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New AD outlines Marshall plan

Marshall High's new athletic director, Tim Biamont, has some energetic ideas about how sports can help rebuild the school's tarnished reputation, starting this fall.

Biamont, a teacher at Marshall for 11 years, succeeds Mark Brandenburg. Biamont hopes the school can win a league title in at least one sport per year, as they have in the past. But he is more concerned about the number of athletes the school produces.

Marshall's enrollment is expected to be about 950 this fall, and only about 200 will compete in the Portland Interscholastic League. Biamont says the figures he's seen show that Marshall loses about 200 freshmen to neighboring high schools every year because of the school's reputation as a poor performer.

A third of the school's students speak English as their second language. 'There are a lot of challenges ahead of us at Marshall,' says Biamont, 37. 'But the great thing is the kids that we have here. They really try hard, and they're loyal. They make you want to try hard for them.'

Marshall's football team played for the PIL title last year and returns a strong group of incoming seniors. The team has a new coach in Bob Jacobs, a longtime assistant. Jacobs succeeds Ray Byzewski, who was ousted in what amounted to a revolt by parents.

Parents are likely to play a key role with the boys soccer team, too. Last spring, a club team was formed, and the team won a Beaverton league. The team displayed its trophy at the school. Biamont recruited the parents involved in forming the team to act as assistant coaches for the varsity program. The parents are becoming certified high school coaches this summer.

The PIL's original boys soccer schedule, released June 20, suggested that Marshall wouldn't field a varsity team. But that schedule has been revised to include the school.

Biamont says the boys soccer team might consist exclusively of players who speak English as their second language, and that would be considered a victory for the school.

'These kids aren't normally getting involved in athletics, so if we can bring them in and get them interested, maybe they'll be more committed to academics, too,' Biamont says.

'And I think we can be pretty good. The kids who played on that spring team, they're all committed to soccer; it's their sport of choice. So, we'd actually be playing to our strength by getting them on the soccer team.'

Biamont also says the plan to install lights around Marshall's football field is a key ingredient to positive change.

'It's pretty hard to get the community interested in your teams when you play games at 4 p.m.,' he says. 'If we could do only one thing to help our programs, it would be to put up lights on the field.'

Grant gets tough

Grant girls soccer coach Tony Asquith says his team's nonleague schedule is as strong as ever, which is great news for his players.

The Generals tied Lincoln for the PIL title last year but were eliminated in the first round of the state playoffs.

This season, the Generals are scheduled to play Tualatin, Lakeridge and West Linn, which all reached the state semifinals last season. Grant also is set to play Westview, Gresham and Lake Oswego, which all qualified for the state playoffs.

'I've been asking for a really tough schedule for years, and this year we got it,' Asquith says. 'That should help us get ready for the playoffs.'

The Generals return three first-team PIL all-stars Ñ incoming seniors Christine Soma, Molly Paterno and Alyssa Kessler Ñ and second-team pick Ericka Volker.

Notes: Lincoln Athletic Director Mark Pinder reports that the school is ready to begin renovating the track at Mike Walsh Field. Lincoln also is close to selecting a boys basketball coach to succeed Troy Berry, who took the same job at Benson.

Former Cleveland girls basketball coach Kendra Gardner has been hired to lead the girls program at Wilson. Gardner also has coached at Grants Pass. Wilson won the PIL title three times in the last four years.

Franklin pitcher Holly Marlow has signed a letter of intent to play softball at Portland State. Marlow was the two-time PIL player of the year. The Vikings were 19-29 last season.

Lincoln grad Ruth Gilliam is part of the fourth-ranked recruiting class in women's soccer, according to Soccer America magazine. Gilliam, a goalkeeper and PIL girls soccer player of the year last season, is headed for the University of Portland.

The Central Catholic football schedule kicks off with a home game against Grants Pass, Sept. 5, at PGE Park, although the school's schedule still refers to the field as Civic Stadium. Perhaps that's some backlash against the Enron subsidiary.

Ñ Cliff Pfenning