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SPORTSMAN

Jeff Timmons is going to Florida for a world softball tournament, just one of his many athletic pursuits
by: John Brewington Athlete and coach Jeff Timmons

Sports have always been a big part of Jeff Timmons life, even 15 years after high school.

Timmons, 33, is a physical education teacher at the St. Helens Middle School, a baseball and wrestling coach, and an avid participant and advocate of several sports.

He's off this fall to play in the USSSA Worlds 'E' Classification slowpitch softball tournament. There will be 200 teams playing in the Sept. 15-18 tournament.

'This is the first time for this group (to go to Worlds),' Timmons said. 'A couple of the guys have gone before. We're extremely solid on defense. We're hoping to finish in the top 10.'

Timmons plays on the West Coast Car Crushing team out of Vancouver, Wash. The team played in 12 tournaments this past summer at the D and E levels, winning four, taking second in three, and placing in the top five in the rest. Most of the tournaments were in the local region with one foray down to Springfield. The classification the team plays in doesn't allow home runs, and just two are allowed in the next classification up. Timmons, an outfielder, noted he hit .500-.600 this season.

He also plays on the Wichita Town Pub co-ed team that's done pretty well. The team is 110-10 over the last couple years, Timmons noted.

Timmons was all about sports when he was young and that continues into his adult life. He played football, basketball, wrestling and baseball in high school. He was a first team all-league quarterback in football and honorable mention all state. He was second team all-league in baseball, and fifth in district in wrestling.

Timmons played basketball his first two years of high school, then switched back to wrestling, something he had done quite a bit of before high school.

Baseball took Timmons to Dickinson State University in Dickinson, North Dakota. He lived with his brother, Dean, and friend from St. Helens, Geoff Jarman. Timmons played baseball and got a teaching degree in physical education. He did his student teaching in St. Helens, and then applied for and got the position at the middle school.

What drives Timmons in sports? First, he notes that he loves sports and points out that's how he makes his living. Then, there's competitive drive.

'I love to compete,' he said. 'I've got a competitive bone in me and I've got to be doing something. It's so bad my brother and I compete when we go fishing or hunting-who gets the first deer or the biggest fish.'

Timmons likes to do at least some of his hunting with a bow.

Timmons has proven exceptionally adept at skill sports. He bowls on three teams over the winter months and was the Jeff on the 'Two Old Turds and Jeff' team at Oregon Trail Lanes. It was on that team last March 24 that he bowled a perfect 300.

'I'd been flirting with it for a long time with 279-280-289,' Timmons said, 'then I finally did it.'

He can also frequently be found out on the golf links. Timmons carries an 11 handicap and is known for his outrageously long drives. He played on the Kathy's Kreative Memories Men's League team that finished second of 10 teams on Tuesday night. Low handicappers like Timmons almost always have to give strokes away to their opponents. Still, Timmons got points last week, but his team was a bit short and eliminated from the playoffs.

Timmons has been a valuable assistant in wrestling to head coach Mike McCoy for the past eight years, and also has been the jayvee coach for the St. Helens High baseball team for the past three years. He was a varsity assistant for four years, and then took a couple of years off before becoming the jayvee coach.

Another sport he loves, but doesn't participate in is rodeo. He's a volunteer for the committee that helps put on the rodeo at the county fair.

Sports have helped shape Timmons and it's a pretty safe bet he'll still be competing many years from now.