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2011 St. Helens Hall of Fame class impressive

Dave Collins, Jerry Fast, Gerry Clark, Ryan Waite, Chuck McCartney, Ken Bailey, Karee Cade Steinhauser inducted
by: John Brewington INDUCTEES—St. Helens Sports Boosters inductees into the 2011 Hall of Fame include (from left) Chuck McCartney, Ken Bailey, Ryan Waite, Doug Colins, Karee Cade Steinhauser, Gerry Clark, and Jerry Fast.

The St. Helens Sports Boosters inducted an impressive group of athletes into their Hall of Fame Saturday night.

The group ranged from 1972 graduates to a 2006 graduate, just eligible this year and still competing in college. One of the group left St. Helens the day after graduation and hadn't been back until the banquet-29 years ago. It had been nearly 40 years for another. One had supported athletics in a number of sports and another had been a coach and athletic director. They were all well deserving.

2011 inductees include:

DAVE COLLINS (1982)-A state champion hurdler and football player, Collins said he packed his pick-up a week before graduation and said hadn't returned for nearly 30 years. He attended Lane Community College and went to Oregon State as a decathlete. He spent time as a steer wrestler and working with trauma victims in Arizona. He is now the Director of Orthotics and Prosthetics at Shriner's Hospital in Portland. He is also a featured motivational speaker.

Collins said that he tells high school kids not to row upstream, not to let others tell them what to be, to row their own boat downstream with the flow.

JERRY FAST (1972)-A football player for four years and one of the fastest sprinters in the state. Fast was one of the leading ground gainers in the old Coast Valley League. He holds the school record at 100 yards with a time of 9.7. Former coach Gene Strehlou said he missed his chance at state when they had to drive down to Eugene for the then one-day meet on the same day and Fast failed to qualify in the preliminaries.

Coach Strehlou always challenged us. Fast said going over 200 yards was way too hard. He added Strehlou told him, 'It's a lot easier for sprinters to go longer than for distance guys to go faster. So that's how I got on the (4x440) relay team. I never wanted to be a quarter miler.'

Fast attended Mt. Hood Community College and the University of Oregon. He went to work in the Mt. Hood business department and has been there since. He, too, said he hadn't been back to St. Helens in 40 years.

GERRY CLARK (1985)-A track and cross country athlete, Clark excelled at the long jump and the triple jump. He also ran sprints and threw discus. 'He was a leader by example, a fierce competitor and an uncompromising sportsman,' coach Gerry Tinkle said. Clark still holds the school record of 22-feet, 6-inches in the long jump.

Clark, who's dad Lee was a teacher and a coach at St. Helens, said, 'This means a lot to me and I know it means a lot to my dad. My memories of St. Helens athletics go back to when I was old enough to be drug to football games, basketball games or wrestling matches. I had the opportunity to travel on the team bus for football and track. Reading through this (Hall of Fame) list and looking at the people being inducted it's a privilege to be thrown in with this group. I look around the room and see people that were at track meets, people like Jack Carter-you were there raking the pit when I broke the record. It's a lot of really great memories.'

RYAN WAITE (2006)-The holder of several St. Helens track records, a three-time state champion, and an outstanding cross country runner.

'Every now and then an athlete comes along with that rare combination of tremendous talent, positive attitude and an extreme desire to win. Coupled with the leadership skills to make everyone around him better its a coach's dream,' St. Helens track coach Gerry Tinkle said.

Waite won the 800-meter run his junior and senior years at state, plus anchored the state championship 4x400 relay team. Tinkle told how they had coached Waite running outside to not get boxed in his junior year and he eschewed that to lead the entire race. His senior year, Tinkle said he skipped the 1,500 run to be fresh for the 4x400 where they thought the team could win. It worked and they won state, Waite passing the leading Jesuit running in both the pre-lims and the finals. He also ran the 800 in a national meet and was third, just one-thousandth out of second to a runner in a different heat.

'When I came to St. Helens as a scrawny 14-year-old I saw all the (Hall of Fame) pictures up on the wall and decided I wanted to be up there,' Waite said. 'I want to thank everyone for the support they've give me. My time in St. Helens was a special time. The coaches here had a great impact on me, not only in the things I've been able to accomplish in sports, but the things I've been able to accomplish in life.'

Waite is attending Brigham Young University and running in the 800, where he still has two years of eligibility left.

CHUCK McCARTNEY (1965)-A former coach, McCartney was in charge of timing for track meets for the last 20 years. He said he started doing it when his oldest daughter was in track and it was a beautiful 84-degree day. 'It never was that nice again,' he joked.

'The reason I stayed so long,' he said, 'was because of the impact Mr. Tinkle has on kids, just like Mr. Strehlou (former track coach) had an impact on me. He is a good man and Gerry is the same way. (He has) An impact to teach about life and about responsibility. As we go through life it's not about being a winner, but about getting better and better and better and never quitting trying to be better.'

KEN BAILEY (coach/athletic director)-The former head baseball coach and the high school's athletic director from 2003-2010, Bailey assisted in numerous improvements to school facilities. He went to high school in California, and then attended Oregon State where he was a starting infielder on the baseball team. He first taught at Clatskanie, and then Knappa before coming to St. Helens in 1980. Bailey retired last year.

Some of the projects he worked on included leveling and resurfacing the stadium field, as well as work on the outside game and practice fields, scoreboards in the gym, new bleachers in the balcony, and a new stadium sound system.

'I wouldn't have been able to do any of these projects without the help of the best sports booster club in the state of Oregon,' Bailey said.

KAREE CADE STEINHAUSER (1994)-Cade Steinhauser was a standout softball player for former coach Bill Rawlings and also played volleyball. The softball team won a Cowapa League championship her sophomore year, and she was first team all-league and all-state her senior year. She pitched in the North/South all-star game her senior year. She was only one batter from a perfect game in one of her outings.

'It seems odd to be up here for something that's been fun my whole life,' she said. She and her husband, Scott have three children. They both still play co-ed softball.