The Clackamas print. (Oregon City, Oregon) 1989-2019, March 11, 1998, Page 8, Image 8

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~ í 1 he C1 ac I< amas P rínt
Sophomores, coach say goodbye to friends
Sports Editor
Two years ago, Karen Twain watched a quiet, 6’1" center play
in her final game for West Linn High School.
Twain, the women’s basketball head coach at Clackamas, had
landed this young prospect as one of the team’s top recruits. Her
name... Robbie Nix..
Nix was a standout in high school and had had some offers
from four-year universities. Her grades, however, kept her from
attending a larger school and that is when Nix decided to play for
Coach Twain’s Cougars to better herself both academically and
as a player.
That is the case for most of the top community college play­
ers—to prepare themselves for bigger things. For Nix, Clacka­
mas was a staging ground, a place to grow as a student and as a
basketball player. It has prepared her for the life of a Portland
' State Viking. Nix signed her letter of intent to play at PSU last
While some use the community college level as a building
block for their career, otherplayers use itas a way to prolong their
life in basketball.
Denise Bean, a loud-spirited player from Oregon City High
School, joined the team two years ago as well. She saw limited
action as a freshman but worked intensely over the summer to
improve her game and it showed.
Bean was the leading scorer in a number of games throughout
this past season and was a vital part of the Cougars’ run for the
Southern Division title. What had started out as an incoming fresh-
man wanting to play more basketball became a solid player who
had earned the right to continue her days as a basketball player.
Recently, Bean has been contacted by a number of schools that
are interested in her talent
These two sophomore players are not
alone. Six recruits from 1996 remain as Cou­
gars. From the moment Lauren Mohan If 1 could,'
stepped onto the floor two winters ago, she I'd play
was the team’s starting point guard. She too,
has received numerous offers to help teams
of four-year schools.
years at
Michelle McKinney, a San Diego State­
recruit chose not to attend the California
school so she could raise her son. She spent
the past two years in her hometown of Or­ girls.
egon City as a Cougar and now has the op­
tion once again to player for a bigger school.
Mattye Walsworth stepped in just before
the regular season began last year and has
been part of the team ever since. Walsworth,
a standout volleyball player, plans to attend
Point Guard
a university on a volleyball scholarship next
Melissa Hollenbeck, known to her friends
as Mo, was one of the league’s top players as a freshman. She
injured her knee playing for the volleyball team, however, and
along with Krystal Nakamoto's grade ineligibilty the two players
were forced to miss the season.
While each of these six players have contributed countless hours
for the success of the team, they created a special bond between
one another.
“It’s going to be really hard leaving this team,” said Nix. T
know that I’m not going too far away and I know that many of
[the freshmen] are com ing back but these are great people and it’s
hard knowing that I’m not going to be part of that. All of the
sophomores are going to'do really well wherever they go. Both
off and on the court, it’s been a great season.”
“It’s like one big family,” said Bean. “You play with them
throughout the whole season and then it’s over and now there’s
nothing left. Now it’s like ‘What do I do now?’ I’m going to go to
a new team and it’s not going |o be the same.”
‘Tve been around Robbie, Mo and Krystal and everybody
elsefortwoyears,”saidMohan, “You live with these people, you
see them every day for two straight years and then it’s just ‘Hey,
see you later’ and you go in your separate ways. It’s hard.
‘Tm glad I came here but the worst part is that it’s just like
starting over. It’s hard to leave your friends. If I could, I’d play all
four years at Clackamas with these girls.”
When these ladies go in their own direction next fall, they will
■I ■
create new bonds with
their new teams.
‘Tm a little bit scared
because I don’t know
what to expect,” said
Mohan. “It’s easier
staying here because
I’m around people that
I know but it’s making
it easier knowing that
Robbie’s going to PSU
and starting over and
Michelle and every­
body else is leaving. All
of our sophomores are
going somewhere new
and starting over and so
it’s nice to know that
they’re going into the
same thing that I am.
I’m excited, but scared,
butit’s for die best be­
cause we all have to go
JOHN THORBURN / Clackamas Print
For some players, Karen Twain stepped down as head coach after the Cougars' season ended
saying goodbye is Friday. She leaves the team along with seven sophomores graduating this spring.
harder for them than others. Hollenbeck has been with these play­ give some of that back. I’ve taught him some things since I’ve
ers long as they’ve been with each other. Because of her injury, been here and he’s taught me some tilings as well.”
