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Chehalem earns two water polo titles at State Games

Water polo — The men's open and 14-U co-ed teams both go 4-0 to win their respective division Saturday and Sunday at the Multnomah Athletic Club


PORTLAND — Reclaiming some bragging rights for Newberg, the Chehalem Water Polo Club produced two title-winning teams at the Oregon State Games Saturday and Sunday at the Multnomah Athletic Club.

Each summer, the State Games are an opportunity for former Newberg players to mix it up with current players and compete in the open division, which the Chehalem men won with a 4-0 record. by: GARY ALLEN - Human shields - Tyler Bell (front) and Kyle Hansen attempt to block a shot during the Oregon State Games Sunday at the Multnomah Athletic  Club in Portland. The Chehalem Water Polo Club went 4-0 at the tournament to win the Open Division championship.

Meanwhile, the 14-U co-ed team proved Newberg’s strong tradition isn’t likely to fade anytime soon, also putting up a perfect 4-0 record to earn a championship of their own.

“It felt really good, especially because of everything that happened at high school state because we played the coaches and we beat them,” said recent NHS graduate Spencer McMaster, referring to Newberg’s runner-up finish in 2013. “It was awesome.”

In addition to members of Chehalem’s 18-U boys team like McMaster, who will head to the Junior Olympics at the end of the month, head coach Jake Kinne joined the fray, as did alumni Colton Saunders.

Kinne scored eight goals in the tournament and was a key factor in Chehalem’s 4-3 win over the Tune Squad, a breakaway team from the Portland Masters Club. Chehalem was without Beecher for that contest and Kinne matched up with the Tune Squad’s top player for the entire contest.

“He was guarding a guy that’s played at similar levels as him, so they were fighting the whole time,” McMaster said. “It was awesome playing with him and you respect him because he worked his butt off.”

Chehalem also topped Tualatin Hills 9-3 and Central Oregon 12-3 before running into Portland Masters in their final match.

Thanks to a 4-1 lead built after scoring on its first four shots of the game, Chehalem held on for a 7-5 victory to earn the tournament title.

“Whenever you play those kinds of teams, you have to get up on them on the counterattack and out-swim them,” Beecher said. “We just held them off the rest of the game, played tough defense and got a couple more goals.”

Goalie Kyle Hansen put an emphatic cap on the victory by stuffing a penalty shot and the ensuing rebound with about five seconds left to play.

“Obviously, they’re a lot bigger and stronger than us, so it was just us playing smart defense and getting a couple of field blocks,” Beecher said. “Kyle played really well.”

McMaster and Beecher also coached the 14-U team, which blew out Eugene 11-1, but otherwise pulled out three close matches: 9-7 over Central Oregon, 8-5 over Tualatin Hills Blue and 6-4 over Tualatin Hills White.

“They just did a good job swimming and passing,” McMaster said. “The goals were distributed pretty evenly. They thought it was great winning first place.”

The key to the team’s success, according to McMaster, is good chemistry. He also praised Zach Jordan, Dalton Paskett, Eli Lundquist, Dane Findley and Asia Wytcherley for strong performances in the tournament.

“They’re good friends, so you can see that when they’re playing,” McMaster said.




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