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Day: January 14, 2014

Hammers on the hardwood

The McNary High School boys bowling team, Jonathan Hill, Dishon Miranda, Scott Bridger, Garon Stanley, Tyler Smith and Nick Blythe (not pictured), is poised to make waves this season. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
The McNary High School boys bowling team, Jonathan Hill, Dishon Miranda, Scott Bridger, Garon Stanley, Tyler Smith and Nick Blythe (not pictured), is poised to make waves this season. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

The McNary High School boys bowling team has two huge things going for it this year. Namely, Scott Bridger and Nick Blythe.

The former, a junior, holds a national title in the sports from a blistering performance at the State Games of America in August 2013. The latter, a freshman, has two perfect games and an 800 series to his name. The duo is a formidable presence on any lane, but the team has so much more going for it this year.

Once you add lead-off man Garon Stanley, stalwart Jonathan Hill, and two promising newcomers, Dishon Miranda and Tyler Smith, into the mix, what you’ve got is all the makings of a potential state championship.

“They are starting at a high level. We’re able to focus on those things that we wouldn’t be able to if they were still learning how to bowl. Each of them also has confidence in each other,” said Dan Kaplan, team head coach in his 19th year.

If it’s all starting to sound like puffery, consider this: in December, the team marched into battle at a pre-tournament in Molalla with a number of powerhouse teams in the mix. They walked out with the tournament title. It was the first time McNary won a pre-tournament in as long as Kaplan has coached the program.

“We mesh well,” said Stanley. “To the point where we can get into another team’s heads like we did with the Molalla team. Half the time we aren’t even talking about bowling.”

The Celts followed up that performance with a fourth place finish in a Milwaukee tournament Sunday, Jan. 5.

“It’s just a great group. I love bowling and being able to come out and play with guys who love it as much as I do is amazing,” Hill said.

Miranda and Smith, the newcomers, appear to fit seamlessly within the more experienced ranks of the team. Miranda was roped into it after his girlfriend tried out for the girls’ team. Smith heard about it through the grapevine at South Salem High School, and decided he had to be part once he turned out for a practice.

“When we are competing together, we just rock it,” Smith said.

One of the many traits that’s helped the team success has been a cool demeanor even when things aren’t going the Celtic way.

“Whenever something is going wrong, we do our best to stay positive and the friendship we have helps,” Miranda said.

The McNary teams competition format is baker style, which means team members roll one ball and, if any pins are left standing, it’s up to a teammate to clean up the lane. Teams can play to their strengths as individual bowlers because they can rely on each other when they’re not rolling strikes on every ball.

The bonds of friendship an be critical anytime someone else is struggling.

“But we find a way to start positive and stay positive. That’s what set us apart in Molalla,” Bridger said.

Kaplan said the team has the most promise it’s had in more than a decade because of they way they’ve bonded, a sentiment seconded by assistant coach Scott Miller.

“The more experienced ones take the less experienced kids under their wing, and they’re paying attention to how each other is bowling every frame so they can make their own adjustments,” Miller said. “They’re like sponges.”

It’s gonna be The Big Toy

 

Designer Jane Lewis Holman goes over the design of the play structure last November. The project now has an official name: The Big Toy at Keizer Rapids Park. (KEIZERTIMES file/Craig Murphy)
Designer Jane Lewis Holman goes over the design of the play structure last November. The project now has an official name: The Big Toy at Keizer Rapids Park. (KEIZERTIMES file/Craig Murphy)

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

So what exactly should one call the big toy project going in at Keizer Rapids Park later this year?

Simple: The Big Toy at Keizer Rapids Park.

That was the official name for the project chosen at Tuesday night’s Community Build Task Force meeting.

The working name had been Keizer Rapids Park Playground Project, or KRP3 for short.

“We never intended to settle on that,” said Brandon Smith, co-coordinator of the public relations committee along with Evan Christopher. “The idea was just to shorten it.”

Richard Walsh said several people have asked him about changing the name.

“The basic idea is, with KRP3, you always have to explain what it is,” Walsh said. “Whey you’re talking to a 5-year-old, they will want to say the big toy. The ‘3’ is cute, but I don’t know if it works in terms of helping people know what it means. When we were getting going and wanted to get into the schools, we had to get letterhead out so we just grabbed a logo. The only reason we used the logo we had is we saw it in the 30 seconds of searching.”

Smith noted Christopher has a person willing to work on a more permanent logo. Before that could be done, however, an official name was needed.

Names such as Keizer Big Toy, The Playground, Keizer’s Big Toy and The Keizer Big Toy were thrown out for discussion.

“‘Big’ has to be in there somewhere,” city councilor Jim Taylor opined.

Ron Freeman suggested doing The Keizer Big Toy, with ‘at Keizer Rapids Park’ being used as the tagline. There were some concerns having Keizer twice in the name could be overkill.

“We could do The Big Toy at Keizer Rapids Park, with the last part in subscript,” Walsh said.

Others immediately liked the idea, so a motion to use that as the name was unanimously approved.

In other business Tuesday:

• In December, concerns were brought up by Keizer City Councilors about whether the play structure will fit in the Area B at KRP as has been recommended. Bill Lawyer, Public Works director for Keizer, noted he has studied maps and drawings since.

“I’m now more comfortable the drawings are accurate,” Lawyer said. “The playground clearly fits. Parking was the problem and I don’t know yet about that. I will talk with council about it at their next meeting (on Jan. 21). I’m much more comfortable today, after looking at the information, that everything will fit.”

• Randy Cook will be replacing Bruce Nopp as co-general coordinator for the overall project. Cook will share general coordinator duties with former city councilor Mark Caillier.

Meredith Coy was going to be co-coordinator of the child care committee but has backed out. She has a valid reason: she’s expecting a child in June.