Day: March 9, 2015

Auvinen on new role: ‘Keep them guessing’

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes McNary High School football players didn’t need to wait long to find out who their new head coach would be Monday, March 2. “When Coach (Isaac) Parker said that he had another opportunity, I knew we had some big shoes to fill. He did great things to build this program through his relationships with you, the players, and in the community,” said Erik Jespersen, McNary principal. Shortly thereafter players learned longtime McNary teacher and coach Jeff Auvinen would be taking the reins of the program. Most recently, Auvinen has been coaching the school’s freshman gridders. Parker resigned from the program in January to take an assistant coaching and recruiter job with Lewis and Clark College. “He’s been such a part of the program for so long that he’s been through the ups and downs and now he’s leading us,” said junior Jason Sperle. “It’s not a whole new beginning, we’re picking up right where we left off.” Sperle went directly to varsity action skipping a tenure under Auvinen, but sophomore Kolby Barker was part of Auvinen’s team as a freshman. “We actually didn’t have that great of a season, but we’ve got the right guys in the right places to be successful under Coach Auvinen. I’m excited, it’s going to be good,” Barker said. Auvinen laid out the plan for the immediate...

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Volcanoes paying for a volcano slide at Big Toy

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes It would be expected for any large structure like the Big Toy being planned for Keizer Rapids Park to have a slide or two. How can a slide get a Keizer twist? Well, a volcano slide would do the trick. Jerry Walker, owner of the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes baseball team, has pledged funding to help create such a thing for Keizer’s youth. “That’s what we’re doing,” said Walker, who brought the Volcanoes to town at the then-new Volcanoes Stadium in 1997. “We’re going to do a volcano at the Big Toy.” Walker has committed $7,500 towards the project, $1,000 of which has already been paid. He has pledged a maximum of $500 for a replica of Crater, the team’s mascot. “We’re waiting for a design,” Walker said. “I haven’t seen a final design yet, only what the committee has shown. There will be a big volcano, with several different thoughts on how kids will climb to the top. They will have a nice slide down. When they get to the top, Crater will be there. They will slide down between his legs, going down the slide to the bottom.” If possible, Walker would like to see a mister incorporated into the design to shoot out fog, like what Crater uses each May during the Iris Festival parade and like what the scoreboard at Volcanoes...

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