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Month: February 2018

Road salt

To the Editor:

Before the state Department of Transportation and Oregon cities and communities commit to the use or increased salt as a de-icing agent they should all consider the recently released results of studies on the use of salt in the Northeast and Midwest.

Long term studies in these areas now show that the use of salt on roads and highways has degraded the water quality of ponds, lakes, and other waterways into which the salt-laden runoff ultimately drains.  And the results are not good.

The studies show that there has been a negative impact to water quality resulting in harm to fish, invertebrates, amphibians and plants. In short, most forms of aquatic life have been damaged or are disappearing from the impacted waterways.

There is no easy answer to keeping road surfaces ice free. But if the transportation agencies insist on the use of salt, then the legislature needs to increase funding to the Department of Enviromental Quality and Department of Fish and Wildlife so that these agencies can begin studies of water bodies likely to receive the salty runoff.  It is important to establish  background (before salt use) levels of salinity and other bio-markers so that future wetland monitoring can detect changes that could spell trouble. As we know, it is very difficult and expensive to repair and restore streams, ponds and lakes to good health once damage has occurred.

Studies also show that salt damages road surfaces and related infrastructure and vehicles at an annual cost ranging in the millions of dollars. Damage from road salt use is far reaching.

Jim Parr

Let’s have that conversation


In a recent Keizertimes editorial entitled, Yet Another Conversation, the author appears to take issue with an upcoming event hosted by the Keizer Chamber of Commerce to discuss the future of River Road.  The author is tired of more discussion on the topic and wants to see more action.

We appreciate the Keizertimes taking notice of our event and we hope they will come cover it.  But this event is not happening out of thin air.  Some context is helpful.

The Keizer Chamber of Commerce started planning this event late last year as the Keizer City Council was considering a change to city rules which would require businesses in town to put aside an amount equal to one percent of construction or remodeling costs for “public amenities.” These amenities could have included benches, fountains or contributions to the City’s public art fund.  When we at the Chamber started asking local folks what they thought of the proposed changes, we did not find a lot of support.

What we did get, is a lot of good ideas about the future of River Road.  These ideas ranged from ways to encourage façade and landscape improvements to doing nothing at all.  We also heard many ideas in between.

What was clear is that we need a larger conversation, including as many members of the community as possible.  This brought us to the upcoming Community Conversation.

As the aforementioned editorial notes, there has been a lot of talk around the future of River Road.  We do not intend to recreate the wheel.  We have invited representatives from the city to take us through that history as a starting point.  Many great things have happened along River Road and we want to build on those.

We take issue with two parts of the column in particular.  First, that “talk is cheap, we’ve talked before.”  Talk may be cheap, but if we had not talked to members of our community during the debate on the one percent public amenities proposal last fall we would have never heard some of the voices in our community which have a right to be heard.  Good public policy is made by engaging stakeholders.

Second, the author of the column wants to see action.  We agree.  While talking is not necessarily action, doing something just to look like you are doing something is a great way to end up with a mess.  Let’s hear from as many people as possible and listen to the folks who will be paying the bills before we act.

At the Keizer Chamber of Commerce, we are looking forward to hearing from as many members of the community as possible about the future of River Road.  Those who may want to see fountains and pedestrian malls have no more or less right to be heard than those who think River Road is fine and do not want to change it.

No matter what you want River Road to look like, and whether or not you are a member of the Keizer Chamber of Commerce, we want to hear from you.  Join us in the next phase of a discussion of the future of your city.  We look forward to seeing you at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 28 at the Keizer Civic Center.

(Jonathan Thompson is a local small business owner and chair of the Government Affairs Committee at the Keizer Chamber of Commerce. )

An education overhaul needed to face future

A small group of lawmakers in the House and Senate are recognized for pushing forward with serious proposals to overhaul the nation’s higher education system.

