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Ray Rodriguez

Stories by Ray

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TD volleyball loses opener

The Dalles volleyball team had a 2-1 lead after three sets, but wound up losing 25-22 in the fourth and then lost 15-10 in the fifth set to lose its home opener to North Marion Monday night at Kurtz Gym.

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Rangers all business entering ‘16 season

Defending champions head into play with targets on their backs

DUFUR – Coming off a seventh state football championship and first since the 2006 campaign, the Dufur Rangers are taking a business approach to defending their crown. They lost a bulk of talented seniors and linemen, but return the 1A Player of the Year Bailey Keever and a group of 13 sophomores, who earned their stripes as freshmen last year.

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Hawk harriers are running with drive

Team of 44 focused on vaulting up to 5A state meet

Over the past few years, the female talent on The Dalles Cross Country team has been dominating the headlines with multiple league titles. State-qualifier and senior standout Jony Nelson and the Riverhawk boys feel they have the depth and talent to move to the top of the 5A classification.

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SWC starts with a pair of wins

Lady Redsides beat Trinity Lutheran and Triangle Lake; Dufur loses two in Athena

The South Wasco County Redsides got off to a fast start and never looked back Wednesday in their two-match season-opener, taking a three-game sweep over Trinity Lutheran and a four-set triumph over Triangle Lake in volleyball action in Bend.

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Riverhawks looking to blaze a new trail

After success in 2015, TD’s revamped team raises its expectations

Last year, the Dalles volleyball team rose to a level not seen before in two decades.

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Nelson Tire Factory wins NWPRD crown

Co-ed softball team caps year with 28-5 romp in finale

As a sponsor for nearly two decades, Nelson Tire Factory has had teams post top-3 and runner-up finishes in the past, but never a championship. Wednesday night at Kramer Field, this group finally climbed over the mountaintop as the champions of the North Wasco County Parks and Recreation Department Co-Ed Softball League after a 28-5 triumph over Domino’s Pizza sponsored, “McGlovin.”

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Classic invites the 1A’s best to Dufur

14 teams set to play over three days starting on Sept. 1

DUFUR – The long wait is nearly over. Only one week stands before the start of the 1A football season and the 16th annual Oregon Eight-Man Classic showcase at Dufur High School. Dufur football coach and athletic director Jack Henderson has put together three days of gridiron action featuring several of the elite 1A programs from across state, including Camas Valley, Crane, Adrian, Triad, Days Creek and the defending 2015 state champion Dufur Rangers.

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The time is now for Dufur volleyball

Team is revamped and ready for 2016 season

DUFUR – Through rigorous daily double practices over the past two weeks, Dufur volleyball senior Emily Grande-DePriest grows more and more impressed by the nine underclassmen, including seven freshmen, that will see added minutes on the hardwood this fall. They have an unrelenting drive to get back to Redmond for state, a good omen so early in camp.

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TD hopes extra work equals state playoffs

For The Dalles girls’ soccer team, it is all about fresh starts. Under the new offensive and defensive schemes implemented by new head coach Oscar Nunez, varsity assistant Cheri McCall and new junior varsity coach Amy Krol, the rebuilt roster has its focus squarely on early success and a berth into the postseason.

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Young Hawks ready to take 5A by storm

With new coach, soccer team is on an upward swing

With a new head coach in Matthew Dallman and a starting roster of five freshmen, four sophomores and five upperclassmen, The Dalles boys’ soccer team is not worried about a lack of experience, but will rely on teamwork and progression through the regular season

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Ready to wash

The Dalles High School cheer team members, pictured from left to right, Kendyl Kumm, Abbey Helseth, Meara Crawford, Jessika Nanez, Keagan Rice and others give themselves a round of applause after practice Wednesday at Sid White Field.

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Riverhawks on Year 1 of rebuilding project

Football team starts daily doubles with 50 on roster

Over the next two years, The Dalles football team will play an independent schedule, so head coach Steve Sugg is looking forward to the opportunity to teach, mold and shape an up-and-coming roster of 30 underclassmen to build for the future.

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TD’s belief factor on high

The Dalles head football coach Steve Sugg (middle) offers words of encouragement for his 40 players who were in attendance at Wednesday’s practice on Sid White Field.

