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Day: September 28, 2018

Defense leads Whiteaker over Walker

Whiteaker’s varsity football team moved to 2-0 with a 14-6 victory over Walker on Wednesday, Sept. 19.

Head Coach Tom Larimer credited the defense for the win.

“We really were not very good on offense,” said Larimer, “But our defense owned the day.”

Whiteaker’s defense is led by coordinator Luke Atwood, an all state quarterback at McNary, one of the top D-III quarterbacks in the country at Willamette, coached with Tom Smythe for 13 years, including 10 years at McNary, and played professionally for seven years.

“I can’t describe how fortunate Keizer is to have him back coaching in our community again,” Larimer said.

Atwood’s defense smothered Walker the entire game.

Braiden Copeland led the way with 10 tackles and an interception, while Kyler Donahue, Jackson Alt, Hunter Ruberto, and Dominic Hughes each had five tackles.

Damon Thornton snuffed out Walker’s last gasp effort when he intercepted a pass in the final minute of the game.    

“Kyler, Ty (Borde), and Damon really just shut down Walker’s passing game.  They were stuck on those receivers all day,” said Larimer.

Whiteaker’s offense struggled, but did enough to win.

The Wolverines put 14 points on the board in the second quarter, and that was all the defense needed.

Copeland opened the scoring with a short touchdown run and connected with Jacob Hurst from 10 yards out just before half for what turned out to be the winning score.

Copeland led the team with 79 yards rushing on 11 carries, running primarily behind Will Green, Cristian Garcia, Hughes and Hurst.

The game was followed by a free post game BBQ for the players and fans.

“We have incredible sponsors,” said Larimer. “They provide anything and everything we need to build a positive experience for these kids.  We served nearly 200 free meals after the game. I saw lots of smiling faces and happy families.”

Claggett wins big

Claggett Creek blew out Leslie 52-14 in its season opener on Sept. 19.

Jabol Balos rushed for two touchdowns and threw a touchdown pass to Osmid Cano Espinoza.

Julian Orta ran for a touchdown and took a kickoff back for another score.

John Carlos Vasquez ran a blocked punt back for a touchdown.

“Our defense played really well the whole game,” Panthers head coach Aaron Carr said.

“It was a good start to the season.”

Tumwater runs past McNary

McNary’s (0-4) defense had no answer for Tumwater’s wing-T as the T-Birds rushed for more than 500 yards to throttle the Celtics 57-13 on Friday, Sept. 21.

Tumwater scored on runs of 90, 58 and 92 yards in the first half to take a commanding 43-6 lead.

McNary got on the scoreboard early in the second quarter when Nigel Harris caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Erik Barker.

Barker completed 16 of 27 passes for 121 yards. Harris caught two passes for 51 yards.

Junior Walling, who rushed for 140 yards on 25 carries, scored the final touchdown of the game on a two-yard run.

The Celtics host South Medford on Friday, Sept. 28 at 7:15 p.m.

South Salem 21

Sprague 20

Sprague (0-4) owned the first half but South Salem (2-2) took control in the fourth quarter, scoring 21 unanswered points to defeat the Olympians for the first time since 2015.

Sprague took a 20-0 lead into halftime after Ethan Johnson threw touchdown passes to Wiley Roberts and Marshall Bray, and Chris Sharp scored on a 4-yard run.

But the Saxons got on the board early in the fourth quarter when Zach Webster scored on a 1-yard run.

Elijah Enomoto-Haole then connected with Webster for a 30-yard touchdown and Treyden Harris for a 23-yard score to give South Salem the lead with 6:56 remaining.

Ryan Rickman led the Saxons ground game, finishing with 144 yards on 22 carries. Sharp had 90 yards on 24 touches for Sprague.

South Salem opens Mountain Valley Conference play at home against Bend on Friday, Sept. 28 while the Olympians host Tigard in their final non-league game.

Sheldon 56

West Salem 21

Sheldon jumped out a 35-0 lead in the second quarter and coasted to victory.

Anthony Gould scored West Salem’s first points, catching a 43-yard touchdown pass from Simon Thompson at the end of the first half.

Jamal McMurrin then grabbed a 18-yard touchdown pass from Thompson in the third quarter.

Jordan Whitaker scored the final touchdown of the game on a 1-yard run.

Thompson completed 13 of 31 passes for 183 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions.

He also rushed for 80 yards on 10 carries.

Gould caught six passes for 117 yards.

West Salem (2-2) plays at Beaverton on Friday, Sept. 28.

