Day: September 12, 2014

New opponent for MHS senior: cancer

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes There are some things cancer, and its various treatments, will take from its victims without them having a say: energy, appetite and mental acuity are a few. But, there are some where the patient has more control. For 17-year-old Payton Williams, his dreadlocks were in the latter category. “I’d spent five years growing them, and I wanted to lose them on my own terms,” Payton said. Discussing his dreadlocks is one of the few serious moments in talking with the McNary High School senior that isn’t immediately followed by a joke. That’s something else the cancer hasn’t taken: his sense of humor. “He has a fun presence about him that you have to laugh and have a good time. He’s always positive and trying to get people to laugh,” said Tregg Peterson, another McNary senior and longtime friend. Payton was diagnosed with soft-tissue sarcoma in July and is undergoing chemotherapy in the run-up to surgery to remove two tumors in November. After surgery, he’ll put in another 12 weeks of chemotherapy treatments. In the midst of it all, he’s seen family and friends rise in support (see related story page 10) while his doctors haven’t yet settled on a final diagnosis. He was scheduled to undergo the next of many biopsies earlier this week for a final determination. The ordeal began last...

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Second Smith trial continues

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes SALEM – The second murder trial against Victor David Smith is continuing. Smith has been accused of murdering Keizer’s Phillip Johnson outside his apartment on the night of July 1, 2004. The case against Smith ended with a mistrial back in June. The second trial began with jury selections on Wednesday and opening statements for both sides on Thursday, Sept. 11. As of Friday’s lunch break, the prosecution has brought 10 witnesses to the stand. Defense witnesses will be called next week. Like they did in June, prosecutors contend Smith was upset about Johnson seeing his live-in girlfriend Imani Williams and decided to take care of his problem by murdering Johnson. David Wilson gave opening statements for the prosecution and has been splitting questioning with Paige Clarkson. Smith’s attorney, Olcott Thompson, emphasized during his opening statements other people had issues with Johnson at the time of the murder and predicted the state would not be able to prove Smith was the killer. Among the witnesses for the prosecution was Johnson’s live-in girlfriend at the time, pregnant with their daughter, born six months after her dad was murdered. “No one should have to go through this,” the girlfriend said. “I want justice served. I want my daughter to know the coward who did this will rot in jail. She’s 9 years old and will...

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Wildcats bring potent air attack

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes  The McNary High School varsity football team hosts its only non-league game of the season Friday, Sept. 12, and it promises to be a doozy. The Celtics and Westview High School Wildcats, of Portland’s Metro league, kick off at 7 p.m. Both teams won their first contests of the 2014 season last week and will have momentum as much as anything else riding on the outcome of the game. The Wildcats went 7-4 last season and took second place in the Metro Conference. Last week, they clobbered Tualatin High School in a 49-13 rout. The Celts beat North Salem High School 35-21. “They’re going to be a bit different than North in the way they play the game. It’s going from a heavy ground game team to a pass team with a hurry-up offense,” said Devon Dunagan, a McNary senior. Wildcat quarterback Austin Brisbee threw for nearly 2,800 yards and 23 touchdowns last year. Brisbee had three touchdown passes and 313 yards against Tualatin. Westview’s running game is becoming a threat as well. Tailback Trevor Bovero and teammates Max Chung and Jayden Hanna all scored on the ground against Tualatin. The mix is likely to test the Celtic defense, which few members of the team were pleased with last week. “We had some big flags with North Salem and those are things...

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Celts trample Vikings 35-21

By ERIC A . HOWALD Of the Keizertimes The McNary High School varsity football team never trailed in its season-opening 35-21 win over North Salem High School Friday, Sept 5. The Celtics pounded away on the ground game using attacks led by a variety of runners, but junior Brady Sparks led the team with 170 yards on 20 carries. Senior Drew McHugh completed 11-18 in his debut as Celt quarterback after struggling in the first half. “We already expected we were going to win, but then we played down to their level instead of keeping the game at our level. We can really work on more team effort and communication up front and encouraging each other across the team,” said Steven Wilkerson, a Celtic senior. North won the coin toss, but never left their side of the field as the Celt defense shut them down at their own 25-yard line. McNary answered with a big return on the punt by junior Matt Aguilar and moved the chains to the North Salem 27-yard line when McHugh connected with Devon Dunagan on an outside route. Senior Kyle Torres ran the ball to the end zone on the next play to put the Keizer team up 7-0. North’s next drive stalled just past midfield, but the punt buried McNary at their own three-yard line. Two small-gain run attempts and a deflected pass...

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KYSA, KLL look to merge

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Could the bitter battle in Keizer youth sports actually be nearing an end? Representatives from both Keizer Little League (KLL) and Keizer Youth Sports Association (KYSA) indicate the two groups are working on a merger. Clint Holland indicated during the annual Keizer Parks Tour on Monday evening a merger was being worked on. “I’ve heard they merged the two groups,” Holland said. “KLL would take the younger kids, while KYSA would take the older kids.” KYSA president Kurt Barker and KLL official Jamie Vasas both told the Keizertimes on Tuesday a merger is indeed being worked on. “We have not merged,” Barker said. “The two boards are talking and trying to figure out a plan going forward. That is the ultimate goal, to merge and form one big group. I think we’re going to have something in place this next year for a temporary situation. Hopefully by the following winter we should be one big happy family.” Barker envisions having both tournament baseball teams as well as non-tournament teams, under one umbrella organization. “Families could pick whichever type of baseball they want to be a part of,” Barker said. “We want to have the options so all of Keizer’s kids are being taken care of in Keizer.” Vasas noted he became involved in KLL after the acrimonious little league split of 2008 and...

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