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Day: November 7, 2014

Playoffs round 1: Celts need win over Pioneers

Celt Kolby Barker takes off down the field after ending up with an Oly ball near the Celtic end zone Friday, Oct. 31. (Photo courtesy of J&H Photo)
Celt Kolby Barker takes off down the field after ending up with an Oly ball near the Celtic end zone Friday, Oct. 31. (Photo courtesy of J&H Photo)

Of the Keizertimes

The McNary High School varsity football team will have its work cut out for it in the first round of the state playoffs Friday, Nov. 7.

The 20th-ranked Celtics (5-3 in conference, 5-4 overall) drew 13th-ranked Oregon City High School (6-1, 6-3) as their first foes of the postseason. To advance, McNary will need to snap the Pioneers’ six-game win streak.

The Pioneers’ most recent win was a 36-7 drubbing of Barlow High School in the final game of the regular season last week. One of the biggest weapons in Oregon City’s arsenal is senior quarterback Thomas Hamilton, who transferred to the school for his senior year. As a junior, Hamilton completed 60 percent of his passes for more than 1,400 yards in Baker City. The 6-foot-3, 205-pounder eclipsed his total yardage numbers two weeks ago as a Pioneer.

Running back Connor Mitchell and receiver Trevon Bradford, both juniors, have also been putting up impressive numbers. Mitchell had more than 1,500 yards on the ground as a sophomore. Bradford had 525 yards on 22 catches as a sophomore.

Senior Chris Mengis, 6-foot-3, 275 pounds, leads the defense which has allowed only 62 points in the team’s last four games.

The Pioneers, who are coached by Randy Nyquist former head coach of the West Albany Bulldogs, finished second in the Mt. Hood Conference behind Central Catholic High School, last year’s 6A champs.

McNary’s offense had one of its better games in a 34-33 win last week against Sprague High School.

The McNary ground game in particular was more potent than it had been in recent weeks. Celt running back Brady Sparks managed triple-digits on the ground for the first time in four games. He ran the ball 100 yards on 15 carries after getting shut down by the tougher defenses in the Greater Valley Conference. Quarterback Drew McHugh tucked the ball and ran for 70 yards that included a touchdown. Trent Van Cleave ran the ball 10 times for 57 yards and two touchdowns.

McHugh completed 12 of 19 for 86 yards, and the team escaped without any turnovers against the Olympians.

Game time is 7 p.m. at Oregon City.

Celtics edge Olys 34-33

McNary’s Drew McHugh leans into a tackle for an extra yard in the Celts’ game with the Sprague Olympians Friday, Oct. 31. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
McNary’s Drew McHugh leans into a tackle for an extra yard in the Celts’ game with the Sprague Olympians Friday, Oct. 31. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

Of the Keizertimes

The Sprague High School Olympians were first to attack, but the McNary High School varsity football team won the day in a 34-33 squeaker Friday, Oct. 31.

Sprague took only two-and-a-half minutes off the clock in its first drive and capped it with a touchdown for a 7-0 lead.

McNary responded with a 12-play drive highlighted by three Devon Dunagan receptions. Dunagan reeled in two passes from quarterback Drew McHugh and a third from Trent Van Cleave for a touchdown. Running back Brady Sparks notched three first downs in the drive.

The Celts sent in kicker Parker Janssen for the point-after attempt and a rough hit on the blocked kick turned into a bad fall. After an ambulance showed up, nearly 15 minutes later, Janssen left the field with a broken leg.

Sprague’s return drive was only one play. After returning the ball to their own 44-yard line on the kick off, Oly Anthony Nunn took the ball and ran it to the Celtic end zone for a score of 13-6.

It looked as though McNary might hand off the ball on downs in its next possession, but McHugh connected with Tanner Walker on fourth-and-six to reset the chains at Sprague’s 39-yard-line. Matt Aguilar and Sparks got two more first downs and put their team at Sprague 13-yard-line.

