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Ray Rodriguez

Stories by Ray

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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Young 12U Stars heading into postseason

Team getting its first taste of postseason regional play

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Battle-tested and poised for a big challenge

TD’s 14U Stars geared to rise up past regional ranks

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Rising stars aim to break through 13U

Group is focused on executing the fundamentals

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Babe Ruth Stars ready for regional field

14U softball hopes past experience pays dividends

Crush falls short at state

The Dalles’ 14U Cherry City Crush softball team won its first two tournament games by scores of 10-9 and 10-1, but wound up on the losing end of back-to-back games this weekend, a 7-6 loss to the Eugene Lightning, and a season-ending 7-3 loss to the West Linn Spirit.

New events coming for youths and dults

New events coming this summer

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Against all odds: TD captures district title

10U All Stars drop Bend North twice on Saturday

PRINEVILLE – Bend North has been a thorn in the side of The Dalles Little League. That 10U group eliminated them from postseason play in 2015, and earlier in tournament action, posted a 16-4 mercy-rule win. Needing to win two games in order to keep its season alive, TD’s 10U All Star team scored mercy-ruled wins of 16-3 and 12-2 Saturday over Bend North to capture a District 5 Championship in games played at Parr Lumber Field in Prineville.

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Hustlers score fifth league win

Legion team uses three-run rally in eighth for 8-6 victory

The Columbia Gorge Hustlers battled back from a 3-2 deficit with three runs in the fifth inning and added three more in the eighth and staved off a late rally to defeat Putnam 8-6 in American Legion baseball action played at Bob Williams Field in The Dalles.

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Katie-Rose storms soapbox derby scene

TD sixth-grader eyeing All-American World Title

On the surface, Katie-Rose Mason is your typical middle school girl. She enjoys biking, hiking, playing the ukulele and the fiddle. Get her in her bright red soapbox derby car and she morphs into ‘Hurricane’ Katie Rose. Just one year into her young career as a soapbox racer in the stock class, Mason already has a first-place finish and she earned Queen of the Hill at the Oregon All-American Championships last month in Salem.

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Affordable Homes captures Majors championship

Abby Williams scores game-winner to lift team to a 15-9 finals victory

The third time was definitely a charm for Meghan Rowland. She had helped lead her Babe Ruth softball team to a championship in her first two campaigns, but wound up on the losing end both times. Wednesday she was able to hoist a championship trophy, as her Columbia Gorge Affordable Homes squad broke open an 8-8 tie with four runs in the fifth inning and three in the sixth to defeat Spooky’s Pizza by a 15-9 score in a Majors Division contest played at Sorosis Park.

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14U Crush cruises to NAFA Tourney title

Softball squad heads to state with a full head of steam

Nothing is going to stop the runaway train known as the Cherry City Crush 14U softball team. This past weekend in Newberg, the Crush squad did everything from throw no-hitters, hit home runs and play solid defense to finishing 5-0 to capture the 2016 NAFA National UFO Tournament.

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TD’s murderers’ row toppling its district foes

In two wins, 10U Stars have scored 53 runs in seven innings

So far, The Dalles’ 10U All Stars have been an unstoppable force on the diamond. In seven innings, spanning two games, The Dalles Little League 10U All Stars have scored 53 runs, pounded out 39 hits and received 12 walks in reeling off back-to-back lopsided District 5 wins in Prineville.

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Athletics East trio continues scorching run

Bullock, Johnson and Rising to make regionals run

Emily Johnson, Chloe Bullock and Ellie Rising have enjoyed a successful summer under the sun. After last weekend’s performance in Portland, the summer just got a little better. At the USATF Junior Olympic State Championships at Jesuit High School, the local trio of runners representing Athletics East all scored top-10 finishes to advance to regional competition in Seattle.

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12U Stars aim for the future

Little League All Star players representing The Dalles’ 12U team gather for a group photograph last week in Prineville. The group was eliminated in two games.

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Hustlers bounce back in style

Backed by Harvey’s gem, CG squad takes a 7-4 road victory

Coming off two losses Sunday by a 24-5 margin to Mound Time, the Columbia Gorge Hustlers found a way to respond just 24 hours later in a 7-4 league win over the Northwest Stars Monday in an American Legion baseball game played at Wilsonville High School.

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Golf stars come out for Sasquatch event

Rende and Schanno take 1st overall net championship

Many of the Pacific Northwest’s top female golfers converged to The Dalles Country Club for two days of golf play during the 42nd annual Sasquatch. When the final scores were tallied, the duo of Sue Rende and Dixie Schanno scored the tournament’s overall net championship, and Naomi Moss and Dolly Wilkins were tops in the overall gross division.

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Ft. Dalles Days run scheduled

The Fort Dalles Days 3k and 5k run is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 16 at Sorosis Park in The Dalles.

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Hustler bats respond with fury

Legion group snaps skid with 14-hit barrage in win

Coming off a stretch last week where they lost three of four games, the Columbia Gorge Hustlers were looking for a rebound performance. They got it and then some.

