The way coach Steve Coury sees it, the Lake Oswego football team has no regrets, second guesses or reasons to feel bad after its 31-24 loss to Sheldon in Saturday's state Class 4A championship game.

'We did just about all we could,' Coury says. 'We had a great plan, and we executed it for the most part. We wanted to control the ball, and we had 64 plays to their 47. We were in it all the way.

'There's a lot of satisfaction in getting to the championship game. About 94 other teams don't.

'I told the kids, 'You've got to dwell on the positive, all the great memories and friendships we made, which are things no one can take from us.''

Sheldon was the No. 1-ranked team in the state all season, a 14-0 powerhouse that had lost to McNary in the 2001 final. Lake Oswego was a talented team with cohesion that came into the playoffs unranked and, obviously, underrated.

'Maybe it takes a couple of times to get there, like with Sheldon, before you win,' Coury says.

The Lakers figure to be strong again next year. And because they will retool largely with an impressive junior class in the fall, they might be even more formidable in 2004.

'We will throw the ball a little more next year,' Coury says. 'But we'll still be a team that runs the ball and plays good defense.'

CROSS COUNTRY: Galen Rupp of Central Catholic and Alec Wall of Grant have qualified for the national finals. Rupp finished sixth and Wall seventh in Saturday's Foot Locker West Regional in Walnut, Calif.

Rupp was just seven seconds out of the top spot in the 5,000-meter race. The nationals are Saturday in San Diego.

LINCOLN: Amy Colville, chief fund-raiser for the Mike Walsh Field project, says her group has about $200,000 committed of the $1.2 million needed to finish the field and replace the track.

The second half of the project, which already has cost $1 million, is that expensive because it includes items such as handicapped-accessible bathrooms and more extensive landscaping.

BANQUET: Several Portland area scholar-athletes will be honored when the Portland chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame holds its 43rd annual banquet at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Jantzen Beach Doubletree Hotel.

Seniors being saluted include: Zach Christopherson, Wilson; Tyler Colville, Lincoln; Ryan Gunderson, Central Catholic; Brandy Ely, David Douglas; Jordan Senn, Beaverton; Douglas Meeuwsen, Century; Michael Dorsey, Putnam, Andrew Darkins, Lake Oswego; and Michael Wetherbee, LaSalle.

The keynote speaker will be Dennis Franchione, the new football coach at Texas A&M. Scholarships totaling $26,500 will be presented by coaches Mike Bellotti of Oregon, Dennis Erickson of Oregon State and Tim Walsh of Portland State. Tickets are $25 and are available by calling 503-644-4952.

DEATHS: Former Jefferson High football coach Tom DeSylvia and longtime referee Vern Marshall died last week. DeSylvia coached Jeff in its heyday, when the Democrats won state titles in 1957 and 1958 and had stars such as Terry Baker and Mel Renfro. Private services are planned for DeSylvia. Public viewing is 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today at Zeller Chapel of the Roses.

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