On a Celtic fourth down attempt, the Olys were hit with a pass interference call in the end zone that gave McNary another shot with short yardage at the five-yard-line. McHugh tucked the ball and ran to Sprague’s two-yard-line to reset the chains and he connected with Walker in the end zone for a 14-12 score.

Sprague got a third touchdown and extra point on its next drive, and the Celt offense went three-and-out. The Olys marched down the field once more, but the McNary defense made its toughest defensive stand of the night in the red zone. The Olys moved from first-and-goal at the Celt eight-yard-line to third and inches when a Oly running back ran into a blue-and-white wall at the end zone line. He disappeared and suddenly Celt Kolby Barker had the ball and was making a run back down the field. Barker made it to the Celt 36-yard-line, but the McNary couldn’t crack the Sprague red zone. The half ended one play into Sprague’s return drive.

After the half, three big runs by Sparks and a fourth by McHugh put the Keizer team deep in Oly territory at the 13-yard-line with a fresh set of downs.

McHugh connected with Walker at the Oly two-yard-line and Sparks ran the ball into the end zone for an 21-18 score.

Van Cleave took the snap on a two-point conversion attempt and held the ball out at arm’s-length to get the touchdown as he was brought down behind the goal line. The gap between the teams closed to 21-20. Sprague answered three plays later to expand the lead to 27-20, but a faked point-after was stopped by the Celtics well short of the end zone.

McHugh made a 16-yard run on the second play of the next drive and then handed the shotcaller role over to Van Cleave who notched two first downs. Sparks gave the team another set of downs at the Oly 11-yard-line, and Van Cleave, following teammate Connor Goff, ran the ball in for a touchdown two plays later. For the first time in the game, McNary had the lead 28-27, but Sprague reclaimed it on the next drive.

At fourth-and-three in McNary’s return, Van Cleave got the yardage the team needed and a little more on the ground. Rushing attacks by McHugh and Sparks put McNary in striking distance and Van Cleave ran the ball in from five yards out for the Celts’ final points and the 34-33 lead.

Senior Tevita Maake made a critical tackle in Sprague’s return and Sparks got a sack that cost the Olys seven yards before getting the ball back. Sprague got one last chance with 2:35 left on the clock, but couldn’t convert on fourth-and-15 after running a draw play that ended in a sack

Ripp easily defeats Chappell for contested council seat

Amy Ripp & Matt Chappell
Amy Ripp & Matt Chappell

Of the Keizertimes

Among those not surprised by the results of the only contested Keizer City Council race on Tuesday: Matt Chappell.

Chappell competed against Amy Ripp for the No. 6 council seat being vacated by Joe Egli, who did not run for any seat this year. Ripp defeated Chappell with 4,079 votes (65.63 percent), compared to 2,078 votes (33.44 percent) for Chappell in the initial results.

Later results showed Ripp with 5,108 votes (65.97 percent) versus 2,575 votes (33.26 percent) for Chappell.

“I’m honored to be able to continue to serve the community of Keizer in a new capacity,” Ripp said. “I’m excited to do that and to move forward. It’s going to be a new role. I have so much to learn. I’ll have great people surrounding me on council.”

Chappell wasn’t anticipating much different with the results.

“I was expecting it all along,” he said. “After I collected the signatures to put my name on the ballot, I found out who I was running against and the endorsements. There are a few things I regret, like the letters I sent (to the paper). It wouldn’t have made a difference, but I wish I hadn’t gone there. Amy got in, so I send her public congratulations on that.”

Ripp didn’t feel there was one key deciding factor.

“My commitment to the community and my long-term service helped me build relationships and credibility,” she said. “That was helpful for me. I’ve coached a lot of kids in Keizer and served on a lot of committees over 17 years. That gave me some advantage.”

Due to that service, Ripp will be surrounded by familiar faces when she joins the council in January.

“I think the support is invaluable,” she said. “Their experience is immeasurable. The entire process will be a learning opportunity for me. Their experience will allow them to give me guidance.”

