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Redmond endured a long night

Redmond endured a long night

Prep Notebook

BY GREG STILES

The trip from Redmond to Roseburg takes roughly four hours for a school bus.

Throw in a lunch break and a rest stop and it's a little bit more.

But it took the Redmond Panthers roughly twice the usual time Friday en route to their football game against the Indians at Finlay Field.

Redmond's bus blew an engine as it sat at a stoplight on Highway 126 in east Springfield.

An assistant coach flagged down a Springfield school bus that was able to ferry two-thirds of the team to the nearby Gateway Mall.

Any time Redmond parents came driving by, says Redmond coach Robby Robinson, they picked up three or four players and eventually we got everyone to the mall. It was chaos.

The team waited more than — hours before another bus could make its way from Redmond. The Panthers finally arrived in Roseburg at 7:30 p.m., the scheduled kickoff time. It was 8:30 before the game started.

We told the kids not to worry, that the game wouldn't start without us, says Redmond defensive coordinator Jim Westendorf. Obviously, we were out of our regular routine, but we told the kids we were not going to let that be an excuse.

Ultimately, a couple of fumbles and the inability to field a punt cost the Panthers as Roseburg won 34-13 in a game that ended at 11 p.m.

It was 5 a.m. Saturday when Redmond arrived back home.

NORTH TO FILL COACHING SLOTS-- North Medford is interviewing candidates for its vacant girls basketball and boys golf coaching positions.

We've scheduled two or three interviews (for today), athletic director Mike Kay says. We hope to have it decided by Wednesday afternoon at the latest.

The primary soccer facility on the North campus has undergone a name change. Heretofore, it's been known as District Field, because North and South shared the pitch.

It's now simply Varsity Field, says Kay.

The school also added a soccer field between the gym and Bowerman Field. The track at Bowerman was resurfaced and dressed up this summer as well.

SPIEGELBERG TOURNAMENT-- The 4th Annual Fred Spiegelberg Memorial Golf Tournament is slated for 12:45 p.m. Oct. 8 at Rogue Valley Country Club.

Former Medford High three-sport star and current Oregon Tech men's basketball coach Dan Miles will be the featured speaker at an 11:30 a.m. luncheon.

The cost is $75 individually or $500 per company-sponsored team. The event is put on by the Medford Linebackers and Asante Health System.

The field is limited to 128 players. The first three tournaments honoring the late National High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame coach raised about $10,000 per year.

It's a current need fund for things such as shoes and camps, says Shawn Retzlaf, Spiegelberg's daughter.

The Fred Spiegelberg Scholarship Fund is available to athletes at North Medford, South Medford, Cascade Christian and St. Mary's. For information, call Doug Strahm at 734-5617.

A DOUBLEHEADER OF HIS OWN-- Sheldon High senior Taylor Hoff has his own doubleheader scheduled here Friday.

The 5-foot-8, 160-pound all-Midwestern League sweeper will lead Sheldon's defense against South Medford in a 4:30 p.m. match at Fichtner-Mainwaring Field.

Then he'll hop in the car with his dad and ride over to Central Point, where he'll handle the kicking chores for Sheldon's football team in a 7:30 p.m. contest against Crater. Sheldon is based in Eugene.

BASKETBALL STAR DONS PADS-- South Eugene's football program got a big shot in the arm when all-star basketball guard Blake Stepp turned out a day or two after the start of daily doubles.

Stepp, whose basketball exploits were displayed here in wins over North Medford and South Medford last winter, hadn't played football since his freshman year. But Stepp has moved into the quarterback role for the Axemen, who defeated Willamette 20-17 last Friday.

Stepp completed 8 of 19 passes for 127 yards and a touchdown. He threw three interceptions, but made a big theft of his own late in the game.

South Medford plays the Axemen in the early game of the Autzen Stadium doubleheader Oct. 1.

Another of South Medford's non-conference opponents -- North Eugene -- snapped a 10-game losing streak on Friday when the Highlanders defeated Springfield, 14-7.

South Medford plays North Eugene at Autzen Stadium on Oct. 29.

NORTH MEDFORD DUO HONORED-- Seniors Heather Johnson and Tate Mellbye have been selected North Medford's Wendy's High School Heisman Award recipients, based on scholarship, athletics and citizenship.

Johnson has lettered in soccer and track and is active in student government and her church. Mellbye participates in football, basketball and track. He takes part in the school's Buddy Program as an official in YMCA games.

(Greg Stiles is a Mail Tribune sports writer. He can be reached by phone at 776-4483 or via e-mail at .)