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Top quality coaches fill local areas

It's quite an impressive list:

Gus Araujo, Todd Jukkala, Greg Lawrence, Mark Maxwell, Duncan Nyangoro and Jon Strohmaier.

Just what do all of these fine gentlemen have in common? Well, they're all nice guys, they all seem to be at least reasonably intelligent, and they've all been honored for their coaching performances for the 2005-2006 school year.

Araujo (Tigard High School's boys soccer coach), Jukkala (Tualatin's girls basketball coach), Lawrence (Sherwood's football coach), Maxwell (Sherwood's swim coach), Nyangoro (Tualatin's former girls soccer coach) and Strohmaier (Sherwood's baseball coach), have all been honored - either on all-state listings or by the Oregon Athletic Coaches Association - as coaches of the year.

And, in my humble opinion, deservedly so.

Those six men share some common qualities. Among other things, they put in the work, they care about the kids they coach and they get the most out of those kids.

The fact that such a large group of honored coaches comes from the local area is no coincidence.

The area athletic directors and school administrators at the area high schools have, for the most part, done a fantastic job in filling their coaching staff with quality coaches.

And that's important.

I'm sure that everyone that grew up playing sports remembers certain coaches, or things learned from those coaches, for either good or bad reasons.

Thanks to the group of quality coaches in this area, I'm sure most will be remembered for the good stuff.

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Speaking of coaches at the high school level, there have been some movement on the coaching front, either at the local schools or involving local people.

Tigard, Tualatin and Sherwood will each have at least one new varsity coach for the 2006-2007 school year.

At Tigard, Steve Naylor takes over as the varsity girls basketball coach after previously coaching at Century High School in Hillsboro.

At Tualatin, Rossano Rocha takes over for Nyangoro as the Timberwolves' girls soccer coach. Those are big shoes to fill, but Rocha seems to have the same sort of qualities that made Nyangoro so successful at the post.

The Wolves will have another new coach, of sorts in Doug Rostron, who takes over the volleyball program. Rostron, who also coaches girls tennis at Tualatin, had a previous stint coaching the varsity volleyball team at Tualatin.

At Sherwood, Steve Suttich takes over as the Lady Bowmen's head volleyball coach.

Meanwhile, a pair of Tualatin High School graduates recently accepted new coaching positions. Amanda McGrath is taking over as the varsity girls basketball coach at Westview High School and Dan Weber is the new varsity baseball coach at Bend High School.

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While we're talking about area coaches, former Tualatin High School girls basketball coach Gary McGrath made a national television appearance - well, he and thousands of other orange-clad fanatics - at the college baseball World Series held in Omaha, Neb.

McGrath, an Oregon State University graduate, made a brief appearance on ESPN, in a crowd shot, during the Beavers' win over North Carolina in the championship contest.