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Ray Rodriguez

Stories by Ray

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Johnson qualifies for regionals

Athletics East phenom nets a pair of top-8 state finishes

With two personal records and a first-place output under her belt from her last track and field meet in early June, Athletics East standout Emily Johnson qualified for regional competition with a pair of top-8 finishes at the USATF Junior Olympic State Meet held on June 24-25 at Jesuit High School in Beaverton.

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Crush caps top season with third at state

10U softball has 11 ready to return for 2018 season

The Cherry City Crush 10U girls’ fast-pitch softball team capped a ground-breaking 2017 campaign by capturing third-place honors at the Oregon ASA State 10U-C Championship this past weekend in Albany.

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Young 10U squad poised to make some noise

TD is one of the darkhorses in eight-team district field

The Dalles 10U All Star head coach Michael Cates fields a roster of seven 10-year olds and six nine-year olds for the start of District 5 Little League play.

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Targets are squarely on TD’s 12U All Stars

Core group is looking for a District 5 repeat effort

Last year, The Dalles Little League All Stars entered District 5 Tournament play with a chip on their shoulders and won. With Styles DeLeon, Braden Schwartz, Riley Brock and Nolan Donivan as the holdovers from the district-winning 10U group, that quartet, with head coach Ken Brock, know there will be a target on their backs at the start of 12U action this Saturday in Redmond.

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Swim team opens eyes at Ted Walker Invite

Group picks up 26 top-5 finishes and sets top ‘B’ state times

In its first meet of the summer campaign, The Dalles swim team posted 26 top-5 finishes, including second-place outputs by Shantill Moody, Maverick Varland and both the boys and girls 200-meter freestyle relays at the 66th annual Ted Walker Invitational, ending Sunday at North Wasco County Aquatics Center in The Dalles.

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Hoops camp focuses on the fundamentals

More than 140 kids show up for 24th annual event

DUFUR – Dufur High School turned into basketball central last week for the 24th annual Jumpstart Camp, as more than 140 participants showed up to learn the fundamentals of the game from expert coaches from across the Gorge.

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Reed caps career with all-star volleyball title

Dufur graduate helps lead Team Steele to two victories

Through her playing career, Dufur High School graduate Sydney Reed has played under the bright lights, handling pressure with a sense of calm. This past Saturday, Reed donned her Ranger volleyball uniform once again for play in the fourth annual Oregon Athletic Coaches Association all-star volleyball series Saturday at Quinn Coliseum in La Grande.

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Flying high off that all-star experience

Players from Sherman, Dufur take part in Eight-Man Classic

Some of the top athletes from across the state hit the gridiron for one final time this past Saturday in the 28th Eight-Man All-Star Game played at Community Stadium in La Grande.

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Sugg sees growth with young ‘A’ Hustlers

Overall aim of summer ball program is fundamental development

When looking at his young roster, Columbia Gorge ‘A’ Hustler coach Steve Sugg is not worried about wins and losses, but about player development.

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White Salmon picks up Babe Ruth crown

Nate Roth delivers walk-off RBI single to give team an 8-7 win

When it came down to crunch time in a championship scenario, White Salmon had the players to come through in the clutch.

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Coach Garrett retires from softball post

Skipper ends up with a 233-136 record in 13 years at TD

As he walks away from a successful softball coaching journey, Steve Garrett can feel satisfied with what he accomplished over his 13 years.

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Sherman posts an impressive three-peat effort

Two-time champions sweep field at annual hoops invitational

MORO – Playing without graduated seniors Kyle Fields, Max Martin, Maverick Winslow and Isaiah Coles, the two-time defending state champion Sherman Huskies kicked off their offseason slate in style with eight consecutive wins, including a finals romp over Jordan Valley, to score first place at the Sherman Invitational ending Sunday in Moro. “We are super proud that we could go out and get the job done once again,” said all-state point guard Jacob Justesen.

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New year brings high hopes for swim team

Coach Scott McKay has group setting lofty goals

With a promising group of 70 swimmers, representing all levels, and the help of assistant coaches Andrew Clifford and Allie Wood, The Dalles swim team head coach Scott McKay has his team poised and ready to take on all comers this summer for an exciting swim slate.

