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Day: February 20, 2017

A fond farewell: Celtics blow out West Salem

By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

When Matthew Ismay and Cade Goff cracked the McNary varsity lineup as freshmen four years ago, the Celtics were coming off two of the worst seasons of any basketball team in the state.

In the two seniors final regular season home game, McNary suffocated the No. 4 ranked team in the OSAA power rankings, West Salem, 61-47, on Friday, Feb. 17.

“This senior group has changed my six years here from where the program was, where we were the worst team in the state,” Celtics head coach Ryan Kirch said. “I told them before the game, 15 years doing this, this is my favorite group I’ve coached. I’m just so happy for them. It was an awesome night.”

The evening started with a recognition of McNary’s six seniors, which along with Ismay and Goff, includes Adam Harvey, Easton Neitzel, Alex Martin and Kevin Martin.

“I was sitting in the locker room before the game and it’s crazy how fast four years actually goes by,” Ismay said. “It was great tonight. We had a lot of fans, a great atmosphere. It was a good game to end on.”

With 2:30 remaining in the first quarter, Chandler Cavell broke a 4-4 tie. Alex Martin then knocked down a 3-pointer and the Celtics rolled from there as Harvey scored five straight points to extend McNary’s lead to 14-4. Cavell closed the first quarter with five more points as the Celtics led 19-7 at the end of the first quarter, which grew to 33-14 by halftime.

“Our kids are tough,” Kirch said. “Instead of worrying too much about game planning, we decided we’re just going to get down and try to make somebody beat us. We simplified it a little bit and our guys just did a great job. Just toughed up, got in a stance and guarded them.”

McNary extended its lead to 45-23 heading into the fourth quarter. With a minute remaining, West Salem got within 55-44 as the Celtics got sloppy with the ball.

McNary scored the final four points of the game on a fast break dunk by Goff and a layup from Martin.

“This is probably, with the exception of the last four minutes of the game, as good as we’ve played all year,” Kirch said. “We came out right from the get go and we think we’re a top 10 team in the state, and we just really put it on West and I just couldn’t be more proud of them and just happy for them on senior night like this at home.”

Ismay led the Celtics with 19 points. Harvey finished with 12. Cavell had 10, all in the first half off the bench, and Goff added nine.

McNary closes the regular season Tuesday, Feb. 21 at McMinnville. The first round of the state tournament is the following Tuesday, Feb. 28.

Vincent wins district championship

By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

SALEM—When McNary sophomore Enrique Vincent’s knee swelled up early in the wrestling season, he didn’t know if he’d be able to recover in time to compete for a district championship.

After finally getting cleared, Vincent ran twice a day, in the morning before school and then after practice, to cut 12 pounds so he could get back down to 120 and wrestle in the Celtics final two duals of the regular season on Feb. 8 and 9.

The hard work paid off as Vincent defeated West Albany junior Wyatt French 11-5 in the finals of the OSAA 6A Special District 5 tournament on Saturday, Feb. 18 at West Salem High School.

McNary sophomore Enrique Vincent gets his hand raised after winning the 120-pound district title. (KEIZERTIMES/Derek Wiley)

Vincent thanked his coaches, Jason Ebbs and assistant Devin Reynolds, for pushing him.

“They knew my limits. They knew I would do anything for this spot right here,” Vincent said. “It feels great. It makes up for all the days and weeks I’ve missed.”

Vincent started the district tournament with two pins on Friday. After defeating Sprague sophomore Luke Merzenich 8-5 in the semifinals, Vincent led French from the beginning, scoring a quick two points on a takedown in the opening seconds.

“He (Vincent) loves to wrestle and when you’ve got a kid out there who wants to be out there, great things can happen, Ebbs said.

Vincent said the key to winning the finals match was controlling his opponent’s wrist.

“I knew he was a big scrambler and I’m a big scrambler, too. I love scrambles,” Vincent said.

Vincent was one of eight McNary wrestlers to place in the top four in the district and qualify for state: Sean Burrows (second, 132), Brayden Ebbs (third, 145), Jerry Martinez (fourth, 126), Killian Dato (fourth, 138), Carlos Vincent (fourth, 152), Isaiah Putnam (fourth, 170) and Blake Norton (fourth, 285).

For much more from the district wrestling tournament, pick up the Feb. 24 edition of the Keizertimes.

“Boomer’s Bucket List” by Sue Pethick

Boomer’s Bucket List” by Sue Pethick

c.2017, Kensington
$9.95 / $10.95 Canada
256 pages

BOOK REVIEW
by TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER

You always wanted to jump from an airplane.

It’s something you dreamed about doing, just as you’ve always dreamed of walking the Appalachian Trail, seeing the Great Pyramids, and visiting China. So will you take the leap and fulfill your lifelong wishes someday or, as in “Boomer’s Bucket List” by Sue Pethick, will time and patience run out first?

