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MARCH 20, 2015
Everything you need to know
about McNary’s turf project
KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald
Celt Matt Aguilar hits a line drive to the outfi eld in McNary’s
fi rst game of the season Monday, March 16. McNary beat Cleve-
land High School 14-7.
back in the swing
By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes
Last year, the McNary
High School varsity baseball
team drew one of the short
straws in the Central Valley
The Celtics fi nished fi fth
out of six teams with a record
of 5-10 in league and 10-16
overall. All of which is not to
say the season was devoid of
bright spots. This time around,
the league’s Pitcher of the
Year, Mickey Walker, is back
for his senior season. Walker
fi nished the 2014 season 6-0
with three shutouts, one one-
hitter, a pair of two-hitters and
a win against every team in
While that bodes well for
the Celts, the pitching staff
beyond Walker remains some-
thing of a question, said Larry
Keeker, McNary head coach.
“I like who we have on the
pitching staff and it’s a deep
pool, but there are a lot of
questions that won’t be an-
swered until they get into the
game,” she said.
The Celts can boast a
number of seniors this sea-
son including Jacob Vasas, Ben
Cummings, Cole Thomas,
Nick LaFountaine, Connor
Goff and Tim Hays.
Hays said the addition of
three teams to the new-this-
year Greater Valley Confer-
ence wasn’t a huge concern.
“We’ll probably have to be
more strategic with pitching,
but it’s just going out and hit-
ting the ball on offense,” Hays
said. “We can hit a lot of line
drives, throw a lot of strikes
and I don’t think our defense
will be making a huge amount
Goff said he was eager to
see sophomore Josiah Gilbert
on the mound this season.
“He pitched real well for us
in summer league this season,”
Walker, who has already
signed on to pitch with St.
Martin’s University next fall,
said he just wants to see the
team play competitively and
with energy while getting
some W’s on the mound.
During spring break, the
Celts are headed to Arizona
to compete with other teams
from around the nation.
“We play four times and
watch three spring training
games, but the real payoff is
coming back having spent
bonding time with the whole
team,” Keeker said.
In recent years, the team
has stuck around the area to
play in Oregon-based tour-
naments, but frequently made
the pilgrimage to Arizona be-
Goff said the key to a bet-
ter season this year will begin
with the fi rst pitch of every
“We have to come out and
Please see SWING, Page B3
A design mock-up of a planned artifi cial turf fi eld at McNary High School coming this summer.
McNary High School will be installing a new artifi cial turf
fi eld this summer.
The turf will replace the existing grass fi eld, which means
McKay High School will be the only high school in the Salem-
Keizer School District with a natural fi eld.
In the two months since Keizertimes last talked with organiz-
ers, the project has continued apace. Here are some of the most
important questions we asked with updates including the latest
What exactly is this project?
About 80,000 square feet of dirt and grass will be removed
from the existing Flesher Field at McNary. It will be replaced
with FieldTurf, an artifi cial surface.
How much will it cost?
About $1 million.
Who is paying for it?
The cost of the fi eld will be covered by fi nancial contribu-
tions and in-kind donations in approximately a 50/50 split. No
Salem-Keizer School District funds are being used.
How will the turf fi eld improve options at the school?
Due to the up-keep involved in natural fi elds, Flesher Field
can currently only be used about 160 times per year. The turf
fi eld will be able to withstand 10 times that usage each year over
the next 10 years.
Who will benefi t?
Both students and the community will benefi t from the in-
stallation. More sporting activities, including McNary’s soccer
and lacrosse teams will be able to host games on the fi eld. The
McNary marching band will be able to practice there, and ad-
ditional physical education classes will be permitted to use it.
Community events, like Relay for Life, could also schedule time
to use the fi eld provided it does not confl ict with school events.
When will work begin?
The project will break ground June 1 and existing dirt and
grass will be removed during the next couple of weeks. After
that, the groundwork will be laid for the new turf, meaning
rock, concrete and drainage piping.
What happens next?
The actual turf will be installed beginning in July.
When will it be used for the fi rst time?
Organizers are hoping to have the fi eld ready for McNary’s
annual Blue Day celebration, the third Saturday in August.
How has fundraising been done?
Merchandise sales, auction proceeds, and a variety of oth-
er fundraisers have contributed to fi nancial needs. Advertising
spaces on the fi eld are being sold.
Who has purchased advertising?
While no names have been released, organizers have a lo-
cal health care business, tire business, local real estate and local
fi nancial representative lined up for the home side of the fi eld.
No alcohol, tobacco or weapon-related advertising will be per-
How much has been raised so far?
About $375,000 in cash. In-kind donations of rock, fuel, and
trucking are still needed. All other in-kind needs are locked in.
How can someone contribute to project?
For fi nancial contributions, visit www.gofundme.com/MC-
NARYTURF2015, or contact Ted Anagnos at tedanagnos@
In-turf advertising is still available on the visitors side of the
fi eld. There are fi ve spaces left and the cost is $15,000. Logo
spots will remain on the fi eld for the next 10 years.
Who do I talk with about in-kind donations?
Project consultant Bill McNutt at email@example.com,
or McNary Athletic Director Ron Richards at 503-399-3238
Where can I get more information?
Lady Celts return with big power at the plate
McNary senior Kimi Ito reaches to get an out at second base in a game last season. Ito is one of three seniors return-
ing this season
By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes
The drawback and the boon to
adding three new softball teams to
the league this season is that all three
are something like powerhouses.
“One of the things that it will
have an impact on is power ratings.
When we have a struggling program
somewhere in the league, we can
play them and beat them 23-0 and
our ranking will drop. When you do
that three times, it takes a toll,” said
Kevin Wise, head coach of the Mc-
Nary High School softball program,
regarding the smaller league the Lady
Celts competed in last season.
The three teams added to the
ranks of the new Greater Valley Con-
ference – Forest Grove, McMinnville
and West Albany high schools – all
made it to the state tournament last
year. While the Celtics, Vikings and
Grizzlies were all eliminated in the
fi rst round, the Bulldogs made it to
the quarterfi nals in the 5A competi-
“The new schools are gener-
ally stronger than some of the other
teams in our league and we’ll only
play each team twice,” Wise said.
However, McNary will also have
to contend with South Salem High
School last year’s 6A state champs.
The Lady Celts lost only two se-
niors to graduation last season, which
means the team will return a number
of athletes with a bounty of varsity
This time around, the Celts have
three seniors in outfi elder Kimi Ito,
pitcher Megan Ulrey and catcher
Kiana Villareal. In addition to their
strong performances in the fi eld, all
three were essential to what became
an offense-heavy team last season.
Ulrey started getting looks from col-
leges as a junior in the circle, and she’s
already excited for what this season
“We haven’t even started yet and
we’re like sisters. Just to spend the
whole season with these girls is going
to be great,” she said. “We still have a
lot of room to grow though.”
Villarreal said she’s eager to face
some of the new teams’ players that
Please see POWER, Page B3