by: , BROWN

Things are progressing nicely at Horizon Christian, the new high school in Tualatin with high ambitions.

The Hawks are playing boys and girls basketball as an independent, with Dave Brown and Dave Bullis as coaches. Brown came out of retirement; he won more than 500 games in 33 years as a varsity boys coach in Southern California.

Brown also is serving as Horizon Christian's athletic director. Bullis, the youth pastor at the affiliated Grace Community Church, is coaching girls after a stint as boys coach for Salem Academy.

The enrollment is at 75, with no seniors, but both the boys (3-3) and girls (3-2) are playing a varsity schedule. The boys have been playing good teams, including Class 1A Damascus Christian, 2A Portland Christian, and 3A Santiam Christian and Regis, and they are entered in the 6A Lakeridge tourney next week.

The football team, coached by principal George Crace, competed at the junior varsity level. Girls soccer made its varsity league playoffs. Two sports are set for spring, with George Lemon (son of former Globetrotter legend Meadowlark) coaching baseball and Dawn Marie Baker coaching softball.

Enrollment is projected to rise to 160 to 200 in 2007-08 and surpass 300 for 2008-09. Next school year, Horizon Christian will be in the 3A West Valley League in all sports, joining Amity, Colton, Dayton, Gervais, Sheridan, Valley Catholic, Westside Christian and Willamina.

'Our enrollment hung around 20 for a long time while George was planning the football season,' Brown says. 'But lo and behold, last August, kids really started to come in. We have kids from Portland, Oregon City, Salem, West Linn, Sherwood, Tualatin … I'd say half of our students live at least 10 miles away from campus.'

Brown's squad has a mix of the underclassmen. Cameron Osborn, a 6-9 post, came from Salem Academy. Junior Nick Gowen came from North Clackamas Christian. Other key players include juniors Sam Stewart and Zach Bemrose and sophomore Josh Platt.

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