These legislators are known for their track record to make things happen.  What they’re looking at is the Higher Education Act of 1965 that includes the entire federal loan system that has not been updated in more than a decade.  Then, too, and perhaps most important, these office-holders in D.C. view the overhaul as addressing economic implications that would address the skills gap to fill the more than 6 million job openings going vacant in the U.S.

Further, the effort is very timely as the nation’s colleges and universities seek to redefine themselves in a rapidly changing market where they can become more affordable, accessible and relevant to the ever-growing number of youth and adults in low-income financial situations. Some of the interest in this matter, too, comes from the need to counteract the trend throughout America where a huge number of high schoolers do not graduate and those who do get to college, fail to stay to certificate or degree status.

Reports out of Washington on this subject indicate that, in the Senate, Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, who chairs the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and ranking member Senator Patty Murray, D-WA, are calling for movement.  Of course, these two movers and shakers will need the help of many Senate colleagues but have won the hearts and minds of their fellow senators in past efforts to get things of consequence accomplished.

The pair of senators held five committee hearings last year though they’ve been at the matter for the past four years and thereby have a foundation upon which to build.  These principal legislators have already proven once that they can “thread a needle” by crafting the re-write of No Child Left Behind a couple of years ago.  Some diplomacy, however, will be required for the “majors” to work together as the confirmation of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos resulted in bad feelings all around.

Negativity appears to rule over at the U.S. House of Representatives as efforts there have been almost exclusively along party lines.  House Republicans have proposed some non-starters for the Democrats that include the elimination by GOP members of several federal grants, lower cost repayment programs and protection of student loan borrowers who have been defrauded by for-profit colleges. The contest in the House has Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., versus Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., so heavy-duty negotiations remain for progress to occur.

It has been recognized for years that we’d do better, much better, at education and training outcomes by combining them as one contiguous activity.  A treatise on this subject could be written but suffice it to say that we could and should do more to integrate theory with practice from beginning to completion in our schools and, later, colleges and universities. Stating the matter another way, instead of sitting our youth at desks or in lecture halls to exclusive rote memory by lecture and book learning, they would learn at every step and stage of their development to relate what they learn to practical applications.

This kind of route to preparation would of necessity require a close relationship between schools/colleges and work places of all kinds, a coming together that’s found at community colleges but much less so in K-12 school districts and four-year institutions of higher learning.  A process like this requires teachers in schools along with professors in colleges to provide our youth with exposure to jobs and careers that piggyback on interests and aptitudes.  Suggested motto for new American curriculum at all levels: Heads-engaged always, hands-on ready.

Among many other relevant education and training-related matters is the ability to recognize fact from fiction, truth from lies, reputable sources from propaganda, hyperbole, understatement and the illogical.  The 2016 election proved that many Americans do not recognize false news and gross exaggerations and were influenced accordingly by Russian agents disguised as Americans out to sabotage our democracy. If our youth and young adults were able to determine what’s accurate and not accurate information, we’d be a nation of people safer from devious, insidious manipulations. Education and training is available to teach and practice our youth so that in the future the average American is less easily, even seldom, hardly ever, bamboozled and thereby misled.

(Gene H. McIntyre lives in Keizer.)

Lady Celts fall to McMinnville in regular season finale

Of the Keizertimes

McNary couldn’t play the spoiler role as McMinnville won 54-40 on Wednesday, Feb. 21 to at least share the Greater Valley Conference crown.

The win was the Grizzlies’ 12th in a row, dating back to Jan. 9.

McMinnville was also the only team in the GVC the Lady Celts weren’t able to beat this season after splitting with South Salem, Forest Grove and West Albany.

“It’s a bad matchup for us inside,” McNary head coach Elizabeth Doran said. “They’ve got a big kid (Alix Williams) and they have the freshman (Kylee Arzner), who’s a tough matchup, too. She’s a really good pull up shooter, which we don’t see a lot, just reminding them to stay close when she dribbles, because she’s looking to pull up.”

