Author: Derek Wiley

Whiteaker volleyball off to hot start

By DEREK WILEY Of the Keizertimes Whiteaker Middle School’s volleyball teams are off to a blazing start. After three weeks of matches, the four teams are a combined 13-1 in league play. “We have always spent a lot of time focusing on the fundamentals of the game,” said Whiteaker physical education teacher Scott Coburn, who coaches the varsity team, which is 4-0 in league. “We try to teach volleyball as it needs to be in order to make the kids successful at the next level. We teach the systems of volleyball, we expect a pass, set and hit every time, and set our overall expectations very high. Having been here for 25 years I have been able to get solid coaches, have set the bar high and have a great tradition of excellence.” Along with an unblemished league record, Coburn’s squad also went 3-1 in a tournament at the Boys and Girls Club of Corvallis, losing in the semifinals on Saturday, Oct. 1. The other three teams are coached by Whiteaker teachers Carol Biamont, Amber Sweeney and Carley Parks. “Since I was a high school head coach and club coach for several years I know what is needed to succeed at the next level,” Coburn said. “We try to run our program to that level. McNary’s coaches have been supportive of us. We meet and talk so that we...

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Football: Celtics dominate West Albany

By DEREK WILEY Of the Keizertimes On paper, McNary-West Albany looked like it would go just like most of the Celtics other Greater Valley Conference games this season—a back-and-forth battle to the end. However, McNary had something else in mind. Setting the tone with a 15-play, 62-yard scoring drive to open the game, the Celtics defeated West Albany 28-7 on Thursday, Oct. 13 in Keizer. “We really came together like I don’t think we have yet this year,” senior Kolby Barker said. “Our offense was clicking. Our defense was clicking. Everybody did their job. We’ve been talking this whole time about taking us from good to great and I think we showed that tonight. I think people that haven’t been expecting a lot from us are going to change their minds real quick.” McNary was missing senior Brendan Van Voorhis, who was in New York on a track and field recruiting visit to West Point. “I was wondering how we were going to respond both offensively and defensively and it was great to see we didn’t miss a beat,” Celtics head coach Jeff Auvinen said. Senior Josh Benson became quarterback Josiah Gilbert’s No. 1 option at receiver, catching three touchdown passes. “I just knew I had to step up with (Van Voorhis) being gone to New York,” Benson said. “I thought we were going to run the whole entire...

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Breakdancing added at McNary

By DEREK WILEY Of the Keizertimes After a conversation with his older brother, Ricky Perez decided he wanted to be more active as he began his junior year at McNary High School and join a club. But looking through the list, there wasn’t one that interested him. So Perez decided to start his own—Aztec Rhythm, better known as breakdancing. He went to Ryan Somerville, a teacher at McNary who told Perez to “stop telling me what you’re going to do and come back and tell me what you’ve done.” Perez soon returned with three friends, Ryan Randolph, Eddy Lopez and Andres Miranda, and said, “This is my B-boy club.” He then filled out the appropriate paper work and Aztec Rhythm was added to the list of available clubs at McNary. “To me being the leader would surprise a lot of people in the halls because they see me as the kid who is just there,” Perez said. “I think it’s going to be really cool when they figure out I’m a leader here.” Perez was introduced to breakdancing in the eighth grade. He went to sessions twice a week at the Boys and Girls Club in Salem. But quit after six months. He played soccer in the eighth grade but hadn’t been a part of anything in high school. “One day I came to my senses, I don’t do...

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Celtics stun McMinnville

By DEREK WILEY Of the Keizertimes MCMINNVILLE—With 1:25 remaining, McNary trailed by four points. Two of the Celtics top offensive weapons had just dropped back-to-back passes, unable to catch a slick and heavy waterlogged ball. Facing a fourth-and-25 just inside its opponent’s 30-yard line, McNary called its last time out. The McMinnville home crowd was at its loudest of the night. The Celtics needed a hero. Quarterback Josiah Gilbert rolled out of the pocket and saw Jonathan Williams, a McNary junior who prior to the game had just two receptions for 16 yards, in the end zone. Williams out-jumped a McMinnville player to catch the ball off the top of the defender’s head. “I still can’t believe it’s real,” Williams said on Friday, Oct. 7 immediately after the 30-27 McNary victory. “I was surprised that the ball even came my way. It just ended up in my hands and I’m just glad I caught it. I had a drop a few weeks ago that would have been an easy touchdown for me. This week was a good comeback from that. It’s amazing. I’ve dreamed of this moment but I never thought it would be real. Now it’s happening and it’s crazy.” Gilbert thought Williams was more open than he actually was. “I just saw my boy (Williams) in the end zone,” Gilbert said. “I didn’t see the guy underneath...

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Salem-Keizer added school nurses

By DEREK WILEY Of the Keizertimes Nearly half of school nurse positions were cut in Oregon between 2010 and 2015, according to a report released in September by the Oregon School Employees Association (OSEA), Oregon School Nurses Association (OSNA), Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) and Upstream Public Health. But Eric Richards, director of student services, said that’s not the case in Salem-Keizer. “In our district, we have not had a trend in the number of nurse FTE (full-time employees) going down or even staying steady, it’s going up,” Richards said. “We’ve probably added two and a half to three positions over that time (2010-15). Richards added the district also hasn’t had a difficult time finding qualified nurses. “We had a full time position come open this year and we had four outstanding finalists, any of whom we would have been very happy with and we have a new person starting this year,” he said. “We had a great applicant pool. We were able to fill that. We haven’t felt the affects of any nursing shortage in our district, whatsoever.” Lynn Lanham, a registered nurse in the Salem-Keizer school district for over 20 years, agreed with Richards. “We have more help than we use to,” she said. “I think people are recognizing the level of care that the students need has certainly gone up. We’re better off than many other school...

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