poise at the plate and mental toughness registered high on his list of wants in a new middle infielder.

“When she visited our campus last year everything came together and I knew Paige would be a good fit for our program. I have no doubt Paige will compete right away at either second base or shortstop,” Powers said.

The Redhawks are a Division I NCAA team in the Western Athletic Conference. The team went 15-30 in the 2012 season.

In 2012, Bouska batted .659, including a 13 at-bat hitting streak, and recorded a .535 on-base percentage for the Celtics.

“Paige has a great glove and an arm to match. At the plate, she can do it all. She can hit for power, she can slap, she can bunt and has great base-running instincts,” said Jeff Auvinen, McNary head softball coach.

Bouska plans to study biology as an undergraduate and continue her education to become an orthodontist.

“It’s going to be a big change, the intensity of the practices is really going to be a step up from high school,” she said.

Bouska is the third Lady Celt to sign on with a Division I school in two years.

Recruiters at St. Andrews found one of Hanson’s videos online and started a conversation that ended with a trip to the East Coast school earlier in November.

“I got out there and I loved it. I liked the way the coaches ran the practices with intensity. It’s a 63-acre campus and 1,000 kids on the campus,” she said. She plans on studying pre-law.

Knight Head Coach Elizabeth Burris said it was Hanson’s solid fundamentals that first caught her attention.

“We are always looking to bring in impact players from around the country, and Jordyn fit the bill. Her strength and athletic ability are both beyond many high school athletes and we are excited that she will be a St. Andrews Knight next year,” Burris said.

She expects Hanson to be a utility player with a spot in the line-up as either a pitcher or outfielder. The Knights compete in the NAIA.

“Jordyn does a great job with her various pitches and moving the ball around and keeping people off-balance. She has a very good swing,” Auvinen said of her time with the Celts. “Paige and Jordyn are  outstanding people and both became good softball players because of tons and tons and tons of work.”

Boys return to court recharged, more experienced

Hayden McCowan lays up a shot while Jon Kiser defends in practice last week. McCowan and Kiser both return to the Celtic roster this year. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

Of the Keizertimes

The McNary High School boys varsity basketball team is hoping for a vast improvement over last season. Experience coupled with more time together on the court might work its favor.

“Having the summer let us implement our offense and define roles for everybody so when the season kicked off we were able to pick up where we left off a few months ago,” said Ryan Kirch, McNary’s head coach in his second year with the program.

“We’re a lot more prepared as a team and we’ve got the chemistry that will lead to more wins,” added Nick McDonald, one of the team’s returning seniors. “We all know how the other guys play, we know their next moves and that’s how we’ll mold together.”

McNary closed out last season with a 2-8 record in the Central Valley Conference and 4-19 overall, but the team only graduated a handful of seniors, meaning many of its starters will return this season.

“Jonathan Doutt and Isaiah Montano will be back at guard and going from sophomores to juniors they are going to be a little more physical and little bit stronger,” Kirch said. “Having the experience with guards is huge in being able to get the ball up and down the floor and handling pressure.”

Also returning are Brandon Lao, Connor Goff and Hayden McCowan.

Moving up from junior varsity to varsity will be 6-foot-3 sophomore Devon Dunagan.

“Devon made some great progress in the off season and we’ll probably be seeing some of him this season. He’s doing a nice job of fitting in and he’s putting it together each and every day,” Kirch said.

Goff said the experience he got on the varsity court as a freshman and another year of experience for the rest of the team will guide them through the inevitable challenges the season will present.

“I think we’ll be a lot more mature and have the experience to handle the situations we struggled with last season,” he said. “We know our offense a lot better and we need to work on our playing as a team, but everything else is pretty good.”

The Celtics frequently gave up leads or had to try come-from-behind strategies last season. This time out of the gate, Kirch is looking for them to learn how to win.

“This year, when they’re up six with two minutes to go or up one with 30 seconds, they’ll need to close and finish the game. We want to be able to control the tempo of the game,” Kirch said. “We’ll also be looking at how they respond when things don’t go well. They’ve been doing a good job of it in practice, but we’ll get to see how they match up against another team this week.”

McDonald, a team captain, said he will be putting emphasis on communication.

“It’s going to be key on some of our defensive rotations, but the league is wide open this year and we’ll be looking for a championship,” he said.

The boys travel to Aloha High School for a tournament this weekend and the team’s first home game is slated for Wednesday, Dec. 5. Tip-off is 7 p.m.

Lady Celts take to court with new coach, up-tempo game

Hayden McCowan lays up a shot while Jon Kiser defends in practice last week. McCowan and Kiser both return to the Celtic roster this year. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

Of the Keizertimes

Since first capturing the then-Valley League title nearly a decade ago, the Lady Celts of the McNary High School girls varsity basketball team has had a fairly consistent presence in the top ranks of its league.

This year, they’ll see if they can do even better with a former coach of their arch rival, West Salem High School, at the helm.

“Honestly, it’s great knowing that everyone is giving 100 percent. We’re excited to be trying a bunch of new things and seeing how that is working on the court,” said Baili Keeton, a returning junior.

The team’s new coach Paul Pickerell, a longtime assistant varsity coach for the Titans, took over for Molly Gehley earlier this year.