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Camp shines a light on local youths

Jumpstart Hoops event wraps up its 23rd season

DUFUR – The 23rd annual Jumpstart Basketball Camp in Dufur breezed by this week, with many campers coming away better players and teammates after sharpening their skills under the tutelage of a solid cast of veteran coaches. Headlined by coordinator Tom Conklin, Brian Stevens and several local coaches from across the gorge, more than 150 athletes from across the Greater Columbia River Gorge and beyond were on hand to soak in those years of knowledge as the foundation of basketball fundamentals in five days of clinical tutorials.

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Sasquatch event set for Saturday

Sasquatch event set for Saturday

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Sugg gets a cheer day to remember

TD graduate to perform at Saturday’s Les Schwab Bowl

Ever since she received notice in April, The Dalles High School cheerleader Taylor Sugg has been brimming with excitement for an opportunity to represent Riverhawk Nation on a big stage. Sugg, a 2016 graduate, gets her chance to shine at 5 p.m. this Saturday at Hillsboro Stadium for the 69th annual Les Schwab Bowl for the South team.

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Sharing the gridiron for one final thrill

Christiansen, Stutzman and Smith take all-star victory

Last November Wyatt Stutzman walked off the field in tears as his Sherman Huskies suffered a 24-22 playoff defeat to Powers. He felt, at that moment, he would never play football again. Saturday, Stutzman, a recent Sherman graduate, had one final chance to strap on his No. 33 uniform to represent a community he gave his blood, sweat and tears for.

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10U Cherry Crush serves up Father’s Day treat

Softball team goes 5-0 to take Classic in West Linn

The 10U Cherry City Crush Softball team entered the 2016 campaign with one goal in mind – winning state. If this past weekend’s dominant 5-0 performance at the Father’s Day Classic in West Linn is any indication, this group of seven third-year players and five newcomers is ready for the challenge.

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Wilson looks forward to all-star opportunity

Recent TD grad to play in 69th Les Schwab Bowl

The Dalles High School graduate Devin Wilson is counting down the days before he gets one final chance to hit the football field in Saturday’s 69th annual Les Schwab Bowl at Hillsboro Stadium. He will be the first football player since Ray Niko in 2011 to earn such an honor, so he plans to make full use of this opportunity, not just to continue to play at an elite level, but to also serve as an example to all of the football players from across the gorge.

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Wilson looks forward to all-star opportunity

Recent TD grad to play in 69th Les Schwab Bowl

The Dalles High School graduate Devin Wilson is counting down the days before he gets one final chance to hit the football field in Saturday’s 69th annual Les Schwab Bowl at Hillsboro Stadium. He will be the first football player since Ray Niko in 2011 to earn such an honor, so he plans to make full use of this opportunity, not just to continue to play at an elite level, but to also serve as an example to all of the football players from across the gorge.

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One final journey for TD’s 12U All Star hardballers

Agidius and company look to put stamp on 2016

For many on The Dalles 12U All Star roster, this is their last chance to get to the state playoffs. It will not be an easy task by any stretch, but they believe in each other and their coach, Deric Anthony.

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11U Stars enter play as a District 5 wild card

Six-team bracket has some talented standouts

The Dalles 11U All Stars are the wild card team of the District 5 Little League tournament. While they are going into playoff action with the intent on winning, head coach Mike Wilbur wants his athletes to enjoy the responsibility of being examples of the community.

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10U All Stars ready for their next challenge

Team wants to make its district point in Prineville

The countdown for Prineville begins. For The Dalles’ 10U Little League All Stars, many of the players expressed a high level of excitement for the opportunity to play on the big stage and be a part of something special. Most of all, this group, coached by Ken Brock, is going in with a little bit of chip on their shoulders.

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CG Hustlers get one win in weekend doubleheaders

Team splits Friday, loses 2 to Advanced Metal Saturday

The Columbia Gorge Hustlers salvaged a split with Advanced Metals Friday, and then came up on the wrong end of a two-game sweep loss Saturday to Showtime in a pair of American legion baseball doubleheaders played at Bob Williams Field. In their opening game, the Hustlers led 5-2 and 6-3, but Advanced Metals scored four runs in the top of the sixth and held on for a 7-6 win.

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Husky hoopsters cruise to tourney crown

Sherman goes 8-0, including final win over Triangle Lake

MORO – Last year, the Sherman Huskies won their own tournament and eventually won a 1A state championship. If you are a believer in good omens, this past weekend’s performance at the Sherman County Invitational Basketball Tournament was one. The Huskies went 8-0 with each win by double digits, including a lopsided 78-57 triumph over Triangle Lake in the championship Sunday in Moro.

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The Dalles Little League Brackets and Rosters

District 5 Playoffs in Prineville

Here is your The Dalles Little League 10U District 5 Playoff bracket for play next weekend in Prineville

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Pepsi scores Babe Ruth championship

Beeks and Buell come through in team’s 5-4 win

On a roster that features Henry Lee and Dalles Seufalemua, it was first-year players Taylor Beeks and Jacob Buell making the big plays in the pressure moment that made the difference for Team Pepsi. Buell reached on an error, allowing Beeks to score the game-winning run, as Pepsi came away with a 5-4 victory over Hood River, Northwest Graphic, in their Babe Ruth championship game played Friday at Kramer Field.