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Dakota Murr: Working toward a goal

TD hoops player wraps up summer AAU schedule

Dakota Murr has high expectations for himself and The Dalles boys’ basketball program over the next few years. In order to meet or surpass those goals and aspirations, he was on the hardwood this spring and summer playing on an Elite level team and in AAU Tournaments across the West region.

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Riverhawk Strong

The Dalles athlete J.R. Scott successfully deadlifts upwards of 400 pounds, while Dalles Seufalemua (back) and Dufur’s Abraham Kilby cheer him on during Saturday’s Gorge Gauntlet Competition at Amaton Field.

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Sawyer to be inducted into HRV Hall of Fame

Baseball coach led the Eagles to their first state title in 1980

Long-time The Dalles coach and hitting instructor, Doug Sawyer, will be inducted into the Hood River Valley High School Hall of Fame in a ceremony set to take place on Sept. 23 and 24.

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All for the love of the game

TD’s softball duo savors experience on travel squad

Through the summer, Kathryn Bradford and Jodi Thomasian traveled 6,200 miles across the United States in softball tournament games and also logged 214 miles, twice-a-week, to Hillsboro for practices – all for the love of the game. They enjoyed great moments, shared life experiences and improved their game to the level where they can take hold of prominent leadership roles for The Dalles softball team next spring. The long road trips are tiring, but it is all worth it in the end.

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Dufur Valley running field puts on impressive display

Group of 65 harriers show up for fundraiser

In his first year as race coordinator of the Dufur Valley 5k and 10k event, Ty Wyman was happy with the turnout and final results put up by the 65 running participants. With the Wasco County Fair coming up Saturday morning, Wyman has high hopes for another high turnout.

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Vassar dominates sub-regional golf event

TD athlete scores 151 points for first place honors

The Dalles golfer Tyler Vassar is not one to put his clubs away for the summer. He has been on the links, playing in tournaments and working on his craft at The Dalles Country Club in an effort to sharpen up his game. All of that work paid off in spades at the 14-15-year old Drive, Chip and Putt Sub-Regional Championships ending Aug. 9 at Meriwether National Golf Club in Hillsboro.

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Sports officials needed for the 2016-17 season

Bob McFadden welcomes men and women to join association

Since the 2010 sports season, there has been a steady decline in referees and officials across all sports. Mid-Columbia Football Officials president Bob McFadden is calling on men and women from across the gorge to be contributing to the community and get involved in interscholastic sports.

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Huffman makes her triumphant return

Sherman graduate eyes success as new Husky volleyball coach

MORO – In their first three seasons as varsity volleyball players, incoming seniors Brittney Orendorff and Emily Hill have been part of a Sherman volleyball program that has won 15 of 62 matches. With new head coach Amy Huffman back at the helm, the standout duo is looking forward to finishing their high school careers with a playoff berth and possibly more.

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Breaking down volleyball fundamentals

Coach Fanene impressed with skills displayed at camp

Just looking at all the fresh faces reminded Sierra Watson of the good old days when she was a young pup learning the ropes on the volleyball court. This past week, at Riverhawk Volleyball camp at The Dalles Middle School, the incoming senior was the wily veteran lending tidbits of wisdom to her fledgling brethren.

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TD Swim Team goes in for its final fury

Young group wraps up summer on a high note at Bend Open

Competing against a stout field this past weekend at the Bend Open Swim Invitational, The Dalles Swim Team head coach Scott McKay liked what he saw from his young group in their final event of the summer season. At the Juniper Swim and Fitness Center Sunday afternoon, TDST scored 11 top-15 finishes, four in the top-5, including a 25-yard freestyle victory by Rhylie Van Matre in three days of action in Bend.

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Dance Club sweeps field at Dance Magic

Academy team puts on record-setting performance in Seaside

In its final recital of the summer, The Dalles Dance Club Academy of Performing Arts team put forth a historic performance at the 34th annual Dance Magic this past weekend in Seaside. The Dance Club dominated every division with first-place finishes, an accomplishment only attained once over the past 22 years under the leadership of dance instructor Kristi Maley.

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Races aim to unite family and friends

Three local running events coming up this month

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Shadow softball wraps up first season

12U team had several top finishes this summer

The Gorge Shadows 12U softball team had a solid all-around performance in its inaugural season at the competitive level.

