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Future is bright for three fields

The move to install lights at Cleveland, Marshall and Roosevelt will take another step forward Dec. 15 when the PIL athletic office, which is shepherding the project, meets with city officials about receiving conditional use permits for Cleveland and Marshall.

Roosevelt already has its permit.

Once the permits for all three fields are secured, the process to raise the funds to complete the project will begin, PIL Athletic Director Greg Ross reports.

'It's taken three years to get to this point,' Ross says. 'But it looks like we're almost ready to move forward.'

The lighting project seemed like a done deal two years ago when Portland Family Entertainment Ñ which owned the Portland Beavers and Timbers and was running PGE Park Ñ agreed to pay as much as $200,000, or half the expected cost, into a fund to put lights on the three fields.

But the partnership had paid only $40,000 before money problems caused it to stop paying rent to the city. That, and cuts to the PIL's athletic budget for spring sports last year, helped stall the permitting process.

Now it seems the PIL is back on track for having lights installed by fall.

Meanwhile, Cleveland's monthly booster club meeting Monday included a short presentation by Lincoln booster Amy Colville about how to raise funds for a turf field.

'It was just an exploratory meeting,' Cleveland Athletic Director Mike Shanahan says. 'But we have some parents looking into it. We certainly could use a turf field because we only have one field, so we need to get as much usage as we can out of it.'

Cleveland has a $50,000 grant from Nike to use for work toward its field as well as a new track surface.

Wrestling

Wilson senior Sean Murphy needed help getting off the field during a football playoff game with Tigard three weeks ago, but he's back in action with the Trojans wrestling squad.

Murphy, a fullback in football season, is busy slimming down to 189 pounds, the weight at which he won the PIL title last winter.

'He got a hip pointer during that game and it was painful,' Wilson coach Kent Dorsey says. 'But he's good to go now.'

Murphy was strong enough at the state level in summer to qualify for the national freestyle and Greco-Roman championships in Fargo, N.D., this summer.

Wilson's team also includes football players Joe Zagunis (275 pounds) and Lucas Torwal (171).

Swimming

David Douglas swimmer Jenni Stratton is in Seattle this weekend competing in the U.S. Open, an international meet held at the King County pool that once played host to the Goodwill Games. This weekend's meet also features an international field.

'The field is probably as good as the U.S. national championships,' says Burt Stratton, Jenni's father and swim coach at David Douglas. 'There's a lot of strong foreign swimmers going to be there.'

Jenni Stratton won two individual events and led the Scots to second place at the state championships last year. And she's had the last year to get stronger and faster.

'I think she's gotten faster,' Burt Stratton says. 'At least that's the plan.'

Warren signs with Jeff

Larry Warren, a key coach behind the Inner City Steppers youth track program that has started the careers of many sprinters within the PIL, has become the varsity coach at Jefferson, the school reports.

'He's developing a lot of the talent around the league,' Jefferson Athletic Director Marshall Haskins says. 'So I figure why not have him coach here, and maybe the kids will stay and go to school here, too.'

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