▶️ Culver wrestling coach takes team to Texas to boost athletes’ mental health


No wrestling is allowed right now at local high schools, but that hasn’t stopped a local powerhouse wrestling team from taking their athletes on the road.

Despite a high number of Oregon COVID-19 cases and travel advisories, the Culver Mat Club team traveled to wrestle in a tournament in Texas this past week.

“To have this and to have them have a why, it’s a blessing, a true blessing to a lot of us families, to be able to give that to our kids and to have Culver wrestling give that to them was amazing,” parent Juanita Dickson said.

J.D. Alley has been the Culver High School varsity wrestling coach for 31 years and has taken his wrestlers to tournaments all over the country.

He called the trip to Texas “the most important trip they have ever taken.”

“To me, for that group of kids and you weigh the risk versus the benefit, it was an easy decision,” Alley, who is also the president of Culver Mat Club, said.

“This was a trip that had a little bit of wrestling in it, but it really wasn’t about wrestling,” he added.

Alley says the decision to travel was mostly about the mental health of his athletes.

“Just where COVID has put us mentally, we needed a snap out of it moment,” Alley said.

The Culver Mat Club team placed 6th out of 118 teams at the Texas tournament.

Many Culver Mat Club members are also on the Culver High School team. The Bulldogs’ wrestling program has been a 2A powerhouse, winning 12 state titles in 14 years.

Last season they placed second in the 2A state tournament. This was supposed to be their redemption year.

 “Some of them that you think would be chomping at the bit, weren’t,” Alley said. “That carrot and that dream has got away from them.”

Alley hoped the Texas tournament sanctioned by USA Wrestling would relight a fire under Alley’s athletes.

“It gave my kid a why to do something and finding a why has been hard, really hard,” Dickson said. “My kid had a why, a why to get out of bed, a why to do his homework, a why to have his smile on his face.”

The OSAA has approved a proposed six-week, mid-May, wrestling season ending with a culminating event.

▶️ Sno-parks expected to be busy this winter; parking along Century Dr. is a no-no


We’ve had a beautiful string of fall days here in Central Oregon and lots of people are wanting to be outside.

“We’re just up here skiing, sledding and having fun,” Bend Resident Jay Dicharry said while enjoying Mt. Bachelor before the season opens.

Local sno-parks have been busy, meaning parking lots are packed.

“Playing in the snow,” young Maddox said at Wanoga Sno-Park. “Playing in the snow,” echoed Malia, a recent Oregon resident.

“Alaskan Huskies,” Bend resident Dave Bush said at Wanoga. “We are going to run 16 dogs in two, eight dog teams. We’re training for a couple hundred mile races this morning.”

More people enjoying the snow means more cars, which means fewer parking spots at some of the areas most popular sno-parks.

Kevin Larkin, the Bend Fort Rock District Manager at Deschutes National Forest expects winter recreation to carry over from what they saw in the spring.

“We had excessive use of sno-parks,” Larkin said. “We had folks parking out on highways and just a lot of traffic and we expect that it will be the case again this winter as opportunities for other forms of recreation have been fairly limited.” 

The Oregon Department of Transportation recently issued a warning to not park along Century Drive near Mt. Bachelor.

It could result in a citation.

“Last weekend like half a mile of cars, which probably is treacherous and not smart, so I understand why ODOT is doing that,” Bend resident Kathy Woodford said.

To park in a sno-park, you’ll need a permit.

“Enforcement is a real consideration with sno-parks, but really I would appeal to our better nature,” Larkin said. “That permit expense goes directly to those folks who take care of those sno-parks.” 

He suggests if areas are full, find another place.

“Kapka Butte Sno-park is nearby, Edison Sno-park is nearby,” Larkin said. “Those are much larger parking lots.”

▶️ “Hopening Day” turns to Opening Day at Mt. Bachelor

It’s finally here, opening day and one lift was up and running Friday morning at Mt. Bachelor.

Plenty of excited skiers and snowboarders headed up the mountain looking to make the most of this week’s snowfall.

Some excited locals were up and moving in the early hours of the morning to make sure they got in those first alpine turn, but the fun wasn’t limited to the alpine side of the mountain.

The Nordic Center at Mt. Bachelor was up and running and welcoming cross-county skiers and snowshoers back to the mountain with cookies and coco.


Turkey Trotters step out despite winter weather


Despite record breaking snow runners took on their Thanksgiving morning runs in Redmond and Bend.

Redmond’s annual Turkey Trot was at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds with a 5k and 10k run, prizes for age group and costume winners and of course post-race food.

Hoodoo sponsored the event and all of the proceeds raised benefit “Bright Eyes Bright Future,” a locally run non-profit providing eye care for kids in need.

In Bend, runners lined up in the Old Mill for the ‘I Like Pie Run.’ Participants took part in either a 5k or a short mile walk or run and afterwards, everyone’s favorite part, the eating of pies.

All proceeds of ‘I Like Pie’ benefit Girls on the Run and Neighbor Impact.

Along with the run there was a pie baking contest, with the top three pies winning $50 to Footlocker.


XC skiers and snowshoers celebrate Thanksgiving in the woods


The Meissner Nordic Ski Club groomed about six miles of ski trails at the Virginia Meissner snow park a few days ahead of the scheduled opening. Dozens made the trip up the cascade lakes highway to kick and glide before tucking in for turkey.

Volunteers run the grooming operations and depend on donations from those using the trials. If you’re looking to get up for some early season skiing and snowshoeing, don’t forget you’ll need a snow park pass to park at Virgina Meissner and any of the other snow parks across the state.


Remembering Big Davey

David Taylor Junior, affectionately known as Big Davey to his friends and family, died in a tragic car accident three and half years ago. This weekend, La Pine will once again honor Davey and continue his legacy with the third annual David Taylor Junior memorial baseball and softball tournament.

Central Oregon Daily’s Eric Lindstrom has the story.

Uncertain Future for the Pacific Crest Sports Festival

The Pacific Crest Sports Festival got under way down in Sunriver today and runs through the weekend. The festival is the largest endurance event in Central Oregon with more than 4,000 competitors. However concerns over the size of the race, and its affect on the small community of Sunriver, means there could be changes on the way.

Eric Lindstrom went down to Sunriver today to check out the festivities and catch up with the race director.

Madras Hosts the District Five Little League Tournament

The District Five Little League Tournament was taking place all week in Madras. The big Little League tournament featured all-star baseball and softball teams from all across the region.

Teams competed to advance out to the state tournament and the winner of each division moves on. If you keep winning you could eventually end up at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania in August.

Central Oregon was well represented in the tournament with teams from Warm Springs all the way down to La Pine and everywhere in between competing at the weeklong tournament and enjoying the kick off to their summer.

Mt Bachelor Plans New Mountain Park for 2019-20 Season

For the upcoming 2019-20 ski season, Mt. Bachelor will be unveiling their new Woodward Mountain Park which will be geared toward learning. The new area will feature three new lifts, two covered carpet lifts, and one aerial chair lift, as well as a start park where you can practice your “pizza” and “french fries” before hitting up the summit lift. You’ll also be seeing some other upgrades to the resort come the 2019 season, in the form of new parking lots, remodeled rental shops and modernized restroom facilities.