Chappell said he likely won’t run for council again and noted he has family in the Washington, D.C. area.

“If we’re around, I may step out and do something else next time,” he said. “It gave me a good experience. If I’m around next time, there are other offices that may become available.”

In contrast to multiple races being contested in 2012, this year three races went uncontested. Cathy Clark won the mayor’s seat in an uncontested race, while Roland Herrera and Brandon Smith won Keizer City Council seats in similar fashion. As of late Tuesday, Clark had 6,648 votes. Herrera, taking over the No. 4 council seat being vacated by Clark, had 6,556 votes. Smith, who unsuccessfully defended his council seat as a write-in candidate two years ago, took the No. 5 seat being vacated by Jim Taylor with 6,431 votes.

“I am very, very honored to be able to serve the people of Keizer on the council and now as mayor,” said Clark, who will take over the seat held by Lore Christopher since 2001. “I will be making sure what we do works. It’s a good day.”

Herrera, a former longtime city employee, is excited to be serving in a new way.

“I’m looking forward to working with the other councilors and the new mayor,” Herrera said. “I’m going to work hard and do the best I can. It’s plain and simple: I want to bring more people into the process and get more people engaged in their local government.”

Herrera has taken on roles on the Keizer Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and the Greater Gubser Neighborhood Association in the past year and is ready to make the transition to council.

“I’m ready to help Keizer,” he said. “I’ve always been a team player.”

Smith didn’t return messages seeking comment.

Ripp noted she hadn’t thought much about her race being the only one contested of the four.

“I would have liked mine to have been uncontested,” she said with a laugh. “I would love to see people excited to serve Keizer and put themselves out there like Matt and I did. It just didn’t happen. When you have a contested race, people are putting themselves out there to serve the community. It’s a good thing. It shows people are committed to the community and dedicated to volunteering.”

Clark put the lack of contested races into perspective.

“I’m not disappointed,” she said. “I understand the commitment that it takes. People need to carefully consider the time it takes to serve on the city council. I’d rather see people take the time and do it for the right reasons and be able to make the commitment. It’s a big commitment, from both the candidate and the family.

“Would I love to see more people involved in our community? Absolutely,” Clark added. “Do I want more youth involvement? Yes. What we’ll be working towards is seeing where we can do better at outreach and communications.”

Herrera also would like to see more community engagement.

“I would have liked to see more people step up and run for office,” said Herrera, who was originally going to run against Smith. “I want to help bring in more people. I have worked on the inside of Keizer. I have a rare insight into the inner workings of Keizer government. There are some things I would like to improve.”

Nell Mogan-Ayres

Nell Mogan-Ayres, 101, died Oct. 26 in Salem. She was born in Pendleton and spent her early years in Hood River. She attended college in Ft. Scott, Kan.

In 1945, she flew to Frankfurt, Germany to work as a uniformed civilian for the War Department. There she married Col. Farley E. Mogan, a member of General Eisenhower’s staff. Their daughter, Martha was born in Frankfurt. Col. Mogan died in 1972.

Nell worked for 13 years with the Salem Public School system; also for YMCA, Justice Department with U.S. Marshals Service and Salem Area Seniors.

In 1977, she married Wallace E. Ayres in Honolulu and lived in Junction City and Palm Springs, Calif. He died in 1989.

For many years, Nell was bridge partner to her best friend Dick Noble. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church. She belonged to Shadow Hills Country Club, National Association for Retired Federal Employees, on the board of directors at Sahara Park Club in Palm Springs, president of Friends of Chemeketa, member of DAR and founding secretary of Army Navy League and McNary Bridge Club. She enjoyed swimming, dancing, golf, playing the organ and bridge.

Nell is survived by her daughter Marty Brown; two grandsons, Mogan of Chicago, Ill. and Noah Brown of Salem; two great grandchildren and brother Frank Young of Ridgefield, Wash.

