by: COURTESY OF CARL TUMA - Dan Berry (right), a member of David Douglas High state championship teams in swimming and water polo in the early 1980s, poses with a former teammate, Carl Tuma. Friends and fellow Scots have organized a benefit auction/dinner and high school boys water polo tournament at David Douglas for Berry, who has ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease).
A state champion in two sports 30 years ago at David Douglas High School, Dan Berry wants nothing more than to see his teammates and friends one more time — while he can still enjoy it.

Those buddies have made it possible, and the big event, the Team Dan Berry Invitational water polo tournament, is Oct. 12 and 13 at the David Douglas pool.

Six high school boys teams — David Douglas, Reynolds, Barlow, Hillsboro, West Salem and South Salem — will compete.

All proceeds will be donated to finding a cure for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Berry, 47, was diagnosed with ALS in 2011.

Berry, who lives in Hillsboro and worked for Intel, helped the Scots win the state swimming championship in 1982 and 1983 and the state water polo title in 1982.

Teammates called him “Scout,” says former teammate Eric Davenport, “because he always seemed to know something about every place we were traveling to, in Oregon or California, and could point out everything we were going to see.”

Davenport and Berry were freshman dorm roommates at the University of Oregon, where both competed on swimming scholarships and played club water polo.

“Dan was the easiest roommate ever,” Davenport says. “He was always thinking ahead about whatever it was we were going to need.”

Davenport says Berry “has never had a bad word to say about anybody, and has always been a positive guy with an encouraging word.”

Berry was always healthy, too.

“But things started going wrong in October-November 2010,” he says. “I rode my bike to work a lot in the summer and was on my feet nine to 10 hours a day. I noticed that my shin, calf and left ankle were really sore when I’d get home, and I was losing a lot of strength in my left foot.”

Doctors’ tests discovered the ALS.

“The communication from my spinal cord to my muscles just isn’t working anymore,” Berry says. “I was breathing really good until a couple of months ago, and I can still eat and swallow, but I will have to go on a ventilator soon.”

Berry, who spent 10 years in the Navy and later served a year (2006) in Afghanistan as an electronic technician/nuclear reactor operator, has since learned that military personnel have a slightly higher rate of the disease.

“I could get depressed and whine and ask, ‘Why me, God?’ But my whole life has been about challenges and hurdles that I had to figure ways around, so I just see this as another challenge,” Berry says. “If God thinks I can handle this, that’s why He gave it to me.”

Team Dan Berry, which has a Facebook page, also plans a dinner/fundraising auction Friday, Oct. 12 at American Legion Post No. 1, 1830 S.E. 122nd Ave. The public, ages 21 and older, is invited. A $10 donation is requested at the door. A no-host social starts at 3:30 p.m., and the buffet dinner begins at 6 p.m. RSVP to Mark Hanken, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Auction items include contributions from the U.S. Olympic water polo team. Referees are donating their time for the Team Dan Berry Invitational.


On Friday night, Portland UFC fighter Mike Pierce (14-5-0) takes on Phoenix’s Aaron Simpson (11-3-0), who was a two-time All-American wrestler at Arizona State, at Target Center in Minneapolis.

Lake Oswego’s Ron Plath, a multiple national Blind Golf champion, sank his fourth hole-in-one recently at the 14th hole at Stone Creek Golf Club in Oregon City.

“I’ve never been able to see any of them, but it’s still a thrill,” Plath says.

Plath hit a wedge to the green at Stone Creek, and playing partners Bob Ericksen and Nim Nicola gave him a play-by-play account as the ball rolled toward the hole.

His ace was one of three reported that week by members of the United States Blind Golf Association.

Plath, 61, placed third at the 2012 world championships (the top two finishers were 37 and 23). He and Stone Creek will play host to the next U.S. Blind Golf Open Championship in August 2013. The tournament is for blind and visually impaired golfers from around the world. Plath recently was voted into the Blind Golf Hall of Fame.

Scott Hval of Portland defended his Oregon Senior Amateur golf title last week, beating Byron Patton of Tigard 4 and 2 in the final at Riverside Golf & Country Club. Portland’s Debbie Friede downed defending champ Loree McKay 3 and 1 in the women’s final.

Demetrius Williams, former UO receiver, caught six passes for 123 yards and touchdowns of 11 and 52 yards for the Sacramento Mountain Lions in their 24-20 opening-game loss to the Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League.

It was a fun gathering at St. Patrick’s Church in Northwest Portland on Sunday, as friends and baseball fans remembered Boston Red Sox great Johnny Pesky, who grew up in the Slabtown area near the church. Vince Pesky, the 91-year-old younger brother, and other organizers served up typical ballpark cuisine (including peanuts, popcorn and Cracker Jack). Trail Blazers founder Harry Glickman called Johnny Pesky, who died Aug. 13 at 92, “one of the really great people we’ve ever had in sports in Oregon.”