McNary fell behind early as the Grizzlies took an 18-10 lead with a 3-pointer to begin the second period. McMinnville then banked in a 3 at the buzzer to extend its lead to 32-19 at halftime.

“In the first half we were kind of in a slump defensively and weren’t at help side like we should have been and getting out on shooters,” Doran said. “We’ve just got to communicate better defensively.”

The Lady Celts opened the second half on an 11-4 run to get within 36-30 with 3:49 remaining in the third but couldn’t get any closer.

“Credit to our girls they fought in the second half and we hung with them,” Doran said. “They’re a good team. They play extended zone which comes out and sometimes traps. We just struggle with the length and attacking that.”

After the game, McNary honored its three seniors—Kailey Doutt, Paige Downer and Emma Kinler.

“They’ve been great,” Doran said. “I had a fantastic first group of seniors to work with. They play really hard for me. They’re fun to be around. They’ve been great leaders. It’s been a good first year experience with senior leadership, especially when we had some younger kids on the team.”

Doutt led the Lady Celts in scoring with 16 points. Downer finished with nine. Sabella Alfaro also had nine and Abbie Hawley added six points.

The first round of the 6A girls state tournament begins Tuesday, Feb. 27. McNary will find out its opponent when the OSSA power rankings freeze Saturday, Feb. 24 at 10 p.m.

McNary wins GVC championship on senior night

Of the Keizertimes

The singing started with 1:33 left to play.

It came from the McNary student section—“We are the champions.”

With 54 seconds remaining, Celtics head coach Ryan Kirch called a timeout so seniors Riccardo Gardelli, Andrew Jones, Lucas Garvey and Chandler Cavell could each leave the court, one at a time, to cheers from the stands and hugs from the bench.

The countdown was then on, 10, nine, eight… until the final buzzer sounded and McNary students stormed the court to celebrate a Greater Valley Conference championship.

The Celtics sealed the GVC title with a 73-56 win over McMinnville on Wednesday, Feb. 21.

After the game, coaches passed out championship t-shirts. On the back was a picture of the team and under it the words “GVC League Champs, 5th to 1st.”

Before the season, McNary was picked by the league’s coaches to finish fifth in the GVC and the Celtics certainly hadn’t forgotten.

“That put a chip on our shoulder,” said Garvey, who had 18 points while going 5-for-8 from 3 against McMinnville. “We took it to heart and we played really good this season.”

A ladder was then placed under the basket and each player cut down the net, one string at a time, beginning with the seniors and ending with Kirch.

McNary senior Andrew Jones was one of the first players to cut down the net after the Celtics won the regular season Greater Valley Conference championship on Wednesday, Feb. 21.
McNary senior Andrew Jones was one of the first players to cut down the net.
McNary head coach Ryan Kirch holds up the net after cutting off the last string.
McNary head coach Ryan Kirch holds up the net after cutting off the last string.

“It just solidifies what I hope our program is recognized for, being competitive, being tough and most importantly playing together as a group,” Kirch said of the league championship. “These guys are all really good friends and you can tell by the way they play. They just love playing with each other and for each other and it’s contagious. You can see it on the floor.”

No better example of that on this night was junior Boston Smith, who came off the bench, so senior Daniel Zwemke could start on senior night.

“I asked Boston if he was comfortable with Dan starting and he couldn’t have been happier,” Kirch said. “It was about the team. It’s hard to find that anymore in high school athletics. These guys just love playing together and they love McNary and the city of Keizer is unique in that we just have one high school here and this is the high school of Keizer. Kids grow up wanting to play for McNary and experience all of that.”

Gardelli, an exchange student from Italy, had 18 points, 16 rebounds and five assists in the victory.

“This is the best night of my life,” Gardelli said. “We played like a real team, like a family. I’ve never been on a team where they take me like a member of the family and I’ve been here just six months and to me it’s just like a second family. I feel blessed. I’m from the middle of nowhere and I’m winning a league championship. League championship, I can’t stop saying that.

