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Month: August 2018

Great expectations: Lady Celts return 18 varsity players

By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

McNary’s girls soccer team will see its most difficult schedule in years, maybe ever.

But with 18 returning varsity players, including 15 of them upperclassmen, head coach A.J. Nash believes he’s got the talent to face those challenges.

“We’ve never had that (experience),” Nash said. “We’ve got high expectations. We’ve got an ability to compete with any team in the state.”

Instead of just one 6A team on its non-league schedule, which the Lady Celts have seen the past two seasons, McNary will face seven, all playoff teams that advanced to at least the second round of the 6A state tournament last season.

Lincoln, who the Lady Celts will travel to on Sept. 18, reached the semifinals.

“The level of competition for the non-league has went through the roof,” Nash said.

McNary earned the tougher schedule by qualifying for the state playoffs the past two seasons.

“We’ve been fighting to get a more difficult 6A schedule the last four of five years,” Nash said. “You have to have a proven track record, which isn’t one year of success, it’s multiple years’ success. It’s hard to get those teams to come play you. It’s an example of what we’ve earned. That is not a gift or a request. It has to be earned.”

Conference play will also be tougher.

Gone are McMinnville, McKay and North Salem, three of the four bottom teams in the Greater Valley Conference last season.

In is former 5A powerhouse Summit, which last year won its sixth state title since 2010 and Bend, which reached the 5A state quarterfinals last season.

Mountain View is only one of two opponents on McNary’s schedule that didn’t play in the postseason last year.

“There’s a lot on the line every game,” Nash said. “One of the big differences we’re going to see this year is often in that first six games we can have a larger rotation of players to get them looks on the field. Every single game this year is meaningful. We don’t have any easy wins on the schedule.”

Led by Sydney Snapp, a four-year starter at goal keeper and Sam Alfano, a three-year starter, the strength of McNary’s team should be its defense.

“Our defense, I feel solid with,” Nash said. “I know we’re going to compete in every game because of our defense. We’re bringing back a much more tenured defense group that has both playoff experience and age under their belt now.”

While last season’s leading goal scorer, Abbie Hawley returns, the Lady Celts are less proven in the attack.

Natalia Gonzalez and Izzy Haselip, both seniors, enter the year healthy after missing large parts of last season with injuries.

“I need to be the person to also push my teammates to think they can score as well, not just me,” Hawley said.

Seniors Gina Munguia and Katy Wyatt will lead the midfield.

For the first time in three years, no freshmen made the varsity team.

“It’s a sign of a good program,” Nash said. “We don’t have any rules against it. We want freshmen to earn it but with 15 returning upperclassmen there’s not a whole lot of room.”

That experience has already shown in tryouts when Nash said the team was in midseason form.

“Our starting point, we feel like is ahead of any year we’ve had,” he said.

McNary opened the season on Tuesday, Aug. 28 with a 2-1 win at South Medford.

Haselip scored both goals with assists from Munguia and Wyatt.

Sprague’s roster most inexperienced in years

By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

Jay Minyard is 49-16 in six seasons as the head coach of Sprague High School.

But this season will likely be his toughest job as the Olympians return just three players who started on Friday nights a year ago.

“It’s the youngest team that I’ve had since I’ve been here, without a doubt,” Minyard said. “We’re so young and there’s so many kids that are going to be on the field for us that have not played on a Friday night before that it’s really hard to say what we’re going to look like. I like to think that we’re going to be pretty tough but you just never know.”

The strength of Sprague’s team should be on the line where seniors Eli Larson and Jacob Luna will play on both sides of the ball. Middle linebacker Landon Davis is the only other returning starter.

“Other than that, we are going to be new everywhere and every position is absolutely positively wide open,” Minyard said.

On defense, the Olympians must replace the production of defensive end Teagan Quitoriano, who will be a freshman at Oregon State.

Sprague will also have a new signal caller as Spencer Plant, back-to-back All-Greater Valley Conference First Team quarterback, graduated.

Three players, senior Ethan Flanigan, juniors Elias Polanski and Ethan Johnson, a transfer from West Salem, were competing for the starting job when practice began on Aug. 13.

Flanigan was thrust into action at the end of last season in a 56-7 loss to Jesuit in the second round of the state playoffs after Plant suffered a concussion in the first round. Flanigan completed just 5 of 16 passes for 36 yards in the rout.

“There’s not one that has a leg up on the other one,” Minyard said of the quarterback competition in early August.

