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Coaching legend considers PIL job

PREP WATCH: Ray Baker, who led Clackamas' success, wants one more run
by: L.E. BASKOW, Grant’s Alexys Gonado makes it safe despite 
a near tag Thursday by Wilson’s Amanda Stone in a game the Generals 
won 9-5.

Todd Pasche, who coached Cleveland to the PIL 5A football title last fall, is stepping down after seven seasons.

And a prep coaching legend, Ray Baker, is among those interested in taking his place.

'I like the challenge of taking a place to a high level where we can consistently play anybody, anytime, anyplace, and I think Cleveland is one of those opportunities,' Baker says. 'I want to go start over, one more time.'

Cleveland struggled for years in football until last season, when the Warriors had a solid senior corps and broke through at the new 5A level.

'I would like to build it up, really get it going,' says Baker, adding that he'd like to coach six to eight years. 'And if they want to go 6A, that's fine, let's get it on.'

Baker, 60, turned Clackamas into a perennial playoff team before Joe Bushman took over that program last season. Baker has continued to teach health, physical education and strength and conditioning, and he would want to teach at Cleveland if he gets the football post. 'I can recruit the hallway,' he says.

Baker has been a head or assistant coach at seven high schools and four colleges since 1967. Last year, the Medford native worked with former Cleveland player Rick Hennessy's eighth-grade team in West Linn.

'I've tried to get into the PIL before -Jefferson twice and Benson once,' Baker says.

Putnam has an opening, too, but Baker says he's not planning to apply for that job.

Pasche, meanwhile, plans to live in Ashland, where he starred for the Grizzlies in the 1980s.

• De La Salle North Catholic has hired an accomplished boys basketball coach in Forbes Lapp. He won Washington state titles with La Center in 1996 and 1997.

• Grant's softball team went into the week undefeated in PIL 6A play (8-0, 13-2 overall). The Generals kept things interesting when one game was washed out last week. The bus turned around and returned to Grant, where the players launched into a spirited game of dodge ball. 'We worked on our throwing and catching skills,' coach Debbie Engelstad says.

Hitting obviously hasn't been a problem, either. 'In 21 years, I can never remember having kids hit as well as this year,' Engelstad says. 'We're batting .414, with eight players over .300. It's normally .238 or something like that. We've never been up over .350. And in one game in a monsoon we had only three hits but scored 13 runs.'

• The biggest boys lacrosse game so far this season is tonight. Unbeatens and longtime rivals Lincoln and Oregon Episcopal will meet at 7 p.m. at OES. Both are 4-0 in the Columbia Division and 7-0 overall. Lincoln has outscored its opponents 87-24; OES has outscored its foes 78-21. The teams also play May 15 at Lincoln.

Lincoln made the state semifinals last year, losing to eventual champion Lakeridge, which beat OES in the final.

'I think we're a better team than we were last year,' Lincoln coach Will Harris says. 'We're equally athletic, and we have much better stick skills.'

Lincoln's defense is intact from 2006, with Cardinal football standouts Parker Osgood and John Cassidy joined by Jesuit gridders Max Brantley and Pat Wagner (the Crusaders don't have lacrosse, and those two players live in the Lincoln district).

Junior Patrick Rogers gives Lincoln a returning all-state attack player.

• Freshman Will Guitteau and sophomore Cam Kiyokawa finished 1-2 in the PIL 6A boys mid-district golf tournament, leading the Generals over chief rivals Wilson and Lincoln.

In PIL 5A boys, Jefferson sophomore Deangelo Randle led the way with a 79 before he was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard. Of the top eight finishers, none was a senior. Cleveland freshmen Mike Mackin and Jeff Wall took the top two spots. The Warriors' No. 1 player, sophomore Conor Logan, sat out in order to give another golfer a chance to compete in the 18-hole event.

Top scores from the tourneys:

6A girls (at RedTail): Avery Sills, Lincoln, 80; Michelle Chu, Grant, 84; Lizzie Martin, Wilson, 90; Sarah Burczak, Lincoln, 99; Allie Lodine, Grant, 105. Top teams: Lincoln 509, Grant 543.

5A girls (at RedTail): Anna Norman, Cleveland, 104; Rachel Nunez, Cleveland, 118; Caroline Bader, Cleveland, 120; Tema Kagan, Cleveland, 134; Vivian Kuo, Madison, 140. Team scores: Cleveland 630, Madison 880.

6A boys (at Eastmoreland): Will Guitteau, Grant, 76; Cam Kiyokawa, Grant, 80; Joel Simon, Wilson, 81; Charlie McCaslin, Wilson, 81; Brian Norton, Wilson, 82; Joey Wagner, Grant, 83; Jamie Stambler, Lincoln, 83; Max Crowell, Lincoln, 84; Adam Perkiomakie, Lincoln, 85; Josh Havey, Benson, 86; Ricky Foat, Grant, 86; Justin Roby, Lincoln, 86. Team scores: Grant 325, Wilson 331, Lincoln 338, Benson 409, Franklin 445.

5A boys (at Eastmoreland): Mike Mackin, Cleveland, 84; Jeff Wall, Cleveland, 87; Tristan Hamberg, Madison, 97; Paul Lambert, Cleveland, 97; Ben Keeler, Roosevelt, 99; Sean Davis, Jefferson, 105; Dustin Dikes, Madison, 106; Bondon Kawamoto, Cleveland, 108; Jake Forsythe, Marshall, 109. Team scores: Cleveland 376, Madison 444, Marshall 509.

• Alex Rovello, the freshman tennis standout at Cleveland, was encouraged by his recent play in the Easter Bowl national tournament in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Rovello went 2-2 in 16-and-under singles, beating one player who had been ranked in the top 10 among 14-and-unders. 'It showed I can compete with anybody,' Rovello says.

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