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Golfs paid for, but worries linger

Inclement weather has put a damper on the start of golf season for Marshall boys coach Tom Hewitt, but at least there's a season.

When the boys and girls golf seasons were cut from the budget last summer, Hewitt led the attempt to raise $100,000 to fund boys and girls teams at all 10 Portland Interscholastic League schools. About $40,000 was raised, Hewitt says.

Fortunately, the other spring sports got cut, too, which led to a massive effort that generated $500,000 to save all spring sports, including golf.

'That kind of saved us,' Hewitt says. 'Now, the challenge is to find players and get them to a course, which is always a challenge in Southeast Portland. We're constantly in transition.'

Marshall has three returning players from last season but isn't likely to challenge for spots in the state championships.

'The weather has made it even tougher to try and get our new players out on a course,' Hewitt says. 'But at least we have a season.'

FOOTBALL: At Central Catholic, Steve Pyne is replacing coach Joe Bushman, who is headed for Lakeridge. The moves resemble those that involve college coaches on a national level, except the money isn't the same. Schools don't lure coaches from other schools with more money.

'Every school has an amount it pays its coaches, and it's pretty much the same,' Bushman says. 'But one of the advantages I'm heading back to is PERS. That's something you don't get at Central that is a pretty good deal for public school teachers.'

Pyne, 33, says the advantages of moving to a private school with a strong following were attractive enough to leave Wilson, which won the PIL title last fall with a strong group of juniors led by quarterback Sean Setzer and lineman Joe Bozikovich.

Central expects to replace the practice facility on its campus with a turf field in time for the 2004 season. The Rams play their home games at PGE Park.

'My wife is excited about PGE Park, watching games from a luxury box,' Pyne says. 'Central has a new weight room coming in this summer, too.'

Pyne says the PIL's funding woes were a small factor in his decision. Most of his assistant coaches, including Chris Butterfield, who is currently playing for the Arena Football League's Los Angeles Avengers, plan to go to Central with him, he says.

'It's just a really attractive situation,' Pyne says. 'And hopefully, it's a step up competitively.'

Pyne will be able to coach against one of his mentors, David Douglas coach Dan Wood. Pyne moved to Wilson from David Douglas.

TENNIS: Rain washed out most of the metro area matches earlier this week, including a potential state final preview on Wednesday, when Wilson's Momei Qu and Reynolds' Emily Kirchem were scheduled to meet at Gabriel Park.

Wilson coach Larry Allen says the Trojans have 17 girls out for tennis, a strong total that may have something to do with Qu reaching the state final last year as a sophomore.

'Having a strong player helps,' Allen says. 'And not just getting kids out but with the players who were already here. I think her level of play helped one of our doubles teams (juniors Britta Jaques and Megan Dowty) get to state last year, which might have been a year earlier than I saw them getting there.'

Kirchem reached the semifinals as a junior.

Notes: The nation's homeland security rating stayed at yellow just long enough to save the OSAA money. The organization had to hire extra security to inspect bags at the state wrestling tournament at Memorial Coliseum a month ago when the rating was at orange. During the boys and girls basketball tournaments, however, the rating was at yellow, which meant no extra security was required.

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