Filled with highs and lows, 2010 was a year for the record books as girls teams at McNary stood tall above their competitors and the Celtic wrestling team seemed to come into its own.
Also in the mix were a local man who nearly summited Mt. McKinley, a former Lady Celt who signed on to play pro softball and a Keizer man who earned a World Series ring. But, first things first, what follows is a list of the 2010 highlights in Keizer sports.
The demise of Circuit City in Keizer Station paved the way for an indoor practice facility for Keizer Soccer Club. Property owner Donahue Schreiber inked a discount deal with the club on a month-to-month basis while they look for a new tenant to take over the site.
Celtic varsity wrestlers capped a stellar season with a district championship – beating out Sprague High School by 4.5 points. Three district champions – Levi Martinez, Stevin Urban and Wes Heredia – also emerged from the mix. Eleven wrestlers qualified for the state meet, a school record. Martinez would go on to capture the state title in the 112-pound division, the first McNary wrestler to do so since 2003.
McNary’s Adam Hansen, Dominic Meyer, Ryan Tesdal and Kevin Groves qualified for the state swimming meet. Hansen won district titles in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle races. Meyer sailed to a district championship in the 100-yard freestyle.
McNary senior Lauren Brouse signed two letters of intent to compete in soccer and track at Mesa State College in Grand Junction, Colo.
The Wolverine wrestling team, at Whiteaker Middle School, completed an undefeated season in March. “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. I think we proved that this year,” said Kelly Hafer, WMS wrestling coach.
The Lady Celts’ varsity basketball team plowed through Central Valley Conference competition to a perfect 12-0 record. The team would go on to finish fourth in in the OSAA state tournament by beating Franklin High School 61-50.
Dr. Matthew Stauser, director of worship at Keizer Community Church, attempted to scale Mt. McKinley and got within 800 feet of the summit before being forced to turn back after being struck by a cerebral edema, or fluid on the brain. Stauser turned to his expedition leader and told him he was unable to remember who he was or what he was doing. It hasn’t stopped him from thinking about a return trip.
“Do you remember the old question about why I climb, and the old answer was because they’re there? The older I get the more I like that answer,” Stauser said.
After 15 years as McNary High School athletic director, Mike Maghan opted to retire at the end of the 2009 school year. Of all the things he expected to miss, it was the watching the evolution of students and programs that topped his list.
“I’m going to miss watching kids grow and evolve from scared little freshman to very mature, very confident seniors,” Maghan said. Ron Richards was tapped as his successor.
In April, four bowlers at Town & Country Lanes rolled perfect games. Billy Bowman, Mike Harmony, Alex Clark and Daniel Baizer. Of the four, Harmony was on his ninth 300 game, it was Baizer’s first.
The McNary varsity softball team ended their season with a perfect record in CVC play and a district championship. The team wound up one game shy of the state playoff game after a 4-3 loss to Grants Pass High School.
A Celt 4X400 relay team consisting of Brouse, Amy Jones, Averi Wing and Laura Donaldson topped the platform in the district relay meet capping an undefeated run. The 4X100 team of Brouse, Jones, Wing and Rachel Fast won a district title, and the school crowned individual champs in the 100m hurdles and shot put, Megan Hingston, 400m, Lauren Brouse, high jump, Tim McDowell, and pole vault, Jenna Quesnel.
Craig Nicholas, longtime Celtic baseball and football coach, announced his retirement in June. Larry Keeker was named his successor later in the year.
During the entirety of the 2009-10 season, the Lady Celts lost only one game in CVC competition.
Former Celt Mariesha Marker signed a contract to play softball with the Chicago Bandits of National Pro Fastpitch League.
Two Keizer based teams, the Lady Celts 10U and Oregon Panthers 12A softball teams were crowned state champs in their respective leagues. The Panthers went on to take part in national championship tournament in Tuscon, Ariz., where they placed 13th.
The Volcanoes’ lackluster season experienced something of a revival long after they left the field. Several former Volcanoes won the national title as part of the San Francisco Giants’ World Series roster. One of their coaches, Keizerite Steve Decker, also took part and will receive his World Series ring next year. Volcanoes owner Jerry Walker will receive a rin, too.
After a couple of preseason wins, the McNary High School varsity football team struggled to find footing as the season wound on. The team ended up without a win in league play.
Wes Malott, a Pro Bowling Association star stopped by Town and Country Lanes to offer advice and participate in a tournament with local bowlers.
The Lady Celt varsity volleyball team notched a CVC title and a playoff run that took them to sixth place in state.
The Celtic boys soccer team snagged a playoff berth in a play-in game despite a rocky season. The team progressed to the quarterfinals before losing to Lincoln High School in a nail-biter 8-7 loss that went to penalty kicks before a winner was declared.
With winter sports underway, the McNary girls varsity wrestling team and wrestling teams appear to be the ones to watch with early strengths shining through and, in some cases, surprising fans.
As we usher in 2011, the staff of the Keizertimes wishes all our local teams and athletes the best as they strive to reach their goals.