Silverton 34

North Salem 13

North Salem (0-4) battled undefeated Silverton for a half but an interception returned for a touchdown just before intermission ended any chance of an upset.

Clint Pfeifer led the Vikings offense, rushing for 92 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries.

North Salem plays at McKay on Friday, Sept. 28.

Celtics need something to celebrate

It’s homecoming week at McNary.

Monday was the coronation assembly, Wednesday the powder puff game, Friday the varsity football game and crowning of the queen and king and then Saturday a dance.

It all couldn’t come at a better time.

Mostly, the Celtics need something to celebrate.

Playing in Tumwater, Wash., McNary dropped to 0-4 last Friday, falling 56-13 in another game that was never really competitive. The T-Birds led 43-6 at halftime.

The Celtics have played as difficult a schedule as anyone in the state and host South Medford, last season’s 6A state runner-up, for homecoming, in their final non-conference game.  After graduating 19 seniors, the Panthers (3-1) aren’t nearly as talented as a year ago, squeaking by McMinnville 21-12 at home last week.

So will the homecoming celebration include the Celtics first win of the season?

Here are my picks:

West Salem at Beaverton

The Titans and Beavers have similar resumes. Both are 2-2 and have not been able to compete against the elite teams in the state with West Salem getting blown out by Lake Oswego and Sheldon and Beaverton losing by 35 points to Clackamas. The last time these two squads met, Beaverton won 41-28 in the second round of the 2016 state playoffs. West Salem gets revenge.

Prediction: Titans 45, Beavers 34

Bend at South Salem

Moving up to 6A, the Lava Bears have been one of the biggest surprises, starting the season 3-1, with their most impressive win coming at North Medford, 29-28, in the third week of the season. But the last time Bend came to Salem, it lost by 29 points to West Salem. The Saxons are riding high off a 21-20 win over rival Sprague. Can South Salem carry over the momentum or is it due for a let down?

Prediction: Saxons 27, Lava Bears 24

Tigard at Sprague

The Olympians difficult schedule continues against undefeated Tigard, No. 4 in the power rankings and in OSAAtoday’s coaches poll. The Tiger defense has allowed just 57 points this season, the third lowest of any 6A team in the state, while Sprague’s offense has lacked its usual firepower of previous teams.

Prediction: Tigers 44, Olympians 14

North Salem at McKay

The good news is either the Royal Scots or Vikings will celebrate their first victory of the season at the end of this one. Both have been close, with McKay falling to South Albany by four, and North Salem losing to Corvallis by seven. The Vikings won last year and are the more experienced group.

Prediction: Vikings 30, Royal Scots 28

South Medford at McNary

For the first time since opening the season on Aug. 31, the Celtics return home, where they are 2-4 over the last two years, including a 39-35 loss to McMinnville on homecoming last season. While McNary hasn’t shown anything over the last two weeks to appear like a team on the verge of a breakthrough, South Medford hasn’t played on the same level as Tualatin and Tumwater. The Panthers defense allowed 275 yards passing last week to McMinnville. If McNary’s offensive line can give him time, Erik Barker should be able to take similar advantage. South Medford’s offense also isn’t as dynamic as what the Celtic’s defense has seen this season. The lumps and bruises McNary has taken the first four games should help the Celtics down the stretch and that begins with South Medford.

Prediction: Celtics 28, Panthers 24

Derek Wiley is Associate Editor of the Keizertimes.

Last week: 4-1, Overall: 15-8

US Senate is a factory of suspicion and contempt

By MICHAEL GERSON

This  is the cost when institutions have lost public trust.

The United States Senate is supposed to be a deliberative body, protected by extended terms from contracting the political fevers of the day. This role assumes a certain level of competence, collegiality and goodwill among its members.

None of which has been displayed by the lead Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Dianne Feinstein. She knew about Christine Blasey Ford’s charges against Brett Kavanaugh for nearly two months before they started leaking to the press. This method of revelation—following the end of the Kavanaugh hearings —blindsided Feinstein’s colleagues, denied the nominee a proper chance to confront the accusation, and launched an important public issue under a partisan cloud.

So Feinstein is guilty of governing malpractice and has encouraged suspicion and contempt, especially among conservatives, for the institution she represents.

How about the Judiciary Committee more broadly? This is the place where serious-minded investigations of judicial qualifications (and disqualifications) are supposed to take place. The committee has subpoena power and a staff of investigators for a reason. It should be the forum where matters such as the charges against Kavanaugh are considered. And Chairman Chuck Grassley’s offer to hear committee testimony by Ford, in public or private, was not unreasonable.

