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2007 Portland Christian Athletics: best year ever


Portland Christian students demonstrate the skills, leadership and determination of true champions. Well, here they demonstrate what a team does after winning the 1A/2A Oregon State Athletic Association Baseball State Title.
The campus of Portland Christian Junior/Senior High School, 12425 N.E. San Rafael St., started smelling success early in the fall of 2006. Most student athletes aspire to play in that one championship season, to see the banner of their efforts unfurl for the underclassmen to envy and admire. Most schools have that one championship team, the one sport that consistently churns out trophies under the tutelage of that one motivational coach. Most classes have that one outstanding athlete. When college recruiters start popping up in the stands, everyone can point to whom they came to see. These are examples of ordinary excellence.

When a single student, or a single school, captures more than one title in the course of a year, the community lauds the talent, as if innate, ignoring the days of training and nights of practice that paid off. Though armed with skill and driven by ambition, a school that grasps three state championships plus top honors in individual achievements has more to share than victory. It lays a standard of greatness that compels the competitive athletes of the future onward and upward.

With an enrollment of approximately 400 students, chances are, every Portland Christian pupil knows someone who won a championship this year. Though both soccer teams excelled, both fell short of the goal. Many of the members of the girls soccer team earned first-team honors, and the team as a whole placed second in its NW Independent League. The boys soccer team went as far as the state quarterfinals.

The girls’ volleyball team, however, a consistent playoff contender, followed already raised expectations and surpassed them. After sweeping Corbett in the semifinals, the girls faced Weston-McEwan, who toppled them in the quarterfinals last year and still retained members of its 2004 championship team. But the PC girls would not be held second. After winning two matches and losing one, they pushed the fourth match to their first 2A state championship in school history.

High hopes also mounted in football as PC fans watched win after win lead to the team’s first semifinals in school history. Entering with an impressive record of 21-1 and averaging 37.5 points per game, the boys football team, though steady all season, suffered a crushing loss to Cascade Christian after capturing the early lead.

Basketball also proved exhilarating but eventually anticlimactic for the boys. After achieving its second straight league title with a 14-1 league record, the boys basketball team advanced to the first round of the state championship just as it had for the past four years under coach Tyler Toney, only to be stymied by Bonanza. Yet the team’s overall record left much to impress: 24-4. The girls basketball team, no newcomer to the state championships either, rode the momentum of the volleyball victory with the aid both of crossover members of that team and veterans of the 2004 championship basketball season. In fact, these girls have played at Pendleton nine consecutive years under coach Tom West. They entered the finals this year with a 24-4 record, beating out Chiloquin to face Santiam. With high scorers Junior Kim Hill, Jessica Beliel and Sophomore Darcy Cornell contributing to PC’s 45 percent field goal percentage and their formidable defense keeping Santiam to only 23 percent, they secured their success, and the girls’ second 2A state championship title of the year, with a 49-31 victory.

Nothing will get a guy more riled than being shown up by the girls. Even the most chivalrous women’s lib lover will find a bit more bite in his determination to win after congratulating his female friends, again. Or perhaps the boys baseball team’s elusive pitching and precision hitting sealed the deal all on its own. Whatever the case, the 2007 Royal boys baseball team finished the year 25-5, with nine players making all-league, the first league championship since 1970, and the first state championship in school history, beating out Riddle 4-2. With player of the game Junior Eric Tolleson keeping Riddle’s hitters at bay through five innings and the help of Senior Greg Thompson’s two-run homer, the boys celebrated their first state championship since the PC basketball team earned the honor in 1992.

So, for those who have lost count, PCHS has earned top rankings statewide on the 2A level in volleyball, basketball and baseball. What’s more? After a year of training, tournaments and scrimmages, PC students still have the stamina to leap even higher. Their athletes have dominated Northwest League track with a string of nine consecutive league titles. At this year’s state championship meet, PC students once more stepped up to grasp the gold. Top honors went to senior Charlie Antal in the long jump with a personal best of 21-7 1/2 and senior Lindsay Reinhardt on the low hurdles, who also placed second in the 400-meter dash.