Memorial services will be held at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18 at Salem Alliance Church, 555 Gaines Street NE. Burial will be at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland. Donations may be made to Willamette Valley Hospice. Assisting the family is Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service.

No alternative to hope


President Obama has always had a thing about hope as an antidote to cynicism.

The speech that made him a national figure, his keynote at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, is best known for his declaration that “there’s not a liberal America and a conservative America, there’s the United States of America.” In light of what’s happened since, you want to weep at those words.

But near the end of his peroration on national unity, Obama hit upon the idea that has always been his touchstone. “Do we participate in a politics of cynicism,” he asked, “or do we participate in a politics of hope?”

A decade later, at a rally last week in Wisconsin where he was campaigning for Mary Burke, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Obama offered the same message more pointedly. “The folks on the other side, they’re counting on you being cynical. They’re figuring you won’t think you can make a difference.” The alternative? “Don’t be cynical. Be hopeful. … Cynicism is a choice. And hope is a better choice.”

At the end of a midterm election campaign during which dark money has financed one attack after another, nothing is so striking as the triumph of cynicism in the form of a weary detachment from public life. This disaffection is not just a letdown after the possibilities raised by Obama from the beginning of his national career. It is also a flight from the promise of democracy.

The finest explanation of why it’s worth having a passion for politics was offered many years ago by the philosopher Michael Sandel. “When politics goes well,” he wrote, “we can know a good in common that we cannot know alone.”

Imagining that our private striving —for money, fame, comfort or even love—is sufficient misses the extent to which all of our individual efforts take place in a social context shaped by laws, norms, rules, prejudices and structures of opportunity that existed before we did. And for citizens to give up on playing a role in shaping our public life is to lose the joy that comes from nurturing a public environment and public institutions that foster justice, community, creativity, productivity and freedom.

Obama has always been right that joining the fray requires a great deal of hope. So it is all the more dispiriting that with his time in office nearly three-quarters over, we, and especially younger Americans, are fed up with the whole thing.

There should be no doubt that Republicans immediately saw the threat of what Sarah Palin came to call the “hopey-changey stuff” and set out from the start to foil Obama and disappoint his optimistic expectations of harmony.

 In The Cynic, a new biography of Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, New Republic writer Alec MacGillis cites former GOP Sen. Bob Bennett recalling McConnell’s comments to his party colleagues at a winter retreat in 2009, at the dawn of Obama’s presidency:

 “Mitch said, ‘We have a new president with an approval rating in the 70 percent area. We do not take him on frontally. We find issues where we can win, and we begin to take him down, one issue at a time. We create an inventory of losses, so it’s Obama lost on this, Obama lost on that. And we wait for the time when the image has been damaged to the point where we can take him on.’”

MacGillis aptly summarized the approach: “In other words, wait out Americans’ hopefulness in a dire moment for the country until it curdles to disillusionment.” This is the central cause of the dysfunction that leaves voters so disheartened. It should be rebuked rather than vindicated at the polls.

But like it or not, Obama remains the steward of the aspirations he awakened. His final act must be dedicated to re-engaging Americans, particularly the young he once so inspired, in the business of self-government. Exhaustion, frustration, impatience with Washington, legitimate anger over the obstacles put in his way — none of these should lead him to shirk the obligations he took on when he preached the priority of hope. After all, he’s the one telling us that cynicism is a choice.

This will certainly require a steely realism about the nature of his opposition. But he also needs to persuade his countrymen that abandoning the public sphere is no way to repair our nation.

Defending a hopeful view of politics takes more audacity now than it did six years ago. That’s why it’s more important.

(Washington Post Writers Group)

Challenge also helped veterans

To the Editor:

I am a Vietnam veteran living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease. I am submitting this letter in hopes of raising awareness of how this horrific disease is impacting our military veterans.

What do ice buckets and veterans have in common?

The press did an excellent job of reporting about last summer’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, the wildly viral campaign during which millions of people doused themselves with buckets of ice water to raise awareness of ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.  But how many people who accepted the challenge realize that they also were supporting our nation’s military veterans?   That part of the story was not reported in the press.

