Sports Zone

Ex-Thurston tackle joins Beavers’ OL & January sports notebook


Grant Starck, former Thurston Colt and son of Thurston head coach Justin Starck, decided to transfer from Nevada to Oregon State for next season. Starck was a three-star offensive tackle out of high school and started all 12 games for Nevada this season en route to being named to the All-Mountain West Honorable Mention team. Starck, who had transfer offers from at least 13 different schools and has two years of eligibility remaining, announced the decision on Twitter on Dec. 22, stating “I’M COMMITTED. Excited to be a Beaver and can’t wait to get to work!!”

West Linn boys conquer nations best

■ The West Linn High School boys basketball team, led by four-star Oregon commit Jackson Shelstad, won the Les Schwab Invitational Tournament at Liberty High School in Hillsboro last week. West Linn took down national #16 Sierra Canyon of California 86-69 as Shelstad outdueled Sierra star Bronny James – son of LeBron James. In the finals, West Linn came up against national #1 Duncanville of Texas in front of a crowd of over 3,500 people and won 62-50. Shelstad, who averaged 33 ppg en route to winning tournament MVP, scored 30 points in the championship win. West Linn became the first Oregon team to win the LSI since Lake Oswego in 2012.

Resources bolstered for NW blind athletes

■ The Northwest Association for Blind Athletes (NWABA) added 40 new educational videos to its video resource library, bringing its video total to 70. The resource library gives tools and tips to teachers, coaches, community members, athletes and their families on how to best aid athletes who are blind and visually impaired. The NWABA said in a news release that, “There is a need throughout our community for tangible and accessible resources to increase inclusion and engagement among students who are blind and visually impaired. Each video shows a range of comprehensive adaptations and teaching methods, and is paired with an adaptations manual and tactile diagram (when applicable) to further enhance instruction.” NWABA’s program also includes an adaptive equipment lending library, which can be found with the video resources on their website at

Lane United FC exploring pro options

■ Lane United Football Club (LUFC) announced in early December that it acquired exclusive rights to expansion franchises in the United Soccer League’s League One (men) and Super League (women). While LUFC already operates in pre-professional leagues, this move means the team could operate in multiple USL leagues, and in doing so would become the first professional soccer club in Lane County.

Drifters give back

The Springfield Drifters and mascot “Santa Rapid” handed out meals and gifts on Dec. 23

■ The Springfield Drifters, a summer collegiate wooden-bat baseball team, partnered with The Hope Project and Campus Life to provide free to-go meals to families on Dec. 23. Head coach Tommy Richards and a few players, including Cooper Mullens and father Rob – athletic director of the University of Oregon – helped load and pass out food boxes to members of the community. The Drifters gave out meal boxes to over 200 families, and Santa Rapid, the Drifters’ mascot, paired up with The Hope Project to hand out more than 300 presents to local children.

Chronicle reporter Pierre Weil covers sports in the southern Willamette Valley.



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