“I’m always trying to get better and this game is showing off the work that I did. I don’t know how many rebounds I get. I don’t know how many points I get but I know that we’re a beautiful team. We all play together. Everybody was on fire tonight.”

Cavell, who also had 18 points to go with five rebounds, was at a loss for words after winning the league.

“I’ve got nothing,” Cavell said. “That was a goal from the first practice of the year. It feels amazing. Winning with my friends, that’s the best part.”

Sprague had appeared to wrap up the GVC title with a 56-47 win at McNary on Jan. 26. But the Olympians lost three in a row to West Salem, McKay and McMinnville, and the Celtics took advantage closing the season with convincing wins against South Salem, West Salem and McMinnville.

Now McNary turns its attention to the state playoffs and getting to the quarterfinals at the Chiles Center, where it hasn’t been since 2004.

The 6A boys state playoffs begin Wednesday, Feb.28. As a top eight seed, the Celtics would play at home the first two rounds.

“We know once we get to playoffs there’s no room for error,” Kirch said. “You slip up a little bit, you miss some shots and that can be it. I think our kids are mature enough to understand that and again we’ve just got to keep getting better and keep practicing and take one practice at a time and then one game at a time.

“First goal was tonight and we’re going to enjoy it like crazy but we’ve got to get to the round of 16 and then we’ll have the opportunity to go to Portland and then we’ll just keep going one at a time. There’s more work to do but this is pretty sweet tonight.”

Symphony gala March 9

The Oregon Symphony in Salem will hold its annual fund raising gala at Zenith Vineyard on Friday, March 9.

This year’s gala, beginning at 5 p.m., will feature a sit-down gourmet dinner after appetizers and silent auction tables. After dinner attendees will be treated to a special classical concert. After dinner there will be  dessert dash at 9 p.m.

The annual gala is the Oregon Symphony in Salem’s major fund raiser. Tickets are $80 per person; visit to purchase by Feb. 23.

Zenith Vineyard is located at 5657 Zena Rd. NW.

Board backs parks smoking ban 7-2

(Editor’s note: Due to a reporter’s error, the print edition of the paper erroneously stated the final vote as 7-1. The actual vote was 7-2, this version of the story has been updated.)

Of the Keizertimes

After a public hearing and lengthy debate, the Keizer Parks Advisory Board is moving forward with a recommendation to ban smoking in Keizer parks.

Board members voted 7-2 to recommend the action to the Keizer City Council. Matt Lawyer and David Louden were the voices dissent on the issue at a meeting of the board Tuesday, Feb. 13.

The recommendation will go to the council and suggest revisiting the current Keizer parks ordinance and replacing existing language that pertains to smoking in areas of high fire risk with an outright ban.

The suggestion of amending the existing ordinance, rather than creating something whole cloth, came from the board’s newest member, Zaira Flores Marin, who attended her first meeting prepared to cite chapter-and-verse.

Flores Marin said that a smoking ban represented a first step in “more of a cultural change in the city.”

Smoking is already banned in Salem and Marion County parks as well as Oregon’s state parks.

The handful of residents who offered testimony on the issue favored the ban, but it was testimony from Kerryann Bouska, a program coordinator with the Marion County Public Health Department who oversees anti-smoking education programs, that appeared to sway most of the remaining holdouts. Bouska, who is also a Keizer resident, was careful to walk the line of educating as an employee of Marion County and speaking in her role as a Keizer resident.

“When we as Keizer citizens say we care about health, we can send a stronger message”
— Kerryann Bouska, Keizer resident

Bouska said that smoke free rules and policies are typically self-enforcing and that previous attempts at mitigating smoking in Keizer parks, like designating smoking areas in each park, are hampered from the outset.

“Statistically, we find that self-regulation is enough to get by along with signage that is clear, consistent and visible,” she said.

