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  • Ednold

Central 3/26/21



This weekend I decided Mrs. Ednold and I would make the trip to Perrydale to watch a football game. Perrydale are the Pirates, and their logo is very similar to that of Marshfield High School of Coos Bay. And when I saw that, I assumed we would be headed to the coast for the game. But after doing a little research I learned that Perrydale isn’t on the coast. Aha! They must be some of those dreaded river pirates. But then… Nope. There are no rivers that run through Perrydale. A lake maybe? Hmmm… Nope. A pond? A stream? A creek? No, no, and no. A reservoir? A canal? A brook? A slough? A bayou? An aqueduct? A fjord? Not a one. When we got there I tried to find so much as a puddle anywhere in and around Perrydale. I was not successful. So, I’m guessing they’re probably pirates more along the lines of producing bootleg music and movies. I can only assume the little village is probably a hotbed for copyright infringement and the unauthorized duplication of proprietary content. Someone should alert the FBI.


All of this thinking about Pirates in Perrydale led to me thinking about all the strange mascot names that celebrate illegal or violent activity. Pirates are common. Crescent Valley High School are the Raiders, and that seems to be socially acceptable. Sisters High School are the Outlaws. The University of Idaho are the Vandals. My son’s middle school team was the Marauders. I looked it up. A marauder is “one who roams from place to place making attacks and raids in search of plunder”. So why do you never hear of a team just called the Killers, or the Terrorists? Why is it cool to root for the Marauders when it would not be cool at all to root for a team named the Gangsters, or the Armed Gunmen, or the Murderers? I don’t know, and one lifetime isn’t nearly long enough to make sense of all the nonsensical stuff in this world.

But, back to Perrydale. It’s actually located in the Willamette Valley in the middle of Polk County farmland, and it was a beautiful sunny evening to be driving the backroads of Polk County. There are only a dozen houses or so in the little village of Perrydale, situated at an intersection midway between Dallas and McMinnville, but there are lots of farms in the surrounding countryside that aren’t in the Dallas or Amity school districts, so Perrydale has its own one-school school district.


Not knowing exactly what the rules would be for entry into the game, we arrived in time to sort it out and were fully prepared to view from beyond the field as we had done the past few weeks. But that was not to be. They had a small ticket table set up outside the fence where a lady sat, waiting and hoping she could ruin someone's night.


“So what are the rules regarding spectators for the game tonight?”

“We just need everyone to keep their distance in the stands and keep their masks on throughout the game. Can I see your tickets?”

“If I had one I’d show it to you. I don’t. I assume it’s OK to watch from outside the fence?”

“It’s not. Our permit applies to the entire school grounds, so unfortunately I’m going to have to ask you to stay off of school property if you don’t have a ticket.”

“I see. So, you think Mrs. Ednold and I will pose some kind of risk by standing outside the fence without anyone within 50 feet of us. Thank you so much for your help. You know, I know what goes on in this town.”

“Pardon?”

“I'm not stupid. Pirates? There's no pirate ship within 50 miles of here. Yeah, I know all about you.” I gave her my best knowing glance over my shoulder as I turned and walked back to The Bucket. I drove down the road a ways to see if there was a good vantage point where we could park and watch the game from the cozy confines of the car, but there really wasn’t a good spot. No problem. Ednold always has a plan B, and on this night plan B consisted of putting a curse on the Perrydale Pirates and heading back south, where we knew that the Central High School Panthers were also hosting a game.


We turned east off of Highway 99, drove through the east end of Monmouth and into Independence. Though the school is technically in Independence, it’s on Monmouth Street in between the downtowns of the twin cities, hence the most generic of school names. It was opened in 1950, but it’s obviously had a facelift since the days when I came here a few times a year to compete, and as we pulled into the parking lot I was impressed by how little it looked like the run-down old place I remembered it to be.

After parking The Bucket and scoping things out, I learned that we again would not be allowed inside the fence. But there didn’t seem to be any blanket prohibition against standing and watching from outside, and I found a nice place toward the north end of the field that would be a perfect viewing spot. We set up just outside the fence with a small group of other lepers and were ready for the game.