But Democrats view the Republican-controlled Judiciary Committee as highly politicized — and for an understandable reason. The most recent Supreme Court nominee chosen by a Democrat, Merrick Garland, was defeated and mistreated by delaying his vote beyond President Obama’s term in office. There was no credible explanation for doing this — except that the ideological stakes were high and Republicans had the ability to impose their will. It was a raw and effective exercise of power, but it had the cost of leaving a bad partisan taste in senatorial mouths.

Over the last few years Republicans have demonstrated an undeniable ruthlessness in the Supreme Court nomination process, encouraging progressive suspicion and contempt.

So how about the FBI? It, at least, should be a respected, trusted arbiter in American life. Why not take the job of investigation away from elected representatives and give it to career professionals?

But who could have possibly predicted the bureau’s reputational roller coaster over the last few years? First, a clownish intervention in the last days of a presidential election that might have helped elect Donald Trump. Then revelations about politicized agents within the FBI who hated Trump. Then almost daily attacks on the bureau by the president of the United States, who calls his trashing of the FBI’s credibility “one of my crowning achievements.”

The Democratic call for FBI involvement was badly mishandled. By withdrawing Ford’s initial agreement to testify before the Judiciary Committee and insisting on a preliminary investigation by the FBI, Ford’s lawyers made their strategy seem like a time-wasting partisan maneuver. And we already know how Senate Democrats would overwhelmingly respond to an eventual FBI report. If the FBI finds strong evidence implicating Kavanaugh in a crime, Democrats will oppose him. If there is a muddled mix of accusations and memories, Democrats will oppose him. If Kavanaugh is completely vindicated, Democrats will oppose him.

Americans can be forgiven for thinking that everything involved in Supreme Court nominations — all the institutions, traditions, principles, procedures, solemn oaths and columned buildings — are merely a cover, a disguise for the will to power. Where there is no authority, all that remains is a contest of power.

Out of all this, two things strike me as clear.

First, as it stands, the facts are in Kavanaugh’s favor. The charge against him is vague, uncorroborated and completely inconsistent with virtually all other accounts of Kavanaugh’s character.

Second, an accusation of attempted rape can’t be allowed to hang in the air without a more serious investigation. In matters of such cruelty and lasting damage, there is no exemption for youth and inexperience. I would no more want a Supreme Court justice who had attempted rape than I would want a president who committed sexual assault. That is not too high a standard.

I am on record saying that Republicans should go the extra mile to examine the Ford accusation. But not an extra marathon. Of all our institutions, the FBI retains some shred of moral standing. It should be instructed by the president to conduct an investigation, in a limited amount of time, with a narrow remit: to see if there are any other witnesses or contemporaneous evidence that would make Ford’s claim seem likely. If not, Kavanaugh should be quickly confirmed.

(Washington Post Writers Group)

Demos forget rights of the accused

By DEBRA J. SAUNDERS

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s ranking Democrat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, like others in her party, apparently has forgotten that in America, the burden of proof falls on an accuser, not the accused.

Thus Feinstein played a starring role in her party’s efforts to slime the reputation of Brett Kavanaugh, an eminently qualified jurist nominated by President Donald Trump to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court.

On Sept. 13, Feinstein released a statement about an anonymous accuser’s unspecified “information” on the judge, which the senator said she referred to federal authorities. Feinstein released the statement without even asking Kavanaugh about the charges.

Feinstein had plenty of time to ask. On July 30, college professor Christine Blasey Ford wrote a letter to the senator in which she asserted that a drunken Kavanaugh—then a high school student—“physically and sexually assaulted” her “in the early 1980s.” The then-17-year-old Kavanaugh groped the then-15-year-old Ford, tried to pull off her clothes, and put a hand over her mouth, Ford wrote, before she got away.

Ford provided little detail as to the time—or even year—or the place. Her corroboration was limited essentially to notes taken by a therapist when Ford first revealed the story in 2012.

The Democrat from California maintains that she could not mention the allegation to Kavanaugh without violating Ford’s request for confidentiality. Feinstein apparently never informed Ford that accused individuals have a right to face their accusers.

Instead leaks about the Ford letter, presumably by Democrats affiliated with the Senate committee, revealed the allegation which led Ford to break her silence. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, has since invited Ford and Kavanaugh to address his committee on Monday. Kavanaugh accepted the invitation; Ford has said she wants the FBI to first investigate the alleged incident before she testifies.

I tend to believe women who accuse men of sexual misconduct, because these types of episodes happen all the time unfortunately. When I first heard the accusation, I thought it was very possible a drunken teenage boy forced himself on a vulnerable teenage girl, who fortunately got away.

