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Track, softball have prospects at state

The Scappoose track team and St. Helens softball teams have good shots at state hardware


The spring sports season isn’t into full swing yet, only tennis and golf are playing matches that count in league play, but some coaches are already thinking towards the end.

Softball and baseball have mostly been away from the area for spring break play, getting in three or four games. Ball coaches are trying to get their charges put together as a team, while track coaches are plotting where they might finish.by: SELF-PORTRAIT - Sports Editor John Brewington

I came across longtime coaches David Harley and Sean McNabb Wednesday morning, sitting along the track and enjoying the warm sunshine. Athletes were working out at the open track, but attendance was not required.

Like the “Walrus and the Carpenter” we spoke of many things.

Interesting to note is that Harley has done a little math on where Scappoose, particularly the boys might gather some points at the state meet.

Like many track coaches, Harley has a pretty good idea where the Indians might fit in already. He’ll adjust that as some of the younger athletes find their stride on the track or in the field events. The squad has a wealth of sprinters, hurdlers, and some up and comers. In a way it’s perplexing for the coach because he’s not yet sure what events athletes may all compete in and particularly whom will be on the relay teams. There could be changes, even on the 4x400 team that won state last year.

The coach thinks the Indians may have a shot at bringing home a trophy. He also has an idea of how many points they might gather.

Back in 2007, we were at the state meet when St. Helens won the first 5A competition. Coach Gerry Tinkle, along with Jim Crislip and Bob Williams had worked out everything they needed to do the night before, how many points they might get, and how many others might get. It’s an athletic competition and nothing is ever certain. Everything being equal, however, it might be more certain in track.

The Scappoose boys have a good shot at hardware (top four) at state, and the girls have some individuals that will place as well. The Tribe boys should also win district.

It’ll all become clearer as the season wears on. Harley and Tinkle will, as always, keep their pencils sharp, but not forget they also have erasers on the other end.

While Scappoose track has some good prospects, the local spring team with the next best chance for state hardware is the Lady Lions softball team.

The club is loaded with talent, has an elite pitcher, and a lot of speed to burn.

The team just returned from a 36-team “tournament” in Medford. There is no hardware given, but St. Helens at 4-0 might have been a good candidate for one. They weren’t seriously challenged while beating Mazama, South Eugene, Marist and North Valley.

The Lions scored 49 runs in those games, a 12.25 per game average, and gave up only 13 runs. They didn’t use their ace Mariah Mulcahy in the last game, giving her a breather (from pitching) or the nine runs they gave to North Valley might have been none or one or two. They’d only given up four runs in the three games she pitched.

A good test for St. Helens comes this Monday when the Lady Lions face Glencoe, the top-ranked 6A team and a favorite to win state.

St. Helens’ young squad may not win against Glencoe’s Katie Sutherland-Finch, but I’m betting they give them a good run. It should be a fun game to watch.

None of this is meant to say other teams don’t have state prospects, but just that the above two have the best shots. The other ball teams have a ways to go before they are state caliber, and the St. Helens track team is pretty young this year. They do have some individuals that could do well.

It hasn’t been as wet this spring, and most of the games are being played. League gets underway within the next couple of weeks and we’ll see how everyone does. There could be surprises.