By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

Kim Phillips, one of 10 individuals who will be honored on Oct. 6 by the Salem-Keizer High School Sports Booster Club, coached at McNary for 34 years.

But she almost didn’t make it more than one.

“It was a time when they were going to be moving people and I didn’t want to move so they needed a coach for another sport (track), so I did for a season to keep my job,” Phillips said.

While Phillips main sport was swimming, she never stopped stepping up when McNary needed another coach. She was the head coach of the varsity volleyball program from 1982 to 87 and then girls golf for 18 seasons from 1994 to 2011.

Phillips coached notable swimmers Seth and Martin Pepper—an NCAA champion and qualifier for the Olympic trials and an NCAA champion, respectfully, Jake Palmer—a state champion and Amber Boucher, who participated in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

On the golf side, Phillips coached two inviddual state champions—Jerilyn White and Rebecca Kim.

Her girls swim team finished third at the state meet and the girls golf team placed second in 2005, missing the state championship by just two strokes.

Also a P.E. teacher for 34 years, Phillips saw the benefits of being a student athlete.

“They learned how to work together, winning and losing isn’t everything, perseverance, especially for some of those kids that weren’t very good when they first started and stuck with it,” Phillips said.

“They learned dedication, organization, time management. I think that’s what high school sports does for kids.”

The Salem-Keizer High School Sports Booster Club’s primary goal is to make sure more students participate in athletics by helping offset participation fees.

While Salem-Keizer students athletes average a 3.25 GPA, nearly one point higher than the average student in the general population, athletic participation in the high schools is less than 40 percent, a record low.

All six high school will receive $5,000 each year from the booster club to help defray student athletic fees so that all kids have the opportunity to benefit from sports.

The community can participate by partnering with the booster club financially as it recognizes its 2018 Beacons—Phillips (McNary), Dick Bellock (McKay), Jaime Ellis (Sprague), Mary Heater (South Salem), Dr. Malcolm Snider (North Salem), Susan and LaRon Tolley (West Salem), Jim Reimann and Dick and Dave Withnell.

Partnership options range from $275 for two event tickets and one scholarship to $5,000 for eight tickets and 25 scholarships. Individual dinner tickets are $50.

Held at the Salem Convention Center, the festivities begin at 5 p.m. with a social hour, followed by dinner at 6 and an awards presentation at 7.

Bruce Brown, the founder of Proactive Coaching, is the keynote speaker.

Phillips is honored to be in the first group to receive a Beacon award.

“I was shocked,” she said. “There are so many great people that have worked at McNary or taught or volunteered at McNary. “It’s a definite honor. I can think of plenty of people that they could have bestowed the honor on.”

To purchase tickets, sponsorships or to get more information about the Salem-Keizer High School Sports Booster Club, go to salemkeizerbeacons.com.