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  • 19 Sep 2014

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Scoresheet

Around the town ...

• The project to renovate the tennis courts at Southeast Portland’s Berkeley Park is off to a very good start.

You might even say it’s hopefully on its way to “Game. Set. Rovello.”

That was a familiar phrase during the career of Alex Rovello, the Cleveland High and University of Oregon standout who was 21 when he died in a May 11 cliff diving accident near Eugene.

On Sunday, friends, former teammates, coaches — including U of O players and coaches Nils Schyllander and Jonas Piibor — and others came to the park for the Alex Rovello Memorial kickoff event.

It was the kind of low-key, fun gathering that the personable Rovello would have loved. His father, Jim, served as disc jockey and unofficial emcee, while his mother, Geri, greeted people as they arrived, and everyone enjoyed a little tennis or just the opportunity to socialize and remember Alex.

The event brought further attention to the need for improvements at the courts where Alex learned the game. City Commissioner Amanda Fritz talked about how the project is bringing people together in Alex’s memory. Auction items included UO shirts signed by John McEnroe, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and others, and an Andre Agassi-signed copy of his autobiography, “Open.”

A recent city parks tournament in Alex’s name raised $5,550 in donations, helping organizers generate about one-third of the needed $175,000 to fix the Berkeley Park surfaces, collapsing fence and more.

“It’s time to turn these courts into a shrine for this legend of our community,” said Derin Hibbs, who was Rovello’s youth tennis coach in Eastmoreland.

“We are so grateful to the community for the overwhelming support and compassion they have provided,” the Rovellos said after the Berkeley Park gathering. “Their presence Sunday meant the world to us. We are so appreciative.”

To donate or learn more, go to alexrovellomemorial.org.

• The prep football season is taking shape, with Roosevelt the clear favorite in the PIL 5A. The Roughriders have athletic skill players, big backs and a huge line. Junior QB Kimane Domane hit 13 of 17 passes for 286 yards and TDs of 24, 71 and 29 yards in last week’s 48-26 home win over Cleveland, and he ran 5 yards for another score.

The rest of the league looks competitive. Franklin beat defending champ Wilson 24-6 last week as the Quakers celebrated their 100th anniversary. Jefferson’s revival under new coach Kerry Cameron continued with an 18-9 win at Madison. Cleveland is averaging 280 passing yards and 30 points per game.

• Portland Christian (3-0) has its sights on a return to the 2A title game under coach Cal Szueber, who is four wins shy of 100 in his career.

Paul Pepelaskov (middle linebacker-guard) and Chris Debusman (MLB-fullback) have helped the Royals outscore opponents 94-27, with Pepelaskov averaging more than 40 yards per punt, as well. QB Steven Mumford and wide receiver Nathan Mumford, returning all-staters, also help lead a team with 12 seniors, many of whom have been starting for three years.