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Dillard talks about past, future

University of Portland grad raises bar for local harriers

Through the course of running history, the name Alex Dillard is synonymous with success, grace, diligence and a drive to win. The recent University of Portland graduate capped his collegiate career at the NCAA West Regionals in Austin Texas.

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McCall makes jump to Div. III George Fox

TD grad wants to make an immediate impact at the guard position

Brooke McCall had a choice between playing collegiate soccer or basketball. It was a tough decision, but when it came down to it, hoops has always been one of her first loves. McCall has signed on to play for Division III George Fox University to play guard for a Bruins program that posted 24 consecutive winning seasons, won the 2009 Div. II championship and has gone 180-27 under 2011-2012 Div. III National Coach of the Year Michael Meek.

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Justesen nets OAOA Official of the Year honors

Volleyball referee earns high praise from his peers

Jeff Justesen has officiated high school basketball games for 27 years and volleyball matches for 24, so he is part of the fabric of The Dalles, Dufur, Maupin and Moro and the surrounding communities across the Greater Columbia River Gorge. He finally got his due as he received the Oregon Athletic Officials Association Official of the Year Award for his contributions during the volleyball season.

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Crush team adds another notch to their belts

10U softball squad takes first at Donald Duck Invite

Right before state, the 10U Cherry City Crush is hitting their peak. Last weekend, at the 14-team Donald Duck Invitational in Newberg, the Crush outscored their opponents by a 69-34 margin on their way to a perfect 5-0 record to claim a tournament championship.

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Hawk players recognized

Peters and Miller pick up two team awards apiece

The Dalles head coach Steve Sugg announced the 2017 baseball awards for his players on both junior varsity squads and the state-qualifying varsity team, as 13 different players received citations for their time with the program.

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Jamack is named as the state’s top official

Umpire is the first in MCUA history to receive such praise

In several walks of life, whether it is a police officer, teacher, doctor or game official, receiving any type of accolades or recognition goes above and beyond any expectation. Most, if not all, are in their respective fields to make a difference and be a contributing member to society. That is why long-time umpire and official, Robert Jamack, was surprised when he received the Oregon Athletic Officials Association’s Official of the year award for the 2016-2017 season, the first ever for the Mid-Columbia Umpires Association, since the OAOA started giving the out the award in 2005-2006.

Helyer earns big honor

In her first year at the community college level, Grace Helyer is already opening eyes. The Dalles High School graduate led Mount Hood Community College in four offensive categories and picked up second-team all-Northwest Athletic Conference honors for her play in the infield.

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TD standout signs on with Warner Pacific

Chase Snodgrass gets scholarship to play golf at NAIA school

When the competition is fierce and he is being challenged, Chase Snodgrass thrives on the golf course. The Dalles High School graduate will take those qualities to Warner Pacific College, where he accepted a scholarship to play golf for a successful Knights program coached by Quincy Heard.

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Wilson dazzles to lead squad to Majors crown

Papa Murphy’s ace fans 14 in one-hit effort for a 7-0 shutout win

Papa Murphy’s Pizza pitcher Kade Wilson dealt with nagging injuries all spring. Late Friday night, he battled a high fever, but recovered just enough to take the mound in a Majors championship game against Riley Brock, Mason Caldwell, Braden Schwartz and a hard-hitting Nelson Tires squad.

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Hank’s Auto comes back for Minors title

Five-run sixth leads way to a 13-9 win over top-seeded Fix Auto

In a back-and-forth battle of auto companies, it was Fix Auto that struck early and often, but Hank’s Auto had the last response. Down by a 9-8 margin in the top of the sixth inning, Hank’s Auto scored five runs to take the lead, and reliever Derek Goulart wiggled out of a bases-loaded jam with a strikeout to give his team a 13-9 comeback victory Saturday in The Dalles Little League Minors championship action at Kramer Field.

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Dufur clay target squad prepping for state

DUFUR – The Annie Oakley competition starts with all shooters at the line, then each person takes turns shooting the clay. Fun times and great moments are the reasons why Robert Wallace decided to start the Oregon Clay Target High School program in Dufur.

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Goslin is ready for her move to William Penn

TD graduate shoots up to the NAIA softball ranks next season

In her two seasons at Big Bend Community College, Morgan Goslin posted a .335 batting average with 11 home runs, 19 doubles, 65 RBIs and 52 runs scored in 77 games. Given that amount of offensive production, Goslin signed a letter of intent to continue her solid softball career at William Penn University.