West side home grandstand

This was a matchup of two teams from 5A Special District 3, which includes the Albany and Corvallis high schools. The Panthers were coming in at 1-2, having whipped Crescent Valley 42-0 while losing the other two games almost as badly, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect from them. We had an adequate place to watch the game, but it was even nicer when, at the start of the second quarter, an attendant came and told all of us grandstand rejects that we were welcome to come inside and sit down if we wanted to. They were below their capacity for the game and there was room for us in the bleachers. We were getting a free upgrade to first class! Mrs. Ednold and I grabbed our gear and made ourselves comfy on the aluminum bleachers of a very nice newish grandstand for the rest of the game. I hope you were taking notes, Perrydale. That's the way it's done. And I never thought I'd say it, but thanks, Central, for helping make this night a success.

I have to mention, since Mrs. Ednold mentioned it to me, that the Central cheerleaders were “pretty good”. As with the cheerleaders from last weeks game, they got all dressed up and performed their cheers for a small crowd of non-students who seemed to pay them no attention, but Mrs. Ednold knows about this stuff, so, there you go. I do have to also mention that they still have a single male cheerleader with his megaphone calling out the cheers with the girls. They always had 3 or 4 of them when we would play Central when I was in school. These aren't the beefy guys tossing the girls around and doing backflips. Just guys in white shorts cheering through a megaphone. I'm not judging, just mentioning, since it seems to be unique among Oregon high schools. Ednold reports, you decide. Now, on to the important stuff.

East side visitors' seating

The Central Panthers were taking on the Silverton Silver Foxes, which made me think of a family friend, Dave Gentry, who was a standout for the Foxes back in the day. And Mr. Gentry would have been proud of the Foxes on this night. They were extremely good. Or maybe Central was just bad. Let me rephrase that: Central was bad. They couldn’t run the ball and they couldn’t throw the ball. They didn’t score. They didn’t threaten to score. They didn’t hint at threatening to score. They didn’t insinuate that they might possibly hint at threatening to score. I’m pretty sure they didn’t move the chains once. Any play that didn’t go backward was considered a success. Luckily, they did have an outstanding punter, probably because he gets so much practice. He just might have set some kind of record for total punting yards in a single game. I tried to keep track of how many times he punted but I ran out of beads on my abacus. How bad must Crescent Valley be to have lost to these guys by 42 points?


The score was 21-0 at halftime and the Foxes could easily have had twice that many points if not for a few penalties and dropped passes. The final score of 35-0 was no indication of how lopsided the game really was, and I commend the Silverton coaches for resting their best players early and completely abandoning the passing game that shredded the Panther defense in the first half. I have to admit that, for the first time, I wasn’t rooting for the home team. I have a history of competing against Central and I can’t find the OFF switch for that. There was some satisfaction in seeing the Foxes run circles around them all night. I take no pride in that. It’s just the way it is.


It wasn’t a nailbiter, but it was a fun game to watch under the full moon in Independence, scrunched up under our blankets on the frigid aluminum bleachers. Being on that campus brought back some memories that made us both laugh, and made me wonder what Mr. Gentry would have looked like running around out there for the Silver Foxes in his time. As for that curse I put on those Perrydale Pirates? They lost by 32 points. We'll be back, Perrydale, and I suggest you be a little more considerate next time. Otherwise, I can see a very long losing streak in your future. Do NOT mess with Ednold.








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gilromastew
gilromastew
28 mar 2021

You lucky guy. I've never been to Perrydale though I grew up hearing my mom mention it. They were a rival school to Dallas. Sounds like maybe they are not too friendly....? Dave will be pleased to be mentioned in your blog.

I think Pirates is still a better name than "The Pretzels"

Can't wait until next week.

RJS

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gilromastew
gilromastew
27 mar 2021

I've always liked Perrydale....though I've never watched a ballgame there. As for your Central High feelings, a true reporter is supposed to walk the middle path....without allowing his long-smoldering teenage resentment make its way to the surface.


Of course they were competitive, but as I recall you managed to win....most of the time.


Mr. G will be glad to hear of the Silver Foxes dominance.


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