Author: Eric Howald

Celts get one more shot at CVC win

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes For the past four weeks, the story of the McNary varsity football team has been a book with series of repeated pages – stop the run, stop turning over the ball. “There’s simply one of those special kids on each of the teams in the Central Valley Conference and McKay is no exception with [Ian] Silbernagel,” said Rick Ward, McNary head coach. The Celtics (0-4 CVC, 2-6 overall) host the Royal Scots (2-2 CVC, 3-4 overall) Friday, Oct. 29. Game time is 7 p.m. McNary is locked in the league’s last spot, but it means the game will be played as much for pride as it will be for the hope of heading into the state playoff play-in game on a win. “We want to take McKay off track and it will give us a big momentum boost to take another ‘W,’” said Gonzalo Cervantes, McNary kicker. To prevail, the team will have to stop Silbernagel, the Royal Scots’ multitalented quarterback. Silbernagel met his match in the South Salem Saxons last week, who held him to 118 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries. The week prior, Silbernagel’s final minute 75-yard rush led the team to a victory over North Salem. Silbernagel lists CVC championships in the 100-meter and 200-meter track competition in his growing arsenal of weapons. “He’s another big, really...

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Lady Celts sweep Olys, Vikings, Titans

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes After going undefeated in their first swing through the Central Valley Conference, the new goal for the McNary High School varsity volleyball team is simple: be better. “Be better with every touch and against every opponent. Better mentally and better disciplined,” said Dustin Walker, Celtic head coach. The attitude was on display last week as the girls locked horns with North Salem High School. In the first round of CVC competition, the Vikings were the only team to take a game off the Celts, but McNary won handily in three sets last week, 25-14, 25-16, 25-19. “It was like redeeming ourselves,” said Celt Simona Arnautov. “It was proof we earned that first win and it wasn’t a fluke.” “We had to make a statement and we played our hardest the whole way through,” added Madi Cavell, a senior. Cavell led in kills, 14, aces, 4, and blocks, 4. Deven Hunter put down 10 kills. Whittley Harrell had nine digs and four aces. Arnautov tied Harrell for most digs with nine. Walker was also pleased with the work and effort of setter Megan Holland who had 31 assists on the night. “Megan runs the court and distributes the ball and makes better and better decisions every day,” Walker said. “That’s a hard position to play because, like a quarterback, there’s always something that...

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Mental mistakes haunt Celtics’ 34-21 loss

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Formidable opponent aside, it was errors on the Celtic side of the football that kept the varsity team from closing the gap in the 34-21 loss to South Salem High School. McNary allowed a touchdown with four seconds remaining in the half that permitted the Saxons a lead they would never surrender, but a blown snap in the red zone near the top of the fourth quarter and a final drive that netted McNary more than 30 yards on five consecutive penalties were nails in the coffin. “On the last drive, we had three minutes left and plenty of time to run the ball down and go for an onside kick. That’s the mindset, and then we started taking the belly punches,” said Rick Ward, head coach. McNary’s first big play of the game came at the hands of Garren Robinett who reeled in a pass from South Salem’s Jaylynn Bailey inside the Celtic 10-yard line. The Celts didn’t make anything of the return drive, but the Saxons scored on their next possession for a 7-0 lead. South Salem recovered a dropped snap on McNary’s next possession and Bailey rushed into the end zone from a yard out for a 13-0 lead early in the second quarter. “It’s been a lot of the same thing all season,” said Mike Gerasimenko, a Celtic...

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Frosh team will honor relatives’ military service

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes When things are going as well as they have been for the McNary High School freshman football team, it’s easy to lose perspective, but that’s not the same as facing adversity. “I hear athletes talk all the time in interviews about ‘overcoming adversity’ to win a championship,” said Ted Anagnos, head coach of the frosh team. “Just once, I’d like to see an athlete interviewed say that playing a game is not adversity. Adversity is the guy fighting in Afghanistan or Iraq in 115-degree temperatures so we get the right to play a great game.” Earlier this season, he was trying to impress upon the young Celts the importance keeping wins, even several of them in a row, in perspective and he asked how many of their families had been affected by military deployments. Two players, Jacob Gillet and Kolton Vickers, had fathers who had been deployed since the beginning of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The pair will be co-team captains in the upcoming game with McKay High School Thursday, Oct. 28. The players with other family members in the armed forces will stand 10 yards behind the captains as they take the field. Gillett’s father, Lt. Col. Michael Gillett in the National Guard, was stationed in Iraq for 10 months last year. He handled personnel and logistics for defensive...

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Boys, girls knot games with Vikings on the soccer field

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes It’s beginning to feel like a common refrain – more goals. Both the boys and girls varsity soccer team ended their matches with North Salem High School in draws. The girls tied the game at 1-1 and the boys knotted at 0-0. Players on both teams considered the games an upward swing in overall play, but the elusive wins are beginning to weigh heavily on their shoulders. “We gotta finish like we do in practice,” said the boys’ Hugo Gonzalez. “We have to be confident when we shoot, that will make a huge difference.” The boys met the Vikings on road Wednesday, Oct. 13, and battled to the Celts’ first shutout of the season in what players described as an “intense” game. “We had a lot of shots on goal, we grew up a lot on the field,” said Hugo Cortez. Miguel Camarena, Celtic head coach, was particularly pleased with the results as an away game with a top team in the league and as a sign of improvement over the Celtic effort earlier this season. “The first game we lost 4-0, they were better team than us from the start to the end, but this time we changed formations, players and the team looked good and we played better than them,” he said. “Unfortunately, we missed many opportunities to score.” Camarena...

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