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Friday, November 18, 2005

Sutherlin Footballers Having Fun In Playoffs

As a reporter at KPIC Television in Roseburg I get to occasionally take the video set-up out to do a report on a local sports team. When visiting the Sutherlin football team a day prior to their second-round playoff game against ninth-ranked Scappoose, I couldn't help but notice the laid back feeling of the players and coaches. Sure, it's the day before the game and those days are normally light practice days, but this is a team that has built a strong chemistry within thanks to the laid back style of its unique coaching staff, led by not one, but two head coaches.

That mood is clearly evident as I walked out on to the soggy, muddy SHS football field Thursday evening to conduct a few interviews under the lights. As the players did their stretching, I walked out to the group of coaches. Assistant coach Josh Riley jokingly yelled something at me as I walked out and the inevitable happened: Which head coach would do the interview?

"Can Larry (Gurule, the other head coach) do this one, Jason?" Coach Gary asked. "I did the one yesterday and he's dressed better for TV."

After some blank stares and bantering, coach Gary finally conceded to the interview, asking me to shoot from the waist up. The other coaches chuckled and quickly found other meaningful things to do, probably to stay away from the camera. The coach and I walked over to the nearest goal post to do the interview.

"You look beautiful, baby," one of the players shouted through the misty field at his coach as Gary settled in for the interview.

"Shut up," Coach Gary shouted back with a smile. This is the laid back, fun style that has helped the Bulldogs go from worst to a tie for first in the Far West League this year and a 6-4 overall record heading into the second-round playoff game at Scappoose. Also helping to set that loose tone along with Gary, Gurule, and Riley are assistant coaches Isaac Bright, Kurt Sorensen and Brian Vaugh.

I interviewed coach Gary to get his thougts about the big game along with Senior fullback Ricky Bodenschatz and junior quarterback Dane Gilman.

Jason Hink: Tell me a little about your opponent. What are the Scappoose Indians all about this season?

Josh Gary: Scappose runs a west coast offense and they're tough. Three out of the last seven years they have won the state championship, three in a row. They're obviously the 'upperdog' ... I guess we're the underdog. We have to play well to beat them, obviously. We've worked on lots of pass coverage this week. They throw the ball 90% of the time, so those are things we've been working on.

Ricky Bodenschatz: We've been running their offense on scout offense. Our offense is running against their 'd'. We've been just going against some of the formations and shifting they do.

Jason Hink: This is the first time Sutherlin has ever been to the second round in football. What is the feeling among the players and coaches about all the excitemnt you are finding yourself caught up in?

Josh Gary: We're excited. I've been very happy. Practice has been really good. Normally after a big win like that you can get practice to slow down but the kids have just ben great ... they're working very hard and I appreciate that.

Ricky Bodenschatz: The excitement is huge. We've never made it this far in the four years I've been here. This is the first year we've ever made it to this round of the playoffs so the excitement is huge. We're ready to play and hopefully come out with a win.

Jason Hink: What do you have to do to win this game? What will the Indians bring to the field?

Dane Gilman: We've been watching film a lot. They mix up their man and zone quite a bit. We've watched and we know when they blitz. I have to pick that up. I have to know when they're blitzing so I can get rid of the ball quick. So, really I have to watch their DBs so we can have a successful passing game, because we're going to need it Friday night.

Ricky Bodenschatz: They like to throw, run and shoot. They're real good at that and we're just really going to try to stop that.

Dane Gilman: We've mainly been trying some defenses to stop the quads, the four and five receivers and the trips. They pass a lot so we have to stop that pass. We're pretty confident with our run defense so we've been working on the pass quite a bit.

Jason Hink: Scappoose has a rich football tradition. What do you think your chances are against this year's Indians, the ninth-ranked team in the state?

Josh Gary: We have no injuries. Everyone is healthy. Everybody feels good and is ready to play. We expect to play with them. They're a good ball club, but we've looked pretty good the last six or seven weeks. We started out slow at 1-3 and we've really bounced back from a tough preseason so I think we can play with them.

Dane Gilman: Practice all week has been great. Everyone has been intense. Everyone is ready for Friday night. We haven't been this far ever. Everyone wants to make the town of Sutherlin proud so we're ready for them.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Hink Media 4A State Volleyball Broadcasts a Success

The 2005 Oregon Class 4A State Volleyball Championships was a success for the Roseburg Indians. The Hink Media Network (HMN) provided complete coverage of all of Roseburg's games from the Chiles Center via live internet radio broadcasts right here at jasonhink.com.

The Indians made it to bracket play Saturday after a surprising run in Friday's round-robin pool play. Roseburg was joined in Pool 3 with three opponents ranked in Oregon's top 10. The unranked underdogs finished 2-1 against the ranked teams with wins over Crook County and West Linn to advance to the final eight on Saturday. The Tribe then lost its first two matches in the double elimination tournament to McNary and Jesuit to end its season and its surprise run in the state playoffs.