One of the most steadfast arguments against a ban from several on the parks board has been the city’s inability to afford enforcing another ordinance, but board member Jim Taylor wanted to move forward and let the Keizer City Council and the Keizer Police Department (KPD) administration hash out the specifics.

Taylor said he’d had a conversation with KPD Chief John Teague about enforcing a cigarette ban and Teague didn’t want officers to become the smoking ban enforcers.

Bouska also echoed Flores Marin’s sentiments regarding a cultural shift.

“There are great opportunities to send the message that the parks and recreation are about health,” Bouska said. She then switched chairs and spoke on the issue as a resident of the city, continuing, “When we as Keizer citizens say we care about health, we can send a stronger message.”

By the end of the night, two of the board’s longest holdouts against an outright ban, Cat Gaynor and Dylan Juran, had moved to the other side of the issue.

Juran ended up being the one who initiated ban recommendation.

“I was maybe the most against this change, and I’ve slowly been slipping to the other side,” Juran said.

Gaynor said she once sided with those against the ban because of the difficulty in “legislating behavior,” but that her position on the issue shifted as a result of testimony.

“I was very against the idea of more regulation but, after hearing the testimony, I’m for a ban. If we start now, maybe in 20 years nobody will be smoking in parks any more,” she said.

Lawyer remained firmly opposed to the ban, but said he would be among the first to ask violators to snuff out cigarettes.

“If this is a real, functional solution needs to be a conversation rather than throwing up perfunctory signs,” Lawyer said.

“The Group: Seven Widowed Fathers Reimagine Life” by Donald L. Rosenstein and Justin M. Yopp

The Group: Seven Widowed Fathers Reimagine Life by Donald L. Rosenstein and Justin M. Yopp
c.2018, Oxford University Press
$24.95 / $32.95 Canada
175 pages

‘Til death do you part.

Did those words give you pause when you said them in front of an officiate and a handful of friends and family?  Did you even hear them, in your nervousness and joy? Or, as in the new book “The Group” by Donald L. Rosenstein and Justin M. Yopp, were they things you put aside, hoping they’d never come true?

As far as they could tell, it had never been done before.

In their work at the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina, Rosenstein (a psychiatrist) and Yopp (a clinical psychologist) “often consult with patients nearing the end of their lives.” Their work sometimes includes patients’ families, but Rosenstein and Yopp noticed something missing: there were few support systems specifically for widowed fathers. To fix the issue, the doctors organized their ideas, created a format, decided on topics for discussion, and hung a sign-up sheet; five men joined (Joe, Karl, Bruce, Neill, and Dan), and two came in later (Steve and Russ). Single Fathers Due to Cancer began with the original intent to meet once a month for six months.

At first, the sessions included lectures followed by open talk, but the format was altered immediately: instead of lectures, the men needed to examine thoughts and ask questions. They talked about their own grief and that of their children, while learning to overcome societal expectations of stoicism. They discussed experiences of being alone early in a marriage, and they tackled the subject of clueless-but-well-meaning friends and relatives. Through the realities and situations they shared, the seven men changed – and they changed Rosenstein and Yopp’s way of looking at patients with terminal illness and the spouses they leave behind.

They were only supposed to meet six times. More than three years later, they were still meeting.

While this may seem like a book for clinicians and hospice workers, I saw it differently: as much as it is about dying, “The Group” is also about friendship and finding the people we need to lean on.

Yes, there are things here that grief professionals will appreciate, including new studies on loss and a deep look at how Elizabeth Kübler Ross’ five stages of grief has expanded and altered with better understanding. That’s information that lay-readers can surely appreciate, but they’ll be just as fascinated by the journeys that authors Rosenstein and Yopp shared with the seven men who taught the doctors so much.

There’s sadness inside this book but, moreover, there’s hope and healing, resolution and honesty, eye-opening observations that may surprise you, some unexpected chuckles, and tales of ultimate peace with a situation that nobody ever wants to think about. Also, be sure you read all the way to the end, to catch the sweetest, most satisfying closure you’ll ever find.