Studies have shown that military veterans are about twice as likely to die from ALS as people who have not served in the military.  It doesn’t matter when or where they served in the military; home or abroad, peace or war, from World War I to Afghanistan.  Those who served are at greater risk.

So as we honor our military heroes this Veterans Day, the public should know that if they had a bucket of ice water dumped on their heads this summer, they did their part not just to support ALS, but also to support our veterans.  I encourage your readers to visit the Wall of Honor at  There they will see the faces and read the stories of the military heroes who are fighting ALS and those who have been lost to the disease.  Their stories of courage are an inspiration and worth your attention this Veterans Day.

Ralph Nicholson

Silence is denial


No matter what you think might have helped to prevent the shooting in Marysville, Wash., it will be fiercely rejected by some faction with political clout. Since there is no single, simple, and sure action we can all support that will prevent more school shootings, no action will be taken.  We can’t even talk about it.  We are so resigned to the reality of gridlock inside and outside of government that it seems to have hardened us to horror.  We are all very sad about the lunchroom massacre in Marysville, but there’s just nothing we can do.  There is no middle place for us to meet.

Who am I to speak up?  I’m a small town American of average education, a son, a husband and father, a retiree from a lifelong blue collar job, and a struggling believer, so convinced that there is nothing I can add to the gun discussion that I tore this up last week and didn’t submit it.

All week it worried like a sore tooth at the back of my mind.  During the week it was quietly reported that another student shot at Marysville died of her injuries.  If I don’t speak, if you don’t speak, it is the same as agreeing that nothing can be done.

Can we reach agreement on anything?  We all agree that our children should be able to go to school without fear of being shot.  From there it gets harder.

I don’t pretend to speak for anyone but me.  If we are able to sit down and look for a way to stop gun violence I just want you to know that I am aware of the Second Amendment as interpreted by the NRA, the Supreme Court, and by me.  I have also heard already that guns don’t kill people, people kill people.  The same is true of tactical nuclear weapons and Abrams tanks, yet you can’t get one.  The only difference is lethal capacity: what we are willing to accept.

In the Eastern Washington town where I was raised we were familiar with guns.  Most households had guns.  We had one in ours. What we didn’t have in the fifties and sixties was a series of school shootings.  If we could pinpoint what has changed maybe we could reverse course.

I don’t think military grade weapons and ammunition were available or sought after at the time.  It didn’t feel like there were so many abandoned, alienated, and angry children at school.  Media producers did not compete in escalating the bloody, graphic level of violence.  The NRA was still an educational group even sometimes helping to draft reasonable gun regulation.  I suspect there was at least a couple hundred million less guns in circulation.

You can’t go back. Our attention span has shriveled so much that you need your smart phone to know what is important to you now.  That is the heartbreak.  If having 26 small children shot at Sandy Hook wasn’t enough to move us, nothing will.  Certainly not a few lost in Marysville.

It’s a long downhill slide from “well-regulated militia” to a 15-year-old kid executing his friends in a school lunchroom.  Yes, we need to attend to the emotional well-being of our children.  Yes, that should include having another look at all they are exposed to by movies and videogames.  Until we reach that perfect state of being we should take more care to keep guns out of their hands.

(Don Vowell gets on his soapbox regularly in the Keizertimes.)

Scottish parallels and differences

My Scottish ancestors have been citizens of the United States for decades, going back to the Revolutionary War.  There must be traces of Scottish DNA that have survived to reach me through the years because I experienced considerable excitement a few weeks ago when the citizens of modern day Scotland came close to voting their independence, mainly from England, missing it by a close 55-45 percent.

Of late, I’ve also taken an extraordinary interest in viewing the whimsical Starz’s Outlander drama series.  Though it is based on the novels of an American author, Diana Gabaldon, and produced by a British-American TV consortium, it has produced some increase in adrenalin for me, being in favor of the separation of Scotland from the union of 307 years.

