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Families had good reasons for their moves

Families had good reasons for their moves


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— Recruiting is an ugly concept in any high school sport. —

— Does it happen? Yes. —

— Is recruiting always the case when a prep athlete transfers to another school? No. —

— Do the rumors and innuendos surrounding a player's transfer get to be too distracting? Absolutely. —

— Take the Crater High girls basketball program. —

— From current Oregon State players Cherrith and Chassie Wiersma to Southern Oregon's Emily Wiley to sophomore guard Sarah Yager, the Comets have been blessed with more than their fair share of talented transfers the past few years. —

— This season's additions of Bend High transfer Sarah Pool and Klamath Union transfer Amy Denson once again brought explosive talent to Crater coach David Heard. —

— Unfortunately for Heard and his program, the sophomore transfers also brought whispers of impropriety typical of rumor mongers who prey more on sensationalized ideals than facts. —

— Yager, Pool and Denson had spent the past two years honing their skills on the same AAU summer team. The remarkable reunion of three highly-touted basketball players appeared too coincidental for some to swallow. —

— But as has been the case with all other Crater transfers, including Pool and Denson, it must be said that the Comets have been cleared of any wrongdoing by the OSAA. —

— That fact bears repeating. —

— Regardless of what has been said in online chat rooms, in the grandstand or across the water cooler, no one in the Crater girls basketball program has been cited with improper conduct. —

— Will the OSAA's ruling this time around with Denson and Pool halt the grumblings? Probably not. —

— Do innuendos, regardless of fact or fiction, stain a program's reputation? Yes. —

— Unfortunately if enough people say something to be true, the public belief is that it is true. —

— For Heard, a prime factor in spreading these rumors can be found on various online chat rooms. —

— The chat room stuff bothers me because anyone can start a rumor, says Heard. Most people don't even use their real name and have access to say whatever they want. I think that's ridiculous because anyone can say anything and start any rumor. —

— How the rumors start is unclear. Who is targeted is a little more understandable. —

— Very little attention is placed on an athlete who will have a mild affect on a team. Add a potential Division I player or two to your roster and eyebrows begin to raise. —

— Transfers historically dot the programs of many Oregon girls basketball teams each season. Several SOC teams entered this season with new faces, but none quite as heralded as Pool and Denson. —

— Really that happens every year dozens of times in Portland, but when it happens down here it's a bigger deal, Heard says of high-profile transfers. —

— Denson and Pool have made an immediate impact on the Comets, leading Crater to a 9-2 record and a top-10 ranking. —

— Both 15 year olds adamantly deny any recruiting brought them to Central Point, saying instead that each believed Crater provided the most comfortable setting once relocation was inevitable. —

— The Pool family wanted a break from the chilly Bend conditions. Larry and Beth Pool had spent their lives in Bend, enjoying their hometown but also wondering what else was out there. —

— We wanted to get to a little bit warmer climate, says Larry Pool, who along with Beth is now semi-retired from their carpet business in Bend. We're not skiers, and the older we get the warmer the better. —

— With Beth having several relatives in the Medford area, their attentions turned toward the Rogue Valley. After lengthy discussions and background checks, the Pools settled on Central Point as a prime spot for Sarah and their other daughter Lisa. —

— There was zero recruiting on the part of Crater High School or David Heard, Larry says in squashing the rumors. I mean flat-out zero. We never talked. We never even discussed anything about basketball. —

— Knowing Yager made it that much easier for Sarah Pool's adjustment to the move in the middle of her freshman campaign. —

— (Kris Henry is a Mail Tribune sports writer. He can be reached at 776-4488 or — )