For men who are facing the unthinkable, this book will ultimately be a valuable resource. For professionals, absolutely, “The Group” is a book to read. And if slice-of-life stories enhance your days, be sure to make this one a part.


Terri Schlichenmeyer is based in Wisconsin

Preparing for the hand-off: Cathy Clark’s vision for a third mayoral term

Of the Keizertimes

Mayor Cathy Clark announced she will be seeking a third term as Keizer’s mayor last week, but the crux of her vision for the city is less about what she will do during a third term and more about paving the way for those who follow her.

“I’m very purposeful and I want to reach Gen Xers and the Millenials. I know they are very busy with families and have a lot demands on their time, but we have got to make sure that we are taking the long view,” Clark said. “ If we are going to have a vibrant legacy that continues, the next generation has to be ready for it and the ones working right now have to be okay with them changing it.”

Clark served eight years as a member of the Keizer City Council before being elected as mayor in 2014. Prior to those duties she served on several of the city committees. In her time as public servant, Keizer has undergone widespread changes ranging from nascent stages of what is now Keizer Station to leading the charge to implement fees that created stable funding for parks and police services in 2017.

“We had established great parks and a responsive police department and a fantastic planning department, but a lot of those good things were beginning to show some wear and doing nothing was not an option,” Clark said.

Now she feels that other departments within the city need that same look, not the least of which is the future of Keizer’s Civic Center.

“If we don’t properly staff it and maintain it, we won’t have it,” she said. “We will have to look at all the revenue streams and come to a decision regarding the resources available and how the oversight (of the facility) looks in the future.”

In a city where the most frequent response to any problem is “volunteer,” Clark also wants to take a harder look at the nature of volunteering in the city. While she still believes volunteering is a “deeply embedded” trait in city residents, it is changing. Several of the city’s largest projects in recent years from erecting The Big Toy in Keizer Rapids Park to 2017’s Eclipse Festival fell short of the hopes for volunteer involvement. That led to human resources being stretched paper thin over days and sometimes weeks.

“We have to be honest about what volunteers can and can’t do. Volunteerism isn’t suited to long-term sustained operations. Volunteerism works well for specific duties with defined timelines and positive outcomes,” she said.

Like many in the community, Clark has been regaled with tales of how the community banded together to build Keizer Little League Park in the 1980s, but times are changed and continue to morph.

Clark’s family is a prime example. None of her three adult children participated in Little League offerings but all three are athletes who chose different outlets.

“Even back then when the choices were fewer, they chose other things,” she said. “People are now volunteering in more varied spaces like the food bank or sitting with an elder.”

The key, she added, is respecting those choices even when they doesn’t line up with the goals of the city.

“The real key for us to maintain the small town feeling is to stay connected and get involved in something outside your norm,” Clark said.

Where Keizer once defined itself as “not Salem,” Clark said the city is now at a different stage in its development.

“We have established ourselves as a community with its own distinct personality and own distinct destiny and we are in the process of discovering that. That’s where I believe my experience will be important,” she said.

On the regional level, she said her experience will be key as Keizer discusses the potential expansion of the Urban Growth Boundary it shares with Salem. She advocates for expansion of both residential and employment areas if it ever comes to fruition.

On the local level, she is eager to dig into new visions for River Road North and Wheatland Road North, the latter is on a list of projects set to be tackled in the coming years.

“For so many people, the answer on Wheatland is reducing the speed, but design works better than signs.  I’m excited to be a part of for long-term, safe and sustainable solutions on Wheatland,” Clark said. “The key elements of River Road Renaissance got worked into the (development) code, but it’s always good to look at a long-term plan mid-stream. What does the next generation value and how do we build to that vision?”