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Hoylman bringing the storm to Chemeketa

The Dalles senior inks a scholarship deal to play college hoops

Losing three sophomore guards, Chemeketa Community College head women’s basketball coach Kevin McCarrell was on the recruiting trail across the region looking for some reinforcements. He appears to have found one of his answers in The Dalles’ first-team all-league point guard, Kailin Hoylman.

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Riverhawk stars come out in full force

McCall, Telles and Snodgrass earn TDHS Hall of Fame recognition

The Dalles High School athletic director Mike Somnis stood front and center in front of a large gathering of friends, community members, volunteers, coaches and student-athletes for a perfect capper to the 2016-2017 school year, the All Sports Awards held Wednesday at The Dalles Civic Auditorium.

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Johnson hoists gold at PDX Track Festival

TDMS eighth grader breaks 1,500-meter personal record in win

In just her third attempt at 3,000 meters, Emily Johnson showed she has the winning edge. At the two-day Portland Track Festival Youth Meet ending Sunday, The Dalles Middle School eighth grader shattered her previous personal record by 26 seconds and came away with first-place honors after a final marker of 11 minutes and 27.16 seconds.

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Dufur, Sherman represent all-state squad well

Kolbe Bales is named 2A/1A Baseball Player of the Year; Field and Justesen on second team

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Huskies have eight players score BMC honors

Winslow, Moe Fields, Martin and Justesen are all on the first team

The Sherman baseball team nearly put up identical numbers from a season ago, with four more league wins, one more win overall, and a quarterfinal state berth, and as a result, eight players picked up Blue Mountain Conference honors, including five first-team winners.

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Ranger standouts end season on league list

Bales named Player of the Year for Blue Mountain champions

Kolbe Bales had an all-time season on the mound, finishing with career-highs in several categories for the Blue Mountain Conference champion Dufur Rangers. In a year of firsts, the Rangers had their high regular season ranking of No. 1 for that final two months, were the No. 1-seeded entering state action, added a program-best 24-2 record, and vaulted to their deepest postseason run in program history, the semifinals.

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So. Wasco honors its students

Maupin celebrates academic accomplishments on May 25

Ty Herlocker had a memorable sendoff at the South Wasco County Spring Awards ceremony Thursday, May 25 in Maupin. The senior was awarded scholarships, earned a full ride to the University of Oregon, was awarded his National Honor Society cords, named class valedictorian and had his name called as Student of the Year, along with junior Allie Noland.

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TD cheer team is determined on success

Large group may be young, but the fire burns for state title No. 13

For the past two seasons, The Dalles cheer team has used back-to-back runner-up state finishes as building blocks for greater future achievements. The drive to work harder and take that next step is there, more than ever, creating a source of motivation, hunger and desire to succeed as the calendar flips to the 2017-2018 campaign.

Scholarship awards given

All-league basketball player Alexus Outlaw is known for her prowess on the court, but is sure meet or surpass that level in the classroom.

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Youth baseball team rises up to the challenge

12U Sluggers post a 5-0 record for a season-ending tourney title

The Dalles 12U baseball team sent a resounding statement in its final Junior Baseball Organization tournament of the spring.

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Veteran umpire off to state

Bruce Parker set to officiate 5A State Softball title game

Celebrating his 40th year as an umpire, Bruce Parker was selected as the plate umpire for Saturday’s 5A State Softball Championship game at the Oregon State University Complex in Corvallis between Dallas and Marist Catholic.

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Johnson shows well in Corvallis

As a former top high school and collegiate athlete, coach Heather Fitz-Gustafson sees so much potential in Emily Johnson. Coming off a standout Junior Olympic performance in 2016, Johnson, from The Dalles Middle School, hit the ground running for a pair of events at the Middle School Meet of Champions last Thursday in Corvallis.

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Dufur celebrates its top athletes, students

Bales, Reed and Keever get ‘Ranger of the Year’ honors

In a crowded gymnasium Wednesday night in Dufur, school administrators, teachers, coaches, community members, family and friends shared a lasting moment with students and athletes at the Dufur High School year-end ceremony.