Like most programs around the state, Sprague also doesn’t have the depth it’s had in previous seasons, with between 90-100 kids in the program compared to the usual 120-130.

But Minyard likes what he’s seen from the players this summer.

“We had great turnouts in our workouts and they’re excited for football,” he said. “That can do a lot of good things for a team. They’re just awesome to coach. They’re great kids.”

The Olympians will get tested early with games against Liberty, Lakeridge and Central Catholic to open the season. All three were playoff teams a year ago with Central Catholic advancing to the quarterfinals, falling by three points to state champion Clackamas.

“We’ll definitely find out pretty quick how good we are,” Minyard said.

An inconvenient truth

The Keizer City Council and Keizer Planning Commission will be discussing the most recent findings of a revitalization study focused on Keizer’s business corridors at a work session Monday, Aug. 27.

The goals of the study are two-fold: determining how can the city promote new and redevelopment and how can it capture more housing units in the process. While both are important, the council should be paying close attention to the ramifications of the housing component.

Three months ago, this paper ran an article looking at some of the early results of the study that showed Keizer moving in the direction of gentrification—the process by which low-income families are pushed out of an area as redevelopment occurs. In the preliminary findings, the number of households making less than $25,000 dropped 5 percent since 2000, and the number of even moderate-income households is decreasing steadily. In the past 18 years, the number of households making less than $75,000 declined rapidly while the growth of households making $100,000 steadily increased. More worryingly, low income families find themselves relegated to certain pockets of the city and even rental rates in those areas are rising meteorically—more than 50 percent in the past five years.

The more recent results of the study show continued warning signs. Two of the three scenarios of growth the council will discuss Monday call for redevelopment of many existing properties into multi-story, multifamily developments like apartments and townhouses. New developments along these lines would most likely replace existing structures in the dwindling pockets of affordability with top-of-market spaces that current residents and their families will no longer be able to afford.

In the wake of our last article on the topic, we heard from several readers who suggested we got it wrong. They wanted more gentrification, a more elite status for the neighborhoods of Keizer.

That is understandable, but it ignores an inconvenient truth: In a capitalist society, a certain segment of the population must inhabit the lower rungs of the economic ladder for those at the top to flourish. Ideally, those at the low income end of the spectrum can work their way up, but chances at upward mobility in America are drying up and not every “American Dream” looks the same.

Keizer must continue to have housing available for those with challenged incomes. It a matter of decency and compassion at its core, but city councilors and residents should remember that even those with modest incomes contribute to the success of our local businesses and the fabric of our community.

— Editorial Board

Supporting the local team

To the Editor:

I feel someone needs to reach out to say thanks for your sports section. Your sports department has always shown great support of our team (I feel it should encourage people in our community to go to more games).

The Volcano players have tried as well as they can, even though they have faltered at times. They may not win first place in their division but their win/lost record is in a good shape to reach the playoffs.

Their manager, Hector Borg, is doing an outstanding job trying to cope with decisions handed down by the San Francisco Giants, beyond his control. He also has to deal with three players now on the disabled list, due to being hit by opposing teams.

It is the Keizertimes, not the Salem newspaper, who I personally feel has taken more time showing support “stepping to the plate” to cover the Salem-Keizer Volcano baseball team.

Congratulations Keizertimes and your sports section for such support of our local team.

Sam La Masa
Keizer

South Salem seeking depth

By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

South Salem head coach Scott Dufault is pleased with his starting lineup.

But if the Saxons are going to improve on last season’s mark, when they finished 4-6 and where eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, they are going to have to develop more depth.

“I think the more that we get closer to having a solid two-deep the better we’re going to be and at this level you’ve got to be able to have that,” Dufault said. “We think we have some answers. They’re just young.”

The strength of the Saxons should be their defensive front seven, which returns six varsity players, including three-year starters Josh Raynak at middle linebacker and Ashton Adams on the line.

Adams, a First Team All-Greater Valley Conference selection at offensive tackle last season, has Division-I offers from Air Force, Utah State, Nevada, Portland State, Georgetown and Idaho.

Brock Hale and Diego Fuimaono return at defensive end. Both will also start at tight end.

“The two tight ends (Hale and Fuimaono) are really good and we’ll try to utilize them at the same time a fair amount,” Dufault said.

Morgan Bice, a three-year starter at safety, will lead a young secondary.