The current Scottish government argued that a “yes” vote meant Scotland’s future would be in Scottish hands and thereby that life there would be better and fairer for its people.  Incidentally, while the land area of Scotland is about two-thirds of England’s, the population of Scotland and its iconic highlands is a mere 10 percent of its southern neighbor: England counts 53 million plus while Scotland numbers just over 5.3 million.

Real or exaggerated, there were problems anticipated with the break up, such as the currency, regulations, taxation, pensions, EU membership and support for Scottish exports.  Meanwhile, the current Westminster government’s attempts at reform of the welfare state, control of North Sea oil and gas in Scottish waters that many a Scot believes Scotland can manage better along lines similar to Norway’s, and the UK’s Trident nuclear submarine fleet at Faslane (the Scots want nuclear weapons out of Scotland) are issues the vote has not settled and about which the conservative Prime Minister David Cameron government is now dragging its feet.

Looking at the history of Scotland and England, one sees a long but bristled relationship between the two where the Scots have always been viewed as inferior by the English.  Scotland has fought two nation-defining wars of independence from England, the first from 1296 to 1328 (in which William Wallace gained fame) and the second from 1332 to 1357 which resulted in Scotland’s independence after each.

However, in 1603, James VI, Stuart king of Scotland, whose family had ruled Scotland for nearly 200 years, was given the throne of England after a succession dispute since he was great-great-grandson of England’s Henry VII.  He ruled in England as James I and remains famous for the King James translation of the Bible.

Later, when the Stuarts tried to reimpose Catholicism during a time when Protestantism was rising in both England and Scotland, their attempts resulted in the end of their dynasty.  The history lessons from this period and later in England and Scotland get long and tedious to read, much less remember, so suffice it to comment that Outlander is based around the Jacobite (Jacobus is Latin for James) uprisings and rebellions by Scottish Highlanders to return the House of Stuart to the throne, an effort, as you know, that eventually proved a failure.

There’s a lot of bad blood between the Scots and the English and it continues as an ongoing condition of relations down to the present day, citing the independence vote in Scotland as number one evidence: 45 percent of Scots (two and a half million of them) voting in favor of separation is no small measure of the number of Scots who want to get away from the untrusted ones to the south.

Personally, if I were still a Scot, I would have voted in favor of independence.  However, I know full well that I would do so because of my American sentiments towards England.  After all, England played a huge and unfavorable role in much of U.S. history as those folks attempted to deny the American colonists their freedom in 1776, burned the White House and much of Washington, D.C. during the War of 1812, sided with the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War and have been our competition in most everything until the Germans attacked them in 1939.  Then, wouldn’t you know it, they came begging for our help while demanding they take charge of our military efforts.

Although I’d never want to be under England’s rule, if the Scots had voted to go their own way it would have been appealing to seek asylum there.  After all, I am being taxed without representation to pay for endless and futile wars in the Middle East, American democracy has become a plutocracy where the wealthy own and control U.S. office holders, my Social Security, into which fund I paid my dues for 45 years, remains under threat of privatization as does Medicare, while costs for everything are sky-rocketing and will bring ever-more poverty to fixed-income seniors whose pensions are being cut or disappearing altogether.  The Scots don’t treat any of their citizens this way, much less their seniors.

(Gene H. McIntyre’s column appears weekly in the Keizertimes.)

Lady Celts make Elite 8

McNary’s Macana Wyatt sets the ball for Lauren Hudgins in McNary’s second round playoff game with Newberg High School Saturday, Nov. 1. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
McNary’s Macana Wyatt sets the ball for Lauren Hudgins in McNary’s second round playoff game with Newberg High School Saturday, Nov. 1. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

Of the Keizertimes

The McNary High School varsity volleyball team made it to the Elite 8 in the state with a 3-1 win over Newberg High School Saturday, Nov. 1.

Senior Lauren Hudgins put down the final point in the match, but she was quick to call it a team effort.