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Nurturing and teaching future stars

Coach Morris uses hoops camp to build TD program

The sounds included sneakers squeaking, basketballs bouncing, coaches directing and boys and girls talking, laughing and cheering each other on. Those were some of the sweet sounds for The Dalles boys’ basketball head coach Nathan Morris.

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Teaching the hoops basics

Basketball players had four days of learning the basics of the basketball game under the tutelage of The Dalles varsity head coach Nathan Morris (front) and assistant coach Greg Cummings this past week on the campus of The Dalles Middle School.

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Making memories that will last a lifetime

Babe Ruth softball makes return trip from Florida

There were thunderstorms, flight cancellations, days traveling on airboat through the Florida marshes and even a chance to make new friends. Memories that will last a lifetime, with many moments to cherish forever. The Dalles 14U Babe Ruth softball made its return trip from Jensen Beach, Florida on Wednesday, a closer group, a happy group and as writers of a groundbreaking new chapter of local softball history.

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Community is celebrated at Dolphin Dive

A total of 24 participants help raise nearly $1,300 in fundraiser

When a community and its athletes collaborate for a common goal, great things can happen. The first sign of good things to come was in June of 2015, when the North Wasco County Aquatic Center opened a new pool, funded by a community bond. The pool replaced a landmark that has been a community swimming staple for the past 80 years.

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Nunez brings a family vibe to TD soccer

Fostering togetherness should equal onfield success

To Oscar Nunez, nothing is more important in life than family. As a father of four girls and an AYSO coach for local youths over the past few years, he uses positive re-enforcement, encouragement and togetherness as his keys to coaching. The goal is to keep that trend as the new head coach of The Dalles High School girls’ varsity team.

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Babe Ruth Stars show heart at regionals

15U squad plays four games with 10 active players

Playing with only 10 players for four games in 15U Babe Ruth Regional action, The Dalles lost all four games and were eliminated from weekend bracket play Friday afternoon after losing by a 7-1 score against Columbia River Basin, out of Northern Washington, in a pool play matchup in Camas.. “We lost, but this was by far our best game of tournament,” said TD head coach David Hough. “They played their butts off in this game. It was close. They just had the timely hits.”

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Local events fast approaching

TD youth football signups ending on Sunday; Hoops camp begins Monday

Local briefs from across the Greater Columbia Gorge

TD’s 15U Babe Ruth loses third in a row

Team is eliminated from bracket play

The Dalles’ 15U Babe Ruth All Stars fell to 0-3 in regional action after a 10-3 loss Thursday to Montana in pool play baseball action in Camas, Wash.

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Locals bring light to Rocket Run

The annual Fourth of July Rocket Run held on July 4 in The Dalles attracted a large crowd to help raise funds for the annual firework display, sponsored by Mid-Columbia Health Foundation and MCMC Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Surgery.

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Telles grabs first Dakotas Tour win

TD grad shoots 65 on final day for two-stroke triumph

Last summer, Damian Telles was at a crossroads, debating whether golf was in his future. Dealing with some personal matters, Telles, 25, contemplated stepping away from the game to begin a new life as a civilian in the working world. It all started with taking a step back in life, looking at the pictures and looking at what he had in front of him and what changes were needed in order to be better and move forward in whichever direction he decided to go.

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Pitching, defense hurt 15U All-Stars

Five hurlers walk 15 in 20-9 loss to Alberta

The Dalles 15U All Stars totaled 14 hits and plenty of chances to score, but five different pitchers combined to walk 15 batters and the defense committed six errors in a 20-9 mercy-ruled loss to Alberta, Canada Tuesday in pool play action at the Babe Ruth Regional Tournament in Camas, Wash.

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Bringing passion to the sidelines

Lynn Cowdrey takes the reins at South Wasco County

As a player, a teacher, administrator and a coach, Lynn Cowdrey has enjoyed success at every level. Now back in the coaching game for the first time since the 2011-2012 season, Cowdrey is set to take over the South Wasco County girls’ basketball program.

Chronicle award list

The Dalles Chronicle netted seven awards in the 2016 Oregon Better Newspaper Contest for articles, editorials and graphics that were published last year. Reporter Neita Cecil received second place in the Best Enterprise Reporting category for a series of five stories in October and November written about the plight of a homeless mother and her five children. The articles unfolded as events occurred, including the removal of the children from motel room after the mother was arrested for a warrant involving methamphetamine use. The children, who were unable to attend school because of their situation, were sent to live with their father in Yakima.

