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Prep teams play waiting game

By BEN MCCARTY

News staff writer

December 2, 2006

It has not been much of a winter wonderland so far for local prep teams.

Hood River Valley High School lost every of practice and game from Monday through Thursday and coaches and players have been put to the test to make sure that when the weather does clear up, they are ready to go.

“We’ve been really hamstrung,” Hood River first year boys’ basketball coach Zach Pauls said. “We’ve had team meetings at school on the days we have had school and told the boys to do cardiovascular stuff and to get their hands on a basketball and shoot some hoops, but they have basically been on their own.”

Anytime buses are cancelled or delayed because of whether, Hood River Valley has to shut down any after school activities, including informal open gyms for athletes.

“It’s been difficult,” Pauls said.

While Cascade Locks avoided some of the weather, it was icy enough Wednesday night to force the school, and athletic events, to be shut down.

Horizon also closed school on Thursday, as well as Monday, following the same schedule as Hood River Valley.

Boys’ basketball coach Ron Haynes said his team did manage to get in practice on Tuesday and Wednesday, but lost practice on Monday and Thursday when school was closed.

Haynes is counting his lucky stars for deciding to have practice the day after Thanksgiving, which got his team some practice time to make up for the amount they would lose on Monday.

“On Wednesday we crammed in everything we could in anticipation that we would lose (Thursday),” Haynes said.

Horizon was scheduled to start its season on Friday, and Haynes was glad they got in the practice time in the middle of the week because it kept his players fresh.

“I think we are in pretty good shape,” he said.

Horizon did not have any games wiped out because of the weather, but the same could not be said for Hood River Valley. The boys’ and girls’ basketball teams saw three games combined postponed through Thursday, but the boys were still scheduled to open their season on Friday against Rex Putnam if the weather improved.

“Coming into the week we were ready to play,” Pauls said of his team. Despite the lost practice time, and washed out games, he thinks his team will be ready to go whenever they get to play their first game.

“I think they have a good enough grasp of what we are doing to shake the rust off and stay in a game,” he said.

For Haynes, he thinks that the first game for his team cannot come fast enough.

“I think you get to this point and they are like a racehorse-you cant hold them back much longer,” he said.

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