She would also like to engage the community in a broad conversation about completing the network of sidewalks throughout the city. Currently, the city can establish local improvement districts for neighborhoods to band together and pay for improvements, but she said the city can prepare to tackle all of the gaps if that’s what the residents decide to do.

“The most underserved area are the oldest neighborhoods. It’s an equity issue, a livability issue and I think we need to talk about it,” Clark said.

While any change comes with a cost, Clark said setting the goals will allow the city to work toward it.

Among the projects she was glad to have had a hand in are the fees for police and parks, implementation of the roundabout, the Eclipse Festival, and shepherding in recent changes at the Keizer Heritage Center with the addition of Keizer Homegrown Theater.

Despite having served for a number of years already, Clark isn’t putting an expiration date of her time in Keizer’s elected offices.

“It’s not the time it’s the quality, that has to be the deciding factor. That’s the way my family has treated it each time we’ve made this decision,” she said.

When the time arrives that the decision goes another way, she’s hoping that she’ll have done all she can to facilitate a clean transition.

“I am looking for future mayors and doing what I can to encourage them. I would love to do for them what Lore (Christopher) did for me to put them in a position to learn and develop the relationships that are essential. I want to be prepared for the  good hand-off and keep it going,” she said.

Ebbs places third in the state, Vincent, Parra finish fourth

Of the Keizertimes

PORTLAND—McNary senior Brayden Ebbs has heard from all of his coaches that the most honorable thing a wrestler can do at a tournament is place third.

At the state tournament, Ebbs took that to heart, defeating Oliver Myers of Newberg by a 13-0 major decision on Saturday, Feb. 17 at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in the 160-pound third place match.

“After my semis match, I told myself I’m not taking anything less than third,” Ebbs said. “I think it was supposed to be a close match but something flipped in my mind and I wrestled what I think is my best match and I just put the points on the board that I needed to. ‘Score first, score fast and keep on scoring’ is what my club coach always told me.”

McNary head coach Jason Ebbs said Brayden was as focused as he’s ever seen him.

“I think Brayden did what you hope all your best wrestlers will do,” coach Ebbs said. “He came out in the third place match and he was at the peak of his intensity and ready to roll. This is the first time that I’ve ever seen Brayden wrestle such a focused style, in those last three matches, the semifinals, the consolation semifinals that goes into overtime, i’ve never seen him stay so focused on his technique and his strategy and what he needs to do instead of worrying about scoring and worrying about being ahead or behind. He matured really well this year and did some of his best wresting here. I’m proud of him.”

Ebbs earned an 11-2 major decision and two pins on Friday to reach the semifinals, where he lost to No. 2 seed Josh Grant of Century 6-3.

Grant scored the first two points on a takedown off a scramble. Ebbs then tied it on an illegal hold and an escape but couldn’t complete the comeback.

“Almost caught him twice in a head and arm (move) that could’ve been pretty lethal,” coach Ebbs said. “Turns out that guy (Grant) had some magic hips and didn’t quite break far enough and couldn’t quite seal it up. It was definitely a good close match and could have gone either way.”

In the consolation semifinals, Ebbs defeated Mitchell Sorte of West Albany for the third time this season. Like the district finals, the match went to overtime after Ebbs tied it on reversal with about 10 seconds remaining in the third period. Ebbs then won on a takedown in the extra period.

While the state tournament ends his career at McNary, Ebbs plans to continue wrestling in college. He may play football as well as Southern Oregon and Grand View University have offered him in both sports.

“If I don’t end up doing both, I’ll just wrestle,” Ebbs said. “I think that would be fun (to play both) but there’s no way I could stop wrestling. I love it.”

McNary junior Enrique Vincent found it hard to crack a smile as he stood on the podium after placing fourth in the state at 126 pounds. Vincent finished third the year before at 120 pounds.