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Babe Ruth teams prepping for huge tournaments

15U baseball starts today; Softball plays on Wednesday

The Dalles Babe Ruth has two team still alive in the playoffs with action starting today for the 15U All-Stars in Camas, Wash. The 14U All-Star softball players hit the field on Wednesday afternoon for the start of pool play at the World Series in Jensen Beach, Fla.

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Wonderworks event a hit for kids

Thirty youths take part in second annual obstacle course

Local runners came out in full force for the Fort Dalles Days 3k and 5k run/walk and 30 kids participated in the second annual Little Wrangler Obstacle Course on July 16 at Sorosis Park in The Dalles. In the 3k race, William Booth took home first place with a final time of 16 minutes and eight seconds. Paul Jones, who had a mark of 26:36, was the men’s 5k run winner, and Genevieve Urness won the women’s 5k race with a solid time of 26:41.

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CG Hustlers eliminated from postseason

Team is swept in two games Saturday at Dallas High

Players and coaches spend so much time with one another during the regular season to the point of developing friendships and a togetherness. Such is the case for the Columbia Gorge Hustlers, who had their season cut short Saturday after two losses by scores of 7-2 and 13-2 to the Salem Dirtbags in American Legion Super Regionals baseball play at Dallas High School.

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TD cheer puts on an All-Star performance

Team of 32 scores first place and all-around honors

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CG Hustlers move on to Super Regional rounds

Legion squad erases early deficit to score a 14-9 victory

Columbia Gorge Hustler co-head coach Doug Sawyer said he can learn a lot about a team when they are faced with adversity. Over the past two weeks, the Hustlers re-shuffled their coaching staff, overcame injuries and departures, but managed to put together a streak of four wins in the past five games, capped by a 14-9 triumph over Pendleton Thursday in a one-game American Legion playoff matchup at Bob Williams Field.

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Gridiron love starts with local youths

Riverhawk football hosts 40 kids for four days of fundamentals

For a four-day span at Amaton Field in The Dalles, 40 boys and girls with dreams and aspirations of becoming varsity superstars stepped onto the gridiron at Amaton Field to take part in the 2016 The Dalles High School Youth Football Camp. With TD football coach Steve Sugg catching the action alongside assistant coaches Dan Telles, Joe Abbas, Gabe Wilson and Jermaine Hisatake, the players ranging from third-through-eighth grades participated in a four-day session covering offensive, defensive and technique drills.

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Hustlers put season on the line at home tonight

A win over Pendleton sets up Super Regionals bid

Needing to win three of four games this past weekend, the Hustlers nearly swept a pair of league doubleheaders, but still won three games to set up a one-game playoff against Pendleton at 6 p.m. tonight at Bob Williams Field.

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Athletics East squad caps solid summer

Johnson, Bullock and Rising end on a high note

Three middle school athletes determined to fare well in their final meets of the summer for the Athletics East program were able to end on a high note in their respective events earlier this July. Emily Johnson, of The Dalles, accomplished great times and personal records during her running campaign, and she did well enough to earn a berth into the USATF Regional meet in Seattle. Elli Rising, of Goldendale, and Hood River’s Chloe Bullock also capped their solid summer at the Tracktown Youth League finals on Saturday, July 9, at Historic Hayward Field, with Rising nearly winning two events and Bullock picking a victory in her lone run at 400-meters.

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Cummings looking forward to 2017 season

13U group takes summer as a learning experience

With time to let the 2016 Babe Ruth baseball campaign sink in, The Dalles head coach Greg Cummings is already circling the calendar for next year and beyond. Last weekend in West Linn, TD went 1-2 in state action, losing their finale 18-2 in mercy-ruled fashion to the West Linn ‘A’ team.

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14U Stars soaking in their historic run

After clinching regional crown, team focused on World Series

It was history in the making. The shock and amazement is still yet to sink in – the 14U Babe Ruth All Stars are the Pacific Northwest Regional softball champions. In five games, the Stars posted a 4-1 record and outscored their opponents by an 81-49 margin, capping this inspiring run with a 23-13 victory over Kuna in the title game played Friday at Settlers Park in Meridian.

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Tharp says Crush can hold their heads high

14U travel softball team made gains on and off the field in 2016

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