Tree toss supports rugby team
Male student has longest throw in fundraising contest
The sun shone on the Lakeridge High School rugby teams first Christmas tree toss on Saturday.
Donors gave almost $300 on the cold, bright day at the C3 Church in Lake Oswego. Tree-tossing participants hurled small trees that organizers provided, and attendees also could recycle their fading evergreens. Proceeds support scholarships, jerseys, medical kits, cleats, mouth guards and other rugby team needs.
I really appreciate the community coming out and supporting the kids, said Sione Aisea, head rugby coach. Sometimes people just think about winning the game, but, this is what its about: Its about coming out to support the team.
Lakeridge Junior High sixth-grader Ethan Oh said the contest was great and so was the service the team provided at the event.
I think its a really good idea, instead of throwing away your trees, recycling them, Ethan said.
Lakeridge High junior Malik Newton said what he loved most about the event was: Everybody doing this just for us, just for the team.
Several groups faced off in the contest, competing in their division for the farthest throw with judges accounting for style in the event of a tie. Student winners, in male and female categories, pocketed gift cards for Blast Burger, Chucks Place and UU Yogurt.
With a throw of 51 feet, Lakeridge high junior Lopeti Aisea, a rugby team member and son of the head coach, landed first place not only in the student male category but also overall.
This is pretty cool, better turnout than I thought, Lopeti Aisea said as he observed young kids throwing trees Saturday morning. It is adorable.
Lakeridge Junior High sixth-grader Ava Procter took home the gold in the female student category with a throw of 22 feet. Jordan Divers earned the silver medal, and the two were the sole competitors in their category.
Its harder than it looks, Procter said, after a few tosses.
Her little brother, Westridge Elementary first-grader Jonas Procter, looked down at his hands: I got a lot of splinters.
Cody Divers earned silver in the male student category, and Jadon Procter snagged bronze.
Adult winners, also split in male and female categories, walked away with gift cards for Nicolettas Table, World Class Wines, Lady Dis British Store & Tea Room and Stickmens Brewery & Skewery.
Austin Lind had the longest distance in the male adult category: 42 feet 9 inches. Mike Fuller earned silver, and the bronze went to Scott Birdsall. Tonya Divers had the best throw in the womens category: 25 feet 9 inches. Karen Spalding nabbed the silver, and Kirsten Heckes won the bronze.
The Lakeridge rugby team was launched last fall, and West Linn High School also has a team. Lake Oswego High doesnt have one yet.
John Perkins, Lakeridge High School rugby team assistant coach, said the idea for a tree toss to raise funds for the new team came from visiting his daughter last year in Ireland, where he saw a local competition.
We want to make this an annual event, as long as people come and enjoy it, Perkins said.
Jillian Daley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 503-636-1281, ext. 109. Follow her on Twitter, @jilliandaley.JW_DISQUS_ADD_A_COMMENT