On offense, senior Elijah Enomoto-Haole returns at quarterback in his third season.

He’ll be protected by Adams as well as center Sangato Letisi and guard Colin Bartolome, who also both started last year.

The Saxons will use a committee approach at running back with junior Ryan Rickman getting the bulk of carries. Rickman will also play linebacker, where he started last year.

“I think he’s going to have a breakout year,” Dufault said of Rickman.

Parker Johnson is another junior linebacker who got varsity action last year, including 10 tackles in the playoff lost to Central Catholic.

Raynak, who has primarily played on defense, will also get carries for South Salem. Jamal Bailey is another player who can run the ball.

Like their secondary, the Saxons are inexperienced at wide receiver but have options in senior Brayden Neuharth and sophomore Gabe Johnson, whose father Dave won a bronze medal in the decathlon during the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.

“We’re pretty young at wide receiver but more athletic than we’ve been in awhile,” Dufault said. “We’ve got to stay healthy and develop some depth but if we can do those two things by the time we hit midseason and get into the conference schedule, I think we’ll be alright.”

North Salem moves down to 5A

By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

North Salem isn’t guaranteed to find life playing football in 5A any easier than 6A.

But the Vikings will at least face teams closer to their own size.

While North Salem has nearly 2,000 students enrolled in its school, only 75-80 students play football, compared to around 120 at nearby 6A schools McNary and South Salem.

Those numbers make it difficult for the Vikings to field three teams—varsity, JV and freshman.

“That’s always been an issue for us is the amount of kids we’re able to get out,” said head coach Jeff Flood, entering his 11th year at North Salem. “I think a lot of people just look at the amount of kids that walk through your front door everyday but that doesn’t really impact how many athletes you have or how many kids are actually participating in sports. I think our numbers are more equal to the teams we’ll be joining.”

The Vikings, which haven’t won more than three games in any season over the last five years, weren’t given any favors in the league they were placed in, which includes two other teams moving down from 6A, McKay and West Albany, as well as four squads that reached the 5A state quarterfinals last season—Lebanon, South Albany, Crescent Valley and Silverton.

“It’s a tough league so football-wise I don’t really think we catch a break,” Flood said. “The last couple of years there’s a lot of teams that have had success and teams that are used to going out and winning. It’s going to be competitive every week. It’s going to be important for us to just look at who we’re playing next and not worry about what level they are. It’s new teams for these kids. The biggest thing is we don’t know any of the kids we’re playing.”

North Salem returns the pieces Flood’s Wing T offense needs to have a successful season—experience at quarterback and the offensive line.

“That gives us a solid foundation to build on since last season,” Flood said.

Quarterback Zac Sullivan, a senior, will lead the offense for the second year in a row.

“He’s really capable of running everything,” Flood said. “That’s comforting as a coach to know you have that.”

Senior Andre Beall leads a line that also includes Zach Goodwin and Obbi Garcia.

“I really like the kids we have up front and that’s part of the strength of this program is to be able to rely on them to do the job for us and then the pieces around them will grow as the season goes on,” Flood said.

While North Salem will miss fullback Rigo Padilla, the Vikings have at least half a dozen players who can carry the football—Zach Graham, Travis Hardy, Teyden Ysasage, Ian Carlos, Clint Pfeifer and Jason Carter-Varay.

“We had a pretty focused attack last year with the running back (Padilla) we had,” Flood said. “It’s going to take a lot of kids to replace the yards that he had but that’s kind of the beauty of our system.”

North Salem opens the 2018 season at Crescent Valley on Friday, Aug. 31.

McKay must replace large chunk of varsity players

By HERB SWETT
Of the Keizertimes

Head coach Josh Riddell sounded optimistic about McKay’s football season in this first year of realignment.

For football only, the Royal Scots will drop to 5A classification, playing in the Mid-Willamette Conference. They will be in the 6A Mountain Valley Conference for their other sports.

Riddell, in his third season as McKay’s head coach, had a 1-8 season in 2017 but before joining McKay had several winning seasons as an assistant coach at West Salem.

There are many new Scot faces, 35 of last year’s varsity players having graduated. They included most of the first string.

This year, Riddell said he is finding “decent depth with the up-front guys.” He sees his biggest problem as the lack of Friday night experience but says the players who have been playing Mondays on the junior varsity seem to be catching on well.

While McKay has an open competition at most positions, Riddell expects Zair Ku-Beiza to start on the defensive line and at tight end and Rafael Aguilar to be a first-string linebacker.