Though the banners of their victory will remain long after they have graduated to other endeavors, the athletes of PCHS’s 2006-07 year have contributed more than the thrill of competition for their fans on the bleachers. They inspire future generations, even those outside our community, to work just that much harder to beat them in the future. To which the prevailing sentiment on PC campus can only be, “Bring it on!”

Graduating Champions
This year we bid farewell to a duo of multi-talented state champions whose versatility and ambition hurtled their school into the top ranks, breaking records and raising the bar. In PC’s 60-year history, Lindsay Reinhardt is the only female athlete to earn state championship rankings in three different sports (basketball, volleyball and track & field). Charlie Antal is the first athlete in PC history to earn 16 varsity letters (four each in football, basketball, baseball and track & field). Both students were key in each activity in which PC claimed team championships this year. The Memo grants them our congratulations and good wishes for the future.

Lindsay Reinhardt
Most freshmen would be thrilled just to make the varsity team in their first year. In 2004, Reinhardt joined the girls varsity basketball team in its first championship season, sharing victory with her sister Kingslee, then a senior. In the spring, the two tag-teamed to place second in the 2A state track championship 400-meter relay and fourth place in the 4 x 100. Reinhardt would continue to flourish on the track, breaking school records in the 400-meter dasg as a sophomore and again as a junior. In 2006 she took to the hurdles, finishing third at the state championships for the 300-meter hurdles. The volleyball court showed no less promise. Capping her PC career with a litter of broken records, she celebrated another first 2A state championship in volleyball with first-team all-tournament honors. She also topped her 400 benchmark in track for a third time and capped the 300 hurdles record with a personal best of 45.81 seconds, both of which set new district meet records. All this led up to her PC finale, earning first place in the 300 hurdles, second in the 400, and third in the 4 x 100 at the 2A state finals.

Reinhardt will attend the University of Sioux Falls in South Dakota this fall, which awarded her track and volleyball scholarships as well as a music scholarship for voice. She turned down the volleyball scholarship in order to run track both winter and spring.

Charlie Antal
Leaving a season of broken records in their wake, the 2006-07 Royals celebrate history in the making. Senior Charlie Antal could go down as one of the greatest athletes in Portland Christian Jr./Sr. High School history.
In the fall of 2003, Charlie Antal entered Portland Christian as the varsity football team’s starting quarterback. He would soon prove his versatility, equally impressive on the gridiron, basketball court, pitcher’s mound, batting box and track, for which he was named Rookie of the Year. As a sophomore, he earned first-team all-league honors as a football wide receiver. That spring, his .561 season batting average also earned him Most Valuable Player of the baseball team. In 2005, Antal was the first junior named the Northwest League Offensive Player of the Year for his MVP football performance. The basketball team earned the league title that year, and in one game, Charlie shot 100 percent from the field, going six for six from 3-point range. This year’s football team won its way to the semifinals partly due to its Northwest League MVP, Northwest League Offensive Player of the Year (for the second time) and first-team all-league and all-state wide receiver, Antal, who also earned Player of the Game.

In baseball, Antal dominated as both a pitcher (5-0, 56 strikeouts in 44 2/3 innings of regular season play) and at the plate, with a .463 batting average and a total of nine home runs as MVP of the Royals’ first state baseball championship team in school history. Antal capped his PC career with an individual best, landing first place honors for the long jump in the 2A state championships for track and field. In all, Antal participated in 20 state athletic competitions (three football, nine basketball, three track and field, and five baseball) and won two state championships. He set 16 PC school records in football — including 3,413 career all-purpose yards, 2,268 career receiving yards, and 39 career touchdowns — and reigned as PC Booster Club’s Male Athlete of the Year for the past two years.

Antal will take his talents to Wheaton College outside Chicago, Ill., which recruited him for both football and baseball.
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