Brock Myers had the play-by-play duties for the volleyball broadcasts, the first ever for Hink Media. Kevin Taggart and LeRoy Hink directed from the studio, with Taggart also giving live updates of other local sporting events.

"I'm really happy we were able to do some state volleyball matches this season," Jason Hink said. "I couldn't be more pleased with the outcome, especially Brock Myer's exciting call of the games for the Roseburg girls. "

HMN will look into adding regular season volleyball broadcasts to the schedule next fall. In the meantime, the company will gear up for the upcoming boys and girls basketball season.

"Congratulations to coach Myers and the RHS volleyballers," Hink said. "They had a great run and it was exciting to listen to."

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Sutherlin QB Dane Gilman: On to State!

As I waited in the Sutherlin High School office for my interviewee to show up, I noticed it took quite a while for the athletic director to find him. When he finally arrived I asked Dane Gilman, the junior quarterback of the 485-enrollment school, what took him.

"It's spirit week this week," he said. "We've been having dress up days and I was dressed up as a gangster. They told me to go change into something more approriate but I didn't know why."

He found out soon enough. I was there to interview him for KPIC Television's Student Athlete of the Week segment. As a junior, he's led the Bulldogs to what will most likely be a second-place finish in the Far West League. This comes after a last place finish a year ago. Friday, the team will play against winless Douglas of Winston, a team that is struggling much like the Bulldogs of 2003 and 2004.

While a 4-4 overall record doesn't seem like something to throw a party about, it is certainly a cause for celebration in Sutherlin. According to the coaching staff, the Bulldogs haven't ever won a state playoff game, dating back to 1941. A win Friday night would put the Bulldogs at a game over .500 and in second place, barring a loss by North Bend to surging Brookings-Harbor. The Bulldogs would finish the league schedule with a 4-1 mark.

This is Gilman's first year as the Bulldog's starting quarterback. Last season, he quarterbacked one game when then starting QB Ryan Osborne was injured.

Jason Hink: How many years have you been involved with football?

Dane Gilman: I've been playing football since the fifth grade. I've played two years of varsity football.

Jason Hink: After struggling through so many losing seasons at Sutherlin, you guys are now in a position to play in the state playoffs and you will probably host a first-round game. Tell me about how the season has gone and how you feel about this excitement.

Dane Gilman: The season is going great. We started off slow by losing those preseason games and that got our hopes down a little bit. But we came back strong in league and played good football. Everyone on the team is getting along really well. Our linemen have stepped it up huge this year. We have great receivers and great running backs. I have time to pass and I get great blocking on the runs. We've been able to pull through on those close games to get us to victory and I'm looking forward to the playoffs.

Jason Hink: Has there been an overall change in attitude with your teammates? You guys started the season struggling with a 1-3 record, just like all the rest of the Far West teams, but then you guys started winning. Once league rolled around you found yourselves 3-0 before last week's close loss at perennial league champ North Bend. Is there a change now where you guys feel like you can play with a lot of teams?

Dane Gilman: Definitely. Last year, we knew we weren't very good and we were just trying to stay in games. This year, we know we're a better team. We go out to win. Everyone plays hard the whole time so we can get the victories.

Jason Hink: What other sports do you play?

Dane Gilman: I play baseball and basketball and I also cheerlead. I'm a stunt guy in cheerleading. I do it during basketball season during competitions, not during the games. I do it for cheerleading competitions.

Jason Hink: How do you like the cheerleading?

Dane Gilman: It's fun, actually. It's a lot harder than people think. People call us wusses and stuff, but it's fairly hard.

Jason Hink: How can someone call somebody a wuss who does stunts for cheerleading? You have to be in pretty good shape to do that stuff, right?

Dane Gilman: Definitely.

Jason Hink: You've gone through the Sutherlin school system your entire life. Tell me about that experience.

Dane Gilman: I've lived in Sutherlin my whole life. Growing up here, knowing everyone, knowing the coaches ... it's been good.

Jason Hink: You have new co-coaches this season that replaced last year's head coach. Were you guys happy with the change?

Dane Gilman: I was, personally, because the coaches are more laid back this year and let us have more fun which made us want to work harder. Both coaches are just great coaches. They let me pass the ball a little more this year so I have to give them thanks for that. Practices are going really well. The coaches are doing a great job.

Jason Hink: You're a junior this year so it's still a bit early, but what are your plans for after high school?

Dane Gilman: After high school, I'm hoping to go to a four-year university. I love sports, so I want a career that's in sports, like as a sports agent or something like that. I would like to stay involved in sports. That's what I do and that's what I love. The University of Oregon has a sports program up there so we'll see.

Jason Hink: As far as the football season goes, what is the ultimate goal now?

Dane Gilman: We've changed our goals a lot this season. First, we wanted a winning record, after last year. We knew we were a better team than that so then we wanted to win the league championship. Unfortunately, we didn't get that. So, now we have a home state playoff game. Our coaches have looked it up and we have never won a state playoff game, so our next goal is to win that state playoff game. Our next goal after that would be to keep going and keep winning.

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