Day: February 10, 2012

Coach’s ripple effect makes waves beyond high school

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Ask McNary High School swimming coach Kim Phillips what her hopes are for her swimming teams at the beginning of any season and it’s likely you’ll get the same response: “I hope they have fun and remember how much fun they had 20 years from now.” Winning races, meets, and district titles is always a secondary goal, but there have been lots of victories in each category. “The most rewarding thing is seeing kids with a smile on their face because they’ve done something that they’ve worked for,” said Phillips, who was honored in January with the Service to Education Award at the Keizer First Citizen banquet. The unspoken aspect of that mission to have fun is what it can do for a young athlete over the course of a lifetime. Fun keeps them coming back to physical activities like the swimming and golf that Phillips coaches. Fun motivates them to set attainable goals. The fun of achieving those goals means they never to rest on their laurels and continue to aim higher. “She has given so many students over the years confidence in not just swimming, but in life as a result of her encouragement to those who didn’t think they could do what she was challenging them to do,” said Linda Baker, a McNary English teacher who presented the award...

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A word with Rep. Kurt Schrader

(The Reporter’s Notebook offers a glimpse behind the headlines to stories and issues bubbling just below the surface. Got news for the Notebook? Email editor@keizertimes.com or call 503-390-1051.) Keizertimes: What did you think of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address? Kurt Schrader: “I liked the call for unity, the reference to our servicemen and women who somehow find a way to get it done, they don’t get into who’s getting credit or what their philosophy is. They just get the job done. I thought that was an excellent point of really calling Congress out: The country’s hurting, step up and do it. “I’m not real enthusiastic about all the tax credits he talked about, to be honest. We can’t afford it. There’s other ways to encourage American manufacturing, investments in diverse energy policy. That’s just good business.” KT: One of the measures he talked about was requiring millionaires to pay at least 30 percent income tax – the Buffett bill. Thoughts? KS: “I prefer tax reform. I think the smart thing to do is I’d reduce everybody’s rates, so everyone has to pay some taxes. I don’t care if you’re real poor, I don’t care if you’re rich, everyone has to pay something at the end of the day proportionate to your socioeconomic status. I prefer the Bowles-Simpson plan … you cut the 15 percent average rate...

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Mat men go undefeated in dual meets

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Leading up to the regional tournament, set to begin at 3:30 p.m. at Sprague High School Friday, Feb. 10, one might have expected the McNary High School wrestlers to have been deep into drills and practice on Monday. They weren’t. They were playing dodgeball for 10 minutes to start practice. “I think we’ve got what it takes to win the regional title. As dodgeball goes, there’s hand-eye coordination and being quick on our feet. It turns play into work and makes it even more fun,” said Celt Cody Ratliff. If the Celtics’ just-ended regular season has been any indication of future success, Ratliff has reason to be confident. McNary went undefeated in dual meets for the first time in memory for many coaches. A heads-up win over Sprague High School finally pushed the Celts over the barrier a few weeks ago. The Olys had been a perpetual thorn in McNary’s side for the more than a decade. A win at the regional tournament would mean a threepeat for the Celtics. The team won the last district title in 2010 and the first regional title in 2011. “We started off really well and we finished really well. It would be awesome to get a threepeat,” said McNary’s Rob Phelps. “We need to continue working on setting up our shots better. That really helped...

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Wrestling on mats with girls (and boys)

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes McNary High School senior Sam Urban got involved with wrestling because she wanted to be able to challenge her brothers, Stevin and Ajay. Six years later, with two state championships under her belt and a third possibly in the offing, Urban has grown beyond such comparisons, especially as they relate to gender. “The only real difference between wrestling a female and a male is their strength. Gender doesn’t really bother me anymore. Wrestling as a sport is what’s grown on me,” Urban said. On Jan. 28, Urban collected her third consecutive regional title at the Oregon Women’s State Qualifier. She defeated both challengers and will return to the state competition later this month. Urban started wrestling in middle school but she now works with girls in the Celtic Mat Club who are the same age she was when she started. She tries to impart the same toughness she’s developed in the past six years. “I just like being able to tell them keep their heads up and fight with the boys and make them cry,” Urban said with a devilish smile. While she’s beaten each of the wrestlers she’ll face for the state title, Urban is keeping close watch on the field to make sure they don’t get dramatically better in the last few weeks.  While Urban has lifted the prospects for...

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