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

By STEELE HAUGEN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

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.

Fiery protests in Portland following George Floyd rallly

PORTLAND Ore. (AP) — Rallies to protest the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody turned violent in Portland, as black-clad protesters set multiple fires, looted a shopping mall and broke storefront windows throughout downtown.

Protesters broke into the police headquarters Friday night in Portland and authorities said they lit a fire inside. And a blaze built from cardboard boxes and other items burned in the middle of a street downtown and video showed people breaking into Pioneer Place mall and taking bags from a Louis Vuitton store. Police said they deployed gas after people threw projectiles and authorities later declared the gathering a riot.

Blazes continued to burn early Saturday morning in multiple locations in downtown, including a building that housed a bank and broken glass littered the streets.

“All persons in downtown Portland: it is not safe, it is dangerous, there is rioting, leave now,” Portland police said via Twitter.

At least one shooting was tied to the protest, police said, although details weren’t immediately available. Officers also said gas was deployed after people threw projectiles at them. Police said two people had been arrested in connection with the overnight disturbance and another person was arrested Friday afternoon.

Friday night dozens of people also marched through downtown Seattle, with black-clad anarchists smashing up a storefront window.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler tweeted a plea to protesters to remain peaceful and said at about 11:50 p.m. that while he had left Portland to attend to his dying mother, he was heading back to the city.

“Portland, this is not us,” he wrote. “When you destroy our city, you are destroying our community. When you act in violence against each other, you are hurting all of us. How does this honor the legacy of George Floyd?”

Leaders in Seattle, where a large gathering is planned downtown Saturday afternoon, urged people to be peaceful.

Mayor Jenny Durkan and Police Chief Carmen Best both said at a Friday evening news conference they were outraged by the death of Floyd, a black man who was killed after an officer put his knee on Floyd’s head and neck.

Durkan said the killing reflected the “deep and systemic racism” in the United States. She also said as a former federal prosecutor she believed it was right that the officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck is facing charges.

“Tomorrow people in Seattle will gather to grieve and to protest,” the mayor said.

Best said she hoped everyone would remain calm and respectful. “This should be a time for healing,” she said.

The Saturday afternoon rally is organized by a group working to reduce fatal police shootings.

“We can’t have officers killing people — unarmed people — and not being charged and convicted,” the group’s leader, Andre Taylor, told The Seattle Times. “We need to see officers being held accountable.”

Speakers at the Westlake Center event include community and youth leaders and pastors. A march to the federal courthouse is planned. Another event is planned for about noon at Seattle Police Headquarters.

There are also rallies planned Saturday in Tacoma.

LA Clippers Broadcaster Retires to Bend

His name is Ralph Lawler, and for folks who may not know, Lawler has been the beloved broadcast voice of the Los Angeles Clippers on both radio and television for more than 40 years. Central Oregon Daily’s Eric Lindstrom sat down with Lawler to chat about his career in broadcasting, his recent retirement and the incredible off season the Clippers are having acquiring both Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. 

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.

Bend Rock Gym Bouldering Expansion

Bend Rock Gym is already the hot spot to climb indoors in town but now the gym has expanded its facility by 11,000 square feet and has all new walls for beginners to experts. The gym will be hosting an open house for the public from 6-9 PM on Thursday, June 13, with beer and pizza for visitors to enjoy.

Central Oregon Daily’s Dalton Roth has more.

Ridgeview Ravens Take First Softball State Title

Less than twenty-four hours after La Pine defended their 3A baseball title, the Ridgeview Ravens softball team stepped onto the field at Jane Sanders Stadium in Eugene for their first-ever state championship appearance on Saturday.

Central Oregon Daily’s Meghan Glova was there when the Ravens won the 5A state title.