But Kavanaugh denies Ford’s charge, the witness Ford named refutes her claim, and the pendulum has swung too far on these stories.

Kavanaugh has led a good life. He’s been a good boss, husband and father to the women around him, who enthusiastically vouch for him. He’s passed six investigations by the FBI.

One person’s unsubstantiated accusation, waged decades after the alleged event and at a politically sensitive moment, should not be enough to topple him.

On Twitter, conservatives have hammered Democrats for their hypocrisy on sexual harassment and misconduct.

Feinstein voted against convicting an impeached Bill Clinton, who was accused of much worse as an adult. Democrats also have hit the mute button after Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., won his party’s primary in a bid to become Minnesota attorney general after allegations that he battered a former girlfriend.

They were adults who held public office at the time of the accusations, yet Democrats are holding them to a lower standard than they have set for a teenager.

But hypocrisy isn’t the big problem here. The horror lies in the obscene toxicity behind the left’s rush to bury Kavanaugh.

When Trump picked Kavanaugh to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, Senate Democrats had not gotten over the GOP Senate’s decision to block President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland. The Republicans, Democrats complained, wouldn’t even give Garland a hearing.

Garland never was going to win confirmation from a GOP-controlled Senate — not when a presidential election scheduled within the year could produce a president who would keep the conservative 5-4 majority from swinging in the other direction.

But Senate Democrats could not let go of the resentment they felt at the GOP’s refusal to hold a hearing for Garland. Before she voted against Trump’s first Supreme Court pick, Neil Gorsuch, Feinstein told MSNBC, “The humiliation it caused a very good man resounds with all of us still.”

Humiliation? Please. The Republicans spared Garland a hearing for a job he wasn’t going to get at the time. Now the Democrats are looking for payback by engineering an unfair hearing for Kavanaugh. They are so determined to lash out at Kavanaugh that they’re dredging up dirt from his high school years.

If the left can’t smear an eminently qualified jurist on the basis of his judicial record, they’ll destroy his reputation. So if he makes it onto the big bench, he’ll have a stain on his name likely to haunt every decision he writes until his dying day.

(Creators Syndicate)

The price of football is too high

It’s fall again! Time for football games and cheering for your team.  Heck, football’s become so popular even females are playing the game, at least as kickers, while possibly no one would be surprised to learn that females are in the game as quarterbacks and pass catchers.

There is a dark side to our country’s perennially-watched grid iron game.  But hold on a moment!  Is it really in danger of seeing its end?  Science argues it is.  As we know, football is a sport in which those simply watching the game are entertained as men turn one another’s brains into the consistency of overly-boiled rolled oats.

What’s been discovered by scientific research is that, in spite of all the protective gear, especially the designed and re-designed head gear, repeated hard impacts that are part and parcel of the game do permanent damage to the human brain.  These impacts result in chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).  In fact, a recent profile study of over 100 brains of former football players indicated signs of CTE while the longer they had played, the worse the brain damage.

Although the study wasn’t random, it does indicate that the risk is high.  There are the far too many sad stories of former players who spent their years of retirement in a kind of fog from neurological breakdown to crippled mental capacity.

Initially, the theory was that CTE results from repeated concussions that led the NFL to encourage less hard hits and promote a new concussion protocol to monitor the damage.  But experience with the matter has disclosed that the permanent damage is not the concussions; rather, it is the routine by the hundreds of constant poundings to the heads of players and the obvious fact that these are the way the game is played.

A lot of moms and dads who devote time to reading up on the latest information available to American parents have decided to direct their kids to sports less head-impacting than football.  The result is that football has more and more often become the province of poorer kids and minorities who, generally speaking, see the sport as a means to get out of poverty even though constant head traumas bring high risk.

Obviously, there are excessive amounts of really big money in football at the university and professional levels, resulting in extraordinary efforts by vested interests to protect it from its critics.  As a result, we already see the old Phillip Morris strategy at work where when cigarette makers realized that stop smoking programs would cut profits, they went overseas.  What’s underway now is a search far and wide into other places in the world where health concerns are brushed off and life spans are already short.

My wife and I would not allow our kids to play football, period.  We argue strenuously against it for our grandkids, too.  I’ll readily admit that I’ve been a fan of a favorite team or two. But, knowing what happens to the heads of those who play, I’ve mainly weaned myself from watching and thereby not supporting the ever-growing crowd of people who ultimately sacrifice their lives to perpetual murkiness, mental incapacity and premature death.

(Gene H. McIntyre shares his opinion frequently in the Keizetimes.)