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Day: April 29, 2014

Coaches at MHS prepped alum for career as athletic director

Of the Keizertimes

The lesson Boone Marker remembers most vividly from his days as a McNary High School athlete was also one of his earliest.

“I made a snide remark during baseball tryouts of my freshman year. It got back to Coach (Craig) Nicholas,” Marker said. “I waited and waited for him to ask to speak to me. Finally, I went to him. I was ready to run 15 miles to make up for it if I could still be part of the team.”

When Marker pleaded his case, Nicholas said nothing. Later that day, he addressed the whole team.

McNary alum Boone Marker, athletic director of the Salem Boys & Girls Club, works with club members as part of the organization’s youth volleyball program. Jazlyn Jordan, 7, is on the left. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
McNary alum Boone Marker, athletic director of the Salem Boys & Girls Club, works with club members as part of the organization’s youth volleyball program. Jazlyn Jordan, 7, is on the left. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

“He told us, ‘You’ve come here and you wear our clothes. You respect that. You respect your school, you respect your coaches, you respect your teammates, you respect yourself,” Marker said. The team went on to a 16-2 record.

That lesson has been ringing in his ears in recent weeks. Marker is now athletic director of the Salem Boys & Girls Club, and one of the athletes went on a Twitter attack of her coach in the program. When the time comes, it’s not hard to see him choosing a similar method to address it.

Marker was involved with the Boys & Girls Club from a young age as an athlete, then a peer mentor and later as a branch director. He’s starting in his fifth year as athletic director and oversees 67 teams with 800 budding athletes, but he still gets a bit giddy at the thought of himself at his current athletes’ ages.

“I wanted to be Stephen Copeland,” Marker said. Copeland led the McNary football team to its first state title in 1997. He took it upon himself to do the necessary research.


“All the teams at the time were learning the McNary offense under Tom Smythe, but I knew all the calls. I would sit in the visitor section so I would watch the hand signals and learn who the decoys were,” he said.

Eventually, he offered himself up as one of the decoys. As a freshman, he  even wore the same cleats Copeland used in the 1997 championship game.

“I don’t think any of us ever thought we would be in the same position four years later when I was a senior,” Marker said.

While Marker didn’t have as much contact with Smythe as some other players did, the lesson he and many other took from the man is often summed up with the letters “WWLB.” Depending on who one asks, the precise meaning is: winners win, losers bellyache. Frequently, the last word is swapped out for an expletive.

“What I took that to mean was that you’re going to do well or you’re not, depending on how you prepare,” he said.

Marker had more contact with Jeff Auvinen in his role as a starter on the junior varsity team (his record was 5-2).

“Auvinen was just a great head coach. He always put me in the best position for success. He was relaxed when he needed to be, and did a good job of figuring out what our strengths were,” Marker said.

After McNary, he went on to study at Chemeketa Community College and then Western Oregon University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies. He recently completed a master’s degree in business with University of Phoenix. Marker’s path at Boys & Girls Club has always presented itself, but many of the things he picked up from a long line of coaches – at McNary and elsewhere – are put to use with the next generation of athletes. For the most part, he wants club members to focus on the fun in fundamentals.

“It means we may not keep score, but there are plenty of outlets for competitive athletics. What we try to focus on is how we can help them get better so that they walk away from the experience with something to work on,” he said.

Marker is keenly aware of how a focus on results can skew the perceptions of student athletes when the key is to give those same students the tools to succeed outside of sports. If he does the job well, there’s also a chance a few will follow in his footsteps.

“Somewhere along the line, I realized how many people had given their time to be a coach for me. I also realized that they were doing it because someone did it for them, that’s why I’m doing this, and it’s why I love it.”

Police searching for stolen truck driver

The driver who crashed this stolen Toyota pickup (right) into the Ford Aerostar minivan at 7-11 Tuesday morning eluded police.



Of the Keizertimes

The driver of a stolen pickup who crashed into a parked van Tuesday morning was able to elude authorities.

Keizer Police Department officers on bike patrol in Keizer Station Tuesday stopped the white Toyota pickup around 10:30 a.m. when the driver was spotted not wearing his seatbelt. The plates returned as a stolen vehicle and the driver took off, while the officers on bike alerted other units.

As officers chased the suspect down Lockhaven Drive, the driver attempted to cut through the 7-11 parking lot at Lockhaven and River Road. The attempt wasn’t successful, however, as he crashed into a parked Ford Aerostar van. The two occupants in the truck jumped out and fled on foot.

“They both went through the car lot to the (Shoreline Pointe Apartments),” KPD deputy chief Jeff Kuhns said. “The passenger came back, ran across River Road and ran into Rite-Aid. We caught him coming out the back.”

