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Camps, conditioning under way in St. Helens

Football, volleyball, boys and girls soccer, and X-country begin 2011 quests
by: John Brewington FOOT DRILLS—St. Helens soccer players do a few drills during camp at St. Helens High School this week. Official practices begin this coming Monday.

Ready or not, the fall sports season begins in earnest this coming week at St. Helens High School with official practices for 12 teams in five sports.

The Oregon Schools Activities Association sets Aug. 22 as the first official practice day, although many teams have had unofficial practices run by students or attended camps with coaches as a team.

In football, the St. Helens Lions are running Captain's Camps each morning this week from 9-10:30 a.m. and 3-5 p.m. They ran fitness camps most of the summer. Daily Doubles, twice-a-day practices, begin Monday at 9 a.m.

Head Coach John England, now in his 10th year, said he expects 45-50 players from the upper three grades out for the team. Another 30 will be out for freshman football. He has 15 returning players with starting experience this season, much better than the three he had last year.

England noted that they lost two coaches due to budgetary cuts this season, but are starting fundraising to try and save the positions. Team members will be out selling their gold discount cards. 'We'll sell to family and friends and then do a blitz to the community.'

The Lions open their season at home with Franklin on Sept. 2, and then travel to Sandy on Sept. 9 for their Northwest Oregon Conference opener. They play Scappoose for the first time since 1999 on Sept. 16. They play league games the remainder of the schedule.

Volleyball

The St. Helens High volleyball team was at a camp in Seaside last week, and this week will hold 4-hour practices.

Practices will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. each day.

St. Helens kicks off their season on Sept. 8 with a jamboree at Liberty High School. Their first match is at Wilsonville on Sept. 13.

Boys Soccer

The St. Helens High boys soccer team will begin official practice on Monday, Aug. 22

Practices will be held from 3:45-5:45 p.m. at the Grace Baptist Church fields.

The team conducted a camp for youngsters in late July, and participated conditioning drills over the summer.

The boys begin their season on Thursday, Sept. 1 with a jamboree at Dallas. They play at Southridge in a non-league match on Sept. 6 and travel to Franklin on Sept. 13.

Head coach is Neil Ford.

Girls Soccer

The St. Helens High girls soccer team will begin daily doubles on Aug. 22.

Practices will be held from 9 a.m. to noon, and 2-5 p.m. for that week on the high school soccer field.

The girls kick off their season at the Dallas Jamboree on Thursday, Sept. 1. They host Southridge on Sept. 7 and a week later host Jefferson.

Head coach is Ryoma Ajisawa.

Cross Country

St. Helens Coach Gerry Tinkle's team can be seen most mornings running along the streets of St. Helens.

Official practices, like practices all summer, begin at 8:30 a.m. at the high school track.

Several members of the team will run on the Tinkle's Trotters Portland To Coast High School Challenge team Aug. 26-27. Those running will be allowed to skip practice.

St. Helens will run in the Bill Chapman Invitational at Rood Bridge in Hillsboro on Sept. 9. They have a Northwest Oregon Conference District Preview meet at Blue Lake Park on Sept. 14.