Senior Jose Camarena, an All-Greater Valley Conference honorable mention selection last season at linebacker, also returns.

Riddell called the switch to 5A “a good deal for us.” He said that in football, the Mid-Willamette Conference is the best 5A league in the state. Four of its schools, he noted, were in the state semifinals last season.

Riddell is his own offensive coordinator and Caleb Singleton the defensive coordinator. Darrell Hall, who coaches receivers, is also the JV head coach. Coaching the offensive line is Duane Riddell, the head coach’s father, who was a head coach for many years. Greg LaFountaine coaches tight ends and wings and Marvin Mason running backs.

Defensive coaches are Kenny Ramirez, linebackers; Steve Baker, linebackers; Bryan Huber, cornerbacks; and Singleton, safeties.

For the freshmen, Adam Vasas is head coach and offensive coordinator, and Juan Cervantes is defensive coordinator.

The varsity depth chart was still changing every day but Riddell plans to play many juniors and seniors this year.

The Royal Scots have about 130 football players in their program between the varsity, JV and freshman teams.

“I like the intensity, the efforts the guys have been showing,” Riddell said. He noted that his players showed their commitment during the off-season.

The other schools in the Mid-Willamette Conference are Central, Corvallis, Crescent Valley, Dallas, Lebanon, North Salem, Silverton, South Albany, and West Albany. North Salem, which also was in the 6A league last year, will play its entire sports schedule in the 5A league.

McNary opens cross country season in Wilsonville

By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

WILSONVILLE—If McNary cross country coach David Holcomb was hoping for clarity on who would run varsity for the Celtics this season, he didn’t get it here.

Opening the season at the Wilsonville Night Meet, McNary had 12 boys finish the 3K within less than a minute of each other.

“We have a lot of guys competing for those seven spots, pushing each other and I think that depth is going to help us throughout the season and as we get towards districts at the end,” Holcomb said.

Francisco Orta had the fastest time of any McNary runner, finishing the senior race in 10 minutes and 43 seconds. Not far behind were sophomores Ethan Whalen in 10:52.1 and Gavin Gasperini in 11:00.5.

They were followed by Andrew Goemaere (11:11.1), David Allen (11:16.8), Caleb McCoy (11:19.2), Brennan Whalen (11:20.8), Nathaniel Prout (11:31.2), Francisco Hernandez (11:38.2), Drew Bartlett (11:41.3), Emiliano Lopez-Sanchez (11:42.2) and Tyler Dougall (11:43.5).

McNary doesn’t have the same depth on the girls team.

Sabella Alfaro and Makayla Long finished the senior race in 13:18.8 and 14:59.5, respectively. Reyna Terrazas finished the sophomore race in 13:36.8.

The Lady Celts had four girls compete in the novice race, led by freshman McKenna Olson, who finished in 15:07.1

“We have a lot of new faces on the girls side,” Holcomb said. “It’s going to be a process getting the girls numbers back up. We’re excited to see where that goes. We’re going to focus on improvement with the girls, personal improvement and then building a team culture to push each other and get more girls into the program.”

McNary will compete in its first 5K on Saturday, Sept. 8 in the Ash Creek XC Festival at Western Oregon University.

South Salem

South Salem opened the Wilsonville Night Meet with a splash as Taitum Schaap (11:39.9) and Paige Trautman (11:48.5) finished the freshman girls race in second and third out of 60 runners.

Anna Chau then placed second in the girls senior race in 10:32.1

Jay Grant and Eric Lungu led the Saxon boys, finishing the senior race in 9:39 and 10:03.2.

Evan Gonzalez completed the sophomore race in 9:56.9 and Ned Harlan finished the junior race in 10:13.7.

West Salem

Jaden Mandal placed third in the girls senior race in 10:44. Ella Repp completed the girls sophomore race in 11:54.6.

Marcus Ramirez and Trent Lundy led West Salem’s boys, finishing the junior race in 10:22.5 and 10:36.4, respectively.

McKay

Hanna Caldwell led McKay’s girls, finishing the senior race in 11:59.4. Ramiro Gonzalez completed the boys junior race in 10:47.7.

North Salem

Elia Sanchez finished the girls sophomore race in 12:19.1 and Dana Romero completed the girls senior race in 12:24.

David Rojas finished the boys senior race in 9:56 and Alexis Luna completed the sophomore race in 10:11.6.

