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Warrior golf looks to stay the course

Cleveland looks like the team to beat again in PIL boys golf.

The Warriors opened the dual meet season with a 161-182 victory over Lincoln on Wednesday, with No. 1 man Nick Rodgers firing a 1-under-par 35 at Eastmoreland.

Rodgers and fellow senior Mark Howe give the defending city champions a strong 1-2 punch.

'They're like best pals on the golf course,' Cleveland coach Brian Taylor says.

Howe was the PIL individual champ last year, but Rodgers has had the early edge on his teammate this spring, averaging 36.5 per nine holes in preseason practice rounds.

'They're both pretty big hitters,' Taylor says. 'Nick's approach shots have improved a lot, and his composure is a lot better. He doesn't let the one bad shot get to him. He's really focused this year.'

The Warriors' depth comes from senior Andy Peterson, sophomore Mark Gray and juniors Scott Hollowell and John Blodgett, with three others challenging for playing time, as well.

Cleveland took second in the Portland Interscholastic League two years ago, and Rodgers and Howe are gunning for their third straight appearance in the state tournament.

'We didn't play well there last year, so they're eager to get back,' Taylor says.

Track and field

Grant's perennially strong program will be on display at home for the first time this season when the Generals welcome Wilson at 3:45 p.m. today in a PIL dual meet.

'We've got about 100 boys and 50 to 60 girls out for track, which gives us tremendous depth in all our events,' Grant coach Greg Cotton says. 'We graduate people, but we always seem to have someone to take their place.'

The Grant girls feature strong runners in seniors Christine Soma and Lizzy Wild in the middle distances and junior Kira Donnelly and senior Natalie Todd-Zebell in the 3,000 meters. Todd-Zebell also is the defending league pole vault champion. Emma Piatt was the pole vault runner-up last year as a freshman, and Lucy Cridland was third in the discus as a sophomore. Other top performers include defending PIL high hurdles champion Rhonda Cameron, a senior, and senior Kyla Burnet, who was third in the 1,500.

The defending PIL champion Grant boys are led by Brent Bonfiglio in the distances and city high-jump champ Russell Millage. Football running back Aaron Dickson has turned out this spring to do sprints and jumps.

Wilson has one of the better programs in the league, too. Among the top Trojan girls: Patty Peters (hurdles, sprints), Taylor Kilkenny (shot put), Nicole Bollinger (hurdles), Jenny Haskin (throws), Rochelle Kaplan (distances), Maria Grompe (jumps), Stephanie Hedberg and Priscilla Lipscomb (pole vault) and Rachel Drushella (sprints).

The Wilson boys have Derek Furgason (throws), Sean Kelly (long jump, pole vault), Andy Zimmer (distances), Charles Noll and Duncan Crombie-Varisco (jumps), Matt Jochim (hurdles) and Ian Oberst and Pat Waters (pole vault).

Notes

Grant junior Tommy Hicks, a two-time PIL boys tennis champion and the 2003 state runner-up, is among those who left Thursday for the Easter Bowl tournament in Palm Springs, Calif. Hicks, 17, is ranked 48th in singles in the 18-and-under division. É Sandy sprinter Nathan Ingrao is off to a hot start. He ran 11.1 seconds in the 100 meters and 22.0 in the 200 on Wednesday, leading the Pioneers over Barlow 76-69.

Glencoe's Erik Ainge, the quarterback headed for the University of Tennessee, is scheduled to make his first start on the mound in two years Wednesday at home against Southridge. É The captain of Catlin Gabel's baseball team is junior Megan Dorough, who plays second base and left field and has the highest on-base percentage on the squad. É Wilson's baseball team got a treat last week, getting to practice at the San Diego Padres' facility in Peoria, Ariz. The workout was arranged by former Wilson assistant coach Tommy Sandt, who is hitting coach for the Portland Beavers. É Grant's baseball team caught a San Diego-Seattle exhibition game in Arizona last week and arrived just in time to see General alumnus Joe Gerber (class of '96) slug a home run for the Padres. É Three former PIL players are playing baseball for the College of the Desert in Palm Desert, Calif. The starting right fielder is Tony Marx (Roosevelt, batting .312), the No. 1 pitcher is Fred Caron (Roosevelt, 3-4, 3.10 ERA), and in the outfield is Trevor Balloun (Wilson, .255).

Lacrosse continues to grow as a nonsanctioned prep sport. The state is up to 29 boys teams, including Roseburg and Hermiston, and 16 girls teams, mostly in the Portland area. Lincoln's boys program signed up 58 players. Grant, Franklin and Wilson are members of one of four divisions in the Oregon Lacrosse league, and Cleveland also has formed a squad. Schools in the Metro League and Three Rivers League are well-represented in the boys ranks, as well. The numbers have boys lacrosse creeping toward becoming sanctioned by the Oregon School Activities Association. The OSAA requires that more than 40 schools field teams before it considers sponsoring lacrosse state championships. West Linn is the defending boys state champion. The combined team from West Linn and Wilsonville won the girls title last year. League play began two weeks ago and runs through late May.

Donnie Harrison-Davis of Grant and Brittney Davis of Jefferson are on the 10-player rosters for the annual Les Schwab Northwest Shootout all-star basketball games Sunday at the Chiles Center. The Oregon teams will play Washington's all-stars, with the girls game starting at 5 p.m. and the boys tipping off at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 reserved, $7 general admission and $5 for students. Also among the Oregon boys team members are Jeremiah Dominguez of state champion South Salem, Maarty Leunen of Redmond, James Loe of Hillsboro, Joe Wolfinger of Aloha, Sherrard Watson of Sunset and Riley Luettgerodt of Putnam. The Oregon girls team also includes Bronwyn Evans of Jesuit, Kelsey Lavender of Lake Oswego and three players from state champion Oregon City: Kristen Forristall, Jackie Hollands and Jessica Richter. The games began in 1994; the Oregon boys are 9-1, and the Oregon girls are 4-6.

Former Grant star Kate Soma, the 2001 state prep champion who is now a junior at the University of Washington, took fifth in the NCAA indoor pole vault championships earlier this month, clearing 13 feet, 3 1/2 inches. É An Ultimate Frisbee clinic for all skills levels is set for 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at Hamilton Park.

Contact Steve Brandon at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..