Since Twain’s arrival five years ago, the’women’s basketball
however, she still has her sophomore year of eligibility to play at
Clackamas and will not move on with them.
program has gone from mediocre to one of the top programs in
“It’s hard to see them go because we’ve been through a lot these the northwest, winning two regional championships and qualify­
past two years,” said Hollenbeck ‘They’re such great players and ing four times for the NWAACC tournament
athletes that I really missed playing with them this year and next
‘There's some pressure coming in as the new head coach,” said
year is going to be rough. We’ve got a good bunch of girls coming Martineau. “There’s pressure because of what Karen has done to
this program. She came in and really turned it around from pretty
back so we should do okay.”
Along with die departure of the sophomores, Clackamas Head much nothing. We’ve got six or seven players coming back Me­
Coach K^ren Twain bids farewell to the Cougars.
lissa Hollenbeck coming back so there’s a lot of pressure. I think
After being head coach for the past five seasons, Twain’s career more of it comes from me putting it on myself than anything else.
“Karen has been a great coach to work with. She’s very open-
in school administration has taken off in recent years and leaves
minded to new ideas, she’ll ask for your advice. She’ll basically
little time for the joys of leading afeam.
“It’s going to be really tough to walkaway from this team,” said let you coach; she’s not a control freak like some coaches are. I
Twain. “There’s a lot of things that I’m going to miss and some just hope that I don’t turn out like those coachbs.”
Schools around the Southern Division also will see changes in
things that I’m not going to miss. One of the things that I definitely
will miss will be the camaraderie of this team. I think that’swhat’s coaching positions. Along with Twain, Dennis Melcher steps down
made us win. I don’t think the winning has caused the camarade­ at Chemeketa and Stephanie Carroll is leaving her position at Mt
rie, the camaraderie has caused the winning.
“This is probably the best time to do this,” said Twain.
“The girls don’t play with as much pressure when they’re hav­
ing fun. It doesn’t make them think about how many wins and “There’s going to be a lot of changes around the league
losses we have—it just makes them play and they play well. That’s next year. I didn’t Want to leave when I had a so-so team. I
the hardest thing to leave about this team. It’s not something that I
choose to do, it’s something that kind of necessitates itself just by
the way things have gone with my career.
‘Tm not going to be leaving right away,” noted Twain. ‘Tm
going to stick around through the spring and summer and help
with recruiting and open gym and things.”
Even after her departure, Coach Twain still plans to set time
aside for her players.
“I’ve always promisedmyplayers that wherever they go, whether
it’s on the east coast or here, I’ll go and watch at least one of their
games. With Robbie going to PSU and a number of other players
going to schools that are nearby, I’m sure that I’llstill be going to
a lot of games next year. Only next year it will be a little different.
I’ll be a fan.”
Taking over the duties of head coach will be Jim Martineau.
Martineau has been an assistant coach for the past four years and
once played under men’s basketball Head Coach Royce Kiser.
Twain and the sophomores feel Martineau will fill the coaching
position perfectly.
T think Jim is going to be a great coach,” said Bean. “He helped
me so much as an assistant I must say that it’s sad to see Karen
leave but she's given Jim the chance to do something that he’s
maybe wanted to do. She made the right decision to pass it on to
him. They’re just going to do awesome next year. Tm going to
miss it because I wish he would have been my coach too.”
“Jim and I have been working on the transition all year,” noted
Twain. ‘Til still be around to help him with the transition this
spring and he’ll be ready to go in the fall. Jim’s been a tremendous
help to me over these past few years and now it’s my turn to sort of
Outdoor Track Results —
200m. - Dante Betha - 1st
400m. - Dante Betha - 1st
4x100m. Relay - 2nd
400m. Hurdles - Raiiynn Elliott - 1st
Javelin - Tristan Sharp - 1st
10,000m. - Jennifer Rea - 2nd
This is the best opening
season meet the program’s
had in a couple of years.. .
-Head Coach Jack Kegg
Wednesday, March 11, 1998
wanted to leave when we were on top and that’s where we
are. With the talent that the team has coming back next
year, they have a lot to look forward to.
“The biggest memory isn’t going to be the wins and losses, but
five years down the road if somebody asks ifte abciut thisteam,
1’ih going to say how much fun we had. It’s a good way for me to
go out”,
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