Jumpstart Camp opens registration

24th annual event is expected to fill up quickly

If a player wants to maximize their overall skill level in the game of basketball, extra work in the offseason is necessary. Starting at 9 a.m. and running until 3 p.m. on Monday, June 19, the Jumpstart Basketball Camp will start its 24th season of giving youths from grades 2-9 the opportunity to hone in on their hoops attributes in a five-day event at Dufur High School.

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Dufur stunned by Reedsport comeback

No. 1 Rangers grab 3-1 lead, but take 7-4 semifinal loss

3-1 lead, but the Reedsport Braves stormed back with six runs in the top of the sixth inning, all of those runs coming with two outs, in a 7-4 state semifinal victory Tuesday at Quinton Street Ballpark. “I would say sports is a lot like life. Things don’t always go your way,” said Dufur head coach C.S. Little.

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Hawks have six on all-Columbia River baseball list

Hoffman, Miller and Gonzalez are on first team

Under coach Steve Sugg, The Dalles baseball team won 10 games, finished ranked in the top-25 and clinched a state play-in berth during the 2017 campaign. From last year, the Riverhawks also scored 48 more runs, jumping from 105 to 153, with a team batting average of .303. For those numbers, Johnny Miller (Infield), Jose Gonzalez (Outfield) and Dawson Hoffman (Designated Hitter) had their names called as first-team all-Columbia River Conference winners, Daniel Peters (Outfield) was a second team recipient, and Jordan Wetmore (Pitcher) and Henry Lee (First Base) were honorable mention picks.

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Rangers respond with a blowout victory

Pitching and offense lead the way in a 16-1 romp over UVC

With less than 48 hours to soak in a tough opening-round performance in an 8-5 win over Bandon, veteran leaders on the No. 1-seeded Dufur Rangers knew if they wanted to keep their season going, fundamentals and execution were keys to success against Umpqua Valley Christian.

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TD softball nets CRC honors

Bradford on 1st team; Five on 2nd squad

The Dalles girls’ softball team managed three wins, two in league and still finished one win shy of qualifying for the state playoffs.

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Hull celebrates Illinois journey

Maupin native makes history in Hoop Shoot competition

While Maupin native Jason Hull did not win a national championship, he can take pride in knowing he was one of top-12 free throw shooters across a nation of more than half a million participants between the ages of 8-13.

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Sherman dismantles Kennedy, 11-4

MORO – Forging ahead without injured all-state catcher Bradley Moe Sherman head coach Joe Justesen has had to move players around with hopes of finding the right fit for the stretch run. Since Moe’s injury, the No. 7-ranked Huskies have won four of their last five games, including an 11-4 opening-round state playoff victory Wednesday in Moro against No. 10 Kennedy.

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Dufur vaults to the quarterfinals

No. 1 Rangers drop Bandon, 8-5

No. 1-seeded Dufur learned a valuable lesson from Wednesday’s 2A/1A state opener against 16th-seeded Bandon – if you take anything for granted, it could come back to bite you.

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Riverhawk tracksters give coach hope for the future

Team posts solid marks at 5A state meet held in Eugene

With all but one athlete celebrating a first state track and field meet experience, The Dalles head coach Garth Miller feels that the 2017 campaign is a good first step toward great things to come.

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At long last, Sherman advances to state playoffs

Huskies pull off dramatic comeback win against Pilot Rock

The No. 7-ranked Huskies erased a five-run, fifth-inning deficit with a 13-run sixth inning, followed by a two-run seventh to complete the 15-5 comeback triumph Saturday in a Blue Mountain Conference baseball semifinal played Saturday at Bob White Field in Pendleton.

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Dufur wins first district title since 2008

Bales’ arm helps lead Rangers in a 5-0 victory over Sherman

With a chance to win their first district crown since 2008, Dufur baseball coach C.S. Little sent out his ace starter Kolbe Bales to get the Rangers over the mountaintop. Bales tossed six innings of three-hit ball with 13 strikeouts and no walks, as the No. 1-ranked Rangers defeated No. 7 Sherman by a 5-0 margin for the district crown in action Saturday at Bob White Field in Pendleton.

Wood, Conklin kick off 5A meet

The Dalles freshman Tressa Wood placed eighth in the 3,000 meters this morning with a personal-record time of 11 minutes and 15.63 seconds at the 5A OSAA State Track and Field Championship in Eugene, improving on her old PR set at districts last week in Hermiston (11:23.34).


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