On Campus

Cal sophomore outside linebacker Brennan Scarlett from Central Catholic High broke a hand in Saturday’s loss to Arizona State but is expected to play Saturday at home against UCLA. Scarlett ranks fifth on the Bears in tackles (30 in five games), with four tackles for loss (third on the team) and 1 1/2 sacks.

Cal Poly and its senior quarterback, Andre Broadous from Grant High, are 4-0 and ranked 19th going into a 5 p.m. PT Friday game at Weber State (0-5). Broadous has rushed for four touchdowns and passed for four TDs.

Players of the week

(League honoring them in parentheses)

Volleyball — Jaklyn Wheeler, Portland State (Big Sky Conference). Junior outside hitter had 36 total kills in wins over Northern Arizona and Southern Utah that pushed PSU’s league record to 6-0.

Women’s soccer — Daniela Solis and Kayla Henningsen, PSU (Big Sky co-offensive and defensive, respectively). Solis, a sophomore from Sherwood, had a goal and three assists in wins of 2-0 over Montana and 4-0 versus Eastern Washington. Henningsen, a sophomore from Westview, and the defense lead the conference in fewest goals allowed per game (0.96). ... Geena Fong, Lewis & Clark (Northwest Conference). A sophomore, Fong made 21 saves in a two-OT tie with Linfield, and shut out Pacific.

Men’s soccer — Concordia’s Arne Niermann (Cascade Collegiate Conference defense) and Septi Danciu (CCC offense). Freshman goalie Niermann had two clean sheets, giving him four consecutive shutouts for the 21st-ranked Cavaliers. Danciu, a junior forward, had the winning goal on a PK versus Warner Pacific and assisted on the winning goal against Evergreen State. He leads the conference with 17 points. ... Erik Hurtado, Santa Clara (West Coast Conference). Senior forward from Westview High and Portland Timbers U-23s has had three consecutive game-winning goals for the 5-4-0 Broncos.

Men’s cross-country — Sergio Gonzalez, Concordia (CCC). Freshman was No. 2 collegiate finisher at Charles Bowles Invite in Salem.

Men’s golf — Jed Dalton, Concordia (CCC). Senior tied for ninth at Western Washington Invitational.

Women’s golf —A Ram Choi, PSU (Big Sky). She won the Rose City Collegiate tourney at Langdon Farms by five shots with a 2-over-par 218.

Football — Keith Welch, L&C (NWC offense). The Pioneers’ QB passed for 325 yards and four touchdowns and ran for three TDs as they beat Puget Sound 55-42. ... Colin Forman, Linfield (NWC defense). The junior safety from Westview intercepted a pass with less than two minutes to go and made a team-high six tackles as the fourth-ranked Wildcats (4-0) prevailed at Pacific Lutheran 31-24.

Happy birthday

Oct. 3, 1994 — Seth Jones (age 18)

Oct. 4, 1963 — A.C. Green (49)

Oct. 7, 1974 — Shannon MacMillan (38)

Oct. 9, 1981 — Dairus Miles (age 31)

Oct. 10, 1979 — Joel Przybilla (age 33)

Tweets of the week

Day one in the books! This has the makings to be a reeeaalllllll good year #ripcity #ohgod

Wesley Matthews “@wessywes2

(Blazers guard, after Tuesday’s first official team practice)

I apologize for my previous tweet to whoever saw that. My cousin took my iPhone 5. Once again I am sorry.

Raymond Felton “@Mr_Felton05

This day in Oregon sports history

Oct. 9, 1988 — The Arizona Blaze of Major League Volleyball become the Portland Spikers, a six-team league heading into its third season. One of the Spikers’ returning players in 1989 was Anna Maria Lopez, a former St. Mary’s Academy star who is now the school’s athletic director.

The Spikers went on to play one-third of a season, with home matches at Lewis & Clark College, before the league folded. Terry McLaughlin, who was and still is volleyball coach at Chemeketa Community College, coached the Spikers.

Recalls Lopez: “It was very competitive play with numerous former Olympians and collegiate All-Americans ... it was great to play against great competition and better to get paid for it. Most of us would have been playing volleyball somewhere — and likely not for money if it weren’t for the league. So it was sad when it folded, but fun while it lasted.”

Oct. 9, 2006 — The Portland Pilots lose sophomore All-American Megan Rapinoe for the season with a torn ACL.

A second torn ACL, in 2007, kept Rapinoe out of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. But she came back to help lead the United States to the gold medal at the 2012 London Games.

stevebranThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Twitter: @sbrandonsports

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