Fair Game

Beaverton's Riley eyes starting spot

After a redshirt freshman season at California, Kevin Riley isn't exactly setting his sights low.

'I want to be the starter next year,' says the quarterback out of Beaverton High.

That's a tall order, since the man in the saddle this season, Nate Longshore, is a sophomore who was third in the Pac-10 in passing yardage (2,786 with 23 TDs and 12 interceptions) and pass efficiency (139.9 rating).

'You never know,' Riley says. 'Nate did a solid job this year. It's going to be really hard. But my goal is to perform well in spring practice and show I can run the offense the best.

'Even if that happens, he'll probably still be No. 1 going into the fall, but I'm going to keep working.'

The 6-2 Riley weighed 180 pounds when he played as a senior at Beaverton. He now is a sturdy 220.

Lots of eating and 'really weight-lifting' for the first time in his life has made the difference, he says.

'My legs and shoulders are a lot bigger, and my midsection is stronger,' Riley says. 'I've always had a pretty strong arm, but now I can throw the ball on a line further and more accurately.'

Riley says the past season was 'a good experience. Redshirting is not the most fun thing in the world, but I learned a lot about our offensive system and got the grasp of what college football is about. I quarterbacked the scout team against our defense every week, and that will make me better in the end.'

Riley will be with the 9-3 Bears when they face Texas A and M in the Dec. 28 Holiday Bowl at San Diego. After that, the competition at quarterback begins.

• Another former Metro League standout is going bowling. True freshman tight end Jeron Mastrud from Southridge will play for 7-5 Kansas State against Rutgers in the Dec. 28 Texas Bowl at Houston. The 6-6, 255-pound Mastrud caught 17 passes for 235 yards for the Wildcats, starting the final seven games.

• Don't be surprised if Portland's Dave Brundage winds up as the next manager of the Atlanta Braves. Brundage, 42, recently was hired to manage the Braves' Triple-A Richmond club in the International League. The former McKay High and Oregon State athlete managed Tacoma to a 74-70 record last season in the Pacific Coast League before being let go by parent Seattle after 19 years as a player, coach and manager in the Mariners' organization.

Atlanta's Hall of Fame-bound manager, Bobby Cox, is 65 and won't be around forever. If Brundage proves himself over the next couple of years, he could wind up as Cox's successor.

• Over the last three months, the Braves have hired Corvallis natives Kurt Kemp (director of player development) and Donny Reynolds (scout, plus other duties in the minor-league system). Reynolds is a Portland resident and older brother of broadcaster Harold Reynolds.

• Former Pilot point guard Pooh Jeter is making a splash with the Colorado 14ers of the NBA Development League, averaging 15.8 points and 4.3 assists and ranking among the league leaders in free-throw percentage (.905 after his first four games.

Other NBDL players with Oregon ties: ex-Oregon and Wilson High guard David Jackson, 17.4 points, 3.7 assists in seven games with the Idaho Stampede, and ex-OSU forward Brian Jackson, 12.6 points, 6.3 rebounds in seven games with the Arkansas Rimrockers.

Former Wilson High guard Chris Rodgers was waived Dec. 2 by Sioux Falls after averaging 2.8 points in five games with the Skyforce.

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