While the passenger was being transported to Marion County Correctional Facility, Kuhns said a perimeter was set up to catch the driver, described as a young Hispanic male about 5’5” in height. The perimeter included Trail Avenue and Manzanita Street.

“We believe he entered an apartment behind the 7-11,” Kuhns said. “The occupants gave us permission to search the apartment, but nothing was found.”

Lt. Andrew Copeland said Gubser Elementary and Whiteaker Middle Schools were notified as a precaution but weren’t in full lockdown mode.

“Officers went to the schools to check them out,” Copeland said.

Around 12:15 p.m. the perimeter was being taken down when a new report came in that a young Hispanic male was seen running through the backyard of a residence on the 5800 block of River Road, just up from the 7-11. Police vehicles littered the hill up River Road as officers from the KPD and deputies with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office searched the area, with help from police K-9s.

The search was called off around 12:45 p.m., with the suspect not found.

Copeland said the suspect could be the same person sought in other recent burglaries, including the one from early April when a Hispanic male stole a charity jar from 7-11.

“It’s possible,” Copeland said. “He matches the description.”

City looking for a brighter future with new LED lights


Of the Keizertimes

More efficient lights could be coming soon to Keizer.

At Monday’s Keizer City Council meeting, the idea of Portland General Electric (PGE) converting existing street lights over to Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights throughout the city was brought up.

City attorney Shannon Johnson said most street lights and poles in Keizer are either Option A or Option B. In Option A, PGE owns and maintains the lights while in Option B the city owns the lights but PGE maintains them. There is also Option C, in which the city owns and maintains lights, but most lights are under the first two options.

“This conversion only applies to Options A and B,” Johnson said. “PGE indicates the LEDs are more cost effective and sustainable and use a lot less energy. There don’t appear to be any downsides to the city and ratepayers.”

Melissa Swenson, PGE project manager, noted her company has installed 25,000 LED lights in the past year. PGE staff first met with city staff in November.

“The second option is to transfer Option B fixtures to PGE, then we’d put in poles,” Swenson said. “Poles that are metal last a long time.”

Councilor Cathy Clark liked the overall idea of power conservation.

“I love the idea of switching to LEDs to save power,” Clark said. “My question is what is in it for PGE to own the poles?”

Swenson said there was a simple explanation.

“It is the core of our business,” she said.

Swenson pointed to a key advantage to the new lights and poles.

“There is reduced maintenance,” she said. “Right now we’re looking at lights and poles every five years. These lights are expected to last 20 years. There is no upfront cost to the city.”

Councilors unanimously approved a motion directing staff to come up with a resolution for the next council meeting on May 5 for the conversion of street lights. PGE would acquire Keizer’s Option B fixtures, convert Option A and B lights to LED lights and replace Option B poles with Option A poles at the end of their lives.

Lady Celts beat McKay

McNary’s Sandy Childress returns a volley in competition with Courtney Hammagren Tuesday, April 15.  (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
McNary’s Sandy Childress returns a volley in competition with Courtney Hammagren Tuesday, April 15. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

Of the Keizertimes

The McNary High School girls varsity tennis team beat McKay High School 5-3 and lost to South Salem 6-2 last week.

The frustration, if there was any to be had, for Head Coach Mark Kohley was that there wasn’t a whole lot of difference in play between the two matches.

“We played the same way in both matches, it was just opponents of different skill,” Kohley said. “The good thing is that no one is slacking. Everyone is trying their hardest and playing as best they can.”

The Lady Celts picked up two wins in singles and three wins in doubles competition with the Royal Scots. Sandy Childress won in straight sets of 6-0 and 6-1. Rachel Morrow won in consecutive 6-0 sets. In doubles, Katie Stignei and Megan Thompson won in sets of 6-1 and 6-0; Ariana Neads and Sami Trowbridge won in sets of 6-0 and 6-1; and Taslima Sidhu and Katherine Patterson won in sets of 6-2 and 6-4.

“Last week, we got closer to the line-up we’re going to have for the rest of the season,” Kohley said. “There will be some minor adjustments this week and, I hope, some improvement in the way we play doubles.”

The South Salem match saw some of the team’s top talent stumble. Childress lost her first match of the season to Lady Saxon Courtney Hammagren in sets of 0-6 and 1-6.

“Long points and a couple of deuces that didn’t go our way were the reason,” Kohley said.

The Saxons swept singles matches, but Neads and Trowbridge picked up a win in doubles with set scores of 6-3 and 6-4. Izzy Peña-Venegas and Celena Camacho took a doubles win with set scores of 6-4 and 7-6 (7-2).