The 20th-century writer W.H. Auden put it best in 1970: “Proper names are poetry in the raw.”
Words have meaning, but names, as poetic as they are, they hold power.
Picture the force brought by Boomer (as in Fleming, running back for Ridgeview football). Imagine the quick strike of Bolt (as in Anglen, wide receiver for Culver football).
The sheer poetry of names within the prep sports world of Central Oregon is inspiring.
In the realm of football, there is a Meany and a Slaughter in Sisters (Blake and Devin) and a little Blood in Culver (5-foot-9 Jacob). Perhaps you would prefer some Love? Head south to La Pine, and say hello to Chris.
Travel a little farther to Gilchrist and meet a Heitzman winner. That is Jonny Football, a member of the 2-1 Grizzlies.
Let us not limit our poetry to the gridiron. Broaden the horizons and take a Chance someplace else. How about Chance Halley (Sisters football)? Or maybe you would have better odds with Chance Flammang (Bend High soccer).
Broaden them still, and you will bask in the beautiful colors of Central Oregon. The girls soccer landscape is painted with Coral and Rose (Reyes of Madras and Land of Redmond). Maybe cross-country suits your eyes, where Madras' Blue Whiteplumbe lopes over the terrain.
On the La Pine girls soccer team, you get a Michael and two Mickels — as in teammates Shyann, Kaitlyn and Riley. Galvin to Galvan (Summit soccer's Conor to Madras football's Osvaldo) and three times an Aspen (Summit volleyball's Peterman, Crook County volleyball's Christiansen, and Mountain View soccer's Crew). From Summit football's Merritt Barber to Cohen Merritt (football) at Ridgeview. La Pine volleyball's Morgan Sage to the cross-country Sage Hassell at Mountain View.
It is fall, yes, but at least on the soccer pitch in La Pine there is still Summer (Gallaher). And in Redmond, it is Winters — Cody on the gridiron.
On the cross-country map, you will find the Dakotas, north and south: Steen up at Ridgeview and Thornton down at Mountain View. From volleyball's Shaelynn to Shealene (Davis at Summit, Little at Culver), there is girls soccer Faith in between (Irick at Redmond).
The poetic possibilities in preps are endless. Find the right chord — D Major, perhaps, as in Ridgeview football's Daniel — and one can reach great (Bend soccer's Zach) Hite.
Game of the week
Crook County twice rallied from first-set losses on Saturday and defeated last season's Class 5A state runner-up Churchill as well as 2012 6A runner-up Roseburg to take the Rogue Valley volleyball tournament. Hannah Troutman finished the day with a total of 69 kills and 59 digs to go along with a 66-of-72 serving clip with 18 aces. Karlee Hollis added 40 kills and seven aces on 58 of 66 serving, and Samantha Kaonis recorded 29 kills and 11 blocks.
Player of the week
With five touchdowns — three rushing and two passing — Crook County freshman quarterback Mike Irwin guided the Cowboys to their first football victory of the season, a 51-13 decision against visiting Madras on Friday night. Irwin ran for 94 yards in the nonconference matchup and added 152 yards through the air on 5-of-11 passing.
Stat of the week
Mountain View posted 10 top-10 finishers at the Three Course Challenge in Warrenton on Saturday, helping the Cougars earn their first team win at the cross-country event since they began running in it in 1995. Dakota Thornton led the way for Mountain View, winning the easy course and becoming the first Cougar runner to finish first on any of the three (easy, moderate, hard) 5,000-meter courses.