Author: Eric Howald

Vikings slip past Celtics 32-24

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes If Rick Ward were pressed to sum up McNary’s 32-24 loss to North Salem on the gridiron, he could do it in one word: timing. “We had all the reads we wanted, got players open on the field and four touchdown passes that were an inch away from connecting,” Ward said. The Celtics were plagued with timing issues throughout the night with a few leading to turnovers that reversed the tide on the Celts. “Physically we have great effort, but our mental mistakes are just killing us,” said Jared Van Cleave, a McNary senior linebacker. In the first quarter, the Vikings scored on a 60-yard pass and an interception that North Salem’s Avry Holmes ran back 61 yards for a touchdown – the result of a timing error. Despite the on-field foibles, McNary’s players managed to make a game of it. “We lost our momentum as they kept scoring, but we kept reminding each other to forget the last play and move on to the next,” said Jordan Gillett, a McNary senior defensive lineman. Celts responded with the only points of the second quarter on a Tim McDowell two-yard run. The Vikings racked up numerous penalties throughout the quarter, but McNary couldn’t shift the momentum. “We didn’t capitalize on their penalties,” said Garren Robinett, a McNary wide receiver. “We would have bright...

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Horns up! Band forms unspoken bond in music

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes In the midst of a performance, McNary High School drum major Hannah Patterson’s commitment to the band is visible on her face. It’s held rigid as she watches the lead drum major and flows into her hands as she cuts through the air with crisp, rhythmic motions leading the band through their routine. That stony-faced resolve is a sharp contrast to the dimples that are immediately visible as soon as she steps down from the podium. “If you had a brain monitor hooked up to one of our players, you would be amazed,” Patterson, a senior and trumpet player, said. “I’ve taken hard classes, but I’ve never worked as hard as I do on the field. You’re watching the music, watching the conductor, watching the form, watching the next set and thinking march with this foot at this time. When I was a freshman, I didn’t anticipate working this hard.” Each week during football home game, the band takes the field for a six-minute set, but most don’t realize exactly how much preparation goes into that performance. “There are some people who hear us practicing out at 9 p.m. on Monday nights, but I’m not even sure they realize that we have our own competitions,” said flutist Patricia Brown. “We love coming out to support our team and our school, but we’d...

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Detail work will be key to Celt rebound

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes After a crushing 50-14 loss to Barlow High School and a mixed 2-2 preseason record, the Celtics have the opportunity to hit the reset button this week as they face North Salem High School Friday, Oct. 1. McNary High School travels to meet the Vikings in the conference-opener and follow it with a Thursday game against West Salem High School, Oct. 8, at Flesher Field. McNary crumbled on offense and defense against Barlow, but the damage done isn’t beyond repair, said Rick Ward, McNary head coach. “It’s a matter of getting punched in the nose and deciding how you’re going to react to it,” he said. “The first thing we’re going to do is fix simple mistakes, and mistakes we didn’t make in the two weeks prior – like having guys in the wrong place or two guys running into the same zone.” North Salem (0-4) has struggled in its preseason contests. The Vikings have been outscored 122-62 in losses to Wilson, Barlow, Lakeridge and Hood River Valley high schools. Still, it’s not a team Ward is looking past. “Their offense is a hard offense to stop, there’s three guys going three different ways and we need to know who’s got the ball,” Ward said. “That’s a discipline game, that’s an assignment game and we have to solve that this week.” Celt...

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Fast and furious

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Inacia Arpin’s gnarliest BMX racing crash began with a bribe. “It was at the State Fair this year, there was this backpack I really wanted and my dad told me he would buy it if I won the moto,” Arpin said. Races in the BMX world are tagged motos. Arpin, racing against a group of boys, looked to be in prime position to claim the new bag as she went up the first hill of the Capitol City BMX track. “As I went up over the hill, one of the boys jumped the hill and ended up in front of me. I went down and one rider ran over me and two others ran over my bike,” Arpin, 14, said. Arpin is one of eight Keizer kids that are regulars at the track, and she is among the top riders in the area. There are too few girls competing for her to be officially labeled an expert rider, but she’s easily the equivalent. In a sport where speed is essential, Keizer’s BMX riders each embody a spark of fearlessness and have become something like a family. “I’m here right now and I’m not even riding,” said Nate Martin. Martin recently crashed in his driveway while attempting a barspin and landed on the tip of his thumb breaking it in two places. “It’ll...

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