But Vincent was also aware of what he was up against. After losing to No. 2 seed Phillip Kue of Centennial 7-1 in the semifinals, Vincent wrestled No. 1 Gaven Jolley of Sherwood, a two-time state champion, for third place after Jolley was disqualified in the semifinals. Jolley defeated Vincent 7-4.

“I had all this hype,” Vincent said. “Everyone had all this hype for me going up and I do worse than I did last year. If you look at the bigger picture it’s because I wrestled the No. 1 and 2 seed this time.”

Vincent, the No. 3 seed, fell behind Kue early on two takedowns and two near falls.

“All the nerves I was trying to make into excitement in my body,” Vincent said. “I wasn’t as powerful and he took me down right off the bat and I was a little shocked there. I was stunned and then I couldn’t get off bottom.”

Vincent wrestled his best in the third period.

“I think Enrique got caught in the headlights a little bit early and got taken down quick and that’s when Kue does his best work when he’s on top,” coach Ebbs said. “He’s big and long and strong and good. By the time we got to the third round, Enrique was starting to put some work together on his feet and put him in danger, almost scored several times. If Enrique starts the first round like he did the third round, he could have made that a closer match but Phillip Kue’s tough. He’s just flat out tough.”

Vincent nearly let his emotions get the best of him against Colton Fleming of Aloha in the consolation semifinals. Fleming put Vincent on his back in the first period before he was able to kick out.

“I came up with too much power. I was angry,” Vincent said. “He held me there for what felt like 10 seconds but it was only like three seconds.”

Vincent trailed late in the match before pinning Fleming in the third period.

He was excited to get a shot against No. 1 Jolley.

“I came out all aggressive and he matched my aggressiveness,” Vincent said.

“That Jolley kid is probably the toughest kid here,” coach Ebbs said. “I was extremely impressed with how Enrique wrestled Jolley. They got after it and Enrique actually wrestled really well. I think Enrique did his best wrestling in the third round and needed to start that way in the first round.”

McNary sophomore Nicolette Para (135) finished fourth in the girls state tournament after losing to Grants Pass senior Kaitlyn Dara in the semifinals and then Hood River Valley junior Elena Kroll in the third place match.

Parra grew up a lot in her sophomore season, which included taking second at the state qualifier last month in Thurston.

“The Nicolette that wrestled this year compared to the Nicolette that wrestled last year is night and day different,” coach Ebbs said. “She’s gotta grow and learn from this and mature from it and things will happen her way.”

At 220 pounds, McNary senior Blake Norton reached the quarterfinals, where he lost to Sandrey Mitberg of Beaverton 8-2.

“It really was a much closer match than the score showed,” Ebbs said. “We made a couple of mental errors and we were right in that match and can’t afford to do that at this level.”

Norton bounced back to get a 14-1 major decision over Gresham senior Kodey Kromer in the consolation bracket before being pinned by Gavin Moore of Tualatin, ending his tournament.

“He’s still got a bright future and a good heart and we’re gonna try and see if we can’t help him get to a college and start wrestling,” Ebbs said. “He’s just got the fire going.”

McNary junior Nick Hernandez (138), who battled knee injuries his freshman and sophomore seasons, got a pin in his first match at the state tournament before losing by technical fall to No. 4 Vincent Washington of Grants Pass in the second.

Hernandez regrouped to win three matches in the consolation bracket, two by pin fall, before being eliminated with a 5-0 loss to Roseburg sophomore Archer Bergeron.

McNary freshman Grady Burrows also earned a pin in his first state tournament match. Burrows was then sent to the consolation bracket after getting pinned in the second period by Westview senior Zaire Foster. Burrows won his first consolation match on a pin in the first period but was then eliminated by getting pinned by Jeremiah Van Cleve of Gresham.

“His last match that he lost was winnable and close and great,” Ebbs said. “That’s the experience that we’re trying to draw from here so when he comes back he’s got through the speed bumps and he’s ready to wrestle tough and start getting on the podium. That’s why it’s so important to get those kids here young and get through the learning curve.”