She didn’t choose him. It was the other way around.

That’s what Jennifer Westbrook always recalled about the day she saw the squirming litter of Golden-Labs for sale. Each of the puppies was adorable, and choosing was impossible but when the seller suggested patience, Boomer picked Jennifer.

He was her best friend, her roommate, and she adored him, so when Jennifer learned that five-year-old Boomer had a fatal illness and that he had just a month to live, she was heartsick. She instantly knew that she needed to make every moment count for her dog, so she told her boss that she was taking a month-long vacation.

Jennifer was taking Boomer on a road trip.

Once upon a time, Nathan Koslow was Chicago ’s most-read newspaper columnist. That was before budget cuts and downsizing, before Nate lost his beat, and before he’d take any job his editor tossed his way. Desperate for an assignment, in fact, he agreed to fold a brotherly favor into a feature story on U.S. Route 66 and, along the journey, Nate met Jennifer.

He liked her instantly, but he always said the wrong things and she was prickly. Boomer seemed to love Nate, but Nate wasn’t sure about Jennifer…

When the favor for his brother fell apart, Nate was surprised, then, that Jennifer invited him along on Boomer’s road trip. Both were surprised that strangers were so very helpful; people everywhere went out of their way to pet and talk to Boomer, which didn’t make sense.

And then Jennifer learned about a website, and a contest, expensive prizes, and her PR firm all over it. She was angry – how dare they benefit from her private pain? – and it got worse when she learned that Nate was somehow involved.

Jennifer wanted to finish the trip without Nate – but what would Boomer want?

I spent a lot of time heavy-sighing at the opening chapters of “Boomer’s Bucket List.” Beautiful woman, check. Handsome stranger, check. Accidental meeting, Golden-Lab dog, romance, major misunderstanding, check, check, check, annnnnd check. Yawn.

Ah, but then a side-story that author Sue Pethick throws in – the one that seemed out-of-place at first – changes everything: the whole tale’s tone, its pace, and even the path it seemed to be on. That side-story perfectly tosses the predictability aside which makes this entire book a lot more fun to read, even though we sense that happily-ever-after will contain a very sad note.

If you want something squeaky-clean to share with any teen or adult you know, this is it. No profanity, no steamy scenes, no problems – just a nice romance with a few curves. That’s “Boomer’s Bucket List,” so jump on it.

Terri Schlichenmeyer is based in Wisconsin

Farr signs with Linfield

McNary senior Sam Farr, accompanied by Celtics head coach Jeff Auvinen, signed with Linfield College on Wednesday, Feb. 1. (Submitted)

By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

McNary senior Sam Farr only had to look 28 miles northwest to McMinnville to fulfill his goal of playing college football.

The offensive lineman signed with Linfield College on Wednesday, Feb. 1 in the McNary library.

“It was definitely a goal of mine and has been ever since I started playing football,” Farr said. “It felt like all the hard work that I’d put in ever since I started playing football started to pay off. It’s really humbling and I’m so excited as well. It’s a huge opportunity and a huge compliment to me.”

Farr first heard from Linfield the spring after his junior football season when the Wildcats Offensive Line and Associate Head Coach Doug Hire visited McNary. The two met in the library.

“We ended up talking about everything, what my senior year was going to look like, how the recruiting process was going to go and he just kind of introduced me to the entire football program as well as the school,” said Farr, who then went to a skills clinic at Linfield over the summer, followed by the Wildcats first home game of the season, a 27-10 win over Pacific Lutheran on Nov. 12.

Farr also spent his summer going to clinics at Willamette University and George Fox, Division-III programs that also play in the Northwest Conference and suffered crushing losses to Linfield as the Wildcats went 9-2 in their 61st consecutive winning season and eighth straight conference title.

While Farr is looking forward to joining a successful football program, he also felt comfortable on campus.

“On all my visits there I just felt at home,” Farr said. “It felt like a place that I could really fit into. I love the coaching staff. I met a couple of the teachers there and they seemed pretty cool. My uncle went there and he had nothing but good things to say.”

Farr, who started at guard his junior season at McNary and then split time between center and guard as a senior, said he should also have a shot at early playing time as the Wildcats graduated 22 seniors.

“They have more of a need,” Farr said. “They haven’t had a lot of depth on the offensive line.”

Farr also believes Linfield will help him continue to build character and make himself a better person.

“The whole program is about developing young men into successful people and that’s why their program is so good,” he said.

With the motto, “The Power of a Small College,” Linfield’s main campus has just 1,700 students and an 11 to 1 student to faculty ratio, which also interested Farr, who plans to major in forensic psychology.