“It’s feeling really good, we’ve got smart, hard-working kids. Their high basketball-IQ has helped them catch on really quick to the new stuff we’ve implemented and I’m hoping it will allow us to add a lot more as the year unfolds,” he said.

The Lady Celts finished third in the Central Valley conference last year and earned a playoff berth that put them up against Sheldon High School in the first round of the state tournament. McNary lost that game 79-61.

In addition to Keeton, the team will likely boast senior returners Caitlin Tartak, Teresa Peterson, Aerial Rice and Jessica Darras.

“Practice has been a lot more serious and we’re working harder than we ever have before,” said Peterson. “We’ve also got a lot of young players keeping up the pace.”

Pickerell said the senior leadership on the team has been “fantastic.”

“They listen to instructions and they ask great questions when they don’t understand something,” he said.

The team plans to run a faster-paced game than the one they’d grown accustomed to, but that was all right with Keeton.

“We’re putting a huge amount of time into working on our transitions and getting the ball up the court before the defense has a chance to reset. It takes a lot more focus, but I’d rather play at that faster pace,” she said.

The team’s deep roster means there will be plenty of fresh legs to make sure the Celts can maintain a fevered pitch.

“We’re going to play a fast-paced up-tempo type of game where we’re getting down the floor and getting a shot off, and then pressure, pressure, pressure on defense,” he said.

Executing well on defense is going to hinge on precise screening, Peterson said.

“When we screen perfectly, the plays are going really well in practice, it will be exciting to see what happens in a game,” she said.

McNary hosts its first game Tuesday, Dec. 4 and, until then, Pickerell said the word of the week is: patience.

“Not everybody is where we need them to be on every play, so I want to see them clean some of that up. We just all have to be patient while everyone gets on the same page,” he said.

Angela C. Chance (Rust)

Angela was born in Salem, Oregon to David & Ursula Rust on October 25th, 1970. She leaves behind a daughter Channel L. Rust-Coberly (Christian) of Medford (formerly of Keizer), a son Taylor Majors of Milwaukie, a brother John Rust of Umatilla, mother Ursula Rust of Hermiston, father David Rust of Salem, God Mother Lorna of Umatilla, and many other friends and loved ones.

Preserving KAA

Art in Keizer has had an uneven past and a much more uncertain future.

The Keizer Art Association (KAA) was founded in 1977 be three dedicated volunteers: Don Walton, Marge Bowder, and Enid Joy Mount (the association’s art gallery at the Keizer Heritage Center is named in her honor).  During the first few decades the association fulfilled its mission to focus on art education for both children and adults, and to promote local arts through monthly exhibits.

These days the art association faces the same thing other non-profit groups do: a dearth of volunteers. That lack of volunteers has forced the association to limit the hours the gallery is open. Currently it is open three days a week, two are weekdays with afternoon hours—not the best time to promote art in a city where many people are not present during the day.

The association offers varied art classes taught by professional artists; everything from woodcarving to calligraphy are offered for adults. Art classes and programs aimed at children fill a need that schools are not filling due to budget cuts. Organizations and businesses in Salem have art classes for all ages but they’re not in Keizer.

A small dedicated group of volunteers struggle to maintain the associaton and the gallery.  Volunteers work hard to prepare exhibits, receptions, classes and shows. In April, for second year in a row, the Enid Joy Mount Gallery will host the annual show of the Colored Pencil Society’s local district. The show in April was a huge success and put the gallery on the map statewide.

Another show the association and the gallery stage is the annual Black, White, and Gray Show each November. There is art and culture in Keizer and it’s free—there’s no admission price to the gallery or its artist receptions. Costs for the art classes are some of the lowest in the entire region.

Years ago a lively cadre of volunteers saw to it that the art gallery was open five to six days a week and at hours when working people could go to it. The association has suffered because of the severely limited hours of operation at the gallery.  With more and longer hours the Enid Joy Mount Gallery can attract local residents who will see some wonderful pieces of art.

The association has been a key player in the Mayor’s Invitational Art Gala the past few years. They oversaw the entries for pieces submitted in hopes to be added to the city’s permanent art collection. They also helped with the gala itself, which raised money for public art that is seen along River Road. The association did not receive money from the city for its part in the gala last year which was a blow both financially and pyschologically.

The art association promotes art but it needs to reach out into the community more than it does. It may have once been an insular group of artists but its mission is bigger now. Art and public art has been a major interest of Mayor Lore Christopher. She is chairing a new task force to chart a path forward. We are encouraged by her involvement, it will be a good thing for the art association.

Art adds to the quality of life of a community, be it public art along the roadways or a gallery showing the works of local artisans. Those who want to maintain Keizer’s appeal should all be supporters of the art association and the gallery.


Poem adds to divisions

To the Editor:

Regarding Martin Doerfler’s attempt at poetry (A Poem, Keizertimes, Nov. 22):

Emerson and Whitman are in no danger.

It is just such a sentiment that feeds the divisiveness in our country. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to actually see some non-partisan politics for a change? It seems doubtful as some continue to gloat and carry on their peavishness.

Indeed, it is now time for our president to come out of the shadows, take off his four-year campaign hat and don his leader hat.

Let’s grow up, play nice, get along.

In the meantime, get a hobby Martin.

Geoff Smith