“It felt so good,” said Hudgins. “‘Macana (Wyatt) looked at me right before and said, ‘You and me are going to finish this.’ Kylie (Gilmour) gave us the perfect pass and we did it. It was a whole team effort, though. Everyone behind me was calling the spot.”

While the Lady Celts made off with the win, the contest started on much shakier ground for McNary. The Keizer team was down 9-1, when an ace by Ariana Neads gave McNary its second point of the first set.

Kills by Sydney Hunter and several by Vanessa Hayes helped the team edge back into the fray. Aces by Gilmour and Wyatt helped the cause.

A block by Hudgins knotted the set at 15-15 and soon the Lady Celts pulled ahead on 21-16 on a series of long volleys, many of which ended with kills by Hudgins. The Tigers tied the game again at 23-23 when a set went low and just past Hayes. Hayes ended the next volley with a kill and applied a light touch to send the ball over the Tiger front line for the 25-23 win.

McNary turned the tables in the next set running up a 5-0 lead before the Tigers could regain their footing. The teams traded points until a block by Hudgins and an unforced error by the Tigers gave McNary an 11-9 lead. Hayes scored four of McNary’s next eight points on the attack.

The Celts were holding the Tigers off, but barely, as the set neared its end with a 24-22 score. Sydney Hunter made the winning shot with a kill that landed just in-bounds for the 25-22 win and 2-0 lead in the contest.

As the third set began, unforced errors plagued both the teams as they traded points on serves that landed out-of-bounds and kills that did the same. The Tigers began to pull away when the score reached 8-10, advantage Newberg. As the Tigers poured on the offense, McNary was outscored 12-1. The set ended with a 25-14 final.

Hayes said the set was a disappointment, but cool heads prevailed.

“The key was we never fell apart and got angry,” said Hayes. “We just kept playing like we knew how to play.”

McNary found itself battling back again in the fourth set of the night, but stopped the bleeding earlier that it had in the first set. Wyatt served up an ace to put McNary in striking distance at 3-4, then Hudgins tied game 4-4 on a kill. McNary had a 12-7 lead when the Tigers’ claws came out again.

An ace by Newberg knotted the game at 12-12, but a kill by Ariana Neads put the ball back in McNary’s hands on the next volley. Four kills and a block by Hunter gave McNary an 18-12 advantage.

A kill by Hayes added one more, then a service error gave Newberg the ball and sparked two long volleys. Newberg took the first, but the Celtics took the second for a score of 20-16.

McNary junior Madi Hingston put up a block to give McNary a 24-16 lead as the game wound to a close. Newberg took the next point after yet another long volley and Hudgins ended the game with a kill for the 25-17 set final, and 3-1 match final.

McNary swept Gresham High School 3-0 in the first round of the playoffs Wednesday, Oct. 29.

While the team advances to the quarterfinal round of the state playoffs, the challenge before them is immense. The first team the Celts will meet in the Elite 8 is No. 1-ranked Jesuit High School.

Jesuit is unbeaten this season and has lost only one set in 28 games.

“It’s going to be extremely tough competition, but when we play harder teams, we play up to their level,” said Hudgins. “No matter the outcome, I think we’ll have a good game.”

Hayes said the team would show up with a mindset to win no matter the opponent or their record.

“We’ll have to make a lot of adjustments and do things a little bit harder than we’re used to, but we can compete with them,” she said.

One way or another, the season will end for the team this weekend, but Hayes and Hudgins were both excited over what the team has already accomplished.

“It’s always been our goal. It’s every team’s goal and, now we’re here and it’s unreal,” said Hayes. “I’m going to miss my seniors. It was probably the best season I’ve played in volleyball. We’ve been going all out and we got the wins because we’ve been playing how we practice.”

Hudgins said she had little doubt about the Celtics’ ability to to carry on after standout season.

“We’re all on the same page and we stayed on the same page. We’ve had good leaders this season, and I want to see the younger girls step up and provide good leadership,” Hudgins said.