Accused rapist out on forced release

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

Joseph Myers

A 20-year-old Keizer man accused of 12 counts of raping three juvenile victims was released from the Marion County Correctional Facility five days after his arrest.

Joseph Myers, of 4050 Gary Street N.E., was arrested on Aug. 15 on suspicions of engaging in intimate relationships with multiple juvenile females between the ages of 14-15. Some of the girls were runaways.

Police officials said Myers supplied the girls with marijuana and a place to stay at his home.

Myers was originally charged with multiple counts of rape, sex abuse, sodomy, delivery of marijuana to a minor, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. His bail was set at $530,000.

Since his arrest, Myers was arraigned on 12 counts of third-degree rape, one count of third-degree sodomy, and three counts of unlawful delivery of marijuana to a minor. Myers has been ordered to appear in court at 8:30 a.m. Aug. 27 as a condition of his release and he is not to have contact with his victims.

Suspects are released from the Marion County jail most often due to overcrowding. A risk-assessment tool, essentially a computer algorithm, weighs several factors and projects the risk of a future conviction. Myers rated fairly high (58 percent) on the possibility of a future arrest, but other suspects arrested in recent days scored even higher.

Keizer Police Department detectives believe Myers has been engaging in similar activity for the past several years and there may be more victims. Anyone with information on unidentified victims is encouraged to come forward and contact Det. Arsen Avetisyan at 503-856-3514.

Council to examine growth prospects

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

The Keizer City Council and Keizer Planning Commission will discuss some of the preliminary findings of the Keizer Revitalization Plan at a work session Monday, Aug. 27. The meeting begins at 6 p.m.

The revitalization study is looking at potential paths forward in the rejuvenation of the city’s business corridors. At issue Monday will be a Gap Analysis looking at some possible scenarios for accommodating increased development or redevelopment of existing spaces on River Road North and Cherry Avenue Northeast.

The first scenario assumes no changes to current regulations (baseline), the second scenario would result in zoning modifications to encourage density (efficiency measures), the third scenario involves major, strategic zoning changes to increase development (upzoning).

While the city can provide modest incentives for certain types of development – such as reduced system development charges – the reality is that city-defined costs are already relatively low. Growth will depend most on developers willing to take a risk in “a soft but rising market,” according to the report. (See related story: Market headwinds may curb growth)

Here is a rundown of what the various scenarios mean:

BASELINE

If nothing changes, the city will likely continue to develop along the same paths it already has: low-rise wood structures that do not maximize potential uses.

Since costs associated with such development are relatively low, the city has plenty of infrastructure capacity to absorb new development when it happens, but some roads  – particularly major River Road intersections – would be at or near capacity if properties are developed or redeveloped according to current expectations for the next decade.

Under these conditions, the city could expect an increase in retail jobs of approximately 20 percent and an expansion of about 700 households.

EFFICIENCY MEASURES

If the city chooses to adjust current zoning to encourage higher density development and maximum usage of vacant and underdeveloped property, an additional 815 housing units are the result.

This would mean some office spaces are replaced with more mixed use residence/office spaces. Retail jobs would increase another 7 percent, but office jobs would decrease by the same amount.

The most costly infrastructure impact of such changes are that some intersections would need to be upgraded sooner than planned. However, additional public safety and school staff would be needed to accommodate new families.

In the case of police services, Keizer would need to find a way to absorb such costs. The Keizer Fire District and Salem-Keizer School District would need to find the means to accommodate increases within their jurisdictions.

UPZONING

Upzoning would mean strategically changing certain types of development to increase density.

In practical terms, such changes would mean allowing single-family lots to build additional units or construct townhomes; reclassifying some medium density zones as mixed use; consolidating single-family lots along arterial and redeveloping them as multi-story, multifamily buildings; and converting some industrial properties to mixed use.

Moving in this direction would assume that Keizer’s commercial areas offer enough diversity of services that potential residents are willing to pay more to live closer to those areas. But, the changes could result in the addition of almost 2,500 new residential units – mostly multifamily. About 125 new single-family units could also be added. About 2,100 new jobs could be added by adopting this revitalization strategy.

The city would likely need to perform a new transportation system analysis to determine how the growth might affect traffic flow, but most current infrastructure is sufficient.

Police and fire protection services would likely need to expand to accommodate the increased population. Schools would also need to re-evaluate service levels and, possibly, boundaries for individual schools.