Making the Big Sale

Cheerleaders representing The Dalles High School were out in full force Friday for the opening day of its annual rummage sale on the front lawn of The Dalles High School. The team will be there until 4 p.m. today, and will be out front Saturday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. in an effort to raise money for the program. In the picture are, starting on top, from left to right, Crysta Harris, Kendyl Kumm, Abbey Helseth, Keagan Rice and Carey Stone. On the bottom are, from left, Sophia Pullen, Willow Drake, Sakari Bova, Bryonna Otzoy, Jenifer Salinas- Deras, Mackenzie Smith. Interested parties can still drop off items for sale today and can do so Saturday as well. For more information, email Contributed photo

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Lee helps lock down finals bid for Pepsi

Pitcher escapes late jam in Pepsi’s 10-9 triumph

With the game on the line, his team ahead by one run and ECE threatening with runners in scoring position in the top of the sixth inning, Pepsi pitcher Henry Lee needed to do whatever it took to get his team to the championship game. The crowd was divided, cascading Kramer Field with cheers and boos, but the young pitching phenom had to settle in and will his team to victory. Lee escaped the sixth inning jam with back-to-back strikeouts, and then struck out the side in the top of the seventh to help Pepsi secure a 10-9 win over ECE in its Babe Ruth semifinal matchup.

Pepsi beats ECE to earn BR finals berth

It is coming down to the wire for many of the top Babe Ruth baseball teams. With championship week on the schedule for The Dalles Babe Ruth Organization, there have been several close matchups so far, including a pair of one-run elimination baseball playoff games played Wednesday night at Kramer Field in The Dalles. In first round play, White Salmon defeated Hood River Gray by a 5-4 and, in the semifinal rounds, Pepsi defeated ECE in a tough showdown, 10-9 to advance to Friday’s title game. On the other side of the bracket, Hood River Green squares off against White Salmon in the semifinals at 6 p.m. tonight for a chance at earning a finals berth against Pepsi. There have been five games played so far in a single elimination format to determine the Babe Ruth League champions. Pepsi started play as the No. 1 seed, since they only lost one game during the regular season and wound up with an impressive 11-1 overall record. The second and third place teams, ECE and Hood River Green, were both tied with identical 9-3 records. In the first day of play, Pepsi doubled up on Big Sky by an 8-4 margin and then Hood River Green cruised to a lopsided victory over Lyle.

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Bats swing for the fences

Players representing The Dalles Little League named The Bats from the Rookie/Coach Pitch division enjoyed a breakthrough season under head coach Dave Johnson. The players and coaches are, pictured from left to right, starting in the top row, Coach Johnson, Cayden Whitaker (9), Jeremiah Salazar (8), Andrew Westin (8), Reese Kenslow (8), Colton Churchill (9), and Coach Doug McKinney. In the bottom row are, from left, Boston Johnson (7), Brody Taylor (7), Camden Dooley (7), Ryan Henrikson (6), Ava Barker (7), Mason Ramsey (7), and Carson Ramsey (8), Not pictured is Owen Synder (8). Contributed photo

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Tourney bringing big crowds

SWC, Dufur and Sherman competing in 14-team event

South Wasco county, Dufur and defending 1A state champion Sherman will get an opportunity to show off their skills this week for the Sherman County Basketball Invitational in Moro. With the loss of Brody Myers, Ellis Rager and Travis Hayes, the Redsides have Nick Ward, Haven Stephenson, Ty Herlocker and Skyler Anderson, Keith Kegel and Dawson Herlocker back for coach Jim Hull. “We always look forward to the tournament,” Hull said. “There are always a number of top 1A teams there. It helps show our team what is necessary to compete at a high level for next year.” The Dufur Rangers have a new coach in Ron Townsend overseeing the further development of Connor Uhalde, Ethan Wetherbee, Travis Lucas, Curtis Crawford and a slew of returning freshmen. Sherman coach Bill Blevins has his championship roster intact with Keenan Coles, Max Martin, Treve Martin, Jacob Jusetsen, Kyle Fields, Isaiah Coles and Luke Martin looking to make a repeat run. “If you are a 1A basketball fan, Sherman County is the place to be this week,” Blevins said. “We have some competitive teams from both Oregon and Washington here.” Games run from 4-9 p.m. today in Moro.

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CBRC is sending three to Silver State

Harrison, Brumley and Patnode off to Winnemucca

Columbia Basin Rodeo Club members Bryce Harrison, Morgan Brumley and Joely Patnode each had top-10 performances this past weekend at the state rodeo finals in Prineville to earn spots in the Silver State International Rodeo from June 27 to July 3 in Winnemucca, Nev. Harrison qualified in steer wrestling and calf roping, Brumley punched her SSIR tickets for pole bending and barrel racing, and Patnode is headed to Nevada in breakaway roping and barrels, and partner, Jacee Currin, will make the trip with Patnode for team roping.